Tag Archives: Supreme Court

The Battle for the Judiciary

By Joseph P. Williams – Besides depriving the president Obama of an opportunity to shape the lower courts, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s gambit denied Obama his right to create, among other things, a left-leaning feeder system for future Supreme Court nominees. The blockade seemed to pay big dividends: When President Donald Trump won the White House, he inherited more than 100 judicial vacancies McConnell forced Obama to leave behind.

The GOP’s well-laid plans to move the federal courts to the right, however, has been ambushed by the Democrats’ counterattack.

Using the political equivalent of guerrilla warfare – insisting on following arcane legislative rules, withholding approval of home-state nominees and generally throwing sand in the Senate machinery – the minority party has ground Republicans’ judicial agenda to a halt.

Those tactics have kept Trump and his Senate allies from addressing a judicial system with so many vacancies that legal experts on both sides have called it a crisis.

Nan Aron says she believes the debate over healthcare – and the fact that some Republican senators allied with Democrats to fight off the GOP’s attempts to repeal a popular government program – could become a watershed moment in the fight over Trump’s nominees.

“It’s important to note that the political winds are shifting,” Caroline Fredrickson says. “That, with Trump’s poll numbers continuing to decline, greater numbers of individuals will want the courts to stand as a check on his excesses. The more people come to understand what courts and judges do, we believe, the more they will begin to weigh in on judgeships” and pressure Republicans. more> https://goo.gl/JTRoqY

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Liberals Will Not Like How This Revenge Plot Ends

By Megan McArdle – I thought Republicans should have confirmed Garland, and I’ve written before that the arms race to procedurally hack the U.S. government — via controlling the Supreme Court, or dreaming up ever-more-arcane uses of the parliamentary rules — is bad for the country and needs to stop. That doesn’t mean I think it’s going to.

The escalating tit-for-tat game over the Supreme Court has been going on at least since the 1980s, and arguably long before that, in the post-New-Deal era when courts began tilting noticeably leftwards.

Under Reagan, conservatives sought to reverse that by grooming conservative justices for all levels of the courts. Democrats tried to keep them from doing so, culminating in the disgraceful treatment of Robert Bork. Ever since, we’ve been locked in a spiraling cycle of payback.

Everyone understands that this is destructive; everyone wishes it to stop. The catch is, they also believe that it needs to stop after they themselves get last licks in. And so it continues. more> https://goo.gl/ZY6FYW

When the Supreme Court is this wrong, it’s time to overrule them

By Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jeff Clements – The American public took matters into their own hands during the Progressive era [2, 3, 4] at the turn of the 20th century.

With the 16th amendment in 1913, Americans reclaimed the power to levy a progressive income tax, without which many of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal social programs would not have been possible.

The 17th amendment that same year provided for popular election of U.S. senators. This replaced the old system of election by state legislatures, in which, according to the New York Times, a millionaire, either by outright bribery or contributions to a party’s campaign coffers, could buy a Senate seat “just as he would buy an opera box, or a yacht or any other luxury in which he could afford to indulge himself.”

Finally, with the ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920, women gained the right to vote after a struggle that had lasted for more than half a century. more> http://tinyurl.com/q559mah

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How Citizens United Reshaped the Politics of Climate Change

By Jeffrey Toobin – Far more important was the assertion in Citizens United that money is speech–that money contributed in support of a political campaign is entitled to full First Amendment protections.

This result led, in turn, to the conclusion that individuals could give unlimited amounts to support any candidate they wanted, as long as the money was controlled by a nominally independent entity, not the campaign itself.

The gist of the Citizens United decision is that the Supreme Court gave rich people more or less free rein to spend as much money as they want in support of their favored candidates. more> http://tinyurl.com/p3syzrc

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CONGRESS WATCH IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776, Independence Hall Association Rand Paul: Roberts’ ruling isn’t final, Rand Paul, USATODAY.com Related articles Updates from Senator Rand Paul (blogs.strategygroup.net) Updates from Senator Rand Paul (blogs.strategygroup.net) Updates from Senator Rand Paul (blogs.strategygroup.net) Updates … Continue reading

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CONGRESS WATCH Sen. Paul Statement on Obamacare Ruling, US Senate Obamacare Is Not Constitutional, Sen. Rand Paul, National Review Online Sen. Rand Paul Discusses on CNBC the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Obamacare – 6/28/12, YouTube [VIDEO 5:16] Sen. Paul Statement … Continue reading

An Easy To Follow Primer For This Week’s SCOTUS Healthcare Ruling

By Rick Ungar – This is the week.

With the Supreme Court expected to hand down it’s decision on Obamacare as early as Monday morning, here is an easy to follow review of what the court will be deciding—and what it all might mean.

Believe it or not, one possible outcome could be a decision that any ruling is premature. more> http://tinyurl.com/6ohqspx

Super PACS: Follow the money – if you can

By Marcus Stern, Kristina Cooke and Alexander Cohen – Ever since the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the Citizens United case paved the way for Super PACS, they have been a legitimate new tactic for political campaigns. As far as can be determined, Winning Our Future (WOF), the pro-Gingrich political action committee, did not do anything impermissible under campaign finance laws. But a look at its regular reports to the Federal Election Commission reveals a degree of legerdemain that appears commonplace in FEC records and makes it difficult for the public to know who ends up with the record amounts of money flowing into the political system today.

“Opaque transactions in politics undermine public confidence in the process,” said Meredith McGeehee, owner of McGehee Strategies, which works on public interest advocacy, and policy director at the Campaign Legal Center. more> http://tinyurl.com/78vz44u

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CONGRESS WATCH The Supreme Court and Obamacare, US Congress

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CONGRESS WATCH House passes GOP budget, Dave Camp says it’s a sign Republicans will reform Washington, Kathryn Lynch-Morin, MLive.com Small Business Tax Cut Act of 2012 (pdf), US Congress Ways and Means Committee led by Dave Camp sends small business … Continue reading