Tag: SCOTUS

Join Jim and Greg as they reveal what they’re politically thankful for in 2020. From the fight against COVID to domestic politics to major events on the world stage, they each find three things they’re thankful for from this difficult, unpredictable year.

Happy Thanksgiving to all 3 Martini Lunch listeners and your families! There will be no podcast on Thursday. Please join us Friday for our special Black Friday edition, as Jim and Greg pick out gifts for various political figures.

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We find ourselves in an impossible situation regarding the final results of the November 2020 election. And I can’t see how we will get ourselves out of it. The difficulty began when President Trump, in his usual hyperbolic way, immediately declared the election a massive fraud. I’m not saying he wasn’t correct, but it gave […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Religious Liberty Should Prevail

 

This past week in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, the Supreme Court re-entered the dangerous minefield at the junction of religious liberty and anti-discrimination. The current dispute arose when Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services announced that it would no longer refer children to Catholic Social Services (CSS) for placement in foster care because CSS refused to consider same-sex couples as potential foster parents. CSS was, however, prepared to accept into its foster care all children regardless of their sexual orientation. After prolonged negotiations with the city failed, CSS sued. It seeks, in the words of the Third Circuit, “an order requiring the city to renew their contractual relationship while permitting it to turn away same-sex couples who wish to be foster parents.” The Third Circuit upheld the position of the city.

Resolving this delicate confrontation requires a return to first principles. Let’s start with the First Amendment’s protection of the free exercise of religion, as elaborated in Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion in Employment Division v. Smith. Alfred Leo Smith, a drug guidance counselor, was denied unemployment benefits after being terminated for consuming peyote, a controlled substance, as part of a religious rite. The court held that his religious beliefs do not “excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the state is free to regulate.” The First Amendment did not require Oregon to accommodate Smith’s religious practice. Any neutral law of general applicability was acceptable, notwithstanding its disparate impact.

Notably, the word exercise is broad enough to cover not only Smith’s use of peyote but also CSS’s adoption policies. Accordingly, under no circumstances should Philadelphia be allowed to pass an ordinance that requires the Catholic Church to ordain women as priests, or to offer family aid services paid from its own funds to same-sex couples. The question in Fulton is whether CSS’s free exercise rights are forfeited when the city supplies public funds and matching services to CSS and the children it puts up for foster care.

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I am not an attorney. I don’t play one on TV, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn last night. But I do pay some attention to election law. Experience in 35 congressional campaigns (House and Senate) over 25 years will focus the mind. I was even nominated by President Clinton to a GOP […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they cheer much lower death rates from COVID-19 compared to the early days of the pandemic. They also sound the alarm that Democrats plan to kill right to work laws nationwide and crush the gig economy if they take full control in Washington. And they marvel at how activist Democrats have decided that Sen. Dianne Feinstein isn’t far left enough to lead the party on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On today’s episode of American Wonk, FREOPP’s Avik Roy talks with Ilya Shapiro, author of “Supreme Disorder,” a new book on the politics of the Supreme Court. They talk about Amy Coney Barrett and ask: what have conservatives gotten right and wrong in their quest to change how the Supreme Court thinks about the Constitution?

Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court

Ep. 262 – Senator Ted Cruz joins Whiskey Politics with Dave Sussman for a special in-depth, long-form discussion on the critical issues heading into Election 2020; SCOTUS, Spygate, did the Senator say the Election may be a ‘Bloodbath’ for Republicans? Senator Cruz also discusses his incredible new book One Vote Away detailing the most pivotal Supreme Court cases of our time, and will Ted Cruz accept a SCOTUS nomination from President Donald Trump?

Ep. 260 – David Bossie, Trump-Pence 2020 Senior Advisor, President of Citizens United and New York Times Bestselling Author (latest book – Trump: America First – The President Succeeds Against All Odds with co-author Corey Lewandowski.) David debates why he thinks Trump’s first debate was a win, discusses voter fraud, SCOTUS and Amy Coney Barrett, Spygate and ‘the Soft Coup’, and whether any Durham Report would impact the election.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Doing Justice to the Barrett Nomination

 

To the glee of his conservative base and to the consternation of his progressive opponents, President Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett for a seat on the United States Supreme Court. My own preference, which was shared by others, such as Peggy Noonan, was to delay a vote on the nominee until after the election. But the course of events has moved rapidly in the other direction, and a no-holds-barred nomination fight is now upon us.

In earlier times, Judge Barrett’s consistent level of high performance would have led to confirmation by acclamation under the now-disregarded practice of evaluating a judge’s legal understanding and technical competence, independent of her political orientation. But these are not normal times. Indeed, the current fight resembles the appointment of John Marshall, our greatest chief justice, to the Supreme Court by President John Adams on March 3, 1801, the day before Thomas Jefferson was sworn in as president.

Senator Mitch McConnell’s prompt announcement that the president would move forward with the nomination rests on the fact that McConnell had sufficient votes in his pocket. McConnell and Trump may think that they will gain a powerful political advantage by forcing the Democrats into a two-pronged strategy of massive resistance. The first is an all-out attack on Barrett for her religious associations, most notably her membership in People of Praise, a predominantly Roman Catholic faith community formed in 1971. The second is an institutional challenge, represented by Senator Elizabeth Warren’s adamant refusal to confirm a new Supreme Court justice until after inauguration on January 20, 2021. The Democratic playbook threatens to pack the Supreme Court if Barrett is confirmed, or to limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court so that it could not review Biden administration proposals, like implementing the Green New Deal or increasing the rights and power of unions. Progressives by and large are fearful of judicial intervention by a conservative court that would challenge their culture war victories, upset their efforts to reshape the economy from top to bottom, and remake the regulatory world to be friendlier to business.

Hubwonk Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro about his new book, Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court. The episode equips listeners with historical context to better understand the makeup of the Court, the nomination process, and the impact of a new justice on the Court.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. COGIC Defends Judge Barrett

 

The Church of God in Christ, a Pentecostal denomination whose membership is predominantly Black, released a statement (PDF) in support of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Here is a key passage:

We must defend the rights of our fellow Christians, of people of other faiths and of
those who hold no faith. Today we stand with, and speak in defense of, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. As black Christians we will not stand by in silence as our sister in the faith is persecuted for the “political crime” of her beliefs.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Trump Nominates Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court

 

At a Saturday Rose Garden ceremony, President Donald Trump officially nominated Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the US Supreme Court. Barrett, 48, currently serves as a judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and as a law professor at Notre Dame University. From 1998 to 1999, she clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia.

“She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials, and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution,” Trump said in his introductory remarks.

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There seems to be some misunderstanding that there will there be a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court after Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed. John Roberts is not conservative in any meaningful judicial sense, neither interpreting laws based on their original public meaning (originalism) nor through some conservative view. And so, while there will […]

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“Judge of the Decade”, the Honorable Michael Warren (6th Circuit Court, Oakland County, MI) Author & Co-Creator of the Patriot Week Foundation https://www.patriotweek.org/ discusses the contentious and history-making Trump nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. From a Constitutional perspective, can Democrats go through with their threats to “pack the court”? How and when did SCOTUS become so politicized? If Trump wins reelection, will a second term see a 7-2 Conservative court and how would that impact the country?

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trump Knocking It Out of the Park Every Day

 

President Trump gave a virtual address to the United Nations, in which he talked like a boss, a completely unapologetic boss. He gave a health care speech yesterday which fills me and millions of other people with chronic illness and long-term health care concerns with great hope and joy.

His campaign speeches are so delightful, and he is in fighting trim, looking lean and well-rested. The man is masterful, striding from one event to the next, standing tall despite the ugly onslaughts. He is a true happy warrior. He dominates his press conferences, in spite of their eager animosity and dripping hostility, cutting them off and correcting them when they are rude.

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Republicans really need to push back hard against the nonsense that both sides do the same thing when it comes to the workings of the Supreme Court. One side reads the Constitution’s text based on its meaning at the time of its adoption and the other believes its meaning changes and evolves, coincidentally only in […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Forgotten Judge

 

The time to speculate on Supreme Court nominations is obviously upon us. Mindful of the diversity calculations in replacing Ruth Ginsburg, President Trump has indicated that he will appoint a woman to the Court. Amy Coney Barrett, two years on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (48 years of age) and Barbara Logoa, with considerable experience in Florida but less than one year on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (53 years of age), are the acknowledged front-runners. While their intelligence is not in doubt, there is a clear lack of a meaningful track record in adjudicating federal cases in both instances. Unfortunately, there also are questions of whether relatively youthful, somewhat inexperienced judges will survive the Greenhouse Effect.

As conservatives, we are rightfully skeptical of supposedly informed comments about the ideology of Supreme Court nominees. There’s no shortage of examples, and there’s nothing to be gained in regurgitating tales of betrayal well known to this audience. Then there’s Judge Diane Sykes.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Filling the SCOTUS Seat Isn’t an Option, It’s an Obligation

 

With Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and a newly vacant Supreme Court seat, the political madness of 2020 got even madder. But this moment is precisely why so many Republicans voted for Donald Trump despite their misgivings. A conservative majority on SCOTUS has been a signature goal of the party base going back to Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Now, 40 years later, the opportunity is finally here.

To quote Margaret Thatcher, this is no time to go wobbly. As expected, many are.

The center-right’s appetite for catering to the Democrat base instead of their own is insatiable. In reaction, GOP voters launched the Tea Party movement. When that fizzled, they elected Trump. Many Republicans still haven’t learned this lesson and want to surrender before any battle begins.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Trump and McConnell, Beware

 

I first met Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the winter of 1978 when we were both fellows at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. Our interactions were always cordial. From the first time we talked, it was clear that she was a passionate advocate first, and a detached academic second. She was always immersed in filing certiorari petitions at the Supreme Court in connection with the hugely successful Women’s Rights Project, which she ran at the American Civil Liberties Union from 1972 until she was appointed to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1980.

Ginsburg had the rare quality of being both passionate and rigorous in her work, and she displayed those same traits of grit and excellence at every stage of her career. Moreover, her excellence as a lawyer was not confined to the women’s rights issues that brought her fame. She also displayed an impressive expertise on the many procedural, jurisdictional, and constitutional issues that form a huge part of the high court’s docket. It was surely possible to disagree with her on the merits of any given case, as I often did. But it was not possible to dispute the brilliance, knowledge, and determination that she brought to her lifetime’s work.

Ginsburg was nominated and confirmed to the United States Supreme Court in 1993 by a 96-3 vote, in a relative period of peace between the huge confirmation battles of Judge Robert Bork and Justice Clarence Thomas, and those of Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The most bitter fights have been over Republican nominees, a pattern that promises to continue with the next nominee, whom President Trump has stated, surely incorrectly, that he has “an obligation” (as opposed to an option) to nominate. He has already announced it will be “a very brilliant woman.” The thought that the immediate struggle would be put off until after the election was dismissed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s immediate announcement that he will try to persuade the Senate to confirm a nominee.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trump Needs to Fill the Court Before the Contested Election

 

I don’t do a lot of social media, other than R> and Instagram (I joined so I could videochat with my daughter traveling in Japan; I stayed because I love posting), but what little I do has been filled for the past day and a half with anguished commentary about RBG and the need to preserve her legacy and burn down Congress and rise up etc etc.

It occurred to me that Susan Collins and her ilk might be persuaded that filling the seat is important if they remembered the 2000 election and the necessity of the SCOTUS to decide the winner. We all know that 2020 is going to be one of the craziest elections of American history, and having a SCOTUS ready to decide may be very very important for the future of the Republic.