Tag: SCOTUS

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You ain’t seen nothing yet. Andrew McCarthy of National Review on why Kavanaugh was perhaps the perfect Supreme Court pick, and he destroys the arguments of Trump extremists calling the judge “Pro-Obamacare” and a Bushie squish. More

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate President Trump’s pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. They also reflect on what could have been had Trump nominated Catholic, conservative, mother-of-seven Judge Amy Coney Barrett. And they dismiss the single-source claim of NBC Reporter Leigh […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Trump SCOTUS

 

Hello, there, and welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for July 10, 2018. It’s number 183! It is the Trump SCOTUS edition of the podcast and it is about (tada!) the Trump Supreme Court of the United States. Or, as they will be calling it, the Trump Court. And it is just another reason to chuckle at the #NeverTrump chuckleheads who voted for and pulled for Hillary because Trump was going to end America as we know it.

At the time of the recording the President had not yet picked Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee, so our discussion is a little more general than that. We also talk about abortion and Roe vs. Wade – not entirely unrelated I’m sure you’ll agree.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Brett Kavanaugh Vs The Administrative State

 

President Trump may like to spring a surprise on the news media, but with his announcement Monday night for the Supreme Court he went with the safe choice.

His pick of Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals judge in Washington, may have run counter to his instincts against picking inhabitants of the D.C. swamp, or those with deep connections to the Bush administration. But in elevating his reason over his impulses, Trump has picked a nominee who will work to limit the great threat to individual liberty today: the administrative state.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America herald the divers successfully rescuing the young Thai soccer players trapped in the cave and pray everyone else can be brought to safety tomorrow. Greg rolls his eyes at reports that Hillary Clinton may be planning a 2020 presidential bid but Jim explains how […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Amy Coney Barrett’s “Cult”

 

When Notre Dame law professor and possible Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was nominated for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, her affiliation with a religious group called People of Praise raised red flags. It was some sort of cult, they implied. Sen. Dianne Feinstein famously reproved the nominee by intoning that “the dogma lives loudly within you and that’s of concern.”

It was an echo of the kind of anti-Catholic bigotry that characterized American life for centuries. When the Democrats nominated the first Roman Catholic for president, Al Smith in 1928, opponents warned that all Protestant marriages would be annulled and all Protestant children declared bastards if the Catholic were elected. Republicans circulated pictures of Smith posing before the almost-completed Holland Tunnel with a caption declaring that instead of emptying into New Jersey, it really led 3,500 miles under the Atlantic Ocean to the basement of the Vatican. After his loss to Herbert Hoover, Smith was reputed to have quipped that he had sent a one-word telegram to the Pope: “Unpack.”

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America head into Independence Day with four good martinis. They look at a survey showing the majority of Americans support a Senate vote on President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the midterm election. They also support German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to reverse the […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. All Things Being Equal: Amy Coney Barrett for SCOTUS

 

“This year will be remembered as an especially auspicious time for the Supreme Court. President Trump is in a position to pick the next Justice from a list of extremely qualified jurists.” So says Leonard Leo, who was a key person putting together the list for President Trump. In an interview, he made clear his requirements and expectations:

What is important is that we have a judiciary occupied by individuals who understand … they have a duty and a moral obligation to enforce the structural Constitution. They have a duty to make sure that limits on government power are respected and enforced, and when they carry out that duty or obligation, they are in a myriad of ways preserving the worth and dignity of every human person. Because if you have a system where government can do anything, if you have a system where rights that aren’t in the Constitution can be created and things that are in it can be ignored, no one is safe.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Supreme Court Ruling Correct on Trump Travel Ban

 

In Trump v. Hawaii, the 5-4 majority reached the right result in upholding the Trump administration’s use of delegated power under the immigration laws to ban the immigration of aliens from countries deemed threats to the national security. That Congress had granted the President ample power was a conclusion easy to reach, despite the claims of liberals who generally love such broad transfers of power to the administrative state when the subject is environmental protection or market regulation.

But the most important part of the opinion, and its critical implication for the future of the Trump administration (and indeed, all future administrations), was its rejection of the claim that Trump had violated the Constitution because of his personal bias against Muslims. I had raised doubts about this problem in earlier versions of the travel ban, which had applied only to Muslim countries and had granted an exception for Christians. But more professional hands updated the travel ban, and it now reflects no unconstitutional religious or ethnic bias on its face.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombus of Radio America celebrate the Supreme Court upholding the Constitution in two separate cases. They agree with the court’s conclusion that President Trump’s travel ban is within his constitutional and statutory right. They are also glad to see the Court side with free speech in striking down […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Getting It Wrong on Cell Phone Searches

 

The Supreme Court last week added another layer of confusion to the vexed law of unreasonable searches and seizures regarding law-enforcement use of cell phone data to ferret out criminal activity. In Carpenter v. United States, Chief Justice John Roberts, speaking for a five-member majority (including the four liberal justices—Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor), ruled that information collected on Timothy Carpenter’s whereabouts, pursuant to the Stored Communications Act (SCA), was inadmissible. The SCA allows law enforcement to access certain telephone company records under a court order when it “offers specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe” that the records sought “are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.” Notwithstanding the SCA, police can now access historical cell-site location information (CSLI) only if they first obtain a warrant by meeting the higher standard of probable cause under the Fourth Amendment.

Carpenter is incorrect.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Roberts Court Upholds Free Speech at the Polls. For Now.

 
Minnesotan Andy Cilek wasn’t allowed to vote while wearing a t-shirt that read “Don’t tread on me.”

Last week’s Supreme Court decision striking down a Minnesota law against wearing “political” T-shirts in the polling place might seem a matter of common sense. But that may just be the problem with it. While Chief Justice John Roberts’s ruling is certainly correct, it leaves many questions unanswered — something that, unfortunately, can be said about a lot of his decisions.

The facts of the case were striking: Minnesota’s law prohibited voters from entering polling places wearing shirts, hats, or buttons “designed to influence and impact voting” or to promote “a group with recognizable political views.” These restrictions were so broad that when one justice asked if voters could wear shirts bearing the words of the Second Amendment, the state’s lawyer answered no. What about the First Amendment? Fumbling, the lawyer said that would be okay … probably.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America praise the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold an Ohio law that cuts inactive voters from the rolls if they haven’t voted in the past six years or asked the state to keep them on. They also blast a self-described intersectional, Muslim feminist, who is seeking […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a Christian baker who was sued for not customizing a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony but note the ruling focused on this particular case rather than broader issues of conscience and religious liberty. They also cringe […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Interviewing Instapundit on the ‘Judiciary’s Class War’

 

Glenn Harlan Reynolds, aka Instapundit, routinely puts forth novel and compelling arguments.

I wanted to call your attention to his latest, as described in a provocative new Encounter Books broadside titled The Judiciary’s Class War, regarding what I would describe as the Supreme Court’s cultural and too frequently ideological progressivism.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Reasonable Searches in the Digital Age

 

This past week, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Carpenter v. United States, a case that goes to the heart of the government’s power to track private individual behavior without a warrant. Timothy Carpenter and his henchmen had engaged in a series of armed robberies in Michigan and Ohio that led to his conviction for up to 116 years in prison. In his opinion, Judge Raymond Kethledge of the Sixth Circuit correctly observed that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures “has long recognized a distinction between the content of a communication and the information necessary to convey it. Content, per this distinction, is protected under the Fourth Amendment, but routing information is not.”

Accordingly, Kethledge let the government introduce into evidence the business records from the defendants’ wireless carriers that placed the defendants at or near the scene of several violent robberies. Alone, that evidence could never support a conviction for armed robbery, but its value lies in contravening the defendants’ alibi that they were elsewhere at the time.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Public Unions May Get Their Due

 
Mark Janus, who works for the state government in Illinois sued AFSCME, saying he does not agree with its positions and should not be forced to pay fees to support its work..

Public employee unions may have fleeced taxpayers one time too many. Two court cases involving Illinois residents resisting forced union fees and representation may give the US Supreme Court the opportunity to restore employee and taxpayer freedoms.

The High Court agreed to consider Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 on September 28. This case involves a state employee (Mark Janus) who argues that his requirement to pay fees to the union (AFSCME) violates his First Amendment rights. Unions require such fees even of nonunion members, like Janus, saying nonunion members benefit from union lobbying. Janus is asking the Court to overrule a 1977 decision, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, that allows public unions to force nonmembers to pay a “fair share” of the collective bargaining costs. The justices will likely hear oral arguments in early 2018 and issue an opinion by the end of June.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Scalia’s Legacy

 

I knew the late Justice Antonin Scalia a little, and like millions of others, I was an avid fan of his jurisprudence, the great bulk of which he produced after I was no longer a law student, so much the worse for me.

What do I have to do with it? Nothing, except that reading opinions as a law student was often like trying to swallow great bowls of sawdust – without milk. Very few judges can write well. On the rare occasions when I came across a decision by Learned Hand, I would practically weep with gratitude for his clear, forceful prose.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Gerrymandering at SCOTUS

 

The Supreme Court has just heard oral argument in the highly anticipated case of Gill v. Whitford on the constitutionality of political gerrymandering. At issue is Wisconsin’s Act 43, a state redistricting plan enacted by a Republican legislature in 2011, which allowed the GOP to capture both houses of the state legislature in the 2012 and 2014 elections by turning a Republican vote of under 50 percent into a near 60 percent majority in legislative seats. But the act was then successfully challenged in federal district court before Wisconsin appealed to the Supreme Court.

In the case, the GOP relied on the familiar technique of partisan gerrymandering, long used by both parties, to fashion districts that force the opposition to “waste” its votes. The opposition racks up huge majorities in a small number of districts, enabling the controlling party to gain a larger number of seats by smaller majorities. One measure of the effectiveness of this technique is the much debated “efficiency gap.” As the challengers explain in their brief, that is “calculated by taking one party’s total wasted votes in an election, subtracting the other party’s total wasted votes, and dividing by the total number of votes cast.” The greater the gap, the greater the imbalance of wasted votes between parties—and the more likely that the gerrymandering will give the controlling party influence greater than its share of the statewide popular vote.

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