Tag: Supreme Court

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This Sunday, we celebrate Mother’s Day.  Mothers will get special treatment with cards, luncheons, flowers, gifts and praise.  It was started by a woman named Anna Jarvis after her mother’s passing, and became a national holiday in 1908. She didn’t want the day to be commercialized, yet it’s popularity spread across the world and is […]

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Republican Senators Trivialize Crimes against Children

 

Ballot boxThis is what the RepubliCAN’T leadership of Mendacious Mitch McConnell has always been, is now, and will be if we let him and his gang control the Republican Party in the Senate. Ketanji Brown Jackson, a Supreme Court nominee with a long history of supporting the latest supposedly victimized, misunderstood sexual minority, proudly promoted her record as one of progressive enlightenment. AND. Mittens Romney defended her and proudly voted for her confirmation, alongside Mitch’s Alaskan agent, Lisa Murkowski, and the Arlen Specter splinter faction member, Susan Collins. They did so with the full permission of Mendacious Mitch, and with the cover distraction of posturing conservatives like Senators Josh Hawley, Marsha Blackburn, and Ted Cruz.

There were at least three currently active leftist judges matching the Biden regime’s additional screening criteria: African American AND Woman. Never mind the trans-agenda “problematization” of “Woman.” The left understands that the real agenda is to negate Justice Clarence Thomas, providing a counter-narrative to each opinion he writes defending religious liberty or distinguishing blacks’ real civil rights struggle from the social-sexual revolution of the alphabet alliance, started by Hugh Hefner. So, the official story was that three women were interviewed for the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy caused by Stephen Breyer’s pending retirement at the end of this Supreme Court term in June.

. . . D.C. Circuit Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, and South Carolina District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs. …

This week on “The Learning Curve,” as the nation prepares for the likely confirmation of its first Black female U.S. Supreme Court justice, Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. G. Edward White, David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, and author of the three-volume book, Law in American History. Professor White draws on his experiences clerking for Chief Justice Earl Warren to share information about Warren’s character, and how his landmark Brown v. Board of Education opinion has shaped America’s legal culture and access to education in our era. They explore Professor White’s legal history trilogy, and talk about what teachers and students today should know about the Civil War and ending slavery, from the Dred Scott decision of 1857 through the Thirteenth Amendment. They delve into the second volume, from Reconstruction, industrialization, and immigration, to the rise of Jim Crow; and the third volume on massive legal changes since World War II. The interview concludes with a reading by Professor White from his trilogy.

Stories of the WeekU.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is fielding criticism from the left on loan forgiveness, and the right on mask mandates and hot-button curriculum issues. The Washington Post editorial board calls out the Biden administration for proposed new federal rules that will likely hamper charter schools’ growth.

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with constitutional scholar Ilya Shapiro about Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination hearings and what her background and responses reveal about her views on the Constitution, the role of the Supreme Court, and her likely judicial positions relative to her fellow justices.

Guest:

Better Judicial Confirmations

 

I suppose I’m likely ignorant and/or naïve (I’m just a retired corporate patent lawyer who did not attend a top tier law school), but it seems to me that we could learn a lot better information about judicial nominees (especially Supreme Court nominees), AND the nominees would have a lot less wiggle room to avoid answering questions, if rather than grandstanding on particular issues, the Senators asked some basic questions about the nominee’s process for reading, understanding, interpreting, and applying documents.

  • How do you start reading and interpreting a document on which you are expected to make a decision (whether the Constitution, a statute, a regulation, or a contract)? Do you try to discern what the particular author intended the language to mean at the time it was written? Or do you read it as a bystander (member of the public) would have read it at the time it was written? Or do you read it as a person with specific specialized knowledge would have read it at the time it was written, such as people in specific industries or professions? Or do you read it with today’s understanding of the words and grammar used? Or do you read it as you believe the author would have wanted it to mean if the author were writing it today?
  • Can a document later have a meaning different from the meaning it had at the time it was written? [Possible follow-up questions about contracts, which will raise fewer red flags than asking about the Constitution or statutes – can a judge interpret a contract to mean something different than what it would have meant at the time the contract was signed?]. Can a document today have a meaning that it never had in the past?
  • If a document can have a different meaning today than it did when it was written, what types of sources are appropriate to use when determining what the proper meaning of the document is today? How would you decide what sources to use and what sources to reject (if any)? How would you approach conflicts among the selected sources if using different sources lead to different meanings?
  • If you find a document is ambiguous in meaning, how do you resolve that ambiguity? What types of sources do you consult? If you consult external sources, do the external sources need to be exactly parallel with the parties to the dispute before you? Same industry? Same financial system? Same cultural history? Same legal system? For example, if you are looking to law of another jurisdiction to interpret language, does it matter if the social or legal culture of the other jurisdiction is different from the culture where the dispute before you is? If it is appropriate to look at the law of other jurisdictions to help resolve an ambiguity in a document, are all other jurisdictions to be considered equally relevant? For example, would the law of Britain be as relevant as the law of Germany? Saudi Arabia? China? If so, why? If not, why not?
  • Can you imagine that an ambiguity in a document might render the matter so unclear that it would be inappropriate for a judge to resolve? Must a judge resolve every dispute that comes to the court? Might there ever be a circumstance in which a judge should return it to the people who drafted the document to resolve some other way?

I think questions of this type would be much more useful in discerning a nominee’s “judicial philosophy” than the subject-specific questions typically thrown out today. A nominee, especially one that has risen to the point of being considered for a state or national supreme court, should be prepared to answer such questions, and to explain the reasoning for those answers, regardless of whether the nominee takes a “strict originalist” or a “living document” approach or some other approach.

Did Republicans Treat Jackson Worse Than Democrats Treated Kavanaugh?

 

In the opinion of the Washington Post editorial board, yes.  It’s paywalled, but here’s the highlights.

A woman credibly accused Mr. Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Democrats rightly asked the committee to investigate. After a superficial FBI review, Republicans pressed forward his nomination. In the end, it was Mr. Kavanaugh who behaved intemperately, personally attacking Democratic senators and revealing partisan instincts that raised questions about his commitment to impartiality.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Leslie Hiner, Vice President of Legal Affairs and Director of Legal Defense & Education Center with EdChoice. They discuss the the landmark U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision in Brown v. Board of Education, among the most important in the nation’s history, and how Brown’s call for racial access and equity in K-12 education has helped inform the work and advocacy of the school choice movement. They also review important SCOTUS decisions such as Zelman v. Simmons-Harris in 2002 related to school vouchers; and Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue in 2020, extending a public scholarship program to religious schools. They then explore the key legal contours of Carson v. Makin, a Maine school tuitioning case that the Supreme Court will decide this year, and its wider implications for school choice in America. Ms. Hiner offers thoughts on the next legal battles, as well as how and where school choice opponents will likely strike back.

Stories of the Week: The American Federation of Teachers and the AAUP are planning to join forces on objectives such as protecting academic freedom, and supporting increased funding for public higher education. A Pew Research Center survey shows that support for school principals has declined among Republicans, likely connected to contentious policy debates around mask mandates and history curricula.

Join Jim and Greg as they enjoy learning that the Russian convoy bogged down 20 miles from Kyiv because of lousy vehicle maintenance and cheap Chinese tires. They also shudder as Russia shelled dangerously close to Europe’s largest nuclear facility and seem to be deliberately targeting civilian populations. And they scratch their heads as the Biden administration wins its argument at the Supreme Court to put the surviving Boston Marathon bomber back on death row while also applying a moratorium on all federal executions.

Join Jim and Greg as they interpret better than expected economic growth from the fourth quarter of 2021. They discuss how US action on Ukraine will impact how a rising China views Taiwan. And they examine why some Democrats are enticed by the possibility of Vice President Harris being nominated to the Supreme Court.

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Cato Institute Vice President Ilya Shapiro about the recent Supreme Court vaccine mandate rulings and what they tell us about the limits of executive branch power and the sitting justices’ views on the guidance of the U.S. Constitution.
Guest:

Ilya Shapiro is a vice president of the Cato Institute, director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies, and publisher of the Cato Supreme Court Review. Before joining Cato, he was a special assistant/adviser to the MultiNational Force in Iraq on rule of law issues and practiced at Patton Boggs and Cleary Gottlieb. Shapiro is the author of Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court (2020), coauthor of Religious Liberties for Corporations? Hobby Lobby, the Affordable Care Act, and the Constitution (2014), and editor of 11 volumes of the Cato Supreme Court Review (2008–18). He has contributed to a variety of academic, popular, and professional publications, regularly provides commentary for various media outlets, is a legal consultant to CBS News. He holds an AB from Princeton University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School (where he became a Tony Patiño Fellow).

Another Silly Media Hoax: Maskgate

 

One media personality is still on her beat since I first arrived in Washington DC in late 1978. She is National Public Radio’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg, who just celebrated her 78th birthday. The Washington and New York media axis has celebrated her intrepid coverage of politics and the secretive Supreme Court for more than 50 years. A “founding mother” of NPR, she’s called.

If you’ve listened to taxpayer-funded NPR at anytime over the past 40 or so years, you’ve heard her. Her first big story after arriving in Washington was a profile on the then-76-year-old Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover. It reportedly enraged him. It used to be that taking on powerful insider Washington establishment figures was The Ticket to stardom. Those were the days.

On this episode of “The Federalist Radio Hour,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, joins Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss the future of the pro-life movement and how the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization could change the way future generations view life in the womb forever.

Join Jim and Greg as they applaud Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin for refusing to eliminate or alter the filibuster despite massive pressure from their own party. They also welcome the Supreme Court’s decision striking down President Biden’s vaccine mandate on all businesses with more than 100 employees while also noting a separate decision that upheld the mandate on personnel at health care facilities. And they take a look at even more signs that Russia may be planning to invade Ukraine in the coming weeks.

More year-end awards today!  Jim and Greg embark on the second half of their six-episode saga known as the 2021 Three Martini Lunch Awards. Today, they offer up their selections for the best political idea, worst political idea, and boldest political tactics for the year. For the first two categories, their selections are derived from the same big stories but each has a different focus. But they choose completely different issues when it comes to boldest tactics.

 

Jim and Greg salute Sen. Kyrsten Sinema for yet again refusing to end or change the filibuster. They also roll their eyes as Democrats finally notice the surging crime rates in America’s cities and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has no idea where the lawlessness is coming from. And they get a kick out of Sen. Elizabeth Warren wanting to add four more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court just days after Biden’s judicial commission did not recommend doing that.

 

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Michael Bindas, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, who represents the lead plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Carson v. Makin. They discussed last week’s oral arguments, and the background and key legal contours of the case. Bindas described Maine’s school tuitioning program, and the pivotal change in the early 1980s that allowed for the state to discriminate against religious families. They explored the questionable distinction that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit drew between religious “status” and “use” in schooling, and the likely impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 Espinoza decision, which was a major victory for the Institute for Justice and school choice. Bindas shared what makes him hopeful that the Court will rule in the Carsons’ favor, and what he thinks the next legal steps should be to support K-12 educational choice.

Read Pioneer’s amicus brief and op-ed in support of the plaintiffs in this case.

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with writer and historian Ramesh Ponnuru about the history of American opinion and jurisprudence on abortion and identifies errors in the narrative that shaped the Roe v. Wade decision, that may influence the pending case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
strong>Guest:

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor at National Review, where he has covered national politics and policy for 25 years. He is also a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, which syndicates his articles in newspapers across the nation. He is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and he serves as a contributing editor to National Affairs, the quarterly journal of conservative ideas. His articles are frequently published in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. In 2015, he was included in the “Politico 50,” Politico’s list of “the thinkers, doers, and dreamers who really matter” in American politics. In 2014, Ponnuru contributed to and (with Yuval Levin) edited the book Room to Grow: Conservative Reforms for a Limited Government and A Thriving Middle Class. New York Times columnist David Brooks called the book “the most coherent and compelling policy agenda the American right has produced this century.” Ponnuru was subsequently featured in a New York Times magazine cover story about reform-minded conservatives. In 2013 he was a resident fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. He is a regular speaker on policy, politics, and constitutionalism at the nation’s leading college campuses and law schools. He also appears regularly on television programs about public affairs. He is the author of a book on the sanctity of human life and American politics and of a monograph on Japanese industrial policy. Previously he has been a columnist for Time magazine and WashingtonPost.com. Ponnuru grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, and graduated from Princeton University. He now lives in the Washington, D.C., area with his wife and three children.