Tag: Supreme Court

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Charles Hobson, a retired resident scholar at the William & Mary Law School, 26-year editor of The Papers of John Marshall, and author of The Great Chief Justice: John Marshall and the Rule of Law. Dr. Hobson shares what students should know about the longest-serving, most important chief justice in the history of the Supreme Court, and his influence on our understanding of the U.S. Constitution. He reviews some of the most important Court decisions in American history. He also describes Marshall’s relationship with President Thomas Jefferson and their divergent views on the authority of the Court; as well as Marshall’s paradoxical position on African-American slavery. They explore the “Marshall Trilogy” of foundational Court decisions about Native Americans; and Chief Justice Marshall’s role and legacy of using the Court to safeguard the rule of law under the Constitution.

Stories of the Week: In Arizona, 40 students enrolled in the Applied Career Exploration in STEM (ACES) Camp engaged in immersive, hands-on activities and explored a wide variety of STEM careers. All 50 U.S. governors have agreed to expand K-12 computer science education in their states, prompted by a letter from 500+ business, education and nonprofit leaders urging an update.

The Abortion Decision Made Easy to Read for Both Sides

 

As people debate the new abortion case known as Dobbs, a common theme arises. One will ask, “Did you actually read the decision?” The other will respond, “No it’s too long and has legalese, but let me tell you what the court really meant.”

Don’t make fun of that person. They are at least right about the complexity. The decision is more than 200 pages and filled with phrases like “substantive due process” and “stare decisis.” Such phrases take whole semesters to learn in law school. How is the average person supposed to understand it?

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Ilya Shapiro, constitutional scholar, author, and senior fellow of Constitutional Studies at the Manhattan Institute, about the changing makeup of the court, and how this term’s most high-profile decisions reveal the judicial philosophies that comprise the current bench.

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I just finished reading Justice Thomas’s memoir My Grandfather’s Son because he has been in the news recently and it looks like progressives are going to try to intimidate him for his concurrence to the Dobbs decision (among other reasons). What a great book! The first two chapters are as good a description as can be found […]

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Nic Rowan, managing editor of The Lamp, joins Jack to relate what he saw at the Court the day Dobbs came down, and to dicuss what comes next for the pro-life movement.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Arif Panju, a managing attorney with the Institute for Justice and co-counsel in the U.S. Supreme Court school choice case, Carson v. Makin; and David Carson, the lead plaintiff. Panju shares the key legal contours of Carson v. Makin and the potential impact of the Court’s decision in favor of the plaintiffs. They delve into the origins of the Maine school tuitioning program, and the change in the early 1980s that resulted in discrimination against religious families. They also review the 2020 Supreme Court ruling, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which was a major victory for the Institute for Justice and school choice. Carson reflects on what motivated his family to join this case and take such a courageous stand for school choice and religious liberty, and what it has been like being involved in such a high-profile U.S. Supreme Court case.

Stories of the Week: Cara and Gerard review the impact of the Pell Grant program, launched 50 years ago this week, in helping to expand access to higher education. What would high school look like if it were designed to give students job-based learning experiences and marketable skills upon graduation?

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with CATO Institute research fellow Trevor Burrus about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision New York State Rifle and Pistol Associate v. Bruen and its implications for an individual’s right to carry a fire arm in states such as Massachusetts.

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We have a 24/7 classical music station, via public broadcasting, and on late Sunday afternoons, a wonderful program comes on.  It highlights young classical musicians from all walks of life.  They sheepishly talk about their influences, inspiration for the piece they are presenting (sometimes written by themselves), while sharing their culture and challenges. The host […]

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Jim & Greg cheer on the Supreme Court decision that voucher programs must include religious schools if they include private schools. They also slam President Biden over his suggestion that high energy prices are getting us closer to his green energy agenda goals. And they condemn Missouri GOP Senate candidate and former governor Eric Greitens crazy RINO hunting ad.

 

The Democrats Are a Threat to Our Constitution

 

Biden set up a committee to consider court-packing. A new more sinister form of it emerged in the last week with the threat to murder Justice Kavanaugh.

Other Supreme Court justices have been threatened and the Biden administration has said nothing about it. The Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer threatened Kavanaugh and his colleagues said nothing. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has blocked a bill to provide security for Supreme Court justices.

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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.

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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.