Tag: Supreme Court

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In the wake of Bostock v. Clayton County, in which the Supreme Court held that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is necessarily sex-based, a number of conservative legal thinkers have unsheathed rather sharp swords against Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices, past and present. The arguments vary but generally boil down to dissatisfaction with textualism and […]

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There is an in-depth discussion this week covering three issues that broke just this week

First, the guys talk about the SCOTUS Bostock decision regarding Title VII of The Civil Rights Act, Neil Gorsuch’s majority opinion, and whether or not it was the court writing legislation instead of interpreting the law.

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There’s been much consternation over Justice Gorsuch’s and Roberts’ majority opinion in Bostock v Clayton County. It’s both a major new application of existing law with far reaching effect AND is something Congress has tried but failed to do. As a default, I think the dissent in the case makes sense: the court shouldn’t impose […]

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How Kind: Thinking Well of McConnell and Roberts

 

“…Judges and Justices are servants of the law, not the other way around.  Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules, they apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical.  They make sure everybody plays by the rules, but it is a limited role.  Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.

— Nominee for Chief Justice, John Roberts, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, 2005

Inflaming public passions against a party, particularly a criminal defendant, and encouraging prosecutors to vastly increase the charges against him, is the very antithesis of calling balls and strikes.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard continue coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, joined by Tim Keller, Senior Attorney with the Institute for Justice, which has been defending school choice from legal challenges, largely from state Blaine Amendments, for 30 years. Tim describes IJ’s work on behalf of the plaintiffs in the high-profile Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the impact of the pandemic on the timing of the ruling. They explore the case’s prospects for success, and some potential political and legal responses in the event of a favorable outcome. They also delve into the national implications of another recent case in Maine, involving families battling a long-standing state law prohibiting public tuition payments to religious school parents. Tim also shares the backstory of Arizona’s popular Empowerment Scholarship, an education savings account program that he helped design and defend.

Stories of the Week: Despite COVID-19 school closures, the College Board will move forward with Advanced Placement exams; but will the increased security measures enacted to prevent cheating raise controversy? Around the world, temples and churches have emptied as a result of the pandemic, but religious leaders are using technology to stream their services, and help congregants celebrate Passover and Holy Week even in the absence of physical connection.

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The President, the Chief Justice, the Senate Majority Leader, and at least one other of Chuck Schumer’s Senate colleagues have denounced his threat against two Supreme Court justices. Naturally, Republicans are concerned that someone might take Schumer’s words as an invitation to violence. Senator Schumer’s threat against originalist justices deserves strong rebuke and censure, and […]

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New York: ‘Gimme Shelter’; 2nd Circuit: ‘No Satisfaction’

 

President Trump, the rule of law, the Constitution of the United States, and the American people won again. The Second Circuit smacked down New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, Washington, and Rhode Island, along with a leftist judge. The case was New York et al. v. United States Dep’t of Justice et al.

The White House Press Secretary was right on top of this, quickly publishing a brief thank-you notice, the shorter version of which is “Nice court, good judges!”

Statement from the Press Secretary

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As President Trump likes to say, the impeachment process was a “hoax.” Some say that the accusations that the House of Representatives made against him may have been true, but many legal experts agree that they were not “impeachable.” Then the question becomes, can an impeachment be expunged? Can the Supreme Court rule President Trump’s […]

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On this episode of “The Learning Curve,” Bob & Cara are joined by Dick Komer, Senior Attorney with the Institute for Justice. Komer led the oral argument this week before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the plaintiffs in the high-profile school choice case, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. They review the details of the Montana case and the nativist history of the Blaine amendments that remain in nearly 40 states. Komer also compares Espinoza with the recent Trinity Lutheran case, shares his take on the justices’ thinking and the outlook for success, as well as the political challenges that persist even if the plaintiffs prevail.

Stories of the Week: In Tennessee, a contentious new education savings account program for students from low-performing districts is attracting nearly 60 participating private schools. Alaska is considering consolidating 54 school districts into 18 – will this erode communities, or bring about long-overdue cost savings? West Chester, Pennsylvania is using a new online learning program to win back students who left the district for charter-run cyber schools.

Impeachment as Congressional Contempt of the Constitution

 

The Framers did not intend the impeachment power to give Congress supremacy, in the form of being able to harass and paralyze the Courts or the president over policy differences, let alone raw political will. Nevertheless, Congress has acted, almost from the beginning, with selective contempt for the Constitution, both legislatively and in its employment of the impeachment power. There is really nothing new under the sun, including what the current majority party in the House of Representatives is doing…and it is still contemptuous of the Constitution.

Take a step back from the current tempest in the Congressional teapot and consider the facts laid out in 1992 by Chief Justice William Rehnquist in Grand Inquests: the Historic Impeachments of Justice Samuel Chase and President Andrew Johnson. The Chief Justice published this very approachable book the year that William Jefferson Clinton beat President Bush the First. Taking his book as a guide to the subject and the actors, some focused searching on the internet yields plenty of historical data and documents. Consider just the first major impeachment, along with a prelude, at the dawn of the 19th Century.

As soon as two parties formed and fought for the presidency, upon President Washington declining to run for a third term, they set about violating the Constitution with the Alien and Sedition Acts, outlawing political speech that the party in power disliked. In that context, with factions at each other’s throats, Congress impeached, tried, and removed a federal judge, then targeted a Supreme Court justice, Samuel Chase.

In Harris Funeral Homes Supreme Court Case, We Should Ask ‘Am I Next?’

 

“Am I next?” That’s the question that should come to your mind when you think of G.R. & R.G. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, which the US Supreme Court is set to hear Tuesday, Oct. 8.

And no, that’s not a reference to funeral homes in general—along the lines of “ask not for whom the bell tolls”—but whether or not Americans can rely on what the law says. If the ACLU has its way and defeats Harris Funeral Homes, everyday Americans will face punishment for violating laws that unelected officials have changed out from under them.

That’s at the heart of Harris. Ignoring almost a half-century of precedent—and more importantly, the text of federal law itself—a federal court of appeals effectively redefined “sex” to include “gender identity” to punish a funeral homeowner who was depending on the law to run his fifth-generation family business.

Presidential Ukraine Phone Transcript: Nothingburger? Not Exactly.

 

President Donald Trump // shutterstock.com

President Trump has declassified and released the transcript of his phone conversation in July with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy (See our post here.) The transcript is a complete nothingburger when it comes to the loony Left’s (and NeverTrumper’s) insane desire to remove President Trump from office. Trump did not, as had been alleged by partisan hacks in the Fake News, threaten to withhold military aid from Ukraine unless they gave him dirt on Biden. (Why this would have been an impeachable offense is not clear to me, in any case.)

Transgenderism, the Supreme Court, and Child Abuse

 

This past week The Federalist published an article that once again highlighted the damage that transgenderism has inflicted on our society. The article described an amicus brief that has been filed in the Supreme Court for the case R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; the case will be heard October 2019. It described the powerful statements in an amicus brief from several individuals who acknowledged the devastation they had experienced in deciding to change their gender identity. In this post, I’m going to provide a summary of the original case, include some of their statements from the amicus brief, and also the impact of these types of beliefs on our children.

Here is a summary of the original brief:

Aimee Stephens (formerly known as Anthony Stephens) was born biologically male. While presenting as a man, Stephens worked as a funeral director at R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. The funeral home owner and operator, Thomas Rost, terminated Stephens’ employment after Stephens informed him she would transition from male to female and dress as a woman at work. Stephens filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

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I don’t expect to be there, but someone who graduated from high school this past June has an excellent chance of being alive for the Tricentennial of the Declaration of Independence in 2076 and even the Tricentennial of the Constitution in 2087. What will be left of the U.S. Constitution then? Will its role in […]

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Five Arrogant Senators Attack the Supreme Court

 

Just when I think I can’t be any more shocked by the outrageous and unethical behavior of members of Congress, they surprise me again. Well, not exactly. I’m not surprised at all that these five senators would threaten the Supreme Court with a legal brief, impugning the Court’s integrity and motivations even before they rule on an upcoming case.

The five senators—Mazie Hirono, Sheldon Whitehouse, Richard Blumenthal, Richard Durbin, and Kirsten Gillibrand—filed their brief against the case called New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. the City of New York. The totalitarian city of New York believed that it could severely restrict the carry of firearms and get away with it. The original legislation was changed to read that a person could transport a gun only to a second home, a gun range or a shooting competition outside the city. Quite generous of the city, don’t you think? And in the process, they declared moot the petitioner’s claim of violating the Second Amendment. Not quite, Bill DeBlasio; you can’t toss out the Second Amendment all by yourself.

Now to return to the senators’ claim against the Supreme Court.

Justice Ginsburg Completes Radiation Therapy for Malignant Tumor

 

The Supreme Court announced today that Associate Justice Ruth Ginsburg, 86, has completed a three week course of radiation therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for a malignant tumor on her pancreas. The tumor was detected during a blood test in early July and confirmed through a biopsy on July 31. In addition to the radiation therapy, Ginsburg also had a bile duct stent installed. According to the Office of Public Information at the Supreme Court, the tumor was “definitively treated” and there is no sign of disease elsewhere in her body.

Ginsburg has had cancer numerous times. Most recently, just last December she had a lobectomy on the left side of her lungs to remove cancerous nodules, also performed at Memorial Sloan Kettering. That procedure caused her to miss oral arguments at the Supreme Court, the first time she’d been absent since joining the court.

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Dies at 99

 

Retired Justice John Paul StevensJohn Paul Stevens was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Gerald Ford, a Republican. Justice Stevens became a leader of the left wing of the court, and did not retire until a suitably leftist president could name his successor. In 2010, Stevens retired, allowing President Obama to select his replacement, Elena Kagan. Age 90 at his retirement, Stevens enjoyed nine years of retirement before his passing on Tuesday, July 16, 2019.

The New York Times is praising Stevens in its obituary, written entirely positively by Linda Greenhouse. Writing on the Supreme Court for 40 years, until retiring in 2008, she was credited with shifting Republican appointees left by her writing at the paper, created what has been called “the Greenhouse Effect.” She praises this Republican appointee for going all the way her way. Read her article and you will glimpse what an unaccountable official in black robes can do over a lifetime.

Bloomberg, in its remembrance of Retired Justice Stevens, offers the responses of both Chief Justice Roberts and the White House. Consider each statement along with a few facts from the Bloomberg article [emphasis added]:

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Paul Craig Roberts Rages “Government Can Know Everything About Us Except Our Citizenship?!” by Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge posts Roberts’ essay on the Supreme Court’s decision on Census QuestionWed, 07/10/2019 – 18:45  Url: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-10/paul-craig-roberts-rages-government-can-know-everything-about-us-except-our Preview Open

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