Tag: Supreme Court

Thoughts on Kavanaugh


When the anonymous accusation of sexual misconduct on the part of Brett Kavanaugh first came out, many people (myself included) stated that unless the accuser came out publicly the accusation should be completely ignored. Well, now the accuser has come forward. Christine Blasey Ford has publicly claimed that she was assaulted by Kavanaugh when they were both in High School 30+ years ago. This changes the situation and now the accusation must be dealt with.

That is not to say that the accusation has merit. Let me first state that if the claim is true, Kavanaugh should immediately recuse himself and resign from his current seat on the DC Court of Appeals. But is it true? On the one hand, we have the statement of Ford that it happened. She can’t say exactly when or exactly where. She only shared the story of what happened that night with anyone else a few years ago in 2012. The vague nature of her claim makes it hard for anyone to confirm or refute her statement. On the other hand, Kavanaugh has vigorously denied that any such incident ever happened, as has the one other person who supposedly witnessed the alleged assault. Over 65 women who also knew Judge Kavanaugh back in High School have come out in support of him.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America sigh as Democrats repeatedly interrupt the start of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings in a futile attempt to delay him from joining the court. They also give John Kerry credit for explaining how President Obama’s failure to enforce the red line over chemical weapons in Syria led to major diplomatic headaches. And they respond to calls for Meghan McCain to replace her father in the U.S. Senate by saying such seats are not family heirlooms and any family members who wants to serve should have to get elected.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Chad Benson of Radio America watch in amusement as Democrats invent ridiculous arguments against Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, such as Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s (D-Conn) statement that President Donald Trump “would be a monarch if Brett Kavanaugh becomes a Supreme Court justice.” They also worry about America’s fertility rate falling to a 42-year low and the factors contributing to the decline, such as low marriage rates and the prevalence of birth control. And they are happy to see Netflix cancel the show of the Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America break down Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s request that red-state Democrats remain neutral on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. They also cannot believe that some Democrats are seriously considering the idea of almost doubling the federal budget to pay for Sen. Bernie Sander’s Medicare-for-all program. And they cannot find any examples of malfeasance in the Boston Globe story about the TSA’s passenger-monitoring program that tracks people who sweat too much and urinate too often.

Richard Epstein on Classical Liberalism, the Administrative State, Free Speech, and Silicon Valley Regulation


For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had legendary classical liberal legal theorist and longtime professor at University of Chicago Law School and now at NYU Law — and prodigious Ricochet podcaster Professor Richard Epstein on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • The role that Professor Epstein’s famous book, “Takings” played in Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing — and then-Senator Joe Biden’s hectoring
  • Professor Epstein’s groundbreaking theories on private property rights, eminent domain and the Takings and Commerce Clauses
  • The practical argument against progressivism
  • Whether we should deconstruct the administrative state, and if so how to do it
  • The danger to free speech emanating from college campuses in a world of microaggressions, trigger warnings, de-platforming
  • The folly of regulating Silicon Valley social media companies
  • Classical liberalism versus socialism and libertarianism

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found or download the episode directly here.

Member Post


New Hampshire state employees who don’t wish to join a union will save more than $1 million a year in compulsory union fees following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling in Janus vs. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, according to data obtained by the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy through a […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America give credit to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for countering Democratic demands for a million pages of documents on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by suggesting the Senate vote on him may come just days before the election. They also mourn the impending loss of many entry-level jobs at places like McDonald’s due to minimum wage hikes and technological advancements. And they roll their eyes at the NFL’s inability to enforce a policy on kneeling during the anthem just days after the Miami Dolphins threatened to suspend players for not standing.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are excited after a new poll shows Republican Josh Hawley leading incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill in the Missouri Senate race. They also think Beto O’Rourke and the Democratic Party are wasting money on the Texas U.S. Senate race, as incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz leads by 10 points. And they laugh at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who pandered to his constituents by making the absurd claim he will sue the Supreme Court if they overturn Roe v. Wade.

Crazy Supreme Court Justices: William O. Douglas

Justice William O. Douglas

I think President Trump has made a fine appointment to the Supreme Court, and I wish Mr. Kavanaugh the best of luck in confirmation and career. However, I started to think about how mercurial some of those black-robed people who sit on SCOTUS have proven to be once they have received their lifetime appointments, and the country is stuck with them.

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 Ann Caldwell that Kennedy negotiated his replacement to be Kavanaugh before he stepped down. They also highlight the volatile protesters, who appeared with signs to reject any candidate that Trump selected and who forced Fox News Host Shannon Bream to cancel her show outside the Supreme Court.

Member Post


This Monday morning, a conservative talk show host suggested we would know the President’s pick before the official announcement. Someone will be spotted getting into a limousine, headed to the White House. But this president has the show business moxie to foil such spoilers. Three limousines are seen picking up three candidates from various locations […]

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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 a crowded field and the notion that history robbed her in 2016 could propel her to the nomination. And they get a kick out of the media pumping out conflicting reports about which of the final four Supreme Court possibilities will be chosen by President Trump today.

Lady Justice Is in Charge


The Left has a reason—in fact, several reasons—to be upset. Many years of abusing the understanding and application of the Constitution is coming to an end with President Trump about to nominate a new Supreme Court justice. With the high excitement emanating from the Right, and the hysteria swirling from the Left, I wanted to make sure I understood what the stir was about. In doing a little homework, I made some interesting discoveries.

Daniel Henninger at the Wall Street Journal provided an insightful explanation for the significance of this opportunity to put a traditionalist on the Supreme Court. He used the word “penumbra” as a way to illustrate how and when the interpretation of the Constitution began to change. The dictionary definition of penumbra, which I thought most closely resembled his application of the word was, “a surrounding or adjoining region in which something exists in a lesser degree: fringe.” [emphasis is mine] Henninger said about the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut decision:

Supreme Court decisions don’t often produce phrases that enter the vocabulary of political life, but Griswold did. The phrase is ‘penumbras formed by emanations.’

Trumping the Court: A Look at the Hand the President Must Play


With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement announcement, the battle is on, supposedly,* for the future course of the Supreme Court. There has already been plenty of heated, and some reasoned, video and written commentary on possible nominees. Some are campaigning for particular candidates, while others are leveraging the occasion to score political points for their position or party.

I fell into some of that myself late last week, raising my voice to a dear friend when we were really just differing on the level of analysis. Realizing I was too tactically focused, I had to think and research a bit more, leading to this piece. Beyond the kabuki theater run by Senators and pundits for multiple audiences, President Trump must play for both the short-term win and medium-term win.

The short-term win is getting his first choice confirmed before the 2018 midterms, with possible second-order benefits in House and Senate races. The medium-term win is a series of decisions by 2020, confirming President Trump’s ability to deliver on his promises, and distinguishing him from past Republican presidents, whose picks’ judicial records have been uneven to downright dismaying. The long-term, beyond his presidency, is unknowable, subject to future presidents’ Court nominees. The short- and medium-term campaign will be fought with a nominee from President Trump’s list of 25 possible Supreme Court candidates.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America tear apart the progressive left’s half-baked demand to abolish ICE. They also comment on the irony that a former Obama official who lashed out against loan sharks is now financing loan sharks. They also wonder why the Democrats want to add more seats to the Supreme Court while they are still out of power.

The New Heroes of Ricochet


I don’t follow politics so I can watch liberals cry. My goal when arguing with my leftist friends is not to make them secrete so many tears that I can comfortably wallow in a pool of progressive lamentations. However, I must admit, upon hearing about the retirement of Justice Kennedy, I did take a trip over to the usual suspects (Vox, Slate, ThinkProgress, Salon) just to see how lachrymose they would become. I did not expect to stay… I didn’t plan to gloat… but despite my intentions, I found myself staying to take a nice long shower in the torrent of liberal tears, I showered for longer than 20 minutes just to stick it to the California water police.

While there, I was a little surprised to learn that Justice Kennedy is no longer the Number One GRH (Gay Rights Hero). Merely by deciding at the age of 81 to retire, he has forfeited any and all plaudits for rulings he made previously. By leaving the national stage a lifetime of work was washed down the drain, along with those tears.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America review Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 30 years on the Supreme Court and anticipate President Trump’s second opportunity to nominate a justice to the nation’s highest court. They then laugh at the hysterics of Chuck Schumer and other Democrats following Kennedy’s retirement. They also look at a report that suggests both Democrats and Republicans tend to stereotype the other side and are wildly inaccurate.

Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast (number 181!!!!) it’s the Supreme Court Rules edition of the show with your Lunch-loving hosts radio guy Todd Feinburg and California dreamin AI guy Mike Stopa. This week, we have an enormously important show with an enormously significant week in American (and dare we say it Trump) history. We will discuss the historic ruling of the Supreme court in the case of Janus vs. AFSCME and the body slam that those august judges have given to public sector unions. Then, we will talk about the fracturing of the Democrat Party, OMG. As Stephen Miller said, the liberals are the most outraged that they’ve been…since yesterday. And with impeachment in the air (I *told* everyone about this in March!!!) and the Democrat adults realizing (because I told them so) just what a trap it all was, and with Maxine Waters now taking her rightful place as one of the leading lights of the left, well, are the Dems going to split in two? We will see.

We will have our shower thoughts, yes! And our hidden gem this week (a propos of the newfound liberty of public sector workers everywhere to belong or not belong to the union) is I’m Free, by the Who! Enjoy!

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America hail the Supreme Court’s ruling that non-members of public sector unions do not have to pay dues. They also shudder as liberal protesters get up close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. And they’re not going to miss New York Rep. Joe Crowley after his stunning defeat in a New York congressional primary, but the woman who defeated Crowley is an avowed socialist who wants to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement and pass single-payer health care.