All posts filed under: The Sjupremes

Constitutional Math

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Democracy's Constitution / The Sjupremes

In a recent post I called for Chief Justice John Roberts to act.  I felt that the politicization of the Supreme Court was destroying its legitimacy in the eyes of most Americans and that the Chief Justice should take action to “save the Supremes.” https://guileisgood.com/2018/11/03/saving-the-supremes/ And, lo and behold, Roberts has taken action, publicly criticizing President Trump  for referring to a federal  judge as an “Obama” judge. Roberts insists all judges are just “judges.” The […]

How a Court Stops Being Supreme

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Democracy's Constitution / The Sjupremes

The short answer is that the Supreme Court stops being  supreme when it allows a political party to dictate the substance of its judges’ decisions. Let me explain. A good place to begin might be 1990  when George Bush Senior appointed David Souter to the Court. Souter, a New Hampshire Republican, had served as a New Hampshire  supreme court justice before being appointed. Although he had a long judicial record, Souter had ruled on few […]

Guiled!

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The Sjupremes

Why did 81-year-old Justice Anthony Kennedy, known best for his decisions protecting gay and abortion  rights,  choose to retire at the time that best enables Donald Trump to appoint a right wing successor who will most likely vote to reverse those decisions?  Adam Liptak and Maggie Haberman  of the New York Times give us the answer.  Trump  “guiled” him. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/28/us/politics/trump-anthony-kennedy-retirement.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news Liiptak and Haberman outline a  “flattery” campaign aimed at convincing Kennedy his legacy would be […]

Never Reward a Bully

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The Sjupremes

Constitutional law expert Cass Sunstein has just given the Democratic Senators some advice on how to handle the Gorsuch vote.   http://www.newsday.com/opinion/commentary/the-best-strategy-for-democrats-on-neil-gorsuch-1.13322437 Sunstein  outlines five options before choosing the  one that suggests they  vote against any nominee who they feel puts in jeopardy basic constitutional protections, a description he believes   Gorsuch warrants; but that they shouldn’t go so far as to filibuster his confirmation if he has the support of a majority of the […]

Is Mitch McConnell Too Smart for His Own Good?

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Democracy's Constitution / The Sjupremes

Last Spring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell embarked on a risky plan to deprive President Obama of the chance to appoint a Supreme Court Justice during his last year in office.   McConnell  won that bet; now it’s time to consider what the final consequences of that victory will be. Some say it gives the Republicans  control of the Supreme Court for  the foreseeable future. But turning the   Supreme Court  into an overtly partisan […]

Justice Kennedy’s Selective Amnesia

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The Sjupremes

We all hate Citizens United, but sometimes we don’t remember why. So let me remind you. To take a nostalgic example, let’s consider Jeb Bush’s campaign for the Republican nomination this past year. Under current law if you wanted to support Jeb, you could make a direct contribution to his campaign, but it would have to be limited to 2700 dollars. On the other hand, you could make a donation of any amount to his […]

Constitutional Law in 500 Words or Less

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The Sjupremes

Everyone knows that constitutional law is very important, but most people don’t understand why. I think the recent Texas case on abortion teaches us why it is so important– and so controversial. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/28/us/supreme-court-texas-abortion.html Texas passed a law setting out new requirements for abortion clinics. Now clinics would have to employ a doctor with admitting privileges at a local hospital and buy additional expensive medical equipment. Texas claimed it was trying to make abortions safer, but […]

Inside Mitch McConnell’s Brain

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Repairing the System / The Sjupremes

On the surface it may appear that President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are engaged in a titanic struggle over the future of the Supreme Court. But, as this insightful article from Brookings explains, the issue is much less cosmic when you see it from an insider’s perspective.V http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/fixgov/posts/2016/03/03-mcconnell-scalia-congress-options-hudak-reynolds The article makes clear that McConnell is more an entrepreneur than an ideologue. His primary goal on this issue is not to impact the […]

Giving the Devil His Due

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Heroes / The Sjupremes

I find myself putting more faith these days in the old saying “Don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers,” especially right after the death of one of the rich and/or famous. In an attempt not to speak ill of the dead, the media rushes in to over-inflate the deceased’s accomplishments. The recent passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a good example. Here is an article in which The Atlantic is lavish in […]

Don’t Get Around Much Anymore

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The Sjupremes / Untitled

Here’s a very interesting article about the extra-curricular activities of current Supreme Court justices: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/02/us/politics/justices-get-out-more-but-calendars-arent-open-to-just-anyone.html?&hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0 Their outings seem to divide into two categories. One is visits to law schools where the justices are treated like living relics; the article’s reference to the “adoring crowd” that greeted Justice Ginsburg at Harvard gets the tone of these events well. These are ceremonial gatherings where any controversial issues are ignored. I remember a visit that Justice Kennedy paid […]