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The Future of the U.S Supreme Court

2016 Election U.S. Supreme Court Labor Unions Corporate Personhood Voting Rights Act

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#121
caltrek

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Text messages suggest Kavanaugh wanted to refute accuser's claim before it became public

 

https://www.nbcnews....vidence-n915566

 

Introduction:

 

(CBS News) WASHINGTON — In the days leading up to a public allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh exposed himself to a college classmate, the judge and his team were communicating behind the scenes with friends to refute the claim, according to text messages obtained by NBC News.

 

Kerry Berchem, who was at Yale with both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Deborah Ramirez, has tried to get those messages to the FBI for its newly reopened investigation into the matter but says she has yet to be contacted by the bureau.

 

The texts between Berchem and Karen Yarasavage, both friends of Kavanaugh, suggest that the nominee was personally talking with former classmates about Ramirez’s story in advance of the New Yorker article that made her allegation public. In one message, Yarasavage said Kavanaugh asked her to go on the record in his defense. Two other messages show communication between Kavanaugh's team and former classmates in advance of the story.

 

 

1810101-kavanaugh-ramirez-inline-circles

From left, Deborah Ramirez, Kerry E. Berchem, Doug Millet, Karen Yarasavage, Kevin Genda, Brett Kavanaugh and David White pose for a photo at the rehearsal dinner before the wedding of Yarasavage and Genda in 1997.

Photo obtained by NBC News

 

 

 

Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath that the first time he heard of Ramirez’s allegation was in the Sept. 23 article in The New Yorker.

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#122
caltrek

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Undermining the Supreme Court is incredibly dangerous

 

http://theweek.com/a...dibly-dangerous

 

Introduction:

 

(The Week) What does it look like when the Supreme Court loses its legitimacy? We don't want to find out.

 

Now that Brett Kavanaugh has been appointed to the court after a long and incredibly messy confirmation process, some have suggested this is the moment the institution loses its standing in the eyes of the American public.

 

It's the perfect assertion for our overheated times. But the court building still stands, the justices are still hearing arguments — Kavanaugh will apparently start hearing cases on Tuesday — and they'll still make rulings that span the range of American political and legal life. Does the court really need legitimacy to do its work?

 

Well, yes.

 

For more than 200 years, the Supreme Court has served as the final word, more or less, on the hot constitutional issues of the day. But that power, known as "judicial supremacy," isn't written into the Constitution — the court claimed it back in 1803 in Marbury v. Madison. Americans have mostly agreed to go along with it ever since.

illegitimate.jpg?itok=vDrikMjV&resize=12

 

Illustrated | ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images, Zakharova_Natalia

Illustrated | ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images, Zakharova_Natalia


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#123
caltrek

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Roberts Asks Federal Judges to Handle Kavanaugh Complaints

 

https://www.courthou...ugh-complaints/

 

Introduction:

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chief Justice John Roberts is referring ethics complaints against new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to federal judges in Colorado and neighboring states.

 

The complaints deal with statements Kavanaugh made during his confirmation hearings. They were filed originally with Kavanaugh’s old court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

 

Roberts took no action on them while Kavanaugh’s nomination was pending. He received the first three of 15 eventual complaints on Sept. 20, a week before Kavanaugh’s angry denial of a sexual assault allegation by Christine Blasey Ford.

 

It’s possible the complaints will never be investigated if the lower-court judges determine they have no jurisdiction over a Supreme Court justice under the judiciary’s ethics rules. The judges may be forced to conclude “that intervening events have rendered the allegations moot or make remedial action impossible,” said Arthur Hellman, an ethics professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

 

Another ethicist, Stephen Gillers of New York University, disagreed that the complaints are moot. Kavanaugh remains a federal judge and the complaints “allege misconduct that occurred while Kavanaugh was on the D.C. Circuit and subject to the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges. Any violation of the Code does not disappear because he is now on another federal court,” Gillers said in an email.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#124
caltrek

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Liberal Voters Finally Notice the War Over the Courts — Decades After Conservatives Did

 

http://prospect.org/article/liberal-voters-finally-notice-war-over-courts-decades-after-conservatives-did

 

 

Introduction:

 

(American Prospect) Buried in an October 9 Washington Post poll of battleground congressional districts, one set of numbers jumped off the page for those of us who have, for two painful decades, tracked the slow-motion train wreck of the Supreme Court.

 

In this poll of likely voters in 69 districts, the issue most cited as “extremely important” was the “Supreme Court and other judicial nominations.” Sixty-four percent picked it, ahead of Donald Trump (60 percent), health care (57percent ), and the economy (55 percent).

 

To be sure, these numbers reflected the just-pushed-through confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Court. What was more striking, and, one hopes, less ephemeral, was the partisan balance of those respondents. Among those who prioritized judicial nominations, 50 percent supported the Democratic candidate in the district, while 47 percent supported the Republican. Five days later, a Washignton Post-­ABC News national poll reinforced those numbers: 66 percent called Supreme Court nominations “highly important,” and a near-majority (49 percent) “trusted” Democrats more than Republicans on that issue (38 percent trusted the Republicans more). 

 

In prior decades, although particular decisions periodically caught the public eye, court appointments figured so little in voters’ electoral choices that pollsters rarely if ever bothered to ask about it. However, there was one critical exception—social conservative voters, especially evangelical Christians. For them, the make-up of the federal courts was persistently at or near the top of their list. Of course, the particular legal issues that fired up social conservatives—gender equality, gay rights, contraception, religion in the public square, and above all, abortion—also fired up their social liberal adversaries. But liberal culture warriors’ focus on the courts didn’t translate into ballot box clout. With the exception of pro-choice advocates, most of the beneficiaries and enthusiasts of liberal Supreme Court precedents took that regime for granted, dismissing the possibility of any looming existential political threat. For Democratic constituencies with a primarily economic, foreign policy, or environmental focus, control of the courts has generally been less than a blip on their election-time radar scree

 

ap_18279833177496.jpg?itok=NiiTL0xH

Bob Bland, left, raises her fist as activists protest on the steps of the Supreme Court after the confirmation vote of Brett Kavanaugh on October 6, 2018.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#125
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Trump has a very high chance of getting 1 or maybe 2 more supreme court seats...If he can hold the senate the court will probably be right wing for the next 35 years.



#126
rennerpetey

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Trump has a very high chance of getting 1 or maybe 2 more supreme court seats...If he can hold the senate the court will probably be right wing for the next 35 years.

Yeah, Breyer and Ginsburg are the two oldest justices at 80 and 85 and are both left leaning.  If either of them or both of them retire before Trump leaves office, I'm going to be in my 50s before the courts have a chance at being left again.



#127
rennerpetey

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Ginsburg, 85, Hospitalized After Fracturing 3 Ribs in Fall

 

Washington (AP) -- The Supreme Court says 85-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fractured three ribs in a fall in her office at the court and is in the hospital.

 
The court says the justice went to George Washington University Hospital in Washington early Thursday after experiencing discomfort overnight. The court says the fall occurred Wednesday evening.
 
Ginsburg was admitted to the hospital for treatment and observation after tests showed she fractured three ribs.
 
Ginsburg broke two ribs in a fall in 2012. She has had two prior bouts with cancer and had a stent implanted to open a blocked artery in 2014.
Source: Bloomberg


#128
tomasth

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Its a life long appointment , right ? So if any extensive life extension apear in the next 35 years , it the appointment legnth will have to be revised (or the courts is never going to be left again).



#129
rennerpetey

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Its a life long appointment , right ? So if any extensive life extension apear in the next 35 years , it the appointment legnth will have to be revised (or the courts is never going to be left again).

Interesting point.  The judges can and do retire, as in the case of Sarrah Day O'Connor, my current profile picture (for those of you in the future: photo-4717.jpg?_r=1524900378)

I imagine that eventually judges will either retire as a matter of principal or the senate will amend the constitution and impose term limits on the justices.



#130
Sciencerocks

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Maybe with anti-aging we can set the term limit at 50 years for the Supreme court.



#131
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Its a life long appointment , right ? So if any extensive life extension apear in the next 35 years , it the appointment legnth will have to be revised (or the courts is never going to be left again).

Interesting point.  The judges can and do retire, as in the case of Sarrah Day O'Connor, my current profile picture (for those of you in the future: photo-4717.jpg?_r=1524900378)
I imagine that eventually judges will either retire as a matter of principal or the senate will amend the constitution and impose term limits on the justices.

I don't know if it's just me, but Sarrah Day O'Conner looks suspiciously like Paul McCartney.

Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/GMYezR1cwFA


#132
joe00uk

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I don't know if it's just me, but Sarrah Day O'Conner looks suspiciously like Paul McCartney.

Not seeing it to be honest lol



#133
Sciencerocks

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Its a life long appointment , right ? So if any extensive life extension apear in the next 35 years , it the appointment legnth will have to be revised (or the courts is never going to be left again).

Interesting point.  The judges can and do retire, as in the case of Sarrah Day O'Connor, my current profile picture (for those of you in the future: photo-4717.jpg?_r=1524900378)
I imagine that eventually judges will either retire as a matter of principal or the senate will amend the constitution and impose term limits on the justices.

I don't know if it's just me, but Sarrah Day O'Conner looks suspiciously like Paul McCartney.

 

 

 

I can certainly see it.

 

Old Paul must have been wearing drag!



#134
caltrek

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John Roberts’s Chance for Greatness

 

https://www.theatlan...s-court/572482/

 

Extract:

(The Atlantic) Among Chief Justice John Roberts’s many talents is an ability to mask ambition. Though conversational in chambers, about the day’s headlines or the Notre Dame game over the weekend, he is by nature reticent. Law clerks don’t feel they get to know him as well as, say, Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer. So a few years ago, when the chief let his guard down, the moment astonished his listeners. And it revealed a hunger for greatness that went along with an abiding affection for the institution he leads.

 

Among Chief Justice John Roberts’s many talents is an ability to mask ambition. Though conversational in chambers, about the day’s headlines or the Notre Dame game over the weekend, he is by nature reticent. Law clerks don’t feel they get to know him as well as, say, Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer. So a few years ago, when the chief let his guard down, the moment astonished his listeners. And it revealed a hunger for greatness that went along with an abiding affection for the institution he leads.

 

The chief justice thought that Obamacare presented a close case and that Congress was entitled to the benefit of the doubt. Seeing himself as the steward of the Court’s prestige, Roberts chose to keep the Court out of harm’s way. He had failed to do so, for example, in Citizens United (the 2010 ruling that struck down campaign-finance regulations passed by Congress) and Heller (the 2008 ruling that invalidated handgun restrictions imposed by the D.C. city council). But now, at least in this one case, four months before a presidential election, he had become a judicial statesman—an advocate not for this or that issue, but for the Court itself. Maybe he was acting with the judicial humility he had often counseled for others—judicial “politics” in the best sense.

 

If so, in an age when the Supreme Court has become aggressively interventionist and triumphantly ascendant, Roberts’s destiny might be, as he wished aloud, to do great things. The alternative risks even further descent by the Court into partisan muck—and invites massive opprobrium from the body politic. History has proved that ends very badly for the Court.

lead_720_405.jpg?mod=1539041004

Photo CredIt: JIM BOURG / REUTERS


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#135
Raklian

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Its a life long appointment , right ? So if any extensive life extension apear in the next 35 years , it the appointment legnth will have to be revised (or the courts is never going to be left again).

 

But wouldn't you also agree that it's equally appealing for judges who have many decades (even centuries) worth of judicial experience to remain as Justices since they will apply the rare, hard-to-get wisdom to cases that have everlasting implications?


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#136
caltrek

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Brett Kavanaugh wants to make it even easier for gunmen to obtain assault rifles

 

https://thinkprogres...s-0291eca41d17/

 

Introduction:

 

(Think Progress) On Saturday, a man in El Paso, Texas, walked into a Walmart and murdered 20 people. He used an AK-47, a kind of assault rifle. Less than a day later, another man in Dayton, Ohio, murdered nine people in a bar. That shooting lasted less than a minute, but the gunman reportedly was able to rapidly attack his victims in part because he used a “high-capacity” weapon.

 

Meanwhile, if President Donald Trump’s most recent appointment to the Supreme Court gets his way, both assault rifles and high-capacity magazines will soon enjoy special constitutional protection. It is likely, moreover, that Justice Brett Kavanaugh has the five votes he needs to make this happen.

 

In 2008, not long after the Supreme Court struck down its much stronger gun regulations, the District of Columbia passed an emergency law that, among other things, banned assault rifles and high-capacity magazines within the District. The law was challenged, and the challenge eventually reached a panel of three Republican appointees on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Two of those judges upheld the law.

 

The third judge was Kavanaugh. In his dissent, Kavanaugh called for a sweeping expansion of the Second Amendment, beyond even what his two Republican colleagues were willing to endorse. Regarding assault rifles, the future Trump appointee argued that these weapons should enjoy the same nearly unassailable level of level of constitutional protection the Supreme Court afforded to handguns in its 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller.

 

Conclusion:

 

...there’s virtually no doubt that Kavanaugh is eager to expand the Second Amendment, and little doubt that the Supreme Court is now in much more of a hurry to hear big guns’ cases than it was when Kennedy was still on the bench. Many future gunmen may soon enjoy broad rights to purchase the kinds of weapons used to commit mass murder in El Paso and Dayton


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#137
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'Historic' Alaska Ruling Could Provide Roadmap to Defeating Citizens United

 

https://www.commondr...citizens-united

 

Introduction:

(Common Dreams) A ruling in a court in Alaska Monday could open the door to imposing more restrictions on super PACs and possibly reversing the infamous 2012 Citizens United by the U.S. Supreme Court that in 2012 upended the nation's campaign finance laws.

 

Anchorage Superior Court Judge William F. Morse ordered the state to impose limits on donations to political groups in Alaska, saying in the ruling (pdf) that the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC), which handles election enforcement, "should reinstate enforcement of the contribution limits at issue." The decision is expected to head to the Alaska Supreme Court.

 

In a statement, election reform group Equal Citizens founder Lawrence Lessig said that the decision in favor of three Alaskan citizens contesting the unlimited donations was "historic."

"This decision gives Alaskans and all Americans a chance to revisit those destructive decisions," said Lessig, who helped develop the legal strategy for the case. "And it will allow us to continue to make our case that the Framers did not wish to see super PACs. Just the opposite: they would have despised the kind of corruption we have seen recently, and the Constitution gives states the power to eliminate it."

 

 

 

 

It is true that the present court is probably tilted slightly in favor of upholding Citizens United.  Still, being forced to reconsider that decision would pose challenges to the court.  Particularly in light of recent cases involving dark money influence form money laundered form foreign countries.  It really sucks that foreign governments and corporations can have more influence over our election process than our own voters.  Something that the court may want to think twice about before looking the other way concerning such corruption.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#138
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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, champion of women's rights, has died at 87

 

https://www.cbsnews....olitical-fight/

 

Introduction:

(CBS) Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the longest serving woman on the U.S. Supreme Court and a strong liberal voice on issues dividing the nation, has died, the Supreme Court said on Friday. She was 87.

 

"Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died this evening surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, D.C., due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer," the Court said in a statement.

 

https://www.cbsnews....olitical-fight/

(CBS) The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg marks the loss of a giant who pioneered women's rights until her last days. It also marks the start of a bitter political battle over who will take her place, just weeks out from a presidential election. 

 

Ginsburg, who died Friday at age 87 after a battle with cancer, leaves behind an open seat on the Supreme Court where conservatives now outnumber the liberals. Mr. Trump is expected to nominate a replacement, and the Republican-led Senate sure to try to push a nominee through the confirmation process, and swiftly. 

 

President Trump earlier this month announced his list of possible Supreme Court nominees, should he have the occasion to nominate more justices either in his current term or the next one. Those names include current judges and even senators such as Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Tom Cotton. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, is considered a top contender for nomination. 

 

Mr. Trump held a rally on Friday night, but had taken the stage before the news of her death was released. He mentioned potential Supreme Court nominees in passing, saying he put out a list of 40 people who are "conservative" and believe in the Constitution."

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly said he would move swiftly to fill any vacancy on the Supreme Court, even though he used a different approach when Justice Antonin Scalia died in January 2016, 10 months before the 2016 election.

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#139
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What we know about a possible Senate vote to replace Justice Ginsburg

 

https://www.vox.com/...nfirmation-vote

 

Introduction:

(Vox) The question of whether President Donald Trump will get to fill the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat this year — either before the election or even after it, if he should lose — is entirely up to Senate Republicans.

 

There are 53 Republican senators. Confirmation of a nominee would take 50 Senate votes, plus a tiebreaker vote from Vice President Mike Pence. Democrats are likely to remain united in opposition to any Trump effort to fill the seat, but they can’t stop the GOP by themselves. They’d need to convince at least four Republican senators join them — to agree to let the winner of the next election fill Ginsburg’s seat.

 

Justice Ginsburg said days before her death that her “most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” according to NPR. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that President Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsburg “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

 

There are two main possibilities for when he’d hold such a vote — before the election or in the lame-duck period after it stretching from November to January. Either option would be controversial, but the latter would be particularly so if Biden wins and if Republicans lose their Senate majority; Republicans would effectively be thumbing their noses at the election results.

 

As it so happens, a few GOP senators are on the record saying they would oppose filling a Supreme Court vacancy this year. (The question has often been posed given McConnell’s refusal to hold a vote to replace Justice Antonin Scalia after he died in 2016, while Barack Obama was still president.) But, of course, those assurances were given when the question was hypothetical, and it’s far from clear whether these senators will stick to them in the face of what’s certain to be intense pressure from the right.

 

 

Susan Collins: No Supreme Court vote before Election Day

 

https://www.vox.com/...nauguration-day

 

(Vox) Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has become the first Republican senator to call for the Senate to delay voting on a new Supreme Court justice until after voters choose the winner of the 2020 election.

 

“In fairness to the American people ... the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the President who is elected on November 3rd,” Collins said in a statement Saturday.

 

However, the senator also said if Trump chooses a nominee, the Senate Judiciary Committee should begin “the process of reviewing his nominee’s credentials.”

 

Collins made the statements following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday. Earlier in September, the senator said she would not be in favor of replacing a justice in the weeks before an election, saying, “I think that’s too close, I really do.”

 

Saturday, Collins gave a similar rationale for her approach to growing calls from her Republican colleagues for a quick floor vote on a Trump nominee: “Given the proximity of the presidential election, however, I do not believe that the Senate should vote on the nominee prior to the election.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#140
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Ranking the possible nominees for Trump and McConnell’s fast-tracked route to the Supreme Court

 

https://www.alternet...-supreme-court/

 

Extract:

(Alternet) In a just universe, Republicans would be held to the “rule” they created in 2016, and there would be no Supreme Court nominee until 2021. Then Joe Biden could nominate Rep. Ilhan Omar. Sure, Omar doesn’t have a law degree, but cleaning up all the exploding right-wing skulls would make a good jobs program, and be a great boost to the nation in so many ways. Then Omar could withdraw, Biden could nominate Sherrilyn Ifill or Cecillia Wang, and Republicans can act relieved, while we all go home happy.

 

In this darkest-of-all-timelines, the Donald Trump has already made it clear that a nominee is coming double-quick. Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell is holding up his catcher’s mitt, ready to guide that incoming fastball across the plate before anyone has a chance to blink. Democrats have ways to push back—not least of which involves putting a few million people on the streets in righteous protest—but there is little doubt that Trump will soon have a nominee incoming and Republicans will be falling over themselves to proclaim them the greatest jurist ever; just as William Barr is the world’s best prosecutor even though he’s never tried so much as a shoplifting case.

 

So here are a few possible names that might soon be visiting the Senate express lane to a lifetime appointment…

 

MOST LIKELY: Amy Coney Barrett

 

Barbara Lagoa

 

Noel Francisco

 

Christopher Landau

 

Thomas Hardiman

 

Paul Clement

 

Raymond Kethledge

 

Allison Eid

 

Britt Grant

 

Joan Larson

 

Amul Thapar

 

Senator Tom Cotton

 

 Senator Josh Hawley

 

 Senator Ted Cruz

The article linked above the quote box includes brief descriptions of all of these potential nominees, sprinkled liberally with amusing sarcasms.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls





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