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The Future of the U.S Supreme Court

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#141
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Lisa Murkowski Just Announced She Won’t Vote to Confirm a Supreme Court Nominee Before Election Day

 

https://www.motherjo...g-election-day/

 

Introduction:

(Mother Jones( Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), known for defecting from her party to vote against the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, bucked Republicans again to announce Sunday that she would not support the Senate holding confirmation hearings for the next Supreme Court justice until after the election.

 

“For weeks, I have stated that I would not support taking up a potential Supreme Court vacancy this close to the election,” Murkowski said in a statement. “Sadly, what was then a hypothetical is now our reality, but my position has not changed.”

 

“I did not support taking up a nomination eight months before the 2016 election to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Justice Scalia. We are now even closer to the 2020 election—less than two months out—and I believe the same standard must apply,” she added.


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


#142
caltrek

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Democrats Warn Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Could Eliminate Health Care for Millions

 

https://www.courthou...e-for-millions/

 

Introduction:

 

WASHINGTON (Courthouse News) — One week after Americans head to the polls in November to decide the next president, the Supreme Court in the midst of a global pandemic will hear the Trump administration’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act. 

 

But with President Donald Trump set to shift the high court to a 6-3 conservative majority, Senate Democrats warned Wednesday that millions of Americans’ health care hangs in the balance as a feverish nomination process kicks off. 

 

“The courts are the lynchpin in the Republicans’ anti-health care and anti-choice agenda,” Senator Tammy Baldwin told reporters. 

 

If the high court overturns the ACA, around 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions could lose protections under the landmark statute.

 

The ruling could have similarly devastating effects for 17 million people under the Medicaid expansion and women who are protected from higher insurance rates and ensured maternity care, cancer screenings and contraception.


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


#143
caltrek

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The article below is interesting on several counts. First, as a discussion of comparative politics. Second, as being suggestive of possible reforms. Third, as an indication of the peculiar nature that a future dictatorship might take in the United States. Instead of Politburo, think Supreme Court.  Under such a scenario, the Republican party dominates not only through capturing the presidency, despite any popular vote, but also through gaining a working majority of the Supreme Court.

 

Unlike US, Europe picks top judges with bipartisan approval to create ideologically balanced high courts

 

https://theconversat...h-courts-146550

 

Introduction:

(The Conversation) Filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court immediately sparked a bitter partisan fight.

 

But choosing judges for the nation’s highest court doesn’t have to be so polarizing.

 

In some European countries, judicial appointments are designed to ensure the court’s ideological balance, and the entire process, from nomination to confirmation, is generally not seen as partisan. By choice and by law, high court justices in those places work together to render consensus-based decisions.

 

I am a scholar of high courts worldwide, which are typically called “constitutional courts.”

 

Europe’s constitutional courts differ from country to country, but they have some important similarities.


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


#144
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Ways a 6-3 Supreme Court Would be Different

 

https://theconversat...ifferent-146558

 

Introduction:

(The Conversation) If the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is replaced this year, the Supreme Court will become something the country has not seen since the justices became a dominant force in American cultural life after World War II: a decidedly conservative court.

 

A court with a 6-3 conservative majority would be a dramatic shift from the court of recent years, which was more closely divided, with Ginsburg as the leader of the liberal wing of four justices and Chief Justice John Roberts as the frequent swing vote.

 

As a scholar of the court and the politics of belief, I see three things likely to change in an era of a conservative majority: The court will accept a broader range of controversial cases for consideration; the court’s interpretation of constitutional rights will shift; and the future of rights in the era of a conservative court may be in the hands of local democracy rather than the Supreme Court.

 

The court takes only cases the justices choose to hear. Five votes on the nine-member court make a majority, but four is the number required to take a case.

 

If Roberts does not want to accept a controversial case, it now requires all four of the conservatives – Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas – to accept the case and risk the outcome.

The article goes on to discuss how an ideological shift to the right by the court might affect the interpretation of laws and the legal structure of the United States.


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


#145
SeedNotYetSprouted

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Democrats prepare bill limiting U.S. Supreme Court justice terms to 18 years

 

 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Democrats in of the House of Representatives will introduce a bill next week to limit the tenure of U.S. Supreme Court justices to 18 years from current lifetime appointments, in a bid to reduce partisan warring over vacancies and preserve the court’s legitimacy.

 
The new bill, seen by Reuters, would allow every president to nominate two justices per four-year term and comes amid heightened political tensions as Republican President Donald Trump prepares to announce his third pick for the Supreme Court after the death on Sept. 18 of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with just 40 days to go until the Nov. 3 election.

Source: https://www.reuters....s-idUSKCN26F3L3



#146
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Amy Coney Barrett Isn’t Even Confirmed Yet and Trump Is Cheering the End of Obamacare

 

https://www.motherjo...rump-obamacare/

 

Introduction:

(Mother Jones) President Donald Trump kicked off his Sunday by tweeting out a call for Joe Biden to take a drug test before their debate next week, adding that he’d take one too. But that wasn’t his dumbest tweet of the morning.

 

Trump also celebrated the prospect that the Supreme Court will throw out the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. “Would be a big WIN For the USA!” he tweeted.

 

The Trump administration is enthusiastically supporting a lawsuit filed by Republican attorneys general that would throw out the entire ACA. If it succeeds, more than 20 million people could lose their health insurance and protections for the more than 130 million Americans with preexisting conditions could disappear—in the midst of a pandemic.

 

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case just after the election in November. If the Republican-run Senate can get Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to take Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat by Election Day, she may be seated in time to hear the case. 

 

In his tweet, Trump once again promised to replace Obamacare with something bigger and better. He has yet to produce this unseen plan for replacing the Affordable Care Act. He has asserted that he wants to maintain protections for people with preexisting conditions, but beyond issuing legally meaningless executive orders that reiterate that view, he has offered no specific proposal to keep those people from being kicked off their health plans.


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


#147
caltrek

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History may be about to repeat itself. FDR faced a conservative court willing to overturn just about any progressive measure he put forth. So he threatened to enlarge the size of the court. The court then loosened up and gave the executive branch more latitude. Republicans may very well succeed in placing Amy Coney Barrett on the bench. Still, if she overplays her hand as past written opinions of hers indicate that she might, she may very well be paving the way for an enlargement of the court.

 

Joe Biden’s most surprising, and possibly important, answer of the debate

 

https://www.vox.com/...me-court-debate

 

Introduction:

(Vox) President Donald Trump’s performance at the first debate was bizarrecruel, and at times, truly dangerous. For all those reasons, it probably had the net effect of making it likelier that Joe Biden wins the presidency — that’s certainly what the betting markets thought, and what the snap polls suggest — and Democrats take back the Senate. So it’s worth noting a particularly surprising and consequential answer Biden gave early on Tuesday night, one that may shape the course of his presidency.

 

Throughout the debate, Trump demanded Biden decry things he has already decried, or disavow policies he has already disavowed. And Biden did so eagerly. Asked to say “law and order,” he said it. Challenged to speak positively of law enforcement, he did. Pushed to denounce violent protesters, he called for their prosecution. Attacked for his plans to defund the police, pass a $100 trillion Green New Deal, and abolish private insurance, Biden said he opposed all of those ideas. “He just lost the left,” Trump muttered angrily.

 

Which made it all the more notable that when moderator Chris Wallace asked Biden to “tell the American people tonight whether or not you will support either ending the filibuster or packing the Court,” Biden refused. “Whatever position I take on that, that will become the issue,” he replied.

 

On the merits, this is a dodge. Those are consequential questions of governance, and Biden is running for president. His views are supposed to become flash points in the election. But in the context of all the sharp positions Biden did take, both for and against controversial policies, it was telling. Biden could have dismissed both ideas. At another time, he doubtlessly would have dismissed both ideas. That he refused to do so now reflects how far he’s moved, how far he believes his party has moved, or both.


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


#148
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Yeah, I'm wary of a SCOTUS enlargement, but if SCOTUS decides to, say, strike down Obamacare and the US Congress can't pass a replacement for it (or a replacement gets passed and then also gets struck down by SCOTUS), then enlarging SCOTUS might be the right thing to do. I'm not averse to the idea of some judicial independence, obviously, but there should also be checks against judicial arrogance--and SCOTUS enlargement is one of the best checks against this! :)



#149
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Democrats Warn Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Could Eliminate Health Care for Millions

 

https://www.courthou...e-for-millions/

 

Introduction:

 

WASHINGTON (Courthouse News) — One week after Americans head to the polls in November to decide the next president, the Supreme Court in the midst of a global pandemic will hear the Trump administration’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act. 

 

But with President Donald Trump set to shift the high court to a 6-3 conservative majority, Senate Democrats warned Wednesday that millions of Americans’ health care hangs in the balance as a feverish nomination process kicks off. 

 

“The courts are the lynchpin in the Republicans’ anti-health care and anti-choice agenda,” Senator Tammy Baldwin told reporters. 

 

If the high court overturns the ACA, around 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions could lose protections under the landmark statute.

 

The ruling could have similarly devastating effects for 17 million people under the Medicaid expansion and women who are protected from higher insurance rates and ensured maternity care, cancer screenings and contraception.

 

Smart strategy; focusing too much on Roe v. Wade could alienate anti-abortion people.



#150
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The article below is interesting on several counts. First, as a discussion of comparative politics. Second, as being suggestive of possible reforms. Third, as an indication of the peculiar nature that a future dictatorship might take in the United States. Instead of Politburo, think Supreme Court.  Under such a scenario, the Republican party dominates not only through capturing the presidency, despite any popular vote, but also through gaining a working majority of the Supreme Court.

 

Unlike US, Europe picks top judges with bipartisan approval to create ideologically balanced high courts

 

https://theconversat...h-courts-146550

 

Introduction:

(The Conversation) Filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court immediately sparked a bitter partisan fight.

 

But choosing judges for the nation’s highest court doesn’t have to be so polarizing.

 

In some European countries, judicial appointments are designed to ensure the court’s ideological balance, and the entire process, from nomination to confirmation, is generally not seen as partisan. By choice and by law, high court justices in those places work together to render consensus-based decisions.

 

I am a scholar of high courts worldwide, which are typically called “constitutional courts.”

 

Europe’s constitutional courts differ from country to country, but they have some important similarities.

 

Do European courts actually have as much power as their US counterparts have, though?



#151
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Democrats prepare bill limiting U.S. Supreme Court justice terms to 18 years

 

 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Democrats in of the House of Representatives will introduce a bill next week to limit the tenure of U.S. Supreme Court justices to 18 years from current lifetime appointments, in a bid to reduce partisan warring over vacancies and preserve the court’s legitimacy.

 
The new bill, seen by Reuters, would allow every president to nominate two justices per four-year term and comes amid heightened political tensions as Republican President Donald Trump prepares to announce his third pick for the Supreme Court after the death on Sept. 18 of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with just 40 days to go until the Nov. 3 election.

Source: https://www.reuters....s-idUSKCN26F3L3

Smart move, but I don't think that this can actually done with a regular bill; rather, a constitutional amendment would probably be required for this.



#152
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How Trump and Amy Coney Barrett could wreak damage for generations of American workers

 

https://www.alternet...erican-workers/

 

Introduction:

(Alternet) As a union griever, Jason Haynes fought constant battles against employers ever ready to cheat workers out of overtime pay and other hard-earned benefits.

He's also seen firsthand how greedy corporations and their Republican cronies relentlessly erode labor protections at the state and national levels, making it increasingly difficult not only for Americans to organize but for union members to exercise long-held rights.

 
 

Now, Haynes fears the addition of anti-worker Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the right-wing-dominated Supreme Court will help the rich tighten their stranglehold on working people.

 

Donald Trump nominated Barrett to weaponize the nation's most important court against ordinary Americans. Her confirmation would give the court's right-wingers a 6-3 majority. And because she refuses to adhere to precedent, Barrett could provide a crucial vote on cases potentially overturning organizing rights, rolling back labor protections and dealing other setbacks to workers.

 

"Having her on there is definitely not going to do any favors for labor, that's for sure," observed Haynes, a member of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 6787 who works at ArcelorMittal's Burns Harbor, Indiana, site.


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


#153
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As I previously said, if SCOTUS is going to overreach, it's going to make itself very ripe for a court-packing ... and rightfully so!



#154
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The founding fathers really screwed the pooch. I can't think of another country where judges are such an issue which is only the way as the founders made it so difficult to pass laws and amend the constitution.

 

I think philosophically I'm more inclined to agree with Coney Barrett (Legally not otherwise) that judges should interpret laws as written rather than follow the spirit of the law and inject their own personal beliefs into rulings. Someone can be completely liberal politically but still have the same judicial philosophy as a Scalia.

 

If America had a simpler way of passing laws i.e. no senate or a filibuster I don't think Coney Barrett would be such an issue as made out. End of the day she won't ban abortion she'll just say it's up for politicians to decide whether it should be legal or not and they can benefit or suffer from the decisions that are made with regards to this.

 

I'm quite uneasy with legislating through the backdoor sure you get what you want i.e. abortion rights but it's made it such a toxic issue vs had congress just approved it to begin with that it acts as a great recruiting cause for the GOP. Long story short if it was easier to pass legislation I wouldn't mind a Scalia type.


"The future will be better tomorrow.  If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure.   For NASA, space is still a high priority. The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. No, not our nation's, but in World War II. I mean, we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century, but in this century's history. Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child. We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world."  Dan Quayle

 


#155
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@lechwall: Do you believe that laws should be interpreted according to original intent or according to original public meaning? Because there's a difference between these two modes of interpretation.

 

As for Scalia, he was also sometimes willing to inject his own personal views into his rulings--for instance, in Bush v. Gore, where he supported the per curiam opinion that extended 1960s voting rights precedents to recounts even though he likely believed that these precedents were wrongly decided.



#156
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But Yeah, the Framers certainly made it WAY too difficult to amend the US Constitution through formal means, which left informal amendment of the US Constitution through judicial opinions as being the only realistic way to achieve a lot of US constitutional changes.



#157
lechwall

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@Futurist

 

Generally I think it should be the intent of those who wrote the laws. The founding fathers never had any intention of their being a right to an abortion I think that much is clear. The way the court decision was arrived at was extremely specious reasoning and I do have a lot of sympathy for conservatives on the point. Whether abortion should be legal or not is an issue for the legislature not the courts. A lot liberals are blindsided by how anti-democratic this really is if it rules in their favour you shouldn't have judges

effectively writing laws as it what happened with Roe v Wade.

 

America really needs a new constitutional convention but that looks very unlikely to happen any time soon.


"The future will be better tomorrow.  If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure.   For NASA, space is still a high priority. The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. No, not our nation's, but in World War II. I mean, we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century, but in this century's history. Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child. We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world."  Dan Quayle

 


#158
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So, you think that Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia should have been decided differently if you would have concluded that the people who wrote and/or ratified the 14th Amendment didn't actually intend to create a right to desegregated schooling and to interracial marriage? Rather, these issues should have been for the legislatures to decide?



#159
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As a side note, FWIW, I don't actually view your position as being illegitimate; rather, it certainly has value and legitimacy on separation-of-powers grounds.



#160
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So, you think that Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia should have been decided differently if you would have concluded that the people who wrote and/or ratified the 14th Amendment didn't actually intend to create a right to desegregated schooling and to interracial marriage? Rather, these issues should have been for the legislatures to decide?

 

There's definitely more a basis for for saying that those violated the 14th amendment i.e. the equal protection clause I'm OK with those laws being struck down as there's a clear constitutional conflict there. I think Roe v Wade is a lot more of a stretch.


"The future will be better tomorrow.  If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure.   For NASA, space is still a high priority. The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. No, not our nation's, but in World War II. I mean, we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century, but in this century's history. Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child. We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world."  Dan Quayle

 





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