The U.S. Supreme Court began the day with 19 argued cases yet to be decided. This included two of the most highly anticipated cases of this term involving political gerrymandering, Gil v. Whitford (Wisconsin) and Benisek v. Lamone (Maryland).
Today the U.S. Supreme Court disappointed everyone by punting on these two cases. It was an anticlimactic end to these gerrymandering cases, which are likely to return in the future with additional cases moving through the appellate courts pipeline.
In Gil v. Whitford (.pdf) Chief Justice Roberts held that “The plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate Article III standing.”
The right to vote is “individual and personal in nature,” Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U. S. 533, 561, and “voters who allege facts showing disad- vantage to themselves as individuals have standing to sue” to remedy that disadvantage, Baker, 369 U. S., at 206. The plaintiffs here al- leged that they suffered such injury from partisan gerrymandering, which works through the “cracking” and “packing” of voters. To the extent that the plaintiffs’ alleged harm is the dilution of their votes, that injury is district specific. An individual voter in Wisconsin is placed in a single district. He votes for a single representative. The boundaries of the district, and the composition of its voters, deter- mine whether and to what extent a particular voter is packed or cracked. A plaintiff who complains of gerrymandering, but who does not live in a gerrymandered district, “assert[s] only a generalized grievance against governmental conduct of which he or she does not approve.” United States v. Hays, 515 U. S. 737, 745.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Constitution, Courts, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, Party Politics, Redistricting
Tagged discrimination, First Amendment, gerrymandering, voter disenfranchisement, voting rights
Permanent musical accompaniment: I Fought The Law (And The Law Won), by the Bobby Fuller Four (1966).
The Special Counsel and U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sent President Trump a clear message today: tamper with witnesses, and you will be going to jail; you can share a cell with your former campaign manager. Paul Manafort ordered to jail after witness-tampering charges:
A federal judge ordered Paul Manafort to jail Friday over charges he tampered with witnesses while out on bail — a major blow for President Trump’s former campaign chairman as he awaits trial on federal conspiracy and money-laundering charges next month.
“You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Manafort. “The government motion will be granted, and the defendant will be detained.”
The judge said sending Manafort to a cell was “an extraordinarily difficult decision” but said his conduct — allegedly contacting witnesses in the case in an effort to get them to lie to investigators — left her little choice.
“This is not middle school. I can’t take away his cellphone,” she said. “If I tell him not to call 56 witnesses, will he call the 57th?” She said she should not have to draft a court order spelling out the entire criminal code for him to avoid violations.
“This hearing is not about politics. It is not about the conduct of the office of special counsel. It is about the defendant’s conduct,” Jackson said. “I’m concerned you seem to treat these proceedings as another marketing exercise.”
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Justice, Law Enforcement, President, Russian Affair, Scandals, War
Tagged Cyber Crime, Cyber War, obstruction of justice, Special Counsel, suborning perjury, witness tampering
The long-anticipated Department of Justice Inspector General Report, “A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election,” was released today. DOJ OIG Press Release (.pdf), and Full Report (download).
The New York Times reports, Comey Cited as ‘Insubordinate,’ but Report Finds No Bias in F.B.I. Decision to Clear Clinton:
The former F.B.I. director James B. Comey was “insubordinate” in his handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, a critical Justice Department report concluded on Thursday.
But the report, by the department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, does not challenge the decision not to prosecute Mrs. Clinton. Nor does it conclude that political bias at the F.B.I. influenced that decision, the officials said.
“We found no evidence that the conclusions by department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations,” the report said. “Rather, we concluded that they were based on the prosecutor’s assessment of facts, the law, and past department practice.”
The report has been highly anticipated in Washington, not least by President Trump, who has argued that a secret coterie of F.B.I. agents rigged the investigation to help Mrs. Clinton win the presidency. The findings cite no evidence to support that [conspiracy] theory.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Conspiracy Theory, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Media, Party Politics, Russian Affair, Scandals, War
Tagged Attorney General, Cyber Crime, Cyber War, FBI, Inspector General, propaganda, Russia, Special Counsel