Tag Archives: supreme court

(Update) SCOTUS fight is not about qualifications, it is about an illegitimate nomination process

Following up on the previous post, SCOTUS fight is not about qualifications, it is about an illegitimate nomination process, E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post today adds, It’s time to make Republicans pay for their supreme hypocrisy:

You want bipartisanship on Supreme Court nominations? Let’s have a consensus moment around Sen. Ted Cruz’s idea that having only eight Supreme Court justices is just fine.

“There is certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices,” the Texas Republican said last year when GOP senators were refusing even to give a hearing to Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee.

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If that argument was good in 2016, why isn’t it valid in 2017? After all, some Republicans were willing to keep the seat vacant indefinitely if Hillary Clinton won the presidential election. “I would much rather have eight Supreme Court justices than a justice who is liberal,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in October:

At a debate on October 10th, Senator John McCain, of Arizona, said flatly, “I would much rather have eight Supreme Court Justices than a [ninth] Justice who is liberal.” A week later, in a radio interview, he made that a “promise,” telling listeners that “we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were President, would put up.”

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) went further: “If Hillary Clinton becomes president, I am going to do everything I can do to make sure four years from now, we still got an opening on the Supreme Court.”

Yes, Republicans do have a principle on nominations: When the Supreme Court’s philosophical majority might flip, only Republican presidents should be allowed to appoint justices.

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SCOTUS fight is not about qualifications, it is about an illegitimate nomination process

In an embarrassing display of his reality TV show showmanship, President Trump announced his nomination of Appellate Court Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court in prime time last night.

Trump invited Judge Neil Gorsuch from Denver and Judge Thomas Hardiman from Pittsburgh to Washington, but only one would receive his rose. Trump in Peak Reality-TV Form for Supreme Court Reveal; Trump brings reality TV instincts to White House; Jimmy Kimmel gawks at Trump’s reality TV Supreme Court nomination, does him one better:

“That’s right, he freaking Ryan Seacrest-ed his choice for the Supreme Court,” Kimmel said. “This is like a two-on-one date on The Bachelor.”

“Was that a surprise?” Trump asked. “Was it?” “Well, yeah, you know who it was a surprise for?” Kimmel said. “The guy who drove all the way out from Pittsburgh to not get picked as Supreme Court judge.”

Regardless of what you may think of Judge Neil Gorsuch and Judge Thomas Hardiman, they were entitled to be treated with more dignity and respect than the has-been celebrities on Trump’s reality TV show The Apprentice.

The New York Times editorializes today, Neil Gorsuch, the Nominee for a Stolen Seat:

It’s been almost a year since Senate Republicans took an empty Supreme Court seat hostage, discarding a constitutional duty that both parties have honored throughout American history and hobbling an entire branch of government for partisan gain.

President Trump had a great opportunity to repair some of that damage by nominating a moderate candidate for the vacancy, which was created when Justice Antonin Scalia died last February. Instead, he chose Neil Gorsuch, a very conservative judge from the federal Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit whose jurisprudence and writing style are often compared to those of Justice Scalia.

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In normal times, Judge Gorsuch — a widely respected and, at 49, relatively young judge with a reliably conservative voting record — would be an obvious choice for a Republican president.

These are not normal times.

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The battle over a stolen SCOTUS seat begins today

Today’s the day: Donald Trump Supreme Court choice announcement coming Tuesday 8 p.m. ET.

Paul Waldman at the Washington Post reports:

Burgess Everett (Politico) reports that Democrats look like they’re ready to pull the trigger on a filibuster of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee:

Senate Democrats are going to try to bring down President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick no matter who the president chooses to fill the current vacancy.

With Trump prepared to announce his nominee on Tuesday evening, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in an interview on Monday morning that he will filibuster any pick that is not Merrick Garland and that the vast majority of his caucus will oppose Trump’s nomination. That means Trump’s nominee will need 60 votes to be confirmed by the Senate.

“This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” Merkley said in an interview. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”

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John McCain threatens to trigger a constitutional crisis over the U.S. Supreme Court

Seven current Republican senators voted in 1997 to confirm Merrick Garland, a former Justice Department attorney who coordinated the prosecution in the Oklahoma City bombing case and was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals: Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, Sen. Dan Coats ofIndiana, Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Garland was confirmed by a 76–23 vote. All of the 23 “no” votes came from Republicans, and all were based “on whether there was even a need for an eleventh seat” on the D.C. Circuit (with a Democratic president in the White House), not Garland’s qualifications.

When President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced an unprecedented judicial “blockade” to obstruct the president’s nominee: there would be no confirmation hearings for President Obama’s nominee during the remainder of his term. “Give the people a choice in filling this vacancy,” he said. “The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next president nominates, whoever that may be.”

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court gather for a group portrait in the East Conference Room at the Supreme Court Building in Washington, October 8, 2010. Seated from left to right in front row are: Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Standing from left to right in back row are: Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr., and Associate Justice Elena Kagan.      REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW) - RTXT6Z5

“This issue is not about any single nominee — it’s about the integrity of the Court,” McCain wrote in a statement. “With less than a year left in a lame-duck presidency and the long-term ideological balance of the Supreme Court at stake, I believe the American people must have a voice in the direction of the Supreme Court by electing a new president.”

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Legal abortion is so “safe” in some places that women are resorting to DIY ones

Crossposted at DemocraticDiva.com

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Friday’s Supreme Court announcement was understandably eclipsed by the events in Paris but we pro-choice folks paid close attention to it. The court has agreed to hear a challenge to a passel of abortion restrictions passed in Texas in 2013 under the guise of “safety”. The Texas laws, which led to several clinic closures as intended, were the result of anti-choicers taking advantage of past court decisions allowing states broad latitude in regulating abortion prior to viability so long as their stated reason was to protect the health of women and that it did not place an “undue burden” on a woman seeking an abortion. Arizona, being a red state run by raving misogynists, has passed similar laws, modeled on national templates.

If you think that solid scientific evidence should be required before forcing women (many of whom will have to drive long distances) to wait 24-72 hours before getting an abortion, or for claiming that abortion will increase her chances of breast cancer and depression, or for requiring clinics to be fully ambulatory surgical centers and doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals before one of the simplest surgical or medication procedures available can be done, then you don’t know anti-choice judges. The famously right wing 5th Circuit, which upheld the Texas law that will be decided by SCOTUS, found such considerations to be irrelevant: Continue reading

Center for Arizona Policy ignores the biggest threat to “moms and dads” in denouncing same sex marriage ruling.

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com

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The Supreme Court voted to legalize marriage equality in the entire United States and the God-botherers at the Center for Arizona Policy reacted with the all the subtlety you would expect.

Historically Tragic: Supreme Court says moms and dads are unnecessary
Friday, June 26, 2015
Statement from Center for Arizona Policy Vice President of Policy and General Counsel, Josh Kredit

PHOENIX – “Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision is historically tragic. The High Court has disregarded the democratic process by stripping all Americans of their ability to debate and decide marriage policy.

What’s more, by throwing out the time-tested definition of marriage as only the union of one man and one woman, the Court has said that children don’t deserve the best opportunity to be raised by their mom and dad.

This isn’t the first time the Supreme Court has overstepped its role, and just like before, this will not be the final word on this issue. The U.S. Constitution is absolutely silent on the definition of marriage which makes it all the more egregious for five justices to brush aside the votes of tens of millions of voters throughout the country.

The U.S. Supreme Court can never change the fundamental truth that the lifelong union of one man and one woman is at the foundation of a strong state and nation. Center for Arizona Policy is committed to seeing this essential union strengthened and reaffirmed to secure a better future for generations to come.”

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