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Death of Justice Scalia
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It appears that Mitch was foresighted or just lucky. It seems this gamble paid off and paid off big. The Reps will indeed get to nominate the next Scotus
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well......Trump will. No clue who he'll tap though.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in May, he announced a list of judges he would nominate to the SC.

Of course, who knows what he might actually do?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It appears that a front-runner has emerged.

Quote:
Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, a highly regarded conservative jurist best known for upholding religious liberty rights in the legal battles over Obamacare, has emerged as a leading contender for President Trump's first Supreme Court nomination.

Gorsuch, 49, was among 21 potential high court candidates circulated by Trump's team during the campaign, but his stock has been rising lately as several admirers and supporters have been named to positions in the Trump administration.

He currently serves on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. A former clerk for Justice Byron White, also a Colorado native, and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, he served in the George W. Bush administration's Justice Department.

In Gorsuch, supporters see a jurist who has strong academic credentials, a gift for clear writing and a devotion to deciding cases based on the original meaning of the Constitution and the text of statutes, as did the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Just as importantly, Gorsuch is seen as someone who might be more easily confirmed in the Senate. Unlike other appointees of President George W. Bush, Gorsuch won an easy Senate confirmation on a voice vote in 2006.

"He is very bright, well-respected and quite personable," said John Malcolm, a lawyer at the Heritage Foundation. "And there's no question he would not be as contentious as some others."

Until recently, the two top contenders for the first Supreme Court nomination by Trump were believed to be Judge William H. Pryor Jr. of Alabama, who serves on the U.S. 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta, and Judge Diane Sykes of Wisconsin, who serves on the U.S. 7th Circuit Court in Chicago. Trump mentioned them in a Republican debate after Scalia died.

Pryor appeared to have an edge because he is a protege of Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump's choice for U.S. attorney general. Pryor has been an outspoken critic of abortion rights and gay rights, which won him admirers on the right, but also made him a target for liberals and Democrats. He once described the Roe vs. Wade decision as "the worst abomination in the history of constitutional law."

While attacks from liberals would be expected, Pryor has also drawn criticism from some activists on the right. In 2011, he signed on to an 11th Circuit opinion by liberal Judge Rosemary Barkett upholding a sex-discrimination complaint filed by a transgender state employee in Georgia. The worker was hired as a man but was fired after returning as a woman. In a 3-0 decision in Glenn vs. Brumby, the 11th Circuit concluded it is unconstitutional "sex-based discrimination" to fire a state employee "because of his or her gender nonconformity."

Leonard Leo, an executive vice president of the Federalist Society and an advisor to the Trump team, said in a broadcast interview that Pryor was following legal precedents. But the decision has been cited by some on the right as grounds for opposing him.

Perhaps as a result, several other prominent conservative judges like Gorsuch are getting more attention.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that Democrats would fight hard to stop court nominees who were not "bipartisan and mainstream."

*************

His best-known opinions grew out of the dispute over the Obama administration's regulation requiring employers to provide female mployees with the full range of contraceptives as part of their health insurance.

Catholic groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor and the evangelical Christian family who owned the Hobby Lobby craft stores sued and sought a religious exemption from paying for contraceptives that they said could "destroy a fertilized human egg."

Both cases ended up in the 10th Circuit, and Gorsuch voiced support for the religious claimants.

"All of us face the problem of complicity," he wrote in the Hobby Lobby case. And government should not force people with "sincerely held religious beliefs" to be complicit in "conduct their religion teaches them to be gravely wrong." The Supreme Court reached the same decision by a 5-4 vote in 2014.

Shortly before he became a judge, Gorsuch wrote a book for Princeton University Press, "The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia," which reviewed the history and the legal arguments for and against permitting people to have help in ending their lives. He concluded arguing for "retaining the laws banning assisted suicide and euthanasia...based on the idea that all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong."

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It appears that a front-runner has emerged.

Quote:
Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, a highly regarded conservative jurist best known for upholding religious liberty rights in the legal battles over Obamacare, has emerged as a leading contender for President Trump's first Supreme Court nomination.

Gorsuch, 49, was among 21 potential high court candidates circulated by Trump's team during the campaign, but his stock has been rising lately as several admirers and supporters have been named to positions in the Trump administration.

He currently serves on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. A former clerk for Justice Byron White, also a Colorado native, and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, he served in the George W. Bush administration's Justice Department.

In Gorsuch, supporters see a jurist who has strong academic credentials, a gift for clear writing and a devotion to deciding cases based on the original meaning of the Constitution and the text of statutes, as did the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Just as importantly, Gorsuch is seen as someone who might be more easily confirmed in the Senate. Unlike other appointees of President George W. Bush, Gorsuch won an easy Senate confirmation on a voice vote in 2006.

"He is very bright, well-respected and quite personable," said John Malcolm, a lawyer at the Heritage Foundation. "And there's no question he would not be as contentious as some others."

Until recently, the two top contenders for the first Supreme Court nomination by Trump were believed to be Judge William H. Pryor Jr. of Alabama, who serves on the U.S. 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta, and Judge Diane Sykes of Wisconsin, who serves on the U.S. 7th Circuit Court in Chicago. Trump mentioned them in a Republican debate after Scalia died.

Pryor appeared to have an edge because he is a protege of Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump's choice for U.S. attorney general. Pryor has been an outspoken critic of abortion rights and gay rights, which won him admirers on the right, but also made him a target for liberals and Democrats. He once described the Roe vs. Wade decision as "the worst abomination in the history of constitutional law."

While attacks from liberals would be expected, Pryor has also drawn criticism from some activists on the right. In 2011, he signed on to an 11th Circuit opinion by liberal Judge Rosemary Barkett upholding a sex-discrimination complaint filed by a transgender state employee in Georgia. The worker was hired as a man but was fired after returning as a woman. In a 3-0 decision in Glenn vs. Brumby, the 11th Circuit concluded it is unconstitutional "sex-based discrimination" to fire a state employee "because of his or her gender nonconformity."

Leonard Leo, an executive vice president of the Federalist Society and an advisor to the Trump team, said in a broadcast interview that Pryor was following legal precedents. But the decision has been cited by some on the right as grounds for opposing him.

Perhaps as a result, several other prominent conservative judges like Gorsuch are getting more attention.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that Democrats would fight hard to stop court nominees who were not "bipartisan and mainstream."

*************

His best-known opinions grew out of the dispute over the Obama administration's regulation requiring employers to provide female mployees with the full range of contraceptives as part of their health insurance.

Catholic groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor and the evangelical Christian family who owned the Hobby Lobby craft stores sued and sought a religious exemption from paying for contraceptives that they said could "destroy a fertilized human egg."

Both cases ended up in the 10th Circuit, and Gorsuch voiced support for the religious claimants.

"All of us face the problem of complicity," he wrote in the Hobby Lobby case. And government should not force people with "sincerely held religious beliefs" to be complicit in "conduct their religion teaches them to be gravely wrong." The Supreme Court reached the same decision by a 5-4 vote in 2014.

Shortly before he became a judge, Gorsuch wrote a book for Princeton University Press, "The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia," which reviewed the history and the legal arguments for and against permitting people to have help in ending their lives. He concluded arguing for "retaining the laws banning assisted suicide and euthanasia...based on the idea that all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong."


The real problem is going to be his reasoning in the Little Sisters/Hobby Lobby decisions: the claim that government should not force people with sincerely held religious beliefs to be complicit in conduct their religion teaches them to be gravely wrong could be used as an argument to weaken--or even repeal--Roe v Wade. The fact that abortions are legal could be construed as the government making everyone complicit in the practice of that medical procedure. That is a stretch, to be sure, but with a little polishing a smart lawyer could present a solid case before the Supreme Court.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trump will announce his nominee for the Supreme Court this evening; Democrats are vowing to block the confirmation via filibuster even though Reid bent the rules of the nuclear option, a move which now weakens the Democrats' ability to block a nominee. I suspect he will go with Gorsuch.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:

The real problem is going to be his reasoning in the Little Sisters/Hobby Lobby decisions: the claim that government should not force people with sincerely held religious beliefs to be complicit in conduct their religion teaches them to be gravely wrong could be used as an argument to weaken--or even repeal--Roe v Wade. The fact that abortions are legal could be construed as the government making everyone complicit in the practice of that medical procedure. That is a stretch, to be sure, but with a little polishing a smart lawyer could present a solid case before the Supreme Court.


It's more than a stretch, it makes no sense. Just because an act is legal doesn't mean I'm complicit in it.

Roe v Wade has a much more glaring weakness (from Wikipedia):

Quote:

Rehnquist elaborated on several of White's points, asserting that the Court's historical analysis was flawed:

To reach its result, the Court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment.


The idea that an imaginary "right to privacy" somehow entitles a woman to have an abortion is ludicrous. You don't even hear abortion advocates themselves use this language. There are no "pro-privacy" advocates, only "pro-choice" advocates. They are very public in their support of this allegedly private choice.

But even if there were a right to privacy in the Constitution (there isn't), how would that guarantee the right to abortion? Making abortion illegal wouldn't suddenly make a woman's choice public, it would simply remove that choice from the very public arena where we have this debate!

Why doesn't the right to privacy give me a Constitutional right to put whatever drugs I want into my body? Why doesn't it give me a Constitutional right to have sex with a hooker? Why doesn't it give some creeps the Constitutional right to look at child porn in the privacy of their own homes?

Just because you do something in private doesn't mean you have an absolute right to do it. The government violates our privacy on a host of issues. Why is this one different?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Just because you do something in private doesn't mean you have an absolute right to do it. The government violates our privacy on a host of issues. Why is this one different?


The answer is simple--for some women the choice of "I can just get an abortion" absolves her of the responsibility of making sure the male wears a condom, she takes birth control pills, she uses any of a dozen other forms of birth control options (spermicidal foams, diaphragms, etc), or she makes certain that he has gotten a vasectomy. I know most people default back to "but rape and incest" but I am talking about the ones who were simply careless at that fraternity party a couple of weeks ago or the ones who were on some chemical substance and had no self-control.

I do wonder how many pro-choice people have actually had abortions. Do some pro-choice people take their children to these protests? How do they answer their child's obvious questions such as "why don't you like babies"? (this seems like a question a child would ask) Do pro-choice people realize that their parents chose not to abort?

Anyway...people think Gorsuch is going to help repeal Roe v Wade but that isn't going to happen. Poor Democrats in the Senate, though--some of them voted to confirm Gorsuch when he was appointed to his current bench so they are going to have a difficult time arguing against him now.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never thought Roe v Wade would be overturned, but in the age of Trump, I could see anything happening.

I wish it would happen. I wish it would be turned over to the states and people realize that it's not the sky-is-falling doomsday they imagine. Abortion would still be legal in most (if not all) states, I imagine. There might be greater restrictions, in southern states, but women would not have to resort to coat hangers. People would realize once and for all that this was fear-mongering to keep Reps from getting elected, nothing more. Abortion will never go away, even if RvW was overturned. It may have been necessary in the 1970s, but not in the 2010s.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do–back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new number one Liberal concern: Justice Ginsberg's health.

According to the story, though, some of them thought she was selfish for not stepping down during Obama's second term so that he could appoint someone equally liberal in her place.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gorsuch's confirmation hearings have begun. Any bets on how long it will take before the Senate confirms in despite the Democrats arguing against him? I say a month.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, this is going to be awkward: Supreme Court rules 8 - 0 against a school district for violating the Disabilities Education Act...overturning a ruling handed down by Gorsuch in that case when he ruled on it.

Gorsuch's confirmation vote is scheduled for 3 April.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right now, it appears as if Gorsuch has 55 voted locked in favor of confirmation, which is just shy of the 60 normally required for the vote to succeed. If that happens, it is highly likely that McConnell will move for the "nuclear option" to force a cloture vote, which would allow them to confirm with only a simple majority. The nuclear option has already happened back in 2013 when the Democrats did it, a move they are probably regretting right about now.

Anyway, confirmation could happen today if 5 more swing votes go in Gorsuch's favor; if not, then the rules changes will push the vote to Friday.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Dems are fools to give up the filibuster power over this SCOTUS nominee. Gorsuch will be confirmed one way or another. From what I hear, he's a qualified nominee and the Reps could do much worse. As McConnell said, the Dems would filibuster Ruth Bader Ginsberg right now if Trump had nominated her. This has nothing to do with the nominee's credentials, but instead just a petulant temper tantrum over the fact that the Reps wouldn't give their nominee a vote. The Dems are just shooting themselves in the foot, weakening their own power--and the power of any minority party in the Senate--by forcing the Reps' hands on this issue.

Man, the Reps suck, but GOD I can't stand the Dems. All that talk about bipartisanship and "party of no" was only relevant when they were the majority.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This whole thing has been a shit show. The Dems have been foolish for years with their politicizing of the Court. The GOP has been downright stupid in continually seating moderate justices (Kennedy, Souter, Stevens, Roberts), while Dems have seated hyper-partisan jurists (in the case of Breyer and Ginsburg), or hacks (in the case of Sotomayor and Kagan).

Kagan and Sotomayor were both confirmed, even though neither of them were distinguished jurists, and neither were anywhere close to "moderate". Say what you want about McConnell refusing to give a hearing to a replacement for Scalia, even Joe Biden agrees that an outgoing POTUS ought to wait for the incoming one if there's an opening in the Court.

Elections have consequences, and Trump won the election - and did so having published a list of names of jurists that he'd consider for the open SCOTUS position. The people spoke, and Trump's nominee (especially one as clearly qualified as this one) should have sailed through the confirmation process.

But the hubris of the Dems wouldn't allow that to happen. So they took the unprecedented step of staging a partisan filibuster against Gorsuch, knowing full well that Harry Reid had taken the shortsighted step of stripping the 60-vote threshold for confirmation of Cabinet positions and all other federal judges.

What the hell did they think the Republican majority was going to do? They, of course, used the Reid Option and made it a straight-up majority vote.

And it's only a matter of time until the Reid Option is used again when it comes to legislation.

So when the minority party loses all say in the Senate, you can thank Harry Reid and Charles Schumer, who put party politics over the good of the country.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gorsuch has been confirmed.. debate over..
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cail wrote:
What the hell did they think the Republican majority was going to do? They, of course, used the Reid Option and made it a straight-up majority vote.

And it's only a matter of time until the Reid Option is used again when it comes to legislation.

So when the minority party loses all say in the Senate, you can thank Harry Reid and Charles Schumer, who put party politics over the good of the country.


Can we officially rename "the nuclear option" as "the Reid Option" in honor of Senator Reid? That single act will be his entire political legacy, after all.

Many liberals are extremely concerned about Justice Ginsberg's health. The level-headed ones hope she lives long enough to outlast a one-term Trump while the fringe ones are actually mad at her for not stepping down during Obama's second term so that a younger Justice could be appointed.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This absolutely lands at Reid's, and to a somewhat lesser extent Schumer's, feet. Reid broke the Senate, and Schumer has gleefully set the ruins on fire.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gorsuch's confirmation proves that the Democrats enjoying the consequences of their decision. It is only a matter of time before the Republicans face similar situations--at some point in the future they will be the minority in the Senate and I highly doubt the Democrats will avoid taking advantage of that scenario.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If we really wanted to depoliticize the selection of SC-Justices (which NEITHER side wants to do at this state, sadly), we should assign numbers to every judge on the federal circuit that Gorsuch was on, and draw the numbers as they do the Powerball. Whoever wins is then automatically assigned.

One would never know who would be chosen, and there would be no 'take backs.' As we have seen of late, being a distinguished judge is no longer really mandatory for appointment, and this way would keep the balance of power from being purposely stacked in one way or the other. (Though, I suppose, we would have to do the same for the Federal District ones too...just for consistency.)

But short of death, none of the Liberal judges are going to step down any time soon, and if we are to play the Right Fringe (to paraphrase Hashi) the current Conservative judges of age would need to step down and be replaced before the pendulum swings the Senate to the Dems again.

Not, of course, that any of this will (or should) happen. sigh...
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