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Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Since We are Cleaning House – Uncle Tommie Clarence Needs to Go as Well

The confirmation hearings on Clarence Thomas’ ascension to the Supreme Court featured what was probably the first nationwide coverage of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Uncle Tommie got a walk.

With the number of folks now losing their jobs and positions for acts like those of Thomas…Perhaps the ultimate test of whether the current flurry of sexual harassment punishments is a “fad” or something we will take seriously going forward is whether Thomas receives the same treatment. Whether he is punished or not has some rather serious implications relative to the Supreme Court’s already badly battered credibility.

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Clarence Thomas must resign

Utah Republican Orrin Hatch called “bullcrap” on Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown last week. The Senate Finance Committee lion tore into Brown for “spewing” that the Republican tax plan to transfer a trillion dollars to the rich was in reality a Republican tax plan to transfer a trillion dollars to the rich.

I got my first dose of Hatch during the wall-to-wall coverage of the confirmation of Clarence Thomas, George H.W. Bush’s Supreme Court nominee. Hatch was the Republicans’ designated questioner of Anita Hill. She was called to testify because she’d told the FBI that Thomas had sexually harassed her 10 years earlier, when he was her boss at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Education.

Sitting behind her were her mother, Erma (“who is going to be celebrating her 80th birthday”); her father, Albert; her sisters, Elreathea, Jo Ann, Coleen and Joyce; and her brother, Ray. No way she was going to lie to the committee, or to us, in front of them.

Hill testified that Thomas had repeatedly asked her out, and that she repeatedly refused. So he demeaned her. He told her someone had once “put a pubic hair” on his Coke can. He said porn star Long Dong Silver had nothing on him in the endowment department.

Hatch called her charges “contrived” and “sick.” He claimed she’d stolen them. The pubic hair, she’d taken from page 70 of “The Exorcist.” Long Dong Silver, she’d lifted from a Kansas sexual harassment case.

Hill agreed to a polygraph test, and passed. Thomas refused. He called the hearings a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.”

It was painful to watch Hatch slime Hill. Women who’d also been sexually harassed found in the hearings no reason to be less fearful of telling their stories. Nor, later, could they take comfort in how Bill Clinton’s accusers were reviled. Or Bill O’Reilly’s. Or Roger Ailes’s.

But something changed. The tipping point may have been Donald Trump bragging to Billy Bush about assaulting women. Sixteen of his victims had the courage to say he’d harassed or groped them.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump’s escape from accountability for that predation contributed to the decisions by Harvey Weinstein’s victims to talk on the record to Jodi Kantor and her New York Times colleagues and to Ronan Farrow at the New Yorker. Before long, more than 80 women attested to Weinstein’s assaults as far back as 1990.

Then nine women gave the Washington Post detailed accounts of Alabama Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore’s history of pedophilia and abuse. They knew the blowback would be brutal. They did it anyway.

Still, Moore won’t quit. Why would he? Kay Ivey, Alabama’s Republican governor, says she’ll vote for him even though she believes his accusers. Better to elect a pedophile than a Democrat who’d vote against a Supreme Court nominee who’d overturn Roe v Wade.

Now Senator Al Franken is in the crosshairs. The Minnesota Democrat offered an apology to Leann Tweeden for “completely inappropriate” behavior in 2006, which she accepted, and he asked for an ethics investigation of the incident. Calls for his resignation illustrate the fallacy of false equivalence; they’re the witch-hunt Trump claimed had victimized him.

Hill was a thoroughly credible witness. Thomas has no stronger case for his innocence than do Trump, Moore or Weinstein. Pressed to defend Trump’s sexual improprieties, his press secretary said the American people “spoke very loud and clear when they elected this president.” No to put too fine a point on it, but she’s spewing bullcrap. Elections don’t decide culpability.

In the wake of the Hill/Thomas hearings, a record-breaking 117 women made it onto the federal ticket in the 1992 election. The 24 women elected to the House that year was the largest number in any single House election, and the three elected to the Senate tripled the number of women senators.

That sharp uptick didn’t persist. If you think that today’s 80% male Congress isn’t good enough, check out Project 100, which is working to elect 100 progressive women to Congress by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. Full disclosure: my daughter is a co-founder. As her dad, and as the onetime speechwriter for the first presidential candidate to pick a woman as his running mate, you can imagine how proud of her I am. And how hopeful she and her young teammates make me feel.

 

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Is the Supreme Court “Legitimate” Anymore?

After the stunt McConnell pulled to deny President Obama a Supreme Court appointment, and the subsequent appointment of a Chumph Cartel member post election, I have little belief in the legitimacy of the Supreme Court serving wither as a defender of the Constitution or in its role as a check and balance on the other two branches of the Government.

The Supreme Court is just another hostile Chumph entity by a 5-4 margin, not unlike Jefferson Davis Sessions racist DOJ.

The Chumph led Republican government is the existential enemy of every Minority in the United States, as well as freedom respecting whites.

In my mind at least, the Chumph is illegitimate – and as such anyone he appoints or hires is illegitimate.

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In Trump’s America, is the Supreme Court still seen as legitimate?

 

On Oct. 10, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments about the constitutionality of President Donald Trump’s travel ban. The justices may rule that Trump has exceeded his constitutional authority, or they may dodge the issue entirely, saying that the travel ban’s scheduled Sept. 24 end date takes the decision out of the court’s hands.

Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, some Americans will agree and others will not. And whatever the decision, the court will expect the president to comply with its ruling. Political leaders usually follow court decisions they disagree with out of a sense of duty: They believe the Supreme Court’s decisions deserve respect because obedience to the law is an essential feature of democracy. Political scientists call this belief “legitimacy.”

Research suggests that the U.S. Supreme Court’s legitimacy is high and holds steady, even when it makes decisions the public dislikes.

Only a few Americans would want to eliminate the Supreme Court altogether. About 20 percent would endorse narrowing the scope of the court by limiting the types of cases it is able to decide. And about 32 percent felt that even if the court made unpopular decisions, we should leave it alone. The margin of error for these results was ± 4.2 percent.

The largest group of respondents – 44 percent – endorsed the idea that justices should be periodically reappointed rather than serving life terms. Reappointment procedures are already used for many state supreme courts, including those in New Jersey, South Carolina and Virginia. Women, African-Americans and Americans over 65 were especially likely to endorse periodic reappointment.

After respondents gave their answers, we asked them to explain their choices in their own words. These responses provide a richer description of how ordinary citizens think about the judicial branch of our government.

In their own words

Citizens expressed concern about the Supreme Court’s accumulation of power and were mindful of its role in the system of checks and balances. Many who supported periodic reappointment focused on the inflexibility of current justices. Many characterized sitting justices as “old-fashioned,” “out of touch” and “unable to keep up with the times.”

Many mentioned the need for “new ideas” and more “open-minded justices.” A 52-year-old independent from Missouri summed it up this way: “No one should serve for life. In anything.”

A sizable number felt that the court’s decisions should fall more closely in line with public opinion on individual cases, illustrating a longstanding debate in the U.S. about the ideal level of political independence for the judicial branch. Research on the Supreme Court appointment process suggests that periodic reappointment may satisfy these concerns. If each president is able to appoint a set number of justices, rather than waiting until there is a vacancy due to death or retirement, the court’s membership might better reflect the recent political climate.

Perhaps the most striking pattern in the answers we received is the lack of polarization. There was some modest difference – for example, Democrats were a little more likely to favor reforms of all kinds. However, supporters of reappointment and supporters of that status quo included large numbers of Republicans, Democrats and independents.

We see no evidence that Trump’s rhetoric about judiciary legitimacy has created two hostile camps with widely differing views on the court. This is consistent with recent academic research on the topic, suggesting the possibility that future public debates about judicial reforms can be multipartisan, reasoned and thoughtful.

The ConversationMost importantly, the poll’s results show that the Supreme Court is broadly supported by the American people. Even at a point in history where support for other politicalinstitutions is low, we can expect that the vast majority of Americans will respect the court’s decisions on the controversial issues it faces this term.

But is this true in the midst of our current political turmoil?

We set out to find the answer. Here’s what we found.

The Supreme Court’s broad support

We asked a representative sample of Americans about the U.S. Supreme Court’s legitimacy in a recent Penn State McCourtney Mood of the Nation Poll. Specifically, we asked citizens about what they would want to do if the Supreme Court began making many unpopular decisions.

 

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Supreme Court Rejects North Carolina Discriminatory Voting Law

0 for 4, it looks that NC Racist Republican led Legislature is out of luck… again.

Up Next is the North Carolina Racist Republican Gerrymandering of districts.

Likely up by this fall is the legality of stripping Education Funding from Democrat and minority districts.

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Supreme Court won’t review decision that found N.C. voting law discriminates against African Americans

The Supreme Court will not consider reinstating North Carolina’s 2013 voting law that a lower court ruled discriminated against African American voters, the justices said Monday.

A unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit had found in 2016 that North Carolina legislators had acted “with almost surgical precision” to blunt the influence of African American voters.

Although Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. took pains to note that the court’s decision did not reach the merits of the case, Democrats, civil rights groups and minority groups celebrated the demise of the law. It was one of numerous voting-rights changes passed by Republican-led legislatures in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision striking down a key section of the Voting Rights Act that effectively removed federal oversight of states with a history of discrimination.

“This is a huge victory for voters and a massive blow to Republicans trying to restrict access to the ballot, especially in communities of color,” said Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez.

The appeals court did not allow the law to be used in the 2016 election, and voters replaced Republican governor Pat McCrory with Democrat Roy Cooper.

Cooper and the state’s new Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein told the Supreme Court they did not want to appeal the lower court’s decision that the law violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.

“We need to be making it easier to vote, not harder — and the court found this law sought to discriminate against African-American voters with ‘surgical precision,’ ” Cooper said in a statement after the Supreme Court acted. “I will continue to work to protect the right of every legal, registered North Carolinian to participate in our democratic process.

As is its custom, the justices did not give a reason for declining to review the lower court’s decision. But in an accompanying statement, Roberts noted the particular circumstances of the appeal, in which the Republican legislative leadership attempted to continue the appeal and the Democratic governor and attorney general sought to abandon it.

“Given the blizzard of filings over who is and who is not authorized to seek review in this court under North Carolina law, it is important to recall our frequent admonition that ‘the denial of a writ of certiorari imports no expression of opinion upon the merits of the case,’” Roberts wrote.

Last summer Roberts and the court’s other conservatives — Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. — said they would have allowed the law to be used in the 2016 elections while the appeals continued.

But they were unable to find a necessary fifth vote from one of the court’s four liberals.

The battle against the law, considered one of the nation’s most far-reaching, consumed years of litigation by the Obama administration and a wide coalition of civil rights organizations.

“An ugly chapter in voter suppression is finally closing,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project.

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“Today we experience a victory for justice that is unimaginably important for African Americans, Latinos, all North Carolinians, and the nation” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, the lead organizational plaintiff in the case.

North Carolina legislative leaders did not immediately respond to a request for comment about what the next step may be.

The Supreme Court will soon rule on a case about whether the state’s congressional districts were racially gerrymandered, as a lower court found. And federal judges have also said the state must redraw state legislative districts for the same reason. That decision is being appealed.

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In the voting rights case, a unanimous panel of the 4th Circuit on July 29 agreed with allegations from the Justice Department and civil rights groups that North Carolina’s bill selectively chose voter-ID requirements, reduced the number of early-voting days and changed registration procedures in ways meant to harm African Americans, who overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic Party.

“The new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision” and “impose cures for problems that did not exist,” Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote for the panel. “Thus the asserted justifications cannot and do not conceal the state’s true motivation.”

 

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Why “Going Nuclear” By Senate Republicans May Be Catastropic

Republicans decided today to end the Democrat filibuster of Putin’s Bitch selection for the Supreme Court.

They just waltzed their way into a Constitutional crisis.

The Chumph is going to be impeached. The most likely reason is his collusion with Putin to submarine the election.

Ergo – Putin’s Bitch illegally “won” the election.

If (or when) that happens, everything done by Putin’s Bitch is illegitimate. It is the “Fruit of the Poisoned Tree”, meaning every executive order, law signed by the Chumph, or move made in terms of the Executive Branch gets reset to the day Obama left office.

Gorsuch’s nomination is illegitimate.

And that’s where things get really messy.

The issue being, how do you remove him?

Senate GOP goes ‘nuclear’ on Supreme Court filibuster

The historic move paves the way for Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed.

Senate Republicans invoked the “nuclear option” to gut the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees Thursday, a historic move that paves the way for Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and ensures that future high court nominees can advance in the Senate without clearing a 60-vote threshold.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to change the Senate rules after Democrats blocked Gorsuch’s nomination minutes before, 55-45. All 52 Republicans then supported the vote to go nuclear, and Gorsuch subsequently advanced to a final confirmation vote with a simple majority.

 

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The Senate May Go Nuclear Over Supreme Court Pick

Despite several defections, Democrats have enough votes to filibuster the confirmation of the Chumph’s pick to replace Scalia, Neil Gorsuch.

Republicans created this mess by refusing to vote on Obama’s pick, Garland Merrick for nearly a year.

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Democrats Have The Votes To Filibuster Neil Gorsuch

Republicans will have to blow up Senate rules to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. It’s getting ugly.

Democrats have locked in the votes to block Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, meaning Republicans will have to take the extreme step of blowing up Senate rules to confirm him.

Democratic lawmakers have been vowing for weeks to deny a vote to President Donald Trump’s court pick, and have been inching closer to the 41 members they need to filibuster him. They hit the magic number on Monday when Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) announced he will join the blockade.

“I will be voting against cloture,” Coons said, using technical terms to mean he will join the Democratic filibuster, “unless we are able, as a body, to finally sit down and find a way to … ensure the process to fill the next vacancy on the court is not a narrowly partisan process.”

The news means Republicans have a choice: cave to Democrats’ demands that Trump put forward a different nominee (highly unlikely) or unilaterally change the rules so they can confirm Gorsuch without Democrats (likely). It currently takes 60 votes to advance a Supreme Court nominee. Republicans appear ready to use a procedural maneuver to lower that threshold to 51 votes.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2017 in Second American Revolution

 

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Supreme Court – Jury Racial Bias Affects Ability To Receive Fair Trial

The 8 member court seems to be working far better than the 5-4 conservative thugs in robes court. 5 of the 8 rendered this decision. Of course Uncle Tommie Clarence sided with defending his Massa’s racism.

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Uncle Tommie Clarence’s Definition of a Fair Jury for a Black Suspect

Racial bias in the jury room can violate a defendant’s right to a fair trial, Supreme Court says

Racial comments made during jury deliberations may violate a defendant’s right to a fair trail and require review of a resulting guilty verdict, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The court’s decision came in the case of Coloradan Miguel Angel Peña Rodriguez, who found out after his conviction that a juror said he felt that Peña Rodriguez was guilty of sexual assault because he was Mexican, and “Mexican men take whatever they want.”

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joined the court’s liberals in a 5-to-3 decision that said racially biased comments in the jury room may violate the constitutional guarantee of a fair trial and require examining the usual secrecy that surrounds jury deliberations.

Protecting against bias in the jury room is necessary “to ensure that our legal system remains capable of coming ever closer to the promise of equal treatment under the law that is so central to a functioning democracy,” Kennedy wrote. He was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Peña Rodriguez was challenging federal rules and those employed in Colorado and elsewhere that forbid challenging statements made during jury deliberations.

He was convicted of groping two teenage girls in a bathroom at a Colorado track where he worked in 2007. He denied it and said it was a case of mistaken identity. The jury acquitted him of a felony charge and convicted him of misdemeanors.

After the verdict, two jurors told defense attorneys that another juror, identified in court papers as H.C., had made the comments about Mexicans and said that as a former law enforcement officer, he had seen numerous similar cases.

Peña Rodriguez’s lawyers wanted the judge to investigate the comments to decide whether they deprived their client of a fair trial. But the judge said he was barred from conducting such a review, and his decision was upheld by a 4-to-3 vote of the Colorado Supreme Court.

Colorado Solicitor General Frederick R. Yarger told the justices during oral arguments that the alleged comments from the juror were “no doubt reprehensible.” But he added that the “citizen jury system requires safeguards to ensure full and fair debate in the jury room and prevent harassment and tampering after verdicts are handed down.”

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented.

They said even comments such as those in the Peña Rodriguez case did not justify such a change.

 

 

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President Obama – Appoint a Replacement Supreme Court Justice…NOW!

It is perfectly legal for President Obama to appoint Merrick Garland as the next Supreme Court Justice, because the Senate has refused to give Garland a hearing.

STREISAND TO OBAMA: APPOINT SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOW

Singer leads stealth campaign to thwart Trump

Barbra Streisand and President Obama

Singer Barbra Streisand, a major Hillary Clinton supporter and one of Hollywood’s most outspoken leftist activists, is calling on President Obama to bypass Congress and unilaterally appoint his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Senate declined to hold hearings or votes on Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination as part of its broad “advice and consent” power. Obama nominated Garland in March to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Now that Donald Trump has won the election and is set to nominate a judge, Streisand has circulated a petition urging Obama to quickly appoint Garland to the court before Trump can be sworn in as president.

“If you are concerned about the Supreme Court, please consider going to this website and signing a petition asking President Obama to appoint Merrick Garland,” Streisand wrote in a note to her supporters. “According to The Washington Post, he has the power to do this since Congress has refused to vote, and apparently that can be considered a waiver of its rights to advise and consent. If there are 100,000 signatures, the White House must give this its consideration.”

Streisand was referencing a Washington Post column by Gregory L. Diskant published in April. It was headlined, “Obama can appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court if the Senate does nothing.”

The Appointments Clause of the Constitution states that the president “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint … Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States.”

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Diskant claims the Appointments Clause actually grants two powers to the president: the power to “nominate” and the power to “appoint.” While the president must clearly seek the “Advice and Consent of the Senate,” Diskant argues, by deciding not to act and hold hearings or votes, the Senate has waived its right of advice and consent.

Somehow, Diskant claims, the Senate’s failure to act on the nomination allows the president to unilaterally appoint an individual to the court.

At the time of this report, Streisand’s petition had 107,464 signatures – more than the 100,000 required to get a response from the White House.

On several occasions, Democrats have filibustered and blocked judicial nominations made by Republican presidents. For example, in 1987, when Joe Biden served as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he fought to stop confirmation of Ronald Reagan Supreme Court nominee Judge Robert Bork. Biden explained, “The framers clearly intended the Senate to serve as a check on the president and guarantee the independence of the judiciary. The Senate has an undisputed right to consider judicial philosophy.”

In August, Streisand told Australian journalist Michael Usher she would leave America if Trump won his race for the White House.

“He has no facts. I don’t know, I can’t believe it. I’m either coming to your country, if you’ll let me in, or Canada,” she said.

It remains unclear whether she will actually honor her promise to leave.

 

 
 

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