His vote is already decided…So he doesn’t need to hear the case.
His vote is already decided…So he doesn’t need to hear the case.
The biggest failure by the Democrat Party since passing the Civil Rights Act and earning the black vote was the confirmation of Clarence Thomas. In a bow to conservative racism, President George HW Bush nominated Thomas – and lost any possible confidence and ability to attract black votes for the next 40 years. Of course Republicans are whimpering at the retelling of events, because they know they stole one from the Yellowback Donkeys.
HBO’s dramatic retelling of Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment against Justice Clarence Thomas at his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1991 doesn’t debut until Saturday, butconservative critics have already come out in full force to discredit it.
Although Kerry Washington, the film’s star and executive producer, has claimed that the goal of the film is not to declare “winners and losers” in their politically and racially charged clash, supporters of Thomas have criticized the television movie as an attempt to rewrite history to serve a liberal agenda.
“Anita Hill looks good, Clarence Thomas looks bad, and the rest of us look like bumbling idiots,” former Sen. Alan Simpson recently told The Hollywood Reporter.
In a separate interview, former Sen. Jack Danforth told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that “The script that they sent me is just totally wrong. It’s a hybrid of fact and absolute make-believe.”
The most vociferous opponent of the film has been Mark Paoletta, an attorney and veteran of the George H. W. Bush White House who worked to shepherd Thomas’ nomination through the U.S. Senate. He considers the justice a “good friend.” Paoletta has been making the media rounds decrying “Confirmation” — although he has yet to see the finished film, he obtained what he believes to be a “late draft” of the screenplay — and he has even launched a website dedicated to debunking its assertions: confirmationbiased.com.
“What I’m interested in is bringing out the facts that I don’t think are represented in this movie and then people can make their own decisions and they can look at my background and draw their own conclusions,” Paoletta told MSNBC on Friday. “This movie in my view leaves out a lot of the troubling testimony that showed that Anita Hill’s story didn’t add up.”
Among the issues Paoletta has raised is what he considers the film’s lack of emphasis on alleged inconsistencies in Hill’s testimony, as well as the fact that, despite her accusations of sexual harassment, she stayed in contact with Thomas and continued to work with him a second place of employment (The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)l He also claims it misrepresents how and when she shared her story with the Senate and FBI investigators, and what he calls its “ludicrous” portrayal of a second Thomas accuser, Angela Wright, who did not testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991, for reasons which remain in dispute…
The segment does concede that when Thomas’ hearings concluded, the public overwhelmingly believed his version of the events by a margin of 47 to 24 percent among registered voters, according to a NBC News/Wall St. Journal poll. (Some polls placed the margin wider at 60 percent to 20 percent.) But it also points out that just a year later, sympathies in that same survey swung back Hill’s way by a 44 to 34 percent margin.
“A lot of people initially were put off by her coming forward. It was hard to listen to what she said. It was gross,” Mark Crispin Miller, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, told The Baltimore Sun in 1994. “But that initial feeling of revulsion has passed. People now have thought about it and realized women don’t have to take this anymore.”
Other facts may have also swayed Americans to believe her: One of Hill’s most prominent antagonists, author David Brock, later retracted his attacks on her, and others have since come forward tocorroborate elements of Hill’s account. In addition, Hill reportedly passed a polygraph test amid the hearings and a hagiographical documentary on Hill was released in 2014. Thomas’ very conservative bent and relative silence on the court has also infuriated many progressives….Read the Full Article Here…
The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct peculiar to officials, such as perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of assets, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming, and refusal to obey a lawful order.
Sound to me that there are ample grounds to put Mr McConnell (and his supporters) in the hoosegow.
Especially with the new projections showing a Democrat Majority is possible in the House which would try an Impeachment.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doubled down on his insistence that Republicans would not consider President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court this year. Even if it seems that the next president could pick someone the Republicans would like even less, McConnell is adamant his fellow party members won’t budge on Merrick Garland. “I can’t imagine that a Republican-majority Congress, in a lame-duck session, after the American people have spoken would want to confirm a nominee opposed by the NRA, the NFIB and that the New York Times says would move the court dramatically to the left,” McConnell told CNN.
The Senate majority leader insisted that the reasoning behind refusing to vote is the same, regardless of timing. “The principle is the same, whether it’s before the election or after the election,” McConnell said on Fox News. “The principle is the American people are choosing their next president and their next president should pick this Supreme Court nominee.”
What if a Democrat wins the presidency and decides to appoint someone more liberal than Garland? “It’d be hard to be more liberal than Merrick Garland,”McConnell told NBC News.
White House chief of staff Denis McDonough insisted Obama has no intention of withdrawing Garland’s name from consideration, regardless of what happens in November. “We will stand by him from now until he is confirmed and he’s sitting on the Supreme Court,” McDonough said on Fox News.
Amazing what no longer being required to have his nose up Scalia’s derriere has done for the man. He can actually take a breath and say something…
For 10 years, Justice Clarence Thomas has sat on the bench of the Supreme Court through innumerable oral arguments without asking a single question. That all changed today.
On Monday morning, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Voisine v. United States, a complex and arcane case involving domestic violence and gun ownership. The case initially seemed to revolve around a technical question of criminal intent. Stephen Voisine was convicted of “intentionally, knowingly, orrecklessly caus[ing] bodily injury or offensive physical contact” to his girlfriend following a domestic dispute. As a result, he was stripped of his ability to own a gun, because United States federal law indefinitely bars individuals convicted of “a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” from owning firearms. Voisine now argues that “recklessly” causing violence—as opposed to knowingly or intentionally—shouldn’t disqualify him from possessing a gun under federal law.
Arguments were somewhat dry until the last few minutes, when Ilana H. Eisenstein, an assistant to the solicitor general representing the federal government, was preparing to finish up and take her seat. Just before she left the lectern, Justice Clarence Thomas spoke up, asking his very first question from the bench in a decade. The entire court perked up. Everyone shifted forward in their seats, and there was a look of shock on many spectators’ faces. We in the press section nearly fell out of our seats, though the other justices kept admirably cool, with only Chief Justice John Roberts swiveling his head in evident surprise.
Thomas noted that a conviction under the federal statute in question “suspends a constitutional right”—the right of individuals to own guns, as established in 2008’s decision, District of Columbia v. Heller. The government argues, Thomas explained, that “recklessness” in using physical force against an intimate partner is “sufficient to trigger a misdemeanor violation that results in the suspension of what is at least as of now still a constitutional right.” (Thomas appeared to be extremely aware that Hellerwas a 5–4 decision, authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, which could be on the chopping block if the balance of the court shifts to the left.)
The justice, speaking calmly but forcefully, then pointed out that under the federal law, a domestic abuser doesn’t actually have to use a gun against his partner to lose his gun rights. He need only commit some form of domestic abuse, with a firearm or without it. Thomas struck a tone of puzzlement with a tinge of irritation. “Therefore,” he said, “a constitutional right is suspended—even if [the domestic violence] is unrelated to the possession of a gun?”
Eisenstein retorted that individuals who have previously battered spouses have an exponentially higher risk of injuring their spouse with a firearm in the future. But Thomas dug in, asking whether any other law indefinitely suspended an individual’s constitutional rights for recklessly committing a crime. What if “a publisher is reckless about the use of children in what could be indecent displays?” he asked. Could the government “suspend this publisher’s right to ever publish again?” Is suspending First Amendment rights substantively different from suspending Second Amendment rights?
At that point, Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer jumped in to help Eisenstein. (Kennedy joined Heller but isn’t a Second Amendment absolutist like Thomas; Breyer dissented from Heller.) Kennedy mentioned laws that indefinitely regulate sex offenders’ liberty, though it was a weak example, because those laws do not suspend any fundamental rights absolutely and indefinitely. Breyer veered away from Thomas’ question, noting that Voisine wasn’t directly arguing that the federal law violated his Second Amendment rights. (He had argued that earlier, actually, but the Supreme Court refused to consider that question when it agreed to hear the case.) Instead, Voisine pushed the doctrine of “constitutional avoidance”—essentially arguing that the federal law might infringe upon his right to bear arms, and so the court should rule for him on other grounds to avoid having to decide that vastly more monumental question.
One of the most frustrating things about the Obama Presidency is the unwillingness or inability to deal from a position of strength against the far right. Issue comes up…Obama caves. Issue comes up…Obama caves.Issue comes up…Obama caves. Often before the issue is even joined in any substantive debate.
As such I view with great trepidation the potential selection of Nevada Republican Governor Brian Sandoval. I would find it very hard to vote for someone who put yet another Republican on the Court to potentially re-establish the 5-4 majority.Further, any decision to do so impacts the candidacy of Hillary Clinton more than Bernie Sanders worse than that of Bernie Sanders in that she has tied her campaign in close alignment with Obama’s Administration. Another Republican on the court means the support and continuation of the mass incarceration policies set forth by Bill Clinton which have devastated black low income neighborhoods, and no structural realignment of the court in any significant issue relative to the well being of Minority citizens.
I’m sorry, but I can’t see any possibility in voting for – and I’ll appropriate a Republican term here…A DINO.
President Barack Obama is considering appointing a moderate Republican to the Supreme Court, a source close to the process said on Wednesday, but leaders in the Republican-led Senate held firm to their threat to block anyone he nominates.
The source said Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican and former federal judge, was among the possible candidates.
As governor, Sandoval has taken a traditional Republican stance in support of gun rights, but his more moderate views on social issues, such as abortion rights, could make him an attractive choice for the Democratic president.
A 52-year-old Mexican-American, Sandoval was appointed a judge by Republican George W. Bush, Obama’s predecessor, before being elected governor in 2010. He abandoned his state’s legal defense of a same-sex marriage ban before the Supreme Court declared such bans unconstitutional last year.
The Feb. 13 death of long-serving conservative Justice Antonin Scalia created a vacancy on the nine-seat court and ignited a political fight. Republicans are maneuvering to foil Obama’s ability to choose a replacement who could tilt the court to the left for the first time in decades. Scalia’s death left the court with four liberals and four conservatives.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Tuesday the Senate will not hold hearings or vote on any Supreme Court nominee until the next president takes office in January 2017, following the Nov. 8 presidential election. Republicans hope to win back the White House then.
The Senate must confirm any high court nominee, but McConnell remained unswayed even with word that Obama was considering the Republican Sandoval for the job.
“This nomination will be determined by whoever wins the presidency in the fall,” McConnell said.
Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee that would hold any confirmation hearings, concurred, saying, “It’s the principle, not the person.”
The White House said it was hoping for a meeting with Grassley and his committee’s top Democrat, Patrick Leahy. A McConnell aide said McConnell was trying to schedule a meeting with Obama to reiterate his opposition to any nominee…
Some liberal groups expressed alarm that Sandoval would be considered. Charles Chamberlain of the group Democracy for America called it “downright absurd” that Obama would risk his legacy by appointing “another anti-labor Republican” to an already pro-big business Supreme Court.
Sandoval opposed Obama’s healthcare law, but opted to expand his state’s Medicaid health insurance program for the poor under the measure, breaking from a number of Republican governors who refused to do so.
He expressed support for bipartisan immigration legislation that passed the Senate in 2013 before dying in the House of Representatives amid Republican opposition.
In 2013, Sandoval vetoed legislation to require background checks on all Nevada gun sales. Last year, he signed a law backed by the National Rifle Association that expanded the defenses for justifiable homicide and repealed a local ordinance that required handgun registration…Read The Rest Here…
Seems BTx3 isn’t the only one who sees Scalia’s death as one of the two best things that could have happened to the Supreme Court.
Sill waiting on the second…Any moment now would be fine.
Tahir Duckett, a student at Georgetown University Law Center, was 2 years old when Antonin Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986.
Naji Mujahid, who attends the University of the District of Columbia’s law school, was 4. Dominique Moore, a student at Temple University’s law school, and Stephanie Llanes, a law student at the University of California at Berkeley, had not yet been born.
Now, Scalia is gone, dying unexpectedly during a vacation last week. And for the first time in the students’ lives — three of whom are African American and one a Latina — there is a possibility of having a Supreme Court that is no longer dominated by right-wing ideologues who are astoundingly naive about racism in America.
“We mourn the death of Justice Scalia, as a fellow attorney,” said Moore, 29, the Mid-Atlantic regional chair of the National Black Law Students Association. “But we are looking for someone to fill that seat who is not a foe of civil rights and wants to see the country make progress, not take it backward.”
Next month, the 3,600-member national organization convenes in Baltimore for its annual convention. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch is scheduled to deliver the keynote address.
“We support Loretta Lynch’s appointment as the next Supreme Court justice,” Moore said.
For his part, Georgetown’s Duckett, 32, has been chronicling the harms done by the Supreme Court’s 2001 ruling in Sandoval v. Alexander. The court held that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits only “intentional discrimination” and does not prohibit activities that have a “disparate impact on certain races, colors, or nationalities.” Scalia wrote the opinion for the conservative majority, which included Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.
“That ruling made it impossible to mount a legal challenge to structural racism and sent a message that it was okay to discriminate against blacks and Hispanics as long as you did it with a wink and a nod,” said Duckett, a member of the D.C. chapter of the legal and policy collective known as Law for Black Lives. “For more than a decade and a half, we’ve watched racial disparities widen in incarceration, in the use of the death penalty, in racial profiling, in the enforcement of drug laws, and it was legally okay just because nobody had come right out and said they were doing it intentionally.”
UDC’s Mujahid, 34, said he began studying Scalia’s thinking in 2009, while following the case of Troy Davis, a black man who had been convicted of murder in Georgia and sentenced to death. When seven of the nine witnesses recanted their testimony against him, Davis appealed to the Supreme Court for a new hearing and got it. But Scalia objected, writing in his dissent that “this court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.”
Scalia’s statement was said to be legally correct but widely regarded as morally weak. Davis was executed two years later.
“When you go into Scalia’s thinking as an ‘originalist,’ meaning someone who interprets the Constitution by divining the intent of the Framers at the time they wrote it, you can see Scalia virtually channeling 18th-century social and political sentiment on race,” said Mujahid, president of the UDC chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. “If you want to go back 200 years and commune with the spirit of slave owners and ask them, ‘What do you think of black people?’ Or, ‘How do you feel about affirmative action?’ what the hell do you think they’re going to say?”
In the wake of Scalia’s death, SCOTUS blog legal expert Lyle Denniston described the 79-year-old Reagan appointee “as path-breaking as Earl Warren” and “as controversial as Roger Taney,” among other things.
But his mentioning Chief Justices Warren and Taney cries out for comparison.
The Warren Court expanded civil rights, most famously in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case that banned racial segregation in public schools. The Taney Court, on the other hand, ruled infamously in the 1857 Dred Scott case that no black person, whether slave or free, would ever become a citizen.
And given Scalia’s originalist approach to the law, some legal scholars have suggested that he would probably have reached conclusions more like Taney’s than Warren’s.