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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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Clarence Thomas – Strange Day In the News

Well…It must be a conservative thing. If old conservative white guys can grope women, why not old conservative black guys. Not sure I understand the motivations behind this one coming out.

Woman accuses Clarence Thomas of groping her at a dinner party in 1999

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A woman is accusing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of having groped her in 1999.

According to a report published Thursday by the National Law Journal/Law.com, Moira Smith, 41, alleged that Thomas repeatedly squeezed her butt during a dinner nearly 20 years ago.

Smith, vice president and general counsel at Enstar Natural Gas Co. in Alaska, was a Truman Foundation scholar helping Louis Blair, who directed the foundation at the time, prepare for a dinner at Blair’s home in Falls Church, Virginia, with Thomas and David Adkins as the featured guests. Thomas was to present Adkins, then a Kansas state lawmaker as well as a former Truman scholar, an award at the Supreme Court the following day.

Smith posted details about the encounter on Facebook the night a 2005 “Access Hollywood” video emerged in which now-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was caught talking cavalierly about forcibly kissing and groping women with impunity because he’s “a star.”

“At the age of 24, I found out I’d be attending a dinner at my boss’s house with Justice Clarence Thomas,” Smith wrote in the post, which was initially private, then made public but no longer exists since she deactivated her account about 10 days later. “I was so incredibly excited to meet him, rough confirmation hearings notwithstanding. He was charming in many ways—giant, booming laugh, charismatic, approachable.”

“But to my complete shock, he groped me while I was setting the table, suggesting I should sit ‘right next to him,’” she continued. “When I feebly explained that I’d been assigned to the other table, he groped again…’are you *sure*??’ I said I was and proceeded to keep my distance.”

In a series of interviews conducted over two weeks since her post was published, Smith recalled setting the table to Thomas’ right while the two were alone “when he reached out, sort of cupped his hand around my butt and pulled me pretty close to him.” Thomas asked her where she was sitting “and gave me a squeeze,” she added.

“He said, ‘I think you should sit next to me,’ giving me squeezes. I said, ‘Well, Mr. Blair is pretty particular about his seating chart,’” she told NLJ. “I tried to use the seating chart as a pretext for refusing. He one more time squeezed my butt and he said, ‘Are you sure?’ I said yes, and that was the end of it.”

Thomas, who was accused in testimony during his Senate confirmation hearings by Anita Hill of sexually harassing her when she worked for him at the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights and at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, dismissed the allegations in a statement to NLJ through his spokeswoman. “This claim is preposterous and it never happened,” he said.

Thomas’ office didn’t immediately respond to POLITICO’s request for comment.

Smith concluded her Facebook post, which included additional revelations that she was date raped in college, “accosted in a bar and groped by an acquaintance,” by remarking that she was speaking out not because of the presidential election or Trump but because, “Enough is enough.”

“Donald Trump said when you’re a star, they let you do it; you can do anything. The idea that we as victims let them do it made me mad,” she told NLJ, explaining why she went public. “Sure enough, Justice Thomas did it with I think an implicit pact of silence that I would be so flattered and star-struck and surprised that I wouldn’t say anything. I played the chump. I didn’t say anything.”

She suggested she didn’t speak up at the time because while she was “shell-shocked,” she was “also there for work” and “had a job to do.” Smith posed with Thomas for a picture after the dinner but said she was “conflicted” about it.

“On the one hand, I really liked Justice Thomas,” she said. “He was clearly smart, engaging, and hilarious—he had a booming and totally infectious laugh. On the other hand, I was so confused about what had happened. It had transgressed such a line.”

 

A second story on Thomas today, discussing the Court Nomination process. As one of the Judges whose nomination was one of the most contentious in history…He has something to say.

Actually the best question is at the end of the article where he wonders if the court may have some role in its own undoing as a respected institution. Like all those 5-4 decisions?

Justice Thomas: ‘We’re destroying our institutions’

That the judicial nomination process has grown so politicized in recent years is evidence that Washington “is broken in some ways,” Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Wednesday.

Speaking at the conservative Heritage Foundation, Thomas did not directly address the vacancy left on the high court when Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly in February. But when asked about the open seat, he replied, “At some point, we have got to recognize that we’re destroying our institutions,” according to a Bloombergreport.

Republicans have steadfastly refused to hold a confirmation hearing for Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Scalia, insisting on waiting until after the presidential election before the seat is filled. Democrats have been largely unsuccessful in their efforts to pressure the GOP into taking up Garland’s nomination.

With Scalia gone and the Republican Senate in no hurry to replace him, the court’s eight justices are split evenly along ideological lines. That 4-4 tie has left the court unable to settle some contentious cases, which revert to the lower court’s ruling when the justices are deadlocked. But in an interview earlier this week, Justice Stephen Breyer said such narrow decisions are relatively rare and added that the court has functioned before with an even number of justices.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) agreed, suggesting this week that his party could indefinitely block the Supreme Court nominations of a Democratic president. The conservative firebrand said “There is certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices.”

Thomas, who was himself confirmed only after a contentious hearing that focused on allegations of sexual harassment against him, said the popular notion that the Supreme Court is an overly politicized institution is at least partially the fault of the court itself.

“I don’t think people owe us, reflexively, confidence. I think it’s something we earn,” he said. “Perhaps we should ask ourselves what have we done to not earn it or earn it.”

 

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2016 in Black Conservatives

 

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Without Scumbag Scalia – The Supreme Court Hears Bias Cases

Without scumbag Scalia, the Supreme Court may actually come up with a non-racist Constitutional decision. Which is exactly why Republicans don’t want President Obama to appoint a replacement judge.

The REALLY bad news for the Rethugs is, Hillary may be replacing as many a 3 Justices in her first term…And the way the numbers are looking, there won’t be a damn thing they can do about it having sacrificed all right to any input.

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Supreme Court Hears Case On Racial Bias In Jury Deliberations

It’s only the second week of oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court and already the justices are on their third case involving race and the criminal justice system.

Tuesday’s case tests the constitutionality of widespread rules that bar courts from examining evidence of racial bias in jury deliberations.

The federal rules of evidence, as well as rules in most states, generally bar courts from hearing juror testimony about deliberations after a trial is over. Indeed, the Supreme Court just two years ago ruled that to allow an inquiry into jury deliberations would threaten the integrity of the jury system by inhibiting jurors’ discussions.

In that 2014 decision, however, the Court specifically said there “may be some cases of juror bias so extreme” that, by definition, the right to a fair trial “has been abridged.”

If and when such a case arises, the Court said, it would decide whether an exception is warranted.

That day has now come in the case of Miguel Peña-Rodriguez.

Peña-Rodriguez was a horse trainer at a racetrack in Colorado in 2007, when he was arrested after two teenage sisters, the daughters of a jockey, identified him as the man who groped them in a restroom at the barn.

According to the girls’ testimony, a man entered the bathroom, asked them if they wanted to party, and when they said “no” and tried to leave, he turned off the light, grabbed them, touched one of them on the breast, and the other on the shoulder and buttocks. The girls ran away, told their father what happened, and he identified Peña-Rodriguez from that description.

Later that night, police pulled Peña-Rodriguez over on the roadside, then brought the girls to the site, where they identified him, through a police cruiser window, as their assailant. Peña-Rodriguez was charged with one felony count of attempted sexual assault and three misdemeanors.

At trial, the prosecution’s case rested on the victims’ identification. The defense highlighted the short time the victims actually saw their attacker, the suggestibility of the night-time show-up, and the presence of other workers in the area at the time of the attack. It also presented an alibi witness, who testified that Peña-Rodriguez was with him in one of the other barns when the attack occurred. The alibi witness, like Peña-Rodriguez, was Hispanic.

The jurors initially deadlocked, unable to reach a verdict. The judge told them it was their duty to try again.

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After twelve hours of deliberation in all, and much shouting that could be heard outside the jury room, the jury found the defendant guilty on the three misdemeanor charges, but failed to reach agreement on the felony. The state subsequently dismissed the more serious charge.

Peña-Rodriguez was sentenced to two years probation, and required to register as a sex offender. He still trains horses at the barn.

But on the day of the verdict, while he went home, the defense lawyers, following the usual practice in Colorado and elsewhere, remained in the courthouse to speak with any willing jurors. Two jurors told them that during the deliberations one of the other jurors, identified in court records as H.C., had repeatedly expressed a bias against the defendant — and his alibi witness — because they are Hispanic.

With the trial judge’s permission, the lawyers then obtained affidavits from the jurors, in which the jurors quoted H.C. as saying that, from his experience as an ex-policeman, he knew that the defendant was guilty “because he’s Mexican” and “Mexican men … think they can ‘do whatever they want’ with women,” and that where he used to patrol, “nine times out of ten Mexican men were guilty of being aggressive toward women and young girls.”

The affidavits also quoted H.C. as saying that the alibi witness was not credible because, among other things, he was “an illegal.”

In fact, the witness had testified at trial that he was a legal resident of the United States.

After receiving the affidavits, the trial judge ruled that there could be no questioning of jurors to see if a new trial would be justified because the Colorado has a rule barring inquiry into whatever happens in the jury room.

The Colorado Supreme Court, by a 4-3 vote, agreed.

Peña-Rodriguez appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where his lawyer will argue that in cases of alleged racial bias, if the trial judge cannot question jurors about their deliberations, the defendant is deprived of his constitutional right to a trial by a fair and impartial jury. Allowing an inquiry about racial bias is just as important, the defense will argue, as allowing an inquiry into jury tampering or whether outside information was brought into jury deliberations.

The state will argue that protecting the secrecy of jury deliberations ensures full and frank juror discussions, and protects public confidence in the jury system.

The defense will counter that more than 20 jurisdictions, from California to South Carolina, allow post-trial inquiry into racial bias on juries, and that such inquiries have existed in some states for decades without undermining the jury system.

The Supreme Court, now, will consider these arguments.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Black Voter Suppression Law in North Carolina Tossed By Supreme Court

Thank you Justice Scalia for dying. At least if not soon enough, at least in my lifetime.

Image result for voter suppression

Supreme Court Denies North Carolina’s Plea To Restore Swath Of Voting Restrictions

The state won’t be able to enforce them come Election Day.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a last-ditch request from North Carolina to reinstate a controversial set of voting restrictions that would have taken effect in the lead-up to the November election.

In a one-sentence order that did not include any reasoning, the high court declined the state’s petition, which sought to put on hold a July ruling that found the voting law discriminated against African-Americans and compared it to a relic of the Jim Crow era.

The state failed to convince at least five justices that three provisions of the contested law ― its voter ID requirement, cutbacks to early voting and elimination of pre-registration for certain under-18 voters ― were worth putting back on the books. The state had argued the measures were necessary to avoid “confusion” that might keep people away from the polls.

But three justices ― Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito ― did note that they would’ve granted the state’s request, at least with respect to voter ID and early voting. Justice Clarence Thomas, for his part, would’ve granted North Carolina’s petition in full.

In essence, this means the Supreme Court voted 4-to-4 in the dispute, with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan swinging against the state. A ninth conservative member in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia might have given North Carolina a key victory.

In legal filings, Civil rights groups had countered that the state’s own prior assurances in court plus “on-the-ground activity” by election officials ― including preparations at the county level to comply with the July ruling ― flew in the face of the state’s insistence that there was not enough time to get things in order for Election Day.Image result for voter suppression

“Now, almost a month after the Fourth Circuit’s ruling, State and local elections officials have taken nearly all of the steps to comply with that ruling,” the voting rights groups said in a brief opposing North Carolina’s request.

The Obama administration, which in 2013 suffered a big loss when the Supreme Court did away with a key section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, filed its own brief urging the justices to deny the state’s plea, and to not read too much into arguments in favor of a law that was properly found to be discriminatory.

The Supreme Court’s move is a significant setback for Gov. Pat McCrory (R), who had defended the law’s voter ID requirement as “common sense” and vowed to seek emergency relief from the high court soon after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit struck it down.

But McCrory didn’t follow through on his promise: It took the state 17 days to ask the Supreme Court to inspect the ruling ― a delay that may have played a role in the court’s action on Wednesday.

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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The End of College Admissions Racism

The Supreme Court, with it’s chief bigot thankfully dead, just drove a spike right through the racist vampire hearts of conservative segregationists with upholding race as a potential factor in determining college admissions. With scumsucker Scalia dead, the wheels just came off their re-segregation campaign.

Turns out the case in question, and the woman for whom it was started were a lie, and a liar from the start.

The claim by Abigail Fisher –

“There were people in my class with lower grades who weren’t in all the activities I was in, who were being accepted into UT, and the only other difference between us was the color of our skin,” she says. “I was taught from the time I was a little girl that any kind of discrimination was wrong. And for an institution of higher learning to act this way makes no sense to me. What kind of example does it set for others?”

The Truth –

Race probably had nothing to do with the University of Texas’s decision to deny admission to Abigail Fisher.

In 2008, the year Fisher sent in her application, competition to get into the crown jewel of the Texas university system was stiff. Students entering through the university’s Top 10 program — a mechanism that granted automatic admission to any teen who graduated in the upper 10 percent of his or her high school class — claimed92 percent of the in-state spots.

Fisher said in news reports that she hoped for the day universities selected students “solely based on their merit and if they work hard for it.” But Fisher failed to graduate in the top 10 percent of her class, meaning she had to compete for the limited number of spaces up for grabs.

She and other applicants who did not make the cut were evaluated based on two scores. One allotted points for grades and test scores. The other, called a personal achievement index, awarded points for two required essays, leadership, activities, service and “special circumstances.” Those included socioeconomic status of the student or the student’s school, coming from a home with a single parent or one where English wasn’t spoken. And race.

Those two scores, combined, determine admission.

Even among those students, Fisher did not particularly stand out. Court records showher grade point average (3.59) and SAT scores (1180 out of 1600) were good but not great for the highly selective flagship university. The school’s rejection rate that year for the remaining 841 openings was higher than the turn-down rate for students trying to get into Harvard.

As a result, university officials claim in court filings that even if Fisher received points for her race and every other personal achievement factor, the letter she received in the mail still would have said no.

It’s true that the university, for whatever reason, offered provisional admission to some students with lower test scores and grades than Fisher. Five of those students were black or Latino.Forty-two were white.

Neither Fisher nor Blum mentioned those 42 applicants in interviews. Nor did they acknowledge the 168 black and Latino students with grades as good as or better than Fisher’s who were also denied entry into the university that year. Also left unsaid is the fact that Fisher turned down a standard UT offer under which she could have gone to the university her sophomore year if she earned a 3.2 GPA at another Texas university school in her freshman year.

So it really was all about racism. Racism which scumbag Sclaia and Uncle Tommie Clarence were willing to stand behind.

Supreme Court upholds college affirmative action program

 

Race-based admissions policies in higher education dodged another bullet Thursday, with the Supreme Court ruling narrowly to uphold a program that helps minority students get into the University of Texas.

In a 4-3 decision, the court held that Texas’ program admitting some students based on consideration of their race is constitutional while cautioning that the university must continue to show that other means of addressing diversity have failed.

“The record here reveals that the university articulated concrete and precise goals (for example) ending stereotypes, promoting ‘cross-racial understanding,’ preparing students for ‘an increasingly diverse workforce and society,’ and cultivating leaders with ‘legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry’ — that mirror the compelling interest this Court has approved in prior cases,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in an opinion joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

But the decision also suggests potential limits, warning the university cannot rely on the policy “without refinement” and that “it is the University’s ongoing obligation to engage in constant deliberation and continued reflection regarding its admission policies.”

Only seven justices participated in the decision. Justice Elena Kagan had recused herself for prior work on the case as United States solicitor general and the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat remains vacant.

The University of Texas enrolls 75 percent of its class by offering admission to students with top class ranks. It fills the remaining quarter of the class through a “holistic” review in which race is a factor.

The ruling directly affects all public colleges and universities. While private colleges have had more leeway to consider race in admissions, all institutions that accept federal financial aid are subject to Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act prohibiting racial discrimination, experts said.

Justice Samuel Alito read a withering dissent from the bench, saying the university had not done what the justices had asked when they sent the case back to a lower court in 2013. “The University has still not identified with any degree of specificity the interests that its use of race and ethnicity is supposed to serve,” he wrote in a minority opinion joined by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Clarence Thomas.

Alito said the university “presents no evidence that its admissions officers, in administering the ‘holistic’ component of its plan, make any effort to determine whether an African-American, Hispanic or Asian-American student is likely to enroll in classes in which minority students are underrepresented.”

It would be unfortunate, he said, if other colleges and universities interpreted the court’s ruling as a green light to use race more in their admissions decisions.

Only eight states ban race-based admissions for public institutions, and affirmative action policies remain in wide use. Roughly 60 percent of the most selective four-year schools consider race in admissions, an American Council on Education survey found last year.

Two other admissions-related cases filed against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, both alleging they put Asian-Americans at a disadvantage, were on hold awaiting the Fisher v. University of Texas decision.

Peter McDonough, vice president and general counsel of the American Council on Education, which represents college and university presidents, said the ruling doesn’t appear to change the expectations for colleges and universities.

“The good news about today is that schools that may visit or re-visit what they do and how they do it, in composing a diverse class, have the comfort of knowing that it’s acceptable to continue doing it,” McDonough said. “It’s appropriate for an institution to value the diversity of the campus environment and the student body.”

This was the second go-around for the Fisher case before the nation’s highest court. In 2013, Kennedy wrote the 7-1 opinion that sent jilted University of Texas applicant Abigail Fisher back to an appeals court, which upheld Texas’ admissions policy for a second time. Fisher, a white woman, argued the university’s rejection of her 2008 application violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause….

 

 

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Clarence Thomas to Retire From Supreme Court After Election

This is a BIG Game changer for the courts! And, providing Hillary wins, could be a major turn around for the country in terms of restoral of Civil Rights, Individual Rights, and the shutdown of the worst excesses of the Xtreme Court.

End of conservative Supreme Court: Clarence Thomas may be next to leave

Justice Clarence Thomas, a reliable conservative vote on the Supreme Court, is mulling retirement after the presidential election, according to court watchers.

Thomas, appointed by former President George H.W. Bush and approved by the Senate after a bitter confirmation, has been considering retirement for a while and never planned to stay until he died, they said. He likes to spend summers in his RV with his wife.

His retirement would have a substantial impact on control of the court. The next president is expected to immediately replace the seat opened by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, providing a one-vote edge in the court that is currently divided 4-4.

Should Thomas leave, that slight majority would continue if Donald Trump becomes president. If it’s Hillary Clinton, then she would get the chance to flip two Republican seats, giving the liberals a 6-3 majority.

And, conservatives fear, that could switch to a 7-2 majority if Republican Justice Anthony Kennedy, already a swing vote, retires. He will be 80 next year.

We recently reported that if Clinton wins the presidency, her majority liberal court could stay in power at least until 2050.

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2016 in Black Conservatives

 

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Supreme Court Reverses Racially Chosen Georgia Jury In Death Penalty Case

Local and State Courts aren’t supposed to allow the striking of black juries to achieve an all white jury, which when the defendant is black, mean almost certainly a conviction – regardless of the evidence pointing otherwise. Some courts around the country still believe the can get away with this.

Uncle Tommie Clarence, seeing the possibility of a black man receiving justice …Was the Court’s lone dissent.

Supreme Court gives black death-row inmate new life

AP SUPREME COURT ALL WHITE JURY A USA GAThe Supreme Court gave a black death-row prisoner new life Monday by ruling that prosecutors unconstitutionally barred all potential black jurors from his trial nearly 30 years ago.

The 7-1 verdict, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, reversed Georgia courts that had refused to consider claims of racial discrimination against Timothy Foster for the murder of an elderly white woman. The ruling is likely to fuel contentions from death penalty opponents that capital punishment is racially discriminatory.

What brought Foster’s case back to court after three decades was a series of prosecution notes obtained by defense lawyers through an open-records request. While jurors were being picked, prosecutors had highlighted the names of African Americans, circled the word “black” on questionnaires, and added notations such as “B#1” and “B#2.” On a sheet labeled “definite NO’s,” they put the last five blacks in the jury pool on top and ranked them in case “it comes down to having to pick one of the black jurors.”

This happened just a year after the Supreme Court had declared such actions unconstitutional. Civil rights groups say discriminatory practices in jury selection have survived for 30 years despite the Supreme Court’s 1986 ruling in Batson v. Kentucky.

“The focus on race in the prosecution’s file plainly demonstrates a concerted effort to keep black prospective jurors off the jury,” Roberts wrote. He said prosecutors’ other purported reasons for striking two of the blacks from the jury pool were belied by their acceptance of white jurors with the same characteristics.

“Such evidence is compelling,” Roberts wrote. “But that is not all. There are also the shifting explanations, the misrepresentations of the record, and the persistent focus on race in the prosecution’s file.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, the court’s lone African American member, cast the lone dissent. “Foster’s new evidence does not justify this court’s reassessment of who was telling the truth nearly three decades removed from voir dire,” he said.

The controversial case took the court nearly seven months to decide after oral argument in November. Roberts’ opinion for himself and Justices Anthony Kennedy,Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan ran 25 pages. Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito, who concurred in the ruling, wrote another 25 pages each to express their views.

 

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Democrat Senator Lays Out Republican Racism

Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia too to the floor of the Senate a few days ago and exposed the reason Republicans are holding up the appointment of Merrick Garland by President Obama to the Supreme Court.

Kaine: Race an Issue in Opposition to Obama Supreme Court Nominee

Senator Tim Kaine (D., Va.) said Wednesday that race may be a factor as to why President Obama is facing opposition in the Senate regarding his Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked Kaine, a potential running mate for Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, if the Senate is delaying the nomination process due to a fundamental disrespect for Obama.

“I think that’s a very serious concern. The rationale that the Republicans use, ‘We want to wait until the next president and let the people decide,’ is what we call in civil rights, and I used to try civil rights cases, a complete pretext. That’s not the way it’s been done in the past,” Kaine said.

“There’s a lot of concern that this president’s nominee has been given second-class treatment, not because of the nominee but because of the character of the president himself and that is very painful for people to contemplate about the nation’s first African-American president, that they wouldn’t pay him the respect of having a hearing and having a vote on a nominee in the way they’ve done with other presidents.”

Maddow re-raised the issue of race, asking whether or not it is linked to the resistance Obama is facing from Republicans and the conservative movement over picking Garland.

“Raising the issue of this being the first African-American president, that issue of legitimacy, do you think that is the through line that explains the way Republicans and the conservative movement have treated President Obama? Do you think fundamentally it is about race, that there’s a racial element to the resistance to him that people should be more explicit in discussing?” Maddow asked.

“There is an attack on his legitimacy that I think is just fundamentally different than what’s come before,” Kaine said.

 

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Alabama Chief Justice Suspended

The 10 Commandments Judge is at it again! Now, he says he rejects same sex marriage as legal. Since that is already decided Federal Law, in the Supreme Court…

Judge is out of work. It is being decided whether that will be permanent and he will be dismissed from the Alabama Supreme Court entirely.

Alabama Chief Justice Moore suspended for rejecting legalization of same-sex marriage

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended on Friday for defying the legalization of marriage equality, AL.com reported.

Moore was suspended after the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed ethics charges against him. Moore will now be tried by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary, and could be removed from the bench if found guilty.

The commission’s move was spurred by complaints by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which released a statement saying Moore had “disgraced” his position.

“He’s such a religious zealot, such an egomaniac that he thinks he doesn’t have to follow federal court rulings he disagrees with,” said the group’s president, Richard Cohen. “For the good of the state, he should be kicked out of office.”

Moore, who stated last year he would “not be bound” by the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriages because they change the “organic law” of God, was dismissive of the accusations against him.

“The Judicial Inquiry Commission has no authority over the administrative orders of the chief justice of Alabama or the legal injunctions of the Alabama Supreme Court prohibiting probate judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses,” he said. “The Judicial Inquiry Commission has chosen to listen to people like Ambrosia Starling, a professed transvestite and other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as well as organizations that support their agenda.”

The SPLC’s accusations, in part, concerned Moore’s February 2015 order instructing state probate judges not to follow the high court’s decision, as well as what it described as an undermining of public confidence in his office by doing so.

Moore also faced possible removal from his office in 2003, following his move to install a Ten Commandments monument inside the in the state judicial building. He later refused to follow a federal court order to remove it.

 

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