The Fallout from the Ford/Kavanaugh Hearings

Some takeaways from a very difficult week in Washington DC yesterday regarding Dr. Christine Blasley-Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh. 1. There has never been a greater argument for getting rid of the 17th Amendment than what we’ve seen the past few weeks. The body of 100 Senators is supposed to be a legislative body. It is now a body of about 20 who wants to do the people’s business and 80 people who see themselves as future presidents who need to dance for their base of donors. The majority of…

Justice Kennedy divided America

In the span of 30 years on the United States Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy changed the face of America and, in doing so, created Donald Trump and deepened our political divisions. While Justice Kennedy is receiving great accolades for many important court decisions that he authored, his legacy should be judged by his activism more than by any wisdom he provided. Even after authoring Lawrence and Obergefell, perhaps Justice Kennedy’s greatest effrontery was his 1992 opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, upholding Roe v. Wade, wherein he wrote, “At…

The bright side of President Trump

I wanted to look for the positive aspects of President Trump. Look on the bright side. 1. AMERICA’S RENEWED APPRECIATION FOR THE CONSTITUTION – Not hearing as much about the Constitution being an outdated document so much as “Oh my goodness, let’s study every single clause in this thing and be glad it’s still ours.” Before President Trump, how many people actually knew what the Emolument Clause was? It also makes what normal Republicans have been saying about checks and balances and limited government sound like a great idea. Let’s see if…

Election 2016: It shouldn’t be all about the Court

Trump v. Clinton.  Double ugh. Whoever really thought it would come to that?  OK, apparently there were a few people.  And kudos to them, because I never saw a Trump nomination coming.  Nope, not a bit…until it was too late. But now the Trump Train’s here, baby, and you’ve got to decide whether to get aboard. Same with the Clinton Bus Tour, Part 4.  Do you climb on or stay off? (It might come around in a few more years, when Chelsea’s 36). It’s a tough decision for a lot of…

Maintain SCOTUS balance? Nah

“Heads I win, tails you lose.” One of the surest things in politics is people seeking to stack the deck in their favor. Since we seem to have more reliance than ever on the courts over legislative bodies and popular votes to settle both governance and social issues, the focus has been on trying to make sure those bodies are filled with individuals who will promote our issues and causes. Kelli Lundgren’s plea for a “moderate” to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court is no different. Until Scalia’s passing, the…

A moderate is needed for the Supreme Court

Cutting through hypocrisy, I want to declare aloud an assumed but hushed reality that U.S. Supreme Court Justices interpret the Constitution based on individual biases. After all, Republicans and Democrats would not be arguing over whom and when a justice will be nominated to replace the late and Honorable Antonin Scalia if interpretation of law could not be skewed. Further proof of bias: justices’ voting records consistently divide by ideology. Five to four. Five to four. Five to four. Of course exceptions can be found when common sense sides with…

The jubilantly hypocritical fight over control of the Supreme Court

Mitch McConnell made a mistake by announcing that the Senate would not allow a vote on any nominee that President Obama is going to make for the Supreme Court. It instantly gave Democrats ammunition. “How dare they!” cried Chuck Schumer, right before footage emerged of him planning to obstruct any SCOTUS nominee George W. Bush might make in 2007. Obama bristles now about the behavior of the Republicans suggesting they’d deny him a nominee, even though he tried to filibuster a vote on Samuel Alito. Let’s not pretend this is…

Some thoughts on our sad, predictable reaction to Scalia’s death

The words “giant” or “legend” get thrown around far too much these days, but they fit Justice Antonin Scalia.  The single greatest influence on the Supreme Court since, perhaps, Oliver Wendell Holmes, he almost singlehandedly effected a sea change in American jurisprudence. Prior to Scalia originalism and textualism (or course, I’m using words loosely here, a tendency Scalia himself often criticized) were not taken seriously; they were the province of the fringe and the intellectually lazy.  Now, they form the guiding principles for much of the work done by lawyers all…

United States v. Texas: Immigration at the Supreme Court

Does President Obama have the power to change immigration policy through a deferred action immigration program without going through Congress?  The Supreme Court indicated today that it will likely decide that question soon. The Court granted certiorari in United States v. Texas, a case wherein a federal district court in Texas entered a preliminary injunction stopping Obama’s immigration program before implementation, and a divided 3-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit affirmed that injunction. In other words, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments, and decide whether Obama’s executive action immigration…

Will more gun control laws prevent mass shootings?

Another day and another mass shooting in a public setting. This time a mentally deranged individual brought an arsenal in to Umpqua Community College in Oregon. When the smoked cleared, nine were dead and many more wounded. The scene must have been a tragic one, but the mental failings of the shooter and the pain of the victims have been lost in another gun control firestorm for the left. The press marches along complicitly with the gun control talking points when there are much more pressing and deeper issues at…