Jun
28
2015
3

Reminder: there are actually more Supreme Court decisions tomorrow.

And if Scalia writes the EPA decision (there is a remarkable amount of analysis out there trying to figure out who writes which Supreme Court decisions*)… well. They may have to end up encasing it in concrete and shooting it into the Sun. So, there’s that to look forward to, at least.

Moe Lane

*I think that the general consensus is that the event that might have suggested that Scalia would not get the EPA case was actually not a triggering event in this case, and at any rate Mars was in Taurus when the white heifer gave birth to a two-headed calf and the Ouija board started spelling out 19th Century British dance hall lyrics. You see: apparently, this is all like Kremlinology, only without the scientific rigor. I’m just impressed that the Court can still keep a secret…

Jun
26
2015
14

Today is another SCOTUS Day…

…and it’s probably going to be a sockeldanger of one.  Interestingly, Google asked me if I meant ‘sockleganger:’ when, curious, I answered ‘yes’ it then asked me if I meant ‘doppelganger.’ At which point I concluded that Google needed more coffee, which reminded me that I had a cup of the stuff cooling in the kitchen.

Anyway.  Gay marriage either today or Monday: I think that the SSM case should be 5-4 against finding a right to gay marriage in the Constitution, but I fully expect to be contradicted on that. Well, we’ll see that confirmed in a few hours.

Jun
25
2015
2

It’s SCOTUS Day!

Cases coming up at 10 AM.  Probably not the gay marriage one or the Obamacare one, but there’s some meaty cases likely to hit today.  Redistricting, EPA rules, housing, and lethal injection cases are left (SCOTUSBlog is, as always, tracking this stuff obsessively*), so one or more should show up today, more tomorrow, and the big guns next week.  Unless the Supreme Court decides to do how it pleases, which is what it typically pleases to do.  Either way, expect excitement this morning!

…God, I am such a nerd.  AND PROUD OF IT.

Moe Lane

*Although a lot of people will be tuning in later to see SCOTUSBlog’s possibly most popular feature: to wit, their responses to people who think that @SCOTUSBlog is the official Twitter account of the US Supreme Court.  Worth following for that, alone. Particularly if you think that people shouldn’t social media without at least taking a vision test.

Jun
22
2015
2

Supreme Court smacks Obama administration in Horne v. USDA.

No hat tip for this: because, truthfully, I heard it through…

Either 8-1 or 5-3-1, depending how you score it. The short version is: the US government seizes a portion of the raisin crop each year in order to keep prices up (they typically either sell the raisins for below market value*, or stick ’em in school lunches, or things like that).  Problem is, the Fifth Amendment says that you can’t do that without paying the property owners… and the raisin owners finally complained (took ’em decades to do it, mind you). The Ninth Circuit held for the government, of course – and the Supreme Court smacked them for it. Turns out that the Court couldn’t see the difference between personal property and real estate, no matter how hard the administration wanted them to. And the argument that ‘government keeping raisin prices high’ is equivalent to ‘just compensation’ didn’t really fly with the Supreme Court, either. (more…)

Jun
19
2015
3

Supreme Court smacks 9th Circus, tells it that First Amendment applies to church signs, too.

Short version on this one (Reed v. Town of Gilbert): there’s a church in Arizona with no fixed abode yet that has to go around and rent temporary space for services.  They let their congregants know the latest location via temporary signage; and the town got all bent out of shape over this.  Shockingly, the 9th Circuit can’t read the plain text of the First Amendment, and just as shockingly* the Supreme Court had to smack the 9th Circuit again:

In its opinion, the Supreme Court found that Gilbert’s Sign Code discriminated against certain content without any legitimate governmental interest. The high court threw out the test used by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to claim that Good News Community Church’s signs expressed a less valuable form of speech than a city councilmember seeking re-election or an HOA promoting a Friday fish fry.

Unanimously smack, might I add. It takes a good deal of work to get a 9-0 Supreme Court decision, but the 9th Circus is always up to the challenge. Jon Gabriel also notes in the link above that the idiots in this case (the town, and the two judges on the 9th Circuit that ruled for the town) are either conservatives and/or Bush appointees.  Yeah, this is why we can’t have nice things…

Moe Lane

*As in, ‘not-shockingly.’ Everybody knows that the Ninth Circuit is always creating rulings that the Supreme Court later has to scrape up off the sidewalk.

Apr
08
2015
3

In classic Wisconsin Democratic fashion, Shirley Abrahamson petulantly fights being demoted.

I am finding it really difficult not to laugh at this.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday to try and hold on to her leadership spot after voters approved a constitutional amendment that was likely to result in her demotion.

For the past 126 years the chief justice position has gone to the most senior member of the Supreme Court. Since 1996, that has been Abrahamson. But the amendment approved by voters on Tuesday would instead allow the seven justices to decide who should be chief.

(more…)

Feb
20
2015
3

Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D, Pennsylvania) Supreme Court pick’s racially insensitive email.

Basically, Tom Wolf just can’t catch a break.  Unless he caught it on his chin, maybe:

One of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s nominees for the state Supreme Court from Central Pennsylvania may have forwarded a racially insensitive email to 22 people.

The 2013 Christmas greeting card depicts a black man in an orange jumpsuit, sitting behind a glass prison partition, talking on the phone with a black woman outside the glass. “Merry Christmas from the Johnsons,” the card says.

Thomas K. Kistler, the president judge of Centre County Common Pleas Court, could not be reached.

Go figure. Does the man regret running for Governor, at this point? – Because he’s apparently one of God’s Six Fish right now.

Via @SalenaVito.

Nov
12
2014
2

The Left wants to continually harass and bully the Supreme Court. Don’t let them.

I don’t care if it’s ostensibly targeting conservatives: this is a Lefty agitprop exercise, and should be treated as such.

[Leftist agitprop]

That’s the catchphrase for a media campaign being unveiled Wednesday that targets the Supreme Court — not for what the justices do but for what they don’t do.

As in: They don’t publicize their schedules. They don’t state their conflicts when recusing themselves from cases. They don’t put their financial disclosures online. They don’t bind themselves to a code of conduct. And they don’t let cameras in the courtroom.

(more…)

Oct
08
2014
3

US Supreme Court: North Carolina Democrats may not have their election fraud, after all.

Oh, yeah, like anybody else is going to couch this anything except favorable partisan terms, either.

The Supreme Court, with two Justices noting dissents, on Wednesday afternoon allowed North Carolina to bar voters from registering and casting their ballots on the same day, and to refuse to count votes that were cast in the wrong polling places.  Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.  The majority did not explain its action.

The order gives the state time to file an appeal from lower-court rulings striking down those two provisions, which were part of a larger, sweeping change in voting rights in the state.  If the Court grants review of the state’s appeal, the postponement will remain in effect until there is a decision.

(more…)

Oct
06
2014
3

USSC on same-sex marriage: ‘Not our problem, macushla.’

This is going to raise eyebrows:

Which essentially means this:

This apparently surprised the veteran court-watchers; I’m still trying to process it myself. You’d think that there would have been a four-Justice consensus on the Court to at least settle this issue…

Jul
01
2014
8

Ginsburg and Breyer: still not retiring.

I’ve been thinking about this myself.

The most important news from the Supreme Court this month?

Sure, we’ve had landmark rulings in Hobby Lobby, Canning and several other cases. But the non-retirements of the court’s two senior liberal associate justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, might overshadow any of those decisions in the longer run.

(more…)

Jul
01
2014
8

Why Barack Obama won’t just unilaterally fund access to abortifacients.

In the course of a not-entirely-unfair piece by Time magazine that makes it clear that the Obama administration has decided to play partisan politics with the Hobby Lobby decision*, the magazine article noted something interesting.  At issue is the centerpiece of the ruling – that companies are not actually required to violate their owners’ religious principles by paying for abortifacients – and the funny thing here is that the government never really had to seek a ruling in the first place:

Legal observers say it would not be difficult for the Obama Administration to resolve the situation unilaterally. The Department of Health and Human Services has already taken unilateral executive action to ensure that women employed by religious nonprofits get contraception coverage in cases where the employer declines to pay. “There was nothing in the statute that specifically allowed them to create the exemption for non-profit organizations so I don’t see why they couldn’t extend that to for-profit corporations,” said Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University and an expert on the Affordable Care Act’s regulations. “I don’t know why they couldn’t do it themselves.”

Two answers to that: first, then the Democrats couldn’t fundraise on the issue. Second, if the administration decided to fund procedures that an extremely large swath of the population considers to be abortifacients then they’d be in for several more exquisitely painful months in the public disapproval barrel.  Better by far to send it to Congress, let it die there, then blame it all on the Republicans.  And, of course, fundraise on the issue. (more…)

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