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…)

Jun
30
2014
6

First thoughts, Harris v. Quinn, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby.

Basically:

  • ‘Constitutional law scholar,’ my white Irish middle-aged tuchis.
  • That being said, both decisions are relatively narrow. The Right was looking for grand slams; we got RBIs.
  • But remember: the people who won wanted RBIs. Harris wanted to stop getting dinged for useless union dues.  Hobby Lobby didn’t want to go out of business because the alternative was paying for drugs that they considered to be abortifacients.  They both got their wish.

And that’s it for right now.  Gotta go clean the living room.

Jun
26
2014
3

*Thirteen* 9-0 Supreme Court decisions against Obama in two years.

That’s starting to look… unusual.

Did you know the Obama administration’s position has been defeated in at least 13 –thirteen — cases before the Supreme Court since January 2012 that were unanimous decisions? It continued its abysmal record before the Supreme Court today with the announcement of two unanimous opinions against arguments the administration had supported. First, the Court rejected the administration’s power grab on recess appointments by making clear it could not decide when the Senate was in recess. Then it unanimously tossed out a law establishing abortion-clinic “buffer zones” against pro-life protests that the Obama administration argued on behalf of before the Court (though the case was led by Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley).

And by ‘unusual’ I mean ‘Constitutional law scholar, my eye.’

Jun
26
2014
1

SCotUS: Free speech win in McCullen v. Coakley.

The short version: at question in McCullen v. Coakley was whether a Massachusetts law keeping abortion protestors farther away than 35 feet from an abortion center was a violation of those protesters’ free speech, given that said law exempted abortion clinic personnel.  The court agreed, 9-0, that (as SCOTUSblog put it, via Legal Insurrection) “The Court makes clear that states can pass laws that specifically ensure access to clinics. It holds that states cannot more broadly prohibit speech on public streets and sidewalks. ”  As the Boston Globe noted, “The high court’s justices had indicated when they heard the case in January that the state needed to find other ways to address safety concerns and prevent the opponents from impeding access to clinics.” That’s Supreme-Court speak for Fix it or we will; and you will hate how we fix it, because we find that that’s a great way to keep us from getting the dumber cases for review. (more…)

Jun
19
2014
4

Supreme Court cases today!

We may get a big one; then again, we may not.  Either way, Gabriel Malor over at the Federalist listed the remaining big-ticket cases on the docket; since then (as per Gabriel’s update) the Court has decided that SBA List does in fact have standing to challenge Ohio’s absolutely awful anti-free speech law. So there’s that.

I am actually assuming that we’ll get maybe only one large case today if we get any at all. So watch: they’ll clear the docket and take the summer off, or something. Predicting what the Supreme Court will do is a mug’s game (although it does look like the Court will mightily spank the administration over recess appointments). We’ll see at ten AM…

May
27
2014
2

Supreme Court Decisions today!

10 AM for whatever cases get announced today.  The two that most people reading this will be most waiting for are probably going to be Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and NLRB v. Noel Canning, but there are a bunch of important cases in this term, which is frankly part of the problem right there. It is long since time that we started making our legislators write clearer laws; it might encourage our judiciary to stop fiddling with them.

Might.

As to the cases themselves… predicting how the Supreme Court will rule on any one case is a mug’s game, but a lot of people are going to be shocked if the Supremes don’t spank the NLRB – and, by association, the Obama administration – over recess appointments. Guess we’ll see today! …Or not.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

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