ChrisWeigant.com

It's SCOTUS Season Again

[ Posted Monday, June 17th, 2019 – 17:18 UTC ]

It's June, which means that it is Supreme Court season once again. The high court's session wraps up at the end of June each year, and they usually hold back the most contentious cases until the very end. This year, there are two such big cases that could change American politics for at least the next decade or so. But in the meantime, the court has announced a few other decisions worth examining for their political impact as well.

The two cases everyone is waiting for are whether the Census Bureau can include a citizenship question on the main 2020 Census form, and whether the court will adopt a standard for what is and is not acceptable in terms of partisan gerrymandering. More on them in a moment. The decisions announced today dealt with: another bakery which refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple; a racial gerrymandering case; and the question of whether being tried by both a state and the federal government for the same crime constitutes "double jeopardy" or not.

First, let's take a look at what just happened. The court decided not to take up another wedding cake case, and sent it back to the lower courts. They overturned a ruling against a bakery which refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding in Oregon, but by doing so they didn't indicate how they really felt about the case. The lower court ruling happened before the Supreme Court ruled on the Colorado cake-baking case, so all the Supreme Court did in the Oregon case was to instruct the lower court to reconsider their ruling in light of the new Colorado ruling.

This will probably not change anything, other than to delay the case from being heard in the Supreme Court for another year. The Colorado ruling was issued incredibly narrowly, because the Supreme Court found that the state showed hostility towards (and bias against) the freedom of religion when it was determining the outcome of the case, and so in essence the Supreme Court was only ruling on not allowing such bias to exist in the decision-making process. It has yet to rule on the decision itself, or any similar "religious freedom versus civil rights for gay weddings" cases. If the state of Oregon decides that no such bias was used in their own cake case decision, they will likely just issue exactly the same ruling and the case will be appealed to the Supreme Court all over again. In other words, today's ruling was a punt, plain and simple, designed to buy time before the Supreme Court is forced to decide the issue one way or the other.

The court likewise punted on a Virginia case of racial gerrymandering, although this punt does set a different kind of precedent. In this case, the state was pretty obviously guilty of gerrymandering districts to dilute the power of African-American voters. The federal judge declared that the legislature should draw up a new, non-gerrymandered map. The Republican legislature refused to do so, so the judge had a nonpartisan expert draw up a map instead.

The state's attorney general refused to challenge the new map in court, so the Republican House of Burgesses challenged it on their own. The Supreme Court ruled today that the lower chamber of the state legislature simply has no standing to bring such a case on their own. This ruling throws out the entire appeal of the new map, and thus the state will be using it in the upcoming elections. But by doing so, the Supreme Court dodged the question of whether the case had been decided correctly, since they ruled that the case should never have been allowed to move forward (since the state itself did not do so). One chamber of a bicameral legislature does not have the power to challenge the ruling without the support of the governor or attorney general, in other words. Again, this sets a precedent for who has standing to challenge laws and court rulings, but didn't really break new ground on the question of racial gerrymandering.

The case was, however, a clear win for Democrats. With new nonpartisan districts, Democrats are definitely within reach of taking over both houses of the state legislature (they are currently two seats away from doing so in both houses). If they manage to do so, then Democrats will be in control of drawing the new district lines after the 2020 Census, which may ensure that Virginia stays a blue state for the next decade. That's a pretty big political victory.

The double-jeopardy case was one without obvious political repercussions, or would be if there was a different occupant of the Oval Office. A man was convicted of both federal and state gun charges for the same crime, which added years to his sentence. He argued that being tried twice for the same crime -- once in federal court, once in state court -- was unconstitutional since such double-jeopardy is supposed to be outlawed by the Fifth Amendment ("...nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb...").

The court ruled, as it always has in the past, that the Constitution in this case refers only to federal law. The man wasn't tried twice in federal court for the same offense, so no constitutional problem exists. He was subject to two trials because of a legal notion known as "dual sovereignty." He exists both as a citizen of the United States and a citizen of the state he resides in, and both sovereignties are allowed to separately try him for a crime committed against them. In brief: two sovereignties, two trials, and two sentences for one crime, but no double jeopardy.

As mentioned, normally this wouldn't be big political news, but it is indeed relevant because Donald Trump has used his pardon power so capriciously. Trump could pardon anyone involved in the Mueller investigation, for instance, any time he chooses to do so. The open question is whether such individuals could then be tried in state courts for the same crimes. Several of them are already facing such charges and trials, in fact, Paul Manafort being the most prominent example. But a Trump pardon would only cover federal crimes -- to also be free of state-level crimes would require a separate pardon from that state's governor. So it's not as academic a legal question as it first appears. By ruling 7-2 in this case, the Supreme Court strongly indicated that being tried in both federal and state courts is entirely constitutional, which would devalue any pardons Trump is now contemplating issuing.

That's what happened today. Let's now look forward a few weeks to the two big cases yet to be decided. The Census case is important because the Census itself is so important. Not only do Census numbers determine how many House districts each state is allotted for the next 10 years, they also dictate how much federal money goes to each individual district (since various funds are often distributed based on population). So it's a question of both representation and money.

The Trump administration pretty clearly acted in bad faith on the citizenship question. In fact, more evidence which proves this is still being brought to light. The citizenship question was proposed as a purely political exercise, and then was forced upon the Census Bureau for purely political reasons, with a sugarcoating of false reasoning sprinkled on top. Piercing the obvious cover story wasn't all that hard to do, even before the recent bombshell revelations from the heir of a Republican political operative who was instrumental in pushing the question in the first place.

However, given the partisan nature of the case, it's anybody's guess how the court will rule. Including a citizenship question will suppress the response to the Census, meaning more people (primarily but not exclusively Latino) will not be counted at all. Since House districts are drawn up by pure population -- how many people live there, in other words, not how many citizens live there -- the question is immaterial to the redistricting process. But suppressing certain groups' response could boost Republicans in several ways -- it could lead to the loss of a House seat in a Democratic state in favor of a House seat being given to a Republican state, and it would boost the ability to draw districts which favor Republicans.

Speaking of gerrymandering, the other big case likely to arrive at the very end of the term is a monumental one -- if the Supreme Court decides to tackle it directly, that is. This one is actually two cases wrapped into one, for balance. Maryland is being accused of gerrymandering House districts to benefit Democrats, and North Carolina is being accused of doing the same thing to benefit Republicans. By taking both cases, the court can appear to be more non-political in its decision.

The core constitutional question is whether gerrymandering for specific partisan reasons is truly constitutional or not. Should politicians be able to choose their voters, rather than the voters being able to choose their politicians? Or should there be some equality in the way districts are drawn up? This is a very fundamental political question, especially since we're on the brink of the next redistricting, which will set House boundaries in stone for the next 10 years.

The high court has punted on this question before, so they could always punt again this year. They have said in previous decisions that too much partisan gerrymandering is likely unconstitutional, but also that it is very hard to know where to draw this distinction. What metric should be used to determine whether unconstitutional gerrymandering has taken place? There are such metrics for racial gerrymandering, which have existed and been refined since the Civil Rights era. But there are no agreed-upon guidelines for political gerrymandering. These two cases have put forth such metrics in the lower court decisions, but there's no guarantee that the Supreme Court will adopt them. Both Maryland and North Carolina are pretty obviously gerrymandered for political reasons, but how can the court draw a line for future accusations of gerrymandering?

If the court refuses to adopt a standard, the question will not be settled no matter how they rule on the two individual cases. They could throw out the maps in the two states, but without setting a hard guideline for the future, they will see many more such cases in the future, one assumes. And no matter what maps the states use in 2020, these maps will likely be redrawn in 2021, during the normal redistricting process.

Both of the two remaining big cases in front of the Supreme Court have major implications, since they will both affect the 2020 Census and the redistricting that happens afterwards. This process will result in House districts drawn up for the next decade of American politics, making them very important indeed. While both parties have engaged in political gerrymandering to some degree or another, the trend in politics is to move away from partisan mapmaking. Several states have moved the entire process to a nonpartisan group, rather than allowing politicians to draw the maps. Gerrymandering may become a thing of the past at some future point for all states, in other words.

The question is whether the Supreme Court will speed this process up by instituting a metric for how much partisan gerrymandering is allowed. Currently, Republicans have successfully dominated the process. The House of Representatives is pretty heavily skewed in the Republicans' favor, in many more states than Democrats have gerrymandered. This allowed the GOP to dominate the House for almost the whole of the 2010s, in fact. If fairer maps were drawn up in 2021, it would allow more districts to be much more competitive, and would give Democrats a much better chance of assembling a majority than they now have. So these two cases will be closely watched, because they could influence this process to a very large degree.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

64 Comments on “It's SCOTUS Season Again”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    the biggest issue is not partisan gerrymandering, but BI-partisan gerrymandering. the minority and majority parties collude to reduce the overall seats of the minority, but at the same time make the minority seats completely unassailable by packing votes favorable to the incumbents. not just republicans, by the way.

  2. [2] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Gerrymandering may become a thing of the past?

    Not in our lifetime if you're counting on the Democrats and/or Republicans to do it or the Supreme Court to speed up the process.

    The best way and quickest way to end gerrymandering is to make the election process unpredictable. Gerrymandering only works when voters (and non-voters) are predictable.

    Even just a small percentage of voters, as little as 10% in 2020, could make many congressional districts and Senate races unpredictable. And adding another 5-10% to the vote total from those that don't vote would make it even more difficult to predict because those citizens have no voting history.

    The key is to find something that many citizens want that could inspire this 10-20% of the vote to be unpredictable.

    80% of citizens want the big money out of politics and it may be one reason that many citizens that don't vote don't vote.

    If citizens knew they had the option to participate in One Demand it could have an effect on some of the gerrymandered districts and some Senate races.

    For example, a small donor candidate could beat the token CMP candidate in a gerrymandered district in the primaries making the general election competitive in that district or senate race.

    A third party or independent small donor candidate could take enough votes from the gerrymandered party candidate and the other CMP candidate could flip that district or maybe the third party or independent could even win in the general election.

    This would only have to be successful in a few districts or Senate races in 2020 to inspire more citizens to participate in 2022 which will spread the unpredictability to more districts and senate races in 2022.

    This would bring an end to gerrymandering much faster than what you describe in your article.

    This does not mean that it should be done instead of what you describe. There is no reason not to pursue both as the more different approaches that can be put into action the better the chances of success for all of them.

    And it could even have the added benefit of eliminating or at least severely reducing the influence of big money in our political process.

    So what's the problem?

  3. [3] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I just want to say that this column is a very impressive distillation of a densly packed news day. In an era dominated by audio-video there is still great power in the well written word.

  4. [4] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet-
    The correct spelling is BUY-partisan.

  5. [5] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Nypoet-1 Party Collusion is misleading. No party wants to be confined to a few safe voter ghettos...but once in place some minority party members may be very willing to collude with the majority to achieve safe seats and seniority. The resulting minority party can't do much about this situation at the ballot box....unless the majority gets very incompetent, complacent or unlucky. This is an inherent problem when the majority party controls the disricting process.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    However, given the partisan nature of the case, it's anybody's guess how the court will rule. Including a citizenship question will suppress the response to the Census, meaning more people (primarily but not exclusively Latino) will not be counted at all.

    The only people who would not be counted are people who should not be counted anyways..

    ILLEGAL immigrants..

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    the biggest issue is not partisan gerrymandering, but BI-partisan gerrymandering. the minority and majority parties collude to reduce the overall seats of the minority, but at the same time make the minority seats completely unassailable by packing votes favorable to the incumbents. not just republicans, by the way.

    Exactly..

    Democrats are whining SOLELY because Republicans are better at cheating (if it is, in fact, cheating) than the Democrats are...

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speaking of illegal immigrants..

    Trump says U.S. agency will begin removing millions of illegal immigrants

    WASHINGTON, June 17 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Monday that U.S. authorities would begin next week removing millions of immigrants who are in the United States illegally.

    "Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States," Trump tweeted, referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. "They will be removed as fast as they come in," he said. He did not offer specifics.

    There are an estimated 12 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally, mainly from Mexico and Central America.

    Under a deal reached earlier this month, Mexico has agreed to take Central American immigrants seeking asylum in the United States until their cases are heard in U.S. courts.

    The agreement, which included Mexico pledging to deploy National Guard troops to stop Central American immigrants from reaching the U.S. border, averted a Trump threat to hit Mexican imports with tariffs.

    Trump also said in the tweet that Guatemala "is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement."

    President Trump....

    Making America GREAT Again....

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: The U.S. is 'running concentration camps on our southern border'
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-the-u-s-is-running-concentration-camps-on-our-southern-border

    Once again. A perfect example of why it's IMPOSSIBLE to take Democrats seriously when it comes to their "outrages"..

    Because the FACTS clearly show that it's NOT "outrage" that prompts their outbursts..

    It's clearly nothing but Party bigotry and slavery..

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    First, let's take a look at what just happened. The court decided not to take up another wedding cake case, and sent it back to the lower courts. They overturned a ruling against a bakery which refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding in Oregon, but by doing so they didn't indicate how they really felt about the case. The lower court ruling happened before the Supreme Court ruled on the Colorado cake-baking case, so all the Supreme Court did in the Oregon case was to instruct the lower court to reconsider their ruling in light of the new Colorado ruling.

    This will probably not change anything, other than to delay the case from being heard in the Supreme Court for another year.

    The writing's on the wall...

    The SCOTUS is simply going to re-affirm that rebellious rights take priority over non-discrimination rights.. Especially when other options are available to those being "discriminated" against..

    It's funny.. The Left Wingers who push these publicity-seeking bullshit cases are the ones who are actually being discriminatory... :D

    Howz THAT for irony.. :D

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    The SCOTUS is simply going to re-affirm that rebellious rights take priority over non-discrimination rights.. Especially when other options are available to those being "discriminated" against..

    WTF!??

    How did "rebellious" replace "religious"??? Musta slipped on the spell check...

    That SHOULD read:

    The SCOTUS is simply going to re-affirm that religious rights take priority over non-discrimination rights.. Especially when other options are available to those being "discriminated" against..

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I don't use those words lightly. I don't use those words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is. A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist and it's very difficult to say that."
    -Occasional Cortex

    What a crock of shit.. She DOES use those words lightly.. She DOES use those words to throw bombs..

    How do we know this??

    Because the policies that are in place at DHS are the SAME policies that were in place during the Odumbo administration and this moron didn't say SQUAT about it.. Hell, some of the policies in place at DHS today were CREATED by the Odumbo administration..

    So, yea... Occasional Cortex is using those words VERY lightly.. She just wants to throw bombs... :eyeroll:

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speaking of the SCOTUS

    Justice Thomas urges U.S. Supreme Court to feel free to reverse precedents

    (Reuters) - Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to feel less bound to upholding precedent, advancing a view that if adopted by enough of his fellow justices could result in more past decisions being overruled, perhaps including the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-thomas/justice-thomas-urges-u-s-supreme-court-to-feel-free-to-reverse-precedents-idUSKCN1TI2KJ

    Say goodbye to Roe v Wade, Democrats...

  14. [14] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I don't think some people understand what religious freedom is.

    Religious freedom not not give you the right to discriminate against people or violate their rights.

    Religious freedom means individuals have the freedom to make sacrifices for their religious beliefs.

    So if the baker does not want to make cakes for gays/lesbians the baker is free to make the sacrifice for their religious beliefs to find a line of work that does not require violating their religious belief.

    Just like the Amish are free to not use automobiles, but they are not allowed to drive their horse drawn buggies on the interstate highways.

  15. [15] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Religious freedom DOES not give you the right....

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Religious freedom DOES not give you the right....

    To run your business as you see fit??

    The hell it don't..

    Religious freedom not not give you the right to discriminate against people or violate their rights.

    Which rights are you referring to??

    The right to have a wedding cake made??

    The bakers in question are NOT interfering with the rights of the gay couple to have a wedding cake made..

    The bakers in question are simply affirming their RIGHT not to have to do it..

    The couple in question are free to go to one of the other DOZEN bakers in the area that will have NO problem making a gay cake for a gay couple..

    So, the gay couple's "rights" are not being interfered with in the least..

    It's the BAKER'S rights that are being ignored..

    So if the baker does not want to make cakes for gays/lesbians the baker is free to make the sacrifice for their religious beliefs to find a line of work that does not require violating their religious belief.

    One has to look at the greater good. Or, in this case, the greater harm..

    Who is harmed more??

    The religious couple who have to give up what they love and lose their livelihood??

    Or the gay couple who simply must find a different baker in an area where there are dozens...

    Obviously the greater harm is to the religious couple..

    Hence the ruling...

    If you look at the situation OBJECTIVELY, free from hysterical emotionalism, the answer is clear...

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now I am sure you can come up with a lot of different scenarios that support your position..

    But THOSE scenarios aren't THIS scenario..

    In THIS scenario the correct ruling is to rule in favor of the bakers..

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Just like the Amish are free to not use automobiles, but they are not allowed to drive their horse drawn buggies on the interstate highways.

    Apples and Eskimos...

    That's a safety issue that has nothing to do with religious freedom and everything to do with saving lives..

    THAT scenario is in no way relevant to THIS scenario...

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now I am sure you can come up with a lot of different scenarios that support your position..

    But THOSE scenarios aren't THIS scenario..

    In THIS scenario the correct ruling is to rule in favor of the bakers..

    It all comes down to the Greater Good/Greater Harm argument...

    Which serves the greater good...

    Which Party would suffer the greater harm...

    Logically, rationally and objectively...

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    END OF WATCH

    Patrol Officer John Hetland
    Racine Police Department, Wisconsin
    End of Watch: Monday, June 17, 2019

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/13839e8d10b9303c8d9aee50576e15b15f4844be91d15073a21097a85b780c50.jpg

    I have been tracking Officer Down stats for quite a while now..

    It's wholly depressing to realize how many cops die across the country.. :(

  21. [21] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    The baker is free to choose whether or not they wish to make the sacrifice for their religious belief.

    Any harm suffered by the baker that is caused by choosing to make the sacrifice to conform to their religious belief is a direct result of that choice.

    So the gay/lesbian couple is not causing any harm to the baker.

    The baker is discriminating against the gay/lesbian couple.

    The baker could easily adapt their business to fit their religious beliefs by offering a choice of only standard wedding cakes without any customization.

    Then gay/lesbian couples that want a customized cake instead of the cakes offered by the baker would have no basis for discrimination.

  22. [22] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Just because the reason is different for the Amish to not use the interstate doesn't mean that the principle of making a sacrifice for the religious beliefs is different.

    The Amish are free to make the sacrifice of riding their buggies ten or twenty miles on roads they can use to get where they are going instead of using the interstate that would be more direct and only two miles.

    Just because something is different in one way does not mean it is not the same in the ways it is the same.

    You are making the same argument that the big money Democrat supporters here make that just because the Dems are different from the Republicans on some issues that the Dems are not the same in that they take big money and work for the big money interests just like the Republicans.

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    The baker is free to choose whether or not they wish to make the sacrifice for their religious belief.

    Yes.. And the bakers chose NOT to compromise their religious beliefs..

    So the gay/lesbian couple is not causing any harm to the baker.

    Yer right.. Because the bakers chose NOT to compromise their religious beliefs..

    The baker is discriminating against the gay/lesbian couple.

    Yes...

    Just like a Democrat who runs a business to help candidates win elections would be discriminating against a GOP'er who wants the Democrat business to help him win his election..

    The baker could easily adapt their business to fit their religious beliefs by offering a choice of only standard wedding cakes without any customization.

    That would cause greater economic harm to the bakers.. Plus you get into the whole "artist" thing as well..

    If you approach a painter and ask them to paint you in the nude, do they not have the right to refuse such a request?? What if you happened to be gay.. Could the artist refuse the request??

    Of course..

    Then gay/lesbian couples that want a customized cake instead of the cakes offered by the baker would have no basis for discrimination.

    And the couple have a dozen different bakers that they can choose from.. In this case, the couple WANTED the christian bakers so as to make a stink..

    Just because something is different in one way does not mean it is not the same in the ways it is the same.

    Except for that they are NOT the same in what matters most..

    The greater good/harm...

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Jun 18, 2019 at 7:56 am ET
    Trump Set to Live-Tweet Democratic Debates

    President Trump's political advisers wanted to keep the president off of Twitter during the Democratic debates next week, arguing that there was an advantage in letting potential challengers attack one another without distraction.

    Now, there’s a new strategy.

    The president, who has spent years embracing social media for his political advantage, is tentatively planning to live-tweet the debates on June 26-27, according to people familiar with the planning.

    Mr. Trump, even from a remove, always promised to be the most important figure at the debate. Regardless of the specific debate questions, many Democratic voters will be listening for how each candidate plans to take down Mr. Trump.
    https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/campaign-wire-election-2020/card/1560859018

    Now THAT oughta be worth some laughs. :D

    I can see the benefits from both sides...

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    The baker is discriminating against the gay/lesbian couple.

    Just like the gay/lesbian couple is discriminating against the bakers by choosing THEM over any other baker who would gladly do their cake for them...

    These bakers were TARGETED by the gay/lesbian couple BECAUSE of the bakers' religious beliefs

  26. [26] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    What part of "Any harm suffered by the baker that is caused by choosing to make the sacrifice to conform to their religious belief is a direct result of that choice" do you not understand?

    Any harm caused to the business of the baker is self-imposed as it is a direct result of that choice.

    Perhaps the baker wanted to make a stink by refusing to bake the cake for the gay couple.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Any harm caused to the business of the baker is self-imposed as it is a direct result of that choice.

    Which is WHY the bakers chose NOT to make the cake for the gay/lesbian couple.. Because they did not want to experience the harm..

    I am not sure what point you are trying to make..

    Perhaps the baker wanted to make a stink by refusing to bake the cake for the gay couple.

    Yea.. The bakers put out an ad on CRAIGSLIST saying, "Any gay or lesbian couple. Please come to our shop so we can refuse to make you a cake and cause the loss of business and all the death threats from supposed "tolerant" Left Wingers.."

    Yer really reaching there, bub...

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's funny.. I didn't hear anyone here say a word when Sarah Huckabee Sanders was told the leave a restaurant by the restaurant manager..

    I guess it only matters if Left Wingers are discriminated against.. :eyeroll:

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    I didn't hear anyone here say squat when Mad Maxine Waters told Democrats to attack and accost Trump supporters on the streets and in restaurants and such...

    Here, let me help ya out..

    "Well.. er... Uh.... That's different!!"

    :eyeroll:

    Everyone here (NEN) advocates discrimination against the Right and Trump supporters all the time..

    So, you'll forgive me if I can't shed too many tears for a gay activist couple who targeted bakers solely based on their religious beliefs..

  30. [30] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-14,15,21,22 & 26

    I am pleased to find I am in complete agreement with these five posts. Well said!

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am pleased to find I am in complete agreement with these five posts. Well said!

    Heh

    Funny how DH is scum of the earth when he says something you don't agree with..

    But when he toes your Party slavery line??

    "Well said.."

    :eyeroll:

  32. [32] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-26

    Well, not quite in complete agreement. I consider your Big Democrat analogy a gap in your gear train. Otherwise, top notch.

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ahhhhh I get it..

    DH was simply showing off how easy it is to draw praise from the Dumbocrat Peanut Gallery...

    Just spout off with platitudes, shiny beads and shallow flattery and the Lemmings fall all over themselves to slap you on the back and treat you like one of the gang...

    :D

    Well played, Sir.. I salute you.. :D

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, not quite in complete agreement. I consider your Big Democrat analogy a gap in your gear train. Otherwise, top notch.

    Ahhh.. So Stig was in "complete agreement"...

    Then he actually READ the comment and, all of the sudden, he is NOT in "complete agreement"...

    :eyeroll:

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ahhhhh I get it..

    DH was simply showing off how easy it is to draw praise from the Dumbocrat Peanut Gallery...

    Just spout off with platitudes, shiny beads and shallow flattery and the Lemmings fall all over themselves to slap you on the back and treat you like one of the gang...

    :D

    Well played, Sir.. I salute you.. :D

    Sorry.. Didn't mean to let the cat outta the bag.. :^/

    "Dick move, Banner!!!"
    -Iron Man, AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    'Fox & Friends' talks to some of the Trump supporters camped out ahead of Florida rally: 'We are former Dems'

    Fox News correspondent Lauren Blanchard was on the scene Tuesday morning on "Fox & Friends," meeting some of the folks who are looking forward to seeing the president.

    Three women, Maria, Nancy and Jenny, arrived Monday afternoon and camped overnight.

    "We are all former Dems," Maria told Blanchard, saying they all support the Walk Away movement for disillusioned Democrats.

    Nancy said the president "unites everybody" at his rallies and it feels like a "rock concert" for those in attendance.

    "What I want to hear is what he has planned for everybody to move forward," she said.

    The president tweeted on Monday morning that his campaign has received more than 100,000 ticket requests for the event in an arena that only holds 20,000 people.
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/fox-friends-trump-supporters-camped-out-florida-rally

    What's the Democrat candidates' plans to woo back for Democrats who are Trump supporters??

    Besides demonizing them and attacking them as racists, I mean.. :^/

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    However, new Fox News polls suggest a cause for concern for the president's re-election chances.

    The poll found former Vice President Joe Biden holding a sizable lead on the Democratic field, with a 10-point lead on Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup.

    Anyone on the Left who is putting ANY faith in polls this far out is simply desperate for something to hang their hat on...

    Even if you ignore the penchant for Trump supporters to NOT do polls, this far out has absolutely NO BEARING on Nov 2020..

    Anyone who says different is merely desperate..

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Did you hear what Biden said the other day about, if he is the nominee, he is going to campaign in Trump country and he thinks he can win in Florida and Texas and Georgia and others.

    If Biden is the nominee, the 2020 presidential campaign is going to as fun as watching the 2019 NBA champions play their special brand of basketball.

  39. [39] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    the main difference as far as i can tell is the question of when discrimination is legal vs. illegal. for example, is it legal to discriminate based on someone's beliefs? if a nazi comes in and asks for a cake with a swaztika on it, am i not allowed to say sorry, I won't do that because i find nazism to be an abomination?

    the distinction in the case of gay marriage is whether the person refusing a gay person a wedding cake is doing so based on only one person's beliefs or both. is the ability of gay people to marry a belief or a right? the supreme court ruled in obergefell v hodges that it was a right, but that was in respect to public policy, not private business. essentially, in a conflict of beliefs the government isn't allowed to take sides. however, the current court being what it is, my guess is they'll claim marriage equality is enough of a grey area to give the baker a pass, and his discrimination will be ruled legal. however, it's a very slippery slope between there and pharmacists refusing to sell birth control, or not allowing the enforcement of laws to prevent infection by anti-vaxxers.

    JL

  40. [40] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    enjoy the NBA champions while you've got them. new york has been waiting half a century.

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Did you hear what Biden said the other day about, if he is the nominee, he is going to campaign in Trump country and he thinks he can win in Florida and Texas and Georgia and others.

    Yep, I heard that.. Hopefully he will also not forget to campaign in states he thinks are a "sure thing" ala Hillary Clinton..

    If Biden is the nominee, the 2020 presidential campaign is going to as fun as watching the 2019 NBA champions play their special brand of basketball.

    I have no doubt it will be entertaining. Not an aficionado of basketball, I can't comment on the comparison.. :D

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    the main difference as far as i can tell is the question of when discrimination is legal vs. illegal. for example, is it legal to discriminate based on someone's beliefs? if a nazi comes in and asks for a cake with a swaztika on it, am i not allowed to say sorry, I won't do that because i find nazism to be an abomination?

    Exactly... Everyone discriminates... In and of itself, it's a fact of life...

    the distinction in the case of gay marriage is whether the person refusing a gay person a wedding cake is doing so based on only one person's beliefs or both. is the ability of gay people to marry a belief or a right? the supreme court ruled in obergefell v hodges that it was a right, but that was in respect to public policy, not private business. essentially, in a conflict of beliefs the government isn't allowed to take sides. however, the current court being what it is, my guess is they'll claim marriage equality is enough of a grey area to give the baker a pass, and his discrimination will be ruled legal.

    Agreed...

    however, it's a very slippery slope between there and pharmacists refusing to sell birth control, or not allowing the enforcement of laws to prevent infection by anti-vaxxers.

    The slippery slope is alleviated if not eliminated by using the Great Good/Harm algorithm...

    Whoever suffers the greater harm will win the day...

    In this case, compromising one's core christian beliefs just to make a living is the greater harm when compared to a gay couple who has to drive down the street to a different baker who doesn't have a moral objection to their lifestyle..

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    the main difference as far as i can tell is the question of when discrimination is legal vs. illegal. for example, is it legal to discriminate based on someone's beliefs? if a nazi comes in and asks for a cake with a swaztika on it, am i not allowed to say sorry, I won't do that because i find nazism to be an abomination?

    Which is why no one here had a problem with Sarah Huckabee Sanders being told to leave a restaurant by the restaurant manager...

    Discrimination is perfectly acceptable when the RIGHT people are discriminated against..

    Notable exceptions noted.. :D

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    In this case, compromising one's core christian beliefs just to make a living is the greater harm when compared to a gay couple who has to drive down the street to a different baker who doesn't have a moral objection to their lifestyle..

    Let it be known that I have no dog in this hunt..

    My disgust for gay activists who want to force their chosen lifestyle on others who may not believe as they do is matched by my disgust for those religious demagogues who shove religion down the throat of those who chose not to believe as they do..

    I am not saying either party fits either or those categories, but generally speaking, that's where I stand....

    Completely and utterly objective...

  45. [45] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    The Democratics are being cheered by the polls. They've already forgotten the 2016 polling, and they've never mastered the problem of how to compensate for the difference in the the attitudes and the reactions of people being polled.

    The instinctive reaction of the Dem/Lib to the question "Whom you gonna vote for" is to wave his arms and jump up and down while shouting the name of his/her favorite Lib candidate at the top of his/her lungs

    The instinctive reaction of the Rep/Con to that same question is "NOYFB", but being too polite to say that, he/she actually responds with "Undecided"!

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Did you hear what Biden said the other day about, if he is the nominee, he is going to campaign in Trump country and he thinks he can win in Florida and Texas and Georgia and others.

    I *AM* constrained to point out that Hillary thought the same thing..

    She thought she had a chance in "Trump" country and chose to allocate assets to those states at the expense of "sure thing" states like Michigan and Pennsylvania..

    She thought wrong....

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    The instinctive reaction of the Rep/Con to that same question is "NOYFB", but being too polite to say that, he/she actually responds with "Undecided"!

    It's like yer inside their heads.. :D

    heh

    Yup, that's it exactly..

    Put another way.. EVERYONE should treat those polls as if they have NO representation of Trump supporters...

    Once that is understood, the polls can be put in their proper context..

  48. [48] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale-
    My point is that any harm caused to the baker is self-imposed. Your argument is that the court should rule in favor of who suffers the greatest harm.

    But it should be who causes the greatest harm to the other. As the baker's harm is self-imposed by their choice they are suffering no harm that they are suffering by anything but their own choice.

    But you could make the case that the couple is also self-imposing any harm caused to them by choosing the baker that will not bake their cake when there are other options.

    I have no idea how or if the court can rule that neither side is right other than saying both sides have self-imposed harm.

    And of course the baker must enjoy self-imposed harm because the baker follows a religion and the couple must enjoy self-imposed harm because they are getting married. :D

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Heh.... :D

    How a Wyoming rancher summarizes the Mueller report..

    “We know that old boy (President Trump) didn’t actually steal any horses, but he’s obviously guilty of trying to avoid being hanged for it.”

    Sums it up perfectly...

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    My point is that any harm caused to the baker is self-imposed. Your argument is that the court should rule in favor of who suffers the greatest harm.

    That's like saying those who suffer great harm because President Trump was elected should have just voted for President Trump and then they would not suffer any harm..

    It's like saying, "Give up your principles and then you won't be harmed when you have to compromise them..."

    It's a ridiculous argument..

    But it should be who causes the greatest harm to the other. As the baker's harm is self-imposed by their choice they are suffering no harm that they are suffering by anything but their own choice.

    So, yer saying that those who FORCED the choice on the bakers have NO RESPONSIBILITY whatsoever??

    I was wrong. You ARE a typical Democrat.. Hehehehe :D

    And of course the baker must enjoy self-imposed harm because the baker follows a religion and the couple must enjoy self-imposed harm because they are getting married. :D

    hehehehehehehe

    I dunno.. I have been married going on 38 years and the fun and good far outweigh the harm.. :D

  51. [51] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig (32)-
    That's fine. But understand that this could cause you to suffer the self-imposed harm caused by your choice to support big money Democrats- four more years of Trump or more broken promises by the big money Democrats.

    It's too bad the rest of of us have to also suffer.

  52. [52] 
    Kick wrote:

    Great summary, CW. :)

  53. [53] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    2

    The key is to find something that many citizens want that could inspire this 10-20% of the vote to be unpredictable.

    Pie. Obviously. :)

    If citizens knew they had the option to participate in One Demand it could have an effect on some of the gerrymandered districts and some Senate races.

    It's too bad then that your advertising link here on the blog is completely nonfunctional and your website is several years old and hasn't been updated after repeated and multiple posters have informed you of this fact.

    If you don't care enough about your "idea" to have a functional link on the blog and a website that is kept current, why on Earth should anyone else?

    You are the living proof of how valuable you believe your idea is, and you're asking for receipts for something you're not willing to proffer. Requesting repeatedly that another person provide time and attention to your cause that you are demonstrably and repeatedly not willing to give means never having to wonder why you're being ignored/neglected. :)

  54. [54] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    3

    I just want to say that this column is a very impressive distillation of a densely packed news day. In an era dominated by audio-video there is still great power in the well written word.

    Yes, sir... totally agree. :)

  55. [55] 
    Kick wrote:

    The only people who would not be counted are people who should not be counted anyways..

    ILLEGAL immigrants..

    Wrong. There are millions of American citizens who live in households with family members who aren't citizens who would undoubtedly be underrepresented and cause their states to lose federal funding, particularly regarding education but also a myriad of other things like Medicaid, etc., where the federal census is used for allocation.

    States like California, Florida, New York, and Texas can simply raise the dollars they're no longer receiving at the federal level due to the undercount of American citizens by raising taxes on citizens of those states via income taxes (except Texas and Florida who have no state income tax) or by substantial increases in property and sales taxes, etc. to account for the undercount difference. :)

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    DH,

    Regardless of your opinion or mine, the SCOTUS will likely rule in favor of the bakers...

    This is indicated by the fact that, if the SCOTUS was on the side of the gay couple, they wouldn't have ruled anything.. They just would have let the original ruling stand..

    So, it doesn't matter what you or I think.. It only matters what the SCOTUS rules.. And I think it's pretty clear which way the SCOTUS is going to rule, once they do actually make a real ruling..

  57. [57] 
    Kick wrote:

    I just saw a woman on television tell a reporter that Trump doesn't lie. "He doesn't lie. I know you'll say he does; he doesn't." Wow. *laughs*

  58. [58] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    It's a good thing that this is not a video comment section so you can't see me crying from your hurtful words.

    Your astute observations are devastating.

    Or at least they would be if there were any substance to your claims.

    The website has been updated when needed. Cw ignored it when it new, when it was updated for 2018 and again when updated for 2020.

    And the whole time the idea has been current.

    Getting an answer from CW is the only way to find out why he is ignoring this idea, until then all I can do is wonder and keep asking.

    That is how every other person that was ever ignored finally got an answer, if they got one.

    And what I am asking CW to do is to do his job of informing citizens and live up to his claim of a reality based blog by acknowledging reality and addressing the very real idea of One Demand- not at all unreasonable requests.

  59. [59] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    maybe he just makes a lot of very big mistakes?

  60. [60] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Pie. Obviously. :)

    i've pointed out countless times how pie is an idea whose time has come, yet CW seems content to ignore the pie at hand. what is he so afraid of?

  61. [61] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    58

    It's a good thing that this is not a video comment section so you can't see me crying from your hurtful words.

    Does your computer automatically videotape you when you cry and post it? Nice fantasy you got there, Don. :)

    Your astute observations are devastating.

    Your response to good advice is more fantasy and fabrication.

    The website has been updated when needed.

    It is still incomplete and needs updating now and hasn't been updated:

    Substitute 2018 and 2020 where appropriate until site update is completed.

    Cw ignored it when it new, when it was updated for 2018 and again when updated for 2020.

    You're ignoring it now while whining about him ignoring it. Why don't you stop whining about him ignoring the same thing you're obviously ignoring.

    And the whole time the idea has been current.

    Getting an answer from CW is the only way to find out why he is ignoring this idea, until then all I can do is wonder and keep asking.

    Actually, there is a lot more you can do... like updating your website and completing it instead of insisting that it's updated when it clearly states on the home page that it isn't (again, see blockquote above).

    That is how every other person that was ever ignored finally got an answer, if they got one.

    How obtuse does one have to be in order to make the nonsensical claim that he knows "how every other person that was ever ignored finally got an answer."

    And what I am asking CW to do is to do his job of informing citizens and live up to his claim of a reality based blog by acknowledging reality and addressing the very real idea of One Demand- not at all unreasonable requests.

    That's your fantasy, Don... but certainly: Not. His. Job.

    So I repeat: You're complaining about him neglecting your "idea" while you are doing exactly the same thing and have been for quite awhile now. That's a fact. :)

  62. [62] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    60

    i've pointed out countless times how pie is an idea whose time has come, yet CW seems content to ignore the pie at hand. what is he so afraid of?

    Maybe the cat got his tongue!? ;)

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2018/12/28/my-2018-mclaughlin-awards-part-2/#comment-130713

    I do seem to remember you getting a response the same day I commented to CW that it would be great to see the website without ads and asked how that was even possible when Don Harris's incessant advertisements are allowed unabated. He said it was an excellent point. He was correct... as he so frequently is. :)

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    I once saw a woman on television that said Odumbo was going to pay off her mortgage and give her a free phone. Wow. *laughs*

  64. [64] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    63

    I once saw a woman on television that said Odumbo was going to pay off her mortgage and give her a free phone. Wow. *laughs*

    You're lying and deflecting... again. Same old regular BS, different day. :)

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