Archive of Articles in the "The Supreme Court" Category

Aftershocks From The Lambquake

[ Posted Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 – 17:04 PDT ]

In practical terms, the election of Democrat Conor Lamb to Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district isn't all that big a deal. Control of the House will not switch, so Paul Ryan will remain as speaker (with one less vote he can count on). Lamb will hold the seat only until November, when the district itself will disappear in the new redistricting map imposed by the state supreme court (to counteract the egregious Republican gerrymandering). So, practically, nothing much will change. In both political and psychological terms, however, the effect of Lamb's victory has to be measured on the Richter scale, because it certainly shook up Washington in a very big way. Congress felt the earth move last night, as the political tectonic plates realigned.

Read Complete Article »

Porn Star Sues President

[ Posted Thursday, March 8th, 2018 – 18:01 PST ]

When you sit back and think about it, that is a rather extraordinary headline. Or, at the very least, it should be. These days, though, not so much. In fact, the story of Donald Trump allegedly paying $130,000 hush money -- to a porn star weeks before the election so she would keep quiet about their alleged affair, which took place either while Trump's third wife was pregnant or just after the birth of the baby (or both) -- was largely ignored for the past few months, due to so many other chaotic crises taking place simultaneously within the White House. It will be hard for future historians to grasp, but the story of hush money paid off to a porn star actually struggled to gain traction in the national news. And that is even more extraordinary than the story itself. But then that's life in the Trump era, folks.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points [473] -- Mueller's Busy Week

[ Posted Friday, February 23rd, 2018 – 18:28 PST ]

Bob Mueller has had a busy and productive week. His investigation is intensifying quickly, as it gains speed and moves closer and closer to the inner Trump circle. Just a week ago, Mueller's team dropped an indictment on 13 Russians for meddling in the 2016 election. By Tuesday, a previously-unmentioned lawyer reached a plea deal with Mueller. Yesterday, Mueller filed an indictment with 32 counts against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Today, Gates officially flipped, and pled guilty to two counts against him, conspiracy and lying to federal agents. Not just another #MuellerFriday, in other words, but a full-on #MuellerWeek. No word from President Trump's Twitter account yet (as of this writing), but if last weekend was any preview, it sure ought to be fun to see him flail around for the next few days as the noose gets tighter and tighter around his innermost circle.

Read Complete Article »

Slaying The Gerrymander

[ Posted Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 – 17:49 PST ]

The "Gerry-Mander," originally, was a flying lizard -- or, one might say, a dragon. In March of 1812, the Boston Gazette published a cartoon based on a district the governor at the time (Elbridge Gerry) had approved. The cartoonist thought it looked like a salamander, drew the winged lizard, and thus introduced the word "gerrymander" to the politician lexicon. In current American politics, a wide group of citizens are now girding their loins and seeking to slay the gerrymander dragon, once and for all.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points [472] -- Infrastructure Week!

[ Posted Friday, February 16th, 2018 – 18:04 PST ]

Before we get to all the rest of the news, here's an interesting anniversary: it has been exactly one year since Trump's last solo press conference. In all the time he's been president, he has held a grand total of precisely one press conference, a month after he was sworn in. So what is he afraid of?

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points [471] -- Trump's Kim Jong Un Envy

[ Posted Friday, February 9th, 2018 – 18:25 PST ]

There's an old joke in Washington that the press knows how to ask politicians questions that can't be answered in any acceptable way. The classic example, of course, is: "So, Senator, have you stopped beating your wife?" This week, however, the Trump White House has been getting a variant: "So, how long was a wife-beater who couldn't get a security clearance allowed to work for the president, and why?"

Read Complete Article »

Leader Time

[ Posted Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 – 17:39 PST ]

As I write this, Nancy Pelosi has been speaking for something like seven straight hours on the floor of the House of Representatives. Historians are scurrying to comb through the House archives, and some are already calling it the longest such speech ever delivered on the House floor. It's not technically a filibuster (which only happen in the Senate), instead Pelosi is exploiting a parliamentary loophole known as "leader time" -- which allows party leaders to speak uninterrupted. Minority Leader Pelosi has been doing so since 10:00 in the morning, Eastern time, and so far shows no signs of stepping down.

Read Complete Article »

Two Presidents, On Treason

[ Posted Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 – 17:42 PST ]

Senator Tammy Duckworth, a woman who lost her legs in service to her country (as a military helicopter pilot, in Iraq), just taught everyone an important history lesson.

Read Complete Article »

Friday Talking Points [470] -- No Smoke, No Gun

[ Posted Friday, February 2nd, 2018 – 17:25 PST ]

Happy Nunes Memo Day, everyone!

Today, of course, was supposed to be the day when the memo from House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes caused the skies to split and the F.B.I. building to spontaneously implode in upon itself, leaving nothing left but a mysterious rift to some dark and deep otherworld. Bob Mueller was also supposed to make a public announcement that his entire investigation was nothing short of a sham (secretly directed by Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros), and that he would be shutting down his office just as soon as all the documents could be shredded and the hard drives erased.

Read Complete Article »

Snap Reactions To The State Of The Union

[ Posted Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 – 23:55 PST ]

As usual, I hereby offer up my initial snap reactions after watching both President Trump's first official State Of The Union speech (last year's was just "an address to the Congress"), and the Democratic response. I like to do this before I dive in to what others may have opined about the speech, so as not to be influenced by any Washington media groupthink. Tomorrow morning, I'll be able to see who agreed with me and who didn't, of course.

Read Complete Article »