ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "The Supreme Court" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Hannibal Lecter Makes A Campaign Appearance

[ Posted Friday, May 17th, 2024 – 18:17 UTC ]

Presidential debate announcements, Michael Cohen testifying, and The Jerry Springer Show breaking out in a House committee -- it's been an eventful political week all around, folks!

But we have to begin today with a very sobering piece of data, just to put everything in some perspective. We (rather obviously) personally live and breathe the political scene, and it is a fair assumption that anyone who regularly reads this column all the way to the end (a weekly marathon, 'tis true...) is also pretty plugged in to the follies of the everyday political landscape as well. We all pay attention, in other words. Not just to the large and meaningful events, but also to the small and amusing. But it cannot be repeated enough: this is not exactly normal. Most Americans just don't pay all that much attention to politics. Like, at all.

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New Schedule III Marijuana Rule Submitted

[ Posted Thursday, May 16th, 2024 – 16:07 UTC ]

Today saw a historic step taken on the road to finally ending the federal War On Weed. The Biden administration has now submitted a new federal rule on marijuana classification to the Federal Register, which will kick off a 60-day public commentary period. The new rule won't take effect for a while, in other words, but the clock has begun ticking at least.

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Watching Maryland

[ Posted Tuesday, May 14th, 2024 – 15:39 UTC ]

Today my eyes have turned towards Maryland, and not just to watch the video clips of the explosive demolition of part of the Francis Scott Key Bridge (which was indeed fascinating to see). The plans to fully reopen the port seem to be moving forward on schedule, which is doubtlessly some very welcome news for both the city and the whole state. But tonight I'll be watching Maryland for a different reason, since they are holding their primary election today.

The big race worth watching here is who will win the Democratic primary for an open Senate seat. The Republican primary became a foregone conclusion with the entry of the state's former governor, Larry Hogan. Which Democrat will face him could be crucial to control of the Senate this November, though.

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Michael Cohen Takes The Stand

[ Posted Monday, May 13th, 2024 – 16:50 UTC ]

Today was probably the key day of the prosecution's testimony in the trial of Donald Trump. Michael Cohen, Trump's former "fixer," became the prosecution's star witness as he took the stand, since he is the one who can best tie together all the threads of the case introduced so far. Tomorrow will continue to be key, as the prosecution is likely to finish their direct questions and the defense will begin Cohen's cross-examination. The entire case could very well hinge on how the jury reacts to his testimony these two days, and whether or not they find him believable.

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Friday Talking Points -- Not Unlike Mr. Trump

[ Posted Friday, May 10th, 2024 – 17:40 UTC ]

You'll have to forgive us, but nobody really has any experience with this sort of thing -- an adult film actress/director testifying under oath in a criminal trial about a sexual encounter with a man who would go on to become president. Even Bill Clinton's got to be shaking his head in disbelief somewhere, one assumes.

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The Split-Screen That Wasn't

[ Posted Thursday, May 9th, 2024 – 16:21 UTC ]

What we should all really be seeing, at this point, is a drawn-out split-screen moment. Call it a "split-screen couple of weeks," maybe. However, this hasn't really been the case, for two reasons. The first is that cameras are not allowed inside the courtroom of the first criminal trial of an ex-president in American history. So even following the trial at home is a once-removed experience: following along with the New York Times liveblog (who seems to have the most comprehensive coverage of all the newsfeeds I have sampled) as they document each development in the case, whether monumental or simply mundane. Snippets of what is going on in the courtroom appear all day long, from the jousting of the lawyers and the witnesses to the reactions of the judge and jury to whether Donald Trump seems to have fallen asleep again or not. Fascinating stuff, but not exactly the same as it would have been on live television.

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Trump Gaslights On Abortion

[ Posted Monday, May 6th, 2024 – 16:44 UTC ]

It's always impossible to know, when Donald Trump settles on a new worldview, whether he actually believes it is reality, or whether he's fully conscious of gaslighting everyone with a made-up story that just conveniently always makes himself out to be the good guy (who never does anything wrong). Gaslighting seems the obvious answer, but Trump seems to buy into his own fantasies so deeply (see: the 2020 election results) that you have to wonder how attached he is to the reality that everyone else lives in. But we'll just leave any diagnosis to trained mental health professionals, because whether he actually believes his gaslighting or not is kind of irrelevant to the rest of us. And in the past few months, Trump has developed a new mental construct where the issue of abortion is, as he put it in a recent interview, "not that big of an issue" any more.

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Friday Talking Points -- A Grown Man Running Against A Six-Year-Old

[ Posted Friday, May 3rd, 2024 – 18:08 UTC ]

Again, we open with a joke or two. From last weekend's White House Correspondents' Dinner, President Joe Biden got off a few good burns on the man he's running against:

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Biden Addresses Campus Protests

[ Posted Thursday, May 2nd, 2024 – 15:55 UTC ]

Today President Joe Biden gave a short address on the spreading campus protests and violence over the war in Gaza. In doing so, he had an awfully fine line to walk, since both the Palestinians and the Israelis have valid views and political positions that are worth respecting. So he tried to thread this needle very carefully in his prepared statement.

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War On Weed To Officially Wind Down

[ Posted Tuesday, April 30th, 2024 – 15:52 UTC ]

Today it was confirmed that the federal government is finally going to officially retreat in fighting the War On Weed. The feds are backing down, for the first time in modern history. The Department of Justice is recommending moving marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act to Schedule III, after a required period of public commentary. It is not a complete capitulation in the War On Weed, but it is indeed a historic step in the right direction -- and the first one ever taken. So while this is not the end of the road for the pro-legalization activists, it is an enormous milestone and should be celebrated (even as only a partial victory).

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