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Archive of Articles in the "The Supreme Court" Category

Anita Hill 2.0 In The Age Of #MeToo

[ Posted Monday, September 17th, 2018 – 16:51 PDT ]

We are all about to see a hypothetical scenario many have wondered about actually become reality. The hypothetical situation can be stated as: "In the age of #MeToo, how would the Anita Hill accusations against Clarence Thomas have played out differently?" Because we've now got another Supreme Court judicial nominee who has been accused of sexual misconduct during his confirmation process. What happens next is (as of this writing) uncertain, but it appears that the Senate committee handling his confirmation hearings is going to be forced to address the controversy in one way or another.

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Friday Talking Points [500] -- Manafort Flips!

[ Posted Friday, September 14th, 2018 – 17:50 PDT ]

Convicted felon Paul Manafort pleaded guilty today to two additional serious federal felonies, one of which was conspiracy to defraud the United States government. He also had to pony up tens of millions of dollars' worth of real estate, because one of the frauds he perpetrated was avoiding paying $15 million in federal taxes by money laundering. The biggest news, however, wasn't Manafort pleading guilty to his ninth and tenth felonies, but the fact that to get a plea deal he had to agree to cooperate with Bob Mueller's investigation. This is what he's been fighting against doing all along, so it is big news.

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Trump's Polling Turns South

[ Posted Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 – 16:03 PDT ]

One of the best indicators of how midterm elections will turn out is the current president's approval rating. If he's got high job approval ratings from the public, his party can be expected to do well; sometimes even breaking historical norms. If, however, the president's job approval rating is low, then his party usually suffers in the midterms. This tracks closer than many other indicators that numbers wonks watch, such as the state of the economy or the "right track/wrong track" generic polling question. In the past two weeks -- and just two months before the 2018 midterms -- President Donald Trump's polling numbers (which were historically very low to begin with) have taken a pretty steep dive downward. Republican candidates for office are reportedly increasingly worried about this new development -- as they well should be.

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Primary Season's Last Lap

[ Posted Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 – 16:41 PDT ]

The 2018 primary election season draws to a close this week, with the final three states holding their primaries in back-to-back fashion. Today New Hampshire will vote, tomorrow Rhode Island will weigh in, and then on Thursday New Yorkers will get the final say. This seems fairly late in the year to still be holding primaries, considering that general election races have already been going on in other states for months, but I guess somebody's got to go last.

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Friday Talking Points [499] -- The Constitutional Crisis Is Already Here

[ Posted Friday, September 7th, 2018 – 17:55 PDT ]

As we are occasionally wont to do, today's column will be nothing short of a rant. It just seemed like it was time for one, to us. There were two enormous stories in the world of politics this week: the Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the Senate, and the two bombshells about Trump revealed by Bob Woodward and an anonymous senior member of the Trump administration. All other political stories paled in significance.

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The Call Is Coming From Inside The House!

[ Posted Thursday, September 6th, 2018 – 16:51 PDT ]

That title is a classic horror show moment, so first allow me to properly cite it. In the movie When A Stranger Calls (1979), a frightened and terrified woman is told the threatening calls she's been getting are more than just close to home. The actual quote, from a policeman calling her up, is: "Jill, this is sergeant Sacker. Listen to me. We've traced the call... it's coming from inside the house. Now a squad car's coming over there right now, just get out of that house!" Younger readers may recognize it more from the spoof horror film Scream, which paid homage to the original. The horrific aspect of the line is that the danger is very close at hand, obviously. Which is why it is the perfect quote for the center ring of the Trump circus at this particular moment in time.

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Democrats Need To Keep Fighting Even If Kavanaugh Is Confirmed

[ Posted Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 – 18:18 PDT ]

I'm writing this while watching the Senate confirmation hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. As usual for Supreme Court confirmation hearings, it is fascinating to watch. However, also as usual, it is likely going to be absolutely meaningless, because Republicans are going to have the votes to confirm him in the end. The [...]

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Friday Talking Points [498] -- Remembering John McCain, Good And Bad

[ Posted Friday, August 31st, 2018 – 17:19 PDT ]

We have to begin today, sadly, by speaking ill of the dead. However, we do so respectfully (unlike some other folks have done this week). We fully realize it is a serious breach of etiquette, but in all the laudatory remarks given this week about the late Senator John McCain, there has been one glaring omission. Because, more than anyone else, John McCain is responsible for regularizing the concept that a know-nothing could be considered presidential. Some might push the blame back further, to George H. W. Bush, who selected Dan Quayle as his vice president, but McCain certainly shoulders the lion's share of this blame for deciding that Sarah Palin was qualified to be president. Anyone listening to her speak for more than two minutes could easily tell how misguided the idea of her running the country truly was, after all. And yet McCain went ahead and selected her anyway.

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The Final Propaganda Battle In The War On Weed

[ Posted Thursday, August 30th, 2018 – 17:23 PDT ]

The War On Weed's days are numbered. That should be pretty obvious, by now. State after state has jumped on the bandwagon against the War On Weed, liberalizing their harsh laws on cannabis through decriminalization, legalization of medicinal marijuana, or outright legalization for adult recreational use. In fact, it's getting harder and harder to find any states which haven't done so, in one form or another. Nationally, the public's attitude on the subject has gone through a sea change in the last two decades, and now polls regularly cite public support of complete legalization of marijuana at 60 percent or higher. The weed warriors, obviously, are losing the battle for hearts and minds, and they're losing almost all the battles at the ballot box. This long social warfare, stretching back almost a century, is finally almost over. In the end, sanity will prevail, and the nation's second Prohibition will finally be thrown on the ash heap of failed political and social policy.

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Is Manafort About To Flip?

[ Posted Tuesday, August 28th, 2018 – 16:48 PDT ]

Paul Manafort, now an eight-time convicted felon, could be considering cutting a deal with Bob Mueller to avoid his second (and more serious) federal trial. The Wall Street Journal (not exactly a left-wing news source) is reporting that Manafort's team already explored the possibility of such a plea deal during the four-day period when the jury in his first trial was still deliberating. The plea talks broke down and no deal emerged, but the fact that such a discussion took place at all shows that Manafort's legal team knows full well the serious jeopardy their client is in. Today it was also reported that Manafort's second trial will be delayed for one week, at the request of the defense. Could the extra week be to work out a plea deal before the second trial even begins? Speculation is running rampant on that very question.

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