Archive of Articles in the "The Supreme Court" Category

GOP Fights To Undermine Majority Rule

[ Posted Wednesday, May 29th, 2024 – 15:43 UTC ]

I realize that there is big legal news breaking today on two fronts -- to wit: the jury in the first criminal case against Donald Trump beginning their deliberations, and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's "What are you going to do about it, huh?" letter to Democrats in Congress (where he refused to recuse himself from any cases dealing with the January 6th insurrection or election cases concerning Donald Trump) -- but I am not going to comment on either of them (yet). Instead, I think an extreme anti-democratic idea in Texas needs highlighting, mostly for the brazen and shameless nature of it.

Last weekend, the Texas Republican Party met and approved their party platform for the year. It was chock-full of all the expected culture-war firebreathing, but there was one provision in it which is just breathtaking in its disregard for the majority of votes winning elections. Texas has long been wistfully viewed by Democrats as an enticing candidate for flipping red to blue, but this has so far not come to pass in any meaningful way whatsoever. Democrats get close to unseating people such as Senator Ted Cruz, but always seem to fall just short of doing so in statewide races. This appears to be worrying the Republicans, as evidenced by what they are now proposing.

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Closing Arguments

[ Posted Tuesday, May 28th, 2024 – 15:18 UTC ]

The first criminal trial of an ex-president is nearing its end. Today, the jury heard (and is still hearing, as I write this) the closing arguments of both the defense and the prosecution. Tomorrow, they will get their instructions from the judge and they will then start to deliberate as to whether Donald Trump is guilty or not guilty of what he has been charged with.

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Friday Talking Points -- Run It Up The Flagpole

[ Posted Friday, May 24th, 2024 – 17:58 UTC ]

It is supposed to be a metaphor, of course. It's supposed to be said when a person or company is about to try out a new idea or product: "Let's run it up the flagpole and see who salutes." In other words: "Let's try it out and see how it goes -- it might wind up being popular." But this week the saying sprang to mind in a much more literal fashion, since Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito already knew who was going to salute the two very real insurrectionist-themed flags that got run up the flagpoles in front of both his house and his vacation home. Flying them after the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol signified support for those who had besieged the building, plain and simple. It was a rather treasonous thing to do, when you get right down to it. Which Alito fully knew (or should have, at any rate).

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Nobody Likes The Ticketmaster Monopoly

[ Posted Thursday, May 23rd, 2024 – 16:35 UTC ]

It has become increasingly hard in our politically divided country to find any one single issue that pretty much everybody agrees with. The Biden administration just found one, though -- one that will resonate with football fans, hockey fans, basketball fans, country and western fans, rap fans, blues fans, rock-n-roll fans, and fans of almost every other type of music, sports, or pretty much any large performance of any type. And that's even before you add in the considerable power of the Taylor Swift fans. All of the people who enjoy all of these performances and sporting events have one thing in common no matter what their politics may be -- because nobody likes getting forcibly and brutally ripped off for ticket prices. Nobody. So the news today that the Biden administration and 30 individual states have filed suit against Ticketmaster/Live Nation for being a monopoly will be hailed as good news by pretty much everybody who doesn't directly earn their paycheck from the conglomerate.

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Messaging Time In The Senate

[ Posted Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024 – 15:57 UTC ]

With most of the "must-pass" legislation already out of the way for this year, both the House and the Senate are now planning a series of what are commonly called "messaging bills." These are bills that have one main intent -- not to pass the other house of Congress and become law, but instead to "send a message" to the voters. It's a polite way of saying "generating partisan talking points to use on the campaign trial."

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The Era Of Political Shamelessness

[ Posted Tuesday, May 21st, 2024 – 16:25 UTC ]

Donald Trump has broken many parts of the American political system. His supporters revel in this destruction, lumping it all in with Trump's battle to "drain the swamp" or fight back against a supposed "Deep State." His opponents decry Trump's shattering of political norms and conventions and rules (both written and unwritten) as a direct and existential threat to American democracy. But whatever you think, one thing seems more and more obvious. A lot of Trump's bull-in-a-china-shop destruction will outlive his time on the national political stage. And one of the biggest of these might be called "the death of shame."

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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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