Archive of Articles in the "The Supreme Court" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Mugging For The Cameras

[ Posted Friday, August 25th, 2023 – 17:17 UTC ]

We will start this column (as every public speaker is taught to) with a joke. We saw two Republican spectacles this week: the first was watching all the "not-named-Trump" presidential candidates trying to verbally mug each other onstage for two hours, and the second was Donald Trump himself scowling into a jail camera for his first-ever mugshot. You might say it's been a very muggy week all around.

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Trump Gets Booked (Again)

[ Posted Thursday, August 24th, 2023 – 17:31 UTC ]

Donald Trump is (as I write this) inside the Fulton County Jail, being processed and booked for the fourth time. This time he's not getting quite such kid-glove treatment, from either the Georgia officials or the media. For the first time, Trump will be fingerprinted and he will have a mugshot taken. Data will be entered (but probably not verified) about Trump's weight and height. Of course, he did arrive with a police and Secret Service escort (and not at the main entrance) and he will not have to sit in a holding tank with other prisoners. The broadcast media isn't going to get much in the way of live shots, which is probably why they didn't cover Trump's flight or even his motorcade in Atlanta. NBC and CBS only cut into their programming when Trump arrived at the jail, and ABC still isn't covering it (I should add that these are just my local affiliates, other stations may have handled it differently). After Trump's three previous surrenders, the media excitement level has been dialed way down.

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The First Republican Presidential Debate

[ Posted Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023 – 22:01 UTC ]

Overall, tonight's first Republican debate was pretty entertaining, at least to me. These days, the entertainment value of a debate is a lot more important than scoring any kind of ideological points, so I'm using the same scale everyone else will.

There wasn't a whole lot of actual debate about differences in ideology... some, but not a lot. It was instead more of a series of one-on-one shouting matches between two of the candidates. More on those in a moment.

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Friday Talking Points -- Quad-Indicted?

[ Posted Friday, August 18th, 2023 – 16:54 UTC ]

Once again, the political week was dominated by news of Donald Trump. And we can all now properly identify Trump as a "twice-impeached, four-times-indicted ex-president." Sadly, the English language stops after "once... twice... thrice..." so there is no (legitimate) snappier way to say that (although we would suggest "quad-indicted," since it does seem to have a ring to it... but we digress...).

Linguistic kidding aside, Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis finally completed Trump's quartet of indictments, adding 13 more felony charges for Trump (who has now been charged with a whopping 91 felony counts in total) as well as plenty of other felonies to go around among his 18 co-defendants. Rather than take a targeted approach by just charging Trump with the easiest-to-prove-in-court charges, Willis swung for the fences and corralled all the wrongdoing within one RICO charge covering everyone. Trump and his campaign and all his legal team and even his thugs on the ground in Georgia are all now accused of being a "racketeering-influenced and corrupt organization." Sounds about right... especially after the news broke that the grand jurors who voted for the indictment have been doxxed online and are now getting threats -- just like you'd expect to see in any mob case. Trump even attempted to tamper with a witness before he even showed up to testify for the grand jury on Monday. The witness was not cowed and did testify, and very late in the evening the indictment was made public.

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...A Rare Three-Dot Wednesday...

[ Posted Wednesday, August 16th, 2023 – 15:31 UTC ]

We know it is not at all alliterative, but it seems the time has come for a three-dot Wednesday. We speak, of course, in honor of the undisputed king of all three-dot journalism, the late, great Herb Caen of San Francisco. It's the format Caen was the master of... where you just string together a whole bunch of little news or commentary snippets... without a whole lot of connection... into some sort of narrative column... using ellipses (three dots) to tie the whole thing loosely together. OK, that last sentence was a bit much, even we admit, so we'll try to only use the format in traditional Caen fashion from now on. Everybody ready? Then here we go...

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The Breathtaking Georgia Indictment

[ Posted Tuesday, August 15th, 2023 – 15:18 UTC ]

The Georgia indictment handed down last night (which charges Donald Trump and 18 co-conspirators with 41 felony counts) is, in a word, breathtaking. It is 98 pages long, and it covers a wide-ranging conspiracy to defraud the voters of Georgia and overturn a free and fair election, with the ultimate goal of handing the state to the candidate who had lost. Unlike the federal election case against Trump, this one is all-encompassing, due to the nature of the Racketeering Influenced and Criminal Organization (RICO) charges (where a "big picture" of criminal activity is required). Also unlike the federal case, the biggest co-conspirators were charged with Trump, which includes (just to name a few prominent ones): Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Mark Meadows, Jeff Clark, and Sidney Powell. Or, to put it another way, this is the case we've all been waiting for. And by "everyone," I mean of course those of us who were and still are horrified that a sitting president would try to steal an American presidential election that he had clearly lost.

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Reading The Tea Leaves In Georgia

[ Posted Monday, August 14th, 2023 – 16:08 UTC ]

It's another one of those days where what I write may be wildly out of date by the time I post it, I should begin by stating. Everyone in the political world is watching Atlanta right now (the hashtag "#IndictmentWatch" is trending on what used to be called Twitter), to see whether Donald Trump will be indicted at some point today or whether we'll all have to wait until tomorrow for it to be unveiled. The biggest development (outside of rampant speculation) came when the judge who will be handling any such indictment did not clear his courtroom (of journalists) at 5:00 P.M. today, indicating that the grand jury may work late and produce an indictment at some point this evening.

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Friday Talking Points -- Ohio Continues Winning Streak For Abortion Rights

[ Posted Friday, August 11th, 2023 – 17:38 UTC ]

The biggest political news of the past week came from Ohio, where the voters resoundingly rejected a stealth plan by the Republicans to kill an abortion ballot measure that will appear on November's ballot. By a 57-43 margin, the voters sent a loud "No!" to the GOP, who were trying to change the rules in the middle of the game. This will have national reverberations, especially after Buckeye voters return in a few months to enshrine abortion rights in their state's constitution.

This was merely the latest in an unbroken series of victories for those fighting for women's rights at the state level. These have included ballot measures that either directly addressed abortion or stealthily sidled up to it as well as a state supreme court race in Wisconsin -- and in all of them the forced-birth side lost. Badly.

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Waiting For A Rational Debate On Abortion

[ Posted Thursday, August 10th, 2023 – 16:28 UTC ]

Sooner or later, America is going to have to have a rational debate over abortion. When the Supreme Court tossed out Roe v. Wade, it opened the door to any state setting pretty much any restrictions on abortion they chose to. Some of these are Draconian in nature, while others are slightly more reasonable. On the other side of the divide, blue states are enshrining the right to an abortion in their state's laws or constitution. These generally mirror the protections in Roe, with some alterations in some cases. But the real end goal for both sides is going to be a national abortion law, to finally legally codify what rights all American women actually have over their own bodies. Nothing short is going to work, since much like in the Civil Rights era some states are always going to go to the extremes -- on what is essentially a very basic human right. If the states refuse to uphold basic human rights, the federal government is going to have to step in and do so.

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Republicans Lose On Abortion (Again)

[ Posted Wednesday, August 9th, 2023 – 15:49 UTC ]

In the end, it wasn't even close. Yesterday, Ohio voters rejected a ballot initiative that would have taken away their own rights. In this particular case, it wasn't directly about abortion rights, instead it was the right of a majority of voters in the state to amend the state's constitution. Republicans wanted to raise the threshold from a simple majority to a supermajority of 60 percent. The voters voted "No" on the issue by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent -- a pretty resounding 14-point rejection.

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