jurisprudence

Ben Sasse for the Win

Featured image I wasn’t able to watch all of the Kavanaugh hearing, but I am prepared to give the Power Line award for best opening statement performance to Sen. Ben Sasse, who gave a great statement of the problem of the administrative state, which comprises the breakdown of the separation of powers and the dereliction of the responsibility of Congress to discharge its Article I powers properly. Democrats won’t want to take »

The Vindication of Clarence Thomas—and the Left’s Freakout

Featured image I’m gaining weight and running out of popcorn watching the left freak out about the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. But beyond just the theatrics of the left’s primal screams and desperation tactics it is delightful to see the left begin to reckon with something more fundamental going on, which in one sentence I’ll assert is the growing vindication of the constitutional »

Yale: The Grown-Ups Show Up

Featured image Needless to say the Kavanaugh nomination has sent the left borking mad. And that’s their problem: having changed decisively the politics of Supreme Court confirmations with their egregious treatment of Robert Bork, they are stuck in a box canyon of their own making, with their base expecting them to turn it up to 11 on the Borking Scale with every Republican nominee. I persist in arguing that the Bork tactic »

Kavanaugh Time

Featured image Needless to say, the left is going to throw everything they have at Judge Brett Kavanaugh, but the incoherence and contradictions of the left during the first news cycle suggests it is going to be a rout, and that the left will only succeed in embarrassing themselves. From the reaction of the left, you’d think that the Supreme Court gets up every morning and simply decides what laws it wants »

Justice Kennedy’s mark

Featured image Anthony Kennedy isn’t likely to get the moment in the sun sometimes granted to an outgoing or departed Supreme Court Justice. Two factors conspire against it. First, Kennedy was admired by neither the left nor the right. Second, the battle over confirming his successor has already commenced, even though no successor has been nominated. The intensity of the battle doesn’t leave much energy for Kennedy appreciation (or condemnation). Jack Goldsmith, »

Breaking: “Chief Justice” Anthony Kennedy to Retire

Featured image That headline is not a misprint or slip: as the swing vote on a Court that has long divided 5 – 4 on key questions, Justice Anthony Kennedy has been effectively the “Chief Justice” of the Supreme Court for a long time. Lawyers who practice at the Supreme Court will tell you that case briefs and pleadings have long been written for an intended audience of one: Justice Kennedy. Here »

Breaking: Frivolous Climate Lawsuits Hit the Wall

Featured image We’ve reported here previously on the frivolous lawsuits the climatistas brought in California courts against major oil companies, and especially how California cities claimed imminent harm from climate change while telling prospective bond buyers that they couldn’t estimate possible future risks from climate change. In any case, late today Federal district court judge William Alsop—a Bill Clinton appointee—dismissed the lawsuits with a strongly-worded opinion that is quite clear about how »

Our robed master Bates speaks

Featured image Paul Mirengoff frequently refers to “our robed masters” in the federal judiciary. Yesterday our robed master Bates of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia administered the latest in a series of legal defeats to the Trump administration’s effort to rescind the Obama administration’s unconstitutional program to regularize illegal immigrants by executive decree. The New York Times’s Miriam Jordan gives an account of the ruling in “U.S. »

Linda Brown & her case

Featured image Linda Brown was the young girl who gave her name to the four cases consolidated for consideration in Brown V. Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court case that effectively invalidated the regime of public school segregation. She died on Sunday at the age of 75 or 76. Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times obituary (illustrated with good photographs) is here. Genzlinger deals inadequately with the Brown case. “In its ruling,” »

The Liberal Hypocrisy Parade Rolls On

Featured image A tired maxim provides that if liberals didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all. But sometimes they really abuse the privilege. Take this headline from the Washington Post today: Trump’s flirtation with firing Mueller inspires new demands from Democrats to protect the special counsel Congressional Democrats on Friday demanded that lawmakers act to protect special counsel Robert S. Mueller III after revelations President Trump sought to »

Memo to Supreme Court: Grant Cert in the Weyerhaeuser Case!

Featured image The government we live under does not resemble the one that is described in the Constitution. The principal reason for this is the power of federal regulatory agencies, which has grown explosively and is virtually unrestrained by Congress, the courts or even the president, who nominally controls the executive branch. The extra-constitutional administrative state now represents a grave threat to our liberties. The Supreme Court has an opportunity to begin »

Feel Good Headline of the Day

Featured image From the most unlikely of places—The Guardian. Savor this one for all of its yummy schadenfreude: Trump’s judicial picks: ‘The goal is to end the progressive state’ . . .  The makeup of America’s judges is quietly becoming the site of one of Trump’s most unequivocal successes: nominating and installing judges who reflect his own worldview at a speed and volume unseen in recent memory. Trump could conceivably have handpicked »

Christian Group Sues SPLC and Amazon

Featured image Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Inc., which does business as D. James Kennedy Ministries, has sued the Southern Poverty Law Center, Amazon and Guidestar in federal court in Alabama. The complaint is here. The case arises out of SPLC’s designation of the Kennedy Ministries as a “hate group” because, consistent with Christian doctrine, it opposes gay marriage. Because of that designation, Amazon has barred Kennedy Ministries from its Amazon Smile program »

Total Eclipse of the Fun

Featured image A longtime friend of Power Line alerts us to order issued by Judge Steven Merryday of the U.S. District Court in Florida. An Assistant U.S. Attorney moved to continue a trial on the ground that one of his key witnesses had made arrangements to travel out of the state to view last week’s total eclipse of the Sun. Judge Merryday noted the role of total eclipses in history, literature and »

You Heard It Here First: NY Times Editors Deny Reading Their Own Newspaper

Featured image Sarah Palin has sued the New York Times for defamation, on account of a Times editorial that falsely claimed there was a “clear” and “direct” causal connection between Palin’s PAC’s “targeting” of Gabrielle Giffords’ district and Jared Loughner’s murder of six people in Tucson. The paper now calls its smear of Palin an “honest mistake.” I wrote here that Palin has a strong case, despite the extraordinary burden of proof »

The Next Liberal Lamentation

Featured image What’s the most hated Supreme Court decision on the left of the last few years? Why, Citizens United, of course, which leftists blame for just about every bad imaginable. Aggrieved leftists often compare it to the Dred Scott decision—seriously, they do. So if Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement from the Court tomorrow, can we expect to see liberal headlines saying, “Left Celebrates as Author of Modern ‘Dred Scott’ Decision »

Trump resisters in robes, Part Two

Featured image The Fourth Circuit’s decision in the temporary travel ban broke new ground when it comes to judicial activism. I wrote about the decision in a post called “Trump Resisters in Robes.” John wrote about it in a post called “An Affront to the Rule of Law.” For additional criticism of the decision, I recommend this piece by Hans von Spakovsky and this one by David Rivkin and Lee Casey. Von »