Supreme Court

Should Claire McCaskill determine who will replace Scalia?

Featured image Who is the eighth best (or least bad) Democratic Senator? If you answered “I don’t give damn” you are wrong. Under current rules, the eighth best Democratic Senator holds veto power over the person Donald Trump will select to replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court. Confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee requires 60 votes. There will be 52 Republican Senators in the Senate that decides whether to confirm Trump’s »

Conservative lawyers favor Sykes or Pryor for Supreme Court

Featured image Ten days after his victory, Donald Trump has already made several key personnel decisions. He filled three major staff positions and two extremely important posts that require Senate approval — Attorney General and CIA Director. However, his most important selection, Supreme Court Justice, may not come for a while. Unlike staff and Cabinet/sub-Cabinet jobs, Justices don’t have to prepare to administer a bureaucracy. Thus, the need for Trump to select »

After Merrick Garland

Featured image One of Donald Trump’s first acts as president will, I hope, be to nominate a conservative to fill the vacancy left by Justice Scalia. I don’t doubt that Trump will pick a conservative, most likely someone from his lists. I’m also confident that the Senate will confirm Trump’s pick. If 60 votes aren’t to be had, the Senate likely will abolish the filibuster, as the Democrats did for lower court »

Supreme Court takes on the issue of who pees where

Featured image The Supreme Court announced last week that it will decide (or try to) whether the Obama administration may require public school districts, as a condition of receiving federal funding, to let transgender students use restrooms that don’t correspond with their anatomical sex. The case in question involves Gavin Grimm, who is a girl anatomically but “identifies” as a boy and thus wishes to use the boys’ room at her (or, »

About the groping allegations against Justice Thomas [With Comment by John]

Featured image The National Law Journal has reported allegations that, in 1999, Justice Thomas inappropriately touched a young woman named Moira Smith. The alleged touching occurred at a dinner party at the home of her boss. Supposedly, Thomas groped Smith while she was setting the table. I have three observations about Smith’s allegation. First, she waited 17 years publicly to make it. If something serious occurred, I find it difficult to believe »

Justice Thomas speaks

Featured image Bill Kristol sat down with Justice Clarence Thomas for the most recent of his Conversations. The video has just been posted in its entirety and broken into two roughly 30-minute chapters here. The transcript has also been posted here. I have embedded the video of the conversation in its entirety below. Quotable quote: At the end of term, I go to Gettysburg, and I take my law clerks there. We »

Republicans should not “accept” Hillary Clinton’s Supreme Court nominees

Featured image When Hillary Clinton nominates a Supreme Court Justice to replace Antonin Scalia (assuming Merrick Garland is not confirmed before Clinton takes office), that nominee will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he or she will uphold the Constitution impartially and decide cases based on the law, not his or her policy preferences or the status of the litigants. That nominee will be lying. This is clear from what Clinton »

No room for Justice Thomas at African-American history museum

Featured image It has been widely reported on conservative news outlets that the brand new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. has virtually no room for Justice Clarence Thomas. According to this report, it “treats Justice Thomas like a mere footnote while heralding the woman who accused him of sexual harassment.” Mark Paoletta discusses the slight here. He argues that the story of Justice Thomas’ rise from »

On pressuring the Supreme Court

Featured image John has written about how Clinton operatives attributed Chief Justice Roberts’ vote to uphold Obamacare’s individual mandate to political pressure spearheaded by President Obama. The claim appears in WikiLeaks documents. There is little reason to believe that pressure exerted by Obama and his friends had anything to do with the Chief Justice’s vote. Roberts’ decision not to strike down Obamacare’s key provision was consistent with his long held preference for »

Clinton Operatives Brag They “Scared Off” Chief Justice

Featured image In one of the more remarkable Wikileaks exchanges, Clinton operatives Neera Tanden and Jennifer Palmieri took credit for “scaring off” Chief Justice John Roberts by threatening to make the Supreme Court’s decision in the first Obamacare case, NFIB v. Sebelius, a campaign issue. These are the players on the email thread: Center for American Progress (CAP): a left-wing activist organization that was an arm of the Obama administration and now »

Trump puts out new list of potential Supreme Court nominees

Featured image Donald Trump has added ten more names to the group people he says exemplify what he’s looking for in a Supreme Court Justice. Previously, he put out a list of eleven such possibilities. I discussed that group here. The new list consists of: Mike Lee — U.S. Senator, Utah Neil Gorsuch — Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Margaret Ryan — Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for »

Ruth Ginsburg embarrasses herself again

Featured image Ruth Bader Ginsburg, having recently expressed regret for commenting on a matter she shouldn’t have (the candidacy of Donald Trump) is at it again. At an event at Georgetown Law School, Ginsburg complained about the Senate’s inaction on the Merrick Garland nomination. She said: I do think cooler heads will prevail, I hope sooner rather than later. The president is elected for four years not three years, so the power »

CRB: No buyer for Breyer

Featured image Stephen Breyer seems to me the ne plus ultra leftist progressive on the Supreme Court. I assume that’s one of the reasons why Justice Scalia relished sparring with him. No left-wing dogma is beyond Breyer and he seeks to overlay the absurd with an intellectual patina. His interest in the United States Constitution approaches nullity. Indeed, to borrow a famous Athenian indictment, Justice Breyer seeks to introduce new gods into »

Trump, the judiciary, and this election

Featured image For the first time in decades, I am an undecided voter in a presidential election. I haven’t decided whether to vote for Donald Trump or to vote for no candidate. Concern over what the Supreme Court (and the lower courts) will look like if Hillary Clinton wins is one of the main considerations that might cause me to vote for Trump. Thus, when I saw that John Yoo and Jeremy »

Ginsburg Apologizes For Attacks On Trump

Featured image This morning, yielding to bipartisan criticism from across the political spectrum, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg apologized for her attacks on Donald Trump. Her statement was brief: On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them. Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect. Note that Ginsburg apparently couldn’t bring herself »

The Ginsburg Proviso [Updated]

Featured image Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is living up to her hip-hop nickname as the “Notorious RGB” with her completely intemperate remarks about Donald Trump and also the potential cases and controversies she has obviously prejudged. A lower federal court judge might well face sanctions for such behavior. Check out Canon 5 of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges: Canon 5: A Judge Should Refrain from Political Activity (A) General Prohibitions. A »

Supreme Court overturns Robert McDonnell’s conviction

Featured image In its final decision of the term, the Supreme Court today unanimously overturned the public corruption conviction of former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell. The court stated that it has no opinion as to whether McDonnell should be retried under the stricter standard (described below) it imposed for these kinds of cases. I have mixed feelings about the outcome, but I agree with the decision. You don’t have to be the »