Posts tagged supreme court

Health care law deemed unconstitutional again. Score: 2-2

Might as well throw some news into the mix since we are Newsweek. Today’s main event is another dissing of Obama’s health care plan. Things appear partisan, as always. The latest count: two judges appointed by Republican presidents have struck down the law or its main attribute, while two judges appointed by Democrats have upheld it. Better get ready, Supreme Court. Here’s the main issue, according to Florida Judge Roger Vinson:

At issue here, as in the other cases decided so far, is the assertion that the Commerce Clause can only reach individuals and entities engaged in an “activity”; and because the plaintiffs maintain that an individual’s failure to purchase health insurance is, almost by definition, “inactivity,” the individual mandate goes beyond the Commerce Clause and is unconstitutional. The defendants contend that activity is not required before Congress can exercise its Commerce Clause power, but that, even if it is required, not having insurance constitutes activity.

kryanjones:

If you’re wondering why I’ve been absent from the Tumblr world this past week, or why I haven’t responded to your texts, phone calls, and/or emails, it’s because I’ve been slaving away on the above video.  It’s a follow-up to my feature-length documentary, Fall From Grace, about the Westboro Baptist Church and their upcoming case that is being heard before the Supreme Court tomorrow.

Newsweek’s own K. Ryan Jones  met with Pastor Fred Phelps and members of the Westboro Baptist Church to discuss their upcoming case before the Supreme Court, in which they’ll be arguing for their right to picket at military funerals on the grounds of the First Amendment.  

The outcome was never in doubt. But the narrowness of the 63-37 margin by which the Senate confirmed Elena Kagan this afternoon would stun a Rip Van Winkle who had slept through the rising partisan rancor that has poisoned judicial confirmations at all levels in recent years.
Stuart Taylor Jr., on the confirmation of the Supreme Court’s 112th justice, Elena Kagan.
Let me be clear: the issue is not the fact that Scalia has chosen to have nine children. That is his personal business. The question is whether he is an extremist advocate of the so-called “Nine Children Agenda.” Can he deal open-mindedly with children’s issues when he has so many himself? Can he persuade his children to recuse themselves when appropriate (or, in the vernacular, “Just shut up, will you? I’m trying to write an opinion here. Sweetheart, could you please come and take him…stop climbing up my leg…watch it with that glass of water, buddy…no, that’s some condemned prisoner’s brief that daddy has to reject, so don’t …would somebody please take this kid…LOOK OUT for the… Jesus H. Christ, how am I supposed to get any work done”?).
southpol:

FiveThirtyEight: Value Over Replacement Justice

After about 20 years, Kagan overtakes Wood even  though she’s less liberal, because she’s more likely have survived.  She  continues to provide excess value over Kagan from that point forward,  until we reach a period 40+ years out where both women are almost  certain to be dead.  On balance, Kagan’s lifetime expected VORJ is  actually higher than that of Kagan’s (1,280 rather than 1,206, if you  care), assuming that she’ll defect from the liberals 10 percent of the  time whereas Wood never will.

If you are into baseball statistics, you’re probably already intrigued.
Nate Silver is awesome.

We are in complete agreement. Though, honestly, it seems like from this argument, that a big value is simply sticking around, Obama should nominate the youngest person from Harvard Law’s class of ‘10 next time.

southpol:

FiveThirtyEight: Value Over Replacement Justice

After about 20 years, Kagan overtakes Wood even though she’s less liberal, because she’s more likely have survived. She continues to provide excess value over Kagan from that point forward, until we reach a period 40+ years out where both women are almost certain to be dead. On balance, Kagan’s lifetime expected VORJ is actually higher than that of Kagan’s (1,280 rather than 1,206, if you care), assuming that she’ll defect from the liberals 10 percent of the time whereas Wood never will.

If you are into baseball statistics, you’re probably already intrigued.

Nate Silver is awesome.

We are in complete agreement. Though, honestly, it seems like from this argument, that a big value is simply sticking around, Obama should nominate the youngest person from Harvard Law’s class of ‘10 next time.

Ezra Klein Calls Bulls**t on Accusations that Obama Unfairly Favors Women for the High Court

equalitymyth:

Big ups to our colleague (for now, anyway) Ezra Klein, whose Washington Post column today thrashes the argument that Obama shouldn’t nominate two women in a row to the Supreme Court. Since women make up half the population, the odds of two women being seated to the high court in a row are a solid 25%. The odds that 34 male justices would be seated even after women got the vote? 0.000000000058, he calculates. In his words, “Yipes.”

Americans like to believe that discrimination is in our past and so nothing has to be done to rectify it in the present … But more subtly invidious is the simple fact that people are so unused to seeing women appointed to the court that it’s somehow a scandal to see two of them named in a row. Two women and we’re talking about systematic discrimination. And that reaction means that even though the coin says there’s an even chance that Obama’s next pick will be a woman also, there’s probably not an even chance of it, as he’ll have to prove that he’s not favoring women. After all, it’s one thing to appoint 101 men in a row. But three women? Why, that’d be un-American!

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Preach.

Also, we’re pretty sure we’re going to ask for Ezra in the divorce….

SCOTUS SMACKDOWN!



In which we ask five people to make a case for who they think Obama should nominate for the Supreme Court:

‘A Remarkable Public Servant’
The case for Janet Napolitano.
By Gen. Barry McCaffrey
Janet Napolitano was the U.S. attorney from Arizona when I started working with her while serving as the White House drug-policy director. I spent one long day with her in 1996 inspecting U.S. border operations along the frontier with Mexico. She struck me then, and she has ever since, as a remarkable public servant. She is extraordinarily intelligent, extremely family-oriented and compassionate, and with none of the posturing that we frequently see in political officials.

An Advocate for the Average Citizen
Elizabeth Warren would represent the people against powerful financial interests on the Supreme Court.

By Jonathan Alter
Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Law School professor and passionate consumer advocate, hasn’t been on many shortlists for the Supreme Court. But I understand from administration sources that she is very much in the hunt. Warren would satisfy President Obama’s criteria for the job, and she would likely prove to be a historic choice with a long-lasting impact on the country.

A Mirror to Obama’s Self-Image
If the president wants to burnish his post-partisan credentials, he should choose Judge Merrick Garland, who has worked well with conservatives.
By Benjamin Wittes
If President Obama wants to use the current Supreme Court vacancy at once to promote his judicial values and to reestablish himself in the run-up to the midterm elections as a post-partisan president capable of genuine statesmanship, he has an obvious choice. That choice is Merrick Garland, a judge who has spent the years since 1997 bridging the divide between liberals and conservatives on the once polarized D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals—and often coaxing surprisingly liberal decisions from his conservative colleagues.

‘A Respected Scholar, Teacher’
Why Obama should choose his current solicitor general, Elena Kagan, for the Supreme Court.

By Charles J. Ogletree Jr.
Solicitor General and former Harvard Law School dean Elena Kagan would make a superb Supreme Court justice. If the president is looking for someone who is intelligent, independent, and young, and who will bring unique experience that will immediately enable her to have an impact on the court, Solicitor General Kagan is his choice. She has always overcome challenges by those who would underestimate her talent because of her age or gender.

A Consensus Builder
Judge Diane Wood has worked well with her conservative colleagues.
By Rob Warden
It is hard to imagine a more appropriate replacement for John Paul Stevens—or a more ideal addition to the Supreme Court—than Diane Wood, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, where Stevens once served with distinction. Wood has been to the Seventh Circuit what Stevens has been to the Supreme Court: a counterweight to conservative fellow jurists. But she, like Stevens, is no ideologue, and she is held in high esteem by her conservative colleagues.

A knowledgeable administration official tells NEWSWEEK that in the present case the overriding reason to wait a decent interval before announcing the nomination is to limit the amount of time the Republican opposition can attack and soften up the nominee. In terms of timing, the sweet spot would be enough time to ensure a hearing before the August recess but not so much time that the nominee would be “flopping around in the sun,” as NEWSWEEK’s source put it. That means to expect a nomination somewhere between May 1 and 15, which would set up hearings in late June or early July, according to the source, who would not be named discussing any aspect of the selection or confirmation process.

Game On

Alter, on the SCOTUS ruling that corporations are people too:

The Citizens United case is the Roe v. Wade of the 21st century, only the roles are reversed. Conservatives who bashed liberal judges for “legislating from the bench” and disrespecting precedent are now exposed as unprincipled poseurs. Liberals who grew up depending on courts to protect the public interest must now build a mass movement to confront the greatest accumulation of corporate power since the age of the robber barons.

At his confirmation hearings, John Roberts said, “Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them.” He repeated his belief in judicial restraint and the importance of precedent. So what did his court do? It gutted more than a century of law that barred direct corporate expenditures on behalf of politicians. And it slam-dunked GOP stalwarts like Teddy Roosevelt, Robert Taft (his 1947 Taft-Hartley Act limited outside campaign expenditures), and, yes, John McCain. The key to the 5–4 majority finding that corporations have all the rights of people: Samuel Alito, the hardliner who replaced Sandra Day O’Connor.