Scotus

reposting a comment on Kavanaugh made by a friend:

I want to say something about political “experience” and “credentials” and “qualifications” in light of Republicans’ repeated refrains about Kavanaugh’s “experience.”

Yes, he’s been an Circuit Court and Supreme Court law clerk; an associate counsel in a major national independent counsel investigation; an associate White House counsel; a White House Staff Secretary; a DC Cir. Judge. He argued before the Supreme Court! Sounds very impressive!

But but but. He clerked for Kozinski (who recently resigned in shame over sexual harassment), who is a feeder to his old boss Kennedy. He was an associate counsel to Ken Starr, where he was the principal author of the infamous Starr Report that gleefully recounted Clinton’s sexual acts and called for his impeachment. His Supreme Court argument was asking courts to disregard attorney-client privilege in relation to his investigation of Vince Foster’s death (he lost), which he spent millions trying to prove was murder. His White House positions were in the GWB admin as a political appointee, where he advanced right-wing policies and judges. His Circuit judgeship involved such decisions as preventing a 17-year-old pregnant girl from getting an abortion even after she satisfied the state law of Texas – TEXAS! – on parental notification requirements.

He is a career-long right-wing partisan warrior. Every step of his career has been to the next right-wing warrior position. He is smart, yes. Excellent schools. But let’s not kid ourselves that his vaunted “expertise” and “credentials” arose naturally because he is such a brilliant patriotic American. Virtually all of them came because he was being groomed and promoted by a right-wing political cabal to get him to the exact position he is in today – where he can be a decisive fifth vote on the court to limit or eliminate abortion, end affirmative action, end Obamacare, limit administrative bodies’ abilities to regulate the environment and consumer protection, hamper gay marriage and gay rights, end limits on campaign finance spending and donation, restrict minority voting rights, expand executive power (for Republican presidents), and other long-standing right-wing positions. He is there because he’s been groomed for it, for 25 years now. It’s like a super-affirmative-action for right-wing partisan warriors.

Did he ever get hired by a Democrat? Did he ever work for a progressive? Impress a liberal? Outside the one Democratic lawyer who introduced him – and is a regular Supreme Court practitioner, where she will need his votes for her clients – how many prominent liberals have said “yeah, I disagree with his philosophy, but he’s going to be a good and fair judge”?

Kavanaugh is the fruit of a long-term plan to develop “excellent resumes” so that today, right now, Republicans can say “how can you possibly deny that he is incredibly experienced?” He sure is! He was made that way, for this purpose.

He will probably be confirmed, because the Republicans have the votes. But make no mistake: his ascent to the Court is not because he’s “incredibly well-qualified.” It’s because right-wing partisans groomed a right-wing partisan, putting him in ever-higher positions of power, and in a further exercise of raw power, they will put him in the highest position of power they can.

He won’t be the last. Years from now, Republicans up for high positions will be vaunted for their political experience and credentials because they clerked for Kavanaugh / Gorsuch / Alito, worked in the Trump administration (where, naturally, they’ll say they worked as a moderating force to advance conservative goals, while heroically thwarting Trump’s insanity), and all sorts of other similar credentials.

Do Democrats do it too? Sure! I think Republicans have done this more (or, maybe, are just better at it). But the lesson here is bipartisan. Don’t look at people’s *positions*. Look at what they did while they were there. Don’t accept “credentials” without looking under the hood. Don’t hear “he’s so experienced” and think “well then he must be good.” What has he done? What will he do in the next position?

If you’re a deep conservative, you should be thrilled at Kavanuagh’s ascent. If you’re anyone else, his “credentials” are merely the platform on which he will act with great hostility to your interests, for decades, all while right-wingers keep pronouncing, “his decisions MUST be smart and correct; after all, they’re coming from someone who is so well-qualified!”

from Facebook September 08, 2018 at 06:56AM

What Happened With Merrick Garland In 2016 And Why It Matters Now


even before Obama had named Garland, and in fact only hours after Scalia’s death was announced, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared any appointment by the sitting president to be null and void. He said the next Supreme Court justice should be chosen by the next president — to be elected later that year.
via What Happened With Merrick Garland In 2016 And Why It Matters Now
Just a quick reminder.

Intro to the Structure of Lies in Conservative Jurisprudence

Intro to the Structure of Lies in Conservative Jurisprudence

Scalia wasn’t just being hypocritical. He was, quite blatantly, lying. If he actually believed what he claimed to believe in Windsor, then he never would have joined the decision to strike down the Voting Rights Act in Holder. To the contrary, he would have denounced John Roberts’ opinion with venomous glee. To absolutely no one’s surprise, he did not. Because everybody knows he was lying in his Windsor dissent. Everybody knows he’s been lying for decades.

The whole five part series is worth a read. The conservative movement is basically founded on this kind of BS.

At what point with the talking heads on FOX start calling Justice Roberts a liberal?

I love how the SCOTUS upholding an idea that came from the Heritage Foundation is now proof that we are heading toward socialism. Private, for profit insurance plus private, for profit hospitals plus private, for profit doctors equals socialism?

Friendship of Justice and Magnate Puts Focus on Ethics

That friendship is important to determining whether Justice Thomas's interactions with Mr. Crow conflict with the code, said Raymond J. McKoski, a retired state judge in Illinois who wrote a law review article on charitable fund-raising by judges. If Justice Thomas did not "misuse the prestige of office" in getting Mr. Crow to take on the project, it should not be a concern, he said.

"Some of it depends on the conversations that took place," Mr. McKoski said. "Who brought up the idea? How willing was Mr. Crow to do it? What exact questions were asked by Justice Thomas?"


From NYTimes.com

It is to early to ask what did he know and when did he know it. Plus I doubt he would take any criticism as anything other that liberal partisanship. But this is really creepy and there should be in investigation.

Justice Clarence Thomas Should Resign For His Egregious Conflicts of Interest and Unethical Behavior

Leading conservative donor Harlan Crow, whose company often litigates in federal court, donated $500,000 to allow Thomas's wife to start a Tea Party group and he once gave Thomas a $19,000 Bible that belonged to Frederick Douglass. The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank which frequently files briefs in Thomas' Court, also gave Thomas a $15,000 gift.If this sounds familiar, it's because America has seen this movie before. Indeed, the Thomas scandal is little more than a remake of the forty year-old gifting scandal that brought down Justice Abe Fortas. Like Thomas, Fortas liked to associate with wealthy individuals with potential business before his Court. And like Thomas, Fortas took inappropriate gifts from his wealthy benefactors.

[…]One of Thomas' benefactors has even filed briefs in his Court since giving Thomas a $15,000 gift, and Thomas has not recused himself from each of these cases.


From Justice Clarence Thomas Should Resign For His Egregious Conflicts of Interest and Unethical Behavior

Why should he resign, it isn’t like he is a Democrat or something.

The audacity of audacity

Imagine Anita Hill’s shock when she checked her voicemail last weekend and found a message from one Virginia Thomas. As in, the wife of Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, the man she accused of sexual harassment back in 1991. The New York Times reports that Thomas has confirmed that she made the out-of-the-blue call as a means of “extending an olive branch.” It’s more accurate to say that she extended … a request for an apology.

From The Audacity of audacity Clarence Thomas’ wife calls up Anita Hill - Broadsheet - salon.com


What she did to him? Amazing.

Activism of Thomas's Wife Could Raise Judicial Issues

It is the most partisan role ever for a spouse of a justice on the nation's highest court, and Mrs. Thomas is just getting started. "Liberty Central will be bigger than the Tea Party movement," she told Fox News in April, at a Tea Party rally in Atlanta.

But to some people who study judicial ethics, Mrs. Thomas's activism is raising knotty questions, in particular about her acceptance of large, unidentified contributions for Liberty Central.

From Activism of Thomas's Wife Could Raise Judicial Issues - NYTimes.com

What would the right say if a Liberal judge’s spouse took money from some undisclosed donor for a blatantly political purpose?

Pot, Meet Kettle

the picture that those Republicans painted of Sotomayor doesn't seem to be supported by her actions. The Scotusblog examined her court of appeals decisions in race-related cases and found that she rejected claims of discrimination 80 percent of the time.
Op-Ed Columnist - Pot, Meet Kettle - NYTimes.com
Of the 96 cases, Judge Sotomayor and the panel rejected the claim of discrimination roughly 78 times and agreed with the claim of discrimination 10 times; the remaining 8 involved other kinds of claims or dispositions. Of the 10 cases favoring claims of discrimination, 9 were unanimous. (Many, by the way, were procedural victories rather than judgments that discrimination had occurred.) Of those 9, in 7, the unanimous panel included at least one Republican-appointed judge. In the one divided panel opinion, the dissent's point dealt only with the technical question of whether the criminal defendant in that case had forfeited his challenge to the jury selection in his case. So Judge Sotomayor rejected discrimination-related claims by a margin of roughly 8 to 1.
scotusblog: Judge Sotomayor and Race - Results from the Full Data Set

I’m waiting for the right wing and the libertarian spit-ballers to shift their arguments against Sotomayor. I’m guessing they’ll claim that the facts don’t actually demonstrate that she is able to be impartial but instead show that she is biased and incompetent at exercising her biases.