Category Archives: supreme court

Harry Reid’s Nuclear Winter

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During Harry Reid’s tenure as Senate Majority Leader he didn’t get President Obama’s nominees approved at a pace to his liking. Democrats had a simple majority but not the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. So Harry invoked the “nuclear option”.  Which is to say he changed the rules. Now, under the new Senate rules, only a simple majority of 51 votes is required to approve most presidential nominees. Supreme Court appointments not included.

Nuclear Option

Until the November 8 shocker, the Majority Leader had expected Hillary Clinton to win the presidency. In October  he bragged that he had set the table for easy approval of  future Supreme Court nominees too. And so he had.

But what he didn’t count on was a Republican president and 52 Republican senators.

Now, as Harry Reid retires to his own personal nuclear winter, he leaves his colleagues glowing in the dark.

Flag Burning

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Trump tweet of the week: “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag — if they do, there must be consequences, perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail!”

The Huffington Post reported that most people think President-elect The Donald goes too far. They think flag burners should keep their citizenship. However, they’re cool with the jail part.

Flag Burning

Justice Scalia, for his part, wasn’t cool with either jail or loss of citizenship for burning a flag. Here are a few lines from a Pittsburgh Post Gazette editorial on Scalia’s opinion of flag burning:

“If I were king,” the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once said in an interview, “I would not allow people to go about burning the American flag. However, we have a First Amendment, which says that the right of free speech shall not be abridged. … Burning the flag is a form of expression. Speech doesn’t just mean written words or oral words. … Burning a flag is a symbol that expresses an idea.”

The Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that flag burning is a protected form of free speech. And Salon said Trump was cool with that when he appeared on The David Letterman Show in 2015.

Of course, the court also ruled that campaign issue advocacy spending by corporations and unions is  a protected form of free speech.   We know Hillary’s not cool with that. The Citizens United case involved  a movie critical of her. Here’s the trailer.

My favorite example of the exercise of free speech by flag burning occurred at the RNC convention in Cleveland last summer. The burner became the burnee. He caught himself on fire.

 

 

Hillary’s Supreme Court

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Hillary wants to appoint Justices to the Supreme Court who will overturn the Citizens United ruling.

In the third debate she said she wants a court that will stand on the side of the people rather than wealthy donors. Citizens United is a corporation that bankrolled a movie critical of her. Wrong side of the people.

Supreme Court

Justice Alito asked the government if Citizens United had published a book about a political figure instead of a movie could it be banned too? The answer was probably so.

Innocence of Muslims was the movie Hillary and the White House blamed for the Benghazi attack. The filmmaker was thrown in jail for a parole violation.

Notorious RBG Packs for New Zealand

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Canada must be getting crowded with Trump averse celebrities. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, told the NYT she’s headed for New Zealand if The Donald gets elected. She said, “I can’t imagine what our country would be like with Donald Trump as president.”

Trump called the Supreme Court Justice’s criticism “highly inappropriate“. The Times and Washington Post editorial pages agreed.

But Justice Ginsburg, aka The Notorious R.G.B., was on a roll. She told CNN Trump is “a faker”. She has also said it’s the Senate’s job to vote on Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court and she wants Citizens United overturned.

Packing for New Zealand

The WSJ  editorial page says it’s time for her to go.

Update:

Ginsburg apologizes:

“On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them,” Justice Ginsburg said in a statement on Thursday. “Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.”

Merrick Garland

Merrick GarlandSome Senate Republicans are sticking around in DC to prevent President Obama from putting Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court as a recess appointment. They believe the next president should nominate Justice Scalia’s replacement. As it looks now that would mean Hillary or The Donald will do the nominating.

Hillary could be indicted.

As for Trump – George Will says he is “a stupendously uninformed dilettante who thinks judges sign what he refers to as bills.”   Will doesn’t think much more of the Senate if it holds out to allow Trump to pick a justice. Even though he has a “very good brain“.