The Supreme Court is due to hear this Wal-Mart sex bias lawsuit. Any ideas on how the Court will decide.
Category Archives: U. S. Supreme Court
The GOP may have found a spot to dig in its heels against Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Without entirely announcing their opposition to her, a pair of top Senate Republicans called a set of newly uncovered memos she wrote as a clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall in 1988 “troubling.” By accusing her of expressing her personal opinion or political philosophy instead of coldly examining the issues in those memos, Senators Jon Kyl of Arizona and Jeff Sessions of Alabama seem to be picking up the same line of objection the GOP used against Sonia Sotomayor. To Sessions, it merely reinforced the fact that, “Her background is heavily in political legal advocacy more than the meat-and-potatoes discipline of serious legal work.” But both said they will wait until the hearings begin on June 28 to decide how to vote.
Read it at THE HILL
The suggestion that someone is gay is usually taken as a direct accusation of homosexuality. Only being gay is not automatically a disqualification for office anymore. Indeed, many places have laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, and there are an increasing number of gay and lesbian officeholders at all levels of elected government. So why do we still think it’s bad to call someone a lesbian? Linda Hirshman, who admits to knowing nothing about the sexual orientation of Kagan, wraps up her interesting op-ed piece by saying:
Finally, and here’s a real dirty little secret, President Obama appointing an openly gay candidate for the Supreme Court would be political genius. Think about the prospect of watching the married Senator Ensign—who is under investigation for allegedly seeking lobbying work for the husband of his mistress—arguing that the high court nominee is “sinful” or “lacking in personal morality,” as the Focus on the Family suggests. The polls are clear: Regardless of their views on same sex marriage, most Americans do not think gays and lesbians should be discriminated against, and the numbers for gays on all issues are sky high among young voters. The Republicans don’t want to be caught in a Pat Buchanan-style culture war just as the mid-term elections loom, just like enough of them wanted to avoid the anti-Hispanic trap to confirm Justice Sotomayor. It’s a no-lose nomination.
There is nothing wrong with being gay (or lesbian). What hurts is the assumption that it hurts.
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the court’s staunchest liberal, said Saturday he “will surely” leave the bench before President Obama leaves office, though he has not yet decided if he will retire this year or the next. Who might replace him? There are three leading candidates, according to Bloomberg News. A source says U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan and two federal appellate judges—Diane Wood and Merrick Garland—are leading candidates. Both Kagan and Wood met with Obama and were leading candidates last year when the president appointed Sonia Sotomayor. Garland was one of nine finalists.
George Will and Ruth Marcus provide contrasting views on the complaints of John Roberts about the Supreme Court having to attend the Sate of the Union address. Funny: we did not hear from Roberts about the political “pep rally” when the cheerleader-in-chief was one George W. Bush.
First of all, the Supreme Court justices are not required to go to the speech. Justice Scalia sits out these speech opportunities. I think Marcus is correct: Justice Roberts is a “cry-baby” and if it is too much for him to hear criticisms of this Court, maybe he should stay home.
Finally, we all know, too, that the Supreme Court is completely divorced from any political c0nsideration, so why should they go the SOTU address?
P.S. Love this photo of the “ever-dignified” Justice Scalia
A Maryland father laid his soldier son to rest in 2006 surrounded by protesters from Westboro Baptist church in Topeka, Kansas, who believe soldiers die in combat as punishment for the U.S.’s permissive attitude toward homosexuality. They carried signs that said, “Thank God for dead soldiers.” The Supreme Court is now reviewing whether protesting the funerals of soldiers is protected by the First Amendment. A Baltimore jury awarded the soldier’s father $10 million in damages, but the case was later thrown out by the U.S. Court of Appeals. The judges said the signs were not referring directly to the father and his son. Snyder v. Phelps will be argued next October.
Read more here.
Looking to minimize the consequences of the Supreme Court’s recent decision allowing corporations to spend significantly larger amounts influencing elections, Congress is taking up legislation to counter some of the ruling’s implications. “It’s one of the most wrongheaded decisions in court history,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) told the Los Angeles Times. A bill revealed Friday by Democrats would ban foreign corporations from spending money on U.S. races, with Schumer naming Venezuela-owned Citgo as an example. And in a seeming attempt to embarrass companies who put up negative or controversial ads, the legislation would require CEOs of corporations to appear at the end of advertisements approving their content, much as presidential ads operate now.
Read more here.
Last week, ABC News reported: “Lawyers for President Obama have been working behind the scenes to prepare for the possibility of one, and maybe two Supreme Court vacancies this spring. Court watchers believe two of the more liberal members of the court, Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, could decide to step aside for reasons of age and health. That would give the president his second and third chance to shape his legacy on the Supreme Court.”
Read more here.
If this became a reality, I would accept that President Obama had been a successful president even if he didn’t get heath care reformed! Of course, with his other nomination I would prefer seeing someone younger.
As if money didn’t already have an undue influence on elections, now this Supreme Court ruling “endangers federal limits on corporate and union contributions to candidates, as well as other measures that restrict how political ads are regulated. Depending on how the ruling is interpreted, it also could potentially unleash a flow of new corporate cash into the political realm.”
Read more here.
John Paul Stevens, 88
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75
Antonin Scalia, 72
Anthony Kennedy, 72
Stephen Breyer, 70
Clarence Thomas, 60
Samuel Alito, 58
Sonia Sotomayor, 56
John Roberts (the chief justice), 53
Because of his age and length of service, Stevens is widely considered the most likely to step down, followed by Ginsburg. Both happen to be judicial liberals on a Court that has four liberals (Breyer and Sotomayor being the other two) and four judicial conservatives (Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts). The fickle Kennedy tends to provide the fifth vote in close cases, particularly those involving abortion, race, and religion.
The election of Obama over McCain last fall prevented a Republican goal (dating from the 1968 presidential campaign) of an unambiguously conservative majority on the Court. In this liberal nightmare, the relatively youthful majority would be busy whittling away at Roe v. Wade, eliminating race-based preferences in the public sector, strengthening the government’s hand in fighting terrorism, and facilitating a larger role for religion in public life–among many other bad, bad things.
I know most of you have these players, their stats and which team they play for memorized, but I don’t and always have to go looking for them.
This morning’s New York Times has an op-ed piece titled, “Discrimination on Trial, but Not on TV.” In a 5-4 decision that split the top judges along their political leanings, the Supreme Court barred the live broadcast of audio and video from a California court where rights activists are challenging a state ban on gay marriage.
I would like to know what you think of this decision made yesterday, and your thoughts of our nation’s high court in general.
Only 9 of the Senate’s 40 Republicans voted for Sotomayor.
Watching Buchanan on the Rachel show last night I sat there a gasp listening to him.
Citing it was white men who ratified the Constitution and white men who died fighting for the freedom of the country and its people, that white men fought at Gettysburg and throughout the Civil War — it was white men who formed this country into the greatest nation in the world. That indeed white men are due the credit and are entitled to the consideration. He sounded more like what you might hear at a Klan meeting justifying the stance of white superiority.
He all but denied the contributions of women and minorities who also fought and died, those who struggled in the same efforts to form this nation. When Rachel pointed out that all but a select few of the Supreme Court were white men throughout the history of the United States, Buchanan stated that is as it should be since it was white men who created the country.
Buchanan stated his objection to Sotomayor was she is a affirmative action selection and nothing more. He contends President Obama passed over many others who were better qualified, that her selection was based solely on the facts she is a woman and a minority. Buchanan thinks her selection is sexism and racism in action. His opinions aren’t, her selection is! I disagree with him as she is well qualified due to her experience and education.
I will agree with him that yes, there have been times where better qualified white men have been passed over for less qualified minorities and women. It is the fatal aspect of the way that affirmative action has been enacted — placing the real value of the person on the color of their skin or their gender. This is not different then the way that affirmative action was meant to correct. In the case of Sotomayor it was a win-win in my opinion, she is more than a brown store mannequin.
But I have seen the worst possible outcomes in other cases. In those cases it would have been better to have just paid them to stay at home and still be able to claim them as one of the category that was to be filled. There was no difference by having them come to work.
Buchanan was stating his truths but he was wrong in how he was citing his facts. Minorities and women have been a valuable asset to this country. Not just adding color or babies to the building of this nation.
The color of ones skin is only the outer aspect of a person and the real fault or value it what is maintained within. The gender of a person is not the deciding factor of one’s contribution or is more than window dressing. My youngest son is a far better cook then my daughter but then again my daughter is the best at financial matters in the family. Gender does not limit or enhance a person’s natural abilities. The color of skin does not dictate one’s manner or actions. In most cases it is the person that dictates their manner and action.
Racism and sexism are wrong no matter which way it goes, I do not see a minority or a woman as a threat to my future. Buchanan missed the point he was trying to make by the way he stated it.
In an interview with the New York Times, 76-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg reiterates the need for a stronger female presence on the Supreme Court and says the pro-life movement is fighting a “losing battle.” Ginsburg, the sole woman serving on the Supreme Court, eagerly awaits the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor and says that throughout her career, she has noticed the stereotypes that affect how her actions are perceived. In the interview, she recalls how an unintended interruption of former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor became a news story about rising tensions between the two, despite the fact that the male justices interrupt one another constantly. Lastly, Ginsburg says that the anti-abortion movement is “fighting a losing battle” by trying to make a woman’s right to choose a decision for each state, adding, “Time is on the side of change.”
Donald Kaul has, over the years, become one of my favorites at minituemanmedia.org. And I love his ‘credentials line’ that is always at the bottom. Today I’m moving it to the top; Don Kaul is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-losing Washington correspondent who, by his own account, is right more than he’s wrong. ~sekanblogger
We’re about to see just how dumb the Republican Party in general, and conservatives in particular, really are. I’m betting pretty dumb.
In one of his characteristically shrewd political moves, President Barack Obama last week nominated Sonia Sotomayor to replace David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor, for those of you who may not be up to speed on your Appeals Court Judges, is as close to bulletproof as you can get when it comes to Supreme Court nominees. First of all, she is Hispanic and a woman, both politically good things to be, given that there have been only two women on the court before her and no Hispanics.
Second, she has a resume out of Horatio Alger. Grew up in public housing in the South Bronx. Lost her father at the age of 9. Won a scholarship to Princeton, that toffee-nosed bastion of the Establishment. Finished at the top of her class. Went on to Yale Law, where she was editor of the law review.
Became a federal prosecutor in New York City. Later went into private practice, then on to the federal bench, first at circuit court level, then appellate.
Academic credentials, practical experience, compelling personal narrative; she’s got it all.
And Republicans are making noises as though they’ll oppose her nomination—indeed, perhaps block it—on grounds that she is a judicial activist. Continue reading