Republican Massachusetts Governor Slams Senate’s Attempts to Confirm SCOTUS Nominee While Delaying Virus Relief

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) rebuked the Senate’s attempts to confirm a nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court in remarks earlier today. Baker says the Senate should “allow the American people to cast their ballots” first, joining a chorus of voices who say a confirmation should be decided by the winner of November’s general election. read more

Opinion: Thankfully, an Incompetent Trump Can’t Even Pack The SCOTUS

This term’s Supreme Court rulings prove that America’s democracy is destined to survive the incompetent dictator-wannabe currently occupying the White House. Without question, the rule of law and democracy won. The unanimous finding among Supreme Court Justices across the ideological spectrum used various methods of legal analysis to find that the president is not above the law – at least he isn’t this week. read more

Coronavirus Forces Supreme Court to Postpone Arguments, Including Fight Over Trump’s Financial Records

The Supreme Court announced it would postpone arguments for late March and early April because of the coronavirus pandemic. No new dates for the postponed arguments have been set at this time. Among the high-profile cases to be postponed was the March 31 argument on President Donald Trump’s refusal to release his financial records, including his tax returns.

Some functions will continue; the justices will hold a regularly scheduled conference on March 20, for example, and other orders will be released by next week.

“The Building will continue to be open for official business, and filing deadlines are not extended under Rule 30.1,” the Court said in a press release. “The Court is expanding remote working capabilities to reduce the number of employees in the Building, consistent with public health guidance. The Building will remain closed to the public until further notice.”

The postponements are a pragmatic decision in light of the public health crisis that has claimed 71 lives across the United States to date. Six of the nine justices are age 65 or older and are at high risk of developing severe cases of the coronavirus, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

The Court noted in its press release that its “postponement of argument sessions in light of public health concerns is not unprecedented.”

“The Court postponed scheduled arguments for October 1918 in response to the Spanish flu epidemic.  The Court also shortened its argument calendars in August 1793 and August 1798 in response to yellow fever outbreaks,” according to the release.

As Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” Plan Hits A Legal Snag, His Administration Turns to SCOTUS

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco is preventing President Donald Trump’s administration from enforcing its Migrant Protection Protocols, otherwise known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, for asylum-seekers to stay in the country. Restrictions remain in place until March 11 for review by the Supreme Court. The ruling only applies to Arizona and California, the states under the court’s authority, and not New Mexico and Texas.

The ruling affirms the court’s ruling last week that the policy violates both United States and international law. The policy, which went into effect in January 2019, requires asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while they wait for their immigration hearings. The Trump administration considers the policy a great success, saying it has curbed the “uncontrolled flows” of migrants at the southern border, but advocacy groups have found that thousands of migrants required to wait have been kidnapped, raped, or tortured.

The appeals court’s decision will take effect on March 12 if the Supreme Court opts not to hear the case. Attorneys with the Justice Department argue that stopping the program would create “massive and irreparable national security and public safety concerns” because U.S. Customs and Border Protection lacks enough detention space to house thousands of new migrants who, they contend, would create a “rush on the southern border.”

Lawyers challenging the policy say the Supreme Court should deny the government’s request for a stay because the 9th Circuit’s original decision did not require the government to allow asylum-seekers affected by the policy to immediately re-enter the United States. They point out in court filings that the decision requires the government pursue an “orderly unwinding” of the policy.

The Supreme Court has sided with the Trump administration on immigration issues before. In January, the court allowed the government to temporarily continue enforcing a policy barring migrants from applying for asylum unless they’d already been denied asylum in another country while in transit to the United States.

John Roberts Rebukes Schumer For Bogus “Threatening Statements” Against Gorsuch, Kavanaugh

Chief Justice John Roberts has rebuked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for “threatening statements” against two conservative justices.

“Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous,” Roberts said, adding that the justices “will continue to do their job, without fear or favor, from whatever quarter.”

Roberts’s comments came after Schumer, standing outside the Supreme Court, said Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh would “pay the price” if they fail to uphold abortion rights as the judiciary takes up June Medical Services v. Russo, which considers the constitutionality of a law requiring doctors to possess admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 minutes of their abortion clinics.

“I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” Schumer said to a crowd of abortion-rights advocates. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

Schumer was soon criticized by Congressional conservatives, including Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Steve Scalise (R-La.).

🚨 UNHINGED → Schumer threatened conservative justices Kavanaugh & Gorsuch on the steps of the Supreme Court:

"You have released the whirlwind & you will pay the price. You won't know what hit you."

Enough. This rhetoric has dangerous consequences. Where's the media outrage? pic.twitter.com/SiGNHxG0iX read more

Opinion: The Supreme Court is not unlike Iran’s Supreme Council

Many Americans hate the Islamic Republic of Iran because it is a theocracy, but they likely are unaware that America is now more similar to Iran than they want to believe.

The recent Supreme Court ruling putting tens-of-millions of Americans at risk of succumbing to a global pandemic is due to a group of Christians (Catholics) who have as little regard for American lives as Trump has for the U.S. Constitution. It is a travesty to be sure, but the current Catholic majority on the Court is only getting started and their next victims will be women and members of the LGBTQ community.

It has been a mystery to this former Christian minister that some so-called Christians rail against public health measures put in place to protect the lives of all Americans, including the faithful. One always hears Christians flaunt their “personal relationship” with their personal Jesus, and yet there is a fairly robust contingent that can’t have that “personal relationship” without a crowd to watch them. It is an obscenely ridiculous concept that they claim their religious liberty is being attacked if they can’t practice religion in a group setting. Even more obscene is that five Catholics on the Supreme Court agree; even though doing so endangers the lives of the faithful and the public alike.

The issue brought before the High Court entailed a Catholic Diocese suit challenging New York’s prohibition on large gatherings solely implemented to protect the lives of New Yorkers, including the faithful. The ruling was an abomination because it was the first time the Supreme Court put the wishes of the faithful over the lives of other Americans, including the faithful. The decision can be summarized as telling the faithful that their need for what the Christian Bible labels “a showy display” of religiosity over the health, well-being, and lives of the public at large is constitutionally protected.

This bizarre and unconstitutional idea that a person’s religious liberty automatically exempts them from adhering to the law, or public health orders, is something that has been in the works for at least the past six years. The case, Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo, centered around New York Governor Cuomo’s restriction on “house of worship” gatherings in the midst of a deadly global pandemic. A pandemic, by the way, that has claimed well over a quarter of a million American lives and counting.

Prior to the Supreme Court’s transformation to an entity more in line with Iran’s Supreme Council, the court held that “religious objectors could not seek exemptions from the law if granting them an exemption could “harm people who do not share their faith.

In the United States v. Lee (1982) the court ruled that:

When followers of a particular sect enter into an activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on others.”

The High Court’s religious conservatives began undoing that ruling with Burrell v. Hobby Lobby that allowed private businesses to use religious liberty to impose their beliefs on their employees. As noted by Ian Millhiser over at Vox, the High Court’s latest decision was broad enough that there will be sweeping implications for any and all institutions seeking religious exemptions from the law;” whether they are businesses, individuals, or churches.

Now, one might be inclined to say let the faithful gather in really large groups and infect each other to their religious hearts’ content. However, those same faithful will go out in public and harm other innocent Americans who do not share their faith” or need to show how holy they are. That is the real issue and yet the Catholics on the High Court concluded thatthe religious liberty of the faithful allows them to endanger other innocent Americans’ lives.

As America becomes less religious, the so-called minority making up the social conservative wing of the Republican movement has applauded the High Court’s recent machinations elevating the faithful to a dangerous position tantamount to the ruling elite. Most sane human beings see the religious supreme council posing as the Supreme Court as creating a powerful political movement that will impose its brand of religious liberty on laws regarding employee rights, health care, education, entertainment, and equal treatment of women and the LGBTQ community. read more