In the New Rules segment of his HBO show Real Time, Bill Maher makes his view of Trump’s choice Judge Amy Coney Barrett and her extremest religious beliefs.
Tag: Supreme Court
Oct 18 2020
The Rant of the Week: Bill Maher – Nut Pick
Sep 14 2018
Kavanaugh’s #MeToo Moment
With all the news about Hurricane Florence and Trunp’s campaign manager flipping and taking a plea deal (I’ll get to that), this report about Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy has been flying under the radar. It appears the Senate Republicans may be on the verge of appointing a sexual …
Sep 06 2018
The “I Am Spartacus” Moment
The Senate Judiciary Committee has been questioning Donald Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh of District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, for three days. The Democrats on the committee have justifiably complained about the vast number of documents pertaining to the nominee’s opinions that have either been arbitrarily declared confidential by the …
May 22 2018
Supreme Court Ruling Side With Big Business
Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled that businesses can force workers to settle disputes with arbitration and virtually shuts workers out of the courtroom banning class action lawsuits. In a 5-4 decision, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925 allows employers to require one-on-one arbitration hearings. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called Gorsuch’s …
May 15 2018
Mondays At The Court With Roberts
Monday was a busy day for the Supremes, that is the nine justices of the US Supreme Court. The end of this session is nearing. While June will be when they reveal their really big decisions, May starts with slow drips of the final deliberations on some of the “less important” considerations, or not. Supreme …
Apr 05 2017
The End of the Tunnel
The 100 year old cloture rule that required 60 votes to pass bills and confirm judges and many of the president’s appointments may be in its final death throws. It came into formal existence just before World War I when several senators objected to a bill that would have armed American merchant marine vessels. Senator …
Jun 28 2016
The New Roe v Wade
In a 5-3 decision yesterday the United States Supreme Court affirmed the right of a woman to safe abortion. Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (pdf) may well be the most significant ruling since Roe v Wade in 1973. Writing for a 5-3 majority, Justice Stephen Breyer said the two Texas laws at issue in the …
Mar 25 2016
Long Lines for Voters in AZ: Blame SCOTUS
The voters in Arizona’s heaviest populated district, and largest Latino population, Maricopa County faced waits as long as five hours. Why? Because of a lack of polling places. Why did they lack polling places? The Robert’s Supreme Court, when the conservative majority gutted by declaring the Voting Rights Act’s Section 5 unconstitutional. The Arizona Republic …
Jan 11 2016
A Bad Day for Unions
The Supreme Court heard arguments today in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case that may cripple the rights of public sector unions to bargain for workers. The case has the backing of the right wing group backed, the Bradley Foundation, that is backed by the billionaire Koch brothers. The group has spent millions over …
Feb 17 2015
The Notorious RBG: “The Best and Hardest Job I’ve Ever Had”
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, aka The Notorious RBG, sat down for an exclusive interview with MSNBC’s Irin Carmon. During the interview she spoke on numerous subjects including the dysfunctional congress, abortion, marriage equality, sexism, retirement and tattoos.
Full transcript can be read here
CARMON: So I know that you have no intention of retiring, and correct me if I’m wrong, anytime soon. But I’m wondering what you want your successor to look like?
GINSBURG: My successor will be the choice of whatever president is sitting at that time. But I’m concerned about doing the job full steam. And I’ve said many times, once I sense that I am slipping, I will step down. Because this is a very intense job. It is by far the best and the hardest job I’ve ever had. And it takes a lot of energy and staying power to do it right. So that is when I will step down, when I feel I can no longer do the job full steam.
Oct 08 2014
TBC: Morning Musing 10.8.14
Today I have 2 articles for your perusal.
First up is an interview with Noam Chomsky. It covers a variety of issues and is long but well worth the read:
Chomsky: U.S. Spawned a Fundamentalist Frankenstein in the Mideast
For decades now, Noam Chomsky has been widely regarded as the most important intellectual alive (linguist, philosopher, social and political critic) and the leading US dissident since the Vietnam War. Chomsky has published over 100 books and thousands of articles and essays, and is the recipient of dozens of honorary doctorate degrees by some of the world’s greatest academic institutions. His latest book, Masters of Mankind: Essays and Lectures, 1969-2013, has just been published by Haymarket Books. On the occasion of the release of his last book, Chomsky gave an exclusive and wide-ranging interview to C.J. Polychroniou for Truthout, parts of which will also appear in The Sunday Eleftherotypia, a major national Greek newspaper.
Aug 01 2014
Democracy Under Fire
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette
In a joint statement, the ACLU and Human Rights Watch released a 120 page report documenting how mass surveillance by the US is undermining constitutional rights to freedom of the press and legal council
The 120-page report, “With Liberty to Monitor All: How Large-Scale US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy,” is based on extensive interviews with dozens of journalists, lawyers, and senior US government officials. It documents how national security journalists and lawyers are adopting elaborate steps or otherwise modifying their practices to keep communications, sources, and other confidential information secure in light of revelations of unprecedented US government surveillance of electronic communications and transactions. The report finds that government surveillance and secrecy are undermining press freedom, the public’s right to information, and the right to counsel, all human rights essential to a healthy democracy.
Amy Goodman and Aaron Mate sat down with Alex Sinha, Aryeh Neier fellow at Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union, and Jeremy Scahill, staff reporter with The Intercept to discuss the threat to Americans’ liberties.
In a new report, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union warn that “large-scale surveillance is seriously hampering U.S.-based journalists and lawyers in their work.” The report is based on interviews with dozens of reporters and lawyers. They describe a media climate where journalists take cumbersome security steps that slows down their reporting. Sources are afraid of talking, as aggressive prosecutions scare government officials into staying silent, even about issues that are unclassified. For lawyers, the threat of surveillance is stoking fears they will be unable to protect a client’s right to privacy. Some defendants are afraid of speaking openly to their own counsel, undermining a lawyer’s ability provide the best possible defense.
Transcript can be read here
Journalism under fire: America’s freedom of the press is in danger
By Heather Digby Parton, Salon
If there’s one thing that civil libertarians across the American political spectrum tend to agree upon, it’s that the Bill of Rights is a guiding document. It doesn’t say everything but it says a lot. The various political factions do sometimes differ in their emphasis and interpretation, with the right’s civil libertarians often tending to focus more closely on the 1st Amendment’s establishment clause and the 2nd Amendment while the left-leaning civil libertarians take a harder line on freedom of speech and the 4th amendment. This is of course a sweeping generalization which can be disproved in dozens of individual cases, but for the sake of argument, it can probably be stipulated that those who concern themselves with the civil liberties enshrined in the Constitution all agree on the Bill of Rights’ importance to our constitutional order. And they tend to agree across the board, with equal fervor, on the necessity of a free press to a functioning democracy. [..]
Considering the reaction of many people in the government toward reporters involved in the NSA revelation, it’s clear they have reason to be paranoid. There are government officials awho consider them to be spies and have said they should be punished as such. Even fellow journalists have brought up the question of “aiding and abetting” as if it’s a legitimate line of inquiry.
The atmosphere of mistrust is also rampant within the government, as with the administration having cracked down on contacts between the intelligence community and issuing threats of legal action even before the Snowden revelations. The institutionalized, government-wide initiative called the Insider Threat Program could have any federal employee looking over his shoulder and worrying that his innocent behavior might be construed as suspicious. [..]
And it’s not just national security agencies that are subject to this program. They are in effect in departments as disparate as the Department of Education and the Peace Corps.
Top Journalists and Lawyers: NSA Surveillance Threatens Press Freedom and Right to Counsel
By Dan Froomkin, The Intercept
Not even the strongest versions of NSA reform being considered in Congress come anywhere close to addressing the chilling effects on basic freedoms that the new survey describes.
“If the US fails to address these concerns promptly and effectively,” report author G. Alex Sinha writes, “it could do serious, long-term damage to the fabric of democracy in the country.”
Even before the Snowden revelations, reporters trying to cover important defense, intelligence and counter-terrorism issues were reeling from the effects of unprecedented secrecy and attacks on whistleblowers.
But newfound awareness of the numerous ways the government can follow electronic trails – previously considered the stuff of paranoid fantasy – has led sources to grow considerably more fearful.