Law & the Courts

Religious Liberty & More: Twenty-Five Things that Caught My Eye Today — July 8, 2020 – Politics Article

1. The Washington Post: Pope denounces unimaginable “hell” of Libyan migrant camps Francis recalled that he heard stories of suffering from the migrants he met on Lampedusa in 2013, but only realized when he got back to the Vatican that his translator had only relayed a fraction of what the migrants had recounted. “He gave me the distilled version,” Francis said of the translator, explaining that this is often the case when the world hears blandly of war and suffering…

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Supreme Court & Conservative Justices: Weird Rulings – Politics Article

Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. February 5, 2019. (Doug Mills/Pool via Reuters) There will be much good and astringent commentary on today’s Supreme Court decision striking down Louisiana’s modest attempts to regulate abortion clinics like any other medical provider. But one of the most bracing was written by Jesse Merriam before the decision came down. Over at Law and Liberty, Merriam holds that “the [conservative legal] movement never worked out its…

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Supreme Court Abortion Case — June Medical: Two Important Points – Politics Article

United States Chief Justice John G. Roberts (Jim Young/Reuters) Like everyone around these parts, I’m disappointed that John Roberts cast the deciding vote to strike down an abortion law, continuing to apply a precedent he himself thinks was wrongly decided. Here I just wanted to note two interesting takes I’ve seen elsewhere. First, at the Cato Institute’s blog, Ilya Shapiro notes that Roberts has not always been so deferential to precedent: After all, stare decisis didn’t stop him from overturning precedent in Citizens…

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Neil Gorsuch and Mrs. America – Politics Article

Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly in ‘Mrs. America’. (FX Networks/Screenshot via Youtube) In April, the political drama Mrs. America debuted to critical acclaim on FX and Hulu. The show chronicles the campaign to pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution and the opposing campaign led by Phyllis Schlafly, played in this production by Cate Blanchett. Section 1 of the ERA states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or…

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The Gospel of John & More — Twenty-Five Things That Caught My Eye Today, June 25, 2020 – Politics Article

1. I love this police officer: It turns out the cure for woke nonsense is the Gospel of John. https://t.co/CRTWcMGJvJ — Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) June 25, 2020 2. This is disgusting and wrong. Don’t be that which you claim to fight against. https://t.co/zqGfo2RvqI — Kyrsten Sinema (@kyrstensinema) June 25, 2020 3. June 2020 Trafficking In Persons Report 4. Big Porn cashes in on racism and anti-Semitism 5. Unaccompanied Children “Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place” Children who escape…

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Black-on-Black Murders: Understanding the Statistics – Politics Article

Chicago police at the scene of a fatal shooting in 2015. (Jim Young/Reuters) About three weeks ago, we published my column, “The ‘Institutional Racism’ Canard.” In it, I made a point about black-on-black murders, drawing on FBI statistics from 2016. Though the data I drew from the published stats was accurate, there are caveats that I did not explain. When additional information is factored in, the problem is even worse than I suggested. Specifically, I noted that Powerline’s Paul Mirengoff…

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Donald Trump & Neil Gorsuch — Updating My Priors – Politics Article

Justice Neil Gorsuch in his chambers at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., September 13, 2019 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) One of the reasons I declined to support Trump’s election in 2016 was my belief that he didn’t keep his promises. Even where he promised an injection of nationalist views I found welcome, I didn’t trust him. Two years ago, I took stock of my predictions. As predicted, Trump wasn’t on track to build his promised wall. And he still isn’t. He’d…

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Chief Justice John Roberts & DACA — A Decision without Substantive Law Precedent – Politics Article

President Donald Trump greets Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as he arrives to deliver his State of the Union address in the House Chamber in Washington, D.C., February 4, 2020. (Leah Millis/Reuters) When I heard about the reasoning in Chief Justice John Roberts’s decision concerning the DACA case, I had a real deja vu experience. Roberts applied arcane administrative law jurisprudence to obtain a particular policy result he favored — and without creating a policy precedent that would bind…

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Supreme Court & DACA — What’s Next? – Politics Article

Pro-DACA demonstrators near the White House, September 5, 2017 (Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty) Dan’s piece on the home page nicely explains the absurdity of the Supreme Court’s DACA ruling. In his conclusion, he writes, “DACA repeal will still happen — if Trump is in office long enough for DHS to finish the task.” This is probably true, but not automatic. The weak sisters in the White House may well have greeted this decision with secret relief, in that it could let the…

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Roe v. Wade, Abortion & Courts — Making It Up – Politics Article

I’d like to thank Ramesh for his post below, because it cannot be said often enough: Roe v. Wade and the rest of our abortion jurisprudence is the federal courts “just making it up as they go.” Roe is, and always has been, preposterous. It is an exercise in pure politics masquerading as constitutional law. It ought to be understood as bad law and as an abuse of judicial power irrespective of one’s view of abortion rights. This highlights the…

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The Non-Delegation Doctrine Conundrum | National Review – Politics Article

A general view of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington December 3, 2013. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) As Robert VerBruggen noted on NRO the other day, a lot of conservative and libertarian legal thinkers are excited about the possibility that the Supreme Court will start reining in the congressional practice of granting chunks of its legislative authority to unelected bureaucracies. VerBruggen uses the hard-to-escape terminology of “reviving the nondelegation doctrine” to describe this prospect. But as his own account suggests, and I’ve…

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New York Times Op-Ed: How Not to Argue with Bill Barr – Politics Article

U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr during an event with the president in the Rose Garden of the White House, July 11, 2019 (Carlos Barria/Reuters) I’m open to criticisms of Attorney General Bill Barr, and have highlighted one or two in this space. But Katherine Stewart and Caroline Fredrickson have written an attack on him for the New York Times that seems to me a model of how not to engage in political debate. The op-ed is not persuasive, and gives…

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