Archive for the ‘Judiciary’ Category

When Joe Biden tells reporters that he’ll tell voters after the election where he stands on the issue of packing the Supreme Court, what he’s really saying is that he intends to expand the Supreme Court if elected, then nominate legislative-minded justices to the Supreme Court. Democrats don’t want jurists on the SCOTUS. They want legislators in black robes.

Democrats, whether they’re supposedly moderates (think Christopher Coons) or far left nutjobs (think Kamala Harris), intend on gutting the US Constitution by confirming justices whose highest priority is establishing laws that Democrats couldn’t get passed legislatively. With these ‘jurists’, it isn’t about what the legislative language says. With these jurist/legislators, it’s about their policy preferences. But I digress.

As for packing the courts, Biden’s allies have taken to TV to lie about the definition of court packing:

Also on Fox News Sunday, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, a close Biden ally, said the rushed way in which Republicans are trying to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court prior to the election “constitutes court-packing.”

That isn’t the definition of court packing. This is:

Typically, court-packing refers to expanding a court’s seats, and then confirming judges for those seats.

The term was created in the 1930s when FDR wanted an obedient court. Congress rejected FDR’s initiative. In 1983, then-Sen. Biden understood what court-packing was:

Democrats are pushing the theme that Mitch McConnell isn’t being straight about confirming justices to the Supreme Court. They’re both right and irrelevant. Republicans are defending themselves quite nicely by saying that the Constitution gives a) the president the authority to nominate justices right through his last day in office and b) the Senate the authority to confirm judges even on the last day of their term in office. Now that that’s been established, the public isn’t interested in other arguments.

What people won’t put up with is a secretive candidate. Joe Biden isn’t being straight with the people. Biden thinks that people don’t have the right to know whether he’d pack the court. I don’t think that’ll play well with voters. Voters prefer public servants over imperial rulers. Right now, Biden is acting like royalty. That isn’t a good look for him.

If you’re as tired of hearing Republicans and Democrats complain about the other being a hypocrite about confirming Supreme Court justices, get in line. Better yet, let’s change the subject to something worthwhile. Since the process is going forward, let’s talk about the Constitution and Judge Barrett’s qualifications:

  1. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution assigns the authority for nominating Supreme Court justices to the president up to the day he leaves office.
  2. Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution says that the term of the Senate is 6 years.
  3. Article VI prohibits religious tests, saying “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
  4. Amy Coney-Barrett’s credentials are impressive.
These 4 things won’t change, meaning that all the huffing and puffing happening in Washington, DC, is theatrics. Theatrics should be ignored because they’re unimportant. What’s important is that, at least until January 20, 2021 and perhaps longer, President Trump has the constitutional authority to appoint judges to the courts. What’s important is that the Senate has the authority to confirm judges to the Supreme Court. What’s important is for Democrats to refrain from talking about Judge Barrett’s Catholic faith. What’s important is that Judge Amy Coney-Barrett is more than qualified to be a Supreme Court justice.

This is whining at its worst:

This is what religious bigotry in the 21st Century looks like and how to respond to it:

Sen. Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate, is part of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She’s put her prosecutor’s hat on against Republican judicial appointees. Sen. Harris’ biggest weakness is her ego. She thinks she’s smarter than she is. That might get her in trouble. Judge Barrett is a truly smart, likable person. Shifting into attack mode isn’t the wisest tactic.

Chuck Schumer isn’t the brightest bulb in the Senate Democrats’ chandelier. Still, this week, he’s outdone himself. This week, Sen. Schumer said that “By every modicum of decency and honor, Leader McConnell and the Republican majority have no right to fill it.” The Constitution disagrees. Article II, Section 2 says “shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court…”

“Article II, Section 1” says “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows:” Article I, Section 3 says “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years…”

It doesn’t say that the Senate can’t confirm judges if we’re nearing an election. As long as they’re in session, a confirmation vote is justified.

In addition to not being bright, Sen. Schumer isn’t terribly honest, either. Whatever. Sen. McConnell said that there will be an up-or-down-vote on President Trump’s nominee. At the time, Sen. McConnell didn’t know that it would be Judge Amy Coney-Barrett.

I hope Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats throw a Schumer-like temper tantrum against Judge Coney-Barrett. If they do, it’ll sink the Democrats this election. In fact, President Trump thinks it’ll be difficult for Democrats to attack her:

Attacking ACB is like attacking ‘Mrs. Suburban Housewife.’ Nonetheless, I’d be surprised if Democrats don’t go too far. That’s just who they are.

During his interview with Sean Hannity, Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that Republicans have the votes to confirm President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. The woman will be sworn in before the election.

Senate Republicans have enough votes to confirm a replacement for late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the Nov. 3 election, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told “Hannity” Monday. “It’s pretty obvious that if they [Democrats] want an outcome, they’ll just destroy anybody’s life to keep the seats open,” Graham told host Sean Hannity.

“They said they tried to destroy Brett Kavanaugh so they could fill the seat — they were dumb enough to say that,” Graham added. “I’ve seen this movie before. It’s not going to work, it didn’t work with Kavanaugh. We’ve got the votes to confirm Justice Ginsburg’s replacement before the election. We’re going to move forward in the committee, we’re going to report the nomination out of the committee to the floor of the United States Senate so we can vote before the election. Now, that’s the constitutional process.”

This is the video of the interview:

If Republicans have the votes to confirm, which I think they do, that means that Democrats will wage full-out thermonuclear war on President Trump’s nominee starting the night before the nominee is named. If you thought Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings were bad, this nominee’s confirmation hearing will make that look timid.

With Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, Democrats were worried that Kavanaugh’s Catholic pedigree would influence his thinking on so-called reproductive rights cases. This time, instead of replacing a Republican-appointed justice, they’ll be appointing the Court’s Liberal Lioness replacement. That isn’t just a cultural shift. It’s a seismic shift in judicial philosophy.

Mitch McConnell is right in warning his caucus of the upcoming fight:

“Already some of the same individuals who tried every conceivable dirty trick to obstruct Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh are lining up … to proclaim the third time will be the charm,” McConnell said in what amounted to the official opening salvo in the war over the vacant seat. “The American people are about to witness an astonishing parade of misrepresentations about the past, misstatements about the present and more threats against our institutions from the same people, the same people who already have been saying for months … they want to pack the court.”

He added: “Two years ago a radical movement tried to use unproven accusations to ruin a man’s life because they could not win a vote fair and square. Now they appear to be readying an even more appalling sequel.”

After Chairman Graham’s statement, Sen. Cory Gardner announced that he’ll support President Trump’s nominee. Even if Mitt Romney votes to not confirm President Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, Republicans have enough votes to confirm, with Vice President Pence casting the tie-breaking vote. I’m confident that Romney will vote to confirm, partially because he’s generally on board with strict constructionist judges, partially because voting against confirmation and for impeachment means the end of his political career.

Judge Michael McHaney criticized Illinois Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker in his ruling. In fact, Judge McHaney’s ruling was more of a blistering than a ruling. In his blistering/ruling, Judge McHaney opened by saying “Since the inception of this insanity, the following regulations, rules or consequences have occurred: I won’t get COVID if I get an abortion but I will get COVID if I get a colonoscopy.”

Judge McHaney’s ruling stings Gov. Pritzker after that by saying “Selling pot is essential but selling goods and services at a family- owned business is not. Pot wasn’t even legal and pot dispensaries didn’t even exist in this state until five months ago and, in that five months, they have become essential but a family-owned business in existence for five generations is not. A family of six can pile in their car and drive to Carlyle Lake without contracting COVID but, if they all get in the same boat, they will.”

Later in the ruling, Judge McHaney unleashes his harshest criticism:

The defendant in this case orders you to stay home and pronounces that, if you leave the state, you are putting people in danger, but his family members traveled to Florida and Wisconsin because he deems such travel essential. One initial rationale why the rules don’t apply to him is that his family farm had animals that needed fed. Try selling that argument to farmers who have had to slaughter their herds because of disruption in the supply chain.

Then there’s this:

Make no mistake, these executive orders are not laws. They are royal decrees. Illinois citizens are not being governed, they are being ruled. The last time I checked Illinois citizens are also Americans and Americans don’t get ruled.

Pritzker employed the Democrats’ time-tested tactic of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do. His family lived in Florida virtually all winter while Ron DeSantis managed things properly. Pritzker got them out of Illinois while he mismanaged the COVID crisis.

Read Judge McHaney’s short ruling. It’s well worth the time spent.

Another day, another judge has ruled against another Democrat governor. This time, “Circuit Judge Matthew B. Shirtcliff granted a preliminary injunction to 10 churches that had sued the governor.” Unfortunately, Gov. Kate Brown’s office “appealed to the state Supreme Court to keep her emergency orders in effect.”

Gov. Brown, another iron-fisted Democrat, issued a statement after appealing. The statement said “This will ensure we can continue to safeguard the health of all Oregonians, including frontline health care workers, those living in nursing homes, workers in agriculture and food processing plants, and Oregonians with underlying health conditions, while the legal process moves forward.”

In his opinion, Judge Shirtcliff struck a different position. Here’s what Judge Shirtcliff said:

The governor’s orders are not required for public safety when plaintiffs can continue to utilize social distancing and safety protocols at larger gatherings involving spiritual worship. Plaintiffs have shown that they will be harmed by deprivation of the constitutional right to freely exercise their religion. Other plaintiffs have also shown great economic harm to their businesses and their ability to seek livelihood.

First, Brown will lose the fight with churches. If churches utilize social distancing, then Gov. Brown, or any other iron-fisted Democrat governor for that matter, can’t prohibit the free practice of religion. Overcoming the Bill of Rights is the legal equivalent of fighting uphill with a weight tied to your waist.

The legal position on other restrictions is that they have to be the least intrusive restrictions that accomplish the government’s legitimate goal. If these store owners show that they’re following the same rules that big box stores are using, then this fight is finished.

This isn’t the only instance of a Democrat governor overreaching. J.B. Pritzker, Illinois’s iron-fisted Democrat governor, is attempting an end-run around the legislature. Pritzker “filed an emergency rule that would penalize owners of restaurants, bars, gyms, barbershops and other businesses for reopening before coronavirus restrictions are lifted.” That’s unconstitutional because governors don’t write laws. They enforce them. State Sen. Dan McConchie replied through Twitter:


This says it all:

This is a clear breach of the separation of powers. It is the role of the legislature to make the law, and the role of the Governor to enforce it. He has assumed both roles and shut out the legislative branch. It is beyond time for the Governor to stop ruling by fiat.

Sen. McConchie better file a lawsuit on this because a judge’s ruling will take this out of Pritzker’s hands.

UPDATE: The Oregon Supreme Court intervened in the case, essentially throwing out the Shirtcliff ruling. This is, in my opinion, proof of why they should’ve filed this in federal court. State courts can get packed with partisan political operatives, which appears to have happened here.

Tony Evers, Wisconsin’s Democrat governor, is upset with the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s ruling on Evers’ Wuhan Virus executive order. After the Supreme Court ruled against Gov. Evers’ EO, Gov. Evers said “Republican legislators convinced four members of the Supreme Court to throw the state into chaos. Republicans own that chaos.”

That’s an incomprehensible statement considering what’s been happening in Wisconsin. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s reporting “The ruling immediately lifts all restrictions on businesses and gatherings imposed by the administration’s order but keeps in place the closure of schools until fall. It comes after Evers had already begun lifting some restrictions because the spread of the virus has slowed for now.

This is what makes Gov. Evers’ statement that much stranger:

To put any new limits in place, the Democratic governor and Republican-controlled Legislature will be forced to work together to deal with the ebbs and flows of the outbreak — something the two sides have rarely been able to achieve before.

The horror of it all. Evers thinks that it’s the apocalypse if he has to work with — gasp!?! — Republicans? I can feel ice forming in Hades as I type.

I thought that J.B. Pritzker, Illinois’s Democrat governor, was a drama queen. I’m not certain that Evers shouldn’t fit into that same category.

In less than a minute, Gov. Evers said that ‘Wisconsin people aren’t idiots. They’ll do the right thing.’ then says that those same people have been thrown into chaos. It doesn’t work that way, Gov. Evers. Either they’re smart and they make good decisions or they’re idiots and they’re prone to creating chaos. It isn’t both.

Gov. Evers, the court has ruled. You can whine like you did in this interview or you can work with Republicans. Wisconsin elected you to govern, not to go on MSNBC and play a Democrat drama queen. It’s time you grew up. If your ideas are worthwhile, Republicans will work with you. If they aren’t, then they don’t deserve support. It’s just that simple.

It’s just one judge’s ruling but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order just sustained a major hit. This comes “after the Shiawassee County Sheriff said he wouldn’t enforce the order.” The article read “Karl Manke is ready for customers after a judge denied a temporary restraining order to close the barbershop.”

David Kallman, Manke’s attorney, said “We’re thrilled, yea. The court just denied the TRO request that the attorney general filed earlier today, which means Karl can stay open. And the judge did what we asked, which is if they want to have a hearing, present evidence and try to convince the court that Karl should be shut down, show how the proof. Show that people are actually being harmed.”

Later, Manke said this:

I had gone six weeks without a paycheck, with no money coming in. You know, I’ve been in this business 59 years. I’m entering my 60th now. I’m 77. I’ve always worked. I’ve never looked for handouts, I don’t even know what they are. I had somebody call me and say why don’t you get on food stamps. I don’t want food stamps. I want to work.

Manke said that he’s surprised by the amount of support he’s received:

“I came into this last Monday alone, thinking I’m going to swing in the wind alone,” he said, calling the governor’s order to keep non-essential businesses closed oppressive and he doesn’t need to be mothered by lawmakers. “I cannot believe the support that I’ve got. It’s overwhelming.”

Check this video out:

Just short of 2 minutes into the video, Manke said “I’ve never seen anything like this at all. I’ve never seen this type of oppression by a government, not even in the 60s.” It was difficult to hear Manke’s speech at times because of all the horns honking as they drove past Manke’s shop. That’s what a backlash forming sounds like. They’re mad as hell and they won’t take Gov. Whitmer’s oppression much longer. We The People should take up this battle cry:

“The government isn’t my mother, never has been. It’s time for us to take responsibility.”

David Kallman highlighted the fact that the Michigan legislature refused to extend “the declaration of emergency”, that declaration has lapsed. Since then, Empress Whitmer declared another state of emergency as a way of getting around the legislature’s decision. That new declaration is a legal dead man walking since it wasn’t authorized by the legislature. As Kallman said, that first declaration ended “according to state law.”

Kallman then stated that “If you can walk down the aisle at Walmart, you can walk down the aisle at your church and you can walk down the aisle to Karl’s barber shop.” Kallman then stated that Manke is following the same protocols (hand-washing, social distancing) that other businesses are practicing. What is Gov. Whitmer’s argument in light of those facts? That Walmart is better at hand-washing and social distancing? Her EOs are ridiculous and oppressive. The people know it, too.

It’s time for this selective oppression to end. The rule of law, due process and the right to pursue happiness (without endangering others) must mean something. They can’t just be words on a piece of paper.

To: Sean Hannity, Harris Faulkner
From: Gary Gross, Uppity Peasants Brigade
Subject: Michigan’s protests

Regarding your points made about the protests held inside the Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing, MI, I find your points well-taken and well-reasoned. Still, there’s something that both of you missed, which is that your expectations were too high. Let me explain.

Sean, I can’t dispute the fact that men showing up with rifles inside the Capitol drowns out whatever message the vast majority of the protesters were trying to send. That being said, quickly and firmly criticizing these men would’ve been appropriate had you then pivoted to criticizing Gov. Whitmer’s overreach. What she’s done with her executive orders has created the protesters’ frustration.

Harris, last week on Outnumbered, the panel got into a discussion about the protesters not properly distancing themselves. That’s an accurate statement. Again, what wasn’t said was important. Expecting perfect, well-reasoned behavior after being ordered to shelter-in-place is unreasonable. These protesters were protesting because their frustration boiled over.

It’s human nature to lash out after people had their rights diminished. I suspect that last week’s protesters are next week’s model citizens. It isn’t too much to ask commentators to take into account the frustration (and fear) these people are experiencing. When you combine these factors and frustrations, then couple that with human nature, the outcome is predictable.

As people of faith (I’m a believer, too), let’s work overtime this week to show a little extra grace to people who’ve been improperly suppressed by Gov. Whitmer. Let’s give the protesters the benefit of the doubt. They’ve been through hell, thanks to Gov. Whitmer’s overreach.

Speaking of which, this exchange put a smile on my face:


Judge Moyé should apologize to Shelley Luther. His tone was unwarrantedly disdainful. Ms. Luther was right to speak truth to judicial overreach. After all, Judge Moyé had the option of dismissing the case. Instead Judge Moyé opted to lecture Ms. Luther.

In case Republicans haven’t figured it out, protesting at state capitol buildings is fun but it isn’t effective. I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t protest Gov. Walz’s questionable decisions. What I’m saying is that GOP activists shouldn’t limit themselves to just protesting. Saturday afternoon, the DFL issued this statement criticizing Kurt Daudt:

Today, Minnesota House Republicans have made it clear that they would rather play politics than help Minnesotans get back to work. By pledging to block Governor Walz’s Local Jobs and Projects Plan, Representative Daudt and House Republicans are standing in the way of thousands of hardworking men and women in the construction industry building our critical infrastructure throughout the state. Once again, Minnesota Republicans say one thing and do another – they say they want to pass an infrastructure bill but when the time comes to actually get it done, they stick it to working people who desperately need these jobs.

Representative Daudt’s foolish temper tantrum goes against the advice of public health experts, the wishes of the vast majority of the American people, and the guidelines for reopening states issued by the President of Daudt’s own party. Representative Daudt’s gambling with the health and economic well-being of Minnesotans everywhere proves just how unfit Minnesota Republicans are to lead, especially during times of crisis.

It’s time for the gloves to come off. It’s time to expose the DFL as the party who shut down Minnesota’s economy based on a model put together by our DFL governor and Jan Malcolm, his clueless commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health and the U of M. That model was off by orders of magnitude. Gov. Walz tried frightening Minnesotans by telling us that 74,000 Minnesotans would die if we did nothing. That’s an outright lie. As of Saturday night, May 2, there were 6,228 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota and 395 deaths related to COVID-19 in Minnesota.

It’s time for Kurt Daudt and Paul Gazelka to step off the sidelines. They’re playing defense. They should play offense by filing a lawsuit that ends Emperor Walz’s reign of autocracy. Question the constitutional validity of Walz’s shelter-in-place orders. There’s nothing worthwhile about any of them. How many people lost their life savings thanks to Gov. Walz’s autocratic decisions? How many people lost their jobs thanks to Gov. Walz’s autocratic decisions?

It’s time to fight against Gov. Walz and the DFL’s autocratic rules. There’s nothing reasonable about how the DFL is infringing upon our rights to earn a living. Gov. Walz’s decisions has triggered a Minnesota deficit that’s likely to exceed $5,000,000,000 next year. That’s hiding the costs of draining the Rainy Day Fund and a multi-billion-dollar federal bailout.

Gov. Walz, if we save one life but destroy families upon families’ life savings, will it still be worth it? If you say yes to that question, then you’re a bleeping idiot.

Finally, We The People have the right to representation on the biggest issues of the day. When it comes to COVID-19 matters, we don’t have a say in any matters. That’s because Gov. Walz insists on making all of the decisions himself. That isn’t a constitutional republic. That’s a monarchy. 244 years ago, patriots stood up and fought against tyrants that insisted on controlling our lives. It’s time we started our own revolutionary war. This time, though, let’s use the courts instead of using muskets.