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1 hour ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Any chance that we see an Alito or Thomas retirement in the next week or two? It's not like they can't see the possibility that Trump and the Senate flipping. They also have to realize that a Senate change could stop any new conservative justice for an extended time.

With the exception of Doug Jones this year, the Dems don't have an endangered incumbent Senator in 2022 with maybe the NV senator in question. It could be 2024 before they could lose a Senator. They take the Senate this year, it's theirs for at least 4 years.

CNN has an article about SCOTUS retirements: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/30/politics/trump-supreme-court-campaign-boost/index.html

An open spot on the SC at this moment does help Trump too. There's no doubt that he's wanted an RBG or Breyer retirement/death but the window is closing on that. 

Why would Alito or Thomas retire?  They are guaranteed to take the rightest wing stance possible and are a known commodity. Any replacement justice would almost certainly end up being to the left of them. Why risk appointing an actual strict constitutionalist when you already have 2 flexible conservative justices ready to bend to your will?

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14 minutes ago, FondrenRoad said:

Why would Alito or Thomas retire?  They are guaranteed to take the rightest wing stance possible and are a known commodity. Any replacement justice would almost certainly end up being to the left of them. Why risk appointing an actual strict constitutionalist when you already have 2 flexible conservative justices ready to bend to your will?

sometimes its just the human element.  souter got tired of being a justice and just walked off the set to live his own life.  it happens.

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It makes sense if your goal is to kill public schools.  Why should poor people be educated at all?

 

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So, the right rages against socialism, but is totally fine with giving tax money to religious institutions that are exempt from paying taxes... because that's totally not socialism

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1 hour ago, wildcat09 said:

You mean to tell me the conservatives will immediately abandon legal formalism whenever a convenient opportunity to further their political and ideological aims arises? This comes as quite a shock!

To be fair, neither side has a monopoly on selecting and sticking to a single legal philosophy.  They're both pretty bad at it and letting things be outcome determined.

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The most interesting thing about that ruling was that Gorsuch joined Thomas's concurrence that the Establishment Clause doesn't apply to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. Thomas has been taking that stance for a long time but he's never had any company.

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I actually have a little faith in the Supreme Court.  I mean it’s relative to the confidence I have in the president so take it with all the salt you can find, still...

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27 minutes ago, DanRydell said:

The most interesting thing about that ruling was that Gorsuch joined Thomas's concurrence that the Establishment Clause doesn't apply to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. Thomas has been taking that stance for a long time but he's never had any company.

Free exercise does, but establishment doesn't?  That's truly bizarre.  I may need to look into that.

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1 hour ago, DixonHur said:

So, the right rages against socialism, but is totally fine with giving tax money to religious institutions that are exempt from paying taxes... because that's totally not socialism

You think socialism is funneling public money into private institutions?  There is nothing ideologically incoherent in what Roberts is doing. I don’t think it’s even really about religion, honestly, as much as it’s about further  crippling one of the few public goods that we have in this shitty ass country. 

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32 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Free exercise does, but establishment doesn't?  That's truly bizarre.  I may need to look into that.

It's utterly insane.

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1 hour ago, Fozzz said:

It makes sense if your goal is to kill public schools.  Why should poor people be educated at all?

 

I have a solution: STOP FUNDING PRIVATE SCHOOLS WITH PUBLIC MONEY

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18 hours ago, Hank Scorpio said:

 

This is 100% right. It’s depressing that our lifetimes will be spent dealing with an activist conservative judiciary. It really is incredible, they’re plucking these guys from the US attorneys office and running them in safe judicial races for state court benches and claiming they have “judicial experience”. It’s going to be ugly in Fed court for a very long time.

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46 minutes ago, Bozo_Casanova said:

I have a solution: STOP FUNDING PRIVATE SCHOOLS WITH PUBLIC MONEY

I believe Montana tried to cease funding to all private schools, not just the religious schools, and that was found to be unconstitutional. So that may no longer be an option for the 30 odd states that currently provide public money to private schools.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Fozzz said:

I believe Montana tried to cease funding to all private schools, not just the religious schools, and that was found to be unconstitutional. So that may no longer be an option for the 30 odd states that currently provide public money to private schools.

Nope.  What you described is perfectly legal.

"The Montana Legislature established a program that grants tax credits to those who donate to organizations that award scholarships for private school tuition. To reconcile the program with a provision of the Montana Constitution that bars government aid to any school “controlled in whole or in part by any church, sect, or denomination,” Art. X, §6(1), the Montana Department of Revenue promulgated “Rule 1,” which prohibited families from using the scholarships at religious schools."

Edited by TwiceHorn

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2 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Nope.

The Montana Legislature established a program that grants tax credits to those who donate to organizations that award scholarships for private school tuition. To reconcile the program with a provision of the Montana Constitution that bars government aid to any school “controlled in whole or in part by any church, sect, or denomination,” Art. X, §6(1), the Montana Department of Revenue promulgated “Rule 1,” which prohibited families from using the scholarships at religious schools.

Do I have this correct? I haven't read the entire history or ruling and am going off what's posted here mostly.

1) The program provided tax credits for orgs who provided private scholarships regardless of school.

2) The MN constitution prevents funding religious schools, and MNSC struck down the entire law to avoid US Constitutional issues.

3) SCOTUS ruling strikes down the discrimatory part of the the MN Constitution and reinstates the original scholarship system.

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5 minutes ago, JBJ said:

Do I have this correct? I haven't read the entire history or ruling and am going off what's posted here mostly.

1) The program provided tax credits for orgs who provided private scholarships regardless of school.

2) The MN constitution prevents funding religious schools, and MNSC struck down the entire law to avoid US Constitutional issues.

3) SCOTUS ruling strikes down the discrimatory part of the the MN Constitution and reinstates the original scholarship system.

That’s my understanding and it’s a terrible decision.

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2 minutes ago, Texaspython said:

That’s my understanding and it’s a terrible decision.

You have demonstrated a mastery of the First Amendment today.

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16 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Nope.  What you described is perfectly legal.

"The Montana Legislature established a program that grants tax credits to those who donate to organizations that award scholarships for private school tuition. To reconcile the program with a provision of the Montana Constitution that bars government aid to any school “controlled in whole or in part by any church, sect, or denomination,” Art. X, §6(1), the Montana Department of Revenue promulgated “Rule 1,” which prohibited families from using the scholarships at religious schools."

It's my understanding that the SCOTUS decision pertains to the constitutionality of the Montana Supreme Court's decision to strike the entire private school funding program as unconstitutional under Montana's state constitution.  I believe Ginsburg's dissent is based on the universality of Montana Supreme Court's decision.  That isn't to say that Roberts is clearly forcing states that provide money to private schools (including religious schools) to keep doing so, but under this decision you can obviously run afoul of the First Amendment even if you aren't specifically targeting the funding of only religious schools.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

You have demonstrated a mastery of the First Amendment today.

What’s your problem? Anyway, you haven’t had a coherent response to anything I’ve stated. The 1st amendment will be a heavily litigated area over the next 20 years. 

Edited by Texaspython

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On 6/30/2020 at 1:23 PM, Fozzz said:

It's my understanding that the SCOTUS decision pertains to the constitutionality of the Montana Supreme Court's decision to strike the entire private school funding program as unconstitutional under Montana's state constitution.  I believe Ginsburg's dissent is based on the universality of Montana Supreme Court's decision.  That isn't to say that Roberts is clearly forcing states that provide money to private schools (including religious schools) to keep doing so, but under this decision you can obviously run afoul of the First Amendment even if you aren't specifically targeting the funding of only religious schools.

Here's the deal on that, and it is a little weird.

The Montana Legislature passed this deal and said nothing about private sectarian schools.  So parents sending kids to sectarian schools could take the tax credit, as could parents of kids going to non-sectarian schools, as the scheme was passed.

However, the Revenue Department or whatever in Montana collects taxes, enacted a rule that said parents of kids in sectarian schools could not take the credit, in keeping with the requirements of the Montana Constitution and its Blaine Amendment (forbidding payments to sectarian schools).  

When it was litigated, the trial court held the revenue rule unconstitutional and left the scholarship/tax credit scheme in place.

On appeal, the Montana Supreme Court invalidated the entire scheme as violating the Blaine Amendment portion of the Montana Constitution.  Its holding thus a) left the Blaine Amendment intact and b) struck the entire scheme as violating the Montana Constitution, specifically its Blaine Amendment.

So, it seems to me that Ginsburg took the usually conservative justice attack of saying "there's no longer a scheme here, so we don't need to rule on this," or, alternatively "the scheme as passed didn't discriminate on the basis of sectarianism" so we needn't decide this.

The majority, however, took the Montana Supreme Court at its word that it was ruling something unconstitutional under the Montana Constitution, specifically a portion of it that violates the US Constitution, and undid its decision and ruled the Blaine Amendment unconstitutional.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

When are we getting the Trump tax returns ruling? Today at 4:59pm?

 

Next week. Unless an emergency stay or something, opinions always drop at 10am ET. So far they've added July 6 to the calendar as an opinion day. They'll likely add the 7th and/or 9th to that.

Edited by DanRydell

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On 6/30/2020 at 1:23 PM, Fozzz said:

It's my understanding that the SCOTUS decision pertains to the constitutionality of the Montana Supreme Court's decision to strike the entire private school funding program as unconstitutional under Montana's state constitution.  I believe Ginsburg's dissent is based on the universality of Montana Supreme Court's decision.  That isn't to say that Roberts is clearly forcing states that provide money to private schools (including religious schools) to keep doing so, but under this decision you can obviously run afoul of the First Amendment even if you aren't specifically targeting the funding of only religious schools.

The majority decision says "A State need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious."  

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Bozo_Casanova said:

The majority decision says "A State need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious."  

There is a shocking number of reputable news outlets stating that the ruling is that state government can or must subsidized religious schools.  Which is what you expect from the local paper, not from WaPo.

It was already established that state governments can give funds to religious schools in a scheme that doesn't favor or prioritize them.  That's old law.  

Edited by TwiceHorn

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Here's the deal on that, and it is a little weird.

The Montana Legislature passed this deal and said nothing about private sectarian schools.  So parents sending kids to sectarian schools could take the tax credit, as could parents of kids going to non-sectarian schools, as the scheme was passed.

However, the Revenue Department or whatever in Montana collects taxes, enacted a rule that said parents of kids in sectarian schools could not take the credit, in keeping with the requirements of the Montana Constitution and its Blaine Amendment (forbidding payments to sectarian schools).  

When it was litigated, the trial court held the revenue rule unconstitutional and left the scholarship/tax credit scheme in place.

On appeal, the Montana Supreme Court invalidated the entire scheme as violating the Blaine Amendment portion of the Montana Constitution.  Its holding thus a) left the Blaine Amendment intact and b) struck the entire scheme as violating the Montana Constitution, specifically its Blaine Amendment.

So, it seems to me that Ginsburg took the usually conservative justice attack of saying "there's no longer a scheme here, so we don't need to rule on this," or, alternatively "the scheme as passed didn't discriminate on the basis of sectarianism" so we needn't decide this.

The majority, however, took the Montana Supreme Court at its word that it was ruling something unconstitutional under the Montana Constitution, specifically a portion of it that violates the US Constitution, and undid its decision and ruled the Blaine Amendment unconstitutional.

Ruling an issue is moot is not an exclusive tactic of either liberal or conservative jurisprudence, it’s just the correct way of deciding an issue.

Edited by Texaspython

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57 minutes ago, Bozo_Casanova said:

The majority decision says "A State need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious."  

Logical. And strict scrutiny was the proper standard with a fundamental right to free exercise of religion. Simply put, if the only reason a school is denied funding is due to its free exercise of religion, that is unconstitutional. Strict scrutiny requires the state to prove they are pursuing a compelling government interest and the law is narrowly tailored to achieve the compelling interest. 

One could argue - I suppose - that if the curriculum of the private school covers only Santeria and the mystical properties of psychedelic mushrooms, then the state would have a compelling interest to require a more well-rounded education to qualify for subsidies. There would be a compelling interest to require teaching concepts that fulfill the purpose of an education. Such a law could be narrowly tailored and applied to all schools - whether religious or not. 

But this is merely another good reason for states to stop funding private schools as stated earlier. 

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1 hour ago, TwiceHorn said:

There is a shocking number of reputable news outlets stating that the ruling is that state government can or must subsidized religious schools.  Which is what you expect from the local paper, not from WaPo.

It was already established that state governments can give funds to religious schools in a scheme that doesn't favor or prioritize them.  That's old law.  

Journalism today is not as reliable as it has been in the past. Outrage sells. 

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3 hours ago, Texaspython said:

Ruling an issue is moot is not an exclusive tactic of either liberal or conservative jurisprudence, it’s just the correct way of deciding an issue.

If an issue is actually moot, it is.

Mootness was not the issue. 

Using procedural or prudential niceties to attempt to avoid a constitutional question is a pretty common tactic of the conservative justices.  Ignoring them to get to a constitutional issue they want to decide is a pretty common tactic of the liberal ones.

Ginsburg wanted to ignore the holding of the Montana Supreme Court, or its reasoning, and focus only on the result.  I like RBG and have an immense amount of respect for her, but it's a remarkably disingenuous dissent.  It happens.

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On 6/30/2020 at 8:09 AM, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Any chance that we see an Alito or Thomas retirement in the next week or two? It's not like they can't see the possibility that Trump and the Senate flipping. They also have to realize that a Senate change could stop any new conservative justice for an extended time.

With the exception of Doug Jones this year, the Dems don't have an endangered incumbent Senator in 2022 with maybe the NV senator in question. It could be 2024 before they could lose a Senator. They take the Senate this year, it's theirs for at least 4 years.

CNN has an article about SCOTUS retirements: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/30/politics/trump-supreme-court-campaign-boost/index.html

An open spot on the SC at this moment does help Trump too. There's no doubt that he's wanted an RBG or Breyer retirement/death but the window is closing on that. 

This is my big concern. I’ve been really hoping and praying for no Supreme Court turnover until after November. Trump wants it BAD. He’s probably going to try and convince Thomas or Alito to retire soon. 
 

ive heard from countless conservatives on the internet and real life that their justification for voting for a shitty president like Trump was the courts. Trump wants to get the dems into another kavanaugh like mess that will amp up his racist ass and pathetic base. 
 

the guy had an opening in 2016 ( Scalia), 2018 ( Kennedy) it’s well known that trump talked Kennedy into retiring, he wants one now, and I’m totally expecting a vacancy in 2022 if trump is re-elected.

 

Trump is a fat ugly miserable piece of shit who won’t fight fair. He knows he needs to dangle shiny things like Supreme Court justice seats and a good economy in front of people’s eyes in order for them to actually vote for him.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Voldemort86 said:

This is my big concern. I’ve been really hoping and praying for no Supreme Court turnover until after November. Trump wants it BAD. He’s probably going to try and convince Thomas or Alito to retire soon. 
 

ive heard from countless conservatives on the internet and real life that their justification for voting for a shitty president like Trump was the courts. Trump wants to get the dems into another kavanaugh like mess that will amp up his racist ass and pathetic base. 
 

the guy had an opening in 2016 ( Scalia), 2018 ( Kennedy) it’s well known that trump talked Kennedy into retiring, he wants one now, and I’m totally expecting a vacancy in 2022 if trump is re-elected.

 

Trump is a fat ugly miserable piece of shit who won’t fight fair. He knows he needs to dangle shiny things like Supreme Court justice seats and a good economy in front of people’s eyes in order for them to actually vote for him.

I think what Trump wants is not another opportunity to appoint before November, but rather the specter of a retirement in the next 4-8 years so that he can promise to continue to pack the courts.

Really most of the top candidates for retirement are liberal.  RBG is old and in poor health.  Breyer is old.  The rest are not.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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Nobody loves anything like John Roberts loves fucking over voters. 

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38 minutes ago, wildcat09 said:

Nobody loves anything like John Roberts loves fucking over voters. 

he's a piece of shit

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3 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

If an issue is actually moot, it is.

Mootness was not the issue. 

Using procedural or prudential niceties to attempt to avoid a constitutional question is a pretty common tactic of the conservative justices.  Ignoring them to get to a constitutional issue they want to decide is a pretty common tactic of the liberal ones.

Ginsburg wanted to ignore the holding of the Montana Supreme Court, or its reasoning, and focus only on the result.  I like RBG and have an immense amount of respect for her, but it's a remarkably disingenuous dissent.  It happens.

No offense, but you really have no idea what you’re talking about but I commend you on your certainty. The issue was decided, it’s over, no need to rule. That’s called “moot”.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Texaspython said:

Ruling an issue is moot is not an exclusive tactic of either liberal or conservative jurisprudence, it’s just the correct way of deciding an issue.

I agree. Mootness is a well developed area of jurisprudence - and always in use during the litigation process, especially where law is law. 

4 hours ago, wildcat09 said:

Nobody loves anything like John Roberts loves fucking over voters. 

So the Eleventh Circuit must take up it up immediately - or they can go back to the Supreme Court for an Emergency Writ. If the 11th Circuit denies the stay, they can go back to the Supreme Court. They are on a short timeline. 

Does anyone know if the Supreme Court has extraordinary powers in the midst of a pandemic?

Spoiler

 

As for Roberts - well Roberts included consideration of  Corp. United States when he processes a case. He believes they have citizen's rights. And he probably believes Corp America is the other stable institution left. We live in unique times.

The Supreme Court is the most stable institution we have in the United States at the present time. I understand "breaking things" has an important role in business lore. It wasn't intended to apply to all things - like the Supreme Court - or the cdc/who. Break it - and you may break the world.

Roberts understands the litigation process. As did Scalia. As did Warren. As did Brandeis. Supreme Court Jurisprudence doesn't track politics. The Supreme Court works for no one. The commitment to impartiality remains a serious requirement. 

The Supreme Court is working fine right now. The most significant decision was on gender - and it will be helpful as we further explore humanity and individuals. That was the correct decision based on the law. If Congress wants to change it or expand it, that is its role - not the Court's. That is the Supreme Court catching up to what most Corps. already promote as good policy and protection of their teams. I believe Corp America deserves thanks for making workplaces better for their teams. 

And as BC said above, the religious case has a less onerous solution than prohibiting public funding of any schools owned by churches. It could become necessary to look at it in the future, but with strict scrutiny - there was a less restrictive means. So Montana (ffs) was wrong. All states get laws wrong from time to time. 

At the present - Corp America and the Supreme Court are functioning as usual. But what the hell, it is 2020. What's the next big load to drop. 

 

 

Edited by washparkhorn

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23 minutes ago, GopherRock said:

9-0 against faithless electors. 

Just came over the wire. 

Should probably clarify that a little, because "against faithless electors" implies that electors can never be faithless, which would be an extraordinary holding, I would think.

How electors do their job is an issue of state law in the first place.  Like states can mandate "all or nothing" or proportional electoral voting.  States can also force electors not to be faithless, which is what this decision holds.  Fifteen states have anti-faithless-elector statutes.  They can enforce those.

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27 minutes ago, GopherRock said:

9-0 against faithless electors. 

Just came over the wire. 

some interesting language in there rejecting the federalist papers, which I always think is interesting to see.

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Posted (edited)

Kagan writes a nice opinion.  Very clear and readable.

What's interesting and appears to be left open is this:  whether states can invalidate a faithless vote.  This considers a rule that penalizes faithless electors, but doesn't invalidate their vote.  I think I saw some dicta in a footnote addressing this, but I don't think the opinion does.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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Do we run into a scenario where a faithless elector changes the outcome of the voters, changes the person in the WH, but they're only punished with a $150 fine?

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2 minutes ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Do we run into a scenario where a faithless elector changes the outcome of the voters, changes the person in the WH, but they're only punished with a $150 fine?

i was thinking about that too.  you'd have to something like 10 years in jail, $1,000,000 fine to make it have a deterrent effect in that sort of situation.  there are 270towin scenarios right now that give a plausible 269-269 tie.  people would be scrambling to break the law.

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Just now, BehoId, The Underminer! said:

i was thinking about that too.  you'd have to something like 10 years in jail, $1,000,000 fine to make it have a deterrent effect in that sort of situation.  there are 270towin scenarios right now that give a plausible 269-269 tie.  people would be scrambling to break the law.

1 person shouldn't be allowed to overturn the will of 130m people. The electoral college itself can overturn the will of the national majority but that has been agreed in the past as acceptable. I don't think anyone meant for 1 person to decide the President. 

and if there was 1 year that would occur, it would be 2020.

The EC vote should be ceremonial. Each state's secretary of state (or whatever role) should certify the election results, which are defined by law. Every part of this process should then be re-viewable by a court to ensure the law is being followed and prevent 1 person or group from disenfranchising the population.

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2 minutes ago, bernorange said:

SCOTUS likes George Micheal.

Who doesn’t ???

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is that a 'faith' joke, or possibly a 'freedom' joke?

to me, it's always a 'careless whisper' joke.

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2 minutes ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

1 person shouldn't be allowed to overturn the will of 130m people. The electoral college itself can overturn the will of the national majority but that has been agreed in the past as acceptable. I don't think anyone meant for 1 person to decide the President. 

and if there was 1 year that would occur, it would be 2020.

The EC vote should be ceremonial. Each state's secretary of state (or whatever role) should certify the election results, which are defined by law. Every part of this process should then be re-viewable by a court to ensure the law is being followed and prevent 1 person or group from disenfranchising the population.

Because most states award all the electoral votes to the winner, that is an unlikely scenario.

One of the drawbacks to having proportional electoral voting is that that scenario becomes more likely.

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I'm ok with winner take all, or the NE/ME method. The key is that an elector shouldn't be allowed to change the rules.

The only scenario that faithless electors could be good is if there was determined to be a newly discovered problem with the President-elect and common agreement was to stop their inauguration. However that would seem to be less likely than an elector overturning their state's votes.

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