While they still have the chance, Senate Democrats are ramping up efforts to trample the First Amendment rights of nonprofits and their donors through the DISCLOSE Act. As RNLA highlighted last week, the DISCLOSE Act would cause many more problems than it solves. A letter submitted to the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration on Monday by People United for Privacy (PUFP) serves to debunk many of the misleading arguments made by proponents of the legislation during a hearing held by the Committee last week. PUFP's main points are as follows:Read more
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action, and Federal Rights held a hearing titled "An Ethical Judiciary: Transparency and Accountability for 21st Century Courts" to promote anything but ethics and transparency in the judiciary. The hearing was another effort to promote legislation that would impose unworkable recusal standards on the Supreme Court Justices and chill the speech of amici who want to make their voice heard on the most important legal issues of the day.
Witness Thomas Dupree explains how the Democrats' proposed legislation would chill the speech of amici who file briefs with the Court. pic.twitter.com/yqx320SEmR— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) May 3, 2022
If you listened to the most recent meeting of President Biden’s Commission on the Supreme Court and knew nothing prior, the liberal “scholars” would have you convinced that the Supreme Court is hated by all Americans. The reality is that the Judicial Branch is the most popular branch of the United State Government. The real purpose of Biden's Judicial Commission is to undermine the judiciary's popularity and to further intimidate the current Supreme Court. As Dan McLaughlin writes in National Review Online:
The Court-packing debate has cooled off for a while since prominent Democrats introduced legislation in April to pack the Court with new justices for nakedly partisan and ideological purposes. Democrats are happy to move the question offstage. Court-packing is a massively unpopular and dangerous proposal, just as it was in 1937. At the moment, Democrats don’t have the votes in the Senate to break a filibuster, and they do not appear to have 50 votes for passage, either. But they have not abandoned the implied threat that they might bring it back if they get a bigger Senate majority or if the Supreme Court does something they dislike enough.Read more
Thursday's decisions by the Supreme Court were a major defeat for certain Democrat politicians and liberal activists. Yes, Obamacare was preserved in a 7-2 decision, and in another 9-0 decision, religious liberty was preserved. But liberal court packing activists lost yesterday. As the Committee for Justice wrote:
Consider the contrast between reality and Democrats' exaggerated predictions and fear mongering. Last fall, during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Amy Coney Barrett, Democratic senator after Democratic senator told stories of constituents who would suffer, if not die, were Barrett confirmed. She would provide the fifth "far right" vote for striking down the Affordable Care Act, they said, some of them implying that Barrett had promised President Trump to strike down the ACA in return for her nomination. . . .
Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed, but so much for closely divided far right decisions and constituents robbed of health insurance by a nefarious deal between Barrett and Trump. Instead, what we got today was a 7-2 rejection of the challenge to the ACA with Barrett in the majority, a unanimous and narrow decision protecting religious objections to same-sex marriage, and an overall picture of a moderate Court which will sometimes disappoint liberals, sometimes disappoint conservatives, and often the split the baby.Read more
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action and Federal Rights held a hearing entitled, "Supreme Court Fact-Finding and the Distortion of American Democracy." The two witnesses called by the Republican members of the Committee were Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher and the Cato Institute's Ilya Shapiro. As Shapiro pointed out during the hearing and in his prepared remarks, the title of the hearing itself is overblown:
I actually think that the hearing title is a bit loaded: first, because the Supreme Court doesn’t generally engage in fact-finding in the way trial courts do, but rather applies the law to novel facts, as any appellate court is supposed to; and second, because however much one thinks American democracy is “distorted,” the Supreme Court, a reactive institution, is hardly at fault. Indeed, the court is the most respected government institution other than police and the military, so hand-wringing over its role in governance—or broader questioning of its legitimacy—principally arises when the justices rule in ways that disagree with progressive orthodoxy or, more broadly, when progressives are frustrated that there’s a major institution they don’t control. The chairman himself filed a brief in last year’s Second Amendment case admonishing the Court to “heal itself before the public demands it be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.”Read more
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has donned his "dark money" tinfoil hat yet again. Unsurprisingly, Senator Whitehouse dubbed his first hearing as chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action and Federal Rights: "What's Wrong with the Supreme Court: The Big-Money Assault on Our Judiciary."Read more
Democrats continued their healthcare forum during today's confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett. This came despite:
Judge Barrett correctly says that Obamacare case currently before the Supreme Court turns on the issue of severability, which was not an issue in the previous ACA cases. Someone should tell the Democrats.— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) October 13, 2020
Barrett asks, “What sane person person would go through [this] process without a clear benefit on the other side?” The benefit she says, is the rule of law and an opportunity to serve her country.— Gabby Orr (@GabbyOrr_) October 13, 2020
Apparently both the left and the right are outraged at aspects of Judge Sullivan's decision to delay granting the Department of Justice’s motion to drop the case against Michael Flynn. But while one side respects the separation of powers and the rule of law, the other side is acting like a schoolyard bully making threats.
To our minds, Judge Sullivan blurs separation of powers when he appointed a retired judge who publicly expressed opinions against Flynn to review the case and accept amicus curiae briefs. Judge Sullivan seems to be acting like a prosecutor, not an “umpire” judge. While we consider Judge Sullivan’s decision extremely troubling, we think Flynn’s lawyers took the appropriate course of action in this case by requesting a writ of mandamus.Read more
RNLA Betty Murphy Award Winner Mike Davis and the Article III Project released a letter signed by conservative leaders in response to Senate Democrat Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s threats on Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh last week:
In a better world, this episode would mark the end of Chuck Schumer’s political career. But even in America in 2020, it should be a permanent blot on Schumer’s record. We therefore strongly support a resolution to censure Schumer on the Senate floor.Read more
Yesterday, during the Senate impeachment trial's questions phase, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren submitted a question that attacked Chief Justice John Roberts who is presiding over the Senate impeachment trial as required by the Constitution:
Roberts read the question aloud: “At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution?”Read more