Thursday, March 16, 2017

Alan Dershowitz on the Second Injunction Against the Trump Travel Ban

Alan Dershowitz on the Second Injunction against the Trump Travel Ban by Hawaii Judge

Instant analysis by Professor Alan Dershowitz on the instant decision by a 9th Circuit Court Judge in Hawaii who produced a 43 page decision two hours after hearing the case.

Judge Watson cited reports by CNN's Anderson Cooper in rendering his opinion to impose a second injunction against the implementation of the Trump Administration's immigration hold from six countries which have sketchy passport vetting procedures and experience problems with terrorists.  

Despite the Trump Administration amending their original "Travel Ban" to exclude Iraq, accommodate those who already hold green cards and took away language which seemingly privileged beleaguered Christian minorities in the Middle East, Judge Watson struck down the Trump Immigration order, because of statements of candidate Trump on the stump and the allegation that it is still a Muslim ban. It is dubious if the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will overturn this idiosyncratic legal opinion. Maybe Thomas Sowell was right about how the Ninth Circuit may eventually rule the Constitution as unconstitutional 




Professor Dershowitz is a liberal who is no Trump fan and believes that the Trump "Travel Ban" is a bad idea.  However, Dershowitz is a fair minded liberal jurist who believes in the rule of law rather than the rule by law and who understands Supreme Court precedents on immigration.

Buckminster Fuller on Life

Buckminster Fuller on Life

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Beware the Ides of March for Washington Wonks






Caesar:
Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry "Caesar!" Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.
Soothsayer:
Beware the ides of March.
Caesar:
What man is that?
Brutus:
A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

Some accused Marlon Brando as butchering Julius Caesar (1953).



Instead of slaughtering Shakespeare,  George Clooney's "The Ides of March" (2011) is a a sharper contemporary reminder about political assassinations and machinations for a Washington wonk.





[This post originally ran on 03/15/2013]


Booker T. Washington on Success

Booker T. Washington on Success

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Primary Concerns for Democrats Supporting Gorsuch Cloture Vote




Now that they are relegated to minority political status in the District of Calamity, the progressive wing of the Democrat party feel free to impose purity tests and try to effectively take over the party.

One of the litmus tests for a Senate Democrat to show their loyalty towards liberalism is to oppose President Trump's choice for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch.  



Senate Democrats may stew over a "stolen" SCOTUS pick, because the Senate Majority in the 114th Congress refused to hold hearings and scuttled former President Obama's lame duck Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland. This Senate Advice and Consent through inaction followed a 70 year precedent of not confirming SCOTUS picks in the last year of an Administration so as to let voters decide.

However some Democrats are so obstreperous that they will not meet with Judge Gorsuch, like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).  Those who consented to meet Judge Gorsuch have been charmed by him and his impeccable legal credentials.

Liberal advocacy groups like Credo Action felt emboldened by Schumer's antipathy approach thus they warned wavering Senate Democrats that if they so much even consented to a Cloture vote for Judge Gorsuch that they will face primary opposition in the 2018 cycle.

Heidi Hess of liberal advocacy group Credo Action threatens any Democrats voting for Gorsuch Cloture vote will be primaried

So Democrats opposed Republicans effectively filibustering Garland through a no vote yet they want to do the same thing to Judge Gorsuch.  As Chris Plante is wont to say, if it wasn't for double standards, liberals would not have any at all.  Ironically, filibustering will be futile thanks to the legacy of  former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) who invoked the nuclear option in 2013.  Now all the current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) needs to do is expand the rule change in medias res to include Supreme Court nominations. 

From an objective standpoint, Democrats threatening to primary vulnerable Senate Democrats to just allow a vote for a Supreme Court Associate Justice seems counter-intuitive.  The Scalia replacement would not drastically change the balance of the court, so why come out with guns blazing against your own for a goal which is note a game changer.  

Although Democrats only need to garner three net seats to regain control of the Senate, they face a tough election cycle in 2018 with 23 of 33 seats up.  Incumbents have a much easier time fund raising and winning general elections, so why take out your own (even if they stray from the party line on some issues)?  Furthermore, ten of the Senate races are Democrats in states that voted strongly for President Trump.  Threatening to primary Democrat incumbents pushes them further to the left, which was not were the vox populi seems to be in those states.

If opposition from the left seems too strident, some incumbents like Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)  might conclude that the grass is greener on the other side of the aisle. Even if they do not politically defect, they may be emboldened to vote their conscience to keep their integrity or burnish their independence from a progressive purge to keep their seat.

It would seem prudent for progressives to not play hardball on this Supreme Court nomination but fight like hell if a senior liberal Associate Justice (like 83 year old Ruth Ginsburg or 78 year old Stephen Breyer) or majority maker 80 year old Anthony Kennedy decided to retire.  But it seems that progressives do not want to leave any powder in reserve for such a contingency.  

Even though objections to the Scalia replacement were packaged as being objections to Garland's no vote or automatically opposing President Trump's pick, it seems that progressives are concerned that reversing Roe v. Wade and throwing the adjudication of abortion back to the states is at stake. 

P.J. O'Rourke on Government

P.J. O'Rourke on Government

Walter E. Williams on Thieves and Congress

Walter E. Williams on Congress