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Old 01-13-2019, 03:26 PM
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The Kavanaugh Effect.


For the first time in, I don't know, 50 or 60 years at least, we have a clear ultra conservative majority on the US Supreme Court. 5-4, with no swing vote even.

My question: how does this affect the average American?

Not just abortion. But civil rights, if you're African American. What about if you're gay? What about civil liberties in general? Heck, what if you just want to buy contraception?

I couldn't be the first to wonder.

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Old 01-13-2019, 05:29 PM
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Yes, the OP is the first to wonder about this, and as a prize you will receive every album ever recorded, plus a bonus ice-crusher!

In answer to your question, the Stygian night of oppression is about to descend on the land, while moans and lamentations will arise.

More realistically, some established precedents (i.e. on abortion and college admission procedures) will likely be gnawed at from the edges. But I wouldn't expect wholesale changes in how civil rights-related laws are interpreted.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:02 PM
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The reality is that despite all the fearmongering, it isn't going to make substantial difference. We're not going back to Jim Crow and Roe v Wade isn't going anywhere no matter how many times some idiot declares it the end of Western civilization online.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:30 PM
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Trump's gotten his list of judges from the Heritage Foundation. No judge recommended by the Heritage Foundation would ever, under any circumstance, dream of overturning Roe v. Wade. Because if they did, then the Republican party could no longer promise to do it if they could, except those mean babykiller liberals keep stopping them, and that's the main thing that keeps Republicans getting elected, so they can get about the real business of screwing over the poor.

But that real business of screwing over the poor... Yeah, that's going to be a problem.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
For the first time in, I don't know, 50 or 60 years at least, we have a clear ultra conservative majority on the US Supreme Court.
No, actually we do not.

Of course certain columnists and bloggers label everybody who is not a member of the Democratic part as "ultra conservative", but they are wrong to do so. There is no rational way to claim that Roberts or Kavanaugh are "ultra conservative". It might be possible to make such a claim about Thomas or Alito. Gorsuch is a conservative with a strong libertarian bent.

I would expect major changes in the court's stances on only a very small number of issues. The best thing that I would hope for soon is that the court will finally get around to issuing the obvious ruling that affirmative action is unconstitutional.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:49 PM
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No, actually we do not.

Of course certain columnists and bloggers label everybody who is not a member of the Democratic part as "ultra conservative", but they are wrong to do so. There is no rational way to claim that Roberts or Kavanaugh are "ultra conservative". It might be possible to make such a claim about Thomas or Alito. Gorsuch is a conservative with a strong libertarian bent.

I would expect major changes in the court's stances on only a very small number of issues. The best thing that I would hope for soon is that the court will finally get around to issuing the obvious ruling that affirmative action is unconstitutional.
Yes, they aren't fairly called "ultra conservatives," but they are definitely conservative. Being pro-life is a conservative position, and Roe v. Wade was decided in a way that contradicts current conservative jurisprudence.

And the entire point of the Heritage List was to get Roe v. Wade overturned. That is why a good portion of Trump voters voted for him. It's literally been their plan forever: that's why there are once again abortion cases coming up the pike.

It's not a done deal, of course, as judges don't always vote the way the people who install them expect. But make no mistake--the reason for putting them on the court was Roe v. Wade.

You don't even hear Republicans whining about SSM anymore. But they still go on about abortion. That's what they care about.

And they can hold onto such voters simply by scaremongering that Dems will allow abortion again, same as they make up a new gun control issue to be worried about all the time.

Any reason you can come up with to be sure they won't overturn Roe v. Wade is just whistling in the dark.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:04 PM
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Health care could be rolled back.

Voting rights rolled back.

Labor rights rolled back.

Minority rights rolled back.

I'm not sure how far though.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:46 PM
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.
But that real business of screwing over the poor... Yeah, that's going to be a problem.
I think on Roe v. Wade, they are probably going to let it die a death by a thousand cuts in which abortion is still officially legal in all 50 states, but not practically possible in 30 of them.

But the real game changer is going to be corporate law, with a near elimination of worker and consumer rights, and on the power of the EPA and SEC to regulate, the robber barons will party like it's 1899.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 01-14-2019 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:55 PM
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If you consider how often decisions come down to a 5-4 vote, it becomes clear that the extremists do not make the decisions on SCOTUS. The decisions are made by the moderates on the bench. They will consider the case, and figure out who needs to vote which way to achieve the 5-4 vote. The addition of Kavanaugh only means that one of the moderates will have to vote liberal a bit more frequently.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Quoth BigT:

And the entire point of the Heritage List was to get Roe v. Wade overturned. That is why a good portion of Trump voters voted for him.
You just yourself repeated the reason why they won't: Because promising to do so gets Republicans elected. If they actually did it, they wouldn't have anything left to promise any more, and so Republicans would stop getting elected. Which would be fine, if the goal of the Heritage Institute were to abolish abortion. But it's not. Their goal is to increase income inequality, and Republican politicians are a means to that end.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:56 PM
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Health care could be rolled back.

Voting rights rolled back.

Labor rights rolled back.

Minority rights rolled back.

I'm not sure how far though.
Yep, labor, consumers, environmental protections, etc. Basically, whatever big business wants will be a little easier. Force arbitration, limits on lawsuits, and more cases dismissed by judges without ever getting to bring your evidence to a jury (aka summary judgment). Most of it will be under the radar unless you happen to be the injured party.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:21 PM
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I don't think the current 5-4 reflects a "solidly" conservative majority. Roberts has become the new Kennedy, and as Chief Justice it seems he wants to be unpredictable because it undermines the legitimacy of SCOTUS for there to be numerous 5 red 4 blue outcomes. Aside from voting for ACA, he has been known to deliberately go "blue" from time to time to keep people on their toes.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Maestroh View Post
The reality is that despite all the fearmongering, it isn't going to make substantial difference. We're not going back to Jim Crow and Roe v Wade isn't going anywhere no matter how many times some idiot declares it the end of Western civilization online.
It's worth noting that Kentucky certainly wants to be at the forefront of a Roe vs Wade repeal. They're positively giddy at the notion, and a big part are Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Trump's gotten his list of judges from the Heritage Foundation. No judge recommended by the Heritage Foundation would ever, under any circumstance, dream of overturning Roe v. Wade. Because if they did, then the Republican party could no longer promise to do it if they could, except those mean babykiller liberals keep stopping them, and that's the main thing that keeps Republicans getting elected, so they can get about the real business of screwing over the poor.

But that real business of screwing over the poor... Yeah, that's going to be a problem.
Ignoring the unfair characterization of the GOP as out to screw over the poor, there was an insightful remark on a recent conservative podcast recently I thought was relevant. Which was, the GOP has been so successful at cutting taxes, they can no longer use it as a promise to get elected, as they did in decades past. The tax burden for an average middle class family is quite bearable, and as such, provides much less leverage than it once did.

And I do agree that the fear about overturning Roe V. Wade is much ado about nothing. Ignoring the fact that Kavanaugh was a bit of a question mark on the issue, the cultural tumult that it would produce would reverberate so strongly that I don't think anybody in power wants to be around if such a thing ever happened.

Last edited by Dacien; 01-14-2019 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:11 AM
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The tax burden on the average middle class family has always been quite bearable. The Republicans have never made much difference there, nor have they ever intended to.
  #16  
Old 01-15-2019, 09:52 AM
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The average middle class federal income tax rate has fallen over the past few decades from 11.5% to about 3.5%, in large part thanks to ERTA and the Bush tax cuts. There's only so low they can go.

Last edited by Dacien; 01-15-2019 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:05 PM
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Chief Justice John Roberts votes with the liberals to block a restrictive abortion law in Louisiana.
Quote:
The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a Louisiana law that its opponents say could have left the state with only one doctor in a single clinic authorized to provide abortions.

The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four-member liberal wing.

The law, enacted in 2014, requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
.

Last edited by Fear Itself; 02-07-2019 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:19 PM
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It should be noted that they aren't conservatives per se (except Kavanaugh), but rather originalists and textualists. These are different things, though frequently allied. They would posit that the Constitution has a fixed meaning that can largely be based on the intent of the writers of the document or how people at the time would have understood the meaning of the document. Conservatives like this because a lot of what we consider rights are not really rights that our Founding Fathers considered or advocated. They are judicial creations and they tend ti be progressive in nature.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:27 AM
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It should be noted that they aren't conservatives per se (except Kavanaugh), but rather originalists and textualists. These are different things, though frequently allied. They would posit that the Constitution has a fixed meaning that can largely be based on the intent of the writers of the document or how people at the time would have understood the meaning of the document. Conservatives like this because a lot of what we consider rights are not really rights that our Founding Fathers considered or advocated. They are judicial creations and they tend ti be progressive in nature.
Originalists and/or textualists suffer from the fallacious mindset in assuming that someone else, back in the past with less information, nevertheless knows more about your situation in the here-and-now than you yourself. A ludicrous notion with no evidence to support it.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:54 AM
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Originalists and/or textualists suffer from the fallacious mindset in assuming that someone else, back in the past with less information, nevertheless knows more about your situation in the here-and-now than you yourself. A ludicrous notion with no evidence to support it.
That's not the assumption that an originalist or textualist makes. The assumption is that there is a process for changing the law if the here and now folks want to do so and it's not for judges to step in place of the legislature.

side note - does it upset anyone else's sense of order that there are two threads titled, "The Kavanaugh Effect"?
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:00 PM
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That's not the assumption that an originalist or textualist makes. The assumption is that there is a process for changing the law if the here and now folks want to do so and it's not for judges to step in place of the legislature.
Common law, or law based on judicial precedent, was part of English law long before this country was founded. IOW, judges have been "stepping in the place of the legislature" when the Founders were itches in their daddies' pants. I guess Tony Scalia was asleep the day they taught that in law school.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:42 PM
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I don't think the current 5-4 reflects a "solidly" conservative majority. Roberts has become the new Kennedy, and as Chief Justice it seems he wants to be unpredictable because it undermines the legitimacy of SCOTUS for there to be numerous 5 red 4 blue outcomes. Aside from voting for ACA, he has been known to deliberately go "blue" from time to time to keep people on their toes.
I mean, that ship has kinda sailed. The Roberts court oversaw a massive number of 5/4 partisan splits, on numerous incredibly important issues. The recent decision from Roberts to uphold SCOTUS precedent on TRAP laws is kind of interesting, but "unwilling to uphold a lower court decision that directly contradicts a very recent SCOTUS decision" is hardly a huge stretch - far more interesting is Kavanaugh's dissent, which is just... What the fuck, dude?

I do think we will see more of this dynamic, because Roberts recognizes that SCOTUS has already lost a great deal of clout over the past few years. But his court has already been pretty clear in their actions. So showing a bit less of a partisan lean now is welcome, but ultimately relatively unhelpful.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:03 PM
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I think on Roe v. Wade, they are probably going to let it die a death by a thousand cuts in which abortion is still officially legal in all 50 states, but not practically possible in 30 of them.
Exactly- they can't just overturn the case willy-nilly, but they can rule (or refuse to) on the various states' laws aimed at restricting availability.

So in other words, they're unlikely to drastically overturn anything, but they're probably really likely to let things get nibbled at by the states and/or refuse to make any momentous rulings on anything they don't like.

Remember, the Supreme Court isn't any old appellate court- they can just decide to refuse to hear a case and let the lower court's ruling stand, like they did here:

https://www.jurist.org/news/2019/01/...llenging-cfpb/
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Old 03-05-2019, 11:16 AM
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Just came across this story from October - a bartender is stiffed with a pro-Kavanaugh note: https://www.denverpost.com/2018/10/1...obref=obinsite
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Old 03-05-2019, 11:34 AM
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Seems to me we already discussed that? And I remember there being some doubt about whether it was genuine?
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:05 PM
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There have been a couple of cases similar, but I am not aware if this particular one was proven or disproven. It is kind of a weird story, though. Writing that, out of the blue, supposedly without any discussion with the server? Denver ain't exactly MAGA country.

But who knows.

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Old 03-05-2019, 01:44 PM
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Roberts is now siding more and more with the liberals:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...84G5cSwsavZbCw
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Old 03-05-2019, 02:49 PM
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Roberts is now siding more and more with the liberals:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...84G5cSwsavZbCw
The article makes clear that this is a fairly limited trend.
Quote:
Chemerinsky pointed out that the death penalty ruling Roberts joined Wednesday was narrow, sending the case back to a lower court rather than barring the inmate’s execution.

Roberts has also provided key conservative votes. In January he voted to let Trump start barring most transgender people from serving in the military. In June, Roberts joined a barrage of 5-4 conservative rulings, including one he wrote upholding Trump’s travel ban, which restricts entry into the U.S. by people from several predominantly Muslim countries.
Hey, as a leftish person, it's better than nothing. I also am grateful to have some Republicans who occasionally act, however half-heartedly, to protect our institutions from the barbarians at the gates.
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:18 PM
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House Democrats are trying to get documents on Kavanaugh that were withheld during the confirmation fight: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/b...cument-request

Good! Vet him properly, even if it's after the fact.
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:37 PM
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I mean, that ship has kinda sailed. The Roberts court oversaw a massive number of 5/4 partisan splits, on numerous incredibly important issues. The recent decision from Roberts to uphold SCOTUS precedent on TRAP laws is kind of interesting, but "unwilling to uphold a lower court decision that directly contradicts a very recent SCOTUS decision" is hardly a huge stretch - far more interesting is Kavanaugh's dissent, which is just... What the fuck, dude?
Did you seriously link to an article which attacks Kavanaugh, for not considering merits....in a stay application?
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Old 08-06-2019, 03:13 PM
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Good! Vet him properly, even if it's after the fact.
Impeach for perjury if the evidence supports it.
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