Supreme Court rules on abortion access and Trump tax returns next week

All federal judges can be impeached. A judge in FL was impeached and removed and now he serves in Congress. He was elected 4 years after he was removed and he’s been in congress since 1993.

Yeah, I’m old enough to remember the Impeach Earl Warren bubble among segregation diehards. (Didn’t happen and was never likely to. Anything’s possible, but impeachment of a Justice movements never seem to get much traction.)

He will treat Trump well, if only as a message to the next Republican Presidential candidate…

In the case of a Supreme Court judge, possible but highly unlikely, especially if only on the grounds of either dissenting on a judgement or voting with the majority. You need a majority of the House plus two-thirds of the Senate.

Why didn’t the SC ruling address the “Shall provide to Congress on request” clause? Is that another decision they kicked down to the lower courts?

That’s not a Constitutional clause; it’s part of a statute.

The IRS is supposed to hand the stuff over if requested by Congress, but Congress has to follow the Constitution in making its requests, and that’s the issue that the Supreme Court was dealing with here. The court said that Congress can only make these sorts of requests in the first place if it’s in pursuit of a valid or legitimate legislative purpose. The question of Congress’s purpose in issuing the subpoenas was central to this case, and is part of the reason that the court sent the case back down.

Note, too, that the opinion clearly distinguishes a “valid legislative purpose” from something like a law enforcement purpose. Congress is not an enforcement agency, and it can’t demand the President’s (or anyone else’s) records just to put the President on trial. It has to use the impeachment process if it wants to do that. From the majority opinion:

Thank you.

An interesting CNN article on how Justice Kavanaugh tried to sidestep both issues: https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/29/politics/brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court-abortion-trump-documents/index.html

Brett was too busy going to keggers to work on those cases.

Is it just me, or does it seem like the Supreme Court is leaking like it never has before.

I was just reading that. If offers a very interesting behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the Court that don’t often get written about. Other than the usual attempts mind-reading…

“In March, Kavanaugh faced a test of the tension between his conservative bona fides and the apparent efforts to revive his reputation among women.”

Was Kavanaugh in fact deliberately trying to repair his reputation, or was he simply acting in a manner consistent with his beliefs?

“Kavanaugh has not turned his back on the politicians who guaranteed his high court ascension…”

To me, there is an implication here, not supported by anything, that Kavanaugh is consciously trying to “look out” for the beliefs of some. Maybe, maybe not.

Anyway, continuing on, the article shows Kavanaugh as someone interested in a certain degree of accommodation with the other justices, perhaps not what some would have expected. But it’s way too early to make any kind of predictions as to what he will be like over the long term. I myself wouldn’t mind a drift to “Souterism”, if I may coin a term, such as that exhibited by Justice David Souter, who did not turn out the way conservatives expected. Time will tell, but I’m not holding my breath.

This was also a thought I had: “I don’t remember this kind of thing being written about before!”

Not just weeks after, that’s for sure. Check out Woodward and Armstrong’s The Brethren and Toobin’s The Nine for very good, more historically-minded peeks behind the scenes at the court.

I read this, and I concur wholeheartedly. One of the biggest things I took away from this was Toobin’s explanation that the Chief Justice has way less sway over things than I originally thought. Of course his vote means no more than any other justice, but other than “running” the meetings where they all discuss things, and assigning writer’s of opinions, he (hopefully I can edit that pronoun soon) has no more power than the others. I try to no longer to, for example, think of the “Rehnquist court” as anything other than the decisions made when he was CJ, and not as something where he drove a lot of the rulings handed down.

Anyway, great book!

Glad you liked it, FP. Here’s an interesting article, part of the same CNN series this week as the Kavanaugh article, on the Chief Justice’s role these days: https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/27/politics/john-roberts-supreme-court-liberals-daca-second-amendment/index.html

I like Biskupic’s work, and she does a good job of discussing the inner workings of the court, given that she has to rely almost exclusively on anonymous inside sources, and has very few ways of determining, in cases where she gets contradictory information, whose account is accurate.

But I thought the piece on Kavanaugh contained far too many speculations and assumptions, of the kind that you’ve quoted here. In another place, she writes:

I’ve read a bunch of Kavanaugh’s opinions and dissents from this term, and nothing in any of them suggested (to me, anyway) any particular or keen awareness of public opinion, or any desire to mollify it by moderating his jurisprudence. She goes on at length about him allegedly trying to please both sides and appear moderate, but unlike some of her other articles on the court, where she connects her claims to court informants, her discussion of Kavanaugh’s “apparent” thinking is almost all just pulled straight out of her ass.

I have no particular love for Brett Kavanaugh, nor for his decisions, but I also don’t think that this is very good reporting.

“Apparently”, “appears”, “seemingly”, and others, these words always suggest outright guessing to me. All I ask is that at least one concrete example be giving that shows what the writer is suggesting. More than one is always better. I understand that in articles like these that there is often going to be a certain amount of personal opinion seeping in. But I need evidence. I too am not a fan of most of Kavanaugh’s decisions. Quite often here on the Dope, I’ll write something that sounds like I am defending Trump or another conservative, when in fact I am usually trying to make a comment on the medias’ poor reporting. This is another one of those times.

Enjoyed it as well. And it was not as opinion-oriented. I will say though, going back to what I said earlier about the Chief Justice essentially having no more power than the others, a few quotes stood out.

What is this alleged “full power” that he seems to have, which the others don’t? As for his legacy, certainly each justice has his or her own after serving on the court. And I understand the shorthand of calling it the “Burger” court, or the “Rehnquist” court, but what about the " O’Connor" court, for example. As each vote counts the same, I think many justices don’t get the credit or discredit they deserve. This is not a vital point by any means, but I just remember Toobin enlightening me, so I brought it up.

There was one “pulling-out-of-the-ass” statement, though.

I don’t know how Biskupic determined that Roberts meant this decision to explicitly give Trump leeway. But maybe I’m misreading this. Perhaps she simply means leeway resulted from the decision…

As to naming particular Courts, a strong argument could be made for a “Kennedy Court” when the Reagan appointee was the key swing vote.

Well, yes, kind of my point. If it were generally called that, Kennedy could be given more credit (or not), depending on your outlook. :slight_smile: