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SCOTUS Watch

For discussion of religion and politics

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Blackhawk wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:06 pm
The only real solution I see is to reset the system entirely. Districting this way doesn't work, and is very prone to abuse and imbalance. There has to be a better way.
#of reps per state is based on population. Anyone can run so long as they submit candidacy documents and pass background check. Candidates are elected via lottery system, or maybe a ranked choice system.

Midway through the term, there is a statewide confidence vote on each Rep. If they receive less than 40%, they are publicly executed. No replacements are selected until the next election.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Blackhawk »

My thought was more along the lines of: Reps per state according to population, divided according to registered voter affiliation. So, if you got 50 reps in a state that was 40% Dem, 50% Rep, and 10% independent, you'd have 20 Ds, 25 Rs, and 5 independents. Each party could then vote their own candidates in to fill their allotted 'slots.' Rs vs Rs, Ds vs Ds, etc. Obviously there would be wrinkles to be ironed out, but at least congress would match the populace.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Fireball »

Lots of bad ideas here.

Non-single member Congressional districts have been severe Constitutional issues, and likely aren’t coming back anytime soon.

The California redistricting system, or the Iowa redistricting system, should be adopted nationwide. Both produce fair districts that are reasonably competitive in aggregate.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »

SCOTUS to take on Bridgegate appeal.

I can't help but think this might be eventually seen as another partisan use of the court to protect bad conduct by Republican actors. I hope this won't be the case because this was ridiculous conduct that endangered people's lives for partisan bullying. However, I can't help but think that after the bullshit outcome of the McDonnell case that this set of jurists won't overturn it.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Pyperkub »

Cell phone location data protected by 4th Amendment:
The Supreme Court handed down a landmark opinion today in Carpenter v. United States, ruling 5-4 that the Fourth Amendment protects cell phone location information. In an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court recognized that location information, collected by cell providers like Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon, creates a “detailed chronicle of a person’s physical presence compiled every day, every moment over years.” As a result, police must now get a warrant before obtaining this data.
EFF/ACLU now seeking to apply to facial recognition
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by stessier »

Just for clarity, the cell phone ruling was from June 2018.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by LordMortis »

With everything being a geosyncronized and timetracking part of the IoT, I do wonder about implications of 4th amendment evidence and what actually does count as evidence. Can a phone's location or a car place you a scene of a crime? Are ATT, Samsung, Ford, OnStar culpable for protecting your privacy or are they culpable if they try to protect your privacy? Then we have everything recording everything. Can they subpeona your phone for it's data collection because they suspect I did something at a time in place where they believe you were?

The world is just changing changing changing.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Isgrimnur »

NPR
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has just completed three weeks of radiation treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the U.S. Supreme Court disclosed Friday.

The radiation therapy, conducted on an outpatient basis, began Aug. 5, shortly after a localized cancerous tumor was discovered on Ginsburg's pancreas. The treatment included the insertion of a stent in Ginsburg's bile duct, according to a statement issued by the court.

Doctors at Sloan Kettering said further tests showed no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. The treatment comes just months after Ginsburg was operated on for lung cancer last December. The 86-year-old justice has been treated for cancer in various forms over the past 20 years.
I'll bet her lymph nodes are as big as cats!

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »

I'm sure if she leaves during the election year #MoscowMitch will honor his own theory and wait for the election to allow the voters to decide.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Isgrimnur »

You want to shoot yourself in the foot? This is a good way to do it.

Politico
The Senate majority leader and his 52 GOP colleagues sent a letter to the Supreme Court on Thursday pushing back against a Democratic amicus brief urging the court not to take up “political ‘projects” like a new challenge to New York City’s gun laws.

Led by Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, five Democratic senators argued earlier this month that the case was part of a drive to install a conservative majority on the court and strike down gun laws. The Democrats closed their letter by suggesting that voters may eventually demand the Supreme Court be “restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics” if it continues on its current course.
...
Whitehouse’s brief was joined by Democratic Sens Dick Durbin of Illinois, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Pyperkub »

malchior wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:18 pm
I'm sure if she leaves during the election year #MoscowMitch will honor his own theory and wait for the election to allow the voters to decide.
He's already said he wouldn't.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »

The accusation of a sexual assault at Yale by Kavanaugh that 'wasn't substantiated' during his confirmation hearings has come back around again. The story referenced below goes on to document that people tried to contact the FBI about it and yet another similar incident...but it sounds like Republican Senators ensured they were not investigated.


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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by pr0ner »

This tweet will likely be deleted and reposted with correct spelling at some point, but geez.


Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for liable, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue. The lies being told about him are unbelievable. False Accusations without recrimination. When does it stop? They are trying to influence his opinions. Can’t let that happen!
Sue for liable!
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Zaxxon »

Also, you know, have the Justice Department 'come to the rescue.'

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by pr0ner »

Corrected tweet.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Skinypupy »

Zaxxon wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:48 am
Also, you know, have the Justice Department 'come to the rescue.'
Because advocating for the DOJ to act as personal attorney for a SCOTUS justice the President happens to like is totally normal, right?

And how, exactly, are these accusations “influencing his opinion”? Isn’t a SCOTUS judges job to interpret the law without outside influence? (I almost typed that with a straight face)
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Smoove_B »

Strong words.


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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by pr0ner »

Elizabeth Warren thinks he needs to be impeached too.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Smoove_B »

I was just about to edit that in - seeing it now. Kinda surprised at the bold commentary, but it's appreciated. Plus, there's a stealth shot at Trump.


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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »

This is the Kavanaugh mess we feared

This is a pretty feisty op ed. It is probably fated that this confirmation will be a ticking time bomb for the legitimacy of the Supreme Court - not that much may be left by then. That isn't good for anybody. The last part I quote below is really an important kicker. Absent some dramatic events this guy will sit on the Supreme Court for 30+ years eating away at faith in the system.
Washington Post wrote: In September 2018, I warned about the abbreviated FBI investigation into allegations that Brett M. Kavanaugh engaged in sexually aggressive behavior: “If Democrats retake one or both houses in November, they will be able to investigate, subpoena witnesses and conduct their own inquiry. The result will be a cloud over the Supreme Court and possible impeachment hearings … Kavanaugh has not cleared himself but rather undermined faith in the judicial system that presumes that facts matter.”

And sure enough, two New York Times reporters have found multiple witnesses to the allegations from Deborah Ramirez that Kavanaugh exposed himself during a dorm party at Yale. One newly discovered witness had information concerning yet another, similar event. That witness, Max Stier, is the chief executive of Partnership for Public Service, a nonpartisan group that, among other things, tracks nominations and confirmations. According to the Times report, he brought the information to the Senate Judiciary Committee (Who? Who knew about this?) and to the FBI. (I have relied on him for expertise about the federal government and found him to be scrupulously nonpartisan and honest.) He might have been a compelling witness. The New York Times now reports that the woman involved in the incident Stier witnessed does not remember it.

...

And speaking of Maine, it’s Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) who will once more receive the lion’s share of the criticism and anger. Not only did she cast the last holdout vote on the premise that Kavanaugh would uphold the right to an abortion (!), but she accepted an obviously fraudulent investigation. Had she demanded a real inquiry, including witnesses we now know about, the truth might have come out before Kavanaugh was elevated to the court. The Supreme Court might not have been grievously diminished. Collins was already high on the list of progressives’ targets for 2020. This will be one more reminder that she utterly failed in her role to render advice and consent on judicial nominees.

The latest Kavanaugh revelations, as we predicted, were inevitable. The cursory and artificially restricted FBI investigation was a farce, a Kabuki dance to give Republicans cover to vote for him. When a Democratic majority in the House and a Democratic president (if they prevail in 2020) decide to waive privileges, open the investigation up to scrutiny and demand that FBI Director Christopher A. Wray testify, more and more evidence will tumble out. And then what? We’ll revisit the same fight we had in the Kavanaugh hearing. While a Democratic House might conceivably impeach him for lying under oath, the Senate would never obtain a two-thirds majority that would leave the “Kennedy seat” to be filled by a Democratic president.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

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Who's ready for the new fall season?
The justices are returning to the Supreme Court bench for the start of an election year term that includes high-profile cases about abortion, protections for young immigrants and LGBT rights, any of which could affect groups of Americans this term.

The court met Monday morning for its first public session since late June. The first case heard was a Kansas death penalty case regarding whether states can abolish an insanity defense for criminal defendants.

The justices also heard arguments Monday on whether the Sixth Amendment applies to state courts, that is, whether juries can convict criminals without a unanimous verdict. Louisiana is one of two U.S. states allowing non-unanimous criminal convictions.
...
For now, though, the court has plenty of significant cases to deal with, including whether federal civil rights law that bars workplace discrimination on the basis of sex covers LGBT people. The justices will hear arguments Tuesday in two cases on that topic, their first foray into LGBT rights since the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote all the court's major gay rights rulings.

Next month, the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is in front of the justices. Lower courts have blocked Trump from ending the Obama-era program, which has shielded roughly 700,000 people from deportation and provided them with permits to work.

Amid the ongoing gun debate in the wake of a series of mass shootings this past summer, the court will also be looking at a gun rights case, debating a law out of New York which makes it harder for law-abiding citizens who own guns to take their guns outside of their homes.

During the winter, the justices will take up a challenge to a Louisiana law that would force abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. It's another test of whether the change in the court's composition will result in a different outcome. With Kennedy in the majority, the court in 2016 struck down a virtually identical Texas law.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Isgrimnur »

ScotusBlog
For over a century, a criminal defendant in Louisiana (except in capital cases) could be convicted without a unanimous verdict from the jury. In 2018, the state’s voters repealed the non-unanimity rule, leaving Oregon as the only state in the nation that does not require a unanimous verdict. However, the change to Louisiana law only required unanimous jury verdicts in felony trials for all crimes committed on or after January 1, 2019; it had no effect on the sentences of inmates who had already been convicted. Next week, in a relatively rare afternoon session on the first day of the new term, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a challenge to the constitutionality of Louisiana’s non-unanimity rule.
...
Nearly 50 years ago, in Apodaca v. Oregon, the court ruled that the Sixth Amendment guarantees a right to a unanimous jury, but that such a right does not extend to defendants in state trials. The justices were deeply divided. Four justices would have ruled that the Sixth Amendment does not require a unanimous jury at all, while four others would have ruled that the Sixth Amendment establishes a right to a unanimous jury that applies in both state and federal courts. That left Justice Lewis Powell, who believed that the Sixth Amendment requires a unanimous jury for federal criminal trials, but not for state trials, as the controlling vote.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

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USA Today
The Supreme Court refused Monday to consider whether state and local governments can make it a crime for homeless people to sleep outside.

The justices won't hear a case from Boise, Idaho, that had nationwide ramifications for cities with large numbers of homeless people living on the streets.

The question was whether the homeless can be prosecuted using laws designed to regulate public camping and sleeping – or whether that constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment" in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.

The court's refusal to take up the issue is a setback to some states and cities with burgeoning homelessness. They had hoped a federal appeals court ruling would be overturned, allowing them to prosecute people who sleep on streets when they claim shelter beds are unavailable. Boise had appealed the ruling, hoping to enforce its ban on camping in public.
...
A new report from the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty found a 15% increase over three years in the number of cities that punish homeless people for sleeping in public, even as the number of unsheltered homeless rose by 10%.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Jaymann »

So let me get this straight. Homeless people have nowhere to sleep, so you put them in jail where they can sleep and eat on taxpayer money. Brilliant!
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Drazzil »

Jaymann wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:55 pm
So let me get this straight. Homeless people have nowhere to sleep, so you put them in jail where they can sleep and eat on taxpayer money. Brilliant!
It's worse then that. Our prison system is designed to draft as many poor people in as possible so that private prisons can enslave them. Its been going on for a while now.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Isgrimnur »

The law in question was a misdemeanor.

Even better, there are only three shelters in the Boise area. Two of them are run by an organization that requires them to participate in a religious instruction program in order to remain after a certain number of nights.

MARTIN V. CITY OF BOISE (PDF)
With one exception, all plaintiffs were sentenced to time served for all convictions; on two occasions, Hawkes was sentenced to one additional day in jail. During the same period, Hawkes was cited, but not convicted, under the Camping Ordinance, and Martin was cited, but not convicted, under the Disorderly
Conduct Ordinance.
...
Anderson testified that during his 2007 stay at River of Life, he was required to attend chapel services before he was permitted to eat dinner. At the conclusion of his 17-day stay, Anderson declined to enter the Discipleship Program because of his religious beliefs. As Anderson was barred by the shelter’s policies from returning to River of Life for 30 days, he slept outside for the next several weeks. On September 1, 2007, Anderson was cited under the Camping Ordinance. He pled guilty to
violating the Camping Ordinance and paid a $25 fine; he did not appeal his conviction.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by El Guapo »

Well, homeless people should have thought of that before they decided to exist.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Isgrimnur »

malchior wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:25 am
SCOTUS to take on Bridgegate appeal.

I can't help but think this might be eventually seen as another partisan use of the court to protect bad conduct by Republican actors. I hope this won't be the case because this was ridiculous conduct that endangered people's lives for partisan bullying. However, I can't help but think that after the bullshit outcome of the McDonnell case that this set of jurists won't overturn it.
QZ
Next week, the US Supreme Court will consider whether government officials convicted of crimes stemming from a scheme to reallocate lanes on the bridge acted criminally or just crookedly.
...
In her brief to the Supreme Court, Kelly’s attorneys argue that concealing the political motives behind an “otherwise legitimate official act” does not rise to the level of a federal felony offense.
...
The federal government vehemently disagrees. It points out that the conspirators were warned that the realignment was a public safety hazard, lied to Port Authority officials about having the study approved, and orchestrated a fake research initiative totally inconsistent with usual procedures. Traffic pattern studies are normally modeled on computers and not conducted live—if they are, authorities are given fair warning, which didn’t happen here. They also issued a false press release and wrote fraudulent reports to support their cover-up.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »

Thanks for the reminder. I actually am far more pessimistic than when I first wrote that. Since then we've seen that the courts have become more partisan and have a bunch of cases that determine what our velocity towards turning into another Hungary is. Anyway, it took awhile to get here but I expect they'll have their convictions overturned and SCOTUS will again make it nearly impossible to trust that public officials will be held accountable for corrupt behavior. As a thought exercise, let say they reverse, then the actual remedy for this type of conduct is to wait up to 4 years to remove the supervising official at the ballot box. Or as in the McDonnell case where he took hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gifts to set up meetings. But that wasn't corrupt enough for SCOTUS. Just remove him at the ballot box. That'll totally fix things. We're watching public ethics slide down the drain either by tweet or judicial fiat and no one even really notices anymore.

Edit: McDonnell! Not McConnell! Both are corrupt but only one got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
Last edited by malchior on Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

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NPR
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases challenging state attempts to penalize electoral college delegates who fail to vote for the presidential candidate they were pledged to support.
...
States have tried to prevent such "faithless elector" votes by enacting laws to remove them or fine them or both.

Now, just as the presidential campaign is heating up, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear challenges to such state laws in Washington and Colorado.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

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NPR
The U.S. Supreme Court says it will consider whether employers should be allowed to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage to their workers because of moral or religious objections.

At issue are Trump administration regulations allowing employers to claim such exemptions to the contraceptive insurance coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act, which requires most employer-provided plans to include birth control coverage without a copay. Churches and other religious organizations already can opt out of the requirement, but the Trump administration has sought to expand that exemption to include a wider array of businesses and organizations.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey challenged the Trump administration regulation and won a nationwide injunction temporarily blocking the rules.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »


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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by El Guapo »

malchior wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:29 pm
Ugh, this worries me. If the conservatives on the court wanted to use this to gut Obamacare, they'd want to wait until after the election, because it would hurt Republicans to open this issue up during a presidential election year. Best case scenario to them would be to bury the law around February 2021.

I'm still skeptical that John Roberts would like to bury the law now after declining to do so before it went into effect, but it's still worrisome.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »

Even if they don't finish it off...this feels pretty partisan still.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by El Guapo »

malchior wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:21 pm
Even if they don't finish it off...this feels pretty partisan still.
Oh, that this suit has gotten this far is a laughable (and terrifying) display of judicial partisanship. Hell, even the original Obamacare lawsuit, which was a model of jurisprudence compared to this one, was an absurd display of partisanship (which came *super* close to being a complete success).

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Skinypupy »

Fuck this timeline.


BREAKING: On 5-4 vote, Supreme Court lets Trump administration start enforcing new immigrant wealth test, designed to screen out green card applicants seen as being at risk of becoming "public charges".
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by El Guapo »

Skinypupy wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:53 pm
Fuck this timeline.


BREAKING: On 5-4 vote, Supreme Court lets Trump administration start enforcing new immigrant wealth test, designed to screen out green card applicants seen as being at risk of becoming "public charges".
Is this a final decision on the merits, or is this a refusal to stay the rule? Kind of sounds like the latter, but the vagueness of the tweet is a little irritating.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Octavious »

It just removes the block for now. And yes this timeline sucks balls. I f'n hate anyone that supports this ahole.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

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Reuters
In imposing an injunction blocking implementation of the rule, U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan on Oct. 11 called the policy “repugnant to the American Dream” and a “policy of exclusion in search of a justification.”

The administration had asked the high court to let the rule go into effect even before the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on Trump’s appeal of Daniels’ injunction against the rule. The 2nd Circuit is considering the matter on an expedited basis, with legal papers to be submitted by Feb. 14 and arguments to be held soon afterward.

The action by the Supreme Court the administration can implement the rule across the country except in Illinois, where a lower court decision preventing its enforcement in that state remains in place.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

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WaPo
On Wednesday morning, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. took a break between stints holding the gavel at President Trump’s impeachment trial to preside over a Supreme Court hearing in a dispute that could blow a hole through America’s church-state wall.

If the tenor of the oral argument is an indication, the ruling this spring may hinge on the dangerous fallacy that separation of church and state is hostility toward religion akin to overt racial discrimination.

The case, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, involves taxpayer-funded scholarships that helped parents pay tuition at primarily Christian schools. In 2018, the Montana Supreme Court found the program incompatible with a provision of its state constitution. Now, Roberts and his eight colleagues will decide whether this application of Montana’s no-aid-to-religion rule — a version of which is found in the constitutions of three-quarters of the states — squares with the religious-freedom umbrella in the U.S. Constitution.

Richard Komer, the lawyer for families who would like the scholarships reinstated, brought up the question of race early when he said ending the program was as bad as withholding funds from “African American schools.” Conservative justices pressed this point. Would it be constitutional, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. asked Montana’s lawyer, Adam Unikowsky, to stop providing state money to majority-black schools? Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh pointed to “grotesque religious bigotry against Catholics” as the impetus for Montana’s rule. And Roberts asked Unikowsky how racial discrimination is “different” from unequal treatment based on religion “which is also protected under the First Amendment.”

Justice Stephen G. Breyer commented “race is different from religion” because “there is no Establishment Clause in regard to race.” The opening words of the Bill of Rights tell Congress to make no law “respecting an establishment of religion.” There is no equivalent rule requiring the government to cease and desist when a policy happens to support one racial group more than another. On the contrary, the amendments passed in the aftermath of the Civil War expressly authorize laws to remediate racial discrimination.

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