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SCOTUS Watch

For discussion of religion and politics

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Unagi
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Unagi »

Hopefully, she was put in stasis - and replaced by a cyborg. :ninja:

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Formix
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Formix »

Remus West wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:08 pm
Can we all just agree that we are fucked if for any reason one of the "liberal" judges retires or dies at any point while the Republicans control the Senate? Timing doesn't matter. I'm sure they have something set up for if it happens seconds before they are supposed to turn over the keys. Wouldn't surprise me if they have some plan in place to delay handing control over if it even looks likely to happen.
Are you kidding? At this point my biggest fear is that something happens to Joe.

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Remus West
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Remus West »

Formix wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:48 pm
Remus West wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:08 pm
Can we all just agree that we are fucked if for any reason one of the "liberal" judges retires or dies at any point while the Republicans control the Senate? Timing doesn't matter. I'm sure they have something set up for if it happens seconds before they are supposed to turn over the keys. Wouldn't surprise me if they have some plan in place to delay handing control over if it even looks likely to happen.
Are you kidding? At this point my biggest fear is that something happens to Joe.
I worry about that too but think we will be alright on that front as whomever the Dems put forward will have a TON of tRump hate working in their favor but the SCOTUS is appointed for life so if the maliorangnant one puts another far right one on there.......ugh.
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Defiant
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Defiant »

Heard that RBG has been discharged and is back home. And while I'd like RBG in a protective bubble, she's such a badass, it might make more sense to put covid-19 in a protective bubble instead. :ninja:

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Unagi
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Unagi »

I am more than happy to show how much of a bad ass she truly is, next year.

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Little Raven
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Little Raven »

El Guapo wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:29 am
I think in general Biden's not inclined to do court packing...
Of course not. Biden is not an idiot, and court packing is one of the dumbest ideas to circulate the pundit-sphere in a LONG time, which is really saying something, given our recent politics.

If we've learned anything over the last 20 years, it's that the American people are a very fickle lot. We've gone from full Republican control to full Democratic control to full Republican control to (very likely) full Democratic control again in just 20 years. I see no evidence that this is likely to change. So if the Democrats pack the court in 2020, when the backlash comes (and it will) the Republicans are just going to bump it up to 17, and then the Democrats will have to take it to 21, and all we're going to accomplish is destroying the one branch of the government that actually remains largely functional. Unless we're going full Accelerationist, this is a very, VERY bad plan.

Plus, it seems quite unnecessary, since SC appointments are the ONE area where Trump doesn't appear to be particularly incompetent. (Probably because he doesn't care about it and just does whatever he's told in this particular area.) Both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are more conservative than I would personally pick, but so far, they both appear to be supremely qualified and not the least bit stooge-like. They both run circles around Thomas and Alito. (granted, not a particularly high bar) I realize that losing Garland stings, but that is absolutely not worth burning everything down over.

Biden understands this.
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El Guapo
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by El Guapo »

Little Raven wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:45 pm
El Guapo wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:29 am
I think in general Biden's not inclined to do court packing...
Of course not. Biden is not an idiot, and court packing is one of the dumbest ideas to circulate the pundit-sphere in a LONG time, which is really saying something, given our recent politics.

If we've learned anything over the last 20 years, it's that the American people are a very fickle lot. We've gone from full Republican control to full Democratic control to full Republican control to (very likely) full Democratic control again in just 20 years. I see no evidence that this is likely to change. So if the Democrats pack the court in 2020, when the backlash comes (and it will) the Republicans are just going to bump it up to 17, and then the Democrats will have to take it to 21, and all we're going to accomplish is destroying the one branch of the government that actually remains largely functional. Unless we're going full Accelerationist, this is a very, VERY bad plan.

Plus, it seems quite unnecessary, since SC appointments are the ONE area where Trump doesn't appear to be particularly incompetent. (Probably because he doesn't care about it and just does whatever he's told in this particular area.) Both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are more conservative than I would personally pick, but so far, they both appear to be supremely qualified and not the least bit stooge-like. They both run circles around Thomas and Alito. (granted, not a particularly high bar) I realize that losing Garland stings, but that is absolutely not worth burning everything down over.

Biden understands this.
I think naked court packing (e.g., just increasing the number of justices from 9 to 11, say, and making no other changes) is problematic, or at least semi-shortsighted, for the reasons you suggest. That said, the current structure of the Supreme Court is problematic - there is a degree to which lifetime appointments and only nine seats makes every open seat a life or death battle (and one which favors the GOP due to the structure of the Senate). And the incentive structure points towards a situation where sooner or later presidents are going to start appointing extreme 35 year olds.

There are a number of SCOTUS reform plans which were kicked around during the Democratic primary which make some sense.

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Little Raven
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Little Raven »

El Guapo wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:37 am
There are a number of SCOTUS reform plans which were kicked around during the Democratic primary which make some sense.
I'm certainly open to learning more about them, though I'm skeptical you're going to really improve things much. Cause for all the hue and cry over the Court as of late....it's working pretty well. Lifetime appointments insure Justices won't stay bought - just look at Kavanaugh, who was supposed to be Satan Incarnate and a slave to the Trump administration, but so far he's been nothing but a perfectly competent Justice who rules against the President as often as he rules for him. Sure, there's always the possibility that some President starts nominating young extremists, but if Trump didn't do it, then maybe the danger isn't as close as you fear.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Pyperkub »

YellowKing wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:40 pm
We already know nobody cares about his tax returns. We beat this dead horse after he was elected, and all we got from the public was a collective shrug.
The SDNY case's Judge appears to care:
The judge sped up the timeline for Trump to turn over his tax returns after his stalling tactics were rejected during a Thursday hearing.

Trump’s lawyers showed up unprepared and many of the same arguments that were already rejected.

Jennifer Taub tweeted the bottom line:

What this means:

Trump has until July 27th (a week from Monday to file an amended complaint).

Presumably, Vance will then file a motion to dismiss.

And final briefs due by August 14th.

43/43

— Jennifer Taub (@jentaub) July 16, 2020

Neal Katyal tweeted that the hearing is moving quickly:

Phenomenal thread about what the court did today in the Trump tax returns case in Manhattan. This is moving quickly.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Kraken »

The tax returns must show that trump is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vladimir Putin. I can't imagine what else trump would be so afraid of revealing. He has no shame about anything.

malchior
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »

I don't think it's Putin. I think it is straight up criminal tax fraud.

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El Guapo
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by El Guapo »

Hillary Clinton did a pretty good job in 2016 laying out the various reasons why Trump might be hiding his tax returns.

I will say that the past few years have made "he's not as rich as he says he is" a less likely explanation than it was at that point, but otherwise it holds up pretty well.

I do think "criminal tax fraud" (or more generously, *extremely* aggressive use of deductions) is probably the most likely explanation. But it's also possible that they would show significant income tied to sources close to the Russian government (e.g., oligarchs and possibly Russian state-owned businesses). Which wouldn't be insta-collusion, but would raise more questions.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Jeff V »

El Guapo wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:50 pm
Which wouldn't be insta-collusion, but would raise more questions.
For a private citizen. Not a president.

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El Guapo
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by El Guapo »

Also it's great that the SDNY is moving this as fast as it can, but there's still a 0% chance that we see anything before election day. Even if the judge rules against Trump (very likely) and does so within a month after the argument (possible), the decision will get appealed, and I think there's a very very high risk that the SCOTUS (if not the 2nd circuit) stays the ruling. There's no way that the appellate process on this gets finished and the documents get turned over and any documents are made public before the election.

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Alefroth
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Alefroth »

Hasn't the IRS already seen these returns? Wouldn't they have found something? I have to imagine they've been looking very closely.

malchior
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »

Alefroth wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:11 am
Hasn't the IRS already seen these returns? Wouldn't they have found something? I have to imagine they've been looking very closely.
Yes but they these are going to be very complex and the people preparing them very experienced at hiding things. The returns are designed to survive an audit. One way to detect fraud is to compare records from multiple sources to find inconsistencies. And then run down those. Some might be mistakes or aggressive usage of deductions as El Guapo said.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Max Peck »

At this point, I'd have to presume that if there was anything particularly incriminating in his tax returns then someone with access to them, in the IRS or elsewhere, would have leaked them by now.
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malchior
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »

Max Peck wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:02 am
At this point, I'd have to presume that if there was anything particularly incriminating and was obvious to people with in his tax returns then someone with access to them, in the IRS or elsewhere, would have leaked them by now.
If it were obvious but then again you need context for a lot of these things to know if they are incriminating. The next hurdle then is that person would have to have access to them. And then they'd have to be willing to face criminal and civil penalties. And you have examples of people like Reality Winner serving 5 year prison sentences...so I wouldn't be too sure.

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SCOTUS Watch

Post by Zarathud »

Trump has been covering up his tax returns for 4 years. He attacks or sacks anyone who offends him, but has said nothing about his IRS audit. My guess is it effectively ended the week he took office.

The IRS has limited resources to chase things down. The internet doesn’t. Also tax practitioners can identify things the IRS failed to consider.
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malchior
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »

Zarathud wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:04 am
Trump has been covering up his tax returns for 4 years. He attacks or sacks anyone who offends him, but has said nothing about his IRS audit. My guess is it effectively ended the week he took office.

The IRS has limited resources to chase things down. The internet doesn’t. Also tax practitioners can identify things the IRS failed to consider.
You'd be the best resource to answer this. Isn't it well established that they've essentially given up chasing rich tax cheats in favor of easier targets? They've prioritized auditing less complicated returns further down the economic scale, right? Essentially the rich use complexity to reduce the risk of an audit and evading detection of cheating.

malchior
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »

McConnell's heart is racing right now.


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El Guapo
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by El Guapo »

Good lord. Godspeed to her.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Remus West »

Good lord I hope she lives a long long time after this but I also hope that if Biden wins she retires the day after he begins official work. See him sworn in and call it a day. She has done enough to protect the nation at that point and deserves some peaceful relaxing days.
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” - H.L. Mencken

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El Guapo
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by El Guapo »

It's not fair, but I'm still mad at her for not retiring in 2014.

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Remus West
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Remus West »

El Guapo wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:45 pm
It's not fair, but I'm still mad at her for not retiring in 2014.
Yeah. I feel like being part of the battle is what keeps her alive though. Wouldn't surprise me if she never retires until she actually passes on since being retired would be boring for her.
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” - H.L. Mencken

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Octavious »

Remus West wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:44 pm
Good lord I hope she lives a long long time after this but I also hope that if Biden wins she retires the day after he begins official work. See him sworn in and call it a day. She has done enough to protect the nation at that point and deserves some peaceful relaxing days.
I wouldn't be surprised if Mitch just blocks it for another 4 years saying we should wait for the next election. God I hate that man.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Vorret »

Can he do that if they lose the senate majority ?
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El Guapo
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by El Guapo »

Octavious wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:28 pm
Remus West wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:44 pm
Good lord I hope she lives a long long time after this but I also hope that if Biden wins she retires the day after he begins official work. See him sworn in and call it a day. She has done enough to protect the nation at that point and deserves some peaceful relaxing days.
I wouldn't be surprised if Mitch just blocks it for another 4 years saying we should wait for the next election. God I hate that man.
That presumes that the GOP holds onto the Senate, but yeah. I think McConnell will come up with a new justification, though - he'll probably just say that we'll only consider a constitutional originalist, and then essentially refuse to consider anyone that's not on the Federalist Society short list.

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El Guapo
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by El Guapo »

Vorret wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:30 pm
Can he do that if they lose the senate majority ?
Nope.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Paingod »

Octavious wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:28 pm
Remus West wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:44 pm
Good lord I hope she lives a long long time after this but I also hope that if Biden wins she retires the day after he begins official work. See him sworn in and call it a day. She has done enough to protect the nation at that point and deserves some peaceful relaxing days.
I wouldn't be surprised if Mitch just blocks it for another 4 years saying we should wait for the next election. God I hate that man.
I would be surprised if the R team gets a choice when they're the underdogs in that chamber. With Trump getting soundly beaten by ... Trump ... and the GOP is standing behind him, how many people with either simply not show up to vote for their party out of disdain or switch sides?

I certainly don't see any blue voters drifting into purple territory this election year, but have heard about a lot of red going that way.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Pyperkub »

malchior wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:48 am
Zarathud wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:04 am
Trump has been covering up his tax returns for 4 years. He attacks or sacks anyone who offends him, but has said nothing about his IRS audit. My guess is it effectively ended the week he took office.

The IRS has limited resources to chase things down. The internet doesn’t. Also tax practitioners can identify things the IRS failed to consider.
You'd be the best resource to answer this. Isn't it well established that they've essentially given up chasing rich tax cheats in favor of easier targets? They've prioritized auditing less complicated returns further down the economic scale, right? Essentially the rich use complexity to reduce the risk of an audit and evading detection of cheating.
Yup:
The first report came from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which found that between 2011 and 2013, $381 billion in taxes went unpaid every single year. Couple that data with recent Harvard University research showing that the top one percent of income earners are responsible for 70 percent of the tax gap, and you see the full picture: The wealthiest sliver of the population is depriving the American public of about $266 billion of owed tax revenue every year.

That tax gap didn’t just magically happen — it is the result of conservatives’ huge cuts to the Internal Revenue Service’s enforcement budget, which resulted in a particularly precipitous decline in audit rates for the superrich. In fact, the $266 billion figure could be an understatement, because the congressional budget analysts were estimating the tax gap that existed before those IRS budget cuts.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Zarathud »

Even during the Bush administration, private attorneys outgunned the IRS. The IRS has been under siege from Trump Republican since 2010, and it’s even worse with Trump in power. Many knowledgeable IRS agents have retired and there’s a missive brain drain. That’s before the restructuring and cuts and lapdog leadership.

When you literally see the President shilling ads for his friends and targeting his enemies, what do you do? It’s not deliberate but it’s an effect of decades of GOP hostility.
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“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »


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Remus West
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Remus West »

Is there somewhere to read their reasoning on why they denied?
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” - H.L. Mencken

malchior
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »

Remus West wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:56 pm
Is there somewhere to read their reasoning on why they denied?
Nope. That's all we get.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior »

This is why the modern GOP needs to go. This is fucked up logic *at best*.


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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Fireball »

One of the electoral reforms we should pass next year should be the automatic publication on the IRS website of tax returns for the sitting president, vice president, members of the Cabinet and all members of Congress each year within a month of the returns being filed, as well as five years of prior returns for any candidate for president, vice president or Congress within a week of a person filing the FEC forms to create a candidate committee.
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Remus West
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Remus West »

Fireball wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:28 pm
One of the electoral reforms we should pass next year should be the automatic publication on the IRS website of tax returns for the sitting president, vice president, members of the Cabinet and all members of Congress each year within a month of the returns being filed, as well as five years of prior returns for any candidate for president, vice president or Congress within a week of a person filing the FEC forms to create a candidate committee.
That would be a good one. I'd also like to see something that would force a person like tRump to actually separate from his holdings ala Carter's peanut farm.
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” - H.L. Mencken

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Fireball
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Fireball »

Remus West wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:22 pm
Fireball wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:28 pm
One of the electoral reforms we should pass next year should be the automatic publication on the IRS website of tax returns for the sitting president, vice president, members of the Cabinet and all members of Congress each year within a month of the returns being filed, as well as five years of prior returns for any candidate for president, vice president or Congress within a week of a person filing the FEC forms to create a candidate committee.
That would be a good one. I'd also like to see something that would force a person like tRump to actually separate from his holdings ala Carter's peanut farm.
Yes, I'd be fine with requiring the president to sell all financial assets and put all proceeds into a blind trust, with the exception of small, family-owned businesses up to a certain size for things like family restaurants or farms.
Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:17 am
Zarathud: The sad thing is that Barak Obama is a very intelligent and articulate person, even when you disagree with his views it's clear that he's very thoughtful. I would have loved to see Obama in a real debate.
Me: Wait 12 years, when he runs for president. :-)

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Holman »

Fireball wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:35 pm
Remus West wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:22 pm
Fireball wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:28 pm
One of the electoral reforms we should pass next year should be the automatic publication on the IRS website of tax returns for the sitting president, vice president, members of the Cabinet and all members of Congress each year within a month of the returns being filed, as well as five years of prior returns for any candidate for president, vice president or Congress within a week of a person filing the FEC forms to create a candidate committee.
That would be a good one. I'd also like to see something that would force a person like tRump to actually separate from his holdings ala Carter's peanut farm.
Yes, I'd be fine with requiring the president to sell all financial assets and put all proceeds into a blind trust, with the exception of small, family-owned businesses up to a certain size for things like family restaurants or farms.
Why not this for all holders of public office?

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