Supreme Court justices clashed on Tuesday over whether courts should curb the long-standing U.S. political practice of drawing electoral maps to entrench one party in power, with conservative Anthony Kennedy likely to cast the deciding vote.
The nine justices heard an hour of arguments in the major voting rights case out of Wisconsin involving the practice known as partisan gerrymandering. Their ruling, due by June, could have an impact on U.S. elections for decades by setting standards for when electoral districts are laid out with such extreme partisan aims that they deprive voters of their constitutional rights.
Kennedy, who sometimes sides with the court’s liberal justices in big rulings, did not definitively tip his hand on how he would rule but posed tough questions to Wisconsin’s lawyers that signaled his aversion to electoral districts drawn to give one party a lopsided advantage in elections.
Liberal justices voiced sympathy for the Democratic voters who challenged the Republican-drawn legislative map in Wisconsin as a violation of their constitutional rights. Conservative justices expressed doubt about whether courts should intervene in such highly political disputes, and questioned the challengers’ legal standing to bring the case. The court has a 5-4 conservative majority.
Gerrymandering, a practice that began two centuries ago, involves manipulating boundaries of legislative districts to benefit one party and diminish another.
One of the most wise people I know says this.
Because the only thing constant is change.
It would make sense that law enforcement especially should keep up on the latest in court decisions, and how they might affect their performing their job!
Video shows Utah nurse screaming, being handcuffed after refusing
to take blood from unconscious victim
Published on Aug 31, 2017Alex Wubbels, a nurse at University Hospital in Salt Lake City, was arrested after explaining to police that she couldn’t draw a blood sample from an unconscious person. A Salt Lake City police detective asked for a blood sample. After explaining to the detective that the police needed a warrant, consent from the unconscious patient or that the patient needed to be under arrest before the blood sample could be drawn, she was arrested.
(from NRA-ILA GRASSROOTS VOLUME 24, NUMBER 26, in part)
Supreme Court Declines to Take Carry Case, but Gorsuch Casts a Solidly Pro-Gun Vote
Gun owners received disappointing news on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that effectively let stand California’s “may-issue” permitting regime. The upshot of this decision is that law-abiding Californians in many areas of the state will be effectively denied the right to “bear” arms in public for self-defense.
But there was a silver lining to this development as Justice Neil M. Gorsuch – President Trump’s pick to replace the late, great Antonin Scalia – came out strongly in favor of the Second Amendment by joining a dissent from the court’s decision penned by Second Amendment stalwart Justice Clarence Thomas. Gorsuch’s participation in the dissent confirmed that he, unlike so many of his colleagues in the federal judiciary, is indeed prepared to take the Second Amendment seriously.
The underlying case was Peruta v. San Diego. The plaintiffs had complained of being arbitrarily denied concealed carry permits, the only way for law-abiding persons in California to exercise the right to carry loaded, operable firearms in public for self-defense. Each plaintiff met all the qualifications for a permit but one: they could not show an extraordinary need for self-protection that distinguished them from the general population, as required by licensing officials in their counties of residence.
The case therefore presented the court with an opportunity to clearly state whether or not the Second Amendment extends its protections beyond the home. Indeed, the three-judge panel that originally heard the case in the Ninth Circuit recognized that its defining issue was “whether a responsible, law-abiding citizen has a right under the Second Amendment to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.”
The panel answered that question affirmatively, stating: “the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.” The panel also noted that it was California’s own decision to make concealed carry permits the only lawful path to do so. It therefore held the plaintiffs could prevail with “a narrow challenge to the San Diego County regulations on concealed carry, rather than a broad challenge to the state-wide ban on open carry ….”
After the panel’s opinion was published, the full Ninth Circuit voted for a larger en banc panel to rehear the case. The en banc decision, however, avoided the real issue presented by the case and held that “the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.” It therefore summarily disposed of the plaintiffs’ claims without confronting the question of whether the Second Amendment applies beyond the home at all.
The Supreme Court majority, as is typical, did not issue an opinion explaining why it refused to review the en banc decision. Its refusal to do so does not, however, represent an endorsement of the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning or holding. As commentators have mentioned, federal appellate and state courts of last resort have come out different ways on the scope of the Second Amendment’s protection for carrying outside the home, and these disparate outcomes are not affected by the Supreme Court’s decision this week. The court may simply have decided, for example, that it did not want the differences between the panel and en banc approaches to the case to cloud the issue presented for its own resolution.
Whatever the majority’s thinking, the opinions of Justices Thomas and Gorsuch came through with vivid clarity in a sharply worded dissent from the decision to pass over the case. “At issue in this case,” Thomas wrote, “is whether [the Second Amendment] protects the right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.” They called the en banc court’s resolution of this issue “indefensible” and “untenable” and asserted it was “not justified by the terms of the complaint, which called into question the State’s regulatory scheme as a whole.” They also opined that that “[h]ad the en banc Ninth Circuit answered the question actually at issue in this case, it likely would have been compelled to reach the opposite result.”
Thomas and Gorsuch additionally chided their judicial colleagues for treating the Second Amendment as a “disfavored right.” Thomas explained:
The Court has not heard argument in a Second Amendment case in over seven years—since March 2, 2010, in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742. Since that time, we have heard argument in, for example, roughly 35 cases where the question presented turned on the meaning of the First Amendment and 25 cases that turned on the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. This discrepancy is inexcusable, especially given how much less developed our jurisprudence is with respect to the Second Amendment as compared to the First and Fourth Amendments.
The dissent also contrasted the plight of the average citizen who must largely provide for his or her own security with that of government elites “who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force.” The Framers, Thomas wrote, “reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it.”
…or at least follow The Constitution!
Via comment by Unknown Reaper on The three numbers that will keep Democrats from bl…
Fortunately, Gorsuch appears to be one of the rare breed of judges that actually cares what the U.S. Constitution and our laws have to say. In that respect, he is very much like Scalia…
On Tuesday, President Trump announced that he would nominate Neil Gorsuch to fill the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Gorsuch currently serves on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, and he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate when he was appointed to that position by President George W. Bush in 2006. Gorsuch appears to have some strong similarities to Antonin Scalia, and many conservatives are hoping that when Gorsuch fills Scalia’s seat that it will represent a shift in the balance of power on the Supreme Court. Because for almost a year, the court has been operating with only eight justices. Four of them were nominated by Republican presidents and four of them were nominated by Democrats, and so many Republicans are anticipating that there will now be a Supreme Court majority for conservatives.
Unfortunately, things are not that simple, because a couple of the “conservative” justices are not actually very conservative at all.More @ Investment Watch
During a question and answer session at University of Chicago Law School, President Obama joked he is “sorry” his U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, is white.
After talking about the changes he has made to “transform” the federal court system from a “diversity standpoint,” Obama said, “And so, when I look at Merrick Garland, that was the person that… you know, the difference between the Supreme Court is that it’s just a handful of seats come up at any given time. Now, I appointed a Latino woman, and another woman right before that, so…”
“You know, yeah, he’s a white guy,” Obama said. “But he’s a really outstanding jurist. Sorry!”
More ‘not judged by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character’ stuff from the President.
Joke or not, it’s disgusting.
So, which is worse – the constant (and government-approved) encroachment of Islamic folks (some of whom appear to be scofflaws and terrorists!) or the constant encroachment against our civil liberties by our own government?
Must I choose one? Really?
from Free North Carolina
We are currently in the process of losing our freedoms and effective control over our societies. It is sheer madness to continue Muslim immigration in a situation when militant Muslims are actively waging war against us in our own cities. Western political leaders who promote such policies are guilty of criminal negligence at best. They must be removed from power, and replaced by people who protect the long-term interests of our nations.*******************************On the morning of March 22, 2016, Belgium was struck by coordinated nail bombings. Two hit Brussels Airport at the check-in counter, before the security screening. Another suicide bomber hit Maalbeek metro station, located not far from prominent EU buildings. The attacks occurred a few days before the Christian Easter celebrations. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks. At least 35 people were killed, and many seriously injured. The Muslim terrorists have connections to militant Muslims in many parts of Europe and the Middle East. The authorities faced difficulties in apprehending some of the terrorists partly because they enjoy widespread sympathy and support in certain Muslim communities.
Brussels is not merely the capital of Belgium. It is also the capital of the European Union (EU), and houses the headquarters of the Western defense alliance NATO. It is therefore a symbolic target. The city contains a large Muslim immigrant population. In notorious urban districts such as Molenbeek, radical Muslims have ties to international Jihadist networks. Belgium has produced more Jihadists as a proportion of its population than any other Western European country. On May 24, 2014, a gunman killed four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels.
Following the Brussels bombings, the US State Department warned US citizens of the “potential risks” of traveling to Europe. A statement said terror groups were planning “attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants and transportation.”
Europe is now becoming more like Israel, facing constant Islamic terror threats in daily life.More @ Gates Of Vienna
WASHINGTON — Conservatives bent on crippling the power of public employee unions lost their best opportunity in years Tuesday when the Supreme Court deadlocked over a challenge to the fees those unions collect from non-members.
Rather than seeking to reschedule the case for their next term, the justices simply announced they were tied 4-4 — a verdict which leaves intact the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upholding the fee collections. (USA Today)
…or there could be…
(Via the NRA from Old NFO)
SCOTUS Nomination: Merrick Garland
“With Justice Scalia’s tragic passing, there is no longer a majority of support among the justices for the fundamental, individual right to own a firearm for self-defense. Four justices believe law-abiding Americans have that right – and four justices do not. President Obama has nothing but contempt for the Second Amendment and law-abiding gun owners. Obama has already nominated two Supreme Court justices who oppose the right to own firearms and there is absolutely no reason to think he has changed his approach this time. In fact, a basic analysis of Merrick Garland’s judicial record shows that he does not respect our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. Therefore, the National Rifle Association, on behalf of our five million members and tens of millions of supporters across the country, strongly opposes the nomination of Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court.” Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA-
Merrick Garland’s record on the Second Amendment is unacceptable to anyone who respects the U.S. Constitution and an individual’s fundamental right to self-protection.
He is the most anti-gun nominee in recent history. This should come as no surprise, given President Obama’s disdain for the Second Amendment. He has consistently shown a complete disregard of the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Garland’s history of anti-Second Amendment rulings support the conclusion that were he to be confirmed he would vote to overturn Heller. In 2007, he voted to give D.C. a second chance to have its handgun ban upheld after a three-judge panel struck it down. At the time, this was the most significant Second Amendment case in America.
In 2004, Garland voted against rehearing another Second Amendment case (Seegars v. Gonzales), effectively casting a vote against the individual right to keep and bear arms.
Justice Scalia was the author of Heller v McDonald. Heller affirmed that the Second Amendment is an individual right. The Heller decision stands in the way of gun-control supporters’ ultimate goal of banning and confiscating guns.
If Heller is overturned, the Second Amendment for all intents and purposes would cease to exist.
In 2000, Garland voted in favor of the federal government’s plan to retain Americans’ personal information from gun purchase background checks despite federal laws prohibiting national firearm registration and requiring the destruction of these records.
Judge Garland weighed in on several significant firearms-related cases, including Parker, Seegars, NRA v. Reno,. He voted against the rights of firearm owners on each occasion.
The examples of Garland’s disdain for the right to keep and bear arms go on and on, including in a major case upholding the then-existing Clinton “assault weapons” ban against a constitutional challenge
It’s almost certain that Garland agrees with Hillary Clinton when she said “the Supreme Court is wrong” that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.
In his nomination, President Obama has again placed partisanship and antagonism towards gun owners above the higher callings of his office.
If Garland is confirmed, Obama would be taking America back in time to an era where Supreme Court justices uphold the anti-gun policies of the president. Obama is hoping Garland will overturn the Supreme Court precedent that stands in the way of confiscatory gun control, like the gun ban and confiscation programs implemented in Australia.
Sigh… There is ALWAYS more to the story than what is making it into the MSM… I haven’t seen ANY coverage of Garland’s 2A stance, has anyone else???
Hopefully the Pubs grow a set and do what the Dems have done to Bush and Reagan. Stop the process until a new President is sworn in. Nothing can happen until next year anyway, since the court is still in session…
Sigh… DAMN these interesting times…
I always seem to be sighing in unison with Jim! I have seen snippets of negative coverage, but as he suggests, not in the MSM – only on the Internet. I do believe there IS a process in place (God Bless the Founding Fathers!) and even FDR in his four terms was unable to change the Constitution or pack the Court.
Time will tell.
(Write and call your Senators!)
See what I did there?
Regular readers (thank you!) know I am pro-law enforcement. However, just as I promote the entire history of the United States (warts and all), I believe in reviewing all efforts by the police (good and bad).
A Washington Post article regarding the police came to my attention.
For the time constrained, here’s the juicy part…
A Washington Post review of 2,000 warrants served by D.C. police between January 2013 and January 2015 found that 284 — about 14 percent — shared the characteristics of the one executed at Taylor’s apartment. In every case, after arresting someone on the street for possession of drugs or a weapon, police invoked their training and experience to justify a search of a residence without observing criminal activity there. The language of the warrants gave officers broad leeway to search for drugs and guns in areas saturated by them and to seize phones, computers and personal records.
In about 60 percent of the 284 cases, police executing the warrants found illegal items, ranging from drug paraphernalia to guns, The Post found. The amounts of drugs recovered were usually small, ranging from residue to marijuana cigarettes to rocks of cocaine. About 40 percent of the time — in 115 cases — police left empty-handed.
Ah, The War on Drugs (and Guns) strikes again. How many folks are incarcerated for possession of a joint, and how many cops are employed to locate and incarcerated such folks?
And if The Second Amendment is indeed an individual right (as the Supreme Court has stated)…yatta, yatta, yatta.
“It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer” – English jurist William Blackstone
(from Brock Townsend)
Republican presidential contenders and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued for the Senate to run out the clock on President Barack Obama, depriving him the chance to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death today.
Far left President Barack Obama will want the Republican Senate to confirm an appointment this year but this hasn’t happened since 1880.
There hasn’t been a justice nominated and confirmed in an election year by divided government since 1880.
Josh Blackman reported:More @ The Gateway Pundit
‘Regular’ readers know I subscribe to the Conspiracy Theory of History. Basically, stuff happens before, during and after an event that the ‘winners’ never bother to write down.
The sausage being made, as it were.
AND IF WE KNEW THE WHOLE TRUTH…
The latest in this meme involves the passing of the Associate Supreme Court Justice Scalia.
Because being a 79 year old overweight man means one couldn’t pass away normally…
There is an undercurrent on some blogs, which are conservative and libertarian in nature, that the Associate Justice was MURDERED. Reports of a pillow case over his head(or head-adjacent)…
Now, I wouldn’t put it past certain elements of the progressive machine to wish such an event to occur, but…
Evidence would be nice. Something…
(I think someone’s been re-reading The Pelican Brief.)