Wednesday, July 04, 2018

The Deal With The Devil Is Paying Off For Evangelical Voters


Did you watch Meet The Press Sunday? The highlight was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez but Chuck Todd had another interesting guest as well, Maria Canwell, a standard issue Democrat from Washington (state and DC). Cantell had a warning for senators in regard to Trump's not-as-yet named replacement for Anthony Kennedy. "My colleagues," she said, "on both sides of the aisle know that this vote could be one of the key votes of their entire career. If they vote for somebody who's going to change precedent, it could be a career-ending move."

Remember, during his hate-filled campaign, Trump repeatedly said he would appoint nominees who would overturn Roe v. Wade, one of the top reasons over 80% of evangelicals voted for him and still support him, despite his obvious personal flaws.

On CNN yesterday, Susan Collins (R-ME) said she wouldn't support anyone who is against the Roe v. Wade. How will she know? By remembering what Trump said during the campaign? "I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law."

CNN's top legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, also writes for the New Yorker and this week, he explained how How Trump's Supreme Court Pick Could Undo Kennedy's Legacy, although I think Kennedy already did that by retiring before the midterms. A conservative, Kennedy was considered the swing vote on the court because he departed from right-wing orthodoxy on some key issues: gay rights, affirmative action, the death penalty, and, in Toobin's opinion, "most notably, abortion rights. In the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Kennedy voted to uphold Roe v. Wade, and he remained a reluctant but steady advocate for maintaining the precedent."

The whole purpose of Trump’s Supreme Court selection process has been to eliminate the possibility of nominating someone who might commit Kennedy’s perfidies of moderation. The activists from the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation who supplied the President’s list of twenty-five prospective nominees are determined to tear down the monuments, on select issues, that Kennedy has built. Their labors have already produced one soaring success, in the confirmation, last year, of Neil Gorsuch. His extremism has exceeded that of his predecessor Antonin Scalia and equalled that of his colleague Clarence Thomas, the Justice with whom he has voted most often.

Yet it’s far from certain that the public wants the kinds of rulings that a brazen conservative majority would produce. So the nominee and his or her supporters will avoid spelling out the implications of this judicial philosophy. As with Gorsuch, the nominee will be supported with meaningless buzz phrases: he or she will be opposed to “legislating from the bench” and in favor of “judicial restraint.” Like Gorsuch, the nominee will rely on airy generalities rather than on specific examples. It’s all the more important, then, to articulate in plain English what, if such a nominee is confirmed, a new majority will do.

It will overrule Roe v. Wade, allowing states to ban abortions and to criminally prosecute any physicians and nurses who perform them. It will allow shopkeepers, restaurateurs, and hotel owners to refuse service to gay customers on religious grounds. It will guarantee that fewer African-American and Latino students attend élite universities. It will approve laws designed to hinder voting rights. It will sanction execution by grotesque means. It will invoke the Second Amendment to prohibit states from engaging in gun control, including the regulation of machine guns and bump stocks.

And these are just the issues that draw the most attention. In many respects, the most important right-wing agenda item for the judiciary is the undermining of the regulatory state. In the rush of conservative rulings at the end of this term, one of the most important received relatively little notice. In Janus v. afscme, a 5–4 majority (including Kennedy) said that public employees who receive the benefits of union-negotiated contracts can excuse themselves from paying union dues. In doing so, the Justices overruled a Supreme Court precedent that, as it happens, was nearly as old as Roe v. Wade. (Chief Justice John Roberts, who has made much of his reverence for stare decisis, joined in the trashing of this precedent, and will likely join his colleagues in rejecting more of them.) The decision not only cripples public-sector unions-- itself a cherished conservative goal-- but does so, oddly enough, on First Amendment grounds. The majority said that forcing government workers to pay dues violates their right to free speech. But, as Justice Elena Kagan wrote in a dissent, this is “weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy.” She added, “Speech is everywhere-- a part of every human activity (employment, health care, securities trading, you name it). For that reason, almost all economic and regulatory policy affects or touches speech. So the majority’s road runs long.”

Anthony Kennedy didn’t spend his entire career on that road, and there is, in his best opinions, the kind of decency and empathy that characterized many of the moderate Republicans who once dominated the Court, such as Justices Potter Stewart, Harry Blackmun, and Sandra Day O’Connor. Kennedy’s words at the conclusion of the Obergefell opinion deserve to be his judicial epitaph. “It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage,” he wrote. “Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” But the Constitution grants only those rights that the Supreme Court says it grants, and a new majority can and will bestow those rights, and take them away, in chilling new ways.

Snopes: "A June 2018 news report accurately described the controversial reality of children facing deportation proceedings without legal representation."

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At 9:17 AM, Blogger Gadfly said...

His son is most certainly NOT why Tony the Pony resigned. He'd been at Deutsche Bank before Jan. 20, 2017, and DB also had been under investigation at that time. So, if it WERE an issue of the son, Tony would have resigned when Trump took office.

At 9:29 AM, Blogger edmondo said...

Sorry Gadfly....
the truth doesn't matter to these guys. They have Trump Derangement Syndrome, just like the GOP had Obama Derangement Syndrome 8 years ago. Conspiracy theories abound. It's Pizzagate on steroids but coming from the other side. Trump's policies are stupid, shortsighted and dangerous, why not attack him on those instead shit he may or may not have done before the Democrats nominated the only person in the world who could lose to a game show host?

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evangelicals considered $hillary to be the devil. I don't recall them making a deal with her.

What evangelicals are going to get out of this is global war that they can't win without destroying everything they claim to value. Sure, worldly things are of no importance to them. But the rest of us aren't going to be very Christ-like toward them if they succeed even partly in their vile and delusional obsessions to end it all for all of us.

At 1:46 PM, Anonymous innocent bystander said...

Jeez ... is it Maria Canwell, Maria Cantell or Maria Cantwell? I can't tell.

You guys really need a volunteer on-board with proof-reading and editing chops.

Second-of-all, Justin Kennedy, Justice Kennedy's son, appears to be involved more deeply than it appears in the back-story of Kennedy's resignation.

Look here at what Digby posted:

At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gadfly, It is probable that junior kennedy presumed that his money laundering activity wrt Russia via trump would be overlooked or that trump would sack Mueller or that Mueller's job was simply to run out the clock until November.

Even so, kennedy knew he had to stay on the court in order to serve up the anti-woman, anti-labor and pro-religious-hate 5-4s the Nazis wanted.

Also, his recusal on matters regarding junior would simply result in 4-4 deadlocks and 'no-decisions'. Not sure why he fears that except for the optics.

He was only allowed to be a swing vote on matters on which the money is indifferent. When he was affirmed (89-1 was it?), he knew his job was to serve the money, moneyed and corporations with pure fidelity. This he has done faithfully, even writing the ridiculously schizophrenic CU decision in which he totally repudiates some of his own lower court decisions. But you does your job, correct?

Anyone who believes this court has simply been "divided" for the past 2 or 3 decades is a fool... a colossal fool.

the next white guy will be asked about roe or stare decisis and he will give the stock republican lie (just like kennedy, Thomas, scalia, alito, Roberts and gorsuch did). That'll be good enough for Collins who will give a thumb's up. **OR** she'll cynically wait to see how many democraps (probably 6 or so) will affirm the Nazi... and that will allow her to vote nay. Either way...

the next guy will make it a weighted Nazi court who will unabashedly find for the fuhrer whenever he does anything. In other words, nothing will change.

At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christians loved hitler too.

When they make the deal, they don't sell their soul (they have none), they sell their intellect.

The defining characteristic of Christianity is that its evil only requires a dearth of intellect. The soul, like their god, is a myth.


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