Category Archives: Supreme Court

White House touts bipartisan Praise of Gorsuch

Bipartisan Praise For The “Impossible To Oppose” Judge Neil Gorsuch “Sterling Legal And Academic Credentials” … “A Brilliant Legal Mind” … “Very Ethical” … “An Exceptional Jurist” Above The Law’s David Lat On Judge Gorsuch: “Stellar Credentials…” “In my view, the choice between Judge Gorsuch and Judge Hardiman comes down to how Establishment and elitist the president wants to be. Both judges have stellar credentials, but Judge Gorsuch’s shine just a little more brightly.” (David Lat, “Supreme Court Update: And Then There Were Four,” Above The Law, 1/24/17) Lat: “He’s Brilliant, Conservative And Impossible To Oppose.” (Mark K. Matthews And Kirk Mitchell, “What You Need To Know About Colorado Judge Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s Rumored Top Pick For The Supreme Court,” Denver Post, 1/30/17) SCOTUSBlog’s Eric Citron: “[Gorsuch’s] Read more

Stolen Valor Act Introduced in the Delaware House of Representatives

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Delaware 41st District State Representative, Rich Collins (R-Millsboro) has proposed HB 80, the Stolen Valor Act. The bill, as written, would expand the legal definition of "criminal impersonation" to include those who falsely claim to be current or past members of the US military for the fraudulent purpose of "obtaining money, property, or other tangible benefit." The proposed statute would treat this as a Class A misdemeanor and impose a minimum fine of $1,000 on persons convicted. Representative Collins stated that his legislation differs considerably from a previously failed federal statute that was ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 2012 in a six to three decision that held that the law infringed on an individual's right to protected speech in reference to false claims of having been awarded military medals, awards or honors. "I Read more

McBurney V. Young–FIOA can be limited

The High Court is dealing with a lot  of high profile cases this term, but one below the radar could affect local governments.  It is a Open Records case.  The Court dealt with a provision of Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act, but since it was decided by applying provisions of the United States Constitution, it is relevant to Delaware. The Supreme Court addressed whether or not states could limit their Freedom of Information Act records requests to only citizens of the state. The US Supreme Court unanimously determined that the provision of Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act limiting records access to citizens of the State is constitutional.   This potentially affects Delaware  our State statute provides that “…records shall not be denied to any citizen” (29 Del. C 10003(a)), when that provision was challenged in 2005 in the US District Court for the District Read more

1070 Rises Again

It appears that at least 4 Justices think that the lower court rulings against the Arizona immigration law deserve review.  They announced today that they will review the Obama Administration’s challenge to the law.  This will be an interesting summer.  In between the last votes for party nominations for President and the Conventions, will be some high profile Supreme Court rulings including this and the Unaffordable Health Deform Act.  It will be a good time to be blogging.

Natural Rights?

Kagan: "To be honest with you, I don't have a view of what are natural rights independent of the Constitution." Yes, she sounds mainstream enough for me.  Let's hurry up and confirm her.  Who needs natural law? Read more at the Washington Examiner: This is an interesting discussion on the eve of Independence Day.  The Founders believed that the Constitution had to be interpreted in the light of the Declaration.  The two go together.  The Declaration is our Charter and the Constitution is our governing document.  If you look at the Constitution alone you get the letter of the law without the spirit of the law.  That is my view; what is yours? Read more

It’s Our Right

It is a great victory for the fundamental right of self defense.
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Chicago handgun ban in a landmark ruling that limits state’s gun control laws across the country. With a 5-4 majority ruling, Justice Samuel Alito said the US Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms “for the purpose of self-defense,” limiting state and local governments’ ability to control guns.

Shocker Kagan is a Liberal

In the papers that have been released from the Clinton Library, we find that Elena Kagan is a liberal. That is not a surprise, but at least she does not seem to be a radical. It looks like there are few speed bumps to her confirmation. The news is not all bad for conservatives. She does have independent thought and an open mind on religious freedom. In one case likely to be cited by her allies as evidence that she's no liberal, Kagan criticized a California court for rejecting a landlady's claim that a state anti-discrimination law violated her religious freedom. In a 1996 memo, Kagan suggested that her appeal should be taken by the Supreme Court and that the justices should side with the landlady, who refused to rent to unmarried couples based on her belief that sex outside of marriage was wrong. Kagan criticized as "quite outrageous" a finding by the California Supreme Read more

Just Asking–What is protected speech

My understanding of the first amendment is that it primarily focused on protecting political and religious speech.  Solicitor General Kagan is suppose to be a big speech advocate.  She supported 2 Live Crew in a battle to limit obscenity in a landmark case.  She considered it one of her most important contributions.  She fought free speech in the Citizens United Case.  In that case she argued that political speech was subject to more regulation.  She called pamphlets electioneering.  She is on record that anonymous pamphlets should be banned contrary to previous Supreme Court rulings.  Oddly enough, America was founded upon political pamphlets.  The most famous of them was Common Sense.  Anonymous speech has also been vital to our founding.  Anonymous speech allows the focus to be on ideas not personalities.  I wonder what her approach would mean to blogs and other free speech Read more

Kagan’s extremism made to look moderate

Supreme Court nominee Kagan opposed a ban on partial birth abortion.  She however signed on to a compromise which allowed a physical health exception after viability and urged President Clinton to sign on to it.   It is considered worrisome by the abortion caucus of Democrat party. The fact the woman is not insanely for abortion by any means for any measure during viability as a political position is viewed as suspect. She didn’t want her party to get wiped out electorally. If there was any doubt how extreme the Democratic party left is, let it be gone as of now.

Supreme Court Needs to Leave Legislating to Legislators

The High Court delved into legislation today. The Court added more confusion into criminal law and handcuffed state legislators who were fighting crime. The 5 to 4 majority found that an evolving consensus prohibited giving life without parole to someone who was under 18 at the time of the commission of a crime unless it was a homicide. Graham v. Florida was another wrong headed ruling based upon a flawed premise. Cruel and Unusual punishment is a prohibition on judges not a standard law of the legislature. If the normal sentence for a parking ticket is $25, you can't sentence someone you don't like to 25 years. If the normal sentence in a state is 25 years, don't even drive there. It is not up to the court to review other states and determine if that is normal. The reason we have states is because we want to choose among different cultures and standards of criminal law. Petitioner Graham Read more

Breaking Stevens to Retire at End of Term

Update: Coons issued a telling statement on the Stevens retirement. “I trust that President Obama will choose an individual with an underlying judicial philosophy that reflects the legacy of Justice Stevens, and a respect for precedent. I hope that the confirmation process is thorough, thoughtful, civil, and culminates in an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.” Talk about one more reason to vote Republican. All we need are more land grabbing, constitution shreding, criminal releasing, baby killing justices. If that is his model, he is not the man to be U. S. Senator. Justice John Paul Stevens will retire this year. He will be 90 when he departs. This is the second retirement of the liberal block. They are obviously not confident in the reelection prospects of the current ruling regime. Read more

Sotomayor Ruffles Corporate Feathers

Justice Sonia Sotomayor raised a question that has been unchallenged for almost a century. She wondered if corporations have rights. Are corporations extensions of people and subject to the same basic rights? This question affects more than the first amendment case. Abandoning this principle would allow Chavez style seizure of corporate assets and the march of socialism. Let us hope President Obama does not get more "moderate" picks for the SCOUS. This interpretation would allow the government to ban political speech by the NRA, ACLU, Right to Life, Environmental Defense Fund, or whomever is out of favor. It could also further the proposed Rockefeller seizure of the internet. WASHINGTON -- In her maiden Supreme Court appearance last week, Justice Sonia Sotomayor made a provocative comment that probed the foundations of corporate law. During arguments in a campaign-finance case, Read more

My thoughts on Judge Sotomayor

The hearings are over and Judge Sotomayor did no serious damage to herself. She actually gained a few points in the polls. I haven't said much or written much on this subject. I think Dennis Miller may be right that this is inevitable and the Republicans should save their political capital for something where it would make a difference. We need to be winning back Latino Voters not alienating them. My friends who are Puerto Rican have a lot of pride in her appointment. 90% support her. I can't help but think that is representative. This is a group that has been moving Republican. Puerto Rico elected a Republican governor. The Latino vote garnered in 2004 President Bush his margin of victory in FL, NV, and NM. We can't write off the fastest growing demographic in America for a useless exercise. I don't know that the focus on the wise Latina comment had any wisdom to it. It has the Read more

High Court makes Rulings

The Supreme Court of the United States issued a series of rulings which put a limit on government power today. One case brought liberals and conservatives together, the strip searching of a then 13 year old girl for a couple of legal ibuprofen pills which she did not have anyway. I have always been critical of extreme zero tolerance policies. They should be called zero sense polices. The entire purpose of education is teach discernment and logic. When we treat an aspirin or cough drop the same as a hit of crack cocaine, we make a joke of ourselves to the children and undermine our authority as adults. Those same children will not take our word when it comes to avoiding problems which will actually serve to endanger them. The High Court cast a vote for common sense by establishing a danger standard in the determination of reasonable. The ruling which gives Arizona more leeway Read more