Justice Breyer is Wrong Again

Former Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is out with a new book [emphasis in the title], Reading the Constitution: Why I Chose Pragmatism, Not Textualism. In an interview with The New York Times, he had this to say about originalism, textualism, and relatively newly appointed Justices.

Recently, major cases have come before the court while several new justices have spent only two or three years at the court. Major changes take time, and there are many years left for the newly appointed justices to decide whether they want to build the law using only textualism and originalism.

Why Trump Remains on the Ballot

The US Supreme Court ruled Monday that former President and current Republican Primary Presidential candidate Donald Trump will remain on all of the relevant election ballots, overruling the Colorado State Supreme Court directly and Maine’s Secretary of State by extension. The Court’s reasoning is important. From the ruling’s second paragraph:

Because the Constitution makes Congress, rather than the States, responsible for enforcing Section 3 [of the 14th Amendment] against federal officeholders and candidates, we reverse.

The Court expanded on this, quoting Chief Justice Samuel Chase in his 1869 Griffin’s Case ruling:

Trump’s Immunity Case and Judicial Courage

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear former President and current Republican Presidential primary candidate Donald Trump’s case for Presidential immunity from prosecution for acts taken while he was President and acting in that capacity. The Wall Street Journal editors are correct in writing that [t]he Justices are right to rule on Trump’s immunity claim even if it delays a trial.

To call that a courageous move, though, is a bit premature. Chief Justice John Roberts is well-known for ducking controversy in favor of “preserving” the Court’s legacy and credibility. He’s done that whenever he can by getting the Court to rule as narrowly as possible on any particular case.

Another Reason to Rescind Chevron Defense

As The Wall Street Journal‘s editors put it in their editorial last Tuesday, nothing is stopping the

Securities and Exchange Commission and prosecutors from finding [regulatory] meaning in statutory penumbras.

Now the SEC is manufacturing a rule based on nothing but the æther in SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s mind. Gensler has hailed into court a pharmaceutical company employee for the “insider trading” crime of trading in options on the stock shares of another pharmaceutical company, a company about which the man had no insider information at all. Not a whit.

What Damages?

Stipulate, arguendo, that Republican Primary Presidential candidate Donald Trump was, indeed, guilty of civil fraud as New York judge Arthur Engoron ruled regarding the way Trump valued his properties in order to obtain loans. As a result of that civil conviction, Engoron has ordered, among other things, that Trump must pay more than $350 million in “ill-gotten profits” which are some sort of “damages.”

I have to ask: what damage? What ill-gotten profit? All the bank loans were repaid in full along with all of the associated interest accumulated over the lives of the loans. Think about that for a moment. The question of damage goes, or should go, far beyond the proximate question of whether the banks got all that was due them under the terms of those loans.

Valid Arguments

Several States’ Attorneys General have filed an amicus brief in a Supreme Court case centered on whether Texas and Florida statutes that limit Big Tech’s ability to censor speech done on their platforms are legitimate. The analogy they draw is one valid argument.

[Summarized by Fox News]: [G]iving Big Tech the ability to moderate or censor users’ content would be like giving cable or telephone companies permission to cut phone lines on speech at their discretion. The AGs note that under federal “must-carry requirements,” those companies are banned from subjugating any speech on their lines.


Racism, Arrogance Against Election Integrity

In the aftermath of the 2020 election confusions in Georgia (both general and runoff), that State passed its Election Integrity Act that, among other things, shortened Georgia’s early voting period from nine weeks to four, reduced the window for mail-in ballots, and moved the deadline for registering to vote to 29 days before an election.

The Sixth Dist. of the Afr. Methodist Episcopal Church, the Ga. State Conf. of the NAACP, and The Concerned Black Clergy of Metro. Atlanta Inc., joined by the Federal government’s DoJ, sued to strike the law as voter suppressing—the stricter voting period unfairly discriminates against Black voters, among other complaints.

Maybe the Judge Isn’t Entirely Correct

A Florida man was charged by the Feds for possessing a firearm in a US Post Office facility. A Federal district judge ruled the law governing his arrest to be unconstitutional.

US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, an appointee of former President Trump, cited a 2022 landmark US Supreme Court decision that expanded gun rights when she handed down her ruling Friday that dismissed part of an indictment charging a postal worker with illegally possessing a gun in a federal facility.

So far, so good. But:

[T]he judge declined to dismiss a separate charge for forcibly resisting arrest.

Immigration TBD Notices

The Supreme Court is considering a case involving an illegal alien who was…paroled…into the US on his promise to appear in court for his asylum hearing on the specified date, which was named as TBD on his release/parole paper. Later, when a date came open, the illegal alien was emailed his date certain, and when he didn’t appear, he was tracked down, arrested, and is in deportation hearing status. The illegal alien claims he never got the emailed notice, and his case has wound up before the Supremes.

An Extortion Lawsuit

Lawyer Anthony Russo of the Florida-based Russo Firm, says his client Cynthia Kelly and “not less than 100” and perhaps even “thousands” of others have suffered horrific emotional damage.

It seems that seasonal versions of Hershey’s Reese’s chocolate-covered peanut butter candies variously depicted pumpkin shapes with the candy’s peanut butter filling showing through eyes and a mouth carved into the chocolate or football shapes with laces similarly carved. On unpeeling the wrapper, though, shocker of shockers, the chocolate coverings were intact. The bodice-ripping. The emotional rending, the fall-to-the-floor sobbing paroxisms (I exaggerate, but not by much). Lawyer Russo is suing Hershey over the riptide of emotion the nefarious company has so callously caused.