Breathtaking Ignorance

Attorney General Merrick Garland is suing Texas over its heartbeat abortion law, and he’s basing it on Constitutional grounds. Garland justified his suit with this:

This kind of scheme to nullify the Constitution of the United States is one that all Americans, whatever their politics or party, should fear[.]

And

The obvious and expressly acknowledged intention of this statutory scheme is to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights by thwarting judicial review for as long as possible[.]

It’s a good thing Garland wasn’t approved for the Supreme Court; his ignorance of our Constitution is breathtaking (and it makes him unfit to sit as AG).

In Which the Supreme Court Gets One Right, So Far

Whole Woman’s Health et al v Austin Reeve Jackson, Judge, et al On Application for Injunctive Relief is a case brought to the Supreme Court by plaintiffs seeking injunction against a newly effective Texas law that bars abortions when a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat and assigns to the citizens of Texas sole authority to enforce the law, through civil court action.

By a 5-4 vote, the Court declined to enter the matter at this stage of litigation, thereby permitting Texas’ law to remain in effect.

I have some thoughts on the matter.

Life Sentences and Parole

Robert F Kennedy’s assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, is up for parole, again. Sirhan’s current defense attorney, Angela Berry, in arguing for his release on parole this time (the 16th time he’s faced a parole hearing):

We can’t change the past, but he was not sentenced to life without the possibility of parole[.]

That’s true enough (he was sentenced to death originally, but when California subsequently (and briefly) eliminated the death penalty, his sentence was commuted to life). However, a life sentence with the possibility of parole carries no guarantee of parole.

A Letter Writer Points Out a Fact

Wayne Detring makes what should be a statement of the obvious in his Letter in The Wall Street Journal‘s Letters page.

Rule 3.1 of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct prohibits lawyers from bringing or defending a proceeding unless there is a basis in law or fact for doing so.

Granted, that’s not strictly binding on lawyers, but it is a strong statement of what’s not acceptable for lawyers to do.

Detring cited further:

A California Judge Has Spoken

Recall California Proposition 22, which exempted Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc, and DoorDash Inc from a California state gig law that, in essence, requires businesses to reclassify their gig associates from independent contractors to employees. That proposition was passed overwhelmingly by the citizens of California.

A California state judge ruled last Friday that the proposition was unconstitutional and so unenforceable. His rationale:

Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch said in Friday’s ruling that Proposition 22 limits the state legislature’s authority and its ability to pass future legislation, which is unconstitutional.

Reading Between the Lines

In an article centered on the relationship between law school student debt and law school graduates’ working income (short answer: law students, in the vast main, borrow far more than their subsequent incomes support), there appeared this statement by a University of Miami law school graduate on why she chose UM and huge debt over a “lesser” law school that offered her a significant scholarship:

You go to any courthouse in Miami and the judge went to UM, the judge is a teacher at UM, there’s some sort of connection to UM[.]

A Thought on Judges Retiring

Article III Judges are appointed to their office for life. This is by entirely correct design and mandated in our Constitution: it’s to maximize the political independence of the judges in our court system.

Engraved above the west entrance to the Supreme Court Building is the promise Equal Justice Under Law. Not equal justice on the law, not equal justice under any particular law. Equal justice under law: equal justice under our system of laws. That’s not a binding promise, it’s an aspiration. Binding, though, is our Constitution, which aside from Order[ing] to form a more perfect Union, provides for that equal justice throughout the first 10 Amendments and makes that requirement for equality under law explicit in the 14th Amendment:

I Dissent

…from the dissenter.

The Supreme Court ruled that Arizona’s voter law is entirely legitimate. That law, you’ll remember, among other things limited who is allowed to return early voting ballots for another person—banned ballot harvesting—and barred counting ballots cast in the wrong precinct.

Among the reasons for upholding Arizona’s law is this:

The court rejected the idea that showing that a state law disproportionately affects minority voters is enough to prove a violation of the law.

Writing in dissent (it was a 6-3 majority), Justice Elena Kagan claimed in part

An Inappropriate Judicial Question

The Apple-Epic trial has gone to the jury (in this case, the judge, the matter being a bench trial). This case centers on the level of commissions Apple charges app developers for marketing their apps in Apple’s App Store and whether those app developers can, under Apple’s rules, market their products/collect revenue for their products through other venues as well as the App Store—vis., in-app advertising.

In the course of the trial, the presiding judge—the “bench”—US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, has asked an inappropriate question.

“Out of Balance Scales”

Juan Williams has joined the Left’s baying at Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer over the latter’s rudeness in staying on the job, rather than politely retiring and getting out of their way. He began his own howl with a question that opened his recent op-ed at The Hill.

How political is today’s Supreme Court?

He continued, citing the well-known statistics journal The Washington Post:

The current 6-3 conservative majority on the court makes it “more conservative than the elected branches [House, Senate and presidency—all controlled by Democrats] to a degree not seen in 70 years.”
The out-of-balance scales of Supreme Court justice can be traced to the heavy hand of Senate Republicans.