ARGUMENTS DELAYED TO HONOR BUSH | The Supreme Court Legacy Of H.W. | What Are Justices’ Favorite Phrases
December 3, 2018
HONORING A PRESIDENT|
Friday night, GEORGE H.W. BUSH passed away at the age of 94. The Supreme Court is delaying its Wednesday arguments this week in order to observe the national day of mourning planned for the former president. His funeral will take place on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Washington National Cathedral. He is set to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda from Monday through Wednesday morning.
A LEGACY THAT LASTS|
Remarking on the life and legacy of GEORGE H.W. BUSH, Ariane de Vogue with CNN suggests that his most lasting legacy is none other than JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS. “It’s been more than quarter century since Bush left the White House, but Justice Clarence Thomas — appointed by Bush in 1991 — serves as a reminder that a president’s impact can reverberate long after his presidency.”
NO MORE SOUTERS|
But Bush’s Supreme Court record was anything but straightforward. As Richard Wolf with USA Today points out, “In the middle two years of his single term in office, Bush chose one of the most liberal judges ever nominated by a Republican president, then one of the most conservative.” Former justice DAVID SOUTER established a “lengthy liberal record” that included him playing an instrumental role in preserving abortion rights nationwide.
Former executive editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson spoke with NPR’s Michel Martin about PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH’S Supreme Court nominations. Abramson explains the tension the president had to deal with after it became clear to conservatives that Souter wasn’t going to be a jurist favorable to their policies, and she addresses Bush’s handling of the nomination of Thomas and the ANITA HILL scandal. She says, “Presidents — we see that now — despite facts that mount up otherwise, they often want to believe what they want to believe. And I think that President Bush was probably sincere in his belief that Anita Hill was lying and that Thomas’ categorical denial was the truth.”
Today, the Supreme Court dealt with a case involving bar fees — and not the fun kind. Justices told a lower court to take another look at a case challenging mandatory fees lawyers pay to a state bar association. They asked for the lower court to further consider the petition of a North Dakota attorney who sued after learning that bar fees were being used to oppose a ballot measure he supported. The lawyer says he should have to affirmatively consent to paying for the bar association’s political activities instead of being able to opt out.
BUILD BABY BUILD|
Also today, SCOTUS snubbed an environmental challenge to the authority of the Trump administration to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. This comes as a victory for PRESIDENT TRUMP who has made the wall a centerpiece of his hardline immigration policies. Without comment, the justices left in place a ruling that cleared the administration to construct two segments of replacement fence and build several border-wall prototypes.
“When you sit through almost all the Supreme Court arguments in a week, a month or even a term (as The Associated Press does), you hear the same phrases over and over.” That’s Mark Sherman with AP reporting on the “verbal signatures” of the justices including that of SONIA SOTOMAYOR, who often says “I’m sorry” in a tone that suggests she is anything but that. Sherman notes, “For invocations of the same phrases across many arguments, Sotomayor and Gorsuch win the prize. Sotomayor said she’s sorry 98 times last term and 30 times so far since the new term began in October. Gorsuch employed some form of ‘help me out’ 25 times last term and 10 times since October.”
OTHER NEWSThe Washington Post
“The Supreme Court next week takes up the case of a small-time Alabama felon, Terance Gamble, who complains that his convictions by state and federal prosecutors for the same gun possession crime violate constitutional protections against double jeopardy. But likely to be watching the proceedings closely will be those concerned about a big-time felon, Republican consultant and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was prosecuted by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III for tax fraud.”The National Law Journal
“A coalition of 18 law firms that specialize in Supreme Court advocacy told the court Friday that proposed rules aimed at trimming the length of briefs ‘would be harmful’ to lawyers’ ability to ‘thoroughly and thoughtfully brief issues that are critical to the court’s resolution of the cases before it.'”FiveThirtyEight
“One chapter in which Faris outlines a plan to pack the Supreme Court and instate term limits for the justices has gotten perhaps the most attention. Faris credits an organization called Fix The Court for coming up with some of the specifics of the plan he outlines in the book: a constitutional amendment revoking lifetime tenure for the federal judiciary, a law that allows the president to appoint a justice in the first and third year of his term of office and that imposes 18-year term limits on justices, and a restructuring that increases the number of justices on the Supreme Court to 11 or 13, ‘depending on how many justices President Trump ends up appointing.'”