SCOTUS SAYS NO TO WHITAKER APPEAL | RBG Still WFH, But On Road To Recovery | Why Obsessing Over Her Health Is Bad For Democracy
January 14, 2019
THAT'S A NO FROM ME DAWG|
The Supreme Court today turned away a challenge to the appointment of MATTHEW WHITAKER as acting attorney general. Two cases — one out of Maryland and another out of Nevada — claim PRESIDENT TRUMP did not have the authority to appoint Whitaker. While the justices denied taking on the Nevada case, the one from Maryland is still before a federal judge.
WHAT'S LEFT UNSAID|
On Friday, the Supreme Court added eight new cases to its docket, including one on how gun laws apply to immigrants and another on whether police can draw blood from unconscious motorists suspected of drunk driving. However, as Adam Liptak with The New York Times points out, justices left “an unusually large number” of pending high-profile cases untouched. Liptak says, “If the court is to hear any of those cases this term, it will have to act soon. If it does not grant review by next week, the court’s past practices indicate that any cases it does eventually agree to hear will not be argued until its next term starts in October.” Included in those pending petitions regarding Trump administration policies on DACA and transgender people serving in the military.
ON THE COME-UP|
ICYMI the Supreme Court announced on Friday that JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG has no additional cancer and no further treatment is needed at this time. Nina Totenberg and Domenico Montanaro with NPR report that this is the third time the Notorious RBG has had cancer. They write, “Ginsburg fans can rest a bit easier with the news; doctors say that her odds of long-term survival are in the neighborhood of 80 percent.”
BAD FOR DEMOCRACY|
In The Washington Post, Morgan Jerkins argues that obsessing over JUSTICE GINSBURG’S health is bad for you, bad for me, and bad for democracy. Jerkins says that although the ongoing health watch reflects RBG’s stature and importance, it also reflects “our desperation in this new political landscape.” Jerkins argues that for liberals looking for their viewpoints to endure in the Age of Trump, “It’s easier to focus on keeping one woman alive than to tackle our broader national dysfunction and division. [But] we need to prepare ourselves for the 2020 election and elevate new people at all levels of politics, especially those willing to fight for more liberal judicial nominees. And we need to expand the infrastructure to develop, elevate and support those nominees who will match conservative institutions such as the Federalist Society.”
This morning, the Supreme Court turned away an appeal from U.S. troops looking to sue defense contractors for developing cancers, neurological damage and other illnesses because of their negligent operation of burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lawrence Hurley with Reuters explains that the justices’ move leaves in place a lower court ruling in favor of companies KBR and Halliburton.
PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS|
Greg Stohr with Bloomberg reports that among the rejections from the Supreme Court this morning was one regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Justices turned away a broad challenge to the structure of the CFPB that contended the agency has so much power and so little accountability it violates the constitutional separation of powers.
WHEN NO ONE'S LOOKING|
“Can Congress void a tribal treaty without telling anyone?” That’s the issue (and title) at the heart of the latest piece from Garrett Epps in The Atlantic which discusses the Supreme Court case, Herrera v. Wyoming. Epps writes, “The formal issue in Herrera is the conviction of a Crow tribal member for hunting elk out of season. The underlying issue is whether a treaty with the Crow tribe of Montana remains in force, or whether Congress junked it without telling anyone.”
POD DU JOUR|
The latest episode of First Mondays catches us up on the first week of the January sitting and everything the high court has been up to, including JUSTICE BRETT KAVANAUGH’S first majority opinion. Listen in to the podcast titled, “Decent Take.”