How SCOTUS Could Soon Define Our Democracy For The Ages | Assessing The Courts’ Track Record Of Transparency
November 22, 2019
DEFINING OUR DEMOCRACY|
Now that the impeachment inquiry hearings have concluded, it cannot be overstated just how critical the Supreme Court’s next move on presidential power will be. Joan Biskupic with CNN does a pretty great job of painting us a picture on the role justices will play in defining our democracy. She writes, “The US Supreme Court now stands at the precipice of a constitutional clash that could determine whether DONALD TRUMP or any future president may elude an investigation and defy requests for documents. Depending on the extent of the court’s moves, it could influence Congress’ oversight authority for the ages.” That constitutional clash is over the president’s financial records, and Biskupic explains SCOTUS could act as soon as today in the dispute.
READY READY FOR ACTION|
Yesterday, a pair of filings — one from a House Committee and one from Manhattan prosecutors — urged the Supreme Court to take action in the two separate cases regarding the president’s financial records. Lawyers for the House Oversight and Reform Committee said in its brief to the high court that there is no precedent for keeping a House committee from examining Trump’s financial records. Citing the impeachment inquiry, House lawyers urged SCOTUS to reject DONALD TRUMP’S attempt to shield his records from congressional investigators. They said, “Each day of delay harms Congress by depriving it of important information it needs to carry out its constitutional responsibilities.”
THE "IN" CROWD|
Robert Barnes with The Washington Post reports on revelations in a new book that say JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY asked PRESIDENT TRUMP to consider BRETT KAVANAUGH, one of his former clerks, to be his replacement. In “Supreme Ambition: Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative Takeover”, Ruth Marcus explains, “The justice’s message to the president was as consequential as it was straightforward, and it was a remarkable insertion by a sitting justice into the distinctly presidential act of judge picking.”
ED BOARD OVERTURE|
The Editorial Board of The Wall Street Journal wonders how the Supreme Court’s newest justices will take up the mantle of the late JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA and define the meaning of textualism and originalism this term and beyond — even as JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN tries to lure them away from those tools of interpretation.
DEMOCRATS AND THEIR MISSING LINK|
“The Supreme Court will probably overrule decades of progressive precedents and strike down the next Democratic president’s reforms. You would not know this from watching the 2020 Democratic presidential debates.” That’s Mark Joseph Stern with Slate pointing out that Dems seem to be ignoring their own reality as they advocate for ambitious proposals without explaining how such proposals would ever survive SCOTUS. And here’s where he really lays it all out: “It’s not just the debates—Democratic politicians rarely talk about the courts at all. There is an enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to the judiciary: GOP voters are more likely to be motivated by the opportunity to fill judicial vacancies, which is why Trump ran on a promise of appointing archconservative judges. Democratic voters focus more on individual political issues, and their party has never prioritized judges—or campaigned on the fact that every political dispute is ultimately resolved as a judicial question.”
THIS SHOULD NOT STAND|
Fix the Court revealed today a list of every time FTC and its allies have requested expedited (same-day or live) audio or video for a federal court hearing over the last three years. Unfortunately, only 26 percent of Fix the Court’s requests have been granted since 2017. The organization’s Executive Director, GABE ROTH, said of this news, “Despite some important victories on broadcast over the last few years, the judiciary’s overall posture — that courts are permitted to shield their public exercises from the vast majority of the public — should not stand. This calls out for congressional action.”