WHY JUSTICE GORSUCH THINKS WE SHOULD ALL BE ORIGINALISTS | Senator Whitehouse Defends Amicus Brief | A Brief History Of The Electoral College
September 9, 2019
“I am trying to follow the law. Nobody’s telling me what to do.” Those are the words of JUSTICE NEIL M. GORSUCH who recently discussed his work on the Supreme Court and his new book, “A Republic, If You Can Keep It.” Richard Wolf with USA Today writes, “The book is, like the justice himself, a study in contrasts. Folksy and self-deprecating, the court’s lone westerner came from Colorado in 2017 with rhetorical guns blazing, amply filling the late conservative Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the bench. It took him only two terms to lead his colleagues in dissents.”
A SIMPLER TIME|
The National Law Journal published an excerpt from JUSTICE GORSUCH’S new book which details his journey from Colorado to Washington, D.C. to become PRESIDENT TRUMP’S nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Apparently, on the Sunday before the scheduled Thursday evening announcement of his nomination, Gorsuch and his wife hosted two White House lawyers for dinner. They had their usual Sunday dinner of chicken curry, and when the lawyers first arrived in the afternoon, Gorsuch was out mowing the lawn.
Kyle Peterson for The Wall Street Journal also looks at JUSTICE GORSUCH’S new book in which the justice argues that “we should all be originalists.” Peterson also finds another theme of the book to be “the separation of powers as a bulwark of liberty.” In both the book, and in conversation with the justice, Peterson finds Gorsuch to be down-to-earth.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE|
“Some justices ascend to the Supreme Court quietly, deferring to their elders and biding time before venturing out too far to offer their own views of the law. JUSTICE NEIL M. GORSUCH, on the other hand, appears to have been shot from a cannon.” That’s Robert Barnes and Seung Min Kim with The Washington Post discussing the new-ish justice, how he’s established himself as a no-nonsense originalist, and why he’s everything conservatives hoped for and liberals feared.
In The Washington Post, Senate Democrat SHELDON WHITEHOUSE argues that the Supreme Court has become just another arm of the Republican party. He explains the reasoning behind the amicus brief he and a few of his Senate colleagues filed with SCOTUS that had caused something of a hubbub among court watchers. “Politics is a team sport. We battle, and our courts are supposed to referee our disputes. But what if one team spent years and millions of dollars to capture the referees, so the refs could declare that team the winner whenever they fell short on the field? If you were on the other team, you’d cry foul. You’d ask: ‘Hey, when did the law become a team sport, too?’ A few weeks ago, several Senate colleagues and I did just that…We cried foul.”
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Last week, David Savage with the Los Angeles Times reported on the Supreme Court’s pending review of a “fast-track appeal” from the Trump administration in which it is trying to close the door to asylum seekers. Savage writes, “The emergency appeal filed late last month on behalf of ATTY. GEN. WILLIAM BARR asks the justices to set aside lower court orders blocking the rule and allow it to be enforced immediately. A decision could come within a week. If the court’s conservatives agree and grant Barr’s appeal, it would be the latest example of how the Trump administration is making major changes in the execution of laws while bypassing Congress and avoiding months or even years of fighting in lower federal courts.”
SCOTUS VIEWSThe Atlantic
“The electoral system is a disaster; those concerned with its dangers would do better to support the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, under which states bind their electors to vote for the popular-vote winner. That has its own risks—a rogue legislature might try to violate its pledge. But they pale beside the Hamilton alternative.”The Washington Post
“The last gun-control measure Congress passed was the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban (which expired in 2004). Since then, the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, which struck down a D.C. law banning handguns, represents a potentially significant new barrier to passing gun-control legislation. For the first time, the court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm for self-defense, unconnected with militia service. Today, the Supreme Court, with an even stronger conservative majority, seems poised to extend this ruling to other aspects of gun ownership.”The Hill
“Today, however, the use of the royal prerogative in the United Kingdom is ‘subject to the common law duties of fairness and reason.’ It can be abolished by statute or challenged in court. Likewise, for purposes of U.S. law, the Supreme Court in Schick v. Reed observed in 1974 that pardons are only acceptable under ‘conditions which do not themselves offend the Constitution.’ A sitting president’s solicitation of bribes to aid his reelection efforts offends the Constitution.”
“Reformers hoping to rein in partisan gerrymandering have a big idea that’s caught on in several states: handing the redistricting power over to an independent commission, rather than politicians in the legislature, as Michigan’s electorate voted to do last year. But now, Michigan Republicans have filed a lawsuit to try and strike that commission down. And they’re using a longshot legal argument that could put similar bodies in other states at risk, too, with serious implications for the next round of state and congressional redistricting after the 2020 Census.”