Upcoming SCOTUS Case With Sweeping Implications For Police Power | A Stunning Dissent From Justice Clarence Thomas
February 23, 2021
I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE|
Yesterday the Supreme Court finally decided DONALD TRUMP must comply with subpoenas for his tax records and other financial documents. Mike McIntire with The New York Times reports it’s not just important what Manhattan’s D.A. CYRUS VANCE stands to find in these documents, but also what he doesn’t. “When New York prosecutors finally get to examine the federal tax returns of former President Donald J. Trump, they will discover a veritable how-to guide for getting rich while losing millions of dollars and paying little to no income taxes. Whether they find evidence of crimes, however, will also depend on other information not found in the actual returns.”
NOT SO SIMPLE|
Kara Scannell with CNN notes that once Manhattan prosecutors have DONALD TRUMP’S tax records in hand, they’ll be able to pursue more interviews with key witnesses and possibly determine whether any state laws have been violated. She explains CYRUS VANCE will get Trump’s tax returns dating back to 2011, as well as financial statements, engagement agreements, documents relating to the preparation and review of tax returns, and communications relating to the tax returns. “Former prosecutors say bringing a tax or financial fraud case is difficult, especially since Trump relied on lawyers and accountants for advice. Adding to that is the complexity of real estate, where there is more leeway in deriving valuations. In some instances, they say, certain tax write-offs or valuations may on the surface appear suspicious but could turn out to be proper under the law.”
ORDER UP FOR TWO WHOPPERS|
SCOTUS yesterday also agreed to take up two cases stemming from Trump-era policies. Adam Liptak with The New York Times reports on the Supreme Court’s decision to take up first, a case involving limits on a federal women’s health program that restrict access to abortions, and second, an immigration case concerning the public-charge rule.
NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE|
John Fritze with USA Today previews a case to be argued at the Supreme Court Wednesday “with sweeping implications for police power.” A California man was pulling into his driveway when a patrol officer flipped on his flashing lights. The resident pulled into his garage and closed the door, but the officer put his foot under the descending door so it would go back up. The resident was charged with a DUI after a test revealed his blood-alcohol content was three times the legal limit. Fritze writes that the question is whether the officer was “on constitutionally shaky ground” when he entered the garage without a warrant.
WHILE WE'RE AT IT|
“Next Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear two cases that could shred much of what remains of the right to be free from racial discrimination at the polls. The defendants’ arguments in two consolidated cases, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee and Arizona Republican Party v. Democratic National Committee, are some of the most aggressive attacks on the right to vote to reach the Supreme Court in the post-Jim Crow era.” That’s Ian Millhiser with Vox reporting on two DNC cases concerning a pair of Arizona laws that make it more difficult to vote. But he says what’s most important to keep an eye out is whether justices use this as an opportunity to gut the Voting Rights Act.
Mark Joseph Stern with Slate writes about an opinion issued by JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS yesterday in which he was “ranting against the alleged dangers of mail voting.” Stern argues the language used by the Supreme Court justice promoted and lent credence to former PRESIDENT TRUMP’S lies about vote by mail. Stern suggests, “Today, of course, Democrats do have the opportunity to expand the court, and those lawmakers who oppose judicial reform should look carefully at Monday’s opinions. Here we have the spectacle of three conservative justices betraying every known principle of conservative jurisprudence in an effort to prevent states from safeguarding suffrage in the future.”