Saturday, February 13, 2016


UPDATE:  Senate Majority Leader  Mitch McConnell, and Presidential Candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio call for a one year delay in replacing the late Antonin Scalia.  This is unprecedented.  Further the fact they are already starting the nuclear partisan attack tells you how little regard the three have for life.

Further update:  Historians have found in the early and mid 1800's this delay happened twice.  In both cases it backfired.  The Democrats do have the ability to filibuster all Senate Bills until there is a vote on the nomination.  The filibuster of today is a lot stronger than the filibuster of the 1800's.  When polling data shows the delay is hurting Republicans, the nomination will go forward.  But it may be the new Justice participates in very few of this Term'ss decisions.  Most cases will be already argued in the time it takes a new Justice to take their seat.

The BV reported the story by noting he was amiable with his liberal counterparts and in particular Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan, and then limited the discussion to its impact on the presidential election.  Not the Republicans they had to start with the absurdity that the Supreme Court will remain with only 8 Justices for a year.  Apparently the Senate Majority leader, Cruz and Rubio fail to understand how the 4/4 rule works.  It means all of the moderate and liberal opinions coming out the various court of appeals will stand.


Associate Justice Scalia died in his sleep while hunting in Texas.  He often went hunting with his more liberal counter part Elena Kagan who he taught to hunt.  Before the political analysis, although many saw him as an unmovable conservative, when it came to people he was actually quite amiable with his liberal counterparts.  He attended the opera with liberal Ruth Ginsburg and taught liberal Elena Kagan how to hunt.


In a 4/4 split with the Supreme Court the court of appeals' opinions holds.  The appellate courts are dominated by moderates and liberals.  This is a game changer. 

The U.S. Senate is about to a come to  a standstill.  All President Obama has to do is refuse to sign any law until the Senate gives his nominee a straight up and down vote.  The Democrats can filibuster and shut down the Senate until there is a vote on President Obama's nominee.  If the Republicans were smart - laughing too hard to - hold on a second - okay stopped laughing - they will allow Obama's nomination through and then use this fact as a reason why conservatives have to turn out and vote Republican for the Republican nominee. 

The presidential candidates are going to make this a cornerstone issue in the campaign.  Respect will mean a few days without this issue going nuclear, but you watch after the funeral it will be all out war by the candidates.  The left and the right in this country could turn November into one of the highest turnouts for a presidential election in more than several generations.


Anonymous said...

Yes, a 4-4 deadlock votes means that Lowe court rulings stand. That doesn't mean that these rulings can't be revisited by later Supreme Courts that have a different makeup.

BobbyWC said...

yes they can, but it could take years even decades before the case comes back around. The time for a motion for rehearing before the Supreme Court will be dead in a year. So anyone wanting to change the ruling will have to spend years starting from scratch one.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Just like affirmative action.....that's been brought many times before the court. What I'm trying to point out is that the issue is divisive enough, there will be a constituency that will fight for it, regardless of time.

BobbyWC said...

yes, the issues always recycle - in education = Plessy v. Ferguson - separate but equal is constitutional. Brown v. Board of Education - Separate but equal is inherently unequal. I believe it was Justice Jackson who said - I could be wrong and I paraphrase- "just because I was unconsciously wrong yesterday does not mean I should be consciously wrong today."

Also a big problem is people misquote existing law. The U.S. Supreme Court did not find a constitutional right to an abortion in Roe v. Wade. They found the right is not unqualified. The right in 1973 was based on then known medical evidence. That was the reasoning behind the "qualified" versus absolute right distinction. Medical evidence has changed. Based on the core reasoning in Roe anti-abortion advocates using medical evidence while relying on Roe itself can limit abortion in terms of today's medical knowledge. But they do not because they keep on misquoting what the Supreme Court actually found in its opinion.

With the exception of abortion I can think of no case wherein the court has back peddled. Even there I do not believe they have back peddled. I think they are following the "qualified right" found in Roe.

On affirmative action that is a different question. Justice OConner made a compelling argument after so many years of laws protecting minorities it is time to change. That is fine. But the good news is with the voting rights act gutted on preclearance we are seeing courts finding the South is going back to its old tricks. These findings are going to make it easier for the liberal wing of the court to say Justice OConner while correct at a substantive level may have been premature in her findings as to the direction of the country.

Also the issue is really no longer affirmative action - it s about diversity. There is a valid educational argument that diversity in student population is important to the educational mission. This would have nothing to do with affirmative action.

But as I posted, maybe for different reasons, I believe the late Justice Scalia was right in raising the question are we encouraging failure by pushing some poor minority students into the wrong universities in the name of diversity?

UTEP just ranked #1 for the 4th consecutive year by Washington Monthly magazine in the category of social mobility. UTEP alongside Harvard, Stanford, U of Cal., U of Cal., Berkley, and the University of Washington among the top 10 national universities. Such things as dedication to access, excellence, affordability, and quality were variables considered in the ranking.

These changes have to come at the local level. I wish the TSC Board would go visit Dr. Diana Natalicio [so as not to cause a storm she is German I believe and married a Latino] at UTEP. They might learn how to change TSC into a more student friendly system. Their current instructional method is a disaster. I hope the new Board after the election goes back to instructors controlling their classroom and having to write their own lesson plans and tests.

Right now I have two young ladies practicing for the Air Force exam. They are going to San Antonio with the Air Force to be trained in the medical fields. It's free and they pay you while you train. TSC is a waste of money and time for training in the medical field. The entire existing system needs to be dumped and remade.

Bobby WC