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January 29, 2013

Anti-gay marriage group backing SCOTUS effort low on cash

  • $700Kshortfall in Supreme Court fundraising for ProtectMarriage.com, the anti-gay marriage group defending California’s Prop. 8 ban in its hotly-anticipated high court review, according to their attorney Andrew Pugno. The difficulty in finding still-flowing fundraising streams has been of consequence to same-sex marriage opponents recently – in the last round of statewide elections, such groups were outspent heavily in four different ballot races, losing all of them. source
19:49 // 1 year ago
December 31, 2012
Now as then, the Judicial Branch continues to consume a miniscule portion of the federal budget. In fiscal year 2012, the Judiciary, including the Supreme Court, other federal courts, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, and the Federal Judicial Center, received a total 4 appropriation of $6.97 billion. That represented a mere two-tenths of one percent of the United States’ total budget of $3.7 trillion. Yes, for each citizen’s tax dollar, only two-tenths of one penny go toward funding the entire third branch of government! Those fractions of a penny are what the courts need to keep court facilities open, pay judges and staff, manage the criminal justice system (including pre-trial, defender, and probation services), process civil disputes ranging from complex patent cases to individual discrimination suits, and maintain a national bankruptcy court system. Those fractions of a penny are what Americans pay for a Judiciary that is second to none.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts • Pitching the federal judiciary as an example of fiscal efficiency in the midst of the current fiscal crisis in his year-end report. “No one seriously doubts that the country’s fiscal ledger has gone awry. The public properly looks to its elected officials to craft a solution. We in the Judiciary stand outside the political arena, but we can continue to do our part to address the financial challenges within our sphere,” he also said in his statement. (ht Scotusblog)
23:12 // 1 year ago
December 7, 2012
breakingnews:

BREAKING: US Supreme Court will hear gay marriage casesThe US Supreme Court has agreed to take up two gay marriage cases in their first serious look at the issue.The court today granted review of the Defense of Marriage act, a federal law which says marriage can exist only between a man and a woman, and Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California, NBC News reports.More updates on BreakingNews.com.Photo: Gay marriage advocates cheer during a rally outside a federal courthouse in San Francisco moments before hearing that judges had struck down Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, on Feb. 7, 2012. (Beck Diefenbach / Reuters file)

"Now that the Supreme Court is wading into the battle, the justices could decide the more basic issue of whether any state can ban same-sex marriage under the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the law.” This could be big, guys.

breakingnews:

BREAKING: US Supreme Court will hear gay marriage cases

The US Supreme Court has agreed to take up two gay marriage cases in their first serious look at the issue.

The court today granted review of the Defense of Marriage act, a federal law which says marriage can exist only between a man and a woman, and Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California, NBC News reports.

More updates on BreakingNews.com.

Photo: Gay marriage advocates cheer during a rally outside a federal courthouse in San Francisco moments before hearing that judges had struck down Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, on Feb. 7, 2012. (Beck Diefenbach / Reuters file)

"Now that the Supreme Court is wading into the battle, the justices could decide the more basic issue of whether any state can ban same-sex marriage under the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the law.” This could be big, guys.

(via bobbycaputo)

15:33 // 1 year ago
November 26, 2012
Get ready for Round 2… source

Get ready for Round 2… source

18:59 // 1 year ago
July 9, 2012
Supreme Court flip-flops: Health care wasn’t the first. It won’t be the last.
Here’s the first entry in our weekly post series, “The Pitch.” This post, written by our very own Seth Millstein, analyzes the Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Affordable Care Act in wider historical context. Find him on Twitter over here.
Stepping back and looking in wider context: Conservatives were very upset with Chief Justice John Roberts last month when he provided the tie-breaking vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act. That anger grew exponentially when reports surfaced that Roberts had originally voted to overturn the law, but then switched his vote to side with the court’s liberals. Why did Roberts flip-flop? How common is vote switching on the Supreme Court? And how often has a single justice’s indecisiveness significantly affected the law of the land? ShortFormBlog reports. (Read more after the jump.)
[[MORE]]
Preface: How justices think
These are not nine all-wise people who retire to a secret room and come up with the answer that nobody else can figure out. They’re nine human beings who are trying to wrestle with the problem the way the rest of us do.
Former SCOTUS clerk Bill McDaniel • Discussing the nature of Supreme Court justices changing their minds. The Court has a very heavy case-load in a given year,  and the June period is especially heavy. WIth much wheeling and dealing taking place behind the scene, especially among moderates, it’s very likely that nobody’s mind is made up on any individual case immediately.
Some notable historical swaps
11 decision-changing swaps made between 1991 and 1994 alone
Abortion rights In 1992, a last-minute vote switch prevented the overturning of Roe v. Wade. A case involving a highly-restrictive Pennsylvania abortion law made its way to the Supreme Court. Advocates of the legislation argued that, while the law did indeed violate Roe, Roe itselfwas unconstitutional, and should thus be overturned. During the first vote, the court ruled 5-4 in favor of overturning Roe …but then, at the last minute, Justice Kennedy changed his mind, voting with the liberal wing of the court instead.
VCRs (seriously) Do VHS machines violate copyright law? That was the question before the court in 1983, when the entertainment industry argued that, because the devices enable people to record and pirate copyrighted material, they should be outlawed. The initial vote was 5-4 against the video cassette recorder, but Justice Sandra Day O’Conner switched her vote after the majority opinion was written, thus protecting the rights of future nine-year-olds to tape The Mighty Ducks when it came on TV. A single tear for Emilio Estevez.
Homosexuality In 1986, the court debated whether or not anti-sodomy laws were constitutional. Justice Lewis Powell had originally agreed that “homosexual acts,” as they were ominously referred to back then, were permissible in the privacy of one’s home, but then changed his mind, keeping the ban on sodomy in place. This decision was ultimately less influential than Kennedy’s vote-switch, however: Three years later, the court overturned the ruling, and now gay sex is constitutionally-protected.
Reasons for vote swapping
To put it simply: It’s not always what you think it might be. There are several reasons a justice might change their vote midway through the process (although of course, plebes like us will never know for sure):
image Many people suspect that Roberts switched his vote to protect the court from being seen as an overly-partisan institution — an understandable fear, considering that the court had recently made high-profile decisions that proved very unpopular, such as Citizens United.
roots In the sodomy case, Powell’s decision was reportedly influenced by the fact that the plaintiff in the suit, a gay bartender who had been “caught” having sex with another man in his own bedroom, hadn’t actually been prosecuted, but rather filed a civil suit against the state.
effects The VHS case is an interesting one: While O’Connor agreed that VHS violated copyright law, the majority opinion also overturned a lower court’s ruling (on a different, but related question) that she agreed with. Apparently, it was more important to her to uphold that decision.
» Something to keep in mind: Finally, when discussing the ACA ruling, it’s important to keep some perspective. A lot has been made about how the amount of detail that leaked about the court’s internal deliberations was unprecedented — but that’s what they said in 1986 about the Powell case. (“Such information rarely reaches the public,” the LA Times wrote of the leak.) And the theory that Roberts switched his vote to preserve the integrity of the court as an institution? That’s what they said about Kennedy with regard to the abortion case. In short, while the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of the various justices is no doubt fascinating, the process by which the court upheld the ACA wasn’t as anomalous as a lot of the reporting is suggesting.
Seth Millstein is a writer for ShortFormBlog and The Daily. Reach him at @SethMillstein.
 

Supreme Court flip-flops: Health care wasn’t the first. It won’t be the last.

Here’s the first entry in our weekly post series, “The Pitch.” This post, written by our very own Seth Millstein, analyzes the Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Affordable Care Act in wider historical context. Find him on Twitter over here.

Stepping back and looking in wider context: Conservatives were very upset with Chief Justice John Roberts last month when he provided the tie-breaking vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act. That anger grew exponentially when reports surfaced that Roberts had originally voted to overturn the law, but then switched his vote to side with the court’s liberals. Why did Roberts flip-flop? How common is vote switching on the Supreme Court? And how often has a single justice’s indecisiveness significantly affected the law of the land? ShortFormBlog reports. (Read more after the jump.)

Read More

13:10 // 2 years ago
July 8, 2012
Into his conference call, the CNN producer says (correctly) that the Court has held that the individual mandate cannot be sustained under the Commerce Clause, and (incorrectly) that it therefore ‘looks like’ the mandate has been struck down. The control room asks whether they can ‘go with’ it, and after a pause, he says yes.
SCOTUSblog’s Tom Goldstein • Looking back at what caused the mistaken reporting of the Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act decision, in a minute-by-minute breakdown. In case you need something very epic to read, here you go — Goldstein’s post, which he claims is his first effort at “real journalism,” is 7,000 freaking words long. Or, you know, longer than the usual article we link. (ht Dave Weigel)
10:51 // 2 years ago
July 5, 2012

Fundraising numbers up for Senate Democrats following “Obamacare” ruling

  • $2.5 million raised in first 3 days after SCOTUS ruling source

» The spike in donations has put the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on track for a historically-high month, only a few weeks removed from a record-breaking $5.6 million in donations during May. The donation numbers also add legitimacy to Democratic claims that the ruling galvanized the left every bit as much as it galvanized the right. Though, even when combined with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s similarly high $2.3 million in donations, the numbers seem small compared to the more than $5.5 million raised by Mitt Romney in the first 24-hours after the decision.

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18:32 // 2 years ago
June 29, 2012
shortformblog:

President Obama’s “Dewey Defeats Truman” moment. Man, CNN is never going to live this one down (original here; if anyone knows who made this Photoshop, let us know).

UPDATE!!!!! WE HAVE A SOURCE!!!!! This amazing image is the fancywork of Gary He. Here’s how he did it:

After initially saying “I’m trying not to comment on it,” when reached by telephone, He relented and talked a little bit: “I was following the conversation on Twitter and I made a comment about how CNN’s gaffe was this generation’s Dewey Defeats Truman moment,” he said. Lightbulb: On! He threw together the illustration and tweeted it, thinking “maybe I’ll get a few laughs.”His image, posted on Yfrog, has been viewed more than 28,000 times. And it’s not just dominating your Facebook feed: In Salon, Alex Pareene used it as the lead image for a blog post. Marc Ambinder tweeted to He that the White House had seen the image. The New York Times ran the darn thing!

Let’s give Gary some high-fives! (ht Holly Ojalvo) 

shortformblog:

President Obama’s “Dewey Defeats Truman” moment. Man, CNN is never going to live this one down (original here; if anyone knows who made this Photoshop, let us know).

UPDATE!!!!! WE HAVE A SOURCE!!!!! This amazing image is the fancywork of Gary He. Here’s how he did it:

After initially saying “I’m trying not to comment on it,” when reached by telephone, He relented and talked a little bit: “I was following the conversation on Twitter and I made a comment about how CNN’s gaffe was this generation’s Dewey Defeats Truman moment,” he said. Lightbulb: On! He threw together the illustration and tweeted it, thinking “maybe I’ll get a few laughs.”

His image, posted on Yfrog, has been viewed more than 28,000 times. And it’s not just dominating your Facebook feed: In Salon, Alex Pareene used it as the lead image for a blog post. Marc Ambinder tweeted to He that the White House had seen the image. The New York Times ran the darn thing!

Let’s give Gary some high-fives! (ht Holly Ojalvo

22:01 // 2 years ago
The man who had the most traffic to gain from yesterday’s news.

The man who had the most traffic to gain from yesterday’s news.

14:39 // 2 years ago
June 28, 2012

Surprise! Excuses have arrived for this morning’s incorrect SCOTUS reports

  • cnn In a statement, the network blamed their much-maligned error on earnest reporting of the decision as it was read by Chief Justice Roberts. Admitting their mistake, the statement says that “CNN regrets that it didn’t wait to report out the full and complete opinion regarding the mandate. We made a correction within a few minutes and apologize for the error.”
  • fox news Fox pointed to earnest reporting as the cause of incorrect reporting too, but with a small difference. They don’t think their actions merit an apology, saying, “By contrast, one other cable network was unable to get their Supreme Court reporter to the camera … Another said it was a big setback for the President. Fox reported the facts, as they came in.” source

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14:53 // 2 years ago