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  #751  
Old 10-19-2018, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

The state and local Dems in our area are well organized, conscientious, and effective, quite unlike the donkeyfied shit show that is the Democratic Party at the national level. That being the case, I'll focus my own efforts on slowing down the inexorable decline of the U.S. here at home. I'm old and in relatively poor health, so die-before-things-get-too-horrific is probably a viable individual strategy, but not a very satisfying one.

So then, state and local level? Hope remains, at least in the short term.

National level?

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  #752  
Old 10-20-2018, 05:53 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

P. much the same for Oregon
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  #753  
Old 10-26-2018, 04:45 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Gingrich Lets Cat Out of the Bag – Talking Points Memo

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  #754  
Old 12-19-2018, 03:35 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch



His power level is over 9000 now. Apparently.
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  #755  
Old 02-21-2019, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Timbs v. Indiana

SCOTUS making a provision of the Bill of Rights applicable to state and local government via the process of incorporation doesn't happen every day, but it did yesterday! The Court held (9-0) that the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against excessive fines applies to the states.

In this case, dudebro sold $250 worth of heroin to an undercover cop. In addition to arresting the guy, the pigs took the $42,000 vehicle he purchases with inheritance money pursuant to one of those ghastly "civil forfeiture" laws. Defendants may now challenge such legalized theft in state courts under the Excessive Fines Clause.


McKee v. Cosby

No real big deal here. This is just the Court doing something it does thousands of times every year--refusing to hear a case. The plaintiff accused horrific shitball Bill Cosby of raping her, and Cosby's lawyer wrote and disseminated a letter trashing her. The plaintiff sued for defamation. The lower courts tossed the case, and the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal.

But shit be noteworthy because the case provides further support for Sock Puppet's thesis that Clarence Thomas's entire SCOTUS career is but an elaborate troll. Ol' Clarence thinks it's high time we got around to overruling New York Times v. Sullivan, the 1964 case in which the Court unanimously held that the speech protections of the First Amendment place limits on defamation lawsuits. The limits aren't what you'd call onerous or anything. In cases involving a public figure or a matter of public concern, a defamation plaintiff has to prove that the defendant published the defamatory statement with actual knowledge of its falsity or with reckless disregard for whether or not the statement was false. The plaintiff also needs to show actual damages.

Thomas wants to do away with Sullivan and its progeny cuz naturally the Framers wanted public figures to be able to sue for defamation with no restrictions whatsoever. This guy does a much better job that I ever could of dismantling Clarence's argument and describing how Trumpy the whole thing is. For present purposes, lol Clarence.
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  #756  
Old 02-22-2019, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Maturin View Post
Defendants may now challenge such legalized theft in state courts under the Excessive Fines Clause.
I never thought I'd see the day where even a little bit of asset forfeiture was re-looked at by any court (specifically in relation to drug crimes).
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  #757  
Old 03-01-2019, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

More general lawyerin'.

A couple lawyery types talking about lawyering with 'conservative' jury pools.

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  #758  
Old 03-20-2019, 07:52 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Thrad

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  #759  
Old 04-22-2019, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Supreme Court Justices Get More Liberal As They Get Older | FiveThirtyEight
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  #760  
Old 05-22-2019, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

I watched the Frontline special "Supreme Revenge" last night and it gave me a lot of background I didn't know about for McConnell's role in the Kavanaugh fiasco. Seems to me another argument for congressional term limits.
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  #761  
Old 06-24-2019, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch


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  #762  
Old 06-27-2019, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch



Ah, an elite class of state.
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  #763  
Old 06-27-2019, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Today's SCOTUS decision makes me think more about the underpants-gnome-level thinking of people who argued against voting for Clinton in 2016.

Step 1: Allow Trump and the Republicans to win in 2016
Step 2: Trump and the GOP fill the courts with right-wing nutjobs, and then use gerrymandering and other means to rig elections for Republicans
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Socialism!

By contrast, even if a Clinton win in 2016 hadn't brought along McGinty (PA) and Feingold (WI), and so McConnell blocked her from filling Scalia's seat, there were several lower court rulings against gerrymandering that this case affected. With the vacancy, the ruling would've been 4-4 at worst and those lower court rulings would all remain in effect, requiring new maps to be drawn in several states to the benefit of Democrats (MI, WI, OH, NC) and in one to the minor benefit of Republicans (MD).

Obviously, if Clinton had a Democratic Senate, a liberal majority could've ruled against gerrymandering nationwide, which would be far better.
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  #764  
Old 06-27-2019, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

But erimir...her e-mails.
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  #765  
Old 06-27-2019, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

While I’m waiting for some other analysis on this case, who perhaps know what they are talking about, but my current pessimistic take away is that the top court in our land has said the will of the people is dead and that trying to change things within the system is futile.

There’s a chance we could be seeing the beginning of the end of the supreme court, but the question still remains if they will be replaced with a citizen oversight committee given as the three *separate* branches of government has failed or if it will be folded into the NightWatch devision of Homeland Security.

On one hand, “but her emails!” On the other, if the only thing stopping us from becoming a totalitarian extremist state is because our presidential choice chooses not to go in the direction for personal reasons, then things were already headed downhill.
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  #766  
Old 06-27-2019, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

I'm waiting for someone who's more knowledgable about such things to give us a rundown.

In the meantime, what came across my newsfeed today basically said: "The Conservative Justices ruled that even though the Republican legislator in charge of drawing North Carolina's congressional map repeatedly stated that the purpose of the map was to maximize the number of Republican seats -- there was no way to determine whether or not this was a case of partisan gerrymandering."


Say what?


Is this not a case of Kavanaugh et alia abandoning all pretense of impartiality? Because I somehow doubt they'd have had any trouble recognizing gerrymandering if a Democrat legislator had drawn the maps and repeatedly stated that it was done with the goal of maximizing the number of Democrat-held seats.
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  #767  
Old 06-27-2019, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

The good news in North Carolina is that the NC Supreme Court has a 6-1 Democratic majority and the NC Constitution has a clause guaranteeing "free and fair" elections, and so people who follow these sorts of things have been saying that NC will probably have new maps for... basically everything for the 2020 elections.

Meaning new maps for US Congress, the state legislature and I believe even local government in some cases (city council districts and county government districts might be challenged as well).

The state constitution was also the basis for the court case that resulted in the new US House map for Pennsylvania, so gerrymandering in Pennsylvania is still against the rules.

There are a large number of other states that have similar clauses in their constitutions, so targeting states where the courts are favorable or could be flipped will have to be the path for Democrats until we can get a non-farcical Supreme Court. That and, of course, flipping legislatures and governors offices to control redistricting themselves.

Another question is whether Democrats should press their advantage in those states where they have it, in part to compensate for lost seats in other states and in part to try to bring Republicans to the table. California and New York could easily eliminate a few GOP seats in Congress making it so that the GOP can make few gains even in a wave year, without even drawing crazy maps. If the SCOTUS is willing to accept crazy maps, then perhaps it's time for a NYC "bacon-mander" with almost every district in New York radiating from the city, resulting in zero Republicans.
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  #768  
Old 06-28-2019, 04:58 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

I thought I heard a common tater on cable news sum it up as gerrymander is fine as long as the stated objective is partisan but not okay if racial. Yes? No?
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Old 06-28-2019, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

That seems to be the case.

The problem that the GOP Supremes will pretend not to understand is that partisan and racial motivations can't really be disentangled. If one party is racist against a racial group, that group will naturally not want to vote for that party. But the Supreme Court might rule that that party gerrymandering against that racial group is now permissible since they can say it was merely a partisan motivation. Which leads to the perverse outcome that it's easier for an explicitly racist party to get away with racial gerrymandering than one that isn't!

In a more pure hypothetical, suppose the US had multiple viable parties, and one of them was the Black Party and basically all black and no non-black voters supported it. The GOP Supreme Court would then say it is permissible to gerrymander the crap out of black voters because your motivation was to block the Black Party. But it would be ludicrous to say that this had nothing to do with race! Why would the GOP not want the Black Party in Congress? Because they don't think Black representatives will support anything they do or be in coalition with them for the purpose of choosing the Speaker, etc. But the only reason that would be the case is because the GOP doesn't want to support policies that benefit black people. And of course the reason for that would be the anti-black racism that the GOP Supremes pretend not to see.
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  #770  
Old 06-28-2019, 08:57 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

That was the case before this case, and republicans went out of their way to vocalize the idea that they were disenfranchising democrats, and not black people, it just so happened to be that those two things lined up. Which was just obvious legalese bullshit so they could disenfranchise black people, and everyone knew it.

Which is why my current understanding of this ruling is so pessimistic as it looks like after shouting at the top of their lungs “We are purposefully disenfranchising democrats!!” The supreme court has ruled that there’s no way to tell whether they were purposefully disenfranchising democrats. If that’s the case, then it really sounds like the supreme court saying they are just there to rubber stamp republican actions.
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  #771  
Old 06-28-2019, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

And that's just obvious, old-skool redlining, too, but I'm still gonna Cassandra this.

Once upon a time, I was hired to work on a predictive modeling system for infrastructure expansions. The system was supposed to predict future demand by geographic area, based on machine learning set loose on any source of data available.

The problem, however, was that it was in a mixed regulation company, where some services were regulated, while others weren't. And the company was in a perpetual "busted by the DOJ" state for violating court orders to segregate the services and to maintain access for less lucrative markets. So one task we had was to rein the AI in, and figure a way to implement rules that would prevent it from using prohibited information for development plans.

But when you teach a machine to learn based on existing data, it replicates any systemic inequities that led to that data in the first place. So say the machine started to notice that neighborhoods with a statistically significant number of multigenerational households and surnames ending in Z corresponded to lower demand for upgrades, it'd try to calculate that into the models, and some human would have to step in and say, "No, dumbass, that's racist." (That is a pure hypothetical, not based on an actual model.) But machines can pick up on correlations that make no logical sense to humans, too, and there was virtually no way to predict or prevent what those were, and that's even IF you were trying to prevent it.

On the other hand, if you wanted to perpetuate rather than prevent that sort of inequity and leave your own personal hands clean, you could just let the AI go learn stuff that people wouldn't notice or be able to form into a narrative that correlates directly to race or income level or whatever the prohibited categories are.

And that is how you get away with redlining via machine learning. You let machines come up with their own practically opaque models for decision making, and you can truthfully say you didn't tell it to be discriminatory, and that these are, of course, purely logical mathematical models that have no innate biases.

And the only way to prevent this is to switch the burden of proof. Rather than just letting these things run rampant and then later question what they're doing, any kind of models affecting public policy or resources or whatever should be laid out cleanly and clearly, in human understandable form, and evaluated as such. You can't just say, "People who buy pineapple juice have more car accidents," and you sure as hell don't get away with, "Oh, we're not discriminating against black people, we're discriminating against Democrats, and this is just an unfortunate side effect."(And of course, I mean that's EVEN if it really is somehow OK to discriminate against Democrats, which WTF.)
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  #772  
Old 06-29-2019, 01:27 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Quote:
Originally Posted by SR71 View Post
I thought I heard a common tater on cable news sum it up as gerrymander is fine as long as the stated objective is partisan but not okay if racial. Yes? No?
Rucho v. Common Cause

Technically, the holding is merely that lawsuits challenging "political gerrymandering" brought pursuant to the U.S. Constitution are not justiciable in federal courts. Since state courts and federal courts generally have concurrent jurisdiction over federal constitutional claims, such claims could be brought and heard in state court (assuming the state courts decline to invoke their own state law political question doctrines to punt the cases). Trouble is, there are more than a few statements in the majority opinion that appear to cross over from "we can't hear this type of case" into "as a matter of law, political gerrymandering doesn't violate the U.S. Constitution" territory.

Does that make the majority opinion something less than wholly honest? Why yes, yes it does. That's especially true when we take into account the rather silly-assed notion a clear dividing line between political gerrymandering and racial gerrymandering.

Mitchell v. Wisconsin

If the pigs take a motorist into custody for drunk driving and haul his ass around from place to place until he passes out, a state law that authorizes taking a blood sample from the unconscious suspect is A-OK with the Fourth Amendment.

As Clarence Thomas correctly noted long ago, SCOTUS case law stands for the singularly uninformative proposition that the 4th always requires a search warrant except when it doesn't.

Department of Commerce v. New York

The Court held that there are no statutory or constitutional impediments to the Secretary of Commerce including a citizenship question in the decennial census questionnaire. However, a government agency must disclose the basis of its action so that, in the event of a challenge, the courts can conduct something approaching meaningful judicial review. Here, a majority of the Court decided that the Commerce Department's explanation was a ham-fisted pretext, and essentially held that the Commerce Department needs to come up with better lies (or at least more internally consistent lies) to support its decision.

United States v. Haymond

Gorsuch sided with Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan to support an expansive view of the constitutional right to a trial by jury in criminal cases, a view favored by Gorsuch's predecessor, Scalia. Breyer provided the fifth vote to reverse the sentence in this case, but didn't sign onto the plurality's broad rationale. That rationale might have gotten majority support had the defendant been something other than a kiddie porn enthusiast.

Gamble v. United States

The separate sovereigns exception to the Double Jeopardy Clause, referenced here, survived handily by a 7-2 vote. The dissenters, Gorsuch and the Notorious RBG, got much the better of the legal argument, and their opinions may well form the basis of a new majority rationale in some future case.
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Last edited by Stephen Maturin; 06-29-2019 at 01:37 AM.
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  #773  
Old 06-30-2019, 06:05 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

During his confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh made what was very clearly a threat against those who opposed his confirmation, saying that "what goes around comes around."

Of course, if this were a sane world -- or if anyone associated with Trump had the slightest bit of integrity or decency -- that alone would have deep-sixed Kavanaugh's nomination.

Regardless, it seems that Kavanaugh is making good on that threat ...
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:10 AM
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erimir erimir is offline
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Eh, he'd probably be just as much of a shithead without the Ford hearings.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:37 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

I’m going to have to read the dissent that is RBG and GoSucks.

That’s a combo.
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