Moore v. Harper involves a bizarre legal gambit known as the independent state legislature theory. It argues that the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution provides state legislatures the sole authority to set the “time, place, and manner” of federal elections.
Its adoption would place legislatures outside of the purview of state constitutions, effectively ending state court judicial review of election laws or congressional district maps.
. . .
The case comes before the court following more than a decade of attempts by North Carolina Republicans to draw hyper-partisan congressional maps following the decennial census in both 2010 and 2020.
. . .
The [independent state legislature ] theory arose in the controversial 2000 Bush v. Gore case when then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist endorsed it in a concurrence joined by then-Justice Antonin Scalia and current Justice Clarence Thomas. It reemerged in force in the fall of 2020 when Republicans in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin used it to argue for the Supreme Court to block election law changes adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The court declined to do so, but Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Thomas all showed an interest in either accepting the theory or hearing a case on it. North Carolina’s challenge presented that opportunity and these four justices took up the case, even though the North Carolina legislature specifically authorized the state supreme court to adjudicate gerrymandering disputes in exactly the manner they now wish to invalidate.
Ha! The Bitemaster heartily supports North Carolina in this case. If the Supreme Court agrees, states like New York would be able to produce congressional maps that more fairly represent the feelings of its citizens and award all the state’s 26 congressional seats to deserving Democrats. It would be a great victory, indeed.
Source: The Supreme Court Will Consider A ‘Dangerous’ Theory That Could Break American Democracy | HuffPost Latest News
. . . [T]he House GOP will have to steer legislation through with as few as four votes to spare while its leaders deal with an emboldened Freedom Caucus, internal finger-pointing over a disappointing midterm cycle, and a looming brawl over a 2024 presidential primary that features Donald Trump back in the mix.
“I don’t lie awake at night worrying about the bad legislation they are going to pass. Because I don’t think they’re going to pass it,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.).
Awaiting the outcome of just one true toss-up race, Republicans will have a majority of either four or five — giving McCarthy the sparest of margins of any other Congress at the start of its term since 1931. Not to mention that he’s already vowed to do away with Pelosi-era proxy voting, making every potential absence a new challenge.
Do away with proxy voting? His view on that is sure to “evolve.”
As Democrats prepare their retreat into the minority, many are less-than-fondly recalling their own two years of vote-wrangling and floor delays while wishing their GOP colleagues luck.
“It was wonderful,” quipped Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), a member of Pelosi’s whip team who remembered countless after-midnight phone calls this Congress to lock down votes for many of his party’s huge bills. “That was a regular routine, as a matter of fact.”
Source: House Dems on GOP’s thin majority: Welcome to hell – POLITICO
Rove, the Machiavellian mastermind of Republican victories for the past 40 years, has blasted Republican defenders of the traitors who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
“My criticisms are often aimed at Democrats;” Rove wrote in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal published one year after the insurrection. “(O)n the anniversary of Jan. 6, I’m addressing squarely those Republicans who for a year have excused the actions of the rioters who stormed the Capitol, disrupted Congress as it received the Electoral College’s results, and violently attempted to overturn the election.
“There can be no soft-pedaling what happened and no absolution for those who planned, encouraged and aided the attempt to overthrow our democracy. Love of country demands nothing less,” the piece continues. “That’s true patriotism.”
When Karl Rove says you’ve gone too far, you have definitely gone too far.
Read the Yahoo summary here: Karl Rove, a GOP stalwart in Texas and nationally, delivers blunt Jan. 6 message to his party
The full text of Rove’s Op Ed is at the Wall Street Journal (paywall).
The federal government has left states largely on their own when it comes to testing their citizens and securing critical equipment during the pandemic. But when it comes to those supplies, Gov. Hogan’s concern appears to have been warranted: There have been numerous reports of the Federal Emergency Management Agency hijacking desperately needed protective gear for first responders and health care workers.
Source: Maryland’s GOP Governor Hid COVID-19 Test Kits So Feds Can’t Take Them | HuffPost
We hear that New York City Mayor de Blasio is giving his daily briefing now. He’s sitting six feet away for his Health Commissioner, but neither are wearing face masks. I had thought he was doing a decent job but I’m beginning to have second thoughts.
As of 13 April 2020, the city has more confirmed coronavirus cases than China, where the epidemic began; the United Kingdom; and Iran. The encompassing state of New York has more cases than any foreign country worldwide. [from Wikipedia, April 15, 2020]
And on to NY Governor Andrew Cuomo: He, too, sounded good on TV. But, even in a pandemic, he always has time to shit on de Blasio. And the state’s coronavirus numbers are . . . impressive?
Still, either de Blasio or Cuomo would be better than President 45.
This juicy item arrived this morning: Coronavirus: Why New York has 12 times as many deaths as California – Vox
Thanks to Mozilla’s “Pocket” service for putting it in our yak delivery.
Under increasing attack from Trump and Lindsey Graham, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stands firm in maintaining the independence of the Justice Department.
While I am attorney general, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.
I demand the highest standards, and where they are not met, I take action. However, no nation has a more talented, more dedicated group of law enforcement investigators and prosecutors than the United States.
The Biteme Commissariat for Editorial Policy disagrees with Sessions on . . . almost everything. A quick sample would include the death penalty, civil forfeiture, immigration, sanctuary cities, medical marijuana, etc., etc., and so forth.
On the other hand, he has stood strong in opposition to Trump’s attempts to use the DOJ as Trump’s personal Star Chamber.
And for that, we offer AG Sessions our hearty support.
Poor Administrator Scott Pruitt. He’s been under fire for his corrupt practices at the EPA. Fortunately, Ted Lieu has sprung to his defense in a recent tweet:
Dear @: Dem wave continues to get stronger. So now I’m thinking, please don’t fire @. He’s such a great symbol of the corruption and fraud, waste & abuse in your Administration.
Can you please do more toxic rallies & bring Pruitt with you? Thanks. https://us/982628769184829441 …