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
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.
Paul Vixie (@paulvixie) is one of the geniuses behind the Internet, He recently opined on Twitter:
centrists, who by def’n decide elections, want gov’t to ensure equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. right to fairness, not aid.
He then linked to a Bernie Sanders tweet.
I think Vixie raises a legitimate question: whether we should judge “fairness” by outcome or opportunity.
The Bitemaster is not a big fan of . . .
- The Rhode Island branch of the ACLU bringing suit against the nativity scene in Pawtucket RI (they were slapped down by the Supreme Court in Lynch v. Donnelly)
- What the Taliban did to the Buddhas of Bamiyan
- The bombing of the Borobudur temple
- The tearing down of Confederate statues
- The defacing of statues of Columbus
- The renaming of the State of Washington
- The renaming of sports teams
The Bitemaster is fine with
- Ceasing to fly the Confederate battle flag over government buildings
- Removing the Confederate battle flag from state flags (i.e., Mississippi)
- Cultural appropriation
- The ACLU defending the right of the Klan to march in Skokie, opposing Trump’s Muslim ban, and protecting the First Amendment rights of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville VA.
Catastrophic flooding triggered by Tropical Storm Harvey inundated Houston on Sunday, forcing residents of the fourth most populous U.S. city to flee their homes in boats or hunker down in anticipation of more days of “unprecedented” rainfall.
Abbott’s evil actions include union busting, racial gerrymandering, anti-choice activism, opposition to gay marriage, and support for an anti-transgender bathroom bill. Clearly, the Almighty is Not Amused.
Source: Houston devastated by flooding from Harvey as residents gird for days of rain
Beauty blogger Neely Moldovan and her husband have to pay their photographer $1 million in damages after a jury ruled they launched a smear campaign and destroyed her business.
Source: Couple who blasted photographer to media must pay $1M in damages – NY Daily News
The Bitemaster was somewhat ambivalent about illegal immigrants but that was before Trump announced he was hiring 10,000 troops to hunt them down.
I’m now 100% in favor of sanctuary cities.
The biggest issue when State of Washington & State of Minnesota v. Trump gets to the Supreme Court is to balance your traditional deference to Executive authority with the need to affirm judicial authority. Deferring to the Executive is perfectly reasonable in a country of some 300 million people, But the President’s many recent attacks on the judiciary make it necessary for you to assert your authority at this time.
I propose that you strike down the ban and uphold your authority.
- The specifics of the ban do nothing to make the country safer. The protocols previously in place did an excellent job of that.
- In light of the President’s contempt for the judiciary, if you don’t strike down the ban, you will look like a bunch of Executive lapdogs and your Court will be reduced from a co-equal branch of government to a mere rubber stamp.
- Once you strike down this Executive Order, you’ll have a free hand to do what you think best in the future.
Gov. John Bel Edwards on May 5 in Baton Rouge. (Melinda Deslatte/AP)
Last May, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (Dem.) signed HB 953 into law, making it a hate crime to kill, assault, etc., a law enforcement officer or firefighter.
The bill, popularly known as the “Blue Lives Matter Law” is now being used by Police Chief Calder Hebert of St. Martinville LA, against anyone who resists arrest.
And that’s what I call a “hate crimes enhancement.”
Source: Louisiana is the first state to offer hate crime protections to police officers – The Washington Post