Saturday, June 30, 2018
The answer to this puzzle is that Justice Sotomayor has scant credibility as a tribune of religious liberty. The justice acceded to our nation’s highest bench amid a historic struggle in which religious Americans of all creeds had come under legal attack, from secularists, bigots, and leftists. Hundreds — more by some estimates — of religious liberty cases are before our courts. Almost never has Justice Sotomayor fetched up on the religious side.
WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence agencies believe that North Korea has increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months — and that Kim Jong Un may try to hide those facilities as he seeks more concessions in nuclear talks with the Trump administration, U.S. officials told NBC News.
Unexpectedly. Though I thought they would at least get the ChiComs to do it for them.
U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup this week dismissed the climate change lawsuit brought by Oakland and San Francisco against British Petroleum, Chevron, ConocoPhilips, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell—the world’s five largest investor-owned oil companies.
Friday, June 29, 2018
For some, myself included, the prospects of a court run by people who ignore the Constitution competed with my distaste for Donald Trump in 2016. The question was, “What’s scarier, a Trump presidency or a progressive Supreme Court?” I imagine the answer is becoming a bit clearer for many conservatives.
Nyepi is an annual ‘Day of Silence’ on the Indonesian island of Bali. A time for quiet self-reflection, the widely observed Hindu tradition brings the region to a standstill as residents fast and meditate inside their homes for 24 hours. On the eve of the Nyepi, however, streets in every Balinese village spring to life for a Ngrupuk parade, which features expressive bamboo, grass and papier-mâché constructions known as ‘Ogoh-Ogoh’. Carefully assembled in the month leading up to the parade, these colourful ‘demons’ are meant to embody human mistakes and frailties. After Nyepi, each Ogoh-Ogoh is burned at a cemetery – a symbolic act of purification in preparation for the coming year. Exploring the meaning of the tradition while revelling in its extraordinary sights and sounds, this striking short film from the US director Travis Barron traces several Ogoh-Ogoh from their creation by a team of Balinese artists to their final resting place.
Looking at Trump’s list of 25 candidates (and reading the speculative “short lists”) to replace Kennedy, one thing seems certain: The moment the new nominee is confirmed, no matter who it is, the Supreme Court will grow appreciably more originalist. Look for fewer sweeping moral statements — like Kennedy’s declaration in Obergefell that “marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there” — and more close textual and historical analyses of the Constitution.
I think there is a constitutional right to a cute nurse.
Thursday, June 28, 2018
WASHINGTON: Amul Thapar, a federal judge of Indian-origin, is on the shortlist of US President Trump's nominees for the US Supreme Court following Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement announced on Wednesday.
And he looks good too.
According to Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard, the White House has narrowed down its list of potential Supreme Court nominees to a top five: Brett Kavanaugh, 53, of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; Amul Thapar, 49, of the 6th Circuit; Amy Barrett, 46, of the 7th Circuit; Thomas Hardiman, 52, of the 3rd Circuit; and Raymond Kethledge, 51, of the 6th Circuit.
Here’s what we know about them.
And then what? Imagine if Schumer had freed red-state Dems to support Gorsuch last year. That would have been painful for him, as the left would have bristled at seeing him refuse to battle against Merrick Garland’s usurper, but it would have been the right strategic choice. By leaving the filibuster intact, Schumer would have been preserving his leverage for a moment when the political climate was less favorable to Republicans — say, just before the midterms, when the fifth vote on the Court for upholding Roe v. Wade is suddenly in play. If the filibuster still applied to SCOTUS nominations, McConnell would have a very anxious choice right now about whether to nuke it with the stakes on the Court suddenly as high as they are and with Democrats prepared to make all sorts of hay in the midterms from his decision to go nuclear.
BTW it's a beautiful day here in San Diego!