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  1. #346

    Re: Supreme Court Watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Chris Geidner
    Verified account

    Breaking: #SCOTUS allows North Dakota voter ID requirement, which had been enjoined during the primaries, to be enforced during the general election.

    NOW the outrage makes sense.

    Stephen Wolf
    ‏Verified account

    More Stephen Wolf Retweeted Ari Berman
    North Dakota has no voter registration, so proof of identity makes sense.
    But Republicans made it so that one's address had to be a residential address instead of a P.O. box knowing full well that Native Americans on reservations rely exclusively on the latter in large numbers
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

  2. #347

    Re: Supreme Court Watch

    The outrage makes sense even without that as a voter ID requirement is nothing but a grandfather clause. You'd be amazed how difficult it is for some people, especially poor and disenfranchised people, to get the birth certificate most states require to get these IDs. And in ND, the official document requirement is something uncommon for those living on reservations in the first place.

    I have no doubt of who the main target of that bill was. But also, North Dakota has a lot of newer residents (oil!), not necessarily from red states, who will have a harder time voting as well. Many live in non-traditional housing (cars and campers are very common) that won't have an address.

  3. #348

    Re: Supreme Court Watch

    We just had national elections few days ago in Latvia. You need a passport or a specially issued voters card for that. On the other hand one could vote in any district in the whole country without any prior registration or proof of residence.

    And yes I know why it's done like this in places like ND. Just wanted to note how it's done elsewhere.
    Roger forever

  4. #349

    Re: Supreme Court Watch

    Not just places like ND and other states with large Native American reservations. All over the country can't have restrictions if they mean for it to be open the way the Voting Rights Act really calls for. It may seem like a long time ago, but Jim Crow laws and pre-Civil Rights Act are still very real things in every state in the country and will be for several more decades. Add that to the record keeping in small towns years ago being shoddy at best, you create a real barrier to voting if you add too many requirements over an address.

    I don't know enough about Latvia's history to know if they have similar problems affecting who does and does not have a passport or a voter's card and how they go about getting them if they don't have them. I know other places do it differently, I'm just not sure they have similar pervasive historical problems.

  5. #350

    Re: Supreme Court Watch

    FBI Director Confirms That White House Limited Scope of Kavanaugh Investigation
    Christopher Wray contradicted President Donald Trump’s claim that the FBI could “interview anybody that they want.”

    FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed Wednesday that the White House limited the scope of the FBI’s investigation into alleged sexual assault by now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

    Under questioning from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) during a Senate hearing, Wray stated that “the investigation was very specific in scope, limited in scope” and that the White House had set these strict parameters for the probe.

    On September 28, with prodding from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked the FBI to reopen the background investigation into Kavanaugh. The investigation was supposed to shed light on sexual assault allegations by California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford and others, who have suggested that Kavanaugh engaged in sexual misconduct in high school and college. But Democrats quickly complained that the White House had restricted the ability of the FBI to conduct a thorough investigation.

    Democrats had sent the FBI a list of at least two dozen potential witnesses who were familiar with Kavanaugh—and his drinking habits—during his high school and college years. Many of them have suggested that Kavanaugh’s testimony about his youthful drinking was not truthful, and they had been attempting to reach the FBI to tell their stories. Deborah Ramirez, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct at Yale, also submitted at least 20 names to the FBI, requesting they be interviewed to help corroborate her story. But the New York Times reported that the White House and Senate Republicans had limited the FBI to interviewing only four witnesses. Eventually, nine people were interviewed, but they did not include Kavanaugh or Ford.

    In response to the criticism, ...Donald Trump shot back during an interview in the Rose Garden that he had not restricted the FBI in the Kavanaugh investigation. “The FBI should interview anybody that they want within reason, but you have to say within reason,” he said.

    On Wednesday, Harris pressed Wray for details about who in the White House had directed the FBI to keep its investigation so limited. Wray hedged and refused to answer a question about whether White House counsel Don McGahn had been one of the parties involved in restricting the investigation. He also would not commit to turning over to the Senate documentation of any written instructions the White House had given the FBI about the investigation. And when Harris asked Wray whether the FBI had looked into allegations that Kavanaugh had lied to Congress during his confirmation hearing, Wray demurred. “That’s not something I can discuss here,” he said.

    Video at the link.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

  6. #351

    Re: Supreme Court Watch

    The Ethics Complaints Against Justice Brett Kavanaugh Haven't Gone Away
    Ethics experts speculated any complaints would be dismissed after Kavanaugh was confirmed to the US Supreme Court, but for now they're just being transferred to another judicial circuit.

    Zoe Tillman
    BuzzFeed News Reporter

    Ethics complaints filed against Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the weeks leading up to his confirmation to the US Supreme Court are still live, and they're being transferred to another judicial circuit, according to a letter made public Wednesday from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.

    More than a dozen ethics complaints were filed against Kavanaugh in his former court, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. DC Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson and the Circuit Judicial Council — Chief Judge Merrick Garland recused himself — had asked Roberts to transfer the complaints to another circuit, a request that's in line with how federal courts in recent years have dealt with high-profile ethics cases; judges who previously asked for transfers cited a desire to avoid conflict-of-interest issues.

    The Kavanaugh complaints will now go to the 10th Circuit, which is based in Denver and covers six states in the western United States. Roberts' Oct. 10 letter to 10th Circuit Chief Judge Timothy Tymkovich indicates that the DC Circuit asked him to transfer15 complaints — the earliest transfer request was made Sept. 20, and the latest was made Oct. 5.

    US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit / Via

    It's not clear what will happen next. Ethics complaints against judges who retired or resigned have been dismissed as moot in the past, but judicial ethics experts previously told BuzzFeed News there was no precedent for what happens when a lower-court judge is elevated to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court isn't part of the misconduct review system that covers lower-court judges, and the justices don't have a parallel internal disciplinary process.

    Several ethics complaints filed against Kavanaugh — some have been made public by individuals who filed the complaints, and some have not — concern his public response over the past month to allegations that he committed sexual misconduct when he was in high school and college, his controversial testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27, and his testimony at his initial confirmation hearing in early September.

    Judicial misconduct proceedings are normally secret, but Henderson released a statement on Oct. 6 confirming that the court had received complaints against Kavanaugh. She said the complaints "do not pertain to any conduct in which Judge Kavanaugh engaged as a judge," only his statements as a Supreme Court nominee. The Washington Post reported at the time that Henderson had asked Roberts to transfer the complaints to another circuit.

    The 10th Circuit previously handled an ethics case out of the federal district court in Washington, DC, that involved a judge facing decades-old sexual misconduct allegations. The circuit dismissed the case last year, finding that allegations pre-dating a judge's time on the bench fell outside the jurisdiction of the judiciary's disciplinary system.

    October 10, 2018, at 4:51 p.m.
    Updated with additional information from Chief Justice John Roberts' Oct. 10 letter
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

  7. #352

    Re: Supreme Court Watch

    Supreme Court justices can be impeached. That's one of the reasons why I was surprised no GOP senators cared about him perjuring himself so many times as it is definitely something that could come up again. Justice Fortas wasn't impeached, but it was headed that way and impeachment proceedings began against him because of an ethics scandal and he was forced to resign. No reason that can't happen with Kavanaugh, likely in a similar manner to that as well if I had to predict how it would play out.

  8. #353
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    Re: Supreme Court Watch

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNU View Post
    Supreme Court justices can be impeached. That's one of the reasons why I was surprised no GOP senators cared about him perjuring himself so many times as it is definitely something that could come up again. Justice Fortas wasn't impeached, but it was headed that way and impeachment proceedings began against him because of an ethics scandal and he was forced to resign. No reason that can't happen with Kavanaugh, likely in a similar manner to that as well if I had to predict how it would play out.
    Except the bar for impeachment is really high. Like 2/3 of the Senate I think? And at this point, it's really unclear what would ever cause a Republican Senator to cross the aisle.

  9. #354

    Re: Supreme Court Watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    Except the bar for impeachment is really high. Like 2/3 of the Senate I think? And at this point, it's really unclear what would ever cause a Republican Senator to cross the aisle.
    Yes, but if you read what I wrote in full, it may not come down to impeachment. Starting the process alone can turn the tide and that only requires a simple majority to begin the process. Similar to Nixon's impeachment proceedings, with Justice Fortas, he was talked into resigning. Part of this was done by fellow Justices who talked to him about the shame it would bring upon the Court. I can see a repeat here depending on the allegations, none of which seem like they'd be good against him if an actual FBI investigation was ever conducted.

    It was certainly a different time, but keep in mind that Fortas' impeachment proceedings and later resignation was about taking money he shouldn't have and a too close relationship and really improper communication with the President. The things Kavanaugh has been accused of are appreciably worse in many respects and more damaging and embarrassing to the Court.

    Also, I think impeachment is thought of by the many as this rarely used process (honestly, I'd love a public poll to see if the general public thinks it's only been used twice). It's rare for sure, but it is used. It just doesn't get much attention because it's not typically the Pres, VP, or SC Justice. But the last federal judge impeached and removed from office in the last 10 years? Repeated acts of perjury under oath.

  10. #355

    Re: Supreme Court Watch


    The problem w quote-tweeting this deeply authoritarian assault on press freedom is that it contains an embarrassing typo—“liable” rather than “libel.” That means when Dan Scavino wakes up and sufficiently clears his head, he’s going to delete it and repost a cleaned up version.

    Andrew Feinberg
    It took 47 minutes for
    to correct his “liable” typo.

    Replying to
    With the word “recrimination” in there, we know it was Daughter-Wife or someone else who wrote both of these tweets.

    I mean, come ON, that’s a five syllable word! He couldn’t even think of that word without stumbling over it.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

  11. #356

    Re: Supreme Court Watch

    Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not.
    Deborah Ramirez’s Yale experience says much about the college’s efforts to diversify its student body in the 1980s.

    Kate Kelly
    By Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly
    Ms. Pogrebin and Ms. Kelly are reporters with The Times and authors of the forthcoming book, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation.”

    Deborah Ramirez had the grades to go to Yale in 1983. But she wasn’t prepared for what she’d find there.

    A top student in southwestern Connecticut, she studied hard but socialized little. She was raised Catholic and had a sheltered upbringing. In the summers, she worked at Carvel dishing ice cream, commuting in the $500 car she’d bought with babysitting earnings.

    At Yale, she encountered students from more worldly backgrounds. Many were affluent and had attended elite private high schools. They also had experience with drinking and sexual behavior that Ms. Ramirez — who had not intended to be intimate with a man until her wedding night — lacked.

    During the winter of her freshman year, a drunken dormitory party unsettled her deeply. She and some classmates had been drinking heavily when, she says, a freshman named Brett Kavanaugh pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her, prompting her to swat it away and inadvertently touch it. Some of the onlookers, who had been passing around a fake penis earlier in the evening, laughed.

    To Ms. Ramirez it wasn’t funny at all. It was the nadir of her first year, when she often felt insufficiently rich, experienced or savvy to mingle with her more privileged classmates.

    “I had gone through high school, I’m the good girl, and now, in one evening, it was all ripped away,” she said in an interview earlier this year at her Boulder, Colo., home. By preying upon her in this way, she added, Mr. Kavanaugh and his friends “make it clear I’m not smart.”

    Mr. Kavanaugh, now a justice on the Supreme Court, has adamantly denied her claims. Those claims became a flash point during his confirmation process last year, when he was also fighting other sexual misconduct allegations from Christine Blasey Ford, who had attended a Washington-area high school near his.

    Ms. Ramirez’s story would seem far less damaging to Mr. Kavanaugh’s reputation than those of Dr. Ford, who claimed that he pinned her to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothes while covering her mouth.

    But while we found Dr. Ford’s allegations credible during a 10-month investigation, Ms. Ramirez’s story could be more fully corroborated. During his Senate testimony, Mr. Kavanaugh said that if the incident Ms. Ramirez described had occurred, it would have been “the talk of campus.” Our reporting suggests that it was.

    At least seven people, including Ms. Ramirez’s mother, heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge. Two of those people were classmates who learned of it just days after the party occurred, suggesting that it was discussed among students at the time.

    We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez’s allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly. (We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.)

    Mr. Kavanaugh did not speak to us because we could not agree on terms for an interview. But he has denied Dr. Ford’s and Ms. Ramirez’s allegations, and declined to answer our questions about Mr. Stier’s account.


    Ms. Ramirez grew up in a split-level ranch house in working-class Shelton, Conn., perhaps best known for producing the Wiffle ball, and didn’t drink before college. Her father, who is Puerto Rican, rose through the Southern New England Telephone Company, having started as a cable splicer. Her mother, who is French, was a medical technician.

    Before coming to Yale, Ms. Ramirez took pride in her parents’ work ethic and enjoyed simple pleasures like swimming in their aboveground pool, taking camping trips and riding behind her father on his snowmobile. She was studious, making valedictorian at her Catholic elementary school and excelling at her Catholic high school, St. Joseph.

    She and her parents took out loans to pay for Yale, and she got work-study jobs on campus, serving food in the dining halls and cleaning dorm rooms before class reunions.

    She tried to adapt to Yale socially, joining the cheerleading squad her freshman year, sometimes positioned at the pinnacle of the pyramid. But Ms. Ramirez learned quickly that although cheerleading was cool in high school, it didn’t carry the same cachet at Yale. People called her Debbie Cheerleader or Debbie Dining Hall or would start to say “Debbie does … ” playing on the 1978 porn movie “Debbie Does Dallas.” But Ms. Ramirez didn’t understand the reference.

    “She was very innocent coming into college,” Liz Swisher, who roomed with Ms. Ramirez for three years at Yale and is now a physician in Seattle, later recalled. “I felt an obligation early in freshman year to protect her.”

    There were many more unhappy memories of college. Fellow students made fun of the way she dropped consonants when she spoke, but also ribbed her for not being fluent in Spanish. They mocked her knockoff black-and-red Air Jordans. They even questioned her admission on the merits. “Is it because you’re Puerto Rican?” someone once asked her.

    “My mom would have preferred me to go to a smaller college — looking back at it, she was right,” Ms. Ramirez said. At Yale, “they invite you to the game, but they never show you the rules or where the equipment is.”

    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island and member of the Judiciary Committee, later said, “I would view the Ramirez allegations as not having been even remotely investigated.” Other Democrats agreed.

    Ultimately, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, concluded, “There is no corroboration of the allegations made by Dr. Ford or Ms. Ramirez.” Mr. Kavanaugh was confirmed on Oct. 6, 2018, by a vote of 50-48, the closest vote for a Supreme Court justice in more than 130 years.

    Still, Ms. Ramirez came to feel supported by the very Yale community from which she had once felt so alienated. More than 3,000 Yale women signed an open letter commending her “courage in coming forward.” More than 1,500 Yale men issued a similar letter two days later.

    She also received a deluge of letters, emails and texts from strangers containing messages like, “We’re with you, we believe you, you are changing the world,” and “Your courage and strength has inspired me. The bravery has been contagious.”

    College students wrote about how Ms. Ramirez had helped them find the words to express their own experiences. Medical students wrote about how they were now going to listen differently to victims of sexual violence. Parents wrote about having conversations with their children about how bad behavior can follow them through life. One father told Ms. Ramirez he was talking to his two sons about how their generation is obligated to be better.

    Ms. Ramirez saved all of these notes in a decorative box that she keeps in her house, turning to them even now for sustenance. One person sent a poem titled “What Is Justice” that has resonated deeply with her.

    “You can’t look at justice as just the confirmation vote,” she said. “There is so much good that came out of it. There is so much more good to come.”

    This essay is adapted from the forthcoming book “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation.”
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

  12. #357

    Re: Supreme Court Watch

    I just found out that my intractable vomiting still threatens to return every time I hear that name (B.K......I dare not type it). GH

    (kidding, but only just)

  13. #358

    Re: Supreme Court Watch

    Senator told FBI last fall of new information about Kavanaugh

    By Seung Min Kim
    September 16, 2019 at 11:37 a.m. EDT

    A Democratic senator told the FBI last fall of new information he said was relevant to allegations made against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh — a claim that was not investigated at the time but has since become public in an upcoming book chronicling the bitter confirmation fight.

    Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) wrote to FBI Director Christopher A. Wray on Oct. 2, 2018, requesting an “appropriate follow up” with one individual who had come to Coons with information about Kavanaugh. Although the person’s name was redacted in the one-page letter, a spokesman for Coons confirmed Monday that the individual was Max Stier, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale University who now leads a prominent nonpartisan group in Washington.

    In the letter obtained by The Washington Post, Coons said “several individuals” contacted his office who had wanted to share information with federal authorities but said they had “difficulty reaching anyone who will collect their information.”

    “I cannot speak to the relevance or veracity of the information that many of these individuals seek to provide, and I have encouraged them to use the FBI tip portal or contact a regional FBI field office,” Coons wrote to Wray. But Stier, Coons said, “was one individual whom I would like to specifically refer to you for appropriate follow up.”

    The FBI promptly acknowledged receiving the letter from Coons, according to his spokesman, Sean Coit. The two top senators on the Judiciary Committee at the time — Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) — were copied on Coons’s letter to the FBI.

    A spokesman for Grassley, who no longer chairs the Judiciary Committee, said Monday that the senator’s staff was unaware of the specifics of the information Stier had.

    “Not only were we not aware of the nature of the information referenced in the report, we had no reason to believe any separate allegation existed,” said the spokesman, Taylor Foy.

    Aides said Coons wrote the letter because he wanted to get relevant information about credible allegations as quickly as possible to the FBI. When Coons wrote the letter Oct. 2, FBI officials were in the middle of conducting a new, supplemental background check on Kavanaugh — who was facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct — ahead of his confirmation vote.

    Kavanaugh was confirmed Oct. 6.

    Stier had also requested to remain confidential, aides said, so Coons wanted to send the information directly to the FBI so sensitive details would not become public.

    The new allegation against Kavanaugh was made public Saturday night in a New York Times report — which was an excerpt from a forthcoming book about the justice from two of its reporters. Stier, the Yale classmate, said he saw Kavanaugh with his pants down at a party, where friends pushed Kavanaugh’s penis into a young woman’s hand, according to the Times.

    According to the book, “The Education of Brett M. Kavanaugh: An Investigation,” the woman involved in the alleged incident has told friends she does not recall it.

    The Post last year confirmed that two intermediaries had relayed such a claim to lawmakers and the FBI. The Post did not publish a story in part because the intermediaries declined to identify the alleged witness and because the woman who was said to be involved declined to comment.

    As the FBI was wrapping up its investigation, the intermediaries working on behalf of Stier delivered his account to agency officials. The intermediaries told The Post last year they had relayed that a classmate of Kavanaugh had witnessed the incident while taking a study break at Yale’s Lawrance Hall, a dorm. They declined to give The Post the classmate’s name.

    Stier was one of several people who went to Yale at the same time as Kavanaugh who reached out to the FBI last year seeking to provide information, but they were not interviewed, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The Coons connection was first reported by Jackie Calmes of the Los Angeles Times, who is also writing a book on Kavanaugh.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

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