Posts Tagged ‘Scalia’

12th April
2017
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neil Gorsuch being sworn in as a Supreme Court justice guarantees President Donald Trump will be forever known as appointing one of the most qualified, strict constitutionalist to the bench in modern history.

Gorsuch is every bit as an originalist as Justice Antonin Scalia, and at the young age of 49, he could have forty years of influence on the court. Just as Reagan’s legacy was solidified with Scalia’s appointment (following his appointment of the first woman to the Supreme Court, Arizona’s own Sandra Day O’Connor) Trump will enjoy kudos for this selection until he dies.

While I had suggested that Trump consider selecting Senator Ted Cruz, Gorsuch is a great pick. And given that he was confirmed to the federal bench unanimously, the hypocrisy of Senate Democrats in filibustering him is almost too easy to criticize. For one thing, by forcing McConnell to return to the pre-2003 standard of nominees being confirmed by simple majority, the Democrats have given up any leverage for future nominees. It’s almost certain that if Trump wins a second term he could get at least three and maybe as many as five picks.

If any of those picks are anywhere close to as solid as Gorsuch, Trump will do more to save this republic than any single person has done since Lincoln.  Yes, that sounds like hyperbole, but it is, in fact, true. The invasion of government into the everyday lives of the American people over the last few decades is astounding when you really stop and think about it.  There is no aspect of your own life that doesn’t have government fingerprints on it.

When you wake up in the morning and turn on your lights, you are paying fees to subsidize “green energy.” When you take a shower, you are paying extra for your water so your municipality can conduct water conservation programs. When you cook your breakfast, your butter, your jam, and your toast are more expensive because of regulations requiring nutritional information to be printed on the packaging.

You drive to work and you are paying gas taxes that pay for a lot of things that have nothing to do with roads and bridges (think light rail, bike paths, even hiking trails), and your car cost significantly more than it needs to because of government imposed miles-per-gallon requirements placed on car manufacturers.

When you work, you don’t earn your full paycheck, you pay income taxes, Medicaid taxes, Social Security taxes, state income taxes (in most states), to the tune of taking upwards of 40% of your paycheck before you even see the money.

And for what? What do you personally get for all that money that is taken?

As recently as 2000, the annual federal budget was $2.2 TRILLION and the debt was $5.6 TRILLION. Today, the federal budget is $3.9 TRILLION and the debt is an eye-popping $19.8 TRILLION! The share of the current debt is more than $61,000 for every single person in the U.S.

And yet, Democrats, and some Republicans want to spend more and more – the numbers are so out of sight even comparing it to monopoly money doesn’t do justice.

While Gorsuch may not have an immediate impact on reducing federal spending, there is no doubt that his influence on the court will help slow down and eventually turn back the invasion of government in our daily lives.  It may take time, but it needs to start now.

 

 

16th December
2016
written by Sean Noble

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President-elect Donald Trump can point to any number of factors that led to his election to be the next occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Other than the desire for change (which was a huge factor) a leading reason was the vacancy on the Supreme Court left when Justice Antonin Scalia suddenly passed away.

 For many moderate to lean conservative voters who may have otherwise voted for Clinton, the prospect of the liberals taking over the court was too much to bear.

 The big question is, who will Trump pick? In an unconventional move (in a very unconventional election) Trump released a list of his possible picks before the election. Chances are he will likely pick from that list. It’s become a D.C. parlor game to try to guess who he will pick.

 Even though he was not on the list, I would argue Trump should consider Senator Ted Cruz. Cruz clerked at the Supreme Court, was the Solicitor General for Texas, and obviously, ran for President. The calculation for Trump would be like the move President Obama made in appointing Jon Huntsman Jr. as Ambassador to China – neutralize potential opposition. Obama believed that Huntsman would be a formidable opponent in his re-election efforts. As it turned out, Huntsman took the job, only to resign and return to the U.S. and mount a campaign. Obama’s concerns about Huntsman may have been accurate in a General Election, but he hadn’t thought through how difficult it would be for Huntsman to get through the primary.

 If Trump were to pick Cruz for the Supreme Court, it would be (in part) to prevent Cruz from mounting a primary challenge in 2020. It would also be a pretty good move because Cruz is a conservative and he is young – he could be on the bench for 30 or 40 years.

 Another reason to pick Cruz would be that he is so unpopular with both Republican and Democrat Senators that he may get Senate approval by acclamation! Anyone else is certain to face a brutal confirmation process as Democrats take their frustrations of losing the White House out on Trump’s nominee.

 Either way, it’s going to be a fascinating process to watch.

29th March
2012
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s health care law may be on life support.  After three days of oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the challenge to the health care bill signed into law two years ago, the future of the law is very uncertain.

It’s clear that supporters of the law were rocked by how aggressive the questioning was by Justices Kennedy and Breyer – two justices that are key to which way the decision goes.  The Left is also very unhappy with Obama’s Solicitor General.  Mother Jones wrote, “If the law is upheld, it will be in spite of Verrilli’s performance, not because of it.”

I was struck my Kennedy’s first question right out of the box, “Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?”  That is how a Supreme Court Justice “gets up in your grill.”

Justices Scalia, Alito and Chief Justice Roberts also asked withering questions.  Justice Thomas was typically silent – he hasn’t asked a question in the last six years.  It is assumed that those four are near-certain to support striking down the individual mandate and based on Kennedy’s questioning, he could be the fifth vote.

What has alarmed the Left more than anything is the discussion in the final day of arguments when the Court discussed whether it was more reasonable to overturn the entire law if they agree that the individual mandate is struck down.

While I strongly believe that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, and have been cautiously optimistic that the Court would so rule, I have been very pessimistic about the Court overturning the entire law.  That would be a nice gift to the American people if it were to happen.

Transcripts of the three days of arguments are here:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday here and here