Supreme Court

Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law

The Supreme Court struck down a Texas abortion law Monday that advocates argued made it more difficult for women to receive an abortion. The court ruled the law placed an undue burden on women. The court’s opinion is available online here. Justice Stephen Breyer authored the court’s opinion. The court ruled 5-3. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg… Read More

Remember When Richard Shelby Was A Democrat And Voted Against Reagan’s Pro-Life Supreme Court Nominee?

Politics is a funny thing.

And it only gets funnier when you have broaden your scope and look at it with a wide historical context.

Alabama’s senior Senator Richard Shelby is not a big fan of President Barack Obama. No big shock there. His voting record was recently ranked as the third most conservative in the whole of the Senate.

As a consequence, Shelby has vowed to “adamantly oppose” any Supreme Court nominee that Obama offers up to the Senate for confirmation to replace Conservative icon Antonin Scalia.

“This great loss brings on a great responsibility for the United States Senate,” Shelby said in a press release on the matter. “Justice Scalia’s replacement should be considered carefully and thoughtfully because it is vital to our nation’s future that we confirm a justice who will continue his legacy.”

But Shelby has not always followed his own advice.

Back in 1987, Shelby was a vocal opponent of Judge Robert Bork‘s nomination to the Supreme Court.

Bork was a favorite of President Ronald Reagan and was seen as a conservative firebrand who would help keep the court firmly leaning to the right.

But at the time Shelby was a Democrat (and would be until he ditched the Dems for the GOP in 1994) and had little patience for Bork, a man who could have helped Scalia take the court in an even more Originalist direction.

“Overall, he [Bork] will have a divisive influence in this country, he will polarize this country and I think that’s not good for my state or the nation,” Shelby said in a C-SPAN call in show in October of 1987. “That’s why I’m going to vote against him.”

Then Sen. Ted Kennedy was a leading opponent of Bork, and he famously argued against the jurist in a way that made him sound like a right-wing nut. Kennedy gave a well-remembered invective against Bork on the floor of the Senate after Reagan announced his nomination:

“Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens.”

Bork’s nomination was eventually defeated in the Senate 42 votes to 58.

“It’s all politics,” Shelby said on C-SPAN in 1987. “People say that nomination to the Supreme Court is apolitical. It’s not apolitical. It is part of the political process. It always has been, always will be.”

While some things change, other things stay the same.

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Cover Photo Credit: Medill DC/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Supreme Court Justice, Conservative Icon Antonin Scalia Dead At 79

Long serving Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died earlier today at a Texas ranch at the age of 79 according to multiple media reports.

He apparently died of natural causes.

“I was told it was this morning,” Biery U.S. District Judge Fred Biery told MySanAntonio of Scalia’s death. “It happened on a ranch out near Marfa. As far as the details, I think it’s pretty vague right now as to how,” he said. “My reaction is it’s very unfortunate. It’s unfortunate with any death, and politically in the presidential cycle we’re in, my educated guess is nothing will happen before the next president is elected.”

Scalia was nominated to the court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan and has been a steady conservative voice on the court ever since.

Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed the reports of Scalia’s death.

Cover Photo Credit: Stephen Masker/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The Supreme Court Might Be About To Give Obama A Unwanted Surprise

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court has often dealt big blows to presidents in their second term. Harry Truman was rebuked for claiming the power to seize strike-bound steel mills during the Korean War. Richard Nixon resigned shortly after the court ruled unanimously he must turn over the Watergate tapes. Bill Clinton’s impeachment was triggered by the court’s decision… Read More

The Supreme Court Just Gave Gun Control Supporters A Big Win

WASHINGTON — In a victory for gun-control advocates, the Supreme Court on Monday rejected a 2nd Amendment challenge to laws that forbid the sale or possession of semiautomatic weapons that carry more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The justices by a 7-2 vote refused to review rulings by judges in Chicago who upheld a ban on… Read More

Supreme Court Scores Victory For Pro Choice Camp In Planned Parenthood Videos Saga

The Supreme Court just dealt a blow to the Center for Medical Progress, a California-based anti-abortion group that released a series of videos in which Planned Parenthood employees appear to discuss the sale of fetal tissue. David Daleiden, the pro-life auteur behind the videos, asked Justice Anthony Kennedy to block an order from a district judge…

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