Patterico's Pontifications


Fearless Supreme Court Predictions

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:18 pm

Justice Roberts writes Hobby Lobby decision. Contraception mandate is struck down 5-4 but decision is mealy-mouthed. Scalia and Thomas are upset.

Justice Alito writes decision striking down requirement that public employees must pay dues to unions bargaining on their behalf, even if they are not members. Decision is 5-4 and is not mealy-mouthed, but only Scalia and Thomas join strongest parts of opinion, while Kennedy and Roberts water it down by refusing to sign on to the whole opinion. Scalia and Thomas are upset.

All this is coming Monday morning. That will be fun.

Supreme Court Limits Recess Appointments

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:31 am

Tom Goldstein at SCOTUSBlog summarizes:

Here is the upshot of the decision. The President can make a recess appointment without Senate confirmation when the Senate says it is in recess. But either the House or the Senate can take the Senate out of recess and force it to hold a “pro forma session” that will block any recess appointment. So while the President’s recess appointment power is broad in theory, if either house of Congress is in the hands of the other party, it can be blocked.

Big Media is portraying this as a setback to Obama:

The US Supreme Court today limited a president’s power to make recess appointments when the White House and the Senate are controlled by opposite parties, scaling back a presidential authority as old as the republic.

The case arose from a political dispute between President Obama and Senate Republicans, who claimed he had no authority to put three people on the National Labor Relations Board in January 2012 when the Senate was out of town.

He used a president’s power, granted by the Constitution, to “fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate.” But the Republicans said the Senate was not in recess at the time the appointments were made, because every three days a senator went into the chamber, gaveled it to order, and then immediately called a recess.

By a unanimous vote, the Supreme Court agreed that the Senate was not in recess, holding that it’s up to both houses of Congress to define when they’re in session or in recess. As a result of the decision, the Senate can frustrate a president’s ability to make recess appointments simply by holding periodic pro forma sessions, a tactic used in recent years by both political parties.

But the folks at SCOTUSBlog say Scalia is reading a long concurrence, saying that while he agrees with the unanimous Court that the appointments are invalid, there is no basis for recess appointments in the Constitution, period.

Anti-McDaniel Race-Based Flyer Sure Looks Similar to the Work of Barbour’s Super-PAC

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:00 am

Did a Haley Barbour-supported super-PAC produce a controversial flyer that used race-based arguments to encourage Democrats to vote for Thad Cochran? This post exposes remarkable similarities between that flyer, which did not bear a notice stating who was responsible for its production, and another flyer producers by Mississippi Conservatives, a super-PAC created by establishment Republicans to oppose McDaniel.

As I told you last night, Charles C. Johnson posted this shot of an outrageous flyer that portrayed Chris McDaniel as a racist:

Johnson says he got this from a Mississippi voter, who told him: “Someone walked right up to my wife’s car and handed her this flyer, almost at the door of the voting station.”

As you can see, the flyer says: “The Tea Party intends to prevent blacks from voting on Tuesday.” It claims McDaniel “made racist comments on his radio show.” And, worst of all, it appears to openly encourage Democrats to vote for someone they don’t intend to support in the general election, saying:

MS law is clear. Anyone who did not vote in the June 3rd Democratic primary may vote in this Senate Run-off on Tuesday, June 24. If anyone asks you who you are voting for now or in November, tell them it’s a secret ballot and you don’t have to answer them.

This advice is wrong. The relevant statute says:

No person shall be eligible to participate in any primary election unless he intends to support the nominations made in the primary in which he participates.

Thus, the flyer appears to instruct Democrat voters on how to evade the requirements of the state’s open primary law, by telling them they can vote in the Republican primary — and coaching them not to reveal that they don’t intend to vote Republican in the general election.

Irresponsible accusations of racism? Check. Apparent encouragement of illegal voting? Check. Lack of a legally required notice to inform voters who was behind it? Check!

Mark Levin was beside himself:

Last night, Charles C. Johnson said he had evidence to show who was behind this flyer:

Charles allowed me to break the news on this blog. Here it is: a flyer put out by Mississippi Conservatives. Here is the first page:

Cochran Flyer01

And the second page:

Cochran Flyer02

(Charles watermarked the evidence with the name of his new blog which launches soon.)

As you can see, the same exact arguments that are made in the pro-Cochran flyer put out by Mississippi Conservatives are also made in the controversial flyer that made race-based arguments for Cochran:

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 9.57.55 PM

The Mississippi Conservatives’ arguments are on the left; the arguments from the controversial race-based flyer are on the right.

  • “Supports federal funding of Mississippi public schools” in the Mississippi Conservatives’ flyer is the second item on the right in the anonymous flyer appealing to race.
  • “Provided millions more in federal funds for HBCU’s [Historically Black Colleges and Universities]” in the Mississippi Conservatives’ flyer is also addressed in the second item on the right in the anonymous flyer appealing to race.
  • The reference to the Jackson Medical Mall — the third item in the Mississippi Conservatives’ flyer — is item three in the anonymous race-based flyer.
  • “Thad’s opponent voted against funding for our Civil Rights Museum” in the Mississippi Conservatives’ flyer is echoed in the first item on the right in the anonymous flyer appealing to race: “Voted against MS Civil Rights Museum.”
  • “Thad’s opponent opposes federal funding of Mississippi public schools” in the Mississippi Conservatives’ flyer is quoted almost word for word in the second item on the right in the anonymous flyer appealing to race: “Opposes federal funding of public schools.”

And that reference in the race-based flyer saying Thad Cochran “Supports All Mississippians?” That’s the very slogan used at the bottom of the Mississippi Conservatives’ flyer!

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 9.59.25 PM

Again, we are looking at the Mississippi Conservatives’ flyer on the left, with its slogan “For All Mississippians,” shown with the race-based flyer on the right, which says of Cochran: “Supports All Mississippians.”

The folks who put out these two flyers sure conveyed the same messages to voters.

They even used the exact same picture of Cochran!

Sure, this could all be a coincidence. But I think it’s time reporters put some hard questions to the folks behind the Mississippi Conservatives super-PAC.

If this is what establishment Republicanism is about, you can count me out.

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