Tuesday, October 20, 2020

What Does The SCOTUS Pennsylvania Ruling Mean?

This could be very interesting. Shipwreckedcrew offers a very concise account of what this outrageous ruling could mean, followed by a much lengthier analysis:

Supreme Court Declines To Intervene In Case Challenging Changes To Pennsylvania Election Law Rules — For Now

The interesting part is the "for now," which we'll get to.

What this case is about is pretty simple. The Dem governor of PA asked the legislature to change the election laws. The legislature, controlled by the GOP, declined to do so. So the PA Supreme Court--controlled by Dem judges--stepped in and changed the PA election laws by judicial fiat.

Here's the short version by SWC of what this means:

Late Monday night the Supreme Court issued an Order denying an application for an Emergency Stay to prevent changes to Pennsylvania election law made by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The Order stated that Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh would have granted the Emergency Stay.  But four Justices opposed the Stay and with a 4-4 outcome, the rules of the Supreme Court are that the requested relief is denied.

The implications of that outcome are two-fold:

First, it means that Chief Justice Roberts joined with the three Court liberals, Justices Breyer, Kagen, and Sotomayor, in voting to allow the Pennsylvania Supreme Court changes to Pennsylvania election laws to remain in place for the upcoming election.  This is a concerning development that he might fall in with the liberals on the various election law challenges that are percolating up in the Circuit Courts of Appeal.

Second, it guarantees that Judge Amy Coney Barrett will be confirmed next week.

Why does this guarantee Judge Amy's confirmation? This is why:

What might this portend for the U.S. Supreme Court?

To start with, this application for Emergency Stay can be refiled — and I expect it will be refiled when Judge Barrett is confirmed. That will generate two interesting questions.

First, will Judge Barrett — at that point Justice Barrett — recuse herself from election-related matters as some liberal commentators have claimed she must do?

Second, if she does not, will any of the four Justices who said today they would have granted the Stay change their vote if the application is refiled?

That is a tricky question from the standpoint of collegiality and tradition.

If you're interested in collegiality and tradition on the SCOTUS, and how that might lead to We The People getting screwed, SWC has lots to tell you. Also, regarding the argument that a Justice Amy should recuse. The argument that she should is based on a 2009 5-4 decision by Anthony Kennedy and four liberals. It's an idiotic decision. I would hope that the four conservative justices, joined by Justice Amy, would put their foot down on Roberts' shenanigans and tell him where to shove his manipulative concept of collegiality. Collegiality is not compatible with that type of behavior.

So, that's where things stand.

I like Don Surber's take on Roberts. He says he used to think Obama had something on Roberts. But now, he says, he knows that Roberts is simply a jerk.


  1. Having something on him and being a jerk can BOTH be true....

    But speaking of recusing, how about we demand Roberts recuse himself because of his role in the FISA scandal? IMO he cannot weigh in on cases that have direct impact on Trump himself after all he has done to allow the spying and turn a blind eye to the corruption designed to remove him.

  2. Very disappointing - this Roberts fellow.

  3. When I look back at Justice Thomas, I can't help but think the Boosh family are deeply disappointed in his interpretation of the constitution.

  4. Some Chief Justices live in a world of one...and they're brilliant and wonderful in that world! In the meantime, in the world the rest of us live in, they're just an 'odd duck.' Jerk's another good term...

    It is interesting that in another recent election law stay, there was no discussion by any of the justices, and in this case it was much more complicated.

  5. Roberts and his wife adopted Irish children illegally.

  6. A few Swags:

    1. Roberts despises Trump. Roberts is a Bush appointee, Trump is a deplorable, and a traitor to his class.

    2. Roberts kids adoption from Ireland was in gray areas of the law. And this is being leveraged against him.

    3. Roberts sees his decision as showing he is not biased for Trump, and is trying to appear non political.

    4. He voted this way so the issue can be revisited with Judge Barrett sitting, so he won’t be accused of taking advantage of Judge Ginsburg’s death for political reasons.

    1. Correct Answer: All of the above. I really liked ACB during her confirmation hearings. She really impressed as having a normal sensibility and sense of humor in spite of the brainpower she's been blessed with, while some of the other Supremes seem to let their neuroses or narcissism control their brainpower.

    2. Or:
      5. He's a jerk.
      Tom S.

  7. My late parents used to call men like Roberts “pantywaists”. Afraid of their own shadow, and certainly afraid to take a strong position on anything. We call them Wimps. Wusses. Brits call them Wets. Weak and ineffectual, they are dangerous if they find their way into the wrong job - in business, government, or in the judiciary.

  8. Maybe JR bats for the other team.

  9. Once Barrett is on the Court, the GOP can file a motion to reconsider.

    1. It would've been soon enough to matter to vote counting, but if she's not confirmed 'til 30 Oct., could SCotUS rule vs. PA, before the BS votes are counted?