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Extremely Weird Fellows Urge Supreme Court to Rule on Independent State Legislature Theory



The Supreme Court sought guidance by addressing the parties in Moore vs. harpera landmark election law case to explain what he should do about the case now that the North Carolina Supreme Court is rehearing the main redistricting dispute.

Six responses were received, many of which went in a slightly different direction. Two diametrically opposed parties, however, persistently urged the court to continue consideration of the case.

The case centers on county maps passed by the North Carolina legislature, which the state Supreme Court ruled last year were brutally rigged in favor of the Republicans. Republican legislators based some of their arguments on Independent State Legislature Theory (ISLT), an idea from the right-wing legal world that only state legislatures—excluding state courts, constitutions, and governors—can control federal elections. in their states, including the compilation of congressional maps. Thus, these legislators say, we can draw lines as we please without limiting our power. Experts warn that if the Supreme Court agreed with this argument, it could have far-reaching implications for how American elections are conducted.

With the 2022 midterm elections, an influx of right-wing judges came to the bench in North Carolina who agreed to declare Republicans’ long-term bid for the court to rule. rehearse case. The decision was as unprecedented as it was overtly political: Republican judges now have the votes to overturn a year-old state court ruling and clear the way for Republican lawmakers to pass a map twisted to their liking. The right-wing judges appeared to be very accommodating to overturn the court’s own ruling that knocked the cards in last week’s oral argument. Notably, ISLT was not upgraded.

All this has put the Supreme Court, which has already received a briefing and oral arguments in the case, in a difficult position. Earlier this month, he asked the parties to submit briefings on whether he has jurisdiction over the case.

Both sides argue that the Court still has jurisdiction over the case and must make a decision upholding or revoking the ISLT, based on sharply opposed poles.

One of them, not surprisingly, is Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives Timothy Moore (right). North Carolina Lawmakers Could Potentially Greenlight Gerrymander’s Cards another a Supreme Court decision giving them unlimited power over the federal election commission in their state. Good deal for him.

The other, oddly enough, is Common Cause, a good group of left-wing government oversight. But this group argues that the Court should decide now for a very different motive.

“This court should not wait for this matter to be brought before it on an emergency basis ahead of the 2024 election cycle,” Common Cause lawyers wrote. “The presented question is fully stated, carefully argued and ready for decision. This court is the only forum that can definitely address this issue and provide guidance to state legislatures and state courts across the country.”

Experts raised similar concerns about TPM immediately after the North Carolina Supreme Court agreed to a retrial: ISLT will not go away. And all things considered, they argued it was better to get that decision now than in some nightmare 2024 scenario where it all comes down to one or two states and a Supreme Court decision that could determine the winner.

The positions of the other parties Mooreas it was said on Monday, can be grouped into buckets.

First, the Supreme Court never had jurisdiction over this case and still does not. Lawyers for some of the defendants, represented by the firm of Democratic election attorney Mark Elias, took that stance, but added that if the court truly felt the need to go to the ISLT, it should reject it.

“To the extent that the Court is concerned that disputes under the election clause will ‘continue to arise until the Court finally decides’ the matter … so it is inclined to rule here, it should do so only in order to finally — and finally — completely reject the Independent State Legislation Theory,” the lawyers wrote.

The League of Conservation Voters of North Carolina agreed, arguing that the Supreme Court was wrongfully interfering at all as the state court proceeded; the group specifically pointed out that the North Carolina Supreme Court had not made a final decision on which congressional card should be used in future elections.

The second position taken by the US Department of Justice and the North Carolina Department of Justice is that the Court has no jurisdiction given the actions of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

The deputy attorney general of North Carolina first argued that the state’s case had not yet been completed, so a higher court could not intervene. (The North Carolina Department of Justice is headed by a Democratic Attorney General and is at odds with a Republican-majority legislature.)

U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said the North Carolina Court is likely to debate a central issue that the Supreme Court would be interested in deciding: whether, given the ISLT’s arguments, state courts are allowed to enforce state law in processes such as redistricting. .

If the Supreme Court of North Carolina reverses its previous decision and finds that the Constitution of North Carolina is effectively admissible partisan machinations, the question of whether a state court can play a role in enforcing statutory standards ceases to exist. There would be nothing to impose.

Prelogar took a noticeably soft tone, stating that the case was new and unprecedented and that the judges might not agree with the government’s position.

“We do not believe that these arguments justify the continued exercise of jurisdiction in the circumstances presented here,” she wrote. “But we acknowledge that no precedent directly regulates this issue and that the court could reasonably have reached a different conclusion.”

Now the Supreme Court will have to decide whether the moment has come when it accepts or rejects the dangerous ISLT, which could significantly undermine the US elections.


Springsteen, Kaling, Vera Wang and Colson Whitehead to receive arts medals from Biden: NPR



Bruce Springsteen performing in Milwaukee on March 7, 2023. On Tuesday, he will receive the National Medal of Arts at the White House.

Rob Grabowski/Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP

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Rob Grabowski/Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP

Bruce Springsteen performing in Milwaukee on March 7, 2023. On Tuesday, he will receive the National Medal of Arts at the White House.

Rob Grabowski/Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP

Musicians Bruce Springsteen, Gladys Knight and Jose Feliciano will receive medals for their work during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday.

They are among 21 individuals and organizations to receive the National Medal of Arts and the National Medal of Humanities for 2021, awards given for contributions to the arts and humanities. (The awards were delayed by a year due to the pandemic.)

Actors Mindy Kaling and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, fashion designer Vera Wang and writers Richard Blanco, Anne Patchett, Brian Stevenson, Amy Tan and Colson Whitehead will receive medals.

Biden also wants to honor Fred Eichaner for his contributions to dance, architecture, art education, and LGBTQI+ rights. Eichaner is a major donor to the Democratic Party.

Previously, Biden presented the National Humanities Medal to Sir Elton John in September 2022 at a special performance at the White House.

Here is the complete list of winners:

National Medal of Arts

  • Judith Francisca Baca, artist
  • Fred Eichaner, philanthropist
  • Jose Feliciano, musician
  • Mindy Kaling, actress
  • Gladys Knight, musician
  • Julia Louis Dreyfus, actor
  • Antonio Martorell Cardona, artist
  • Joan Shigekawa, producer and art manager
  • Bruce Springsteen, musician
  • Vera Wang, designer
  • Billie Holiday Theater
  • International Association of Blacks in Dance

National Humanities Medal

  • Richard Blanco, writer
  • Johnnetta Betch Cole, anthropologist
  • Walter Isaacson, writer
  • Earl Lewis, historian
  • Henrietta Mann, Native American academic
  • Ann Patchett, writer
  • Brian Stevenson, lawyer and activist
  • Amy Tan, writer
  • Tara Westover, writer
  • Colson Whitehead, writer
  • Native America Calls, radio show

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DOJ Asks Supreme Court to Reconsider Domestic Violence Weapons Decision



“The contrary decision of the Fifth Circuit incorrectly applies the precedents of this court, contradicts the decisions of other appellate courts, and threatens serious harm to victims of domestic violence,” the government’s petition reads.

The government said it filed a fast track petition to allow the court to determine before summer break at the end of June whether it will hear the case.

Federal law prohibits individuals from possessing firearms if they are subject to a court order prohibiting them from stalking or threatening an intimate partner.

5th District pointed to Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. against. Bruen, which sets out a kind of legal test of gun rules based on the traditions and history of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

The Court of Appeal concluded that the government failed to show that the statutory “limitation of Second Amendment right is consistent with our nation’s historical tradition of regulating firearms.”

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Joe Biden Signs D.C. Penal Review Repeal Bill



WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law a bill repealing the District of Columbia’s recent penal code overhaul, but the struggle between Congress and local lawmakers continues.

The signature simply marks the end of a tumultuous first chapter in a saga that has left county legislators bitterly cherishing their political bruises, harboring renewed resentment against National Democrats, and preparing to defend themselves against the House Republican-controlled asset for at least the next two years. .

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy hailed the move in a statement, calling it the end of what he called “a rewritten criminal code that treats violent criminals as victims and ignores the views of law enforcement.”

But even before the bill was formally sent to Biden, Republicans in the House of Representatives promised a season of direct congressional intervention in D.C. local affairs.

“This is just the beginning,” California’s McCarthy said earlier this month at a signing ceremony after the Senate, with significant Democratic support, voted to repeal the new criminal code. “This is a message for the entire nation.”

The members of the DC Council appear to have full faith in these promises.

“I’m afraid we’ll see more of that before the end of this Congress,” said D.C. Board Chairman Phil Mendelsohn. “Does this raise concerns that there will be other problems? Yes.”

When the Congressional measure proved inevitable, and Biden signaled that he would sign it, the D.C. Board withdrew the measure. But the move didn’t spare Biden a politically motivated decision about whether to approve Congress’s decision.

Biden did not issue a statement accompanying the Monday signing. But earlier this month, he tweeted that while he supports statehood for D.C., “I don’t support some of the changes the D.C. Council made over the mayor’s objections, such as lowering auto theft fines.”

Under Washington’s powers of self-rule, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee essentially reviews all new D.C. laws and often changes or restricts them with budget overlays. But the rewritten penal code is the first completely repealed law since 1991.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer, D-Kentucky, pledged that his committee is “ready to exercise strict oversight of America’s capital.”

This strict oversight has already begun. Even before Biden signed the bill, the Oversight Committee sent out letters challenging Mendelsohn, D.C. councilman Charles Allen, and D.C. CFO Glen Lee to testify at the March 29 hearing. The subject of this hearing, according to the letter, is the ominously vague “general oversight of the District of Columbia, including crime, safety, and city government.”

Other Republicans in the House of Representatives have already identified areas of interest that should be addressed. Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia introduced a resolution to block police accountability legislation, known as the Comprehensive Police and Justice Reform Act.

Most aspects of this law were passed by the D.C. Council on an emergency basis in 2020 amid protests against police brutality following the killing of George Floyd; in December 2022, it became permanent. It bans the use of chokeholds by police, makes police disciplinary documents available to the public, weakens the bargaining power of the police union, and limits the use of tear gas to disperse protesters.

“Now that Congress has effectively used its constitutional powers to repeal the dangerously revised D.C. Council Penal Code Act, we must now take action to quickly block this anti-police measure to keep our nation’s capital safe for all Americans,” Clyde said. in a statement.

Clyde is a longtime enemy of D.C. supporters, having publicly stated that his ultimate goal is to completely end Washington’s power of self-rule. This opinion, which was once a fringe position, has come close to becoming a main topic of discussion among Republicans. Earlier this month, former President Donald Trump publicly stated that “the federal government must assume control and management of Washington, DC.”

Meanwhile, Oversight Committee member Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, Georgia, targeted the D.C. prison for congressional scrutiny.

Green demanded access to the prison in order to visit about two dozen prisoners involved in the January 6 uprising at the US Capitol. She is also seeking a complete overview of conditions in the prison.

Other aspects of D.C. legislation remain current targets for Republican activists, such as the district’s strict gun control laws or the decision to essentially decriminalize most psychedelics, a move that was approved by D.C. voters in a referendum.

This congressional assault on oversight was widely predicted when Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives in last year’s midterm elections. But most local politicians and activists hoped they could count on Democratic control of both the Senate and the White House as a shield. Those hopes quickly faded in a storm of political dynamics that resulted in a humiliating setback for the DC Council and Washington’s high hopes for statehood.

Republicans in the House of Representatives were able to put Biden and Democrats in the Senate into a political trap. By defending DC’s right to self-government, they would open themselves to accusations of being soft on criminals during a rise in crime in both the nation’s capital and the United States.

Ultimately, Biden signaled before the Senate vote that he would not veto the penal code rejection, and 33 Democratic senators voted to overturn it. The moves were seen by statehood activists as a betrayal that they said exposed the failure of D.C. Democratic support for statehood.

For now, the DC Council argues that the city’s criminal code is dangerously outdated and in desperate need of reform, but after the original law has become a national political issue, there seems to be little desire to try again in the short term.

Mendelsohn said changing aspects that have drawn criticism, such as lowering maximum penalties for crimes like auto theft, will simply lead to other objections from the Republican House, which he says is openly looking for fights.

“I don’t plan to set up a hotline for the Republican leadership in the House and Senate, call them every week and ask them for permission to move forward,” Mendelsohn said.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.

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