A new Marquette University poll finds that those surveyed oppose expanding the number of Supreme Court justices 51% to 48%.
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“President Biden and his top aides are rebuffing activists who want the White House to pressure Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire,” Axios reports.
“Both Biden and Chief of Staff Ron Klain believe applying such pressure — publicly or even privately — would politicize and damage the institution of the Supreme Court… They’re also afraid it could backfire.”
CNN reports that 228 Republican members of Congress — 184 House members and 44 senators — told the Supreme Court that it should overturn Roe v. Wade and release its “vise grip on abortion politics.”
A new Gallup poll finds 49% of Americans approve of the job the U.S. Supreme Court is doing, its first approval rating below the majority level since 2017. A year ago, 58% approved of the court.
However, unlike in 2017, when wide party gaps in ratings of the court drove its approval below 50%, today Republicans and Democrats view it similarly.
The Hill: “In a 33-page brief, Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked the court to use a Mississippi case to be reviewed next term as a vehicle to overturn Roe v. Wade and related rulings.”
Wrote the three Senators: “Roe and Casey should be overruled, and the question of abortion legislation should be returned to the states.”
Nicholas Lemann: “It’s distinctly possible that the Supreme Court, as early as next year, could signal that it considers efforts aimed explicitly at helping Black people to be unconstitutional. In June, the Court asked the Biden Administration to give its views on the Harvard case. If the Court decides to take it, that would be seen as good news by the plaintiffs and bad news by Harvard, which has won in the lower courts…”
“It’s by no means clear that the Supreme Court has shared in the resurgence of passion for racial-justice issues that has swept through many other leading American institutions. This could be one of those Court decisions which set off not just private legal readjustments but public demonstrations, and years of political organizing… It will be fitting if the Court takes the Harvard case. The long-running battles over affirmative action involve a clash between two opposing principles, both arguably invented at Harvard: meritocracy and diversity.”
Jeffrey Toobin: “Thomas, who was confirmed in 1991, is now the longest tenured Justice on the court. More notably, he is now the leading figure among the five solid conservatives on the court.”
“In crucial, contested cases, Chief Justice Roberts has increasingly been voting with the three remaining liberals — Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. If Roberts continues this pattern, that means Thomas will be the senior Justice in several significant 5 to 4 cases and thus enjoy the right to assign majority opinions, including, of course, to himself.”
In a major abortion case currently before the Supreme Court, Mississippi is explicitly asking in court papers filed today for the justices to overturn landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, Reuters reports.
“Nearly three years after Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s tumultuous confirmation to the Supreme Court, the FBI has disclosed more details about its efforts to review the justice’s background, leading a group of Senate Democrats to question the thoroughness of the vetting and conclude that it was shaped largely by the Trump White House,” the New York Times reports.
“FBI assistant director Jill Tyson said that the most ‘relevant’ of the 4,500 tips the agency received during an investigation into Mr. Kavanaugh’s past were referred to White House lawyers in the Trump administration, whose handling of them remains unclear.”
“The letter left uncertain whether the FBI itself followed up on the most compelling leads.”
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction to stop an Arkansas law banning nearly all abortions in the state following a lawsuit disputing its constitutionality, the AP reports.
Justice Stephen Breyer has not decided when he will retire and is especially gratified with his new role as the senior liberal on the bench, he told CNN.
He went on to say that he has to consider two things when making his decision: “Primarily, of course, health… Second, the court.”
Former President Donald Trump is quoted in Landslide by Michael Wolff saying he is “very disappointed” in Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and that he “hasn’t had the courage you need to be a great justice,” Axios reports.
Said Trump: “There were so many others I could have appointed, and everyone wanted me to.. Where would he be without me? I saved his life. He wouldn’t even be in a law firm. Who would have had him? Nobody. Totally disgraced. Only I saved him.”
Wolff writes that Trump feels betrayed by all three justices he put on the court, including Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett, but “reserved particular bile for Kavanaugh.”
Former clerks to Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer told Insider they’re surprised he hasn’t resigned yet given the Democrats’ slim majority in the U.S. Senate.
Associated Press: “As congressional Democrats gear up for another bruising legislative push to expand voting rights, much of their attention has quietly focused on a small yet crucial voting bloc with the power to scuttle their plans: the nine Supreme Court justices.”
“Democrats face dim prospects for passing voting legislation through a narrowly divided Congress, where an issue that once drew compromise has become an increasingly partisan flashpoint. But as they look to reinstate key parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a landmark civil rights-era law diminished over the past decade by Supreme Court rulings, they have accepted the reality that any bill they pass probably will wind up in litigation — and ultimately back before the high court.
New York Times: “People across the country may soon be able to sue abortion clinics, doctors and anyone helping a woman get an abortion in Texas, under a new state law that contains a legal innovation with broad implications for the American court system.”
“The result is a law that is extremely difficult to challenge before it takes effect on Sept. 1, because it is hard to know whom to sue to block it, and lawyers for clinics are now wrestling with what to do about it.”
Rick Hasen: “It’s been almost a week since the Supreme Court issued its most significant ruling on voting rights in nearly a decade, and each time I read Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, the angrier I become. I’m angry not only about what the court did but also about how much of the public does not realize what a hit American democracy has taken.”
“In an opinion thick with irony, Justice Alito turned back the clock on voting rights to 1982. His decision for a six-justice conservative court majority reopens the door to a United States in which states can put up roadblocks to minority voting and engage in voter suppression with few legal consequences once a state has raised tenuous and unsupported concerns about the risk of voter fraud.”
Politico: “Although the court continued to move in a conservative direction and split along the usual ideological lines as it handed down major 6-3 decisions on voting rights and dark money disclosure, divides on the right were also vividly on display in a series of high-profile cases this term, including the latest challenge to Obamacare and a case over a Catholic social services group’s obligation to deal with same-sex couples seeking to become foster parents.”
“To conservative activists, every disappointment conjures up fears anchored in recent history … There haven’t been many boldly conservative decisions from the Trump appointees so far.”
Politico: “The Supreme Court’s decision to review Mississippi’s stringent restrictions on abortion — putting Roe vs. Wade under its roughest stress test yet — is being seen as a call to action for the nation’s community of underground abortion activists. And they make it clear they’re prepared to defy any laws banning abortion.”
“The community had spent the pandemic dealing with the ‘abortionpocalypse’ — a wave of red state restrictions on procedures to terminate pregnancies — by recruiting new members and online providers, adding new privacy features that could shield them from law enforcement and organizing. And now, with the court’s decision to hear the Mississippi case in its upcoming term, they’re confronting a new threat.”