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Old June 29th, 2018 (2:30 PM).
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This week has been a very big week for the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
  1. Monday saw a 5-4 decision along typical lines regarding a redistricting case in Texas. The Texas District Court had earlier decided that Texas' district lines were racially gerrymandered and needed to be redrawn. The Supreme Court decided that the District Court had improperly decided that case and that it would need to be re-decided in line with the issues they brought forward. Additionally, the court was asked if the current redistricting lines were valid, and they found that they were, with the exception of one district which was racially gerrymandered and would need to be redrawn.
  2. Monday also saw another 5-4 decision along the same lines regarding an antitrust case. American Express has a provision in their merchant contracts that prohibited their partners from discouraging use of the card to avoid fees. The Supreme Court found that these provisions did not violate antitrust law.
  3. Tuesday saw a 5-4 decision along the same lines regarding the validity of California's FACT Act, which requires that pregnancy centers (mainly those operated by pro-life groups) disclose that abortion services are offered by state-run clinics and that they disclose their unlicensed status if they are unlicensed. The Supreme Court found that both of these notices violated the First Amendment rights of those running the operations, although for different reasons.
  4. Tuesday also saw another 5-4 decision along the same lies regarding the validity of the injunction (or temporary hold on implementation) on the third iteration of President Trump's travel ban. The Supreme Court found that, at least regarding this iteration of the travel ban, he was within his rights to implement it the way that he did, and that the arguments that prompted the injunction did not have a reasonable chance of succeeding. The Supreme Court ordered the injunction released and sent the case back down to be re-decided in light of their ruling.
  5. Wednesday saw a 5-4 decision not on typical lines regarding a long-running dispute about a water source between Florida and Georgia. The Supreme Court found that the individual they assigned to review a complaint Florida raised (in which they requested a cap be placed on the amount of water Georgia could use) had not properly considered their argument and ordered the case be reheard. This means Florida will get to reargue their case with respect to this complaint.
  6. Wednesday also saw another 5-4 decision back on typical lines regarding the rights of labor unions to collect union fees from non-union workers in return for the service of collective bargaining. The Supreme Court found that requiring non-union workers to pay union fees violates their First Amendment rights by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern.
  7. Finally, Wednesday also saw the major announcement that Justice Anthony Kennedy will be retiring on July 31st. This will probably have a major impact on case decisions going forward, as Kennedy was often seen as a "swing vote" on a Court otherwise usually divided along ideological lines.

So all in all, a very big week for the Supreme Court. Justice Kennedy has written some truly interesting opinions, a few of which I've read all the way through, most recently his decision in favor of gay marriage, which contained some very interesting ideas.

Regarding this week's rulings, I don't have any strong opinions about most of them, but I feel very strongly about Wednesday's decision Janus v. AFSCME regarding labor unions. I strongly agree with the majority on this. I believe labor unions are a good idea in theory and ought to be an essential check on corporate power, but in practice they've become groups for political activism. I don't mind that they exist (although I wish they'd be more about workers' rights and less about political activism), but I agree strongly that they shouldn't be able to collect fees from people who don't wish to be a part of them, especially in light of their political lobbying.
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Old June 29th, 2018 (6:02 PM).
AlolanRattata AlolanRattata is offline
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    They should not be able to collect fees from anyone who does not wish to associate with them period. Who cares about political activism?

    You cannot force someone to do something they don't want to do.
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    Old June 29th, 2018 (6:45 PM).
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    Kennedy resigning has me super nervous. I know overturning SC rulings is difficult edging on impossible, but with the recent ruling on the bakery incident, I’m worried we’re gonna end up with an anti-LGBTQ justice and a repeal case on our hands.
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    Old June 29th, 2018 (10:36 PM).
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Trev View Post
    Kennedy resigning has me super nervous. I know overturning SC rulings is difficult edging on impossible, but with the recent ruling on the bakery incident, I’m worried we’re gonna end up with an anti-LGBTQ justice and a repeal case on our hands.
    I'm not that knowledgeable on this side of American politics, but if your president has any say in who ends up in his position I wouldn't exactly hold high hopes for rulings that benefit minority groups of any kind, period. That being said, I don't see past judgements being overturned any time soon simply because it'd be a waste of time and resources.

    I agree that unions definitely shouldn't be able to expect payment from non-members, and this is really something for another discussion (so expect a thread on it soon, but I'm really curious how a union is meant to support worker's right without political activism.
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    Old June 30th, 2018 (12:30 AM).
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      Well, I've always known this travel ban wasn't geared towards Muslims themselves, but terrorist 'hot beds' as defined by the previous administration.

      Kennedy's resignation is quite odd, but I don't feel any repeal of rights likely. People are worried about 'what about the gays, lesbians, trans, etc.' but I would bet cold cash on any repeal in the case of marriage 'bad business'.

      A major win recently (two weeks?) for religious freedom for the baker who lost his job because he refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. They sued, he lost his business and livelihood. The court ruled in his favor some years later.

      Hopefully, the next installment will vote in accordance with the law (unlike RBG) and intrepret it fairly.

      Judges shouldn't change laws, but rather rule if the law in place is just and if any action lands inside or outside of the law.

      Most of the meltdowns and handwringing is quite amusing though.
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      Old June 30th, 2018 (4:44 AM).
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      Quote:
      Originally Posted by gimmepie View Post
      I'm not that knowledgeable on this side of American politics, but if your president has any say in who ends up in his position I wouldn't exactly hold high hopes for rulings that benefit minority groups of any kind, period. That being said, I don't see past judgements being overturned any time soon simply because it'd be a waste of time and resources.
      The president is the one who nominates Supreme Court justices, but they usually have to be approved by Congress is how it works afaik. So given the fact that the Republicans hold a majority (albeit a slim one atm) of seats in both houses, whoever Trump picks is highly likely to be approved.

      Trump has also mentioned as of late (or rather, is bringing up again something he's said in the past) that once Kennedy's spot is filled that he wants to see the SCOTUS repeal/overturn Roe v Wade. Although I don't know if the Supreme Court will want to bother with revisiting a ~40 year old case/decision.
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      Old June 30th, 2018 (9:39 AM).
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      Something important to remember: In Obama's last year Justice Scalia died and, being the current president, Obama was supposed to nominate a replacement, but the Republican-controlled Senate argued that since it was an election year they shouldn't let Obama nominate anyone because "the people should have a say" or something to that effect. So they blocked all attempts at replacing Scalia until after the 2016 election.

      It's an election year again, with the Senate up for grabs, but you won't see Republicans in Congress making the same argument now that they have a chance to pack the SC with justices favorable to their brand of politics.

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      Originally Posted by gimmepie View Post
      That being said, I don't see past judgements being overturned any time soon simply because it'd be a waste of time and resources.
      Conservative/pro-life side of things really want to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that says abortion can be legal in the US. That decision is the only thing which keeps there being a national law outlawing abortion everywhere. If the Court gets a conservative ideologue to replace Kennedy then immediate you'll start to see challenges to abortion start to work their way through the courts in the hopes of getting a case brought before the SC so that it can be struck down.
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      Old June 30th, 2018 (11:22 AM).
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        That being said, I don't see past judgements being overturned any time soon simply because it'd be a waste of time and resources.
        The current government has gotten rid of, or attempted to get rid of half the progress we've made in the past 8 years, I wouldn't put it past them.
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        Old June 30th, 2018 (12:51 PM).
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        Aside from overturns, I’m worried about muk like this happening. An unbalanced SC is not going to be favorable to a lot of people in this country.
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        Old June 30th, 2018 (12:52 PM).
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        Something important to remember: In Obama's last year Justice Scalia died and, being the current president, Obama was supposed to nominate a replacement, but the Republican-controlled Senate argued that since it was an election year they shouldn't let Obama nominate anyone because "the people should have a say" or something to that effect. So they blocked all attempts at replacing Scalia until after the 2016 election.

        It's an election year again, with the Senate up for grabs, but you won't see Republicans in Congress making the same argument now that they have a chance to pack the SC with justices favorable to their brand of politics.
        I don't really understand what point you're trying to get across here. Both sides want to have power and keep it, so they will do anything they can for that to happen. One of the fundamental issues of the Supreme Court is how they have such long terms so that they can be "apolitical" but they very rarely are apolitical. Even now democrats are trying to stop Trump from putting in a new justice because of the decades-long effect it would have on the US. Which is exactly what the republicans did after Scalia.

        We also have an 85 year old justice in the SC, if Trump is reelected he'll probably get to replace that one too. It's ridiculous but sadly it seems like all US politics is like that lately. The president has too much power, period. Hopefully we'll learn from this presidency and reform the Supreme Court as a result.
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        Old June 30th, 2018 (7:38 PM).
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        Trumps new Pick will likely be accepted as one of the democrats will vote yes for the justice in trade of a vote to limit Trumps tariff power, which this democrat is on his way out of the senate this year. Which Trump announced he will reveal his candidate on July 9th.
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        Old June 30th, 2018 (7:44 PM). Edited June 30th, 2018 by MortalPhoenix.
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          "Although I don't know if the Supreme Court will want to bother with revisiting a ~40 year old case/decision."

          The Supreme Court's decision of Brown v. Board in the 1950s overturned Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, so time means nothing.

          "Kennedy's resignation is quite odd..." He is 81 years-old. I'm not surprised that he wants to resign.

          In terms of the Supreme Court, the thing we can hope for is that Justices tend to become more Liberal the longer they are Justices. I don't remember where I read that from, but I remember that many times Conservatives will appoint Judges who are Conservative...only for them to later make Liberal decisions. Look what happened when Eisenhower (he was a moderate at the time) appointed Earl Warren to the Supreme Court. Eisenhower regretted that decision as he felt that Warren went too far (I only remember reading that Eisenhower regretted that decision, so I can only assume that was the reason).

          The idea that Judges should be apolitical can be thrown out the window when President John Adams (A Federalist) appointed a lot of judges to office before Thomas Jefferson (a Republican) could be sworn into office.

          Really now, the issue with the Supreme Court is the Constitution itself. Those who wrote it had a much clearer vision of the Executive and legislative branch than the Judicial branch. It was supposed to be an equal branch, but it didn't become one until the Marbury v. Madison court case in 1803. It gave itself the power to determine if something was constitutional or not.

          One of the biggest strength of the Judicial branch, is that it is very hard to remove a judge. This allows them to make a decision they believe is best, without fear of being punished. However, that is a big weakness as it allows the President to shove figureheads into the Supreme Court to get their way.

          The Judicial branch really needs a Constitutional amendment to fix its issues, but the fixes aren't clear. The fact that the Senate can prevent any vote coming up to a vote for a nominate is dangerous. It is scary to think, but you could end up in a situation in which we have no one in the Supreme Court, because the Senate blocks the votes.

          We might need to change it so the Supreme Court can have acting Judges who will fill the role for one-year before they must step down and be replaced by someone else.

          I don't want to make it easier to get rid of Judges, because you know the both Political Parties will try everything in their power to get rid of Judges they don't like and put in their own Judge. It will also make it a lot less apolitical than it already is.

          I don't want to take control away from the Senate, because we do need a group of people to make the decision and not simply the President.

          I can't say for 100% certain what needs to be done, but I do think a Constitutional amendment may be need.
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          Old July 5th, 2018 (6:24 PM). Edited July 5th, 2018 by twocows.
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          Quote:
          Originally Posted by gimmepie View Post
          I'm not that knowledgeable on this side of American politics, but if your president has any say in who ends up in his position I wouldn't exactly hold high hopes for rulings that benefit minority groups of any kind, period.
          The POTUS selects a nominee and the Senate either approves them or doesn't. Even if the Senate was 100% Republican, though, it's unlikely they'd just elect anyone. Even President Trump's first appointee, Justice Gorsuch, is a highly trained lawyer and judge; he's not just some random friend that Trump decided to give the position to. This is especially true of the GOP, which has many splinter factions within it that have separate and often conflicting goals. DNC congresspeople tend to generally have aligning interests, but GOP congresspeople are frequently at odds with each other over just about anything.

          Quote:
          I agree that unions definitely shouldn't be able to expect payment from non-members, and this is really something for another discussion (so expect a thread on it soon, but I'm really curious how a union is meant to support worker's right without political activism.
          Some degree of political activism is inherent to the idea of a union, sure. I think that the exact nature of what that activism should be and in what ways it should be achieved is an open question, though, and I absolutely think that if people disagree with how the union is acting, they shouldn't be compelled to support it financially.

          One thing I forgot to note originally was that this case specifically pertained to public sector unions. I'm not sure what affect this will have on private sector unions, or even if this is a practice used by private sector unions. I'll admit I'm not super well-read on the subject; the job I have isn't a unionized job, so it doesn't affect me personally.

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          The president is the one who nominates Supreme Court justices, but they usually have to be approved by Congress is how it works afaik. So given the fact that the Republicans hold a majority (albeit a slim one atm) of seats in both houses, whoever Trump picks is highly likely to be approved.
          The GOP is, oddly enough, a pretty divided group, so whoever his nominee is, it has to satisfy the people in his party with conflicting views. For instance, the GOP contains both "hawkish" members (people who favor a more aggressive foreign policy) and isolationist members (people who favor less foreign policy altogether). These groups, and others, are why despite having a majority in both houses and Trump in the Whitehouse, the Republicans haven't been able to get through anything really substantial and game-changing, like the healthcare bill they tried and failed to pass earlier. That failed primarily because of the Freedom Caucus, which is the Libertarian-leaning side of the GOP. They wanted to repeal some of the ACA mandates related to the "government option" healthcare plan, which, according to the House leadership, was impossible. There's a good write-up on it here; I'm not a fan of the Washington Post, but it's a good article.

          Quote:
          Trump has also mentioned as of late (or rather, is bringing up again something he's said in the past) that once Kennedy's spot is filled that he wants to see the SCOTUS repeal/overturn Roe v Wade. Although I don't know if the Supreme Court will want to bother with revisiting a ~40 year old case/decision.
          There are a number of reasons why they might. First off, it's not like the Supreme Court doesn't reexamine and sometimes vacate older rulings; in fact, that very thing happened in the labor case we've been talking about (it overturned a more or less 9-0 ruling from the 70s; Roe was "only" 7-2). Also, Roe has a history of being at least somewhat legally controversial on the same points I've seen come up in several other major cases recently: a lot of justices believe that they only have the right to limit states' affairs on things the Constitution specifically says they can (and that allowing rulings based on assumed meanings and implication is overextending the role of the judiciary) and that the correct recourse for situations like this is popular action through the legislature. This argument was actually brought up by the 4 person dissent in the case that legalized gay marriage; the dissent believed that the issue was something that should have been resolved by the people through the legislature and not by a nine-man group of appointed lawyers. And in a strange twist of irony, this is also an argument that Justice Ginsburg made before joining the court; she argued that Roe specifically had been a poor decision for this exact reason: that there was a growing movement to liberalize laws regarding abortion and that this decision put an end to it.

          With all that said, I haven't really seen any indication that the Supreme Court is interested in reexamining this particular case and my gut doesn't think it's going to happen. But if it does happen, I think it's going to be on the basis I mentioned above.
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          Old July 10th, 2018 (11:47 AM).
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          So Trump revealed last night that his pick for the Supreme Court is Brett Kavanaugh. Now I guess we wait and see if Congress approves him or not.
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          Old July 11th, 2018 (7:01 PM). Edited July 11th, 2018 by gimmepie.
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          So Trump revealed last night that his pick for the Supreme Court is Brett Kavanaugh. Now I guess we wait and see if Congress approves him or not.
          Well, he could be a lot worse. That uh... that's really the best I can say about him though from what I've read. He's far from what I'd consider good, but at least he's not the worst possible outcome.
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          Old July 11th, 2018 (8:57 PM).
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          According to this article, he apparently has terrible financial skills. I really don't care because I relate to that on a personal level, but the article claims that it's something to worry about because his lack of financial experience could affect his understanding of the economic impact of policies that he may have to rule upon.
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          Old July 13th, 2018 (8:19 PM).
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          https://www.popehat.com/2018/07/10/youll-hate-this-post-on-brett-kavanaugh-and-free-speech/

          This was a pretty good read
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          Old October 6th, 2018 (12:42 PM).
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          not that this thread is only just about this, but I don't feel like making a separate thread for the news when this exists already:
          https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/10/06/senate-confirms-brett-kavanaugh-to-supreme-court-rejects-me-too-movement/23552969/
          Quote:
          Kavanaugh was narrowly confirmed, 50-48. Every Republican but one, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), voted for him. Every Democrat but one, Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), voted against him.

          The vote would have been 51-49, but Murkowski, whose vote will be recorded as “no,” agreed to vote “present” during the actual vote as a favor to Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who supports Kavanaugh but was away at his daughter’s wedding. By voting “present,” and with Daines out, the final tally was 50-48. Their paired vote, as it’s called, maintains the same two-vote margin and does not change the outcome.
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          Old October 6th, 2018 (1:46 PM).
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          And I just want to say, if anybody is angry to have a rabid Republican partisan who also happens to be an (attempted) rapist on the Supreme Court, just vote Democratic in November.

          You can scream and protest and tweetbomb everybody but the only way to change anything is to remove these people from power. Or else they'll just keep plowing right through, as the only language McConnell and Trump understand is raw power. And they have it and boy are they using it.
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          Old October 6th, 2018 (7:13 PM).
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            I'm on the other side of the spectrum apparently from most people on here. I am also sick of the Kavanaugh debate...but because I believe the Democrats are abusing the system just because they don't want anything done by Trump. Democrats are accusing the candidate of things that the Democrats themselves have gotten away with. The statements made by Dr. Ford had many holes in them and the people mentioned in the testimony said very different things than she did. People in the US got the wrong message...the Democrats aren't advocating for sexual abuse victims here (and they never have), they just are doing whatever possible to prevent work from being done at the capital and decide to do that by crying foul and causing whatever ruckus they can make. Heck, the Democrats even tried to impeach Trump BEFORE he got elected, so I see Democrats are sore losers. To me, Democrats ruined any chance they had of me listening to them, and I will be telling everyone I know to vote Republican this year. At least the Republicans are trying to do work.
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            Old October 7th, 2018 (4:52 AM).
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            I'm on the other side of the spectrum apparently from most people on here. I am also sick of the Kavanaugh debate...but because I believe the Democrats are abusing the system just because they don't want anything done by Trump. Democrats are accusing the candidate of things that the Democrats themselves have gotten away with. The statements made by Dr. Ford had many holes in them and the people mentioned in the testimony said very different things than she did. People in the US got the wrong message...the Democrats aren't advocating for sexual abuse victims here (and they never have), they just are doing whatever possible to prevent work from being done at the capital and decide to do that by crying foul and causing whatever ruckus they can make. Heck, the Democrats even tried to impeach Trump BEFORE he got elected, so I see Democrats are sore losers. To me, Democrats ruined any chance they had of me listening to them, and I will be telling everyone I know to vote Republican this year. At least the Republicans are trying to do work.
            tbh this is kind of what both major parties have been doing for years really
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            Old October 7th, 2018 (12:15 PM). Edited October 7th, 2018 by Ivysaur.
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            Democrats are accusing the candidate of things that the Democrats themselves have gotten away with.
            Yeah, just ask Senator Al Franken about his sexual abuse allegations- oh wait no, he was kicked out of his seat after the allegations came out. I'm sorry, but this year the only rapist is in one side.

            Quote:
            The statements made by Dr. Ford had many holes in them and the people mentioned in the testimony said very different things than she did.
            Boy if only someone has actually bothered to interview the people she (and Deborah Ramirez) pointed as witnesses... too bad Trump ordered the FBI not to interview those people.

            Quote:
            The Democrats (...) are doing whatever possible to prevent work from being done at the capital and decide to do that by crying foul and causing whatever ruckus they can make.
            Remember when Tom Cotton (R-AR) decided to block an Obama appointment for two years until the person in question died just to "inflict personal pain"? (See: https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/282448-obama-nominee-died-after-waiting-two-years-for-confirmation ) Because, honestly, I'm yet to see any Democrat ever doing something like that.

            In fact, when was the last time someone managed to block a legitimate Supreme Court apointee for an entire year just for pure partisan gain? Ah, yes, Mitch McConnell, during Obama's last year. I guess democratic presidents aren't allowed to appoint SC justices!

            Quote:
            Heck, the Democrats even tried to impeach Trump BEFORE he got elected
            That is literally a lie. Please tell me where you heard that lie so I may prove that whatever you heard about it is false.

            Quote:
            At least the Republicans are trying to do work.
            Yeah, they sure tried to take away basic healthcare, kill Medicaid and remove protections for people with preexisting conditions. They also sure managed to cut taxes for companies, giving the richest of the rich a windfall in exchange for a $1tn deficit. They also killed regulations to prevent the destruction of life on planet Earth through climate change, and, um, put kids in jail after separating them from their parents?
            I mean, they sure are doing things, but looking at the menu, I'd rather they didn't do anything.
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            Old October 8th, 2018 (11:14 AM).
            LDSman LDSman is offline
               
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              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Ivysaur View Post
              Yeah, just ask Senator Al Franken about his sexual abuse allegations- oh wait no, he was kicked out of his seat after the allegations came out. I'm sorry, but this year the only rapist is in one side.
              There was proof of Franken’s groping in the form of pictures and immediate complaints (when the event occurred and not 30+ yrs later) that could actually be verified. Franken and victim in picture with comments like “I can’t believe he grabbed my ass. Pervert!”

              None of Ford’s witnesses corroborate the actual event/party and the others seem to be “she told me a few years ago/recently and I believe her” type witnesses.

              As far as the gang rape witness, that’s so unbelievable as to be the plot to an 80s movie. Multiple gang rapes at these parties. No victims known, didn’t actually witness the rapes herself, didn’t report these rapes, kept going back to these parties, etc.
              Innocent until proven guilty. Didn’t meet that threshold. Couldn’t even prove it “likely happened” as Collins put it.
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              Old October 11th, 2018 (8:15 AM).
              Trev's Avatar
              Trev Trev is offline
              thank u next bitch
               
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              Ha ha remember when the worst thing about Kavanaugh was his bad financial skills and not that he's probably a rapist, good times.
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              Old October 11th, 2018 (10:09 AM).
              LDSman LDSman is offline
                 
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                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Trev View Post
                Ha ha remember when the worst thing about Kavanaugh was his bad financial skills and not that he's probably a rapist, good times.
                Ha ha, remember when evidence used to matter in such accusations?
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