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Judiciary

Will Ruth Bader Ginsburg retire before 2020?

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Politicians and journalists have been speculating about if and when Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will retire for a decade now. The 85-year-old leftist judge fell at her office and fractured three ribs yesterday. She was admitted to the hospital today after initially going home first.

Before the fall, she had no intentions of retiring before 2020. Her clerks are slated to stay on until then. This latest in a long series of health concerns may have changed the calculus, but I doubt it. She’s the Supreme Court’s “Energizer Bunny.” She just keeps going and going and…

President Trump has nominated two Supreme Court Justices so far. With a solid majority in the Senate, Republicans are hopeful for one or more to retire soon. Left-leaning Justice Stephen Breyer is 80 and originalist Justice Clarence Thomas is 70. The other six Justices are all in their 50’s or 60’s.

Though Republicans will have control of the White House and Senate until at least inauguration day, 2021, their legitimate time frame to nominate a confirm a Justice is about 14 months. President Obama nominated Merrick Garland in March, 2016. At that time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to consider the nomination because it was a Presidential election year. Democrats had previously made similar claims that proximity to a change in power was grounds to delay confirmation until after the election.

If a spot opens any time after March, 2020, it would be political suicide for the GOP to confirm one of President Trump’s nominees after denying President Obama’s.

Nobody knows if she’ll retire in the next 14 months but her. I wouldn’t bet on it. She’s spent her entire life contradicting conventional wisdom. As partisan as she is, it’s unlikely she’d willingly leave the bench until a Democrat is in the White House.

Judiciary

Jeff Flake has become a punchline

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Jeff Flake has become a punchline

There are conservatives who oppose the President through conscientious means and with discernment of who to support and what to oppose. Then, there are “conservatives” like Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

In his final days in the United States Senate, Flake has decided to go out with his conscience intact. At least that’s what he’s telling himself and anyone who would listen. In reality, he’s going out with his middle finger raised to the man he blames the most for his career failures: President Trump.

Flake has threatened to hold up judicial nominations until the Senate votes to protect special counsel Robert Mueller. Let’s set aside the likelihood that such an action by Congress would be unconstitutional with Article 2 giving the President wide powers over the Justice Department. That’s a debate for Constitutional scholars.

Instead, let’s focus on what Flake is actually doing. He’s willing to jeopardize the judicial system which desperately needs an infusion of originalists just to fire a parting blow at the President. That’s really what this comes down to. He’s not obeying his conscience. He’s not protecting Mueller. He’s not trying to right a wrong. He’s being a child.

He’s a punchline.

Even if there was a real threat that President Trump might somehow interfere with the Mueller investigation, this wouldn’t be the way to try to protect him. All Flake is doing is pulverizing the few pieces of his credibility that were left standing.

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Economy

Keystone XL stopped by judiciary using bureaucracy to promote lunacy

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Keystone XL stopped by judiciary using bureaucracy to promote lunacy

Activist judge Brian Morris in Montana may have just put the final nail in the Keystone XL pipeline project. He suspended construction of the pipeline pending another environmental review. Apparently, he didn’t like the conclusions of the first one he ordered, so he’s asking for a second opinion.

Montana Judge Puts Brakes On Keystone XL

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Montana-Judge-Puts-Brakes-On-Keystone-XL.htmlThe court has asked the government to review its assessment and revise it, taking into account the changes in the oil markets since 2014, the latest in climate change, and the presence of “cultural resources” along the route of the pipeline that was planned to carry heavy oil from Alberta to U.S. refineries. The 830,000 bpd pipeline will run from the Albertan oil sands through Montana and South Dakota, ending in Nebraska, where it would connect to the existing pipeline network that goes on to the Gulf Coast.

The court’s ruling comes a little more than a month after TransCanada said that construction of the pipeline could begin as soon as next year. The announcement followed an environmental impact review from the U.S. State Department, which concluded the pipeline’s impact on the environment would be “negligible to moderate.”

My Take

Even if the project can exhaust this activist judge’s attempts to stop it, there is growing tension on the Canadian side that is likely to table the deal indefinitely. For all intents and purposes, the Keystone XL pipeline is dead.

This is lunacy. We’re talking about the most modern and safe method of transporting heavy oil from the place it can’t be used to the place it can be used. Instead, we will remain reliant on Middle Eastern oil that comes without the unnecessary baggage snowflakes like Judge Morris impose on North America.

But that’s the mood of the day for the judiciary that continues to side with former President Obama to oppose current President Trump. Their power to maintain demonstrably dangerous policies and subvert progress is one of the main reasons we need judicial reform. These maverick judges can harm the nation at will and in cases such as this, they do.

Canada will be hesitant to cooperate on big projects like Pipeline XL because of our judiciary, and who can blame them? One man swimming in power can harm two nations with the stroke of his gavel. Sadly, he’ll sleep well believing he just saved an oil or two.

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Guns and Crime

Texas judge who lost reelection releases seven defendants: ‘That’s what the voters wanted’

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Texas judge who lost reelection releases seven defendants Thats what the voters wanted

Judge Glenn Devlin lost his reelection bid Tuesday. On Thursday, he released seven juvenile defendants after asking each if they planned to kill anyone.

When they each said no, he released them.

Texas judge releases defendants after election loss

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46144557The Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg has condemned the jurist’s actions.

She told the BBC in an emailed statement: “We oppose the wholesale release of violent offenders at any age; this could endanger the public.”

“If the juvenile said ‘no,’ they were released,” Mr Halpert said. “Judge Devlin would never normally ask that question of a juvenile. This was unusual.”

My Take

It’s ironic that Judge Devlin was on the juvenile court. His actions were clearly the juvenile response to an election loss.

Bitterness can lead people to do stupid things, but when those stupid things have the potential to cause harm to others, one might expect a judge to be more of an adult. Apparently, Devlin is not.

Judge Devlin dismissed allegedly violent defendants over bitterness from an election loss. He does a disservice to his profession, his community, and his reputation by being so petty.

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