Holder’s Batting Average


While I was researching cases to cite as authorities in a motion to dismiss that I’ve been writing this weekend, I found a useful case that lists Eric Holder as one of the parties. It turns out be a case where he came out ahead.

The Attorney General has taken a real drubbing in the Supreme Court. In a piece in the NY Post John Fund and Hans A. von Spakovsky point out that if Holder were a baseball player, he’d have been benched or cut from the team a long time ago. Holder not only loses cases in the Supreme Court, but he’s lost many 9-0.

Holder and Obama have argued that we as Americans don’t have the right to free speech, the right to privacy, the right to due process or the freedom of religion.

Thankfully, the Supreme Court has become the last defense for those who still believe in those rights.

Read the whole thing.

And In Other Court News


The Supreme Court delivered its 12th and 13th unanimous rebukes of former Constitutional Law professor Barack Obama’s administration.

One decision explains the meaning of the recess appointment clause of Article II, Section 2 to Prof. Obama.

The other explained that the First Amendments protections of free speech and free assembly trump laws such as the Massachusetts statute which banned peaceful protests around abortion clinics. The Administration agued in support of the law.

#TheCountry’sInTheBestOfHands

Quote of the Day


[I]n the fair administration of justice no man can be judge in his own case, however exalted his station, however righteous his motives, and irrespective of his race, color, politics, or religion. This Court cannot hold that the petitioners were constitutionally free to ignore all the procedures of the law … One may sympathize with the petitioners’ impatient commitment to their cause. But respect for judicial process is a small price to pay for the civilizing hand of law, which alone can give abiding meaning to constitutional freedom.

Walker v. City of Birmingham, 388 U.S. 307 (1967)

Supreme Court News


The Supremes have refused to hear an appeal of a case challenging a federal statute concerning threats, in this case a threat made in a YouTube video.

Attorneys for the appellant maintained that the federal threats law—a 1932 statute making extortion illegal—was unconstitutional. Of eight circuit courts of appeal to decide the issue, only the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has chosen to view the law in line with the appellant’s interpretation. The 9th Circuit is the court whose rulings are most often reversed by the Supreme Court.

BREAKING: Supremes Punt on Prop. 8


The decision not to decide based on the appellants’ lack of standing means that same-sex “marriage” will remain legal in California. The decision is 5-4. Justice Kennedy dissents, joined by Thomas, Alito, and Sotomayor.

More later.

UPDATE—The decision of the Ninth Circuit is vacated and remanded.

We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here.

UPDATE 2—The full ruling can be found here.

UPDATE 3—The decision of the Ninth Circuit is vacated and remanded should be a macro on the Supreme Court’s word processors.

BREAKING: Supremes Overturn Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act


The question before the Supreme Court was whether Congress’ decision in 2006 to reauthorize Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act under the pre-existing coverage formula of Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act exceeded its authority under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and thus violated the Tenth Amendment and Article IV of the United States Constitution.

The ruling striking down Section 4 of the VRA by Chief Justice Roberts states:

Our decision in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting found in [Section] 2. We issue no holding on [Section] 5 itself, only on the coverage formula. Congress may draft another formula based on current conditions.

More later.

UPDATE—In his concurring opinion Justice Thomas says he would strike Section 5 because the reasons given for striking Section 4 should apply to 5 also.

UPDATE 2—Here’s what Section 4(b) said:

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) shall apply in any State or in any political subdivision of a state which (1) the Attorney General determines maintained on November 1, 1964, any test or device, and with respect to which (2) the Director of the Census determines that less than 50 percentum of the persons of voting age residing therein were registered on November 1, 1964, or that less than 50 percentum of such persons voted in the presidential election of November 1964.

A determination or certification of the Attorney General or of the Director of the Census under this section or under section 6 or section 13 shall not be reviewable in any court and shall be effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

What the Court ruled was that this formula is so disconnected from present day reality that it can no longer be considered constitutional. Chief Justice John Roberts was joined by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito. Please note that the Court did not invalidate the principle that preclearance can be required. Section 5 was not struck down, but while it survives, it will have no actual effect until Congress can pass a new law to determine which states and/or localities should be covered by it.

UPDATE 3—The opinion may be found here.