Ed may be right that the record is ambiguous, but according to two reports we know that Justice Alito did participate in orders after being sworn in, including another order relating to the same case. We also know that it would be customary to indicate that Justice Alito did not participate if that were the case, and there was no such indication. Assuming this is the case, does it matter? Not really. Justice Alito was on the Court for scarcely a day when this occurred, and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (which is the circuit to which Alito is assigned) had voted for the stay 9-1. Assuming that Alito is generally skeptical of many last minute death row petitions, it would certainly be prudent not to dissent on one’s first week on the job, particularly in a case in which one’s vote would not make a difference. So, I don’t think it is fair to see the vote as having any ideological significance. If anything, it is just further evidence that Justice Alito is a cautious, prudent jurist – something his supporters have maintained all along.
Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Howard Finkelstein, the Broward County public defender whose office is representing Nikolas Cruz, the suspect in the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., puts it bluntly: This kid exhibited every single known red flag, from killing animals to having a cache of weapons to disruptive behavior to saying he wanted to be ... Read More
American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
The Russians are engaged in “information warfare” against the United States. That was the big soundbite at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s press conference Friday afternoon, announcing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s election-meddling indictment against 13 Russians and three Russian ... Read More
It has become more urgent to ask: Why is there a special counsel in the Russia investigation? At this point, that question should be put to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel — in the federal government, it’s the lawyers’ lawyer. To get down to brass tacks: May the president of the United ... Read More
To understand the American gun-control debate, you have to understand the fundamentally different starting positions of the two sides. Among conservatives, there is the broad belief that the right to own a weapon for self-defense is every bit as inherent and unalienable as the right to speak freely or practice ... Read More
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More