Archive for the ‘SCOTUS’ Category

Irony: Abortion debate heats up right before Mother’s Day…

May 4, 2022

That’s among many head-scratchers…

Listening to pundits on both sides of the abortion issue following the the leaked Supreme Court document, I’ve been struck by a couple of head-scratchers.

Let’s start with…

> “Happy Mother’s Day” … surely, the timing was motivated by politics but, coincidentally, it hit in the week running up to Mother’s Day.


BTW: To be politically correct, should we be saying “Birthing People’s Day”?


> Women’s Rights … We’re in a new age of gender ambiguity and fluidity … with a SCOTUS appointee saying that one need be a biologist to to define “woman”.

If we can’t pin down “woman”, how there be “women’s rights?”.

Shouldn’t it “people’s rights”?


> “My body, my choice” …. that is, unless you’re talking about vaccine mandates.

Strikes me that many in the pro-choice contingent were among the most ardent supporters of vax mandates.



> “An unborn child” … In his extemporaneous reaction to the leaked document, President Biden remarked about decisions “to abort a child”.


The media is just playing the comment to be another case of Biden’s sloppy tongue (and thinking).

Apparently, they forget that in 2016, addressing the abortion issue, Hillary Clinton declared that “the unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights” — like the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of justice. Source: NYT

Did she say “person’?

I see a pattern here…


> “Rule of Law” … When protesters breached the Congressional Halls on January 6, it was broadly and understandably condemned by most people as violating the Constitution and “rule of law”

But, when a leaker violates the SCOTUS process — trying to “motivate the base” and intimidate  Justices before a final vote — it’s a case of ends justifying means.

Situational ethics?


> Misinformation… For the past week, the chatter has been about the need for a Federal “Misinformation Panel”.


The leaked SCOTUS opinion draft clearly states that the proposed ruling does not “make abortion illegal”. It simply relegates abortion decisions to the states.

And, it makes clear that abortion is fundamentally unique issue in that  “abortion destroys . . . potential life”.

So what?

Other issues — such as the right to interracial marriage, the right to obtain contraceptives, the right to engage in private, consensual sexual acts, and the right to same-sex marriage — do not “involve the critical moral question posed by abortion.”

Therefore, the draft abortion ruling would not apply to or set precedent for the other flashpoint issues.  Source

Of course, that hasn’t stopped Pelosi, Schumer, et. al., from hitting the air waves bellowing that the proposed ruling would jeopardize those other issues.



I could go on, but this is making me dizzy…

Why do the Dems need any time to vet Amy Coney Barrett?

September 28, 2020

They’re all going to vote “no” any way.

I like that some Dems are now saying that they won’t meet privately with Judge Barrett … and some are saying that they won’t attend the hearings.

That makes complete sense to me … and should speed the process.


Barrett went through a full Senatorial vetting in 2017 when nominated for an Appeals Court position.

An updated FBI report will be done in short order.

By all accounts, she’s likely to be deemed “clean as a whistle”.

Barrett will still present as a white Catholic mother of 7 children — 2 of whom are adopted Haitians; 1 of whom is special needs.

Her rulings will still imply a strong Constitutional leaning … with no history of  “legislating from the bench”.

Most important, no Dems have expressed any inclination to vote yes on her confirmation vote.

Do any Dems want more vetting time so that they can be flipped to vote “yes”.

I’ll bet the under on that one.

Do they expect high school classmates to come out of the shadows and accuse her of being a sexual predator or chainsaw murderer?

Get serious…

Bottom line: I agree with the current betting line … the process will be done before the election.


A Never-Trumper asks: Is it too late to get one of those red hats?

October 19, 2018

We previously posted results of a Rasmussen survey that showed 64% of Republicans are “very angry” about the way that Kavanaugh was treated … and practically all of them are more likely to vote in the midterms than they previously were.


Today, let’s provide some human context to the numbers…


Everybody has an opinion on Dr. Ford’s allegations; some are hyperventilating.

October 10, 2018

But, how well informed are the opinions?

In a previous post, we presented a post-testimony survey finding  that only 37% of respondents thought that Kavanaugh should be confirmed.

That is, until they were informed that Dr. Ford’s accusations could not be corroborated by anyone … not  even her “lifetime” best friend.

When so informed, jumped to about 60% said that he should be confirmed.

See Poll: So, should Kavanaugh be confirmed or not?


But, some recent polls indicate that a majority still say that Kavanaugh shouldn’t have been confirmed.

How to square that circle?


The politics of the Supreme Court…

October 8, 2018

Now that Kavanaugh is confirmed, let’s take another look at ideological balance on the SCOTUS.

Let’s put things in context…

Political scientists Andrew Martin and Kevin Quinn developed  a measure to calibrate how liberal or conservative SCOTUS justices are … based on their rulings.

As near as I can tell, the measure is uncontested by either ideology.


First, let’s pull some takeaways from the chart…


If you’re serious about the Kavanaugh decision, read Sen. Collin’s speech…

October 7, 2018

Don’t just rely on biased summaries from your usual cable news favorites.


Read the text   View the speech

For my right-leaning friends, the speech gives you most of what you need to fend off your left-leaning friends.

For my left-leaning friends, the speech matter-of-factly provides context and Collins’ legal reasoning behind her conclusions on both Ford’s accusations and Kavanaugh’s likely judicial rulings.

In the final analysis,  this polarizing bruhaha really centered on abortion rights and Rowe vs. Wade, here’s an extract of what Collins argued on those specific  questions…


Why won’t Ford’s lawyers turn over the polygraph details and therapist notes?

October 5, 2018

And, do they really want the FBI to interview her?


“Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford,  responded Wednesday to Grassley’s request for notes from Ford’s therapy sessions and recordings of a lie detector test she took related to her allegation that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and groped her during a high school party in the 1980s.” source



Let’s unpack that offer (demand?)…


NPR: vast majority of Dems have high confidence in the FBI

October 5, 2018

Or, at least they did before yesterday.

Yesterday, we reported an NPR survey indicating that the Dem’s enthusiasm advantage has evaporated.

Buried in the survey’s “internals”, but not reported in the headlined story, was an interesting question:

“Do you have a great deal of confidence, quite a lot, not very much confidence, or no confidence at all in The FBI?”

For the total sample, 59% said “great deal” or “quite a bit”;  36% said “not very much” or “no confidence”; 5% were “unsure.


Survey Results

Drilling down, the results get more interesting…


Poll: So, should Kavanaugh be confirmed or not?

October 4, 2018

Former Clinton strategist Mark Penn took an interesting analytical cut at survey results from Harvard’s Center for American Politics Studies CAPS.

Penn’s overall conclusion:

“The testimony of Ford and Kavanaugh had a powerful but not decisive effect on the public.”

         Source: CAPS data; Penn analysis

Let’s drill down on the data logic…


What’s up with Dr. Ford’s parents?

October 3, 2018

They may be able to break the case.

I’ve read a couple of reports that Dr. Ford’s parents are on the FBI interview list.

Assuming that the reports are true and that  they cooperate, I think that might provide some important information.


Among the aspects of Dr. Ford’s testimony that struck me as very odd was that her parents didn’t show up to lend support.

Kavanaugh’s parents were prominent.

Every parent that I’ve chatted with has said they’d be there to show support for their son or daughter.

But, not Dr. Ford’s parents.

And, when Rachel Mitchell asked who, other than her lawyers, had  had been advising her, Dr. Ford answered “My beach friends.”

Say, what?

Following up, Mitchell asked if she had sought advice from her parents.

Dr. Ford answered emphatically: “NO !”

Why is that?



She lied! Under oath, about polygraphs…

October 3, 2018

Dr. Ford fell into in a perjury trap.

Overnight, several sources, including the WSJ, broke a fact-laden story that Dr. Fox lied under oath when queried about polygraph tests.


In the Senate hearing, Prosecutor Mitchell asked a series of questions about polygraphs: Did anyone coach you before your’s? As a psychology prof, have you studied up on polygraphs? Have you ever coached anyone on how to take a polygraph?

Ford answered “no” to all 3 questions. Mitchell nonchalantly said “OK, let’s move on”

At the time, I thought the “have you coached” question seemed a bit odd.

Turns out that mild mannered Mitchell may have set a perjury trap … either because she knew the answer or because it was a standard protocol question …. regardless,Dr. Ford took the bait.

Here’s the story…


Here’s a gut-check question for you …

October 2, 2018

Let’s personalize the issue-of-the-day.


Consider this scenario…


Psst: Somebody wasn’t sold on Dr. Ford’s testimony.

October 1, 2018

Rachel Mitchell apparently didn’t drink the kool-aid

Remember Rachel Mitchell?

She’s the multi-decade experienced sex crimes prosecutor who interviewed Dr. Ford during last week’s Kavanaugh hearing.


She was, at the moment, a fright to the right (boring, too slow, no knockout punches) and darling of the left.  After all, she oft referred to Dr. Fox as a victim and seemed to be buying Ford’s story.

But, Ms. Mitchell has issued her final report and the table has been turned…


Verdict: Feinstein, Dems found guilty of obstruction of justice!

September 28, 2018

Victimized both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh.


Sorry, but I have to start today with a chest pound.

Yesterday’s post Where’s the beef? made 3 major points:

1) The outside prosecutor wouldn’t be effective in the 5-minute ping-pong format.

2) Dr. Ford would be a sympathetic accuser but would still end the day with no evidence or corroboration to support her claims.

3) Kavanaugh would need to emphasize the damage done to him and his family… while aggressively  attacking the process and the Democrats scorch-the earth strategy.


What I underestimated was how good Kavanaugh’s A-game would be.

Let’s drill down to some takeaways…


Where’s the beef?

September 27, 2018

And, other things to watch for in today’s hearing.

I expect today’s hearing will be long on emotional drama, short on facts (which are known in some circles as evidence), and won’t change many entrenched opinions.

Any opinions that are changed will be based not on evidence but on apparent credibility… how Ford and Kavanaugh present themselves.



More specifically, here’s what I expect…


Breaking: Man says he, not Bret, did it.

September 27, 2018

Let’s stick to the facts:

In a statement released Wednesday evening, Judiciary Committee Republicans revealed that on Monday, they conducted their “first interview with a man who believes he, not Judge Kavanaugh, had the encounter with Dr. Ford in 1982 that is the basis of his [sic] complaint.”

They conducted a second interview.

Then,, they received a “more in-depth written statement from the man interviewed twice previously who believes he, not Judge Kavanaugh, had the encounter in question with Dr. Ford.”

The man has not been identified and his testimony has not been corroborated, though committee investigators indicate that he provided substantiating details re: time and place.


According to NBC News, Democrats reacted predictably:

“They are desperately trying to muddy the waters.

Twelve hours before the hearing they suggest two anonymous men claimed to have assaulted her.

Democrats were never informed of these assertions in interviews, in violation of Senate rules.”

To that, Sen. Oren Hatch tweeted:



For the record, the news of the issued statement (a fact) was reported by FNC.

click to view the video version

As of now, it hasn’t shown up on CNN’s or MSNBC’s web sites or newscasts.

They’re still hyping  Avanati’s gang rape story.



Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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Avenatti jumps the shark !

September 27, 2018

Now, we’re moving from the sublime to the ridiculous … or, as Kavanaugh said “The Twilight Zone.”

In a nutshell the accuser – who reportedly holds a security clearance and contracts on-and-off with the government – says that circa 1981, Kavenaugh (and  buddy Mark Judge) spiked party punch bowls causing women to become inebriated and vulnerable to subsequent gang rapes.

She presents no witnesses or corroborators, but knows for sure.


How does she know?


The politics of the Supreme Court…

September 26, 2018

As I’ve stated before, Dems may win the current battle by scorching Kavanaugh, but may end up losing the war regarding SCOTUS balance.

Let’s put things in context…

Political scientists Andrew Martin and Kevin Quinn developed  a measure to calibrate how liberal or conservative SCOTUS justices are … based on their rulings.

As near as I can tell, the measure is uncontested by either ideology.


First, let’s pull some takeaways from the chart…


Justice Amy Coney Barrett !

September 24, 2018

Kavanaugh is toast … and, she’s the likely nomination.

The new allegations reported in the New Yorker are likely  fatal to Kavanaugh’s nomination.

They’re everything that the Ford accusations weren’t:  heavy on details with specific time and place; eyewitnesses; contemporaneous word-of-mouth.  See the  New Yorker article for the graphic details.

I thought that Kavanaugh would survive Ford’s suspiciously-timed, gap-filled, uncorroborated charges.  In fact, I thought the odds were less than 50/50 that Ford would show up to testify this week.

But, these new accusations are a game-changer.

Hard to imagine Kavanaugh surviving this onslaught.  I expect that his nomination will be withdrawn.


So, let’s advance the story and anticipate the next steps…


Justice Amy Coney Barrett ?

September 17, 2018

Dems may win the battle but lose the war … vice versa for the GOP


It’ll be an interesting couple of news cycles as the Kavanaugh accusations either get substantiated or vaporize.

My initial take:  the allegations are serious but the case details are sketchy and the timing is suspicious.

In a court of law, I’d rather be Kavanaugh’s attorney since (a) the allegations go back 35 years (to high school!); (b) the accuser’s memory is fuzzy (e.g. where was the party held?) (c) no corroborators have stepped forward or have been discovered (who else attended the party?); (d) no other accusers have stepped forward to implicate a pattern of behavior; (e) first disclosure was made 30 years after-the-fact to a marital counselor.

But, in the court of public opinion – where accusation and verdict are synonymous and facts are fungible – I’d rather be the accuser’s attorney.

The quasi-legal situation should play out in warp speed over the next couple of days.

Today, let’s look at the politics…


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