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What's the point of packing the court?

Discussion in 'American Politics' started by TheBear, Dec 11, 2020.

  1. loveofourlord

    loveofourlord Newbie

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    The one just a few weeks ago over turning the ban on religious meetings, despite upholding a similar one just months ago. They used tortured logic to try to get a religious exemption. It really sets bad precedence and already has led to a school holding a dance against rules siting that it was a religious renewel ceremony and such. It's a bad idea to allow religions to break laws just by citing religious beliefs or such.
     
  2. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    If regulations apply to all meetings there is no problem. However there are lots of kinds of meeting, different lengths, density, what is done. NY chose to define restrictions specifically for churches. SCOTUS found that those restrictions were more limiting than justified.

    This is difficult. Obviously restricting church meetings specifically raises first amendment questions. But church meetings are a bit unique, so it’s easy to see why they are mentioned specifically in regulations. Deciding whether restriction are tighter than for other things, or whether they are justified is a bit of a judgement call. I’m somewhat surprised SCOTUS got involved. Their conservative principles normally keep them out of judgements like that. It’s pretty clear that this court is particularly concerned to protect religion.
     
  3. loveofourlord

    loveofourlord Newbie

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    well it bothers me that they used the idiotic argument of liquor store specifically. I'm sorry but again you would think people in the supreme cour be have the brains to tell the difference between 5-10 mins in a store, and 1-3 hours in a building with lots of people and singing. Plus how many outbreaks linked to churches? It really just comes off as them wanting to make religions exempt from the rules everyone else has to obey with.
     
  4. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    Recent SCTOUS decisions confirm that the justices are respectable professionals and that "packing the court" is a bad idea.

    An ethical physician treats his enemies the same way he treats his friends, even in war.
     
  5. NotreDame

    NotreDame Domer Supporter

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    Was it “tortured logic”? I’ve read the order. The order is rational. Logical.

    What about the order was “tortured logic”?

    And this is the fault of SCOTUS? Some entity falsely saying some event is “religious,” and SCOTUS is to blame? SCOTUS is to blame for the entity’s dishonesty? Really? Are they also to blame when someone falsifies a gun sale/purchase application to buy a firearm because, after all, if there’s no 2nd Amendment to a gun, then there’s no one to falsely the application.

    Are they responsible for a person falsely alleging he’s a war veteran, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, because of U.S. v Alvarez?

    The Court isn’t responsible for people behaving falsely, imprudently, disgustingly, or rephrensibly.

    This is a facile, and inaccurate representation of the facts and legal before the Court when it decided its order. This makes me wonder whether you read the order.

    So, what about the order is “tortured logic” and what precedent by the Court is inconsistent with the order?
     
  6. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    yes. I think they made a judgement call that they shouldn't. But you can't say that churches were citing for violating a law that applied to everyone else. There was a specific provision for churches. The Supreme Court found it was unreasonable.
     
  7. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    NJ, where I live, has a specific rule for first amendment protected events. This includes church services, political demonstrations, and movie theaters. The governor says that court decisions have treated movies as protected under the first amendment.

    I'm actually not sure whether these were survive the Supreme Court. It's 25% of capacity with a 150 person maximum. Restaurants are 25%, but without the 150 person maximum. I think there may be reason for that. At least in churches I know, people congregate before and after the service in halls that are surely more crowded than the main sanctuary. In restaurants parites typically come and go individually. But I'd still be interested whether it would survive the Supreme Court.
     
  8. NotreDame

    NotreDame Domer Supporter

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    Let’s examine the order, shall we?

    First, the Court announces the legal standard. “The applicants have made a strong showing that the challenged restrictions vi- olate “the minimum requirement of neutrality” to religion.”

    This is not a new principle. This dates back to, at least, Enployment Division v Smith, reaffirmed in Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah.

    The Court subsequently states its conclusion. “But even if we put those comments aside, the regulations cannot be viewed as neutral because they single out houses of worship for especially harsh treatment.1“

    How do they arrive at the conclusion the regulations implicate the neutrality principle?

    First, synagogues and churches cannot admit more than 10 people but “essential” businesses have no limit in “red zones.”

    “And the list of “essential” businesses includes things such as acupuncture facilities, hardware stores, camp grounds, garages, liquor stores, as well as many whose services are not limited to those that can be regarded as es- sential, such as all plants manufacturing chemicals and mi- croelectronics and all transportation facilities.”

    “ The dis- parate treatment is even more striking in an orange zone. While attendance at houses of worship is limited to 25 per- sons, even non-essential businesses may decide for them- selves how many persons to admit.”

    “At the hearing in the District Court, a health department official testified about a large store in Brooklyn that could “literally have hundreds of people shopping there on any given day.” App. to Application in No. 20A87, Exh. D, p. 83. Yet a nearby church or synagogue would be prohibited from al- lowing more than 10 or 25 people inside for a worship ser- vice. And the Governor has stated that factories and schools have contributed to the spread of COVID–19, id., Exh. H, at 3; App. to Application in No. 20A90, pp. 98, 100, but they are treated less harshly than the Diocese’s churches and Agudath Israel’s synagogues, which have ad- mirable safety records.”

    Okay, so essentially, churches and synagogues have limits, with praise worthy safety records. Other entities, like factories, hardware stores, acupuncture, laundromats, banks, do not have restrictions, although some have contributed to spread of the virus.

    So, the Court is essentially saying churches are deemed, by the government, as not “essential” and therefore, have capacity limits. However, other entities, such as hardware stores, laundromats, acupuncture, etcetera, are declared “essential” by the government and have no limits, despite the fact there are people present for extended periods of time. And these limits on church are irrespective of the fact they have not been documented to contribute to spread, the use of masks, social distancing, size of structure, forgoing singing, and disinfect.

    As Gorsuch noted in his concurrence, “The only explanation for treating religious places differently seems to be a judgment that what hap- pens there just isn’t as “essential” as what happens in sec- ular spaces. Indeed, the Governor is remarkably frank about this: In his judgment laundry and liquor, travel and tools, are all “essential” while traditional religious exercises are not. That is exactly the kind of discrimination the First Amendment forbids.”

    So, since neutrality and general applicability are lacking, and a problem is the government, in its esteemed wisdom, determines what is or isn’t “essential,” doesn’t seem to be making the designation with any logical or rational consistency.

    So, strict scrutiny is then applied and the rest of the opinion focuses upon the regulation as not being least restrictive.

    “[T]here are many other less restrictive rules that could be adopted to mini- mize the risk to those attending religious services. Among other things, the maximum attendance at a religious ser- vice could be tied to the size of the church or synagogue. Almost all of the 26 Diocese churches immediately affected by the Executive Order can seat at least 500 people, about 14 can accommodate at least 700, and 2 can seat over 1,000. Similarly, Agudath Israel of Kew Garden Hills can seat up to 400. It is hard to believe that admitting more than 10 people to a 1,000–seat church or 400–seat synagogue would create a more serious health risk than the many other ac- tivities that the State allows.“
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2020
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  9. loveofourlord

    loveofourlord Newbie

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    Sorry I will listen to the actual lawyers that say the decision sets bad precedence.
     
  10. loveofourlord

    loveofourlord Newbie

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    dumb thing is, they were already giving the churches special treatment in the order that no one else got.
     
  11. loveofourlord

    loveofourlord Newbie

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    The whining is great here, if you can't tell the difference between a short visit to the 'doctor' or being in a store for a few mins vs a church where people sing and shout and such then you fail at logic. Ignore what they are selling that's a red herring, it has everything to do with time in the store and what they are doing.
     
  12. Fantine

    Fantine Dona Quixote Supporter

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    What's the point?

    The more judges, the smaller an impact a replacement has. This makes the court less political.

    9 judges=an 11 1/9 % impact.

    12 judges=an 8 1/3% impact.

    15 judges=a 6.6% impact.

    Whether you are Democrat, Republican, or Independent, you will appreciate an end to McConnell obstruction and polarization over appointments.

    BTW, the lower federal courts need to have their numbers increased based on population. It last happened in the 1990's. Trials and hearings are backed up. The estimate is 65 lower court judges.
     
  13. NotreDame

    NotreDame Domer Supporter

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    Oh yeah? Is it?

    Are those businesses completely operated by robots? No. Those businesses have a considerable number of employees present in the building, some undoubtedly have more than 10 employees and 25 employees in the building, some for 8 hours or longer, sharing a break room, refrigerator, employee bathrooms, sink, and for some, employees standing in one spot for extended periods of time at cash registers, service desk, and interacting with hundreds of people from the public who come into the store. Which, by the way, these types/kinds of businesses have been documented to spread the virus.

    Good one. Tell me more about your brand of logic I’m “failing,” because from this view, I’ll take the F.

    Seems to me you’ve failed to take into account the number of employees stuck together in one building, while at times sharing close, confined spaces, such as the break room, sharing bathrooms, refrigerators, etcetera, for long hours. Which explains why these businesses have been documented to spread the virus. Too bad, your allegation of “whining” would sound sooo much better if you had analytically taken into account these employees at these businesses and their numbers.

    Laundromats, they have no limits on capacity, and one can spend an hour or longer in them with several other people, in a smaller space than many churches and synagogues. But, by your, what’s the word you’d use, “tortured logic” these laundromats rationally can have no restrictions. That’s funny. Humor me some more with the stunning logic of how the laundromats can have no limits but not a church/synagogue that accommodate hundreds, that can seat 750, and are capped at 10 or 25.

    Yeah, like your logic of ignoring the fact the churches and synagogues, at least some, are forgoing singing, have not been documented as spreading the virus, can seat hundreds to 1000 people, have documented laudable safety measures, but can’t have more than 10-25 people in them; whereas businesses, with their employees, numbering over 10 and 25 for many, working together for long hours, sharing work space, break room, refrigerator, bathrooms, or laundromats with several people inside, some of which are documented to spread the virus, have no limits.

    If that’s logical to you, then I’ll pass on that brand of logic. Because that logic isn’t based rationally in those facts the opinion and I just illuminated.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2020
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  14. gaara4158

    gaara4158 (Power Level Hidden)

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    It’s called consequences.
     
  15. NotreDame

    NotreDame Domer Supporter

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    Yeah? Consequences=better for the nation how in this specific context?

    What does that neat, short, and simple equation of consequences=better for the nation, look like?
     
  16. NotreDame

    NotreDame Domer Supporter

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    Funny, I am a lawyer. Second, it isn’t “precedence.” If you’re listening to a lawyer who said it sets “bad precedence,” run away.
    Third, do you always accept what the “actual lawyers” say as true? Or do you have any thoughts of your own on this matter? Fourth, a lawyer saying something doesn’t make what they said, so telling me some “actual lawyers” saying something isn’t evidence what they said or you said is right. That type of circular reasoning is problematic, essentially, what “actual lawyers” said is right because the actual lawyers said it. Hardly logical.

    Regardless, I’m incredulous any “actual lawyers” said exactly, or tacitly, what you said. And the “actual lawyers” speaking doesn’t illustrate the logic of my rebuttal in response to your post is faulty.
     
  17. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Part of the IT crowd Supporter

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    Well, I think people tend to unfairly lump judges in with other types of political figures, when they're far more balanced than that in their approaches to things.

    In other words,
    You're more likely to find a partisan hack in halls of congress than on any bench at a state & federal level.

    Time and time again, people have always been paranoid of judges engaging in "legislating from the bench"/"judicial activism", but that almost never comes to fruition at the state & federal levels.

    Do judges have leanings? Of course, everyone does, but that doesn't often manifest itself in rulings.

    Gorsuch and John Roberts have ruled in ways that angered the majority of conservatives on more than on occasion. Even Kavanaugh (who would have every reason to have an ax to grind against democrats) voted against killing the affordable care act.

    When there was a federal court case pertaining to whether or not "intelligent design" was allowed in public school science classes, it was a conservative Bush-appointed federal judge that ruled against it saying "The overwhelming evidence is that Intelligent Design is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism and not a scientific theory, It is an extension of the Fundamentalists' view that one must either accept the literal interpretation of Genesis or else believe in the godless system of evolution."

    While some of the higher profile social issues get all of the focus, there are many cases you can find where the majority/dissenting sides have some "strange bedfellows"

    (for instance RBG in Mont v. United States opted to side with Thomas, Alito, and Kavanaugh)

    In fact, if we just look at back 2019's track record, you'll see a few things.
    2019 term opinions of the Supreme Court of the United States - Wikipedia

    1) In more cases then not, there's general agreement between all/most of them.

    2) It's not always a partisan divide when there is disagreement.

    You can find several cases where Gorsuch and Kavanaugh went against Thomas and Alito, you can even find oddball cases like this one, where there appears to be no discernable political party connection
    upload_2020-12-12_13-29-8.png


    All in all, the court (with 9) has trended toward having a nice balance with the sitting president filling seats when they open. If a liberal president gets the chance, they'll obviously go with someone who's been more favorable to their viewpoints over the years, if a conservative president gets the chance, they'll do the same. Everyone gets "their turn" so to speak, and that sort of keeps things in balance.

    If a president suddenly wants to increase the number of seats, it's pretty apparent why they want to do it. A look into the history of FDR's attempt to do so (and how it was met from opposition even from his own existing allies currently in the supreme court)...shows the kinds of motivations behind court packing attempts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2020
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  18. Fantine

    Fantine Dona Quixote Supporter

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    What's that proverb? "A burned man fears the fire."

    Social conservatives were "burned" by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and the authorization of gay marriage.

    But lately it's the progressives who have been taking it on the chin over and over again. Citizens United, enabling elections to be "sold" to the highest bidder, usually a big corporation with its logo on the Congressman's "Nascar Jacket."

    The gutting of the Voting Rights Act, which allowed states like Texas and South Carolina to declare open season on people of color, suppressing votes, closing enough polls to make it tremendously difficult for them to get out to vote, etc.

    The Affordable Care Act woes and the many millions whose survival hang in the balance.

    So many more. Economist Robert Reich has written whole books on how the corporatization of the courts has hurt workers and everyday people. "Inequality for All" is one (also available as a documentary film on Amazon Prime.)

    Personally, I think that Democrats are too tied to the abortion issue. What has it gotten us except many millions of single issue voters who would (and have) voted for wannabe dictators with questionable motives who are heavily invested in making life unlivable for the living?
     
  19. gaara4158

    gaara4158 (Power Level Hidden)

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    Wow... ok, let’s spell it out for you. Weigh the consequences of the justices’ decisions according to how they affect the overall well-being of the public. That’s how you determine whether a justice is good or bad for the best interests of the people.
     
  20. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Judges don't normally identify as Democrat or Republican ...
     
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