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The Pronk Pops Show 1103, Story 1: Should The Supreme Court Be Composed of Only Lawyers? No, At Least 3 out of 9 Should Not Be Lawyers — Honest/ Virtuous and Wise People of Experience Not Another Harvard or Yale Educated Attorney — Short List: Victor Davis Hansen, Charles Murray and Jordan B. Peterson — Videos — Story 2: Hate America Democrats (HAD) — Not Proud To Be American — Free To Leave — Videos — Story 3: American People On The Move — 50 U.S. Cities Losing People — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1055, April 2, 2018

Image result for victor davis hanson See the source imageImage result for jordan b peterson 12 rules to live byPolitical Liberals Are Unlikely to Say They Are Extremely Proud to Be Americans

 

 

Story 1: Should The Supreme Court Be Composed of Only Lawyers? No, At Least 3 out of 9 Should Not Be Lawyers — Honest/ Virtuous and Wise People of Experience Not Another Harvard or Yale Educated Attorney — Short List: Victor Davis Hansen, Charles Murray and Jordan B. Peterson — Videos —

President Donald Trump Narrows Supreme Court Pick To 3 Appeals Court Judges | MSNBC

See the source image

How Is A U.S. Supreme Court Justice Appointed?

How a case gets to the US Supreme Court

Supreme Court of the United States Procedures: Crash Course Government and Politics #20

(youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sualy8OiKk]

How Corrupt Is America’s Judicial System?

Victor Davis Hanson: The Hypocrisy of the Left over Equality

Victor Davis Hanson 2018 – The New Dark Age Mind

Victor D. Hanson: The 4 Groups that Benefit from Illegal Immigration

Victor D. Hanson: Historically, Mass Immigration Always Led to Instability

Charles Murray on the Universal Basic Income

Charles Murray – Welfare and Happiness

Charles Murray on Coming Apart

Author Charles Murray on Bubbles, Marriage and ‘Coming Apart

Charles Murray: Are You a Snob? Take the Test

Charles Murray: How to spend your twenties

Charles Murray: Why America is Coming Apart Along Class Lines

Jordan Peterson: How to Gain Self-Respect

Jordan Peterson – Is it Game Over?

Jordan Peterson – Rules of the Game

Jordan Peterson | The Greatest Game

Jordan Peterson teaches you how to have an argument

“Lawyers are disappearing like mad” Jordan Peterson tells you what is Happening to Low IQ jobs

Jordan Peterson: How would life change with Universal Basic Income?

Jordan B. Peterson on 12 Rules for Life

What You’re Not Supposed to Know About America’s Founding

Trump narrows list for Supreme Court pick with focus on Kavanaugh and Kethledge

Robert Costa and Seung Min KimWashington Post

President Donald Trump’s deliberations over a Supreme Court nominee now center on three candidates culled from his shortlist: federal judges Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge and Amy Coney Barrett, according to White House officials and Trump advisers involved in the discussions.

But Trump’s final decision on a replacement for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy remained fluid as he traveled Thursday to a political rally in Montana before heading to his golf course in New Jersey for the weekend, with the president pinballing between associates as he seeks feedback and suggestions.

While Trump has placed Kavanaugh, a polished former Kennedy clerk and Yale Law School graduate, near the top of his list, he has also been asking several friends and aides about whether Kavanaugh’s past work in George W. Bush’s White House would be an issue for his core supporters, thousands of whom filled the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls, Montana, Thursday evening.

And Trump is hearing out arguments for Kethledge, another former Kennedy clerk, and for Coney Barrett, a Notre Dame law professor who is being championed by some social conservatives, according to the advisers, who requested anonymity since they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Kavanaugh and Kethledge have the “inside track,” according to a person close to the president, because many White House officials believe Coney Barrett, 46, could instead be a pick for the high court in the coming years, after she gains more experience on the federal bench.

A second person close to the president said Thursday that Kavanaugh and Kethledge are the shortlist.

Vice President Mike Pence met privately with Kavanaugh on Wednesday at the vice president’s residence and that session went well, underscoring the judge’s strong prospects, according to two Republicans briefed on the meeting.

“I think I have it down to four people and I think of the four people, I have it down to three or two. I think they’re all outstanding,” Trump told reporters Thursday en route to Montana, declining to name the finalists. “I don’t want say the four. But I have it down to four. I’ll have a decision made in my mind by Sunday. We’ll announce it on Monday.”

Others who emerged on Trump’s shortlists just days ago – federal judges Thomas Hardiman, Amul Thapar and Joan Larsen as well as Sen. Mike, R-Utah, – remain in contention, but the president’s queries have mostly been about the leading contenders, whether it’s been during phone calls, in Oval Office meetings or on Air Force One.

One Trump adviser said the president is unlikely to expand his list in the coming days, but could follow up by phone with some of the candidates, all of whom have been asked to fill out disclosure forms dealing with their finances and conduct.

Trump told reporters he was not planning to bring candidates in for interviews again when he heads to his New Jersey golf club this weekend. “I doubt it,” he said.

Trump’s process has echoes of both his search for a Supreme Court justice last year – he eventually nominated Neil Gorsuch – and his consideration of a running mate during the 2016 presidential campaign. Even as White House counsel Donald McGahn fiercely guards information about the candidate interviews and Trump’s leanings, the president is engaging with the freewheeling loop of boosters, lawmakers and confidants that he has long counted on for political gut checks.

“Do you know him?” Trump has asked about Kethledge, advisers said. Or, on Kavanaugh’s link to the Bush network with whom Trump has clashed for years, the president has flatly asked, “What do you think?”

Others close to Trump said a variety of factors were on the president’s radar beyond the candidates’ interpretation of the law, such as their educational profiles, personal backgrounds and rapport with him in interviews – leaving most Trump allies wary of making predictions.

“He listens to everybody, big or small, influential or not, and absorbs it all. He then adds that to how he feels and comes to a conclusion,” Trump friend and Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said.

The resignation Thursday of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, following months of ethics scandals, added some uncertainty to Trump’s timeline for a Supreme Court decision as White House officials handled Pruitt’s exit as some Trump allies wondered if the president might announce his choice before Monday to bump Pruitt from the headlines.

Trump, however, maintained Thursday that Monday remains his chosen date for an announcement. “We’re going to do it at 9 p.m. in the White House,” he told reporters.

Debates over Kavanugh’s work with Bush and rulings he has made on health care and abortion continued to churn Thursday as critics urged the president to shy away from a judge with an establishment Republican pedigree.

Kavanaugh, 53, helped investigate President Bill Clinton as part of independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s team and then served as an aide to Bush before joining the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2006.

“He looks, walks, and quacks like John G. Roberts Jr.,” the chief justice of the United States who has angered conservatives for his rulings on President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law, former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli said. “The Bush lives loudly in Kavanaugh.”

Cuccinelli’s remark is a wry reference to another contender who social conservatives unsure about Kavanaugh have rallied behind this week: Coney Barrett. “The dogma lives loudly within you,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told her last year during her confirmation hearing in an exchange about the judge’s Catholic faith – a comment that was roundly criticized by religious leaders.

“If Democrats tried to go anti-Catholic with her, that’d backfire and we know it,” Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said.

But Trump is not rushing toward Coney Barrett with the same fervor, according to the two people close to the president. They described his view of her as “positive” since he appointed her, but noted that he sees Kavanaugh and Kethledge as similar to Gorsuch, another former Kennedy clerk, whose tenure has been celebrated by his supporters and whose judicial records are largely acceptable to most wings of the Republican Party.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a Trump ally, signed a statement Thursday with other conservative leaders pushing for Lee, following days of phone calls with Trump and others over his concerns about Kavanaugh, complicating the outlook in the Senate, where Republicans have a narrow, 51-seat majority.

Kethledge’s sudden ascent in the process is widely seen in the West Wing as a consequence of what conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh has called the “whisper campaign” against Kavanaugh, with the president newly intrigued by the University of Michigan Law School graduate.

Democrats, meanwhile, prepared for the political war over the high court that could dominate the summer, with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., making his own suggestion for Trump.

Schumer privately urged the president in a phone call earlier this week to nominate federal Judge Merrick Garland, Obama’s third nominee to the Supreme Court who was summarily shunned by Senate Republicans in 2016.

Trump called Schumer on Tuesday afternoon for a Supreme Court-centered conversation that lasted less than five minutes, according to a person familiar with the call. Schumer, the person said, pressed the president to name Garland to succeed Kennedy, arguing doing so would help unite the country.

Schumer also warned the president that nominating a jurist who would be hostile to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion, and to Obama’s health-care law, would be “cataclysmic” and damage Trump’s legacy, the person added, requesting anonymity since they were not authorized to speak publicly.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump pledged to nominate judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Schumer also tweeted barbs about Kethledge Thursday. “Judge Kethledge has a history of opposing women’s reproductive freedom,” he wrote.

The rush of scrutiny gave Kethledge’s backers hope that his chances were perhaps rising – and a preview of the political firestorm he would face on Capitol Hill, should he be nominated.

The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey in Washington contributed to this report.

The Supreme Court Needs a Justice Who Isn’t a Lawyer

Article Image
I think Elena Kagan will be an outstanding Justice, not just because of her outstanding (and underrated) technical abilities—as I’ll mention shortly, I think the Court as a group is already well-stocked, if anything overstocked, with technical legal skills—but because she possesses that rarest of qualities, the charisma of leadership.  This is now a Court with two natural leaders—Kagan and Roberts—and the fascinating question will be whether the building is large enough to contain two outsize talents of the same type.
Stepping back from Kagan, I’m struck by the narrow bandwith of the debate over her qualifications.  The political system has converged to a point at which all the Justices attended either Harvard or Yale, and the only question is whether all nine of the Justices should be former lower-court federal judges—in effect that was the Republican position —or whether it’s acceptable to have one Justice who, like Kagan, has never served as a judge.  Those positions are shockingly narrow, on at least three dimensions.  First, not all good lawyers attended either Harvard or Yale, heretical though that claim might seem; the opposition to Harriet Meiers was pervaded by the snobbery of the elite bar, who sneered at her credentials.  Second, many great Justices had no previous service as federal appellate judges; given that the Court decides many cases that involve high politics, one might think that having at least a few Justices who served in elected office or in the upper reaches of the executive branch might usefully diversify the Court’s base of experience and information.  Third, and most radically, I believe there is a good case that the Court should contain at least a few non-lawyers.  Let me expand on that last point, which is outside the mainstream, but which is supported by a growing body of academic work on the determinants of good collective decision making.
No legal rule requires that appointees to the Court be lawyers, in the sense of possessing a J.D. degree and being a member of a state bar association.  The Court’s docket, roughly speaking, consists of two types of cases—”autarkic” cases in which the legal issues are strictly technical and internal to law, and “non-autarkic” cases in which the right legal answer itself depends upon the answer to questions about which lawyers have no specialized technical ability or comparative advantage.  Examples in the latter category include the questions about the effect of climate change debated in Massachusetts v. EPA, a case from a few years ago, or the questions about the nature and consequences of military detention that the Court has debated in several cases after 9/11. In the non-autarkic cases, a group consisting solely of lawyers is likely to be at sea; a group containing at least one member with relevant non-legal expertise is likely to make better decisions.  The illusion that drives the debates over qualifications for Justices is that the Court does only technical lawyers’ work.  Although that is more often true for lower federal appellate courts, a great deal of the Court’s docket involves questions of fact, causation or policy in various specialized nonlegal fields or else involves matters of high politics, as to which legal training is essentially irrelevant.  Ironically, then, the insistence that all or nearly all Justices should have been lower federal judges selects for technical legal skills, precisely the dimension on which the work of the Court differs from the work of the lower federal courts.
The larger point is that a growing body of research and theory shows that cognitively diverse groups make better decisions.  The main benefit of cognitive diversity is that it reduces the degree to which members of the group have correlated biases, and thus tend to make the same sorts of mistakes.  The economist Krishna Ladha showed in the early 1990s that groups with lower correlation of biases might actually reach correct answers more often than groups with a higher level of technical competence but greater correlation of bias.  More recently the political scientist Scott Page has expanded on this idea, detailing many situations in which cognitive diversity helps group decision making.  The nub of the insight is that in the more cognitively diverse groups, errors in various directions tend to cancel out, and the right answer tends to prevail.  The less diverse groups, by contrast, tend to err badly as to matters in which their biases all point in the same direction.  Diversity of training and profession is correlated with cognitive diversity; conversely, professional homogeneity creates likemindedness.
The problem with a Court composed of all lawyers is that, by virtue of training or self-selection into the legal profession, lawyers’ biases are highly correlated, and the group will tend to have corporate blind spots.  I don’t deny that most of the Justices should be lawyers; I suggest only that the legal system might do better with a group of Justices that contains at least one non-lawyer than with a group of lawyers alone.  To be clear, this argument is not at all a populist one, based on the idea that adding nonl-awyers would make the Court more “democratic” or something of that sort.  It is a strictly technocratic argument; but the point is that a professionally diverse group will make better technocratic decisions, even in the legal cases that reach the Court.
Even if one thinks that appointing nonl-awyers to the Court is too radical, at a minimum, one might diversify the Court’s informational base by appointing Justices who possess some form of dual competence—legal training plus credible expertise in some other discipline or subject matter.  Suppose we accept that appointees must be lawyers who have served as judges.  Why not look outside the ranks of the generalized federal judiciary, and instead consider appointees who have served on one of the many more specialized federal tribunals—the Tax Court, the many administrative courts, the Federal Circuit (which handles patents, other intellectual property matters, and certain money claims against the government), or the system of military courts?  Even within the class of generalist federal judges, what about appointing a Justice who has dual competence—perhaps someone with a second degree in finance, accounting, economics, medicine, environmental sciences, or engineering, or a former military lawyer?  The political incentives to nominate candidates only from a pool defined in the narrowest of terms are powerful, intelligible, and damaging.

I think Elena Kagan will be an outstanding Justice, not just because of her outstanding (and underrated) technical abilities—as I’ll mention shortly, I think the Court as a group is already well-stocked, if anything overstocked, with technical legal skills—but because she possesses that rarest of qualities, the charisma of leadership.  This is now a Court with two natural leaders—Kagan and Roberts—and the fascinating question will be whether the building is large enough to contain two outsize talents of the same type.

Stepping back from Kagan, I’m struck by the narrow bandwith of the debate over her qualifications.  The political system has converged to a point at which all the Justices attended either Harvard or Yale, and the only question is whether all nine of the Justices should be former lower-court federal judges—in effect that was the Republican position —or whether it’s acceptable to have one Justice who, like Kagan, has never served as a judge.  Those positions are shockingly narrow, on at least three dimensions.  First, not all good lawyers attended either Harvard or Yale, heretical though that claim might seem; the opposition to Harriet Meiers was pervaded by the snobbery of the elite bar, who sneered at her credentials.  Second, many great Justices had no previous service as federal appellate judges; given that the Court decides many cases that involve high politics, one might think that having at least a few Justices who served in elected office or in the upper reaches of the executive branch might usefully diversify the Court’s base of experience and information.  Third, and most radically, I believe there is a good case that the Court should contain at least a few non-lawyers.  Let me expand on that last point, which is outside the mainstream, but which is supported by a growing body of academic work on the determinants of good collective decision making.

No legal rule requires that appointees to the Court be lawyers, in the sense of possessing a J.D. degree and being a member of a state bar association.  The Court’s docket, roughly speaking, consists of two types of cases—”autarkic” cases in which the legal issues are strictly technical and internal to law, and “non-autarkic” cases in which the right legal answer itself depends upon the answer to questions about which lawyers have no specialized technical ability or comparative advantage.  Examples in the latter category include the questions about the effect of climate change debated in Massachusetts v. EPA, a case from a few years ago, or the questions about the nature and consequences of military detention that the Court has debated in several cases after 9/11.  In the non-autarkic cases, a group consisting solely of lawyers is likely to be at sea; a group containing at least one member with relevant non-legal expertise is likely to make better decisions.  The illusion that drives the debates over qualifications for Justices is that the Court does only technical lawyers’ work.  Although that is more often true for lower federal appellate courts, a great deal of the Court’s docket involves questions of fact, causation or policy in various specialized nonlegal fields or else involves matters of high politics, as to which legal training is essentially irrelevant.  Ironically, then, the insistence that all or nearly all Justices should have been lower federal judges selects for technical legal skills, precisely the dimension on which the work of the Court differs from the work of the lower federal courts.

The larger point is that a growing body of research and theory shows that cognitively diverse groups make better decisions.  The main benefit of cognitive diversity is that it reduces the degree to which members of the group have correlated biases, and thus tend to make the same sorts of mistakes.  The economist Krishna Ladha showed in the early 1990s that groups with lower correlation of biases might actually reach correct answers more often than groups with a higher level of technical competence but greater correlation of bias.  More recently the political scientist Scott Page has expanded on this idea, detailing many situations in which cognitive diversity helps group decision making.  The nub of the insight is that in the more cognitively diverse groups, errors in various directions tend to cancel out, and the right answer tends to prevail.  The less diverse groups, by contrast, tend to err badly as to matters in which their biases all point in the same direction.  Diversity of training and profession is correlated with cognitive diversity; conversely, professional homogeneity creates likemindedness.

The problem with a Court composed of all lawyers is that, by virtue of training or self-selection into the legal profession, lawyers’ biases are highly correlated, and the group will tend to have corporate blind spots.  I don’t deny that most of the Justices should be lawyers; I suggest only that the legal system might do better with a group of Justices that contains at least one non-lawyer than with a group of lawyers alone.  To be clear, this argument is not at all a populist one, based on the idea that adding non-lawyers would make the Court more “democratic” or something of that sort.  It is a strictly technocratic argument; but the point is that a professionally diverse group will make better technocratic decisions, even in the legal cases that reach the Court.

Even if one thinks that appointing non-lawyers to the Court is too radical, at a minimum, one might diversify the Court’s informational base by appointing Justices who possess some form of dual competence—legal training plus credible expertise in some other discipline or subject matter.  Suppose we accept that appointees must be lawyers who have served as judges.  Why not look outside the ranks of the generalized federal judiciary, and instead consider appointees who have served on one of the many more specialized federal tribunals—the Tax Court, the many administrative courts, the Federal Circuit (which handles patents, other intellectual property matters, and certain money claims against the government), or the system of military courts?  Even within the class of generalist federal judges, what about appointing a Justice who has dual competence—perhaps someone with a second degree in finance, accounting, economics, medicine, environmental sciences, or engineering, or a former military lawyer?  The political incentives to nominate candidates only from a pool defined in the narrowest of terms are powerful, intelligible, and damaging.

https://bigthink.com/experts-corner/the-supreme-court-needs-a-justice-who-isnt-a-lawyer

Trump closes in on Supreme Court pick; 3 judges top list

CATHERINE LUCEY, KEN THOMAS and LISA MASCARO

,

Associated Press

President Donald Trump is closing in on his next Supreme Court nominee, with three federal judges leading the competition to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Trump’s top contenders for the vacancy at this time are federal appeals judges Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge, said a person familiar with Trump’s thinking who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Working closely with a White House team and consulting with lawmakers and outside advisers, Trump has spent the week deliberating on the choice. He conducted interviews on Monday and Tuesday. He has not yet publicly indicated that he has narrowed the list and could still consider others in the mix.

With customary fanfare, Trump plans to announce his selection Monday night, kicking off a contentious nomination process as Republicans seek to shift the court to the right and Democrats strive to block the effort.

Vice President Mike Pence has also met with some of the contenders for the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, The Associated Press has learned.

The meetings took place in recent days, according to a person familiar with the search process. The person did not specify which candidates Pence met with and spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday to describe the private search process.

Trump is choosing his nominee from a list of 25 candidates vetted by conservative groups. Earlier in the week, he spoke with seven people on the list. Other contenders that have received serious interest include federal appeals judges Amul Thapar, Thomas Hardiman and Joan Larsen.

The president also spoke by phone with Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah on Monday. He’s the only lawmaker on Trump’s list. That call was not characterized by the White House as an interview and Lee is not viewed as a top prospect, though he has some support on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, advocated for Lee in a Fox News op-ed, warning Trump not to repeat “mistakes” of past Republican presidents by picking a Supreme Court nominee who turns out to be insufficiently conservative.

Cruz said Lee would be a “sure thing.” He cited former justices William Brennan, John Paul Stevens and Harry Blackmun, who authored the Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman’s right to abortion. All three were nominated by Republican presidents.

Trump’s choice to replace Kennedy — a swing vote on the nine-member court — has the potential to remake the court for a generation as part of precedent-shattering decisions on abortion, health care, gay marriage and other issues. Recognizing the stakes, many Democrats have lined up in opposition to any Trump pick, and Republican lawmakers and activists are seeking to shape the president’s decision.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has told colleagues he may not vote for Kavanaugh if the judge is nominated, citing Kavanaugh’s role during the Bush administration on cases involving executive privilege and the disclosure of documents to Congress, said a person familiar with Paul’s conversations who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Some conservatives have pointed to Kethledge as a potential justice in the mold of Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee last year. Both Kethledge and Gorsuch once served Kennedy as law clerks, as did Kavanaugh. Kethledge, a Michigan Law graduate, would add academic diversity to a court steeped in the Ivy League.

Since Trump said his short list includes at least two women, speculation has focused on Barrett, a former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and a longtime Notre Dame Law School professor who serves on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Conservative groups rallied around Barrett after her confirmation hearing last year featured questioning from Democrats over how her Roman Catholic faith would affect her decisions.

On Wednesday, Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine, reiterated that she could not vote for a nominee with a “demonstrated hostility” to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion.

“I think I’ve made it pretty clear if a nominee has demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade and has said that they’re not going to abide by that long-standing precedent, that I could not support that nominee,” Collins told reporters at a holiday parade in Bangor.

But Collins said she also wouldn’t blindly vote to confirm someone she thinks is unworthy in other respects — even if he or she supports Roe v. Wade.

___

Associated Press writers Zeke Miller in Washington and Marina Villeneuve in Portland, Maine, contributed to this report.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/ap-source-pence-met-supreme-court-contenders-043447870–politics.html

There Are No Conservative Judges

The role of politics is to convert the will of the people into the laws that govern us. Politicians serve as the intermediaries who represent the people.  As such, in politics, we expect there to be a spectrum of ideas ranging from those that are correct, conservative ones, to those that are absurd or evil, leftist ones.

That’s why in the political sphere labels like conservative, liberal, leftist, and libertarian make sense: they describe the diversity of ideas presented as possible solutions to the issues that face the country.

The role of the judiciary is not to solve problems or decide what’s “best” for the country, but rather see how the words of the laws passed by Congress and signed into law by the president combined with the intent behind those words as defined by the discussions leading up to the passing of each law apply to a given case.

As such, there is no room for an ideological spectrum because the court’s purpose is only to decide based on reason and logic what the lawmakers intended. The Court is not empowered by the people through the Constitution to decide what the solutions should be and then impose those solutions on the people.

Essentially, in politics, we have lots of Captain Kirks, and in the judiciary, we should have only Spocks.

Hence, to talk of conservative or liberal judges doesn’t make sense.  Rather, we should talk about honest or dishonest judges.

Honest judges do what they’re supposed to do: apply the law as intended by the people who wrote and passed it.  Dishonest judges torture the words of the law to justify the solution that they, the judges, think is best for America.

For example, the Constitution is clear that powers not specifically granted to the federal government in the Constitution are reserved to the states.  The Constitution nowhere gives the federal government power to regulate marriage, which means that honest judges would, no matter what their personal beliefs, recognize that the Supreme Court cannot impose a radical redefinition of marriage on the states and, in the process, overthrow the votes of 55,000,000 Americans who have voted to not redefine marriage.

Dishonest judges, who view their role as “improving” society, have a very Louis XIV view of their authority.  As such, they believe that they have the authority to impose whatever they deem best on America.  While they pretend, for political purposes, that their activist rulings are based on the law, the reality is that their methodology, the “living” Constitution, allows them to claim that pretty much anything is based on the Constitution.

It would seem clear to all that if the Constitution was viewed by the courts, the presidents, and Congress for over 100 years saying something is illegal, it’s impossible that the intent of the people who ratified the Constitution was that that thing is in fact legal.

For example, abortion was viewed as a horrible crime right up to the time that artificial contraception was developed. Our knowledge of the humanity of the unborn had actually grown, and there had been no change in the moral issues surrounding abortion.  Hence, it was absurd to claim, as the dishonest judges on the Supreme Court did, that the intent of the Constitution was that killing an unborn child was not only legal, but a constitutionally protected right.

What had happened was that while the Pill led people to believe they could have sex without children, the reality is that mankind has yet to find a way to undo either God’s plan for the purpose of sex or basic biology, which makes the most likely outcome of sex a new human life.  For example, the typical woman on the Pill has about a 40% chance of an unexpected pregnancy during her lifetime.

But once some people thought they could have sex without children, they encountered the harsh reality that man hasn’t yet figured out a perfect way to have sex without the possibility of children.  As a result, they looked to the killing of “unwanted” babies as a surefire way to have sex without the “burden” of children.  Hence, while nothing about the nature of sex or the law had changed, the attitudes of some people had changed.

Under the Constitution, when the attitudes of some people change, they can change the law through the Democratic process.  Unfortunately for those who want to define some human beings as not being persons and not having rights, as the Nazis did for the Jews and as slave-owners did for blacks, the most they could “achieve” was a very limited right to kill their children in the most liberal states.

Dishonest judges eschewed their constitutional role and declared that some human beings, the most defenseless among us, were not persons and as such lacked any rights.  That decision is not based on anything that is said in the Constitution and in fact directly contradicts what the Constitution says.

Note that the Constitution does not limit those rights based on the developmental stage of a human being.

Further, for nearly 200 years, everyone in America, including the judiciary, believed that the Constitution did not contain a right to kill one’s children so long as the execution occurred before birth.

Hence, neither the intent of those who wrote and ratified the Constitution nor the actual words of the Constitution – remember that the phrase “right to privacy” appears nowhere in the Constitution – provide any support for the idea that there is a right to kill one’s unborn daughter because one wants a boy.  In spite of this, the dishonest judges on the Court overthrew the laws of all 50 states and declared that abortion is legal at any time and for any reason.

The practical implication of all of this is that we need to have honest judges on the Supreme Court, and all the lower courts, who will stick to their constitutionally mandated role, not judges who effectively eliminate the Democratic process and ignore the will of the people.

The fear that is overwhelming leftists about Trump appointing a replacement for Anthony Kennedy should teach them that having a dictatorial rather than an interpretive Court is bad.  Sadly, instead of learning that lesson, what we’re seeing is that they believe that the Court should have absolute power but that it should also be populated only by dishonest judges who impose the left’s vision on America.

In the upcoming fight over Kennedy’s replacement, remind your friends that the Trump nominee is not a conservative who was picked based on his willingness to impose conservative beliefs on America, but rather an honest judge who believes that his job is to apply the law as intended by the politicians elected by we the people.

For example, if leftists were to eradicate the 2nd Amendment through the process defined in the Constitution, whomever Trump nominates would not rule on a case that the “right to privacy” means that people can own guns anyway.

What this means is that the fight over Kennedy’s replacement is not a choice between conservatism and leftism, but rather a choice between democracy and tyranny.  It’s about whether we will live in a representative republic, where the laws are defined by the people through the Congress, or in a tyranny where the laws are defined by five unelected lawyers.

Ask your friends whom they want running the country: the people or less than a handful of unelected, mostly white, mostly male lawyers?

Trump and the American people have a chance to return power to the people – power that dishonest judges have stolen from us – and we need make sure that everyone knows what the real issue is.

You can read more of Tom’s rants at his blog, Conversations about the obvious, and feel free to follow him on Twitter.

The role of politics is to convert the will of the people into the laws that govern us. Politicians serve as the intermediaries who represent the people.  As such, in politics, we expect there to be a spectrum of ideas ranging from those that are correct, conservative ones, to those that are absurd or evil, leftist ones.

That’s why in the political sphere labels like conservative, liberal, leftist, and libertarian make sense: they describe the diversity of ideas presented as possible solutions to the issues that face the country.

When we look at the judiciary in general, and the Supreme Court in particular, we see something different.

The role of the judiciary is not to solve problems or decide what’s “best” for the country, but rather see how the words of the laws passed by Congress and signed into law by the president combined with the intent behind those words as defined by the discussions leading up to the passing of each law apply to a given case.

As such, there is no room for an ideological spectrum because the court’s purpose is only to decide based on reason and logic what the lawmakers intended. The Court is not empowered by the people through the Constitution to decide what the solutions should be and then impose those solutions on the people.

Essentially, in politics, we have lots of Captain Kirks, and in the judiciary, we should have only Spocks.

Hence, to talk of conservative or liberal judges doesn’t make sense.  Rather, we should talk about honest or dishonest judges.

Honest judges do what they’re supposed to do: apply the law as intended by the people who wrote and passed it.  Dishonest judges torture the words of the law to justify the solution that they, the judges, think is best for America.

For example, the Constitution is clear that powers not specifically granted to the federal government in the Constitution are reserved to the states.  The Constitution nowhere gives the federal government power to regulate marriage, which means that honest judges would, no matter what their personal beliefs, recognize that the Supreme Court cannot impose a radical redefinition of marriage on the states and, in the process, overthrow the votes of 55,000,000 Americans who have voted to not redefine marriage.

Dishonest judges, who view their role as “improving” society, have a very Louis XIV view of their authority.  As such, they believe that they have the authority to impose whatever they deem best on America.  While they pretend, for political purposes, that their activist rulings are based on the law, the reality is that their methodology, the “living” Constitution, allows them to claim that pretty much anything is based on the Constitution.

It would seem clear to all that if the Constitution was viewed by the courts, the presidents, and Congress for over 100 years saying something is illegal, it’s impossible that the intent of the people who ratified the Constitution was that that thing is in fact legal.

For example, abortion was viewed as a horrible crime right up to the time that artificial contraception was developed. Our knowledge of the humanity of the unborn had actually grown, and there had been no change in the moral issues surrounding abortion.  Hence, it was absurd to claim, as the dishonest judges on the Supreme Court did, that the intent of the Constitution was that killing an unborn child was not only legal, but a constitutionally protected right.

What had happened was that while the Pill led people to believe they could have sex without children, the reality is that mankind has yet to find a way to undo either God’s plan for the purpose of sex or basic biology, which makes the most likely outcome of sex a new human life.  For example, the typical woman on the Pill has about a 40% chance of an unexpected pregnancy during her lifetime.

But once some people thought they could have sex without children, they encountered the harsh reality that man hasn’t yet figured out a perfect way to have sex without the possibility of children.  As a result, they looked to the killing of “unwanted” babies as a surefire way to have sex without the “burden” of children.  Hence, while nothing about the nature of sex or the law had changed, the attitudes of some people had changed.

Under the Constitution, when the attitudes of some people change, they can change the law through the Democratic process.  Unfortunately for those who want to define some human beings as not being persons and not having rights, as the Nazis did for the Jews and as slave-owners did for blacks, the most they could “achieve” was a very limited right to kill their children in the most liberal states.

Dishonest judges eschewed their constitutional role and declared that some human beings, the most defenseless among us, were not persons and as such lacked any rights.  That decision is not based on anything that is said in the Constitution and in fact directly contradicts what the Constitution says.

Note that the Constitution does not limit those rights based on the developmental stage of a human being.

Further, for nearly 200 years, everyone in America, including the judiciary, believed that the Constitution did not contain a right to kill one’s children so long as the execution occurred before birth.

Hence, neither the intent of those who wrote and ratified the Constitution nor the actual words of the Constitution – remember that the phrase “right to privacy” appears nowhere in the Constitution – provide any support for the idea that there is a right to kill one’s unborn daughter because one wants a boy.  In spite of this, the dishonest judges on the Court overthrew the laws of all 50 states and declared that abortion is legal at any time and for any reason.

The practical implication of all of this is that we need to have honest judges on the Supreme Court, and all the lower courts, who will stick to their constitutionally mandated role, not judges who effectively eliminate the Democratic process and ignore the will of the people.

The fear that is overwhelming leftists about Trump appointing a replacement for Anthony Kennedy should teach them that having a dictatorial rather than an interpretive Court is bad.  Sadly, instead of learning that lesson, what we’re seeing is that they believe that the Court should have absolute power but that it should also be populated only by dishonest judges who impose the left’s vision on America.

In the upcoming fight over Kennedy’s replacement, remind your friends that the Trump nominee is not a conservative who was picked based on his willingness to impose conservative beliefs on America, but rather an honest judge who believes that his job is to apply the law as intended by the politicians elected by we the people.

For example, if leftists were to eradicate the 2nd Amendment through the process defined in the Constitution, whomever Trump nominates would not rule on a case that the “right to privacy” means that people can own guns anyway.

What this means is that the fight over Kennedy’s replacement is not a choice between conservatism and leftism, but rather a choice between democracy and tyranny.  It’s about whether we will live in a representative republic, where the laws are defined by the people through the Congress, or in a tyranny where the laws are defined by five unelected lawyers.

Ask your friends whom they want running the country: the people or less than a handful of unelected, mostly white, mostly male lawyers?

Trump and the American people have a chance to return power to the people – power that dishonest judges have stolen from us – and we need make sure that everyone knows what the real issue is.

You can read more of Tom’s rants at his blog, Conversations about the obvious, and feel free to follow him on Twitter.

Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/06/there_are_no_conservative_judges.html#ixzz5KPFcJTnG

Donald Trump and the Supreme Court’s Future

The Supreme Court just recently upheld President Trump’s executive order travel/immigration ban from several predominantly Muslim countries. This was the President’s third attempt at a ban to restrict immigration from countries with known terrorist ties, countries whose governments are so low-functioning as to be virtually incapable (and unwilling!) to provide the U.S. with any meaningful vetting information on the proposed immigrants.

Not a single sane-thinking person of any political stripe disagrees in the privacy of their own thoughts with the notion of restricting unvettable immigrants from terror-producing countries. This was a good decision, a win for the country, obligatory bleats of protest from the Usual Quarters notwithstanding. The Court’s vote was 5-4, with the “4” no doubt feeling confident that they could vote ‘no’ and thus preserve their liberal bona fides, secure in the knowledge that the ‘5’ votes were there, and the measure was going to pass anyway.

Justice Anthony Kennedy just announced his retirement from the Court, effective July 31st, 2018. Named to the Court by President Reagan in 1987 (confirmed in 1988) after the Robert Bork debacle, Kennedy has long been considered a swing vote, unpredictably voting with either the liberal or conservative side in many key cases. Replacing Kennedy with a more reliable partisan vote, in either direction, will definitely shift the balance of the Court for many years to come.

It is the specter of Kennedy’s retirement that makes these mid-term elections so important. While all the talk has been about a so-called “Blue Wave” that would wrest control of the House away from the Republicans and make Nancy Pelosi Speaker once again, as chilling as that thought is to conservatives the real drama of this year’s elections concerns the Senate.

After Judge Roy Moore committed political suicide and gifted a Georgia Republican Senate seat to the Democrats in December 2017, the current Senate count is 51-49 in favor of the Republicans. There are 33 Senate seats up for election this November, 9 Republican and 24 Democrat (including independents who caucus with the Democrats). Without handicapping every single race and analyzing every conceivable scenario, it is not beyond the realm of realistic possibility that the Democrats could retake the Senate with a net gain of just two seats.

Trump’s purported political “allies” (House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, et al.) haven’t exactly been cooperative or helpful to any meaningful degree in terms of helping pass his legislation or helping him achieve his political aims. Bills inexplicably languish, legal/political initiatives remain frustratingly unpursued, and corrupt swamps are still maddeningly undrained. His so-called governing partners have been of astonishingly little help.

The only truly meaningful assistance that Trump’s party-mates have given him was when McConnell changed the existing rules of the Senate and executed the so-called “nuclear option,” whereby Senate confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee required only a simple majority of 51 instead of the previous super-majority of 60. The 60 number is not a legal requirement; it has simply been sort of an unspoken gentlemen’s agreement that important issues require at least a minimal degree of bipartisan support, so the 60-Vote Rule was adopted. When it became obvious that Democrats (and all too often, some dependably-obstreperous Republicans like McCain, Paul, Graham and others) had no intention of supporting anything coming from President Trump, McConnell changed the Supreme Court voting requirement to 51 so Trump nominees would at least have a chance at confirmation and the nation’s highest court could be fully staffed. Note that McConnell could have changed the requirement in the Senate to 51 votes for all measures, but he didn’t. Only for Supreme Court nominees. All other major issues still require 60.

The current 51-vote requirement is why Kennedy’s retirement before the November mid-terms is so important. Assuming a Trump replacement nominee could reach the Senate floor before November for a vote — and assuming those few troublesome Republican senators put their grandstanding egos on hold and toe the party line — Kennedy would be replaced by a conservative-leaning judge and the Court would become more consistently conservative in its rulings.

But if the Democrats delay the confirmation hearing and retake the Senate in November 2018, then all bets are off. In order to pass Democratically-controlled Senate muster, a Kennedy replacement would have to be a malleable centrist at the very least, if not a full-fledged liberal. At that point, the options for President Trump are either a liberal Court or an eight-person bench until 2020, with Republicans hoping for a Trump re-election and a Republican retaking of the Senate.

If the Republicans hold the Senate in 2018, then they will replace Justice Kennedy with a more conservative jurist (if they haven’t done so before the elections). Liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 85 and in questionable physical and mental health. (Who can forget her many instances of falling asleep on the job or her numerous close-to-incoherent utterances?) Similarly, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer will be 80 in August and it is conceivable that his term on the bench could also be ended for age-related reasons, especially during a second Trump term. If President Trump gets to replace them on the Court, then the country could very well have a 6-3 or even 7-2 conservative-leaning Supreme Court, for decades to come.

The implications will be huge for immigration policy, federal funding for sanctuary cities, environmental issues, affirmative action/racial quotas, gun-control rights and many others. (Interestingly, probably less so for reproductive rights than many people think, because even in the highly unlikely event that the Court overturned the decades-long, oft-challenged-but-always-survived Roe v Wade ruling, the matter would simply revert to the states, where it’s highly likely that the states — especially the more moderate-to-liberal ones — would retain the availability of “choice” pretty much exactly as it is now. That’s a discussion for another time.)

So while the drama and anticipation of whether the Blue Wave will indeed flip a few dozen House seats and give control of the House of Representatives back to the Democrats, seasoned political observers know that it is the 2018 Senate races — not the House — that hold the most impactful long-range implications for the country.

The Supreme Court just recently upheld President Trump’s executive order travel/immigration ban from several predominantly Muslim countries. This was the President’s third attempt at a ban to restrict immigration from countries with known terrorist ties, countries whose governments are so low-functioning as to be virtually incapable (and unwilling!) to provide the U.S. with any meaningful vetting information on the proposed immigrants.

Not a single sane-thinking person of any political stripe disagrees in the privacy of their own thoughts with the notion of restricting unvettable immigrants from terror-producing countries. This was a good decision, a win for the country, obligatory bleats of protest from the Usual Quarters notwithstanding. The Court’s vote was 5-4, with the “4” no doubt feeling confident that they could vote ‘no’ and thus preserve their liberal bona fides, secure in the knowledge that the ‘5’ votes were there, and the measure was going to pass anyway.

This latest Court vote demonstrates, once again, that the President’s — any president’s — ability and opportunity to name Supreme Court justices are without question his most lasting and impactful actions in office.

Justice Anthony Kennedy just announced his retirement from the Court, effective July 31st, 2018. Named to the Court by President Reagan in 1987 (confirmed in 1988) after the Robert Bork debacle, Kennedy has long been considered a swing vote, unpredictably voting with either the liberal or conservative side in many key cases. Replacing Kennedy with a more reliable partisan vote, in either direction, will definitely shift the balance of the Court for many years to come.

It is the specter of Kennedy’s retirement that makes these mid-term elections so important. While all the talk has been about a so-called “Blue Wave” that would wrest control of the House away from the Republicans and make Nancy Pelosi Speaker once again, as chilling as that thought is to conservatives the real drama of this year’s elections concerns the Senate.

After Judge Roy Moore committed political suicide and gifted a Georgia Republican Senate seat to the Democrats in December 2017, the current Senate count is 51-49 in favor of the Republicans. There are 33 Senate seats up for election this November, 9 Republican and 24 Democrat (including independents who caucus with the Democrats). Without handicapping every single race and analyzing every conceivable scenario, it is not beyond the realm of realistic possibility that the Democrats could retake the Senate with a net gain of just two seats.

Trump’s purported political “allies” (House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, et al.) haven’t exactly been cooperative or helpful to any meaningful degree in terms of helping pass his legislation or helping him achieve his political aims. Bills inexplicably languish, legal/political initiatives remain frustratingly unpursued, and corrupt swamps are still maddeningly undrained. His so-called governing partners have been of astonishingly little help.

The only truly meaningful assistance that Trump’s party-mates have given him was when McConnell changed the existing rules of the Senate and executed the so-called “nuclear option,” whereby Senate confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee required only a simple majority of 51 instead of the previous super-majority of 60. The 60 number is not a legal requirement; it has simply been sort of an unspoken gentlemen’s agreement that important issues require at least a minimal degree of bipartisan support, so the 60-Vote Rule was adopted. When it became obvious that Democrats (and all too often, some dependably-obstreperous Republicans like McCain, Paul, Graham and others) had no intention of supporting anything coming from President Trump, McConnell changed the Supreme Court voting requirement to 51 so Trump nominees would at least have a chance at confirmation and the nation’s highest court could be fully staffed. Note that McConnell could have changed the requirement in the Senate to 51 votes for all measures, but he didn’t. Only for Supreme Court nominees. All other major issues still require 60.

The current 51-vote requirement is why Kennedy’s retirement before the November mid-terms is so important. Assuming a Trump replacement nominee could reach the Senate floor before November for a vote — and assuming those few troublesome Republican senators put their grandstanding egos on hold and toe the party line — Kennedy would be replaced by a conservative-leaning judge and the Court would become more consistently conservative in its rulings.

But if the Democrats delay the confirmation hearing and retake the Senate in November 2018, then all bets are off. In order to pass Democratically-controlled Senate muster, a Kennedy replacement would have to be a malleable centrist at the very least, if not a full-fledged liberal. At that point, the options for President Trump are either a liberal Court or an eight-person bench until 2020, with Republicans hoping for a Trump re-election and a Republican retaking of the Senate.

If the Republicans hold the Senate in 2018, then they will replace Justice Kennedy with a more conservative jurist (if they haven’t done so before the elections). Liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 85 and in questionable physical and mental health. (Who can forget her many instances of falling asleep on the job or her numerous close-to-incoherent utterances?) Similarly, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer will be 80 in August and it is conceivable that his term on the bench could also be ended for age-related reasons, especially during a second Trump term. If President Trump gets to replace them on the Court, then the country could very well have a 6-3 or even 7-2 conservative-leaning Supreme Court, for decades to come.

The implications will be huge for immigration policy, federal funding for sanctuary cities, environmental issues, affirmative action/racial quotas, gun-control rights and many others. (Interestingly, probably less so for reproductive rights than many people think, because even in the highly unlikely event that the Court overturned the decades-long, oft-challenged-but-always-survived Roe v Wade ruling, the matter would simply revert to the states, where it’s highly likely that the states — especially the more moderate-to-liberal ones — would retain the availability of “choice” pretty much exactly as it is now. That’s a discussion for another time.)

So while the drama and anticipation of whether the Blue Wave will indeed flip a few dozen House seats and give control of the House of Representatives back to the Democrats, seasoned political observers know that it is the 2018 Senate races — not the House — that hold the most impactful long-range implications for the country.

Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/06/donald_trump_and_the_supreme_courts_future.html#ixzz5KPJZh29N

Victor Davis Hanson

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Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson.jpg

Hanson giving a lecture at Kenyon College in May 2005
Born September 5, 1953 (age 64)
Fowler, California, U.S.
Occupation Writer, historian, farmer
Nationality American
Subject Military history, history of ancient warfare, ancient agrarianismclassics

Victor Davis Hanson (born September 5, 1953) is an American classicistmilitary historian, columnist, and farmer. He has been a commentator on modern and ancient warfare and contemporary politics for National ReviewThe Washington Times and other media outlets. He is a professor emeritus of classics at California State University, Fresno, and is currently the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in classics and military history at Stanford University‘s Hoover Institution. He chairs the Hoover working group on Military History and Contemporary Conflict as well as being the general editor of the Hoover online journal, Strategika. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College where he teaches an intensive course on world, ancient or military history in the autumn semester, as the Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History since 2004.[1] Hanson is the author of Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power (2001), a New York Times best-selling book.

Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and was a presidential appointee in 2007–2008 on the American Battle Monuments Commission that oversees the cemeteries of and monuments of U.S. war dead abroad. Hanson is a student of current affairs, particularly regarding the U.S. in the Middle East, national defense issues and illegal immigration. He is also a fifth-generation farmer, growing almonds on a family farm in Selma, California, where he resides, and is a commentator on social trends related to farming and agrarianism.

Early life, education and today

Hanson, who is of Swedish and Welsh descent, grew up on a family farm outside of Selma, California in the San Joaquin Valley and has worked there most of his life. His mother, Pauline Davis Hanson, was a lawyer and a California superior court and state appeals court justice, his father was a farmer, educator and junior college administrator. Along with his older brother Nels, a writer, and fraternal twin Alfred, a farmer and biologist, Hanson attended public schools and graduated from Selma High School. Hanson received his BA with highest honors in classics and general college honors, Cowell College, from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1975[2] and his PhD in classics from Stanford University in 1980. He is a Protestant Christian.[3] He also won the Raphael Demos scholarship at the College Year in Athens (1973–74) and was a regular member of the American School of Classical Studies, Athens, 1978–79.

Hanson is currently a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and professor emeritus at California State University, Fresno,[4] where he began teaching in 1984, having created the classical studies program at that institution.

In 1991, Hanson was awarded an American Philological Association‘s Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin, and he was named distinguished alumnus of the year (2006) at University of California, Santa Cruz.[4] He has been a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991–92), a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992–93), an Alexander Onassistraveling fellowship to Greece (1999), as well as Nimitz Fellow at UC Berkeley (2006) and held the visiting Shifrin Chair of Military History at the U.S. Naval AcademyAnnapolis, Maryland (2002–03), and often the William Simon visiting professorship at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University (2009–15), and was awarded in 2015 an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the graduate school at Pepperdine. He gave the Wriston Lecture in 2004 for the Manhattan Institute. He has been a board member of the Bradley Foundationsince 2015, and served on the HF Guggenheim Foundation board for over a decade.

Since 2004, Hanson has written a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Media Services, as well as a weekly column for National Review Online since 2001, and has not missed a weekly column for either venue since he began. He has been published in The New York TimesWall Street JournalThe Times Literary SupplementThe Daily TelegraphAmerican Heritage, and The New Criterion, among other publications. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal (2007) by President George W. Bush, as well as the Eric Breindel Prize for opinion journalism (2002), and the William F. Buckley Prize (2015). Hanson was also awarded the Claremont Institute’s Statesmanship Award at its annual Churchill Dinner, and the Bradley Prize from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in 2008.[4]

Writing

Hanson’s Warfare and Agriculture (Giardini 1983), his PhD thesis, argued that Greek warfare could not be understood apart from agrarian life in general, and suggested that the modern assumption that agriculture was irrevocably harmed during classical wars was vastly overestimated. The Western Way of War (Alfred Knopf 1989), for which John Keegan wrote the introduction, explored the combatants’ experiences of ancient Greek battle and detailed the Hellenic foundations of later Western military practice.

The Other Greeks (The Free Press 1995) argued that the emergence of a unique middling agrarian class explains the ascendance of the Greek city-state, and its singular values of consensual government, sanctity of private property, civic militarism and individualism. In Fields Without Dreams (The Free Press 1996, winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award) and The Land Was Everything (The Free Press 2000, a Los Angeles Times notable book of the year), Hanson lamented the decline of family farming and rural communities, and the loss of agrarian voices in American democracy. The Soul of Battle (The Free Press 1999) traced the careers of Epaminondas, the Theban liberator, William Tecumseh Sherman, and George S. Patton, in arguing that democratic warfare’s strengths are best illustrated in short, intense and spirited marches to promote consensual rule, but bog down otherwise during long occupations or more conventional static battle.

In Mexifornia (Encounter 2003)—a personal memoir about growing up in rural California and an account of immigration from Mexico—Hanson that predicted illegal immigration would soon reach crisis proportions, unless legal, measured, and diverse immigration was restored, as well as the traditional melting-pot values of integration, assimilation, and intermarriage.

Ripples of Battle (Doubleday 2003) chronicled how the cauldron of battle affects combatants’ later literary and artistic work, as its larger influence ripples for generations, affecting art, literature, culture, and government. In A War Like No Other (Random House 2005, a New York Times notable book of the year), a history of the Peloponnesian War, Hanson offered an alternative history, arranged by methods of fighting—triremes, hoplites, cavalry, sieges, etc.) in concluding that the conflict marked a brutal watershed event for the Greek city-states. The Savior Generals (Bloomsbury 2013) followed the careers of five great generals, arguing that rare qualities in leadership emerge during hopeless predicaments that only rare individuals can salvage.

The End of Sparta (Bloomsbury 2011) is a novel about a small community of Thespian farmers who join the great march of Epaminondas (369/70 BC) into the heart of the Peloponnese to destroy Spartan hegemony, free the Messenian helots, and spread democracy in the Peloponnese.

In addition, Hanson has edited several collected essays (Hoplites, Routledge 1991), Bonfire of the Humanities (with B. Thornton and J. Heath, ISI 2001), and Makers of Ancient Strategy (Princeton 2010), as well as a number of his own collected articles (An Autumn of War [2002 Anchor], Between War and Peace [Anchor 2004], and The Father of Us All [Bloomsbury 2010]). He has written a number of chapters for scholarly works such as the Cambridge History of War, and the Cambridge History of Ancient Warfare.

Carnage and Culture

Hanson is the author of the 2001 book Carnage and Culture (Doubleday), published in Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries as Why the West Has Won, in which he argued that the military dominance of Western civilization, beginning with the ancient Greeks, results from certain fundamental aspects of Western culture, such as consensual government, a tradition of self-critique, secular rationalism, religious tolerance, individual freedom, free expression, free markets, and individualism. Hanson’s emphasis on cultural exception rejects racial explanations for Western military preeminence and disagrees as well with environmental or geographical determinist explanations such as those put forth by Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997).[5]

According to Hanson, Western values such as political freedomcapitalismindividualismdemocracyscientific inquiryrationalism, and open debate form an especially lethal combination when applied to warfare. Non-western societies can win occasional victories when warring against a society with these western values, writes Hanson, but the “Western way of war” will likely prevail in the long run. Hanson emphasizes that western warfare is not necessarily more (or less) moral than war as practiced by other cultures; his argument is simply that the “Western way of war” is unequaled in its emphases on devastation and decisiveness, fueled by superior technology and logistics.

Carnage and Culture examines nine battles throughout history, each of which is used to illustrate a particular aspect of Western culture that Hanson believes contributes to the dominance of Western warfare. The battles or campaigns recounted (with themes in parenthesis) are the Battle of Salamis (480 BC; free citizens), the Battle of Gaugamela (331 BC; the decisive battle of annihilation), the Battle of Cannae (216 BC; civic militarism), the Battle of Tours/Poitiers (732; infantry), the Battle of Tenochtitlan (1521; technology and reason), the Battle of Lepanto (1571; capitalism), the Battle of Rorke’s Drift (1879; discipline), the Battle of Midway (1942; individualism), and the Tet Offensive (1968; dissent).

Though Carnage and Culture appeared before the September 11 attacks of 2001, its message that the “Western way of war” will ultimately prevail made the book a bestseller in the wake of those events. Immediately after 9/11, Carnage and Culture was re-issued with a new afterword by Hanson in which he explicitly stated that the United States government would win its “War on Terror” for the reasons stated in the book.

The American military officer Robert Bateman in a 2007 article on the Media Matters for America website criticized the Hanson thesis, arguing if Hanson’s point about Western armies preferring to seek out a decisive battle of annihilation is rebutted by the Second Punic War, where the Roman attempts to annihilate the Carthaginians instead led to the Carthaginians annihilating the Romans at the Battle of Cannae.[6] Bateman argued that Hanson was wrong about Western armies common preferences in seeking out a battle of annihilation, arguing that the Romans only defeated the Carthaginians via the Fabian Strategy of keeping their armies in being and not engaging Hannibal in battle.[6] In his first response, Hanson argued that Bateman was engaged in a “puerile, politically correct” attack on him, and accused Bateman of being motivated by current left-wing politics rather a genuine interest in history.[7] In a second response, Hanson called Bateman’s use of personal, adolescent invectives such as “pervert”, “feces”, and “devil”, as unprofessional and “unhinged”, and had no role in scholarly disagreements, accusing Bateman of being poorly informed of history and geography, as well as engaging in conduct unbecoming a U.S. Army officer.[8] Hanson declared that Bateman was incorrect about the Battle of Yarmoukarguing that the Golan Heights were at the edge of the Eastern Roman Empire, instead of being in the center as Bateman argued, and claimed that the Romans lost because of divided leadership rather than as a result of superior Islamic generalship as Bateman had contended.[8]

In his final responses, Hanson argued that Bateman was unfamiliar with any foreign language, did not understand the practice of translation or scholarly citation, and was utterly confused by basic issues of geography and history.

United States education and classical studies

Hanson co-authored the book Who Killed Homer?: The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom with John Heath. This book explores the issue of how classical education has declined in the US and what might be done to restore it to its former prominence. This is important, according to Hanson and Heath, because knowledge of the classical Greeks and Romans is necessary to fully understand Western culture. To begin a discussion along these lines the authors state, “The answer to why the world is becoming Westernized goes all the way back to the wisdom of the Greeks—reason enough why we must not abandon the study of our heritage”.[9]

Hanson and Heath, in their populist argument for a return to undergraduate teaching, fault the academic classicists themselves for the decline, accusing them of becoming so infected with political correctness and postmodern thinking, not to mention egoism and money-grubbing (grants, visiting professorships, conference-hopping, promotion based on unreadable publications), that they have lost sight of what Hanson and Heath feel the classics truly represent. They say it this way, “the study of Greek in the last twenty years became a profession, a tiny world—but a world of sorts nonetheless—of jets, conferences, publicity, jargon, and perks.”[10]

The political scientist Francis Fukuyama, reviewing Who Killed Homer? favorably in Foreign Affairs, noted,

The classicists Victoria Cech and Joy Connolly have found Who Killed Homer? to have considerable pitfalls. Reviews of the book have noted several problems with the authors’ perception of classical culture.

Per Victoria Cech, Director of Grants & Program Development,[12]

Per Joy Connolly, Professor of Classics at New York University,[14]

Political views

Hanson is a registered member of the Democratic Party, but he is also a traditional conservative who voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 and 2004 elections.[16]

He has been described as a neoconservative by some commentators, for his support of maintaining U.S. troops to rebuild society after successful military interventions,[17][18] and has stated, “I came to support neocon approaches first in the wars against the Taliban and Saddam, largely because I saw little alternative.”[19] In 2005, Hanson wrote of why he did not find the Democratic Party populist or reflective of its prior concerns: “The Democratic Party reminds me of the Republicans circa 1965 or so—impotent, shrill, no ideas, conspiratorial, reactive, out-of-touch with most Americans, isolationist, and full of embarrassing spokesmen.”[20]

More recently, Hanson has appeared to reject the term neoconservative, writing in a 2016 column “Hillary’s Neoliberals” that the term neoconservative was coined in the 1970s to describe liberals who moved right on social issues and on maintaining deterrence during the Cold War.[21] Hanson has critiqued the decision of several neoconservatives to declare their support for Hillary Clinton as preferable to Donald Trump on grounds that Clinton has a long history of abuse of office, and is mired in scandal over violations of national security statutes as well as influence peddling between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department. Hanson has attacked these neoconservatives as “neoliberals” who were never entirely proper conservative, arguing that these people had joined the Republican Party out of distaste for the Democratic Party, which had nominated as the presidential candidates George McGovern in 1972 and Jimmy Carter in 1976 as opposed to converting to conservatism.[21] Hanson ended his column that there were now two emerging factions in America—the proverbial ordinary Americans supporting Trump vs. the elites of both the Democratic and Republican parties supporting Clinton.[21] Hanson wrote: “A mostly urban, highly educated, and high-income globalized elite often shares more cultural and political affinities with their counterparts on the other side of the aisle than they do with the lower-middle and working classes of their own parties. Just as Hillary Clinton may feel more comfortable with the old neoconservatives, Trump supporters have little in common with either Clintonites or neocons. Clinton versus Trump is a war of NPRCBS, and the New York Times against the National Enquirerconservative talk radio, and the Drudge Report. Clinton supporters such as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, onetime Bush officials Hank Paulsonand Brent Scowcroft, and billionaire Meg Whitman certainly have nothing in common with Republican Trump supporters such as Mike Huckabee and Rush Limbaugh. Culture, not just politics, is rapidly destroying—but also rebuilding—traditional political parties.”[21]

Hanson was a defender of George W. Bush and his policies,[22] especially the Iraq War.[23] He was also a vocal supporter of Bush’s Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Hanson wrote of Rumsfeld that he was: “a rare sort of secretary of the caliber of George Marshall” and a “proud and honest-speaking visionary” whose “hard work and insight are bringing us ever closer to victory”.[24]

On the issues pertaining to the constant political turmoil in the Middle East, Hanson emphasizes the lack of individual and political freedom, as well as transparency and self-critique, in many Middle Eastern nations as a major factor retarding economic, technological and cultural progress. He further relates the root cause of radical Islamic terrorism to insecurities resulting from a failure to achieve parity with the West, and a reactionary need to regain honor and pride.[25]

Iraq War

Hanson believed that the Iraq War, given the repeated serial violations by Iraq of UN sanctions, congressional mandates, and the threats that Saddam Hussein posed, in a post-9/11 climate, to the long-term security of the Middle East, was a necessary and worthwhile undertaking—and was, after a flawed occupation, eventually a laudable success that had led to a workable government in 2009 and relative calm in Iraq: analogous to the foundations of the successful American occupation of South Korea in the latter 1950s that led to the democratic society of today. However, he stated in 2008 that he, “… disagreed with many of the decisions made about the Iraq war,” such as the dissolution of the old Iraqi army.[19]

Hanson argued that the “surge” of 2007 had largely won the Iraq War by the beginning of 2009, and that rise of the Islamic State terrorist group which seized control of much of Iraq in mid-2014 was the result of what Hanson sees as the unwise withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq in December 2011, which he blames on the Obama administration.[26] Hanson argued that if only American troops had stayed in Iraq after December 2011, then the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki would have been less sectarian and the Islamic State group would have never emerged.[27] Hanson argued that the December 2011 withdrawal from Iraq was motivated to help improve Obama’s chances of reelection in 2012, an act that he compared to being equivalent to the United States pulling its troops out of South Korea in 1955, arguing if only the Americans had stayed in Iraq, then that nation would have evolved into a Near Eastern version of South Korea.[28]

America and the world

In 2004, Hanson gave a mostly favorable review to the book Colossus by the British historian Niall Ferguson, where Ferguson argued that the United States should be an imperial power in the sense of preserving the post war order of global free trade, communications, and commerce, and the principal problem with Americans was that they were unwilling to embrace global leadership in the same way that people in 19th century Britain did.[29] Hanson found much to approve of in Ferguson’s book, writing: “In reality, we should be natural imperialists, given our wealth and expertise. Americans are also endowed with an exceptional moral sense. We are a generous people, whose checkered imperial interventions in the past rarely proved profitable or exploitive.”[29] Hanson agreed with Ferguson that the principle problem with Americans was an unease at playing the role of an imperialistic power, argued that post-1945 histories of Germany and Japan proved the beneficial results of American occupation and predicted that Iraq under American occupation would become just as much a prosperous and democratic society as Germany and Japan are.[29] Hanson praised Ferguson for his defense of the British Empire as a benevolent force and his thesis that the United States should play the same role in the world as the British Empire, writing: “Does Ferguson propose a new American liberal empire? In fact, he does almost, but not before noting that the British Victorians themselves got a bad rap as exploitive colonialists. In fact, the record of the 18th and 19th centuries prove exactly the opposite: Former and once-prosperous colonies, following autonomy, quickly turned into self-induced miseries, while Britain itself thrived as never before once free of these costly obligations. Empire turns out not to be a means of making money, but instead an idealist pursuit to keep sea lanes open, bullies at bay and nations trading rather than fighting. The world has been lucky to have the Americans fill this vacuum, inasmuch as the British once did a pretty good job of it as well.”[29] Hanson, well before the immigration and financial crises of the EU, also praised Ferguson for his very negative picture of the European Union as being both “busy triangulating with our enemies” and “running huge trade deficits with us as we supply their own security needs.” He cites appears to agree with Ferguson that Europe is undemocratic, and statist, but that with a population in decline and even worse entitlement overspending than the US, a more broken melting pot, and socialist response to these issues ensuring Europe will be unable generate the unity or idealism required to supplant the US.[29]

Israeli–Arab conflict

In his article Israel did it, Hanson asked why Israel, during the 2006 Lebanon war, was being blamed for responding to attacks by Hezbollah.[30] Hanson was critical of the Middle East policies of the administration of Barack Obama and accused the Obama administration of distancing itself from Israel, despite its exceptional position as a tolerant Western nation in the Middle East, and of preferring the Palestinian Authority and Hamas despite being anti-Western.[31]

Race relations

Hanson has often argued that in a 21st-century multiracial America there is little overt racism on the part of whites, and that generic complaints of racism too often are automatic from an often privileged African-American elite that uses such charges of racism to advance careerist concerns not often synonymous with those in the inner city.[32] In reference to the Gates affair in which the Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested in his home when a white policeman responded to a report of a possible break-in, Hanson argued that the policeman’s actions were understandable given that “… African-American males commit crimes at rates both higher than the general population’s, and at levels higher than other minority groups that likewise struggle with poverty and systemic unfairness.”[33]

In a 2012 column titled “The New Racial Derangement Syndrome”, Hanson argued again that class considerations now more often trump racial differences, and that racism in modern America is not confined to any one particular group, citing various statements by prominent African-Americans such as Morgan FreemanSamuel L. JacksonJamie FoxxChris Rock and Rob Parker that he saw as racially chauvinistic and often blatantly anti-white, and thus as signs of a new “racialist derangement” sweeping across black America that had set back considerable progress in making racial considerations prior to 2009 incidental rather than essential to an American citizen’s identity.[34] In a 2015 column titled “The Weariness of the Whiners”, Hanson illustrated the paradoxes of race and class, by illustrating the talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey claim that she was a victim of racism when a clerk at the Trois Pommes boutique refused to display a $38,000 handbag to her.[32] In a 2016 column “The New Segregationism”, Hanson lamented growing racial polarization, mostly on the part of elites who take refuge in racial chauvinism when their own careerist concerns are unmet. He used as an example of what he sees as the unlikelihood of the claim that there is anti-black racism in modern America in the complaint by the actor Will Smith that he was not nominated for an Oscar.[35]

Hanson has been critical of the group Black Lives Matter, which he maintains is a group based on “racial chauvinism” and “whining” which has told a “series of lies”—beginning with the “hands up don’t shoot” untruth in the Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown—about the supposedly statistically-proven epidemic of police killings of black men, the majority of which Hanson argued were found to be justified on the basis of current police practice and protocols.[36] Hanson claimed that responsibility for declining racial relations often rested with Barack Obama, whom Hanson suggested had deliberately inflamed racial tensions between whites and blacks, with a series of gratuitous and racially charged commentaries, dating from the 2008 campaign to editorializing about the Trayvon Martin killing case, as a way of securing the votes of black Americans for the Democrats.[37] Hanson faulted Obama for having “…systematically adopted a rhetoric and an agenda that is predicated on dividing up the country according to tribal grievances, in hopes of recalibrating various factions into a majority grievance culture. In large part, he has succeeded politically. But in doing so he has nearly torn the country apart. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to suggest that no other recent president has offered such a level of polarizing and divisive racial bombast.”[38]

Hanson has also been consistently critical of unchecked and unmonitored illegal immigration into the United States from Mexico and the Central American republics, which he sees as threatening to overwhelm the United States with millions of Spanish-speakers who make assimilation difficult and some of whom he charges have criminal records and do not establish a record of work history. In a 2014 column “1984 Redux: Orwellian Illegal Immigration” Hanson wrote that Hispanic groups that use the name La Raza are racialists who have “hijacked” America’s immigration policy to permit non-diverse, illegal, and unrestricted illegal immigration into the United States to further demographically-based political agendas, and who have made often false claims of suffering continual racial prejudice from a supposed prejudiced white majority, while arguing that Latinos as members of La Raza should keep themselves separate from the rest of Americans.[39] Hanson has condemned groups such as the National Council of La Raza as he argued that term La Raza has an unfortunate history as a “racialist term,” whose origins he claims go back to fascist Spain of General Francisco Franco and Benito Mussolini‘s fascist Italy, and those Mexican-American leaders who self-identify with the Francoist term La Raza are themselves guilty of operating as racial separatists.[40] In this regard, Hanson has voiced qualified support for Donald Trump‘s plans to deport illegal immigrants from the United States, after offering a chance for green card residence to those who were vetted and found to have no criminal record, no history of public support, and residence of some duration. Blanket deportation policy, Hanson argued, would be as “unworkable”, as is the present open-borders status quo.[41]

Hanson is also opposed to the unvetted, and often illegal mass influx of mostly young male refugees from the war-torn Middle East into Europe, alluding to the resulting tensions in EU society by using premodern/postmodern allusions to H.G. Well’s 1895 novel The Time Machine that the millions of Muslims fleeing to Europe are the “Morlocks” (i.e. a fierce underclass) who will devour the Europeans who are “Eloi” (i.e. largely defenseless and overly refined creatures).[42] Hanson wrote that: “Europe’s immigration policy is a disaster—and for reasons that transcend the idiocy of allowing the free influx of young male Muslims from a premodern, war-torn Middle East into a postmodern, pacifist, and post-Christian Europe.”[42] Hanson has called the German Chancellor Angela Merkel “unhinged” for welcoming about a million refugees fleeing from the Syrian Civil War into her nation without plans to assimilate or integrate such numbers, instead of sending them to their countries of origin. Hanson has denied that all Syrians fleeing into Europe are refugees from the civil war, writing that uncharacteristically most refugees are “…young, single men from the Middle East who pour into Europe not as political refugees but as opportunists eager for European social largesse”.[43] Hanson wrote “Merkel’s disastrous decision to open the borders of Germany—and with them Europe’s as well—is proving both selfish and suicidal.”[43]

Along the same lines, Hanson has argued that history proves that multi-cultural societies have too often proved disastrous failures, and that only way of preventing a society from collapsing into tribal bloodbaths is a “common culture, one that artificially suppresses the natural instinct of humans to identify first with their particular tribe”.[38] As an example of what he sees as a law of history, Hanson wrote: “The Italian Roman Republic lasted about 500 years. In contrast, the multiracial Roman Empire that after the Edict of Caracalla in AD 212 made all its diverse peoples equal citizens endured little more than two (often violent) centuries.”[44] Along the same lines Hanson wrote in the 2016 column “Diversity: History’s Pathway to Chaos” that: “Emphasizing diversity has been the pitfall, not the strength, of nations throughout history”.[45] Hanson charged that the current celebration of diversity was destroying America and ended with the statement if the celebration of diversity did not end: “Otherwise, we will end up as 50 separate and rival nations—just like other failed states in history whose diverse tribes and races destroyed themselves in a Hobbesian dog-eat-dog war with one another.”[45] In a 2013 column titled “Western Cultural Suicide”, Hanson wrote: “Multiculturalism—as opposed to the notion of a multiracial society united by a single culture—has become an abject contradiction in the modern Western world… Western hosts lost confidence in the very society that gives us the wealth and leisure to ignore or caricature its foundations. The result is that millions of immigrants flock to the West, enjoy its material security, and yet feel little need to bond with their adopted culture, given that their hosts themselves are ambiguous about what others desperately seek out.”[46]

Writing about the murder of a British soldier by two Nigerian Muslims on the streets of London in May 2013, Hanson wrote the murder reflected what he viewed as cultural decline, stating: “In Britain, as in the West in general, deportation is a fossilized concept. Unity is passé. Patriotism is long suspect. The hip metrosexual cultures of the urban West strain to find fault in their inheritance, and seem to appreciate those who do that in the most cool fashion—but always with the expectation that there will be some poor blokes who, in terms of clean water, medical care, free speech, and dependable electricity, ensure that London is not Lagos, that Stockholm is not Damascus, and that Los Angeles is not Nuevo Laredo.”[46] Through acknowledging that in the early years of the American republic that to be American was to be white, Hanson argued that the “ultimate logic” of the American constitution led to the United States becoming a society where “multiracialism under one common culture” was the norm, but unfortunately in the late 20th century “multiculturalism, in which each particular ethnic group retained its tribal chauvinism and saw itself as separate from the whole” become the new norm.[44]

In July 2013, the Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech when he mentioned that as a black man the need to deliver “the Talk” to his children, namely he would have to inform his children that some, mostly white people who were going to hate them not because what they did, but simply because of their skin color. In response to Holder’s speech, Hanson wrote a column titled “Facing Facts about Race” where he offered up his own version (and others’) of “the Talk”, namely the need to inform his children to be careful of young black men when venturing into the inner city, who Hanson argued were statistically more likely to commit violent crimes than young men of other races, and that therefore it was understandable for the police to focus on groups with the highest statistical crime rates, which turn out to be young black males.[47]

Hanson wrote his father once had been robbed by young black men, and had given him “the Talk” warning his son to exercise caution in known crime-ridden areas and to note that African-American male youth have a far higher incidence of assault than other groups; and Hanson added that having been robbed himself by black men, he had given “the Talk” warning his children to avoid situations when in dangerous areas and to exercise caution there when encountering groups of young African-American men when alone, whom Hanson argue were statistically more likely to have had criminal records.[47] Hanson therefore criticized Holder and Obama for suggesting that racism may have been a factor in the trial of Hispanic George Zimmerman who had been charged and acquitted of murder with the shooting death of Trayvon Martin—and especially for intruding in an ongoing criminal case before a jury had even been selected.[47] Hanson argued that Zimmerman was later found by a jury of his peers to be justified in shooting Martin in self-defense, and he suggested that Obama was alluding to racism being a factor in the case, to distract attention from his then unpopular presidency.[47]

Referring to the concurrent case at the time of two Vietnamese-Americans killed by a black convicted felon, Hanson wrote: “The world will long remember Trayvon Martin, but few people—and certainly not Barack Obama or Eric Holder, who have a bad habit, in an increasingly multiracial country, of claiming solidarity on the basis of race—will care that Khin Min and Lina Lim were torn to pieces by bullets and a knife. Few will care that they died in a vicious assault that had nothing to do with stereotyping, Stand Your Ground self-defense, weak gun laws, insufficient federal civil-rights legislation, or any of the other causes of interracial violence falsely advanced by the attorney general—but quite a lot to do with an urban culture that for unspoken reasons has spawned an epidemic of disproportionate violent crime on the part of young African-American males.”[47]

Criticism for his views on race relations

In response to “Facing Facts About Race”, the American writer Ta-Nehisi Coates accused Hanson of racism and stupidity.[48] Referring to Hanson’s “Talk”, Coates wrote: “Let us be direct—in any other context we would automatically recognize this “talk” as stupid advice. If I were to tell you that I only employ Asian-Americans to do my taxes because “Asian-Americans do better on the Math SAT,” you would not simply question my sensitivity, but my mental faculties. That is because you would understand that in making an individual decision, employing an ancestral class of millions is not very intelligent. Moreover, were I to tell you I wanted my son to marry a Jewish woman because “Jews are really successful,” you would understand that statement for the stupidity which it is…There is no difference between my argument above and the notion that black boys should be avoided because they are overrepresented in the violent crime stats. But one of the effects of racism is its tendency to justify stupidity.”[48]

The Anglo-American journalist Andrew Sullivan called Hanson’s column “spectacularly stupid”, writing: “Treating random strangers as inherently dangerous because of their age, gender and skin color is a choice to champion fear over reason, a decision to embrace easy racism over any attempt to overcome it”.[49] The American journalist Arthur Stern called “Facing Facts About Race” an “inflammatory” column based upon crime statistics that Hanson never cited, writing: “His presentation of this controversial opinion as undeniable fact without exhaustive statistical proof is undeniably racist.”[50] The Anglo-American journalist Kelefa Sanneh in response to “Facing Facts About Race” wrote that Hanson was wrong to claim that white and Asian-Americans were all victims of black criminals, writing: “It’s strange, then, to read Hanson writing as if the fear of violent crime were mainly a “white or Asian” problem, about which African-Americans might be uninformed, or unconcerned—as if African-American parents weren’t already giving their children more detailed and nuanced versions of Hanson’s “sermon,” sharing his earnest and absurd hope that the right words might keep trouble at bay.”[51]

The Anglo-American journalist John Derbyshire, who was fired from the National Review for writing a similar column in 2012 titled “The Talk: Nonblack Version”, came to Hanson’s defense, praising him for “spot-on observations” about race relations in modern America, through he argued that his column was much superior.[52] In “The Talk: Nonblack Version”, Derbyshire, who had earlier been criticized by Hanson on his advocacy for racial stereotyping well beyond the context of traveling in high crime areas, went well beyond what Hanson had advocated, telling his children not to live in cities with black mayors, never to help a black person in distress, to avoid all public gatherings with large numbers of black people and only have a few black people as friends to avoid allegations of prejudice.[53]Contra Coates, Derbyshire argued in support of Hanson that the best way to avoid being a victim of crime was: “..stay well clear of crowds of unfamiliar blacks. Might application of those rules leave someone with hurt feelings? Probably. So in this pan we have some stranger’s hurt feelings. In the other pan, we have our kids’ safety. What’s the beam doing, Ta-Nehisi?”.[52] Hanson in response to Sanneh’s essay accused him of a “McCarthyite character assassination” and “infantile, if not racialist, logic”.[54]

Confrontation with Iran

Hanson has argued that the U.S. may be forced to take a much more confrontational stance towards Iranian violation of prior nuclear enrichment prohibitions, advocating, if necessary, unilateral responses to the country should it continue its aggressive acts of war. On the Hugh Hewitt show in August 2007, Hanson stated, “We really need to start doing some things beyond talking, and if that is going into Iranian airspace, or buzzing Iranians, or even starting to forget where the border is and taking out some of these training camps, we need to do that and send a message, because they’re a paper tiger. They really are.”[55] In a 2014 column Hanson faulted the Obama administration for engaging in “appeasement” of Iran and of fruitlessly attempting to negotiate an end to the Iranian program to acquire nuclear weapons, predicating if Iran continued enrichment unchecked that: “Accordingly, it is more than likely that in the next two years Iran will become a nuclear power.”[56]

China

Hanson has argued that China is an increasingly aggressive power that is set upon eventually dominating East Asia. In a 2014 column titled “Is China copying the Old Imperial Japan?”, Hanson answered his question in the affirmative.[57] Hanson maintained that economically successful Asian nations without the deterrent power of the United States are naturally inclined to expansionism.[57] Hanson claimed that Japan, as a result of late nineteenth-century Meiji era reforms, had become powerful at the same time the United States had temporarily retreated into isolationism which allowed Japan to embark upon an imperialistic foreign policy; that the same thing was happening today with China and the United States under the leadership of Barack Obama.[57] Along these lines, Hanson has cited China for attempting to create its version of “Greater East Asia co-prosperity sphere”, which would incorporate all of East Asia.[58]

Russia

Hanson repeatedly accused President Barack Obama of engaging in “appeasement” of Russia. Hanson argues that Vladimir Putin is the embodiment of “eternal Russia”, an aggressively expansionist and anti-Western nation whose people are innately anti-democratic. In a 2012 column titled “History Never Quite Ends”, Hanson wrote: “From the czars to the Soviet Communists to Vladimir Putin’s cronies, there is something about constitutional government and liberal rule that bothers Mother Russia. The more that progressive outsiders seek to lecture or reform Russians, the more likely they are to bristle and push back with left-wing or right-wing nationalist strongmen. At present, we do not know whether there will be a Czar Vladimir, Comrade Putin, or Putin Inc. in charge, but we fear it does not matter much”.[59] Hanson depicts modern Russia in unflattering terms as “…a disaster of a declining population, corruption, authoritarianism, a warped economy, and a high rate of alcoholism.”[60] Precisely because Russia is so weak, Hanson claims that Putin is driven to aggression against his neighbors with the overwhelmingly support of the Russian people out of a sense of hurt pride and a desire to make Russia great again.[60] In 2014, Hanson called Putin “evil”, writing: “Putin is almost Milton’s Satan—as if, in his seductive evil, he yearns for clarity, perhaps even a smackdown, if not just for himself, for us as well. He is not the better man than Obama but, again like Milton’s Satan, the more interesting, if only because he reminds of us of our own limitations.”[61] In a 2015 column, Hanson wrote about what he views as the aims of Russian foreign policy that:

Hanson stated that Obama’s much heralded “reset” of relations with Russia in 2009 had “empowered” Putin and, in this way, Obama was responsible for the outbreak of the war in Ukraine in 2014.[27][61][62][63] In 2009, Hanson wrote about the “reset”: “…former Soviet republics understand that Russia’s Putin has a de facto green light to “readjust” their present-day, “ad hoc” borders—with President Obama about as clear on any future dispute as candidate Obama was about Georgia.”[64] In 2014, Hanson predicted that Russia might very well invade Estonia in the near future, stating: “Future targeted states, perhaps like Estonia, should understand that they are slated to play the 1939 role of Poland after the earlier Anschluss and dismemberment of Czechoslovakia.”[65] In 2014, Hanson predicted that the Russian-dominated Eurasian Economic Union, which Hanson calls the “Russian Union” would continue to grow, writing: “Soon the Russian Union could dwarf the European Union, as the former consolidates and the latter threatens to fragment.”[66]

In 2015, Hanson wrote:

In another 2015 column, Hanson wrote about he sees as Putin’s mindset that:

Hanson is opposed to the Russian intervention in the Syrian civil war, which he argues is a part of a bid by Putin to construct an anti-American Russian-Syrian-Iranian-Iraqi alliance that will dominate the Middle East and intimidate the Gulf states.[69] Hanson has made the claim that the primary responsibility for the outbreak of the Second World War was not due to Adolf Hitler, but was rather due to the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the French Premier Édouard Daladier who failed to maintain credible threats of deterrence.[70] Hanson has argued Obama has likewise failed to maintain a credible threat of deterrence, and as such, the world is on the verge of another war comparable to the Second World War.[70] Hanson has predicted that Putin will sometime in the near-future invade one or more of the Baltic states if the United States does not provide more deterrence to Russia.[71]

Works

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Davis_Hanson

 

Charles Murray (political scientist)

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Charles Murray
Charles Murray Speaking at FreedomFest.jpeg

Murray in 2013
Born Charles Alan Murray
January 8, 1943 (age 75)
Newton, Iowa, U.S.
Alma mater Harvard University (AB)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (SMPhD)
Known for The Bell Curve
Losing Ground
Human Accomplishment
Coming Apart
Spouse(s)
  • Suchart Dej-Udom
    (m. 1966; div. 1980)
  • Catherine Bly Cox
    (m. 1983)
Awards Irving Kristol Award (2009)
Kistler Prize (2011)
Scientific career
Fields Political science
Sociology
Race and intelligence
Thesis Investment and Tithing in Thai Villages: A Behavioral Study of Rural Modernization (1974)
Doctoral advisor Lucian Pye
Notes

Charles Alan Murray (/ˈmɜːri/; born January 8, 1943) is an American political scientist, author, and columnist. His book Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950–1980 (1984), which discussed the American welfare system, was widely read and discussed, and influenced subsequent government policy.[3] He became well known for his controversial book The Bell Curve (1994), written with Richard Herrnstein, in which he argues that intelligence is a better predictor than parental socio-economic status or education level of many individual outcomes including income, job performance, pregnancy out of wedlock, and crime, and that social welfare programs and education efforts to improve social outcomes for the disadvantaged are largely wasted.

Murray’s most successful subsequent books have been Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950 (2003) and Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010(2012).[3] Over his career he has published dozens of books and articles. His work has drawn accusations of scientific racism.

Murray is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C.[3]

Early life

Of Scotch-Irish ancestry,[5][6] Murray was born in Newton, Iowa, and raised in a Republican, “Norman Rockwell kind of family” that stressed moral responsibility. He is the son of Frances B. (née Patrick) and Alan B. Murray, a Maytag Company executive.[7] His youth was marked by a rebellious and pranksterish sensibility.[8] As a teen, he played pool at a hangout for juvenile delinquents, developed debating skills, espoused labor unionism (to his parents’ annoyance), and on one occasion lit fireworks that were attached to a cross that he put next to a police station.[9]

Murray credits the SAT with helping him get out of Newton and into Harvard. “Back in 1961, the test helped get me into Harvard from a small Iowa town by giving me a way to show that I could compete with applicants from Exeter and Andover,” wrote Murray. “Ever since, I have seen the SAT as the friend of the little guy, just as James Bryant Conant, president of Harvard, said it would be when he urged the SAT upon the nation in the 1940s.”[10]However, in an op-ed published in the New York Times on March 8, 2012, Murray suggested removing the SAT’s role in college admissions, noting that the SAT “has become a symbol of new-upper-class privilege, as people assume (albeit wrongly) that high scores are purchased through the resources of private schools and expensive test preparation programs”.[11]

Murray obtained a A.B. in history from Harvard in 1965 and a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974.[3]

Peace Corps

Murray left for the Peace Corps in Thailand in 1965, staying abroad for a formative six years.[12] At the beginning of this period, the young Murray kindled a romance with his Thai Buddhist language instructor (in Hawaii), Suchart Dej-Udom, the daughter of a wealthy Thai businessman, who was “born with one hand and a mind sharp enough to outscore the rest of the country on the college entrance exam.” Murray subsequently proposed by mail from Thailand, and their marriage began the following year, a move that Murray now considers youthful rebellion. “I’m getting married to a one-handed Thai Buddhist,” he said. “This was not the daughter-in-law that would have normally presented itself to an Iowa couple.”[13]

Murray credits his time in the Peace Corps in Thailand with his lifelong interest in Asia. “There are aspects of Asian culture as it is lived that I still prefer to Western culture, 30 years after I last lived in Thailand,” says Murray. “Two of my children are half-Asian. Apart from those personal aspects, I have always thought that the Chinese and Japanese civilizations had elements that represented the apex of human accomplishment in certain domains.”[14]

His tenure with the Peace Corps ended in 1968, and during the remainder of his time in Thailand he worked on an American Institutes for Research (AIR) covert counter-insurgency program for the US military in cooperation with the CIA.[15][16][17]

Recalling his time in Thailand in a 2014 episode of “Conversations with Bill Kristol,” Murray noted that his worldview was fundamentally shaped by his time there. “Essentially, most of what you read in my books I learned in Thai villages.” He went on, “I suddenly was struck first by the enormous discrepancy between what Bangkok thought was important to the villagers and what the villagers wanted out of government. And the second thing I got out of it was that when the government change agent showed up, the village went to hell in terms of its internal governance.”[18]

Murray’s work in the Peace Corps and subsequent social research in Thailand for research firms associated with the US government led to the subject of his statistical doctoral thesis in political science at M.I.T., in which he argued against bureaucratic intervention in the lives of the Thai villagers.[19][20]

Divorce and remarriage

By the 1980s, his marriage to Suchart Dej-Udom had been unhappy for years, but “his childhood lessons on the importance of responsibility brought him slowly to the idea that divorce was an honorable alternative, especially with young children involved.”[21]

Murray divorced Dej-Udom after fourteen years of marriage[8] and three years later married Catherine Bly Cox (born 1949, Newton, Iowa),[22] an English literature instructor at Rutgers University. Cox was initially dubious when she saw his conservative reading choices, and she spent long hours “trying to reconcile his shocking views with what she saw as his deep decency.”[8] In 1989, Murray and Cox co-authored a book on the Apollo programApollo: Race to the Moon.[23] Murray attends and Cox is a member of a Quaker meeting in Virginia, and they live in Frederick County, Maryland near Washington, D.C.[24]

Murray has four children, two by each wife.[25] His second wife, Catherine Bly Cox, had converted to Quakerism as of 2014, while Murray considered himself an agnostic.[26]

Research and views

Murray continued research work at AIR, one of the largest of the private social science research organizations, upon his return to the US. From 1974 to 1981, Murray worked for the AIR eventually becoming chief political scientist. While at AIR, Murray supervised evaluations in the fields of urban education, welfare services, daycare, adolescent pregnancy, services for the elderly, and criminal justice.[citation needed]

From 1981 to 1990, he was a fellow with the conservative Manhattan Institute where he wrote Losing Ground, which heavily influenced the welfare reform debate in 1996, and In Pursuit.[citation needed]

He has been a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute since 1990 and was a frequent contributor to The Public Interest, a journal of conservative politics and culture. In March 2009, he received AEI’s highest honor, the Irving Kristol Award. He has also received a doctorate honoris causa from Universidad Francisco Marroquín.[27]

Murray has received grants from the conservative Bradley Foundation to support his scholarship, including the writing of The Bell Curve.

Murray identifies as a libertarian;[28] he has also been described as conservative[29][30][31][32] and far-right.[33][34][35][36]

Murray’s Law

Murray’s law is a set of conclusions derived by Charles Murray in his book Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950–1980. Essentially, it states that all social welfare programs are doomed to effect a net harm on society, and actually hurt the very people those programs are trying to help. In the end, he concludes that social welfare programs cannot be successful and should ultimately be eliminated altogether.

Murray’s Law:

  1. The Law of Imperfect Selection: Any objective rule that defines eligibility for a social transfer program will irrationally exclude some persons.
  2. The Law of Unintended Rewards: Any social transfer increases the net value of being in the condition that prompted the transfer.
  3. The Law of Net Harm: The less likely it is that the unwanted behavior will change voluntarily, the more likely it is that a program to induce change will cause net harm.

The Bell Curve

External video
 Booknotes interview with Murray on The Bell Curve, December 4, 1994C-SPAN

The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (1994) is a controversial bestseller that Charles Murray wrote with Harvard professor Richard J. Herrnstein. Its central thesis is that intelligence is a better predictor of many factors including financial income, job performance, unwed pregnancy, and crime than one’s parents’ socio-economic status or education level. Also, the book argued that those with high intelligence (the “cognitive elite”) are becoming separated from the general population of those with average and below-average intelligence, and that this was a dangerous social trend. Murray expanded on this theme in his 2012 book Coming Apart.[citation needed]

Of the book’s origins, Murray has said,

I got interested in IQ and its relationship to social problems. And by 1989, I had decided I was going to write a book about it, but then Dick Herrnstein, a professor at Harvard who had written on IQ in the past had an article in the Atlantic Monthly which led me to think, “Ah, Herrnstein is already doing this.” So I called him up. I had met him before. We’d been friendly. And I said, “If you’re doing a book on this, I’m not going to try to compete with you.” And Dick said to me, “No, I’m not.” And he paused and he said, “Why don’t we do it together?”[37]

Much of the controversy stemmed from Chapters 13 and 14, where the authors write about the enduring differences in race and intelligence and discuss implications of that difference. They write in the introduction to Chapter 13 that “The debate about whether and how much genes and environment have to do with ethnic differences remains unresolved,”[38] and “It seems highly likely to us that both genes and the environment have something to do with racial differences.”[39]

The book’s title comes from the bell-shaped normal distribution of IQ scores.

After its publication, various commentators criticized and defended the book. Some critics said it supported scientific racism[40][41][42][43][44][45] and a number of books were written to rebut The Bell Curve. Those works included a 1996 edition of evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould‘s The Mismeasure of Man; a collection of essays, The Bell Curve Wars (1995), reacting to Murray and Herrnstein’s commentary; and The Bell Curve Debate (1995), whose essays similarly respond to issues raised in The Bell Curve. Arthur S. Goldberger and Charles F. Manski critique the empirical methods supporting the book’s hypotheses.[46]

Citing assertions made by Murray in The Bell Curve, The Southern Poverty Law Center labeled him a “white nationalist,” charging his ideas were rooted in eugenics.[47][48][49] Murray eventually responded in a point-by-point rebuttal.[50]

In 2000, Murray authored a policy study for AEI on the same subject matter as The Bell Curve in which he wrote:

Try to imagine a GOP presidential candidate saying in front of the cameras, “One reason that we still have poverty in the United States is that a lot of poor people are born lazy.” You cannot imagine it because that kind of thing cannot be said. And yet this unimaginable statement merely implies that when we know the complete genetic story, it will turn out that the population below the poverty line in the United States has a configuration of the relevant genetic makeup that is significantly different from the configuration of the population above the poverty line. This is not unimaginable. It is almost certainly true.[51]

Education

Murray has been critical of the No Child Left Behind law, arguing that it “set a goal that was devoid of any contact with reality…. The United States Congress, acting with large bipartisan majorities, at the urging of the President, enacted as the law of the land that all children are to be above average.” He sees the law as an example of “Educational romanticism [which] asks too much from students at the bottom of the intellectual pile, asks the wrong things from those in the middle, and asks too little from those at the top.”[52]

Challenging “educational romanticism,” he wrote Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America’s Schools Back to Reality. His “four simple truths” are as follows:

  1. Ability varies.
  2. Half of all children are below average.
  3. Too many people are going to college.
  4. America’s future depends on how we educate the academically gifted.[53]

Human group differences

Murray has attracted controversy for his views on differences between gender and racial groups. In a paper published in 2005 titled “Where Are the Female Einsteins?”, Murray stated, among other things, that “no woman has been a significant original thinker in any of the world’s great philosophical traditions. In the sciences, the most abstract field is mathematics, where the number of great female mathematicians is approximately two (Emmy Noether definitely, Sonya Kovalevskaya maybe). In the other hard sciences, the contributions of great women have usually been empirical rather than theoretical, with leading cases in point being Henrietta LeavittDorothy HodgkinLise MeitnerIrene Joliot-Curie and Marie Curie herself.”[54] Asked about this in 2014, he stated he could only recall one important female philosopher, “and she was not a significant thinker in the estimation of historians of philosophy,” adding “So, yeah, I still stick with that. Until somebody gives me evidence to the contrary, I’ll stick with that statement.”[55]

In 2007, Murray wrote a back cover blurb for James R. Flynn‘s book What Is Intelligence?: “This book is a gold mine of pointers to interesting work, much of which was new to me. All of us who wrestle with the extraordinarily difficult questions about intelligence that Flynn discusses are in his debt.”[56]

In 2014, a speech that Murray was scheduled to give at Azusa Pacific University was “postponed” due to Murray’s research on human group differences.[57] Murray responded to the institution by pointing out that it was a disservice to the students and faculty to dismiss research because of its controversial nature rather than the evidence. Murray also urged the university to consider his works as they are and reach conclusions for themselves, rather than relying on sources that “specialize in libeling people.”[58][59]

Op-ed writings

Murray has published opinion pieces in The New RepublicCommentaryThe Public InterestThe New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalNational Review, and The Washington Post. He has been a witness before United States House and Senate committees and a consultant to senior Republican government officials in the United States and other conservative officials in the United KingdomEastern Europe, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.[60][citation needed]

In the April 2007 issue of Commentary magazine, Murray wrote on the disproportionate representation of Jews in the ranks of outstanding achievers and says that one of the reasons is that they “have been found to have an unusually high mean intelligence as measured by IQ tests since the first Jewish samples were tested.” His article concludes with the assertion: “At this point, I take sanctuary in my remaining hypothesis, uniquely parsimonious and happily irrefutable. The Jews are God’s chosen people.”[61]

In the July/August 2007 issue of The American, a magazine published by the American Enterprise Institute, Murray says he has changed his mind about SAT tests and says they should be scrapped: “Perhaps the SAT had made an important independent contribution to predicting college performance in earlier years, but by the time research was conducted in the last half of the 1990s, the test had already been ruined by political correctness.” Murray advocates replacing the traditional SAT with the College Board’s subject achievement tests: “The surprising empirical reality is that the SAT is redundant if students are required to take achievement tests.”[10]

Incident at Middlebury College

On March 2, 2017, Murray was shouted down at Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vermont) by students and others not connected with the school, and prevented from speaking at the original location on campus. The speech was moved to another location and a closed circuit broadcast showed him being interviewed by professor Allison Stanger. After the interview, there was a violent confrontation between protesters and Murray, Vice President for Communications Bill Burger, and Stanger (who was hospitalized with a neck injury and concussion) as they left the McCullough Student Center. Middlebury students claimed that Middlebury Public Safety officers instigated and escalated violence against nonviolent protesters and that administrator Bill Burger assaulted protesters with a car.[62] Middlebury President Laurie L. Patton responded after the event, saying the school would respond to “the clear violations of Middlebury College policy that occurred inside and outside Wilson Hall.”[63][64][65][66] The school took disciplinary action against 67 students for their involvement in the incident.[67][68]

Selected bibliography

In addition to these books, Murray has published articles in Commentary magazine, The New CriterionThe Weekly StandardThe Washington PostWall Street Journal, and The New York Times.[3]

See also

Notes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Murray_(political_scientist)

 

Jordan Peterson

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Jordan Peterson
Jordan Peterson by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg

Peterson in June 2018
Born Jordan Bernt Peterson
June 12, 1962 (age 56)
EdmontonAlberta, Canada
Residence TorontoOntario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Education Political science (B.A., 1982)
Psychology (B.A., 1984)
Clinical psychology (Ph.D., 1991)
Alma mater
Spouse(s) Tammy Roberts (m. 1989)
Children 2
Scientific career
Fields Psychology
Institutions
Thesis Potential psychological markers for the predisposition to alcoholism (1991)
Doctoral advisor Robert O. Pihl
Influences JungFreudPiagetNietzscheDostoevskySolzhenitsyn
Website jordanbpeterson.com
Signature
Jordan Peterson Signature.svg

Jordan Bernt Peterson (born June 12, 1962) is a Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His main areas of study are in abnormalsocial, and personality psychology,[1] with a particular interest in the psychology of religious and ideological belief,[2] and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.[3]

Peterson studied at the University of Alberta and McGill University. He remained at McGill as a post-doctoral fellow from 1991 to 1993 before moving to Harvard University, where he was an assistant and then associate professor in the psychology department.[4][5] In 1998, he moved back to Canada, as a faculty member in the psychology department at the University of Toronto, where he is currently a full professor.

Peterson’s first book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, was published in 1999, a work which examined several academic fields to describe the structure of systems of beliefs and myths, their role in the regulation of emotion, creation of meaning, and motivation for genocide.[6][7][8] His second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, was released in January 2018.[4][9][10]

In 2016, Peterson released a series of videos on his YouTube channel in which he criticized political correctness and the Canadian government’s Bill C-16 because of free speech implications. He subsequently received significant media coverage.[4][9][10]

Early life

Peterson was born on June 12, 1962, and grew up in FairviewAlberta, a small town northwest of his birthplace Edmonton, in Canada. He was the eldest of three children born to Beverley, a librarian at the Fairview campus of Grande Prairie Regional College, and Walter Peterson, a schoolteacher.[11][12] His middle name is Bernt (/ˈbɛərənt/ BAIR-ənt), after his Norwegian great-grandfather.[13][14]

When he was 13, he was introduced to the writings of George OrwellAldous HuxleyAleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and Ayn Rand by his school librarian Sandy Notley – mother of Rachel Notley, leader of the Alberta New Democratic Party and 17th Premier of Alberta.[15] He also worked for the New Democratic Party (NDP) throughout his teenage years, but grew disenchanted with the party due to what Orwell diagnosed in The Road to Wigan Pier as a preponderance of “the intellectual, tweed-wearing middle-class socialist” who “didn’t like the poor; they just hated the rich”.[11][16] He left the NDP at age 18.[17]

Education

After graduating from Fairview High School in 1979, Peterson entered the Grande Prairie Regional College to study political science and English literature.[2] He later transferred to the University of Alberta, where he completed his B.A. in 1982.[17] Afterwards, he took a year off to visit Europe. There he developed an interest in the psychological origins of the Cold War, particularly 20th century European totalitarianism,[2][18] and was plagued by apocalyptic nightmares about the escalation of the nuclear arms race. As a result, he became concerned about humanity’s capacity for evil and destruction, and delved into the works of Carl JungFriedrich NietzscheAleksandr Solzhenitsyn,[11] and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.[18] He then returned to the University of Alberta and received a B.A. in psychology in 1984.[19] In 1985, he moved to Montreal to attend McGill University. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology under the supervision of Robert O. Pihl in 1991, and remained as a post-doctoral fellow at McGill’s Douglas Hospital until June 1993, working with Pihl and Maurice Dongier.[2][20]

Career

From July 1993 to June 1998,[1] Peterson lived in Arlington, Massachusetts, while teaching and conducting research at Harvard University as an assistant and an associate professor in the psychology department. During his time at Harvard, he studied aggression arising from drug and alcohol abuse and supervised a number of unconventional thesis proposals.[17] Two former Ph.D. students, Shelley Carson, a psychologist and teacher from Harvard, and author Gregg Hurwitz recalled that Peterson’s lectures were already highly admired by the students.[4] In July 1998, he returned to Canada and took up a post as a full professor at the University of Toronto.[1][19]

Peterson’s areas of study and research are in the fields of psychopharmacologyabnormalneuroclinicalpersonalitysocialindustrial and organizational,[1] religiousideological,[2] political, and creativity psychology.[3] Peterson has authored or co-authored more than a hundred academic papers.[21]

For most of his career, Peterson had an active clinical practice, seeing 20 people a week. He had been active on social media, but in September 2016, he released a series of videos in which criticized Bill C-16 that changed his career and life.[15][22] In 2017, he decided to put the clinical practice on hold,[9] as well since 2018 temporarily stopped teaching because of new projects.[12][23]

Works

Books

Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief

Something we cannot see protects us from something we do not understand. The thing we cannot see is culture, in its intrapsychic or internal manifestation. The thing we do not understand is the chaos that gave rise to culture. If the structure of culture is disrupted, unwittingly, chaos returns. We will do anything – anything – to defend ourselves against that return.

— Jordan Peterson, 1998 (Descensus ad Inferos)[5]

In 1999 Routledge published Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. The book, which took Peterson 13 years to complete, describes a comprehensive theory about how people construct meaningbeliefs and make narratives using ideas from various fields including mythologyreligionliteraturephilosophyand psychology in accordance to the modern scientific understanding of how the brain functions.[17][5][24]

According to Peterson, his main goal was to examine why both individuals and groups participate in social conflict, explore the reasoning and motivation individuals take to support their belief systems (i.e. ideological identification[17]) that eventually results in killing and pathological atrocities like the Gulag, the Auschwitz concentration camp and the Rwandan genocide.[17][5][24] He considers that an “analysis of the world’s religious ideas might allow us to describe our essential morality and eventually develop a universal system of morality”.[24] Jungian archetypes play an important role in the book.[4]

In 2004, a 13-part TV series based on Peterson’s book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief aired on TVOntario.[11][19][25]

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

In January 2018, Penguin Random House published Peterson’s second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. The work contains abstract ethical principles about life, in a more accessible style than Maps of Meaning.[9][4][10] To promote the book, Peterson went on a world tour.[26][27][28] As part of the tour, Peterson was interviewed by Cathy Newman on Channel 4 News which generated considerable attention, as well popularity for the book.[29][30][31][32] The book was ranked the number one bestselling book on Amazon in the United States and Canada and number four in the United Kingdom.[33][34] It also topped bestselling lists in Canada, US and the United Kingdom.[35][36]

YouTube channel and podcasts

In 2013, Peterson began recording his lectures (“Personality and Its Transformations”, “Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief”[37]) and uploading them to YouTube. His YouTube channel has gathered more than 1 million subscribers and his videos have received more than 50 million views as of April 2018.[22][38] In January 2017, he hired a production team to film his psychology lectures at the University of Toronto. He used funds received via the crowdfunding website Patreon after he became embroiled in the Bill C-16 controversy in September 2016. His funding through Patreon has increased from $1,000 per month in August 2016 to $14,000 by January 2017, and then to more than $50,000 by July 2017.[15][22][39]

Peterson has appeared on many podcasts, conversational series, as well other online shows.[38][40] In December 2016, Peterson started his own podcast, The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, which has 45 episodes as of April 26, 2018, including academic guests such as Camille PagliaMartin Daly, and James W. Pennebaker,[41] while on his channel he has also interviewed Stephen HicksRichard J. Haier, and Jonathan Haidt among others.[41] Peterson supported engineer James Damore in his action against Google.[10]

In May 2017, Peterson began The psychological significance of the Biblical stories,[42] a series of live theatre lectures, also published as podcasts, in which he analyzes archetypal narratives in Genesis as patterns of behavior ostensibly vital for personal, social and cultural stability.[10][43]

Self Authoring Suite

In 2005 Peterson and his colleagues set up a for-profit company to provide and produce a writing therapy program with series of online writing exercises,[44] titled the Self Authoring Suite.[11] It includes the Past Authoring Program, a guided autobiography; two Present Authoring Programs, which allow the participant to analyze their personality faults and virtues in terms of the Big Five personality model; and the Future Authoring Program, which guides participants through the process of planning their desired futures. The latter program was used with McGill University undergraduates on academic probation to improve their grades, as well since 2011 at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.[45][46] The programs were developed partially from research by James W. Pennebaker at the University of Texas at Austin and Gary Latham at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto.[4] Peterson’s co-authored 2015 study showed significant reduction in ethnic and gender-group differences in performance, especially among ethnic minority male students.[46][47] According to Peterson, more than 10,000 students have used the program as of January 2017, with drop-out rates decreasing by 25% and GPAs rising by 20%.[11]

Critiques of political correctness

Peterson’s critiques of political correctness range over issues such as postmodernismpostmodern feminismwhite privilegecultural appropriation, and environmentalism.[40][48][49] Writing in the National Post, Chris Selley said Peterson’s opponents had “underestimated the fury being inspired by modern preoccupations like white privilege and cultural appropriation, and by the marginalization, shouting down or outright cancellation of other viewpoints in polite society’s institutions”,[50] while in The SpectatorTim Lott stated Peterson became “an outspoken critic of mainstream academia”.[18] Peterson’s social media presence has magnified the impact of these views; Simona Chiose of The Globe and Mail noted: “few University of Toronto professors in the humanities and social sciences have enjoyed the global name recognition Prof. Peterson has won”.[22]

According to his study – conducted with one of his students, Christine Brophy – of the relationship between political belief and personality, political correctness exists in two types: PC-egalitarianism and PC-authoritarianism, which is a manifestation of “offense sensitivity”.[51] He places classical liberals in the first type, and places so-called social justice warriors, who he says “weaponize compassion”, in the second.[11][2] The study also found an overlap between PC-authoritarians and right-wing authoritarians.[51]

Peterson considers that the universities should be held as among the most responsible for the wave of political correctness which appeared in North America and Europe.[22] According to Peterson, he watched the rise of political correctness on campuses since the early 1990s,[52] and considers that the humanities have become corrupt, less reliant on science, and instead of “intelligent conversation, we are having an ideological conversation”. From his own experience as a university professor, he states that the students who are coming to his classes are uneducated and unaware about the mass exterminations and crimes by Stalinism and Maoism, which were not given the same attention as fascism and Nazism. He also says that “instead of being ennobled or inculcated into the proper culture, the last vestiges of structure are stripped from [the students] by post-modernism and neo-Marxism, which defines everything in terms of relativism and power“.[18][53][54]

Postmodernism and identity politics

And so since the 1970s, under the guise of postmodernism, we’ve seen the rapid expansion of identity politics throughout the universities, it’s come to dominate all of the humanities – which are dead as far as I can tell – and a huge proportion of the social sciences … We’ve been publicly funding extremely radical, postmodern leftist thinkers who are hellbent on demolishing the fundamental substructure of Western civilization. And that’s no paranoid delusion. That’s their self-admitted goal … Jacques Derrida … most trenchantly formulated the anti-Western philosophy that is being pursued so assiduously by the radical left.

— Peterson, 2017[53]

Peterson claims that postmodern philosophers and sociologists since the 1960s [48] have built upon and extended certain core tenets of Marxism and communism while simultaneously appearing to disavow both. He believes that it is difficult to understand contemporary Western society without considering the influence of a strain of postmodernism thought that migrated from France to the United States through the English department at Yale University. He suggests that certain academics in the humanities, “started to play a sleight of hand, and instead of pitting the proletariat, the working class, against the bourgeois, they started to pit the oppressed against the oppressor. That opened up the avenue to identifying any number of groups as oppressed and oppressor and to continue the same narrative under a different name […] The people who hold this doctrine – this radical, postmodern, communitariandoctrine that makes racial identity or sexual identity or gender identity or some kind of group identity paramount – they’ve got control over most low-to-mid level bureaucratic structures, and many governments as well”.[53][21] Peterson’s suggestion that postmodern thought has had a negative influence on academia in North American has been compared to Cultural Marxist conspiracy theories.[31][55][56][57]

Peterson is of the opinion that the state should halt funding to faculties and courses he describes as neo-Marxist, and advises students to avoid disciplines like women’s studiesethnic studies and racial studies, as well other fields of study he believes are “corrupted” by the ideology such as sociologyanthropology and English literature.[58][59] He alleges that these fields, under the pretense of academic inquiry, propagate unscientific methods, fraudulent peer-review processes for academic journals, publications that garner zero citations,[60] cult-like behaviour,[58] safe-spaces,[61] and radical left-wing political activism for students.[48] Peterson has proposed launching a website which uses artificial intelligence to identify and showcase the amount of ideologization in specific courses. He announced in November 2017 that he had temporarily postponed the project as “it might add excessively to current polarization”.[62][63]

Peterson has criticized the use of the term “white privilege“, stating that “being called out on their white privilege, identified with a particular racial group and then made to suffer the consequences of the existence of that racial group and its hypothetical crimes, and that sort of thing has to come to a stop. … [It’s] racist in its extreme”.[48] In regard to identity politics, while “left plays them on behalf of the oppressed, let’s say, and the right tends to play them on behalf of nationalism and ethnic pride” he considers them “equally dangerous” and that instead should be emphasized individualism and individual responsibility.[64] He has also been prominent in the debate about cultural appropriation, stating it promotes self-censorship in society and journalism.[65]

Bill C-16

On September 27, 2016, Peterson released the first installment of a three-part lecture video series, entitled “Professor against political correctness: Part I: Fear and the Law”.[15][66] In the video, he stated he would not use the preferred gender pronouns of students and faculty as part of compelled speech, and announced his objection to the Canadian government‘s Bill C-16, which proposed to add “gender identity or expression” as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and to similarly expand the definitions of promoting genocide and publicly inciting hatred in the Criminal Code.[66][67]

He stated that his objection to the bill was based on potential free speech implications if the Criminal Code is amended, as he claimed he could then be prosecuted under provincial human rights laws if he refuses to call a transsexual student or faculty member by the individual’s preferred pronoun.[68] Furthermore, he argued that the new amendments paired with section 46.3 of the Ontario Human Rights Code would make it possible for employers and organizations to be subject to punishment under the code if any employee or associate says anything that can be construed “directly or indirectly” as offensive, “whether intentionally or unintentionally”.[69] Other academics challenged Peterson’s interpretation of C-16,[68] while some scholars such as Robert P. George supported Peterson’s initiative.[15]

The series of videos drew criticism from transgender activists, faculty and labour unions, and critics accused Peterson of “helping to foster a climate for hate to thrive”.[15] Protests erupted on campus, some including violence, and the controversy attracted international media attention.[70][71][72] When asked in September 2016 if he would comply with the request of a student to use a preferred pronoun, Peterson said “it would depend on how they asked me […] If I could detect that there was a chip on their shoulder, or that they were [asking me] with political motives, then I would probably say no […] If I could have a conversation like the one we’re having now, I could probably meet them on an equal level”.[72] Two months later, the National Post published an op-ed by Peterson in which he elaborated on his opposition to the bill and explained why he publicly made a stand against it:

I will never use words I hate, like the trendy and artificially constructed words “zhe” and “zher.” These words are at the vanguard of a post-modern, radical leftist ideology that I detest, and which is, in my professional opinion, frighteningly similar to the Marxist doctrines that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century.

I have been studying authoritarianism on the right and the left for 35 years. I wrote a book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, on the topic, which explores how ideologies hijack language and belief. As a result of my studies, I have come to believe that Marxism is a murderous ideology. I believe its practitioners in modern universities should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to promote such vicious, untenable and anti-human ideas, and for indoctrinating their students with these beliefs. I am therefore not going to mouth Marxist words. That would make me a puppet of the radical left, and that is not going to happen. Period.[73]

Peterson at the University of Toronto in March 2017

In response to the controversy, academic administrators at the University of Toronto sent Peterson two letters of warning, one noting that free speech had to be made in accordance with human rights legislation and the other adding that his refusal to use the preferred personal pronouns of students and faculty upon request could constitute discrimination. Peterson speculated that these warning letters were leading up to formal disciplinary action against him, but in December the university assured him that he would retain his professorship, and in January 2017 he returned to teach his psychology class at the University of Toronto.[74][15]

In February 2017, Maxime Bernier, candidate for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, stated that he shifted his position on Bill C-16, from support to opposition, after meeting with Peterson and discussing it.[75] Peterson’s analysis of the bill was also frequently cited by senators who were opposed to its passage.[76] In April 2017, Peterson was denied a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant for the first time in his career, which he interpreted as retaliation for his statements regarding Bill C-16.[77] A media relations adviser for SSHRC said “[c]ommittees assess only the information contained in the application”.[78] In response, The Rebel Media launched an Indiegogo campaign on Peterson’s behalf.[79] The campaign raised C$195,000 by its end on May 6, equivalent to over two years of research funding.[80] In May 2017, Peterson spoke against Bill C-16 at a Canadian Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs hearing. He was one of 24 witnesses who were invited to speak about the bill.[76]

In November 2017, a teaching assistant at Wilfrid Laurier University first year communications course was censured by her professors for showing a segment of The Agenda, which featured Peterson debating Bill C-16 with another professor, during a classroom discussion about pronouns.[81][82][83] The reasons given for the censure included the clip creating a “toxic climate”, being compared to a “speech by Hitler“,[16] and being itself in violation of Bill C-16.[84]The censure was later withdrawn and both the professors and the university formally apologized.[85][86][87] The events were criticized by Peterson, as well as several newspaper editorial boards[88][89][90] and national newspaper columnists[91][92][93][94] as an example of the suppression of free speech on university campuses.

Personal life

Peterson married Tammy Roberts in 1989.[15] They have one daughter and one son.[11][15]

Politically, Peterson has described himself as a classic British liberal,[95][18] and has stated that he is commonly mistaken to be right wing.[38] He is a philosophical pragmatist.[43] In a 2017 interview, Peterson identified as a Christian,[96] but in 2018 he did not.[97] He emphasized his conceptualization of Christianity is probably not what it is generally understood, stating that the ethical responsibility of a Christian is to imitate Christ, for him meaning “something like you need to take responsibility for the evil in the world as if you were responsible for it … to understand that you determine the direction of the world, whether it’s toward heaven or hell”.[97] When asked if he believes in God, Peterson responded: “I think the proper response to that is No, but I’m afraid He might exist”.[9] Writing for The SpectatorTim Lott said Peterson draws inspiration from Jung’s philosophy of religion, and holds views similar to the Christian existentialism of Søren Kierkegaard and Paul Tillich. Lott also said Peterson has respect for Taoism, as it views nature as a struggle between order and chaos, and posits that life would be meaningless without this duality.[18]

Starting around 2000, Peterson began collecting Soviet-era paintings.[16] The walls of his house are covered with this art, which he keeps as a reminder of the relationship between totalitarian propaganda and art, because how idealistic visions can become totalitarian oppression and horror.[4][23] In 2016, Peterson became an honorary member of the extended family of Charles Joseph, a Kwakwaka’wakw artist, and was given the name Alestalagie (“Great Seeker”).[16][98] Since late 2016, Peterson is on strict diet eating only meat and some vegetables, to control severe depression and an auto-immune disorder, including psoriasis and uveitis.[12][99]

Bibliography

Books

Journal articles

Top 15 most cited academic papers from Google Scholar and ResearchGate:

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordan_Peterson

Story 2: Hate America Democrats (HAD) — Not Proud To Be American — Free To Leave — Walk Away Renee — Videos —

The Four Tops – Walk Away Renee (with lyrics on screen)

Candace Owens: There Will Be a ‘Major Black Exit’ From the Democratic Party

Campaign to abandon liberalism goes viral

Tucker: Left’s gamble that voters hate Trump is failing

Ingraham: The Democratic meltdown and the war on ICE

Watters’ Words: From anti-Trump to anti-American

Laura Ingraham: Meet the real cultists

Ingraham: Organized hatred

Shapiro on the left’s endorsement of Waters’ rhetoric

Judge Jeanine: Democrats a party of hate and destruction

Victor Davis Hanson – Revolt of the Forgotten Masses

Victor D Hanson; How Universities Have Been Radicalizing Our Kids Science the 60’s

Victor D. Hanson: How the Obama Presidency Destroyed Todays Democratic Party

Victor Davis Hanson 2018 – Diagnosing the Democrats

Victor Davis Hanson 2018 – Declining Character, Increasing Scandal

Victor Davis Hanson: how Obama destroyed the Democrats

VDH spoke to a [middle-aged] group of the Young Americas Foundation. His analysis of the damage that Obama did to the Democratic Party is accurate. Obama is far to the left of the Democrats, but he shifted the centre of  political discussion leftward, at the expense of the voting strength of the Democratic Party. He points out that someone in middle America is always paying the price of the smug misplaced idealism of rich liberals on the coasts. Hence a man with orange skin, yellow hair and a vocabulary of at best 1000 words is now governing them, because he figured this out early. The Republican Establishment is still trying to figure out where they went wrong. They confused their class disdain for something more serious, actua; political disagreement.

The Democratic leadership is not yet asking itself the  question, “why, if we are so smart, are we losing?” For them, the election was illegitimate, and did not happen.

You cannot win a war if you fail to realize that you are losing it.

As for Trump, he fights. He wins. And the progressive transformation the Left envisaged for America is not happening.

 

In U.S., Record-Low 47% Extremely Proud to Be Americans

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • First time below majority level
  • Sharp declines since 2017 among liberals, Democrats
  • High point was 70% in 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This Fourth of July marks a low point in U.S. patriotism. For the first time in Gallup’s 18-year history asking U.S. adults how proud they are to be Americans, fewer than a majority say they are “extremely proud.” Currently, 47% describe themselves this way, down from 51% in 2017 and well below the peak of 70% in 2003.

Record Low in U.S. Are Extremely Proud to Be Americans

The latest results are based on a June 1-13 poll. When Gallup first asked the question in 2001, 55% of Americans said they were extremely proud. After the 9/11 terror attacks caused the public to rally around the nation and its leaders, the percentage expressing extreme pride in the country increased to 65%, and went up further to 70% less than two years later.

By 2005, about the time George W. Bush was set to begin his second term in office and the U.S. was going on its second year of military involvement in Iraq, the percentage extremely proud to be Americans fell to 61%. It held in the high 50% range between 2006 and 2013, but has fallen at least marginally each year since 2015, about the time the 2016 presidential campaign was getting underway.

While the 47% who are extremely proud to be Americans is a new low, the vast majority of Americans do express some level of pride, including 25% who say they are “very proud” and 16% who are “moderately proud.” That leaves one in 10 who are “only a little” (7%) or “not at all” proud (3%).

The combined 72% who are extremely or very proud to be Americans is also the lowest in Gallup’s trend.

National Pride Dropping Most Among Democrats, Liberals

Currently, 32% of Democrats — down from 43% in 2017 and 56% in 2013 — are extremely proud. The decline preceded the election of Donald Trump but has accelerated in the past year.

Less than half of independents, 42%, are also extremely proud. That is down slightly from 48% a year ago, and 50% in 2013.

As has typically been the case, Republicans are more inclined to say they are extremely proud to be Americans than are Democrats and independents. Seventy-four percent of Republicans are extremely proud, which is numerically the highest over the last five years.

Fewer Than One in Three Democrats Are Extremely Proud to Be Americans

With the large decline among Democrats, the Republican-Democratic gap in extreme pride has grown from 15 percentage points in 2013 to 42 points today.

Political liberals are even less likely than Democrats to say they are extremely proud — just 23% do so, compared with 46% of moderates and 65% of conservatives. Extreme pride among liberals has dropped nine points in the past year and 28 points since 2013.

Political Liberals Are Unlikely to Say They Are Extremely Proud to Be Americans

Other demographic differences in national pride largely reflect the political leanings of U.S. adults. Young adults, college graduates, nonwhites and women — all Democratic-leaning groups — are below the national average in terms of being extremely proud to be Americans. Meanwhile, older adults, those without a college degree, whites and men — who are more Republican-leaning — are above the average.

Extremely Proud to Be an American, by Subgroup
2013 2015 2016 2017 2018
% % % % %
Men 59 56 53 51 51
Women 55 52 50 51 44
White 61 58 54 55 54
Nonwhite 47 45 45 44 33
18 to 29 55 43 34 43 33
30 to 49 53 52 51 51 42
50 to 64 61 58 64 50 56
65 and older 61 64 55 60 58
College graduate 53 51 47 47 39
Noncollege graduate 59 55 54 54 52
GALLUP

Most of these subgroups have seen declines in patriotism at some point over the last five years, with those declines greatest among nonwhites, young adults and college graduates.

Implications

Fewer than half of U.S. adults are extremely proud to be Americans, something that had not been seen in the prior 17 years Gallup has asked the public about its national pride. Politics appears to be a factor, with sharp declines evident among Democrats and political liberals and no decrease among Republicans and conservatives. Left-leaning groups’ antipathy toward Donald Trump and their belief that other countries look unfavorably on the president are likely factors in their decline in patriotism, particularly the sharp drops in the past year. But the declines began before Trump was elected.

National pride may be just one of a growing number of issues — including opinions about gunslabor unions and the environment — for which party loyalties are pushing Democrats and Republicans to adopt divergent views. These changes are making each party’s base more homogenous but increasingly different from one another.

SURVEY METHODS

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted June 1-13, 2018, with a random sample of 1,520 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

View survey methodology, complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

Immigration top issue for U.S. voters, economy a close second: Reuters/Ipsos poll

(Reuters) – Immigration tops the economy and healthcare as the most important issue determining Americans’ vote ahead of the midterm elections in November, a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll shows.

Reuters/Ipsos data shows that immigration became a top concern for registered voters in the United States after the Trump administration in May announced its “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigrants, saying they would be criminally charged. The policy became a political lightning rod in mid-June with disclosures that thousands of children were separated from their parents who were accused of crossing illegally into the country.

The poll, conducted between June 28 and July 2, found:

– Fifteen percent of U.S. registered voters said immigration was the top issue determining how they will cast their ballot in November, while 14 percent said the economy was their biggest concern.

Twenty-six percent of registered Republicans cited immigration as the most important issue likely to determine their vote, up 14 percentage points from a similar poll conducted at the beginning of June.

Healthcare remains the top issue for registered Democrats (16 percent), followed by the economy (14 percent), the Reuters/Ipsos poll shows. Seven percent of Democrats cited immigration as their top concern.

– However, Trump’s approval on his handling of immigration remains little changed since the beginning of the year, with 52 percent of registered voters saying in an ongoing Reuters/Ipsos poll that they disapprove of the way the president is handling immigration.

Americans are squarely divided along partisan lines on Trump’s stance on immigration: Eighty-one percent of Republicans said they approve of his handling of the issue while 84 percent of registered Democrats said they disapprove.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-immigration/immigration-top-issue-for-u-s-voters-economy-a-close-second-reuters-ipsos-poll-idUSKBN1JV31K

 

 

Story 3: American People On The Move — 50 U.S. Cities Losing People — Videos

Population migration patterns: US cities Americans are abandoning

LINKEDIN 3COMMENTMORE

Each year, roughly 40 million Americans, or about 14% of the U.S. population, move at least once. Much of that movement includes younger people relocating within cities, but it is trends of Americans moving to warmer climates, more affordable areas, and better job opportunities that have largely determined migration patterns in recent decades.

Because of those long-term patterns, as well as the recent period of economic recovery, cities in some parts of the country have lost tens of thousands of residents.

To find the 50 U.S. metropolitan areas that have had the largest net decline in population as a result of migration between 2010 and 2017, 24/7 Wall Street reviewed population figures from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program.

The 50 cities where the most people are moving away from can primarily be found in the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast, particularly in states like Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and New York. Among the cities where people are leaving in droves are places such as Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, New York, and Los Angeles.

More:Population migration patterns: US cities Americans are flocking to

William Frey, demographer at the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy research group, explained that these cities that have been losing thousands of residents due to migration are part of the long-term trend of movement from the Northeast and the Midwest to warmer climates, a trend that has increased in recent years.

“The story of the broader migration pattern in the U.S. is from Snow Belt to Sun Belt,” Frey said. “That migration has slowed a little bit in the early part of the decade, when we were still dealing with the aftermath of the recession, but it’s coming back.”

More:Are these the worst cities to live in? Study looks at quality of life across the U.S.

50. Fairbanks, Alaska

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,011
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +2.2% (97,585 to 99,703)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 12,364 births, 3,417 deaths
  • Median home value: $226,900

49. Johnstown, Pennsylvania

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,070
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -7.4% (143,674 to 133,054)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 9,624 births, 13,203 deaths
  • Median home value: $93,400

48. Hinesville, Georgia

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,171
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +3.2% (77,919 to 80,400)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 12,218 births, 3,030 deaths
  • Median home value: $133,600

47. El Centro, California

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,219
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +4.8% (174,528 to 182,830)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 22,531 births, 7,106 deaths
  • Median home value: $170,900

More:Who is getting paid more? 16 states where personal incomes are booming

46. Bakersfield, California

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,314
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +6.4% (839,621 to 893,119)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 102,106 births, 41,099 deaths
  • Median home value: $204,200

45. Norwich-New London, Connecticut

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,365
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.8% (274,059 to 269,033)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 19,518 births, 17,252 deaths
  • Median home value: $242,000

44. Fresno, California

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,571
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +6.3% (930,495 to 989,255)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 113,926 births, 47,252 deaths
  • Median home value: $238,100

43. Macon-Bibb County, Georgia

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -7,877
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.5% (232,286 to 228,914)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 21,752 births, 17,233 deaths
  • Median home value: $122,000

42. Anchorage, Alaska

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,464
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +5.3% (380,821 to 400,888)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 43,973 births, 15,756 deaths
  • Median home value: $299,700

41. Vineland-Bridgeton, New Jersey

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,476
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -2.6% (156,628 to 152,538)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 14,926 births, 10,604 deaths
  • Median home value: $165,900

40. Erie, Pennsylvania

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,511
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -2.1% (280,564 to 274,541)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 22,920 births, 20,396 deaths
  • Median home value: $125,700

39. Mobile, Alabama

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,517
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +0.2% (413,143 to 413,955)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 40,422 births, 30,886 deaths
  • Median home value: $126,800

38. Atlantic City-Hammonton, New Jersey

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,550
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.7% (274,540 to 269,918)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 22,801 births, 18,976 deaths
  • Median home value: $215,100

37. Fayetteville, North Carolina

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,741
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +5.6% (366,322 to 386,662)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 47,548 births, 19,638 deaths
  • Median home value: $134,600

More:Which manufacturers are bringing the most jobs back to America?

36. Jacksonville, North Carolina

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,791
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +9.1% (177,799 to 193,893)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 30,768 births, 7,184 deaths
  • Median home value: $151,500

35. Yakima, Washington

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -8,916
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +2.9% (243,237 to 250,193)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 29,681 births, 13,811 deaths
  • Median home value: $166,300

34. Binghamton, New York

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -9,470
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -3.8% (251,737 to 242,217)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 18,295 births, 18,409 deaths
  • Median home value: $121,000

33. Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -9,495
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -5.0% (131,356 to 124,756)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 11,814 births, 9,110 deaths
  • Median home value: $130,100

32. Farmington, New Mexico

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -9,633
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -2.4% (130,045 to 126,926)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 13,381 births, 6,949 deaths
  • Median home value: $153,100

More:What’s the richest town in every state?

31. Lawton, Oklahoma

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -9,641
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -2.3% (130,291 to 127,349)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 14,355 births, 7,848 deaths
  • Median home value: $124,900

30. Charleston, West Virginia

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -9,772
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -5.6% (227,061 to 214,406)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 18,078 births, 20,856 deaths
  • Median home value: $111,300

29. Saginaw, Michigan

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -9,783
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -4.1% (200,169 to 191,934)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 16,380 births, 14,912 deaths
  • Median home value: $96,200

28. Pine Bluff, Arkansas

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -10,001
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -9.3% (100,278 to 90,963)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 8,244 births, 7,701 deaths
  • Median home value: $84,700

27. Montgomery, Alabama

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -10,317
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -0.2% (374,541 to 373,903)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 35,032 births, 25,380 deaths
  • Median home value: $135,700

26. Wichita, Kansas

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -10,335
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +2.3% (630,924 to 645,628)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 65,873 births, 40,647 deaths
  • Median home value: $132,400

25. Watertown-Fort Drum, New York

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -10,901
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.8% (116,232 to 114,187)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 15,196 births, 6,527 deaths
  • Median home value: $149,600

24. Albany, Georgia

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -10,964
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -3.9% (157,500 to 151,434)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 15,175 births, 10,379 deaths
  • Median home value: $109,600

More:Migration and growth: The fastest growing (and shrinking) cities in the US

23. New Haven-Milford, Connecticut

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -11,253
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -0.2% (862,462 to 860,435)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 64,732 births, 55,491 deaths
  • Median home value: $247,600

22. Visalia-Porterville, California

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -12,390
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +5.0% (442,178 to 464,493)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 55,606 births, 20,845 deaths
  • Median home value: $186,600

21. Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -12,410
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +0.3% (439,811 to 440,933)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 46,192 births, 32,742 deaths
  • Median home value: $150,900

20. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Connecticut

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -13,682
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -0.2% (1,212,398 to 1,210,259)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 86,636 births, 75,155 deaths
  • Median home value: $247,400

19. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pennsylvania

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -14,057
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -4.2% (565,799 to 541,926)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 40,696 births, 50,302 deaths
  • Median home value: $106,000

18. Peoria, Illinois

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -14,415
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.8% (379,186 to 372,427)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 35,268 births, 27,573 deaths
  • Median home value: $136,800

17. Hanford-Corcoran, California

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -14,442
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.9% (152,982 to 150,101)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 17,121 births, 5,895 deaths
  • Median home value: $190,500

16. Rochester, New York

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -15,934
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -0.2% (1,079,691 to 1,077,948)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 84,317 births, 69,938 deaths
  • Median home value: $138,900

15. Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -17,233
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +4.3% (406,219 to 423,725)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 53,118 births, 18,432 deaths
  • Median home value: $80,000

14. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Virginia-North Carolina

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -17,297
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +2.9% (1,676,817 to 1,725,246)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 163,787 births, 97,935 deaths
  • Median home value: $239,900

13. Syracuse, New York

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -17,717
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.2% (662,625 to 654,841)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 52,435 births, 42,535 deaths
  • Median home value: $133,300

More:Jeep, Disney, Coca-Cola top survey list of America’s most patriotic brands

12. Toledo, Ohio

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -18,475
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -1.0% (610,002 to 603,668)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 54,309 births, 42,313 deaths
  • Median home value: $129,200

11. Rockford, Illinois

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -18,789
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -3.2% (349,431 to 338,291)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 30,366 births, 22,915 deaths
  • Median home value: $121,600

10. New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -21,503
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +3.9% (19,566,480 to 20,320,876)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 1,811,927 births, 1,035,505 deaths
  • Median home value: $426,300

9. El Paso, Texas

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -21,829
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +5.1% (804,123 to 844,818)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 98,803 births, 36,570 deaths
  • Median home value: $119,600

8. Flint, Michigan

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -22,658
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -4.3% (425,788 to 407,385)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 35,720 births, 31,707 deaths
  • Median home value: $106,900

7. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -27,959
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +1.3% (1,555,954 to 1,576,236)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 144,429 births, 95,601 death
  • Median home value: $204,000

6. Memphis, Tennessee-Mississippi-Arkansas

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -30,000
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +1.8% (1,324,827 to 1,348,260)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 136,058 births, 82,670 deaths
  • Median home value: $142,400

5. Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -33,117
  • Population change, 2010-2017: -0.9% (2,077,271 to 2,058,844)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 168,361 births, 153,138 deaths
  • Median home value: $146,100

4. St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -39,894
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +0.7% (2,787,763 to 2,807,338)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 246,280 births, 186,111 deaths
  • Median home value: $169,200

3. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -54,640
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +0.4% (4,296,317 to 4,313,002)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 364,121 births, 293,091 deaths
  • Median home value: $160,700

2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -93,959
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +4.1% (12,828,961 to 13,353,907)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 1,202,115 births, 578,750 deaths
  • Median home value: $578,200

1. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin

  • Population decrease due to migration, 2010-2017: -296,320
  • Population change, 2010-2017: +0.8% (9,461,541 to 9,533,040)
  • Natural growth, 2010-2017: 869,178 births, 501,469 deaths
  • Median home value: $229,900

More:25 richest cities in America: Does your metro area make the list?

Detailed findings

Not all the cities with the largest net declines in population from migration since 2010 are necessarily the fastest shrinking cities. However, among the U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest net population declines due to migration, the vast majority have had the largest overall decreases in population.

Two notable exceptions are New York and Los Angeles. While tens of thousands more people moved out of each city than moved in, both cities have still had among the highest net increases in population. This is because of natural population growth — hundreds of thousands more people in these cities have been born than died. Notably, Los Angeles had a net migration loss of 93,959, but the overall population increased by over three-quarters of a million people because of births.

Frey explained that movement from New York and Los Angeles to many of the cities with the largest net migration increases is due to residents of these cities getting pushed out because of rising populations and prices, the latter of which is a product of the economic recovery. “Now that things are picking up again, people are moving out of cities. As the housing market is coming back, people are being sucked out of pricey areas to where it is more affordable again.”

Frey gave the example of one common migration pattern: Los Angeles to Las Vegas, the latter of which had the 15th highest net population increase due to migration. Los Angeles has always lost residents to Las Vegas, but when the recession hit and housing prices fell, that movement slowed significantly.

Now that housing prices have recovered in Los Angeles and have become too expensive for many residents, people are once again moving out of the city in droves. As of 2016, Los Angeles had the seventh highest median home value of any metropolitan area, at $578,200. Las Vegas’ median home value is just slightly more than half that, at $233,700.

More:Cost of living: The purchasing power of a dollar in every state

“The same sort of thing is true for a place like New York,” Frey added. “There has always been huge movement going from New York to Florida, but during the Great Recession period that slowed up quite a bit, and now it is picking up again.”

Frey added that the reasons behind the decline in population in cities like Los Angeles and New York — overcrowding and high prices — are very different than the reasons for decreases in other cities on this list, notably Rust Belt cities like Flint, Michigan; Toledo, Ohio; and Rockford, Illinois; and even larger cities like St. Louis, Cleveland, and Milwaukee. These cities have been losing domestic migrants for decades due to stagnating economic conditions stemming from the decline of American manufacturing.

Methodology

To identify America’s Fastest Declining Cities, 24/7 Wall Street reviewed the annual estimates of resident population and the estimates of the components of residential population change from April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017, provided by the American Community Survey. Population, and home value data also came from the 2016 American Community Survey.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/economy/2018/07/05/cities-americans-abandoning-population-migration/35801453/

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018, Breaking Story 1: Five Dead and Injured 2 At Capital Gazette in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — Shooter in Custody and Being Questioned — Videos — Story 2: Congress Grills Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — Provide The Requested Documents and Comply With Subpoenas and Wrap-up Mueller Investigation — Now or Face Impeachment — Department of Justice and FBI Cover-up Continues of Clinton Obama Criminal Conspiracy to Exonerate Clinton and Frame Trump — Videos — Story 3: Supreme Court Decision Stops Unions From Forcing Public Sector Employee To Joining Union and Collecting Fees — Videos — Story 4: Supreme Court Justice Kennedy Submits Letter of Resignation — President Trump Has List of 25 Possible Replacements — Videos —

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Breaking Story 1: Five Dead and Injured 2 At Capital Gazette in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — Shooter in Custody and Being Questioned — Videos —

See the source image

See the source image

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Police: Suspect was there to kill as many as he could at Capital Gazette

Police update on Maryland newspaper shooting

Former FBI profiler on the Annapolis shooting suspect

Five people killed in shooting at Capital Gazette newspaper office | ITV News

FIRST REPORTS: Following shooting at Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland (FNN)

BREAKING NEWS Shooting at capital gazette Maryland multiple casualties

Pelosi calls for gun control legislation after Maryland newsroom shooting

At least 5 dead in Annapolis newspaper office shooting

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Our Brains are Wired to Collect Things | Daniel Krawczyk | TEDxSMU

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Who are the Injustice Collectors in your life?

I work on a college campus and recently attended a mandatory employee training about what to do in an Active Shooter situation. The term Active Shooter means that someone is actively shooting people at a location. Scary as that may sound it was a great training. I believe that being prepared is essential to surviving any situation especially one where my life could be in danger.

During the presentation, I learned a term that I had never heard before. One that instantly peaked my interest. At one point during the video that we watched, an FBI agent gave tips on how to identify a potential “shooter.” Across the screen flashed pictures of all the recent, and notorious, shooters that have caused irrevocable damage on campuses, in malls, in schools, and elsewhere. The agent said that these shooters had one thing in common: they were injustice collectors. Immediately my curiosity was peaked.

Without even looking up the term “injustice collector,” I perceived that it meant it was someone who collected all the injustices done to them in their mind like a hoarder does things. I couldn’t help but wonder why someone would do this? Can’t people let things go? And then I thought about my own life and the people around me and the answer to that question is: NO. Some people cannot let things go. Some people walk around with the weight of the world on their shoulders convinced that everyone is out to get them. They think that people are constantly talking behind their backs; they think that bad things happen to them because the universe is out to get them; they think that everyone else is creating drama in their life when actually it is them.

After doing some quick Google searches I found numerous articles about injustice collectors and learned that they are narcissists. We all are familiar with narcissism – you either are one or know one, that’s a fact. I wondered, are all narcissists’ injustice collectors who will end up shooting up people? I found out that is not the case but narcissists and injustice collectors do create most of the drama in the world (politicians are a great example) and I think that if we understand where these people are coming from that maybe lives can be saved, or at the very least your relationships can be saved.

Here is a list of Characteristics of Injustice Collectors as identified by Mark Sichel, LCSW*:

  1. Injustice Collectors are convinced that they are never wrong. How is it possible that they are never wrong? It is simple: They are always right.
  2. Injustice Collectors never apologize. Ever. For anything.
  3. Injustice Collectors truly believe that they are morally and ethically superior to others and that others chronically do not hold themselves to the same high standards as the injustice collector does.
  4. Injustice Collectors make the rules, break the rules and enforce the rules of the family. They are a combined legislator, police, and judge and jury of
  5. Injustice Collectors never worry about what is wrong with themselves as their “bad list” grows. Their focus is always on the failings of others.
  6. Injustice Collectors are never upset by the disparity of their rules for others with their own expectations of themselves.
  7. Injustice Collectors rationalize their own behavior with great ease and comfort.

*http://www.psybersquare.com/family/family_injustice.html

I think that to some degree we all have a tendency to collect injustices in our mind as a way to protect ourselves. In fact, I read an article that said we have been doing that since the dawn of time as a means for survival. Here’s the article:Psychology Today.

However, people with a high degree of injustice hoarding can really make life miserable for the rest of population that is willing to let things go and move on. One thing about injustice collectors is that all they are doing is avoiding responsibility for their own circumstances. Rather than say, yes I screwed up, or yes my boss didn’t give me a raise because I’m not working as hard as I could, or yes I know I hurt your feelings and I’m sorry, an injustice collector will turn the table around and makeyou look like the bad person for feeling hurt or not giving the raise. These people can be very convincing and are very skilled at turning the tables around and making “normal” people question their own sanity.

There is a saying that I love, – Living with resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. In other words, remaining angry or being spiteful only hurts yourself in the long run. This is what injustice collectors do. They drink the poison and try to spit it out at everyone else. How thick is your skin? The only problem is, that by allowing injustice collectors to continue spewing their poison, we, as a society, are ultimately encouraging the creation of Active Shooters. And, while this term was coined mainly to help understand why people commit mass shootings, it also applies to those who won’t take to the gun to “find justice” but will use their mouths to hurt others. These people will continue to hurt others by breaking up relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. Are you willing to keep allowing that to happen?

Unfortunately, I did not find any articles on how to help those people who are injustice collectors other than that they need professional help. Knowing this term may help you, especially if you are an educator, to spot people who may be hoarding injustices and help them understand that they need help learning how to let them go and move on.

For more information on understanding Injustice Collectors, please click the links within this article, including this one: The Temptations of the Injustice Collector.

http://todayshullabaloo.blogspot.com/2013/12/who-are-injustice-collectors-in-your.html

Maryland newspaper shooting suspect `barricaded exit´

The gunman accused of killing five people at a Maryland newspaper office barricaded the rear exit to stop anyone from escaping, authorities said.

Jarrod W Ramos, 38, was charged with five counts of murder in one of the deadliest attacks on journalists in US history.

Jarrod Warren Ramos

Jarrod Warren Ramos

Anne Arundel County Police Chief Timothy Altomare said: “The fellow was there to kill as many people as he could.”

Ramos’ long-held grudge against the Capital Gazette included a string of angry online messages and a failed defamation lawsuit over a column about him pleading guilty to harassing a woman.

Police looked into the online threats in 2013, but the paper declined to press charges for fear of inflaming the situation, Mr Atltomare said.

“There’s clearly a history there,” the police chief said.

Ramos was denied bail on Friday after a brief court hearing in which he appeared by video, watching attentively but not speaking. Authorities said he was “uncooperative” with interrogators.

Three editors, a reporter and a sales assistant were killed in the shooting on Thursday afternoon.

Capital Gazette

@capgaznews

Yes, we’re putting out a damn paper tomorrow. https://twitter.com/chaseacook/status/1012465236195061766 

The killings initially stirred fears that the recent political attacks on the “fake news media” had exploded into violence, and police tightened security at news organisations in New York and other places.

But Ramos had a specific, long-standing grievance against the paper.

At the White House, US President Donald Trump, who routinely calls reporters “liars” and “enemies of the people,” said: “Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their jobs.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Before going any further today, I want to address the horrific shooting that took place yesterday at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland. This attack shocked the conscience of our Nation, and filled our hearts with grief…

Prosecutor Wes Adams said Ramos carefully planned the attack, barricading the back door and using “a tactical approach in hunting down and shooting the innocent people”.

Adams said the gunman, who was captured hiding under a desk and did not exchange fire with police, also had an escape plan, but the prosecutor would not elaborate.

The attack began with a shotgun blast that shattered the glass entrance to the open newsroom. Journalists crawled under desks and sought other hiding places, describing agonising minutes of terror as they heard the gunman’s footsteps and the repeated blasts of the weapon.

Phil Davis@PhilDavis_CG

There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload

Some 300 local, state and federal officers converged on the scene and within two minutes police had begun to corner Ramos, a rapid response that “without question” saved lives, Mr Altomare said.

Ramos was identified quickly with the help of facial recognition technology because of a “lag” in running his fingerprints, the chief said. Police denied news reports that Ramos had mutilated his fingertips to avoid identification.

The chief said the weapon was a 12-gauge shotgun, legally purchased about a year ago despite the harassment case against Ramos. Authorities said he also carried smoke grenades.

Ramos apparently held a grudge against the Capital Gazette’s journalists over its 2011 coverage of his harassment of a woman. He filed a defamation suit against the paper in 2012 that was thrown out as groundless.

Governor Larry Hogan

@GovLarryHogan

Governor Larry Hogan today released the following statement ordering Maryland flags to be lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of the shooting at the offices of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis on June 28:

He routinely sent profanity-laced tweets about the paper and its writers. Retired publisher Tom Marquardt said he called police in 2013, telling his wife at the time that he thought he could hurt them.

The police chief said the newspaper did not press charges at the time because “there was a fear that doing so would exacerbate an already flammable situation”.

In 2015, Ramos tweeted that he would like to see the paper stop publishing, but “it would be nicer” to see two of its journalists “cease breathing”.

Those killed included Rob Hiaasen, 59, the paper’s assistant managing editor and brother of novelist Carl Hiaasen. Also killed were editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, special projects editor Wendi Winters, reporter John McNamara and sales assistant Rebecca Smith.

The newspaper said two other employees were treated for minor injuries.

The city of Annapolis announced a vigil for the victims on Friday night at a public square near the Capitol.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-5902323/Maryland-newspaper-shooting-suspect-barricaded-exit.html

 

Five dead in ‘targeted attack’ at Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, police say

A lone gunman blasted his way into the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis with a shotgun Thursday, killing five people dead and injuring two others, authorities said.

Journalists dove under their desks and pleaded for help on social media. One reporter described the scene a “war zone.” A photographer said he jumped over a dead colleague and fled for his life.

The victims were identified as Rob Hiaasen, 59, a former feature writer for The Baltimore Sun who joined the Capital Gazette in 2010 as assistant editor and columnist; Wendi Winters, 65, a community correspondent who headed special publications; Gerald Fischman, 61, the editorial page editor; John McNamara, 56, a staff writer who covered high school, college and professional sports for decades; and Rebecca Smith, 34, a sales assistant hired in November.

Police took a suspect into custody soon after the shootings. He was identified as Jarrod W. Ramos, a 38-year-old Laurel man with a longstanding grudge against the paper.

“This was a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette,” said Anne Arundel County Deputy Police Chief William Krampf. “This person was prepared today to come in. He was prepared to shoot people.”

Local, state and federal law enforcement officials cordoned off the Laurel apartment complex listed as the address for Ramos, whose dispute with the Capital began in July 2011 when a columnist at the paper covered a criminal harassment case against him. In 2012, Ramos brought a defamation suit against the columnist and the paper’s former editor and publisher, but Maryland’s second-highest court upheld in 2015 a ruling in favor of the Capital and a former reporter who were accused by Ramos of defamation.

Police said the suspect, who was taken into custody without any shots being fired by officers, had used “smoke grenades” in the building, located at 888 Bestgate Road. About 170 people were inside at the time of the shooting, they said.

The Capital is owned by The Baltimore Sun.

Phil Davis, a Capital crime reporter who was in the building at the time of the shooting, said multiple people were shot, as others — himself included — hid under their desks. He said there was a lone male gunman.

“Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can’t say much more and don’t want to declare anyone dead, but it’s bad,” Davis wrote on Twitter as he waited to be interviewed by police.

“There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload.”

In a subsequent interview, Davis said it “was like a war zone” inside the newspaper’s offices — a situation that would be “hard to describe for a while.”

“I’m a police reporter. I write about this stuff — not necessarily to this extent, but shootings and death — all the time,” he said. “But as much as I’m going to try to articulate how traumatizing it is to be hiding under your desk, you don’t know until you’re there and you feel helpless.”

Davis said he and others were still hiding under their desks when the shooter stopped firing. Police then arrived and surrounded the shooter, Davis said.

Paul Gillespie, a staff photographer, had just finished editing photos from one assignment and was preparing for the next when he heard shots behind him, and the newsroom’s glass doors shatter. Another shot, and Gillespie dove under a co-worker’s desk “and curled up as small as I could,” he said.

“I dove under that desk as fast as I could, and by the grace of God, he didn’t look over there,” he said. “I was curled up, trying not to breathe, trying not to make a sound, and he shot people all around me.”

Gillespie said he heard one colleague scream “No!,” then a shot, then another colleague’s voice, and then another shot. Then came the sound of the gunman getting closer to where he was hiding, Gillespie said.

“I kept thinking, ‘I can’t believe I’m going to die. I can’t believe this.’” Gillespie said.

Instead, the gunman passed him, continuing to shoot, he said. Eventually, there was a lull in the shots, and Gillespie said he stood and ran for the exit, through the shattered glass, jumping over a colleague who he believed was dead as another shot rang out in his direction. Once outside, he ran to a nearby bank, where he screamed for people to call the cops.

“I feel like I should be helping to cover it,” he said of the shooting, “but I’m a mess.”

Authorities said police responded to the scene within a minute of the shooting. “If they were not there as quickly as they were it could have been a lot worse,” Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said.

Officials at Maryland Shock Trauma Center confirmed the hospital was treating at least one victim. County Executive Steve Schuh said others were being treated at Anne Arundel Medical Center. Loren Farquhar, a medical center spokeswoman, said the hospital received two patients, both with minor injuries not from gunfire. One was discharged and another is expected to be discharged soon, she said.

Renee Mutchnik, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, said the company was “deeply saddened” by the shooting.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our colleagues and their families,” she said. “Our immediate focus is on providing support and resources for all our employees and cooperating with the authorities as this situation is still under investigation.”

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on the scene in Annapolis to provide support to local law enforcement, said Amanda Hils, a spokeswoman for the federal agency.

President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that he had been briefed on the shooting. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene,” Trump wrote.

Josh McKerrow, a photographer for 14 years at The Capital, had covered Induction Day at the Naval Academy at sunrise Thursday. He was driving home to celebrate his daughter’s birthday when Capital editor Rick Hutzell called him from out of town.

“He said he’d heard there had been a shooting, and he couldn’t get in touch with anyone in the newsroom,” McKerrow said. Then he heard sirens. “My heart sank and I knew.”

Police in SWAT gear and with assault rifles cordoned off the area around the newsroom and shutdown Bestgate Road. Outside the police tape, McKerrow and reporter Chase Cook called and texted their friends and colleagues, trying to get answers.

Jimmy DeButts, an editor at the Capital, wrote on Twitter that he was “devastated and heartbroken.” He said he could not speak about the shooting, but praised the work of his newspaper.

“There are no 40 hour weeks, no big paydays — just a passion for telling stories from our community,” DeButts wrote. “We keep doing more with less. We find ways to cover high school sports, breaking news, tax hikes, school budgets & local entertainment. We are there in times of tragedy. We do our best to share the stories of people, those who make our community better. Please understand, we do all this to serve our community.”

Gov. Larry Hogan, on Twitter, wrote, “Absolutely devastated to learn of this tragedy in Annapolis.” He said he was in contact with Schuh, and that Maryland State Police were on the scene assisting county police.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch has represented Annapolis since 1987 and said The Capital is “the voice of the community.”

Even with a shrinking staff, Busch said, “they knew the pulse of the community and had a lot of influence on what took place.

“This is a shocker,” Busch said. “Over the years, a lot of these people become friends. They do their job, you do your job, and you respect them for it. A lot of good writers have come out of there.”

The Capital is not the only business in the building where the shooting occurred. There are 30 tenants in the building, including five others on the first floor with The Capital. They include accountants, lawyers, financial and medical offices. The newspaper has been in the building since 2015, according to CoStar, a real estate information company. They have 5,000 square feet of offices.

Aaron Smith and Randall Fisher of the Fisher Law Office were on the fourth floor in the same building as the Capital at the time of the shooting. They didn’t hear or see anything and didn’t know anything was going on until Smith received a text from a colleague saying there was an apparent shooting, he said.

They flipped a desk over in front of the door to the office and stayed there until SWAT officers arrived. They then walked out of the building with their hands on their heads, like everyone else in the building, Fisher said.

Bethany Clasing, who works in second floor of the building, said she heard a single gunshot and then heard the police yell, “Get down! Get down! Don’t move!”

Rayne Foster, of Frost and Associates LLC, said a plainclothes officer came to her fourth-floor office suite and told the receptionist to lock the doors because of an active shooter, and she quickly gathered people together.

Some employees began taking off high heels preparing to flee the building. Others hid. One employee pulled two handguns out of his desk drawer for self defense, she said. Once more police arrived, they all began filing out of the office.Foster said she and her employees kept trying to hold hands to comfort each other, but were told by police to keep their hands in the air.

“You see it on the news,” Foster said of people walking out of buildings after mass shootings, “and you think, ‘These poor people.’ You wonder how they feel. Now I know.”

The Associated Press and Baltimore Sun reporters Scott Dance, Doug Donovan, Tim Prudente, Justin Fenton, Erin Cox, Jessica Anderson and Meredith Cohn contributed to this article.

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/annapolis/bs-md-gazette-shooting-20180628-story.html

 

‘FIVE dead and twenty injured’ in mass shooting at Maryland’s Capital Gazette newspaper building

  • Police were on the scene within 60 seconds of the call of an active shooter at the newsroom in the 800 block of Bestgate Road, Annapolis, at around 2.40pm 
  • Phil Davis, a court and crime reporter for the Gazette, confirmed that multiple people had been shot
  • A suspect has been taken into custody and police are working to understand the motive behind the mass shooting 
  • Davis said that a lone gunman had shot through the glass door of the offices and then opened fire on the newspaper employees
  • ‘A single shooter shot multiple people at my office, some of whom are dead’
  • John McNamara, who has worked for the Gazette, has been confirmed among the shooting victims
  • Intern Anthony Messenger tweeted at 2.43pm there was an ‘active shooter, please help us’
  • One suspect has been taken into custody  
  • The NYPD says it is stationing officers outside the headquarters of major newsrooms throughout the city in the wake of the shooting

Five people have been killed and more than a dozen injured during a mass shooting at Maryland’s Capital Gazette newsroom.

Police were on the scene within 60 seconds of the call of an active shooter at the newsroom in the 800 block of Bestgate Road, Annapolis, at around 2.40pm.

Acting police chief William Kamph confirmed five people had been killed and many more had ‘serious injuries’ in the attack.

The suspect, who has not been named, has been taken into custody. Police say he was the sole shooter and that the building – which was evacuated during the attack – has now been secured. No motive has yet been given for the shooting.

Phil Davis, a court and crime reporter for the Gazette, said that a lone gunman had shot through the glass door of the offices and then opened fire on the newspaper employees.

‘A single shooter shot multiple people at my office, some of whom are dead,’ he tweeted, while he said he was waiting to be interviewed by police.

Scroll down for video 

Multiple people have been shot and killed during a mass shooting at Maryland's Capital Gazette newspaper headquarters

Multiple people have been shot and killed during a mass shooting at Maryland’s Capital Gazette newspaper headquarters

Police respond to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, at the building that houses the Capital Gazette, a daily newspaper published in Annapolis

Police respond to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, at the building that houses the Capital Gazette, a daily newspaper published in Annapolis

Several people were feared killed Thursday in the mass shooting 

A suspect has been taken into custody and police are were working to secure the building at 3.30pm

A suspect has been taken into custody and police are were working to secure the building at 3.30pm

Police, ATV and the FBI shut down the surrounding streets near the newsroom amid the shooting 

Police, ATV and the FBI shut down the surrounding streets near the newsroom amid the shooting

Gazette journalist E.B Furgurson (R) takes notes with two other people as police officers respond to an active shooter inside his newsroom

Anthony Messenger (left) an intern at the Gazette tweeted calling for help 

Anthony Messenger (left) an intern at the Gazette tweeted calling for help

Messenger, tweeted there was an 'active shooter 888 Bestgate please help us'

Messenger, tweeted there was an ‘active shooter 888 Bestgate please help us’

Phil Davis, a court and crime reporter for the Gazette, confirmed that multiple people had been shot

Phil Davis, a court and crime reporter for the Gazette, confirmed that multiple people had been shot

Video playing bottom right…

‘Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can’t say much more and don’t want to declare anyone dead, but it’s bad.

‘There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload.’

Describing the moment as like being in ‘a war zone’, Davis said he and his colleagues were hiding under their desks, listening to the gunman firing and reloading until there was sudden silence.

‘I don’t know why he stopped,’ he said.

Moments later the police arrived, and surrounded the shooter.

Officers were able to take the suspect down and into custody although Kamph could not confirm whether gunfire was exchanged during the arrest or if the suspect was injured.

‘The suspect is still being interviewed by police,’ he said. ‘The investigation has just started.’

Aerial footage from mass shooting at newspaper in Maryland
Aerial footage shows police at the scene, and staff being lead out after multiple fatalities were reported during a mass shooting at Maryland's Capital Gazette newspaper headquarters

Aerial footage shows police at the scene, and staff being lead out after multiple fatalities were reported during a mass shooting at Maryland’s Capital Gazette newspaper headquarters

A huge police presence is on the scene and aerial footage shows people being led out of the building with their hands raised

A huge police presence is on the scene and aerial footage shows people being led out of the building with their hands raised

Staff are being told to reunite with their families at a nearby Lord & Taylor store

Staff are being told to reunite with their families at a nearby Lord & Taylor store

Cops were still working to secure the area at 3.30pm although one suspect is under arrest 

Cops were still working to secure the area at 3.30pm although one suspect is under arrest

Police officers respond to an active shooter inside the newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland 

Police officers respond to an active shooter inside the newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland

Police were also unable to confirm whether reports that the shooter had used a shotgun were accurate. They did confirm, however, that the building was secure but would remain closed as crime scene investigators got to work.

Davis added in an interview, with the surrounding press outside the newspaper’s headquarters, that while he wrote about mass shootings as part of his crime beat, it was another thing to experience one first hand.

‘I’m a police reporter. I write about this stuff – not necessarily to this extent, but shootings and death – all the time,’ he said. ‘But as much as I’m going to try to articulate how traumatizing it is to be hiding under your desk, you don’t know until you’re there and you feel helpless.’

The shooting sparked a huge police response, with local departments joined by the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Police have also responded to check the Baltimore Sun newsrooms in the wake of the shooting

Police have also responded to check the Baltimore Sun newsrooms in the wake of the shooting

An intern with the Capital Gazette, Anthony Messenger, tweeted at 2.43pm there was an ‘active shooter 888 Bestgate please help us.’

Aerial footage shows people being led out of the building with their hands raised. Medevac helicopters were also at the scene.

John McNamara, who has worked for the Gazette and is the editor of the Bowie Blade-News and the Crofton-West County Gazette, has been confirmed among the shooting victims. It is not clear whether he was injured or a fatality.

Gazette reporter Danielle Ohl added that her colleague Rachael Pacella was among the injured in hospital.

At least one injured victim is being treated at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Anne Arundel Police confirmed that the building had been evacuated and staff have been told to reunite with their families at a nearby Lord & Taylor store.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said during a press conference he was ‘absolutely devastated to learn of this tragedy in Annapolis.

‘I am in contact with County Executive Steve Schuh, and @MDSP is on the scene assisting @AACOPD. Please, heed all warnings and stay away from the area. Praying for those at the scene and for our community.’

‘Your heart goes out to all the people that lost their lives. We have had several fatalities and we have had several people hospi

Gazette reporter E.B Furgurson talks on the phone as police officers respond to the active shooter

Emergency services respond to the shooter at the scene of the mass shooting

Emergency services respond to the shooter at the scene of the mass shooting

Police, ATV and the FBI are among the ten different agencies who responded 

Police, ATV and the FBI are among the ten different agencies who responded

SHOOTING COMES TWO DAYS AFTER MILO YIANNOPOULOS SAID HE ‘CAN’T WAIT FOR VIGILANTE SQUADS TO START GUNNING JOURNALISTS DOWN’

As news of the Capital Gazzette shooting broke on Thursday, many on Twitter pointed out that the tragedy comes just two days after conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos cheered the idea of journalists being murdered.

When asked to comment on two different stories being written by The Daily Beast and The Observer, the alt-right poster boy responded with the same one sentence:

‘I can’t wait for vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on signt.’

When asked by the Observer to elaborate about what had upset them about their story, about a popular GOP watering hole, Yiannopoulos replied that it was his ‘standard response to a request for comment’.

(The Daily Beast’s story was about the UK Independence Party.)

It’s still unclear what inspired Thursday’s shooting.

DailyMail.com reached out to Yiannopolis for comment, and he responded, saying there was no evidence, as his critics said online, that he may have inspired the attack.

In a longer statement on his website, he said if anyone is to blame, it’s the two outlets that published his statements, which were meant to be private.

‘I sent a troll about “vigilante death squads” as a *private* response to a few hostile journalists who were asking me for comment, basically as a way of saying, “F*** off.” They then published it…

‘If there turns out to be any dimension to this crime related to my private, misreported remarks, the responsibility for that lies squarely and wholly with Will Sommer of the Beast and the Observer’s Davis Richardson for drumming up fake hysteria about a private joke, and with the verified liberals who pretended they thought I was serious,’ he said.

The 33-year-old Brit was forced out of his role as a senior editor at Breitbart in February 2017, after interviews surfaced of him expressing sympathy for pedophiles.

Since then he has self-published an autobiography titled ‘Dangerous’ which became an Amazon.com best seller. Simon & Schuster was originally supposed to release the book, but ended the business deal over the pedophile scandal.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said President Trump has been briefed on the shooting and ‘our thoughts and prayers are with all that are affected.’

Sen. Chris Van Hollen added in a tweet: ‘My heart is with the families, friends, and loved ones of the victims as we learn more about this terrible situation. We must unite to end the violence.’

The Gazette is owned by the Baltimore Sun Media Group, which is owned by Tronc, inc. Police have also responded to check the Baltimore Sun newsrooms in the wake of the shooting.

The NYPD says it is stationing officers outside the headquarters of major newsrooms throughout the city in the wake of the shooting.

The Capital Gazette is a daily newspaper that serves the city of Annapolis, Maryland. It’s sister newspaper, The Maryland Gazette, is one of the oldest American newspapers.

Founded in 1884, it has a circulation of more than 30,000 daily and 35,000 for the Sunday edition.

At least four people have been killed and at least another twenty have been injured during a mass shooting at Maryland's Capital Gazette newspaper headquarters

At least four people have been killed and at least another twenty have been injured during a mass shooting at Maryland’s Capital Gazette newspaper headquarters

 

Five dead, others ‘gravely injured’ in shooting at Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis

Kevin Rector Contact Reporter

The Baltimore Sun

At least five people were killed and several others were “gravely injured” in a shooting Thursday afternoon at the Capital Gazette in Anne Arundel County, authorities said.

A shooter is in custody, police said. Police would not name the suspect or say what type of weapon was used.

Anne Arundel County Police initially confirmed about 3:15 p.m. that they were responding to an “active shooter” at 888 Bestgate Road, where the newspaper’s offices are located. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded to the scene.

The Capital Gazette is owned by The Baltimore Sun.

Phil Davis, a Capital Gazette crime reporter who was in the building at the time of the shooting, said multiple people were shot, as others — himself included — hid under their desks. He said there was a lone male gunman.

“Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can’t say much more and don’t want to declare anyone dead, but it’s bad,” Davis wrote on Twitter as he waited to be interviewed by police.

“There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload.”

In a subsequent interview, Davis said it “was like a war zone” inside the newspaper’s offices — a situation that would be “hard to describe for a while.”

“I’m a police reporter. I write about this stuff — not necessarily to this extent, but shootings and death — all the time,” he said. “But as much as I’m going to try to articulate how traumatizing it is to be hiding under your desk, you don’t know until you’re there and you feel helpless.”

Davis said he and others were still hiding under their desks when the shooter stopped firing.

“I don’t know why. I don’t know why he stopped,” he said.

Police arrived and surrounded the shooter, Davis said. He declined to elaborate.

Authorities said police responded to the scene within a minute. “If they were not there as quickly as they were it could have been a lot worse,” Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said.

Agents with the ATF were on the scene in Annapolis to provide support to local law enforcement, said Amanda Hils, a spokeswoman for the federal agency. ATF can help with tracing weapons, conducting interviews and other assistance.

President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that he had been briefed on the shooting. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene,” Trump wrote.

Gov. Larry Hogan, on Twitter, wrote, “Absolutely devastated to learn of this tragedy in Annapolis.”

He said he was in contact with County Executive Steve Schuh, and that Maryland State Police were on the scene assisting county police.

“Please, heed all warnings and stay away from the area. Praying for those at the scene and for our community,” he wrote.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch has represented Annapolis since 1987 and said The Capital is “the voice of the community.”

Even with a shrinking staff, Busch said, “they knew the pulse of the community and had a lot of influence on what took place.

“This is a shocker,” Busch said. “Over the years, a lot of these people become friends. They do their job, you do your job, and you respect them for it. A lot of good writers have come out of there.”

“This is really something that is totally, totally shocking, that we don’t know how to understand.”

Sen. Chris Van Hollen wrote on Twitter, “My heart is with the families, friends, and loved ones of the victims as we learn more about this terrible situation. We must unite to end the violence.”

Police were also at The Baltimore Sun newsroom in Baltimore. Police said there was no threat on the Sun, and that their presence was a precaution.

Baltimore Sun reporters Scott Dance, Doug Donovan, Tim Prudente, Justin Fenton and Erin Cox contributed to this article.

http://www.capitalgazette.com/bs-md-gazette-shooting-20180628-story.html

 

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Rod Rosenstein

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Rod Rosenstein
Rod Rosenstein official portrait.jpg
37th United States Deputy Attorney General
Assumed office
April 26, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Sally Yates
United States Attorney for the District of Maryland
In office
July 12, 2005 – April 26, 2017
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded by Thomas M. DiBiagio
Succeeded by Robert K. Hur
Personal details
Born Rod Jay Rosenstein
January 13, 1965 (age 53)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican[1]
Spouse(s) Lisa Barsoomian
Education University of Pennsylvania(BS)
Harvard University (JD)
Signature

Rod Jay Rosenstein (/ˈrzənˌstn/;[2] born January 13, 1965) is an American attorney serving as United States Deputy Attorney General since 2017.

Prior to his current appointment, he served as a United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, and during his first 10 years as lead federal prosecutor there, “murders statewide were cut by a third, double the decline at the national level.”[3] At the time of his confirmation as Deputy Attorney General in April 2017, he was the nation’s longest-serving U.S. attorney.[4] Rosenstein was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, but his nomination was never considered by the U.S. Senate. He is a Republican.[5][6]

President Donald Trump nominated Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice on February 1, 2017. Rosenstein was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 25, 2017. In May 2017, he authored a memo which President Trump said was the basis of his decision to dismiss FBI Director James Comey.[7]

Later that month, Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election and related matters based on the firing of Comey.[8]

Background

Early life and family

Rod Jay Rosenstein was born on January 13, 1965 in Philadelphia,[9][10] to Robert, who ran a small business, and Gerri Rosenstein, a bookkeeper and school board president. He grew up in Lower Moreland Township, Pennsylvania.[11] He has one sister, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[12][13]

Education and clerkship

He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. degree in economicssumma cum laude in 1986.[14]

He earned his J.D. degree cum laude in 1989 from Harvard Law School,[14] where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He then served as a law clerk to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.[15] He was a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School in 1997-98.[16]

Career

Early career

After his clerkship, Rosenstein joined the U.S. Department of Justice through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. From 1990 to 1993, he prosecuted public corruption cases as a trial attorney with the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division, then led by Assistant Attorney General Robert Mueller.[14][17]

During the Clinton Administration, Rosenstein served as Counsel to Deputy Attorney General Philip B. Heymann (1993–1994) and Special Assistant to Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Jo Ann Harris (1994–1995). Rosenstein then worked in the United States Office of the Independent Counsel under Ken Starr on the Whitewater investigation into President Bill Clinton.[18] As an Associate Independent Counsel from 1995 to 1997, he was co-counsel in the trial of three defendants who were convicted of fraud, and he supervised the investigation that found no basis for criminal prosecution of White House officials who had obtained FBI background reports.[14]

United States Attorney Lynne A. Battaglia hired Rosenstein as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland in 1997.[14]

From 2001 to 2005, Rosenstein served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice. He coordinated the tax enforcement activities of the Tax Division, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the IRS, and he supervised 90 attorneys and 30 support employees. He oversaw civil litigation and served as the acting head of the Tax Division when Assistant Attorney General Eileen J. O’Connor was unavailable, and he personally briefed and argued civil appeals in several federal appellate courts.[citation needed]

U.S. Attorney

Rosenstein as U.S. Attorney

President George W. Bush nominated Rosenstein to serve as the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland on May 23, 2005. He took office on July 12, 2005, after the United States Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination.[17][19]

As United States Attorney, he oversaw federal civil and criminal litigation, assisted with federal law enforcement strategies in Maryland, and presented cases in the U.S. District Court and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.[19] During his tenure as U.S. Attorney, Rosenstein successfully prosecuted leaks of classified information, corruption, murders and burglaries, and was “particularly effective taking on corruption within police departments.” [20]

Rosenstein secured several convictions against prison guards in Baltimore for conspiring with the Black Guerrilla Family.[18] He indicted Baltimore police officers Wayne Jenkins, Momodu Gondo, Evodio Hendrix, Daniel Hersl, Jemell Rayam, Marcus Taylor, and Maurice Ward for racketeering.[21] Rosenstein, with the aid of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Drug Enforcement Administration, secured convictions in large scale narcotics cases in the District of Maryland, including the arrest and conviction of Terrell Plummer,[22] Richard Christopher Byrd,[23] James “Brad” LaRocca,[24] and Yasmine Geen Young.[25]

The Attorney General appointed Rosenstein to serve on the Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys, which evaluates and recommends policies for the Department of Justice. He was vice-chair of the Violent and Organized Crime Subcommittee and a member of the Subcommittees on White Collar Crime, Sentencing Issues and Cyber/Intellectual Property Crime. He also served on the Attorney General’s Anti-Gang Coordination Committee.

Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Rosenstein to prosecute General James Cartwright, a former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for leaking to reporters.[18] Rosenstein’s aggressive prosecution secured a guilty plea from Cartwright.[18]

Rosenstein served as the U.S. Attorney in Maryland at a time when murders in the state dropped by about a third, which was double the decline at the national level. Robberies and aggravated assaults also fell faster than the national average. According to Thiru Vignarajah, the former deputy attorney general of Maryland, “Collaboration between prosecutors, police, and the community combined with a dogged focus on violent repeat offenders was the anchor of Rosenstein’s approach.” Rosenstein regarded the heroin and opioid epidemic as a public health crisis, hired a re-entry specialist to help ex-offenders adjust to life outside of prison, and prosecuted several individual cases of corrupt police officers.[26]

Judicial nomination

In 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Rosenstein to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Rosenstein was a Maryland resident at the time. Maryland’s Democratic United States SenatorsBarbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, blocked Rosenstein’s confirmation, claiming he did not have strong enough ties to Maryland.[27]

Deputy Attorney General of the United States

Rosenstein being sworn in as Deputy Attorney General

Appointment of Special Counsel to Investigate Russian Interference with the 2016 Presidential Election and Related Matters

President Donald Trump nominated Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice on February 1, 2017.[28][29] He was one of the 46 United States Attorneys ordered on March 10, 2017 to resign by Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Trump declined his resignation.[30] Rosenstein was confirmed by the Senate on April 25, 2017, by a vote of 94–6.[31][32]

Comey memo

On May 8, 2017, President Donald Trump directed Sessions and Rosenstein to make a case against FBI Director James Comey in writing. The next day, Rosenstein handed a memo to Sessions providing the basis for Sessions’s recommendation to President Trump that Comey be dismissed.[33][34]

In his memo Rosenstein asserts that the FBI must have “a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them”. He ends with an argument against keeping Comey as FBI director, on the grounds that he was given an opportunity to “admit his errors” but that there is no hope that he will “implement the necessary corrective actions.”[35]

Critics[who?] argued that Rosenstein, in enabling the firing of Comey amid an investigation into Russian election interference, damaged his own reputation.[36][37][38][39][40]

After administration officials cited Rosenstein’s memo as the main reason for Comey’s dismissal, an anonymous source in the White House said that Rosenstein threatened to resign.[41]

Rosenstein denied the claim and said he was “not quitting,” when asked directly by a reporter from Sinclair Broadcast Group.[42][43]

On May 17, 2017, Rosenstein told the full Senate he knew that Comey would be fired before he wrote his controversial memo that the White House initially used as justification for President Trump firing Comey.[44]

Special counsel appointment

On May 17, 2017, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as a special counsel to conduct the investigation into “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” as well as any matters arising directly from that investigation.[45] Rosenstein’s order authorizes Mueller to bring criminal charges in the event that he discovers any federal crimes.[45]

Rosenstein said in a statement, “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”[46]

In an interview with the Associated Press, Rosenstein said he would recuse from supervision of Mueller, if he himself were to become a subject in the investigation due to his role in the dismissal of James Comey.[47]

Under that scenario, supervision would have fallen to DOJ’s third-ranking official, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.[48] Rachel Brand announced her intention to resign on February 9, 2018 [49]

Michael Cohen investigation

In April 2018, Rosenstein reportedly personally approved the FBI raid on President Donald Trump‘s attorney, Michael Cohen, in which the FBI seized emails, tax documents and records, some of them related to Cohen’s payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels.[50][51]

After ad interim U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman had recused himself,[why?] the search was executed by others in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and approved by a federal judge.[52]

Personal life

Rosenstein is married to Lisa Barsoomian, an Armenian American lawyer who works for the National Institutes of Health. They have two daughters.[53]

He is a registered Republican,[54][55] “but he has made no campaign donations to any political candidates, according to election records.”[1]

Rosenstein has served as an adjunct professor, teaching classes on federal criminal prosecution at the University of Maryland School of Law and trial advocacy at the University of Baltimore School of Law.[9]

Rosenstein was a member of Washington D.C.’s Temple Sinai, a Reform Jewish congregation, from 2008 to 2014.[56] According to a questionnaire that Rosenstein completed ahead of a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was a member of a Jewish Community Center‘s sports league from 1993 to 2012.[56] Rosenstein served on the board of directors of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum from 2001-11.[56]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Rosenstein

 

Story 3: Supreme Court Decision Stops Unions From Forcing Non-union Public Sector Employees To Pay Union Dues and Agency Fees — Videos —

Supreme Court delivers major blow to unions

Supreme Court rules that public sector workers can’t be forced to pay union fees

 

US Supreme Court curbs power of public sector unions

Mark Janus (R) successfully challenged a 1977 court ruling that public sector workers  can be required to pay a portion of union dues even if they are non members

Mark Janus (R) successfully challenged a 1977 court ruling that public sector workers can be required to pay a portion of union dues even if they are non members

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that non-members cannot be compelled to pay dues to public sector unions, dealing a financial blow to organized labor in the United States.

The court ruled by five to four that the practice of forcing workers to pay for unions that they do not belong to, even though the unions may work on their behalf, was unconstitutional.

President Donald Trump immediately welcomed the decision, a further blow to a US labor movement already in decline.

Trump said on Twitter that non-union workers “are now, as an example, able to support a candidate of his or her choice without having those who control the Union deciding for them. Big loss for the coffers of the Democrats!”

The case was brought by Illinois public sector worker Mark Janus, who challenged a 1977 court ruling that public sector workers can be required to pay a portion of union dues in order to cover their expenses and stop non-members from becoming “free-riders” — reaping the benefits of collective bargaining without assuming the costs.

Justice Samuel Alito, writing the majority opinion, said the 1977 ruling violated the First Amendment’s stipulations about freedom of speech.

“Under Illinois law, public employees are forced to subsidize a union, even if they choose not to join and strongly object to the positions the union takes in collective bargaining and related activities,” the conservative justice wrote.

“We conclude that this arrangement violates the free speech rights of non-members by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern.”

Alito added that “compelling individuals to mouth support for views they find objectionable violates that cardinal constitutional command, and in most contexts, any such effort would be universally condemned.”

The ruling came a day after the top court dealt two other wins to conservative groups, upholding the president’s controversial travel ban and coming down in favor of anti-abortion centers in another sensitive case.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-5892489/US-Supreme-Court-curbs-power-public-sector-unions.html

 

Story 4: Supreme Court Justice Kennedy Submits Letter of Resignation — President Trump Has List of 25 Possible Replacements — Videos —

Kennedy retirement grants Trump second high court pick

Trump reacts to Justice Kennedy retirement

Bream: Left in ‘meltdown mode’ over Kennedy’s retirement

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy retiring

BREAKING FOX NEWS – SEAN HANNITY – JUNE 27, 2018

Hannity: The political battle over Trump’s SCOTUS nominee

Justice Anthony Kennedy Retirement ‘Likely’ Lead To Roe V. Wade Repeal | MTP Daily | MSNBC

Jeffrey Toobin: Roe v. Wade is doomed

Breaking Down The Impact Of Anthony Kennedy’s Retirement | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Alan Dershowitz on Justice Kennedy Retiring and Recent Rulings

Trump Expands List of Potential Supreme Court Nominees

 

The 25 people most likely to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court

President Donald Trump will soon nominate a person to take the place of Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.

The president previously released a list of candidates back in November, preceding Kennedy’s retirement announcement on Wednesday.

After the announcement, Trump that Kennedy’s replacement would come from the list, and that the process would “begin immediately.”

Here’s who Trump is considering:

1. Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

2. Keith Blackwell of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia

3. Charles Canady of Florida, Supreme Court of Florida

4. Steven Colloton of Iowa, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

5. Allison Eid of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

6. Britt Grant of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia

7. Raymond Gruender of Missouri, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

8. Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

9. Brett Kavanaugh of Maryland, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

10. Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

11. Joan Larsen of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

12. Mike Lee of Utah, U.S. senator

13. Thomas Lee of Utah, Supreme Court of Utah

14. Edward Mansfield of Iowa, Supreme Court of Iowa

15. Federico Moreno of Florida, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

16. Kevin Newsom of Alabama, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

17. William Pryor of Alabama, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

18. Margaret Ryan of Virginia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

19. David Stras of Minnesota, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

20. Diane Sykes of Wisconsin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

21. Amul Thapar of Kentucky, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

22. Timothy Tymkovich of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

23. Robert Young of Michigan, Supreme Court of Michigan (retired)

24. Don Willett of Texas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

25. Patrick Wyrick of Oklahoma, Supreme Court of Oklahoma

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/06/27/supreme-court-justice-shortlist/739221002/

 

Supreme Court of the United States

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Supreme Court of the United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Established March 4, 1789; 229 years ago[1]
Country United States
Location Washington, D.C., U.S.
Coordinates 38°53′26″N 77°00′16″WCoordinates38°53′26″N 77°00′16″W
Composition method Presidential nomination with Senate confirmation
Authorized by United States Constitution
Judge term length Life tenure
No. of positions 9 by statute
Website www.supremecourt.gov
Chief Justice of the United States
Currently John Roberts
Since September 29, 2005; 12 years ago

The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the acronym SCOTUS)[2] is the highest federal court of the United States. Established pursuant to Article Three of the United States Constitution in 1789, it has ultimate (and largely discretionaryappellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and state court cases involving issues of federal law plus original jurisdiction over a small range of cases. In the legal system of the United States, the Supreme Court is generally the final interpreter of federal law including the United States Constitution, but it may act only within the context of a case in which it has jurisdiction. The Court may decide cases having political overtones but does not have power to decide nonjusticiable political questions, and its enforcement arm is in the executive rather than judicial branch of government.

According to federal statute, the Court normally consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Once appointed, justices have lifetime tenure unless they resign, retire, or are removed after impeachment.[3] In modern discourse, the justices are often categorized as having conservativemoderate, or liberal philosophies of law and of judicial interpretation. Each justice has one vote, and while a far greater number of cases in recent history have been decided unanimously, decisions in cases of the highest profile have often come down to just one single vote, thereby exposing the justices’ ideological beliefs that track with those philosophical or political categories. The Court meets in the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.

History

Supreme Court of the United States

The ratification of the United States Constitution established the Supreme Court in 1789. Its powers are detailed in Article Three of the Constitution. The Supreme Court was the only court specifically established by the Constitution while all other federal courts were created by Congress. Congress is also responsible for conferring the title of “justice” to its members, who are known to scold lawyers for inaccurately referring to them as “judge”, even though it is the term used in the Constitution.[4]

The Court first convened on February 2, 1790,[5] with six judges where only five of its six initial positions were filled. According to historian Fergus Bordewich, in its first session: “[T]he Supreme Court convened for the first time at the Royal Exchange Building on Broad Street, a few steps from Federal Hall. Symbolically, the moment was pregnant with promise for the republic, this birth of a new national institution whose future power, admittedly, still existed only in the eyes and minds of just a few visionary Americans. Impressively bewigged and swathed in their robes of office, Chief Justice John Jay and three associate justices — William Cushing of Massachusetts, James Wilson of Pennsylvania, and John Blair of Virginia — sat augustly before a throng of spectators and waited for something to happen. Nothing did. They had no cases to consider. After a week of inactivity, they adjourned until September, and everyone went home.”[6]

The sixth member, James Iredell, was not confirmed until May 12, 1790. Because the full Court had only six members, every decision that it made by a majority was also made by two-thirds (voting four to two).[7] However, Congress has always allowed less than the Court’s full membership to make decisions, starting with a quorum of four justices in 1789.[8]

Earliest beginnings to Marshall

Chief Justice Marshall

Under Chief Justices JayRutledge, and Ellsworth (1789–1801), the Court heard few cases; its first decision was West v. Barnes (1791), a case involving a procedural issue.[9] The Court lacked a home of its own and had little prestige,[10] a situation not helped by the highest-profile case of the era, Chisholm v. Georgia (1793), which was reversed within two years by the adoption of the Eleventh Amendment.[11]

The Court’s power and prestige grew substantially during the Marshall Court (1801–35).[12] Under Marshall, the Court established the power of judicial review over acts of Congress,[13] including specifying itself as the supreme expositor of the Constitution (Marbury v. Madison)[14][15] and made several important constitutional rulings giving shape and substance to the balance of power between the federal government and the states (prominently, Martin v. Hunter’s LesseeMcCulloch v. Maryland and Gibbons v. Ogden).[16][17][18][19]

The Marshall Court also ended the practice of each justice issuing his opinion seriatim,[20] a remnant of British tradition,[21] and instead issuing a single majority opinion.[20] Also during Marshall’s tenure, although beyond the Court’s control, the impeachment and acquittal of Justice Samuel Chase in 1804–05 helped cement the principle of judicial independence.[22][23]

From Taney to Taft

The Taney Court (1836–64) made several important rulings, such as Sheldon v. Sill, which held that while Congress may not limit the subjects the Supreme Court may hear, it may limit the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts to prevent them from hearing cases dealing with certain subjects.[24] Nevertheless, it is primarily remembered for its ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford,[25] which helped precipitate the Civil War.[26] In the Reconstruction era, the ChaseWaite, and FullerCourts (1864–1910) interpreted the new Civil War amendments to the Constitution[19] and developed the doctrine of substantive due process (Lochner v. New York;[27] Adair v. United States).[28]

Under the White and Taft Courts (1910–30), the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment had incorporated some guarantees of the Bill of Rights against the states (Gitlow v. New York),[29] grappled with the new antitrust statutes (Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States), upheld the constitutionality of military conscription (Selective Draft Law Cases)[30] and brought the substantive due process doctrine to its first apogee (Adkins v. Children’s Hospital).[31]

The New Deal era

During the HughesStone, and Vinson Courts (1930–53), the Court gained its own accommodation in 1935[32] and changed its interpretation of the Constitution, giving a broader reading to the powers of the federal government to facilitate President Franklin Roosevelt‘s New Deal (most prominently West Coast Hotel Co. v. ParrishWickard v. FilburnUnited States v. Darby and United States v. Butler).[33][34][35] During World War II, the Court continued to favor government power, upholding the internment of Japanese citizens (Korematsu v. United States) and the mandatory pledge of allegiance (Minersville School District v. Gobitis). Nevertheless, Gobitis was soon repudiated (West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette), and the Steel Seizure Case restricted the pro-government trend.

Warren and Burger

The Warren Court (1953–69) dramatically expanded the force of Constitutional civil liberties.[36] It held that segregation in public schools violates equal protection (Brown v. Board of EducationBolling v. Sharpe and Green v. County School Bd.)[37] and that traditional legislative district boundaries violated the right to vote (Reynolds v. Sims). It created a general right to privacy (Griswold v. Connecticut),[38] limited the role of religion in public school (most prominently Engel v. Vitale and Abington School District v. Schempp),[39][40]incorporated most guarantees of the Bill of Rights against the States—prominently Mapp v. Ohio (the exclusionary rule) and Gideon v. Wainwright (right to appointed counsel),[41][42]—and required that criminal suspects be apprised of all these rights by police (Miranda v. Arizona).[43] At the same time, however, the Court limited defamation suits by public figures (New York Times v. Sullivan) and supplied the government with an unbroken run of antitrust victories.[44]

The Burger Court (1969–86) marked a conservative shift.[45] It also expanded Griswold’s right to privacy to strike down abortion laws (Roe v. Wade),[46] but divided deeply on affirmative action (Regents of the University of California v. Bakke)[47] and campaign finance regulation (Buckley v. Valeo),[48] and dithered on the death penalty, ruling first that most applications were defective (Furman v. Georgia),[49] then that the death penalty itself was not unconstitutional (Gregg v. Georgia).[49][50][51]

Rehnquist and Roberts

Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2005

The Rehnquist Court (1986–2005) was noted for its revival of judicial enforcement of federalism,[52] emphasizing the limits of the Constitution’s affirmative grants of power (United States v. Lopez) and the force of its restrictions on those powers (Seminole Tribe v. FloridaCity of Boerne v. Flores).[53][54][55][56][57] It struck down single-sex state schools as a violation of equal protection (United States v. Virginia), laws against sodomy as violations of substantive due process (Lawrence v. Texas),[58] and the line item veto (Clinton v. New York), but upheld school vouchers (Zelman v. Simmons-Harris) and reaffirmed Roe’s restrictions on abortion laws (Planned Parenthood v. Casey).[59] The Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore, which ended the electoral recount during the presidential election of 2000, was especially controversial.[60][61]

The Roberts Court (2005–present) is regarded by some as more conservative than the Rehnquist Court.[62][63] Some of its major rulings have concerned federal preemption (Wyeth v. Levine), civil procedure (TwomblyIqbal), abortion (Gonzales v. Carhart),[64] climate change (Massachusetts v. EPA), same-sex marriage (United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges) and the Bill of Rights, notably in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission(First Amendment),[65] HellerMcDonald (Second Amendment)[66] and Baze v. Rees (Eighth Amendment).[67][68]

Composition

Size of the Court

Article III of the United States Constitution does not specify the number of justices. The Judiciary Act of 1789 called for the appointment of six “judges”. Although an 1801 act would have reduced the size of the court to five members upon its next vacancy, an 1802 actpromptly negated the 1801 act, legally restoring the court’s size to six members before any such vacancy occurred. As the nation’s boundaries grew, Congress added justices to correspond with the growing number of judicial circuits: seven in 1807nine in 1837, and ten in 1863.[69]

In 1866, at the behest of Chief Justice Chase, Congress passed an act providing that the next three justices to retire would not be replaced, which would thin the bench to seven justices by attrition. Consequently, one seat was removed in 1866 and a second in 1867. In 1869, however, the Circuit Judges Act returned the number of justices to nine,[70] where it has since remained.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to expand the Court in 1937. His proposal envisioned appointment of one additional justice for each incumbent justice who reached the age of 70 years 6 months and refused retirement, up to a maximum bench of 15 justices. The proposal was ostensibly to ease the burden of the docket on elderly judges, but the actual purpose was widely understood as an effort to “pack” the Court with justices who would support Roosevelt’s New Deal.[71] The plan, usually called the “court-packing plan“, failed in Congress.[72] Nevertheless, the Court’s balance began to shift within months when Justice Willis Van Devanter retired and was replaced by Senator Hugo Black. By the end of 1941, Roosevelt had appointed seven justices and elevated Harlan Fiske Stone to Chief Justice.[73]

Appointment and confirmation

The Roberts Court (April 2017–present). Front row (left to right): Ruth Bader GinsburgAnthony KennedyJohn Roberts (Chief Justice), Clarence Thomas, and Stephen Breyer. Back row (left to right): Elena KaganSamuel A. AlitoSonia Sotomayor, and Neil Gorsuch.

The U.S. Constitution states that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Judges of the Supreme Court.”[74] Most presidents nominate candidates who broadly share their ideological views, although a justice’s decisions may end up being contrary to a president’s expectations. Because the Constitution sets no qualifications for service as a justice, a president may nominate anyone to serve, subject to Senate confirmation.

In modern times, the confirmation process has attracted considerable attention from the press and advocacy groups, which lobby senators to confirm or to reject a nominee depending on whether their track record aligns with the group’s views. The Senate Judiciary Committee conducts hearings and votes on whether the nomination should go to the full Senate with a positive, negative or neutral report. The committee’s practice of personally interviewing nominees is relatively recent. The first nominee to appear before the committee was Harlan Fiske Stone in 1925, who sought to quell concerns about his links to Wall Street, and the modern practice of questioning began with John Marshall Harlan II in 1955.[75] Once the committee reports out the nomination, the full Senate considers it. Rejections are relatively uncommon; the Senate has explicitly rejected twelve Supreme Court nominees, most recently Robert Bork, nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1987.

Although Senate rules do not necessarily allow a negative vote in committee to block a nomination, prior to 2017 a nomination could be blocked by filibuster once debate had begun in the full Senate. President Lyndon Johnson‘s nomination of sitting Associate Justice Abe Fortas to succeed Earl Warren as Chief Justice in 1968 was the first successful filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee. It included both Republican and Democratic senators concerned with Fortas’s ethics. President Donald Trump‘s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the seat left vacant by Antonin Scalia‘s death was the second. Unlike the Fortas filibuster, however, only Democratic Senators voted against cloture on the Gorsuch nomination, citing his perceived conservative judicial philosophy, and the Republican majority’s prior refusal to take up President Barack Obama‘s nomination of Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy.[76][77] This led the Republican majority to change the rules and eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations.[78]

Not every Supreme Court nominee has received a floor vote in the Senate. A president may withdraw a nomination before an actual confirmation vote occurs, typically because it is clear that the Senate will reject the nominee; this occurred most recently with the nomination of Harriet Miers in 2006. The Senate may also fail to act on a nomination, which expires at the end of the session. For example, President Dwight Eisenhower‘s first nomination of John Marshall Harlan II in November 1954 was not acted on by the Senate; Eisenhower re-nominated Harlan in January 1955, and Harlan was confirmed two months later. Most recently, as previously noted, the Senate failed to act on the March 2016 nomination of Merrick Garland; the nomination expired in January 2017, and the vacancy was later filled by President Trump‘s appointment of Neil Gorsuch.[79]

Once the Senate confirms a nomination, the president must prepare and sign a commission, to which the Seal of the Department of Justice must be affixed, before the new justice can take office.[80] The seniority of an associate justice is based on the commissioning date, not the confirmation or swearing-in date.[81] The importance of commissioning is underscored by the case of Edwin M. Stanton. Although appointed to the court on December 19, 1869 by President Ulysses S. Grant and confirmed by the Senate a few days later, Stanton died on Dec 24, prior to receiving his commission. He is not, therefore, considered to have been an actual member of the court.

Before 1981, the approval process of justices was usually rapid. From the Truman through Nixon administrations, justices were typically approved within one month. From the Reagan administration to the present, however, the process has taken much longer. Some believe this is because Congress sees justices as playing a more political role than in the past.[82] According to the Congressional Research Service, the average number of days from nomination to final Senate vote since 1975 is 67 days (2.2 months), while the median is 71 days (or 2.3 months).[83][84]

Recess appointments

When the Senate is in recess, a president may make temporary appointments to fill vacancies. Recess appointees hold office only until the end of the next Senate session (less than two years). The Senate must confirm the nominee for them to continue serving; of the two chief justices and eleven associate justices who have received recess appointments, only Chief Justice John Rutledge was not subsequently confirmed.[85]

No president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has made a recess appointment to the Court, and the practice has become rare and controversial even in lower federal courts.[86] In 1960, after Eisenhower had made three such appointments, the Senate passed a “sense of the Senate” resolution that recess appointments to the Court should only be made in “unusual circumstances.”[87] Such resolutions are not legally binding but are an expression of Congress’s views in the hope of guiding executive action.[87][88]

The Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning limited the ability of the President to make recess appointments (including appointments to the Supreme Court), ruling that the Senate decides when the Senate is in session (or in recess). Writing for the Court, Justice Breyer stated, “We hold that, for purposes of the Recess Appointments Clause, the Senate is in session when it says it is, provided that, under its own rules, it retains the capacity to transact Senate business.”[89] This ruling allows the Senate to prevent recess appointments through the use of pro-forma sessions.[90]

Tenure

The Constitution provides that justices “shall hold their offices during good behavior” (unless appointed during a Senate recess). The term “good behavior” is understood to mean justices may serve for the remainder of their lives, unless they are impeached and convictedby Congress, resign, or retire.[91] Only one justice has been impeached by the House of Representatives (Samuel Chase, March 1804), but he was acquitted in the Senate (March 1805).[92] Moves to impeach sitting justices have occurred more recently (for example, William O. Douglas was the subject of hearings twice, in 1953 and again in 1970; and Abe Fortas resigned while hearings were being organized in 1969), but they did not reach a vote in the House. No mechanism exists for removing a justice who is permanently incapacitated by illness or injury, but unable (or unwilling) to resign.[93]

Because justices have indefinite tenure, timing of vacancies can be unpredictable. Sometimes vacancies arise in quick succession, as in the early 1970s when Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr. and William Rehnquist were nominated to replace Hugo Black and John Marshall Harlan II, who retired within a week of each other. Sometimes a great length of time passes between nominations, such as the eleven years between Stephen Breyer‘s nomination in 1994 to succeed Harry Blackmun and the nomination of John Roberts in 2005 to fill the seat of Sandra Day O’Connor (though Roberts’ nomination was withdrawn and resubmitted for the role of Chief Justice after Rehnquist died).

Despite the variability, all but four presidents have been able to appoint at least one justice. William Henry Harrison died a month after taking office, though his successor (John Tyler) made an appointment during that presidential term. Likewise, Zachary Taylor died 16 months after taking office, but his successor (Millard Fillmore) also made a Supreme Court nomination before the end of that term. Andrew Johnson, who became president after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, was denied the opportunity to appoint a justice by a reduction in the size of the CourtJimmy Carter is the only person elected president to have left office after at least one full term without having the opportunity to appoint a justice. Somewhat similarly, presidents James MonroeFranklin D. Roosevelt, and George W. Busheach served a full term without an opportunity to appoint a justice, but made appointments during their subsequent terms in office. No president who has served more than one full term has gone without at least one opportunity to make an appointment.

Three presidents have appointed justices who together served more than a century. Andrew JacksonAbraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.[94]

Membership

Current justices

The court is currently filled with nine Justices. The most recent justice to join the court was Neil Gorsuch, who was nominated by President Donald Trump on January 31, 2017, and confirmed on April 7, 2017, by the U.S. Senate. Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his intention to retire effective July 31, 2018, on the last day of the October 2017 term.[95]

Name Birth Appointed by Senate confirmation vote Age at appointment Current age First day /
Length of service
Previous positions Succeeded
RobertsJohn Roberts
(Chief Justice)
January 27, 1955
Buffalo, New York
George W. Bush 78–22 50 63 September 29, 2005
12 years, 8 months
Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (2003–2005);
Principal Deputy Solicitor General (1989–1993);
Associate Counsel to the President (1982–1986)
William Rehnquist
KennedyAnthony Kennedy July 23, 1936
Sacramento, California
Ronald Reagan 97–0 51 81 February 18, 1988
30 years, 4 months
Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1975–1988);
Private practice (1963–1975)
Lewis Powell
ThomasClarence Thomas June 23, 1948
Pin Point, Georgia
George H. W. Bush 52–48 43 70 October 23, 1991
26 years, 8 months
Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1990–1991);
Chairman, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (1982–1990);
Assistant Attorney General in Missouri under State Attorney General John Danforth(1974–1977)
Thurgood Marshall
GinsburgRuth Bader Ginsburg March 15, 1933
Brooklyn, New York
Bill Clinton 96–3 60 85 August 10, 1993
24 years, 10 months
Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1980–1993);
General Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union (1973–1980)
Byron White
BreyerStephen Breyer August 15, 1938
San Francisco, California
87–9 55 79 August 3, 1994
23 years, 10 months
Chief Judge, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (1990–1994);
Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (1980–1990)
Harry Blackmun
AlitoSamuel Alito April 1, 1950
Trenton, New Jersey
George W. Bush 58–42 55 68 January 31, 2006
12 years, 4 months
Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1990–2006);
U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey (1987–1990);
Deputy Assistant Attorney General (1985–1987);
Assistant to the Solicitor General (1981–1985)
Sandra Day O’Connor
SotomayorSonia Sotomayor June 25, 1954
The Bronx, New York
Barack Obama 68–31 55 64 August 8, 2009
8 years, 10 months
Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1998–2009);
District Judge, District Court for the Southern District of New York (1992–1998)
David Souter
KaganElena Kagan April 28, 1960
Manhattan, New York
63–37 50 58 August 7, 2010
7 years, 10 months
Solicitor General of the United States (2009–2010);
Dean of Harvard Law School (2003–2009);
Associate White House Counsel (1995–1999);
Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council (1995–1999);
John Paul Stevens
GorsuchNeil Gorsuch August 29, 1967
Denver, Colorado
Donald Trump 54–45 49 50 April 10, 2017
1 year, 2 months
Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (2006–2017);
Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General and Acting Associate Attorney General(2005–2006);
Antonin Scalia

Court demographics

The Court currently has six male and three female justices. Among the nine justices, there is one African-American (Justice Thomas) and one Hispanic (Justice Sotomayor). Two of the justices were born to at least one immigrant parent: Justice Alito’s parents were born in Italy,[96][97] and Justice Ginsburg’s father was born in Russia.[98] At least five justices are Roman Catholics and three are Jewish; it is unclear whether Neil Gorsuch considers himself a Catholic or an Episcopalian.[99] The average age is 67 years and 4 months. Every current justice has an Ivy League background.[100] Four justices are from the state of New York, two from California, one from New Jersey, one from Georgia, and one from Colorado.[101] In the 19th century, every justice was a man of European descent (usually Northern European), and almost always Protestant. Concerns about diversity focused on geography, to represent all regions of the country, rather than religious, ethnic, or gender diversity.[102]

Most justices have been Protestants, including 36 Episcopalians, 19 Presbyterians, 10 Unitarians, 5 Methodists, and 3 Baptists.[103][104] The first Catholic justice was Roger Taney in 1836,[105] and 1916 saw the appointment of the first Jewish justice, Louis Brandeis.[106]Several Catholic and Jewish justices have since been appointed, and in recent years the situation has reversed. The Court currently has at least five Catholic justices, and three Jewish justices.[99]

Racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in the Court began to increase in the late 20th century. Thurgood Marshall became the first African American justice in 1967.[106] Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female justice in 1981.[106] Marshall was succeeded by African-American Clarence Thomas in 1991.[107] O’Connor was joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993.[108] After O’Connor’s retirement Ginsburg was joined in 2009 by Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and Latina justice,[106] and in 2010 by Elena Kagan, for a total of four female justices in the Court’s history.[108]

There have been six foreign-born justices in the Court’s history: James Wilson (1789–1798), born in CaskardyScotlandJames Iredell (1790–1799), born in LewesEnglandWilliam Paterson (1793–1806), born in County AntrimIrelandDavid Brewer (1889–1910), born in SmyrnaTurkeyGeorge Sutherland (1922–1939), born in Buckinghamshire, England; and Felix Frankfurter (1939–1962), born in ViennaAustria.[106]

Retired justices

There are currently three living retired justices of the Supreme Court of the United States: John Paul StevensSandra Day O’Connor and David Souter. As retired justices, they no longer participate in the work of the Supreme Court, but may be designated for temporary assignments to sit on lower federal courts, usually the United States Courts of Appeals. Such assignments are formally made by the Chief Justice, on request of the chief judge of the lower court and with the consent of the retired justice. In recent years, Justice O’Connor has sat with several Courts of Appeals around the country, and Justice Souter has frequently sat on the First Circuit, the court of which he was briefly a member before joining the Supreme Court.

The status of a retired justice is analogous to that of a circuit or district court judge who has taken senior status, and eligibility of a supreme court justice to assume retired status (rather than simply resign from the bench) is governed by the same age and service criteria.

In recent times, justices tend to strategically plan their decisions to leave the bench with personal, institutional, ideological, partisan and sometimes even political factors playing a role.[109][110] The fear of mental decline and death often motivates justices to step down. The desire to maximize the Court’s strength and legitimacy through one retirement at a time, when the Court is in recess, and during non-presidential election years suggests a concern for institutional health. Finally, especially in recent decades, many justices have timed their departure to coincide with a philosophically compatible president holding office, to ensure that a like-minded successor would be appointed.[111][112]

Name Date of birth Appointed by Retired under Confirmation vote Age at appointment Current age First day Date of retirement Length of tenure
StevensJohn Paul Stevens April 20, 1920
ChicagoIllinois
Gerald Ford Barack Obama 98–0 55 98 December 19, 1975 June 29, 2010 (age 90) 34 years, 6 months and 10 days
O'ConnorSandra Day O’Connor March 26, 1930
El Paso, Texas
Ronald Reagan George W. Bush 99–0 51 88 September 25, 1981 January 31, 2006 (age 75) 24 years, 4 months and 6 days
SouterDavid Souter September 17, 1939
Melrose, Massachusetts
George H. W. Bush Barack Obama 90–9 51 78 October 9, 1990 June 29, 2009 (age 69) 18 years, 8 months and 20 days

Seniority and seating

Many of the internal operations of the Court are organized by seniority of justices; the chief justice is considered the most senior member of the court, regardless of the length of his or her service. The associate justices are then ranked by the length of their service.

The interior of the United States Supreme Court

The interior of the United States Supreme Court

During Court sessions, the justices sit according to seniority, with the Chief Justice in the center, and the Associate Justices on alternating sides, with the most senior Associate Justice on the Chief Justice’s immediate right, and the most junior Associate Justice seated on the left farthest away from the Chief Justice. Therefore, the current court sits as follows from left to right, from the perspective of those facing the Court: Kagan, Alito, Ginsburg, Kennedy (most senior Associate Justice), Roberts (Chief Justice), Thomas, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Gorsuch. In the official yearly Court photograph, justices are arranged similarly, with the five most senior members sitting in the front row in the same order as they would sit during Court sessions (The most recent photograph includes Ginsburg, Kennedy, Roberts, Thomas, Breyer), and the four most junior justices standing behind them, again in the same order as they would sit during Court sessions (Kagan, Alito, Sotomayor, Gorsuch).

In the justices’ private conferences, current practice is for them to speak and vote in order of seniority to begin with the chief justice first and end with the most junior associate justice. The most junior associate justice in these conferences is charged with any menial tasks the justices may require as they convene alone, such as answering the door of their conference room, serving beverages and transmitting orders of the court to the clerk.[113] Justice Joseph Story served the longest as junior justice, from February 3, 1812, to September 1, 1823, for a total of 4,228 days. Justice Stephen Breyer follows very closely behind serving from August 3, 1994, to January 31, 2006, for a total of 4,199 days.[114] Justice Elena Kagan comes in at a distant third serving from August 6, 2010, to April 10, 2017, for a total of 2,439 days.

Salary

As of 2018, associate justices are paid $255,300 and the chief justice $267,000.[115] Article III, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution prohibits Congress from reducing the pay for incumbent justices. Once a justice meets age and service requirements, the justice may retire. Judicial pensions are based on the same formula used for federal employees, but a justice’s pension, as with other federal courts judges, can never be less than their salary at the time of retirement.

Judicial leanings

Although justices are nominated by the president in power, justices do not represent or receive official endorsements from political parties, as is accepted practice in the legislative and executive branches. Jurists are, however, informally categorized in legal and political circles as being judicial conservatives, moderates, or liberals. Such leanings, however, generally refer to legal outlook rather than a political or legislative one. The nominations of justices are endorsed by individual politicians in the legislative branch who vote their approval or disapproval of the nominated justice.

Following the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch in 2017, the Court consists of five justices appointed by Republican presidents and four appointed by Democratic presidents. It is popularly accepted that Chief Justice Roberts and associate justices ThomasAlito, and Gorsuch, appointed by Republican presidents, comprise the Court’s conservative wing. Justices GinsburgBreyerSotomayor and Kagan, appointed by Democratic presidents, comprise the Court’s liberal wing. Justice Kennedy, appointed by Republican president Reagan, is generally considered “a conservative who has occasionally voted with liberals”,[116] and up until Justice Scalia’s death, he was often the swing vote that determined the outcome of cases divided between the conservative and liberal wings.[117][118][119] Gorsuch had a track record as a reliably conservative judge in the 10th circuit.[120]

Tom Goldstein argued in an article in SCOTUSblog in 2010, that the popular view of the Supreme Court as sharply divided along ideological lines and each side pushing an agenda at every turn is “in significant part a caricature designed to fit certain preconceptions.”[121]He pointed out that in the 2009 term, almost half the cases were decided unanimously, and only about 20% were decided by a 5-to-4 vote. Barely one in ten cases involved the narrow liberal/conservative divide (fewer if the cases where Sotomayor recused herself are not included). He also pointed to several cases that defied the popular conception of the ideological lines of the Court.[122] Goldstein further argued that the large number of pro-criminal-defendant summary dismissals (usually cases where the justices decide that the lower courts significantly misapplied precedent and reverse the case without briefing or argument) were an illustration that the conservative justices had not been aggressively ideological. Likewise, Goldstein stated that the critique that the liberal justices are more likely to invalidate acts of Congress, show inadequate deference to the political process, and be disrespectful of precedent, also lacked merit: Thomas has most often called for overruling prior precedent (even if long standing) that he views as having been wrongly decided, and during the 2009 term Scalia and Thomas voted most often to invalidate legislation.

According to statistics compiled by SCOTUSblog, in the twelve terms from 2000 to 2011, an average of 19 of the opinions on major issues (22%) were decided by a 5–4 vote, with an average of 70% of those split opinions decided by a Court divided along the traditionally perceived ideological lines (about 15% of all opinions issued). Over that period, the conservative bloc has been in the majority about 62% of the time that the Court has divided along ideological lines, which represents about 44% of all the 5–4 decisions.[123]

In the October 2010 term, the Court decided 86 cases, including 75 signed opinions and 5 summary reversals (where the Court reverses a lower court without arguments and without issuing an opinion on the case).[124][125] Four were decided with unsigned opinions, two cases affirmed by an equally divided Court, and two cases were dismissed as improvidently granted. Justice Kagan recused herself from 26 of the cases due to her prior role as United States Solicitor General. Of the 80 cases, 38 (about 48%, the highest percentage since the October 2005 term) were decided unanimously (9–0 or 8–0), and 16 decisions were made by a 5–4 vote (about 20%, compared to 18% in the October 2009 term, and 29% in the October 2008 term).[126] However, in fourteen of the sixteen 5–4 decisions, the Court divided along the traditional ideological lines (with Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan on the liberal side, and Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito on the conservative, and Kennedy providing the “swing vote”). This represents 87% of those 16 cases, the highest rate in the past 10 years. The conservative bloc, joined by Kennedy, formed the majority in 63% of the 5–4 decisions, the highest cohesion rate of that bloc in the Roberts Court.[124][127][128][129][130]

In the October 2011 term, the Court decided 75 cases. Of these, 33 (44%) were decided unanimously, and 15 (20%, the same percentage as in the previous term) were decided by a vote of 5–4. Of the latter 15, the Court divided along the perceived ideological lines 10 times with Justice Kennedy joining the conservative justices (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito) five times and with the liberal justices (Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan) five times.[123][131][132]

In the October 2012 term, the Court decided 78 cases. Five of them were decided in unsigned opinions. 38 out of the 78 decisions (representing 49% of the decisions) were unanimous in judgement, with 24 decisions being completely unanimous (a single opinion with every justice that participated joining it). This was the largest percentage of unanimous decisions that the Court had in ten years, since the October 2002 term (when 51% of the decisions handed down were unanimous). The Court split 5–4 in 23 cases (29% of the total); of these, 16 broke down along the traditionally perceived ideological lines, with Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito on one side, Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan on the other, and Justice Kennedy holding the balance. Of these 16 cases, Justice Kennedy sided with the conservatives on 10 cases, and with the liberals on 6. Three cases were decided by an interesting alignment of justices, with Chief Justice Roberts joined by Justices Kennedy, Thomas, Breyer and Alito in the majority, with Justices Scalia, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan in the minority. The greatest agreement between justices was between Ginsburg and Kagan, who agreed on 72 of the 75 (96%) cases, in which both voted; the lowest agreement between justices was between Ginsburg and Alito, who agreed only on 45 out of 77 (54%) cases, in which they both participated. Justice Kennedy was in the majority of 5–4 decisions on 20 out of 24 (83%) cases, and in 71 of 78 (91%) cases during the term, in line with his position as the “swing vote” of the Court.[133][134]

Facilities

The present U.S. Supreme Court building as viewed from the front

From the 1860s until the 1930s, the court sat in the Old Senate Chamber of the U.S. Capitol.

The Supreme Court first met on February 1, 1790, at the Merchants’ Exchange Building in New York City. When Philadelphia became the capital, the Court met briefly in Independence Hall before settling in Old City Hall from 1791 until 1800. After the government moved to Washington, D.C., the Court occupied various spaces in the United States Capitol building until 1935, when it moved into its own purpose-built home. The four-story building was designed by Cass Gilbert in a classical style sympathetic to the surrounding buildings of the Capitol and Library of Congress, and is clad in marble. The building includes the courtroom, justices’ chambers, an extensive law library, various meeting spaces, and auxiliary services including a gymnasium. The Supreme Court building is within the ambit of the Architect of the Capitol, but maintains its own police force separate from the Capitol Police.[135]

Located across First Street from the United States Capitol at One First Street NE and Maryland Avenue,[136][137] the building is open to the public from 9 am to 4:30 pm weekdays but closed on weekends and holidays.[136] Visitors may not tour the actual courtroom unaccompanied. There is a cafeteria, a gift shop, exhibits, and a half-hour informational film.[135] When the Court is not in session, lectures about the courtroom are held hourly from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm and reservations are not necessary.[135] When the Court is in session the public may attend oral arguments, which are held twice each morning (and sometimes afternoons) on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays in two-week intervals from October through late April, with breaks during December and February. Visitors are seated on a first-come first-served basis. One estimate is there are about 250 seats available.[138] The number of open seats varies from case to case; for important cases, some visitors arrive the day before and wait through the night. From mid-May until the end of June, the court releases orders and opinions beginning at 10 am, and these 15 to 30-minute sessions are open to the public on a similar basis.[135] Supreme Court Police are available to answer questions.[136]

Jurisdiction

Inscription on the wall of the Supreme Court Building from Marbury v. Madison, in which Chief Justice John Marshall outlined the concept of judicial review

Congress is authorized by Article III of the federal Constitution to regulate the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction. The Supreme Court has original and exclusive jurisdiction over cases between two or more states,[139] but may decline to hear such cases.[140] It also possesses original, but not exclusive, jurisdiction to hear “all actions or proceedings to which ambassadors, other public ministers, consuls, or vice consuls of foreign states are parties; all controversies between the United States and a State; and all actions or proceedings by a State against the citizens of another State or against aliens.”[141]

In 1906, the Court asserted its original jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for contempt of court in United States v. Shipp.[142] The resulting proceeding remains the only contempt proceeding and only criminal trial in the Court’s history.[143][144] The contempt proceeding arose from the lynching of Ed Johnson in ChattanoogaTennessee the evening after Justice John Marshall Harlan granted Johnson a stay of execution to allow his lawyers to file an appeal. Johnson was removed from his jail cell by a lynch mob—aided by the local sheriff who left the prison virtually unguarded—and hung from a bridge, after which a deputy sheriff pinned a note on Johnson’s body reading: “To Justice Harlan. Come get your nigger now.”[143] The local sheriff, John Shipp, cited the Supreme Court’s intervention as the rationale for the lynching. The Court appointed its deputy clerk as special master to preside over the trial in Chattanooga with closing arguments made in Washington before the Supreme Court justices, who found nine individuals guilty of contempt, sentencing three to 90 days in jail and the rest to 60 days in jail.[143][144][145]

In all other cases, however, the Court has only appellate jurisdiction, including the ability to issue writs of mandamus and writs of prohibition to lower courts. It considers cases based on its original jurisdiction very rarely; almost all cases are brought to the Supreme Court on appeal. In practice, the only original jurisdiction cases heard by the Court are disputes between two or more states.[citation needed]

The Court’s appellate jurisdiction consists of appeals from federal courts of appeal (through certioraricertiorari before judgment, and certified questions),[146] the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (through certiorari),[147] the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico (through certiorari),[148] the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands (through certiorari),[149] the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (through certiorari),[150] and “final judgments or decrees rendered by the highest court of a State in which a decision could be had” (through certiorari).[150] In the last case, an appeal may be made to the Supreme Court from a lower state court if the state’s highest court declined to hear an appeal or lacks jurisdiction to hear an appeal. For example, a decision rendered by one of the Florida District Courts of Appeal can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court if (a) the Supreme Court of Florida declined to grant certiorari, e.g. Florida Star v. B. J. F., or (b) the district court of appeal issued a per curiam decision simply affirming the lower court’s decision without discussing the merits of the case, since the Supreme Court of Florida lacks jurisdiction to hear appeals of such decisions.[151] The power of the Supreme Court to consider appeals from state courts, rather than just federal courts, was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789 and upheld early in the Court’s history, by its rulings in Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee (1816) and Cohens v. Virginia (1821). The Supreme Court is the only federal court that has jurisdiction over direct appeals from state court decisions, although there are several devices that permit so-called “collateral review” of state cases. It has to be noted that this “collateral review” often only applies to individuals on death row and not through the regular judicial system.[152]

Since Article Three of the United States Constitution stipulates that federal courts may only entertain “cases” or “controversies”, the Supreme Court cannot decide cases that are moot and it does not render advisory opinions, as the supreme courts of some states may do. For example, in DeFunis v. Odegaard416 U.S. 312 (1974), the Court dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a law school affirmative action policy because the plaintiff student had graduated since he began the lawsuit, and a decision from the Court on his claim would not be able to redress any injury he had suffered. However, the Court recognizes some circumstances where it is appropriate to hear a case that is seemingly moot. If an issue is “capable of repetition yet evading review”, the Court will address it even though the party before the Court would not himself be made whole by a favorable result. In Roe v. Wade410 U.S. 113 (1973), and other abortion cases, the Court addresses the merits of claims pressed by pregnant women seeking abortions even if they are no longer pregnant because it takes longer than the typical human gestation period to appeal a case through the lower courts to the Supreme Court. Another mootness exception is voluntary cessation of unlawful conduct, in which the Court considers the probability of recurrence and plaintiff’s need for relief.[153]

Justices as circuit justices

The United States is divided into thirteen circuit courts of appeals, each of which is assigned a “circuit justice” from the Supreme Court. Although this concept has been in continuous existence throughout the history of the republic, its meaning has changed through time.

Under the Judiciary Act of 1789, each justice was required to “ride circuit”, or to travel within the assigned circuit and consider cases alongside local judges. This practice encountered opposition from many justices, who cited the difficulty of travel. Moreover, there was a potential for a conflict of interest on the Court if a justice had previously decided the same case while riding circuit. Circuit riding was abolished in 1891.

Today, the circuit justice for each circuit is responsible for dealing with certain types of applications that, under the Court’s rules, may be addressed by a single justice. These include applications for emergency stays (including stays of execution in death-penalty cases) and injunctions pursuant to the All Writs Act arising from cases within that circuit, as well as routine requests such as requests for extensions of time. In the past, circuit justices also sometimes ruled on motions for bail in criminal cases, writs of habeas corpus, and applications for writs of error granting permission to appeal. Ordinarily, a justice will resolve such an application by simply endorsing it “granted” or “denied” or entering a standard form of order. However, the justice may elect to write an opinion—referred to as an in-chambers opinion—in such matters if he or she wishes.

A circuit justice may sit as a judge on the Court of Appeals of that circuit, but over the past hundred years, this has rarely occurred. A circuit justice sitting with the Court of Appeals has seniority over the chief judge of the circuit.

The chief justice has traditionally been assigned to the District of Columbia Circuit, the Fourth Circuit (which includes Maryland and Virginia, the states surrounding the District of Columbia), and since it was established, the Federal Circuit. Each associate justice is assigned to one or two judicial circuits.

As of June 27, 2017, the allotment of the justices among the circuits is:[154]

Circuit Justice
District of Columbia Circuit Chief Justice Roberts
First Circuit Justice Breyer
Second Circuit Justice Ginsburg
Third Circuit Justice Alito
Fourth Circuit Chief Justice Roberts
Fifth Circuit Justice Alito
Sixth Circuit Justice Kagan
Seventh Circuit Justice Kagan
Eighth Circuit Justice Gorsuch
Ninth Circuit Justice Kennedy
Tenth Circuit Justice Sotomayor
Eleventh Circuit Justice Thomas
Federal Circuit Chief Justice Roberts

Four of the current justices are assigned to circuits on which they previously sat as circuit judges: Chief Justice Roberts (D.C. Circuit), Justice Breyer (First Circuit), Justice Alito (Third Circuit), and Justice Kennedy (Ninth Circuit).

Process

A term of the Supreme Court commences on the first Monday of each October, and continues until June or early July of the following year. Each term consists of alternating periods of around two weeks known as “sittings” and “recesses.” Justices hear cases and deliver rulings during sittings; they discuss cases and write opinions during recesses.

Case selection

Nearly all cases come before the court by way of petitions for writs of certiorari, commonly referred to as “cert”. The Court may review any case in the federal courts of appeals “by writ of certiorari granted upon the petition of any party to any civil or criminal case.”[155]Court may only review “final judgments rendered by the highest court of a state in which a decision could be had” if those judgments involve a question of federal statutory or constitutional law.[156] The party that appealed to the Court is the petitioner and the non-mover is the respondent. All case names before the Court are styled petitioner v. respondent, regardless of which party initiated the lawsuit in the trial court. For example, criminal prosecutions are brought in the name of the state and against an individual, as in State of Arizona v. Ernesto Miranda. If the defendant is convicted, and his conviction then is affirmed on appeal in the state supreme court, when he petitions for cert the name of the case becomes Miranda v. Arizona.

There are situations where the Court has original jurisdiction, such as when two states have a dispute against each other, or when there is a dispute between the United States and a state. In such instances, a case is filed with the Supreme Court directly. Examples of such cases include United States v. Texas, a case to determine whether a parcel of land belonged to the United States or to Texas, and Virginia v. Tennessee, a case turning on whether an incorrectly drawn boundary between two states can be changed by a state court, and whether the setting of the correct boundary requires Congressional approval. Although it has not happened since 1794 in the case of Georgia v. Brailsford,[157] parties in an action at law in which the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction may request that a jurydetermine issues of fact.[158] Two other original jurisdiction cases involve colonial era borders and rights under navigable waters in New Jersey v. Delaware, and water rights between riparian states upstream of navigable waters in Kansas v. Colorado.

A cert petition is voted on at a session of the court called a conference. A conference is a private meeting of the nine Justices by themselves; the public and the Justices’ clerks are excluded. The rule of four permits four of the nine justices to grant a writ of certiorari. If it is granted, the case proceeds to the briefing stage; otherwise, the case ends. Except in death penalty cases and other cases in which the Court orders briefing from the respondent, the respondent may, but is not required to, file a response to the cert petition.

The court grants a petition for cert only for “compelling reasons”, spelled out in the court’s Rule 10. Such reasons include:

  • Resolving a conflict in the interpretation of a federal law or a provision of the federal Constitution
  • Correcting an egregious departure from the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings
  • Resolving an important question of federal law, or to expressly review a decision of a lower court that conflicts directly with a previous decision of the Court.

When a conflict of interpretations arises from differing interpretations of the same law or constitutional provision issued by different federal circuit courts of appeals, lawyers call this situation a “circuit split.” If the court votes to deny a cert petition, as it does in the vast majority of such petitions that come before it, it does so typically without comment. A denial of a cert petition is not a judgment on the merits of a case, and the decision of the lower court stands as the final ruling in the case.

To manage the high volume of cert petitions received by the Court each year (of the more than 7,000 petitions the Court receives each year, it will usually request briefing and hear oral argument in 100 or fewer), the Court employs an internal case management tool known as the “cert pool.” Currently, all justices except for Justices Alito and Gorsuch participate in the cert pool.[159][160][161] [162]

Oral argument

When the Court grants a cert petition, the case is set for oral argument. Both parties will file briefs on the merits of the case, as distinct from the reasons they may have argued for granting or denying the cert petition. With the consent of the parties or approval of the Court, amici curiae, or “friends of the court”, may also file briefs. The Court holds two-week oral argument sessions each month from October through April. Each side has thirty minutes to present its argument (the Court may choose to give more time, though this is rare),[163]and during that time, the Justices may interrupt the advocate and ask questions. The petitioner gives the first presentation, and may reserve some time to rebut the respondent’s arguments after the respondent has concluded. Amici curiae may also present oral argument on behalf of one party if that party agrees. The Court advises counsel to assume that the Justices are familiar with and have read the briefs filed in a case.

Supreme Court bar

In order to plead before the court, an attorney must first be admitted to the court’s bar. Approximately 4,000 lawyers join the bar each year. The bar contains an estimated 230,000 members. In reality, pleading is limited to several hundred attorneys. The rest join for a one-time fee of $200, earning the court about $750,000 annually. Attorneys can be admitted as either individuals or as groups. The group admission is held before the current justices of the Supreme Court, wherein the Chief Justice approves a motion to admit the new attorneys.[164] Lawyers commonly apply for the cosmetic value of a certificate to display in their office or on their resume. They also receive access to better seating if they wish to attend an oral argument.[165] Members of the Supreme Court Bar are also granted access to the collections of the Supreme Court Library.[166]

Decision

At the conclusion of oral argument, the case is submitted for decision. Cases are decided by majority vote of the Justices. It is the Court’s practice to issue decisions in all cases argued in a particular Term by the end of that Term. Within that Term, however, the Court is under no obligation to release a decision within any set time after oral argument. At the conclusion of oral argument, the Justices retire to another conference at which the preliminary votes are tallied, and the most senior Justice in the majority assigns the initial draft of the Court’s opinion to a Justice on his or her side. Drafts of the Court’s opinion, as well as any concurring or dissenting opinions,[167] circulate among the Justices until the Court is prepared to announce the judgment in a particular case. Since recording devices are banned inside the courtroom of the United States Supreme Court Building, the delivery of the decision to the media is done via paper copies and is known as the Running of the Interns.[168][169]

It is possible that, through recusals or vacancies, the Court divides evenly on a case. If that occurs, then the decision of the court below is affirmed, but does not establish binding precedent. In effect, it results in a return to the status quo ante. For a case to be heard, there must be a quorum of at least six justices.[170] If a quorum is not available to hear a case and a majority of qualified justices believes that the case cannot be heard and determined in the next term, then the judgment of the court below is affirmed as if the Court had been evenly divided. For cases brought to the Supreme Court by direct appeal from a United States District Court, the Chief Justice may order the case remanded to the appropriate U.S. Court of Appeals for a final decision there.[171] This has only occurred once in U.S. history, in the case of United States v. Alcoa (1945).[172]

Published opinions

The Court’s opinions are published in three stages. First, a slip opinion is made available on the Court’s web site and through other outlets. Next, several opinions and lists of the court’s orders are bound together in paperback form, called a preliminary print of United States Reports, the official series of books in which the final version of the Court’s opinions appears. About a year after the preliminary prints are issued, a final bound volume of U.S. Reports is issued. The individual volumes of U.S. Reports are numbered so that users may cite this set of reports—or a competing version published by another commercial legal publisher but containing parallel citations—to allow those who read their pleadings and other briefs to find the cases quickly and easily.

As of the beginning of October 2016 term, there are:

  • 564 final bound volumes of U.S. Reports, covering cases through the end of October 2010 term, which ended on September 28, 2011.[173]
  • 16 volumes’ worth of opinions available in slip opinion form (volumes 565–580)[174]

As of March 2012, the U.S. Reports have published a total of 30,161 Supreme Court opinions, covering the decisions handed down from February 1790 to March 2012.[citation needed] This figure does not reflect the number of cases the Court has taken up, as several cases can be addressed by a single opinion (see, for example, Parents v. Seattle, where Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education was also decided in the same opinion; by a similar logic, Miranda v. Arizona actually decided not only Miranda but also three other cases: Vignera v. New YorkWestover v. United States, and California v. Stewart). A more unusual example is The Telephone Cases, which comprise a single set of interlinked opinions that take up the entire 126th volume of the U.S. Reports.

Opinions are also collected and published in two unofficial, parallel reporters: Supreme Court Reporter, published by West (now a part of Thomson Reuters), and United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers’ Edition (simply known as Lawyers’ Edition), published by LexisNexis. In court documents, legal periodicals and other legal media, case citations generally contain cites from each of the three reporters; for example, citation to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is presented as Citizens United v. Federal Election Com’n, 585 U.S. 50, 130 S. Ct. 876, 175 L. Ed. 2d 753 (2010), with “S. Ct.” representing the Supreme Court Reporter, and “L. Ed.” representing the Lawyers’ Edition.[175][176]

Citations to published opinions

Lawyers use an abbreviated format to cite cases, in the form “vol U.S. pagepin (year)”, where vol is the volume number, page is the page number on which the opinion begins, and year is the year in which the case was decided. Optionally, pin is used to “pinpoint” to a specific page number within the opinion. For instance, the citation for Roe v. Wade is 410 U.S. 113 (1973), which means the case was decided in 1973 and appears on page 113 of volume 410 of U.S. Reports. For opinions or orders that have not yet been published in the preliminary print, the volume and page numbers may be replaced with “___”.

Institutional powers and constraints

The Federal court system and the judicial authority to interpret the Constitution received little attention in the debates over the drafting and ratification of the Constitution. The power of judicial review, in fact, is nowhere mentioned in it. Over the ensuing years, the question of whether the power of judicial review was even intended by the drafters of the Constitution was quickly frustrated by the lack of evidence bearing on the question either way.[177] Nevertheless, the power of judiciary to overturn laws and executive actions it determines are unlawful or unconstitutional is a well-established precedent. Many of the Founding Fathers accepted the notion of judicial review; in Federalist No. 78Alexander Hamilton wrote: “A Constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute.”

The Supreme Court firmly established its power to declare laws unconstitutional in Marbury v. Madison (1803), consummating the American system of checks and balances. In explaining the power of judicial review, Chief Justice John Marshall stated that the authority to interpret the law was the particular province of the courts, part of the duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. His contention was not that the Court had privileged insight into constitutional requirements, but that it was the constitutional duty of the judiciary, as well as the other branches of government, to read and obey the dictates of the Constitution.[177]

Since the founding of the republic, there has been a tension between the practice of judicial review and the democratic ideals of egalitarianism, self-government, self-determination and freedom of conscience. At one pole are those who view the Federal Judiciary and especially the Supreme Court as being “the most separated and least checked of all branches of government.”[178] Indeed, federal judges and justices on the Supreme Court are not required to stand for election by virtue of their tenure “during good behavior”, and their pay may “not be diminished” while they hold their position (Section 1 of Article Three). Though subject to the process of impeachment, only one Justice has ever been impeached and no Supreme Court Justice has been removed from office. At the other pole are those who view the judiciary as the least dangerous branch, with little ability to resist the exhortations of the other branches of government.[177] The Supreme Court, it is noted, cannot directly enforce its rulings; instead, it relies on respect for the Constitution and for the law for adherence to its judgments. One notable instance of nonacquiescence came in 1832, when the state of Georgia ignored the Supreme Court’s decision in Worcester v. Georgia. President Andrew Jackson, who sided with the Georgia courts, is supposed to have remarked, “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!”;[179] however, this alleged quotation has been disputed. Some state governments in the South also resisted the desegregation of public schools after the 1954 judgment Brown v. Board of Education. More recently, many feared that President Nixon would refuse to comply with the Court’s order in United States v. Nixon (1974) to surrender the Watergate tapes. Nixon, however, ultimately complied with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Supreme Court decisions can be (and have been) purposefully overturned by constitutional amendment, which has happened on five occasions:

When the Court rules on matters involving the interpretation of laws rather than of the Constitution, simple legislative action can reverse the decisions (for example, in 2009 Congress passed the Lilly Ledbetter act, superseding the limitations given in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in 2007). Also, the Supreme Court is not immune from political and institutional consideration: lower federal courts and state courts sometimes resist doctrinal innovations, as do law enforcement officials.[180]

In addition, the other two branches can restrain the Court through other mechanisms. Congress can increase the number of justices, giving the President power to influence future decisions by appointments (as in Roosevelt’s Court Packing Plan discussed above). Congress can pass legislation that restricts the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and other federal courts over certain topics and cases: this is suggested by language in Section 2 of Article Three, where the appellate jurisdiction is granted “with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.” The Court sanctioned such congressional action in the Reconstruction case ex parte McCardle (1869), though it rejected Congress’ power to dictate how particular cases must be decided in United States v. Klein(1871).

On the other hand, through its power of judicial review, the Supreme Court has defined the scope and nature of the powers and separation between the legislative and executive branches of the federal government; for example, in United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. (1936), Dames & Moore v. Regan (1981), and notably in Goldwater v. Carter (1979), (where it effectively gave the Presidency the power to terminate ratified treaties without the consent of Congress or the Senate). The Court’s decisions can also impose limitations on the scope of Executive authority, as in Humphrey’s Executor v. United States (1935), the Steel Seizure Case (1952), and United States v. Nixon (1974).

Law clerks

Each Supreme Court justice hires several law Clerks to review petitions for writ of certiorariresearch them, prepare bench memorandums, and draft opinions. Associate justices are allowed four clerks. The chief justice is allowed five clerks, but Chief Justice Rehnquist hired only three per year, and Chief Justice Roberts usually hires only four.[181] Generally, law clerks serve a term of one to two years.

The first law clerk was hired by Associate Justice Horace Gray in 1882.[181][182] Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Louis Brandeis were the first Supreme Court justices to use recent law school graduates as clerks, rather than hiring a “stenographer-secretary”.[183] Most law clerks are recent law school graduates.

The first female clerk was Lucile Lomen, hired in 1944 by Justice William O. Douglas.[181] The first African-American, William T. Coleman, Jr., was hired in 1948 by Justice Felix Frankfurter.[181] A disproportionately large number of law clerks have obtained law degrees from elite law schools, especially Harvard, Yale, the University of Chicago, Columbia, and Stanford. From 1882 to 1940, 62% of law clerks were graduates of Harvard Law School.[181] Those chosen to be Supreme Court law clerks usually have graduated in the top of their law school class and were often an editor of the law review or a member of the moot court board. By the mid-1970s, clerking previously for a judge in a federal court of appeals had also become a prerequisite to clerking for a Supreme Court justice.[184]

Seven Supreme Court justices previously clerked for other justices: Byron White for Frederick M. VinsonJohn Paul Stevens for Wiley RutledgeWilliam Rehnquist for Robert H. JacksonStephen Breyer for Arthur GoldbergJohn Roberts for William RehnquistElena Kagan for Thurgood Marshall and Neil Gorsuch for both Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. Gorsuch is the first justice to serve alongside a justice for whom he or she clerked.

Several current Supreme Court justices have also clerked in the federal courts of appeals: John Roberts for Judge Henry Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Justice Samuel Alito for Judge Leonard I. Garth of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third CircuitElena Kagan for Judge Abner J. Mikva of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and Neil Gorsuch for Judge David B. Sentelle of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Politicization of the Court

Clerks hired by each of the justices of the Supreme Court are often given considerable leeway in the opinions they draft. “Supreme Court clerkship appeared to be a nonpartisan institution from the 1940s into the 1980s”, according to a study published in 2009 by the law review of Vanderbilt University Law School.[185][186] “As law has moved closer to mere politics, political affiliations have naturally and predictably become proxies for the different political agendas that have been pressed in and through the courts”, former federal court of appeals judge J. Michael Luttig said.[185] David J. Garrow, professor of history at the University of Cambridge, stated that the Court had thus begun to mirror the political branches of government. “We are getting a composition of the clerk workforce that is getting to be like the House of Representatives”, Professor Garrow said. “Each side is putting forward only ideological purists.”[185]

According to the Vanderbilt Law Review study, this politicized hiring trend reinforces the impression that the Supreme Court is “a superlegislature responding to ideological arguments rather than a legal institution responding to concerns grounded in the rule of law.”[185] A poll conducted in June 2012 by The New York Times and CBS News showed just 44% of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing. Three-quarters said justices’ decisions are sometimes influenced by their political or personal views.[187]

Criticism

The court has been the object of criticisms on a range of issues. Among them:

Judicial activism

The Supreme Court has been criticized for not keeping within Constitutional bounds by engaging in judicial activism, rather than merely interpreting law and exercising judicial restraint. Claims of judicial activism are not confined to any particular ideology.[188] An often cited example of conservative judicial activism is the 1905 decision in Lochner v. New York, which has been criticized by many prominent thinkers, including Robert Bork, Justice Antonin Scalia, and Chief Justice John Roberts,[188][189] and which was reversed in the 1930s.[190][191][192] An often cited example of liberal judicial activism is Roe v. Wade (1973), which legalized abortion in part on the basis of the “right to privacy” inferred from the Fourteenth Amendment, a reasoning that some critics argued was circuitous.[188] Legal scholars,[193][194] justices,[195] and presidential candidates[196] have criticized the Roe decision. The progressive Brown v. Board of Education decision has been criticized by conservatives such as Patrick Buchanan[197] and former presidential contender Barry Goldwater.[198] More recently, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was criticized for expanding upon the precedent in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti (1978) that the First Amendment applies to corporations.[199] Lincoln warned, referring to the Dred Scott decision, that if government policy became “irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court…the people will have ceased to be their own rulers.”[200] Former justice Thurgood Marshall justified judicial activism with these words: “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up.”[201] During different historical periods, the Court has leaned in different directions.[202][203] Critics from both sides complain that activist-judges abandon the Constitution and substitute their own views instead.[204][205][206] Critics include writers such as Andrew Napolitano,[207] Phyllis Schlafly,[208] Mark R. Levin,[209] Mark I. Sutherland,[210] and James MacGregor Burns.[211][212] Past presidents from both parties have attacked judicial activism, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.[213][214]Failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork wrote: “What judges have wrought is a coup d’état, – slow-moving and genteel, but a coup d’état nonetheless.”[215] Senator Al Franken quipped that when politicians talk about judicial activism, “their definition of an activist judge is one who votes differently than they would like.”[216] Brian Leiter wrote that “Given the complexity of the law and the complexity involved in saying what really happened in a given dispute, all judges, and especially those on the Supreme Court, often have to exercise a quasi-legislative power,” and “Supreme Court nominations are controversial because the court is a super-legislature, and because its moral and political judgments are controversial.”[217]

Failing to protect individual rights

Court decisions have been criticized for failing to protect individual rights: the Dred Scott (1857) decision upheld slavery;[218] Plessy v Ferguson (1896) upheld segregation under the doctrine of separate but equal;[219] Kelo v. City of New London (2005) was criticized by prominent politicians, including New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, as undermining property rights.[220][221] Some critics suggest the 2009 bench with a conservative majority has “become increasingly hostile to voters” by siding with Indiana’s voter identification laws which tend to “disenfranchise large numbers of people without driver’s licenses, especially poor and minority voters”, according to one report.[222] Senator Al Franken criticized the Court for “eroding individual rights.”[216] However, others argue that the Court is too protective of some individual rights, particularly those of people accused of crimes or in detention. For example, Chief Justice Warren Burger was an outspoken critic of the exclusionary rule, and Justice Scalia criticized the Court’s decision in Boumediene v. Bush for being too protective of the rights of Guantanamo detainees, on the grounds that habeas corpus was “limited” to sovereign territory.[223]

Supreme Court has too much power

This criticism is related to complaints about judicial activism. George Will wrote that the Court has an “increasingly central role in American governance.”[224] It was criticized for intervening in bankruptcy proceedings regarding ailing carmaker Chrysler Corporation in 2009.[225] A reporter wrote that “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg‘s intervention in the Chrysler bankruptcy” left open the “possibility of further judicial review” but argued overall that the intervention was a proper use of Supreme Court power to check the executive branch.[225]Warren E. Burger, before becoming Chief Justice, argued that since the Supreme Court has such “unreviewable power” it is likely to “self-indulge itself” and unlikely to “engage in dispassionate analysis”.[226] Larry Sabato wrote “excessive authority has accrued to the federal courts, especially the Supreme Court.”[227]

Courts are poor check on executive power

British constitutional scholar Adam Tomkins sees flaws in the American system of having courts (and specifically the Supreme Court) act as checks on the Executive and Legislative branches; he argues that because the courts must wait, sometimes for years, for cases to navigate their way through the system, their ability to restrain other branches is severely weakened.[228][229] In contrast, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany for example, can directly declare a law unconstitutional upon request.

Federal versus state power

There has been debate throughout American history about the boundary between federal and state power. While Framers such as James Madison[230] and Alexander Hamilton[231] argued in The Federalist Papers that their then-proposed Constitution would not infringe on the power of state governments,[232][233][234][235] others argue that expansive federal power is good and consistent with the Framers’ wishes.[236] The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution explicitly grants “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The Supreme Court has been criticized for giving the federal government too much power to interfere with state authority. One criticism is that it has allowed the federal government to misuse the Commerce Clause by upholding regulations and legislation which have little to do with interstate commerce, but that were enacted under the guise of regulating interstate commerce; and by voiding state legislation for allegedly interfering with interstate commerce. For example, the Commerce Clause was used by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the Endangered Species Act, thus protecting six endemic species of insect near Austin, Texas, despite the fact that the insects had no commercial value and did not travel across state lines; the Supreme Court let that ruling stand without comment in 2005.[237] Chief Justice John Marshall asserted Congress’s power over interstate commerce was “complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations, other than are prescribed in the Constitution.”[238] Justice Alito said congressional authority under the Commerce Clause is “quite broad.”[239] Modern day theorist Robert B. Reich suggests debate over the Commerce Clause continues today.[238] Advocates of states’ rights such as constitutional scholar Kevin Gutzman have also criticized the Court, saying it has misused the Fourteenth Amendment to undermine state authority. Justice Brandeis, in arguing for allowing the states to operate without federal interference, suggested that states should be laboratories of democracy.[240] One critic wrote “the great majority of Supreme Court rulings of unconstitutionality involve state, not federal, law.”[241] However, others see the Fourteenth Amendment as a positive force that extends “protection of those rights and guarantees to the state level.”[242]

Secretive proceedings

The Court has been criticized for keeping its deliberations hidden from public view.[243] According to a review of Jeffrey Toobin‘s expose The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court; “Its inner workings are difficult for reporters to cover, like a closed ‘cartel’, only revealing itself through ‘public events and printed releases, with nothing about its inner workings.’[244] The reviewer writes: “few (reporters) dig deeply into court affairs. It all works very neatly; the only ones hurt are the American people, who know little about nine individuals with enormous power over their lives.”[244] Larry Sabato complains about the Court’s “insularity.”[227] A Fairleigh Dickinson University poll conducted in 2010 found that 61% of American voters agreed that televising Court hearings would “be good for democracy”, and 50% of voters stated they would watch Court proceedings if they were televised.[245][246] In recent years, many justices have appeared on television, written books and made public statements to journalists.[247][248] In a 2009 interview on C-SPAN, journalists Joan Biskupic (of USA Today) and Lyle Denniston (of SCOTUSblog) argued that the Court is a “very open” institution with only the justices’ private conferences inaccessible to others.[247] In October 2010, the Court began the practice of posting on its website recordings and transcripts of oral arguments on the Friday after they occur.

Judicial interference in political disputes

Some Court decisions have been criticized for injecting the Court into the political arena, and deciding questions that are the purview of the other two branches of government. The Bush v. Gore decision, in which the Supreme Court intervened in the 2000 presidential election and effectively chose George W. Bush over Al Gore, has been criticized extensively, particularly by liberals.[244][249][250][251][252][253] Another example are Court decisions on apportionment and re-districting: in Baker v. Carr, the court decided it could rule on apportionment questions; Justice Frankfurter in a “scathing dissent” argued against the court wading into so-called political questions.[254]

Not choosing enough cases to review

Senator Arlen Specter said the Court should “decide more cases”.[216] On the other hand, although Justice Scalia acknowledged in a 2009 interview that the number of cases that the Court hears now is smaller today than when he first joined the Supreme Court, he also stated that he has not changed his standards for deciding whether to review a case, nor does he believe his colleagues have changed their standards. He attributed the high volume of cases in the late 1980s, at least in part, to an earlier flurry of new federal legislation that was making its way through the courts.[247]

Lifetime tenure

Critic Larry Sabato wrote: “The insularity of lifetime tenure, combined with the appointments of relatively young attorneys who give long service on the bench, produces senior judges representing the views of past generations better than views of the current day.”[227]Sanford Levinson has been critical of justices who stayed in office despite medical deterioration based on longevity.[255] James MacGregor Burns stated lifelong tenure has “produced a critical time lag, with the Supreme Court institutionally almost always behind the times.”[211] Proposals to solve these problems include term limits for justices, as proposed by Levinson[256] and Sabato[227][257] as well as a mandatory retirement age proposed by Richard Epstein,[258] among others.[259] However, others suggest lifetime tenure brings substantial benefits, such as impartiality and freedom from political pressure. Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 78 wrote “nothing can contribute so much to its firmness and independence as permanency in office.”[260]

Accepting gifts

The 21st century has seen increased scrutiny of justices accepting expensive gifts and travel. All of the members of the Roberts Court have accepted travel or gifts. Justice Scalia and others took dozens of expensive trips to exotic locations paid for by private donors.[261]Private events sponsored by partisan groups that are attended by both the justices and those who have an interest in their decisions have raised concerns about access and inappropriate communications.[262] Stephen Spaulding, the legal director at Common Cause, said: “There are fair questions raised by some of these trips about their commitment to being impartial.”[261]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018, Story 1: President Trump: “United States will not be a Migrant Camp” and not be “A Refuge Holding Facility” — “We Want Safety and We Want Security For Out Country” — Blames Democrats For Obstructing Immigration Law Reform and Separating Children From Parents — Videos — Story 2: Families that Stay Together Should Be Deported Together to Country of Origin — Deport All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens — Fund The Building of The Wall — American People Demand Immigration Law Enforcement — Do Not Reward Illegal Behavior — No Amnesty — No Citizenship — No Legal Status — No Pathway To Citizenship or Legal Status — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Places A Priority On Outer Space in Addressing The Nation Space Council And Directs Pentagon To Create A New Sixth Military Branch — Space Force — Videos

Posted on June 18, 2018. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, College, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Employment, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Gangs, Government, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, House of Representatives, Illegal Immigration, Independence, Law, Life, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, National Interest, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Privacy, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Image result for President trump june 18, 2018 in white house comments on immigration with vice presidentSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Story 1: President Trump: “United States Will Not Be a Migrant Camp” and not be “A Refuge Holding Facility” — “We Want Safety and We Want Security For Our Country” — Blames Democrats For Obstructing Immigration Law Reform and Separating Children From Parents — Videos —

Image result for President trump june 18, 2018 comments on immigration

 

President Trump: “The United States will not be a migrant camp…” (C-SPAN)

President Trump: US ‘Will Not Be A Migrant Camp’ 6/18/18

White House on family separations: Trump enforcing the law

Tucker: The Left does not care about family separation

ICE director: Illegal immigrant parents using kids as pawns

Steyn on Hillary’s flip-flop on illegal immigration

Steve Says: The new elitist ideology is hating Trump

Melania Trump weighs in on border separations

Migrant family separation policy about protecting children: Dan Stein

Nearly 2,000 Children Have Been Separated From Their Families During Trump Border Crackdown | TIME

Sean Spicer on political fallout from separating families at border

Is Trump winning the immigration debate?

Cooper calls out Sessions: By choice, not law

Tucker Carlson Interviews Jeff Sessions

Catholic Leader Calls Separating Mothers And Children At Border ‘Immoral’

Should undocumented children be separated from their parents at the border?

Kamala Harris Spars with Kirstjen Nielsen over Family Separation at the Border

National Review’s Rich Lowry: We Don’t Need A Border Wall

Tucker: Illegal immigration is literally costing US big-time

The High Cost of Illegal Immigration

Open Borders: A Libertarian Reappraisal | Lew Rockwell

Rand Paul – Immigration

Published on Jul 24, 2013

Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

GOP drops immigration bill after Trump signals he won’t sign

Does GOP compromise on immigration mean disregarding voters?

Ted Cruz: Immigration Amnesty Would Be a Mistake

From the archives: Reagan signs 1986 immigration law

Ronald Reagan’s amnesty legacy

Ronald Reagan – “I Believe in Amnesty for Illegal Aliens”

George H. W. Bush And Ronald Reagan Debate On Immigration In 1980 | TIME

 

Trump Warns U.S. Could Follow Path of Germany on Immigration

President wants to meet with members of both parties on matter, spokesman says

President Donald Trump on Monday used Germany’s immigration problems to defend his own hardline policies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:05 a.m. President Donald Trump on Monday appeared to defend his administration’s policy of separating migrant families by warning that Germany’s and Europe’s immigration issues could be replicated here.

He used several tweets Monday morning to blast not only German and European immigration laws, but also Democratic lawmakers. The GOP president claimed anew that the opposition party is withholding the votes needed to pass a sweeping immigration overhaul measure that would address a list of unresolved matters.

Trump criticized Democrats for refusing to “give us the votes to fix the world’s worst immigration laws” as one of his deputy press secretaries, Hogan Gidley, was on the White House’s North Lawn calling on Democratic members to meet with Trump to come up with a broad immigration bill.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Why don’t the Democrats give us the votes to fix the world’s worst immigration laws? Where is the outcry for the killings and crime being caused by gangs and thugs, including MS-13, coming into our country illegally?

“Ask the Democrats this question: We can’t deport them, we can’t separate them, we can’t detain them, we can’t prosecute them. What they want is a radical open-border policy that lets everyone out into the interior of this country with virtually no documentation whatsoever,” Gidley said. “They could come to the table and fix this immediately. They’ve chosen not to do that.”

“Next steps, hopefully, is getting some congressional members over to the White House, the president have an open conversation with them. Everyone needs to put down their swords and stop political grandstanding getting ready for the midterms and instead focus on actually fixing their problems,” Gidley said. “They could go back to their districts and say, ‘We stood up for you guys and we fixed the problem.’ But they won’t do that.”

Republicans and Democrats alike are objecting to or questioning the administration’s decision in recent weeks to separate migrant families, sending parents for prosecution and children to be held at detention centers where Democratic lawmakers and experts say they are being kept, in some cases, in “cages.”

But White House officials’ comments Monday morning gave no indication they are considering altering the policy.

Administration officials, however, have been inconsistent in their messaging about the policy. White House immigration hard-liner Stephen Miller is touting the “zero-tolerance policy,” while Trump says he is no fan of the separations but claims — falsely — that it is the result of a Democratic-only law. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said her agency has no separation policy.

The president also tweeted that children “are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country,” and said crime in Central and South American countries is at historically high levels. “Not going to happen in the U.S,” he added.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country. Has anyone been looking at the Crime taking place south of the border. It is historic, with some countries the most dangerous places in the world. Not going to happen in the U.S.

Want insight more often? Get Roll Call in your inbox

Trump on Monday also implied such policies are necessary, and all indications are Republicans and Democrats intend to make immigration a part of their midterm campaign messages.

The president used tweets to claim that flaws in U.S. law could trigger problems resembling those in Europe.

“We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!” the president wrote in one tweet.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!

The U.S. president appeared to stoke political tensions in Germany, saying German citizens are “turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition,” also saying there was a “Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!”

Angela Merkel’s German government faces an uncertain fate. She has been criticized for her policy of allowing in refugees.

Trump also used that tweet to claim crime is “way up” in Germany, implying it is because of Merkel’s immigration policies. But German government data suggests the opposite is true.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!

https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/trump-warns-u-s-could-follow-path-of-germany-on-immigration

Trump, Democrats fight over blame for family separation at the southwest border

012617 SWestwood trump wall pic
President Trump on Saturday called on Democrats to end a “horrible law” that he says separates children from their parents when they come across the southwest border.
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Trump on Saturday called on Democrats to end a “horrible law” that he says separates children from their parents when they come across the southwest border. “Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there [sic] parents once they cross the Border into the U.S,” he said in a Twitter post.

But Democrats and others argue the Trump administration’s own policies are responsible for more family separation.

“Separating children from parents- as a matter of new policy to discourage asylum seekers – is just the latest outrage from this Administration when it comes to immigrants. This is inconsistent with who we say we are as a nation,” said Eric Holder, a former attorney general in the Obama administration, in a tweet Saturday.

Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Homeland Security Department would refer “100 percent of illegal southwest border crossings“ to the Justice Department for prosecution, as arrests at the border have increased in recent months.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen signed a memo that directs the department to refer all suspected border-crossers to the Justice Department.

A 2008 bipartisan law meant to combat child trafficking, signed by President George W. Bush, requires children apprehended at the border to be classified as unaccompanied minors if their parents are prosecuted and detained for criminal charges.

The law, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, prohibits the government from quickly deporting children who enter the U.S. illegally and alone if they are not from Mexico or Canada. Under the law, those classified as unaccompanied minors have to be transferred from Homeland Security custody to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Parents, if children came with them, are handled separately.

An agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, the resettlement office provides shelter to the children and finds a guardian to care for them while they await hearings in immigration courts.

Former President Barack Obama cited the law as a barrier when his administration was confronted with a surge of unaccompanied minors crossing the border illegally from Central America in 2014, because he could not quickly deport them.

More prosecutions of people suspected of illegally crossing the border, as the new Trump administration policy demands, would likely make family separations more common.

“This Administration’s immigration policies are outrageous, cruel, and inhumane. Proactively working to break up immigrant families is putting these kids’ lives in danger. We need to put a stop to this,” Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said Saturday on Twitter.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/trump-democrats-fight-over-blame-for-family-separation-at-the-southwest-border

TRUMP AND THE INVASION OF THE WEST

Pat Buchanan: ‘Where many Americans see illegal intruders, Democrats see future voters’

“It is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart,” says former first lady Laura Bush of the Trump administration policy of “zero tolerance,” under which the children of illegal migrants are being detained apart from their parents.

“Disgraceful,” adds Dr. Franklin Graham.

“We need to be … a country that governs with a heart,” says first lady Melania Trump. “No one likes this policy,” says White House aide Kellyanne Conway, even “the president wants this to end.”

And so it shall – given the universal denunciations and photos of sobbing children being pulled from parents. Yet striking down the policy will leave America’s immigration crisis still unresolved.

Consider. Since 2016, some 110,000 children have entered the U.S. illegally and been released, along with 200,000 Central American families caught sneaking across the border.

Reflecting its frustration, the White House press office declared:

“We can’t deport them, we can’t separate them, we can’t detain them, we can’t prosecute them. What (the Democrats) want is a radical open-border policy that lets everyone out into the interior of this country with virtually no documentation whatsoever.”

Where many Americans see illegal intruders, Democrats see future voters.

And with 11,000 kids of illegal immigrants in custody and 250 more arriving every day, we could have 30,000 in custody by summer’s end

 http://www.wnd.com/2018/06/trump-and-the-invasion-of-the-west/#WtqJYQhtb3zZ93Ox.99

 

Story 2: Families that Stay Together Should Be Deported Together — Change The Law — Videos

Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen comments on immigration crisis at border

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen speaks about the immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and children being separated from their parents. She insists that it is not part of the administration’s policy.

Ingraham: Separating parents from kids and fact from fiction

Families separated at the border: what’s really going on?

Kirstjen Nielsen, Head Of Homeland Security, Defends Controversial Immigration Policy | TIME

VIDEO: White House discuss Trump administration’s policies on separating migrant families.

Kirstjen Nielsen Grilled On Immigration Camps And Family-Separation

Build the wall, deter illegal border crossings: Varney

Gutfeld on the 2014 photos blamed on Trump

The Truth about Separating Kids

 

U.S. Border Patrol agents with illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas, May 9, 2018. (Loren Elliott/Reuters)

Some economic migrants are using children as chits, but the problem is fixable — if Congress acts.The latest furor over Trump immigration policy involves the separation of children from parents at the border.

As usual, the outrage obscures more than it illuminates, so it’s worth walking through what’s happening here.

For the longest time, illegal immigration was driven by single males from Mexico. Over the last decade, the flow has shifted to women, children, and family units from Central America. This poses challenges we haven’t confronted before and has made what once were relatively minor wrinkles in the law loom very large.

The Trump administration isn’t changing the rules that pertain to separating an adult from the child. Those remain the same. Separation happens only if officials find that the adult is falsely claiming to be the child’s parent, or is a threat to the child, or is put into criminal proceedings.

It’s the last that is operative here. The past practice had been to give a free pass to an adult who is part of a family unit. The new Trump policy is to prosecute all adults. The idea is to send a signal that we are serious about our laws and to create a deterrent against re-entry. (Illegal entry is a misdemeanor, illegal re-entry a felony.)

The criminal proceedings are exceptionally short, assuming there is no aggravating factor such as a prior illegal entity or another crime. The migrants generally plead guilty, and they are then sentenced to time served, typically all in the same day, although practices vary along the border. After this, they are returned to the custody of ICE.

If the adult then wants to go home, in keeping with the expedited order of removal that is issued as a matter of course, it’s relatively simple. The adult should be reunited quickly with his or her child, and the family returned home as a unit. In this scenario, there’s only a very brief separation.

The clock ticking on the time the government can hold a child will almost always run out before an asylum claim is settled. The migrant is allowed ten days to seek an attorney, and there may be continuances or other complications.

This creates the choice of either releasing the adults and children together into the country pending the ajudication of the asylum claim, or holding the adults and releasing the children. If the adult is held, HHS places the child with a responsible party in the U.S., ideally a relative (migrants are likely to have family and friends here).

Even if Flores didn’t exist, the government would be very constrained in how many family units it can accommodate. ICE has only about 3,000 family spaces in shelters. It is also limited in its overall space at the border, which is overwhelmed by the ongoing influx. This means that — whatever the Trump administration would prefer to do — many adults are still swiftly released.

A few points about all this:

1) Family units can go home quickly. The option that both honors our laws and keeps family units together is a swift return home after prosecution. But immigrant advocates hate it because they want the migrants to stay in the United States. How you view this question will depend a lot on how you view the motivation of the migrants (and how seriously you take our laws and our border).

2) There’s a better way to claim asylum. Every indication is that the migrant flow to the United States is discretionary. It nearly dried up at the beginning of the Trump administration when migrants believed that they had no chance of getting into the United States. Now, it is going in earnest again because the message got out that, despite the rhetoric, the policy at the border hasn’t changed. This strongly suggests that the flow overwhelmingly consists of economic migrants who would prefer to live in the United States, rather than victims of persecution in their home country who have no option but to get out.

Children should not be making this journey that is fraught with peril. But there is now a premium on bringing children because of how we have handled these cases.

Even if a migrant does have a credible fear of persecution, there is a legitimate way to pursue that claim, and it does not involve entering the United States illegally. First, such people should make their asylum claim in the first country where they feel safe, i.e., Mexico or some other country they are traversing to get here. Second, if for some reason they are threatened everywhere but the United States, they should show up at a port of entry and make their claim there rather than crossing the border illegally.

3) There is a significant moral cost to not enforcing the border. There is obviously a moral cost to separating a parent from a child and almost everyone would prefer not to do it. But, under current policy and with the current resources, the only practical alternative is letting family units who show up at the border live in the country for the duration. Not only does this make a mockery of our laws, it creates an incentive for people to keep bringing children with them.

Needless to say, children should not be making this journey that is fraught with peril. But there is now a premium on bringing children because of how we have handled these cases. They are considered chits.

In April, the New York Times reported:

Some migrants have admitted they brought their children not only to remove them from danger in such places as Central America and Africa, but because they believed it would cause the authorities to release them from custody sooner.

Others have admitted to posing falsely with children who are not their own, and Border Patrol officials say that such instances of fraud are increasing.

According to azcentral.com, it is “common to have parents entrust their children to a smuggler as a favor or for profit.”

If someone is determined to come here illegally, the decent and safest thing would be to leave the child at home with a relative and send money back home. Because we favor family units over single adults, we are creating an incentive to do the opposite and use children to cut deals with smugglers.

4) Congress can fix this. Congress can change the rules so the Flores consent decree will no longer apply, and it can appropriate more money for family shelters at the border. This is an obvious thing to do that would eliminate the tension between enforcing our laws and keeping family units together. The Trump administration is throwing as many resources as it can at the border to expedite the process, and it desperately wants the Flores consent decree reversed. Despite some mixed messages, if the administration had its druthers, family units would be kept together and their cases settled quickly.

The missing piece here is Congress, but little outrage will be directed at it, and probably nothing will be done. And so our perverse system will remain in place and the crisis at the border will rumble on.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/illegal-immigration-enforcement-separating-kids-at-border/

What’s Really Happening When Asylum-Seeking Families Are Separated?