• 9 Posts
Joined 1 year ago
Cake day: June 13th, 2023


  • Yeah the history of this is long and complicated. This piece goes into a lot more detail about the various attempts on both sides to put abortion into federal legislation (both for and against), including a review of the political situations that led to and resulted from each effort. One of the more interesting threads is this one:

    After [Joe] Biden joined the Senate in 1973, he voted for a failed constitutional amendment that would have allowed states to overturn the court’s Roe ruling. In a Washingtonian magazine interview at the time, he said of Roe: “I think it went too far. I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body.” But times changed, and so did he. In a 2007 book, Biden said he had arrived at a “middle-of-the-road position on abortion.” In 2008, he described Roe as “close to a consensus that can exist in a society as heterogeneous as ours.” As Obama’s vice president, Biden said the government had no “right to tell other people that women, they can’t control their own body.”

    The cultural center of gravity on this issue has changed dramatically since the 1970s. There were pro choice voices in both parties for many decades, but with very few exceptions those voices have migrated into the Democratic Party, which gives it a more unified and consistent stance on the issue.

  • That’s exactly the problem. Kahn and his crew determine what’s a “top issue” the same way the rest of us do, through algorithm-driven engagement. There’s a reason all the major outlets placed a “trending” chyron at the top of their homepages years ago, and that’s because they’re specifically tailoring their coverage to whatever generates traffic on their and other’s websites. Each editor is, after all, a human whose understanding of the world is driven by the content that shows up on their phone, their computer screen, and their television. The fact that media is curated through a narrowing window of social media platforms means that the things that pop onto their radar will be algorithm-influenced. Even if they stepped back and only accepted what polls highly, they’d have to either perform their own real-time polling (yeah right) or point to other polls for emphasis, the results of which have been filtered and amplified according to algorithmic engagement. This is only going to get worse as AI starts to influence the algorithm in real time and we become more and more susceptible to hive-mind coverage where the tail wags the dog.

    This is part of the reason 21st century media has skewed so heavily toward sensationalism since 9/11, because for some ungodly reason they’ve decided that their job is to react to the news, rather than create it. Fuck them. Their spineless “neutrality” is a tool Trump & Co. learned how to play like a fiddle from day one, and by refusing to even entertain the possibility of assisting the left, they’ve obsequiously and unconsciously become the right’s most potent weapon. They are the harbingers of fascism in America, and they’re still too fucking dense to see what’s coming.

  • The syllabus only says that SCOTUS can’t decide the line between official and unofficial acts because it’s a court of final review, and they offered a list of guidance to lower courts who they charged with making the distinction. They point to pp 16-32 for more detail on that guidance.

    The guidance says:

    1. Courts cannot consider motive

    2. An act is not unofficial simply because it violates a law

    3. Courts cannot consider negotiations with DoJ

    4. Courts cannot consider negotiations with or influence of the VP if the VP is serving an executive branch function, but may consider influence of the VP if the VP is serving a legislative branch function (i.e. supervising the Senate)

    5. Engagement with private parties is not an official act

    6. Public communication of the person serving in the role of President is official, but public communication of the President serving in another role is not

    7. Prosecutors cannot use a jury to indirectly infringe on immunity unless a judge has already ruled that immunity does not exist

    So again, if a President sends a branch of the military to a) assassinate a terrorist or b) recover national security secrets, none of the allowable court considerations above come into play. Nor do they if the assassinated individual is a SCOTUS justice or a political rival. The executive branch and military are the only entities involved, no public communication happens, murder is OK if it’s done in an official capacity, and planning records are inadmissible. A prosecutor would have no authority to bring a case, and a court would have no precedent to allow consideration of the charge even if they were brought.

    That’s a loophole the size of the Hoover Dam.

  • But national security is. All they would need is a flimsy justification that the person was stealing state secrets (like Trump) or organizing a terrorist attack, which could include any contact with an armed or paramilitary group that’s planning a protest. They could use state influence to coerce that group to take action, and the records of that planning process would be inadmissible per this ruling. It’s not hard to come up with superficial reasons that do align with Constitutional obligations.

    Edit to add: Hell, just look at the McCarthy era, or the Iraq war. It’s not hard at all for a sufficiently shameless group of politicians to gin up a moral panic about national security. They don’t even need evidence, they just need motive. We’re real fucking close to the government being able to legally assassinate purported communists for subversion.

  • I mean, that’s what this comes to, right? If he ordered Seal Team Six to storm Mar-A-Lago to recover classified materials with deadly force, then he’s operating in order to maintain national security via his authority as Commander in Chief. That would be legal under this ruling, correct?

    I get that would lead to an actual civil war, and I get that their argument is important to shield the office from neverending frivolous lawsuits, but in being forced to rule so explicitly on this it seems like they’ve opened the door to political assassinations. All a President would need is a willing wing of the military and a superficial rationalization and there’d be nothing a court in this country could do about it.

    Please, someone tell me I’m missing something.