Tag Archive: Supreme Court

Democratic vs. Republican Presidents Part 4: Choosing Federal Judges

The U.S. Supreme Court's conservative Republican majority

The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative Republican majority

(This is the fourth installment in a series about differences between Democratic and Republican presidents in areas where they have direct control. See our Democratic vs. Republican Presidents category for the rest.)

For some voters, the president’s constitutional power to nominate U.S. Supreme Court Justices when vacancies occur is reason enough to vote for one political party or the other. But it goes much deeper than that. The president’s power to nominate all federal judges when vacancies occur is crucial to the direction of the country on nearly every issue, including marriage equality, guns, crime, civil rights, taxes, the environment, etc.

No country for old conservative white men

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with a word from one of his dissents

During the past week of momentous U.S. Supreme Court decisions on marriage equality, the Affordable Care Act and the Fair Housing Act, the biggest loser may have been Republican Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Thankfully, Scalia represents an old conservative white male demographic whose notions are becoming extinct.

Seven reasons to love Hillary Clinton for President

Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire

Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire

Hillary Rodham Clinton announced last Sunday that she is running for the Democratic nomination for President in 2016. While Clinton is one of the best-known people in the world, more folks might be familiar with knee-jerk labels used to describe her. In fact, Hillary has a long record of commitment to progressive American values. Here are seven reasons to love Hillary Clinton for President:

Messaging Maxim #8: Don’t use the other side’s labels

Protesters opposing Arizona anti-immigrant law

Protesters opposing Arizona anti-immigrant law

Republicans and conservatives, which are curently one and the same, love to come up with short, catchy labels for things. Here’s a list of popular Republican political phrases. Those labels and phrases are always loaded, either in favor of the Republicans, against the Democrats, or both. So, if you’re a Democrat, a liberal or a progressive, why would you ever use those Republican labels, making them even more popular so they get taken up by the mainstream media and become part of our vernacular? The answer is, you shouldn’t. But plenty of Democrats, liberals and progressives are making this mistake lately. Here are a few examples of Republican-loaded phrases that Democrats, and thus the mainstream media, are using all over the place. Hopefully, these will serve as a reminder to cut it out:

Illegal on the Internet, or just stupid?

Angry Internet posting cat

Angry Internet posting cat

Elizabeth Lauten‘s resignation and a case pending with the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Facebook posts give us a good reminder about what’s stupid, if not outright illegal, to post on the Internet.

Closing 2014 election arguments against the Republicans

The 2014 elections are only 16 weeks away. That means you’re going to be hearing all kinds of noise in the media — from kids with Ebola to Benghazi to lawsuits against President Obama. The Republicans will do everything to distract from the real issues on which they are vulnerable. So it’s time for Democrats to focus.

We already suggested back in February of this year that the Democrats needed a positive unifying theme for the 2014 elections. You can judge whether the Democrats came through. But now it’s time for the flip side as well: the Democrats need a unifying attack theme against the Republicans that they can focus on for the next four months. Here is our simple two-part suggestion:

Conference call with Senator Harry Reid on getting money out of politics

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Last night, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) held a conference call featuring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, about efforts to pass a Constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions which have flooded our elections with “dark money.” Also on the call were Rob Weissman of Public Citizen, Marge Baker, who is Executive Vice President of People for the American Way, Larry Cohen, the President of CWA, and Bob Master, CWA’s District 1 (Northeast) Political Director.

How to beat the Republican billionaires

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court

Last Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission left many Democrats and progressives dejected. The ruling from the Republican-dominated Supreme Court essentially removed any limits on aggregate political contributions by individuals, meaning that Republican billionaires like the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson now can buy even more members of Congress and more elections by pumping more money into false TV attack ads against Democrats. So it’s the end of the world for Democrats, right? We say “wrong!” While Democrats of course should work to reverse McCutcheon and its predecessor Citizens United, here’s how Democrats can win elections in the meantime despite the Republicans’ dark money advantages:

Supreme Court upholds First Amendment

Messaging Matters2

In a decision that was all but overshadowed by anticipation over decisions on gay marriage and voter rights, the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday ruled 6-2 in favor of the First Amendment. This case was Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International. The dispute was over a 2003 law with the rather clunky name “United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003.” The law provides billions of dollars for non-governmental agencies to fund efforts to combat HIV/AIDS worldwide. However, the law required funding recipients to agree explicitly in their awarding documents that they oppose prostitution. That provision was added by Republican Representative Chris Smith, reportedly as a sop to conservative ideology that had no practical effect on the prevention of HIV/AIDS. The law also requires the U.S. President, as part of the overall prevention strategy, to “promote abstinence” and “encourage monogamy and faithfulness.”

The hate behind DOMA, finally revealed

Messaging Matters2

Credit U.S. Supreme Court Justice (and Obama appointee) Elena Kagan with outing the Republican discrimination behind their 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). At today’s hearing before the Supreme Court, Kagan read from the Republican-drafted House Report that accompanied the original DOMA legislation:

Congress decided to reflect an ‘honor of collective moral judgment’ and to express ‘moral disapproval of homosexuality.’

Here’s the entire quote from pages 15-16 of the 1996 House Report: