Scott Lemieux

Commentary: Check Barr’s record, not his testimony

Jan 17 2019

This week, the Senate is holding confirmation hearings for William Barr, Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general. At these hearings, Barr has mostly said the right things, coming off as a competent public servant who will protect the independence of the Justice Department from presidential pressure. But Barr’s words can only be of limited reassurance given his previous attacks on the Mueller investigation and many other potential concerns about his record.

Commentary: Echoes of Anita Hill in Kavanaugh hearings

Sep 24 2018

Christine Blasey Ford’s now-public allegations that she was the victim of an attempted sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have had a striking and immediate political impact, with the Senate Judiciary Committee delaying its vote on Kavanaugh. Ford’s serious charges present a very close analogy with the allegations made by Anita Hill against her former employer Clarence Thomas during the latter’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1991. In the era of #MeToo, a great deal has changed since then. But a great deal hasn’t, and it seems likely that the result will be the same as 1991 – that is, the confirmation of Kavanaugh after a desultory and incomplete investigation.

Commentary: How U.S. Supreme Court can stop abortions without overruling Roe

Jul 10 2018

If Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, he will play a decisive role in whether the new Supreme Court will dramatically overrule the landmark case of Roe v. Wade, ending the abortion rights granted to U.S. women in 1973. But the real question is not about Roe or the Republican agenda – it’s about whether the court will allow states to effectively ban abortion.

Commentary: Kennedy’s Supreme Court departure a death knell for Roe v. Wade

Jun 27 2018

The Supreme Court’s headline-grabbing ruling to uphold President Trump’s travel ban on citizens of several Muslim-majority countries in the face of overwhelming evidence that it was motivated by religious prejudice has overshadowed another Supreme Court decision that also deserves attention – especially now that Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring from the bench.

Commentary: The problem with California’s primary

Jun 06 2018

Polls indicate that the 2018 midterms are shaping up very well for the Democratic Party. But Tuesday’s primary in California is a potent reminder of how misguided reforms to the electoral system can frustrate the will of the voters.

Commentary: America’s unfair democracy will hurt Democrats in 2018

Dec 22 2017

Doug Jones' remarkable victory in the Alabama Senate special election on Dec. 12 is the strongest sign yet that Republicans will lose seats in Congress in 2018 because of their unpopular president and extremely unpopular agenda. And yet a close reading of the Alabama result also highlights just how American democracy can thwart the will of the majority rather than serve it.

Commentary: What Roy Moore's loss says about smart politics

Dec 13 2017

Roy Moore’s party has been punished for his refusal to do the right thing. While some Republican leaders wanted him to drop out of the Alabama Senate race after nine women accused him of sexual misconduct against them when they were teenagers, Moore refused – and went on to lose to Democrat Doug Jones in a special election Tuesday. That means Democrats who fretted that Al Franken shouldn’t have been pushed out of the Senate over the sexual misconduct allegations against him were wrong.

Commentary: How Trump is making it easier to exploit consumers

Nov 16 2017

Richard Cordray, who has been the head of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) since 2012, announced Wednesday that he will be resigning before the end of his five-year term. His interim replacement will be self-described "right-wing nutjob" Mick Mulvaney.

Commentary: Why Supreme Court must tell anti-gay baker his cakes aren’t art

Nov 05 2017

In early December, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case, in which a conservative Christian bakery owner seeks the right to discriminate against gay couples, is the latest attempt by conservatives to carve out special exemption for business owners to civil rights laws.

Commentary: Blame the Constitution for Trump’s undemocratic executive orders

Oct 18 2017

Donald Trump last week signed an executive order and took further administrative action that will weaken the healthcare coverage of millions of Americans. The president is required by Article Two of the Constitution to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” So are his efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional?

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