Supreme Court Investigates 'Dobbs' Leak, Excludes Likeliest Suspects, Comes Up Empty ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
They found the dastardly, dirty Dobbs leaker and it is ... nobody. Ah, well, guess we can all go home now. LOL.
It is more than a little rich to watch the Supreme Court's histrionics regarding the leak to Politico of the draft opinion of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that overturned the constitutional right to an abortion in Roe v. Wade — as if the tragedy here was that American women found out they'd be losing civil rights on May 2, 2022, and not seven weeks later on June 24. It really takes some balls to howl about the "grave assault on the judicial process" while blithely forcing victims of sexual assault to carry their rapists' babies to term.
And not for nothing, but shredding stare decisis and tossing out 50 years of judicial precedent to relegate women to second class citizens and then hyperventilating that "the integrity of judicial proceedings depends on the inviolability of internal deliberations" is a bit much.
With that preamble, let's turn to this clown cop leak investigation the Supreme Court conducted, in which it interrogated 97 members of the Court's staff, even demanding "call and text detail records and billing statements for their personal devices" from some of them.
Investigators carefully evaluated the statements and conduct of personnel who displayed attributes associated with insider-threat behavior – violation of confidentiality rules, disgruntled attitude, claimed stressed, anger at the Court’s decision, etc. – and also weighed behavior and evidence that would tend to mitigate any adverse inferences. Investigators also carefully evaluated whether personnel may have had reason to disclose the Court’s draft decision for strategic reasons.
The investigators, led by the Supreme Court Marshal, did a forensic search of its creaky IT system, which seems to have involved dozens of printers kicking out multiple, untraceable hard copies.
First, for some networked printers there was very little logging capability at the time, so it is likely that many print jobs were simply not captured. Second, the investigators learned that many printers in the building, including some assigned to Chambers, were locally connected printers and not resident and tracked on the Court’s networks. This means that the print logs for these printers were stored only locally in the printers’ internal memory.
They reviewed employees' search histories, to see if they Googled "how to get away with leaking Supreme Court opinions gutting women's rights."
For the initial interviews with employees, investigators reviewed any available legal research history while bulk requests were pending with the service providers. The purpose was to determine whether an employee might have researched the legality of disclosing confidential case-related information – possibly indicating the person’s intention to do so or concern about having done so after the fact. Investigators later obtained, analyzed and confirmed legal research history for all employees directly from the service providers. The investigators did not find anything suspicious or relevant in these records.
They checked to see if reporters Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward were as dumb as Glenn Greenwald.
The investigators obtained a forensic examination of the digital image of the draft opinion that was posted on Politico’s website to compare against exemplars obtained from Court printers and copiers. There was nothing of evidentiary value that could be gleaned from the electronic copy of the draft opinion when compared against the exemplars.
They even hauled in former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to check their work. He said it was A-okay!
What they didn't do was interview the Supreme Court justices, despite the fact that Justice Alito has a record of leaking his own opinions. Indeed, there's a whole network of activists dedicated to finessing the conservative justices to influence their opinions. If those people were interviewed, the report does not mention it.
Instead they harassed the law clerks for six months, threatening them with jail for making false statements to a federal official, before issuing this dumb report saying that there are some things in life which will remain mysteries for all eternity.
Luckily, some jackass on a golf cart in Florida knows how to crack this case wide open.
Ah, yes, we'll just "go to the reporter & ask him/her who it was. If not given the answer, put whoever in jail until the answer is given. You might add the publisher and editor to the list." The guy who encouraged Vladimir Putin to hack Hillary Clinton's emails is suddenly very worried about leaks. Time for some arbitrary detentions of reporters for protected First Amendment activity ... you know, to protect America's institutions and the rule of law.
Tune in next week when Politico reporters go to jail to protect Ginny Thomas. ALLEGEDLY.
[Marshal’s Report of Findings & Recommendations]
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SCOTUS Won't Let Mormon Trumpet Band Overturn 2020 Election
QAnon people really thought this was gonna be it.
In an entirely unsurprising move (even with its current makeup), the Supreme Court has decidednot to hear a case brought by three Utah brothers seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election and kick President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris out of office, along with almost 400 members of Congress, and then reinstate Donald Trump as president of the United States. The case was considered on Friday — coincidentally the two-year anniversary of Trump supporters invading the Capitol in hopes of preventing Congress from certifying the election — and on Monday it was announced that the Supreme Court had turned down their petition.
The Brunson Brothers are not just a bunch of conspiracy-obsessed weirdos. They are a bunch of conspiracy-obsessed weirdos in a family band — a Mormon family trumpet band that once played on "The Tonight Show" with some regularity and also regularly performed with Jay Osmond, one of the lesser-known Osmonds.
While all of the brothers are very upset about the 2020 election, the actual plaintiff in Brunson v. Adams is Raland Brunson, who intended to represent himself. His brother, Loy Brunson, also filed an identical lawsuit, and both of them were written by their other brother, Deron Brunson. Deron Brunson is not a lawyer but took an online course called "How To Win In Court Without A Lawyer," which is just as good as going to law school. They also have a fourth brother, Gaynor, who was "too busy" to be involved, though I strongly suspect he might actually be actor Michael McKean doing a bit.
Tell me that's not the David St. Hubbins wig. That is the David St. Hubbins wig.
The whole lawsuit is worth a read if you are looking for a good laugh, but this has to be my favorite part:
Respondents were properly warned and were requested to make an investigation into a highly covert swift and powerful enemy, as stated below, seeking to destroy the Constitution and the United States, purposely thwarted all efforts to investigate this, whereupon this enemy was not checked or investigated, therefore the Respondents adhered to this enemy. Because of Respondents intentional refusal to investigate this enemy, Petitioner Raland J Brunson (“Brunson”) brought this action against Respondents because he was seriously personally damaged and violated by this action of Respondents, and consequently this action unilaterally violated the rights of every citizen of the U.S.A. and perhaps the rights of every person living, and all courts of law.
On January 6, 2021, the 117th Congress held a proceeding and debate in Washington DC (“Proceeding”). Proceeding was for the purpose of counting votes under the 2020 Presidential election for the President and Vice President of the United States under Amendment XII. During this Proceeding over 100 members of U.S. Congress claimed factual evidence that the said election was rigged. The refusal of the Respondents to investigate this congressional claim (the enemy) is an act of treason and fraud by Respondents. A successfully rigged election has the same end result as an act of war; to place into power whom the victor wants, which in this case is Biden, who, if not stopped immediately, will continue to destroy the fundamental freedoms of Brunson and all U.S. Citizens and courts of law.
The absolute drama.
While you, a normal person, have likely not heard much about Brunson v. Adams, it has been a huge deal for QAnon idiots and conspiracy theorists over the past few months, many of whom truly did believe that this was the thing that was going to finally work. Loy Brunson made all the rounds on kook media, doing interviews on Mike Lindell's FrankSpeech Internet streaming network, with Juan O Savin (whom some Q people believe is actually John F. Kennedy Jr), Johnny Enlow, Charlie Ward, and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Kandiss "Babies and Guns" Taylor. Plus about 12,000 Rumble channels with the word "Patriot" in their name.
Yes, I absolutely did pick this particular screenshot because there is a guy in it calling himself "Baby Trump"
Naturally, many of the faithful are deeply disappointed today and fear they may be running out of "hopium." They expressed their disappointment on Telegram and other rightwing social media channels.
"Of course. It's time we stop believing anything is going to go our way. The system is rigged against us, and I'm sorry to say, noones [sic] coming to save us. Just look at Brazil."
"I am wondering what they mean by hanging in there at this point.... [they] want us in nooses. 🤬 This is just another bullshit hopium stunt. I agree... and I am done. I will just live my life going forward the best I can, and trust ONLY IN GOD. Good Luck All.The petition argued, essentially, that because people believed the election had been stolen, Congress had an obligation to investigate the claims, and because they didn't do that, they violated their oaths of office."
"Did u expect anything different it's all BS NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN SAY TRUST THE PLAN THERE IS NO PLAN EXCEPT TO STRING US ALONG MILITARY IS NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING FACE IT TRUMP IS A CHUMP I AM DONE WITH IT."
"Has anyone mentioned that the bad stuff is out pacing the good stuff exponentially? Just an observation. I'm really starting to believe the only way to fix this is civil war. It is scary to think we will have to fight our own military. I'm praying they step in soon, but when they do, I can imagine that we could have elections 120 days later. We don't even know who good candidates would be. We also need Constitutional law to replace the current law and full declass. That could easily take over a year."
"IM DONE WITH THEM PLAYING WITH MY FAITH."
Some, however, are still trusting in the plan. As one YouTube user with no inside knowledge of the matter wrote, "A lot going on behind the scenes, military is in control and we have been watching the biggest take down of our Gov. in history, so pray!"
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Joe Biden Ready To Cancel Supreme Court's College Loans Or Something
Oh, defending loan forgiveness at the SCOTUS, that's it.
Politico reports that the Biden administration is preparing to defend its student debt forgiveness program in the US Supreme Court, filing an initial brief in the case that argues the program is perfectly cromulent under authority Congress granted to the federal Department of Education in a 2003 law. The debt relief plan, you'll recall, forgives up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for most qualifying borrowers, or up to $20,000 for folks who received Pell grants when they went to college.
A group of six Republican-led states sued to overturn the law, claiming it will deprive them of revenue; the SCOTUS case also combines that with a second lawsuit brought by a rightwing group on behalf of two borrowers who didn't qualify for the program — this food is terrible and such small portions! The Supremes are scheduled to hear arguments in the case in February, and will probably decide sometime in June that not only must students pay loans back in full, but they must also get pregnant at their earliest opportunity or go to jail.
As Politico notes, the brief argues that neither the states nor the borrowers from Texas have standing to sue, but even if they do have standing, the program is completely legal anyway, you weasels, respectfully submitted.
Administration officials argue that they have the authority to cancel large amounts of debt under the HEROES Act, a 2003 law that gives the Education Department the power to waive the laws that typically govern federal student loans during national emergencies.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona’s “actions fall comfortably within the plain text” of the HEROES Act, the brief says.
The brief also points out that lower court injunctions putting the debt relief program on hold have already left "millions of economically vulnerable borrowers in limbo," but isn't that the point, to make them straighten up and take some responsibility instead of wasting all their income on luxuries like "rent" and "food for their children"?
The Biden administration has argued that the debt forgiveness program is legal under the HEROES Act because the coronavirus pandemic was very much a national emergency, and that bringing an end to the temporary pause on student loan payments would create a financial emergency if some of that debt were not offset.
The administration says that
"ending that pause without providing some additional relief for lower-income borrowers would cause delinquency and default rates to spike above pre-pandemic levels,” the Justice Department wrote in its brief. “This Court should not compel that damaging and destabilizing result.”
It's hard to say whether this claim that a potential economic emergency would justify using a law's emergency powers will carry any weight with the Court, which in its current composition may well say the 2003 law could only be invoked if it had specified the genetic code for the COVID virus's spike proteins, including all variants.
As for folks hoping for some relief from their student loans, the bad news is that the Court will probably not rule on the case until June. That means no help for the roughly 16 million borrowers the Education Department has already approved for debt forgiveness, or for the 10 million other borrowers who are waiting to have their applications processed.
The good news is that the Education Department, very aware of the chaos that'll result if the pause in debt payments ends while the case is pending, has extended that payment moratorium yet again, until either
60 days after the litigation is resolved or the administration is able to implement debt relief, whichever comes first. If the litigation is still unresolved by June 30, monthly payments will resume 60 days after that date, the department said.
In the interim, the administration may want to suggest that the Supreme Court try working within its own budget and not ordering so much avocado toast, and does Brett Kavanaugh really need the latest model of iPhone?
[Politico / Biden V. Nebraska brief / Photo: Quinn Dombrowski, Creative Commons License 2.0]
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Supreme Court Tells Joe Biden Only Trump Can Do That
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Title 42, the Trump administration policy that allows for rapid deportation of most undocumented immigrants even before they can request asylum, will stay in place while the Court considers a lawsuit brought by Republican states. The Biden administration has been trying to wind down Title 42 for much of the year.
Most recently, the program was supposed to end on December 21, but then Arizona and 18 other red states sued to keep it in place. The Supremes poked their heads out of their burrows yesterday, saw Stephen Miller's shadow, and voila, we have six more months of Title 42. The Court will hear arguments in the case in February, and isn't likely to change its order blocking the end of Title 42 until it issues a final decision in June, or ever.
As is his occasional wont, Neil Gorsuch voted with the three liberals on the Court to reject the states' appeal, but the other five Republican appointees voted to hear the case. The Court won't even be ruling on the constitutionality of Trump's use of Title 42 to exclude immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic that no Republicans take seriously.
Rather, the justices will be considering whether states can appeal a lower court's ruling that ordered the Biden administration to end the policy. Yes, the case really is about whether states can demand in federal court that a former president's executive orders must remain active two years into the succeeding presidency, on the principle that Republican presidents have nearly limitless executive authority while Democratic presidents must be reined in from abusing their power.
The Texas Tribune has the deets on the backgroud to the lawsuit:
The request from the coalition of states for the Supreme Court to weigh in came after Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., ruled last month that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s use of the order — which removes migrants from the U.S. without allowing them to access the asylum process — is “arbitrary and capricious” and a violation of the law because it was not implemented properly.
Sullivan ordered the Biden administration to immediately lift Title 42, then later agreed to give the federal government until Dec. 21 to prepare for the change.
Sullivan’s ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in January 2021 by the ACLU and two Texas-based immigrant rights groups that argued Title 42 violated U.S. asylum laws and that the Trump administration used the pandemic as a pretext to invoke Title 42 and use it as an immigration tool.
But Republicans really like that pretext, so it must stay in effect forever because it's such a handy tool to turn back people who might otherwise qualify for asylum, which Republicans all know is never justified because there is no oppression anywhere in the world that the US needs to acknowledge, and asylum seekers are all universally lying. Please do not remind them of the unaccompanied minors who were deported to Honduras back in 2014 and ended up being murdered there. Crime is a shame but it's not political oppression, silly.
Congratulations, Deport-The-Kids Patriots! Kids Returned To Honduras, Killed.
Greg Abbott Will Bus Asylum Seekers To DC, Dump Them For Laughs
Did Greg Abbott Send Those Busloads Of Migrants To Kamala Harris's House? It Is A War On Christmas Mystery!
Can't Fix The Border, Because How Would Republicans Scare All The Old People?
Gorsuch issued a dissent that may have too loudly acknowledged what's going on here, suggesting that the alleged legal issues in the case are pretextual, a matter of keeping out migrants for reasons other than the public health order the states are allegedly defending. He noted that the states “do not seriously dispute that the public-health justification undergirding the Title 42 orders has lapsed,” and added that while the border is a serious issue, "the current border crisis is not a COVID crisis." We'd add it's also not really much of a "crisis," either, but Gorsuch wouldn't go that far. He added that
[Courts] should not be in the business of perpetuating administrative edicts designed for one emergency only because elected officials have failed to address a different emergency. We are a court of law, not a policymaker of last resort.
So there's your rightwing judicial stopped clock moment for this week.
In any case, it looks like the cruelty is in place until at least June, by which time we'll be well into the 2024 election campaign and immigration will once again be too valuable an issue for Republicans to actually do anything about — apart from cruel stunts aimed at "calling attention" to the "crisis," of course.
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