Democrats walk on eggshells around Breyer as GOP plans another blockade for any Biden Supreme Court pick, Edward-Isaac Dovere and Manu Raju, CNN, December 19, 2021

… the idea that there might be a supreme court vacancy in 2021 just came on my radar screen through this article on Reason.com about Biden’s potential impact on the federal court system (it’s been relatively substantial so far)… and, of course, its Justice Breyer… according to the article linked above…

Breyer has told several people who’ve made unofficial efforts to push him to retire that he thinks the confirmation process shouldn’t be political, according to people told of those discussions, and Democrats worry he’d remain as an act of resistance to show he’s not bowing to politics.

… and…

Privately, multiple Senate Democrats complain that Breyer seems to have let his ego overtake him and he is not being realistic to how radically Supreme Court confirmation politics has changed in the last five years.

… please let’s not make the same mistake as we did with Ginsberg… ego has got to give way to doing what’s right for future generations… current SCOTUS is awful… it would become more than tragic if conservatives get another seat to fill…

What i read today…

… my reading this morning has been principally around the Supreme Court decision handed down yesterday that allowed Texas’ anti-abortion law, S.B. 8, to remain in effect…

Letters from an American, December 10, 2021, Heather Cox Richardson

This case is about far more than abortion. It is about the federal protection of civil rights in the face of discriminatory state laws. That federal protection has been the key factor in advancing equal rights in America since the 1950s.

The Texas Abortion Decision Protects the Traditional Rule of Law

Hard cases make bad law, and bad decisions make more hard cases. Roe v. Wade was a bad decision that has distorted many areas of our law. The Supreme Court created this monster with Roe, but in the Texas abortion cases decided this morning, it found itself caught between two sides trying to evade or rewrite the rules. On the one side was the Texas legislature: The new Texas abortion law, S.B. 8, is a too-clever-by-half attempt to get around Roe’s distortions by creating its own somewhat-novel enforcement mechanism. On the other side were the abortion clinics and the Justice Department’s lawsuit, both of which treated legal abortion as a constitutional interest so powerful that protecting it required the Court to bulldoze longstanding doctrines limiting the powers of federal courts.

How Narrow is the Pathway the Supreme Court Left for Suits Challenging SB 8 and Other Similar State Laws?

As noted in my last post about today’s Supreme Court ruling in in Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, the key question for the future is how close a connection state officials must have to enforcement of the law in question before plaintiffs can potentially bring preenforcement challenges against those officials.

SCOTUS Says State Judges and Court Clerks Can’t Be Sued To Block Enforcement of the Texas Abortion Ban

The Supreme Court today held that Texas judges and court clerks cannot be sued to block enforcement of a state law that prohibits abortion after fetal cardiac activity can be detected. But it said the plaintiffs challenging S.B. 8, which took effect on September 1, can proceed with claims against state medical regulators.

Justice Sotomayor’s Flawed History To Promote The Myth of Judicial Supremacy

The United States did not fight a Civil War over the theory of judicial supremacy. But judicial supremacy was a contributor to the Civil War. Of course, I speak of Dred Scott v. Sandford. Chief Justice Taney recognized a new constitutional right based on substantive due process in order to resolve a controversial social debate by placing it beyond the power of the elected branches. Sound familiar? In Casey, Justice Scalia directly equated Roe and Dred Scott.

SCOTUS Rules Extreme Texas Abortion Ban Will Remain in Effect, Though Abortion Providers Can Sue

Today, in what could at best be considered a mixed ruling for abortion rights, the Supreme Court decided that abortion providers may sue some state officials in federal court over an extreme Texas abortion law. But in a huge blow, the court will also allow the law to remain in effect while the case moves forward.

The Most Blistering Lines from Sotomayor’s Extraordinary Dissent in Today’s Abortion Ruling

In an especially gripping section of the 13-page opinion, Sotomayor wrote that Texas’ brazen challenge to federal law “echoes the philosophy of John C. Calhoun, a virulent defender of the slaveholding South who insisted that States had the right to ‘veto’ or ‘nullify’ any federal law with which they disagreed.”

“The Nation fought a Civil War over that proposition,” she argued. “But Calhoun’s theories were not extinguished.”

… moving on to readings other than news…

Carl Jung on How to Liveyou make the road by walking…1

Your questions are unanswerable because you want to know how one ought to live. One lives as one can. There is no single, definite way for the individual which is prescribed for him or would be the proper one. If that’s what you want you had best join the Catholic Church, where they tell you what’s what. Moreover this way fits in with the average way of mankind in general. But if you want to go your individual way, it is the way you make for yourself, which is never prescribed, which you do not know in advance, and which simply comes into being of itself when you put one foot in front of the other.2


  1. Antonio Machado [return]
  2. Carl Jung, Selected Letters of C.G. Jung, 1909-1961, via Brain Pickings, Maria Popova [return]

Beginning the day…

229.0 lbs

… continuing to wake up between 2 and 3 AM, then fitful sleep until 4 AM, then up and get the day started…

… H’s doctor appointment went well, professional confirmation that they have nothing to worry about…

… watched 12 Dates of Christmas last night… pretty much the same concept as Groundhog Day, except it’s Christmas and the woman is the not very nice person who needs to learn a thing or two…

… HCR this morning is all about a Supreme Court decision handed down yesterday on Texas S. B. 8… it denied, for the most part, federal power to bring lawsuits against state-court judges and clerks… HCR makes the case that this will set federal efforts to protect civil rights back… she warns that the implications are ominous… an article in the National Review makes the case that it was a proper decision… an article in Reason Magazine, while being more neutral in it’s reporting, is in line with the National Review article… articles in Mother Jones are supportive of the dessent of Justice Sotomayor… in general, the ruling is viewed as a narrow win for right-to-an-abortion advocates, but too narrow to provide any good prospect of relief… we apparently still await a private individual to come forward and lodge a lawsuit under the S. B. 8 to get to a case that could determine the law’s constitutionality or lack thereof…

… it is ten days till we set out for Florida and Christmas with M…

… i am feeling like i have finally assembled a set of news sources that give me a balanced view of major news stories…