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October 21, 2016, 03:12:46 pm
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76  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: The Sword of Damocles - (Sign Up/Rules/Commentary Thread) on: July 23, 2016, 04:20:37 pm
It's Lumine's decision, not ours. If a potential player is motivated enough to join at this point in the game and to take up a smaller nation I say why not let them.
77  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Grade the last night of the RNC? on: July 21, 2016, 11:07:07 pm

This was by far the best night of the RNC. Donald Trump, Ivanka, Barrack, and Thiel all gave wonderful speeches. The other nights were absolute disasters.

This. There will probably be people at the DNC who can speak better than Ivanka or Donald, but Hillary won't be one of them. Ivanka was polished and professional and Donald gave about the best speech he could have given. It wasn't perfect (I still think Bill at the 2012 DNC was better) but they did about as well as they were able to.
78  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What state will have the largest percentage of Clinton Republicans? on: July 19, 2016, 11:43:41 am
Florida might be a good guess; Trump's approval rating among Cubans is in the tank and Hillary might dramatically improve among the older group who have voted Republican for decades.
79  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Criminal Justice Reform Congressional Committee on: July 19, 2016, 11:27:52 am
I know you're just getting started, but I'd like to ask to brief the committee on the current Federal criminal justice structure once you're established.
80  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary's "Confessions of A Republican" ad on: July 19, 2016, 10:40:52 am
I had never seen the original; I really liked this one before I knew it was a retread. On second watch? Its still fine but it doesn't quite match up to the original; modern ads are too short and stylized to capture the same kind of turmoil and indecision the original did. If you're one of the people its aimed at it'll resonate and if you're already a committed Hillary or Trump voter it won't. Simple as that.
81  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Swearing in of New Officeholders on: July 15, 2016, 06:49:49 pm
I, Dereich, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Atlasia and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of Atlasia, so help me God.
82  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: So at the upcoming Republican Convention.... on: July 14, 2016, 09:21:25 am

Here's what I worry about: violence at the convention. With all the violence that has been happening lately, what's going to happen in Cleveland? Considering that violence was occurring at the campaign rallies earlier wherever Trump went, and now with the (pun intended) trumped up energies, is Cleveland safe from violence? I shudder to think about it.

Word on the hill is that lots of the staffers and other normal convention hangers-on aren't going because they're terrified of BLM/snipers/mob violence. Some of the delegates are even talking about not going. Everyone is expecting SOME kind injury.
83  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Senate Confirmation Hearing: Dereich for Federal Supreme Court Justice on: July 12, 2016, 02:26:43 pm
I had a long, beautiful response all typed out and ready when my new apartment's stupid wifi messed up getting rid of it all. So life goes.

Whats your view on the constitutionality (if that's the right word) of abortion in Atlasia?

"If that's the right word" is the right way to think of it. The Atlasian constitution doesn't protect the right to privacy used in Roeto justify abortion rights. When I look past the talking points, my interpretation of the debate is that its really an argument about when life begins. If it begins at birth, abortion should be justified. If it begins earlier than that, abortion becomes virtually unjustifiable. Personally I think it does begin before life; if I as a legislator or citizen had to vote on an abortion bill I'd vote pro-life. As a member of the Court? I'd have to see strong constitutional (and possibly scientific) evidence to justify a vote either for banning or allowing it generally.

Basically, my conclusion is that it is legal (as everything is) until it is banned by either the regional or federal governments. I'd wait to hear arguments as to federalism and which rights were involved before concluding anything on specific bans.

Do you believe that the decision in Obergefell v Hodges (2015) was the correct ruling?

It was the right ruling but done in the wrong way. Here I went in to a long rant on current Due Process case law; I'd rather not reprint it unless you want to know more. Essentially, the way its used now especially by Justice Kennedy, a violation of due process can be used to justify literally anything as fundamental. For the same reason the Court eventually got rid of Lochner I'm against the use of due process. There's a very good argument between young(er) Scalia and the libertarian law professor Richard Epstein here as to whether the Right should use Due Process to invalidate economic laws such as minimum wage under "freedom to contract". Instead, the court should have done one of three things.

1. Done nothing and let the People's representatives sort it out as they are bound to do, as the Conservatives said.

2. Brought back the Privileges and Immunities clause and used it to justify the action, as Justice Thomas wanted.

3. Used the Equal Protection clause and declared homosexuals a protected class. This would require much stronger justification from legislatures when making laws that disprivilege homosexuals and could have been used to invalidate DOMA and the state legislatures that have passed anti-gay laws.

By not going all the way and doing 3, the Court chose a path that was confusing, muddled case law further, and set up a whole new round of lawsuits on other laws that prejudice homosexuals. I see no reason for "marriage" to be FUNDAMENTAL to liberty as due process was supposed to require; it was a dumb copout so Kennedy could give gay marriage but didn't have to declare gays protected. I wouldn't have joined the majority in Obergefell.

Lastly a rather hypothetical question- the 2003 ruling in Lawrence v Texas outlawed anti-sodomy laws in 14 states. Ignoring your own personal views, how would you have ruled on this case?

Ugh, you throw another Kennedy Due Process case at me. I would have invalidated Lawrence under the Equal Protection Clause; the majority even mentions it and had the recent example of Romer v. Evans to follow up on. This would mean I would be joining Justice O'Conner in using a rational basis plus test; if there was no legitimate government interest (using SERIOUS analysis, not the hyper deference normal Rational Basis gets) for the Government's action in banning same-sex sodomy that isn't just attacking a protected class it should be overturned.
84  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Opinion of the dropouts: Bernie Sanders on: July 12, 2016, 12:13:01 pm
HP. Trump's populist opposite on the left and just as bad as he is.
85  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone IV - Hungover on: July 11, 2016, 10:01:43 am
So I spent the first half of my summer working as a summer associate at a law firm. Unfortunately, that had to end because my firm was only offering half summer jobs this year. So I'm up in Washington working for my Congressman's DC office again. I'll be spending most of my free time for a lobbying, government or even (fingers crossed!) a proper DC legal job. In the meantime though I've just finished moving in to my completely unfurnished apartment and set up an air mattress. Fun times ahead.
86  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Senate Confirmation Hearing: Dereich for Federal Supreme Court Justice on: July 10, 2016, 02:09:39 am
Sorry friends. I'm back and able to answer your questions.

- Overall, how would you describe your judicial philosophy?

In this context I believe being a textualist is the only right answer. The Constitution was written less than one year ago; its a much more specific document than that of the US and the intent of the drafters is pretty clear or at least discernible. As to broadness, I almost always favor minimalist rulings tailored to the specific circumstance. The Court is an unelected and secretive body; it should leave the crafting of rules and laws to the legislature or the People.

I also think I should address Senator Smith's post here. I very very firmly believe that the Court is not the Senate. The Court should be (or at least should aspire to be) an impartial arbiter of the law; court interpretation should be based on what the law was actually supposed to mean, not the whims of the individual justices. If an issue comes before the Court that is against my personal views but has good legal foundation I won't be standing against it.
- What is your view of the role of regional and federalism in our constitutional system? How will your view affect rulings concerning whether federal laws pre-empt regional laws or causes of action?

It's an interesting question, to be sure. Nearly my whole Atlasian carrier has been in the regions and I personally would prefer the regions to the federal government but from a judicial viewpoint I can't quite do that. Actually, looking through the regional thread in from the ConCon the answer would appear to be neither. Both the Senate and the Regions were "granted powers"; sovereignty clearly doesn't exclusively lie with either body. I suppose that leaves it with the voters; if there was no provision in the Constitution specifying whether regional or federal laws were pre-eminent I'd ask which law better reflected the popular will.

- Do you believe that courts should show compassion? Do you believe there is a difference between doing justice and applying the law?

The Court is essentially glorified a group unelected bureaucrats set up to interpret laws and rules established by people with a lot more popular legitimacy than the Court itself. I'd find myself very hesitant to overrule a law that was presumably made for a good reason. Unless the specific case was against the letter but not the spirit of the law I'd follow what was written. And yes, under this view sometimes justice wouldn't be done, but its not the role of the Court to cram its view of justice down the public's throat. A just society starts with just people and just laws; the Court is there to ensure the spirit of those laws is fulfilled.

- How important is the emphasis on precedent in Supreme Court decision-making? Under what circumstances would you vote to overturn a previous ruling by the Supreme Court?

Presumably previous court rulings were made for sound reasons with basis in common law, statute, and the Constitution. I would normally assume these reasons hold true and if they apply to the specific circumstance I'd stick with them. If those rulings were NOT made for those reasons or if the law (or to a very limited extent society) has changed, then the law should be reevaluated.

- Do you believe in term-limits for Supreme Court justices? If confirmed, will you self-impose a term limit on yourself?

No. Term limits for justices in my view solidifies both the impression and the reality of the Court being a political instead of a deliberative body. My "term limit" will be whenever I or the Senate decide that I am no longer able to adequately do my job.
87  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Anyone playing Pokemon Go on: July 08, 2016, 07:13:26 pm
Sure do; several of my friends play it and I'm at the pokespots for ingress anyway.
88  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Senate Confirmation Hearing: Dereich for Federal Supreme Court Justice on: July 06, 2016, 05:05:22 pm
I'm on vacation at the moment and my internet access isn't the greatest. I'll respond to Tmth and other questions that arise as thoroughly as possible as soon as I can.
89  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Should Hillary have been indicted? on: July 05, 2016, 03:11:29 pm
Undecided. I went with yes.

From the statement today was very clear that the FBI was sure Hillary was negligent. Gross negligence IS a higher standard, but not so much higher that their decision is understandable on that alone, especially because their own standard would be lower than that since they wouldn't actually be prosecuting the case. If this investigation had gone forward without the scrutiny of the presidential election, I expect they would have recommended indictment and left it to the AG to decide if they could successfully prosecute.

However, I also wouldn't like the idea of the FBI spitting in the face of the democratic process by throwing an indictment out there after the end of the primary voting; that would be an even bigger "fix" than no indictment. So I said yes, but I'm not really satisfied with it. They really should have either waited until the end of the election or rushed it before too much voting had occurred.
90  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: FBI Director Comey giving press confrence at 11am today on: July 05, 2016, 10:20:27 am
Geez, looking at his comments there is SO much red meat for republicans to work with. I can see the tweets now.

Seems pretty clear they thought she was negligent. However, the legal standard is GROSS negligence and her acts didn't constitute that.
91  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: FBI Director Comey giving press confrence at 11am today on: July 05, 2016, 10:15:12 am
92  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: FBI Director Comey giving press confrence at 11am today on: July 05, 2016, 10:13:44 am
No intentional misconduct according to Comey.

By her lawyers in deleting things. That didn't refer to Clinton herself.
93  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Hail, Columbia! (The Election of 1900) on: July 02, 2016, 12:57:37 pm
MacDonald supports a six hour workweek? I assume the next Socialist president will support the abolition of work.
94  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: The Sword of Damocles - (Sign Up/Rules/Commentary Thread) on: July 02, 2016, 12:47:48 am
Did I say today? I meant tomorrow. Because reasons.
95  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: The Sword of Damocles - (Sign Up/Rules/Commentary Thread) on: July 01, 2016, 11:19:35 am
I'll have mine in tonight as well.
96  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: FiveThirtyEight best case scenarios for both candidates on: June 30, 2016, 09:32:57 am
In before TN Volunteer flips his lid about New Hampshire.
97  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Senate Leadership Fund (GOP) Super PAC not putting money in IL or WI on: June 28, 2016, 12:42:59 pm
Probably waiting for the primary to become clearer in Florida. No point in spending millions on anti-Murphy ads if Grayson wins.
98  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: June 2016 Pacific Senate Election VOTING BOOTH on: June 26, 2016, 11:02:54 pm
1. JoMCaR
2. 1184AZ
3. WI: BenKenobi
4. WI: Seatown
99  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: June 2016 Federal Election on: June 26, 2016, 10:52:05 pm

[1] Leinad and Lumine
Federalist Party/Civic Renewal

[2] Harry Truman/Kalwejt
Labor Party

[3] Write-in: Seatown/BenKenobi

100  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Spanish elections and politics (General Election: June 26) on: June 26, 2016, 04:17:11 pm
It is hard to argue for Rajoy to go since this is the third election in a row where he led PP to be the largest party in terms of seats and votes.

In the most recent poll I could find, Rajoy's net approval rating was -44. He has presided over a large number of corruption scandals. He's even been declared persona non grata by his hometown legislature. No leader with an ounce of sense will ever agree to join him in government. C's, especially, would suffer with the voters who chose them as an alternative to PP and PSOE corruption and aren't willing to support PODEMOS radicalism.
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