Tag Archives: precedent

McConnell Rejects Schumer’s Opening Offer on Impeachment Trial, Claims It Would Set ‘Nightmarish Precedent’

McConnell Rejects Schumer’s Opening Offer on Impeachment Trial, Claims It Would Set ‘Nightmarish Precedent’Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected on Tuesday Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's suggestion that the Senate agree to call certain witnesses as part of their resolution detailing the parameters of the impending impeachment trial.Schumer released his suggestion to the press before sending it to McConnell."It is not the Senate’s job to leap into the breach and search desperately for ways to get to ‘guilty,’" McConnell said. The Majority Leader said Schumer's proposal would set a "nightmarish precedent" for future impeachment trials."The Senate is meant to act as judge and jury, to hear a trial, not to re-run the entire fact-finding investigation because angry partisans rushed sloppily through it,” McConnell continued.The House is expected to vote this week on two articles of impeachment against President Trump, for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. With a solid majority of Democrats planning to approve both articles,  the impeachment process will most likely continue to the Senate, where McConnell and Schumer must agree on the parameters of an impeachment trial.McConnell faces pressure from both Republicans and Democrats to call certain witnesses the House either did not call or was not able to bring to testify. Republicans want to hear from Hunter Biden and Rudy Giuliani, while Democrats want to call on White House acting chief-of-staff Mick Mulvaney, whose appearance at House hearings the Democrats were unable to compel.For his part, McConnell slammed the incoming articles of impeachment as "the thinnest, least thorough presidential impeachment in our nation's history."



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Schiff to handle impeachment witness testimony in break from precedent

Schiff to handle impeachment witness testimony in break from precedentUnder past precedent in 1974 and 1998 — the last two times the House conducted an impeachment inquiry — the House Judiciary Committee was the hub for investigations, hearings, and a committee vote on articles of impeachment.



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Supreme Court’s Conservative Justices Weigh Scrapping Another Precedent

Supreme Court’s Conservative Justices Weigh Scrapping Another Precedent(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority may be ready to overturn a longstanding precedent for the third time in recent weeks — perhaps foreshadowing the vulnerability of its rulings on abortion rights.The justices will rule as early as Wednesday on a business-backed bid to overturn decades-old decisions that give federal agencies broad power to say what their regulations mean.The case is one of eight rulings due before the justices’ term ends this week. The court also plans to rule on gerrymandered voting maps and the Trump administration’s bid to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.Another precedent-toppling ruling would extend a pattern that already has liberal justices sounding alarms. They’ve hinted that the five conservative justices may be eyeing the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion nationwide.“Today’s decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the court will overrule next,” dissenting Justice Stephen Breyer wrote last month when the court overruled a 1979 precedent to say that states are immune from private suits in another state’s courts.“Well, that didn’t take long,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote 39 days later when the court overturned part of a 1985 ruling and said people could go directly to federal court to claim that a government regulation unconstitutionally took private property without compensation. “Now one may wonder yet again.”Both of those were 5-4 decisions, with Chief Justice John Roberts and the other Republican appointees — Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — in the majority.Ducking AbortionSo far, the court has largely sidestepped the explosive topic of abortion. In May, the court turned away Indiana’s bid to bar abortions based on a fetus’s race or gender or a risk of genetic disorder — an appeal that could have raised new doubts about Roe. The justices did uphold a separate Indiana law requiring clinics to bury or cremate fetal remains.The court could provide new signals about its intentions on abortion this week. The justices are due to say whether they’ll consider Alabama’s effort to ban the most common method used for women in their second trimester of pregnancy.The court under Roberts has actually overturned precedents at a slower rate than previous courts, says Jonathan Adler, a constitutional law professor at Case Western Reserve School of Law. Before this term started, the Roberts court had issued only 13 rulings that overturned a precedent, according to data from the Government Printing Office, he says.But Roberts, who took his seat in 2005, has never had a conservative majority as reliable as the one he got when the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh to succeed the retired Anthony Kennedy.“It is certainly possible either that the court may become more aggressive going forward or that the cases in which the court reconsiders precedents will have a greater ideological uniformity,” Adler said.Adler is among those urging the court to overturn a 1997 ruling, Auer v. Robbins, that requires judges to defer to a federal agency’s interpretation of its own regulations, as long as its approach is reasonable.Business groups say that ruling, along with a related 1945 decision, leads to onerous and unpredictable rules and leaves companies vulnerable to penalties when an agency shifts its thinking. Defenders of the rulings say they give agencies flexibility to account for changing circumstances.Religion and GerrymandersThe regulation, property-rights and sovereign-immunity cases are among the four appeals this term that squarely asked the justices to topple at least one precedent.The fourth one split the court in an unusual way last week. The court had been asked to overturn a rule that lets states and the federal government file separate criminal charges over the same conduct without violating the Constitution’s ban on double jeopardy.The court refused on a 7-2 vote, reaffirming precedents dating to the middle of the 19th century. Alito’s majority opinion said the case for keeping precedents “grows in proportion to their antiquity.” An unlikely pair of justices — Gorsuch and liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg — dissented.Three other cases have raised questions about precedents, though less directly. In backing hunting rights in Wyoming for the Crow Indian Tribe, a majority that included the four liberals and Gorsuch said an 1896 ruling had previously been “repudiated.”In ruling last week that a 40-foot cross could remain in a Maryland public intersection as a war memorial, a majority of justices criticized, without overruling, a 1971 decision that set up a three-part test for assessing whether government support for religion goes too far.And the gerrymandering cases could topple a 1986 ruling that said voting maps could be challenged as too partisan, though the justices in that case couldn’t agree on a standard for doing so. Paul Clement, the lawyer defending a Republican-drawn North Carolina congressional map, told Roberts during arguments in March that the court might need to overturn that ruling.‘Jolt to the System’At the center of it all is Roberts, who said in his 2005 Senate confirmation hearing that overruling a precedent is a “jolt to the legal system.” He has tended to take a multi-step approach toward questioning a precedent, signaling concern in a preliminary case before voting to overturn it altogether.“His favorite methodology seems to be to essentially chip away at cases in various steps so that the day that the case is actually overruled it’s really not even news, it’s been coming for a couple of years,” Clement said last month at a symposium co-hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation and Bradley Foundation.Writing the majority opinion in the property-rights case last week, Roberts said the 1985 Williamson County v. Hamilton Bank ruling relied on “exceptionally ill-founded reasoning,” had been repeatedly criticized by justices over the years and had proven “unworkable in practice.”It’s still too early to judge how Roberts will act toward precedents now that he has a stronger conservative majority, Adler said.“Like a lot of people I’m curious if the chief is going to become more aggressive, but I’m not willing to say that we can be sure of that yet,” said Adler.To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Conservative U.S. justices draw criticism by overruling precedent again

Conservative U.S. justices draw criticism by overruling precedent againFor the second time in six weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority on Friday overruled a decades-old legal precedent set by the court, this time involving property rights, raising alarm bells among its liberal members. The ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, overruled a 1985 Supreme Court decision that had forced property owners facing a government-led takeover of land for public purposes to seek compensation under state law before bringing a claim in federal court. The ruling comes amid rising concern among abortion rights advocates and Democratic politicians over whether the court may overrule Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.



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Trump emergency sets precedent Republicans will regret

Trump emergency sets precedent Republicans will regretImagine future Democratic presidents declaring national emergencies to address gun violence, immigration, climate change, health care: Our view



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Immigration rulings raise questions about Kavanaugh's commitment to precedent

Immigration rulings raise questions about Kavanaugh's commitment to precedentBrett Kavanaugh has said repeatedly that he respects “precedent," but some Democrats are wary of what they suspect is his willingness to disregard past opinions.



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Kavanaugh's leaked emails seem to contradict testimony on abortion precedent

Kavanaugh's leaked emails seem to contradict testimony on abortion precedentEmails leaked to the New York Times appear to show the nominee's view that Roe v. Wade could be undone.



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Brett Kavanaugh's Record Sets A Dangerous Precedent On Endangered Species

Brett Kavanaugh's Record Sets A Dangerous Precedent On Endangered SpeciesIf Judge Brett Kavanaugh becomes Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, activists



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China's arrest of Swedish bookseller could set dangerous precedent: Germany

China's arrest of Swedish bookseller could set dangerous precedent: GermanyChina’s detention of Swedish book publisher Gui Minhai while he was being accompanied by Swedish diplomats could set a dangerous precedent for other EU citizens, Germany’s ambassador to China said Tuesday. Michael Clauss said all European countries with diplomatic representation in Beijing were concerned about China’s actions, and “stood behind Sweden” in its efforts to secure Gui’s release and in condemning his arrest. “That China’s authorities treat an EU citizen this way is without precedence.



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