Monday was the first Monday in October.
Some grow-up waiting for opening day in baseball. Others spend their childhood waiting for the autumnal smells and sounds and the cooler weather that signals the start of football season.
For legal beagles like our fellow federal blogger, it was the first Monday in October that heralded the start of the new Supreme Court season that was circled on his calendar. While friends traded Baseball cards, he read the NLRB opinions of Douglas and Fortas.
This season started, unlike last year, with a full contingent of Supreme Court Justices. You will remember that the court operated for some time with eight justices, because of the "McConnell Law" which states "No justice shall be confirmed if nominated by a democratic president beyond thirty days in office of the new president's first term"- the reason behind the law being that after 30 days in office, it's better to wait four or eight years so the will of the people in a new presidential election can determine who can serve on the court.
Did you know? That when Chief Justice Fred Vinson died, President Eisenhower, made a "recess appointment" of new Chief Justice Earl Warren in September, 1953? Warren served on the court as the term began in October, and then was confirmed by the Senate in January, 1954.
Did you also know that Warren, governor of California, was Dewey's running mate against Truman in 1948?
Did you also know that at the Republican Convention in 1952, Warren was California's favourite son, and was angling for the Vice President's spot on the ticket with Ike, before Nixon- the senator from California outmaneuvered him? Warren never forgave Nixon, and in 1952 privately and presciently called him "a crook and a thief"?
This year's first day of the new term saw the re-argument of Sessions v. Dimaya, which was argued last year and resulted in a 4-4 decision. The case involves the question of what is a violent felony that requires the deportation of an immigrant?
Dimaya was convicted of a residential burglary. "Out you go!" said the Department of Homeland Deportations.
But citing a Scalia opinion in a similar case where the late Justice held that the Armed Career Criminal Act was void for vagueness, Dimaya challenged the law.
All eyes were on the new kid on the bench. Justice Gorsuch seemed skeptical of the Government's case. Judge G felt the law, which set up "categories" of crimes, rather than using specific lists, forced judges to do the work of legislators.
And we all know that there is no better way to anger the Federalist Society, which oversees all opinions of the Supreme Court, than to say "a judge is legislating"!
From Occupied and bullet-ridden America, Fight the Power!
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