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Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions

Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court DecisionsPlease enjoy the latest edition of Short Circuit, a weekly feature from the Institute for Justice. Recently the Eleventh Circuit upheld Florida’s system of allowing former felons to get back their right to vote, even though it makes it very hard for former felons to actually do that. Critics have rightfully decried the ruling, but, unfortunately, it’s based on decades of Supreme Court precedent that many of those same critics have likely endorsed. Director of IJ’s Center for Judicial Engagement Anthony Sanders tells us how supporting the extreme version of the rational basis test in some cases but not others is a bargain with Leviathan that you just can’t win. Click here to read. After Congress declined to appropriate funding to Build The Wall, the president moved some money around to build some of it anyway. House of Representatives: Can’t do that. D.C….

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lies In State At The U.S. Capitol

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lies In State At The U.S. CapitolJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. Both parties are preparing for President Trump to name a nominee to fill her vacancy at the Supreme Court. ….. Read More.NPR – Politics | Politics & GovernmentFri, September 25, 20202 hours ago

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What the Supreme Court Fight Means for the Senate Majority

What the Supreme Court Fight Means for the Senate MajorityThe struggle over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement on the Supreme Court could help propel Democrats to the brink of a Senate majority in November’s election. But whether it lifts them over that threshold could turn on the terms of the confirmation fight. Given the nature of the states that will decide Senate control, the Democrats’ path to a majority may be much easier if they can keep the debate centered on economic issues—particularly the survival of the Affordable Care Act—rather than social issues, especially abortion.The reason: The confirmation fight is likely to further weaken the position of endangered Republican senators in Colorado, Maine, and Arizona—states where polls show a solid majority of voters support legal abortion. But even if Democrats flip all three, they will still likely need to win one more seat to take the majority. And in the next…

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Senate Republicans’ Last Chance to Stand Up to Trump

Senate Republicans’ Last Chance to Stand Up to TrumpNearly every reporter in Washington has experienced it: A Republican member of Congress says, “Off the record,” shifts into a quieter voice, and expresses how much he or she doesn’t like President Donald Trump. Soon after, you watch this same elected official speak up in favor of the president—or, more often, avoid saying anything meaningful at all. Sometimes it concerns the same issue that they were complaining about to you in private. Sometimes within the same day. Sometimes within the same hour.The battle to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death is a pivotal moment for these whispering Republicans in the Senate.The prospect of a conservative-heavy Court persuaded many Trump-wary conservatives to support him in 2016. This election, Ginsburg’s death will likely energize Biden-wary Democrats—millions of dollars have been raised online since news of her death broke last…

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The invisible labor of content moderation

The invisible labor of content moderationHave you ever taken a look at Facebook’s content policies? Or Twitter’s? Probably not — they’re decently hard to find, and most social media platforms don’t necessarily go out of their way to advertise their moderation policies. But this silence around moderation illuminates a fascinating dichotomy: moderation is the actual commodity of any social computing system. It classifies the kinds of content allowed on a given platform, and it has downstream influences on how people use the platform to interact. Moderation shapes social norms, public discourse, and cultural production — so why does it receive so little scrutiny?The benefits of social media platforms are obvious. They foster connection, community, and opportunity — Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy even went so far to call these sites the “modern public square.” But alongside this value, the perils of social computing platforms are apparent and painfully underdiscussed. We’re…

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No Other Western Democracy Allows This

No Other Western Democracy Allows ThisWhen the Framers of the Constitution debated the document’s careful system of checks and balances, they confronted a question that would only become more important over time: Should there be a mandatory retirement age for federal judges?Alexander Hamilton argued against one. Writing in The Federalist Papers, he dismissed “the imaginary danger of a superannuated bench.” Hamilton won out, and the Constitution placed no term limits on the service of federal judges, including the men and (much later) women who would make up the Supreme Court.More than two centuries later, the United States stands alone in its handling of lifetime appointments to its highest court, and the drawbacks of a “superannuated bench” have become ever more clear. Last Friday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the third member of the Supreme Court to die in office in the past 15 years. Her death injects a partisan fight…

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