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News - April 8, 2022

News Digest

Cordell: Supreme Court looks 'more like America'

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Comments

Posted by Citizen
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 7, 2022 at 5:20 pm

Citizen is a registered user.

KBJ is one of the most radical, left-wing supreme Court nominees ever. [Portion removed.]


Posted by Kevin
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Apr 7, 2022 at 5:36 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

Great to see!


Posted by vmshadle
a resident of Meadow Park
on Apr 7, 2022 at 6:53 pm

vmshadle is a registered user.

Judge Cordell is right. The way that posturing right-wing Republican Senators treated Soon-To-Be Associate Justice Jackson during the hearings was appalling.

Senators Cotton, Cruz, and Hawley, having made it clear that they have higher offices in mind, led the overtly racist and sexist Republican charge to paint her as incompetent and soft on crime.

Since Judge Jackson is the most thoroughly qualified and experienced nominee in decades, their performative pandering failed. Fortunately, Republican Senators Collins, Murkowski, and Romney voted for confirmation whilst condemning their race-baiting and sexist colleagues' unprofessional behavior.

I am deeply ashamed of the crass display of partisanship demonstrated in the final vote.

As Joseph N. Welch so famously said to Senator Joseph McCarthy on June 9, 1954 during the Army-McCarthy Hearings, "Let us not assassinate this lad [Attorney Fred Fisher] further, Senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Then, as now, these particular Republicans have no sense of decency at all.


Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 7, 2022 at 7:47 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

"look more and more like America": Let's fact-check the math:

Before this, the Supreme Court had one Justice who was -and is- Black: Clarence Thomas. One out of nine Justices is 11.1%. From the 2020 Census, Blacks are 13.4% of the US population, that is, underrepresented by 17.2%. After Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation, 2 Justices out of 9 is 22.2%, that is, 65.7% over-representation. Isn't that being less representative??
If the demographic at issue is Black females, their representation jumped from 0 to 1. If Black females are half the Black population, that demographic is 6.7%, which corresponds to a 65.7% over-representation.

On another demographic: Religious background can substantially influence how you think about issues and (hopefully) your values. Since 2010 -- when John Paul Stevens resigned -- all members of the Supreme Court have been Roman Catholics or of Jewish ancestry, although Neil Gorsuch is a question mark. He was raised Catholic but adopted his wife's denomination (Protestant Episcopal). Brown Jackson's profile says she grew up Baptist, so this is an improvement in the religious diversity of the Court, but not one you can see -- it doesn't help with "looks more like America".

Education background is an important influence, but again, not one you would see in a photo. The Court is currently divided 4/4 between Harvard and Yale Law Schools, with Brown Jackson replacing another Harvard Law (Steven Breyer). The exception is Amy Coney Barrett from Notre Dame Law School. To many, including me, this is a dangerous lack of diversity and especially a dangerous variant on "the old boys' network".

One of the biggest divisions between groups in the US is between those who treat "race" as the primary/predominant feature defining people and those who reject that belief. The former is unmistakable when I listen to or read them. But when I ask direct questions, they will deny that is what they meant (before returning to their advocacy).


Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 7, 2022 at 8:15 pm

What Will They Do Next is a registered user.

How did Judge Cordell feel about the "appalling" treatment received by Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett by Democrats during their nomination hearings? Would she care to comment on that?


Posted by Citizen
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 7, 2022 at 8:40 pm

Citizen is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 7, 2022 at 8:48 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

How dare the US public expect Supreme Court justices to be experienced, balanced and qualified -- unlike Kavanaugh and Barrett who were chosen strictly to push Trump's extremist anti-democratic agenda. Shameful indeed.

Poor, poor M. Kavanaugh. Has Dr. Christine Blasey Ford come out of hiding yet after the many years of death threats from his thuggish supporters. How dare a woman accuse a someone with a history of drunkenly assaulting women. The shame of it.

Why, it's almost like Anita Hill and Justice Thomas's hair on the coke can. How dare she object?

Speaking of Hill, here's her piece on the disgusting conduct during the hearings in today's Washington Post. Web Link


Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 7, 2022 at 9:02 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

@vmshadle: Demonizing those who disagree with you without any indication that you have even heard their arguments, much less tried to understand them before commenting is disqualifying.

For others: Two of the points that came across to me:
1. In a written question -- from Senator Cruz -- she was asked whether she supported natural rights and she replied that she had no position on it. Natural rights are key in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. KBJ's response indicates that she believes the Bill of Rights is optional and can be ignored whenever the government finds them inconvenient. The Canadian Charter of Rights gave their government the ability to suspend them and assumed the government would act responsibly. How naive, as demonstrated during the Freedom Convoy (truckers' protest against COVID mandates).
For this alone, I would have rejected her.

2. During the many questions about the 2013 sentencing of Wesley Hawkins to 3 months for child pornography, KBJ testified that the law had been written before the existence of the Internet and that her sentencing was intended to rectify that omission. While the law was *originally* written in the 1980s, it had been updated 9 times with the most recent in 2009 and it included computers and computer networks. See U.S. Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 110, Section 2252A - "Certain activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography". When Senator Durban (D-IL) claimed that the Internet was roughly a decade old, she agreed with him. Double Yikes!!
- Was she ignorant of the law under which she sentenced Hawkins? Or was she being deceptive under oath?
- While I am not surprised that none of the Senators caught this -- most are fossils unfamiliar with "new-fangled" tech. Could someone so isolated from the world in which we live serve effectively?? Rather I believe that she was again being deceptive, which is far, far worse.


Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 7, 2022 at 9:21 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

@Online Name of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland

For those who don't remember the Kavanaugh hearings:
- Blasey Ford testified falsely under oath claiming that the alleged events left her afraid of confined spaces.
** She claimed that she was afraid to fly in airplanes but it was shown that she routinely flew.
** She claimed that she was afraid to be in rooms that didn't have two exits and she added an outside door to a room in her house. Testimony was that that door was installed to allow that room to be used as an office for her consulting practice.

- People who came forward to support her claims were quickly determined to be untruthful, even though the corporate media would do at least one special trumpeting those debunked claims (ABC??).

- Many of the people at the scene of the alleged events could not support her claims.

- Last I remember, there was no testimony that could put Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford in the same house at the same time.

- Blasey Ford's accounts of the events underwent such extensive and substantive changes that I couldn't give them any credibility.


Posted by felix
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2022 at 7:17 am

felix is a registered user.

Wow. How soon we forget our history. Thurgood Marshall, the great civil rights attorney, was the first black man to serve on the US Supreme Court. He was a giant on the Court.

Previous appointments of Brandies, then later, O'Connor, and Sotomayor expanded representation on the Court. Some Republican, some Deomocrates. We still have a ways to go to move beyond white men.

When people say, as they are about to do here, that expanded inclusion on the Court isn't needed to attain justice, they simply state the very need for such inclusion. They can't grasp the experience that many Americans have of suffering injustice by being unrepresented on the Court and affected by its decisions.


Posted by felix
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2022 at 7:26 am

felix is a registered user.

One other thing -
Did any of you see yesterday's lenghty Judy Woodruuf interview with LaDoris Cordell on the PBS Newshour? Cordell put the appointment of Jackson-Brown in historical context through the questions Woodruff asked. It is well worth listening to.

Web Link


Posted by Jessica Zhao
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 8, 2022 at 8:58 am

Jessica Zhao is a registered user.

Congratulations on this momentous appointment. Judge Brown is highly qualified to serve as a Supreme Court Justice.

We now have three liberal justices (all female) and representative of Jewish, Hispanic, and African American backgrounds.

The next step will be to appoint an Asian American Supreme Court Justice (preferably Chinese) who will preserve and protect the civil rights of all American citizens.

The Republican-appointed justices (with the possible exception of Chief Justice John Roberts) cannot be counted on to preserve Roe vs Wade, protect LGBTQ and state voting rights, along with the teaching of Critical Race Theory in our public schools.

And one justice cannot be relied upon to provide fair and impartial judicial review of those responsible for instigating the January 6th insurrection.


Posted by Jules Bach
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2022 at 9:50 am

Jules Bach is a registered user.

• Thurgood Marshall, the great civil rights attorney, was the first black man to serve on the US Supreme Court. He was a giant on the Court.

So is Clarence Thomas from the standpoint that he can be counted on for an originalist interpretation of the Constitution.

The concept of a 'living Constitution' enables too many liberal judicial decisions that detract from the basic visions of our founders and state's rights must be preserved as the United States is not a centralized form of government.


Posted by John Donegan
a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2022 at 9:53 am

John Donegan is a registered user.

The claim that the Republicans who voted against confirmation are "racist" is ridiculous. Like the Democrats who all voted against Trump's nominees, it was simply politics - were all the Democrats racially biased against white people or who voted against Barrett "misogynist"? SCOTUS is unfortunately political because it has been used to implement policy which voters are unwilling to approve. Jackson is clearly qualified, but there were legitimate political reasons to oppose her.


Posted by Barry Winslow
a resident of University South
on Apr 9, 2022 at 11:12 am

Barry Winslow is a registered user.

"So is Clarence Thomas from the standpoint that he can be counted on for an originalist interpretation of the Constitution."

Originalist or not, Clarence Thomas should recuse himself from the January 6th hearings because of the undue influence of his wife Ginni Thomas, a QAnon advocate and MAGA supporter.

He was the the only one by way of a 8-1 SCOTUS ruling that Trump and his associates are legally responsible for their insurrectionist activities.

Clarence Thomas should resign from the SCOTUS.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 9, 2022 at 11:14 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Too bad the Republicans' mothers didn't teach them manners and that only one of them stayed in the Senate Chambers. That's the way to teach the children they claim to be so concerned about -- when they're not screeching and screaming during their "opponents" speeches.


Posted by Hinrich
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 9, 2022 at 12:37 pm

Hinrich is a registered user.

What does “.. looking more like America” look like? If we are moving FROM the smartest and wisest people whose job it is to ensure law follows the Constitution TO the correct skin color mix that’s a scary change. That says that the value of a person is determined by their skin color. Or, is it saying more. Is it saying we need to improve the color mix AND make sure that a black or an Asian perspective is in the room? What is a black perspective if the whole objective is NOT separate and ALL equal? Obviously NO color mix is ever going to be precise - if we include an Asian are ALL Asians the same, any one of them can hold the Asian seat. We are off in pursuit of all of the equity, inclusion,diversity, etc objective of our current activism but where is this going? Do we really want a court populated with 12% black quota, 1.9% trans quota (to ensure that this important group is represented), Latinx or Mexican - which one? A lot of people and very specialized organizations are pushing hard to drive these new identities and color mixes - sadly. We want the very smartest, wisest, and capable people of character on the bench - not simply ethnic or gender symbols. We allow overwhelmingly disproportionate black players in the NBA because it’s a game of the best players not a game about skin color. Same is true for all of our other institutions. The argument that blacks or women or Catholics are OWED compensatory representation is just fashion - and a bad direction for our country.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2022 at 1:11 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

I have no particular opinion on this other than she was picked because of her color and gender. The aim was to have a black woman and that is why she was chosen. Maybe the next candidate should also be chosen for their gender and skin color too. Abilities are no longer relevant.


Posted by staying home
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 11, 2022 at 11:55 am

staying home is a registered user.

Applying diversity percentages to the nine members of the Supreme Court is dumb. 1 justice is ~11% of the court. Your numbers will never match up to the distribution of the population. Few of those who opposed KBJ did so on her qualifications, their opposition was based on their own political agenda. For example, does the constitution define "woman"? (answer: No). You can be both qualified and diverse.


Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 12, 2022 at 5:58 pm

ndn is a registered user.

Doug Moran's math (specially statistics) seems to need improving a bit. There are now 6 men and 3 women on the Supreme Court. How does represent the human composition of the US? With the appointment of Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson there will be 5 men and 4 women who will make decisions for all of us. Historically men and only men have served in the Court before the appointment of Sandra Day-O'Connor. Historically only one black man at a time served and only after 1967. We need justices whose experience reflects the experience of
many unheard Americans.
I can well understand the reservation of Justice Brown Jackson (and by the way many other Justices both Republican and Democrat) in sentencing some people for crimes defined by single instances when in reality there was only one instance producing many results and whose commission maybe not even controllable. One has to be FAIR. It bestows upon the Congress not for a judge to change the law to reflect the advent of the internet. Curiously, had the judge (KBJ) applied a different criteria than the law specifies she would be accused of making law for the bench but because she applied the law as required she was accused of precisely that. If those accusations are not inescapable bias I know what it is!
I am by nature a conservative person and watching the vulgarity, lack of the most basic manners, uncivil behavior of GOP members of Congress that's what did it for me: Judge KBJ impeccable manner and judicious answers made me not hesitant at all to say " we need this woman in the Supreme Court"


Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2022 at 4:34 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

The Supreme Court is not supposed to "look more and more like America". That is politically correct madness by both political extremes. The Supreme Court is supposed to be nine of the very best-of-the-best impartial scholars/lawyers/judges in the USA regardless of race, sex, and creed. And that is a VERY tiny and extraordinarily exclusive group of Legal Elites who transcend the US population statistics. Average Americans are NOT elite. They are very average and ordinary by definition. We need the very best minds on the Court, and not just average Joe and Jane Schmos.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2022 at 8:49 am

Bystander is a registered user.

William Hitchens. Hear Hear


Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 17, 2022 at 2:21 pm

ndn is a registered user.

KBJ is considered to be one of the very best jurists in the US and with a honesty and judicial temperament to fit. So said so many of her peers including many republicans and ultimately the Senate.

There isn't a jurist that's better than all others. That is why presidents can nominate and with the advice and consent of the Senate have a nominee approved. Amongst the many that could be nominated the President (be it a Republican or Democrat) chooses whoever he wants. It has always been like that (it's in the Constitution) and it's not about to change.
The Constitution reflects the values of the people, for the people and by the people, all of us different people-the diversity of us.
Judge K. Brown Jackson was a nominee that in the words of others(including prominent Republics "Ketanji's intellect, her character, and her integrity, is unequivocal" . Her unique experience as a human being adds to her role.

Those who expect a human of any kind to be identified as "the best" maybe ripe for a dictatorship.
But I prefer it the way it is, if we can keep it that way ....


Posted by Hinrich
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 17, 2022 at 6:11 pm

Hinrich is a registered user.

William Hitchens. Hear Hear


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