Over half of Americans in new poll say Supreme Court should uphold Roe v. Wade
The Washington Post-ABC poll found Republicans are almost evenly split on whether the US Supreme Court should overturn the landmark abortion ruling.The poll, conducted Nov. 7-10, found 60% of Americans believe Roe should be upheld, versus 27% who believe the high court should overturn that landmark decision.
Ketanji Brown Jackson, seen by Democrats as a top contender for a future Supreme Court vacancy, is one of three judges assigned the weighty task of reviewing former President Trump's bid to block a congressional subpoena for records related to the Jan. 6 attack. © Getty Images Potential Biden Supreme Court pick joins fray over Trump Jan. 6 subpoena
For Jackson, who has served on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals just six months, her vote in the potentially landmark constitutional case would likely figure as the most distinguishing feature of her judicial record if she ultimately runs the gauntlet of a polarized Supreme Court confirmation process.
Mike Pence joins conservative groups in jumping into abortion debate at Supreme Court
Mike Pence’s group is one of dozens filing briefs in the most significant abortion case to come become before the Supreme Court in decades.Pence’s group, Advancing American Freedom, is one of dozens of anti-abortion organizations to file briefs in recent days supporting Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Nearly 230 GOP lawmakers also filed a brief Thursday, calling on the high court to release Roe's "vise grip on abortion politics.
"Judge Jackson's role in the executive privilege fight will no doubt play a prominent spot in a nomination hearing if, as anticipated, she is ultimately selected as the next nominee for the Supreme Court by President Biden," said Bradley Moss, a national security law expert and partner in the Law Office of Mark S. Zaid.
Jackson is widely considered a leading prospect to replace Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, should he choose to retire during Biden's presidency. On the 2020 campaign trail, Biden vowed to nominate the first Black female Supreme Court justice, and many court watchers see Jackson, a former Breyer clerk, as a fitting successor to the court's oldest justice.
If Jackson, 51, were ultimately seated on the Supreme Court, she would be the youngest member of the minority three-justice liberal wing, along with Justices Sonia Sotomayor, 67, and Elena Kagan, 61.
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Not a great showing for the highest court in the land.This shouldn’t be difficult. A court that controls its own docket and assigns its own opinions has almost complete control of the public narrative about its own work product. The problem is perhaps precisely that—in response to September’s terrible number, many of the six justices in the conservative supermajority made different choices about how to manage that conversation and those optics.
Court watchers who spoke to The Hill said the battle lines over her potential nomination would likely reflect her handling of the clash over Trump administration records.
The upcoming dispute that will be heard by Jackson and two other appellate judges is freighted with political significance: The first-of-its-kind court fight pits congressional Jan. 6 investigators against Trump, a former president and de facto leader of the Republican Party, and could create a key precedent for delineating the political branches of government.
The dispute arose from a subpoena, issued by the House select committee probing the attack on the Capitol, for records related to Trump's time in office, including telephone records and visitor logs.
Earlier this month, Trump's bid to block the request was rebuffed by a federal judge in Washington, D.C. Among the former president's arguments was a claim of executive privilege over the records - an assertion that was seriously weakened by President Biden's refusal to endorse it.
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The panel investigating the Capitol riot is still pushing for cooperation from Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino and Kash Patel.Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and longtime Trump social media manager Dan Scavino, the first Trump White House officials subpoenaed by the House’s Jan. 6 investigators, have yet to provide documents or testimony to investigators. The committee’s protracted, ongoing negotiations with both men have yet to yield breakthroughs. In Meadows’ case, it’s led to yet another threat of criminal contempt charges.
Trump promptly appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. His case, Trump v. Thompson, was then randomly assigned to Jackson and two other Democrat-appointed judges, Patricia Millett and Robert Wilkins.
The case, which the court will hear Tuesday, has enormous implications both legally and politically.
"If the courts allow Trump to undermine that investigation, they will have sharply curtailed congressional authority to investigate an effort to thwart one of the most important functions in our constitutional system, and, in that way, they will have effectively put the presidency above and outside the Constitution itself," said Steven D. Schwinn, a professor at the University of Illinois Chicago Law School.
It's not the first time Jackson has been handed a stick of political dynamite.
As a federal district judge in Washington, D.C., she presided over a dispute concerning a congressional subpoena to compel the testimony of Trump's former White House counsel Don McGahn.
In what was the most consequential opinion of her career up to that point, then-U.S. District Judge Jackson sided with the Democratic-led House committee pursuing McGahn, ruling that Trump could not bar his testimony on the basis of absolute testimonial immunity.
Russian court to rule on shutting down renowned rights group
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's Supreme Court is hearing a petition Thursday to shut down one of the country’s oldest and most prominent human rights group, a move that elicited public outrage and is part of a months-long crackdown on activists, independent media and opposition supporters. The Prosecutor General’s Office earlier this month petitioned the Supreme Court to revoke the legal status of Memorial — an international human rights group that rose to prominence for its studies of political repressions in the Soviet Union. The move sparked much public outrage and is part of a months-long crackdown on dissent.
In a blistering 120-page ruling that rejected Trump's claim, Jackson held that McGahn must cooperate with congressional investigators who were looking into whether Trump had obstructed justice by pressuring McGahn to fire special counsel Robert Mueller as he probed Russian interference in the 2016 election.
"Stated simply, the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings," Jackson wrote in her November 2019 ruling in a circuitous case that would eventually lead to McGahn testifying last June.
But while the two biggest cases of her judicial career share some similarities, the Jan. 6 subpoena is far weightier, legal experts said.
"Trump's sweeping claims in both cases - as to executive privilege and congressional authority to investigate - threaten to fundamentally reshape the balance of powers between the White House and Congress, and threaten core tenants of our constitutional system," Schwinn said. "Although the McGahn case was - and is - quite significant, the case involving congressional efforts to investigate the January 6 insurrection overshadow it."
During her confirmation hearings to the D.C. Circuit last spring, Jackson faced a grilling from Senate Republicans, some of whom trained their fire on her decision in the McGahn case. The Trump case could play an even bigger role if she eventually faces a Supreme Court nomination.
Court watchers who spoke to The Hill emphasized that Jackson has a reputation as a fair, balanced and serious judge, and that the case's political dimensions would not sway her one way or the other.
Still, if Jackson votes against Trump in the pending case, they said, it's a near certainty that Republicans would use it against her if she is eventually tapped for the High Court.
"The chance is 100 percent that Republicans will use her vote against her," said Mark Tushnet, a law professor at Harvard. "The only interesting question is how they would spin a vote for Trump against her - probably to say that it shows that she casts her votes with an eye to how it's going to benefit her."
Biden's Supreme Court commission submits report on reforms .
Mr. Biden's commission on the Supreme Court held six meetings, heard testimony from 44 witnesses and received more than 7,000 public comments.The 34-member commission released its report Monday evening, which stopped short of recommending structural changes to the Supreme Court. Instead, the panel laid out in detail the arguments in favor of and against growing the court's membership and instituting term limits for justices, as well as the possible vehicles for implementing the reforms.