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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court

Supreme Court justices clash over major school-choice case

The Supreme Court appeared closely split during oral arguments Wednesday in a case with potentially major implications for the school choice movement, as the justices — including Chief Justice John Roberts, who presided over President Trump’s impeachment trial the previous night until 2 a.m. — sparred with the lawyers and each other.

The case, Montana Department of Revenue v. Espinoza, centers around a tax-credit scholarship program passed in May 2015 that gave Montanans up to a $150 credit for donating to private scholarship organizations, helping students pay for their choice of private schools. The state’s revenue department made a rule banning those tax-credit scholarships from going to religious schools before the state’s supreme court later struck down the entire law.

SUPREME COURT TO HEAR CASE THAT COULD BRING MAJOR CHANGES IN SCHOOL CHOICE LAWS

“I feel that we’re being excluded simply because we are people of religious background, or because our children want to go to a religious school,” Kendra Espinoza, a mother who sends her children to a religious school and is the lead plaintiff in the case, said after the arguments. “We’re here to stand up for our rights as people of faith to have the same opportunities that a secular schoolchild would have.”

Montana’s program was similar to many across the U.S., and other states have proposed tax-credit scholarship programs but not passed them due to confusion about their legality. In this case, the Montana Department of Revenue said providing tax credits for donations that later help pay tuition at private schools amounts to indirect funding of religious education by the state, in violation of the “no-aid clause” – also known as a Blaine Amendment.

If the justices were to reverse Montana’s decision, it could open the door to more scholarship and voucher programs across the U.S., following the high court’s recent trend of expanding religious liberty.

At the Supreme Court Wednesday, Espinoza’s lawyers — a team from the libertarian Institute for Justice — argued the program was voided simply because it afforded a religious option, and the U.S. Supreme Court should restore what the Montana legislature passed.

That point caused some disagreement among the justices, as Justice Elena Kagan argued the result of the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling — that neither secular nor religious private schools were receiving government money — meant there was no need for the Supreme Court to step in. Justice Samuel Alito disagreed, citing case law that a decision made with unconstitutional motives was necessarily invalid, even if the concrete actions taken by the government were not necessarily illegal.

“As a result of this challenge, what has happened is that neither the parents who want to send their children to religious schools nor the parents who want to send their children to secular schools get what they would like to get,” Kagan said, challenging Espinoza’s lawyer. “So they’re both being treated the same way.”

Westlake Legal Group Kendra-Espinoza Supreme Court justices clash over major school-choice case Tyler Olson fox-news/us/religion fox-news/us/education fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc article 246b39b8-8c6f-587b-ba0f-209deeec0660

Kendra Espinoza and her daughters. Espinoza is a plaintiff in a school choice case that’s made its way to the Supreme Courts. (Institute for Justice)

STEVE DAINES’ PRO-SECOND AMENDMENT BILL AIMS TO PROTECT LAW-ABIDING GUN OWNERS TAKING FIREARMS ACROSS STATE LINES

Alito later responded: “No, isn’t the crucial question why the state court did what it did? If it did what it did for an unconstitutionally discriminatory reason, then there’s a problem.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh pressed the Montana DOR’s lawyer, Adam Unikowsky, on the distinction between religious and secular schools versus schools representing different religions.

“Suppose the state said we’re going to allow the scholarship funds to be used for secular schools or protestant schools but not for Jewish schools or Catholic schools. Unconstitutional?” Kavanaugh asked. After Unikowsky replied that it would be, Kavanaugh went on: “So what’s different when you say the scholarship funds can be used for secular schools but not for Protestant, Jewish, Catholic or other religious schools because of the religious status?”

Government money going to religious schools doesn’t necessarily violate the First Amendment, but appeals courts are split on whether excluding such schools from programs like Montana’s violates religious freedom, which is likely part of the reason why the Supreme Court agreed to hear Espinoza’s case.

‘So what’s different when you say the scholarship funds can be used for secular schools but not for Protestant, Jewish, Catholic or other religious schools because of the religious status?’

— Justice Brett Kavanaugh

This case has drawn tremendous interest, with nearly 50 different “friend-of-the-court” briefs filed on its merits, advocating for either Espinoza or the Montana DOR’s stance. Groups weighing in include the libertarian Cato Institute, large groups of states on both sides of the issue, former Wisconsin governor and school choice advocate Scott Walker, several members of Congress, the Trump administration, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and more.

One of the groups that submitted a brief was Americans United For the Separation of Church and State. In a press release Wednesday, group CEO Rachel Laser cautioned that forcing taxpayers to fund religious education violates the religious freedom of the taxpayer.

“Never before has the Supreme Court ruled that states must fund private religious education. It should not do so now,” she said. “Forcing taxpayers to fund religious education or private religious schools that discriminate against students, families and employees would be a fundamental violation of religious freedom. We urge the Supreme Court to honor the promise of religious freedom upon which our nation was founded by upholding the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the private school voucher program.”

SUPREME COURT TURNS AWAY CASE THAT COULD HAVE HELPED DEMS GET UNREDACTED MUELLER REPORT

Mae Nan Ellingson, a delegate to the 1972 Montana constitutional convention which included the no-aid clause, was at the Supreme Court Wednesday and pushed back on the idea that the provision was discriminatory.

“It certainly wasn’t aimed at any particular religion,” she said. “On the contrary, there were ministers and people that were delegates of all religious faiths, all of whom supported this no aid provision for a whole host of reasons, as were mentioned in the court today.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, a school choice proponent, was in the courtroom as well. So was Espinoza, along with her children.

Espinoza said she enrolled her daughters in a private Christian school because she wanted a values-based education that would challenge them academically, but she has trouble paying for tuition and relies on scholarships. She planned to use Montana’s tax-credit scholarship program before the Department of Revenue made the rule preventing Christian schools from receiving these scholarships.

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Blaine Amendments originated in the 1870s when, as Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a 2000 case, “it was an open secret that ‘sectarian’ was code for ‘Catholic.’” Thirty-seven states have Blaine Amendments today, but Institute for Justice senior attorney Michael Bindas calls them, “vestiges of 19th century anti-Catholic bigotry.”

Espinoza’s lawyers also cite Trinity Lutheran, a Supreme Court case from 2017 that ruled Missouri couldn’t deny a church a grant to resurface its playground simply because it was a church.

Fox News’ Bill Mears contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086784443001_6086781109001-vs Supreme Court justices clash over major school-choice case Tyler Olson fox-news/us/religion fox-news/us/education fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc article 246b39b8-8c6f-587b-ba0f-209deeec0660   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086784443001_6086781109001-vs Supreme Court justices clash over major school-choice case Tyler Olson fox-news/us/religion fox-news/us/education fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc article 246b39b8-8c6f-587b-ba0f-209deeec0660

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Supreme Court refuses to hear expedited ObamaCare appeal

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6125244828001_6125242083001-vs Supreme Court refuses to hear expedited ObamaCare appeal Tyler Olson fox-news/politics/regulation/health-care fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox news fnc/politics fnc f8d1a089-e268-5767-9c18-379987d98122 Bill Mears article

The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a motion from a coalition of Democrat-led states asking the justices to speed up the review of a federal appeals court decision that put the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in doubt.

That means the case – which pits a group of blue states led by California, as well as the House of Representatives, against Texas and 18 other GOP-led states’ effort to strike down the ACA – is unlikely to be heard by the Supreme Court this term.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last month ruled that the individual mandate, a key funding mechanism for the law, was unconstitutional now that Congress eliminated a financial penalty for not having health insurance — making it impossible to say the individual mandate is a tax. It sent the case to a lower court, asking it to rule on whether the rest of the ACA, also known as ObamaCare, could stand without the individual mandate.

FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS TRUMP ORDER ALLOWING STATES, LOCAL OFFICIALS TO REFUSE REFUGEES

“The individual mandate is unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power,” the ruling said. “On the severability question, we remand to the district court to provide additional analysis of the provisions of the ACA as they currently exist.”

The coalition led by California and its Attorney General Xavier Becerra was trying to get the Supreme Court to circumvent the lower courts and rule on the case directly – and immediately – because “the lower courts’ actions have created uncertainty about the future of the entire Affordable Care Act, and that uncertainty threatens adverse consequences on our Nation’s healthcare system, including for patients, doctors, insurers, and state and local governments.”

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Tuesday’s ruling was simply on the motion for expedited consideration of the petition, not on the petition itself, which means the Supreme Court could still hear the case as the blue states are asking it to. It just means that if the court agrees to hear the case, it most likely won’t be until October at the earliest.

In the meantime, the case will continue in district court, with that court’s ruling almost certainly being appealed by the party that loses. It is unclear, however, when or whether the Supreme Court will decide to hear this case and rule on the ACA’s constitutionality.

Fox News’ Morgan Phillips contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6125244828001_6125242083001-vs Supreme Court refuses to hear expedited ObamaCare appeal Tyler Olson fox-news/politics/regulation/health-care fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox news fnc/politics fnc f8d1a089-e268-5767-9c18-379987d98122 Bill Mears article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6125244828001_6125242083001-vs Supreme Court refuses to hear expedited ObamaCare appeal Tyler Olson fox-news/politics/regulation/health-care fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox news fnc/politics fnc f8d1a089-e268-5767-9c18-379987d98122 Bill Mears article

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David Bossie: Supreme Court ‘Citizens United’ decision still protects the First Amendment 10 years later

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6115778934001_6115780241001-vs David Bossie: Supreme Court 'Citizens United' decision still protects the First Amendment 10 years later fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc David Bossie article aa299cc4-c40f-588c-9db4-4debe98a8fb3

On the 10th anniversary of Citizens United’s landmark Supreme Court victory for free speech, its incredible impact and legacy has come into focus. At its core, the Citizens United decision encourages more participation in America’s political process.

Much to the dismay of the left, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was a case about free speech and whether the First Amendment protected the American people from government attempts to limit speech. Nothing more, nothing less.

The origins of the case begin with Citizens United’s ability to produce a film and run advertisements for a film critical of Hillary Clinton. At that time, the McCain-Feingold campaign finance regime would have jailed me for doing just that — a fact that the left purposefully omits from their flawed arguments against the Supreme Court’s opinion.

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In 2004, I recognized that liberal activist and filmmaker Michael Moore had produced a documentary, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” a film highly critical of then- President George W. Bush. While the film had a huge impact on the campaign, it was Moore’s television trailers supporting the film — produced with corporate Hollywood money — that truly affected the Bush reelection effort.

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I simply asked the Federal Election Commission if I could do what Michael Moore was doing. The FEC told me “no.” If I moved forward anyway, I could face five years in jail for each count, as well as tens of thousands in fines. To this day, I still can’t believe that our federal government was going to jail me for making a movie and running advertisements for a film.

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Hollywood had one set of rules and I had a different set of rules, but I wanted to be treated equally under the law, so four years later, Citizens United sued the FEC. As former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson reflected in our new film about the case, what could be closer to the heart of the First Amendment than an explanation of a point of view as to whether someone who was running for president was qualified for that job?

The left would have you believe that I went to court in hopes of unleashing the flood gates of corporate money to drown out the voice of the little guy. This is a lie. The Citizens United case was about censorship and fundamental fairness.

Let’s recall that during oral arguments for our case at the Supreme Court, the deputy solicitor general stated in response to a question from Justice Samuel Alito that the logical extension of McCain-Feingold is that if the government can ban movies, then it could also ban books. This is the story of the case the left doesn’t want the American people to know about.

The left would have you believe that I went to court in hopes of unleashing the flood gates of corporate money to drown out the voice of the little guy. This is a lie. The Citizens United case was about censorship and fundamental fairness.

And, the left’s apocalyptic predictions about corporate money never happened. In fact, a recent op-ed that appeared in the Los Angeles Times stated, “The notion that the Citizens United decision opened the donation floodgates to 21st century corporations is a myth.”

Another charge from the left is that the Citizens United decision has allowed too much money into our political system. A recent report by the Center For Responsive Politics found that “election-related spending from non-party independent groups ballooned to $4.5 billion over the decade.” What the report fails to mention is the amount of money spent on television advertising in other areas. For instance, $18 billion was spent on automobile advertising in 2018 alone.

So what’s more important: Spending money on a debate about who should be president of the United States or on a debate over pick-up trucks? I believe that a robust political debate in the marketplace of ideas is the essence of what makes our constitutional republic exceptional. If people want to band together to spend money to influence an election, it’s their First Amendment right to do so.

The Citizens United decision has leveled the playing field for conservatives. Before Citizens United, the left had a massive advantage because of the support they received from labor unions and media corporations such as The New York Times and Washington Post. During Trump administration, many media corporations are showing their true colors and behaving more like Democratic Super PACs than objective journalists and this calls into question why they receive special exemptions under the law.

While the Citizens United decision does make it easier to participate in our political process — big corporations have not hijacked the process in any way shape or form, nor did the decision allow foreign money to flow into our elections. One of the main reasons why the Citizens United decision is vilified by the left to this day is because President Obama lied about the decision at his 2010 State of the Union address just after the decision came down. Obama warned the American people that foreign money would now be a threat to our elections even though our case had nothing to do with foreign money.

If Obama was trying to fire up his base of support by demagoguing the facts of our case, he succeeded. The liberal assault on the Citizens United decision continues to this day. The left’s main policy goal is to pass a 28th Amendment to the Constitution that would destroy the protections we cherish under the First Amendment.

What I knew in 2010 and continue to see to this day is that the left wants to silence speech that they don’t agree with. Look at the attacks on the Citizens United case. Look at the attacks on conservative speech on college campuses. The difference between conservatives and liberals is that we support more speech, even if it’s speech we disagree with. By contrast, the left wants to rid the public square of speech they don’t agree with.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was on to something when he said in our film that free speech used to be something that was a bipartisan commitment, but unfortunately that’s no longer the case. In 2010, groups like the ACLU, AFL-CIO, and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, all filed amicus briefs in support of Citizens United. Sadly, this would not be the case today.

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The highly respected constitutional lawyer Floyd Abrams wrote in a recent op-ed: “As Justice Kennedy put it in Citizens United, speech is ‘the means to hold officials accountable to the people’ and ‘political speech must prevail against laws that would suppress it by design or inadvertence.’ That was true a decade ago and it remains true today.” I could not agree more.

I believe that without the rights guaranteed in the First Amendment, there are no others. As Citizens United moves into its second decade, we must be as vigilant as ever in our defense of free speech.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY DAVID BOSSIE

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6115778934001_6115780241001-vs David Bossie: Supreme Court 'Citizens United' decision still protects the First Amendment 10 years later fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc David Bossie article aa299cc4-c40f-588c-9db4-4debe98a8fb3   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6115778934001_6115780241001-vs David Bossie: Supreme Court 'Citizens United' decision still protects the First Amendment 10 years later fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc David Bossie article aa299cc4-c40f-588c-9db4-4debe98a8fb3

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Both sides of the aisle call for fair, dignified Senate impeachment trial: ‘It’s a process of democracy’

With President Trump‘s impeachment trial looming in the Senate, lawmakers and politicians on both sides of the aisle are calling for managers to follow the Constitution and keep to a fair and balanced approach.

Appearing on “Cavuto LIVE,” Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he believes the trial under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will be very similar to the one held for the Bill Clinton impeachment.

NEWT GINGRICH: TRUMP IMPEACHMENT WILL BRING PELOSI AND HOUSE DEMOCRATS CONDEMNATION BY HISTORY

“The fallout in terms of our constitutional process is that we have to recognize this is a trial. It’s not going to be the circus atmosphere it was in the House. It will be a lot more dignified and orderly because you have the chief justice presiding over it,” the former Clinton impeachment manager said.

Hutchinson said that because the process will be more dignified, the American public will give the procedings in the Senate more credibility.

He told host Neil Cavuto that the Senate has set a “high bar” for impeachment, but there is a lot which has yet to unfold.

“And,what we learned from history is that our democracy is strong and our constitutional process works when you follow it closely,” he said.

DERSHOWITZ DOWNPLAYS HIS ROLE ON TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TEAM, AS WHITE HOUSE ADDS 8TH LAWYER

Appearing on the show immediately following Hutchinson, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Michael Bennet told Cavuto that he believes the Senate has a “constitutional duty to fulfill.”

Westlake Legal Group Impeachement-managers-Pelosi Both sides of the aisle call for fair, dignified Senate impeachment trial: 'It's a process of democracy' Julia Musto fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/us/congress fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 128969b1-13cf-524e-a65b-6b260d59a8aa /FOX NEWS/SHOWS/Your World Cavuto/Interviews

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., fourth from left, speaks during a news conference to announce impeachment managers on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. The U.S. House is set to vote Wednesday to send the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate for a landmark trial on whether the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress are grounds for removal. With Pelosi, from left, are Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The Colorado Democrat noted that while he thinks that “anybody could accuse anyone else of having an inherent bias,” it’s imperative that the Senate call witnesses and examine records.

“That’s the best way we can assure that the American people can get to the bottom of the truth,” he said.

Later on, Lousiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy urged the Senate to “keep a high threshold” in managing the impeachment trial and warned of those who will “[try] to distract from what is the crux of the issue.”

“Now, there’s going to be a lot of — you know — I call it monkey dust. People throwing dust around, trying to distract from what is the crux of the issue. If we look at the crux and remain focused on that crux, then we’ll establish whether or not the president did something illegal or not,” Cassidy said.

The trial will begin in earnest on Tuesday on two articles of impeachment against Trump: abuse of power; and obstruction of Congress. House impeachment managers, who will prosecute the case against Trump, were practicing their arguments this weekend. Lawyers for both sides were filing initial briefings and pleadings in the case on Saturday.

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“President Trump has done nothing wrong and is confident that this team will defend him, the voters, and our democracy from this baseless, illegitimate impeachment,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. “The Articles of Impeachment House Democrats have adopted threaten grave and lasting damage to our institutions and to our Nation. The President looks forward to the end of this partisan and unconstitutional impeachment.”

The president’s legal team is set to submit his reply to the articles of impeachment later today.

Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and John Roberts contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Asa-Hutch-Bill-Cassidy-Michael-Bennet-FOX Both sides of the aisle call for fair, dignified Senate impeachment trial: 'It's a process of democracy' Julia Musto fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/us/congress fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 128969b1-13cf-524e-a65b-6b260d59a8aa /FOX NEWS/SHOWS/Your World Cavuto/Interviews   Westlake Legal Group Asa-Hutch-Bill-Cassidy-Michael-Bennet-FOX Both sides of the aisle call for fair, dignified Senate impeachment trial: 'It's a process of democracy' Julia Musto fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/us/congress fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 128969b1-13cf-524e-a65b-6b260d59a8aa /FOX NEWS/SHOWS/Your World Cavuto/Interviews

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‘OK, Boomer’ uttered in Supreme Court for first time by Chief Justice Roberts in age discrimination lawsuit

Westlake Legal Group rtx38jul 'OK, Boomer' uttered in Supreme Court for first time by Chief Justice Roberts in age discrimination lawsuit fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 20a6db14-589e-5ffd-af39-169799a36c36

“OK, Boomer,” was uttered for the first time in a Supreme Court session Wednesday as Chief Justice John Roberts, who will turn 65 this month, referenced the phrase used by younger people to dismiss their elders during a case about age discrimination in the workplace.

As the leader of the Supreme Court, Roberts is poised to preside over the upcoming impeachment trial against President Trump – now that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed a resolution Wednesday to transmit the two articles to the Senate. The Constitution requires that the vice president, in this case, Mike Pence, who normally presides over the Senate, step out in order to avoid a conflict of interest – he is next in line for the presidency if Trump is removed from office. The chief justice, therefore, is tapped to preside over an impeachment trial.

NEW ZEALAND ‘OK BOOMER’ LAWMAKER, 25, ACCUSED OF AGEISM AFTER QUIP GOES VIRAL

But Roberts used the phrase Wednesday on an unrelated matter – while hearing the case of Department of Veteran Affairs employee, Norris Babb, who claims her bosses “discriminated against her based on her gender and age” and “subjected her to a hostile work environment.”

“The hiring person, who’s younger, says, ‘OK, Boomer,’ once to the applicant,” Roberts asked Babb’s attorney, Roman Martinez, suggesting a hypothetical exchange to determine when an older federal employee might be able to win a lawsuit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Wednesday was the first time, according to databases of high court arguments, the somewhat pejorative phrase used mostly by millennials and members of Gen Z after going viral on the Internet has been uttered in the Supreme Court, The Associated Press reported.

A “boomer” refers to someone from the baby boomer generation born between 1946 and 1965. Roberts, born Jan. 27, 1955, falls into this group. But justices have lifetime tenure. The nine justices on the Supreme Court range in age from 52 to 86, with Neil Gorsuch the youngest, Ruth Bader Ginsburg the eldest.

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Under federal law, employees working in the private sector or for state or local governments bear the burden of proving age prompted the discrimination. But Babb’s attorney argued that provisions in the act make it easier for government workers to sue – because they only need to prove age was one of several factors that lead to the negative action, The Washington Post reported.

“So calling somebody a ‘boomer’ and considering them for a position would be actionable?” Roberts asked, seeking clarification for the attorney’s argument.

Yes, Martinez replied, if the remark “was one of the factors going into this decision, I think it absolutely would be covered.”

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Back in November, a 25-year-old New Zealand lawmaker was accused of ageism after she responded “OK, Boomer” to an older colleague who allegedly heckled her during a debate on climate change.

Fox News’ Stephen Sorace and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group rtx38jul 'OK, Boomer' uttered in Supreme Court for first time by Chief Justice Roberts in age discrimination lawsuit fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 20a6db14-589e-5ffd-af39-169799a36c36   Westlake Legal Group rtx38jul 'OK, Boomer' uttered in Supreme Court for first time by Chief Justice Roberts in age discrimination lawsuit fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 20a6db14-589e-5ffd-af39-169799a36c36

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Supreme Court questions whether ‘Bridgegate’ prosecutions went too far

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5183051484001_Christie-aide-expected-to-retake-stand-in--Bridgegate--trail Supreme Court questions whether 'Bridgegate' prosecutions went too far fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc Bill Mears article 7c247595-6099-5438-9cce-ed2ff896a5f0

The Supreme Court took strong issue Tuesday at the federal government’s prosecution of two New Jersey officials convicted of fraud in the 2013 “Bridgegate” scandal, where traffic gridlock was tied to political payback.

A majority of justices wondered whether the public corruption case went too far, appearing to agree this was more about an unfortunate politically motivated scheme, where no money or property was exchanged for political favors.

And several on the bench suggested the employees had the authority to commandeer municipal “property” as part of the scheme, however distasteful the motives.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ASKS SUPREME COURT TO ALLOW RULE RESTRICTING GREEN CARDS FOR IMMIGRANTS ON WELFARE

“Isn’t it often the case that somebody who has the authority to do something may lie about why the person is doing the thing because, if the real reason was exposed, it would cause a furor, people would be angry,” said Justice Samuel Alito. “But that doesn’t show the person doesn’t have the authority to do it.”

But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was skeptical, pushing back at claims that public resource costs associated the scheme were “incidental” to the political motives to cause a traffic jam.

“Why do you call it incidental? I mean, it was essential to the scheme,” Ginsburg said.

The high court in recent years has tightened the standard on using federal anti-corruption laws to go after public officials, including former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, whose bribery conviction was vacated in 2016. Now the justices could make it harder for anti-fraud and conspiracy charges to be applied.

In the “Bridgegate” case, two aides of former Republican Gov. Chris Christie were given 13- and 18-month prison terms for scheming to close lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge, one of the most heavily used commuter routes in the world.

It led to four days of traffic nightmare and lingering public outrage, especially after it was learned Bridget Kelly and William Baroni were accused of scheming to punish a local Democratic New Jersey mayor for not endorsing the reelection of their boss, the governor.

The two officials and others were accused of creating a false non-existent traffic study. Kelly’s emails were used against her, including “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” and “Is it wrong that I’m smiling?” in response to the traffic congestion.

Christie denied any involvement in the matter and was not prosecuted, but the controversy helped end his presidential ambitions.

He along with Kelly and Baroni were in the courtroom for the one-hour arguments.

Even lawyers for the two officials conceded their clients’ actions were not “OK,” and the court seemed to agree, with Justice Stephen Breyer calling the traffic backups “quite a problem.”

Eric Feigin, the Justice Department’s attorney, said of the defendants, “They don’t get a free pass simply because their motive happened to be political.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said she was concerned about headlines like “Our public officials now can use government resources for their private ends.”

“I thought the scheme was to make life difficult for Fort Lee,” she added. “If that was the scheme, and you defrauded the use of government property to accomplish your goal, why is that any different than taking the maintenance worker to plow your road, your private street?”

But a majority on the bench seemed dissatisfied with the Justice Department’s claim that Baroni had no authority to change the traffic patterns leading to the bridge, even if was for a partisan purpose.

“Have they commandeered the lanes on the expressway?” asked Chief Justice John Roberts. “They’re still being used for public purposes. Because if other people want to use the highway to get to Fort Lee, they can. They have nothing to do with the scheme at all.”

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Justice Elena Kagan added, “It’s not appropriating the George Washington Bridge, it’s reallocating lanes on the George Washington Bridge and I would have thought that [prior court precedent] makes clear that that’s not an appropriation of property.”

“You were not using the employee labor to create the traffic jam.”

The federal government claimed that while the state officials did not profit personally, taxpayers were on the hook for thousands of dollars in overtime for tollway workers handling the traffic overflow.

Alito, the only New Jersey native on the court, asked tough questions of both sides, but seemed particularly concerned with the fact New York traditionally gets to head the bi-state Port Authority that administers the bridge, with New Jersey getting the deputy director spot.

“Why would New Jersey agree to an arrangement like that where its [appointed] representative is always in the second seat,” said Alito. “Just big brother across the river?”

Defenders of Kelly and Baroni warn against government overreach, where often small-time officials are implicated in broader high-profile prosecutions.

Public integrity groups argue a win for the defendants could eviscerate efforts to prosecute political corruption.

The case is Bridget Kelly v. U.S. (18-1059).

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5183051484001_Christie-aide-expected-to-retake-stand-in--Bridgegate--trail Supreme Court questions whether 'Bridgegate' prosecutions went too far fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc Bill Mears article 7c247595-6099-5438-9cce-ed2ff896a5f0   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5183051484001_Christie-aide-expected-to-retake-stand-in--Bridgegate--trail Supreme Court questions whether 'Bridgegate' prosecutions went too far fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc Bill Mears article 7c247595-6099-5438-9cce-ed2ff896a5f0

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Trump administration asks Supreme Court to allow rule restricting green cards for immigrants on welfare

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119161975001_6119161603001-vs Trump administration asks Supreme Court to allow rule restricting green cards for immigrants on welfare fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc edbca6a7-3d9c-52fd-b434-96760108b999 Bill Mears article Adam Shaw

The Justice Department on Tuesday filed an emergency request to the Supreme Court to lift injunctions on the administration’s “public charge” rule — which would restrict green cards for immigrants deemed likely to be reliant on welfare.

The administration issued the rule in August that would define a “public charge” as an immigrant who received one or more designated welfare benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period.

COURT BLOCKS TRUMP PUSH TO RESTRICT GREEN CARDS FOR WELFARE-TAPPING IMMIGRANTS

While a standard of not admitting “public charges” to the U.S. has been part of immigration law for decades, it has never been formally defined in statute. Officials say it will protect taxpayers and make sure immigrants are self-sufficient.

The designated benefits include Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), as well as most forms of Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. Usage of those benefits would be considered when an immigrant applies for permanent residency along with standard considerations such as age, health and financial assets.

But the controversial rule was blocked in nationwide injunctions by lower federal courts. The states of Connecticut, Vermont, and New York, as well as New York City and immigrant rights groups had sued over the rule. Opponents say the rule would have a chilling effect on immigrants and prevent them from getting the help they may need.

The DOJ wants the Supreme Court to allow the policy to be enforced temporarily until the issues are resolved on merits. The time-sensitive application goes first to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who will ask the states to respond to the government’s enforcement request. She will also likely ask her colleagues to weigh in before issuing an order in the coming days.

TRUMP TOUTS COURT RULING ALLOWING MILITARY FUNDS FOR BORDER WALL CONSTRUCTION

The Trump Justice Department repeatedly has gone to the Supreme Court to lift court-ordered injunctions, bypassing the traditional appellate process.

The public charge rule hit another roadblock last week when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals declined to lift an injunction imposed by a New York federal judge in October.

U.S. District Court Judge George Daniels in October ruled that the government failed to provide a reasonable explanation for changing the definition and objected to parts of it, including the inclusion of English proficiency as a sign of self-sufficiency, calling it a “new agency policy of exclusion in search of justification.”

Legal and immigrant rights groups behind the push for the injunction issued a statement after the Supreme Court request, accusing the administration of trying to push what they described as a “racist wealth test” for immigrants.

“The Trump administration is grasping at straws in their desperate attempt to expedite implementation of their racist wealth test for immigrants even before the government’s appeals have been heard by the circuit courts. We hope that the Supreme Court sees this motion for what it truly is and immediately denies it,” said the statement from groups including The Legal Aid Society and Make the Road New York.

“Now, more than ever, it is critical that the public charge policy, which the lower courts called ‘repugnant to the American Dream of prosperity and opportunity through hard work and upward mobility,’ continues to be blocked,” it said.

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency responsible for the rule, has remained confident about its hopes for being found legal.

“The public charge inadmissibility rule enforces long-standing immigration law that Congress reaffirmed in 1996,” a spokesperson told Fox News. “We are confident that an objective judiciary will see that this rule lies squarely within existing law.”

Ginsburg, part of the court’s liberal wing, has ruled in favor of the Trump administration on emergency requests before. In December, she granted a request from President Trump’s lawyers to delay enforcement of subpoenas House Democrats issued to Deutsche Bank and Capital One for Trump’s bank records.

Fox News’ Shannon Bream, Marta Dhanis and Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119161975001_6119161603001-vs Trump administration asks Supreme Court to allow rule restricting green cards for immigrants on welfare fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc edbca6a7-3d9c-52fd-b434-96760108b999 Bill Mears article Adam Shaw   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119161975001_6119161603001-vs Trump administration asks Supreme Court to allow rule restricting green cards for immigrants on welfare fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc edbca6a7-3d9c-52fd-b434-96760108b999 Bill Mears article Adam Shaw

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Trump administration asks Supreme Court to allow rule restricting green cards for immigrants on welfare

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119161975001_6119161603001-vs Trump administration asks Supreme Court to allow rule restricting green cards for immigrants on welfare fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc edbca6a7-3d9c-52fd-b434-96760108b999 Bill Mears article Adam Shaw

The Justice Department on Tuesday filed an emergency request to the Supreme Court to lift injunctions on the administration’s “public charge” rule — which would restrict green cards for immigrants deemed likely to be reliant on welfare.

The administration issued the rule in August that would define a “public charge” as an immigrant who received one or more designated welfare benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period.

COURT BLOCKS TRUMP PUSH TO RESTRICT GREEN CARDS FOR WELFARE-TAPPING IMMIGRANTS

While a standard of not admitting “public charges” to the U.S. has been part of immigration law for decades, it has never been formally defined in statute. Officials say it will protect taxpayers and make sure immigrants are self-sufficient.

The designated benefits include Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), as well as most forms of Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. Usage of those benefits would be considered when an immigrant applies for permanent residency along with standard considerations such as age, health and financial assets.

But the controversial rule was blocked in nationwide injunctions by lower federal courts. The states of Connecticut, Vermont, and New York, as well as New York City and immigrant rights groups had sued over the rule. Opponents say the rule would have a chilling effect on immigrants and prevent them from getting the help they may need.

The DOJ wants the Supreme Court to allow the policy to be enforced temporarily until the issues are resolved on merits. The time-sensitive application goes first to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who will ask the states to respond to the government’s enforcement request. She will also likely ask her colleagues to weigh in before issuing an order in the coming days.

TRUMP TOUTS COURT RULING ALLOWING MILITARY FUNDS FOR BORDER WALL CONSTRUCTION

The Trump Justice Department repeatedly has gone to the Supreme Court to lift court-ordered injunctions, bypassing the traditional appellate process.

The public charge rule hit another roadblock last week when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals declined to lift an injunction imposed by a New York federal judge in October.

U.S. District Court Judge George Daniels in October ruled that the government failed to provide a reasonable explanation for changing the definition and objected to parts of it, including the inclusion of English proficiency as a sign of self-sufficiency, calling it a “new agency policy of exclusion in search of justification.”

Legal and immigrant rights groups behind the push for the injunction issued a statement after the Supreme Court request, accusing the administration of trying to push what they described as a “racist wealth test” for immigrants.

“The Trump administration is grasping at straws in their desperate attempt to expedite implementation of their racist wealth test for immigrants even before the government’s appeals have been heard by the circuit courts. We hope that the Supreme Court sees this motion for what it truly is and immediately denies it,” said the statement from groups including The Legal Aid Society and Make the Road New York.

“Now, more than ever, it is critical that the public charge policy, which the lower courts called ‘repugnant to the American Dream of prosperity and opportunity through hard work and upward mobility,’ continues to be blocked,” it said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency responsible for the rule, has remained confident about its hopes for being found legal.

“The public charge inadmissibility rule enforces long-standing immigration law that Congress reaffirmed in 1996,” a spokesperson told Fox News. “We are confident that an objective judiciary will see that this rule lies squarely within existing law.”

Ginsburg, part of the court’s liberal wing, has ruled in favor of the Trump administration on emergency requests before. In December, she granted a request from President Trump’s lawyers to delay enforcement of subpoenas House Democrats issued to Deutsche Bank and Capital One for Trump’s bank records.

Fox News’ Shannon Bream, Marta Dhanis and Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119161975001_6119161603001-vs Trump administration asks Supreme Court to allow rule restricting green cards for immigrants on welfare fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc edbca6a7-3d9c-52fd-b434-96760108b999 Bill Mears article Adam Shaw   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119161975001_6119161603001-vs Trump administration asks Supreme Court to allow rule restricting green cards for immigrants on welfare fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc edbca6a7-3d9c-52fd-b434-96760108b999 Bill Mears article Adam Shaw

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Supreme Court refuses to hear ‘Free the Nipple’ appeal in New Hampshire case

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by three women arrested for violating a New Hampshire city ordinance by exposing their breasts in public as part of the so-called “Free the Nipple” movement.

The rejection leaves in place a 2019 ruling by New Hampshire’s top court that upheld their convictions for violating a Laconia, N.H., measure that prohibits female toplessness in public. The women — Heidi Lilley, Kia Sinclair and Ginger Pierro — argued the ban violates the Constitution.

The ordinance makes it illegal to uncover female breasts “with less than a fully opaque covering of any part of the nipple.” The women said it punishes women for exposing their breasts while allowing men to go topless in public.

RUTH BADER GINSBURG SAYS SHE IS ‘CANCER-FREE’ FOLLOWING RADIATION TREATMENT

Westlake Legal Group AP20013555806142 Supreme Court refuses to hear 'Free the Nipple' appeal in New Hampshire case Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/us fnc f576127e-b122-58e3-b68d-45b002c3444d article

In this Aug. 26, 2017 photo, women go topless during Go Topless Day at Hampton Beach, N.H. The Supreme Court is leaving in place the public nudity convictions of three women who removed their bathing suit tops on a New Hampshire beach as part of a campaign advocating for the rights of women to go topless. (Ioanna Raptis/Portsmouth Herald seacoastonline.com via AP)

“They were arrested and prosecuted as women for doing what any man may lawfully do,” the women wrote in their petition to the high court, according to The Hill. “For being both topless and female in public, each was convicted of violating an ordinance criminalizing the public exposure of her ‘female breast.’ ”

Pierro was arrested while performing yoga topless off the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee in 2016. Lilley and Sinclair were arrested days later while topless on a beach to protest their’s friend’s arrest.

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All three were given suspended fines of $100 on the condition of good behavior, Reuters reported.

The “Free the Nipple” movement was the subject of a court challenge in Colorado last year. The city of Fort Collins eventually removed an ordinance that banned women from going topless in public after it spent more than $300,000 defending it in court.

Westlake Legal Group AP20013555806142 Supreme Court refuses to hear 'Free the Nipple' appeal in New Hampshire case Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/us fnc f576127e-b122-58e3-b68d-45b002c3444d article   Westlake Legal Group AP20013555806142 Supreme Court refuses to hear 'Free the Nipple' appeal in New Hampshire case Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/us fnc f576127e-b122-58e3-b68d-45b002c3444d article

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Giuliani: Supreme Court should step in and declare Trump’s impeachment ‘unconstitutional’

Westlake Legal Group AP19310786869222 Giuliani: Supreme Court should step in and declare Trump's impeachment 'unconstitutional' Morgan Phillips fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 229a240e-beac-53f0-8be8-30c5963dba7e

President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani sounded off about the president’s impeachment Thursday, repeatedly calling on the Supreme Court to step in and declare it “unconstitutional.”

Giuliani argued that impeachment can only be pursued for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” referencing Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, but the impeachment voted on by the Democratic-led House charged no such crimes.

“If this impeachment is not declared illegal it would remove the constitutional limitation of crimes on the power to impeach,” Giuliani explained on Twitter. “It would allow the House to impeach for policy differences or political leverage.”

Giuliani, in an op-ed published in the Daily Caller, said the first article of impeachment “abuse of power,” is “not a crime of any kind, high or low.” President Trump asking Ukrainian President Volodymer Zelensky to investigate “bribery, extortion and money laundering” as well as allegations of Ukrainians illegally supplying information to Democratic Party officials was well within his rights, according to the former New York City mayor.

PRESSURE MOUNTS ON PELOSI TO TRANSMIT IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES, AS DEMS LOSE PATIENCE

The second impeachment article, obstruction of Congress, was based on the executive branch challenging proceedings and subpoenas “based on recognized legal privileges that were being violated,” Giuliani said.

“It would prevent a future president to raise any challenge to the most illegal, overbroad subpoena from any of the multitude of congressional committees and sub-committees,” if impeachment is not declared unconstitutional, Giuliani said on Twitter.

“No documents were destroyed, cellphones were not smashed with hammers, and servers were not bleached. They were preserved for a proper judicial review and decision of legality and constitutionality, hardly an impeachable offense,” he added.

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Giuliani argued that though the Constitution was silent on the Supreme Court’s role in impeachment, former Chief Justice John Marshall established that “judicial review is implicit as the only logical answer to constitutional standoffs between the legislative and executive branches or between the federal and state governments.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19310786869222 Giuliani: Supreme Court should step in and declare Trump's impeachment 'unconstitutional' Morgan Phillips fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 229a240e-beac-53f0-8be8-30c5963dba7e   Westlake Legal Group AP19310786869222 Giuliani: Supreme Court should step in and declare Trump's impeachment 'unconstitutional' Morgan Phillips fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 229a240e-beac-53f0-8be8-30c5963dba7e

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