•   
  •   
  •   

Opinion The Supreme Court Goes Anti-Vax

11:20  17 april  2022
11:20  17 april  2022 Source:   nymag.com

Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham take final swipes at Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ahead of Supreme Court confirmation vote: 'She is an extreme outlier'

  Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham take final swipes at Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ahead of Supreme Court confirmation vote: 'She is an extreme outlier' In a last-minute gripe, Republicans took swipes at Ketanji Brown Jackson even though they were powerless to stop her confirmation.Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina held a press conference ahead of the final confirmation vote to explain why they were not going to support Jackson.

From a building closed to the public except for essential personnel, where lawyers are allowed to argue only if they have a negative PCR test, six vaccinated, boosted conservative justices of the Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test requirement for workplaces. There is some internal dissension on the Court’s COVID-related precautions: Recent arguments have featured one justice with a high-risk condition (Justice Sonia Sotomayor, diabetes) calling in rather than sit next to a justice who refuses to mask (Justice Neil Gorsuch, chronic jerk). Still, from a workplace transformed, an unsigned majority opinion declared that COVID-19 is “not an occupational hazard” for most of the covered businesses, that it is “a threat that is untethered, in any causal sense, from the workplace.” The three Democratic appointees dissented.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins tests positive for COVID-19 right after voting to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court

  Republican Sen. Susan Collins tests positive for COVID-19 right after voting to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court Collins was wearing a KN-95 mask during Thursday's confirmation vote, in contrast to the vast majority of her Senate colleagues.Biden is expected to make a final decision by the end of February to replace Breyer and has already begun to reach out to potential candidates, according to CNN.

Protesters outside the Supreme Court in December. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images © Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Protesters outside the Supreme Court in December. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who sometimes like to make a show of their reasonableness, did join the liberals in a separate case heard the same day, upholding the administration’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

Technically, the cases turned on the question of whether a particular branch of the federal government had authority to impose these requirements in a pandemic that has, as the dissenters in the broader workplace case plainly point out, “killed almost 1 million Americans and hospitalized almost 4 million.” The healthcare worker case was easier to make in the eyes of Roberts and Kavanaugh: Medicaid and Medicare funding gives the government the power to set conditions, and their patients are uniquely vulnerable.

Democrats are struggling to unite on stock trading ban details as the window for reform narrows

  Democrats are struggling to unite on stock trading ban details as the window for reform narrows Democratic lawmakers want to pass a stock ban measure. But they are struggling with the details."There is consensus around the basic, fundamental principle that members of Congress shouldn't be serving their stock portfolios, they should be serving the people," said Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado at a press conference Thursday following a Committee on House Administration hearing on congressional stock trading. "I think we'll have robust debate on the finer points.

In the case regulating all workplaces over 100 employees, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has the ability to issue an emergency standard when employees are “exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or from new hazards,” which sounds a lot like COVID-19. All of the conservative justices insist that what OSHA imposed in response is a “vaccine mandate,” even though there are plenty of ways to get out of it: testing negative weekly; working from home, alone, or outdoors; even claiming religious or medical exemptions. They say the rule is unprecedented, “a significant encroachment into the lives — and health — of a vast number of employees.” Then again, so is the pandemic.


Video: U.S. Supreme Court conservatives question Biden vaccine policy for businesses (Reuters)

They point out you can also get COVID-19 somewhere else, although with a few exceptions, like school for students, they are places where people have a choice to go. As the dissenters note, at work, “individuals have little control, and therefore little capacity to mitigate risk.” But the conservative majority shows more concern for the supposed “billions of dollars in unrecoverable compliance costs” and “hundreds of thousands of employees” who they say will quit — a number that has shrunk wherever mandates are already in place and reality has interfered — than for the workers inhaling the aerosols of untested, unvaccinated colleagues in close quarters. Or, for that matter, the systems that are buckling under providing their care.

Ketanji Brown Jackson's historic Supreme Court confirmation could push corporate America into a new age of diversity

  Ketanji Brown Jackson's historic Supreme Court confirmation could push corporate America into a new age of diversity Fortune 500 diversity consultants said the historic moment in US society could have ripple effects in C-suites.There are few exceptions who've defied the odds and ascended to the highest court (or corner offices) in the land. Thurgood Marshall, Sandra Day O'Connor, Sonia Sotomayor, Jane Fraser, Marvin Ellison, and Thasunda Brown Duckett are all history makers in their own right.

The dissents in each case tell a story of a Court urgently struggling not just with the question of federal power in a pandemic, but with the authority of the Court itself and who, exactly, has become “untethered” in the exercise of power.

And then, there is this Court. Its Members are elected by, and accountable to, no one,” write Justices Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer in their joint dissent to the OSHA case. (I’m not the only one who thinks it sounds a lot like the now-oft-exasperated Kagan wrote it.) They add, “When we are wise, we know enough to defer on matters like this one. When we are wise, we know not to displace the judgments of experts, acting within the sphere Congress marked out and under Presidential control, to deal with emergency conditions. Today, we are not wise.”

Meanwhile, in Justice Clarence Thomas’s dissent on the healthcare case, joined by Justices Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, and Samuel Alito, it is the government that has vastly overreached. To require two or three quick shots to reduce one’s chance of infection and infectiousness, of disease and death, is actually to “compel millions of healthcare workers to undergo an unwanted medical procedure,” and “to force healthcare workers, by coercing their employers, to undergo a medical procedure they do not want and cannot undo.”

Pelosi fumed that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Pramila Jayapal were competing for 'queen bee' of the left, a new book says

  Pelosi fumed that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Pramila Jayapal were competing for 'queen bee' of the left, a new book says Pelosi told a colleague that "their reward might be serving in the House minority after the next election" instead, according to a forthcoming book. New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns pull back the curtain on Pelosi's internal frustrations in their forthcoming book "This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America's Future," due for release on May 3. Punchbowl News reported on some excerpts of the book's reporting on Friday morning.

For those of us bracing ourselves for the Court’s all-but-certain rollback of abortion rights — the outright denial of a much-wanted medical procedure in favor of an infinitely more coercive, invasive, and life-changing alternative, forcing someone to stay pregnant and give birth — this was sick irony. As law professor Liz Sepper pointed out, Barrett explicitly made the analogy during the court’s recent abortion arguments, casually referring to forced pregnancy as “an infringement on bodily autonomy, you know, which we have in other contexts, like vaccines.” We haven’t yet been treated to Barrett’s rationale for why the state’s encroachment on pregnant people is the acceptable tradeoff for life, whereas vaccines are the overreach.

The pandemic, we are told, will not last forever. But as today’s opinions make clear, the reordering of authorities and priorities, the brazenness of what the Court has done and seems ready to soon do, will long remain.

Biden seems 'more open' to canceling student debt broadly 'than ever before,' Chuck Schumer says .
During a virtual event, Sen. Schumer said he's "making progress" with Biden on canceling student debt, noting the pause "isn't going to stay forever."During a virtual summit hosted by the Student Debt Crisis Center on Wednesday, Sen. Chuck Schumer — a leading advocate for broad student-loan forgiveness in Congress — reiterated his belief that President Joe Biden can easily wipe out federal student loans by signing an executive order. He also noted that, following Biden's fourth extension of the pause on student-loan payments, broad student-debt cancellation must be the next step, and said the White House might be looking favorably on the idea.

usr: 1
This is interesting!