Connect with us

Wire

Op-Ed: As Dems Try to Pack the Court, This History Lesson Must Be Learned

Western Journal

Published

on

Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, recently introduced a bill called the Judiciary Act to expand the Supreme Court.

Democratic Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota became the first co-sponsor of the bill, which is designed to expand the court from nine to 13 seats.

Smith told the Minneapolis CBS affiliate, WCCO-TV:

“Republicans have been working to politicize the U.S. Supreme Court for forty years, with the help of dark money and the Federalist Society. With Donald Trump’s help, they stole two seats, ensuring an ultra-conservative Court that is drastically out of step with the American people.”

take our poll - story continues below

Did SCOTUS make the right decision on medical mandates for large businesses?

  • Did SCOTUS make the right decision on medical mandates for large businesses?  

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Completing this poll grants you access to Flag And Cross updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

A very similar message was sent by Markey himself in a news release accompanying the bill:

“Republicans stole the Court’s majority, with Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation completing their crime spree,” he said. “Of all the damage Donald Trump did to our democracy, this stands as one of his greatest travesties. Senate Republicans have politicized the Supreme Court, undermined its legitimacy, and threatened the rights of millions of Americans, especially people of color, women, and our immigrant communities.

“The Judiciary Act will restore the Court’s balance and public standing and begin to repair the damage done to our judiciary.”

Nowhere does the Constitution specify that the Supreme Court needs to have nine justices. In fact, the court has not always been composed of nine justices.

This excellent 2019 essay in the Harvard Law and Policy Review explains that not mandating an exact number of justices for the Supreme Court may have been superb political foresight. Leaving this as a matter for Congress acts in a practical sense as a political check on the judiciary — a key one in our set of checks and balances of governmental power.

The essay also sets forth the different ways the court can legally be expanded or contracted, one of which happened today with the introduction of the bill at issue.

The essay goes on to explain that the court has expanded or shrunk in size seven times throughout its history, often for overtly political ends. The court shrunk from six to five in 1801, expanded to six then quickly seven in 1807, and moved up from seven to nine in 1837.

From that point forward, modifying the size of the court became as deeply partisan an issue as it is today.

Congress today should be learning from the past two partisan debacles, led by Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Franklin Roosevelt. While the former packed the court to have it overturn a currency validity issue, the latter effectively countered the court’s anti-New Deal rulings.

While there are members of Congress, the judiciary, the media and the general public who will surely embrace the Judiciary Act and the political messaging around it, there is an even more compelling argument to be made against the bill and against expanding the Supreme Court.

From a practical perspective, the court works just fine, thank you. Partisan rhetoric aside, there is absolutely no functional problem with a Supreme Court of nine justices today.

Even when viewed through the lens of the court’s succession planning, nine is a number that works extremely well, as we have seen over the past half-century.

There has never been a time where deaths and retirements have come too close together to create a court too inexperienced. There is almost always the right balance of experience on a nine-person Supreme Court.

With public opinion of the Supreme Court today at an all-time low, rather than playing infantile political games and seeking to expand the size of the court, what the Democrats can do is stop being kittens and show some claws for once.

And the first target of their claws should be aimed internally at Justice Stephen Breyer, who is running out of months to announce his retirement if the Democrats want to be assured of a liberal replacement for this liberal jurist.

It is in this light that we need to see the introduction of the Judiciary Act. It is partisan politics at its most extreme, seeking to change the size of the Supreme Court to alter its orientation. Yet we understand why this is being done, as the reality check for Democrats is right in front of their faces.

If they think the current 6-3 conservative majority is bad, their options at 7-2 will look markedly worse.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Wire

Footage Captures Shocked Woman Moments After Bear Attack in Her Own Driveway

Western Journal

Published

on

Many people don’t think about the possibility that they might run into a bear — or vice versa — when they take their dogs out for a walk in their neighborhood, but that’s one possibility that will forever haunt one woman from DeBary, Florida.

The woman, who only gave her first name, Aydee, stepped outside onto her driveway with her two dogs Amaya and Hemmy around 9:00 p.m. on Jan. 13 and was soon met by a large adult female mother bear.

Aydee ran, and her dogs ran off, but the bear caught up to her.

“When I realized it, she got me here,” Aydee told WOFL-TV. “But I took off running, and she took running behind me.

take our poll - story continues below

Did SCOTUS make the right decision on medical mandates for large businesses?

  • Did SCOTUS make the right decision on medical mandates for large businesses?  

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Completing this poll grants you access to Flag And Cross updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

“I was screaming going to my neighbor’s to see if he, you know, he can call 911 or help me or, or I don’t know — take the gun out, whatever.”

The bear had three yearling cubs in a tree nearby, and after attacking Aydee, was treed by several neighbors who responded to the woman’s cries.

Neighbor Awston Kennedy had spotted the bear, a familiar sight in the area, shortly before the attack in the trees in front of his house. It was checking out some trash and then was shooed away by some other neighbors.

“Next thing you know there’s pounding on the door,” Kennedy said. “There was about four of us came out to check on her pretty quick … Her main concern was her dog.

“They had it cornered in the tree for a bit with dome lights trying to make sure it didn’t come out,” Kennedy said of the other neighbors who responded. “One of the neighbors actually came out with his jeep and threw the spotlights on it.”

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the bear was dispatched on the scene.

“Volusia County Sheriff’s Officers arrived on the scene and found an adult female bear with yearlings in a tree nearby,” a statement by the FWC read. “EMS arrived on the scene to treat the woman’s injuries, which were not life threatening. The woman’s dog was not injured.

“FWC bear biologists darted the adult bear in the tree and humanely killed it per the FWC policy to protect public safety. The three 100-pound yearlings are old enough to survive on their own and so no attempt was made to capture them.”

Aydee’s dogs were found later, unharmed, but Aydee suffered from bites and scratches on her face and back, as well as a concussion and twisted ankle. Some of her wounds required stitches.



“The worst [experience] of my life,” she told WESH-TV. “Like, you know you go through stuff in life, but this is like the worst. No. 1, I would say … I feel lucky to be alive.”

Aydee also isn’t happy that the yearlings were left in the same area instead of being relocated.

“I’m an animal lover too, but those are not a friend,” she said. “She was trespassing my house. I was not in her territory. Two more years and we will be in the same boat.”

Despite the victim’s insistence that the bear was out of line, some locals are upset the bear was killed as she’s been a staple in the neighborhood for over seven years and has reportedly never been an issue before.

“Unfortunately, the neighbor got scratched up by the bear,” local David Mangham said. “She’s fortunate to be alive, I guess, but as far as euthanizing it, why not relocate it?”

After this incident, a petition has been circulating to get the “FWC to change their ‘Aggressive Bear’ killing policy,” according to a post by Bear Defenders on Facebook.

“The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has an ‘Aggressive Bear’ killing policy that does not consider the circumstances that cause bears to act aggressively,” the post read.

“There are humane and non-lethal ways to handle these situations. The FWC kills bears who act in self-defense or are defending their cubs. If a bear indeed attacked, it would result in severe injuries and even death, yet NO ONE in the State of Florida has ever died from a bear attack.



“If bears are in residential areas, they are most likely there because of unsecured trash and other bear attractants. We believe in self-defense, including a black bear’s right to defend her cubs. We wish the FWC would take into account what triggered the defensive (aggressive) response from the bear before labeling them aggressive and killing them as a result of human error.”

According to the FWC’s Bear Management Coordinator Davis Telesco, killing the bear was a sad necessity.

“We can’t have bears living in neighborhoods that are willing to hurt somebody,” he said. “We just can’t allow it.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Many people don’t think about the possibility that they might run into a bear — or vice versa — when they take their dogs out for a walk in their neighborhood, but that’s one possibility that will forever haunt one woman from DeBary, Florida. The woman, who only gave her first name, Aydee, stepped outside onto her driveway with her two dogs Amaya and Hemmy around 9:00 p.m. on Jan. 13 and was soon met by a large adult female mother bear. Aydee ran, and her dogs ran off, but the bear caught up to her. “When I realized it, she got me here,” Aydee told WOFL-TV. “But I took off running, and she took running behind me. “I was screaming going to my neighbor’s to see if he, you know, he can call 911 or help me or, or I don’t know — take the gun out, whatever.” The bear had three yearling cubs in a tree nearby, and after attacking Aydee, was treed by several neighbors who responded to the woman’s cries. Neighbor Awston Kennedy had spotted the bear, a familiar sight in the area, shortly before the attack in the trees in front of his house. It was checking out some trash and then was shooed away by some other neighbors. “Next thing you know there’s pounding on the door,” Kennedy said. “There was about four of us came out to check on her pretty quick … Her main concern was her dog. “They had it cornered in the tree for a bit with dome lights trying to make sure it didn’t come out,” Kennedy said of the other neighbors who responded. “One of the neighbors actually came out with his jeep and threw the spotlights on it.” According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,…

Continue Reading

Wire

CDC Study: Natural Immunity Provides Significantly More Protection Against COVID Than Vaccination Only

Western Journal

Published

on

Ebola

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Wednesday shows that those who have recovered from COVID-19 have more protection against infection than those who have only been vaccinated.

Researchers reviewed data from California and New York from May to November, when the delta variant was dominant in the U.S.

The study looked at four groups of people: unvaccinated with no prior COVID-19 infection, vaccinated with no prior infection, unvaccinated who recovered from COVID-19, and vaccinated who recovered.

By the first week of October, COVID-19 rates among the vaccinated with no previous infection were 6.2 times lower in California and 4.5 times lower in New York than among the unvaccinated with no previous infection.

take our poll - story continues below

Did SCOTUS make the right decision on medical mandates for large businesses?

  • Did SCOTUS make the right decision on medical mandates for large businesses?  

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Completing this poll grants you access to Flag And Cross updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

However, among the unvaccinated with a previous infection, the COVID-19 rate was 29 times lower in California and 14.7 times lower in New York.

The individuals most protected against infection were those who had previously had COVID-19 and were also vaccinated. Their infection rate was 32.5 times lower in California and 19.8 times lower in New York.

“These results demonstrate that vaccination protects against COVID-19 and related hospitalization, and that surviving a previous infection protects against a reinfection and related hospitalization,” the CDC determined.

The agency noted that natural immunity proved more efficacious as the delta variant became predominant and vaccine-induced immunity for many began to wane.

The CDC also highlighted that the study took place before omicron became the dominant variant in the U.S. and before the impact of booster shots could be adequately measured.

Dr. Benjamin Silk of the CDC told the media on Wednesday, “Before the delta variant, COVID-19 vaccination resulted in better protection against a subsequent infection than surviving a previous infection,” CNN reported.

“When looking at the summer and the fall of 2021, when delta became the dominant in this country, however, surviving a previous infection now provided greater protection against subsequent infection than vaccination,” he added.

Dr. Eli Rosenberg, New York state deputy director for science said the safest course of action for those who have never had COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

“Having COVID the first time carries with it significant risks, and becoming vaccinated and staying up-to-date with boosters really is the only safe choice for preventing COVID infection and severe disease,” he said.

Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has faulted policymakers for being too slow to acknowledge natural immunity.

“The pandemic of the unvaccinated is a misnomer. It’s a pandemic of the non-immune,” he tweeted in July.

“More precisely, it’s a series of regional outbreaks in select pockets of the country with low population immunity,” Makary said. “Same take-home message though: If you’re not immune, get immune by getting vaxed.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Wednesday shows that those who have recovered from COVID-19 have more protection against infection than those who have only been vaccinated. Researchers reviewed data from California and New York from May to November, when the delta variant was dominant in the U.S. The study looked at four groups of people: unvaccinated with no prior COVID-19 infection, vaccinated with no prior infection, unvaccinated who recovered from COVID-19, and vaccinated who recovered. By the first week of October, COVID-19 rates among the vaccinated with no previous infection were 6.2 times lower in California and 4.5 times lower in New York than among the unvaccinated with no previous infection. However, among the unvaccinated with a previous infection, the COVID-19 rate was 29 times lower in California and 14.7 times lower in New York. The individuals most protected against infection were those who had previously had COVID-19 and were also vaccinated. Their infection rate was 32.5 times lower in California and 19.8 times lower in New York. “These results demonstrate that vaccination protects against COVID-19 and related hospitalization, and that surviving a previous infection protects against a reinfection and related hospitalization,” the CDC determined. The agency noted that natural immunity proved more efficacious as the delta variant became predominant and vaccine-induced immunity for many began to wane. The CDC also highlighted that the study took place before omicron became the dominant variant in the U.S. and before the impact of booster shots could be adequately measured. Dr. Benjamin Silk of the CDC told the media on Wednesday, “Before the delta variant, COVID-19 vaccination resulted in better protection against a subsequent infection than surviving a previous infection,” CNN reported. “When looking at the summer and the fall of 2021, when delta became the…

Continue Reading
The Schaftlein Report

Latest Articles

Best of the Week