Blog No. 148. The Incredible Shrinking Travel Ban Has Shrunk Again (But Don’t Let Granny On That Plane Just Yet)

On June 26, the Supreme Court announced its decision in two cases involving the Trump travel ban. The decision was issued per curiam (not signed by any individual justice) and was accompanied by an opinion signed by three justices, concurring in part and dissenting in part. The President greeted the decision with an exultant tweet:[…]

Blog No. 137 Gorsuch and Filibusters: Some Afterthoughts

On Monday, Judge Neil Gorsuch was sworn in at a White House ceremony and became Justice Gorsuch. As nearly everyone must know, that event was made possible only by a change in the Senate rules allowing the Republican majority to avoid a filibuster and to confirm Gorsuch by a simple majority vote. In the weeks[…]

Welcome to RINOcracy 2.0 was founded in May, 2013 as a voice within the Republican Party, albeit a voice dissenting from party orthodoxy on some significant issues. The 2013 “Welcome to RINOcracy,” which appears below, explained the origin of the name, some of my political background and offered brief thoughts on several issues. Now, however, things have changed.[…]

Blog No. 117 Trump, Clinton and the Supreme Court

We have read that some Republicans who would not otherwise vote for Donald Trump may do so solely on the ground that it would be unacceptable to put at least one or more Supreme Court nominations in the hands of Hillary Clinton. We believe that, while such a concern may be legitimate, it should not[…]

Blog No. 74, Part II. The Supreme Court: The Affordable Care Act, Same-Sex Marriage and Other Interesting Issues.


In Part I we discussed the decisions of the Supreme Court concerning the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage. This Part II will briefly consider four other end of term decisions worthy of note. First, however, we offer some observations concerning Justices Scalia and Kennedy.


Blog No 74 Part I. The Supreme Court: The Affordable Care Act, Same-Sex Marriage and Other interesting Issues.

Part I. The Affordable Care Act and Same-Sex Marriage The end of the Supreme Court term produced two major decisions, on the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage, that generated extensive comment by politicians and pundits and drew attention in every form of media. There is little need at this point for extended discussion or[…]

Blog No. 42. Contraceptive Confusion: The Puzzlements of Hobby Lobby and Wheaton

On June 30, The Supreme Court issued an opinion in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius (collectively Hobby Lobby) invalidating regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that require that insurance provided by employers cover a broad range of contraceptive medications and devices. The employers in each case objected to coverage for four specific types of contraceptives that they consider to be abortifacients, i.e., causing an abortion. The employers claimed that the requirement to provide that coverage infringed their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). A five-justice majority of the Court agreed in an opinion by Justice Alito. The immediate controversy over the decision was quickly heightened when, three days later,the Court entered a preliminary stay in Wheaton College v. Burwell relieving Wheaton, a Christian college, of complying with an alternative procedure that the Court had appeared to endorse in Hobby Lobby. […]

Blog No. 34 McCutcheon and the Quagmire of Campaign Finance

The recent decision of the Supreme Court in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission has once again focused attention – often outrage – on the quagmire of campaign finance law.  In McCutcheon, Chief Justice Roberts observed that many people “would be delighted to see fewer television commercials touting a candidate’s accomplishments or disparaging an opponent’s character.”  I count myself among the people Roberts described. Nevertheless, it can be argued that extravagant political spending is more of an cultural irritant than the fundamental threat to democracy that it is sometimes claimed to be. In any event, it may be helpful to put the McCutcheon case in context and highlight briefly some of the key issues and Supreme Court decisionsBlog 32 demo reb money


Blog No. 22. Obamacare and Contraception: Science, Freedom of Religion and Politics

JUSTICE - religion and ACA BLog 22 version 2 LOGOThe Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases challenging the requirement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that insurance plans provided by employers must include coverage for certain contraceptive drugs and devices. Circuit courts hade reached conflicting decisions as to whether that requirement infringes the rights of corporate employers or their stockholders under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and the Court will resolve that conflict.  The cases raise interesting legal questions and, like most of the more interesting cases in the Supreme Court, they have stimulated political reactions of which more no doubt lie ahead. will not predict how the Court will rule, or even take a firm position as to how it should, but will merely attempt to clarify the issues.  As a political issue, however, we will suggest that the cases probably represent more of a risk than an opportunity for Republicans and that they should treat  the Court’s eventual decision with some caution. […]