The President’s and Senate’s Duties When a Supreme Court Vacancy Arises During an Election Year

A couple of dozen progressive constitutional law professors, including several very prominent ones, have written a letter that, taken seriously, means that President Trump has a constitutional duty to nominate a new Supreme Court Justice and the Senate has the duty to hold a floor vote this year. Here’s an excerpt from their argument:

Article II of the Constitution is explicit that the president “shall nominate . . . judges of the Supreme Court.” There is no exception to this provision for election years. Throughout American history, presidents have nominated individuals to fill vacancies during the last year of their terms. Likewise, the Senate’s constitutional duty to “advise and consent” – the process that has come to include hearings, committee votes, and floor votes – has no exception for election years…. We urge the President to nominate as soon as reasonably possible an individual to fill the vacancy existing on the Court and the Senate to hold hearings and vote on the nominee.

Of course, they wrote this in 2016, and almost certainly did not mean it to be taken seriously now that the shoe is on the other foot. But it might be worth asking them.

Note that the letter in question has mysteriously disappeared from the American Constitution Society’s website, but still can be found via the Wayback Machine.

UPDATE: Note: The argument in the letter regarding the Senate’s duty was silly when it was made, and it’s silly today, but any law professor who publicly makes a constitutional law argument when it benefits his “team” should be willing to stick by it when it benefits the other side. Yet I doubt that any of the signators will be publicly repeating this argument this Fall.

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After the Stimulus Binge, Brace for a Crash

apaart841010(1)

As anybody who has ever snorted a few lines of white powder to enhance an evening knows, there is a price to be paid for that artificial energy. The short-term boost is followed by a crash of longer duration. Well, America, get ready for a hell of a hangover. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the federal government’s recent stimulus spending—intended to offset the economic distress caused by voluntary social distancing and, especially, by mandatory lockdowns—is bound to be followed by an epic crash.

In a report published September 18, the CBO looks at the impact of four federal laws that are supposed to reduce the pain of social distancing as well as forced business closures and resulting job losses: the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act; the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act; and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. Those laws increased funding for federal agencies and for state and local governments, in addition to requiring employers to grant paid sick leave to employees, providing payments and tax credits to businesses and individuals, and offering loans and payments to businesses and health care providers to help keep them operating.

The idea was to keep America coasting as manufacturing, buying, and selling were sharply curtailed. But simulating economic prosperity in the absence of an economy is an expensive proposition.

Here’s how the CBO characterizes these stimulus laws’ effects on the U.S. economy:

Short-Term Effects. CBO estimates that the legislation will increase the level of real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by 4.7 percent in 2020 and 3.1 percent in 2021. From fiscal year 2020 through 2023, for every dollar that it adds to the deficit, the legislation is projected to increase GDP by about 59 cents.

Longer-Term Effects. By increasing debt as a percentage of GDP, the legislation is expected to raise borrowing costs, lower economic output, and reduce national income in the longer term.

The cost of this artificial boost—4.7 percent to GDP in 2020 and 3.1 percent in 2021—is $2.9 trillion in deficit spending over the same period, notes the CBO. The pandemic will pass, but we’ll be paying for government actions taken during this time for many years to come.

How much will we pay? “Federal budget deficits raise the ratio of federal debt to GDP from 79 percent in 2019 to 109 percent in 2030,” the CBO projects.

The growth of government debt to exceed the size of the entire economy for the first time since World War II was separately projected by the CBO earlier this month and is reiterated in the latest report.

In fact, deficits and debt may be worse than this report suggests. The CBO admitted in August that it tends to slightly overestimate government revenues. Lower revenues than anticipated will mean higher deficits unless government spending is reduced (don’t hold your breath). That adds up to higher debt pretty quickly.

Nothing in the CBO report is really a surprise, since experts all along have been pointing out that we’ll be paying for 2020’s spending binge for many years to come.

“All this needed borrowing will obviously have a profound consequence on the national debt,” Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and a supporter of federal stimulus spending, cautioned during July testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. “In the short run, borrowing is exactly what we need to be doing; in the longer-run, the debt accumulation will have to be dealt with.”

“Unnecessary borrowing will just make it that much more difficult to get the national debt under control and stabilize our fiscal and economic future once this crisis has passed,” MacGuineas added.

Other commenters have been more ambivalent, at best, about the wisdom of the stimulus packages.

“The increases in federal expenditures and the reduction in government revenue are being financed almost exclusively by borrowing and will push the federal debt to $30 trillion sometime during 2021,” warned James D. Gwartney, a professor of economics and policy sciences at Florida State University. “Interest rates will inevitably rise at some point, and the additional interest cost will have to be covered by either higher taxes or money creation. The former will slow future economic growth, while the latter will be inflationary.”

The CBO obviously agrees that government debt is unlikely to be under control anytime soon and that economic output is likely to suffer. The recent report also notes that “higher debt—coming at a time when the longer-term path for debt was already high—could eventually increase the risk of a fiscal crisis or of less abrupt economic changes, such as higher inflation or the undermining of the U.S. dollar’s predominant role in global financial markets.”

That’s pretty gloomy stuff. But given years of cautionary language about debts and spending from the CBO, it may not even register on a jaded public. Among those paying attention, nasty economic consequences from rising deficits and debt were expected years before the pandemic and policy responses to the virus imposed new costs. How much more can people be expected to fret about a federal government that has long been addicted to spending far beyond its means?

The latest spending binge was irresistible for elected officials who need slight excuse for their compulsive behavior. “Airlifting cash into American households is one of those rare concepts that almost every politician can embrace,” Michael Grunwald commented at Politico back when pandemic stimulus schemes were first floated.

It’s a special occasion. What harm could one more line do, anyway?

America got its short-term boost from stimulus checks. We’ll have plenty of opportunity to decide in the years to come whether it was worth the inevitable comedown.

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The President’s and Senate’s Duties When a Supreme Court Vacancy Arises During an Election Year

A couple of dozen progressive constitutional law professors, including several very prominent ones, have written a letter that, taken seriously, means that President Trump has a constitutional duty to nominate a new Supreme Court Justice and the Senate has the duty to hold a floor vote this year. Here’s an excerpt from their argument:

Article II of the Constitution is explicit that the president “shall nominate . . . judges of the Supreme Court.” There is no exception to this provision for election years. Throughout American history, presidents have nominated individuals to fill vacancies during the last year of their terms. Likewise, the Senate’s constitutional duty to “advise and consent” – the process that has come to include hearings, committee votes, and floor votes – has no exception for election years…. We urge the President to nominate as soon as reasonably possible an individual to fill the vacancy existing on the Court and the Senate to hold hearings and vote on the nominee.

Of course, they wrote this in 2016, and almost certainly did not mean it to be taken seriously now that the shoe is on the other foot. But it might be worth asking them.

Note that the letter in question has mysteriously disappeared from the American Constitution Society’s website, but still can be found via the Wayback Machine.

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After the Stimulus Binge, Brace for a Crash

apaart841010(1)

As anybody who has ever snorted a few lines of white powder to enhance an evening knows, there is a price to be paid for that artificial energy. The short-term boost is followed by a crash of longer duration. Well, America, get ready for a hell of a hangover. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the federal government’s recent stimulus spending—intended to offset the economic distress caused by voluntary social distancing and, especially, by mandatory lockdowns—is bound to be followed by an epic crash.

In a report published September 18, the CBO looks at the impact of four federal laws that are supposed to reduce the pain of social distancing as well as forced business closures and resulting job losses: the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act; the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act; and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. Those laws increased funding for federal agencies and for state and local governments, in addition to requiring employers to grant paid sick leave to employees, providing payments and tax credits to businesses and individuals, and offering loans and payments to businesses and health care providers to help keep them operating.

The idea was to keep America coasting as manufacturing, buying, and selling were sharply curtailed. But simulating economic prosperity in the absence of an economy is an expensive proposition.

Here’s how the CBO characterizes these stimulus laws’ effects on the U.S. economy:

Short-Term Effects. CBO estimates that the legislation will increase the level of real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by 4.7 percent in 2020 and 3.1 percent in 2021. From fiscal year 2020 through 2023, for every dollar that it adds to the deficit, the legislation is projected to increase GDP by about 59 cents.

Longer-Term Effects. By increasing debt as a percentage of GDP, the legislation is expected to raise borrowing costs, lower economic output, and reduce national income in the longer term.

The cost of this artificial boost—4.7 percent to GDP in 2020 and 3.1 percent in 2021—is $2.9 trillion in deficit spending over the same period, notes the CBO. The pandemic will pass, but we’ll be paying for government actions taken during this time for many years to come.

How much will we pay? “Federal budget deficits raise the ratio of federal debt to GDP from 79 percent in 2019 to 109 percent in 2030,” the CBO projects.

The growth of government debt to exceed the size of the entire economy for the first time since World War II was separately projected by the CBO earlier this month and is reiterated in the latest report.

In fact, deficits and debt may be worse than this report suggests. The CBO admitted in August that it tends to slightly overestimate government revenues. Lower revenues than anticipated will mean higher deficits unless government spending is reduced (don’t hold your breath). That adds up to higher debt pretty quickly.

Nothing in the CBO report is really a surprise, since experts all along have been pointing out that we’ll be paying for 2020’s spending binge for many years to come.

“All this needed borrowing will obviously have a profound consequence on the national debt,” Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and a supporter of federal stimulus spending, cautioned during July testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. “In the short run, borrowing is exactly what we need to be doing; in the longer-run, the debt accumulation will have to be dealt with.”

“Unnecessary borrowing will just make it that much more difficult to get the national debt under control and stabilize our fiscal and economic future once this crisis has passed,” MacGuineas added.

Other commenters have been more ambivalent, at best, about the wisdom of the stimulus packages.

“The increases in federal expenditures and the reduction in government revenue are being financed almost exclusively by borrowing and will push the federal debt to $30 trillion sometime during 2021,” warned James D. Gwartney, a professor of economics and policy sciences at Florida State University. “Interest rates will inevitably rise at some point, and the additional interest cost will have to be covered by either higher taxes or money creation. The former will slow future economic growth, while the latter will be inflationary.”

The CBO obviously agrees that government debt is unlikely to be under control anytime soon and that economic output is likely to suffer. The recent report also notes that “higher debt—coming at a time when the longer-term path for debt was already high—could eventually increase the risk of a fiscal crisis or of less abrupt economic changes, such as higher inflation or the undermining of the U.S. dollar’s predominant role in global financial markets.”

That’s pretty gloomy stuff. But given years of cautionary language about debts and spending from the CBO, it may not even register on a jaded public. Among those paying attention, nasty economic consequences from rising deficits and debt were expected years before the pandemic and policy responses to the virus imposed new costs. How much more can people be expected to fret about a federal government that has long been addicted to spending far beyond its means?

The latest spending binge was irresistible for elected officials who need slight excuse for their compulsive behavior. “Airlifting cash into American households is one of those rare concepts that almost every politician can embrace,” Michael Grunwald commented at Politico back when pandemic stimulus schemes were first floated.

It’s a special occasion. What harm could one more line do, anyway?

America got its short-term boost from stimulus checks. We’ll have plenty of opportunity to decide in the years to come whether it was worth the inevitable comedown.

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As Crime Soars, Furious NYers Paint Giant “F**k Cuomo And De Blasio” Mural On Brooklyn Street

As Crime Soars, Furious NYers Paint Giant “F**k Cuomo And De Blasio” Mural On Brooklyn Street

Tyler Durden

Mon, 09/21/2020 – 10:30

Amid soaring crime and plummeting business sentiment – both laid squarely at the feet of NYC mayor De Blasio and NY Governor Cuomo – New Yorkers sent a stereotypically blunt message to their ‘elected’ officials this weekend

The New York Post reported the mural was created around 1 a.m. Saturday during an annual block party that also served as a “small business owner protest.”

“A few partygoers got the idea to paint in huge [letters, using] yellow paint with rollers on North 15th, ‘F–k Cuomo and de Blasio,’” an unidentified attendee said Sunday.

“The party continued. Everyone took photos. It was a big hit. The crowds cheered, even the cops chuckled.”

As Fox News reports, the street art was written in the style of city-sanctioned projects reading “Black Lives Matter” that popped up during summer protests, including one outside of Manhattan’s Trump Tower, which de Blasio was seen personally helping  create and which also has become a vandalism magnet.

A criminal mischief complaint had been filed over the incident the NYPD confirmed and added that an investigation is ongoing.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2FTWo19 Tyler Durden

Trump To Make Supreme Court Nomination Friday Or Saturday

Trump To Make Supreme Court Nomination Friday Or Saturday

Tyler Durden

Mon, 09/21/2020 – 10:10

PJMedia.com’s Matt Margolis reports that  during an exclusive interview on Fox & Friends Monday morning,  President Trump revealed that his list of potential Supreme Court nominees to fill the vacancy left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been narrowed down to five and that he’ll announce his choice Friday or Saturday.

“The bottom line is we won the election, we have an obligation to do what’s right and act as quickly as possible,” Trump said.

I think it will be on Friday or Saturday and we want to pay respect. It looks like we will have services on Thursday or Friday, as I understand it, and I think we should, with all due respect for Justice Ginsburg, wait for services to be over.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was 87 years old.

As we previously detailed, the president’s list has likely been narrowed to two leading candidates, according to people familiar with the matter: federal appellate judges Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit, in Chicago, and Barbara Lagoa of the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta.

  • Judge Barrett, 48 years old, was confirmed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October 2017 in a 55-43 vote. She is popular among social conservatives and was a finalist for the post in 2018 when Mr. Trump chose Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

  • Judge Lagoa, 52, previously served as the first Hispanic woman on Florida’s high court.

Democrats have vowed to do anything in their power to either stop the nomination or retaliate afterward.

Nancy Pelosi refused to rule out using impeachment as a tactic to tie up the Senate to keep it from confirming a replacement. Chuck Schumer has also threatened to pack the court next year if Trump proceeds with the nomination.

But Democrats were previously all for election-year nominations to the Supreme Court.

“I made it absolutely clear that I would go forward with the confirmation process, as chairman – even a few months before a presidential election – if the nominee were chosen with the advice, and not merely the consent, of the Senate – just as the Constitution requires,” Biden said back in 2016.

“Eight is not a good number for a collegial body that sometimes disagrees.”

Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being president in his last year.”

*  *  *

Want to support PJ Media so we can continue telling the truth about what the Left is up to? Join PJ Media VIP TODAY and use the promo code LOYALTY to get 25% off your VIP membership

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NYC Restaurants Debate Whether To Use New 10% COVID Surcharge

NYC Restaurants Debate Whether To Use New 10% COVID Surcharge

Tyler Durden

Mon, 09/21/2020 – 09:55

With Erika Adams of Eater New York,

Restaurant owners are grappling with whether to use a new emergency measure that City Council approved this week allowing NYC restaurants to add a COVID-19 surcharge of up to 10 percent to diner’s bills, the New York Times reports.

On Wednesday, the City Council voted, 46 to 2, to let restaurants impose a temporary “Covid-19 recovery charge” to help them through their fiscal straits. The bill, which Mayor Bill de Blasio will sign, according to a spokesman for his office, will allow restaurants the option of adding a surcharge of 10 percent or less to each bill (though not for takeout or delivery), as long as it is clearly noted on menus.

New York restaurateurs have long fought to strike down a city rule that forbids such surcharges, which are allowed at any time in other parts of the state and most of the country. In the pandemic, a city-sanctioned fee may be a way to allow restaurants to increase revenue without raising food prices, and to ascribe the charge to government.

But in interviews, many restaurant owners said they weren’t ready to add the new surcharge, especially at the full 10 percent.

While the extra revenue would be helpful to offset operating costs, some restaurateurs say they are concerned that the additional charge will scare off customers. A restaurant owner in Little Italy, Nick Criscitelli, told the Times that he won’t be adding the surcharge to bills as it’s difficult already for his customers to come to the restaurant during this time.

“Our customers are all families,” and during the pandemic most are neighbors and other regulars whose finances are as challenged as his own, Mr. Criscitelli said. “So why should we charge them any extra? It’s hard for them to come out now.”

Kalergis Dellaportas, the general manager of his family’s Bel Aire Diner, in Astoria, Queens, said that if the bill had passed at the start of the pandemic, he might have been tempted. But six months in, he has already planned for the extra costs of running a restaurant, including restarting indoor service at the end of the month.

Philippe Massoud, the owner of Lebanese restaurant Ilili in Flatiron, says that he may add a small surcharge of up to 3 percent while explaining the current pandemic-related operating costs like masks, gloves, and outdoor dining buildouts, to customers.

That’s exactly the point, said Andrew Rigie, the executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, which has about 2,500 members — mainly more established restaurants, hotels and bars — and lobbied for the surcharge. “This bill is only meant to be one tool restaurants can apply to try to survive right now,” he said.

Others are more excited about the new surcharge: “They finally did the right thing, now they need to make it permanent,” said the chef Russell Jackson, a veteran of restaurants on both coasts and the owner of Reverence, a tasting-menu restaurant in Harlem. He compared the new surcharge to a small one he imposed while running a restaurant in San Francisco, after that city made restaurateurs responsible for some extra health care costs.

Yet even Jackson thinks 10 percent is too much. He said that he would try 5 percent, and that he had counseled one of his neighbors who runs a more casual restaurant to add 3 percent.

The surcharge, which comes before tax on the bill, can only be applied to in-person dining tickets, not takeout and delivery checks, the Times reports. Surcharges have been historically been illegal to use in NYC, although the practice is allowed elsewhere in the state. The temporary surcharge — set to expire 90 days after indoor dining returns at full capacity — will be available for use after Mayor Bill de Blasio, who supports the measure, signs the new bill into law.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3mH5VK0 Tyler Durden

Here Are The “Fascinating Scenarios” For Markets: Wall Street Responds To RBG’s Death

Here Are The “Fascinating Scenarios” For Markets: Wall Street Responds To RBG’s Death

Tyler Durden

Mon, 09/21/2020 – 09:38

Over the weekend, in looking at the political and market chaos unleashed by the passing of SCOTUS Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we said markets are now facing a “nuclear scenario” and summarized the lay of the land by as follows:

Simply put, the political quagmire unleashed by the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves the market in an even more precarious position since if a contested election was a source of great uncertainty before, a 4-4 SCOTUS extends that uncertainty even further as we already know there will be no concessions for weeks, and the extensions of mail-in ballots will merely add fuel to the fire of what is shaping up as the most contested election in US history.

In short, this is the “worst case scenario” – that JPMorgan just warned about last week  when envisioning a contested election’s impact on markets – on steroids, since The Fed has nothing new to offer and fiscal stimulus will definitely be off the table now until an election decision is made, a decision that may not comes for months without a SCOTUS tiebreaker vote.

Sure enough, this morning a plethora of Wall Street analysts took the stage to confirm our initial take, and explaining in their own words, why the death of RBG is sending futures sharply lower this morning, starting with Rabobank’s Michael Every who had this to say:

The death of US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg … makes the US election even more important and heated than it already was – and harder to call. Listen to US commentators and all other topics are now secondary, including both the economy (bad for Trump) and Covid-19 (good for Trump). Republicans and Democrats are incredibly fired up given the outcome of the election could shift the balance of the court for a generation. Imagine if it shifted to 6-3 conservative; also imagine if no judge is appointed and it is then tied 4-4 when having to rule on a key element of what is widely expected to be a legally contested election; imagine the court being increased to 11 by Biden if he were to win; and imagine it going up to 15 or 17 if a Republican wins in 2024. This election was already seen as a potential risk event: arguably far more so now.

Next we go to DB’s Jim Reid who summarizes the outcome of RBG’s death as unveiling “lots of fascinating scenarios” to the table.

President Trump said that he would put forth a nominee to fill the seat and Senate Majority Leader McConnell said “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” indicating that Republican leadership will try to fill the seat ahead of the election.This represents a turn in the Majority leader’s thinking from 2016, where he did not allow a floor vote for then-President Obama’s nominee in an election year. The nomination and confirmation process will introduce a new element to an election not least because the court can hold sway over highly contentious issues like healthcare, abortion rights and gun law.

It brings lots of fascinating scenarios to the table. If Trump succeeds at getting his nomination through before the election there will be a 6-3 Republican bias to the Supreme Court which as discussed could have policy ramifications for the US for a generation. Democrats are up in arms that the Republicans won’t wait until after the election and are suggesting that may do extraordinary things to address the balance (like adding new judges to the bench) if they gain control of both the Senate and the White House. Congress altered the size of the bench seven times in the first eighty years of the republic (ranging from 5 to 10 justices) but this has not changed since the Judiciary Act of 1869. However getting the current Senate to confirm a nominee won’t be straight forward for Mr Trump as the GOP only hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate (with Vice President Pence serving as the tie-breaker) and a few members have already made noises that they don’t think a new judge should be added this close to the election. So even more drama added to an election campaign.

Finally, we present the Monday morning thoughts from Morgan Stanley analyst Michael Wilson who now expects a second leg of a market correction as a result of the mounting Fiscal Cliff concerns (which we have been discussing for the past month), coupled with the “Peak Fed” (as pointed out last night), with RBG’s death serving as the nail in the coffin of any hopes of an immediate rebound: “Fiscal negotiations have made little progress and the Fed failed to appease the doves on QE. The combination means lower equity prices before the correction, led by the Nasdaq, is over.”

He explains further:

We think the market is now faced with the following two potential outcomes:

  1. Congress fails to pass the bill and the recovery stalls or
  2. Congress does pass CARES 2, which is good for the recovery but is also bad for the long-end of the bond market.

In our view, the second outcome is more likely, while the first outcome would be a much greater threat to the bull market. Markets will be forced to watch and wait. At the end of the day, markets wobbling will be part of the pressure required to get a deal done. The question is how much pressure will be necessary.

This correction began on September 2, when equity markets failed to break through formidable longer-term resistance. The reasons are often unimportant at such junctures as the technicals simply take over, much like in August when markets went seemingly parabolic for “no reason.” Speaking of August, at this point, we think everyone understands the speculative drivers from both retail and certain institutional buyer(s) of call options in large cap technology stocks. The subsequent reversal of that speculation was naturally concentrated in those stocks too (Exhibit 2).

Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that the best performers this month have been stocks most levered to a continued economic recovery. In other words, the market does seem to be looking through the near-term risk of congressional legislative wrangling and expects something to get done. This means sustainable growth but higher back end rates – i.e. cyclicals over growth and defensives. Implicit in such a conclusion is our view that higher back end rates due to better growth and higher inflation should dissuade the Fed’s decision to engage in yield curve control.

Finally, the unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could stall passage of CARES2 in the near term as Democrats may back away from the bill if the President nominates his Supreme Court choice prior to the election.

In short, we believe the odds of scenario 1 may have just gone up, at least with respect to the timing of the next stimulus, and that could weigh on all equities and rates in the near term.

In conclusion, as the fog of political war lifts and as more clarity about the process of RBG’s replacement emerges, expect to see even more violent reactions in the market as the cascading consequences of the vacant SCOTUS seat flow through both the upcoming highly contested presidential elections, which as JPM already said is the “worst case scenario” for the market, and investor sentiment which is finally realizing that the record post-March rally is finally coming to an end.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2Hc4brI Tyler Durden

Half of Republicans Say New Justice Should Be Picked by Whoever Wins the Election

polspphotos721363

Democrats and Republicans think U.S. leaders should wait to confirm a new justice. In a poll conducted over the weekend by Reuters and Ipsos, 62 percent of respondents said that picking a Supreme Court justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg—who passed away on Friday—should be left to whoever wins the presidential election in November. This was the position of around 50 percent of the Republicans polled and 80 percent of the Democrats.

It is not the position of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has said the Senate will vote on a Trump replacement nominee by the end of the year.

“There are obvious incentives for the GOP to try to ram through a nominee before the clock might run out on the current president and Senate majority,” points out Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy. “If they succeed, they could transform the previous narrow 5–4 conservative majority on the Court into a much more secure 6–3 margin that could last for years to come.”

What do the chattering classes think should be done?

“President Trump should promptly nominate the late Justice Ginsburg’s successor, but Senators should delay a final vote on the nomination until after the election,” suggests Adam J. White at The Bulwark:

If Trump wins reelection, then his victory will secure not just the new justice’s appointment, but also her public legitimacy. And if Trump loses, then Senate Republicans and Democrats will have an opportunity to commit to not pack the Court, and thus to not destroy it.

It’s a plan so sensible that you know party bigwigs on both sides will hate it…

The Atlantic‘s Conor Friedersdorf muses about something a little more radical:

Charles C.W. Cooke wonders what all the fuss is about:

​​I must confess that, while I accept that the history is certainly on the side of filling it, I have never found this debate especially meaningful. As I wrote when Antonin Scalia died, this is an entirely straightforward question, the details of which are the same at all times within the cycle. In our system, the president gets to nominate a justice, and the Senate gets to decide whether to accept that nomination, to reject that nomination, or, if it likes, to completely ignore that nomination. This was true in 2016, and it is true now. The game requires both players. If they are both willing, the vacancy is filled. If one is not willing, the vacancy remains. And that, ultimately, is all there is to it.

Since Ginsburg’s death, two GOP senators—Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—have said they think the decision should be left to whoever wins the election. The Senate currently has a 53–47 Republican majority.

“The looming fight over the Supreme Court vacancy so far does not appear to have given either of the two major political parties much of an advantage in an incendiary campaign season,” Reuters reports. In its recent poll with Ipsos,

30% of American adults said that Ginsburg’s death will make them more likely to vote for Biden while 25% said they were now more likely to support Trump. Another 38% said that it had no impact on their interest in voting, and the rest said they were not sure.

Ginsburg’s death has brought in a record amount of donations for Democrats.

“Democratic donors gave more money online in the 9 p.m. hour Friday after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death was announced—$6.2 million—than in any other single hour since ActBlue, the donation-processing site, was started 16 years ago,” reports The New York Times. “Then donors broke the site’s record again in the 10 p.m. hour when donors gave another $6.3 million—more than $100,000 per minute.”


FREE MARKETS

Donald Trump is still trying to milk the forced sale of TikTok to his own advantage. The president’s latest harebrained scheme on this front is to condition permission for the deal on compelling the company helping to pay for his new public-school propaganda initiatives.

More info on Trump’s proposal here. More info on the TikTok deal (now with Oracle and Walmart) here.

Meanwhile, a federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of Trump’s ban on the Tencent messaging app WeChat.


FREE MINDS

Don’t be too alarmed about a new study purportedly showing that airplanes are super-risky for catching COVID-19.

So far, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has “investigated 1,600 cases of people who flew while at risk of spreading the coronavirus,” notes The Washington Post. “But though the agency says some of those travelers subsequently fell ill, in the face of incomplete contact tracing information and a virus that incubates over several days, it has not been able to confirm a case of transmission on a plane.”

In other CDC news: At least several months after scientists, media, and the general public learned that COVID-19 is primarily spread through the air rather than infected surfaces, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is changing its COVID-19 guidance to reflect this.


QUICK HITS

• Virginia has wasted no time in stripping people of their Second Amendment rights since its new “red flag” law went into effect. “At least three dozen Virginia residents have been prohibited temporarily or permanently from having firearms or purchasing them based on a new state law letting courts decide they would be a danger to themselves or others,” reports the Associated Press.

• The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit “recently did something that is at once simple and radical,” says The Hill. The court “said the usual constitutional rules that apply to normal police all over the country also apply” to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

• Thailand sees more mass protests against the monarchy.

• The Emmys were on last night, and people won things.

• “The percentage of Americans who say they have heard ‘a lot’ or ‘a little’ about QAnon has roughly doubled” since March, reports the Pew Research Center of its latest poll findings. “Democrats are somewhat more likely to have heard at least a little about these theories than Republicans (55% versus 39%, respectively).”

• Five ways that Justice Ginsburg’s death will affect the Supreme Court before her successor is confirmed.

• A headline you probably didn’t expect to see at the start of the year: “DOJ Designates New York City as an ‘Anarchist Jurisdiction.'”

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Half of Republicans Say New Justice Should Be Picked by Whoever Wins the Election

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Democrats and Republicans think U.S. leaders should wait to confirm a new justice. In a poll conducted over the weekend by Reuters and Ipsos, 62 percent of respondents said that picking a Supreme Court justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg—who passed away on Friday—should be left to whoever wins the presidential election in November. This was the position of around 50 percent of the Republicans polled and 80 percent of the Democrats.

It is not the position of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has said the Senate will vote on a Trump replacement nominee by the end of the year.

“There are obvious incentives for the GOP to try to ram through a nominee before the clock might run out on the current president and Senate majority,” points out Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy. “If they succeed, they could transform the previous narrow 5–4 conservative majority on the Court into a much more secure 6–3 margin that could last for years to come.”

What do the chattering classes think should be done?

“President Trump should promptly nominate the late Justice Ginsburg’s successor, but Senators should delay a final vote on the nomination until after the election,” suggests Adam J. White at The Bulwark:

If Trump wins reelection, then his victory will secure not just the new justice’s appointment, but also her public legitimacy. And if Trump loses, then Senate Republicans and Democrats will have an opportunity to commit to not pack the Court, and thus to not destroy it.

It’s a plan so sensible that you know party bigwigs on both sides will hate it…

The Atlantic‘s Conor Friedersdorf muses about something a little more radical:

Charles C.W. Cooke wonders what all the fuss is about:

​​I must confess that, while I accept that the history is certainly on the side of filling it, I have never found this debate especially meaningful. As I wrote when Antonin Scalia died, this is an entirely straightforward question, the details of which are the same at all times within the cycle. In our system, the president gets to nominate a justice, and the Senate gets to decide whether to accept that nomination, to reject that nomination, or, if it likes, to completely ignore that nomination. This was true in 2016, and it is true now. The game requires both players. If they are both willing, the vacancy is filled. If one is not willing, the vacancy remains. And that, ultimately, is all there is to it.

Since Ginsburg’s death, two GOP senators—Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—have said they think the decision should be left to whoever wins the election. The Senate currently has a 53–47 Republican majority.

“The looming fight over the Supreme Court vacancy so far does not appear to have given either of the two major political parties much of an advantage in an incendiary campaign season,” Reuters reports. In its recent poll with Ipsos,

30% of American adults said that Ginsburg’s death will make them more likely to vote for Biden while 25% said they were now more likely to support Trump. Another 38% said that it had no impact on their interest in voting, and the rest said they were not sure.

Ginsburg’s death has brought in a record amount of donations for Democrats.

“Democratic donors gave more money online in the 9 p.m. hour Friday after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death was announced—$6.2 million—than in any other single hour since ActBlue, the donation-processing site, was started 16 years ago,” reports The New York Times. “Then donors broke the site’s record again in the 10 p.m. hour when donors gave another $6.3 million—more than $100,000 per minute.”


FREE MARKETS

Donald Trump is still trying to milk the forced sale of TikTok to his own advantage. The president’s latest harebrained scheme on this front is to condition permission for the deal on compelling the company helping to pay for his new public-school propaganda initiatives.

More info on Trump’s proposal here. More info on the TikTok deal (now with Oracle and Walmart) here.

Meanwhile, a federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of Trump’s ban on the Tencent messaging app WeChat.


FREE MINDS

Don’t be too alarmed about a new study purportedly showing that airplanes are super-risky for catching COVID-19.

So far, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has “investigated 1,600 cases of people who flew while at risk of spreading the coronavirus,” notes The Washington Post. “But though the agency says some of those travelers subsequently fell ill, in the face of incomplete contact tracing information and a virus that incubates over several days, it has not been able to confirm a case of transmission on a plane.”

In other CDC news: At least several months after scientists, media, and the general public learned that COVID-19 is primarily spread through the air rather than infected surfaces, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is changing its COVID-19 guidance to reflect this.


QUICK HITS

• Virginia has wasted no time in stripping people of their Second Amendment rights since its new “red flag” law went into effect. “At least three dozen Virginia residents have been prohibited temporarily or permanently from having firearms or purchasing them based on a new state law letting courts decide they would be a danger to themselves or others,” reports the Associated Press.

• The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit “recently did something that is at once simple and radical,” says The Hill. The court “said the usual constitutional rules that apply to normal police all over the country also apply” to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

• Thailand sees more mass protests against the monarchy.

• The Emmys were on last night, and people won things.

• “The percentage of Americans who say they have heard ‘a lot’ or ‘a little’ about QAnon has roughly doubled” since March, reports the Pew Research Center of its latest poll findings. “Democrats are somewhat more likely to have heard at least a little about these theories than Republicans (55% versus 39%, respectively).”

• Five ways that Justice Ginsburg’s death will affect the Supreme Court before her successor is confirmed.

• A headline you probably didn’t expect to see at the start of the year: “DOJ Designates New York City as an ‘Anarchist Jurisdiction.'”

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