He was dynamic, irascible, exasperating, intriguing. And he was always three steps behind his wife, Queen Elizabeth, who utterly adored him throughout their 73-year marriage, flaws, faux pas and all.
When Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement in 2018, giving President Trump a second opportunity to elevate a judge to the Supreme Court, Ian Millhiser posted this charming reflection on Twitter: “F—. You. Justice. Kennedy.” That gives you a fair idea of Mr. Millhiser’s approach to analyzing the court: Interpret every utterance by Republican-appointed justices in the worst possible light and use every circumstance of their nominations as proof of Republican treachery.
So it goes in the “The Agenda: How a Republican Supreme Court Is Reshaping America” (Columbia Global Reports, 143 pages, $15.99). Mr. Millhiser, a writer at Vox, aims to demonstrate that conservatives, while claiming to favor “judicial restraint”—a belief that justices ought to avoid usurping powers belonging to the legislature and executive—have begun to favor the opposite of restraint, “judicial activism,” when it suits their aims. “How,” he asks, “did a political party that, until very recently, was very fearful of judicial power learn to stop worrying and love judicial activism?”
The many faces of Hitchcock, Churchill’s first battle, the return of Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti and more.
A typical instance of Mr. Millhiser’s line of reasoning concerns so-called Chevron deference, named for a 1984 case involving pollution standards: the principle that courts ought generally to defer to government agencies’ interpretation of vague statutes. Many judges and justices of a conservative disposition, he observes, are skeptical of Chevron deference and distrust autonomous agency rule-making. Ah, says Mr. Millhiser, but Justice Clarence Thomas, writing in Department of Commerce v. New York (2019), claimed that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross had every right to insert a citizenship question in the 2020 census questionnaire. In that case, the court’s conservatives deferred to a government agency. Gotcha!
The “most likely” explanation for the conservatives’ position in the case, he argues, is that adding the citizenship question would discourage immigrants from participating in the census and thus put Democratic states at a disadvantage in the decade to come. Mr. Millhiser fails even to mention that the statute at issue was not vague. The law gives the secretary of commerce the power to conduct the census “in such form and content as he may determine.” Chevron never came into it.
Mr. Millhiser turns tendentiousness into an art form in this little book, but its main problem is that “judicial activism” has lost its meaning. Conservatives rarely use the phrase. It now signifies, as Ilya Shapiro remarks in “Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court” (Regnery, 388 pages, $28.99), “that the commentator doesn’t like the ruling in a particular case.”
Mr. Shapiro’s book is a crisply written history of Supreme Court nomination controversies, interlaced with cogent insights on the role of judicial philosophy and raw politics in determining which nominees get rough treatment from the Senate. It’s not quite right, he notes, to say that the nomination process has been “politicized” in recent decades. It was always politicized. In 1829, a majority of senators “postponed indefinitely” any consideration of John Quincy Adams’s nominee John Crittenden. Abraham Lincoln nominated Salmon P. Chase mainly because he was likely to uphold a law that had allowed the federal government to finance the war. Federal judges are chosen and confirmed by politicians; the idea that politics should play no role in the process is the delusion of technocrats.
Even so, something went awry in the 1960s and ’70s. In Roe v. Wade (1973) and similar rulings of the time, the court implicitly repudiated the principle of federalism and showed that enlightened judges could remake American society from the top down. By the 1980s the American left understood that its goals would be achieved in large measure through the courts—and that personnel was everything.
Before Robert Bork was “Borked” in 1987, as I learned from Mr. Shapiro’s book, William Rehnquist had to endure a “Rehnquisition.” Sen. Ted Kennedy, attempting to stop Rehnquist’s elevation to chief justice and foreshadowing his defamatory attack on Bork the following year, remarked that Rehnquist had “a virtually unblemished record of opposition to individual rights in cases involving minorities, women, children and the poor.” In the years since, the confirmation process for Republican nominees has become something close to hell.
Unless you’re prepared to believe that Republican presidents have a penchant for choosing sexual predators and closet racists to sit on the Supreme Court, you may wonder why the vitriol in nomination battles travels mainly in one direction, from left to right. Mr. Shapiro treats the subject in an admirably evenhanded manner but rightly declines to pretend that both sides share equal blame. Debates over nominees are no longer about the nominees themselves, he says. “They’re about the direction of the Court. The left in particular needs its social and regulatory agendas, as promulgated by the executive branch, to get through the judiciary, because they would never pass as legislation at the national level.”
Mr. Shapiro, a scholar at the Cato Institute, deals respectfully with a variety of proposals to diminish the rancor of Supreme Court nomination hearings, but he acknowledges, again rightly, that a return to federalism is the only way out.
Amanda Hollis-Brusky’s “Ideas With Consequences: The Federalist Society and the Conservative Counterrevolution” (Oxford, 252 pages, $26.95) first appeared in hardback in 2015. The Federalist Society was so closely associated with President Trump’s court nominations that Oxford evidently concluded that the subject holds more interest after Mr. Trump 2016 election than it did before.
“Ideas With Consequences” is a mostly fair assessment of the Federalist Society, an affiliation of conservative and libertarian lawyers, scholars and law students. The book’s style is at times jarringly academic (the society is a “political epistemic network”—a phrase I hope never to read again), and the author’s disapproval of her subject isn’t hard to discern. But her scholarship is thorough, and her understanding of American judicial politics is impressive.
In a new preface, Ms. Hollis-Brusky, a professor of politics at Pomona College, registers one point of serious “discomfort” with the Trump-era Federalist Society. “Something changed when the Trump campaign [in September 2016] released its list of 21 potential Supreme Court nominees with the Federalist Society seal attached to it.” This overt politicization of judicial nominations was too much, in her view. “Subjecting lists of judges to electoral referenda,” she writes, “blurs the ever more tenuous divide between law and politics.” That divide, if it ever existed, was obliterated more than three decades ago, as several members of the current Supreme Court could amply testify.
Prince Philip took a keen interest in Canada, but stayed above politics, former GGs and PM say
When former Canadian prime minister Jean Chrétien met the late Prince Philip for the first time, he told him that for an Englishman, his French was very good.
“He said ‘I’m not English and I’ve spoken French since before you were born,’” Chrétien told the Star Friday, commenting on his many encounters over 50 years with the Duke of Edinburgh.
“He was not dull, let me put it that way,” Chrétien said. “He had some strong views. Sometimes he had to show discipline to not speak up more than he would have wished.”
Philip, born in Greece in 1921 and husband to Queen Elizabeth II for over 73 years, died at the age of 99 on Friday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said he first met Philip when he was a little boy, described him as “a man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others.”
Former prime ministers and governors general spoke of a man who understood his role and knew not to get involved in politics, but who was very knowledgeable about Canada and took a keen interest in the country’s success.
“I was always impressed by their knowledge,” Chrétien said of Philip and the Queen, Canada’s head of state.
He said he can recall Philip asking about the prospect of Quebec separating from the rest of the country. “Not in a very political fashion, just in terms of interest. Of course he was interested to not see Canada break up. He would certainly say that to me.”
Statements from former prime ministers Paul Martin and Stephen Harper highlighted Philip’s devotion to the Canadian armed forces and charitable organizations, as well as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, an international self-development program for young people.
Former governors general David Johnston and Michaëlle Jean, through their role as the Queen’s representative in Canada, were also able to get to know Philip more intimately, particularly at the Queen’s Balmoral Castle estate in Scotland.
Jean recalls being “overwhelmed” by all the protocol recommendations ahead of a Balmoral visit with her husband and six-year-old daughter prior to taking office in 2005, only to find Philip and the Queen greeting them at the door, with Philip paying special attention to her daughter.
“The memory I keep of Prince Philip is that of an affable, caring, elegant and warm man,” Jean told the Star, adding he was a man who was very attentive to detail.
She recalled attending a barbecue on the Balmoral estate, just the four of them, and Philip telling her, “Don’t forget to congratulate Her Majesty for her salad dressing, because she made it herself.”
What Jean also saw was a man sometimes hampered by the limitations of his role, like when he talked about one of his favourite topics, the environment.
“He said ‘I do a lot about it, I raise awareness, I take actions…I feel that whatever I do, no one cares,’” Jean recounted. “What I got from that is how lonely he felt…There was a sense of not feeling appreciated in proportion to his contributions, a feeling of being misunderstood.”
Johnston, who succeeded Jean, said Canada’s constitutional monarchy — where the head of state is politically neutral and separate from elected office — is an “important and precious” form of government, and Philip was key to making it work.
Philip showed leadership as a servant, Johnston said, “not taking centre stage, but by ensuring that the Queen and the monarchy were front row and centre.
“He played such an important structural role, and did that with great diligence and commitment. He was selfless in that respect,” Johnston said in an interview.
For Matthew Rowe, who works on the Royal Family’s charitable endeavours in Canada, the Duke of Edinburgh’s political value to Canada was precisely that he was not political — that he, along with the rest of the monarchy, provided a stabilizing force outside of the partisan fray.
“His presence, and the role of Her Majesty and other members of the Royal Family, has been to be able to represent the nation, to represent Canadian interests, and commemorate Canadian achievements without being tied to a particular political ideology or regional faction,” Rowe, who met Philip at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in 2010, said in an interview.
Philip’s role meant he could speak more frankly than the Queen in public, and spoke “quite thoughtfully” about the constitutional monarchy in Canada, said University of Toronto history instructor Carolyn Harris.
At a press conference in Ottawa in 1969, Philip famously said that the monarchy doesn’t exist “in the interests of the monarch…It exists solely in the interest of the people. We don’t come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.”
Philip had a good, joking relationship with Johnston’s wife, Sharon. He recounted how the two joined the Queen and Prince Philip at Balmoral in August 2010, prior to Johnston’s swearing-in later that year.
One evening, they were returning to the castle from a barbecue at a renovated shepherd’s hut on the estate — just the four of them, the Queen driving with Johnston in one land rover, and Philip driving with Sharon in the other ahead of them on narrow, highland roads.
“We were coming home at about 10 p.m., as black as could be, he and Sharon were ahead, kind of weaving, and we could hear these gales of laughter coming out. They were cracking jokes at one another,” Johnston said.
“I had a vision of him going over the edge and down half a mile into the valley, and my first thought is: Do the Queen and I rustle down to rescue them?”
Chrétien said “it must be terrible” for the Queen to now find herself alone after a marriage that lasted for more than 70 years. He noted it’s been almost seven months to the day since he lost his wife, Aline.
“It’s a big change in life but she’s an extremely courageous person and she will face the situation with the strength that she has been able to show to the world for the almost 70 years she’s been queen,” Chrétien said.
After warning, McConnell softens posture on corporations’ taking political stances
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., softened his stance on corporations’ getting involved in politics Wednesday, a day after he warned companies not to weigh in on hot button issues.
“I didn’t say that very artfully yesterday. They’re certainly entitled to be involved in politics. They are,” McConnell told reporters. “My principal complaint is they didn’t read the darn bill.
“They got intimidated into adopting an interpretation … given by the Georgia Democrats in order to help get their way,” he said.
McConnell was referring to a controversial voting law recently passed in Georgia, which came about in the aftermath of former President Donald Trump’s campaign of falsehoods about the election result in the state last fall.
The law led the CEOs of Delta and Coca-Cola — which are based in Atlanta — to condemn the measure. And last week, Major League Baseball pulled this year’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest. The game will, instead, be played in Colorado.
In recent weeks, McConnell has excoriated corporate America for boycotting states over various GOP-led bills. He said Tuesday that it is “stupid” for corporations to take positions on divisive political issues but noted that his criticism did not extend to their donations.
“So my warning, if you will, to corporate America is to stay out of politics,” McConnell said in Louisville, Kentucky. “It’s not what you’re designed for. And don’t be intimidated by the left into taking up causes that put you right in the middle of one of America’s greatest political debates.”
Major League Baseball’s decision drew the most outrage from Republicans, as Trump called for a boycott of baseball and other companies that spoke out against the Georgia law. McConnell said Tuesday that the latest moves are “irritating one hell of a lot of Republican fans.”
McConnell, long a champion of big money in politics, however, noted Tuesday that corporations “have a right to participate in a political process” but said they should do so without alienating “an awful lot of people.”
“I’m not talking about political contributions,” he said. “I’m talking about taking a position on a highly incendiary issue like this and punishing a community or a state because you don’t like a particular law that passed. I just think it’s stupid.”
Source:- NBC News
Facebook Removes 1,000 Fake Accounts Seeking to Sway Global Politics
(Bloomberg) — Facebook Inc. said it removed 14 networks representing more than 1,000 accounts seeking to sway politics around the world, including in Iran and El Salvador, while misleading the public about their identity.
Most of the removed networks were in the early stages of building their audiences, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Tuesday. Facebook’s announcement on Tuesday, part of its monthly reporting on efforts to rid its platforms of fake accounts, represents one of the larger crack downs by the company in recent months.
“We have been growing this program for several years,” said David Agranovich, Facebook’s global threat disruption lead. “I would expect to see this drum beat of take downs to continue.”
In one example, the company removed a network of more than 300 accounts, pages and groups on Facebook and the photo-sharing app Instagram that appear to be run by a years-old troll farm located in Albania and operated by the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq opposition group. The group appeared to target Iran, but also other audiences with content about Iran, according to a report released by Facebook.
The group was most active in 2017, but increased its activity again in the latter half of 2020. It was one of a handful of the influence campaigns that likely used machine learning technologies capable of creating realistic profile photos to the naked eye, Facebook said in the report.
The company also removed 118 accounts, eight pages and 10 Instagram accounts based in Spain and El Salvador for violating the company’s foreign interference policy. The group amplified criticism of Henry Flores, a mayoral candidate in Santa Tecla, El Savador and supportive commentary of his rivals, the company said.
The social media giant also took down a network of 29 Facebook accounts, two pages, one group and 10 Instagram accounts based in Iran that was targeting Israel. The people behind the network posed as locals and posted criticism about Isreali prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Facebook. The company also took down networks based in Argentina, Mexico, Egypt and other nations.
Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, said the company has improved its ability to identify inauthentic accounts, but said bad actors continue to change their strategies to avoid Facebook’s detection.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
GLAAD Media Awards presenters support transgender athletes – Coast Reporter
$600K donation to boost online mental health programming in Nova Scotia – CBC.ca
Joe Biden: Could his tax plan affect US investment in Ireland? – BBC News
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Galaxy M31 July 2020 security update brings Glance, a content-driven lockscreen wallpaper service
Economy24 hours ago
Canadian dollar rebounds from one-week low ahead of jobs data
News24 hours ago
Canadian fertilizer producer Nutrien to cut greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030
Economy24 hours ago
CANADA STOCKS – TSX rises 0.52% to 19,228.87
News23 hours ago
Canada aims to raise safety along notorious “Highway of Tears” with cell phone service
Economy24 hours ago
Canadian dollar outshines G10 peers, boosted by jobs surge
Economy23 hours ago
CANADA STOCKS – TSX ends flat at 19,228.03
News21 hours ago
Citigroup lawyer says another bank made bigger payment error than Revlon
Art20 hours ago
Imaginations, creativity of Mountview students on display at Cariboo Art Beat – Williams Lake Tribune – Williams Lake Tribune