In this relentless shit-storm, there is so much of great portent that we miss. I just caught up with this maddening decision from a month or two back.
This detail, the Supreme Court’s cursory decision allowing Republlcans in Wisconsin to overrule the governor, and prudence, in ordering an immediate in-person election during a pandemic– provides a vivid example of how skilled lawyers become clever judges. These creatures have long fucked the people by framing large issues of justice and prudence as a strict, narrow question of law.
The privileged few, particularly those unappealable giants of the Supreme Court, often pretend to decide a highly partisan case only on the merits of the narrow question in front of them, surgically applying the exact letter of the law. The question of enforcing the rights of recently freed slaves, rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment? A narrow question of law nullifying those rights, which are, in fact, not even implicated in this case at bar.
Here’s fucking Trump appointee, and rabid long-time partisan, Boof Kavanaugh at work, read it and retch. Here’s a small slice of Kavanuagh’s 5-4 decision, summarily overruling, the day before the election in dispute, the two lower federal courts:
The dissent is quite wrong on several points . First, the dissent entirely disregards the critical point that the plaintiffs themselves did not ask for this additional relief in their preliminary injunction motions. Second, the dissent contends that this Court should not intervene at this late date. The Court would prefer not to do so, but when a lower court intervenes and alters the election rules so close to the election date, our precedents indicate that this Court, as appropriate, should correct that error…
Of course, ever supremely reasonable, Kavanaugh adds this in his second to last paragraph:
The Court’s decision on the narrow question before the Court should not be viewed as expressing an opinion on the broader question of whether to hold the election, or whether other reforms or modifications in election procedures in light of COVID–19 are appropriate. That point cannot be stressed enough.
That point cannot be stressed enough.
And “Boof” is, of course, merely a reference to flatulence, not to the practice of forcing a large quantity of alcohol into the anus through a tube for purposes of getting outrageously drunk.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg clearly sets out the issues Mr. Kavanaugh does not need to reach with his “narrow” reading:
The Court’s order requires absentee voters to postmark their ballots by election day, April 7—i.e., tomorrow—even if they did not receive their ballots by that date. That is a novel requirement. Recall that absentee ballots were originally due back to election officials on April 7, which the District Court extended to April 13. Neither of those deadlines carried a postmark-by requirement. While I do not doubt the good faith of my colleagues, the Court’s order, I fear, will result in massive disenfranchisement. A voter cannot deliver for postmarking a ballot she has not received. Yet tens of thousands of voters who timely requested ballots are unlikely to receive them by April 7, the Court’s postmark deadline. Rising concern about the COVID–19 pandemic has caused a late surge in absentee- 4 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE v. DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE GINSBURG, J., dissenting ballot requests. ___ F. Supp. 3d, at ___–___, 2020 WL 1638374, *4–*5.
The Court’s suggestion that the current situation is not “substantially different” from “an ordinary election” boggles the mind. Ante, at 3. Some 150,000 requests for absentee ballots have been processed since Thursday, state records indicate.2 The surge in absentee ballot requests has overwhelmed election officials, who face a huge backlog in sending ballots. ___ F. Supp. 3d, at ___, ___, ___–___, ___–___, 2020 WL 1638374, *1, *5, *9–*10, *17–*18. As of Sunday morning, 12,000 ballots reportedly had not yet been mailed out.3 It takes days for a mailed ballot to reach its recipient—the postal service recommends budgeting a week—even without accounting for pandemic induced mail delays. Id., at ___, 2020 WL 1638374, *5. It is therefore likely that ballots mailed in recent days will not reach voters by tomorrow; for ballots not yet mailed, late arrival is all but certain.
Ginsburg’s quite correct dissent, ends, after correcting several of Kavanaugh’s misleading statements:
The majority of this Court declares that this case presents a “narrow, technical question.” Ante, at 1. That is wrong. The question here is whether tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens can vote safely in the midst of a pandemic. Under the District Court’s order, they would be able to do so. Even if they receive their absentee ballot in the days immediately following election day, they could return it. With the majority’s stay in place, that will not be possible. Either they will have to brave the polls, endangering their own and others’ safety. Or they will lose their right to vote, through no fault of their own. That is a matter of utmost importance—to the constitutional rights of Wisconsin’s citizens, the integrity of the State’s election process, and in this most extraordinary time, the health of the Nation. —————— 5Memorandum f:
“Boof” to be flatulent, defiantly and to nauseatingly stinking effect.
 The dissent begins, framing the issue in way Kavanaugh flatly dismisses as “quite wrong” in overturning the decisions of the two lower courrts:
JUSTICE GINSBURG, with whom JUSTICE BREYER, JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR, and JUSTICE KAGAN join, dissenting.
The District Court, acting in view of the dramatically evolving COVID–19 pandemic, entered a preliminary injunction to safeguard the availability of absentee voting in Wisconsin’s spring election. This Court now intervenes at the eleventh hour to prevent voters who have timely requested absentee ballots from casting their votes. I would not disturb the District Court’s disposition, which the Seventh Circuit allowed to stand.