Monday, April 26, 2021

Last Call For Another Supreme Mess, Con't

It bears repeating, but we'll be cleaning up the Trump years in the courts for the rest of my lifetime, and probably yours.

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear an appeal to expand gun rights in the United States in a New York case over the right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.

The case marks the court’s first foray into gun rights since Justice Amy Coney Barrett came on board in October, making a 6-3 conservative majority.

The justices said Monday they will review a lower-court ruling that upheld New York’s restrictive gun permit law. The court’s action follows mass shootings in recent weeks in Indiana, Georgia, Colorado and California.

The case probably will be argued in the fall.

The court had turned down review of the issue in June, before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.

New York is among eight states that limit who has the right to carry a weapon in public. The others are: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

In the rest of the country, gun owners have little trouble legally carrying their weapons when they go out.

Paul Clement, representing challengers to New York’s permit law, said the court should use the case to settle the issue once and for all. “Thus, the nation is split, with the Second Amendment alive and well in the vast middle of the nation, and those same rights disregarded near the coasts,” Clement wrote on behalf of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association and two New York residents.

Calling on the court to reject the appeal, the state said its law promotes public safety and crime reduction and neither bans people from carrying guns nor allows everyone to do so.

Federal courts have largely upheld the permit limits. Last month an 11-judge panel of the federal appeals court in San Francisco rejected a challenge to Hawaii’s permit regulations in an opinion written by a conservative judge, Jay Bybee.

“Our review of more than 700 years of English and American legal history reveals a strong theme: government has the power to regulate arms in the public square,” Bybee wrote in a 7-4 decision for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The issue of carrying a gun for self-defense has been seen for several years as the next major step for gun rights at the Supreme Court, following decisions in 2008 and 2010 that established a nationwide right to keep a gun at home for self-defense
If the Roberts Court finds that there's a constitutional right to concealed carry, then basically every gun limitation goes out the window.

Well, the ones that will be enforced on white folks, anyway.

There's a good chance that by the November 2022 elections we'll live in an America where states can't regulate guns but can eliminate safe abortion procedures.

Another Hat In The Ring, Con't

The big political news here in the Tri-State is Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan announcing his candidacy for Senate, going up against the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman and a mess of Republicans trying to out-Trump each other for the primary.

Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan launched a bid for U.S. Senate Monday.

Ryan, 47, of Howland Township outside Youngstown, entered the race after several months of speculation that the 2020 long-shot presidential candidate would run to replace Sen. Rob Portman. He is the first and only Democrat in the U.S. Senate field so far.

Several Republicans have already entered the fray, trying to prove their allegiance to former President Donald Trump. Ryan, who raised $1.2 million in the first weeks of 2021, might stand alone on the Democratic side.

Ryan is wagering that his appeal to working-class Ohioans can turn the red-leaning state blue again. He has borne witness to the Mahoning Valley's transformation from a blue-collar Democratic stronghold into a Republican bastion for Trump. That shift has been so stark that Ryan's safe congressional district could be erased or redrawn by Republicans during redistricting.

"I am running to fight like hell in the U.S Senate to cut workers in on the deal," Ryan said in a release Monday. “Ohioans are working harder than ever, they’re doing everything right, and they’re still falling behind."

So Ryan knows what he's up against in the race to replace Portman. A longtime advocate of unions, Ryan has made a career of talking to working Ohioans. He recently rebuked Republicans for focusing on Dr. Seuss's books pulled from print rather than a proposal to strengthen unions.

"Heaven forbid we pass something that's going to help the damn workers in the United States of America! Heaven forbid!" he said on the floor. "Now, stop talking about Dr. Seuss and start working with us on behalf of the American workers."

Ryan has served in Congress since 2013, replacing notorious lawmaker Jim Traficant. Before that, Ryan worked in Traficant's office.
Census redistricting is the big issue here. Ohio's almost certainly going to lose a congressional district in 2022 along with WV, MI, MN, PA, and IL and odds are very good it will be Ryan's. He has nothing to lose really by going after the Senate seat, because it's basically the only way he'll stay in Congress. Ryan certainly hasn't made friends on the Democratic side by his hilariously failed bid to replace Nancy Pelosi in 2016 as majority leader, either.
But Ryan has a legitimate shot at the Senate seat, if Sherrod Brown is any indication. Running as a moderate Dem is about the only shot Ryan has in a state like Ohio, growing increasingly whiter and older in its electorate like most Midwest states as Black and brown and Asian folks leave for the coasts. And if President Biden can continue to deliver and Ryan can make that clear to white non-college voters, he just might pull it off. 

We'll see.

Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

A new CBS News poll finds three-quarters of Americans agree with the guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin in the murder trial of the death of George Floyd, which means that non-Republicans are overwhelmingly for the guilty verdict, and Republicans are split.

Three in four Americans think the jury reached the right verdict in which former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd, a majority view that spans across all racial, age and partisan groups.

Most White and Black Americans share the view that the jury reached the right verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer found guilty on all three counts in the death of George Floyd. Americans — both young and old —— within these racial groups agree with the verdict.

Reaction to the verdict among White Americans is largely related to partisanship. White Democrats overwhelmingly think the jury reached the right verdict, while White Republicans, like Republicans overall, are more divided.

The smaller portion of Americans — 25% — who believe the jury reached the wrong verdict strongly disagree with the ideas of the Black Lives Matter movement. This group is composed of more men than women, is disproportionately White and they mostly identify as conservative.

President Biden, who has called the verdict a step forward, gets a 60% approval rating for his general handling of matters surrounding George Floyd's death and Chauvin's trial. This is similar to his overall job rating as he closes in on 100 days in office.

Floyd's death sparked protests across the country by Black Lives Matter and other groups concerning the treatment of racial minorities by police.

Today, more Americans agree than disagree with the ideas expressed by the Black Lives Matter movement. Black Americans, Democrats and younger people are particularly likely to agree.

Overall though, people still have mostly positive views of their local police. Most Americans rate the job they are doing as at least somewhat good.

On balance, Black Americans rate their local police more positively than negatively, but they (17%) are less likely than Whites (39%) to say their local police are doing a "very good" job in their community
So two observations, first, people agree broadly with Black Lives Matter, but they also support their local cops. Abolishing police, well, it doesn't have a whole lot of support.  People like their local police still, for the most part.

The problem is, police still kill people. And remember, Republicans don't think racism even exists, let alone leads to systemic police murders.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham denied on Sunday that there is systemic racism in the US, claiming "America's not a racist country" as President Joe Biden and others urge people to directly confront the issue as the nation grapples with a spate of police killings of Black Americans.

Citing the elections of former President Barack Obama, who is African American, and Vice President Kamala Harris, who is both Black and South Asian, Graham told Fox News that "our systems are not racist. America's not a racist country," adding: "Within every society you have bad actors." 

The comments from the South Carolina Republican come several days after a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on all charges in the death of George Floyd, a Black man whose killing last year sparked a racial reckoning in the US and abroad and led to calls for police reform as more Black Americans die during encounters with law enforcement officers.

"The Chauvin trial was a just result," Graham said. "What's happening in Ohio, where the police officer had to use deadly force to prevent a young girl from being stabbed to death, is a different situation in my view. So this attack on police and policing -- reform the police, yes, call them all racist, no."

"America is a work in progress," he added.

Black Lives Still Matter.


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