Day: October 13, 2020

Background Briefing: October 13, 2020


In Spite of Routine Assurances Politics Play No Role, Judges’ Politics Sway Their Decisions

We begin with today’s hearings on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in which the candidate gave the same assurances other conservative originalist judges like Alito and Roberts have that they will only interpret the law as written and not allow their personal politics to intrude. Zalman Rothschild, a nonresident fellow at the Stanford Constitutional Law Center and a Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, joins us to discuss his article at The Guardian, “Judges’ politics absolutely sway how they decide cases. I crunched the numbers.” We discuss how Zalman surveyed 81 court rulings on religious freedom and the Covid lockdown to find that all of Trump-appointed judges have sided with religious institutions while all of Democrat-appointed judges have sided with state or city governments.


The Battle Over Ballot Boxes in California

Then we look into the California Republican Party’s use of unofficial ballot boxes marked “official” drop boxes and whether they are meant to “harvest” Republican votes or deceive Democrats and speak with John Myers. the Sacramento bureau chief for The Los Angeles Times whose latest article at the Los Angeles Times is “Battle over ballot boxes: State tells GOP to toss unofficial receptacles.” With cease-and-desist letters coming from California’s AG and Secretary of State, Governor Newsom is accusing the GOP of being “willing to lie, cheat and threaten democracy all for the sake of gaining power”, and that “these unofficial drop boxes aren’t just misleading, they are illegal.”  


The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy and Whether the Republic Will Survive the Empire

Then finally we speak with Stephen Wertheim, a historian of the United States and the world and a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft who is a research scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University about his new book just out Tomorrow the World: the Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy in World War II and his article at The New York Times “The next president, whoever he is, will not determine the future of America’s role in the world. Joe Biden does not recognize a problem. President Trump has no answers.”