Supreme Court: No review of Obama eligibility

December 6, 2008

Generally the orders coming out of Friday conferences at the Supreme Court issue the following Monday. So, for Obama critics and dedicated Obama haters, there is still some hope that the Supreme Court might answer part of their wildest dreams. But it doesn’t look good for them.

[Saturday night update: Donofrio’s blog acknowledges the orders don’t include his case. He’s holding out for Monday. Technically, he’s right — the orders usually would issue Monday. But if Friday’s orders issued from Friday’s conference, it doesn’t speak well of the chances that an age discrimination case took precedence over a case challenging the election still in process. We won’t know for sure, until Monday.]

[Monday morning update, December 8: It’s official. Donofrio’s case was not accepted for a hearing. As the Washington Post noted, there are other pending cases, but nothing likely to be acted on soon. I’ve noted in other posts, I think it unlikely any of the cases has a signficant chance of success.]

No order issued from the Supreme Court to further discuss the appeal of the dismissal of a New Jersey lawsuit challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president. Instead, the Court granted certiorari to an accused terrorist to challenge President George W. Bush’s authority (which will fall to President Barack Obama, really), and the Court granted cert and an okay for an amicus brief on a labor case (age discrimination).

(writ of certiorari: [Law Latin “to be more fully informed”] An extraordinary writ issued by an appellate court, at its discretion, directing a lower court to deliver the record in the case for review. ♦ The U.S. Supreme Court uses certiorari to review most of the cases it decides to hear.) Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th ed. (Bryan Garner, ed.)

Assuming this listing to be accurate, the shotgun arguments against Obama’s eligibility appear to be dead issues. The electoral college balloting occurs on December 15 in 50 state capitals and the District of Columbia.

Short of a mass exodus of Obama electors in states where law does not bind them to vote as they pledged to vote, Obama’s selection by the electoral college appears to be fait accompli.

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog noted the lack of order in the case, late yesterday.

For thousands of people addicted to the tubes of the internet, this will pose interesting problems as to what they can whine about for the next several weeks.

Previous comments on the Bathtub:

Over the front door of the U.S. Supreme Court:

Over the front door of the U.S. Supreme Court: “Equal Justice Under Law.” Wikipedia image by UpStateNYer


Public Lands insanity

November 16, 2008

Remember when Strange Maps “discovered” that so much of the 13 western states is owned by the Federal Government?  On the one hand, it was nice to see people paying attention to public lands in the west.

Public lands in a western state, with grazing cattle. Wild Earth Guardians image.

Public lands in a western state, with grazing cattle. Wild Earth Guardians image.

Public lands.  Photo from the Montana Wildlife Federation

Public lands. Photo from the Montana Wildlife Federation

At the Bathtub, we remarked on the history of the issue with a map that showed where the publicly-owned lands really are (the Strange Maps version only showed a dot in the middle of each state proportionate to the federal land held in the state.)  On the other hand, it was an open invitation for know-nothings and know-littles to jump in with silly ideas.  Remarkably, the post remained free of such folderol — until just recently.

None of these sites gives any serious thought to the idea.  None provides a scintilla of an iota of analysis to indicate it would be a good idea.

As one of the the principal spokesmen for the Sagebrush Rebellion in the early days, I want it known that I’ve thought these issues through, and argued them through, and followed the documentation for 30 years (Holy frijole!  I’m old!).  Issues with public lands revolve around stewardship.  Bad stewardship is not improved by a change in ownership.  Ownership change has all too often only led to worse stewardship.  Selling off the public lands is a generally stupid idea.

Certain local circumstances change the nature of a tiny handful of such deals — but not often, not in many places, and not enough to make a significant contribution to retiring any debt the federal government owns.

On the other hand, incomes from these lands typically runs a few multiples of the costs of managing them.  The Reagan administration discovered the lands were a great source of money to offset losses in other places, and for that reason (I suspect) never really got on the Sagebrush Rebellion band wagon — or, maybe Reagan’s higher officials just didn’t get it.

It’s troubling that such a flurry of stupidity strikes now, during a transition of presidents. This is how stupid ideas get traction, like kudzu on a cotton farm, while no one is paying deep attention.  Let’s put this idea back into its coffin with a sagebrush stake in its heart.

Bottom line:  Keep public lands in federal trust.  The Sagebrush Rebellion is over.  The sagebrush won.

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Speaking of presidential transitions, who should be Secretary of Interior?  Stay tuned.

More:

Update 2014: The original GSA map showing percentages of federal holdings in each state (including Indian Reservations as federal holdings), as published in Strange Maps when it was still active.

Update 2014: The original GSA map showing percentages of federal holdings in each state (including Indian Reservations as federal holdings), as published in Strange Maps when it was still active.


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