SCOTUS: Opinions Unread so far

I am still playing “catch-up” on May and this week I’m seeing the Supreme Court put out opinions – and some of the headlines I’m reading are making me want to drop important chores (like dishes) to the wayside and find out how some of these judges are leaning and WHY. I know, I’m a nerd. So I am bookmarking the SCOTUS opinions page (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/slipopinion/20 if you’re curious) and I am going to read and blog about at least some of the cases. I’ve already heard some commentary on the Van Buren v. United States case, but I am curious about the opinions – because Gorsuch, Barret, and Kavanaugh all sided with Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kagen. I will probably blog Sanchez v. Mayorkas and Garland v. Ming Dai together because they both deal with immigration (that’s about all I know, I’ve only read the abstracts). This isn’t my area of expertise, so we’ll see when I read them if they

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Politics: Black Lives Matter

I have mostly kept my hands off the keyboard on my blog on this issue. I’ve supported it since the beginning – but I am a white middle-class woman, I am not the voice people should be turning to on this issue. There are amazing black voices out there you should be turning to. Here are a few: Blair Amadeus Imani, Advocate, Historian, Organizer, Public Speaker, and Author I follow Blair on Instagram after I heard her Ted Talk “Queer & Muslim: Nothing to Reconcile”. She has this series called “smarter in seconds” where she covers a topic in very, very brief. Just enough to get me thinking. In writing for this blog post I found Blair also has a webpage which you may find useful. Ijeoma Oluo is a writer, speaker and internet yeller. She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race. (this is directly from her website) I follow Ijeoma on

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Politics: 51st Statehood?

There is a lot of discussion since before the 2020 election about adding certain territories as new states: Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. being the major ones discussed. I can’t speak for anyone else in the US, but for me when I read about the US having literal colonial territories it’s kind of squick. I’ve been reading about Puerto Rico’s various votes since the election to see if they even want statehood and… I think so? The 2020 referendum is the best result – 54% of all eligible voters turned out (which isn’t bad, only 62% of eligible voters turned out everywhere else and PR residents can’t vote for president so….) and 52.5% voted they wanted to be a state. I think that’s not an unreasonable referendum result. Puerto Rico should be a state. The only argument I hear against PR being a state is “it won’t be fair to the GOP, they will be outnumbered in the senate.” That

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Politics: I don’t want a big stimulus check, I want better

I didn’t say anything back in March 2020 about stimulus checks. They were a very fast solution to a serious problem. I think it was utterly appalling that there were so many issues getting people those checks…. but that is a different problem. I was very unhappy that the criteria was based on 2019 taxes – someone could have made $200,000 in 2019 but got laid off on March 13th. They just got screwed. It took me awhile to figure out why a second round of stimulus checks made my teeth itchy. Then one day when someone posted about landlords “should just have to suck it up” without that stimulus, some things began clicking into place. I realize what privilege I am speaking from that I say I don’t need a stimulus check. My husband and I have been able to transition to work-from-home. I limited my grocery trips to one hour once a week at one store to minimize

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Politics: School ReOpening

I work in corporate education. I have trained soft skills (customer service, management, and HR compliance training *shudders*) and I have trained “hard skills” in IT. I LOVE teaching Microsoft Excel certification training. Word is number two. Excel is probably my favorite because when people can use Excel, they almost universally like the application they hated the most and that is soooo gratifying. I have literally trained on a global scale. I have worked for multiple companies with locations in other countries. Both in developing training that isn’t in my time zone and delivering that training. This means I have worked with giving training in person and via a remote tool. I hope that this world will bring useful advances to schools. But there are some pretty bad pitfalls that the corporate world has learned. Which leads to my some advice for schools and teachers. Number 1: DO NOT MIX IT UP Learning can be done remotely. It is more

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Life Memories: John Lewis

I was in college when I first learned about John Lewis. I was doing some research regarding Georgia history and the civil rights movement (specifically some cases which started in Georgia). My professor made a comment about “Representative Lewis” and I blinked. It rocked me mentally to realize that someone still alive (and honestly not that old in 2005) had marched with Martin Luther King Jr. Marched as an adult. Not a child holding a parent’s hand. A man grown and finished with his education. Mathematically I knew this was possible. But this was the first time I felt it to my shoes. I didn’t know anything about John Lewis at the time. I didn’t grow up with him as my representative (honestly, I didn’t know who my rep WAS growing up so…. this wasn’t surprising). He was one of the people who inspired me to begin paying more attention to my local politics instead of just presidential. This meant

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Listening is hard

I wrote about this just the other week and then I had to live it. I listen to The Bulwark Podcast regularly. Not every day, but it is something to listen to while I’m cooking dinner and it makes me think. It also engages me with more conservative thought without being Trump supporters (Sykes might hate Trump more than any liberal I know). The other day he had a guest, Kmele Foster, who talked about anti-racism. This particular podcast was pretty hard for me to listen to. There were several points where I started to argue with my speaker and had to stop myself and listen again. I wrote just the other week how we have to really stop and listen to people. And it might have been twenty minutes before he said something that I think was really valuable. In it he is talking about cops killing white people being under-reported and how that is bad too. Then he

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SCOTUS: Bostock v. Clayton County

Oh My GOD. This opinion is amazing. If you have trouble reading legal opinions, I have a new source I’m recommending – a real lawyer reading it! So firstly, GORSUCH wrote this opinion. Trump’s first appointee is not as horrible as I had feared. I am stilled pissed Merrick Garland wasn’t voted on – but Gorsuch at least seems to be a decent Supreme Court Judge. The fact this ran 6-3, this wasn’t a “by the lines” case. Roberts and Gorsuch voted along with Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Shocker – Alito, Thomas, and Kavanaugh dissented. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Page 2 https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf Well that was pretty blunt… but it gets better! From the ordinary public meaning of the statute’s language at the time of the law’s adoption, a straightforward rule emerges: An employer violates

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Politics: “Defund” Slogan

I debated all weekend whether I wanted to touch this with a hundred foot poll. I saw posts ranging from “All taxes are theft anyway, so stop paying the police” (I stopped reading here and did NOT click “show more…” to see the entire thread) to “police are all bad apples and it all needs to be rebooted from the ground up” up to “it’s a slogan to start a more nuanced conversation about re-evaluting programs between the police and other social services.” Then one of my friends posted something that really resonated with me. Language matters. This particular hashtag lumps the people who want to have a reasoned argument around re-evaluating program funding with the “police departments shouldn’t exist” (of the corruption and tax-theft crowd). Ouch. Is that right? I GET that this is more complex than a slogan can easily capture. My brother has a phrase about “no good political statement can fit on a bumper sticker” I

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