On the Supreme Court, Mitch McConnell’s pretzel logic

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says there’s a reason why it’s okay to push through confirming a Supreme Court Justice now, just before the election, and it wasn’t when Barack Obama nominated a Justice in his last year as president. Let’s examine his justification and see if there’s any way it makes logical sense. The … Continued

Does the Brett Kavanaugh op-ed make its case?

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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh defended himself in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. He says you can trust him to be impartial. Did he undo the damage he did during his hearing last week? Just a reminder: the purpose of this blog is to reveal what’s really going on with written communications. I’m … Continued

How to tell your story: A statement from Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford

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Regardless of what happens when Christine Blasey Ford testifies in the Senate today about Brett Kavanaugh assaulting her in high school, we now have a written opening statement from her to review. It’s straightforward and detailed. If you have a difficult story to tell, you could learn from this. I’m under no illusions about this … Continued

The clarity of Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court

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The New York Times described Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court as “an Echo of [Antonin] Scalia in Philosophy and Style.” But where the late Justice Scalia’s writings were sarcastic and passive-aggressive, Gorsuch’s are straightforward, logical, and clear. Because he writes often in the first-person, his arguments come across as direct rather than snide or veiled. Let’s … Continued

A Moneyball analysis of Mitch McConnell’s Supreme Court defiance

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed not to consider any Supreme Court nominee that President Obama makes. My mathematical analysis shows why: by waiting, McConnell gets a 50% chance of a conservative court, and a 35% chance of an extremely conservative court, for many years to come. This decision is even more important than it … Continued

The passive-aggressive furor of Antonin Scalia

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Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court Justice who died Saturday, had a reputation as a fierce, incisive, and sarcastic defender of conservative values. Read his most famous opinions and arguments and you’ll find his rhetorical secret: passive voice statements that obscure the boogiemen he rails against. As my tribute to Justice Scalia, here are some quotes … Continued

If you demonize Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, you lose the argument

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You loved my post about how to disagree with people. But are you living it? Case in point: Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, has defied the Supreme Court and refused to grant marriage licenses to gay couple, based on her interpretation of the bible. I believe this is wrong. You don’t get to … Continued