Monthly Archives: July 2015

Life among the Republicans on Capitol Hill isn’t all one big group hug.

Politico reporters write:¬† ‘This isn‚Äôt what Republicans had in mind when they took the reins of both chambers of Congress.

‘For the third time this year, the House and Senate are clashing over a major policy decision ‚ÄĒ despite a pair of like-minded leaders in House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who are predisposed to keep the trains moving and internal conflict to a minimum.’

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/john-boehner-mitch-mcconnell-congress-disagreement-120689.html#ixzz3hD0cJ9jd

Now, a further note about relations among Republicans:¬† The night of the final exam for my current summer class, Thursday of next week,¬†once students are finished with¬† the exam they should hurry home and watch the Republican debate on FOX.¬† I expect this to be one of the most highly watched primary debates in history, because people are going to want to see sparks fly between Donald Trump and his rivals who wish he weren’t there and who all regard him as a pain in their lower rear body parts.

The Interest Group Behind the Abigail Fisher Case

First, a couple of quick reminders.¬† This site is hard to navigate through, but please note that there is a Discussion section right here:¬† https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/groups/american-government-alexander-section-spring-2015/forum/.¬† And please also remember that if you’ve ever been in my government class in the past, you’re always invited to be part of the conversation with my current and future classes.

Last night in the current summer section, we met Abigail Fisher, who believes that the University of Texas, by having race as one of the many factors in use for diversity, violated her Fourteenth Amendment rights by not selecting her back in 2008.¬† (She is white, and was a reasonably good candidate for a school that has to turn away lots of reasonably good candidates, but she claims that some of the black candidates they admitted may not have been quite as good as¬†she was.)¬† And the case is coming back to the Supreme Court this coming year.¬† And tonight, when we talk about interest groups (Chapter 6), we’ll be saying that one of the ways that interest groups try to influence policy is by litigation.¬† Well, the two topics connect, because there’s more behind the Abigail Fisher case than the personal anger of Abigail Fisher.¬† There is indeed an interest group financing the case, and this story tells you who that interest group is.¬† http://www.rawstory.com/2015/07/what-abigail-fishers-affirmative-action-case-is-really-about/

 

L and E Battle It Out Over J

That is to say, the legislative and executive branches are going to be battling it out this year and next over the judicial branch.

This is, of course, because the Republicans have the majority in Congress while the Democrats have the White House. ¬†So, it’s the Republicans versus the Democrats over the future of the country and its government, and the arena (one of the arenas) is the judiciary, and the Senate’s power to confirm or refuse to confirm the president’s nominees for judgeships in the federal district courts and the circuit courts of appeals.

Those of you who were in my classes last term, this is all review, and those who are in the class about to begin, this is a preview of one of the topics we’ll be considering during the next five weeks. ¬†The Constitution (Chapter 2) says that the president will appoint federal judges with the advice and consent of the Senate, which means confirmation. ¬†But we also have this phenomenon called Political Parties (Chapter 7). ¬†And since the Republicans have the majority in Congress (Chapter 11), they are in a position to give the President (Chapter 12) a hard time about whom he wants serving in the Judiciary (Chapter 13) for their impact on his legacy in both Domestic Policy (Chapter 14) and Foreign Policy (Chapter 15).

With all that in mind, here is what’s happening in the battle over judicial appointments: ¬†http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/payback-gop-blocks-obama-judge-picks-judiciary-119743.html?hp=t4_r.

To my new students:  Welcome to OpenLab.  To my former students:  Please feel welcome to stay in the conversation.  Go to the Discussion link and post, any time.

We’ll be following the primaries as well. ¬†Will we be seeing another Clinton versus another Bush next year? ¬†Stay tuned!