Chris Sununu Has His Harriet Miers Moment

Remember Harriet Miers?  She was President George W. Bush’s choice to fill the United States Supreme Court vacancy left by Sandra Day O’Connor’s retirement.  Here’s what the late Judge Robert Bork had to say about Miers back in 2005:

TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST: Are you impressed by the president’s choice of Harriet Miers?

JUDGE ROBERT BORK, FORMER SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: Not a bit.  I think it’s a disaster on every level.

CARLSON: Why?  Explain the levels on which it’s a disaster.

BORK: Well, the first one is, that this is a woman who’s undoubtedly as wonderful a person as they say she is, but so far as anyone can tell she has no experience with constitutional law whatever.  Now it’s a little late to develop a constitutional philosophy or begin to work it out when you’re on the court already.  So that—I’m afraid she’s likely to be influenced by factors, such as personal sympathies and so forth, that she shouldn’t be influenced by.  I don’t expect that she can be, as the president says, a great justice.

But the other level is more worrisome, in  a way:  it’s kind of a slap in the face to the conservatives who’ve been building up a conservative legal movement for the last 20 years.  There’s all kinds of people, now, on the federal bench and some in the law schools who have worked out consistent philosophies of sticking with the original principles of the Constitution.  And all of those people have been overlooked. …

The same concerns raised by Bork apply to Governor Chris Sununu’s nomination of “Bobbie” Hantz Marconi to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Continue reading

The Problem With Ovide

The Right and the Left rarely agree, but many prominent lawyers on the Left agree  that Trump knocked it out of the park with his pick of Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat held by the late Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.  For example, from the Weekly Standard.

Even those on the Left who opposed Gorsuch conceded the point by calling for -and/or- engaging in an unprecedented partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee.  Simply put, although Gorsuch clerked for Justice Kennedy the Senate Democrats wouldn’t have filibustered Gorsuch if they thought he was going to be another Anthony Kennedy.

Soon Governor Sununu will have the chance to put his stamp on the New Hampshire Supreme Court: Continue reading

What Kind of Governor?

Soon New Hampshire will have its first Republican Governor since Craig Benson in 2003-2004.  Benson was a one-and-done Governor (that is, he was not reelected), and was the first GOP Governor of New Hampshire since Steve Merrill, who served two terms between 1993 and 1996.  Needless to say, having held the corner office only two out the last 20 years, the GOP has a lot riding on Chris Sununu.

So what kind of Governor will Sununu be?  Perhaps a better way to frame the question is whether Sununu will be a status quo Governor or a transformational Governor.

The first indication we will get of the kind of Governor that Sununu will be is whether he recommends a status quo budget or a transformational budget. Continue reading

#DyingPaper (aka Union Leader) Embraces Supreme Court’s Upholding Obamacare

Say what you will about Donald Trump, but I can’t remember any other Republican Presidential candidate ever standing up to Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid:


Indeed voters everywhere owe Trump a thank you for exposing that the “coveted” Union Leader endorsement required taking #StinkyJoe golfing (in the case of Trump and who knows what else in the case of the others).  But this post isn’t about Trump.  I just wanted to explain the title.

Recently, the Union Leader editorialized glowingly about a New Hampshire Supreme Court decision Continue reading

The Union Leader Wants More Claremonts

I previously posted about a constitutional amendment sponsored by State Senator Jeb Bradley that apparently is intended to do away with the standing requirement under which the New Hampshire Supreme Court dismissed the Duncan v. State of New Hampshire case challenging the constitutionality of New Hampshire’s education tax credit law:

When an individual without a personal stake in a case is allowed to have standing, a court is setting policy, not deciding an actual dispute. But setting policy is the role of popularly elected representatives, senators and governor, not tenured-to-age-70 judges. Bradley’s proposal, as described by the Concord Monitor, would convert the New Hampshire courts into essentially super-legislatures.

Today, the Union Leader came out in support of Bradley’s amendment.   Continue reading

Why Does Jeb Bradley Want Turn New Hampshire Courts Into a Super-Legislature?

Lat year, the New Hampshire Supreme Court issued its decision in Duncan v. State, which involved the constitutionality of a law that allowed businesses tax credits for funding scholarships for private schools.

The trial court had found the law unconstitutional (see related post here).  The Supreme Court reversed, finding that the plaintiffs (the parties who brought the lawsuit) did not have “standing” to sue. Continue reading

New Hampshire Supreme Court Pension Decision – OK to Dig More Slowly

Here is yesterday’s New Hampshire Supreme Court decision upholding certain reforms made to the State pension system.

And here is a summary by Josh Elliot of Josiah Bartlett.

Essentially, the Court said that it was OK for the Legislature to make “spiking” (the process whereby employees inflate their compensation in the years immediately preceding retirement in order to receive larger pensions) harder, and to adjust COLAs (cost-of-living-adjustments).

While the decision is a positive thing, let’s not overstate its importance. Continue reading