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The gift that keeps on giving

November 6, 2018

Every Presidential election year, I remind those who listen that the single most important issue in every Presidential election is Supreme Court nominations. And yesterday we had a bit of a reminder of that.

By a 4-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday declined to review a U.S. Appeals Court ruling that upheld the Obama Administration’s net neutrality rules (which the current FCC rolled back anyway).

“4-3?”, you ask.  “Aren’t there nine justices on the Supreme Court?”

Indeed, but two of the court’s conservative justices — newly-appointed Justice Kavanaugh and Chief Justice Roberts — recused themselves from the case, leaving the three remaining conservative justices outnumbered. Had all five conservative justices been able to vote to grant review, the result would almost certainly have been different.

You should count on a lot of 5-4 decisions in the coming term. Depending on your political bent, that may or may not be a good thing.

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