History Facts

Don't Know What We Did To Deserve It, But Bush V. Gore Is Back

The past isn't dead. It isn't even past.

Sometimes I like to imagine what things might be like in the alternate universe where Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election. Maybe there was no Iraq War, because Gore's Cabinet wouldn't have been full of neocons. Following 9/11, the US still probably would have gone to war in Afghanistan, but without the shiny object of invading Iraq distracting everyone, the US might have caught up with Osama bin Laden in 2003 or 2004, not 2011. [Some of us who are editing this post think there would have been no 9/11, but Dok is being obstinate about it even though he is wrong.] [And others of us who wrote the post think there's at best a better chance that 9/11 would have been avoided] And just think of how much farther the US would be toward addressing global warming if Gore had had even a single term to put us on that track? Haha, we know from science fiction that the actual outcome would somehow involve brain-eating worms from Neptune, because those "better" timelines always go wrong.

In any case, we at least know a little more today about how we ended up with George W. in the White House, because on Tuesday, the Library of Congress made available files from the late Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, which CNN reports include a bunch of memos from the Supreme Court's wrangling over the Bush v. Gore decision, which handed the election to George W. Bush. If you have a spare 15 minutes today, go ahead and read the CNN piece, which looks at how Justice Sandra Day O'Connor joined up with Justice Anthony Kennedy to shape the unsigned opinion that was eventually released by the five Republican-appointed justices in the majority. The alliance between Kennedy and O'Connor shut out a far more radical opinion pushed by then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

Spoiler warning: The Kennedy/O'Connor option was bad enough, laying the groundwork for the openly partisan Court we have today. But the Rehnquist option, which he published as a concurring opinion, endorsed the fuckbonkers "Independent State Legislature Doctrine" that became the basis for Donald Trump and his cronies' attempt to overturn the 2020 election, was far far worse. Had Rehnquist's view prevailed in 2000, we can only assume the brain eating worms from Neptune would have been close behind.

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2024 presidential election

Ron DeSantis: What If We Killed More People, Harder?

Signs three Git Tuff crime bills so 2024 primary voters will know he's Gittin' Tuff on Crime.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed three new bills on crime Monday, to prove that he is officially Tough On Crime as he prepares to run for the 2024 Republican nomination. The real headline-catcher is a bill that would restore Florida's death penalty for child rape, even though the United States Supreme Court in 2008 banned the use of capital punishment for anything other than murder. DeSantis figures — probably correctly — that the new composition of the Court may be happy to let states start killing people for crimes that everyone agrees are heinous, because who would want to spare the life of a child rapist anyway? The angry tweets write themselves, and may even be a useful distraction from DeSantis's embarrassing flailing in his war on Disney.

To be clear, Yr Wonkette is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances, because the state shouldn't be in the business of killing anyone. No, we do not want mass murderers teaching kindergarten, either.

DeSantis's signing announcement, however, was firmly focused on touting another of the bills, HB 1627, which sets minimum bail bond recommendations. Judges would be free to set higher bail amounts, but not to allow anything lower than the minimum without the approval of the Florida Supreme Court. It's all part of DeSantis's presidential ambitions, so he can run against blue states' horrible "woke" prosecutors even if he doesn't have any handy in Florida, having already fired them. DeSantis said the minimum bail requirements would "handcuff" any "pro-criminal judges" that might be lurking out there.

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Sam Alito Is The Pettiest Bitch Alive

Sorry, not sorry.

Has there ever been a bigger snowflake than Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito? A public figure so willing to jettison the decorum of his office to howl at his critics? A man so supremely indignant that anyone would dare speak out against him?

Honestly, it's pathetic. This 73-year-old manbaby is showing his whole ass again, whining to two conservative commentators at the Wall Street Journal (shocker!) that no one in history has ever had it so tough:

Justice Alito says “this type of concerted attack on the court and on individual justices” is “new during my lifetime. . . . We are being hammered daily, and I think quite unfairly in a lot of instances. And nobody, practically nobody, is defending us. The idea has always been that judges are not supposed to respond to criticisms, but if the courts are being unfairly attacked, the organized bar will come to their defense.” Instead, “if anything, they’ve participated to some degree in these attacks.”

Why won't the legal establishment rally around five justices who tossed out decades of precedent on grounds of fuck you, we're the majority now? Yeah, it's a headscratcher!

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Who's Buying Justice Neil Gorsuch's Real Estate? Nobody He'd Care To Tell You About!

Fam, we are shook.

You guys. Maybe you should sit down.

You know how there's been all that stuff in the news lately about garbage Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his trash fire loon wife Ginny taking millions of dollars in "hospitality" from rightwing gazillionaire Harlan Crow? Turns out, he's not the only one who forgot to disclose one or two little things on his ethics disclosure. Politico went digging through Justice Neil Gorsuch's financial disclosures and, hey, wouldn't ya know, he managed to bury the lede on a land deal which came together approximately five minutes after he was confirmed to the nation's highest court.

See, Gorsuch was a partner in an LLC called The Walden Group which had been trying to sell a 3,000-square-foot vacation house on 40 acres in rural Colorado since 2015. And right after he got confirmed in 2017, a buyer appeared with a sack of cash to take the property off their hands.

And who was the buyer?

Oh, just Brian Duffy, the head of law firm Greenberg Traurig's 600-lawyer litigation division which argues cases at the Supreme Court on the regular. NBD.

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