Thursday, July 28, 2022

Kalamazoo Goes to Crap

The city of Kalamazoo has implemented many stupid policies over the years, but this is the worst.  Kalamazoo has eliminated criminal penalties for crapping in public.  The city is quick to note that this is still technically illegal, but it would be a civil infraction (violators get a ticket), not a crime.

Do I even need to explain why this is a bad idea?  The most basic law of economics is that people respond to incentives.  When some activity is penalized, you get less of it.  When it is subsidized (or the penalty is reduced), you get more of it.  This ordinance means there will be more urination and defecation in public.  Obviously, this will be bad for businesses that operate in Kalamazoo.

Further, the idea that tickets are a sufficient penalty is absurd.  Do the bums and hobos who crap in public seem like the sort of people who diligently pay their tickets?  Do they even have enough money that they could?  Thus in effect, crapping in public is now legal in Kalamazoo.

Anyone who wants to know how this will turn out can look to San Francisco.  Except that even San Francisco seems to be rethinking some of its insane progressive policies, and has recalled its DA and three school board members.  We will see how bad Kalamazoo has to get before voters learn their lesson.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

July 2022 Michigan State House Fundraising

July 22 was the deadline for campaign finance reports for Michigan legislature.  Here are summaries of the total amount raised in competitive Michigan state house districts.  Totals include in-kind contributions.  Candidates who filed reporting waivers are generally omitted.  These numbers come from the SOS campaign finance reports.  XX means the report has yet to be filed.

20. (D) Arbit 192K Ferguson 30K Sklar 9K (R) Mansour 3K Mohyi 7K
21. (D) Breen 96K (R) Staudt 39K (20K self) Lawless 27K (25K self)
22. (D) Koleszar 122K (R) Neracher 33K
27. (D) Churches 93K (R) Howey 46K Counts 32K Werner 5K
28. (D) Kull 55K (R) Ammerman 15K Dragone 4K Thompson 9K
29. (D) Garza 85K (R) Ditzhazy $500 DeSana 27K Richert 43K Warzocha 2K
30. (R) Bruck 52K Pirrone 37K
31. (D) Miller 68K (R) Biniecki 27K Vallade 2K
34. (R) Zorn 45K Moore 13K Rank 41K (26K self)
35. (R) Fink 167K Meckley 44K (35K self)
36. (R) Carra 36K Coleman 27K McGraw 114K (82K self) Solis 18K
38. (R) Whiteford 108K (68K self) Lucas 95K (60K self) Rolling 7K
 (D) Andrews 102K Brown 53K
39. (R) Wendzel 90K Nilson 28K
40. (D) Morse 128K (R) Sackett 22K
42. (R) Hall 241K Mitchell 13K (10K self)
43. (R) Smit 124K Joseph 11K Kronemeyer 54K
44. (D) Haadsma 115K (R) Morgan 22K
46. (R) Hugle 7K Schmaltz 40K (D) Imhoff 21K
48. (D) Conlin 188K (R) Negri 32K Woolford 30K
54. (R) Steele 69K Kiesel 10K (D) Fakih 56K Gerson 4K Martini 58K (20K self)
55. (R) Tisdell 71K (D) Oza 42K Bernard 8K
56. (D) MacDonell 16K Peltonen 14K (R) Gunn 12K
57. (R) Kuhn 40K (D) Farooqi 32K
58. (D) Shannon 77K (R) Smith 46K Ndrea XX
59. (R) Wozniak 37K Mekoski 51K on hand
61. (D) Mentzer 20K
62. (R) Marino 27K (25K self) Dubay 12K Germaine 13K Zarife 14K
63. (R) DeBoyer 103K Eubanks 67K
64. (R) Beeler 68K Eisen 27K on hand
65. (R) Greene 67K Wasung 3K
66. (R) Berlingieri 9K Newby 16K (12K self) Schriver 67K Arendoski 4K Shelton XX
67. (R) Green 127K Moore 56K Tuski 18K Glisman 25K (14K self) Lossing 23K (14K self)
68. (R) Martin 71K Miller XX Swanson XX (D) Carter 2K Hardmon 25K
71. (R) Rathbun 44K BeGole 54K Carlin 56K (52K self)
73. (D) Brixie 130K (R) Shinkle 34K
76. (D) Witwer 220K (R) Whittum 2K
78. (R) Barnes 45K Johnsen 55K (18K self) Geiger 16K
79. (R) Rigas 61K Keeler 39K
80. (R) Johnson 55K (51K self) (D) Skaggs 67K Cheng-Schulting 19K
81. (D) Hood 160K (R) Afendoulis 47K
83. (R) DeKryger 25K (D) Courtade 7K Flores 9K Fitzgerald 38K
84. (R) Regan 20K Noordhoek waiver Milanowski 2K Wetzel 151K (all self)
86. (R) De Boer 49K (D) Jackson 25K 
88. (R) VanWoerkom 213K Bricker 36K
92. (R) Haymaker 20K Anderman 2K Neyer 28K Schorle 132K (116K self) Zimmer 47K (D) Feig 35K
95. (R) Schuette 186K Manary 28K
96. (R) Beson 70K (D) Coonan 34K
97. (R) Wakeman 77K Bierlein 34K
98. (R) Alexander 15K Damrow 11K O'Mara 105K (all self) Tahash 1K
99. (R) Hoadley 69K (33K self) Lackie XX Petri 39K
101. (R) Schindlbeck 43K Smith 55K Fox 21K
102. (R) VanderWall 72K Sebolt 14K Roberts 4K
103. (R) O'Malley 152K Cerone 8K (D) Coffia 188K Brodsky 58K
105. (R) Borton 91K McFarlin XX Morley 68K (31K self) Randall 64K (63K self)
106. (R) Balog 21K Cavitt 80K Hull 14K
107. (R) Carr XX Laughbaum XX Fairbairn 136K (60K self) Friske 155K (76K self) Scheel 38K (33K self)
108. (R) Hoffman 43K Prestin 54K (50K self) Simon 48K
109. (D) Boogren 72K Hill 73K (30K self) (R) Wagner 6K Gray 13K

Saturday, July 23, 2022

July 2022 Michigan State Senate Fundraising

July 22 was the deadline for campaign finance reports for Michigan legislature.  Here are summaries of the total amount raised in competitive Michigan state senate districts.  Totals include in-kind contributions.  Candidates who filed reporting waivers are generally omitted.  These numbers come from  the SOS campaign finance reports.  XX means the report has yet to be filed.

1. (D) Geiss 102K Liberati 50K (40K self)
4. (D) Camilleri 387K (R) Frazier 2K James 30K
6. (D) Barnett 28K Cavanagh 36K
8. (D) McMorrow 650K Bullock 92K
9. (D) Kuppa 364K (R) Webber 119K
11. (D) Klinefelt 142K Owens XX (R) MacDonald 286K
12. (D) Hertel 187K (R) Hornberger 172K
13. (D) Bayer 309K (R) Rhines 38K Williams 8K
14. (D) Shink 158K Toops XX (R) Golding 77K
16. (R) Bellino 131K Clements 99K
17. (R) LaSata 168K Lindsey 186K
18. (R) Albert 195K
19. (D) McCann 357K (R) Mitchell 10K
20. (R) Nesbitt 298K Hudson 1K Kreutz 24K (14K self)
22. (R) Theis 456K Detmer 22K
27. (D) Cherry 167K
28. (D) Singh 349K (R) Anderson 112K Howard 18K
29. (D) Brinks 235K (R) Brann 134K (103K self)
30. (D) LaGrand 186K (R) Huizenga 344K
32. (D) Sabo 274K (R) Bumstead 247K
34. (R) Hauck 159K
35. (D) Rivet 211K (R) Glenn 308K Kelly 61K (47K self) Blank 155K (all self) Velasquez 164K (69K self)
36. (D) Sheltrown 10K (R) Hoitenga 117K
37. (R) Damoose 194K Cole 104K Hindle 45K (20K self) Ranville 91K (50K self)
38. (R) McBroom 301K

Friday, July 01, 2022

July 2022 Judiciary News

Roe no mo.


On June 24, the court upheld Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban by a 6-3 vote, and overturned Roe v Wade by a 5-4 vote in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.  Previously, Politico published a leak of a draft opinion written by Justice Alito.

Ed Whelan reflects on the decision and the movement to overturn Roe, and responds to a critic of the decision.

Threats:  A man was arrested near Justice Kavanaugh's house, intending to murder him.  He found Kavanuagh's address thanks to someone posting it on the internet.  The justices have faced threats and harassment from the left since the leak of the draft decision in Dobbs. 

Lies:  Leftists are accusing Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh of committing perjury in their confirmation hearings.  This despite the fact that they never said they supported Roe, nor that they would never overturn a precedent.  Pro-choice R Senator Susan Collins has said she feels misled by the justices.

Polling:  Polls indicate that a majority of the public supports keeping Roe v Wade, but also supports restrictions on abortion that are not allowed under Roe.  This indicates that the public does not understand what Roe actually does.

States:  The fight over abortion will head to state courts, making many supreme court races even more heated.  The article has a map of which state courts have declared abortion a right in their states.

Iowa:  The Iowa Supreme Court overturned a ruling from 2018 that Iowa's constitution contains a right to abortion.  Governor Kim Reynolds has appointed four justices since 2018.

Supreme Court:

Roberts:  The media continues to troll Chief Justice John Roberts with the claim that he "lost control of the court".  This despite the fact that his job is administration, not dictating the votes of the other justices.

Breyer:  Justice Breyer retired from the court on June 30.  He was appointed to the 1st Circuit by Carter in 1980 and to the Supreme Court by Clinton in 1994.  Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in to replace him.

Bearing arms:  The court ruled 6-3 against New York's 'may issue' rule for concealed carry permits that required applicants to show a special need to carry a weapon for self-defense.  The court left open what restrictions on bearing arms are allowable, but made it harder to uphold other gun control laws.

Religious schools:  The court ruled 6-3 that the state of Maine could not discriminate against religious schools when funding private high schools.

Prayer:  The court ruled 6-3 that a coach could not be fired for holding a voluntary prayer after football games.  It overruled the case Lemon v. Kurtzman, which had the effect of restricting religious liberty.

EPA:  The court ruled 6-3 that the EPA court not regulate carbon emissions without authorization from Congress, limiting the power of the bureaucracy.

Constitution:  Ramesh Ponnuru explains that the reason that conservative policies have been advanced by the Supreme Court is that the Constitution is conservative.

Nominations, Hearings, Confirmations:

Nominations:  Biden has filled judgeships at a fast pace, thanks to many district court vacancies.  However, the pace may be slowing down.  The article has lots of related statistics.

Nominations:  Some experts think that Biden will not be able to fill all existing circuit court vacancies before the end of the year.  We can only hope.

Hispanics:  President Biden nominated Bradley Garcia to the DC Circuit shortly after MALDEF attacked him for "ongoing shabby treatment of the Latino community" for not nominating enough Hispanics to judgeships.

ED-KY:  Judge Karen Caldwell will take senior status, and President Biden is reportedly planning to nominated Chad Meredith to replace her.  He is a conservative close to Senator Mitch McConnell who was considered for a judgeship in 2020.  This is apparently part of some larger deal, but local Ds are not happy.

CD-IL:  Senators Durbin and Duckworth recommended candidates for a judgeship in CD-IL, even though there is no announced vacancy there.  Judge Sue Myerscough is eligible for senior status.

3rd Circuit:  Tamika Renee Montgomery-Reeves-justice, Delaware Supreme Court
ED-MI:  Frances Kay Behm-judge, Genesee County Circuit

The Federal Judiciary:

5th Circuit:  Schadenfreude alert!  Texas Monthly has a long article attacking judges Willett, Ho, Oldham, and Duncan for being too conservative.

7th Circuit:  Judge Michael Kanne passed away on June 16 at age 83.  He was appointed to ND-IN in 1982 and the 7th Circuit in 1987, both by Reagan.  In 2018, he announced that he would take senior status, but withdrew after his former law clerk, Indiana Solicitor General Tom Fisher, was not nominated.  It is unclear whether Biden will be able to fill the seat this year.

Vacancy Declarations:  There are now 119 current and future judicial vacancies.  New vacancies over the past month are listed below.
DC Circuit: Judith Rogers (Clinton) 9/1 (senior)
7th Circuit: Michael Kanne (Reagan) 6/16 (death)
WD-TX: David Guaderama (Obama) 5/27/23 (senior)
D-NJ: Freda Wolfson (W) 2/1/23 (retired)
ED-KY: Karen Caldwell (W) TBD (senior)

State Supreme Courts:

Florida:  The Florida Judicial Nominating Commission selected 6 finalists out of 17 applicants for the opening on the Florida Supreme Court caused by the retirement of Justice Alan Lawson.  One of the finalists is Judge Renatha Francis, who Governor Ron DeSantis tried to appoint to an earlier vacancy, but was rejected due to insufficient experience.  Sources indicate that DeSantis is planning to appoint Francis this time.

Indiana:  Governor Eric Holcomb appointed Judge Derek Molter to the Indiana Supreme Court.  He was appointed to the Indiana Court of Appeals in October 2021 after years in private practice.  He will fill the vacancy caused by the upcoming retirement of Justice Steven David.

Iowa:  Justice Brent Appel will leave the court on July 13, when he is age-limited.  He is the last remaining D appointed judge on the court.  The Judicial Nominating Commission nominated three finalists out of the five applicants for the position.  They are "Iowa Court of Appeals Judge David May, District 1A Judge Alan Heavens of Garnavillo, and attorney William Miller".  Governor Kim Reynolds will make her fifth appointment to the court.

New Jersey:  Liberal New Jersey Supreme Court justice Barry Albin will be age-limited on July 7.  This will be the third open seat on the court.  Governor Phil Murphy nominated Rachel Wainer Apter to an open seat in March 2021, but state senator Holly Schepisi (R) is holding up the nomination.

Utah:  Governor Spencer Cox nominated Judge Jill Pohlman to the Utah Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice Thomas Lee.  She clerked for Judge David Winder (D-UT) and was appointed to the Utah Court of Appeals in 2016.

Virginia:  The Virginia legislature agreed to a compromise to fill the seats on the Virginia Supreme Court vacated by Justices Donald Lemons and William Mims.  Virginia Court of Appeals Judge Wesley Russell Jr., age 52, who was a deputy AG under Ken Cuccinelli, will succeed Lemons.  Thomas Mann, a Fairfax County judge since 2016, will succeed Mims.


June election results in contested races:

Illinois:  On June 28, there were partisan primaries for two seats on the Illinois Supreme Court.
District 2 (Lake, McHenry, Kane, DeKalb, Kendall):  Former Lake County sheriff Mark Curran won the R nomination with 30% to 28% to 19th Circuit Court judge Daniel Shanes.  The D nominee is 9th Circuit Court judge Elizabeth Rochford, who won 44% of the vote.  There were more votes in the R primary, which could be a good sign for November.
District 3 (DuPage, Will, etc.):  Justice Michael J. Burke (R) will face 3rd District Appellate Court Judge Mary O'Brien (D) in November.

Montana:   On June 7, Justice Ingrid Gustafson got 48% to 36% for MT GOP counsel and PSC President James Brown and 15% for Judge Mike McMahon.  Gustafson (D-aligned) and Brown (R-aligned) advance to the general election in November.
Justice James Rice got 76% to 24% for Bill D'Alton. Both will continue on to the November election.

Numbers and Trivia:

Here are the numbers of senior status declarations/retirements for federal judges (circuit judges) for the past year.
1 (0) December 2020
20 (3) January
19 (3) February
8 (3) March
7 (1) April
8 (5) May
4 (0) June
5 (2) July
4 (2) August
2 (0) September
5 (3) October
7 (1) November
9 (7) December 2021
14 (4) January 2022
4 (0) February 
3 (2) March 
6 (0) April 
5 (0) May 
5 (2) June 

136 (38) Total