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Polybius's Journal
Polybius's Journal
March 23, 2020

6-3 Supreme Court decision today on insanity defenses

The Court limited the rights of criminal defendants and declared that states can bar them from using insanity defenses. 6-3 decision, Kagan sided with the conservatives.


March 23, 2020

Supreme Court says states can limit scope of insanity defense

Source: USA Today

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states have broad authority to define insanity in their criminal codes.

The 6-3 ruling was written by Associate Justice Elena Kagan, a liberal who sided with the court's five conservative justices. Associate Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a spirited dissent, joined by Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.

The case dealt with a quadruple murder committed by a Kansas man seeking to use an insanity defense. But the problem for James Kahler – who admitted to killing his estranged wife, mother-in-law and two daughters in 2008 – was that Kansas abandoned that defense a decade earlier.

To win a conviction, the state needed only prove that Kahler acted with intent – not that he necessarily understood right from wrong.

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/03/23/insanity-defense-supreme-court-lets-states-make-harder-prove/2898915001/

6-3 opinion, Kagan joined the conservatives.
March 22, 2020

What if (God forbid) this virus is still in full swing by November?

I personally don't think it'll last past Summer, but what if it does? Let's say it's worst case scenario and Trump orders a national lockdown on non-essentials, but doesn't cancel the election because he likely can't.

If it's really bad, I bet a lot of people will stay home, and many places have no mail-ins. We usually only get about 40 or 50% of eligible voters voting anyway. This could bring it down to 20%.

Let's also say Biden is leading by 5 points in polling. Who does it help more if only 20% vote?

March 19, 2020

Are they gonna suspend property taxes too?

A couple of things. First, I live in NYC. I am a tenant and have a landlord. They have suspended mortgage payments, so that landlords can let the rent slide for April.

However, I am still worried that my landlord will need the rent from me, because her house is paid for. Suspending mortgages does nothing for her. They need to do something about her $5,000 a year property taxes. Will they be doing it?

She might say "Pay me back later." But making up a whole month (or more) of rent is staggering to me. The government needs to order rent waived for April, at least to those who have lost their jobs or have had their hours severely cut.

March 18, 2020

Marie Newman unseats one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Illinois's 3rd District

Source: Vox

After well over two years of trying by progressive Democrats, Rep. Dan Lipinski will no longer represent Illinois’s Third Congressional District in the House.

Newman, an anti-bullying activist endorsed by the Justice Democrats, also ran against Lipinski in 2018. That year, she fell just short, coming within 2.5 points of unseating him; on Tuesday, she eked out a win, according to Vox’s partners at Decision Desk.

She won by highlighting how she — like Illinois’s Third District — was more in line with the Democratic Party’s ideology than Lipinski, as Vox’s Tara Golshan wrote in June 2019:

“I’m a real Democrat,” Newman likes to tell voters. “To be a real Democrat, you have to believe in the platform,” she said to Vox. She, like Sanders, identifies income inequality as the root cause of American suffering. At a Saturday morning Pet Parade in Chicago’s Garfield Ridge neighborhood, Newman led a procession of staffers and volunteers — and their dogs — with signs supporting Medicare-for-all, a $15 minimum wage, and a Green New Deal. Newman supports abortion rights, the Equality Act, and free college and thinks Immigration and Customs Enforcement should be “repealed and replaced.”

Read more: www.vox.com/platform/amp/2020/3/17/21184672/marie-newman-dan-lipinski-illinois-primary-results

Wow, this is huge.
March 11, 2020

Sanders defeats Biden in North Dakota

Source: The Hill

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) defeated former Vice President Joe Biden in the North Dakota Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday, prevailing in a state he had also won in 2016.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders received 53 percent of the vote, while Biden got just under 40 percent.

North Dakota awards 14 pledged delegates, tying Wyoming for hosting the smallest nominating race in the continental United States.

Because of this, the win isn't much more than a consolation prize for Sanders, who had an otherwise disappointing night at the polls.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/486465-sanders-wins-north-dakota-caucuses

March 7, 2020

Happy Daylight Savings Time!

I love this time of the season. Yeah, we lose an hour but to me this signifies the first important step to ending Winter, and that Spring is around the corner. Love that it gets dark later too! Some people don't like the adjustments, but it's never taken me more than a day or two to get used to. Anyway:

March 7, 2020

Nazi flag waved by a man at a Bernie Sanders event sparks outcry

Source: CNN

(CNN)A man was kicked out of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' rally in Arizona after he unfurled a Nazi flag during the Democratic presidential candidate's speech.

The appearance of a Nazi flag at the Sanders campaign event Thursday night was widely denounced on social media, sparked outcry and prompted calls for security.

"We can argue about which candidate should get the Dem nomination, but antisemitic acts have no place in this world. This is absolutely abhorrent," Steven Slugocki, the chairman of the Maricopa County Democratic Party in Arizona, wrote on Twitter.

The individual who had hung a flag with a swastika on it was immediately booed by the crowd. Members of the audience ripped the flag from the individual's hand, and the individual was quickly removed by security.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/06/politics/nazi-flag-at-bernie-sanders-rally-gets-person-kicked-out/index.html

Absolutely disgusting. This is definitely not free speech!
March 5, 2020

Brand new Mississippi Senate and Presidential polls

Ugh, this isn't what I had expected. I at least thought the Senate rematch would be close. Anyway here's the Presidential polling:

President Trump has a comfortable lead over both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders among Mississippi voters, regardless of which candidate becomes the Democratic nominee.

According to the poll, if the election were held Thursday with Biden as the nominee, President Trump would get 56 percent of the vote to Biden’s 41 percent.

The president would do even better in a race against Bernie Sanders. If that were the scenario, the poll says President Trump would get 59 percent of the Mississippi votes to Sanders’ 36 percent.

The poll also found that 57 percent of Mississippians approve of the job Trump is doing.

And here's the Senate race:

Incumbent Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith has no party opposition and Democratic challenger Mike Espy is expected to advance easily to November.

In the rematch from two years ago, the Mason-Dixon poll shows Hyde-Smith with a 10-point lead over Espy in the general election, with four percent undecided.


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