Brett Stuff
Judging the Judges
Term Year: 2018

Virginia House of Delegates, et al., Appellants v. Golden Bethune-Hill, et al.

Summary Analysis

DATE: 2019-06-17
DOCKET: 18-281
NAME: Virginia House of Delegates, et al., Appellants v. Golden Bethune-Hill, et al.

   AUTHOR: Ginsburg
   JOINING: Thomas, Sotomayor, Kagan, Gorsuch
   GOOD: No

OPINION: Dissenting
   AUTHOR: Alito
   JOINING: Roberts, Breyer, Kavanaugh
   GOOD: Yes

Case Commentary

I agree with the Dissent, once again.

At the end of the year, I am going to have to see how often I agree with the Dissent. Is that part of my nature? Or do I simply disagree with The Court.

Standing (the right to bring forth an action or continue an action on Appeal) Requires:
In truth, that seems like an entire Undergraduate Course to me. And no doubt, many a Continuing Education Credit has been based on the same. So, I (not being a lawyer, legal student, or little more than a bag of hot air, however boisterous) am unlikely to be able to unlock the nuances contained therein.

The Court is evenly split at 5 to 4. It might as well be a tie.

Bicameral: a two chambered legislative body

Given a bicameral legislative body (so, now I am being completely redundant) does one of the body's have standing where two would be required to enact a law?

Does it make any difference if the law in question effects the legislative body, itself... say, due to a re-districting plan?

I'd say yes.

The Court says no.

It all comes down to whether one believes this instance of the legislative body has a vested interest in maintaining its current mix of representatives, which I will say it does.

The Citizens may not have a vested interest. The State may not have a vested interest. The legislature as a whole may not have a vested interest. But clearly, the chamber in question of this multi-chambered legislature does.

Does a Board of Directors have a vested interest in who sits on the Board?

I would say yes.

And therein (to my untrained eye) lays the whole of the case.

Judging the Judges

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The entire case begs the question as to whether a case decided 5 to 4 (or even 6 to 3) should be used for anything.

Is a 5 to 4 decision decisive enough to set precedence?

Likely, not.

Legally, yes.

Meaningfully, no.

© copyright 2019 Brett Paufler
A Personal Opinion/Editorial