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Trump loses his impeachment team amid unfaltering loyalty from the GOP

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Former President Donald Trump’s lies and his insistence that the November election was rigged against him may have turned out to be a bridge too far for the attorneys who were slated to defend him in his upcoming Senate impeachment trial in a little more than a week.But his party has largely stuck with him. After a brief flirtation with reason and sound judgment in the weeks following the January 6 siege at the Capitol, the Republican Party has decided to honor their deep and often blind allegiance to Trump, choosing to overlook his role in inciting the deadly insurrection rather than pay the price of crossing him and his base next year at the ballot box.The collapse of Trump’s legal team amid a disagreement over legal strategy, which CNN first reported Saturday night, stood in stark contrast to the slow crawl of Republican elected leaders back into the former President’s corner as the anger lawmakers feel about the insurrection fades and his potential power to help or destroy them in the 2022 elections becomes paramount.While the Republican Party continues to bend to Trump’s whims, forgive his dangerous behavior, and quiver in the face of his election threats, the judiciary and the legal profession are adhering to a higher ethical standard — and have largely refused to tolerate his efforts to ramrod the nation’s democratic institutions and founding principles throughout his baseless election charade — making the GOP’s loyalty to Trump even more appalling.

Senate Republicans say Trump should be held accountable for riot -- but not by them

Senate Republicans say Trump should be held accountable for riot — but not by themA person familiar with the departures of the five attorneys — Butch Bowers, Deborah Barbier, Josh Howard, Johnny Gasser and Greg Harris — told CNN that Trump wanted the attorneys to center his defense on the notion that there was mass election fraud in November and that the election was stolen from him, instead of questioning the legality of convicting a president after he’s left office. Trump was not receptive to the discussions about how they should proceed, according to CNN’s Gloria Borger, Kaitlan Collins, Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Semler.Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who recently voted with the majority of his party to table a discussion about the constitutionality of impeaching Trump — which was viewed as a test vote indicating that the former President would be acquitted after the trial because of his substantial support within the GOP ranks — said Sunday that he believes the question of whether a president can be convicted after leaving office needs to be answered, but that the country needs to move on from Trump’s allegations of election fraud.There were not “adequate irregularities or fraud, not widespread enough to change the result of the election, period,” Portman told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.” “We have to acknowledge that this election was lost and we have to move on.”And yet, most of the GOP has shown their uneasiness about forcing repercussions for the former President. They demonstrated how much the party has been irrevocably changed by Trump’s corrosive influence last week when Republican members stood by mostly silently and refused to reprimand Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who should have ended the week in disgrace after CNN’s KFile exposed that she previously indicated support for executing prominent Democrats.Instead, like Trump, the freshman Republican has doubled down and escaped largely unscathed, avoiding any punishment from GOP leaders as she falsely claims to be the victim of a “blood thirsty media.” On Saturday, she emerged defiant on Twitter after claiming to have had a “great call” with Trump, continuing to spout falsehoods about the presidential election and failing to show a shred of remorse for her endorsement of violent threats against lawmakers or offensive and baseless theories about the Parkland shooting. While her conduct gets a pass from GOP leaders, some Republican state parties and local leaders are rushing to condemn the GOP lawmakers who dared to vote for the impeachment of the former President.The case of both Trump — who is expected to be acquitted in the Senate — and Greene is the latest example of how the party of Lincoln has become the party of no consequences, untethered from its moorings by Trump’s embrace of baseless conspiracy theories and his coddling of the most dangerous fringe elements of the party.In phrases that could have been ripped from Trump’s own permanently suspended Twitter account, Greene asserted Saturday that she’ll “never apologize” or “back down” despite CNN’s revelations about her shocking, conspiracy-laden social media feeds, including the fact that she liked a comment suggesting that “a bullet to the head would be quicker” as a way to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She also expressed support for comments about executing FBI agents.

'People are angry': House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump face backlash at home

‘People are angry’: House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump face backlash at homeHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who should be the person responsible for enforcing discipline within his ranks and setting the guardrails of decorum, indicated that he intends to talk to Greene this week about the posts threatening to kill lawmakers. But he too spent last week trying to cozy up to Trump at Mar-a-Lago and make amends for his fleeting reprimand of the former President after the insurrection that endangered the lives of his members, paying homage to the standard bearer in a party that’s already gearing up for a divisive primary cycle.At least 50 House Democrats have called for Greene to be removed from the House, with others calling for censure or stripping her of her committee assignments, but there is no indication yet that she will be upbraided by GOP leadership.Before she was elected to the solidly red district last fall, Republican strategists expressed concern about Greene’s ties to Islamophobic and anti-Semitic tropes, and her past support for QAnon — whose followers believe the baseless conspiracy theory that Trump was engaged in a battle against celebrities and Democrats who abuse children. But she won and has been among Trump’s strongest supporters, backing his false claims that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent. She has worn a mask to the Capitol that reads “Trump won.””I had a GREAT call with my all-time favorite POTUS, President Trump!” Greene tweeted Saturday. “I’m so grateful for his support and more importantly the people of this country are absolutely 100% loyal to him because he is 100% loyal to the people and America First.” Trump’s office has not responded to requests for comment about the call.

Republicans feeling the heat for impeachment vote

Meanwhile, it is the Republicans who defied Trump with their votes on impeachment earlier this month who now appear to be in the most political peril. On Saturday, the South Carolina Republican Party voted to formally censure Rep. Tom Rice for voting to impeach Trump, with South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick claiming that the vote amounted to “nothing more than a political kick on the way out the door,” and one that “played right into the Democrats’ game.”A number of the other nine House Republicans who joined Rice in that impeachment vote — as well as state officials who certified the election results showing President Joe Biden won — are facing a backlash at home, with the Trump-aligned flank of their party promising primary challenges, rebukes from local leaders and an onslaught of spending against them.Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey was recently censured by his state’s GOP, along with Cindy McCain and former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, because rank-and-file Republican members in Arizona viewed them as insufficiently loyal to Trump. But Ducey, who certified the results showing Biden’s win, called the censure an action “of very little consequence.”On Sunday, he told Bash that the censure reflected a “long history of discontent” in his party in Arizona. Once the vote was audited and determined accurate, “I had very little choice but to do the right thing, follow the law and the Constitution.”Several GOP lawmakers have called for stripping Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking House Republican, of her leadership position after she supported impeachment. Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, a close Trump ally, trolled her with a rally in her home state on Thursday and Trump has been weighing how he should exact his revenge, reportedly showing allies polling to make the case that she has been weakened at home.In Cheyenne, Gaetz sought to inflame the divisions within his party as he championed “prairie populism” and called on Republicans to defeat Cheney when she runs for reelection, going so far as to take a phone call from Donald Trump Jr. to amplify that message. He claimed that Cheney was part of a “private insider club” that includes Biden, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Pelosi that wants to use government to “enrich themselves.””Washington, DC, mythologizes the establishment power brokers like Liz Cheney for climbing in a deeply corrupt game. But there are more of us than there are of them and we see the fakes and the phonies more clearly than ever before,” Gaetz said during the rally. “If you want to prove you have the power, defeat Liz Cheney in this upcoming election and Wyoming will bring Washington to its knees.”Cheney told her party that her vote on the impeachment article — accusing Trump of “incitement of insurrection” — was a vote of conscience. McCarthy has said he supports Cheney but has “concerns.” The votes for impeachment by Cheney and the nine other Republicans could come up at a meeting with all House Republicans on Wednesday, but it is unclear whether or how McCarthy intends to address the controversy over Greene’s social media posts. So far, he’s only publicly weighed in through a spokesman who called Greene’s comments “deeply disturbing.” The minority leader already canceled a GOP leadership meeting scheduled for Tuesday — because he will be traveling back from Houston from an energy event, his spokesman told CNN. However, he offered no additional details for why it wasn’t rescheduled, and a source familiar believes one of the reasons McCarthy canceled is because he doesn’t want to discuss Greene.

‘Lies of a feather flock together’

In her Twitter thread Saturday, Greene tried to claim that, like Trump, that she is a victim of “blood thirsty media” and “the socialists hate America” Democrats. Alluding to Pelosi’s comments during a news conference this week that “the enemy is within the House of Representatives,” Greene sought to define the enemy as “a poisonous rot of socialist policies” and “America last sell outs who are pompous hypocrites that believe they are untouchable elites.”She was rebuked by Romney — a rare Republican who’s frequently spoken out against Trump — on Twitter Saturday: “Lies of a feather flock together: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s nonsense and the ‘big lie’ of a stolen election.”Portman said on “State of the Union” Sunday that Republicans ought to “stand up and say it is totally unacceptable what she has said.””There is no place for violence in our political dialogue,” said the Ohio senator, who announced early last week that he will not seek reelection after his current term in office ends in 2022.But as most Republicans remain silent about Greene, tensions continue to rise between her and some of the Democrats who want to see formal action to reprimand her for her past comments. Rep. Cori Bush, a Missouri Democrat, plans to move to an office farther away from Greene’s after the two had an argument over mask wearing earlier this month.Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, said on Saturday that “the Republican leadership has to step up at this point” because Greene “is an embarrassment to us all.”Thompson called on McCarthy to take a stand for the good of his party, calling it a sad day for Republican politics in America: “He has the number one position in the Republican party in the House of Representatives,” Thompson said of McCarthy during an interview with CNN’s Ana Cabrera on “Newsroom” Saturday.”He has to demonstrate that leadership. Otherwise, he’s complicit in what she’s doing with his silence.”But McCarthy’s visit to Mar-a-Lago this week suggested his top concern is staying in Trump’s good graces, which means Greene — and those who share her beliefs — likely won’t be going anywhere.This story has been updated with comments from Sen. Rob Portman and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on “State of the Union.”

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Biden to take first limited steps on gun control, including on ‘ghost guns’ and pistol braces

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By Kevin Liptak, CNN
Updated 10:57 PM ET, Wed April 7, 2021

(CNN) — President Joe Biden will take his first, limited actions on gun control Thursday, directing his administration to tighten restrictions on so-called ghost guns and pistol stabilizing braces that allow the weapons to be used more accurately, according to a senior administration official.

The steps — which also include nominating a gun control advocate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — fulfill a commitment Biden made in the aftermath of two deadly shootings last month to take “common sense” steps right away to address gun violence.
But they fall short of the sweeping actions Biden promised as a candidate that must be passed by Congress, including a ban on assault weapons or enacting universal background checks. Senior administration officials framed the upcoming announcements as initial steps that would be followed by additional actions later on, including applying pressure on lawmakers to act.
    Biden said last month following a mass shooting in Colorado, “I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common sense steps that will save lives in the future.” But he has acknowledged that passing a massive new infrastructure plan — and not new gun laws — is his top legislative priority.
      Biden will make the announcements Thursday from the White House alongside his attorney general, Merrick Garland, whose Justice Department will be responsible for drafting the proposed rules.
          The announcements will come as the President is expected to nominate David Chipman as the next director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a White House official told CNN. Chipman is a former ATF agent who serves as senior policy adviser at Giffords, the organization led by former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who became a gun control advocate after being shot in 2011.
          The ATF has been without a permanent director since 2015.
          Biden also plans to announce new investments in intervention programs in violence-prone communities; a directive to the Justice Department to publish model “red flag” laws for states that allow the temporary removal of guns from people deemed at high risk of harming themselves or others; and a comprehensive report on firearms trafficking.
          Taken together, the actions amount to the first real steps by Biden’s administration to combat gun violence. Inside the White House, efforts to devise executive actions have been led by White House Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice and Office of Public Engagement Director Cedric Richmond, administration officials and gun safety advocacy groups told CNN.
          That included meeting with some of those groups and fielding ideas for steps that Biden could take on his own. Some advocates had been clamoring for steps earlier in the administration, pointing to Biden’s pledge to prioritize gun control during his campaign.
          But initial reaction from gun safety advocacy groups Wednesday evening was positive.
          “Each of these executive actions will start to address the epidemic of gun violence that has raged throughout the pandemic, and begin to make good on President Biden’s promise to be the strongest gun safety president in history,” John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said in a statement.
          “These much-needed executive actions will start saving lives right away, and our grassroots army of nearly 6 million supporters looks forward to standing behind President Biden as he urges the Senate to follow his lead and act,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, said in a statement.
          While campaigning, Biden had said he would task his attorney general with instituting better enforcement of existing gun laws as a means of slowing gun violence. He also made a campaign pledge to send $900 million for community programs meant to combat violence, something the administration is sorting out how to fulfill.
          Following last month’s shootings, Biden called on Congress to take steps like reenacting an assault weapons ban, with Vice President Kamala Harris, who argued for executive actions on the campaign trail, telling “CBS This Morning” that “if we really want something that is going to be lasting, we need to pass legislation.”
          The Democratic-controlled House passed gun legislation that would expand background checks on all commercial gun sales last month, but the bills face tougher paths in the Senate, where Democrats hold a slim 50-50 majority and would need significant Republican support to overcome a legislative filibuster.
          Biden acknowledged during a news conference that his main legislative priority was passing an infrastructure package and that he believed careful timing was key to the success of any proposed bills.
          And he has acknowledged that his political capital is limited.
          “I haven’t done any counting yet,” he said in March when asked whether he believed he had enough votes to pass significant reforms.
          As the nation’s posture on guns has evolved, Biden has been front-and-center at most every stop along the way for more than three decades, from the triumph of a 10-year ban on assault weapons in 1994 to the disappointment of a failed push for universal background checks in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.
            Recent shootings in Georgia and Colorado had raised the question inside the West Wing over how much political capital Biden should expend on the matter, which has so often ended in frustration.
            This story has been updated with details about Biden’s executive actions and reaction to them.

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            Virginia lawmakers OK marijuana possession starting July 1

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            By Paul LeBlanc and Kay Jones, CNN
            Updated 9:45 PM ET, Wed April 7, 2021

            (CNN) — The Virginia General Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill legalizing simple possession of marijuana, becoming the latest state to modify its laws around cannabis use and possession that disproportionately jailed Black people for nonviolent offenses.

            The new law, which goes into effect July 1, allows anyone in the state 21 or older to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana. The law also “modifies several other criminal penalties related to marijuana, and imposes limits on dissemination of criminal history record information related to certain marijuana offenses,” according to a summary posted to the Legislature’s website.
            “Virginia led and made history once again today,” Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who cast the tie-breaking vote in the state Senate, said in a tweet.
              “I was proud to cast the tie-breaking vote to legalize marijuana and bring long overdue justice, fairness, equity and opportunity to the people of our great Commonwealth.”
                The bill had originally passed in late February, but Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam sent it back to the Legislature with a series of revisions, including a proposal to accelerate the timeline of its enactment to this July instead of 2024.
                    Still, the measure was met with fierce opposition from state GOP lawmakers Wednesday, including Del. Chris Head, who called it a “train wreck” during a virtual House floor speech.
                    “If this policy change is to be undertaken, it has to be undertaken prudently, and I understand the enormous pressure on the majority party to make this change right now. I understand that opposing immediate legislation and legalization is going to anger many of your constituents. And I understand that taking the time to do this right might possibly even lead to charges of racism,” he said.
                    “But we have to do this right. And doing it right takes time.”
                    Legalization advocates have long touted the righting of past criminal justice wrongs, eliminating illegal market activity and generating additional tax revenue when they’ve pushed for overhauling state cannabis laws.
                    “At the end of the day, economics talk and jobs talk,” Jessica Billingsley, chief executive officer of Akerna, which makes regulatory compliance software that helps states track cannabis sales from seed to sale, previously told CNN.
                      “I truly believe we’re going to see some very meaningful and important movement coming out of this as states and governors look for a way to bolster their economy.”
                      Cannabis sales in states that have legalized the plant for medical and recreational purposes totaled about $15 billion in 2019, and are expected to top $30 billion by 2024, according to data from BDS Analytics, which tracks dispensary sales.

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                      Biden’s planned pick for ATF director a fierce advocate for gun control

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                      By Paul LeBlanc, CNN
                      Updated 9:30 PM ET, Wed April 7, 2021

                      Washington (CNN) — David Chipman, President Joe Biden’s planned nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, has a long history at the agency and sports credentials in gun control advocacy sure to excite firearm safety groups.

                      If confirmed, Chipman will lead the agency that enforces gun laws at a critical point in Biden’s early tenure, as the President looks to take fresh action on the issue in the wake of two deadly shootings last month.
                      “I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that will save lives in the future,” Biden said last month. The President plans to announce new executive actions on guns Thursday, a person familiar with the plans said.

                        Longtime ATF special agent

                          Chipman, if confirmed, would return to the agency where he worked for 25 years as a special agent.
                            He lists “Violent Crime Reduction Strategist,” “Certified Explosives Specialist” and “Interagency Liason Specialist” among his specialties on his Linkedin profile, and Giffords notes his expertise includes ghost guns, the gun industry, law enforcement and assault weapons.
                            In the President’s first, limited actions on gun control Thursday, Biden will direct his administration to tighten restrictions on so-called ghost guns and pistol stabilizing braces that allow the weapons to be used more accurately, according to a senior administration official. Ghost guns are handmade or self-assembled firearms that don’t have serial numbers, and some can be fabricated in as little as 30 minutes using kits and parts purchased online.
                            The ATF has been without a permanent director since 2015.
                            In recent years, the bureau has become most visible in the aftermath of mass shootings around the US and at other crimes involving firearms. But the agency has a broader scope than just guns.
                            According to its website, ATF “protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products.”
                            “We partner with communities, industries, law enforcement, and public safety agencies to safeguard the public we serve through information sharing, training, research, and use of technology,” the bureau’s website states.

                            Gun control advocacy

                            After leaving the ATF in 2012, Chipman became a senior adviser at Everytown for Gun Safety, where he was “consulted frequently” by lawmakers considering gun control legislation, according to his Linkedin.
                            Chipman then served as senior vice president of Public Safety Solutions for almost three years before arriving at Giffords as a senior policy adviser in 2016.
                            It’s in these roles that Chipman’s voice as a fierce advocate for gun control was elevated, as he frequently wrote op-eds and made media appearances to advance the cause.
                            “As a former ATF special agent with more than 24 years of experience at the bureau, I know all too well how serious our gun violence problem is and how desperately the agency lacks for the law enforcement tools that are necessary to help curb this national epidemic,” Chipman wrote in a 2013 Politico op-ed.
                            The country’s gun safety laws, he wrote at the time, “make it all too easy for guns to fall into the wrong hands — and since Congress has failed to address these gaps legislatively, ATF must chart a new course to combat the scourge of gun violence. This requires strong leadership.”
                            More recently, Chipman voiced support for limiting high-capacity magazines in a 2019 interview with PBS NewsHour.
                            “Talking to any gun owner, a 100-round magazine is just not traditional. It’s not normal. And I can’t think of a purpose, beyond killing a lot of people, for having it,” he said. “So if the debate is, should it be 10 or what have you, it can’t be 100. And so I think there’s room where we can have progress, although we will not have perfection.”
                              And in light of FBI records last summer showing US firearm background checks having skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic, Chipman told CNN at the time: “My biggest concern involves the potential number of first time gun buyers who, before March, did not think they needed a gun.”
                              This story has been updated with additional details Wednesday.

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                              Andrew Giuliani, former Trump aide and son of Rudy Giuliani, says he plans for to run for governor of New York

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                              By Devan Cole, CNN
                              Updated 12:16 PM ET, Wed April 7, 2021

                              Washington (CNN) — Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, says he’s planning to run for governor of the heavily Democratic state next year.

                              “I plan to run,” Andrew Giuliani, who served as an aide to former President Donald Trump, told the Washington Examiner in an interview published Wednesday.
                              Giuliani’s gubernatorial bid could set up a high stakes, headline-grabbing showdown with Andrew Cuomo, should the embattled incumbent Democratic governor decide to seek a fourth term. But Giuliani would face a steep uphill battle in the heavily Democratic state, and his candidacy could help hand another win to the party as his proximity to Trump would likely be seen as a liability in a state where the former President is widely unpopular.
                                “I believe I can win the race,” Giuliani told the Examiner. “I think I’m the right candidate, and this is the right time to help change New York State, and we’ve got a playbook that works.”
                                  “Outside of anybody named Trump, I think I have the best chance to win and take the state back, and I think there’s an opportunity in 2022 with a wounded Democratic candidate, whether it’s going to be Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo, whether it’s going to be a radical (attorney general), Letitia James, whether it’s going to be a no-name lieutenant governor, I think there’s a very, very real chance to win,” he said, according to the magazine.
                                        Asked if he expected Cuomo to seek reelection to a fourth term next year, Jay Jacobs, the state party chair and a close ally of the governor, demurred.
                                        “I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. I think that he’s more focused on getting through his current troubles, then seeing where he’s going to go,” he said. “These investigations are going to be critical in all of that. It’s hard to tell. I’m sure that, given his druthers, he’d like to run for reelection.”

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                                        Stephen Breyer worries about Supreme Court’s public standing in current political era

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                                        By Joan Biskupic, CNN legal analyst & Supreme Court biographer
                                        Updated 9:07 PM ET, Tue April 6, 2021

                                        (CNN) — Justice Stephen Breyer, who may be nearing the end of his Supreme Court tenure, expressed concern on Tuesday about the standing of the high court and the possible erosion of public confidence in its decisions.

                                        In an expansive, two-hour lecture at Harvard Law School, Breyer bemoaned the common practice — by journalists, senators and others — of referring to justices by the presidents who appointed them and of describing the nine by their conservative or liberal approach to the law.
                                        “These are more than straws in the wind,” the 82-year-old Breyer said. “They reinforce the thought, likely already present in the reader’s mind, that Supreme Court justices are primarily political officials or ‘junior league’ politicians themselves rather than jurists. The justices tend to believe that differences among judges mostly reflect not politics but jurisprudential differences. That is not what the public thinks.”
                                          Breyer also warned against proposals to expand the size of the Supreme Court from its current nine members. Public trust was “gradually built” over the centuries, he said, and any discussion of change should take account of today’s public acceptance of the court’s rulings, even those as controversial as the 2000 Bush v. Gore case that settled a presidential election.
                                            “The public now expects presidents to accept decisions of the court, including those that are politically controversial,” he said. “The court has become able to impose a significant check — a legal check — upon the Executive’s actions in cases where the Executive strongly believes it is right.”
                                              Some of Breyer’s most compelling opinions, it should be noted, have been written in dissent. In 2007, for example, he objected to an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts rejecting school integration plans in Seattle and Louisville. Roberts said districts could not consider a student’s race when making school assignments to reduce racial isolation throughout the school district.
                                              “This is a decision that the Court and the Nation will come to regret,” wrote Breyer, whose father, Irving Breyer, was a long-serving school board member in San Francisco. Breyer still wears the wristwatch his father received upon his retirement from the district. Breyer said the Roberts opinion threatened “the promise of” the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.
                                              Breyer said Tuesday that differences with his colleagues were based on their distinct views of the structure of the Constitution or how they interpreted statutes. He did not refer to instances in which his colleagues themselves have publicly questioned each other’s motives.
                                                Breyer did allow that sometimes justices weigh public opinion or the future ramifications of a decision. And he acknowledged that the nine are products of their individual backgrounds and experiences.
                                                Still, he said, “judicial philosophy is not a code word for ‘politics.'”

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