After Republican senators announced they would unequivocally not “advise and consent” to any nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court that President Obama seeks to appoint, I wrote in my Feb. 18 column that “by taking such an approach, the GOP has handed liberals a golden opportunity … Court experts, listen up: There are 13 appellate court districts in the United States and only four of the 13 are considered conservative, meaning that nine — or two-thirds — are comprised of liberal-leaning judges. When an appellate court rules, their position becomes the law of the land, unless SCOTUS agrees to hear, and then overturns, the case. And, if the court agrees to hear a case, and is split four-four — because of Scalia’s vacancy — the appellate court ruling stands.”

Well, the first domino fell this week when the Supreme Court handed down its first tie vote. It left the appellate-court order supporting teachers’ unions as the law of the land (and we know how much Republicans like teachers’ unions!). But if you think this is as far as it can go, get ready because it’s about to get bumpy.

Carmon Elliott has challenged Ted Cruz’s eligibility to be on the Pennsylvania primary ballot as a “natural-born U.S. citizen.” A lower court ruled against him, but Elliott appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which accepted briefs on the issue earlier this month. If by any chance the state top court tosses Cruz off the ballot, Cruz’s only appeal is — you got it — to the U.S. Supreme Court.

SCOTUS could just allow the state-court ruling to stand, but in a high-stakes race like the run for president, they would most likely hear the case. Considering the other rulings on voter rights and state-election laws, it is conceivable that there would be another tie — meaning Cruz would be off the ballot.

Now this is a long shot to be sure but, Republicans, you brought this upon yourselves. And as stated in that February column, there are many more lower-court rulings to come where, if a tie vote occurs, liberals will be cheering. This has to be the ultimate proof of the Republican dislike of President Obama, since it makes the point clear that your hate trumps your political policies. Did I actually use the word “Trump,” as in that guy who was part of that birther movement?

Isn’t this all so delicious.


Mark Segal, Philadelphia Gay News publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. You can follow him on Facebook at MarkSegalPGN or Twitter at PhilaGayNews. His memoir AND THEN I DANCED is available online and at your favorite bookstore.




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