Supreme Court and robo calls were Big Talk topics this morning

CHAMBERSBURG – Every weekday morning on First News, the local – live morning radio information show with Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen features the big talk topics and opinion from local Attorney Clint Barkdoll.

On June 29, topics covered by the Big Talk on First News were the Supreme Court and getting rid of those pesky robo calls once and for all.

Listen to the full audio here:

Supreme Court’s last day is tomorrow

The US Supreme Court will conclude its 2020/2021 session tomorrow and there are still 5 cases on the docket for decisions.

One is the case related to Arizona voter rights another is a case from California that will determine whether charities are required to disclose the identities of their major donors.

The big speculation, though, revolves around Justice Stephen Breyer. Will he retire?

Barkdoll wondered, “Does he want to retire while the Democrats still have this thin majority in the Senate which would presumably make it easier for Biden to nominate someone that could be confirmed that would share his liberal ideology.”

Some groups even took out ads in the Sunday papers encouraging him to retire.

Breyer has also made speeches saying that courts should not cave in to politics or public opinion.

One possibility is Breyer could stay on for another year because the Democrats would still control the Senate through next year. 

The danger for either party in a 50-50 situation is someone could become incapacitated and this dynamic of 50-50 could change, quite literally, overnight.

What Justice Breyer is thinking could include the Ruth Bader Ginsberg situation from last year as well as this slim 50-50 margin. He is in his 80s.

Barkdoll said, “Part of me thinks yes, he would retire to make sure someone fills his seat that shares his ideology, but yet you look at those speeches he gave a few weeks ago, he seemed very opposed to any kind of bowing to public pressure. Remains a real mystery. It’s anybody’s guess what he may do. I think if we get through the end of this week and he has not made an announcement well then it’s likely he’s going to at least sit through the next term which would run again through next June.”

In terms of the actual announcement, Supreme Court retirements have never really been a big media circus.

Indeed when Justice Kennedy retired, it was said he carried his retirement letter in his coat pocket during the annual year-end picnic and walked it over to the White House when the picnic was finished.

So Breyer’s announcement could come when we least expect it.

It’s difficult to guess.

This is a courtesy call for the final reminder for your car warranty…

Ahh, the robo calls. We all get them – some of us more than others – and they can be remarkably irritating.

It’s possible they might become a thing of the past, though.

Americans have gotten over 22 billion robocalls since the beginning of the year, but the FCC expects all major phone companies to begin implementing a new tech called STIR/SHAKEN by June 30.

STIR/SHAKEN requires that all calls going through any phone network have a legitimate carrier ID attached to them. If they don’t have a legit ID on them, the phone carriers stop the robocall from going to your phone.

Barkdoll said one of the real issues is the practice known as spoofing – that’s the legal term.

You’ll get a call at the house and it shows a local number, but it’s actually a person at a call center out of the country. It’s illegal. The FCC has tried to crack down on it but it’s tough to really get a handle on. Because the numbers are coming from out of the country, it’s virtually impossible to trace the origins.

The FCC says STIR/SHAKEN is one of their top priorities.

Many people have tried to get their numbers on a Do Not Call list, but often times, the scammers get through anyway.

AT&T is the first carrier with this new technology, but the others will likely be quickly behind them.

So, take a moment to breathe a hopeful sigh of relief as the tech world may have come up with an end to the dreaded robotic voice telling you not to hang up on the other end of the line.