Archive for the ‘Supreme Court’ Category

Another law signed by Bill Clinton comes back to bite the Dems?

by Doug Powers on Monday, June 30th, 2014

This is article 59 of 59 in the topic US Supreme Court

nullRecently, Democrats were celebrating the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act that was enacted in 1996. Bill Clinton congratulated himself for helping lead the recent fight to overturn the law that some guy named Bill Clinton signed.

Fast forward to this morning when the Supreme Court sided with Hobby Lobby. The majority ruled that Hobby Lobby fell under the umbrella of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Who signed that bill? Bill! The RFRA was sponsored in the U.S. Senate by some right-wing Republican named Chuck Schumer.

Today could mark the beginning of 21st century Bill Clinton’s latest battle to undo the damage caused by 20th century Bill Clinton. Back to the future!

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The Assault on Free Speech

by Alan Caruba on Thursday, May 8th, 2014

This is article 112 of 112 in the topic Free Speech

We have been witnessing a growing assault on free speech in America by the Left and too often it is succeeding.

The demand by members of the Rutgers University faculty that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice be disinvited to be the commencement speaker is the latest example and her decision to withdraw, while graceful, was a victory for the Left, the liberals for whom free speech exists only if it agrees with their posturing about equality, diversity, and all forms of “justice” as defined only by them.

Our universities are showing ugly signs of censoring the speech of those they invited to give a speech! Brandeis University recently withdrew its invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a human rights campaigner, because of her criticisms of Islam. In response, she said of the slur on her reputation that, “More deplorable is that an institution set up on the basis of religious freedom should today so deeply betray its own founding principles.”

The forced resignation of the co-founder and CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, because, years before, he had made a donation to the California campaign to support traditional marriage is another example. The Left has led the effort to redefine this ancient institution of the union between a man and a woman while supporting the demands of the nation’s gay and lesbian community.

Tearing down the foundations of our society has long been a major goal of the Left.

The taping of a private conversation between Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, and his mixed-race mistress who made it public led almost immediately thereafter to the demand by the National Basketball Association that he divest himself of ownership of the team. Yes, Sterling expressed racist views, but free speech includes saying stupid things; things that are sure to offend someone or some group. Saying them privately is very different from saying them publicly. And that speech is protected by the First Amendment.

An extension of the Sterling affair is the way any criticism of President Obama is almost always attributed to the fact that he is black. He is, in fact, only half black. His mother was white. The grandparents who raised him were white.

There is plenty about which to criticize Obama and none of it has to do with the color of his skin.

The level and intensity of political correctness has been rising for years and I have been worrying about it for a long time, particularly with the passage of “hate crime” legislation that goes beyond actual acts based on hatred and includes expressions that are deemed to be hatred.

Our educational system now seeks to exclude anything—and I do mean anything—that might “offend” someone or some group of people. A recent example of school officials who did not want American flag t-shirts being worn during Cinco de Mayo should be offensive to anyone who loves America. The holiday isn’t even a major one in Mexico, but demonstrating patriotism is surely not an offense. It gets worse, though, when the singing of Christmas carols are prohibited in a school, an offense against the practice of Christianity and the “diversity” that the Left is always demanding.

The genius of America is its inclusion of all manner of minorities, religions, and points of view.

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The Supreme Court Helps the EPA Shut Off Electricity in America

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, May 4th, 2014

This is article 58 of 59 in the topic US Supreme Court

April seems to be the month in which the Supreme Court devotes itself to decisions that have no basis in real science and can do maximum damage to the economy. Invariably, the cases are brought against the Environmental Protection Agency and are decided in its favor.

In April 2007, the Court decided that carbon dioxide, the second most essential gas for all life on the planet was “a pollutant”, the definition the EPA had applied to it in order to regulate it. Now comes word that the Court had concluded that the EPA may regulate power-plant emissions that blow across state lines as per a 2011 regulation, the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. Not content having put nearly 150 or more coal-fired power plants out of commission, the Court’s rule now gives them the authority to do the same thing to about a thousand power plants in the eastern and western regions of the U.S. that will have to adopt new pollution controls or reduce operations.

In effect, the Court has just agreed to a regulation that represents a major increase in the cost of electricity in 28 states deemed to be polluting the air in those around them. The EPA’s claims that this will save lives they attribute to the alleged pollution is as bogus as all the rest of their claims, the purpose of which is to undermine the nation’s economy in every way it can.

James M. Taylor, the Heartland Institute’s Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy said of Tuesday’s decision that “It is a shame that the U.S. Supreme Court continues to empower EPA to issue nonsensical interpretations of statutes with the primary goal of amassing more money and power.”

Every day the press is filled with reports of environmental groups suing to ensure that no new providers of electricity can be built. The Environmental Protection Agency has instituted all manner of regulations intended to shut down coal-fired plants and they are based on the total lie that carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” are causing the Earth to warm. The science cited is entirely without merit and the Earth is cooling, not warming, and has been for the past seventeen years.

As winters grow colder, it is putting a tremendous demand on the nation’s electrical grid. In a recent commentary, Steve Gorham, the author of “The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania”, quoted Philip Moeller, Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, “the experience of this past winter indicates that the power grid is now already at the limit.”

“EPA policies,” said Gorham, “such as the Mercury and Air Toxics rule and the Section 316 Cooling Water Rule, are forcing the closure of many coal-fired plants, which provided 39 percent of U.S. electricity last year. American Electric Power, a provider of about ten percent of the electricity to eastern states, will close almost one quarter of the firm’s coal-fired generating plants in the next fourteen months. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of the power scheduled for closure was needed to meet electricity demand in January. Not all of this capacity has replacement plans.”

Before Obama was elected, coal-fired plants provided fifty percent (50%) of the nation’s electricity.

What is the Obama administration’s response to this?

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The notion of revealed preference: Why employers are not indifferent between providing insurance and giving workers a higher wage to compensate them for buying insurance themselves

by John Lott on Monday, March 31st, 2014

This is article 670 of 683 in the topic Healthcare
  • From the oral argument in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
  • MR. CLEMENT:  . . . If they take away the health care insurance, they are going to have to increase the wages to make up for that. And they’re going to have to pay the $2,000 penalty on top of it, plus they’re going to have to violate their ­­ their own interest which is, we actually ­ we believe it’s important to provide our employees with qualified health care.
  • JUSTICE KENNEDY: Okay, the last is important. But just assume hypothetically that it’s a wash, that the employer would be in about the same position if he paid the penalty and the employer pardon me, an employee went out and got the insurance and that the employee’s wages were raised slightly and then it’s ­­ and that it’s a wash so far as the employer are concerned, other than the employer’s religious objection, but just on the financial standpoint. Can we assume that as a hypothetical. Then what would your case be?
  • If Hobby Lobby were really indifferent between these two outcomes, would they be willing to spend all the money and time on fighting this case in court?  There is the general issue of revealed preferences, and in this case employers are clearly indicating which choice they prefer by their actions.  If it wasn’t for the law, we know which choice they would prefer.  We also know how that choice changes with the law in place

    Finally, Clement is clearly right that in order for Hobby Lobby’s employees to be the same, they would not only have to have higher wages to compensate them for the lost insurance, but the firm would also have to pay $2,000 per employee.  $2,000 per employee might not seem like much to the Justices, but say an employee is receiving $40,000 per year.  Everything else equal in terms of insurance, would they be indifferent to their wages being cut by 5% to $38,000?

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    Will the Supreme Court Permit EPA Fraud?

    by Paul Driessen on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    This is article 71 of 75 in the topic EPA
     The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency. The case will determine how far EPA can extend its regulatory overreach, to control “climate changing” carbon dioxide from power plants and other facilities – by ignoring the Constitution’s “separation of powers” provisions, rewriting clear language in the Clean Air Act, and disregarding laws that require the agency to consider both the costs and benefits of its regulations and what it is regulating.

    Put more bluntly, the Court will decide whether EPA may deceive and defraud the American people, by implementing regulations that have no basis in honest science and will be ruinous to our economy. It is the most important energy, economic and environmental case to come before the Court it in decades.

    Suppose a used car dealership routinely rolled back speedometer mileage, deleted customer complaints from its website, posted fabricated compliments, and lied about defects and accidents, to sell more cars. Or a manufacturer misstated its sales and bottom line, failed to mention major safety violations and fines, and made false claims about new product lines, to attract investors and inflate stock prices?

    Both would be indicted for fraud. Now apply the same standards to EPA, whose actions and regulations will affect far more people: virtually every family, facility, company and community in the United States. Jurors would likely rule that the agency is engaged in systematic deceit, dishonesty and fraud.

    EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy insists there is “no more urgent threat to public health than climate change.” She is determined to impose President Obama’s anti-hydrocarbon agenda. “I just look at what the climate scientists tell me,” McCarthy told Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL). Translated, she means she talks only to those who advocate climate alarmism, and ignores all contrary scientists and evidence.

    In fact, thousands of scientists and studies argue that there is no empirical, observational evidence to support any of her claims. Recent NOAA and NASA temperature data confirm that global warming ended in 1997 and continues today, even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase steadily, improving plant growth worldwide. Seas are rising at barely seven inches per century, and there is no evidence that recent weather events are any more frequent, intense or “dangerous” than what mankind has dealt with forever.

    There is no convincing evidence that carbon dioxide emissions have replaced the powerful, complex, interrelated natural forces that have always driven climate and weather changes. No evidence supports the notion that slashing CO2 emissions and trashing our economy will “stabilize” global temperatures and climate variations, or that developing countries will stop pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

    EPA brushes all this aside, just as crooked car dealers and manufacturers obfuscate the truth to sell their shoddy products. The agency just assumes and asserts human causes and disastrous results, disregards any and all experts and evidence to the contrary, and ignores any and all costs imposed by its regulations.

    It has also violated the Constitution, by rewriting specific Clean Air Act provisions that specify 250-ton-per-year emission limits, in sections that EPA is relying on for its climate rulemakings.

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    Attorneys general of 19 states join in urging Supreme Court gun decision

    by Jim Kouri on Sunday, February 16th, 2014

    This is article 511 of 531 in the topic Gun Rights

    The top law enforcement officers from a number of U.S. states joined a national gun rights group in urging the United States Supreme Court to make a clear and precise decision regarding Americans’ constitutional rights to defend themselves, their families and their property, according to a national civil rights group on Friday.

    According to the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), the attorneys general of 19 states submitted a joint amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in the case of Drake v. Jerejian, requesting that the members of the U.S. Supreme Court make the determination whether or not the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment secures Americans the right to carry handguns outside of their homes for self-defense.

    In the amicus brief, penned by Wyoming’s Attorney General Peter K. Michael, the 19 attorneys general note that “significant splits of authority have developed in both the federal and state courts as they have tried to answer questions involving the right to keep and bear arms outside of the home,” SAF officials stated.

    The Supreme Court case, which has been joined by organizations such as the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, the National Rifle Association, and 34 members of the U.S. Congress, also requests that the high court clarify the standard of review governing Second Amendment claims involving restrictions on the right of law-abiding adults to carry handguns outside the home.

    Drake v. Jerejian challenges New Jersey’s arbitrary requirement that carry permit applicants demonstrate a “justifiable need” to carry a handgun outside the home, as does several other states and municipalities including New York City.

    Wyoming Attorney General Michael is joined by his colleagues in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas,Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio,Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.

    “It is significant that so many attorneys general decided to sign on to this important brief,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Their legal experience and understanding of this important constitutional and civil rights issue should carry great weight with the high court.”

    Gottlieb’s organization, based in Bellevue, Wash., is represented by Virginia attorney Alan Gura, who has won both of the significant Supreme Court rulings on the Second Amendment, in 2008 and 2010. These victories have paved the way for numerous successful challenges of state and local limitations firearm civil rights.

    According to Gottlieb and SAF:

    “This case is particularly important because of all of the United States Courts of Appeal issuing rulings on the Second Amendment… only the Third Circuit, in this matter, has actually held that the Second Amendment does not secure, or even touch, the right to carry a handgun, ‘the quintessential self-defense weapon.’ This interpretation is in clear conflict with the decisions of other circuit [courts] and, more importantly, imperils the Second Amendment rights of all citizens.

    “The case is a civil rights challenge to New Jersey’s restrictive handgun licensing scheme which allows government officials unchecked discretion in deciding who has shown adequate ‘justifiable need’ and may therefore exercise their Second Amendment right to carry a firearm for self-defense.”

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    USA now under full dictatorship…Congress continues 3 monkey policy

    by Sher Zieve on Thursday, January 16th, 2014

    This is article 956 of 986 in the topic Obama

    On 14 January 2014, Dictator-in-Chief Barack Hussein Obama all but announced his dictatorship to the world. At a Presser photo-op, Obama announced the irrelevancy of Congress when he stated firmly: “One of the things I’ll be emphasizing in this meeting is the fact that we are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need.”

    “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward…”

    Our US Congress (you know…the House Representatives and Senators we elected to keep our country’s foundational structure intact) have betrayed the people almost as badly as has Obama. Obama betrayed Americans by lying about virtually everything he told them before his second term “election.” Congress has betrayed us by utilizing their 3-Monkey policy: ‘See nothing…Hear nothing…Say nothing’.

    I have been writing that Obama planned his dictatorship well before he was elected and in 2008 when I wrote in my column “Is the USA Ready for an American Stalin?”: “After Obama is elected, all of his programs and people to keep him in power indefinitely – and to rid him of any and all opposition – will be firmly in place. You will not be able to vote him out of office. By the time he assumes the position of President of the United States it will already be too late. A democratic republic will last only so long as people of good will allow and fight for it. After they are gone – or removed – it is ended.”

    I firmly believe that, without almost immediate action, we are almost to that point of irreversibility.

    For some time now, Obama has been methodically nullifying the power of Congress and SCOTUS as co-equal branches of the US Federal Government. Now, he appears to be very close to making it official. Since Obama took the office a US President, he has been actively diminishing both the Legislative and Judicial branches of the federal government. He bypasses Congress with his own Executive Orders (many of which are patently illegal as they contradict the US Constitution and other US laws) and he and his Department of [In] Justice now regularly and often refuse to follow decisions rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States if they disagree with them. The Obama syndicate members also refuse to follow and uphold any and all laws they don’t like…and those that thwart their ongoing criminal activities.

    Note: A President’s refusal to follow the US Constitution and other US laws is an illegal use of his power. Said POTUS must first go through a series of analyses to determine if said law in unconstitutional.

    Since the tyrant took office, he has been quietly (except to some of us) preparing his rise to power from which he will not allow himself to be removed. Yesterday, he floated his trial balloon to see how the country would accept it. Reliably, the media largely ignored it. Will you? Will we?

    “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

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    "I Am A Little Sister Of The Poor" and "Hollywood’s Fountain Of Youth"

    by Burt Prelutsky on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

    by Burt Prelutsky

    In one of the few Hollywood epics that wasn’t entirely wretched, there was a stirring moment in “Spartacus” when the Roman general stands before the slaves huddled on the ground and demands that Spartacus, the leader of the revolt, stand and identify himself. As Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) begins to get up in order that his fellow prisoners not be tortured on his behalf, the others rise, each of them insisting “I am Spartacus.”

    I think that when Obama and his thugs demand that an order of nuns or anyone else who holds sincere religious beliefs caves to the power of the state, it behooves us to stand and declare, whatever our religion or gender, that we are all Sisters of the Poor.

    Judas betrayed Christ for 30 pieces of silver. This administration would have Christians betray their convictions for a handful of birth control pills and publically-funded abortions.

    The world has never lacked for those who identified with Pontius Pilate, but it is a rare occurrence in America. In the past, even our worst presidents were only lousy in the way that politicians usually are. That is to say, they tended to yield to greed and lust more than they should have, but until Obama came along, they didn’t remind most people of those tinhorn rulers of banana republics.

    Obama lies more than any person I’ve ever known, in or out of the White House. He divides people along racial, religious and economic, lines for solely partisan reasons. And while he constantly whines about income inequality, carrying on as if Karl Marx was his personal speechwriter, he spends millions of our tax dollars on family vacations and is never happier than when he’s addressing his supporters at $35,000-a-seat fundraisers.

    Speaking of Obama, it galls me that when an ex-president dies, no matter how shabby his administration may have been, the flags fly at half-mast as if we’re all supposed to mourn his demise. But when a great composer, medical researcher or inventor passes, he or she is lucky to muster a couple of paragraphs on the obituary page.

    The reason that I and many others believe that the president should come from the ranks of governors and not be a member of Congress is because the job calls for executive experience. The three branches of government, after all, are the executive, the judicial and the legislative. Being the president means being the chief executive of the 315,000,000 member corporation known as the United States of America.

    But I wager there isn’t another boardroom in the nation that has so many incompetent nincompoops seated around the table. Obama, Biden, Kerry, Hagel, Holder and Sebelius, are people who have never worked a day anywhere but a law office, a college campus or Congress. Ivory towers don’t prepare anyone to do anything but go through life confusing theory with reality.

    Here in California, the State Supreme Court recently granted an illegal alien the right to practice law. At first I was outraged. Are these people insane? Then it occurred to me that of course they’re insane, but if these nitwits are entitled to practice law, why the heck shouldn’t Sergio Garcia?

    After all, we have justices sitting on the U.S.

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    ‘Wise Latina’ in Black Robe Exempts Catholic Nuns from Contraception Mandate!

    by John Lillpop on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

    This is article 642 of 683 in the topic Healthcare

    As ObamaCare, America’s health-care law from hell, continues its train-wreck journey towards self-annihilation, one of the most liberal judges on the US Supreme Court has supped from the cup of wisdom borne of good sense, found it spiritually gratifying, and has granted another exemption from the law’s onerous Mandate Madness.

    Specifically, before dropping the ball to officially ring in the New Year at Times Square in New York City, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, self-described ‘wise Latina,’ dropped another ball on the ObamaCare ruse by exempting certain Catholic nuns from the ObamaCare contraception Mandate, at least until the full Supreme Court is able to rule on the issue.

    As reported:

    “Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday granted another exemption for an organization that objected to the contraception mandate tied to Obamacare, saying a group of Colorado nuns who sued over the rule on religious grounds should not have to comply with it until the high court considers the case on its merits this term.”

    One wonders how the Founding Fathers would react to news that intervention by the US Supreme Court was necessary to prevent the bloated and incompetent federal government from forcing presumably chaste Nuns to purchase contraception services as part of mandated health-care?

    No doubt the majority of the Founders would agree that America’s precarious decline into progressive insanity was sufficient cause for serious talk about a 2nd America revolution!

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    The Supreme Court is Undermining Science and Society

    by Alan Caruba on Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

    This is article 69 of 75 in the topic EPA

    The Supreme Court has taken up another case based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s campaign of lies that carbon dioxide is the cause of “climate change” and claims about the quality of air in the United States. The Court is composed of lawyers, not scientists.

    At this point in the present era, the Court has made rulings that run contrary to the original, clear intent of the U.S. Constitution and has wrought havoc on our society.

    In 1973 it ruled that the killing of unborn babies was protected and millions since then have been deliberately killed. It extended protection to sodomy and same-sex marriage. It is destroying the fabric of our society that has served Americans well for more than two hundred years.

    It ruled that the Affordable Health Care Act was a “tax”, enabling the Obamacare to be unleashed with the subsequent loss of health care plans by millions of Americans, often the loss of their personal physician, and the requirement that deeply-held religious opposition to contraception and abortion be negated by a law that requires their beliefs be overruled and denied.

    In 2007, I wrote a commentary that was published in The Washington Times. I criticized a Supreme Court ruling that carbon dioxide (CO2) was a “pollutant”, opening the door to the EPA’s rapacious intent to control all aspects of our lives based on this lie that is used to justify its war on coal-fired plants that provide nearly half of all the electrical energy we use daily.  “CO2 is not a pollutant,” I wrote, “It exists in the Earth’s atmosphere and every blade of grass and every tree depends on it.” It plays no role whatever in the Earth’s climate.

    The Clean Air Act and revisions passed in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1990s. The original regulation of air pollution was a good idea, as were the laws affecting clean water, but the EPA has since used pollution to impose a vast matrix of regulations that do not reflect the fact that the nation’s air and water is now as clean as it ever can be.

    Carbon monoxide emissions have fallen from 197 million tons to 89 million tons. Nitrogen oxide emissions fell from 27 million tons to 19 million tons. Sulfur dioxide emissions fell from 3l million tons to 15 million tons. Lead emissions fell by more than 98%. Particulate emissions (soot) fell by 80%. The air in the U.S. is considerably cleaner, but the EPA’s assertions continue to be made to expand its regulatory power and to attack the sovereignty of the states.

    A case that was recently argued before the Court is another EPA effort to rewrite the Clean Air Act, asserting that it be given authority to regulate the flow of alleged “pollution” between “upwind” states and those who receive particulates and gases under its control. Some 27 states are considered “upwind” and those states along with all others have their own air control laws. In states that are more heavily industrialized and which have a large number of coal-fired plants on which the EPA wants to impose expensive standards that have no basis in fact.

    A coalition led by Texas of more than a dozen other states brought a case, Environmental Protection Agency v.

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