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With Trump’s first angry tweet of the day, it is becoming very clear that the president’s diplomatic approach vis-a-vis the judicial system can be described quite simply as “scorched earth.” Following last night’s Appeals Court hearing, Trump had the following response: “If the U.S. does not win this case as it so obviously should, we can never have the security and safety to which we are entitled. Politics!”
If the U.S. does not win this case as it so obviously should, we can never have the security and safety to which we are entitled. Politics!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
This, as The Hill puts it this morning, assures that Trump and the Supreme Court are now on a collision course: “the collision appears inevitable, with Trump’s executive order halting travel to the United States by people from seven majority-Muslim countries — a ban a federal judge blocked last week — already moving quickly through the judicial system.”
Remember back in 2012 when the Supreme Court narrowly upheld the Obamacare mandate with a 5-4 decision but only after Judge Roberts, a Bush appointee, seemingly parted with his conservative counterparts on the bench to effectively, single-handedly preserve perhaps the most destructive piece of legislation in American history (if not, we wrote about it here)? Many people were shocked by Judge Roberts’ decision and subsequently alleged that it was driven more by politics than his interpretation of the Constitution.
Turns out those people were proven right today as a new Podesta email confirms that the Obama administration applied political pressure on Roberts to sway his decision: “it was pretty critical that the President threw the gauntlet down last time on the Court…that was vital to scaring Roberts off.”
We understand that a teacher’s job is difficult and often thankless. But so are a lot of jobs. We also understand that private labor markets are fairly efficient and don’t award workers in the private workforce nearly the same “perks” received by California’s unionized teachers. So when the State of California denies school administrators the basic rights afforded to every private employer in the State, like the ability to dismiss “grossly ineffective” employees, we have a little difficultly sympathizing with the “victorious” teachers.
Yesterday, California’s teachers won a huge “victory” that we fear will ultimately only serve to undermine the education of their students. California’s Supreme Court struck down a lawsuit filed by 9 public school students against the State of California alleging that overly generous legal protections afforded teachers directly disadvantaged students by keeping teachers in the classroom that had proven themselves to be “grossly ineffective.” The lawsuit alleged such protections violated the State’s constitution as they, by definition, created legal impediments that prevent California’s schools from providing an effective education to all of their students. The lawsuit focused on three specific teacher protections including the requirement to provide tenure after just 18 months on the job, onerous dismissal statutes that make it nearly impossible for administrators to fire a teacher for bad performance and the LIFO statutes that requires teachers be laid off in accordance with seniority rather than effectiveness. Per the lawsuit filed in 2012 (presented in its entirety at the end of this post):
Millions of undocumented immigrant families fear that America’s highest court will overrule President Obama’s executive order and call for mass deportations.
On Monday, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of United States v. Texas, a challenge by the state of Texas and 26 other US states, against President Obama’s executive orders granting deferred action to up to 5 million undocumented immigrants.
WASHINGTON — President Obama on Wednesday nominated Merrick B. Garland as the nation’s 113th Supreme Court justice, choosing a centrist appeals court judge for the lifetime appointment and daring Republican senators to refuse consideration of a jurist who is highly regarded throughout Washington.
Juice it, but do NOT smoke it!
By inserting individual arbitration clauses into a soaring number of consumer and employment contracts, companies like American Express devised a way to circumvent the courts and bar people from joining together in class-action lawsuits, realistically the only tool citizens have to fight illegal or deceitful business practices.
Thousands of cases brought by single plaintiffs over fraud, wrongful death and rape are now being decided behind closed doors. And the rules of arbitration largely favor companies, which can even steer cases to friendly arbitrators, interviews and records show.
The sharp shift away from the civil justice system has barely registered with Americans. F. Paul Bland Jr., the executive director of Public Justice, a national consumer advocacy group, attributed this to the tangle of bans placed inside clauses added to contracts that no one reads in the first place.
“Corporations are allowed to strip people of their constitutional right to go to court,” Mr. Bland said. “Imagine the reaction if you took away people’s Second Amendment right to own a gun.”
– From yesterday’s New York Times article: Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice
I’ve followed the dangerous trend of the increased corporate use of arbitration clauses in contracts for several years now, and yesterday’s New York Times investigation into their civil liberties destroying nature, is one of the best pieces I’ve seen on the subject to date.
– 7/01/2015 — Oklahoma Residents can now SUE Fracking companies for damages — Supreme Court Rules (Dutchsinse, July 1, 2015):
Huge victory against oil / gas companies causing damage via fracking/injection earthquakes !
After a series of dark moments for freedom in Oklahoma, and Texas (when state legislators passed laws which PREVENT locals from being able to stop fracking in their own towns) now the Oklahoma Supreme Court has issued a ruling which could be a game changer for the entire fracking industry.
Residents can now sue fracking companies for damages to their property , and personal health caused by fracking earthquakes.
This all stems from a case where a woman had her house chimney collapse in upon her during the large M5.7 2011 fracking earthquake in Oklahoma.
At the time, professionals tried to DENY there was any relation between the huge swarm of earthquakes, and the fracking operations.
Not trusting anything on face value, I actually pulled satellite images to see what was at the location, what I found was shocking.
– Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage Nationwide In 5:4 Decision – Obama Makes Statement (ZeroHedge, June 26, 2015):
President Obama is due to speak at 11am ET…
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And here’s Mike Huckabee’s different ‘perspective’…
Former Arkansas governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee made the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges.
“The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do-redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.
“This ruling is not about marriage equality, it’s about marriage redefinition. This irrational, unconstitutional rejection of the expressed will of the people in over 30 states will prove to be one of the court’s most disastrous decisions, and they have had many. The only outcome worse than this flawed, failed decision would be for the President and Congress, two co-equal branches of government, to surrender in the face of this out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny.”
“The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature’s God on marriage than it can the law of gravity. Under our Constitution, the court cannot write a law, even though some cowardly politicians will wave the white flag and accept it without realizing that they are failing their sworn duty to reject abuses from the court. If accepted by Congress and this President, this decision will be a serious blow to religious liberty, which is the heart of the First Amendment.”
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Following yesterday’s historic 6:3 Supreme Court decision enshrining the tax known as Obamacare, there was little surprise moments ago when in one of its last remaining decisions in re: Obergefell v. Hodges, the most liberal Supreme Court since 1960 just declared gay marriage legal nationwide. The decision, supported by all the women on the SCOTUS, came down in a 5:4 vote with Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, Breyer and Kenedy voting for, while Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito dissented.
As always, the most interesting contents are in the dissent, which today was, ironically, written by Roberts who in the past 48 hours has made many friends and maybe even more enemies. Some of the key remarks:
… this Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be. The people who ratified the Constitution authorized courts to exercise “neither force nor will but merely judgment.”
Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not. The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a State are free to expand marriage to include same-sex couples, or to retain the historic definition.
Today, however, the Court takes the extraordinary step of ordering every State to license and recognize same-sex marriage. Many people will rejoice at this decision, and I begrudge none their celebration. But for those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening. Supporters of same-sex marriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens—through the democratic process—to adopt their view. That ends today. Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law. Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.
The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. The majority expressly disclaims judicial “caution” and omits even a pretense of humility, openly relying on its desire to remake society according to its own “new insight” into the “nature of injustice.” As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?
Understand well what this dissent is about: It is not about whether, in my judgment, the institution of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples. It is instead about whether, in our democratic republic, that decision should rest with the people acting through their elected representatives, or with five lawyers who happen to hold commissions authorizing them to resolve legaldisputes according to law. The Constitution leaves no doubt about the answer.
As for the president’s immediate response…
Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins
— President Obama (@POTUS) 26. Juni 2015
… it is not to be confused with his pre flip-flop take from several years ago:
… as a candidate for president, Obama told Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church that marriage could only extend to heterosexual couples. “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman,” Obama said at the time. “Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”
Full decision and dissent (pdf)
– Supreme Court rules cops can search your car and seize evidence even if the stop was unlawful (Natural News, Dec 22, 2014):
Police officers are able to use evidence in court that they seized during a traffic stop even if turns out that the cops pulled a car over initially based on their misunderstanding of the law, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.
In an overwhelmingly lopsided 8-1 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, justices said that such stops do not violate the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
As reported by The Associated Press (AP):
– Obama’s Week Just Got Worse: Supreme Court To Rule On ObamaCare Subsidies (ZeroHedge, Nov 7, 2014):
Getting ‘shellacked’ in the Midterms, coming 2nd to Putin as the world’s most powerful person, and now, as AP reports, The Supreme Court agrees to rule on insurance subsidies in a new challenge to ObamaCare. Simply put they will judge whether subsidies for middle- and lower-income people are legal…
As AP reports,
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a new challenge to President Barack Obama’s health care law.
The justices on Friday say they will decide whether the law authorizes subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people afford their health insurance premiums.
The Supreme Court of the United States said Wednesday that police officers must have a warrant before searching the cell phone contents of an individual under arrest.
In a unanimous ruling announced early Wednesday, the high court settled two cases surrounding instances in which law enforcement officials scoured the mobile phones of suspects in custody and then used information contained therein to pursue further charges.
“The police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested,” the Supreme Court ruled.
“Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience,” the court continued. “The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought. Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant.”
Orin Kerr, a Georgetown University law professor who focuses primarily on computer cases, wrote Wednesday morning on his Washington Post-hosted blog that the court’s decision was “a big win for digital privacy.”
Added: May 30, 2014
High speed motorists can now be shot by police! The Supreme court made this ruling after Arkansas police shot & killed a motorist 15 times.
– Steve Marsh GM Contamination Case Fails in Australian Supreme Court (Global GMO Free Coalition, May 29, 2014):
Global GMO Free Coalition Media Comment: 28/05/2014
Western Australian farmer Steve Marsh (#IamSteveMarsh) has lost a landmark case which could have protected his organic status, after his property was contaminated by GM canola from a neighbouring farm.
The verdict was handed down Wednesday and can be found here: http://www.supremecourt.wa.gov.au/_files/Judgment%20Summary%20-%20Marsh%20v%20Baxter%20(CIV%201561%20of%202012)%2028%20May%202014.pdf
Marsh, an organic farmer from Kojonup, south of Perth, Western Australia, lost organic certification for most of his farm when GM canola contaminated his crop. He took action by suing his neighbour Michael Baxter in the Supreme Court of WA, in a landmark world’s first trial which started earlier this year.
– Supreme Court Refuses to Uphold the Constitution: Allows Indefinite Detention (Washington’s Blog, April 30, 2014)
– Supreme Court refuses to stop indefinite detention of Americans under NDAA (RT, May 1, 2014):
The United States Supreme Court this week effectively ended all efforts to overturn a controversial 2012 law that grants the government the power to indefinitely detain American citizens without due process.
On Monday, the high court said it won’t weigh in on challenge filed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and a bevy of co-plaintiffs against US President Barack Obama, ending for now a two-and-a-half-year debate concerning part of an annual Pentagon spending bill that since 2012 has granted the White House the ability to indefinitely detain people “who are part of or substantially support Al-Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces engaged in hostilities against the United States.”
The Obama administration has long maintained that the provision — Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 — merely reaffirmed verbiage contained within the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, signed by then-President George W. Bush in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.