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Archive for the ‘Supreme Court’ Category

Impeach them all

Posted by Charles II on December 29, 2014

Erwin Chemerinsky had a brilliant presentation on his book, “The Case Against the Supreme Court”. Watch or read if you can.

Posted in abuse of power, judiciary, Supreme Court | Comments Off on Impeach them all

Supreme Court is so corrupt that even Linda Greenhouse has to say it

Posted by Charles II on November 14, 2014

Thanks to Jonathan Tasini for highlighting a Linda Greenhouse Op-Ed that says, in black and white in the New York Times, that the Supreme Court is doing politics by taking up a challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

Nearly a week has gone by since the Supreme Court’s unexpected decision to enlist in the latest effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act, and the shock remains unabated. “This is Bush v. Gore all over again,” one friend said as we struggled to absorb the news last Friday afternoon. “No,” I replied. “It’s worse.”

There was [in the ACA case, unlike Bush v. Gore] no urgency. There was no crisis of governance, not even a potential one.

the case the court agreed to decide, King v. Burwell, doesn’t fit the normal criterion for Supreme Court review.

So no, this isn’t Bush v. Gore. This is a naked power grab by conservative justices who two years ago just missed killing the Affordable Care Act in its cradle, before it fully took effect.

Professor [John] Yoo, formerly of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and now at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote that the new case gave the chief justice “the chance to atone for his error in upholding Obamacare” and that “it will be the mission of his chief justiceship to repair the damage.”

In decades of court-watching, I have struggled — sometimes it has seemed against all odds — to maintain the belief that the Supreme Court really is a court and not just a collection of politicians in robes. This past week, I’ve found myself struggling against the impulse to say two words: I surrender.

Why should any citizen respect the decisions of the courts when they are just political organs, cranking out pre-determined decisions to oppress the poor and the sick in favor of the rich and powerful? Without the courts being perceived as just, what nation can stand?

Posted in judicial rulings, judiciary, Supreme Court | 7 Comments »

Don’t get sick

Posted by Charles II on July 5, 2014

After you click this link.

Posted in health care, ratf*cking, Supreme Court | 2 Comments »

A most dangerous case

Posted by Charles II on June 3, 2014


In one of the most significant press freedom cases in decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has turned down the appeal of a New York Times reporter who faces prison for refusing to reveal a confidential source. James Risen had asked the court to overturn a ruling forcing him to testify in the criminal trial of ex-CIA analyst Jeffrey Sterling. Prosecutors believe Sterling gave Risen information on the CIA’s role in disrupting Iran’s nuclear program [in the course of which, the CIA handed the blueprints for a functioning weapon to Iran]. Risen vowed to go to prison rather than testify and was hoping for Supreme Court intervention. But on Monday, the Supreme Court refused to weigh in, effectively siding with the government. The Obama administration must now decide if it will try to force Risen’s testimony and risk sending one of the nation’s most prominent national security journalists to jail.

It’s easy to despise the corporate media, especially the journalists that we see and read, for their cravenness before power and their complicity in the corruption of this nation. Watching Brian Williams question Edward Snowden without once mentioning that Daniel Ellsberg has said that Snowden did the right thing should have opened the eyes of every viewer to just how completely the corporate media serves the interests of the State.

But among the empty shirts, there are a few journalists who put themselves on the line to report the news. Among them is James Risen. That the Obama Administration is likely to prosecute him to coerce testimony about exposing wrongdoing at very high levels makes it clear that the Administration is a better friend to the Security State than it is to the American Constitution. And for the Supreme Court to decline to hear the case is not just a function of the right wingers, but a failure of the so-called “liberals” on the court. As was commented on in DemocracyNow, it’s a blessing that the Roberts Court did not hear the case. Every case they hear, they turn into a perversion and mockery of justice.

This is a most dangerous case.

Posted in judiciary, media, Supreme Court | 2 Comments »

Support Don Siegelman

Posted by Charles II on September 11, 2012

Andrew Gumbel, The Guardian:

The magazine of the American Trial Lawyers Association has described him as “America’s No 1 political prisoner”, and his well-connected friends and supporters include more than 100 former state attorneys general and former Democratic presidential candidates Al Gore and John Kerry.

The basic story is that a healthcare executive, who had served on a (non-paying) state hospital regulatory board for three administrations, was appointed to the board a fourth time by Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. That healthcare executive had donated to the non-profit Alabama Education Foundation which was seeking to promote a lottery initiative (to support education) that Siegelman supported (and was opposed by powerful interests represented by Jack Abramoff). Despite the fact that appointing contributors to positions is a normal political practice (and Siegelman had not received a dime), the courts–in the person of Dubya appointee Judge Mark Fuller— called this bribery.

You can sign a petition supporting Don Siegelman’s search for justice here. This is the message I included in my signature:

If someone as senior as Don Siegelman can be jailed on such flimsy charges and with the assent of figures including the Attorney General and the Supreme Court, then I can have no faith in the American justice system. Why should any of us serve on juries or otherwise support the system when it has become simply a tool of political power?

Our courts are deeply corrupt. Until they are reformed, until all of the political appointees are shaken out of the system and replaced by people with a passion to see justice done, this nation will continue to decline. And shame on Barack Obama for refusing to take a stand on this case and Eric Holder for standing on the wrong side.

The full megillah follows below the fold.

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Posted in Department of Injustice, Karl Rove, Obama Administration, Supreme Court, The smear industry | Comments Off on Support Don Siegelman

The (un?)intended consequences of the Supreme Court ruling on healthcare

Posted by Charles II on June 29, 2012

Looking for the poison pill in the healthcare decision. As mentioned in comments below, Paul Santos of Salon pointed out that Roberts rather obviously switched in mid-stream from voting to strike down the ACA to upholding it. What happened? Surely Roberts is unrelentingly hostile to universal healthcare. So, are there consequences to his vote that will only become clear in years to come?

Kevin Russell, Scotusblog:

Starting to think about the potential collateral consequences of the health care ruling, I think it is very likely that one of its major impacts will be to revive claims that several significant civil rights statutes, enacted under Congress’s Spending Power, are unconstitutional.

In the health care decision, the Court held that Congress exceeded its Spending Clause authority by forcing states into an all-or-nothing choice by threatening to revoke all of their Medicaid funding if they did not participate in the Medicaid expansion. A decade or so ago, several states made similar challenges to a number of important civil rights statutes that condition receipt of federal funds on the state’s agreement to abide by non-discrimination principles in the federally funded programs.

All of these challenges failed. But it seems likely that many will now be revived.

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Posted in Supreme Court | 3 Comments »

algore Requests Your Attendance at an Event Supporting Democracy/Corrected

Posted by Charles II on June 22, 2012

Don Siegelman’s appeal to the Supreme Court needs your assistance. Our last legally-elected president, algore, requests your doing your duty to challenge this miscarriage of justice.

Oh, and just adding my own commentary here– F.U., Eric Holder.
Added, 6/23. The Supreme Court has declined to hear Siegelman’s appeal. Apparently the Gore mail went out at about the time the USSC was deciding to be a bunch of jerks for maybe the millionth time. Doesn’t mean that the Legal Defense Fund doesn’t need money, but it does mean that there’s now no hope that Siegelman will get justice in this lifetime.

And please accept my apologies for not checking on the status of the case before posting.

Posted in Don Siegelman, Supreme Court | 7 Comments »

The Founders’ healthcare mandates

Posted by Charles II on May 2, 2012

I guess they were a bunch of socialists. Eliot Spitzer, Slate (via Avedon) reports on an article in TNR by Einer Elhauge:

In 1790, a Congress including 20 Founders passed a law requiring that ship owners buy medical insurance for their seamen. Washington signed it into law.
In 1792, another law signed by Washington required that all able-bodied men buy a firearm. (So much for the argument that Congress can’t force us to participate in commerce.)
And in 1798, a Congress with five framers passed a law requiring that all seamen buy hospital insurance for themselves. Adams signed this legislation.

Elhauge continues:

Not only did most framers support these federal mandates to buy firearms and health insurance, but there is no evidence that any of the few framers who voted against these mandates ever objected on constitutional grounds. Presumably one would have done so if there was some unstated original understanding that such federal mandates were unconstitutional. Moreover, no one thought these past purchase mandates were problematic enough to challenge legally.

To bad the Solicitor General didn’t make these arguments when it was his turn at bat. But if the Court rejects the Affordable Healthcare Act, we will all know that it is based on the lie that the Founders would never make anyone do anything.

Posted in health care, Supreme Court | Comments Off on The Founders’ healthcare mandates

We officially recognize as torture treatment that is accepted as normal in our jails

Posted by Charles II on April 9, 2012

Scott Horton:

Just as the Florence decision [saying it was ok for a man who was unjustly arrested to be stripsearched] was being prepared, the Department of Defense released a previously classified training manual used to prepare American pilots for resistance to foreign governments that might use illegal and immoral techniques to render them cooperative. Key in this manual are the precise practices highlighted in Florence. Body-cavity searches are performed, it explains, to make the prisoner “feel uncomfortable and degraded.” Forced nudity and invasion of the body make the prisoner feel helpless, by removing all items that provide the prisoner with psychological support. In other words, the strip search is an essential step in efforts to destroy an individual’s sense of self-confidence, well-being, and even his or her identity. The value of this tool has been recognized by authoritarian governments around the world, and now, thanks to the Roberts Court, it will belong to the standard jailhouse repertoire in the United States.

The definition of torture includes

“…any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as … intimidating or coercing him or a third person…”

Posted in Supreme Court, torture | Comments Off on We officially recognize as torture treatment that is accepted as normal in our jails

Conservatives: Freedom means nothing left to lose

Posted by Charles II on April 4, 2012

Via Avedon, a post from Dahlia Lithwick that deserves attention, even if it is on Slate:

The fight over Obamacare is about freedom. That’s what we’ve been told since these lawsuits were filed two years ago and that’s what we heard both inside and outside the Supreme Court this morning.

It’s always a bit strange to hear people with government-funded single-payer health plans describe the need for other Americans to be free from health insurance.

Freedom also seems to mean freedom from the obligation to treat those who show up at hospitals without health insurance, even if it means letting them bleed out on the curb.

This morning in America’s highest court, freedom seems to be less about the absence of constraint than about the absence of shared responsibility, community, or real concern for those who don’t want anything so much as healthy children, or to be cared for when they are old.

This case isn’t so much about freedom from government-mandated broccoli or gyms. It’s about freedom from our obligations to one another, freedom from the modern world in which we live. It’s about the freedom to ignore the injured, walk away from those in peril, to never pick up the phone or eat food that’s been inspected. It’s about the freedom to be left alone. And now we know the court is worried about freedom: the freedom to live like it’s 1804.

No, Dahlia. It’s not 1804, when the dense web of social obligations meant that the wealthy felt compelled to do charitable work. This is a vision of some future Hell, in which the poor are the fallen enemy, to be dispatched as cheaply as possible.

Janis Joplin said it.

Also, the conservatives are informed not by legal precedent, but by Tea Party rhetoric

Posted in Supreme Court | 6 Comments »

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