Tag Archives: Supreme Court
Continuing the WTH (“what the heck” happened) series, this week we look at Obama’s Iran capitulation, a rocket explodes,Greece implodes, single payer closer than thought, gay marriage and concealed carry, Obamacare subsidies, flags of our forefathers, Jindal enters the race and more!
Shockingly, Obama isn’t serious about the Iran nuclear talks. Today, reports surfaced that Obama has given into Iran’s demands and that the deal can progress even if the Iranians never submit to inspections. Trust, but verify is now trust, and hope. But, we’ve been there already.
Unless you’re in the Foreign Exchange (forex or FX) investing community, you may not be paying attention to the collapse of Greek society. Capital controls, bank runs, money flight, you name it. Greece is in trouble. But have you evaluated America’s similar situation?
Next up, Elon Musk’s SpaceX project has suffered its first cargo loss after several failures in recent months. The video shows a perfect flight, until about the 2:30 mark. It goes so terribly wrong so very fast.
Many predicted that Obamacare was not intended to save anyone money on healthcare, but instead be a bridge to a single-payer system. Well, voila, recent merger propositions and changes in the marketplace are making it happen – whether you’ve noticed or not.
How in the heck are gay marriage and concealed carry linked? Thank the Supreme Court! The decision on Obergefell v. Hodges said that same-sex couples have a constitutionally protected right to marry and that all states must recognize that right. Some in the pro-gun community are saying that the reasoning used to protect gays should extend to those that bear arms in a concealed manner. In other news, now that gay marriage is law of the land, the ACLU has decided that it no longer supports religious freedom. #eyeroll
The Supreme Court had more great news – Obamacare’s subsidies are legal even if someone gets insurance from the federal exchange. Somehow the justices got confused by the “natural wording” of the law. Now, we all get to pay for something the law was not intended to fund. Greece anyone?
In the wake of the South Carolina shooting by captured psycho Dylann Roof, liberal groups have decided that the Battle Flag of the Northern Virginia Army is to blame. Charlie Daniels makes an intelligent and reasoned argument why they are doing nothing more than making a straw man argument against a piece of cloth. Some are even pointing at the Duke’s of Hazard’s “General Lee” as a new symbol of hate. yeah, a 1969 Dodge Charger with a Virginian Battle Flag painted on it signifies Jim Crow laws and segregation … or something.
Finally, Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal has entered the race for the GOP nomination for president. A pointedly Christian announcement speech made it clear that he’s ready for prime-time, but is he ready for mainstream?
Many on the Right side of the aisle are outraged. Gay marriage – a social issue at its core – has been validated by the US Supreme Court. The outrage is palpable. And while there is legitimacy to this outrage – especially with regard to the Court’s transgression of the 10th Amendment – the decision on gay marriage is a “bright shiny thing” that serves to quickly file us past an earlier decision that directly threatens the constitutional structure of our government: The Court’s ruling on King v. Burwell; the Obamacare subsidies.
No matter how you feel about the issue of gay marriage, the Court’s ruling on this social issue is an attack on the 10th Amendment, the rights of States to have authority over all things not enumerated in the US Constitution. But comparatively, the Court’s decision on Obergefell v. Hodges is a “mosquito bite” to yesterday’s “beheading” of our balance of powers at the federal level. We are being led away from what is tantamount to a “genocidal slaughter” of the Separation of Powers to gawk at a “highway accident.” With yesterday’s decision we are all – Liberal and Conservative, Republican, Democrat and Libertarian – losing our government to a transformative end stage; a commingling of constitutional branches and a centralized governmental authority in the federal government; something uniquely anathema to our basic governmental structure.
The Court’s King v. Burwell decision is so much more than its Obergefell v. Hodges decision because the former strikes at the root of how our government is supposed to work. By moving on from this constitutional crisis (and this is a true constitutional crisis) to outrage over a social issue when there are still remedies to be affected for said social issue, we are acquiescing to the Court’s decision on King v. Burwell – and the mortal damage it would establish to our system of government. No, with the Court’s King v. Burwell decision we should be fundamentally and exclusively outraged to the point of immediate action, arguing our points effectively and making a singular and cohesive stand for the Constitution.
There are those who argue that the Court’s attack on the 10th Amendment in Obergefell v. Hodges is equally as important as the Court’s direct assault on the Separation of Powers. I vehemently disagree and for good reason. The immediate danger to the Constitution and the survival of our nation – as we face forces that are achieving the fundamental transformation of our governmental structure – is the failure of the government structure itself, not the prior or resulting social issue movements. To make this argument is akin to believing that the crew of the Titanic should have started examining how to better construct a ship’s hull as the vessel was sinking instead of doing everything that they could to keep the ship afloat.
A simple solution to Obergefell v. Hodges is to remove government from the authoritative realm of marriage all together. One way to achieve this is through the utilization of contracts for legal affairs between cohabitants, leaving the sanctity of the institution of marriage to the Churches where it belongs. Regarding the issue of taxation, where marriage is concerned, radically transforming our tax system from one based on income to one based on consumption makes the issue of “marriage” and personal taxation moot.
That social issue solution understood, we can see why King v. Burwell is so much more important. We live in a time when judicial precedent trumps constitutionality, and we are, in real time, witnessing an explosion of the very structure of our government. Precedent is being set – right before our eyes – that would allow the Judicial Branch to directly rewrite legislation via the issuing of judicial edicts from this point forward.
While both these decisions are important, one cements the destruction of our governmental model, while the other is a social issue battle that the Progressives will use to keep the citizenry away from being cohesive on the latter. Should we fail to see this true constitutional crisis then we will witness, in the immediate, the end of our constitutional form of government.
One battle is so much more important than the other. If we cannot see that then we are not worthy of the freedom we pretend to enjoy. Truthfully, I am stunned this has to be explained.
The Supreme Court ruled today that same-sex couples have the right to marry and that all states must recognize same-sex marriages forged in other states. Here is the full text of the decision and dissent on Obergefell v. Hodges:
The ruling not only extends the right to marry to same-sex couples, but also requires all states to recognize gay marriages and civil unions carried out in other states.
Justice Kennedy sided with the liberal side of the court and wrote the decision. Chief Justice Roberts authored the dissenting opinion. The full text of their opinions on same-sex marriage can be found HERE.
President Obama offered his comments in a Rose Garden speech this morning where he said that “the laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.” [See the full speech here]
The case being decided, Obergefell v. Hodges, asked the court to answer two questions – are states required to license a marriage to same-sex couples and do states then have to recognize same-sex marriage licenses from other states. The court answered yes to both heavily citing the 14th amendment.
While the court decision forces state governments to license gay marriages, where those ceremonies take place could become another court case.
The Coalition of African-American Pastors and other Christian church leaders held a press conference yesterday where they expressed how the court’s decision contradicts tenets of their faith and moral law.
At a press conference in Memphis, Tennessee, held in the Church of God in Christ’s historic Mason Temple, Rev. Bill Owens, president and founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP), said, “If they rule for same-sex marriage, then we’re going to do the same thing we did for the civil rights movement. We will not obey an unjust law.”
“The politicians and the courts have tried to take God out of this country,” he continued. “This country was founded on Godly principles. We will not stand back and be silenced.”
Recently, small business owners in the wedding industry have been cyber-bullied, boycotted and in some cases taken to court over their choosing to opt-out of servicing gay weddings. Photographers and cake makers have listed religious conflicts and moral differences for choosing not to take on the same-sex clients. One such photographer had a case make it to the Supreme Court only to have the court refuse to rule on it.
So the question remains – will pastors, priests, photographers, bakers and others that typically facilitate and service a wedding be forced to do so against their own belief systems?
More SCOTUS cases are likely on exactly this issue.
According to the Fabian socialist-based government in George Orwell’s 1984, war is peace and freedom is slavery.
And according to the democratically-conscious Chief Justice John Roberts Supreme Court, a fee is a tax and state means federal.
The Court’s 6-3 ruling in King v. Burwell upholding the legality of subsidies in states that refused to set up a federal exchange is hardly shocking in consideration of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, but it is nevertheless disheartening.
Even as Jonathan Gruber’s important role in the construction of the legislation becomes more evident, the Court bent over backwards to accommodate the legislature’s supposed oversight in using imprecise language.
Gruber, of course, revealed the unspoken secret of the law- that is was written so states that failed to set up exchanges would be taxed without receiving any of the benefits, a scare tactic meant to raise the specter of public anger and force Republican governors into complying:
Roberts, however, in affirming the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the subsidies were legal, went to great lengths to ignore the public record of fact and accommodate the stated intent of the administration, claiming in his opinion:
“we must respect the role of the Legislature, and take care not to undo what it has done. A fair reading of legislation demands a fair understanding of the legislative plan. Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”
There is absolutely no legal rationale in this decision; there is instead sycophantic sophistry. Yet, the Court’s decision to interpret the Act in a way that clearly goes beyond the plain language of the statute does not respect the role of the Legislature; it supersedes it, continuing a precedent established by the decision to call the individual mandate a “tax,” despite the clear insistence by the Obama administration that this was not the case.
The Court’s decision by itself is troubling, but the majority’s rationale is even more so because it is a complete evisceration of the separation of powers and vastly re-interprets the meaning of judicial review, which was established as the primary responsibility of the Court in Marbury v. Madison.
There has been much talk of the King v. Burwell ruling being purely about statutory interpretation. This was obliterated by the centrality of Congressional intent to Robert’s ruling.
But, the Court’s guidance by statutory interpretation is in itself problematic. In Federalist 78, Alexander Hamilton explained the necessity of the chief judicial body being guided by the Constitution above other duly enacted laws:
“A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges as, a fundamental law. It, therefore, belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents..”
The original intent of the judicial branch, as laid out by Article III and further defined by Marbury v. Madison, is strict Constitutional interpretation. Its articles and clauses are the lodestone for the justice’s rationale. But the introduction of case law and precedent caused the Court to drift away from its purpose.
The Court’s two rulings upholding the ACA are a tidal wave, pushing the power of the justices into new territory. They have invested themselves with interpretive powers that too closely mimic those given solely to the legislature.
But then, maybe James Madison was merely imprecise in his language when he laid out the carefully delineated system of checks and balances in the Constitution.
The oral arguments before the Supreme Court this week stimulated vigorous legal discourse not just between the counsel for the represented parties, but amongst the justices themselves. The questions posed to counsel cannot reliably serve as tealeaves, prognosticating the court’s ultimate ruling, but they did indicate some of the struggles the court faces when they rule on same-sex marriage.
At issue is whether several state’s referenda or state statutes defining marriage as between one man and one woman shall stand. Based on public opinion trends on the issue, the ruling may be a moot point, but the legal arguments before the court clearly indicate why the rush toward a redefinition of marriage will have a significant impact on our society and the republic.
Justice Anthony Kennedy pointed out that thinking marriage is the union of a man and a woman “has been with us for millennia. And it—it’s very difficult for the Court to say, oh, well, we—we know better.” He went on to observe that even the concept of same-sex marriage has “only been around for 10 years,” and compared with human history, he conjectured, “I don’t even know how to count the decimals when we talk about millennia.”
Chief Justice John Roberts echoed that observation, by stating, “Every definition that I looked up, prior to about a dozen years ago, defined marriage as unity between a man and a woman as husband and wife.” He then correctly observed, “You’re not seeking to join the institution, you’re seeking to change what the institution is. The fundamental core of the institution is the opposite-sex relationship and you want to introduce into it a same-sex relationship.”
Making the case that the definition of marriage really has nothing to do with “discrimination,” Justice Stephen Breyer observed that the male/female definition “has been the law everywhere for thousands of years among people who were not discriminating even against gay people, and suddenly you want nine people outside the ballot box to require states that don’t want to do it to change … what marriage is.”
Justice Samuel Alito made the same observation when he declared, “There have been cultures that did not frown on homosexuality. … Ancient Greece is an example. It was well accepted within certain bounds. People like Plato wrote in favor of that.”And yet, ancient Greece and people like Plato never thought a same-sex relationship was a marriage. Alito concluded: “So their limiting marriage to couples of the opposite sex was not based on prejudice against gay people, was it?”
Justice Roberts clarified another significant issue as well, when he alleged that what the petitioners are arguing for in this case is not freedom from government, but government affirmation. Roberts explained that in a previous Supreme Court case, “the whole argument is the State cannot intrude on that personal relationship. Now people are suing saying “the State must sanction. It must approve that relationship. They’re two different questions.”
John Bursch, the lawyer defending the traditional marriage laws in Michigan, echoed this point. Based on precedence, he noted that while “the government cannot interfere in private, intimate conduct, the Court cannot as a constitutional matter … force the State into these relationships by forcing them to recognize and give benefits to anyone.”
Bursch made another critical point in his oral arguments. He said, “the marriage institution did not develop to deny dignity or to give second-class status to anyone. It developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, arise from biology.” He pointed out that the same-sex marriage argument is significantly different. “Now, the marriage view on the other side here is that marriage is all about love and commitment. And as a society, we can agree that that’s important, but the State doesn’t have any interest in that.”
He continued by illustrating that redefining marriage to say that it’s primarily about emotional commitment would have consequences. “When you change the definition of marriage to delink the idea that we’re binding children with their biological mom and dad, that has consequences. The consequences of redefining marriage won’t happen overnight, but the law will have an impact. We’re talking about something that’s going to change the meaning of the institution over generations.”
Chief Justice Roberts tendered perhaps the most significant indicator on how the court may rule. He noted that a court-imposed 50-state solution would not lead to civil peace, but to anger and resentment. “If the Court unilaterally redefined marriage, there will be no more debate. Closing of debate can close minds, and it will have a consequence on how this new institution is accepted. People feel very differently about something if they have a chance to vote on it than if it’s imposed on them by the courts.”
The premise of the same-sex marriage argument is that adults have the “right” to marry whomever they choose to, regardless of gender. But there is no such premise inherent in the institution of marriage. It is, rather, based in natural law, lex naturalis, which is the system of law that is determined by nature and is thus universal. Same-sex marriage is therefore, logically, preternatural. It has no logical basis in nature, nor can a presumed right can be extrapolated constitutionally, based on equal protection.
Based on logic and strength of arguments, and the types of questions the justices posed during oral arguments, it would seem the court may be inclined to defer such matters to the states respectively. If they do so, given the Roberts Court’s tendency to enjoin the legislative branch, they’ll likely encourage making provision for universal recognition of same-sex couples rights by states which uphold traditional marriage. But that’s logic, which can merely be presumed from the Court, based on precedence.
Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].
Two key decisions rendered by the Federal Judiciary this week severely challenge not only the foundational institutions of our society, but the fundamental operation of our republic.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced this week that it opted to not hear appeals by five states regarding their traditional marriage laws. Utah, Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma all had laws on the books defining marriage as a contractual institution including a man and a woman that had been appealed to the Supreme Court from lower courts. The net effect is that judicial decisions at lower levels against those state laws will now stand, opening the way for same-sex marriages in those states.
The Supreme Court’s rationale to not hear the cases may well have been portended by Justice Antonin Scalia last month in Bozeman, MT when he said, “It’s not up to the courts to invent new minorities that get special protections that are not subject to the usual rule that you have to get the majority to agree with it.”
Even more disconcerting is the decision by three judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding Idaho and Nevada’s laws supporting traditional marriage. A three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit, consisting of Judges Stephen Reinhardt, a Carter appointee from Los Angeles; Ronald M Gould, a Clinton appointee from Seattle; and Marsha S. Berzon, a Clinton appointee from San Francisco, struck down state laws reaffirming marriage between a man and a woman. Since the Supreme Court will not hear state’s appeals on the issue, same-sex marriage is a fait accompli not only for Idaho and Nevada, but inevitably in all 50 states.
Our federal judiciary has become, arguably and disturbingly, an oligarchy. When they rule on the “constitutionality” of an issue it is assumed to be the final say in whether a vote of congress or the vote of the people via referendum or initiative is legitimized or annulled. This is not how the Supreme Court and its substrata of appellate courts were intended to operate, nor is it de facto the way it should be.
The federal judiciary, as it has evolved, has unchecked and unlimited power over the nation by either of the other branches, the executive or the legislative, or even the people. Its members are not accountable to the citizenry, since most of their appointments are for life, and they cannot be removed from the bench by a vote of the people they purportedly serve. Their ruminations and the results of their decisions are insular and they often trump the will of the people with regard to key social issues. Their decisions are presumed to be final, even though they may be at odds with the democratic majority of our citizens.
Herein lies the fundamental problem about the present construct of our federal judiciary as it has evolved since the founding. If, as stated in the 10th Amendment, all “rights and powers” not specifically itemized in the Constitution are held by the people collectively or by the states, what right does a court have to negate the will of the people? As it relates especially to key cultural issues like abortion, public religious displays, and definitions of marriage, should not the final court be the court of public opinion, rather than an oligarchy of judges insulated from, and not accountable to the citizenry? In most of these cases, state courts have ruled, and appeals are then made to the federal judiciary.
Thomas Jefferson portended this judicial despotism. “To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction], and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control.”
Justice Scalia said recently, “I question the propriety, indeed the sanity, of having a value-laden decision such as same-sex marriage made for the entire society by unelected judges.” That sentiment is echoed by Chief Justice John Roberts. “Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules. They apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire,” he said. Clearly, though, the judiciary is doing just that, making the rules, when they essentially legislate from the bench.
According to Reuter’s research published in January, 2014, Democrat appointees to the federal bench are a slight majority, at 50.5% of the total federal judiciary. In their book “The Behavior of Federal Judges,” researchers Lee Epstein, William Landes, and Richard Posner, document how Democrat appointees rule on the bench more liberally than Republican appointees rule according to strict constructionist interpretations. Given that verity, and the growing majority of liberal judges in the federal judiciary, the continued unraveling of “democratic rule” by the federal judiciary in America is perhaps a forgone conclusion.
Jefferson clearly understood the system of checks and balances on the respective powers of the three branches of government. As he said in a letter to Abigail Adams in 1804, “The Constitution… meant that its coordinate branches should be checks on each other. But the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.” It has obviously become a despotic branch since it can overturn the will of the people as expressed even in referenda or initiatives.
Liberalism and progressivism have been able to successfully advance elements of their agenda through the judiciary that they have been unable to accomplish at the ballot box or through elected officials. Since federal judges are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, those positions should be recognized as the key to preserving the slight semblance of the American republic as envisioned by our founders. As it appears now, that vision is rapidly evaporating.
Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].
With the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder, unquestionably the most activist – and most divisive – attorney general in the history of the country, everyone seems fixated on who will replace him, and rightly so. The position of nation’s “top cop” is one of extreme importance. As was witnessed with Mr. Holder’s tenure, a biased, activist and agenda-driven attorney general can tear at the fabric of our society. But while everyone seems pre-occupied with who his successor will be, the possibilities of Mr. Holder’s future is what has some forward-thinking people concerned.
If Pres. Obama is swift of feet – and with Valerie Jarrett as his task-master it is hard to believe that he won’t be, he will see his next nominee for US Attorney General fly through the Senate confirmation process. This will happen courtesy of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s manipulation of the confirmation vote process. Susan Ferrechio writes in The Washington Examiner:
“Democrat changes to the filibuster last year should give President Obama’s attorney general pick a gliding path through the Senate in the lame-duck session.
“Last November, Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid changed Senate rules so that nominations for Cabinet positions and most judicial posts needed only 51 votes, instead of the 60 that had been required. That means the person President Obama nominates to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder will not face a potential Republican filibuster.
“Lawmakers plan to return Nov. 12, and no matter who prevails in the Nov. 4 elections, Democrats will remain in the Senate majority until the end of the year. Democrats control 55 votes, while Republicans make up 45 of the chamber’s lawmakers.”
No doubt, We the People will have to suffer through two more years of an activist Department of Justice, one too pre-occupied with “social justice” to give a second thought to “justice for all” or “blind justice.” Of course, it is hard to imagine a more divisive social justice activist than Eric Holder. Nevertheless, I am sure the man – or woman – who takes the helm at the DoJ will provide adequate protection for the Obama Administration, just as Mr. Holder did.
The question now is this. What is Eric Holder going to do? Mr. Holder, as it the case with the total of the Obama Administration sans Joe Biden, is a young man in political terms. His has a long and influential future ahead of him as the first Black activist US Attorney General. My fear is that Mr. Obama may want to reward his political “bag man” with a nomination to the US Supreme Court. And while it is not a sure thing, it is a possibility.
New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait reports that while Progressives wish to see Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg retire so that President Obama might seat another Progressive activist on the US Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg is none too fast to agree:
“If I resign any time this year, he could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see in the court. [The Senate Republicans] took off the filibuster for lower federal court appointments, but it remains for this court. So anybody who thinks that if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they’re misguided.”
Mr. Chait continues:
“The facts Ginsburg describes are true, but the conclusion she takes away from them is almost certainly wrong…
“It is true that Republicans retain the right to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee. They may use this power to restrain the president from nominating a particularly objectionable figure, as both parties have done in the past. But if they use it as a generalized blockade, stopping Obama from nominating any mainstream Democratic figure, then Senate Democrats would almost surely enact another rule change. If Senate Democrats won’t sit still for Republicans using the filibuster to take away Obama’s right to appoint a federal judge, they surely wouldn’t sit still as Republicans prevent Obama from filling a Supreme Court seat…”
To wit, it is not only possible, but plausible that Mr. Obama, at the insistence of Valerie Jarrett and the Chicago Progressive machine, could nominate his trusted social justice foot soldier – before the new Congress is convened – to his just reward as a candidate for the position of United States Supreme Court Justice. All they need to do is to move the arguably less radical Ruth Bader Ginsburg out of the way to usher in Eric Holder, who would unquestionably serve as the most radically ideological justice ever to serve on the court.
So, the ultimate question for those who honor the Constitution is this. What is to be done to defend against this scenario becoming a reality?
One avenue to travel is to execute an all-out assault on every incumbent Senate Democrat running for re-election; an assault that would send the message that should they agree to confirm Mr. Holder as a Supreme Court Justice, extremely well-funded recall campaigns will be launched in the most vicious of manners against each and every one of them.
Another avenue that could be traveled is to take a page out of the Texas Legislature’s Democrat handbook. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell could instruct the total of the Senate Republicans to refuse to return to Washington, DC, after the 2014 Midterm Election in an effort to refuse Mr. Reid a quorum call. Of course, Mr. Reid being the slippery politician that he is might find a way around that.
But one solid avenue would be for Republicans to thoroughly examine the constitutionality of the idea of the impeachment of a United States Supreme Court Justice. Fortunately, there is a wee bit of latitude in the US Constitution for this measure.
Article III, Section 1 of the US Constitution states clearly:
“The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.” (Emphasis mine)
That Mr. Holder was found to be in Contempt of Congress during his tenure as the attorney general, it is fair to say that he exhibited “bad behavior” during that time. In accepting a nomination to the US Supreme Court – and assuming the Reid-led Senate would confirm him, he would be taking the Oath of Office as a US Supreme Court Justice under false pretenses, as his past performance proved beyond doubt that he repeatedly violated the US Constitution by ignoring equal justice under the law for all Americans.
None of these choices are optimal but each presents a possible solution. And each should be considered seriously. An Eric Holder nomination to the US Supreme Court would be a direct threat to the United States Constitution, and one we can ill-afford.
Constitutional Convention advocates recommend a fundamental transformation of the U.S. Supreme Court by modeling it after the European International Court on Human Rights (ECHR).
Convention of the States National Director, Michael Farris recommends, “If the Supreme Court loves their national law, we’ll fix them this way.” Farris continues that we turn the Court into a 50-judge panel serving 8-year terms. This models the ECHR that appoints 46 judges; one for each member nations. Farris says that the Supreme Court reviews things on paper, because the “important stuff is done on paper anyway.” He continues, “If you don’t like their decision, you don’t like who they are, you get a new one.”
The ECHR can change national law through influencing change through “soft law”. According to University of Law, if national law conflicts with international law, the ECHR provides the ability for lawyers to pressure the national legislators to change their laws, aligning them with international law.
While we may not all agree with all the decisions of our highest Court, to fundamentally transform our U.S. Supreme Court into a system incapable of holding a sustained view and more difficult to overcome political pressure is certainly no improvement.
In other words, the rulings placed on the U.S. Supreme Court will change our laws to reflect international law…not constrain politicians and lawyers to the Constitution. The Supreme Court will become a token court, even more subjective to political pressures. Under the ECHR model, individuals, corporations, local, state and federal government brought before the court may in fact be even less constitutional.
Constructing a Supreme Court as such creates a roving system, making the U.S. Supreme Court extremely political. The courts authority will be wrapped in international bureaucracy and political framework and departs even farther from protecting individual rights and interpretation of the Constitution. This dilutes the balance of power, politicizes the U.S. Supreme Court and injects an international bureaucracy into our court system.
Exactly what the founders attempted to avoid.
Here are two questions that should be asked.
April was not a good month for Americans that still believe the Supreme Court is a font of legal wisdom. Former Justice John Paul Stevens authored an Op–Ed in the WaPost proving you can be ignorant of history, blinded by ideology and confused regarding the plain meaning of words and still get to wear the black robe.
Stevens’ essay was titled ‘The five extra words that can fix the Second Amendment.’
And no, Stevens’ five words weren’t “you can’t have a gun,” but that’s a good guess.
He began his effort in problem–solving by using the left’s favorite technique: Use distorted statistics to shock the public and advance a disingenuous argument: “Each year, more than 30,000 people die in the United States in firearm-related incidents.”
That’s a big number. Almost as big as the total number of Americans killed each year in car crashes. What Stevens purposely leaves out is the fact that 19,392 — or six in ten — of those deaths were suicide!
Once the suicide is removed from the total, it become obvious that riding in a car driven by a cell phone–wielding woman is much more dangerous than living in Virginia where people are allowed to carry guns openly. And cell phones aren’t protected by the Constitution.
What Stevens should be calling for is federal suicide control. If Congress would stop listening to the mortuary lobby and pass an effective law banning suicide — or at least get the ball rolling by creating suicide–free zones (this alone would speed up Metro travel in DC) — we could eliminate almost two–thirds of the gun deaths overnight.
The rest of the country could experience the safety and tranquility that residents of Detroit and Chicago currently enjoy in their gun–free cities. Once suicide is outlawed only criminals will kill themselves, surely a win–win.
But suicide doesn’t generate much news coverage so publicity–seekers aren’t interested in this sensible step to prevent unnecessary death.
Stevens contends the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment was ‘settled,’ much like global warming science, until the NRA went rogue. “For more than 200 years… federal judges uniformly understood that the right…was limited in two ways: First, it applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and second, while it limited the power of the federal government, it did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms.”
That’s accurate without being truthful, since for two centuries neither states nor the federal government were trying to ban types of weapons, restrict the sale of weapons or impose ownership restrictions. So who would file a suit to stop an infringement that didn’t exist?
As for not imposing a limit on state or local governments, Stevens proves his knowledge of the Constitution is limited. If what he wrote is true then the Bill of Rights wouldn’t prevent states and cities from limiting speech, searching without a warrant and shutting down the newspaper if it criticized Barack Obama.
Stevens then lurches from urging judges to butt out because, “Public policies concerning gun control should be decided by the voters’ elected representatives, not by federal judges.” To complaining that those same legislators aren’t doing enough to seize weapons from the law abiding in the wake of Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook.
Before gracing us with his five–word prescription for domestic gun bliss, Stevens’ last contribution is to completely misrepresent the Bill of Rights and specifically the 2nd Amendment. He claims the amendment “was adopted to protect the states from federal interference with their power to ensure that their militias were “well regulated.” This is ludicrous on its face. The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to protect individual rights and without those 10 amendments the Constitution would not have passed.
The obvious plain language of the 2nd protects an individual right to own weapons, but that’s evidently too subtle for a retired Supreme Court justice.
Then Stevens graces us with his solution: His amended amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”
If anything those five words would initiate an explosion of litigation.
In Athens a citizen was subject to military service until age 60. I figure I can pull a trigger until well into my 90’s. Sixteen–year–olds often served in militias, too, so many underage restrictions go by the board, thanks to Stevens.
As a serving militia member I will need my weapons at hand in case of a sudden call out. That makes militia members immune to any restrictions on carrying a firearm. I can carry in schools, courtrooms, national parks, football stadiums and even Toby Keith’s.
Stevens evidently believes the same legislators who aren’t passing the gun laws he wants are suddenly going to come down hard on militias. Historically militias were locally based and locally run without interference or control from the state government.
Each militia decided what weapons to carry, uniforms to wear, method of selecting officers and how often to meet. With Judge Stevens help you can think of the new militia as the Shriners with sidearms.
And as for what weapons to carry, let’s look at the world’s best–known militia the Taliban. The Talibs have RPGs, fully automatic rifles, grenades, heavy machine guns and donkeys. Everything the well–equipped American militia member could want, except for the donkey.
Stevens’ ‘solution’ removes age restrictions, expands the scope of weapons allowed for personal ownership and eliminates most geographic restrictions on where weapons can be carried. It’s the exact opposite of what Stevens wants, but not an unusual outcome for leftist social engineering.
If it weren’t for those boring monthly militia meetings, I would support him 100 percent.
Now comes news that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has doubled down on his middle finger to the American citizenry by turning away – without comment, which the SCOTUS gets to do – an emergency stay request, filed by the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons and the Alliance for Natural Health USA, to block the implementation of Obamacare.
In an almost ignored story, FOX News reports:
“Chief Justice John Roberts turned away without comment Monday an emergency stay request from the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, Inc. and the Alliance for Natural Health USA.
“They asked the chief justice Friday to temporarily block the law, saying Congress had passed it incorrectly by starting it in the Senate instead of the House. Revenue-raising bills are supposed to originate in the lower chamber. They also wanted blocked doctor registration requirements they say will make it harder for independent non-Medicare physicians to treat Medicare-eligible patients.
“Still pending is a decision on a temporary block on the law’s contraceptive coverage requirements, which was challenged by a group of nuns.”
With an overwhelming number of Americans standing against the implementation of this law, an ever increasing realization of consequences that make the law he most expensive entitlement program ever launched, and the Obama Administration’s unconstitutional manipulation of the law’s provision via executive caveat, Chief Justice Roberts had a golden opportunity to rectify his atrocious ruling that allowed for this law to become binding to the American people. Again, Mr. Roberts has cheated the American people from the benefits of constitutional justice.
Article I, Section 7 of the US Constitution states clearly:
“All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills…”
That The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) originated out of the US House of Representatives as the Service Members Home Ownership Act (HR3590), which has absolutely nothing – nothing – to do with health insurance mandates or so-called reforms. Per the Obama Administration’s own Justice Department rebuttal to a suit brought on the same subject by the Pacific Legal Foundation:
“…attorneys for the Justice Department argue that the bill originated as House Resolution 3590, which was then called the Service Members Home Ownership Act. After passing the House, the bill was stripped in a process known as ‘gut and amend’ and replaced entirely with the contents of what became the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“Using HR3590 as a ‘shell bill’ may be inelegant, but it’s not unconstitutional, according to the government motion.”
So, the Obama Administration admits that the bill was foisted on the American people disingenuously and nefariously, Justice Roberts ruled it a tax, and yet Roberts refuses to allow the Supreme Court to hear a case that examines and rules on the constitutionality of exactly the unconstitutional aspects everyone says exist.
The big question is this. Why is Chief Justice John Roberts running interference for the Obama Progressives?
Article III, Section 1 of the US Constitution states:
“The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.”
One has to ask, with the caveat that Supreme Court Justices “shall hold their offices during good behaviour” we should all be asking – and asking our elected officials: What shall be done about Chief Justice Roberts; “bad behaviour”?