Senator Mike Lee talks about the Constitutional questions being raised the Supreme Court Hearings on Obamacare. He also give his prediction on what he thinks the outcome will be.
Tag Archives: Supreme Court
This excellent video points out two cases of delicious irony in one fell swoop. Our president has recently called Sandra Fluke to let her know that he doesn’t approve of meanies like Rush Limbaugh calling her a “slut” while simultaneously taking $1 million (via super pac) from Bill Maher. (who “unapologetically” calls Sarah Palin a C_NT) The Irony Police are looking over the report to see which smacks more of hypocrisy: His condemnation of Limbaugh while glossing over remarks by Maher. Or his sudden change of heart when it comes to embracing Super PACs. Anyone else remember when he scolded the Supreme Court for the Citizens United decision? (h/t @red_red_head on Twitter)
Newt Gingrich is beginning to soar in the polls for many reasons. He is clearly the leader in the debates, which are really question and answer forums, for the Republican nomination. This is decidedly a factor in his popularity among those people who watch them.
His assault on the media’s hypocrisy concerning how they treat Democrats as opposed to Republicans is something to which people are drawn. This is something which people have been talking about for years and have not been able to do anything about beyond turning off the MSM news programs. Newt is getting back at the press for the duplicity of the press, a business protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in order to protect the right of the people to get the facts about what is going on in our government without government interference. The people of the USA know the media isn’t doing their job and they know the media has become an opinion generating machine for the Democratic Party.
People are angry. People are fuming at the President, at Congress and at the way their freedoms are being whittled away incrementally. They are angry at SCOTUS for legislating from the Bench. People are tired of being dictated to, of having their elections overturned by activist judges who are not elected.
But there is something much more subtle about his popularity that stems from this anger: it’s the way his vicious attacks on President (and I use that word loosely) Obama are seen by citizens. Newt is the only candidate to not only go after the media and the government, but he unequivocally goes after Obama in a way that people can’t. Common citizens, (actually, we’re subjects now,) are not allowed to vent the anger we feel openly in a public forum against the President and what he’s doing to our country without the old RACIST label being attached to them. People want to beat someone up for all the draconian actions this government, especially Obama, have taken against WE THE PEOPLE. The anger runs deep and it is frustrating to the people of this country to not be able to physically take their anger out on someone. It is not only pleasing to people that Newt is harassing the press, but that he is aggressively beating Obama’s policies to a pulp and it’s satisfying to those who can’t get up on a stage and speak their minds. The fact that firearm sales have skyrocketed is indicative of people’s fears and anger. People are ready to fight in the streets to protect the Constitution of the United States. Newt appears to be doing this for them in a verbal barrage calling legislatures, and the press, on their inequities.
This is probably the most important election we’re going to have as a country since the Constitution was adopted by the original Thirteen States. The Civil War elections weren’t even as important because that didn’t decide which direction our country would take on so many different levels of political tangents. Lincoln had to contend with the split of the country and yes, it was a Constitutional Crisis but he didn’t have to be concerned about massive government spending, Social Security, Welfare, wars in several different countries waged by a small number of American volunteers or any of the other issues we as Americans face today. The most important of the issues we are facing is whether or not we’re to remain a country that practices Free Market Capitalism or become a full blown Marxist state using fascism first, and gradually leading to communism. And Newt isn’t afraid to bring this argument to the debates right now, or those in the future with Obama.
Newt is fulfilling a psychological need of the general populace in this country. And people trust him to continue if he’s eventually elected as the nominee for President of the USA by the rank and file GOP. After all, after Saturday, January 22nd, 2012, there are still 47 states to vote in the primaries. People see Newt as having the brass balls they want the GOP nominee to have and they have not seen this kind of truthfulness or aggression since Reagan.
Oh, wait, is that 54 states?
On Monday, Jan. 9th 2012 the Supreme Court handed down a decision rejecting a free-speech challenge to the longtime ban on contributions by foreign citizens who temporarily live and work in the United States. A three-judge panel had already affirmed and upheld the ban that was adopted by Congress to prevent foreigners from effecting U.S. Elections. Key points to consider in this most recent attempt to allow foreigners to donate money to U.S. politicians can be found in the fact that President Obama and fellow Democrats in Congress criticized the ruling, while Republicans applauded it. Once again Barack Obama and the Democrats are proven to be desperate to win the 2012 elections at any cost. Add to that the justice department’s blatant attempt to promote vote fraud in 2012 by trying to stop voter ID laws, and yes, it certainly appears that the current campaigner in chief knows darn well he is in trouble in his upcoming reelection bid. Several key Supreme Court decisions are to be handed down this week, some very important, and as you will see, some appear to be a waste of time and leave people wondering just how they got before the SCOTUS in the first place. NewsDaily provided the following ridiculous claims made by the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case of Bluman v. Federal Election Commission, No. 11-275.
The case involved Benjamin Bluman, a Canadian citizen who attended Harvard Law School and now works as an attorney for a New York law firm. He has lived in the United States since late 2009 and can remain in the country until November 2012.
The U.S. Justice Department said Congress adopted and then amended the law over the past 50 years in response to specific incidents of foreign interests seeking to spend money to sway American elections and government decisions.
Solicitor General Donald Verrilli told the Supreme Court that invalidating the ban would allow millions of foreign nationals in the United States to spend unlimited amounts on election advocacy and contribute money directly to candidates, even at the behest of hostile foreign governments.
In addition to seeking to make campaign contributions, Bluman wanted to spend money to express his political views, seeking to print flyers that support Obama’s re-election and to distribute them in Central Park.
Note the key information in the above paragraph: A foreign citizen that graduated from Harvard simply wants to donate money and distribute fliers to Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, so the Supreme Court has to spend valuable time reaffirming that no foreign money from non-U.S. citizens will be allowed to sway American elections and also sway… .government decisions. Meanwhile the Supreme Court refuses to be bothered with such trivial cases as to whether the POTUS is actually qualified to be president according to the Unites States constitution, as can be seen here. Seems like someone has gotten their priorities backwards there, as far as the Supreme Court’s actual sworn duties are concerned.
Also on Monday the Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in the case of an Idaho couple that has been maliciously bullied and threatened with huge fines by the EPA simply because they wanted to build their dream home on a property they had bought years ago. An article at cnsnews.com has a complete rundown of this situation here. The lot they had purchased is bordered by houses on the north and south sides of the lot, is 500 feet from the shore of Priest lake and contains not one drop of standing water, yet the EPA has denied them usage of their own land simply because it has been deemed “wetlands.”
The Pacific Legal Foundation is representing the Sacketts, who have been given the run-around by the EPA in attempts to resolve this issue for going on four years now. The Sacketts filed suit in 2008 seeking to establish that EPA “wetlands” designations are subject to judicial review. Both the federal district court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the EPA. The court held that the Sacketts could not seek judicial review of the EPA “wetlands” designation until after they had restored the land to its original status and had applied for and had been denied a wetland permit. The wetland permit application is much more expensive and time consuming than local permits. The hidden message in the court decisions denying the Sackett’s due process in a court of law? The EPA is the federal government and the taxpayers have no right to question their decisions, ever.
Let’s hope the Supreme Court will put a stop to the EPA’s tyrannical unconstitutional law-making political agenda in this situation and that they set a precedent to reign in their power grab. Denying the Sacketts usage of the land they purchased hinges on the most ludicrous example of government stupidity to ever have to go before the Supreme Court: The supposed “wetlands” actually is as dry as a bone. The lake is across the road. There are already houses to the north and south of their land. Is this what our founding fathers meant when they said a government of the people by the people and for the people? Not even close. This is a very small case that has huge implications for all landowners in America. What are the consequences of the Supreme Court refusing to stop the unconstitutional law-making of big government power-brokers in the near future? We then get things like Barack Obama, with help from the EPA and the Interior department banning uranium mining on 1 millions of public land outside the Grand Canyon for 20 years, as can be seen here. Here are a few facts from the CFP article :
Most people will be surprised to learn that nearly 30% of the 2.63 million square miles of the United States is directly owned by the federal government.
This federal land is located primarily in the West. For example, 69.1% of Alaska is owned by the federal government and 84% of Nevada. More than half of both Utah and Idaho is owned by the federal government. Other western states such as Arizona, California, Wyoming, Oregon, New Mexico and Colorado have from 53.1% to 36.6% of their land allocated to the federal government.
Check out the complete CFP article to see how the U.S. Congress in 2010 took more steps ( while under control of Democrats) to keep stealing taxpayer dollars to put into shady “trust funds” to take State land and to control every drop of water in the United States.
The Supreme Court will also be reviewing three separate Texas redistricting cases this week which may be reviewed here. These disputes are, at their core, a fundamental test of historic questions about federalism — that is, the roles of federal vs. state governments in managing election processes. With the U.S. Justice Department infringing on State’s rights more every day today, all of this week’s Supreme Court decisions will have huge implications for all Americans in the very near future.
Pay attention America, 2012 is here, and with it could come four more years of Barack Obama and his radical power-brokers that are indeed, already transforming America.
The question of the eligibility of Barack Obama to appear on the 2012 Presidential ballot has picked up steam as lawsuits have been filed in Federal and State District Courts to force the Democrat National Committee, its Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid to show positive proof that Obama meets the parameters laid out by the Constitution of the United States of America to hold said office. These events have somehow escaped the eagle eyes of the main stream media, but have been widely reported throughout the internet news media.
The Liberty Legal Foundation/Dummett lawsuits center around the citizenship of Obama’s father and the “natural born citizen” statute found in Article II Section 1 Paragraph 5 of the United States Constitution. Unlike similar lawsuits that have failed in the past, Mr. Dummett has been granted standing by the Ninth Circuit Court due to his candidacy for the office of President of the United States of America. Mr. Dummett is also suing the Democrat National Committee and its representatives rather than suing government entities as has been done in the past.
In hearings before the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco, the justices determined Mr. Dummett could be harmed by a candidate not constitutionally eligible to run for the office of President. The court allowed Liberty Legal and Mr. Dummett to proceed with their suits, declaring Mr. Dummett has standing as a legally registered candidate for the office.
One report on this issue comes from the site Maggie’s Notebook on December 30, 2011, which lists excerpts of the actual filing by Liberty Legal Foundation’s Van Irions as well as copies of the forms submitted by the DNC in 2008. The wording of the 2008 forms has been brought into question as two copies differ in the wording of the certification of candidate Obama. The lawsuit filed by Liberty Legal seeks to enjoin the DNC and any Democrat official from certifying Obama as an eligible candidate without first proving he is indeed eligible according to the provisions laid out in the Constitution.
Lawsuits have been filed by Mr. Dummett and Liberty Legal Foundation in The United States District Court for the District of Arizona , and in the Chancery Court for the State of Tennessee . Copies of the suits can be seen at the links listed above.
In a related story, New York voter Robert Laity on December 2, 2011 filed a “Challenge Petition” with the New York State Board of Elections, alleging that Obama’s 2008 election resulted from fraud and that he is not eligible to appear on the ballot in 2012. According to the Post & Email article Laity has also been in contact with New York governor Andrew Cuomo and his state senator, Mark Grisanti, on this matter. The Post & Email blog site conducted an interview with Mr. Laity that can be found at this link, along with correspondence Mr. Laity has exchanged with Governor Cuomo’s office.
In Georgia, Carl Swensson and Kevin Richard Powell have filed a separate lawsuit, also contending Barack Obama does not meet the “natural born citizen” requirement of the Constitution and asking that Obama’s name not be allowed to appear on the ballot of the State of Georgia. The suit also asks that they be considered separately from several others who have filed similar lawsuits in Georgia. Liberty Legal Foundation is also involved in the Georgia suit, which is scheduled to be heard on January 26, 2012 at 9:00 a.m.
A related story at the Politics Today website details Obama’s Occidental College transcripts, including Obama’s Fullbright Scholarship, requiring a student to certify that he/she is a foreign student. The story at Politics Today also documents Obama’s passport and travel history. They also reported that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on a case brought by Leo Donofrio of New Jersey concerning Obama’s eligibility to serve as President. This is one of many lawsuits over Obama’s eligibility, including those brought by Liberty Legal Foundation and Dummett.
Efforts to contact the DNC, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schutlz, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and Sen. Harry Reid were met with an array of “go away and don’t bother us” tactics. The DNC representative knew nothing about this matter, and when asked to be put through to someone who does know, the CDN reporter was put on hold and then heard a dial tone. The staff at the offices of the members of Congress said that not only did they not know about this matter, they did not talk about any issue not directly related to constituent needs.
January 4, 2011
I mean, wouldn’t it have been awesome if each candidate just rattled off their favorite justice? But, no. They all had to get long-winded and then not even have the courage to just pick ONE justice. Most of them hedged their bets with as many as THREE.
What do you think of candidates being so long-winded with what should be a “one word answer”? And also, if you were on that stage what justice would you have chosen? (and no, faithful readers, you are not limited to one word with your response)
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Masciandaro v. United States today.
Amid all the speculation about why SCOTUS would refuse the case- suggestions that they don’t want to take on concealed carry rights, for instance- I believe there’s a more-probable, but less-obvious reason: I think SCOTUS doesn’t want to overcomplicate the Obamacare case.
Let me explain: Obamacare will basically be an argument about states’ rights- the states’ right to resist a federal intrusion into the health care industry. This being the case, I believe SCOTUS decided to avoid taking on concealed carry because the “states’ rights” arguments regarding the Second Amendment are exactly opposite those of Obamacare.
Stated another way:
If SCOTUS decided in Masciandaro that states are limited in their authority to regulate concealed carry, but then decide in Obamacare that states have authority to resist intrusive federal acts, then the message from the court would appear to be very consistent with the Tenth Amendment- a limitation on federal intrusion on the states, and a limit on state intrusion on the people;
If SCOTUS decided that states had sweeping authority to resist both the federal government’s actions and to regulate individual behavior, SCOTUS would be effectively transferring a tremendous amount of power to the states- something it really hasn’t done in recent memory;
If SCOTUS decided that states had no authority to resist the federal government, and little authority to regulate individual behavior, then SCOTUS would effectively be stripping the states of a great deal of authority, and make the nature of the government relationship one between the federal government and the public, with the states being mere subdivisions;
If SCOTUS decided in favor of Obamacare and in favor of states regulating concealed carry, the court would be depriving the public of a substantial amount of individual autonomy, deciding that governments- either state or federal- could define and regulate the exercise of individual rights.
Knowing that nobody can accurately predict how Obamacare will be decided- I doubt even the Justices themselves can say for sure- I think the Supreme Court is attempting to avoid “doubling-down” on a message inconsistent with its real intent- whatever that intent may be.
By itself, Obamacare is an incendiary issue. Add gun rights to it and it becomes politically explosive.
The second amendment to our U.S. Constitution states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
President Barack Obama’s history in support of strict gun control measures prior to becoming president makes it difficult for him to claim he’s a Second Amendment champion. In 2004, while campaigning for the Illinois senate, he said, “I think that the Second Amendment means something. I think that if the government were to confiscate everybody’s guns unilaterally that I think that would be subject to constitutional challenge.” He didn’t say it would be unconstitutional, just “subject to constitutional challenge.” Nor did he express any opposition. “I think there is an individual right to bear arms, but it’s subject to commonsense regulation” like background checks, Obama said in 2008. His idea of “commonsense regulation” is making gun ownership completely illegal.
For a really good source about Obama’s gun control stance, see this source.
Obama has viciously attacked Second Amendment rights, but he has done so quietly, behind-the-scenes, and by regulation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) abuses, such as Fast and Furious.
But there is another reason why Obama’s reelection could spell the death of the Second Amendment as we know it: the Supreme Court, which currently consists of four conservatives (Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, and Alita), four raving liberals (Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Breyer), and one sort-of-conservative swing vote (Kennedy). There is a very real possibility that one, two, or three vacancies will occur in the next five years. And, if the vacancy(ies) is/are filled by Obama, that will create an at least 5-man majority of anti-gun liberals on the Supreme Court. In fact, after stating under oath before the Senate that she had no opinion on the scope of the Second Amendment, Sotomayor wasted no time opining (in a decision) that she believed Heller was bad law.
Liberals on the Supreme Court often don’t defer to stare decisis, so the Supreme Court could declare the Second Amendment to apply only to militias. (see below)
So? If even one gun control advocate who intends to vote for Obama “sees the light,” then this post will not have been in vain. People, be armed with facts when the 2012 election is discussed.
BTW, just for the record, I have owned pistols, rifles, and shotguns all my life, even as a pre-teen. I was in the Army for almost 22 years. During this time I have NEVER has a weapon of an sort, on its own volition, shoot anyone. I taught my children (two girls, one boy) to shoot, and to treat all weapons as if they are loaded. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. And all the other clichés you have heard.
BTW2, I have gun control advocates say that the second amendment applies ONLY to militias. To that argument I always answer, “Have you ever heard of citizen-soldiers?” We never know when we will be called upon to join a militia and bring our own arms. Plus we have to have our own arms to stay in practice!
But that’s just my opinion.
For months, many legal experts have been expecting the decision to hear the case brought against the law by 26 states Attorneys General and a separate suit filed by a business group – what was not know is when.
The most contentious part of the suit is whether the health insurance mandate is an infringement on individual liberties. The mandate would force all Americans to buy certain kinds of government-approved health insurance or pay a penalty. This would set a dangerous precedent that would allow Congress to force citizens to buy any product it sees fit as long as the legislators in Washington D.C. believe it is “for the common good” or interest of interstate commerce.
The legislation also does not allow the purchase of some health plans to meet the requirement. Plans like High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) accompanied by Health Savings Accounts (HSA) may not meet the government’s measurements. These plans are largely sought by the self-employed, small business owners and those that choose to manage their health care dollars more-closely – more than 10 million Americans in 2010.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) released this statement about the court’s decision:
It is not the business of government, at either the state or federal level, to tell individual Americans to purchase any product or service. That’s why, as president, I will not rest until the bill is completely repealed.
The highest court in America will hear more than 5 hours of oral arguments in March and render their decision in July – just a few short months before the 2012 elections.
The court could decide to invalidate the entire law, just the insurance mandate, uphold the whole law or hold their decision until after the law is mandated. Considering the massive impact to businesses that would have to wrestle with the cumbersome legislation, a decision to uphold the mandate or not is expected in the July ruling.
 – America’s Health Insurance Plan – http://www.ahip.org/content/pressrelease.aspx?bc=174|30516
Simply UNBELIEVABLE! Illegal aliens taken into custody will be given a phone number to call if they believe their civil rights have been violated. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made that announcement to the House Judiciary Committee in written testimony on Wednesday, October 19, 2011. “The new detainer form also requires state and local law enforcement to provide the arrestees with a copy of the form, which includes a number to call if they believe their civil rights have been violated by ICE,” said Napolitano.
There is no word yet on the number of illegal aliens who believe their civil rights have been violated.
Regarding illegal alien rights, what does the U.S. Supreme Court say? The Supreme Court has ruled that these provisions apply to all persons in the U.S., without regard to race, or nationality. Therefore, U.S. residents – legal and illegal – have constitutional rights such as equal protection of the law and the right to due process. The Supreme Court, this source says, cites the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The 14th amendment, ratified in 1868, begins in section 1, “1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The other four sections of this amendment are not relevant to this argument.
The United States did not limit immigration in 1868 when the 14th amendment was ratified. There were, by definition, no illegal immigrants. The 14th amendment was ratified in 1868 to protect the rights of native-born Black Americans, whose rights were being denied as recently-freed slaves. It was written in a manner so as to prevent state governments from ever denying citizenship to blacks born in the United States. But in 1868, the United States had no formal immigration policy, and the authors therefore saw no need to address immigration explicitly in the amendment. While many argue that “We the People of the United States,” refers only to legal citizens, the Supreme Court has consistently disagreed.
When the Supreme Court decides cases dealing with 1st amendment rights, it typically draws guidance from the 14th amendment’s principal of “equal protection under the law.” In essence, the “equal protection” clause extends 1st amendment protection to anyone and everyone covered by the 5th and 14th Amendments. Through its consistent rulings that the 5th and 14th amendments apply equally to illegal aliens, they also enjoy 1st amendment rights. Courts have ruled that, while they are within the borders of the United States, illegal aliens are granted the same fundamental, undeniable constitutional rights granted to all Americans. [emphasis mine]
Is this OUTRAGEOUS? The Supreme Court now interprets “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” to include illegal immigrants. And, IMHO, the Supreme Court continues to extend, through liberal and all-encompassing interpretations, the 14th amendment. The original intent of the 14th amendment was not to facilitate illegal aliens defying U.S. law. And the Obama administration continues to take advantage of every Supreme Court interpretation favorable to them.
In Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Environment (1998) the Supreme Court said “jurisdiction is a word of many, too many, meanings.” Therefore, it is important to become aware of the operational meaning of “subject to the jurisdiction” as employed under the 14th amendment. Both Sen. Lyman Trumbull and Sen. Jacob Howard provide the answer, with Trumbull declaring: “The provision is, that ‘all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens’.” That means ‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.’ What is meant by ‘complete jurisdiction thereof?’ Not owing allegiance to any other country or person is what it means, but the Supreme Court doesn’t see it that way.
So, where are we and what can we do? Well, all “We the People” can do is elect presidents that will appoint Supreme Court justices that will put our country ahead of their own wishes, that will read the Constitution, that will not treat it as a “living document” that can be changed at will, and will make interpretations that will preserve the ideas that made this country great. As Rush Limbaugh says, “Elections have consequences.”
But that’s just my opinion.
Troy Davis, a convicted cop killer from Georgia has been given a literal ‘last minute’ reprieve from his 7:00 PM date with the lethal injection needle at the Jackson Prison, where he has been on death row. Davis, whose case has received international attention, was convicted of shooting a Savannah police officer in 1989.
According to his lawyers, he has been given a temporary reprieve to allow the Supreme Court to review his case. Attorneys for Davis have been asking for a retrial based on several witnesses that have, over the years, recanted their testimony that helped convict Davis of the crime.
Authorities have stopped short of using the word “stay” of execution, but only that Davis has been given a temporary reprieve. Crowds of nearly 200 supporters for Davis went from sorrow to jubilation only a few minutes after 7:00 PM Wednesday night as it was revealed that the condemned man had received the reprieve.
This is an ongoing story. We will publish more information as it becomes available.
It appears that Mr. Davis has not been granted a reprieve. He has been executed in accordance with the sentence handed down by a jury of his peers. As of 11:08, this convicted cop killer has been dealt the punishment the American justice system awarded him.
Member’s of the Independent Women’s Forum speak out on the Supreme Court ruling for Wal-Mart.
WASHINGTON, DC – The Supreme Court ruled today on Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes, in a case that considered whether roughly 1.5 million employees of Wal-Mart could file a class action lawsuit claiming discrimination. In a 9 to 0 decision, the Court ruled that the 1.5 million employees could not be considered a class and sue the nation’s larger employer.
Carrie Lukas, managing director:
This is good news for anyone concerned about our economy and joblessness. When companies spend their time defending themselves against lawsuits, they have less money to focus on hiring workers and expanding their businesses.
Discrimination is illegal, and employees who are treated unfairly should have their day in court, but companies also have to have the ability to defend themselves. Lumping together the experiences of 1.5 million employees spread throughout the country in different positions and with different bosses doesn’t advance justice.
Nicole Neily, executive director:
The plaintiff’s case relied on statistically evidence that female employees make less on average than men do, but as we’ve seen with more careful analysis, such statistics tend to be misleading. Many factors drive differences in pay. You can’t just assume that all statistical discrepancies are evidence of discrimination.
Kat Ciano, senior fellow:
While there is no legal limit on the number of plaintiffs that can band together to join a class action suit, the group of women seeking certification as a class in the Wal-Mart litigation number over 1.5 million — a group larger than the combined active duty of the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. This is an enormous group forced together despite major distinctions among its members. To qualify as a class action a group must prove that they are “similarly situated.” Simply being female does make members of this group ‘similar.’ Yet for the Supreme Court to ignore distinctions across education levels, job skills, experience, and position sought at Wal-Mart would fundamentally change the way courts understand classes of people, and open the door for a flood of new, ill-conceived class action suits.
Sabrina Schaeffer, senior fellow:
I applaud the Supreme Court for its decision. It was absurd to think that Wal-Mart systematically discriminated against millions of women, regardless of job description or store location. In the aggregate, women are outperforming men in terms of college-graduation rates, advanced degrees, purchasing power and even, in some cities, earnings. Today’s victory helps underscore the fact that the best explanation for differences in pay between men and women comes down to choices – not discrimination. Perhaps now the feminist left will begin to accept that equality under the law doesn’t necessitate gender parity across all professional arenas.
Anna Rittgers, senior fellow:
With today’s ruling, the Supreme Court has affirmed that all Americans deserve due process, whether male or female, employee or employer. The mere allegation of sex discrimination against an employer is not enough to dispense with federal court rules and procedures for bringing forth class action lawsuits.
Class action lawsuits are only proper if the plaintiff class members’ claims against the defendant are sufficiently alike. The only thing uniting these class members was that they were women who had received a paycheck from Wal-Mart.
Proof of a common, company-wide culture of discrimination against women cannot be found in a few individuals’ anecdotal accounts and statistical discrepancies between men’s and women’s pay. Wal-Mart’s company policies, like every other major corporation in America, explicitly prohibit discrimination and encourage diversity among its employees. It should not be easier to file a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart simply because it has deep pockets.
“…The right to resist arrest are no longer applicable for the twenty-first century or, for that matter, the twentieth century” says Indiana Supreme Court Justice Rucker. Last week, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that when law enforcement unlawfully enters a person’s home, they do not have the right to resist. Within a week, the U.S. Supreme Court also ruled to allow law enforcement the opportunity to enter a person’s home as a reasonable search such as smelling marijuana. With our high courts marring the words unreasonable search and seizure within the Fourth Amendment, it is official that we are guilty until proven innocent and the state can now impose on our freedoms for the sake of keeping us safe.
On May 12, 2011, the Indiana Supreme Court heard Barnes v. Indiana ruling that Richard Barnes assaulted a police officer after the officer entered Barnes’ residence. This case is not about whether the entry was unlawful but whether Mr. Barnes had a right to resist. In November 2007, Officer Reed responded to a “domestic violence” 911 call. When he arrived, Richard Barnes and his wife, Mary, were arguing outside their apartment. When Officer Reed confronted the couple they returned to their apartment. Once the couple entered the apartment, Barnes turned and blocked the door from the officers. Mary told Richard to not do that and let the officers in but she did not invite the officers in herself. To investigate the incident, the officers forced themselves into the apartment. Mr. Barnes then “attacked” the officers, so they subdued and arrested Mr. Barnes. Mr. Barnes was charged with battery on a police officer, resisting law enforcement, disorderly conduct and interference with the reporting of a crime. Whether Mr. Barnes’ actions were justified is not the question, the state’s actions are.
So, the court believes it is unrealistic to expect law enforcement to wait for threats to escalate or for violence to become imminent before intervening, no longer recognizing a person’s right to resist an unlawful entry. As one Justice stated, it is incompatible with “modern” Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. Without preventing the arrest, the level of violence could unnecessarily escalate and risk injuries to all parties.
As Indiana’s Supreme Court was ruling on a person’s right to resist arrest, the U.S. Supreme Court was justifying law enforcement’s reason for entering a person’s home. On May 16, 2011, the US Supreme Court ruled on Kentucky v. King. In Lexington, Kentucky law enforcement was on a drug chase when outside an apartment door, they smelled marijuana. The officers announced their presence and heard “noises coming from the apartment.” So, they kicked in the door under suspicion that evidence was being destroyed. They would find evidence of drugs throughout the apartment. The Supreme Court would overturn previous rulings where “searches and seizures inside a home without a warrant are presumptively unreasonable.” They say the state may overcome the exigencies of the situation’ make the needs of law enforcement so compelling that warrantless search is objectively reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. One of those exigencies is the destruction of evidence.
Does the only dissenting U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Justice Ginsberg, have it right? While law enforcement should not thrust themselves into homes because “a society which chooses to dwell in reasonable security and freedom from surveillance.” This is not a question of whether Hollis King or Richard Barnes was right or wrong in their actions; this is a question of whether we wish to give the state the right to be able to enter our homes for unreasonable searches? After weakening the Fourth Amendment, would these 11 Supreme Court Justices view things differently if the case involved Professor Gates from Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts? Would these Justices vote as the three who resided to protect Professor Gates’ rights or reside over a beer summit? We have now entered into an America to where you are presumed guilty until proven innocent or our privacy imposed for the convenience of warrantless search and seizures.
“When the people fear the government there is tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson
Scolds Justice Colleague on the Issue of Her Participation: “This Needs to be Coordinated…You Should not Say Anything about This before Talking to Me.”
WASHINGTON, May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents suggesting Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan helped coordinate the Obama administration’s legal defense of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) while she served as Solicitor General. Kagan has said she was not involved in Department of Justice (DOJ) preparations for legal challenges to Obamacare. Moreover, the Supreme Court justice did not recuse herself from the High Court decision inApril 2011 not to “fast-track” for Supreme Court review Virginia’s lawsuit challenging Obamacare.
The following are highlights from the documents obtained by Judicial Watch pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on February 24, 2011. (Judicial Watch’s lawsuit has been consolidated with a similar FOIA lawsuit that had been first filed against the DOJ by the Media Research Center. The lawsuits are now both before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The documents referenced in this release were first produced in the Media Research litigation.)
According to a January 8, 2010, email from Neal Katyal, former Deputy Solicitor General (and current Acting Solicitor General) to Brian Hauck, Senior Counsel to Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, Kagan was involved in the strategy to defend Obamacare from the very beginning:
Subject: Re: Health Care Defense:
Brian, Elena would definitely like OSG [Office of Solicitor General] to be involved in this set of issues…we will bring in Elena as needed. [The “set of issues” refers to another email calling for assembling a group to figure out “how to defend against the…health care proposals that are pending.”]
On March 21, 2010, Katyal urged Kagan to attend a health care litigation meeting that was evidently organized by the Obama White House: “This is the first I’ve heard of this. I think you should go, no? I will, regardless, but feel like this is litigation of singular importance.”
In another email exchange that took place on January 8, 2010, Katyal’s Department of Justice colleague Brian Hauck asked Katyal about putting together a group to discuss challenges to Obamacare. “Could you figure out the right person or people for that?” Hauck asked. “Absolutely right on. Let’s crush them,” Katyal responded. “I’ll speak with Elena and designate someone.”
However, following the May 10, 2010, announcement that President Obama would nominate Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, Katyal’s position changed significantly as he began to suggest that Kagan had been “walled off” from Obamacare discussions.
For example, the documents included the following May 17, 2010, exchange between Kagan, Katyal and Tracy Schmaler, a DOJ spokesperson:
Schmaler to Katyal, Subject HCR [Health Care Reform] litigation: “Has Elena been involved in any of that to the extent SG [Solicitor General’s] office was consulted?…
Katyal to Schmaler: “No she has never been involved in any of it. I’ve run it for the office, and have never discussed the issues with her one bit.”
Katyal (forwarded to Kagan): “This is what I told Tracy about Health Care.”
Kagan to Schmaler: “This needs to be coordinated. Tracy you should not say anything about this before talking to me.”
Included among the documents is a Vaughn index, a privilege log which describes records that are being withheld in whole or in part by the Justice Department. The index provides further evidence of Kagan’s involvement in Obamacare-related discussions.
For example, Kagan was included in an email chain (March 17–18, 2010) in which the following subject was discussed: “on what categories of legal arguments may arise and should be prepared in the anticipated lawsuit.” The subject of the email was “Health Care.” Another email chain on March 21, 2010, entitled “Health care litigation meeting,” references an “internal government meeting regarding the expected litigation.” Kagan is both author and recipient in the chain.
The index also references a series of email exchanges on May 17, 2010, between Kagan and Obama White House lawyers and staff regarding Kagan’s “draft answer” to potential questions about recusal during the Supreme Court confirmation process. The White House officials involved include: Susan Davies, Associate White House Counsel; Daniel Meltzer, then-Principal Deputy White House Counsel; Cynthia Hogan, Counsel to the Vice President; and Ronald Klain, then-Chief of Staff for Vice President Biden. The DOJ is refusing to produce this draft answer.
The Vaughn index also describes a March 24, 2010, email exchange between Associate Attorney GeneralBeth Brinkmann and Michael Dreeben, Kagan’s Deputy Solicitor General, with the subject header, “Health Care Challenges:” “…I had a national conference call with the Civil Chiefs. A memo also went out the day before. I am forwarding right after this. Let’s discuss if you have more ideas about what to do.”
As reported by CNS News:
In the questionnaire she filled out for the Senate Judiciary Committee during her confirmation process, Kagan said she would abide by the “letter and spirit” of 28 U.S.C. 455 in deciding whether she felt compelled to recuse herself as a Supreme Court Justice from any case that came before the High Court.
According to the law, a “justice … shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might be reasonably questioned.” It further says any justice “shall also disqualify himself … [w]here he has served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser or material witness concerning the proceedings or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy.”
“Any reasonable person would read these documents and come to the same conclusion: Elena Kaganhelped coordinate the Obama administration’s defense of Obamacare. And as long as the Justice Department continues to withhold key documents, the American people won’t know for sure whether her involvement would warrant her recusal from any Obamacare litigation that comes before the High Court,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.