Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Congress is now in recess until February 22

If President Obama wants to bypass the Senate approval process for getting a new Supreme Court judge approved, at least for the rest of his term, he has the opportunity right now.

Both bodies of have adjourned until later this month for the President’s Day recess. The Senate last met on Thursday. When doing so, it approved a “conditional adjournment resolution” for the Senate not to meet again until Monday, Feb. 22. The House met on Friday and at the close of business adopted the same adjournment resolution to get in sync with the Senate. The House is out until Tuesday, Feb. 23.

So, the House and Senate will not be meeting in the coming days. This is an adjournment and is not challengeable in court the way the NLRB recess appointments were because both bodies have agreed with each other to adjourn. This is a true recess and an opportunity for the president should he elect to take it — considering the political realities of the Senate and the position of its majority leader to potentially make a recess appointment.

In other words, unless the Senate, led by Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) decides to end its recess early, Obama has until February 22 to make an appointment to the Supreme Court that will be in effect through the end of his term.

The article assumes that once this recess ends in February, the Senate will not give Obama another chance. Based on Mitch McConnell’s past history however, I would not be so confident.

The future roadmap of religious persecution in America

The article describes the inevitable legal consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage. Some key quotes:

The first attacks will be on small churches that don’t have the wherewithal to mount a legal defense against the IRS and against civil lawsuits. They will be confronted with a loss of their tax exempt status and the personal bankruptcy of their corporate officers if they do not allow homosexual weddings. The effect this will have on small congregations will be profound. Some will become “house churches”, much like what you see in Communist China. Many, however, will fall in line. The larger Protestant denominations will toe the line. Some, like the Episcopalians, are only nominally Christian as is. The Lutherans (ELCA variety) have had actively homosexual clergy for some time as have the Methodists. The two big targets for the government will be the Southern Baptist Convention — which is a voluntary association of independent churches — and the Roman Catholic Church. The pressure will ratchet up on them until they are confronted with confiscation of property or “discovering” hidden meanings in Scripture that reveal homosexual marriage has always been allowed.

Churches won’t disappear but the churches that you will see on Main Street will be peddling a warmed over and watered down version of Christianity that is a combination soup kitchen and twelve step program sans belief in a higher power. Real Christian churches will go underground but it will be a rearguard action. Christianity that chooses to ignore the very Word of God is not a religion, it is a cultural artifact.

The real price will be paid by those of us who are not actually employed by our churches. Organizing to resist homosexual marriage will bring down the FBI upon you as surely as if you were organizing a KKK chapter and with more alacrity than if you were an al Qaeda cell or blocking a polling station in Philadelphia. If you work for a large corporation or are in the military you can look forward to having your affirmatively support of homosexual marriage becoming an item on your performance appraisal. [emphasis mine]

And then there’s this:

Rather consistently local judges and others have said that religious liberty does not prevail for individuals who own businesses or engage in commerce. In effect, you can have religious liberty, so long as you don’t own a business. Here too there are legal nuances, but the fundamental trajectory is clear: Anyone who opposes the celebration of same-sex unions and lifestyle are going to be increasingly entangled in the courts and face more and more charges. [emphasis mine]

Read it all. If you don’t believe it will happen you are living in a fool’s paradise. Either Americans stand up now and defy the tyrannical strain that is beginning to dominate our society, or we will find all of our remaining but shrinking freedoms gone.

Cruz proposes requiring judges to face voters periodically

In response to this week’s decisions by the Supreme Court, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today proposed several laws and constitutional amendments, one of which would require judges to face the voters periodically and be removed if rejected.

Cruz’s analysis here is interesting in that he recognizes the right of Congress to impeach and remove judges, but also recognizes that this Congress, under this Republican leadership, just won’t do it. As he notes,

A Senate that cannot muster 51 votes to block an attorney-general nominee openly committed to continue an unprecedented course of executive-branch lawlessness can hardly be expected to muster the 67 votes needed to impeach an Anthony Kennedy.

He also correctly notes that if something isn’t done, the movement to amendment the Constitution using Article V convention of the states will likely gain momentum, something that we all know carries its own risks, including changing the Constitution in ways that are not beneficial.

The foolish petty Republican response to the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court rules that it has the right to ignore the actual words written in a law so it can provide support to a particular political position. The Republican response? Let’s force the judges to enroll in Obamacare!

The Supreme Court rules that the will of the electorate, which has rejected same-sex marriage in more than thirty elections, should be ignored because it wishes to support a particular political position. The Republican response? So far, a lot of bluster and toothless proposals.

What should they do to answer both rulings? They control Congress. The Constitution gives them the right and the power to impeach and remove judges. It is time for them to show they really oppose these decisions and move to fire the justices who ruled on these two cases.

Any other action will show us that they really do not have the courage to defend the will of the electorate.

I should add that I really do not expect the Republicans in Congress to do what I suggest. They are cowards, and have repeatedly shown that they will not stand up to leftwing attacks. They will fold here as well.

“Words no longer have meaning.”

Working for the Democratic Party: The Supreme Court today upheld the Obama administration’s decision to award subsidies under Obamacare to individuals in states lacking a health exchange, even though the law expressly excludes such subsidies.

Justice Antonin Scalia summed up the situation quite nicely in his dissent:

“The court holds that when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says ‘Exchange established by the State’ it means ‘Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government,’ Scalia wrote. “That is of course quite absurd, and the court’s 21 pages of explanation make it no less so.”

He also complained that, “Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.’ … Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.”

Once again Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the liberal side, indicating again that he is willing to “evolve” to the left, as it seems so many Republican appointees have done in the past.

In the end, the ruling only leaves us where we were before, which means, to get rid of Obamacare, we as citizens are going to have to elect more legislators willing to repeal it, and then get it repealed. Doing that will also help heal the court, which today is very clearly willing to ignore the law to prop up the political positions of the Democratic Party.

Supreme Court rules government cannot confisicate farmer crops

The Supreme Court ruled 8-1 today that a 66 year old program that allowed the federal government to confiscate the crops of farmers in order to manage the supply and demand was unconstitutional.

Writing for the court, Chief Justice John Roberts said the government must pay “just compensation” when it takes personal goods just as when it takes land away. He rejected the government’s argument that the Hornes voluntarily chose to participate in the raisin market and have the option of selling different crops if they don’t like it. “‘Let them sell wine’ is probably not much more comforting to the raisin growers than similar retorts have been to others throughout history,” Roberts said. “Property rights cannot be so easily manipulated.”

The Constitution on property rights is very clear. The government has to pay for any property it takes. That it required a Supreme Court decision to enforce this plain language should distress us all.

Supreme Court rejects Obama’s contraceptive mandate again

The law is such an inconvenient thing: The Supreme Court has thrown out another lower court decision that had favored the Obama administrations’ Obamacare contraceptive mandate imposed on Catholic businesses.

What is telling about this is that the Obama administration keeps fighting these cases, even though it is very clear from all its rulings that the Supreme Court has rejected the mandate as hostile to religious freedom. What they should do is sue the court for dismissal and stop trying to impose the mandate in all cases. But they don’t. This is not only a waste of resources, it indicates that Obama and his administration really don’t wish to follow the court rulings, and instead want to impose their will regardless. By fighting this case by case, they are hoping to wear down the religious.

In essence, the Obama administration is thus reveals itself hostile to the law itself.

Supreme Court rejects abortion clinic free speech buffer zone.

In another victory against government overreach, the Supreme Court today ruled that a buffer zone protecting abortion clincs from protests violates the first amendment.

While the court was unanimous in the outcome, Roberts joined with the four liberal justices to strike down the buffer zone on narrow grounds. In a separate opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia criticized Roberts’ opinion for carrying forward “this court’s practice of giving abortion-rights advocates a pass when it comes to suppressing the free-speech rights of their opponents.”

I am once again gratified that the entire court recognized the unconstitutionality of this buffer zone. However, Scalia is right. That a majority of the court rejected the buffer on narrow grounds is unfortunate.

Supreme Court rejects Obama’s recess appointments

The law is such an inconvenient thing: In a 9-0 ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that Barack Obama’s fake recess appointments were unconstitutional.

Two and one-half years ago in 2012, Obama tried to slip-in appointments to the National Labor Relations Board without the constitutionally required Senate approval, claiming he had the right to do so because the Senate was in recess. There’s only one problem. The Senate was not in formal recess when Obama made the dictatorial appointments.

Now the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in a unanimous 9-0 decision that Obama doesn’t get to define when the U.S. Senate is in recess, the Senate does.

I am gratified that all the Democratic appointees to the court ruled against Obama, refusing to allow their partisan tendencies to overrule the plain language of the Constitution. More information about the ruling and its history here.

The Supreme Court has decided to rule on the Obamacare contraceptive mandate.

The Supreme Court has decided to rule on the Obamacare contraceptive mandate.

Remember, Obamacare does not have what lawyers call a severability clause. If they rule any part of the law unconstitutional, without this clause they are required to rule the entire law unconstitutional.

Of course, these rules existed when we followed rules. Nowadays, who knows?

“It’s all up to the voters now.”

“It’s all up to the voters now.”

It always has been up to the voters. Sadly, my baby-boom generation has too often turned to the courts to absolve themselves from responsibility for making tough decisions as voters. With Obamacare, that is no longer possible. If the public wants to get rid of this turkey of a law, which every poll says they do, the public had better come out to the polls in November and vote for candidates who are in favor of its repeal.

“They evidently spent two years putting their fingers in their ears and singing, ‘La la la, I’m not listening’ whenever the conservative argument was being advanced.”

“They evidently spent two years putting their fingers in their ears and singing, ‘La la la, I’m not listening’ whenever the conservative argument was being advanced.”

“a train wreck for the Obama administration.”

“A train wreck for the Obama administration.”

Trying to determine what the Supreme Court will rule on any issue by analyzing the questions they ask beforehand has generally been a poor predictor of their final decision. Sadly, we really won’t know what the Supreme Court will do until they do it.

Moreover, from my perspective it would be far better for Congress to repeal the law rather than have the court rule it unconstitutional. In the former it will be done by legislative action, backed by the voters. In the latter it would be the decision of nine unelected individuals, essentially expressing their personal opinions. In a true democracy the former is definitely preferred.

The Supreme Court today ruled unanimously in favor of the landowners whose property was essentially stolen by the EPA because the agency had declared it contained a wetland.

A small victory against the EPA: The Supreme Court today ruled unanimously in favor of the landowners whose property was essentially stolen by the EPA because the agency had unilaterally declared it contained a wetland.

The Supreme Court has refused to block a court suit against the San Francisco cops who entered a home and killed a resident without a warrant

Good: The Supreme Court has refused to block a court suit against the San Francisco cops who entered a home without a warrant and ended up killing one of its residents.

If the police invade a home without a warrant they are no different than thieves. Get a warrant, however, and everything changes.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the challenge to Obamacare during this term

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to Obamacare during this term, with an expected decision to occur prior to next year’s elections.

No matter how the court rules, the timing here is not good for Obama and the Democrat Party. If the court kills the law, it will illustrate how misguided it was. If they uphold it, it will only fire up the voter base that wants it repealed to vote against the party that passed and still supports the law. And that voter base has consistently been made up of large majorities of the population, based on every poll taken since the law was first proposed.

EPA arbitrarily declares a couple’s property a wetland

We’re here to help you: The EPA arbitrarily declared a couple’s property a wetland and then threatened them with heavy fines if they didn’t restore the property to its pristine state.

The plot is not connected either to the lake or a nearby creek, though Mike Sackett, 45, says part of the land got “wet” at times in the spring. “We sued because we wanted our day in court to say, ‘This is not a wetland,’ ” he says.

The Sackett’s case is now before the Supreme Court.