Archive for the ‘Supreme Court’ Tag

Letter to Senator Mitch McConnell and Senator Chuck Grassley   Leave a comment


I sent the following letter to Senator Mitch McConnell and to Senator Chuck Grassley this morning about their baffling refusal to do their jobs.



“Dear Senator McConnell,

As a citizen of the United States I am writing to ask you to change your mind and consider the appointment of Justice Merrick Garland to the seat on the Supreme Court that was vacated by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia in February of 2016.  For the last four months America has had to endure a diminished judicial branch, which is one third of the government that our founding fathers created for us..  The President made an appointment about a month after the passing of Justice Scalia and at that point it became the job of the Senate to consider Justice Garland and determine if he was worthy of being on the court.  Apparently, the Senate has just refused to do its job, perhaps because it finds more value in serving the Republican party that it does to serve the United States Of America.  How else could you describe a Senator that blatantly refuses to follow the Constitution?
I expect this request will fall on deaf ears since the Senator seems to not care, but on the small chance that you really do hold the idea of The United States Of America as a dear and valuable thing, I implore you to hold hearings for Justice Garland as soon as possible.  America needs all three branches of government to work well to operate at peak capacity.  By willfully crippling the Supreme Court and bottling up Congress, all of the power currently rests in the executive branch, which our founding fathers warned us against.
What is to gain from not holding hearings for Justice Garland?  When Hillary Clinton is elected President she may choose Justice Garland again, or choose someone who is closer to the political left.  If Mr Trump is elected he will choose Judge Judy or some other reality TV star.  The same sort of thinking that refuses to consider Justice Garland is what has made Mr Trump the Republican nominee, and by doing so, has insured that no Republican will ever rise through the ranks again and become the nominee.  The candidate for President from the Republican party from now on will be someone with a famous name and a big bankroll.  I’m not sure why you have chosen to do that to the Republicans, but you obviously have.
Soon it will be the Fourth of July and many of us will celebrate this wonderful country we were so fortunate to be born into.  If the Senator still refuses to do his job, I would respectfully ask you to refrain from any celebration of the birth of our country.  If you are actively working against the Constitution of the United States Of America, and you say you love our country, your words will be hollow and meaningless and Americans need a lot more from our Senators than that.

Thank you for considering my opinion,




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The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments Tuesday in an important case about the validity of an Ohio state law banning false statements about political candidates in campaigns.

The challenge was brought by the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, which wants to invalidate the Ohio law. In 2010, it sought to put up a billboard claiming Rep. Steve Driehaus (D) supported taxpayer funding of abortion. The advertising company, under pressure from Driehaus who appealed to the Ohio Elections Commission to block the billboard under the statute, refused to put it up. (Driehaus lost reelection anyway.)

A lower court found that the SBA List lacked standing to sue. The 6th Circuit and 8th Circuit courts of appeals have issued split rulings on whether state laws banning false statements are permissible under the First Amendment.

There’s a real chance the Supreme Court won’t weigh in on the merits of this case. If the justices conclude that the SBA List has standing, they’re expected to send it back to the lower courts to consider the merits first.

“I don’t expect the Court to reach the merits,” said election law expert Rick Hasen, a professor at UC Irvine. “I expect them to find that Susan B. Anthony has faced enough harm that it is entitled to have its claim adjudicated first in the lower courts.”

Supreme Court To Hear Case Challenging Ban On Campaign Lies

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Bill Maher “Of course, the other big news this week, good news for the people who need it the most, our downtrodden millionaires and billionaires.  You know, the tough thing about being rich in America folks, is that you may have money and yachts, and gold toilet handles, but what you don’t really have is a voice.  Nobody listens to you.  It’s like you don’t exist.  It’s like you’re homeless except you have many large homes.  Well, luckily we have a Supreme Court that is giving voice to our millionaires and billionaires.  This week they struck down the aggregate limits they have on individuals giving to candidates and parties.  You know, you used to be only able to buy your Congressman, now you can buy your Congressman, and everybody else’s too.  Donald Trump can drive a pickup truck to the Capital steps and say who speaks English, I need eight of you, hop in.  No, those five Jurassic bleepholes that make the conservative wing, they all voted together and Clarence Thomas, always worse than any of them, Clarence Thomas says he wants no campaign finance rules at all.  Clarence Thomas, I always say to myself how can a guy that never talks always makes me want to go oh shut up.”


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Yesterday, United States District Judge Robert Shelby not only ruled that a Utah law banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, he used his ruling to troll Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.


Judge Shelby, in his ruling, agreed with Justice Scalia that the Supreme Court’s federal ruling on DOMA would “inevitabl[y]” be applied to state laws banning same-sex marriage, and declared that he had no choice but to strike down Utah’s law.

“Justice Scalia,” Shelby wrote, “recommended how this court should interpret the [DOMA] decision when presented with the question that is now before it.”

Throughout his ruling, he used Scalia’s dissenting words to make his case. “As Justice Scalia has noted,” he wrote, “‘preserving the institution of marriage’ is just a kinder way of describing the State’s moral disapproval of same-sex couples.” Shelby then argued that while “‘[p]rivate biases may be outside the reach of the law…the law cannot, directly or indirectly, give them effect’ at the expense of a disfavored group’s constitutional rights.”

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Bill Maher “New Rule:When you promise the American people that something won’t happen if you change the law, and they you change the law and it does happen, you have to eat a little bleep for it. Oh, I’m not talking about him (shows picture of President Obama), I’m talking about him (shows picture of Chief Justice John Roberts). Twice now, in three years, first with the Citizens United ruling, then with gutting the voting rights act, Chief Justice John Roberts and the conservatives on the Supreme Court changed the law, and promised no bad would come of it, and bad came of it almost immediately. John Roberts is kind of the legal equivalent of the guy in The Hurt Locker, except in his case he always cuts the wrong wire and everything always blows up.

Now, back in June, before they took their summer break, the Supreme Court dropped a big one. They gutted the 1965 voting rights act, which is the law that forced certain states, let’s just say the ones where you might find a Piggly Wiggly, forced those states to get permission from the Justice Department before they made any changes in their voting laws. Why? Well, because in the past these states had been naughty, and had prevented minorities from voting with little tricks like poll taxes and literacy tests. But, the conservatives on the court, all excited from being born yesterday, said racism had been cured, and that laws against voter suppression were unnecessary, relics of a bygone era like cassette tapes or moderate Republicans. They said that other than shopping at Barney’s there was no evidence anymore that black people needed special protection. Come on, it’s 2013, they’re dating Kardashians now.

During arguments for the case Justice Roberts actually asked, with a straight face and a cocked head, ‘Is it the government’s submission that the citizens of the South are more racist than the citizens of the North?’ (Feb 27, 2013). Well, for example, in the last election, 66% of whites in Vermont voted for our black President, 10% of whites in Mississippi did, so maybe a tad. And the South, after all, was responsible for enslaving black people, and Jim Crow, and the KKK, and lynchings…I’m going to go with yes.

So, what happened after the court changed the law? Within 48 hours Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Carolina, Virginia all moved to make it harder for minorities to vote. The court was proved thunderously wrong in less time than it takes Miley Cyrus to get dressed. Same thing happened with the Citizens United ruling. President Obama said in his 2010 State Of The Union speech that the Supreme Court had quote opened the floodgates for special interests to spend without limits in our elections. And, Justice Alito famously was shown mouthing the words not true. Turns out (Mahr mouths the word true). Of course, left to their own devices the filthy rich, I’m sorry I mean America’s job creators. It turned out that they did indeed sway elections with billions from God knows where. Creepy billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife…they alone spent 150 million dollars in 2012. Money he mainly got from owning a casino in China, just as the founders envisioned. And yet, Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority from his tower in Whoville, said ‘independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.’ (January 21, 2010). Which is true, except for always.

John McCain called that naive, which of course it is, and it highlights a very real problem with today’s conservatives. They are just too sentimental about how wonderful America is. Racism, that’s over. Monied interests, they couldn’t corrupt us if they tried. Conservatives act like they’re tough as nails realists, but they cry at fireworks. And, they get a warm morning in America feeling thinking about lighthouses and farmers and the smell of pie. And, they just can’t believe that Americans, God’s chosen and wonderful people, maybe you’ve heard, we’re exceptional, would ever do anything as corrupt as, Yea we would! Twice in the last three years the court believed in us and twice Americans basically said what John Belushi said in Animal House, you bleeped up, you shouldn’t have trusted us.”

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John Oliver (talking about the Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage) “Yesterday, more than a dozen members of the Republican study committee got together in front of less than a dozen members of the press to share their feelings.”

Rep Joseph Pitts (R-PA) “The Supreme Court wants to dictate to the American people what elected legislators can do regarding Federal law.”

Rep Michele Bachmann (R-MN) “And now we have an effective oligarchy of five who decide what are the most fundamental issues of our day.”

Rep Steve Scalise (R-LA) “It’s a sad day when unelected judges could change the definition of marriage, and turn their backs on the will of voters.”

Oliver “Yea, but here’s the thing about that.  If we did everything American voters wanted, we would long ago have replaced our clean water supply with Mountain Dew and Red Bull.  The whole point of the Supreme Court is to keep us in check.  Sometimes, we as a nation, make bad decisions, and the court has to come in and say, sorry buddy, give us your keys.  You’re really going to regret segregating schools tomorrow morning.  There is a reason that Lady Justice is blindfolded holding scales, and not giving a wink and a thumbs up.  That is the point of the Supreme Court.”

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Chief Justice John Roberts’ surprise swing vote to uphold President Obama’s health care law left more than a few conservatives scratching their heads. Some scratched especially hard. Some just let their heads explode. Here are the best right-wing freak outs to Roberts’ decision.

On his radio show Thursday, conservative talk radio firebrand Michael Savage wondered whether Roberts’ epilepsy medication affected the chief justice’s cognition. “I’m going to tell you something that you’re not going to hear anywhere else, that you must pay attention to,” Savage said. “It’s well known that Roberts, unfortunately for him, has suffered from epileptic seizures. Therefore he has been on medication. Therefore neurologists will tell you that medication used for seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, can introduce mental slowing, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems. And if you look at Roberts’ writings you can see the cognitive dissociation in what he is saying,”

In a closed door meeting with House Republicans, Rep. Mike Pence likened the health care ruling to Sept. 11, Politico reported.

Saying the Supreme Court decision “destroys Bush’s legacy,” dimmed conservative star Glenn Beck put his rhetoric where his online store is. He is selling screen-printed Roberts “coward” t-shirts for $30 a pop.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told Salon that Roberts made clear he believes Obama is a liar and he’s sorry the chief justice has become so cynical. “It’s a sad day for America,” he said.

Conservative shock jock Bryan Fischer followed suit: Roberts “is going down in history as the justice that shredded the Constitution and turned it into a worthless piece of parchment,” he told BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray. Roberts acted “more like a demolitions expert” than an “umpire,” he added.

Conservative radio host Mark Levin said he doesn’t think much of the “five lawyers in robes” who ruled for “Obamacare.” The court’s majority held the American people in contempt on Thursday, he said, calling the court’s decision “absolutely lawless.”

“Roberts’ activism is now firmly evident,” he added.

Posted June 30, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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Now, if you’re one of the 30 million Americans who don’t yet have health insurance, starting in 2014 this law will offer you an array of quality, affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from.  Each state will take the lead in designing their own menu of options, and if states can come up with even better ways of covering more people at the same quality and cost, this law allows them to do that, too.  And I’ve asked Congress to help speed up that process, and give states this flexibility in year one.

Once states set up these health insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges, insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against any American with a preexisting health condition.  They won’t be able to charge you more just because you’re a woman.  They won’t be able to bill you into bankruptcy. If you’re sick, you’ll finally have the same chance to get quality, affordable health care as everyone else.  And if you can’t afford the premiums, you’ll receive a credit that helps pay for it.

Today, the Supreme Court also upheld the principle that people who can afford health insurance should take the responsibility to buy health insurance.  This is important for two reasons.

First, when uninsured people who can afford coverage get sick, and show up at the emergency room for care, the rest of us end up paying for their care in the form of higher premiums.

And second, if you ask insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions, but don’t require people who can afford it to buy their own insurance, some folks might wait until they’re sick to buy the care they need — which would also drive up everybody else’s premiums.

That’s why, even though I knew it wouldn’t be politically popular, and resisted the idea when I ran for this office, we ultimately included a provision in the Affordable Care Act that people who can afford to buy health insurance should take the responsibility to do so.  In fact, this idea has enjoyed support from members of both parties, including the current Republican nominee for President.

Posted June 29, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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Stewart  “Let’s begin tonight with this mornings news out of the Supreme Court, a decision regarding Arizona’s landmark immigration law sb1070.  You’ll recall, the law required Arizona police to ask anyone they stop, who they then suspect of being undocumented, for their immigration papers.  The caveat being as long as some of the time they pretend they thought the person was an illegal Canadian.  The Obama administration challenged the law.  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer maintained it was Constitutional.  Let’s see who won.”

Fox reporter “It’s a victory for the Obama administration.”

Pete Williams, NBC “I think this is a victory for Arizona.”

Reporter MSNBC “Victory for Jan Brewer”

Stewart “A victory for Obama, Arizona, and Governor Brewer.  A win-win-win.  Who lost here?”

News show “Defeat for Obama.”

Another news show “This was a huge blow for Arizona.”

Fox reporter “A profound defeat for Governor Brewer.”

Stewart “Are you messing with me?  Defeat for the President, Arizona and Governor Brewer.  As always news networks, your analysis is spot on dead wrong.”—losers