Tag Archives: Supreme Court

The Irrational, Misguided Discourse Surrounding Supreme Court Controversies Such as Roe v. Wade, by Glenn Greenwald

The Supreme Court is not supposed to wholeheartedly embrace democracy; it is supposed to be a check on it. From Glen Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:

The Court, like the U.S. Constitution, was designed to be a limit on the excesses of democracy. Roe denied, not upheld, the rights of citizens to decide democratically.

Protesters gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court on May 03, 2022, in Washington, DC, after a leaked initial draft majority opinion obtained by Politico, in which Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito allegedly wrote for the Court’s majority that Roe v. Wade should be overturned (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Politico on Monday night published what certainly appears to be a genuine draft decision by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn the Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. Alito’s draft ruling would decide the pending case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which concerns the constitutionality of a 2018 Mississippi law that bans abortions after fifteen weeks of pregnancy except in the case of medical emergency or severe fetal abnormalities. Given existing Supreme Court precedent that abortion can only be restricted after fetal viability, Mississippi’s ban on abortions after the 15th week — at a point when the fetus is not yet deemed viable — is constitutionally dubious. To uphold Mississippi’s law — as six of the nine Justices reportedly wish to do — the Court must either find that the law is consistent with existing abortion precedent, or acknowledge that it conflicts with existing precedent and then overrule that precedent on the ground that it was wrongly decided.

Alito’s draft is written as a majority opinion, suggesting that at least five of the Court’s justices — a majority — voted after oral argument in Dobbs to overrule Roe on the ground that it was “egregiously wrong from the start” and “deeply damaging.” In an extremely rare event for the Court, an unknown person with unknown motives leaked the draft opinion to Politico, which justifiably published it. A subsequent leak to CNN on Monday night claimed that the five justices in favor of overruling Roe were Bush 43 appointee Alito, Bush 41 appointee Clarence Thomas, and three Trump appointees (Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett), while Chief Justice Roberts, appointed by Bush 43, is prepared to uphold the constitutionality of Mississippi’s abortion law without overruling Roe.

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Why Social Issues Dominate, by Jeff Deist

One rule to bind them all, rather than 50 different rules shaped to the population of each particular state. If indeed Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will kick the abortion issue back to the states, where it has always belonged. The thought is anathema to totalitarian liberals (but I repeat myself). From Jeff Deist at mises.org:

Inflation in the US is at forty-year highs, while interest rates on ten-year Treasury notes just hit 3 percent—signaling trouble for home buyers. Truck drivers pay more than $1,000 to fill their rigs with $5 per gallon diesel to deliver your increasingly expensive groceries and Amazon packages. Crime and homelessness skyrocket in large cities, exacerbated by virulent opioids like fentanyl and krokodil. And America’s proxy war with Russia in Ukraine gives rise to the most serious threats of nuclear strikes against the West since the 1960s.

Yet so-called social issues, from abortion to critical race theory to teaching gender identity in elementary schools, dominate our politics and media. Virtually every voter has a strong opinion on these issues, and pays far more attention to them than, say, the M2 money supply or the next Fed Open Market Committee meeting—though the latter could have a far greater impact on that voter’s life and finances.

Why is this so?

The short answer is the Supreme Court.

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The Supreme Court Uses Twisted Logic to Protect US Agents Committing Torture, by James Bovard

For some Americans who still believed they weren’t living in a totalitarian state, this Supreme Court decision may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. From James Bovard at lewrockwell.com:

The Supreme Court declared last week that Americans have no right to learn the grisly details of CIA torture because the CIA has never formally confessed its crimes. The verdict symbolizes how the rule of law has become little more than a form of legal mumbo-jumbo to shroud official crimes. Why should anyone expect justice from a Supreme Court that covers up torture?

In 2002, the CIA captured Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian radical, in Pakistan, mistakenly believing he was a kingpin with al-Qaeda. The CIA tortured him for years in Thailand and Poland. As dissenting Justice Neil Gorsuch noted, the CIA “waterboarded Zubaydah at least 80 times, simulated live burials in coffins for hundreds of hours,” and brutalized him to keep him awake for six days in a row. The CIA has admitted some of the details and Zubaydah’s name was mentioned more than a thousand times in a 683-page Senate report on the CIA torture regime released in 2014.

This case turned on the invocation of a holy bureaucratic relic of dubious origin—state secrets. As the court’s 6–3 ruling, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, noted, “To assert the [state secrets] privilege, the Government must submit to the court a ‘formal claim of privilege, lodged by the head of the department which has control over the matter.’” After a government agency claims the privilege, the court “should exercise its traditional “reluctance to intrude upon the authority of the Executive in military and national security affairs,” Breyer wrote. And the most important role for the Supreme Court nowadays is apparently to sanctify the privileges it has awarded federal agencies that committed crime sprees.

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Supreme Court: Torture at CIA Black Site Is ‘State Secret’, by Marjorie Cohn

If the U.S. government had its way, everything it does would be classified as a state secret. From Marjorie Cohn at consortiumnews.com:

In a scathing dissent, Neil Gorsuch accused the government of seeking dismissal of Abu Zubaydah’s petition to avoid “further embarrassment for past misdeeds.”

Great Hall of the U.S. Supreme Court. (Adam Fagen, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Abu Zubaydah, whom the CIA once mistakenly alleged was a top Al-Qaeda leader, was waterboarded 80-plus times, subjected to assault in the form of forced rectal exams, and exposed to live burials in coffins for hundreds of hours. Zubaydah sobbed, twitched and hyperventilated. During one waterboarding session, he became completely unresponsive, with bubbles coming out of his mouth. “He became so compliant that he would prepare for waterboarding at the snap of a finger,” Neil Gorsuch wrote in his 30-page dissent in United States v. Zubaydah.

On March 3, in a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court dismissed Zubaydah’s petition requesting the testimony of psychologists James Mitchell and John Jessen, whom the CIA hired to orchestrate his torture at a secret CIA prison (“CIA black site”) in Poland from December 2002 until September 2003. Zubaydah was transferred to other CIA black sites before being sent to Guantánamo in 2006, where he remains today with no charges against him.

Abu Zubaydah in pre-2008 photo. (DoD, Wikimedia Commons)

Zubaydah sought information: (1) to confirm that the CIA black site in question was located in Poland; (2) about his torture there; and (3) about the involvement of Polish officials. First the Trump administration — now the Biden administration — claim that confirming the location of the CIA black site in Poland is a “state secret” that would significantly harm U.S. national security interests. Zubaydah needs Mitchell and Jessen’s testimony to document his treatment from December 2002 to 2003 at the CIA black site in Poland for use in the ongoing Polish criminal investigation of Poles complicit in his torture. Those details have not been publicly documented.

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National Concealed Carry? It Might Be Sooner Than You Think, by BKROP

The current Supreme Court is the most sympathetic the right to bear arms in decades. From BKROP at themachinegunnest.com:

If you’re unaware of the most recent 2nd amendment case in the Supreme Court, let me give you a quick refresher. NYSRPA v. Bruen deals with the “may-issue” scheme plaguing liberal states. Essentially, the government decides whether you can carry a firearm based on specific criteria or an atypical need from the general population. Suspiciously missing from this criterion is “self-defense.”

Maryland has a scheme very similar to New York’s. The Machine Gun Nest is a Maryland-based company, and I grew up in Maryland. I recently received my concealed carry permit from Maryland State Police after submitting to an intensive background check which required me to prove (with tax forms, bank account statements, and more) that I was indeed a business owner. If I had merely said that I was a humble tax-paying, law-abiding citizen who was concerned about their safety on my evening walks through Baltimore city, I would have denied that permit.

See the issue here?

Well, so does the Supreme Court.

Oral Arguments for NYSRPA v. Bruen took place on Nov. 3rd, and afterward, it seemed like the majority of Justices were staunchly on the 2nd amendment side. We’ll have to wait until summer 2022 to get the verdict, but it appears that the state of New York has seen the future and has already started crafting legislation to render a concealed carry permit useless.

New York Bill A08684 is an apparent reaction to the almost certainty that the Supreme Court will rule New York’s permitting scheme as unconstitutional. The bill itself states that no firearms can be possessed anywhere on “public” transportation (including rideshares, trains, and taxis), in restaurants, or anywhere where 15 or more people are gathered.

While this bill may be depressing to read for the New Yorkers who are desperate for the ability to defend themselves, the evidence is clear that even the government of New York seems to be confident that they’re going to lose NYSRPA v. Bruen.

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Biden Reminds Everyone That Black Justices Can Be Just As Smart As Rich Ones

From The Babylon Bee:

WASHINGTON, D.C.—As Biden prepares to nominate a woman of color to the Supreme Court, he took the time to remind the country that black Justices can be just as smart as rich ones.

“Listen, folks, black Justices can be just as smart, articulate, and clean as the rich ones,” said Biden to reporters. “Just because they mostly stock the spaghetti sauce on the shelves in the ladies department of the department store and hang out with bad dudes like Corn Pop doesn’t mean they can’t be judges too! Come on folks! This ain’t complicated! If I haven’t nominated you for SCOTUS, then you ain’t black!”

Biden went on to say that he will choose a SCOTUS Justice based on qualifications, as long as those qualifications belong to someone with very dark skin and a female body.

“Mixed race judges don’t qualify,” said Biden, insisting they “aren’t black enough.”

It is so far unclear whether Biden will also nominate black men who identify as women, or whether he knows what a SCOTUS Justice is or even where he is right now.

“I’m proud to be the first President in history to get one of them blacks on the Supreme Court,” said Biden. “Clarance Thomas doesn’t count. He’s a bit too uppity for my taste.”

Biden then saluted his framed portrait of Robert Byrd and took a nap.

https://babylonbee.com/news/biden-reminds-aids-black-justices-can-be-just-as-smart-as-rich-ones

Study Finds Supreme Court Has Now Shared More COVID Misinformation Than Your Crazy Facebook Aunt

From The Babylon Bee:

U.S.—A landmark study conducted by Columbia University has found that The U.S. Supreme Court has now spread more COVID misinformation than your crazy aunt who shares conspiracy theories on Facebook.

“This is very startling,” said Dr. Holson Bogtruggles, who conducted the study. “Because your Facebook Aunt is insane. Facebook has an entire department dedicated to monitoring the sheer volume of misinformation she shares, and the Supreme Court topped her in one day.”

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor dismissed the study, saying: “With more than 32 trillion people and 12 billion malfunctioning toaster ovens dying of COVID every three seconds, I think we have more important things to worry about here.”

Social media platforms have warned users against sharing any quotes from the oral arguments on Biden’s vaccine mandate this week, warning that such posts will be deleted, and possibly cause for suspension. “One cannot overstate how dangerous these deranged conspiracy theorists on the Supreme Court are,” said Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. “I hope they’re not, like, in charge of interpreting the law of the land or anything.”

https://babylonbee.com/news/study-finds-supreme-court-has-now-shared-more-covid-misinformation-than-your-crazy-facebook-aunt

This Coming Friday . . ., by Eric Peters

This Friday the Supreme Court hears arguments on the Biden administration’s vaccination mandates. Either way the decision goes the consequences will be enormous. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

This coming Friday could be the tipping point – and either way will be a good way.

The nine people who – somehow – have acquired the absolute and arbitrary power to impose their will on 330-plus million people will decide whether the federal government has the constitutional power to apply force to those 330-plus million, in order to compel them all to submit to medical procedures many of them object strongly to being forced to submit to.

This is plain language – as opposed to the opaque language used by government to mask the true nature of itself and its actions.

“Government” – itself – being an example of this.

It sounds vaguely benign. It is force – lethal force, when carried to its inevitable conclusion. If you do not obey government – which isn’t an entity, by the way but rather just a relative handful of people who have acquired the power to force you to do things – you will be punished. Probably – initially – expected to hand over money as a corrective.

This being extortion. If you fail to hand over the extortion money, ultimately, you will be “arrested” – another one of those words – which in fact means you’ll be kidnapped by force and taken into custody. Which is to say, caged – no differently than if you’d been kidnapped by a serial killer. If you attempt to “resist” – that is, to defend yourself, to get away – the government (those people) will then resort to the ultimate violence.

Maybe well before then, as happens commonly.          

Well, these nine people who wear the black garb of executioners are about to decide whether that other group of people – the “government” – can “constitutionally” force all of the people to submit to medical procedures – plural, mark that –  they oppose submitting to, by using the force of government to force employers to un-employ any employees who “resist” – i.e., continue to refuse to submit.

Of course, the government already has the power to do this. The angels-dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin question to be “ruled” upon (another one of those words) by the nine people – which is actually just a majority of the nine, so only five of the nine will rule as regards the use of force against 330-plus million people – is whether the use of this force is “constitutional.”

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Tick, Tick, Tick…: The Supreme Court Readies an Explosive Docket for 2022, by Jonathan Turley

The Supreme Court has a big docket this year, starting with the Biden administration’s mandates. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:

Below is my column in the Hill on upcoming year for the Supreme Court. The Court’s docket is likely to put the institution at ground zero of a heated election year. Major decisions on abortion and gun rights are expected by June 2022. Even with Chief Justice John Roberts denouncing attempts at “inappropriate political influence” on the Court, the threats of Court packing and other measures are likely to become even more shrill as these decisions rollout in the new year.

Here is the column:

The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once observed that “it’s hard not to have a big year at the Supreme Court.” However, there are some years that are bigger than others. That’s what 2022 is likely to be.

The court has accepted a series of transformative cases with few available exit ramps. It recently added to that list.

In other words, it is likely to issue historic rulings on abortion, gun rights and an assortment of other issues.

The fact that the Supreme Court is going to hand down such decisions in a major election year is also noteworthy. The court tends to be more conservative in the selection of cases before major elections, but 2022 will put the court at ground zero in one of the most heated elections in history.

For those calling to pack the court to ensure a liberal majority, the already furious commentary is likely to reach near hysteria if the conservative majority rules as expected in some of these cases in the first half of 2022.

Here’s just a partial list of what is coming in the new year:

Abortion

The country is awaiting a decision by June in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. At issue is whether Mississippi can impose a 15-week limit on abortions. That is earlier than previously allowed by the court, but the United States is one of only seven among the world’s 198 countries to allow abortions after 20 weeks. While the court could simply overturn Roe v. Wade and return the area to the states, it is more likely that the court will increase the authority of the states while recognizing constitutional protections for such reproductive rights. That could result in a major reframing of “previability” cases.

After Dobbs was accepted, advocates sought to enjoin a Texas law that banned abortion after just six weeks. The court ruled 5-4 to allow the Texas law to be enforced. The Biden administration and other litigants then forced a reconsideration of that decision. The court — as expected — allowed the appeal to go forward for some of the litigants in the lower court but again refused to enjoin the law. To make matters worse, it declared the Biden administration’s appeal to be “improvidently granted.”

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The Two COVID Questions Before the Court, by Rob Jenkins

Logically and legally (they’re not the same thing) the case against the Biden administration mandates should win at the Supreme Court. However, you could have said the same thing concerning the case against Obamacare, and we know how that went. From Rob Jenkins at americanthinker.com:

The Supreme Court has agreed to take up two vaccine mandate cases — the one involving OSHA and the one for health care workers (CMS).

A third mandate, aimed at federal contractors, remains in a kind of legal limbo. The temporary injunction granted by a Georgia judge was recently upheld by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Whether that decision will also be appealed to SCOTUS, and if so whether they will agree to hear it, remain to be seen.

However, according to Jenin Younes, an attorney with the New Civil Liberties Alliance and charter member of Team Reality, “It is likely that whatever decision [the court] makes about [the first two] mandates will affect the contractor one as well, since the principles are similar.”

So the importance of the upcoming arguments against the OSHA and CMS mandates cannot be overstated. They will almost certainly be for all the marbles.

Far be it from me to tell lawyers things they already know, much less what they ought to say or do. But you’ll have to forgive me if, after the ObamaCare and Obergefell fiascos, I’m not exactly brimming with confidence in our side’s ability to make winning arguments before the nation’s highest court.

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