Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer: The Couple Behind the DOMA Challenge

I’m only posting one video this Friday and I hope you will watch it.

It’s the story of Edie Windsor and her late spouse,  Thea Spyer, and why Edie is suing to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.

It’s both inspiring and educational and very personal….

It shows that this isn’t just a political issue, but a very personal issue of equality and fairness…

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Before The Supreme Court Considers Gay Marriage, An American Change Of Heart

It’s going to be a big week in the news for Gay Marriage as the Supreme Court begins to hear arguments on the issue.

Let’s just hope they realize how far public opinion in favor of Gay Marriage has come and how fast…

Not that public opinion should matter when discussing Civil Rights, but anything that might sway the conservative majority on the Court helps….

It’s time all Americans have equal rights to love and happiness- not to mention financial security…..

Marriage is not a religious institution, but rather a legal right to protect all families equally….

I just hope at least 5 members of the Court realize it….

From the Huffington Post:

In just the last decade, millions of Americans, from former Vice President Dick Cheney to President Barack Obama, have changed their positions on the rights of gay people. On same-sex marriage in particular, there’s been a shift of opinion so dramatic that it leaves political historians grasping for comparisons. As the Supreme Court prepares to hear two historic cases that could shape the future of same-sex marriage in America, some activists privately worry that the country and its highest court still aren’t ready. They point to the millions of Americans who would still deny gays the right to the marry, the 32 states where same-sex marriage is still banned, and the fear of a backlash like the one that followed Roe v. Wade and froze progress in the pro-choice movement for decades.

But others say the time is right. In 2004, just 30 percent of Americans told pollsters that they supported legalizing same sex marriage. Less than a decade later, as one recent poll showed, that percentage has climbed to nearly 60. For the first time in history, the majority of Americans support gay rights

via Before The Supreme Court Considers Gay Marriage, An American Change Of Heart.

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Why Did Roberts Provide the Key Vote to Preserve “Obamacare”?

An interesting hypothesis from Ezekiel Emanuel and Theodore Ruger in today’s New York Times:

 

Obviously there are other considerations that may have motivated the ruling from Chief Justice Roberts, like not wanting his court to be tarred with another very controversial, politicized decision, but we should not overlook the role his health might have played.

Chief Justice Roberts has a pre-existing condition but is just 57, and thus not eligible for Medicare. Remember his unexplained seizure soon after he became chief justice? If he did not have employer-provided insurance and had to get his own coverage on the individual market, he would be denied health insurance coverage at almost any price. Maybe the appreciation for his precarious insurance status made Chief Justice Roberts more sensitive to the need for the Affordable Care Act and its requirement that insurance be available to all of those with pre-existing conditions.

More:   The Two Big Questions on Health Care – NYTimes.com.

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10 Things You Would Miss About Obamacare

This is a great summary of the benefits of Obamacare…

Please keep this in mind as we await the Supreme Court decision- either today or sometime this week- for the Roberts Court to determine it’s “constitutionality”.

Of course, precedent and legality don’t mean much to the Roberts Court, so I’m very concerned that we will lose this hard-fought, but limited victory against the insurance companies.

Good news:  If we lose, it’s only  going to be a matter of time before National Healthcare becomes a necessity.  Bad News:  If they strike this down, it’s going to be hard times for so many people for the foreseeable future….

From ThinkProgress:

 

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act this week and could potentially strike down part or the whole of ‘Obamacare.’ Below are 10 things you will miss about the law if the justices invalidate it:

via 10 Things You Would Miss About Obamacare | ThinkProgress.

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Scalia and Thomas dine with healthcare law challengers as court takes case

There is no way this is not a conflict of interest, but that doesn’t seem to matter.

Everyone knows Scalia and Thomas are idealogues and could not care less about either the perception or the reality of a conflict of interest.

Amazing how quaint Judicial qualities like honor, honesty and impartiality seem when you look at these guys….

But then, they are lawyers….

From the LA Times:

 

It’s nothing new: The two justices have been attending Federalist Society events for years. And it’s nothing that runs afoul of ethics rules. In fact, justices are exempt from the Code of Conduct that governs the actions of lower federal judges.

If they were, they arguably fell under code’s Canon 4C, which states, “A judge may attend fund-raising events of law-related and other organizations although the judge may not be a speaker, a guest of honor, or featured on the program of such an event.“

Nevertheless, the sheer proximity of Scalia and Thomas to two of the law firms in the case, as well as to a company with a massive financial interest, was enough to alarm ethics-in-government activists.

“This stunning breach of ethics and indifference to the code belies claims by several justices that the court abides by the same rules that apply to all other federal judges,” said Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause. “The justices were wining and dining at a black-tie fundraiser with attorneys who have pending cases before the court. Their appearance and assistance in fundraising for this event undercuts any claims of impartiality, and is unacceptable.”

Scalia and Thomas have shown little regard for critics who say they too readily mix the business of the court with agenda-driven groups such as the Federalist Society. And Thomas’ wife, Ginni, is a high-profile conservative activist.

Moreover, conservatives argue that it’s Justice Elena Kagan who has an ethical issue, not Scalia and Thomas. Kagan served as solicitor general in the Obama administration when the first legal challenges to the law were brought at the trial court level. Her critics have pushed for Kagan to recuse herself from hearing the case, saying that she was too invested in defending the law then to be impartial now. Kagan has given no indication she will do so.

via Scalia and Thomas dine with healthcare law challengers as court takes case – latimes.com.

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Who’s Paying for the GOP’s Plan to Hijack the 2012 Election? | Mother Jones

Big money may well be the death of democracy in the U.S…..

Elections can be bought here just like in any third world banana republic…

Mainly thanks to the Roberts Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case, but there are other loopholes that need to be closed…..

And  I have decided it’s time to do away with the Electoral College.  It’s become just another tool for the GOP to manipulate.

Remember Al Gore got more popular votes than George W. Bush.  It was the Electoral College and the Supreme Court that gave us President George W. Bush.

I wonder if it’s not already too late to save popular Democracy in the U.S.A…..

From MotherJones.com:

Over the past six months, someone—or a group of someones—has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund an effort to change the rules of the 2012 presidential election to make it very difficult for President Barack Obama to win reelection. But the shadowy lobbying group mounting this campaign hasn’t disclosed its donors—and under current law, it doesn’t have to.

In two states, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, GOP legislators have introduced bills that would change how electoral votes—a candidate needs 270 of the 538 to win the presidency—are awarded in a presidential election. Under the current system, the winner of the statewide popular vote receives all of the electoral votes from that state.

If the Republican plan becomes law in either Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, those states would change how electoral votes are awarded. The new plan would allot electoral votes on the basis of vote totals within congressional districts. If a candidate wins a congressional district, he or she would receive one electoral college vote. Whoever does best in the statewide race would receive two electoral votes.

Because Republicans will draw the boundaries of the congressional districts in both states, the new rules would mean that Obama could win the states but still receive fewer electoral votes than his Republican opponent. Should a Republican split the states’ electoral votes with Obama (even if Obama draws more votes), that could provide the GOPer with the margin of victory in a close race. (Under the US Constitution, it is up to the states to allot electoral votes as they see fit.)

In Pennsylvania, a secretive nonprofit group called All Votes Matter has been pushing the electoral vote scheme since May. All Votes Matter has close ties to the Pennsylvania GOP—it hired a number of former top state Senate staffers-turned-lobbyists. “It was pretty much the Senate GOP All Star Lobbying Team and [former state House Democratic Counsel Bill] Sloane,” Peter DeCoursey, the bureau chief for Capitolwire, a newswire that’s read religiously by Harrisburg insiders*, explained in September.

Between April and June, the group spent $77,700 to lobby state officials to support legislation to implement this scheme. By early September, GOP Gov. Tom Corbett and the state House and Senate leaders, Mike Turzai and Dominic Pileggi, both Republicans, had all expressed their support for the idea. It was “the best $77,700 anyone ever spent on potential legislation,” DeCoursey wrote. “The entire state governing wing [was] for a bill that [hadn’t] been introduced yet.”

A week later, though, the landscape had changed significantly. Mother Jones and other national media outlets drew widespread attention to the story, and the state GOP chairman and the vast majority of its congressional delegation came out against the plan.

via Who’s Paying for the GOP’s Plan to Hijack the 2012 Election? | Mother Jones.

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U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Fights Regulations On Penis-Deforming Chemicals

Today’s Penis Post…

Seems to be the Theme of the Week.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce really has come out of the closet.  They used to be a respected organization, but they are really destroying that image quickly as they aggressively and openly push their far right agenda.

Their moto seems to be Corporations First, People Last….

At least it’s getting easier to call attention to their blatant disregard for average people.  Or people period.  Unless they are Rich.  Or a Corporation.

Remember:  Thanks to the Roberts Supreme Court, Corporations are people, too, now…

Very Important People.  They’ve pretty much bought the government with the Chamber of Commerce in the vanguard.

From ThinkProgress.org:

As ThinkProgress reported yesterday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — one of the largest and most influential big business lobbying groups in the world — fired a letter off to Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, telling him to block the regulation of extremely toxic chemicals in consumer plastics. Despite the overwhelming evidence of the dangers of such chemicals, the chamber letter declares that that EPA “lacks the sound regulatory science needed to meet the statutory threshold for a restriction or ban of the targeted chemicals.”

A wide body of scientific research has linked these chemicals, including phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA), to declining birth rates, stillbirths, and an increasing number of birth defects. Many of the chemicals under review for increased regulation have already been banned in Europe and Canada.

In fact, studies have shown that these plastic chemicals are directly linked to an alarming rate of male genital birth defects such as hypospadias, a condition in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside, rather than at the end, of the penis. A report by the Center for American Progress’ Reese Rushing details many other risks associated with the chemicals slated for regulation.

The Chamber letter to Sunstein is signed by chief lobbyist Bill Kovacs. Why is Kovacs fighting so aggressively to continue to allow birth defect and miscarriage-causing chemicals to be used in household items and food containers? Perhaps it is because the Chamber is heavily funded by some of the largest plastics manufacturers in America. According to investigations by the New York Times and ThinkProgress, Dow Chemical and Proctor & Gamble have contributed millions to the Chamber’s war chest in recent years.

via U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Fights Regulations On Penis-Deforming Chemicals | ThinkProgress.

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