Jump to content


SCOTUS Decisions - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


114 replies to this topic

#1 LFC

    Fiscal Conservative

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 26324 posts
  • LocationPennsylvania

Posted 26 June 2018 - 10:14 AM

I decided to start a new thread since I think SCOTUS will be churning out all kinds of "interesting" decisions.

To start he's a repost of SCOTUS upholding Trump's latest version of the travel ban.

Quote

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Tuesday morning to uphold the most recent iteration of President Donald Trump’s ban on immigrants and refugees from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Venezuela and Chad, rebuffing challengers’ arguments that the President’s policy was motivated by the racial animus toward Muslims that he repeatedly expressed in campaign speeches and on social media.


Writing for the court’s conservative majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said Trump acted well his authority as president to deny a “class of aliens” the right to travel and immigrate to the United States.

The relevant statute, Roberts wrote, “exudes deference to the President in every clause. It entrusts to the President the decisions whether and when to suspend entry, whose entry to suspend, for how long, and on what conditions. It thus vests the President with ‘ample power’ to impose entry restrictions.”

Citing the arguments made before the Court in April that President Trump’s campaign trail speeches about a “complete and total shutdown of Muslims” and his tweets since taking the oath of office demonstrate that the policy is motivated by racial and religious animus rather than national security concerns, Roberts replied that the policy itself is “neutral on its face” and said “the Government has set forth a sufficient national security justification to survive rational basis review.”

Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch joined Roberts’ opinion. Kennedy and Thomas also filed their own concurring opinions. Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan wrote a dissenting opinion arguing that the government’s discriminatory implementation of the travel ban should render it unconstitutional even if the policy is neutral on paper.

And in their own fiery dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said the court is deeply wrong to ignore the anti-Muslim statements from Trump and other administration officials when evaluating the travel ban.

“A reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus,” they wrote, even if the executive order “masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns.”

Though the policy before the court was the third and final version of the travel ban —significantly watered down since it was first put into place and subject to a barrage of legal challenges — the dissenting justices said the neutral policies put in place to select countries to go on the ban list did not override Trump’s original intent.

“This repackaging does little to cleanse Presidential Proclamation No. 9645 of the appearance of discrimination that the President’s words have created,” they write.

The dissenting justices also accused their conservative colleagues of hypocrisy, citing their recent ruling in the case of a Colorado baker who refused service to a gay couple. That case hinged on statements by members of Colorado Civil Rights Commission that showed animus toward the baker’s religious beliefs, which the court said tainted the Commission’s otherwise permissible ruling against the baker.

“Notably, the Court recently found less pervasive official expressions of hostility and the failure to disavow them to be constitutionally significant,” Sotomayor wrote. “It should find the same here.”

Provocatively, Ginsberg and Sotomayor also compared their colleagues’ travel ban ruling to the Supreme Court’s infamous 1944 decision upholding President Roosevelt’s Japanese internment camps.

Roberts hit back this accusation in his ruling.

“Korematsu has nothing to do with this case,” he wrote. “It is wholly inapt to liken that morally repugnant order to a facially neutral policy denying certain foreign nationals the privilege of admission.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#2 LFC

    Fiscal Conservative

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 26324 posts
  • LocationPennsylvania

Posted 26 June 2018 - 10:16 AM

Next we have a classic case of right-wing "requirements for thee but not for me" hypocrisy. I expect this to intensify.

Quote

The Supreme Court says a California law that forces anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers to provide information about abortion probably violates the Constitution.

The 5-4 ruling Tuesday also casts doubts on similar laws in Hawaii and Illinois.

The California law took effect in 2016. It requires centers that are licensed by the state to tell clients about the availability of contraception, abortion and pre-natal care, at little or no cost.

Centers that are unlicensed have to post a sign that said so. The court struck down that portion of the law.

The centers said they were singled out and forced to deliver a message with which they disagreed. California said the law was needed to let poor women know all their options.

Justice Clarence Thomas said in his majority opinion said the centers “are likely to succeed” in their constitutional challenge to the law.

Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for four liberal dissenters, said among the reasons the law should be upheld is that the high court has previously upheld state laws requiring doctors to tell women seeking abortions about adoption services. “After all, the law must be evenhanded,” Breyer said.

Evenhanded? Oh, that's so cute!
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3 DCoronata

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 534 posts

Posted 26 June 2018 - 10:17 AM

(According to Bloomberg Radio) SCOTUS is trying to send a message to the courts, that they shouldn't use their own political ideas to reach these decisions.

Says a 5-4 court on purely political grounds...
Ambassador Spock: "There's an old Vulcan proverb, that only Nixon could go to China, and only Trump could screw up North Korea."

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
“Do you believe we can trust you rabble with a Republic?"

#4 golden_valley

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5315 posts
  • LocationNorthern California

Posted 26 June 2018 - 10:54 AM

View PostLFC, on 26 June 2018 - 10:16 AM, said:

Next we have a classic case of right-wing "requirements for thee but not for me" hypocrisy. I expect this to intensify.



Evenhanded? Oh, that's so cute!

This decision really annoys me. It didn't actually decide the notices were unConstitutional, just that they might be and sent it back down for more review. At various times in the past state laws have required doctors to talk, show pictures of fetuses, order ultrasounds and discuss adoption before performing an abortion. But a notice that says something along the lines of "this facility is not licensed and there are other facilities that are and that provide other forms of reproductive treatment" that's a violation of the first Amendment?

Like Hobby Lobby, the crisis pregnancy center type places seem to see themselves as above business regulations that other similar business must follow. Their "higher calling makes them exempt.

#5 JackD

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1500 posts
  • LocationChicago area

Posted 26 June 2018 - 03:45 PM

Hmmm, lawyers and doctors who fail to warn clients and patients of available alternatives and dangers can be guilty of malpractice and subject to professional discipline. What am I missing?

#6 golden_valley

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5315 posts
  • LocationNorthern California

Posted 26 June 2018 - 04:08 PM

View PostJackD, on 26 June 2018 - 03:45 PM, said:

Hmmm, lawyers and doctors who fail to warn clients and patients of available alternatives and dangers can be guilty of malpractice and subject to professional discipline. What am I missing?

Well many of the crisis pregnancy centers have no medical licenses and aren't really practicing medicine but are practicing their free speech. So malpractice and professional discipline isn't an issue.

I don't buy that argument but I'm not on the Supreme Court. I skimmed the opinion so and didn't notice if the justices talked about the aspect of controlling commercial speech...misrepresentations of their intent and mis-impressions caused by personnel wandering around wearing scrubs or lab coats. It was my understanding that the bill sponsors were trying to keep this in the commercial speech realm.

#7 JackD

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1500 posts
  • LocationChicago area

Posted 26 June 2018 - 04:17 PM

Apparently they are licensed. The other provision of the California statute applied to unlicensed centers who were required to notify people coming for help that they aren't licensed.

#8 golden_valley

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5315 posts
  • LocationNorthern California

Posted 26 June 2018 - 04:48 PM

View PostJackD, on 26 June 2018 - 04:17 PM, said:

Apparently they are licensed. The other provision of the California statute applied to unlicensed centers who were required to notify people coming for help that they aren't licensed.

Yeah I was thinking only of those. I think they're the real target of the legislation and they think so too. That's why they fought this from the second it was signed by the governor.

#9 Craig

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 47 posts

Posted 27 June 2018 - 09:26 AM

The most worrying SCOTUS decision I've seen in my lifetime is this anti-labor disaster

Quote

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a crippling blow Wednesday to unions representing millions of the nation's public employees.

The justices said state government workers who choose not to join a union cannot be compelled to pay a share of union dues for covering the cost of negotiating contracts. Unions had said such an outcome would cut off a source of income and diminish their political clout in the 23 states where they bargain for both members and non-members alike.

A recent non-partisan study predicted that a Supreme Court defeat would eventually cause public employee unions to lose 726,000 members, a significant blow in one of organized labor's remaining strongholds. Nearly half of all union members in the U.S. are government employees.


#10 Traveler

    Rambling Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 12812 posts
  • LocationPhilly Area

Posted 27 June 2018 - 09:42 AM

A non-like. Not that this is any surprise though. I wonder how much this whole phenomenon arose from general distaste for unions due to their work rules tactics. Taxpayers see featherbedding and dont like it. No matter that all that stuff is pretty well gone by now, it's time to throw out the baby with the bathwater. In a way, unions were the victim of their own success. Philly's convention center is a case in point.

Quote

The poor performance of the Pennsylvania Convention Center was blamed squarely on the building trades members who set up, take down and maintain the ever-shifting programming within the center’s 679,000 square feet of exhibition space. At the time, there were six unions working within the institution, but it was the Carpenters – whose then-president, Ed Coryell Sr., sat on the board of the Pennsylvania Convention Center – who took the heat for being difficult to work with and expensive to hire.

In the years following, the Carpenters were definitively booted from the center, with much of their work taken over by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). Then, three weeks before the DNC, which would make extensive use of the site, City & State PA discovered that top IATSE executives were involved in an overbilling scheme. The labor coalition that staffs the convention center moved quickly to punish those responsible – no one wanted anything remotely similar to 2013 again.

“No matter how minor or how severe, we’re definitely committed to policing ourselves to the max,” John Dougherty, business agent of IBEW Local 98, said three weeks before the DNC. “We’re guaranteeing the transparency and cost effectiveness, and none of the past nonsense. We worked real hard to make this the No. 1 hospitality destination in America. We’re killing it production-wise at the DNC.”
Too late.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#11 Craig

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 47 posts

Posted 27 June 2018 - 09:53 AM

View PostTraveler, on 27 June 2018 - 09:42 AM, said:

I wonder how much this whole phenomenon arose from general distaste for unions due to their work rules tactics.
People with good union jobs see a portion of their income goes to some organization that they don't know about or understand, and they'd rather have that money. Nevermind that without that organization, their wages would certainly be lower than the cost of the dues. That, along with trade policies like NAFTA, right-to-work laws, and the remarkable influence of the conservative spin machine have brought unions pretty low. This SCOTUS decision is just kicking them while they're down.

That spin machine is somethin else, though. I live and work in one of the more conservative areas of North Carolina, and most people around here hate unions and have hated Hilary Clinton well before she ran for president. I'm not sure they could tell you why if you asked them.

#12 LFC

    Fiscal Conservative

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 26324 posts
  • LocationPennsylvania

Posted 27 June 2018 - 09:56 AM

View PostTraveler, on 27 June 2018 - 09:42 AM, said:

A non-like. Not that this is any surprise though. I wonder how much this whole phenomenon arose from general distaste for unions due to their work rules tactics. Taxpayers see featherbedding and dont like it. No matter that all that stuff is pretty well gone by now, it's time to throw out the baby with the bathwater. In a way, unions were the victim of their own success. Philly's convention center is a case in point.

The most egregious examples of union overreach were played up for all they were worth. The involvement of the mob didn't help. Every act of vandalism (in our area waaaayyy past than just the Phila Convention Center) and insane work rules infuriated people. Meanwhile we saw teachers making excellent pay and benefits for their profession striking while teachers in other districts were scraping by on crumbs. So while there's no doubt that business exploited the excesses it's also clear that there were a lot of excesses available to them to exploit. The result is clearly the collapsing of union power and our nation will be poorer for it.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#13 golden_valley

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5315 posts
  • LocationNorthern California

Posted 27 June 2018 - 09:58 AM

View PostCraig, on 27 June 2018 - 09:53 AM, said:

People with good union jobs see a portion of their income goes to some organization that they don't know about or understand, and they'd rather have that money. Nevermind that without that organization, their wages would certainly be lower than the cost of the dues. That, along with trade policies like NAFTA, right-to-work laws, and the remarkable influence of the conservative spin machine have brought unions pretty low. This SCOTUS decision is just kicking them while they're down.

That spin machine is somethin else, though. I live and work in one of the more conservative areas of North Carolina, and most people around here hate unions and have hated Hilary Clinton well before she ran for president. I'm not sure they could tell you why if you asked them.

I ended up living in Tennessee in the late '70's, early 80's. Totally anti union there for any industry. It was somehow baked in the DNA. Couldn't figure out why except communist! That's why manufacturers moved there creating a whole group of damn Yankees, my family being of that group.

#14 Traveler

    Rambling Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 12812 posts
  • LocationPhilly Area

Posted 27 June 2018 - 01:11 PM

More on the effect of the ruling in Philly. Lot of good stuff in there.

Quote

But are labor leaders whistling past the graveyard? According to a 2014 report by the Congressional Research Service, 5.6 percent of workers are union members in states with right-to-work laws, compared to 15 percent in other states.



Another study found that “right-to-work laws reduce Democratic presidential vote shares by 3.5 percentage points.” The researchers discovered “similar effects” in the U.S. Senate, House and gubernatorial races, as well as state legislative elections. Additionally, “Turnout is also 2 to 3 percentage points lower in right-to-work counties after those laws pass.”

Political observers predicted that the Janus ruling wouldn’t significantly impact races in 2018, but would affect the 2020 election.
Pat Eiding, president of the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, said some unions have proven resilient in states with right-to-work laws. Michigan passed a right-to-work law in 2012, but added 52,000 new union members last year.

“Sometimes waking up the sleeping dog is not what the right wing expected it to be,” he said.
Dems get what they don't vote for. By not voting.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#15 Rue Bella

    Emerging from a state of cryogenic denial

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 7712 posts
  • LocationSoCal

Posted 27 June 2018 - 01:15 PM

Kennedy just announced his retirement.

Susan Sarandon - you get your wish.
What is wrong with these people? ~ PG

No longer politically correct

#16 JackD

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1500 posts
  • LocationChicago area

Posted 27 June 2018 - 01:15 PM

It's all gonna get worse. Kennedy is retiring.

#17 Craig

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 47 posts

Posted 27 June 2018 - 01:31 PM

The decision in Janus v. State echoes what I think is maybe the most poisonous idea of modern conservative judicial thought. From the majority opinion:

Quote

Forcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable raises serious First Amendment concerns. E.g., West Virginia Bd. of Ed. v. Barnette, 319 U. S. 624, 633. That includes compelling a person to subsidize the speech of other private speakers.
In other words, money=speech just like in Citizens United v. FEC. Could present a small problem in that some people have significantly more money than others.

#18 Craig

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 47 posts

Posted 27 June 2018 - 01:43 PM

View PostTraveler, on 27 June 2018 - 01:11 PM, said:

Quote

Another study found that “right-to-work laws reduce Democratic presidential vote shares by 3.5 percentage points.” The researchers discovered “similar effects” in the U.S. Senate, House and gubernatorial races, as well as state legislative elections. Additionally, “Turnout is also 2 to 3 percentage points lower in right-to-work counties after those laws pass.”
Dems get what they don't vote for. By not voting.

Lower quality jobs with worse hours also leave less time for voting.

For this reason, lots of poor working people use early voting. That's probably why North Carolina Republican politicians like to change the dates on early voting to try to keep poor working (democrat) voters out of the polls:

Quote

The early-voting measure adjusts the current 17-day period so that residents now won't vote in person during the weekend before a primary or Election Day. The legislation eliminates the final Saturday before the election from the period while moving up the early voting start by one day.

That last day of early voting is very popular - I've voted on that day at least twice that I can remember. It is was very convenient as I have to work during the week like a lot of folks.

But I'm willing to share the blame here. Conservative political efforts to undermine voter turnout are reprehensible, but they work primarily because lots of potential voters don't prioritize voting and are thus easy to keep away from the polls through minor inconvenience.

#19 golden_valley

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5315 posts
  • LocationNorthern California

Posted 27 June 2018 - 01:45 PM

View PostCraig, on 27 June 2018 - 01:31 PM, said:

The decision in Janus v. State echoes what I think is maybe the most poisonous idea of modern conservative judicial thought. From the majority opinion:

In other words, money=speech just like in Citizens United v. FEC. Could present a small problem in that some people have significantly more money than others.

For some reason that doesn’t bother a lot of voters who can’t possibly believe they have enough money to influence anything. They seem to rely on the kindness of the big money people and entities.

ETA. Can’t wait to see the Federalist Society member to be nominated to the SC. He’ll probably be about 40 years old.

#20 pnwguy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1533 posts
  • LocationPortlandia

Posted 27 June 2018 - 01:45 PM

View PostJackD, on 27 June 2018 - 01:15 PM, said:

It's all gonna get worse. Kennedy is retiring.
As the swing vote on abortion rights cases, this will probably amp up the evangelical vote for Trumpinista candidates in the midterms. If there was a blue wave possible, I think this just sent a large counter wave from the other end of the ocean.

At least the good news for women of reproductive age is that when Vlad gets the keys from Dumpsters, the Russian Federation allows elective abortion for the first 12 weeks.
"All glory to the HypnoTrump, or else..."

"It all makes sense when you remind yourself that the GOP is no longer a political party but turned into an organized crime family"

"I hope to live long enough that the name Trump is reviled as much as the name Hitler or Stalin"





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users