In Other, Other SCOTUS News: ‘Puter Pontificates - Texas Housing v. Inclusive Communities Edition

Ruth Bader Ginsburg responds to ‘Puter’s assertion that Supreme Court liberals rewrite Congress’ enactments to suit their preferred policy goals, saying “I’ve got a lifetime appointment, bitch! Ain’t nothin’ you can do to stop me!”

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on June 26, 2015 at The Ancient & Noble Order of The Gormogons.

 

Difficult to believe based on yesterday’s news coverage, but the Supreme Court issued another important decision yesterday as well. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority*, held disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”). You can (and should) read Justice Kennedy’s opinion and the two dissents here, in Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.

Here are your takeaways:

Protect Our Online Privacy: LEADs Act 2015

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With each passing second of the clock, your ability to protect your privacy on the Internet diminishes unless Congress acts on a critical piece of legislation titled the “Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad” Act. Known as the LEADs Act, the bill is a response to the Obama Administration’s attempt to grab data from any cloud computing systems - located anywhere in the world.

Unless Congress acts to fight back against yet another imperialist power grab, this action by Obama’s Department of Justice (DoJ) will create a slippery slope where your private data will become subject to the prying eyes of any foreign government - and there will be nothing you can do to stop it.

The issue stems from a criminal investigation by the US government into the actions of an Irish citizen who stored computer information on a cloud-based storage system housed by an Irish company on the Emerald Isle. The company, however, was a subsidiary of Microsoft. “Microsoft is an American company”, is the thin excuse DOJ is clinging to as it attempts to force Microsoft to seize the information. DoJ slapped Microsoft with a questionable warrant which in an effort to protect the privacy of their users, Microsoft has chosen to defy.

An Inartfully Drafted Law, Indeed: Obamacare Upheld

obamasebelius

In the wake of The Supreme Court wrangling language to uphold Obamacare yesterday, many opinions happened. From Chief Justice Roberts being declared a fake conservative who hates the rule of law, to Justice Scalia achieving the title of “Most Metal” SCOTUS judge, people and pundits are still processing what it means that our highest court in the land has ruled to keep a law that — and make no mistake about this — will continue to not work and therefore be an economic and logistical disaster, be very expensive, and be very, very hated. (And, for those kids posting .gifs of Obama as the cool kid for “winning”, please do some research. He’s won nothing. Nor have you.)

Anyway, let me just pile on with an opinion of my own, and it might be slightly in defense of Roberts because I maybe, kinda, can see what he’s doing. But by doing anything, he’s doing what he says he doesn’t want to do. I know. Let me explain…

I agree with that Cato piece up top when it says:

Afraid that ObamaCare as written would throw the sickest patients out of their health plans a second time, the Court rewrote ObamaCare to save it—again. In doing so, the Court has sent a dangerous message to future administrations: If you are going to violate the law, make sure you go big.

UPDATE: They Got It — Court Watcher: ACA’s Defenders Should Hope for Judicial Activism in King v. Burwell

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally published in April of this year. We’ll have a fresh post later today; but this is a fair, prescient write-up of what just happened. We apparently have psychics on staff.

 

Earlier this week Harvard ConLaw professor Noah Feldman posited in a Bloomberg View column that Obamacare supporters better hope that liberal Justice Anthony Kennedy (pictured above, right) provides the crucial vote to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s subsidy provisions as promulgated by the Internal Revenue Service, which would be strong judicial activism on Kennedy’s part:

Texas is trending libertarian, y’all

Texas been Democratic, it’s been Republican, it’s been a territory and a republic, but it’s always been pretty conservative. We like our guns and our families and don’t take kindly to criminals. That’s still true, but a shift is taking place in the Greatest State in the Union™ that is redefining those terms in a way that makes the state lean libertarian instead of conservative.

In the latest poll conducted by the Texas Tribune, same-sex marriage is now supported by a slim plurality of Texas voters. 44% support it, 41% oppose, and 14% are unsure. Just nine months ago, the opposite was true, with only 42% supporting and 47% opposing expanding marriage rights.

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The same June poll also found more than two-thirds of voters favor reducing penalties for marijuana possession from possible jail time to civil fines. Only 26% would oppose such a decriminalization. In a previous February 2014 poll, the Tribune also found that nearly a majority of Texans oppose full legalization of small amounts of marijuana. 49% think it should be either completely legal or in only small quantities, and another 28% think it should be legal for medicinal use. Only 23% of Texas voters think marijuana should be completely illegal.

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The War Over the Confederate Battle Flag Escalates

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It’s a shame it took the violent deaths of nine people to do it, but it looks like 150 years after the end of the Civil War the days of the Confederate battle flag are finally coming to an end. South Carolina, where the racist massacre occurred is swiftly moving to take down the flag outside their state capitol. Lawmakers in Virginia and Missisippi are proposing similar action to remove the symbol from their official state business.

This is fantastic news. State governments have no business using the symbol of a treasonous and racially-motivated war, no matter how much they try to spin it as part of their “heritage”. The Confederacy should be a period of shame, not pride, to any moral and especially Christian southerners. Its relics belong in museums to remind us of the darkest moments of our past, not as part of our current identity on state flags, license plates, capitol buildings, and the honorific names of schools, military bases, and other government buildings.

CBO Report on Repealing Obamacare and Voxsplaining Muddy Interpretations

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The Supreme Court decision on ACA — The Affordable Care Act or the always evocative Obamacare — could be handed down this morning and, because no one seems to have a really good read on which way The Court will go  (Chief Justice Roberts shocked many a conservative the last time he took a long, hard look at this legislation, remember?), there have been some rather interesting stories coming out in preparation for whatever the decision may be.

The Huffington Post, for example, calls the divide over the public’s taste for the law “ambivalence”, and suggests it really comes down to partisanship. Of course, saying that someone likes or dislikes Obamacare BECAUSE they’re one party or the other is silly. It’s probably more true to say someone identifies with one party over another BECAUSE of policies like Obamacare:

The Supreme Court could issue a ruling in King v. Burwell, the lawsuit threatening to undermine a key part of the Affordable Care Act, as early as Monday. But the debate over President Barack Obama’s controversial health care law is likely to continue no matter how the justices rule. And one reason is that Americans, on the whole, remain deeply ambivalent about it…

The first and more obvious factor is partisanship. No single characteristic better predicts how a person feels about the health care law than his or her partisan affiliation. Republicans tend to think the law is a failure, while Democrats tend to think it’s a success — most likely because they are reacting to the party leaders and news sources they trust and distrust and because they have genuine philosophical differences about the law’s virtues.

One Take: The Supreme Court Will Not Redefine Marriage

marriageequality

Any day now, the United States Supreme Court will issue its ruling on one of the most controversial issues in recent memory - the legal definition of “marriage”. If asked, most Americans would probably say the issue was decided a few years ago when the Supreme Court ruled in Windsor v. United States that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. However, that case did not decide the legal definition of marriage; it ruled on whether the federal government could deny spousal benefits to spouses of same-sex federal employees in states where homosexual “marriage” was legal. Since then, one federal court after another struck down the marriage laws in dozens of states, the judges substituting their philosophical preferences the clear text of the Constitution. Those dominoes stopped falling with a ruling by a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals last November.

Writing for the majority, Judge Jeffrey Sutton stated

United Liberty Owner Going Grassroots

pensive rand paul

Concerned American Voters is making waves as the new Super PAC on the block. Beyond filling a need in the Rand Paul campaign, it’s also gathering talent from all around the liberty movement. United Liberty’s own Martin Avila is joining the team as their Senior Tech Strategist - a generally unsurprising move since Avila did work for the Ron Paul 2008 campaign.

Avila will be joining Matt Kibbe, who is leaving FreedomWorks to join the newly formed Super PAC as their Senior Advisor. “Politics is more decentralized today and that makes insurgent candidates like Rand Paul more competitive,” Kibbe stated. “This is a big test for the liberty movement and I think our moment to deliver is now.”

As for the United Liberty family of writers, while Avila will be working with Concerned American Voters PAC, the UL site will continue to offer free thoughts on free markets and smaller government, even if the writers don’t happen to agree with the PAC. “I think we deserve all fair scrutiny just like any other organization,” Kibbe explained.

While Avila is not leaving UL behind, he also isn’t starting work with strangers. He and Kibbe have both worked together before, and with the PAC’s president, Jeff Frazee. Kibbe comes from FreedomWorks, Frazee comes from Young Americans for Liberty, and Avila has worked with both organizations.

As We Await Word on The King v. Burwell Decision, Let’s Revisit Why It’s Before SCOTUS: The Disaster of Cover Oregon

cover oregon

Like dominos crashing in a row, many States are realizing their Obamacare exchanges are either bleeding money, on the brink of insolvency, or sadly shutting down their State controlled operations and placing their citizens’ healthcare under the federal exchange and Washington bureaucrats.

According to a recent and important story in The Hill, many of the 13 states that established their own health care exchanges under ObamaCare are fearful they won’t survive when federal dollars dry up next year. Hawaii is the most recent to give up independent operations. Democratic Gov. David Ide put it best when he revealed the Health Connector was “unable to generate sufficient revenues to sustain operations.”

Hawaii isn’t the only exchange experiencing trouble in paradise. Nevada discovered more than 1,500 defects embedded in the site last year and joined the federal exchange. Colorado, Minnesota, and Vermont are next likely to remove the constant and ever-increasing drain on their state’s budget and shutter their failed exchanges. But none of these failures are close to matching the man-made disaster that is Cover Oregon, the Beaver State’s version of ObamaCare.

The story of Oregon’s health care portal is a story of waste, fraud, and potentially criminal abuse. Once the darling of the Obama White House, the truth has been steadily emerging. Congressional hearings should not merely detail the vast waste of taxpayers dollars but shine sunlight on facts so blatantly illegal that even President Obama’s own Department of Justice will be forced to finally begin necessary criminal proceedings in this case.

 


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