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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:

Protect Our Online Privacy: LEADs Act 2015

cloudcomputing

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.

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.

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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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.

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:

Some 2016 Candidate Responses to the Marriage Ruling are Absurd, Even for Conservatives

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Not a single Republican candidate for president in 2016 agrees with the Supreme Court ruling overturning state laws barring same-sex couples from marriage rights. That much is unsurprising, with the reactions ranging from “That’s terrible, but it’s the law now” to “WHARGARRBL THE END IS NIGH” to the (sort of?) refreshing “Fine, but let’s depoliticize marriage.” But some have gone even further, calling for everything from judicial term limits to defunding the Court. These kind of reactions are absurd, anathema to conservatism, and should disqualify their proponents from serious consideration for their party’s nomination.

 


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