Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Insert your own Irish-related drinking joke here.
Archive for the ‘Supreme Court’ Category
President Trump has just nominated Neil Gorsuch to the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Antonin Scalia last year.
President Trump gave a very brief, concise speech in announcing Gorsuch (Trump announced his pick less than two minutes into his speech, at the point where Obama would still be saying “Let me be clear”) and praising the life and legacy of Scalia, including introducing his widow Maureen in the audience. He noted that Gorsuch was approved unanimously to the Tenth Circuit court.
Gorsuch gave a very polished speech about the influence the judges he had clerked for had on his life.
Trump concluded by asking both Democrats and Republicans to come together and approve him.
It was a very solid, brief and substantive announcement, President Trump’s first.
Powerline offers a very approving look at Gorsuch and his jurisprudence.
President Trump is wasting no time in cleaning up Obama Administration messes where it’s possible to do so by executive order. One over the weekend started reigning in the EPA. “The Trump administration instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants. Emails sent to EPA staff since President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday and reviewed by The Associated Press, detailed the specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts.”
Under Obama the EPA was a rogue agency perusing a radical environmental agenda at the expense of congressional intent. Texas alone has sued the EPA numerous times. A few of the lawsuits currently in progress over EPA overreach:
U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey has said that the agency “evidences the continued hostility on the part of the EPA to acceptance of the mission established by Congress.”
Says Powerline’s John Hindraker:
The EPA was created by Congress and owes its powers exclusively to Congressional enactment, but over time it has become contemptuous of its democratically-elected master, and has come to view itself as a superior and independent power, entitled to enforce those legal provisions that it likes, and ignore those that are inconvenient. Agencies like the EPA are the single greatest threat to the freedom of American citizens.
The EPA is a rogue agency long overdue for reining in.
A number of lawsuits related to local or federal overreach in Texas are working their way through the court system. Here’s a quick roundup of developments in a few notable cases.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton won a sweeping victory in court Friday when Federal District Judge Amos L. Mazzant III dismissed a fraud case the Securities and Exchange Commission had brought against him.
Mazzant, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Barack Obama, found that even if all the facts the SEC alleged were true, they didn’t amount to any violation of securities law by Paxton.
The SEC had dogpiled on Paxton after Collin County special prosecutors got a local grand jury to indict Paxton under state securities law in August 2015.
Here we are, the final day of the primary season, when Democrats in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota go to the polls to (theoretically) put Hillary Clinton over the top.
The Texas voter ID law will remain in the books, at least for the November election, after the Supreme Court refused to issue an “emergency” request to suspend the law while the court case against it is being considered.
What this means in the short term: Democrats won’t be able to steal some down-ballot Texas races with illegal alien votes this year.
No wonder Democrats hate voter ID…
Lots of Texas vs. California linky goodness, much of it via Jack Dean at Pension Tsunami, who’s been emailing me links of significant interest.
As last week’s US Census Bureau population estimates indicated, the story of population growth between 2014 and 2015 was largely about Texas, as it has been for the decade starting 2010 (See: “Texas Keeps Getting Bigger” The New Metropolitan Area Estimates). The same is largely true with respect to population trends in the nation’s largest counties, with The Lone Star state dominating both in the population growth and domestic migration among 135 counties with more than 500,000 population.
Houston, which is the fastest growing major metropolitan area (over 1 million population) in the nation includes the two fastest growing large counties. Fort Bend County added 4.29 percent to its population between 2014 and 2015 and now has 716,000 residents. Montgomery County grew 3.57 percent to 538,000. In addition to these two suburban Houston counties, Harris County, the core County ranked 16th in growth, adding 2.03 percent to its population and exceeding 4.5 million population.
Dallas-Fort Worth, the second fastest-growing major metropolitan area has two counties among the top 20. The third fastest-growing county is Denton (located north of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport), which added 3.42 percent to its population over the past year and now has 781,000 residents. Collin County, to the north of Dallas County, grew 3.17 percent and now stands at 914,000 residents. Its current growth rate would put Collin County over 1 million population by the 2020 census.
Travis County, with its county seat of Austin, grew 2.22 percent to 1,177,000 and ranked 12th. Bexar County, centered on San Antonio grew 2.01 percent and ranks 17th.
Overall, Texas had four of the five fastest growing large counties, and seven of the top twenty. California had none. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
- “A now has by far the nation’s highest state income tax rate. We are 34% higher than 2nd place Oregon, and a heck of a lot higher than all the rest”
- “CA has the highest state sales tax rate in the nation. 7.5% (does not include local sales taxes).”
- “California in 2015 ranked 14th highest in per capita property taxes (including commercial) – the only major tax where we are not in the worst ten states. But the 2014 average CA single-family residence (SFR) property tax is the 8th highest state in the nation. Indeed, the median CA homeowner property tax bill is 93% higher than the average for the other 49 states.”
- “California has a nasty anti-small business $800 minimum corporate income tax, even if no profit is earned, and even for many nonprofits. Next highest state is Rhode Island at $500 (only for “C” corporations). 3rd is Delaware at $175. Most states are at zero.”
- “California’s 2015 ‘business tax climate’ ranks 3rd worst in the nation – behind New York and anchor-clanker New Jersey. In addition, CA has a lock on the worst rank in the Small Business Tax Index – a whopping 8.3% worse than 2nd worst state.”
- “The American Tort Reform Foundation in 2015 again ranks CA the ‘worst state judicial hellhole’ in U.S. – the most anti-business.”
- “CA public school teachers the 3rd highest paid in the nation. CA students rank 48th in math achievement, 49th in reading.”
- “California’s real poverty rate (the new census bureau standard adjusted for COL) is easily the worst in the nation at 23.4%. We are 57.3% higher than the average for the other 49 states.”
- “Of 100 U.S. real estate markets, in 2013 CA contained by far the least affordable middle class housing market (San Francisco). PLUS the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th.”
It’s like a whole bunch of Texas vs. California roundup statistics all in one big green ball of fail. Read the whole thing. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder told the Wall Street Journal in 2013, “California is not interested in having businesses grow.”
The article points out that many factors, including local building regulations, make one community less desirable than another for businesses.
For example, it takes 60 days in Texas, 63 in Shanghai, and 125 in Novosibirsk, Russia for one of CKE’s restaurants to get a building permit after signing a lease. But in Los Angeles, Ca. it takes a whopping 285 days.
Puzder added, “I can open up a restaurant faster on Karl Marx Prospect in Siberia than on Carl Karcher Boulevard in California.” The street in California is ironically named for the restaurant chain’s founder.
California’s labor regulations may also play a role in a company’s desire to seek alternative locations. In that same interview with WSJ, Puzder said his company had spent $20 million in the state over the past eight years on damages and attorney fees related to class-action lawsuits.
(Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)