Time for another roundup of gun news, with a nice savory side-dish of criminal stupidity:
Archive for the ‘Supreme Court’ Category
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan struck down the ObamaCare contraceptive mandate. If you read the actual decision, it’s a smackdown of both the mandate itself and the Obama Administration’s position on same;
As for the self-certification requirement, the Court rejects the Government’s position that plaintiffs may be compelled to perform affirmative acts precluded by their religion if a court deems those acts merely “de minimis.” This argument – which essentially reduces to the claim that completing the self-certification places no burden on plaintiffs’ religion because “it’s just a form” – finds no support in the case law. As discussed, where a law places substantial pressure on a plaintiff to perform affirmative acts contrary to his religion, the Supreme Court has found a substantial burden without analyzing whether those acts are de minimis.”
Cogan ruled against some of the plantiff’s arguments on other technical issues, but on the central issues of the case he ruled “the Mandate burdens plaintiffs’ religion by coercing them into authorizing third parties to provide this coverage through the self-certification requirement, an act forbidden by plaintiffs’ religion.”
On his Facebook page, Ted Cruz hailed the ruling as a “Major victory for religious liberty.”
Gabriel Malor of Ace of Spades has analyzed the ruling in more detail.
Cogan’s ruling deals specifically with religious non-profits covered by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and as such does not directly affect the Hobby Lobby case the Supreme Court will be taking up (“none of these cases bear directly on the issue at hand”). However, his overall reasoning, if applied to that case, could very well lead to ruling that the contraceptive mandate is an unconstitutional burden on freedom of religious conscious as well.
Remember, the fervor with which Nancy Pelosi refused to remove the contraceptive mandate and taxpayer-funded abortion from ObamaCare, even when it cost most of Bart Stupak ostensibly “pro-life” Democrats their seats, indicated that liberals regarded those sections as one of act’s most important features. If Cogan’s ruling is upheld, this is not only a major victory for religious liberty, but also a huge blow to ongoing Democratic attempts to marginalize religion in American life.
Also remember that ObamaCare has no severability clause. If Judge Cogan’s ruling is upheld, there’s still a chance (though by no means a guarantee) that the rest of the act can be found unconstitutional as well.
I’ll be wearing my science fiction hat a lot this week, so expect light posting through Labor Day (and maybe a little beyond).
So instead of Actual Content, I’m going to highlight some new additions to the Blogroll.
First up: Legal Insurrection (or Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, to use the full, “Hell no I’m not going to type that every time” name), which I’ve linked the occasional tidbit from forever, but only just added to the blogroll. Run by Cornell Law Professor William A. Jacobson, Legal Insurrection covers a wide variety of political topics, legal and otherwise. And he was kind enough to add a link to my post on the #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen tag to his own post.
He posts frequently on interesting topics, so go over and take a look when you get a chance.
Today’s super-genius liberal tweet comes to you from a Kate White-Hancock, AKA @lsalander13, who asks:
@TPM Question: Where Was FOX News When Clarence Thomas Said FILTHY Perverse PORNOGRAPHIC Unwanted Things To Anita Hill AT WORK??
— kate (@lsalander13) July 25, 2013
“@TPM Question: Where Was FOX News When Clarence Thomas Said FILTHY Perverse PORNOGRAPHIC Unwanted Things To Anita Hill AT WORK??”
Ignoring the red herring nature of trying to change the subject from Anthony Weiner, and the fact that none of Anita Hill’s allegations were ever proven, I think one reason Fox News may not have covered that was that Thomas’ confirmation hearings occurred 1991, and Fox News Channel wasn’t founded until 1996…
We’re already seeing some fallout from the Supreme Court’s Shelby County vs. Holder decision (the complete text of which is now online).
According to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Voter ID law will take effect immediately.
“With today’s decision, the State’s voter ID law will take effect immediately. Redistricting maps passed by the Legislature may also take effect without approval from the federal government.”
What remains unclear is whether the State of Texas can declare the 2011 redistricting maps valid without further court challenge. There’s currently a bill before Gov. Perry to confirm the 2012 interim maps as the official maps. However, that passed the Texas House and Senate before the Supreme Court ruling. Perry may well decide to veto the measure in order to go with the 2011 maps, which would be more favorable to Republicans.
The Supreme Court today limited use of the “preclearence” requirements of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Hopefully I’ll have more details when the actual text of the decision is up later today.
I also wonder if Texas might re-institute the 2011 redistricting map, which was struck down by the San Antonio district court largely on the ground the Supreme Court just invalidated.
Too much going on, so here’s a LinkSwarm to start your day:
Ted Cruz sides with the dissent in the recently decided Maryland vs. King DNA gathering case:
All of us should be alarmed by this significant step towards government as Big Brother. The excessive concentration of power in government is always inimical to liberty, and a national database of our DNA cannot be reconciled with the Fourth Amendment.
Accumulating DNA from arrestees—without warrant or probable cause to seize the DNA—is not designed to solve the crime for which the person has (rightly or wrongly) been arrested. Rather, it’s to test the DNA against a national database to potentially implicate them in other unsolved crimes. But the Constitution requires particularized suspicion of a specific crime; indeed, the Fourth Amendment was adopted to prohibit the British practice of “general warrants” targeting individuals absent specific evidence of wrongdoing.
Actual text of the Supreme Court’s Maryland vs. King “police can take DNA samples” decision can be found here in PDF form. Still haven’t read it yet.
In a 5-4 decision on Maryland vs. King, the Supreme Court ruled that the government can indeed take your DNA sample upon arrest. It was also a decision that split across the court’s usual ideological lines: “Kennedy wrote the decision, and was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer. Scalia was joined in his dissent by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.” Any time Thomas and Scalia split on a decision it’s worth taking a look at the underlying issues involved, and I hope to take a closer (albeit of the IANAL variety) look at the actually decision when it’s online and I have time. I suspect the decision may hinge on the definition of “reasonable” search and seizure.
Setting aside (for now) the niceties of constitutional interpretation, I think this is a bad decision for both privacy and limited government, with some truly Orwellian (not to mention Huxleyion) implications. As a science fiction writer, I can think of three or four dozen ways this might be abused, and a National ID card is just the tip of the iceberg. In light of the IRS scandals, having your DNA stored in a federal database is tantamount to handing it over not only to Wikileaks and Anonymous, but any left-wing interest group with a grudge and a sympathetic bureaucrat on the inside (which is essentially all of them). And I can think of a lot darker possibilities…