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Archive → March, 2012

It's Time to Restrict the Power of the Supreme Court!

By Tony Petramonico -- Buddy Caldwell, the Attorney General of the state of Louisiana spoke this week on the steps of the Supreme Court, saying that he trusted the healthcare of the American people in the hands of the U.S. government more than he trusted it in the hands of the insurance companies.  Sounds like he had personal experience with a friend or relative having serious health issues.  That's generally all it takes for people to see and understand this  issue a little more clearly. But I have greater concerns than that.  As contentious, plodding, ineffective and dysfuncti0nal as Congress has clearly been during most of the recent sessions, I trust the Congress and the President to make laws and form policy for the American people way more than I now trust the Supreme Court to do it.   In fact, I don't trust the five conservatives on the Supreme Court at all.  The pretense that they are just and impartial arbiters of complex and contentious legal issues in the judicial system has been exposed as just that -- a pretense.  And most recently, several of the conservatives have even abandoned the pretense and revealed themselves for what they are: ideologues participating in an extra-legal power grab for conservatives,  using the judicial branch of government as their cover. I am okay with people with different ideologies and viewpoints arguing their positions and am comparatively comfortable with the results of those arguments manifesting themselves in a final, considered, well-argued point of view -- and vote -- even if it goes against my preferences. But to hear Scalia, Aliota, and Roberts talk the non-sense of broccoli, cell-phones, and ringing their hands about "over-reach" when they themselves are by far the biggest perpetrators of judicial activism and over-reach of power and authority in American politics and government today. And there sits Clarence Thomas - and his wife.  She has been such a tireless cheerleader for the anti-Affordable Care Act forces, not as a matter of  ideology or principle, but  for money - that she is controversial in her own right, irrespective of the Supreme Court.  But for Thomas to sit there, saying nothing (which is probably prudent, in this instance), without recusing himself   -- in what is glaringly obvious to us all a  conflict of interest of  major dimensions, is not only arrogant and injudicious, but shameful  -- and it tarnishes not only his personal honor and integrity, but casts deserved doubt upon the integrity and impartiality of the entire Supreme Court.     He does not deserve the trust, nor the respect of the American people. And maybe the court at large doesn't either. And the saddest part of all is that you get the sense the Thomas's are just out there money-grubbing.   They are getting theirs while the getting is good, and may the 30 million Americans without health insurance just go hang!  Sad and shameful, indeed!  

Justices Scalia and Roberts Worry About the Power of Congress?

By Frank Glenn -- Justice Antonin Scalia expressed concern in the Supreme Court hearings on President Obama's Affordable Care Act this week about the proper role, and ultimately, about the power of government.  "If the government can do this, what else can it not do?" he asked.  Chief Justice John G. Roberts added, consternedly, "All bets are off." Well, hey, guys.  The rest of us across America have bigger concerns than that! The Affordable Care Act was passed by the 435 members of the House of Representatives of the United States, both Democrats and Republicans, and  by the the 100 member U.S. Senate, and then signed into law by Barack Obama, the President of the United States, duly elected by tens of millions of voters.  That's the way government here in the U.S. works. The real question, your Honorables,  is what business is it  of the Supreme Court to over-rule Congress and the President, anyway.  Why should  five un-elected, ideological, right wing,  political appointees to the Supreme Court, several of which were appointed by an illegal, illegitimate President who was in turn illegally appointed by the Supreme Court after the 2000 election,  in contradiction of the actual popular vote count in Florida If five right wing, un-enelected political hacks in the Supreme Court, can over-rule the Congress of the United States and the President, all duly elected as their representatives in government by the American people, "what else can they not do."  And yes, Chief Justice Roberts, "All bets are off". I mean, really.  First, if the Supreme Court can effect a bloodless coup, over-ruling the demonstrable preference of the American electorate in 2000 to appoint their political "home-boy"  to the office of President, ignoring a hundred years of legal precedent in which the Supreme Court did not meddle  in state election law or the election process of individual states, including not over-ruling a state Supreme Court on in-state elections issues and cases. Even the justices, themselves, acknowleged as much, admitting that the decision was so unprecedented and so unconscionable,  that they admonished  future courts and case law litigators to please ignore what they had done and please not consider it a precedent.  Why not?  Because it, as a  precedent  was so "un-justice-like" and so without basis in case law and jurisprudence. Second, in the Citizens United case the justices re-wrote the question that was before them, which was essentially the issue of whether or not a propaganda film demonizing Hilary Clinton could be released a certain number of days before the elections of 2008 as the law stated, expanding it to the question of whether or not corporations, because they were people, could have the money they spent in elections limited or restricted in any way.  They concluded that money was free speech and therefore money spent in elections by corporations could not be limited in the same way that freedom of speech could not be limited,  as it states in the constitution. For the conservative justices on the Supreme Court to claim to be worried about the "over-reach" of government is a little like an "ax-murderering serial killer"  lamenting the loss of civility in polite society -- and  wishing for a kinder, gentler world to live in.   It's just the empty words of hollow men -- vapid -- and disingenuous.  To sum up:  You pricks are ridiculous!  And shameful! Follow us on twitter at:   twitter.com/spotondemocracy/tweets        

Louisiana GOP Attorney General Caldwell Calls for Single Payer Health Care!

By Frank Glenn -- In a startling move for a GOP Attorney General who filed suit against the Affordable Care Act for the state of Louisiana, Buddy Caldwell spoke on the steps of the Supreme Court this week, saying that we should get ride of ObamaCare and implement a single-payer health cafe system.  He also said that he did not trust the insurance companies to be solely in charge of providing health care.  He said he trusted the government to provide health care more than insurance companies and that he thought we should have a medicare-like system for the whole country.  Wow! When you think of a red state Attorney General suing the government over the Affordable Care Act, you don't usually expect him to call it too favorable and beneficial to insurance companies, and that he thinks we should get the insurance companies out of the health care for Americans and put it in the hands of the more trusted United States government.  Best new Republican in the world, Buddy Caldwell!