Tag Archives: SCOTUS

Elizabeth Warren Calls Supreme Court Right-Wing, ‘Pro-Corporate’

elizabeth warren supreme court

BOSTON – SEPTEMBER 2: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at the annual Labor Council breakfast in Boston, Sept. 2, 2013. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi for The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

In  my opinion Senator Warren is the smartest and bravest politician in Washington…

The Huffington Post

In a speech at an AFL-CIO convention on Sunday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) criticized the Supreme Court for being too right-wing and serving the interests of Big Business over the needs of Americans.

In voicing her support for the labor movement and promoting an agenda aimed at defending working families, Warren warned of conservative-leaning justices and a “corporate capture of the federal courts.”

“You follow this pro-corporate trend to its logical conclusion, and sooner or later you’ll end up with a Supreme Court that functions as a wholly owned subsidiary of big business,” Warren said.

Warren said that Wall Street and major corporations are making it difficult for labor leaders to enact financial reform.

“The big banks and their army of lobbyists have fought every step of the way to delay, water down, block or strike down regulations,” Warren said. “When a new approach is proposed -– like my bill with John McCain, Angus King and Maria Cantwell to bring back Glass-Steagall -– you know what happens. They throw everything they’ve got against it.”

“I believe that if people would be opposed to a particular trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not happen,” she said.

Warren was citing a bipartisan bill aimed at separating lending and trading.

“Despite the progress we’ve made since 2008, the biggest banks continue to threaten the economy,” Warren said in a written statement defending the bill. “The four biggest banks are now 30 percent larger than they were just five years ago, and they have continued to engage in dangerous, high-risk practices that could once again put our economy at risk.”

After Warren concluded her speech, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka praised the senator, saying, “Ah, if we could only clone her.”

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David Gregory on “Obamacare”: “Nobody’s really been given anything yet.” Oh really?

In my opinion David Gregory still has a lot to learn about “Obamacare”…

The Political Carnival

I was barely awake when the news was blasted loud and clear about the Supreme Court upholding the individual mandate. That woke me up pretty quickly. But you know what really opened my eyes? This quote by MSNBC’s David Gregory (host of NBC’s Meet the Press”) when he was asked to comment about how Republicans would respond to the president’s victory:

“Nobody’s really been given anything yet.”

He said that to buttress the idea that the voting public wouldn’t be swayed by the decision because, see, they haven’t “benefited yet,” so they still won’t support the plan.

Yes, he said that. Yes he’s uninformed and unqualified to work in the news media.

So none of this happened, David?

  • Providing Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credits Effective Jan. 1, 2010
  • Allowing States to Cover More People on Medicaid Effective April 1, 2010
  • Relief for Four Million Seniors Who Hit the Medicare Prescription Drug “Donut Hole” Program applied only on 2010.
  • Cracking Down on Health Care Fraud Many provisions effective now
  • Expanding Coverage for Early Retirees Applications for employers to participate in the program available June 1, 2010.
  • Providing Access to Insurance for Uninsured Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions National program established July 1, 2010
  • Putting Information Online Effective July 1, 2010
  • Extending Coverage for Young Adults Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010 Under the new law, young adults are allowed to stay on their parent’s plan until they turn 26 years old.
  • Providing Free Preventive Care Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010
  • Prohibiting Insurance Companies from Rescinding Coverage  Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010
  • Appealing Insurance Company Decisions  Effective for new plans beginning on or after September 23, 2010
  • Eliminating Lifetime Limits on Insurance Coverage Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010
  • Regulating Annual Limits on Insurance Coverage Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010
  • Prohibiting Denying Coverage of Children Based on Pre-Existing Conditions Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010 for new plans and existing group plans
  • Holding Insurance Companies Accountable for Unreasonable Rate Hikes Grants will be awarded beginning in 2010
  • Holding Insurance Companies Accountable for Unreasonable Rate Hikes Grants will be awarded beginning in 2010
  • Prescription Drug Discounts Effective January 1, 2011
  • Free Preventive Care for Seniors Effective January 1, 2011
  • Improving Care for Seniors after They Leave the Hospital Effective January 1, 2011

Oh, and there was this: Damn that “Obamacare” and its $1.1 billion in rebates!

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DENIED

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Stay Of Execution In Highly Controversial Georgia Case

The Huffington Post

[...]

Live Blog

Today 10:32 PM Execution Expected In 20-30 Minutes

thinkprogress @ thinkprogress : MSNBC reports that Troy Davis execution is expected in the next 20 to 30 minutes #toomuchdoubt 

 

Today 10:32 PM Supreme Court’s Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court decision to deny the stay of execution can be viewed here.

Today 10:30 PM No Dissents

GregMitch @ GregMitch : CBS News: no dissents at all from any of SCOTUS justices. 

 

Today 10:22 PM Reuters Confirms Denial Of Stay

Reuters @ Reuters : FLASH: U.S. SUPREME COURT REJECTS STAY OF EXECUTION FOR GEORGIA DEATH ROW INMATE IN HIGH-PROFILE CASE 

 

Today 10:21 PM Report: U.S. Supreme Courts Denies Request For Stay Of Execution

BreakingNews @ BreakingNews : US Supreme Court denies request for stay of execution for Georgia inmate Troy Davis – wire services 

 

Today 10:11 PM Protest In Athens, GA

From Athens, GA Patch:

 

The Arch is the usual place of protest in Athens. 

On Wednesday night, about 50 people gathered there with signs to protest the impending execution of Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis, convicted 22 years ago of murdering a Savannah policeman.

 

Full story here.

 

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Supreme Court sides with pharmaceutical industry in two decisions

The right wing majority on the SCOTUS has once again sided with corporations.  It seems that’s all they do.  No surprise here, just another assault on the middle class and the poor.   Citizens United, Walmart and now this.

Who are the people that normally purchase “generic” drugs? 

Those who cannot afford the brand name or those who have health insurance policies (including Medicaid and Medicare) that require that a pharmacy ONLY fill the prescription with a generic brand unless there’s no generic available.

Los Angeles Times

Justices rule that generic drug makers cannot be sued by injured patients in most cases and that drug manufacturers have a 1st Amendment right to buy private prescription records to use for marketing purposes.

The Supreme Court gave the pharmaceutical industry a pair of victories, shielding the makers of generic drugs from most lawsuits by injured patients and declaring that drug makers have a free-speech right to buy private prescription records to boost their sales pitches to doctors.

In both decisions Thursday, the court’s conservative bloc formed the majority, and most of its liberals dissented.

About 75% of the prescriptions written in this country are for lower-cost generic versions of brand-name drugs. Federal law requires the makers of brand-name drugs to label their products with FDA-approved warning information and to update the warnings when reports of new problems arise.

But in a 5-4 decision, the high court said this same legal duty to warn patients of newly revealed dangers did not extend to the makers of copy-cat generic drugs.

Justice Clarence Thomas reasoned that the warning labels were the responsibility of the brand-name makers and the Food and Drug Administration. He said that because generics were just copies, their makers could not be sued for inadequate warnings if those warnings didn’t exist on the original.

Continue reading  here….

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Thomas’ ethical problems in the spotlight

I, for one, will continue to keep this issue in the spotlight on this blog.   I still believe that it is the backstory of the Anthony Weiner fiasco that everyone including, nay, especially the main stream media, ignored.

As an Anthony Weiner advocate (I used to live in Queens, but not in his district, so there is an inherent affinity for Weiner, as a native son.  Aside from the geographical connection, former Rep. Anthony Weiner and former Rep. Alan Grayson were the most outspoken and passionate supporters for their constituents and for the masses of people disenfranchised by GOP policies. 

Can anyone see a correlation here or am I just wearing my tin-foil hat too tightly?

Daily Kos

The New York Times’ report this weekend highlighted just one of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s problems with ethics.

[Justice Clarence Thomas and real estate magnate Harlan Crow] met in the mid-1990s, a few years after Justice Thomas joined the court. Since then, Mr. Crow has done many favors for the justice and his wife, Virginia, helping finance a Savannah library project dedicated to Justice Thomas, presenting him with a Bible that belonged to Frederick Douglass and reportedly providing $500,000 for Ms. Thomas to start a Tea Party-related group. They have also spent time together at gatherings of prominent Republicans and businesspeople at Mr. Crow’s Adirondacks estate and his camp in East Texas.In several instances, news reports of Mr. Crow’s largess provoked controversy and questions, adding fuel to a rising debate about Supreme Court ethics. But Mr. Crow’s financing of the museum, his largest such act of generosity, previously unreported, raises the sharpest questions yet — both about Justice Thomas’s extrajudicial activities and about the extent to which the justices should remain exempt from the code of conduct for federal judges.

This is just one in a growing list of ethical problems for Thomas:

Unethical Fundraising: The Code of Conduct does not allow judges to “personally participate in fund-raising  activities,  solicit funds for any organization, or use or permit the  use of the  prestige of judicial office for that purpose,” except in  very limited circumstances. Yet Justice Thomas attended a Koch-sponsored political fundraiser intended to fund the conservative infrastructure of front groups, political campaigns, think tanks and media outlets. This attendance is technically legal, because of the justices exemption from the Code of Conduct, but the justices claim that they have long followed a policy of “look[ing] to the Code of Conduct for guidance”  in determining when they may participate in fundraising activities.Failure to Disclose: Federal judges and justices are required by law to disclose their spouse’s income — thus preventing persons who wish to   influence the judge or justice from funneling money to them through   their husband or wife. Nevertheless, Thomas falsely claimed that his  wife Ginni — a lobbyist and high-earning member of the professional right — earned no non-investment income whatsoever while she was working at  the right-wing Heritage Foundation. When asked to explain this error,  Thomas — who is one of the nine people responsible for issuing binding  interpretations of the nation’s founding document — claimed that he “misunderst[ood] the filing instructions.”

Potential Conflict of Interest: Ginni Thomas used to lead an organization that vigorously opposes the Affordable Care Act, and she even briefly signed a memo calling that Act unconstitutional. Ginni also may be earning lobbying fees for working to have this Act repealed. A team of conservative lawyers recently argued that such activities by a judge’s spouse requires the judge to recuse from the lawsuits challenging the ACA, but a defiant speech Thomas gave to the conservative Federalist Society leaves little doubt that he will not recuse.

A Financial Stake in His Own Decisions?: Ginni Thomas may also be getting rich off of her husband’s vote in the infamous Citizens United decision — which freed corporations to spend billions of dollars to buy U.S.  elections. Ginni’s new lobbying firm “offers advice on optimizing  political investments for charitable giving in the non-profit world or political causes,” a line of work which has obviously become much more  lucrative since Citizens United.

Continue reading here…

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Ex-Companion Details ‘Real’ Clarence Thomas

ThomasandDorr

Image via Wikipedia

The New York Times

Lillian McEwen is not one of the women whose name is generally associated with Justice Clarence Thomas and his contentious confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court seat.

But now, at age 65 and retired from a long legal career, with nothing to lose and a book to sell, Ms. McEwen is ready for that to change.

This week’s news that his wife, Virginia, had left voice mail for Anita Hill, asking her to apologize for “what you did with my husband” at the confirmation hearings, gave Ms. McEwen an unexpected opportunity to talk about Justice Thomas, the man she was romantically involved with for “six or seven years” in the 1980s. The phone call, she said in an interview Friday, makes sense to her.

For Ms. Thomas, she said, the accusation of sexual harassment made by Ms. Hill “still has to be a mystery, that he is still angry about this and upset about it after all these years, and I can understand that she would want to know why, and solve a problem if she could — I mean, acting as a loyal wife.”

But Ms. McEwen said she knew a different Clarence Thomas, one whom she recognized in the 1991 testimony of Ms. Hill, who claimed that he had repeatedly made inappropriate sexual comments to her at work, including descriptions of pornographic films.

Ms. McEwen said that pornography for Justice Thomas was “just a part of his personality structure.” She said he kept a stack of pornographic magazines, “frequented a store on Dupont Circle that catered to his needs,” and allowed his interest in pornography to bleed into his professional relationships.

“It starts inside,” she said, tapping her head during a 30-minute interview inside her three-story condominium in Southwest Washington. “And then your behavior flows from what it is that’s important to you. That’s what happened with him, certainly.”

Justice Thomas, through a Supreme Court spokeswoman, Kathy Arberg, declined to comment.      Continue reading…

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Rep. Peter DeFazio Investigating Impeachment For Chief Justice John Roberts

I hope they include Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia as well.  In my opinion, this is the most corrupt Supreme Court I have seen in my lifetime.

Huffington Post – Amanda Terkel

With Democrats increasingly outraged over the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision that allowed unlimited corporate spending in elections — a change conservatives have been more successful at taking advantage of — a Democratic congressman is raising the prospect of impeaching the Supreme Court’s chief justice over the issue.

“I mean, the Supreme Court has done a tremendous disservice to the United States of America,” Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. “They have done more to undermine our democracy with their Citizens United decision than all of the Republican operatives in the world in this campaign. They’ve opened the floodgates, and personally, I’m investigating articles of impeachment against Justice Roberts for perjuring during his Senate hearings, where he said he wouldn’t be a judicial activist, and he wouldn’t overturn precedents.”

In his 2005 confirmation hearings, Roberts famously said, “Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.”

According to DeFazio, Roberts hasn’t stood by his own doctrine. He pointed to former Justice John Paul Stevens’s dissent in the case, in which he said the Citizens United case was not properly brought before the Supreme Court. “This procedure is unusual and inadvisable for a court,” Stevens said of the process. “Our colleagues’ suggestion that ‘we are asked to reconsider Austin and, in effect, McConnell,” ante, at 1, would be more accurate if rephrased to state that ‘we have asked ourselves’ to reconsider those cases.”

“Justice Stevens makes the point that Roberts decided a case that wasn’t even before the Court, and invited the issue before the Court,” said DeFazio. “It was the most extraordinary condemnation I’ve ever read of a perverted majority on the Supreme Court, at least in recent years.”

The last Supreme Court justice to face impeachment hearings was Samuel Chase in the early 1800s, who faced charges that he was being too partisan on behalf of the Federalist Party. The House of Representatives impeached him but the Senate did not convict, and he remained on the bench. Legal scholars doubt that impeachment hearings against Roberts would go anywhere.   Continue reading…

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Rachel Maddow – Supreme Court Justice Thomas’ WIFE makes no pretense of impartiality

We reported on Mrs. Thomas’ political activities months ago.  Reports of her activities seemed to occur under the radar of mainstream news outlets, then and now…

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Alito Refers Taitz Appeal To Entire Supreme Court

TPM Muckraker

Birther queen Orly Taitz has spent the better part of a year fighting a $20,000 fine slapped on her by a federal judge for filing frivilous birther lawsuits contesting President Obama’s elibility to hold the office. A few weeks ago, she applied to the Supreme Court to reverse the fine.

When Justice Clarence Thomas denied her application, she vowed to apply to each of the other justices in turn. The next justice she applied to was Samuel Alito, who has now referred the matter to the to the entire court.

We don’t know what the Supreme Court will do. It’s a strange case — as the Ledger-Enquirer, which has been following the case, pointed out, the way to appeal to the Supreme Court is via a formal writ of certiorari, not an application to stay.

Taitz is doing whatever she can to fight the fine. She’s gone so far as to ask Chief Justice John Roberts to verify that it is really Thomas’ signature on his denial.

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Welcome To The United “Corporate” States Of America

Today the Supreme Court  handed down a 5-4 decision  in favor of corporations throwing their money into our election process.

Think Progress:

In what could prove to be the most consequential Supreme Court decision in decades, all five of the Court’s conservatives joined together today to invalidate a sixty-three year-old ban on corporate money in federal elections. In the process, the Court overruled a twenty year-old precedent permitting such bans on corporate electioneering; and it ignored the protests of the four more moderate justices in dissent. As Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the dissenters:

Today’s decision is backwards in many senses. It elevates the majority’s agenda over the litigants’ submissions, facial attacks over as-applied claims, broad constitutional theories over narrow statutory grounds, individual dissenting opinions over precedential holdings, assertion over tradition, absolutism over empiricism, rhetoric over reality. Our colleagues have arrived at the conclusion that Austin must be overruled and that §203 is facially unconstitutional only after mischaracterizing both the reach and rationale of those authorities, and after bypassing or ignoring rules of judicial restraint used to cabin the Court’s lawmaking power. … At bottom, the Court’s opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.   More…

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