Thursday, January 20, 2022

Supreme Court Score 1 to 1 (with 1 tie): Four Opinions Still outstanding

In the big world of scoring and watching the Supreme Court, I am watching the outcome of (to date) 6 major decisions. It should have been 5, but – well, you’ll see.

Score to date:

Good Guys 1 | Bad Guys -1 |Tie  -1 |Unresolved – 4


Emergency Stop of the Texas Abortion Ban: Bad Guys +1

Everyone has their opinion on the Abortion Cases, I understand that. For me, a woman’s right to choose is a matter of body autonomy, at least until the 16th week. But, the Supreme Court refused to strike down an unconstitutional law. The law might be changed this year, but the law is unconstitutional as of today (1/1/22)

Donald Trump use of Executive Privilege: Good Guys +1

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled not to take the case of Donald Trump and upheld the lower courts’ ruling to release documents. The result is not a major surprise, it follows the precedent of the Nixon Tapes. However, rejecting it out of hand is a major surprise. This means that he documents will be released now. Not after a lengthy review process that might stretch out until the mid-term elections are complete.

Use of Mandates via OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and Money: Tie

A stupid as hell tie, but a tie nonetheless. One part of the government is allowed to withhold money from Hospitals that do not enforce a mask mandate. This was upheld.

The other part disallowed a rule to enforce a mask or test mandate on larger companies. The opinion, crafted in a unique way, apparently to not rule on an aspect of the bill that would overturn thousands of laws, said that OSHA could not mandate this for safety. To get here, the court ruled that OSHA, in charge of worker safety, overstepped its bounds since Covid is not a workplace safety risk. Since it is a risk for the entire country, it is out of OSHA’s permit.


Still Open that I worry about

Overturning Roe v Wade

The Court is considering overturning Roe v Wade. This would be against precedent and at odds with what the nominees said during nomination. It is a big ass deal, and possible huge if the Court rules that body autonomy is not absolute. It depends on how they overturn it. Not only would it end Roe v Wade, the ruling could also overturn an old law that allows birth control in the states. The ruling would also allow the Courts and legislatures to pass laws to “protect” people, like anti-gay laws and anti-single parent / surrogate laws. It may not, but it would open the door.


Allow Nearly Unrestricted Handgun Carry

In a case involving the states that severely limit the carry of handguns as legal. An affirmative result for the plaintiffs (which the Court seemed inclined to rule for) would force states to adopt unlimited ease of use for handgun carry laws, either open or concealed carry. It would overturn laws in New York and California among others.


Requiring the State to Fund Religion

This court has been very supportive of religious rights, often to the detriment of laws banning discrimination. This particular case involves Maine, a sparsely populated state. In rural Maine there aren’t enough public schools in the north. So the state pays for education at private schools. The state will not pay for education at religious schools referring to the establishment clause of First Amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This has traditionally meant the state cannot support religion, and if they do, must support all religions equally (which is why some city support nativity scenes also have a Menorah nearby).


Campaign Money to Candidates

At the present time, any moneys raised during a campaign must go to the actual campaign or (if not) transferred to another campaign. Ted Cruz is spearheading a challenge that would allow candidates to scoop excess money. He brought this test case now, not after he leaves office. This would enable a quid-pro-quo donation system – or legal bribery. If passed, companies might donate a million dollars to a campaign (like Senator Cruz’) and any unspent money would go to the candidate.


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What is too much Taylor Swift

 This much ... when the singer is used to send a message about POSSIBLE future problems?