Friday, June 24, 2022

Let's Review This Term's big Supreme Court Decisions (opinions all mine)

Supreme Court Score:

Good Guys 1 | Bad Guys 8 |Tie  -1

Overruling Voting Rights Act: Bad Guys +1
The Supreme court overturned a District Court that was required to review Alabama House Districts. The court (with a Trump appointed majority) ruled it was not legal under the voting rights act and put the new districts on hold until this is fixed. The Supreme Court issued a Shadow Docket ruling that A) agreed to take this up next term but B) reinstated the illegal districts until then, which is well after the primary and general election. Thereby gutting the Voting Rights Act further. An Act that was passed legally by Congress.

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. 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) (Note: Supreme Court has not ruled on the bounty hunter provision of this and copy cat laws).

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 none the less.
One part of the government is allowed to withhold money from Hospitals that do not enforce a mask mandate. 
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.

“State Secrets” New 4Mar22: Bad Guys 1
In March, the Supreme Court voted 6-3 that the very idea of “black sites” is a state secret. This comes from a Polish case and the lawyers there asked to question the CIA torturer that handled this man in a Polish Black Site. Now, everyone the CIA operates Black Sites around the world. And we used them during the Afghan War to “interrogate” people. But the US government did not want to say what they did to people – which is what the case is about. So the US Government declared in front of the Supreme Court that just because everyone knows about the “Black Sites” doesn’t mean that the US will support this lawsuit. In fact, the black sites are technically a secret that the US will neither confirm nor deny. But the US has confirmed the existence of these sites before. But this allows the government to hide behind a transparent lie. But it doesn’t have to say what we did. 

Overturning Roe v Wade: Bad Guys 1
Yeah, you get it.
Previously: 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.
It also makes the case that Gay Marriage can be overturned. New updated, this decision also effects birth control (which they are attacking as causing abortions), marriage between races and, as Teas is trying, perhaps education of undocumented children.

Allow Nearly Unrestricted Handgun Carry: Bad Buys 1
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: Bad Guys 1
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 Minora nearby).

Campaign Money to Candidates: Bad Guys 1
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.
No surprise, Supreme Court agrees with Cruz. Decides that if you can’t pull extra money from your campaign to yourself, you are stopping free speech?

Right to retrial is there was a Bad Court Appointed Attorney and there IS evidence of innocence: Bad Guys 1
The court overturned a precedent that if you have a bad lawyer that screwed up, you cannot appeal with new information. Even if that information shows you are innocent. You can only use the information that the attorney brought up, even if the attorney sucked! This overturns a 2012 precedent that allowed convicted people to sue if their attorneys screwed up badly. Oh well, the guy is on death row despite any amount of contrary information. You can only sue and bring up the evidence that the horrible attorney introduced.

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