Monday, March 4, 2024

The Green of Palm Springs (annoyance after the jump)

 "The Green of Palm Springs" is an odd heading. But the hills of Palm Springs are not usually green. This year of rain and then sun has turned the hills green and wildflowers purple. It is gorgeous. Here are some unusual pictures, at least for the desert.

(After that, a break leads to my  freak out about the recent Supreme Court ruling re: Colorado ballot.)

It won't last, but it is very cool.

Last chance, don't hit the line for more unless you want to watch me go off on the court.

Okay, so the Supreme Court today ruled that Colorado (and hence other states) could not keep Trump off the ballot because of the 14th Amendment. Which was expected in some kind of narrow scope because the Supreme Court is full of Donny's butt-buddies.

But it is so much worse. The court effectively said that the 14th Amendment doesn't apply to ANY state or body that wants to keep a person from holding federal office - unless Congress says specifically that they can. Our Congress can't find their asshole with a map and compass, so this is crap.

Well, you may say, doesn't that make sense?

No, no it fucking does not. The 15th Amendment, for example, gives all men (including ex-slaves) the right to vote. But Congress has not passed a law for that to take effect, they would have to rule on each person - which is asinine but what the Supreme Court says about ANY insurrectionist.

There are no unique laws from Congress to allow 18 year olds or women the vote. There are no unique federal laws about the freedom of/from religion. Let's face it, and AMENDMENT to the Constitution is, in fact, the fucking law! Here is just a bit of reference for this crap place we are at.

That, however, is where the agreement ends. Five justices—Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh—went further: They declared that only Congress may enforce the insurrection clause against federal candidates. How, exactly? The majority says that Congress must “prescribe” specific procedures to “ascertain” when an individual is disqualified under the 14th Amendment. Such procedures, of course, do not exist today. And without them, the majority insists—in just a few paragraphs of sparse reasoning—the insurrection clause cannot be enforced against office seekers. It derives this conclusion from two primary sources: “Griffin’s Case,” an 1869 opinion written by Chief Justice Salmon Chase, acting as a circuit judge, and Section 5 of the 14th Amendment, which says, “Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

The three liberal justices wrote a separate opinion, authored jointly, to explain why this reasoning fails. First, Griffin’s Case was, until Monday, widely discredited as the political handiwork of a chief justice plotting to run for the presidency as a great conciliator between North and South. It is “a nonprecedential, lower court opinion by a single Justice in his capacity as a circuit judge,” as the liberal justices wrote. Moreover, Sen. Lyman Trumbull, an author of the 14th Amendment, resisted the logic of Griffin’s Case, declaring that while congressional legislation might provide a “more efficient and speedy remedy” for disqualifying a candidate, it is the 14th Amendment itself that “prevents a person from holding office.”

Second, it is bizarre to claim that the insurrection clause requires enabling legislation by Congress when the remainder of the 14th Amendment—indeed, all three amendments ratified after the Civil War—is “self-executing” (meaning it does not require congressional action for enforcement). Everyone agrees that Congress need not pass a law to ensure that all persons have due process, equal protection, and freedom from enslavement. Why, the liberals wondered, did the majority create “a special rule” for the insurrection clause alone? They added that the clause does mention congressional action, but only to say that Congress may lift a disqualification by two-thirds vote: “It is hard to understand why the Constitution would require a congressional supermajority to remove a disqualification if a simple majority could nullify Section 3’s operation by repealing or declining to pass implementing legislation.”

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The tale of Chiselborough

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