Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Some of the worst decisions ever

 Well, the Supreme Court has wrapped another year's decisions, then scrammed out of town. As one does right after you drop a big poop in someone else's house, and it won't flush.  Here are some highlights. Okay, not highlights, some of the worst decisions. I would say big ones last, but all these are pretty big.

Outlaw Homelessness

Grants Pass, Oregon - City that appealed to throw these homeless in jail

Well, many of the laws about homelessness are now legal, whereas before, they simply could not afford a permanent residence. Now, they can be imprisoned if they have no place to live instead of addressing the mental problems of people like veterans and older homeless.

Instead of addressing the massive rise in housing costs - particularly after Covid, we can throw in jail (albeit many people who still have to work in a city they can't afford simply live in cars or RVs).

Sure, in jail, they have a warm bed and food, but they also lose what few possessions they do have, including medicine and any support system on the street.

Approves Machine Guns (Bump Stock)



In a laudable move, the Trump Administration outlawed bump stocks after hundreds of people were killed or injured in a Las Vegas shooting. Well, the Supreme Court ruled Bump Stocks do NOT make a gun a machine gun because they can only shoot hundreds of bullets a second, not thousands.

Actually, the ruling was this. The Supreme Court ruled any gun you have to squeeze the trigger to shoot is not a machine gun. A "bump stock" changes a primary repeated gun into a machine gun. TECHNICALLY, with a bumps stock, the gun anticipates your firing. Instead of having to manually pull the trigger, if the butt of the gun is in your shoulder (as it must be) it automatically shoots by pushing back, reloading and continuing to fire until you are out of bullets or released the trigger. This, according to the 6 Republicans on the Court, is not "automatic" since you have to keep your finger on the trigger (FYI - like a machine gun). The Las Vegas shooter killed 61 people and injured 817 in minutes. But it wasn't a machine gun.

Technical death of EPA, FDA, OSHA, etc


This is a technical decision that impacts all of America. This ruling says that the rules made by scientists in federal agencies are not enforceable if a judge doesn't want them to be. 

This Case: The EPA made a ruling requiring polluters who build a coal plant on the state's border to stop polluting if it pollutes the neighboring state. Under current law, the experts are assumed to be correct if the EPA is sued. This new rule says no. Instead, if the polluter takes the EPA to court, the EPA scientist is not defaulted to be the expert for the truth - and polluters have to prove they are wrong. Now, polluters could offer their own experts. Neither side is considered an expert, and the judge decides if the rule is correct. So a lawyer not trained medicine or engineering - now a judge - rules on the technical regulations of chemical effects on people. Hardly surprising the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA rules on pollution are not valid.

A 6-year statute of limitations was instituted to prevent a cascade of old rules from being appealed. This will, not surprisingly, leave all of the Biden Administration's rules up for lawsuits.

One of the critical winners here is Coke, who makes Desanie water. The rule will allow Desanie to put a small amount of arsenic in the water to save money on filtering. It is less than a penny a bottle to leave arsenic in, but it adds up. And is more important than our health.

Bribery is Now Legal


Giving money to a politician before he does something for money is illegal IF you can prove that was the only reason he gave money. The Supreme Court just ruled if a politician rules for a company and THEN takes money, it is legal.

The case before the court concerned a Mayor who decided on a new Garbage Truck contract for the city. The mayor chose the winning company. Shortly after, the company gave him $13,000 ( a lot for a mayor in a small town in Indiana). The Supreme Court said the money was a "gratuity," not a bribe, and it wasn't illegal. Now, lobbyists, companies, and individuals can give money after the fact, and it isn't a bribe. Let's say Trump provides a pardon while president to a millionaire in jail. Afterward, the millionaire can give Trump a "gratuity" of $1 Million, which is all good.

Aside—Justices Alito, Thomas, and Gorsuch have all accepted gifts from billionaires, and the rulings have always been in their favor. After the fact, the justices received between $100,000 and $1,000,000 from those same people. Now, it is legal.

Individuals storming the Capital to riot to stop a Presidential transition are not Criminals

This is totally legal now.

The court ruled that the law that says impeeding an official governmental act is no longer illegal UNLESS they produce written instructions saying they are doing it to hide evidence. They overturned the guilty verdict for about 25% of the rioters. 

They couldn't decide if a dying woman was allowed an abortion in an emergency

The sign refers to doctors in Idaho and other states who cannot perform life-saving procedures on a woman hemorrhaging without losing their license.

Idaho outlaws abortion. The administration reminded all hospitals that the federal rule is that if someone is in threat of death, doctors - even in states that outlawed abortion - must save the woman's life. The Supreme Court couldn't agree if this was legal or not, so it sent it back to the circuit court to relook at it. One question they had was if the woman dying was more important than the fetus being carried. That is a question they had. 

Presidents are immune to any action they themselves deem official


For example, Trump ordered the FBI to prosecute election fraud even if none was found to be legal. Trump threatened Mike Pence's life if he certified the election - legal. Trump telling Ukraine they would not get any military support unless they lied and implicated Hunter Biden in a criminal activity - legal. Trump shared Top Secret Classfied war plans with an Australian billionaire to prove how important he was - legal.

Aside - Justice Alito and Justice Thomas did not recuse themselves despite their wives working with groups that pushed this theory.

I have no words, only an overwhelming sense of sadness.

2 comments:

  1. Even if you don't "like" Biden, think he's too old, or don't think he's done anything to improve your life style, this is why a vote for Binden is critical: It's imperative Trump doesn't get a chance to stack the Supreme Court any more than it is. 1. It's too late to select another Democrat that can beat Trump, and Biden has a chance to do that. 2. Women and children will continue to suffer severe physical harm w/o reproductive medical care. 3. Mass numbers of people will die from shootings done with assault guns/rifles. 4. Issues relating to health, environment, infrastructure, transportation, and many other conveniences we rely on that are currently regulated based on scientific studies will be determined by the courts who didn't study science. 5. Presidents can run amuck without consequence (and it my prediction Trump, if elected, will never leave office). I too am sad but I am also very, very afraid. If not for yourself, if you have children vote for Biden.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree 100%. I think Biden is way too old, BUT he is a good guy, a known quantity, and probably our best chance of winning.

    ReplyDelete

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