Archive for the ‘SCOTUS’ Category
Yesterday, I got an email alert about a lawsuit filed by the Center for Competitive Politics challenging the constitutionality of another provision of McCain-Feingold. Here’s the heart of the matter:
The Independence Institute wishes to run two ads: one asking Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennett to support a federal sentencing reform bill, and one asking citizens to contact Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and urge him to initiate an audit of the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange. The McCain-Feingold law, along with a similar state statute, effectively prevents the group from raising money for the ads.
“This situation shows the damage to free speech caused by carelessly written campaign finance laws,” said David Keating, president of CCP. “Instead of advocacy on an important public issue, there will be silence. That’s unacceptable under the First Amendment, and is the reason why we filed this lawsuit.”
Prior to the passage of Obamacare, McCain-Feingold was the worst legislation in the last half century. I can’t even say that the intent behind McCain-Feingold was good. Its effect was to protect incumbents while limiting political speech.
There’s nothing honorable about either thing.
Here’s what McCain-Feingold does to issue advocacy:
Colorado and federal law treat speech about public issues as campaign speech whenever a candidate is mentioned in a broadcast ad within 60 days of the general election. Groups must either file public reports with personal details about donors who have provided funds for the ads, or refrain from speaking. The result is what First Amendment advocates call a “chilling” effect on advocacy, depriving the public of important speech about issues of public importance.
Here’s why disclosure in these instances is frightening:
Donors and speakers have many reasons to protect their privacy. Some fear retaliation from government officials who disagree with them. Others fear physical harm or threats to themselves and their families, vandalism to their property, loss of jobs, or boycotts of their business if they support unpopular views.
Over half a century ago, the Supreme Court ruled in NAACP v. Alabama that not disclosing donors to issue advocacy groups was constitutionally protected. Imagine the fury that the KKK would’ve visited upon the people supporting the NAACP.
While the threats are different today, the threats are just as real. Instead of fearing the KKK, these days, issue advocacy groups have to worry about the Justice Department, the IRS and other agents representing weaponized government.
It’s time to eliminate another disgusting part of McCain-Feingold. The sooner it’s eliminated, the better.
Technorati: McCain-Feingold, Censorship, Issue Advocacy, NAACP v. Alabama, Supreme Court, Independence Institute, Center for Competitive Politics, Civil Rights, First Amendment, Weaponized Government, IRS, DOJ
Jeffrey Toobin’s article isn’t factually accurate:
As Congress originally conceived it, the A.C.A. called for each state to set up its own exchange with a Web site, which most of the blue states and a few of the red ones did. But two dozen of them did not, so the Obama Administration established a federal counterpart, centered on the Web site healthcare.gov.
First, three dozen states didn’t create state-run exchanges, not two. Next, HealthCare.gov was created in the same legislation that authorized states to build their exchanges. The Obama administration didn’t create HealthCare.gov after they saw states refuse to create state-run exchanges.
Then there’s this:
According to the D.C. Circuit majority, one line in the text of the A.C.A. makes the federal exchange invalid. The law says that subsidies are to be available through exchanges that are “established by a State,” without an explicit authorization of federal exchanges. Thus, according to the judges in the majority, five million or so people who have used the federal exchange to buy health insurance must now lose it.
That’s another inaccurate statement. It isn’t just that judges said people who bought insurance through HealthCare.gov weren’t eligible for subsidies. The US House, the US Senate and President Obama said it, too.
If the US House, the US Senate and President Obama wanted everyone to get these subsidies, they could’ve written it into the ACA’s language. What’s really at play here is that the US House, the US Senate and President Obama wanted everyone to be eligible for those subsidies but they also understood that they’d need a hammer to hold over red states to force them into creating state-run exchanges.
The US House, the US Senate and President Obama calculated that they could force red states into creating state-run exchanges by making it politically unpopular to not create state-run exchanges.
The problem with the Democrats’ bluff is that red states called the Democrats’ bluff. They essentially said that they weren’t worried about not creating a state-run exchange in their states.
Next, Toobin constructs a strawman argument:
Katzmann writes that “excluding legislative history is just as likely to expand a judge’s discretion as reduce it…. When a statute is ambiguous, barring legislative history leaves a judge only with words that could be interpreted in a variety of ways without contextual guidance as to what legislators may have thought. Lacking such guidance increases the probability that a judge will construe a law in a manner that the legislators did not intend.”
There’s nothing abiguous about the legislative language in this provision. It’s exceptionally clear. When a statute says that subsidies are only through exchanges “established by a state”, that means that subsidies aren’t available to people who bought their insurance through HealthCare.gov.
The more important point is that this should be a shot across the legislators’ bow to write clearly written statutes. If legislation can be “interpreted in a variety of ways”, then legislators aren’t doing their job. If the legislators who wrote the law can’t write it clearly, then that’s their problem. Period. The citizens who didn’t qualify for subsidies should take it out on the people who wrote the bill and the people who voted for the legislation.
Further, people who don’t qualify for these subsidies should take it out on Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. They’re the people who brought the bill up for a vote before anyone could read the bill. They’re the people who wrote the final bill in the privacy of their offices rather than marking it up in committees.
Here’s a whopper:
When the Affordable Care Act was being debated, every member of Congress–supporters of the A.C.A. as well as opponents–understood that the federal government would have the right to establish exchanges in states that chose not to create them. As Judge Harry Edwards observed in his dissenting opinion in the A.C.A. case, “The Act empowers HHS to establish exchanges on behalf of the States, because parallel provisions indicate that Congress thought that federal subsidies would be provided on HHS-created exchanges, and, more importantly, because Congress established a careful legislative scheme by which individual subsidies were essential to the basic viability of individual insurance markets.”
Judge Edwards is wrong. The clear language of the bill doesn’t imply that “federal subsidies would be provided on HHS-created exchanges.” It directly says the opposite.
What can be stated is that Congress wanted everyone who made less than 400% of the federal poverty level to be eligible for subsidies and that all 50 states establish state-run health insurance exchanges. Further, we can state that Congress wrote the bill the way they did to force states into creating their own health insurance exchanges.
Congress can’t have it both ways. Either they write the law to make everyone below a certain income level eligible without conditions or they write it so that only people that met specific criteria were eligible.
As the Halbig case demonstrates, textualism is as politically fraught as any other approach to judging. The Halbig case is not an attempt to police unclear drafting but rather the latest effort to destroy a law that is despised by many conservatives.
Without question, Halbig is an attempt to destroy Obamacare. The thing is whether the Supreme Court will have the courage to say that specific language means specific things or whether they’ll say that the executive branch can change a law after it’s been written by Congress, voted on by Congress and signed by the president.
What Toobin is essentially asking for is a mulligan. He’s asking for that because 36 states didn’t do what Congress had hoped they’d do. Mulligans are for golfers, not major legislation that was passed without scrutiny in the dead of night the night before Christmas Eve.
When I wrote this post, I wrote it to highlight the tactics Democrats use to steal elections. In the first post, I focused on the things the local Democratic Party is doing.
Unfortunately, this isn’t just happening at the state level. It’s happening at the federal level, too:
NOM said that an investigation revealed that its 2008 tax return and list of major donors was released to Matthew Meisel, a gay activist in Boston, MA. Email correspondence from Meisel revealed that he told a colleague that he had “a conduit” to obtain NOM’s confidential information. While testifying under oath in a deposition in the litigation, Meisel invoked the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination and refused to disclose the identity of his conduit. Documents obtained during the litigation prove that Meisel then provided NOM’s tax data to the Human Rights Campaign (whose president was a national Co-Chair of the Obama Reelection Campaign). The information was also published by the Huffington Post.
The weaponization of government by Democrats can’t be denied. In Wisconsin, John Chisholm, the Milwaukee County Attorney, opened a John Doe investigation into something that isn’t a crime in a blatant political move to scuff up Scott Walker in the hope that he’d either lose his re-election bid or that he’d be damaged goods if he wanted to run for governor.
In Minnesota, 13 DFL candidates for the Minnesota state senate coordinated their mailings with the DFL Senate Campaign Committee in an attempt to steal the Senate majority. When 11 DFL candidates got elected, the DFL Senate Caucus wrote a $100,000 check.
Nationally, the IRS sent the Human Rights Council, an issue advocacy organization, confidential IRS filings from the National Organization for Marriage, aka NOM, that listed NOM’s contributors. That’s been prohibited since the US Supreme Court issued its ruling on the NAACP v. Alabama lawsuit on June 30, 1958.
The point of this is to show the Democrats’ disdain for the rule of law, long-settled Supreme Court rulings and the Bill of Rights. If these things are standing between Democrats and election victories, then it’s predictable that Democrats will ignore the rule of law, the Bill of Rights and US Supreme Court rulings.
If I wanted to summarize this with a bit of snark, I’d say that the Democrats’ method of operation is this: Win if you can, lose if you must but always cheat. In the Democrats’ minds, it isn’t really cheating if its for the greater good.
I know that lefties’ heads will explode when they hear this but that’s their problem. These are just some of the most recent incidents when the left just threw the rules out the window. This isn’t a comprehensive list by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it’s barely the tip of the iceberg.
These days, the Democrats’ defining priority is winning at all cost. If that means lying, fine. If that means breaking well-established laws, that’s ok. If that means intimidating people out of participating in the political process, Democrats don’t have a problem with that.
Democrats won’t hesitate in cheating if it helps them win elections. The only question I have is this: when did Democrats stop caring about the rule of law?
Technorati: Chilling Speech, Censorship, IRS, Confidential Records, National Organization for Marriage, Human Rights Council, Matthew Meisel, Weaponized Government, NAACP v. Alabama, Democrats, Supreme Court Rulings, Campaign Finance Laws, Elections
Brian Beutler’s article attempts to make the case that Republicans might ultimately lose if the Supreme Court upholds today’s ruling:
An adverse Supreme Court ruling would throw the ACA into chaos in three dozen states, including huge states like Florida and Texas. The vast majority of beneficiaries in those states would be suddenly unable to afford their premiums (and might even be required to reimburse the government for unlawful subsidies they’ve already spent). Millions of people would drop out of the insurance marketplaces. Premiums would skyrocket for the very sick people who need coverage the most.
But that’s where the conservatives’ “victory” would turn into a big political liability for red- and purple-state Republicans. An adverse ruling would create a problem that could be fixed in two ways: With an astonishingly trivial technical corrections bill in Congress, or with Healthcare.gov states setting up their own exchanges. If you’re a Republican senator from a purple Healthcare.gov state—Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and others—you’ll be under tremendous pressure to pass the legislative fix. If you’re a Republican governor in any Healthcare.gov state, many thousands of your constituents will expect you to both pressure Congress to fix the problem, and prepare to launch your own exchange.
Conservatives would like to believe that they could just leave something as deeply rooted as Obamacare permanently hobbled, or that they could use the ensuing chaos as leverage, to force Democrats to reopen the books, and perhaps gut the law in other ways. I think they’re miscalculating. Just as government shutdowns and debt default threats don’t create leverage because the public doesn’t support inviting chaos in pursuit of unrelated goals, I don’t think an adverse ruling in Halbig will create leverage for the GOP.
I think Beutler isn’t just wrong about the leverage. I think he’s kidding himself if he thinks this puts Republicans in a difficult position.
By the time the Supreme Court rules on this lawsuit, it’s quite possible that there will be Republican majorities in the House and Senate. If that’s the case, think of this scenario:
Congress might well change Section 36B as part of a bigger bill that’s sure to include other provisions that Republicans like and that President Obama doesn’t like.
For instance, a new bill might include a change to 36B along with a change that eliminates the medical device tax, another change that changes the definition of a Qualified Health Plan, aka QHP, and a change that reduces the penalties for the employer and individual mandates.
Employers and families would certainly love a tiny penalty for not obeying the law. Young people would love being able to buy a catatrophic policy with a HSA to cover other expenses. There’s no question that eliminating the medical device tax would make medical device manufacturers happy.
At that point, President Obama signs the bill that’s essentially a fresh start that dramatically improves the ACA or he vetoes a popular bill that forces families to pay higher insurance premiums, that doesn’t repeal an unpopular tax and he alienates major parts of his base. In my opinion, that’s ‘Rock meets hard place’ territory for President Obama. The good news is that it’s great news for employers, families and young people.
All that’s required is for Republicans to pass a bill that’s filled with popular provisions. Since a majority of people don’t like the bill’s specifics, that shouldn’t be that difficult.
Finally, Beutler insists that this is judicial activism. There’s nothing activist about the DC Circuit’s ruling. They said that Section 36B meant what it said. For the record, here’s the specific language of Section 36B:
monthly premiums for such month for 1 or more qualified health plans offered in the individual market within a State which cover the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or any dependent (as defined in section 152) of the taxpayer and which were enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under 1311  of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The judiciary’s first responsibility is to determine whether a law is constitutional. If it passes that test, the next test is to determine whether the statute gives the executive branch the authority to take action.
In this instance, the DC Circuit ruled that the ACA didn’t give the executive branch, in this case the IRS, the authority to change a major provision of the statute.
It isn’t radical to think that the executive branch doesn’t have the authority to rewrite specific provisions of existing statutes. If the Supreme Court validates this ruling and if President Obama wants that provision changed, there’s a simple remedy: work with Congress to change that part of the ACA.
Technorati: President Obama, Halbig v. Burwell, DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Qualified Health Plans, Employer Mandate, Individual Mandate, Medical Device Tax, HSAs, Insurance Subsidies, Supreme Court, Republican Reforms
This op-ed, written by Paul Kersey of the Illinois Policy Institute, revisits the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Harris v. Quinn lawsuit. Here’s one of the key parts of Mr. Kersey’s op-ed:
Suburban Chicago mom Pamela Harris, whose youngest child has a rare genetic disorder, was one of the parents targeted for union membership. Because she would rather stay home full-time to care for her son than put him in a state facility or child care center, she qualified for a Medicaid benefit from the state worth about $25,000 per year. But the unions wanted a cut of this money.
Harris didn’t want to join the union, so she joined other families who already paid forced dues in a lawsuit challenging the scheme. In siding with Harris against the state of Illinois and SEIU last month, the high court addressed a point raised by the Illinois Policy Institute in an amicus brief: Paying dues to a union should not be a condition of receiving help from the state to care for a loved one.
I’d love hearing the SEIU or AFSCME explain how the person who a) cares for a person getting a government assistance check, b) is self-employed or c) is the parent of the person getting a government assistance check is a government worker.
Let’s follow this logically. According to SEIU’s thinking, a middle class person who takes care of their child isn’t a government employee but a person who cares for their child who gets an assistance check is a government employee.
Further, again according to SEIU’s thinking, small business owners who provide child care services aren’t government employees but child care providers who care for families that get government assistance are government employees.
That logic is tortured at best.
For instance, when a person works as a PR/communications person in a government department, there’s an organizational chart that shows where in the chain they rank and who they report to. How would an organizational chart look if a small business owner who is hired by a parent who gets government assistance is considered a government employee? Further, why would the small business owner be the government employee subject to paying union dues or a fair share fee but the person getting government assistance be a private citizen who isn’t subject to paying union dues or fair share fees?
This is the key point in Mr. Kersey’s op-ed:
Even if the SEIU wins its election, its new members won’t be forced to pay dues.
That’s the part that gives me the biggest smile. They’re expending all this effort knowing that a huge percentage of PCAs and in-home child care providers will say ‘no thanks’ to paying dues or fair share fees.
One of SEIU’s and AFSCME’s arguments is that they’ll provide training for these workers. As Hollee Saville told me, they already have access to tons of training. Most of these programs are either free or exceptionally inexpensive.
Surely, union operatives will attempt to characterize me as anti-union. Those operatives are wrong. I’m just opposed to unions telling private sector employers that they’re public sector employees.
The Democrats must think that they have to push their fake War on Women meme. This week, it’s TakeAction Minnesota’ Dan McGrath’s turn to push that dishonest meme:
The Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn rulings handed down by the Supreme Court’s conservative and male majority lay bare exactly what they value. And it’s not caring for each other. Nor is it a woman’s right to make her own decisions. Instead, these justices value ever-expanding corporate power at the expense of working people and believe that women, and the professions they lead, are worth less than others. In ruling as they did on two very disparate topics, these five men have launched an assault on women in the workplace. But it’s workers and their families who should be concerned.
In the Hobby Lobby ruling, the conservative majority took the absurd notion that corporations are people one step further. In its earlier Citizens’ United ruling, these justices granted corporations the right of free speech, and thus the ability to spend limitless amounts of money in elections. Now, these same justices have established corporate religious freedom, and the right to refuse women contraception. As the power of corporations expands, a woman’s ability to decide what is in her own best interest is diminished. That this ruling applies to “closely held” corporations means that as much as 52 percent of the American workforce may be affected.
First, I’d love hearing where the First Amendment only pertains to individuals. I still haven’t heard a Democrat point to the part of this text that says the First Amendment’s protections only pertain to individuals:
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.
The First Amendment talks about “the right of people peaceably to assemble.” Otherwise, there’s no hint on whether they thought the First Amendment should apply only to individuals.
What compelling case can Democrats make that the political speech of corporations is less legitimate than the political speech of individuals? Should LLCs with 3 owners be allowed to express their political beliefs but corporations with 50 stockholders be prohibited from expressing their political beliefs? If Democrats think that, why do they think that?
Hobby Lobby simply said that they’d offer insurance that covered 16 forms of contraceptives, not 20. Am I to think that women are incapable of making the right decision in that situation? Further, should I think that women working at Hobby Lobby can’t afford to pay for the other types of contraceptives? After all, they make twice the rate of minimum wage.
What right do women have to have their contraceptives paid for? If I received $10 for each time I’ve heard the left talk about reproductive rights are a woman’s private decision, I’d be wealthy and then some. If it’s that private, then women should bear some of that responsibility.
Finally, why should government tell people that they can’t practice their faith? The First Amendment certainly promises people that government can’t tell them how to practice their faith. That’s one of the biggest reasons why people left Europe.
In Harris v. Quinn the same five justices ruled that workers who provide care to children, the elderly and disabled are only partial government workers and, therefore, can opt out of paying union dues, even if they benefit from workplace protections obtained by a union. While public employee unions are already finding ways to adapt, this is a serious blow to their strength. But it’s an even bigger blow to care providers, 90 percent of whom in Minnesota are women, many of whom are women of color.
In Harris v. Quinn, the Supreme Court said that small business owners have the right to determine who represents them in petitioning the legislature. In fact, the National Labor Relations Act prohibits business owners from belonging to a union. The high court decided that small business owners aren’t public employees, at least in the sense that a PR person for a public agency is a public employee.
This is pure BS:
Homecare is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. But the wages these workers earn are paltry. The average wage of non-union caregivers is $9-11 per hour. In Illinois, whose homecare union was the subject of the court case, wages are $13 per hour. By limiting the power of these workers to bargain for better wages and set higher professional standards workers and those they serve lose out. While anyone who depends on a caregiver knows their work is priceless, these five justices are saying that work in the home is less valuable than other male dominated professions.
That’s a non sequitur argument. Child care provider establish their rates independent of government. If they want to negotiate a raise for themeselves, they negotiate with the parents who get the check. They don’t negotiate with the commissioner of Human Services.
If they think that government should spend more money on this assistance, then they petition for higher assistance rates. When they do that, they’re the ones who determine whether they should hire a lobbyist, a trade organization, join a union or just lobby the legislature themselves. That’s their decision alone.
The unions are dishonest in saying the Supreme Court is anti-women. That’s insulting. They aren’t anti-women. They’re just pro-Constitution. The dirty little secret is that unions don’t care about women. They see unionizing them as their best opportunity to gain more political clout.
Hollee Saville just published this information on her Facebook page:
With breakneck speed, the BMS has set the mail-ballot election for SEIU’s attempted unionization of home care providers to begin on Friday, August 1. DHS and SEIU are prohibited from the unfair labor and election practices for which SEIU is often known. If you are threatened, coerced, or harassed in any way, please contact the police and the BMS and please let us know so we can keep a record of it. Please share this information with EVERY PCA you know so that they know that they can vote NO to unionize.
We are trying to set up mailings and phone calls to inform PCAs. If you would like to help with this, please let Hollee know.
Here’s the important “fine print”:
Ballots will be mailed to each eligible employee at the home address supplied by the State of Minnesota, Department of Human Services, together with a letter of explanation and a stamped, self-addressed return envelope.
Ballots will be mailed on Friday, August 1, 2014, and must be returned to the Bureau of Mediation Services, 1380 Energy Lane, Suite 2, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108-5253, in the envelopes furnished for that purpose in order to be counted.
Any eligible employee who has not received their ballot by Friday, August 8, 2014, must personally call the Bureau at (651) 649-5421 and request that a second ballot be mailed to them.
All ballots must be returned to the Bureau office no later than 4:30 pm on Monday, August 25, 2014.
To say that Hollee and others aren’t sitting still is understatement. To say that the DFL, SEIU and AFSCME don’t get it that this will hurt them this November is understatement. I published 4 articles written by child care providers who are Democrats who oppose SEIU’s and AFSCME’s unionization drive. See here, here, here and here.
After the Harris v. Quinn ruling, SEIU and AFSCME said that the ruling wouldn’t prevent them from continuing their organizing drive. This news is proof they meant what they said. The thing is that the Harris v. Quinn ruling didn’t say they couldn’t organize. The heart of that ruling said that PCAs and others who are quasi-government employees couldn’t be forced into paying dues or fair share fees.
This organizing drive is just reminding these small business owners that the DFL doesn’t listen to them, that the DFL only listens to the special interests write big checks for their campaigns. The so-called party of the people is really the party of, by and for the elitists and special interests.
This organizing drive is proof that the DFL will always give a higher priority to bigger campaign contributions than it puts on doing the right thing. That’s a sickening thought.
David Schultz’s post about the Hobby Lobby ruling is stunningly dishonest, especially considering he’s a lawyer. Here’s Dr. Schultz’s dishonesty:
Five votes. Five Catholics. Five men. One decision. Potentially millions of American women denied contraceptive coverage.
Dr. Schultz should be ashamed of himself for making that dishonest statememt. The Hobby Lobby ruling didn’t say closely held companies like Hobby Lobby could deny all types of contraceptive coverage. It said that the ACA couldn’t force Hobby Lobby to provide coverage for 4 types of contraceptives known as abortifacients. Megyn Kelly explained in this video:
Here’s Kelly’s explanation of the Hobby Lobby ruling:
MEGYN KELLY: Nancy Pelosi either doesn’t know what she is talking about or is intentionally misleading you. First of all the gender of the justices in the Hobby Lobby majority is irrelevant. Mrs. Pelosi’s reference to it is obviously an attempt to stoke resentment. When Roe vs. Wade was decided it was all men in the majority. Does she think those justices were ill-equipped to fairly decide that case? Or is it only when a judge disagrees with Mrs. Pelosi that his gender is an issue. If Speaker john Boehner made a similar comment about the female Supreme Court justices, Nancy Pelosi would be crying sexism and that’s what she is guilty of here.
Moreover, the five men in the Hobby Lobby majority did not, I repeat, did not “determine what contraceptions are legal” nor they did get down to the specifics of “whether a woman should use a diaphragm.” What a gross misrepresentation. News flash, all birth control that was legal before this decision remains legal today. The high court simply found that a religious freedom law which was cosponsored by none other than, wait for it, Nancy Pelosi, sometimes protects corporations from being forced to violate their religious beliefs. She cosponsored the law that gave them the right!
Neither the high court or Hobby Lobby took issue with Kathleen Sebelius’s minions over at HHS mandating behind closed doors after Obamacare was passed, that companies cover birth control. Sixteen forms of it in fact. But the majority did say Hobby Lobby still had the right to object to covering four terms of birth control that happen to terminate a fertilized egg, which some believe is abortion. No one ruled those contraceptives were illegal and the diaphragm was never even discussed. It wasn’t one of the birth control forms at issue, which she should know since she famously promised us that after Obamacare was passed at some point, we’d know what was in it.
Either Dr. Schultz didn’t read the ruling or he’s intentionally being dishonest. Based on what he said later in the post, I’m betting that he’s being intentionally dishonest. Here’s what he said later in the post:
So think first about the sexism of the decision. Five male Justices rule that it is ok for an employer to deny women contraceptive coverage.
Again, that statement is dishonest. In fact, if Dr. Schultz had done his research, which he obviously didn’t, he’d know that Hobby Lobby’s insurance plan has covered contraceptives long before the ACA was passed. They just didn’t cover abortifacients.
At this point, I don’t know whether Dr. Schultz is an ill-informed scholar or if he’s a political hatchetman spewing the DFL’s chanting points. At this point, both are definite possibilities. Later, Dr. Schultz said this:
When the First Amendment was written it declared that “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion.”
Like most liberals, Dr. Schultz didn’t include the full text. Here’s that text:
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.
In other words, the First Amendment proposed a balance on religion. First, it said that the government couldn’t declare a denomination as the national religion. Their intent was to prevent the government from telling religious institutions what their beliefs should be.
The next clause in the First Amendment says that government can’t prohibit people from living their faith. Dr. Schultz says that “RFRA and the five Justice majority appear to have” established a religion. I’d pose a contrarian question. Didn’t the HHS essentially tell people that they didn’t have the right to practice their religious faith? How is it ok for government bureaucrats to tell people of faith that they can’t live out their faith but it’s wrong for the Supreme Court to protect a company’s First Amendment rights?
Dr. Schultz’s hypocrisy is disappointing. He’s substituted his political beliefs when he should be rendering a constitutional opinion. By doing that, he’s lost credibility.
AFSCME’S statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Harris v. Quinn is exceptionally defensive sounding:
“No court case can stand in the way of millions of women who help us raise our children and care for our aging parents,” said Eliot Seide, director of AFSCME Council 5. “Child care providers and home care workers will continue to have a strong voice for good jobs and quality care for their consumers. This decision doesn’t stop them from organizing and collectively bargaining with states.”
AFSCME and the SEIU can bargain with state governments all they want. They just can’t collect dues from people who don’t want to be part of the union. The ruling did nothing to prevent collective bargaining. It just said that people who aren’t directly employed by the government aren’t government employees.
“This attack on worker rights is bankrolled by billionaires and big corporations to enrich themselves at the expense of hardworking Americans,” added Seide. The Harris case was brought by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an extreme anti-worker group funded by the Koch brothers and the Walton family.
I’d love hearing Seide explain how “billionaires and big corporations” get rich because of this ruling. I think Seide’s making this stuff up for political consumption to excite his base. If union workers don’t turn out in massive numbers for the DFL this fall, the DFL will take a bigtime hit.
“We won’t let right-wing extremists rob us of our rights,” said Clarissa Johnston, a pro-union child care provider from Mounds View. “Justice won’t be served until child care providers can vote on whether we want a union. When providers choose to join a union, we gain a voice on the job. We pay our dues to make our union strong. That gives us the power to get the fair compensation we deserve. We close the income gap and we lift our families out of poverty.”
Actually, unions pay dues to get Democrats elected. The notion that these union leaders are great altruists is silly.
“We unite to lift up our profession and prepare Minnesota’s poorest children for school and success in life,” said Marline Blake, a pro-union child care provider from Minneapolis. “Our union has helped to secure pre-school scholarships that make child care affordable for working parents. We provide training in first aid and CPR, child nutrition and safe infant sleep practices. Any court case that tries to stop our union is hurting the families who depend on us to keep their kids healthy, learning and safe.”
Consider this the unions’ best qualifications argument. It isn’t persuasive, though it’s dripping with chutzpah. Insisting that unionized child care providers are the only child care providers providing quality care is insulting the high quality non-unionized child care providers doing a fantastic job.
“We won’t rest until every worker has a voice on the job,” said Seide. “It’s the only proven way for caregivers to improve their lives and the lives of the families in their care.”
The women who run these in-home child care facilities are part entrepreneur, part teacher and part supervisor. That’s before mentioning a lengthy list of other qualifications these ladies bring to the table.
I’d triple dog dare Seide to tell these anti-union child care providers to their face that unionized child care providers are the only qualified providers.
Those of us old enough to recall Richard Nixon’s time in office know that he didn’t respect the Constitution, especially the Fourth Amendment. That wasn’t the only way he broke the law but it’s certainly the most famous. That being said, this president is the greatest scofflaw-in-chief in American history because he just doesn’t care about the Constitution or the Supreme Court.
Even liberal constitutional law professors like Jonathan Turley are noticing:
The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court late last month that President Obama violated the separation of powers in appointing officials is the type of decision that usually concentrates the mind of a chief executive. Obama, however, appeared to double down on his strategy — stating in a Rose Garden speech on Tuesday that he intended to expand, not reduce, his use of unilateral actions to circumvent Congress. Summing up his position, the President threw down the gauntlet at Congress: “So sue me.”
This is just the latest proof that this president doesn’t give a damn about the rule of law or the Constitution. Apparently, he thinks he’s America’s king. Institutions like the Supreme Court and the Constitution don’t mean much to him.
Those things don’t mean much to Eric Holder, his Attorney General:
On June 26, in National Labor Relations Board v. Canning, all nine Justices ruled that President Obama’s “recess” appointments to the NLRB violated the Constitution.
Not only did Obama’s own judicial appointees vote against him (including his former solicitor general), but the majority opinion was written by Stephen Breyer, a liberal stalwart of the Court.
The Administration also lost United State v. Wurie, in which the Holder Justice Department claimed that the police and federal authorities did not need a search warrant to seize all of the information stored in the cellphone of someone who had been arrested.
Putting this in more schoolyard terms, the Obama administration and Eric Holder have gotten their butts kicked when facing the Supreme Court. The number of unanimous decisions that’ve gone against President Obama’s administration is the highest in history.
Let’s summarize these cases. In NLRB v. Noel Canning, President Obama, the CEO of the executive branch, argued that he, not the Senate Majority Leader, should determine when the Senate was in session. In US v. Wurie, Holder argued that the Fourth Amendment didn’t apply to cell phones. (That rationale escapes me entirely.) In both cases, the Supreme Court justices voted unanimously that “the constitutional scholar in the Oval Office” and his attorney general were wrong.
In fact, there have been 20 such cases during this administration — and even more if you include cases in which the administration filed an amicus brief, such as in McCullen v. Coakley, the free-speech case that was handed down the same day as the recess appointments case.
The Obama administration filed an amicus brief in that case supporting the Massachusetts law in question and helped argue the case before the Supreme Court.
But all nine justices found the Massachusetts law, which created a 35-foot “buffer” zone around abortion clinics, violated the First Amendment by restricting speech in public areas “that have historically been open to the public for speech activities.”
Here’s Dictionary.com’s definition of scofflaw:
a person who flouts the law, especially one who fails to pay fines owed.
a person who flouts rules, conventions, or accepted practices.
That definition fits President Obama perfectly. The constitutional law professor at George Washington University disagreed with the “constitutional scholar in the Oval Office”:
In our system, there is no license to go it alone. Rather, the Republic’s democratic architecture requires compromise. The process is designed to moderate legislation and create a broader consensus in support of these laws.
Nor is congressional refusal to act on a particular prescription of how to fix the economy or repair immigration laws an excuse. Sometimes the country (and by extension Congress) is divided.
When that happens, less gets done. The Framers understood such times. They lived in such a time.
Moderation isn’t this president’s hallmark. Apparently, ignoring the Constitution this president’s hallmark.
Technorati: NLRB v. Noel Canning, US v. Wurie, McCullen v. Coakley, Supreme Court, Unanimous Rulings, President Obama, Eric Holder, Richard Nixon, Lawlessness, Fourth Amendment, Constitution, Jonathan Turley