Tag: SCOTUS

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I was away on vacation for the past week plus and missed a very eventful news week. (Side note: was down in Disney World and while my five year old loved it I found it rather inane. What is it about these parks that some adults return over and over?) I probably missed some very […]

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Is Polygamy Next?

 

shutterstock_124665844-2John Roberts seems to think so. From his dissent in Obergefell:

Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective “two” in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not. Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world. If the majority is willing to take the big leap, it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one.

He continues:

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Now, with the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage, it is clear to me that it’s not enough for one to sit on the sideline and quietly try ignore it all and live your life.  One must actively and enthusiastically exhibit exuberance over gay marriage now being legal across 50 states.  Facebook has now encouraged and facilitated […]

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Why We Lost; What We Lost

 

ConstitutionYesterday’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges represents the culmination of a perfectly executed public relations campaign.

In a purely pragmatic sense, it’s difficult not to be impressed by what this activist-driven effort accomplished—I mean in real terms, not the unserious victory slogans of the campaign itself.

In no particular order, it:

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Like most everyone here, I’m quite concerned about the effects of the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare subsidies yesterday.  My concerns are two-fold:  first,  the policy implications for healthcare; and second, the implications for the rule of law.   On the first point, I’m starting to feel ever so slightly better.  Had the subsidies been […]

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Fighting Fatalism

 

shutterstock_135889718Like many right-of-center Americans, I fell into a months-long funk when Barack Obama was re-elected. I understood voting for a charismatic cipher in 2008 after years of war, scandal, and a financial collapse. It would have been hard for a Democrat not to win, especially with the cheerleading of newsrooms and popular culture.

But 2012 was a different matter altogether. The voters knew who Obama was. They lived through four years of economic stagnation, failed foreign policy, and the callow dilettante presiding over both. They saw the backroom deals and the trillion wasted on a fictitious stimulus, but the American people didn’t care. They agreed with Mitt Romney on nearly every issue, but Obama made failure look cool. They applauded American decline and signed on for another four years.

Week by week, I slowly got over my 2012 fatalism. I focused on the small victories conservatives could win in the states and school boards. I saw a rising tide of right-leaning problem solvers in governors’ mansions and statehouses. And despite the bad rap many millennials get, I met so many young people who got it. My inherent optimism slowly returned.

SCOTUS Kills Agency’s Raisin d’Être

 
Marvin Horne

Raisin farmer Marvin Horne won his 11-year-long suit against the federal government.

Hidden in the tottering mountain range of federal regulations is the sinister-sounding Marketing Order 989. This rule empowers the Marketing Order and Agreement Division of the Fruit and Vegetable Program of the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to manage a National Raisin Reserve.

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I must congratulate the Supreme Court for employing a good webmaster!  This website has a bundle of amicus briefs pertaining to the big upcoming big same-sex marriage decision.  I count 149 briefs!  A few highlights: On the pro-SSM side, we have briefs from: The American Psychological Association; the Organization of American Historians; the American Sociological Association; Indiana […]

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And I have mixed feelings about it.  On the one hand, the incident occasioned congratulations from several friends and family members.  On the other hand, I have been insulted and I feel a slight urge to respond.  Here’s the insulting paragraph: Heritage recently publicized the claims of “100 scholars” attacking marriage equality. Almost without exception, the “scholars” […]

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Words matter. The current matter before the Supreme Court depends on one word, marriage. All other arguments are illogical, irrational and not based in reason. Premise – the state has an interest in defining the limits of what constitutes a union between those individuals who wish to bind themselves in a family unit relationship. To promote […]

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After reading the articles that several of my Facebook friends posted concerning Indiana’s recent passage of a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) law and my friends’ and other Facebook users’ comments regarding those articles, it was clear that no one — not the journalists writing the articles, nor my friends reading them — had […]

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Answering Peter Robinson on SCOTUS and Gay Marriage

 

Peter posed a question earlier today: If the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage, how should we respond? I defer to Richard Epstein’s views on the comparison between Dred Scott, Lochner, and gay marriage. I think that Robert P. George rightly warns of the dangers of the use of the due process clause by judges to advance their personal policy preferences. There are surely similarities between the Court’s use of substantive due process in all three periods. I think that a decision imposing gay marriage on the nation incorrectly reads our constitutional structure, just as Dred Scott mistakenly interpreted the Constitution’s original understanding of federal and state control over slavery and freedom.

But there is an important difference here, one that shouldn’t affect their legal decision but will control the political response. A majority of Americans support gay marriage now, as opposed to 2008. There will be no groundswell of opposition to the Court on gay marriage in the way there was against Dred Scott.

Supreme Court Takes Up Same-sex Marriage

 

Today, the Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari to hear a case on the constitutionality of state bans on gay marriage. I thought, and continue to think, that the Supreme Court erred in Windsor two years ago in striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. The decision did not directly overrule the many states that had barred gay marriage, but the reasoning made it clear what a majority of the Justices think: discrimination against gays violates the Constitution.

Nevertheless, I thought it would be best for the Justices to allow the issue of a constitutional right of gays to marry to proceed through the states and the lower courts over time. As someone who supports gay marriage, I believe that the political process is the most appropriate means under our Constitution for the American people to reach a decision on gay rights.

Will the Newest Obamacare Challenge Succeed at the Supreme Court?

 

I’ve been asked a lot recently what I think of the Supreme Court’s decision to take up King v. Burwell, one of the legal challenges to the IRS’s decision to allow tax credits and subsidies to be applied to federal insurance exchanges, even though the text of the law seems to indicate that they’re only allowed on exchanges established by the states. I think the chances are high that the administration will lose because:

1. The plain text of the statute denies subsidies to people who live in states without an exchange. This reading is not absurd, because it creates a powerful incentive for states to create an exchange in the first place. The obvious meaning of the text should only be discarded if it creates absurd or ridiculous results. We shouldn’t discount the possibility that the Justices just want to do the right thing!

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The international community has a history of kowtowing to dictators, which is what makes the UN such a worthless batch of hens.  In other news, the United States Supreme Court has just issued its first official Strongly Worded Memo.  Stop that, President Obama, or we shall be forced to issue another. Preview Open

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A Quick Reaction to the NLRB Ruling

 

Supreme_Court_US_2010I think the decision today in NLRB v. Noel Canning is correct. It brushes back Obama’s unprecedented stretching of executive authority to appoint lower officials without the Senate, but it preserve the more traditional power for the next President. The whole affair puts on display President Obama’s abuse of presidential power for small-ball politics. Previous presidents have claimed expansive powers in the face of great emergencies, whether it be the Civil War, the Great Depression and the rise of fascism, the Cold War, or the 9-11 attacks. Obama risked the executive power built by generations of presidents just to win a few pro-union decisions on the NLRB.

It is clear that Justice Scalia has the better reading of the original Constitution. He and the conservative justices Thomas, Alito, and Chief Justice Roberts, would have held that the President cannot make appointments except for vacancies that arise between the first session of Congress and the second session of Congress, which generally matches the first and second years between House elections. That is the better reading of the constitutional text. If Scalia had been able to attract the swing vote of Justice Kennedy, he would have succeeded — ironically, given his long support for a robust executive — in permanently restricting presidential power.

Instead, the majority — Justice Breyer writing — upheld a long historical practice of Presidents filling vacancies, even those that occur when the Senate is in session. The majority found that Senates have long allowed Presidents to fill vacancies during recesses that are as short as 10 days. But the Court rejected Obama’s unprecedented claim that he could use this power even when the Senate was currently meeting. Obama made the dangerous argument that he could decide when the Senate was really conducting business or not — a claim foreclosed by the Constitution, which gives to Congress the sole power over its own proceedings. This was a bridge too far for every member of the Court, liberal or conservative.

SCOTUS Issues Two Unanimous Rulings; Obama, the Left Hardest Hit

 

shutterstock_104498510The Supreme Court issued two big decisions this morning. Like many Ricochet contributors, I too have a vibrant legal background: I worked as a temp at a law office for two weeks and got an A- in a communications law class.

Admittedly, others here have far more impressive credentials, but let me provide a layman’s play-by-play on today’s unanimous rulings.

Noel Canning v. NLRB