The Courts and the Presidency (oh and Congress too)


There is a lot of buzz on the right about President Obama and the Supreme Court.  Who can forget (and I wrote about it) that moment during the State of the Union Address when President Obama called out the Supremes on Citizens United, and Justice Alito mouthing ” that’s not true”.  Well here is some news for everyone.

This is not the first President to defy the Supreme Court.  And it probably won’t be the last.  In 1830 the Supreme Court ruled the Indian Removal Act unconstitutional.  Then President Andrew Jackson pretty much defied the order and said publicly that the court should try to enforce it’s ruling.

During the Bush administration Congress passed 2 laws about the treatment of Prisoners of war (I know I know)  let’s call them detainees.  The Supreme court ruled that both laws are unconstitutional.  The grounds of this argument was only that it attempted to strip the judiciary of its power.  The argument from the congress and administration is that by the powers of the Constitution the judiciary has no power over foreign combatants (ah  Detainees).   This let to howls from the left that Bush was defying the Supreme Court.  This would be a great constitutional debate.  Anyone up for a REAL debate?  We get a few Constitutional scholars together and debate the role of the Courts surrounding laws passed by Congress.   Like what would be  the basis for finding a law unconstitutional.  Okay back to the matter at hand.

So now we have President Obama.  Who while running for Election said that certain acts of discrimination had to be corrected.  It seems a woman named Lilly Ledbetter sued her employer for fair pay issues.  She had gone over the 180 threshold that was law at the time.  The Supreme  Court dismissed Ledbetter’s case on the ground of the timing.  But did not rule on any other issues.  The Congress of the United States voted on the Lily Ledbetter act and it was signed into law by President Obama.   I would not call this defiance of the Court.  I would call it correcting an oversight in a law.  There is a separate argument here that I find it hard to believe that even today, intentional discrimination exists.  Companies, especially large ones go to great lengths to  ensure the culture of “inclusion”.  I will admit there may be individuals, but corporate discrimination now?

So congress changed the rules and that was okay.  The Supreme Court did not go back and strike down Lily Ledbetter’s Law.  It is still in place.  Then we come to Citizens United.  This ruling has raised a firestorm of heat from all sides.  Here is the fact that nobody is talking about.  For the most part companies do not put all of their election eggs in one basket.  What do I mean?  While looking at corporate political contributions you will find that companies do not lean very heavily one way or the other when it comes to donation to politicians.  Many give almost evenly to both parties.  So why then does Barack Obama want to call out the Supreme Court during a national speech?  If anything the court opened the door for even more contributions to both parties.  If you want to see a real disparity in contributions check out the unions.  86 percent of all donations from Unions go to Democrats.  Hmmm…  THAT could be a reason for a shout out during the State of the Union.

Now we come to the Wal-Mart decision, or more correctly the dismissal.  The court found that the “class”  had no unifying factors.    They did not rule on anything other that the Class action part of the suit.  You see the courts in earlier cases have ruled that classes must have a common ground, or let’s say a common answer.  The Supreme Court looked at the arguments for the class and found various answers to one question.  Is there a common mode of discrimination throughout the company?  The court answered no thereby excluding the class in the Class action suit.   So what happens almost immediately after the decision?  The Chief talking head of the White House says that they are reviewing the decision.  I guess you would expect this.   But now we will wait to see how they react to this ruling.

While all this is going on.  Lets not forget the Patient Care and Affordability Act of 2010, which is still winding its way through the lower courts.  I that case goes before the Supremes before November 2012 there could be real fireworks, and the same applies if the President wins his reelection bid.

Hold on folks this ride is not over yet.

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2 Comments

Filed under Supreme Court, Uncategorized

2 responses to “The Courts and the Presidency (oh and Congress too)

  1. Hence, the need for the fourth branch of government, thoughtfully provided by the founding fathers and then subverted by the courts:

    For almost every problem our representatives caused and won’t fix, there is a Constitutional answer, IF we have the courage and commitment.
    The founding fathers knew from actual experience, that absolute power corrupts absolutely and made sure, in their stunning brilliance, to give the People the answer to deal with wayward and corrupt government. However, their wisdom has been superceded by lesser men’s desire to preserve and protect that which they gain through selfishness, as best exemplified by craven politicians. The answer to our many problems is the dual powers of the Grand Jury.
    A Grand Jury has tremendous investigative powers independent of any other branch. It can investigate anyone. It can subpoena any witness or evidence. No one is outside its scope to investigate, not even a judge, a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, and not a politician. A Grand Jury exists at every level of government; county, State, and the federal level. Hence, those already corrupt have a self-interest in subverting such a threat, and they did!
    Recently, I was amazed to discover that accessing the Grand Jury was a part of the Constitution, but through deceit, its availability was obstructed. I will allow the author to explain. But think about this afterwards: Why was such a fraud necessary? Why take away something that could keep the powerful humble? Who would benefit? Who HAS benefitted? Who could be or has been harmed? Has the fraud produced positive results or negative results? Has it caused monetary loss or taxes to increase? Has government gotten better without any policing? Has your life gotten better or worse with an un-governed government? With these thoughts in mind, please click (or paste) the link, and be shocked!
    American Grand Jury
    This needs to be the flagship agenda of any group upset with the downward spiral of our State and our Country. There isn’t a problem that doesn’t have at its source the common denominator of corruption. Whether it is crimes against the public good, a single person, or acts that cause our taxes to rise to pay for our politicians’ misconduct. Have you had enough of being ignored because the corrupt know what you only suspect, that there isn’t a thing you can do about it? That the system is rigged with each branch of our government protecting the other branches, both at the state and federal levels? Consider this, when was the last time you heard of a judge, prosecutor, or politician being arrested and convicted? Not many, right? Statistically speaking, they are far too low when compared to any other professions.
    Want to make a public servant, serve? Want those entrusted with power over life, liberty and your pursuit of happiness to be fearful of consequences for his or her actions? Want local politicians and officials held accountable instead of a slap on the wrist?
    You now have the answer.

    “In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the CHAINS of the Constitution.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    The Grand Jury can restore those chains and bring back accountability in our public servants, and keep them honest and you safe, and maybe able to keep some of your money! Digest this and feel free to ask questions, discuss, and disseminate.

    Dale M. Baranoski
    http://www.southjerseyjustice.com

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