Cato Institute backs Kevin Trudeau in Supreme Court case! Click here to read all about it: http://www.cato.org/pubs/legalbriefs/Trudeau.pdf
April 18, 2012
By Alan Phillips, J.D.
“So New York thinks children are smart enough to make their own health decisions. If this is the case, why not let them eat ice cream for dinner?” –KTRN
New York’s A343 and S384, if enacted into law, will give children the right to consent to HPV and Hep B vaccines, without the knowledge and consent of their parents. Regardless of your position on vaccines, these bills set a disturbing precedent in violation of the U.S. Constitution. If you live in New York, take or send this Memorandum of Law to your state representatives, along with any other concerns you may have, to oppose these bills!
As a starting place, constituents are “one person with one vote.” If your position is one held by a minority, which is usually the case with vaccine freedom-of-choice advocates, legislative activism is an up-hill battle. But legislative activism involves the art of persuasion, since ultimately, legislatures can enact any law they have the votes for, Constitutional or not. So, if you can tell your representative, “I don’t like this bill” and why that can be persuasive, but if you can add to that, “and by the way, you can’t enact this bill into law because it’s unconstitutional,” you can substantially bolster your “one person, one vote” starting point. Furthermore, a loud minority can often influence legislation considerably, and a compelling legal argument can add considerable “volume” to your position. So, if this Memorandum represents your views, then given a copy to your NY rep today!
Meanwhile, here’s a summary of some of the legal and other problems with NY’s A343 and S384:
1. They are unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court has stated: “Most children, even in adolescence, simply are not able to make sound judgments concerning many decisions, including their need for medical care or treatment. Parents can and must make those judgments.” Giving medical decision-making authority to children violates parents’ 14th Amendment Constitutional due process right to parent their children. When the state takes parental decision-making away from parents, it is essentially saying that the parents are unfit to make those decisions. When the state gives that authority to children, it is saying that kids are fit to make decisions that the parents aren’t fit to make. Rather absurd, isn’t it?!
2. These NY bills violate parents’ First Amendment “free exercise” of religion. Parents, and not children, have the legal authority to exercise a vaccine religious exemption for their children under N.Y. Pub. Health Law § 2164(9). They also violate the NY State Constitution’s religious liberty section, which supports NY parents’ right to refuse vaccines for their children for religious reasons.
3. These bills violate the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which requires “each healthcare provider who administers a vaccine” to “provide to the legal representatives of any child” a copy of information “prior to the administration of the vaccine.” A child can’t consent to the administration of a vaccine without the parent’s knowledge and consent if the person administering the vaccine must first give the parent vaccine information. If healthcare providers administer a vaccine to a child without first giving the required information to parents, they are violating federal law, and in the process, probably violating state medical ethical rules at the same time (because of violating federal law), subjecting themselves to discipline by their state medical, nursing, or other relevant boards.
April 6, 2012
By Michael Lind
“The Supreme Court is completely out of control – just like virtually every other government organization.” –KTRN
On Monday, we had another example of the Supreme Court’s ideological division: a 5-4 ruling, along partisan lines, giving police the right to conduct strip searches for any offense. This came on the heels of last week’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court about the constitutionality of the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act, which led many observers to predict that the nation’s highest judicial body will strike down part or all of the controversial healthcare reform package. But the hearings were instructive in other ways. They showed once again that political partisanship is closely correlated to a justice’s view of the law. And they proved that the Supreme Court once again is functioning, not as a court, but as a third house of the federal legislature.
The U.S. Constitution, like many state constitutions, really is two constitutions in one. There is the black-letter constitution, which consists of rules about which there is little or no dispute. Most of these have to do with qualifications for representatives, like Article I, Section 3, Clause 1, as amended: “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.” Not a whole lot of room for interpretation there.
The other constitution, embedded in the same document, is the Blank Constitution. It is not so much a limit on power as an assignment of the power to fill in blanks left in the text, like the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment.” The need to fill in the blank is admitted even by champions of the “original intent theory,” who must dig up historical evidence of what the drafters and ratifiers might have thought was cruel and unusual punishment at the time of the Constitution’s adoption. The answer is not contained in the text.
April 4, 2012
By Joe Wright
“It looks like the Supreme Court is out of control too. Maybe they should go bowling with the FDA.” –KTRN
The Supreme Court continues to erode every protection Americans have come to expect as their guarantee under the law of the land, known as the U.S. Constitution.
In addition to ruling 5-4 this week to allow prison strip searches for minor offenses, they now have ruled that government witnesses — informants — can lie to the grand jury and, in so doing, will be immune from civil lawsuits by the wrongfully accused.
Justice Alito concurred with the strip search opinion above, and he is at the forefront of this current ruling, which I believe sets a horrible precedent that lying even to a Grand Jury carries no penalty whatsoever.
The ruling makes an argument that Grand Jury cases often involve violent criminal elements, which seek to go after witnesses, and that civil lawsuits would only seek to publish their identity, putting witnesses in harm’s way. Furthermore, Alito argued that suits could deliberately be filed specifically to uncover a particular identity.
While this particular reasoning seems logical at first glance, the case upon which this ruling was established was not one where the above scenario would apply. In other words, the precedent-setting case is one that establishes the broadest possible framework. The case is Rehberg vs. Paul in which:
April 4, 2012
By Patrick Henningsen
“Obama taught constitutional law? Really?” –KTRN
Many a constitutional scholar were left with their jaws hanging near their ankles following Obama’s press conference on the White House lawn yesterday, where he railed against Supreme Court, describing their potential to overturn his Obamacare as that of an “Unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constitutional and passed law.”
According to the President, it would be “unprecedented” for the Supreme Court to overturn his health care law. His preemptive strike against the Supreme Court should worry more people than opponents of Obamacare.
What is most amazing is that this statement comes from someone who purports to have taught Constitutional Law at University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. One might come to conclusion that Obama had someone else take his law exams, not least because the Supreme Court’s ability to overturn such legislation hasn’t been “unprecedented” since Marbury v. Madison in 1803.
Even more disturbing than his individual display of legislative incompetency, or the chief executive’s own summary ignorance of history, is an inability to grasp the over arching concept of separation of powers, also known as “checks and balances”, which is the keystone of an American constitutional republic. The Constitution does not explicitly say whether any branch of government should rule over another, but James Madison, in the Federalist Papers, did hint that “it is not possible to give to each department an equal power of self-defense. In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates.”
April 3, 2012
“Orwellian’s 1984 is slowly becoming reality.” –KTRN
Unpaid parking tickets? That’s a strip search. And no leash on your doggie? That’s a strip search too. It might sound weird, and a wee bit terrifying, but that’s the verdict out of the United States Supreme Court this week.
The US Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 vote made Monday that law enforcement officials have the right to conduct invasive strip searches on any arrested persons, no matter how minor the alleged offense might be. The decision comes after the highest court in America examined an earlier case in which a man was wrongly arrested due to a processing error over an unpaid fine and then brought to two separate holding facilities where he was subjected to searches he says were“humiliating.”
Albert Florence was arrested in New Jersey back in 2005 after his pregnant wife was pulled over for driving their car above the posted speed limit. Responding officers identified Mr. Florence on the scene in the passenger seat and discovered a warrant for his arrest stemming from unpaid fines. An investigation would later reveal that the fines in question had indeed been paid in full, but before law enforcement could come to that conclusion, Mr. Florence spent a week behind bars. While detained, Florence was forced to strip naked, squat and manipulate his genitals twice for inspecting officers examining him for contraband, gang-related markings and communicable diseases.
Florence would go on to argue that the way he was handled over a minor (and incorrect) offense violated his rights under both the Fourth and Fourteen Amendments of the US Constitution, an argument a Federal District Court agreed with during an initial hearing. A Third Circuit Court would later rule, however, that strip-searching nonindictable offenders without reasonable suspicion was not a constitutional violation, which in turn brought the case to the Supreme Court. On Monday, five justices sided with the appeal and agreed that any detained alleged criminal, regardless of the crime, could be strip searched if deemed necessary by law enforcement.
April 2, 2012
“Even the Supreme Court thinks Congress is lame.” –KTRN
The Supreme Court left little doubt during last week’s marathon arguments over President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul that it has scant faith in Congress’ ability to get anything done.
The views about Congress underlay questions from justices who appear to be on both sides of the argument over the constitutionality of the law’s key provision, the individual insurance requirement, as well as whether the entire law should be thrown out if the mandate is struck down.
The comments were particularly striking from the conservative justices who have called on unelected judges to show deference to the actions of elected officials.
Justice Antonin Scalia, who appeared strongly in favor of striking down the entire law, was the most outspoken in his disdain for the branch of government that several justices can see from their office windows.
“You can’t repeal the rest of the act because you’re not going to get 60 votes in the Senate to repeal the rest. It’s not a matter of enacting a new act. You’ve got to get 60 votes to repeal it. So the rest of the act is going to be the law,” Scalia said, explaining it might be better to throw the whole thing out.
Justice Anthony Kennedy draw laughs when he asked a lawyer describing what Congress would want the court to do, “Is that the real Congress or a hypothetical Congress?”
Several justices joined in the courtroom’s laughing reaction when the lawyer leading the challenge to the law appeared to suggest Congress could pass new legislation “in a couple of days,” if the court wiped away the entire law.
The justices thus seemed to be thinking along the same lines as the public, according to polls that show Congress’ standing at historic lows.
That outlook, more prevalent among the conservatives than the liberals on the court, is one reason that the Obama administration’s lawyers ran into such stiff resistance in questions from the bench.
Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. repeatedly invoked Congress’ power under the Constitution to take aggressive action to deal with health care, which makes up 17 percent of the U.S. economy, and with the problem of 50 million people who lack insurance but whose health costs are being passed on to taxpayers and those with insurance.
The court, Verrilli said at the end of Tuesday’s argument session, “has a solemn obligation to respect the judgments of the democratically accountable branches of government.”
March 27, 2012
By Kurt Nimmo
Now that Obama’s unconstitutional monstrosity – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare – has reached the Supreme Court, it is time for Justice Elena Kagan to recuse herself.
As solicitor general of the United States, Kagan headed up an office that formulated the Obama administration’s legal defense of the legislation.
She is obliged under Section 455(b)(3) of Title 28 of the U.S. Code to recuse herself from cases where a justice has “served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser, or material witness concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case or controversy.”
In February, Senator Jeff Sessions cited United States v. Gipson, a decision made by the Tenth Circuit that held judges who have “previously taken a part, albeit small, in the investigation, preparation, or prosecution of a case” must disqualify themselves.
“Previously undisclosed e-mails that the Justice Department has released pursuant to court order demonstrate Kagan’s direct involvement in the administration’s defense of the president’s health law from the very beginning,” writes Sessions. “In January 2010, she assigned her chief and only political deputy, Neal Katyal, to the matter — the legal equivalent of a firm’s senior partner delegating work to a junior associate. That same month Katyal wrote in an e-mail to the associate attorney general’s office that ‘Elena would definitely like OSG [Office of Solicitor General] to be involved in this set of issues.’ These actions alone constitute personal participation in the preparation of the case, and that is all §455(b)(3) requires to trigger mandatory recusal.”
“Justice Kagan’s involvement in the preparation of the government’s defense of the health-care law began at least as early as January 2010, four months before her nomination and two months before the bill became law. That she would not follow the same course in the health-care case is dubious. These facts require recusal,” Sessions concludes.
February 21, 2012
By Madison Ruppert
“Didn’t Obama run on a platform of change? Apparently not.” –KTRN
So much for change. The Obama administration is continuing their efforts to go back on every single campaign promise, and beyond all odds make themselves look even worse than the administration of George W. Bush.
Personally, I didn’t think such a thing was possible, but with the extrajudicial killing of Americans, refusal to explain why they think they can engage in such activities (multiple times, no less), the passing the radically un-American National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA), and so much more, Obama is doing a great job at proving me wrong.
Now to continue this trend, Barack Obama has instructed the Justice Department to defend the warrantless wiretapping policy first introduced under George W. Bush.
In response, just last week the Department of Justice filed papers with the Supreme Court seeking to overturn a decision from an appeals court which allowed a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to continue.
This suit challenged the constitutionality of a law passed in 2008 which gave the American government what had previously been an unprecedented amount of power to snoop on American citizens without any semblance of probable cause.
February 14, 2012
By Paul Craig Roberts
The United States government and its NATO puppets have been killing Muslim men, women and children for a decade in the name of bringing them democracy. But is the West itself a democracy?
Skeptics point out that President George W. Bush was put in office by the Supreme Court and that a number of other elections have been decided by electronic voting machines that leave no paper trail. Others note that elected officials represent the special interests that fund their campaigns and not the voters. The bailout of the banks arranged by Bush’s Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sachs chairman, Henry Paulson, and Washington’s failure to indict any banksters for the fraud that contributed to the financial crisis, are evidence in support of the view that the US government represents money and not the voters.
Recent events in Greece and Italy have created more skepticism of the West’s claim to be democratic. Two elected European prime ministers, George Papandreou of Greece and Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, were forced to resign over the sovereign debt issue. Not even Berlusconi, a billionaire who continues to lead the largest Italian political party, could stand up to the pressure brought by private bankers and unelected European Union officials.
Papandreou lasted only 10 days after announcing on October 31, 2011, that he would let the Greek voters decide in a referendum whether or not to accept the austerity being imposed on the Greek people from the outside. Austerity is the price charged by the EU for lending the Greek government the money to pay to the banks. In other words, the question was austerity or default. However, the question was decided without the participation of the Greek people.
Consequently, Greeks have taken to the streets. The conditions accompanying the latest tranche of the bailout have again brought large numbers of Greeks into the streets of Athens and other cities. Citizens are protesting a 20% cut both in the minimum wage and in pensions larger than 12,000 euros ($15,800) annually and more cuts in public sector jobs. Greek taxes were raised 2.3 billion euros last year and are scheduled to rise another 3.4 billion euros in 2013. The austerity is being imposed despite Greece’s unemployment rate of 21% overall and 48% for those under the age of 25.
One interpretation is that the banks, which were careless in their loans to governments, are forcing the people to save the banks from the consequences of their bad decisions.
Another interpretation is that the European Union is using the sovereign debt crisis to extend its power and control over the individual member states of the EU.