Category Archives: Supreme Court

>Supreme Court To Decide Election AGAIN?

>[UPDATE]:

Looks like the petition is for real.
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I bet you thought Barack Obama won the presidency and everything was on track for a January inauguration. Fools!

In an extremely unusual move, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has agreed to consider a petition challenging Barack Obama’s citizenship after Justice David Souter had already rejected the petition.

I can’t vouch for the legitimacy of this story, since its source is a publication I’ve never heard of (“ Afro American Newspapers”), but here’s the scoop:

Supreme Court To Decide Obama Citizenship

All eyes will be on the Supreme Court Friday when an eight member panel will consider a lawsuit challenging the legal status of President-elect Barack Obama.

The Afro American Newspapers first reported the story on its website Wednesday night, calling Justice Clarence Thomas’ action highly unusual.

The same case was rejected by Judge David Souter earlier in the year. 

When Thomas agreed to hear the appeal he apparently broke with a court tradition of justices not interceding in cases where a colleague has ruled.

The President-elect has maintained he was born in the United States.

For some history, I blogged about this phony “birth certificate” story back in October when a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit. The Afro American Newspapers story is here. Basically, some delusional wingnuts have claimed that Obama is not a natural-born U.S. citizen, all evidence to the contrary. Despite the fact that federal judges have dismissed similar lawsuits on the issue, Clarence Thomas thinks the petition deserves to be heard.

Just as an aside, did you know that the only Supreme Court justice to be impeached was Samuel Chase, who

was impeached for allegedly letting his partisan leanings affect his court decisions.

Yeah, Clarence Thomas might want to remember that.

I guess presiding over one coup in 2000 wasn’t enough for Justice Thomas. Not that I think there’s any chance this will happen, but should SCOTUS decide for some reason that Obama is ineligible to serve as our 44th President they had better be prepared for some major civil unrest as a consequence of that action. I personally will be taking to the streets, as will everyone else I know, and don’t for a second think it will be a phony Brooks Brothers riot-style action.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Supreme Court

>Supreme Court Hands ExxonMobil A Big Payday

> The U.S. Supreme Court’s death penalty ruling will probably grab all the headlines, but let’s not overlook this mulit-billion dollar payday they handed ExxonMobil today:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday also cut the $2.5 billion punitive damages award in the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster to $500 million.

The court ruled that victims of the worst oil spill in U.S. history may collect punitive damages from Exxon Mobil Corp., but not as much as a federal appeals court determined.

Justice David Souter wrote for the court that punitive damages may not exceed what the company already paid to compensate victims for economic losses, about $500 million compensation.

Exxon asked the high court to reject the punitive damages judgment, saying it already has spent $3.4 billion in response to the accident that fouled 1,200 miles of Alaska coastline.

A jury decided Exxon should pay $5 billion in punitive damages. A federal appeals court cut that verdict in half.

And the SCOTUS cut that verdict even further.

If there were any doubt about the corporate-friendly stance of the U.S. Supreme Court, this should put it to rest. It’s been 19 years since the ExxonValdez disaster, which destroyed the livelihood of thousands. And the SCOTUS just handed the people of Alaska a big “fuck you,” while ExxonMobil earned $1,300 per second in 2007.

Is anyone surprised? Of course not:

Steve Smith, a 69-year-old Cordova fisherman, worries that big business will prevail.

“I really wonder, what do you do if you don’t get a just decision out of the Supreme Court,” he said on his boat Prince William. “I mean, there’s no other court to take it to. What do you got left, really? Anarchy?”

Well, that’s one alternative.

Elections have consequences. A President Al Gore or President John Kerry would not have put Samuel Alito or John Roberts on the SCOTUS.

Something to keep in mind.

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Filed under corporations, Exxon Valdez, ExxonMobil, Supreme Court

>Elections Have Consequences

>To those misguided liberal voters who simply could not vote for John Kerry in 2004 because he did not pass one liberal litmus test or another, I say to you: elections have consequences.

To those misguided, moderate/Independent voters who simply could not vote for John Kerry in 2004 because “I hate President Bush but I just could not vote for that other guy,” I say to you: elections have consequences.

To those misguided, African American voters who simply could not vote for John Kerry in 2004 because “I hate President Bush but John Kerry is for gay marriage and that’s against the Bible,” I say to you: elections have consequences.

To those misguided, Republican voters who simply could not vote for John Kerry in 2004 because “I hate President Bush but Kerry was a flip-flopper,” I say to you: elections have consequences.

Yes, people, elections have consequences:

Divided Court Limits Use of Race by School Districts

By Robert Barnes
Washington Post Staff Writer

A divided Supreme Court yesterday restricted the ability of public school districts to use race to determine which schools students can attend, a decision that could sharply limit integration programs across the nation.

The nine justices split decisively along ideological grounds, with a five-justice majority ruling that school admission programs in Seattle and Louisville violated the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection to individuals. Educators said the decision may lead many districts to drop efforts at racially balancing schools.

In a dramatic 45 minutes on the final day of the court’s term, three justices took turns reading sometimes-biting opinions that portrayed the ruling as either the natural affirmation or a bitter betrayal of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education desegregation decision of 1954.

Welcome to the “Scalito” effect. If it was good 50 years ago, it’s got to be good now. I’m sure the Kool-Aid drinkers are high-fiving each other now. Everyone else should be taking a long, sober look at what this means for our country.

The court’s four liberals delivered a scathing dissent that was twice as long as Roberts’s opinion. Justice Stephen G. Breyer said the decision is one “the court and the nation will come to regret.

“The lesson of history is not that efforts to continue racial segregation are constitutionally indistinguishable from efforts to achieve racial integration,” Breyer wrote. “Indeed, it is a cruel distortion of history to compare Topeka, Kansas, in the 1950s to Louisville and Seattle in the modern day.”

When you elect a reactionary right-wing extremist to the White House, you’re going to get reactionary, right-wing extremists on the nation’s highest court, who will issue reactionary, right-wing extremist rulings. Like this one.

There is a large element of this country, predominantly white males, who have been pissed off for the past 30 years about things like “political correctness.” It’s talk radio’s red meat. And mostly what they’re pissed off about is having to say goodbye to their world where white people are dominant and people of color and women “know their place.” Decisions like Brown v. Board of Education are why. So I’m sure the Rush Limbaugh crowd will be very happy today.

But 20 years from now, as this decision filters down into small town school districts, and we see the actual ramifications of this huge backward step, I wonder what your children will say?

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Filed under Brown v. Board of Education, Supreme Court