Archive for the ‘Supreme Court’ Category

DC’s Legalized Anarchy

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Lawful Lawlessness

Jeb Bush tells Americans by implication that we’re not fertile enough, either as breeders or as business creators.  Meanwhile, Marco Rubio’s aide argues on behalf of bringing in more immigrants because American workers “just can’t cut it.”  In truth, they likely agree with Barack Obama’s sentiment that we “didn’t build it,” though as a matter of good politics, they couldn’t admit it at the time.  Imagine what it must be like to hang out among this band of brigands, who on the one hand seeks to impose their notions of compassion upon us, permitting millions of otherwise able-bodied Americans to languish as dependents on the welfare-state, who if challenged, might well be found to “cut it” very nicely.  What Bush really means is that those of you who get up and go to work every day aren’t fertile enough, and that since they wish to continue growing the welfare-state, they need more workers who can be slaves to their system.  After all, as Marco Rubio’s aide reminds us, the American worker just “can’t cut it.” These people are building a perfect anarchy, in which Americans struggle simply to make it through another day, and all the while, the elite subsist on the backs of our efforts.

The revelations of such a mindset should be all we need to understand why we’re losing the country, but as if all this is not bad enough, the Supreme Court has now ruled that Arizona can’t require voters to verify eligibility to vote.  These people are stealing our country, right alongside the liberals, in league with them, and all we do is sit around watching it happen.  Maybe they’re right… Maybe we don’t “cut it.” So let us consider this as we consider the fact that not only are we forbidden from verifying the eligibility of somebody who appears on a Federal election ballot, but we must also ignore the eligibility of those who seek to complete one.  There is no effective border, and no effective restraint on anything except the American people, who are told they may not choose their own doctors, their own healthcare plans, or even their own address.  Slowly but surely, and it’s quickening now, the entire American experiment in liberty is crashing down because we’ve had a century of organized, planned, anarchical plotting by those who would lead us.  Our question, and indeed our demand must be: “Lead us where?”  The answer may be as Joe Hakos suggests over at the Dryerreport.

A nation cannot exist without borders. A nation cannot last if its laws are not enforced.  A nation will not stand that verifies neither the eligibility of its candidates nor the eligibility of its voters.  The United States has been a nation built by immigrants, and always will be so long as we remember that immigration without restraint leads to anarchy.  This is the singular aspect the DC establishment class has chosen to ignore, and it is at our great peril that we permit them to do so any longer.  This is still our country, and we have every reason to defend its institutions, its legitimacy, and its ethos as established over the last two centuries.  We cannot permit the insiders whose interests are best served in other ways to prevail upon us to yield our liberties, our standard of living, the rule of law that has acted as a brake on tyranny and violence, or any of the other facets of American life we have come to take for granted.

Of course, this may be the problem:  For too long, too many Americans have take it for granted.  For too long, too many of us thought it was all automatic, and if only we trusted the people in Washington DC, it would all work out for the best.  It hasn’t worked out, at least not for us, and surely not for our children and theirs.  This monstrous, decaying system in which the people who bear all the burdens matter least is the most despicable of all.  Where else in the world can one go that the citizens of a country get the last crumbs on a table of plenty they have set?  I don’t care if you’re a union laborer, or a white-collar, middle-management employee, but if this is permitted to continue, we will all be eating the table scraps at the feet of the anointed.  No country can survive a collapse of law and lawfulness from the top downward, no matter how great and courageous its people may have been or may remain.

Notice that our nation suffers not from a lack of laws, but from the will to enforce them.  Notice that in a country of 320 million souls, the twenty million of them who are here illegally are being served by a class of people who intend to profit from the efforts and exertions of another million-score of suckers.  Even if our economy were booming, and it’s far from that, we shouldn’t permit people to come into this country in order to be exploited any more than we should permit them to be exploited for their votes.  That isn’t what America is about, because done right, immigration can provide a nation with an influx of new ideas, renewed dedication to purpose, and fresh eyes on a whole universe of old problems, but this immigration bill, crafted by and for the lobbyists does nothing but undermine the republic that had made their existence possible.  Let us not delay the matter for another day.  Let us say it now, and with the conviction of the ages:  This immigration bill must not be permitted to become law because it is the death of us all, and all we have labored to build.  It is the diminution of a nation by inflation.  It is the death-knell of a republic.  This “Gang of Eight” bill gives Barack Obama precisely what he wants: Legalized anarchy. This is the death of nations, and ours is not exempt from that inflexible rule.

Friday, Mark Levin captured it well here(H/T Daily Caller):

Do Conservatives Wish to Repair the Supreme Court?

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

We Can Fix This, YES WE CAN!

One of the things I love about the United States Constitution is that it is a living document, but its life is breathed into it not by some magic power to change its meaning, or change the meaning of the words in its text, as leftists do, but by the rules laid down within it, we have the ability to amend it, or replace it altogether, through the amendment and convention processes, respectively.  These are quite difficult and potentially dangerous processes, but this is why progressives have used dishonest means to change the impact of the Constitution on law.  They figure that the best way to get what they want is to place justices on the court who will undo the meaning of the Constitution.  The recent Supreme Court decision has left strict constructionists in a bit of a quandary: Here we have a wayward element within the court, the Chief Justice, no less, and it seems we’re to be stuck with him, probably for a long, long time.  What most people don’t realize about the Court, however, is that its size and most of the rules determining its power are set by Congress, and that the Constitution gives Congress said power.  There is a way to fix the court, but it would require a Congress with guts.  Imagine that such a creature were to exist.  What could Congress do to repair the Court?

Most people don’t study the Constitution, never mind history, so they’re unaware that Congress has the power to set the number of justices on the Supreme Court.  There is nothing locking us into the number nine, and there is nothing sacred about it.  As a cost-saving measure, since we now have another mindless entitlement program for which to pay, Congress could reduce that number to seven.  The Congress could apply the LIFO(Last In-First Out) rule to determine who stays.  This would lop off Kagan and Sotomayor, they having most recently joined the court.  In a punitive mood?  Want further cost savings?  We could make that number three, and by applying the LIFO rule, this would leave us with Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas.  I would like to know which of you conservatives wouldn’t favor that?

In 1937, the New Deal was getting hammered in the Court.  President Roosevelt’s agenda was running into resistance much as Obama’s has encountered conservative resistance these days, but with a two differences:  He owned both houses of Congress, but the Supreme Court at the time was busily overturning vast portions of the New Deal.  FDR’s plan was to push his agenda through by increasing the number of justices on the court until he had a liberal ruling majority.  The Senate cried foul, and momentarily, and FDR’s plan was halted.  He naturally found another manner to accomplish his ends, and it was to sweeten the retirement pot for Supreme Court justices, inducing some of the older members to retire, and after the passage of the Supreme Court Retirement Act.  This ultimately led to the rapid retirements of several members, FDR made his appointments, and then the New Deal began to be upheld. (The Retirement Act permitted Supreme Court Justices to retire with 100% of their last salary.)

The Supreme Court was not always composed of nine members. For the record, and thanks to Wikipedia for having it condensed into this form:

Congress organized the Court that year with the passage of the Judiciary Act of 1789. It specified the Court’s original and appellate jurisdiction, created thirteen judicial districts, and fixed the number of justices at six (one Chief Justice and five Associate Justices).

Since the passage of the Judiciary Act, Congress has occasionally altered the size of the Supreme Court, historically in response to the country’s own expansion in size. Membership was decreased in 1801 to five, then increased to seven members in 1807, to nine in 1837, and to ten in 1863. It was then reduced to seven in 1866. In 1869, Congress set the Court’s size to nine members, where it has remained since.

As you can see, there were quite a number of modifications, but the salient point is that there is nothing sacred about the number nine(9).  It could just as easily be three(3), or even one(1).

This may seem a radical solution, but as you can see from the history, it’s only because we’ve become accustomed to there being nine justices.  If we reduced the number to three, it is true that we would lose Samuel Alito, but that could be repaired by a conservative president upon the retirement of one of the others.  My point to readers is that there is a solution available to us, but the question is: How badly do we want it, and can we live with the dangers?  Given the ruling of John Roberts, I am of a mind to pursue this.  I’d like to send him packing.  I’d like to send his leftist friends with him.

All we need to accomplish this is bullet-proof conservative majorities in both houses of Congress, but therein lies the problem.  If we are to have any chance to repair this, we must own both the House and the Senate.  This makes taking the Senate our most important priority in the Fall elections, but it also means that we must be sure to place conservatives in office.  Of course, one could argue(and some will) that if we capture both houses of Congress, and the Presidency, we would have no need of this ‘solution’ to our problem, but I must thoroughly disagree. Our Supreme Court is damaged, and in subsequent rulings, it will be worse if we don’t repair the court.  Can you imagine the lawsuits liberals will bring even if we do overturn Obama-care as a matter of statute?  What would this Supreme Court do with that?  With the mindless and idiotic ruling of John Roberts, inventing law out of whole cloth, I can imagine him finding some way to overturn a Repeal Act.  Statists don’t care about logical consistency, after all, or they wouldn’t be statists.

I realize my proposal will fall on deaf ears, and I know too that we have far too few staunch conservatives in either house of Congress to actually carry this out, but I’m merely telling you what could be done, legally, under our Constitution.  After all, the worst part of this Supreme Court ruling isn’t merely that Obama-care has been upheld, but the sinking realization that liberals effectively have a ruling majority with which we will be stuck for a long, long time.  Nothing is more dangerous to the country than a court that will not act as a brake on tyranny.  Let’s call it the Three-LIFO plan and be done with it.

Some Republicans Secretly Gleeful Over SCOTUS Decision

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Benedict Roberts

There, I’ve said it, though I will be damned for it.  The problem we have had in the Republican party comes to surface at times like this, and I’m not going to participate in the reckless concealment.  There are those of political motives, who care not for the disaster that is the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act(a.k.a “Obama-care”) because it serves their political ends. Within some circles of the elite Republican establishment – that thing George Will assures us does not exist while telling us this ruling is really a ‘victory’ – there are those who are absolutely giddy with anticipation in the wake of this ruling, though they must presently conceal it.  It comes down to two things: Some of them are purely fifth-column statists, who actually want this law, and others are motivated solely by the opportunity they see in the political sphere.  After all, what better way to unite wayward Republicans and conservatives then to hit them with a true disaster?  If you’re a Republican party hack driven by purely political considerations and motives, this ruling is a gift from on high that will help drive the vote.

Sure, it does horrendous damage to the body of case-law.  Yes, it does gut the constitutional limits on Congressional power.  Absolutely, it permits Congress to tax in any way it likes so long as some moron in a black robe can dismiss its unconstitutional aspects as irrelevant or insignificant.  True, it really has no manner of a silver lining if you’re an actual conservative, but so what?  At least it will help Mitt Romney get elected by driving the herd!  It will permit the Republican establishment to foist their own version of it upon us, tinkered-with and massaged as it will be, but still the heart of the bill will remain intact, and the Beltway crowd can be ecstatic that they will have finally killed the meaning of the constitution, the rule of law, and the entire notion of American self-reliance and self-determination.  Nevertheless, it also offers the chance to the GOP establishment to round up the herd, and get them all running in the same direction.  That it had been an establishment Republican who sabotaged this ruling should be the dead giveaway.

I would ask my conservative brethren to consider the evidence.  Even a flimsy, often obtuse Anthony Kennedy ruled our way, so absurd is this law.  A man who is able to imagine that Arizona has not the authority to protect its own citizens from foreign invaders, as in Arizona v. United States was not able to imagine the Affordable Care Act as constitutionally permissible.  Think of that!  This law is so preposterous, and the arguments of the administration so bizarre and absurd that Anthony Kennedy could not sustain them, but John Roberts, Bush appointee, did.  Do we think John Roberts is truly the idiot that his ruling implies?  Do we believe John Roberts is so intellectually vacuous that he could not see the absurdity of his ruling?  If we believe this, why are we not demanding Boehner and the beltway boys impeach this man as an incompetent?  Why? I’ll tell you why: Because Boehner and his toadies would never do it anyway.

We are being herded.  We are being driven.  We are being run through the political squeeze-chutes of the GOP establishment.  These people are worse than our open enemy, the leftists.  They are using subterfuge and stealth to reorganize our society into their global vision of statism, a nanny-state version in which you have little freedom to choose, and even less money or property with which to exercise that choice.  We are descending into a death of one-thousand cuts, and we have Republican party bosses who are gleeful that we are angry, because they intend to use that as the fuel to recapture power, not for conservatism or freedom, but for the aggrandizement of their own statist vision, complete with open borders and vast social programs to which we are all enslaved, but as a bonus, with our votes, too!

How else does one explain the servile pronouncements by some conservative commentators that the ACA ruling had been a victory?  How else does one discount the accurate assessments of stalwarts like Mark Levin, who sees this monstrosity clearly?  How in the name of most unholy Hell does one derive the notion that this is anything but a national tragedy?  In some respects,  I place this ruling above Pearl Harbor Day.  In terms of the long-term damage it will do to America, I place it above 9/11.  I place it as the greatest attack on the United States and her people since before its current constitution had been adopted.  It will certainly lead to the death of more Americans.  It was certainly a plot hatched against us.  The delivery of the fatal blow was no less a shock.   I must go all the way back to General Benedict Arnold to find an apt analog for the sort of sabotage this infamy represents, and all brought to you by a bi-partisan Washington DC establishment that seeks to rule over you.

Remember, when some conservatives reflexively screamed at the notion of the appointment of Harriet Miers, many felt relief when George Bush put up John Roberts, who was seen as more reliably conservative and eminently more qualified, as was my pet goat.  That was the sham in all of this.  Roberts is no conservative, and his ruling in this case makes that plain, lest there be any confusion.  Harriet Miers was a throw-away nomination, and Roberts was the goal all along.  This is how politics is done.  I was astonished at the speed at which the reaction to the Miers controversy was brought to a head, and more astonished still at how quickly they dropped the ostensibly reliable Roberts on us.  Do you remember who screamed first and loudest at the Miers nomination?  I do. Odd how that critic is now a rabid Romney-bot these days, isn’t it? I hate conspiracy theories, but I always thought it odd how that whole situation turned out, with Rehnquist retiring just in time to re-nominate Roberts for the Chief Justice position.

Ladies and gentlemen, the truth is that the GOP establishment exists to keep us in check, to keep us to a dull roar as the statists reorganize our nation into their vision of global, social, welfare-statism.  The GOP establishment advances the ball(never spiking it, of course,) and we permit them to manage us like puppets.  If you accept their talking points these last three days, you’re playing directly into their hands, and you had better believe that they see this as a victory, because for their agenda, it is.  They will be immune to Obama-care.  They won’t worry about death panels.  They won’t worry about government-enforced rationing.  They won’t be waiting in the endless lines.  They won’t have any need to concern themselves with the entirety of the system they’re building, because they are above it, after all.

The same people who tried at every turn(and often succeeded) to blunt the conservative Reagan revolution are once again making political hay over this decision, as they now know you have no alternative.  They engineered it that way.  Feel free to believe what you want, of course, but for me, the matter is clear.  I have seen suppositions that somehow, Obama bullied Roberts into this decision, but I find that unlikely.  Roberts was placed in this position to uphold Obama-care.  There are those who will become apoplectic at the mere suggestion, but for me, the matter is now painfully obvious: If we do anything short of replacing the Republican Party, this nation will be damned.  I’ll not be kept in line any longer.  The Republican Party must rip this law out from the roots, or we must make a new party.

Some are still convinced that there exists a win in all of this.  They offer as evidence that we are still free, this moment, and that this affords to us a chance, somehow.  This is akin to saying that as the last breath escapes your lips, the hooligans choking the last of your life from you, there is still some chance.  Technically? Sure.  Practically? No.  Violence is being done to us, and the best we get from most Republicans indicate that many of them don’t mind, in fact, although there are a few notable exceptions.  On the 11th of July, we will have a pointless exercise of repeal in the House of Representatives, a tale told and believed only by idiots, that for all its sound and fury, will signify nothing.  The GOP establishment loves a charade, and too many of us likewise adore one.

 

 

 

The Dangerous Self-Delusion of Some Conservatives

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Et Tu, Brute?

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, I have noticed a curious phenomenon in which some conservative commentators seem to be so desperate to find a silver lining to the ruling that they have abandoned all logic.  Consider George Will, who wrote a column in the aftermath of the ruling that actually puts forward the argument that we conservatives should take the fact that Roberts didn’t rely upon the commerce clause as evidence that there might be some constitutional limitation on the federal government after all.  That would be a wonderful aspect of this ruling, if they had overturned the law!  Instead, what we have is a monstrous precedent set in which the court re-writes a law in order to make it constitutional by imputing into the act a tax that had not existed in fact.  This is an unmitigated disaster.  I have heard a few who have noted hopefully that this ruling will energize the conservative base, and while that’s probably the case, I’m not certain I am so concerned about the political fall-out as I am about the long-run constitutional implications.  You see, the political situation may permit us to repair the law, but it doesn’t permit us to immediately repair the damage done to the body of case law  upon which future courts will rely as precedents in their own rulings.

The other thing I have read is the bizarre notion put forward by the National Review that what Roberts did was more conservative because he exercised judicial restraint in not striking down the law.  Balderdash!  Once you realize the legal contortions through which Roberts arrived at this ruling, it makes no sense whatever to claim he hadn’t acted as an activist.  The convoluted logic by which he found a tax in a law that plainly states it does not contain one is an onerous breech of any notion of strict construction.  I cannot conceive of any intellectually rigorous examination of this ruling by which this can be seen as a positive by anybody who is in favor of strict construction.  When it came to the Anti-Injunction section of the ruling, it was held not to have been a tax, but just a few pages later, as Roberts performed mental gymnastics, he declared it was a tax after all.

On Thursday evening, Mark Levin summarized the matter better than anybody I’ve heard speak to this matter, in part because he understands the legalities in question, his Landmark Legal Foundation having been a participant in this case, but also because he knew Justice Roberts years ago when they both worked in the Reagan administration.  Levin’s critique of the decision mirrors most of my own, and indeed, there was one aspect I hadn’t considered until Levin led me to it.  That premise led me to yet another that I don’t believe Levin has yet realized in full.  What one must understand is that this ruling is an unmitigated disaster, and no search for some alleged silver lining can repair it.

What justice Roberets actually did was to expand the definition of what constitutes a permissible tax .  Congress is permitted to levy only certain forms of tax, and this one doesn’t fit the definition of any of them.  In dispensing with that issue, Roberts held that it didn’t matter, and that words don’t matter, and that plain-written legislative language doesn’t matter.  He also ignored the context of the law, and the intent of Congress.  One version of this bill had an actual tax, but Congress could not pass it in that form, so Congress altered it to contain no tax.  What John Roberts did was to ignore the actual text of the legislation, and to say that the labels didn’t matter:  If it looks like a tax, it is one.  The problem with this is that it does nothing to restrain Congress from levying new taxes, and ignores the definitions of what sort of taxes Congress may enact.  This is a wholesale extension of Congressional taxing authority because what Roberts ruled with respect to the particular form of the tax, insofar as the question of whether Congress had met the constitutional limits on whether it could impose it was effectively: “Close enough.”

That is offered to us as evidence of John Roberts’ alleged strict construction?  Close enough?  What this means, effectively, is that if Congress enacts some tax that it has questionable constitutional authority to levy, smiling John will be there to tell us it’s “close enough,” with every leftist monster on the court standing behind him to uphold it.

Ladies and gentlemen, there exists no silver lining to this ruling.   All of the crackpot, delusional happy-talk from some conservatives in media is designed to make you feel better.  You’ve just lost both arms and legs in a brutal assault, but they tell you, you should consider this a happy opportunity to enjoy the comforts of a new wheelchair and mouth-controlled joystick.  You’ve just lost your family to a violent home-invasion, but, they tell you, you should view this as a chance to start over.  The intention here is to keep you calm.  The intention now is to serve a political end, while your country is dying around you.  Your most sacred law, the US Constitution, has been crumpled and tossed into the ash-bin of history, and you are told you should do a happy-dance to the calming sounds of “Oh Happy Days.”

I’d like you to inventory the whole of the conservatives to whom you listen, or whose columns and opinions you read, and I want you to take care to note which of them are imploring you to consider some silver lining.  They are lying.  They have good intentions, many of them, and they have contorted themselves into a formless spaghetti of reasoning in order to find some good in this awful plate of refuse you’ve been handed.  Don’t surrender your minds by sprinkling Parmesan on it and wolfing it down.  Are there some limited political opportunities as a result of this decision? Yes, but they require the fulfillment of a whole laundry-list of “if-then” statements.

IF Mitt Romney is elected, and IF he doesn’t sell us out, and IF we hold the House, and IF we recapture the Senate(and at least 60 votes) and IF the moderates in either house don’t screw us, and IF Boehner and McConnell have the guts to do in repealing what the villains Reid and Pelosi did in passing the ACA, and IF they can deliver a bill to President Romney’s desk, and IF John Roberts and the other liberals on the court can be replaced, and IF Mitt Romney can replace them with actual strict constructionists, THEN you might have a chance to undo this damage.  IF any of these don’t happen, your constitution is effectively dead as a restraint on government.

The danger of self-imposed delusions is that you come to believe them, like a pathological liar.  It is by this form of self-delusion that we’ve permitted our country to lose its roots in reverence for the Constitution.  We cannot defeat the statists by pretending this isn’t the disaster that it is, if we can defeat them at all.  I believe some talking heads know this, but do not want to yield to what will come in the wake of such a monstrosity.  They’re hanging on, stubbornly telling us that the stench of smoke reaching our nostrils is merely an air freshener of a novel scent.  Rather than screaming “Fire,” and warning conservative Americans that the house is ablaze, the barn is wiped out, the surviving farm animals running loose in a frantic bid to stay ahead of the flames licking at their heels, many are now telling you that it’s all okay.  It will be fine.

No, it won’t.

I Would Like to Thank John Roberts

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Thanks John Roberts!

I wish to thank Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. He has made plain what I have been arguing for some time: This nation is dead. Everything that had made it a nation, indivisible, has been wiped away, and in its place is a stinking, festering carcass of past glory. What remains is the fetid, reeking, scorched remains of a free people, now subjugated into tyranny by a United States Supreme Court dominated by a cabal of leftists and pragmatists, the former seeking to overturn our constitution, and the latter willing to join them in order to remain popular. There is no political liberty anywhere on Earth any longer.

There will be some number of conservative talking heads who will urge calm, and if you feel inclined to listen to that hogwash, you should follow your leanings, but I will have none of it. There is nothing in this but pure, unmitigated evil. This law has converted us to the Soviet Union. The walls are not [yet] built, and the barb-wired fences to restrain us are not [yet] erected, but all the necessary elements of a slave state are now in place.

Freedom of choice? Gone.

Freedom to be unmolested by outrageous governmental persecution? Gone.

Freedom to worship(or not) as one sees fit? Gone.

Freedom to live one’s life according to such beliefs? Gone.

Freedom to be secure in your person and your effects? Gone.

Freedom to decide what is in one’s own best interest? Stripped, wrecked, tormented, and tossed aside by John Roberts and the rest of the Statist Judicial activists on the Supreme Court.

Do you realize that to decide as he did, John Roberts had to ignore the plain language of the law, and imagine what is a penalty provision into a tax?

We have here a case of judicial activism writ large across our constitution, and it is a red-letter stamp: Null and Void.

Do you expect Mitt Romney to save you from this? Do you expect him to step up and do so?

Ladies and gentlemen, this has been rigged. The least-qualified Republican to campaign against Obamacare is our presumptive nominee. The least-qualified to criticize it will now be our candidate?

Shall I play the funeral dirge now, or wait until November 7th?

While the media has immediately leaped into the considerations of the horse-race aspects of this Supreme Court ruling, nobody is addressing the fact that our liberties have been stripped from us. Nobody but a few lonely conservative bloggers, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh. I expect other talk-show hosts will address this matter, but what we have in this case is a complete dissolution of the United States as we have known it.

I will not pay for Obama-care. I am looking into pulling my own health insurance, and making them force me to pay. SCREW THEM! This is my life, my money, my health, my choice.

I refuse. I reference the first Texas flag:

I Mean It

The Sovietization of America: It’s Over

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Let's Adopt a Flag That Fits

In what can only be termed the greatest abandonment of our Constitution by a sitting Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act was upheld.  This decision heralds the end of the Constitutional Republic, the rule of law, and the American way of life.  This decision is a treason against the Constitution, the American people, and the entire notion of liberty that had enabled our national development and prosperity.  No American is safe from government, under any conceivable circumstance, and none should falsely believe that they might find relief at the bar of justice in the United States any longer.  This decision announces a new form of anarchy, whereby the officials of government have become participants in lawless behavior, ruling in contravention of the founding supreme law of the land, while carrying on a grotesque charade by which they pretend to have followed a law that does not and has never existed.  The Supreme Court has upheld the mandate as a tax.

Chief Justice John Roberts has betrayed the Constitution.  At least he’ll be popular on the cocktail party circuit.

To understand what has happened, the individual mandate has been defeated as a command to individuals, but not as a tax on individuals.  In other words, the court has held that the mandate is a tax that can be levied on individuals, but individuals cannot be forced to buy health insurance.  Put another way, the Supreme Court has said that while you cannot be forced to purchase health insurance, but that you can be forced to pay more (extra) taxes if you do not.

The entire healthcare bill has otherwise been upheld.

In short, the country is dead.  They can force you to pay a tax for failing to purchase bubble-gum.  They can do anything they like.  Congress and the President can enact any law they please. You are now slaves, completely.  It’s time to become accustomed to it, and I am hearing conservatives who are surrendering even on the concept of repeal.

Rampage, or whimper? I suspect most will choose the latter.

I reject this opinion.  I reject this court.  I reject the entirety of this anarchical government.

 

 

 

Kennedy and Roberts Join Jihad on States’ Sovereignty

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

The Last Sane Men?

Reading through the tortured legal arguments of the majority of the Supreme Court, in the case of Arizona v. United States, it’s clear to me that the court is now stacked to a majority with dullards.  This ruling is unconscionable, and makes no constitutional sense whatever.  This is the inevitable result of our cultural rejection of the rule of law.  The absolutely dictatorial claim of prosecutorial discretion on the part of the Obama administration in enforcing the immigration laws of the United States is just the beginning.  Now enters a Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue in such a manner as to confound the will of the people, subvert the rule of law, and turn aside long standing precedents, or to misapply them in a manner that defies all logic.  With this as our backdrop, we must wonder why we bother with a constitution at all.

Among the eight justices ruling(Kagan having recused from the case due to her participation in it while serving as  Solicitor General,) only three seemed to have even the vaguest idea what is at stake in the case, or to bear in mind any context of what our constitution actually provides.  If it were not for the minority opinion of Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito joining him in dissent, there would be no indication whatever that this had been the ruling of an American court.  If this is any indication of the nature of our court as currently comprised, I suggest we get rid of the lot, keeping the three dissenters in this ruling, but otherwise starting from scratch.

Anthony Kennedy has always been a quirky, flaky, and vacuous, but to see Chief Justice John Roberts rule in a fashion befitting a leftist ideologue is incomprehensible, and signifies the worst decision since the abomination that was the Kelo decision. Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor are incompetent leftist hacks, and they ruled precisely as one would expect.  At stake in the case had been whether the State of Arizona could act to enforce federal immigration law, even when the Federal Government fails in that duty, or determines not to do its duty.  Apparently, according to these five justices, there is no distinction among the fifty states, and there is no sovereignty among them.  According to these five justices, the individual states are merely servants of the Federal Government, whomever may run it at any particular time.  Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion nails every issue, and we should take a moment to consider what it is that Scalia has said.  His arguments are clear-headed and succinct, if lengthy and thoroughly considered.  You can read the decision in its entirety here.  Scalia’s opinion begins on page 30 of the PDF.

He begins this way:

The United States is an indivisible “Union of sovereign States.” Hinderlider v. La Plata River & Cherry Creek Ditch Co., 304 U. S. 92, 104 (1938). Today’s opinion, approving virtually all of the Ninth Circuit’s injunction against enforcement of the four challenged provisions of Arizona’s law, deprives States of what most would consider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there. Neither the Constitution itself nor even any law passed by Congress supports this result. I dissent.

There is no way around this basic issue Scalia raises, and yet five of his colleagues on the court seem to have been oblivious to reason.

As a sovereign, Arizona has the inherent power to exclude persons from its territory, subject only to those limitations expressed in the Constitution or constitutionally imposed by Congress. That power to exclude has long been recognized as inherent in sovereignty. Emer de Vattel’s seminal 1758 treatise on the Law of Nations stated: “The sovereign may forbid the entrance of his territory either to foreigners in general, or in particular cases,or to certain persons, or for certain particular purposes, according as he may think it advantageous to the state. There is nothing in all this, that does not flow from the rights of domain and sovereignty: every one is obliged to pay respect to the prohibition; and whoever dares violate it, incurs the penalty decreed to render it effectual.” The Law of Nations, bk. II, ch. VII, §94, p. 309 (B. Kapossy & R. Whatmore eds. 2008).

Here, Scalia points back to the philosophical principles under-girding not only immigration law, but indeed all law insofar as it is to be implemented and enforced by a sovereign.  Here, a sovereign is defined, and it is clear that Scalia recognizes the assault on the very concept underlying the majority opinion.  He immediately delved into the constitutional justifications for siding with the Arizona statute, and he pointed out the distinctions one must consider in ruling on such a matter.  Clearly, Scalia lives and breathes the Constitution, while the majority in this opinion are shallow, tinkering fools.  As usual, Scalia offers tremendous logic to the matter, explaining that the Federal jurisdiction over the matter does not exclude the States’ jurisdiction, except perhaps in such case as there is a conflict between the two. Fortunately, as Scalia notes, there is no conflict between the Federal statute and the Arizona statute:

In light of the predominance of federal immigration restrictions in modern times, it is easy to lose sight of the States’ traditional role in regulating immigration — and to overlook their sovereign prerogative to do so. I accept as a given that State regulation is excluded by the Constitution when (1) it has been prohibited by a valid federal law, or (2) it conflicts with federal regulation—when, for example, it admits those whom federal regulation would exclude, or excludes those whom federal regulation would admit.

Possibility (1) need not be considered here: there is no federal law prohibiting the States’ sovereign power to exclude (assuming federal authority to enact such a law). The mere existence of federal action in the immigration area—and the so-called field preemption arising from that action, upon which the Court’s opinion so heavily relies, ante, at 9–11—cannot be regarded as such a prohibition. We are not talking here about a federal law prohibiting the States from regulating bubble-gum advertising, or even the construction of nuclear plants. We are talking about a federal law going to the core of state sovereignty: the power to exclude. Like elimination of the States’ other inherent sovereign power, immunity from suit, elimination of the States’ sovereign power to exclude requires that “Congress . . . unequivocally expres[s] its intent to abrogate,” Seminole Tribe of Fla. v. Florida, 517 U. S. 44, 55 (1996) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).Implicit “field preemption” will not do.

Scalia makes it plain that Arizona also should have the right to make their law more restrictive in certain respects:

But that is not the most important point. The most important point is that, as we have discussed, Arizona is entitled to have “its own immigration policy”—including a more rigorous enforcement policy—so long as that does not conflict with federal law. The Court says, as though the point is utterly dispositive, that “it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain present in the United States,” ante, at 15. It is not a federal crime, to be sure. But there is no reason Arizona cannot make it a state crime for a removable alien (or any illegal alien, for that matter) to remain present in Arizona.

Perhaps the most scathing portion of his dissent arrives in this paragraph:

Of course on this pre-enforcement record there is no reason to assume that Arizona officials will ignore federal immigration policy (unless it be the questionable policy of not wanting to identify illegal aliens who have committed offenses that make them removable). As Arizona points out, federal law expressly provides that state officers may “cooperate with the Attorney General in the identification, apprehension, detention, or removal of aliens not lawfully present in the United States,” 8 U. S. C. §1357(g)(10)(B);and “cooperation” requires neither identical efforts nor prior federal approval. It is consistent with the Arizona statute, and with the “cooperat[ive]” system that Congress has created, for state officials to arrest a removable alien, contact federal immigration authorities, and follow their lead on what to do next. And it is an assault on logic to say that identifying a removable alien and holding him for federal determination of whether he should be removed “violates the principle that the removal process is entrusted to the discretion of the Federal Government,” ante, at 18. The State’s detention does not represent commencement of the removal process unless the Federal Government makes it so.(emphasis added)

This should serve as a rebuke to the other justices, if any of them gave a damn, but it’s clear that Chief Justice Roberts isn’t interested in logic.  Has he too become a DC  cocktail party gadfly, or has he simply slipped a mental gear?  Is he seeking favor with the “in” crowd?  I’ve lost all hope that Justice Kennedy will ever be a philosophically consistent jurist, and in fact, I don’t believe he observes any particular philosophy apart from whatever may suit him at the moment, but I hadn’t expected the Chief Justice Roberts would ever join that crowd.

It’s clear to me that a narrow third of the court fully understands the implications of the questions of State sovereignty, and the divisions of power constructed within our federal system.  Justice Scalia properly frames this as a matter of Arizona’s sovereign power, and rightly calls into question the woeful lack of observance of that characteristic by the ruling majority in this case.  He also recognizes it might be proper for Arizona to repeatedly detain and arrest people who have not been given appropriate privilege to remain in the United States, and punish them accordingly:

The Court raises concerns about “unnecessary harassment of some aliens . . . whom federal officials determine should not be removed.” Ante, at 17. But we have no license to assume, without any support in the record, that  Arizona officials would use their arrest authority under §6 to harass anyone. And it makes no difference that federal officials might “determine [that some unlawfully present aliens] should not be removed,” ibid. They may well determine not to remove from the United States aliens who have no right to be here; but unless and until these aliens have been given the right to remain, Arizona is entitled to arrest them and at least bring them to federal officials’ attention, which is all that §6 necessarily entails. (In my view, the State can go further than this, and punish them for their unlawful entry and presence in Arizona.)

This should have been the majority opinion, and it punctuates the reasons why I have no confidence in Mitt Romney, should he become president.  There is little doubt that he will continue the work of his predecessors in appointing justices who will further undermine individual liberty and States’ sovereignty.  The majority opinion that will now hold forth as precedent is an act of nearly criminal absurdity.  If only we could clone Justices Scalia, Alito, and Thomas, we might have a chance to save the Republic, but it seems instead that the only thing to be duplicated in Washington is grotesque Federal government operating in absolute disregard and open contempt of the Constitution, a founding document that now seems on the verge of irrelevance.  If the best we can manage is a Supreme Court that will not stand in firm majority for the founding principles on which our constitution rests, what good is it anyway?  This cannot end well.  When you combine the effects of the ruling in this case with the Obama administration actions on immigration policy, it’s clear that we will not maintain our country much longer.  Thank Chief Justice Roberts and associate Justice Kennedy.  These are two who ought to have known better, as Justice Scalia’s dissent should make clear.

If Obama-care Is Overturned, Then What?

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

What Happens After They Rule...

The  question has been asked here on this site, and on others what will become of the state of health-care if Obama-care falls.  I’ve heard the gnashing of teeth among those who think we need some kind of health-care reform, and while I agree, I doubt most would agree with my own prescription. Cold-hearted.  Selfish.  Greedy.   These are all the terms that would be used by statists to describe my own visions of health-care reform.  Even a few alleged conservatives can’t quite bring themselves to endorse my view because at heart, they’re not free market capitalists.  You shouldn’t be surprised, as there are many self-proclaimed “conservatives” who are really nothing of the sort, and who would just as readily inflict and impose their vision of “fairness” as any left-wing socialist radical.  The difference is that they claim to be motivated by other ideas, or beliefs, but what remains universally true is that to impose them, they too must destroy liberty.  I oppose any such plan, plot, or program, irrespective of the source, and I think it’s time we had this little talk lest there be some confusion: I don’t support government involvement in any aspect of healthcare.  None.

The first thing one must know about the free market is that it is destroyed the moment government becomes involved.  If you want to destroy innovation, efficiency, and industry within any segment of any market, introduce government as a buyer.  This is because government is a terrible consumer because it is not spending its own money, but instead yours.  It’s also because the government has undue leverage in a market where it is not the ultimate consumer.  Of course, there will be those of you who will demand to know the fate of the poor, with the stabbing of a pointed finger against my chest, since the poor, by definition, don’t have a good deal of money with which to purchase health services.  As ever, those who wish to control others rely upon the poor to furnish the excuse for their power.  The question is not “what should we do about the poor,” as Ayn Rand famously observed, but “should we do anything about the poor?” This is where the compassion-fascists show up to berate free-marketeers, claiming that the advocates of this viewpoint are heartless and mean-spirited and greedy.  Balderdash!

In order to have any sort of system in which various “necessities” are provided, it is first necessary to obtain them.  Once government is placed in this role, it is inevitable, and in fact a prerequisite that the government employ cruelty against others, from whom the necessities (or the money to purchase them) will be taken.  Ladies and gentlemen, there is no escape from this, and when I observe statists of either left or right political persuasion making this argument, I remind them first of the inescapable, inexorable moral breech:  Government has only force and on that basis, government becomes a murderous villain in the hands of a statist.  Pay, or die. There are those who enjoy shading the black and white behind a curtain of gray fog, but the simple, undisguised fact is that for any such program to exist, government must become evil.  That’s right, I wrote it: Evil.  I take it as an act of evil whenever one initiates force against another, or threatens force, in order to make material (or other) gain.  If one is an advocate of a government-funded, implemented, or regulated healthcare system by any name, one must admit from the outset that one is in favor of robbery through an agent.

Call it third-party theft.  Call it whatever you will, but when government, on the behalf of some citizens, extorts money from the pockets of other citizens, government  has assumed the role of a mafia protection racket.  One can dress it up in all the Sunday’s finest of “compassion,” or “brother-love,” but what one is doing is to attack one person for his wealth on the basis that it should be provided to others on the basis of their needs.  That’s Marxism, and if one supports this in any measure, he or she is  not a conservative. One can claim it.  One can prefix it with words like “compassionate” all one pleases, but the simple fact is that to threaten one’s fellow man with injury and death; violence and expropriation; robbery and slavery is as abominable and un-Christian as one can be.  There is no mitigation.  There is no excuse.  There will be a long line of those accustomed to robbing their neighbors who will come forth to claim that they possess some right – yes, they’ll actually claim a right – to do through government what they would never consider doing themselves for fear of eating a shotgun:  Robbing their neighbors willy-nilly, and with abandon.

Yes, this is the ugly nature of statism, and it’s why I cannot support any health reform that doesn’t get government out of the health-care business altogether.  It is at this point that some will ask me: “But what of veterans?”  To the degree veterans have been injured in the performance of their duties, just as with any worker injured or maimed on the job, the employer must carry that cost, and since we are the employers of soldiers, yes, it is proper for us to pay for that healthcare necessary to make them well, to rehabilitate them, and to compensate them for permanent loss/injury.  That does not mean we need a vast and inefficient system of providing care to veterans.  While it is true that certain afflictions and injuries are not common in the civilian sector, nevertheless, to the degree we can, we should job this out through private providers.  Speaking as a veteran myself, and having seen what have been deplorable conditions at VA hospitals when I’ve volunteered my time there, I cannot but think that most of the veterans I saw would have been better served in the private sector.

Everybody else?  You’d better figure it out.  One has no entitlement, natural or otherwise, to the contents of his neighbors’ wallets.  Since the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, too many Americans have adopted the notion that it is okay to steal from one’s neighbors, or to steal from one’s grand-children so long as government acts as the agent and instrument of that theft.  To steal remotely, through a third party is no less a theft, but it is at once doubly cowardly.  Imagine walking next door to one’s neighbor, and demanding a meal, or an aspirin, or a dollar, or to move in.  In any civilized society, one making such demands would be laughed at, and if he tried to obtain his demands by force, he would be short-lived indeed.  For many millions of Americans, this has become the all-too-common procedure, except that they have the middle-man of government doing their dirty work, never casting the first thought in the direction of the absolute tyranny they’re inflicting on their neighbors, or dismissively concluding that “everyone does it,” which is not only a falsehood, but also a psychological confession of one’s ill intent.

As Rand explained more eloquently, and succinctly, one can do anything one pleases for the poor, out of one’s own pocket, and out of one’s own sense of charity or compassion, and there is naught but good to be born of that approach, be it food, clothing, healthcare, housing, or education.  What one must not do is force others to do one’s will in terms of charity or compassion, because it becomes neither, it breeds contempt, and it is a grave evil of its own in the first instance, for which there can be no ethical justification, despite endless rationalizations born of statist delusion.

I’ve been asked what we should replace Obama-care with, if it’s overturned.  My answer is simply:  A system in which government has no say, and no money in the distribution or provision of health-care, of any sort, as an entitlement for citizens who have done nothing more than breathed.  It is only because of governmental involvement that such shameless thugs as the current dictator of New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, can claim to be acting in the public interest when he bans soft-drinks larger than 16 ounces, or table salt in restaurants, or any of the myriad other tyrannical dicta he puts forth, all “for your own good.”  That sort of monstrous conduct by a public official is just the beginning, and it’s also why I wait along with millions of other Americans to see whether the United States Supreme Court will do its duty, or whether it will enable the advance of tyranny.

There are those who argue that Obama-care must be replaced by something, and my answer is that it should be: The US Constitution.  There exists no entitlement to the wealth of others, whether that wealth is to be taken in order to finance beans and rice or blood transfusions and open heart surgery.  Some will ask where is my compassion, but I maintain that my compassion is with those whose property and wealth is expropriated in the name of the compassion of others.  Unless and until the United States returns to the rule of Constitutional law, the country will continue inexorably downward.  There is no compromise between good and evil, yet what all of this redistributionism endorses is plainly evil.  None of my readers would walk next door and demand from their neighbors such provisions as they might from time to time need, but too many Americans are all too comfortable sending a government agent in their stead.   That’s not liberty.  That’s not freedom.  That’s not right.

 

 

The Insufferable Timidity of John Boehner

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Poor John

As the nation awaits the US Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a “Obamacare,” Speaker of the House John Boehner, (R-Ohio) has issued some advice and counsel to Republicans if the Obamacare law should be struck down.  In typical surrender-monkey fashion, Boehner has said that Republican shouldn’t gloat, and shouldn’t “spike the football.”  This is typical of Boehner’s temperament:  Don’t make waves, don’t stir up trouble, and don’t celebrate victory.  During his speech as the health-care bill passed the House, Boehner said, choking back tears, that the law wouldn’t stand.  To date, he’s done remarkably little to assist in seeing that promise through.  One would think that with so passionate a statement at the time of the law’s passage under the dictatorial control of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat majority in the House, even the tepid John Boehner would be moved to celebrate a bit if the law is struck down by the court.

Unfortunately, Boehner is made of tears but no anger.  Americans are rightly angry over the enactment of Obama-care, but for some reason, the GOP insiders in Washington don’t quite grasp it.  This is emblematic of the entire GOP establishment, some number of whom want the law to remain in place so they can benefit from crony-capitalism with the state exchanges created under the law.  They simply don’t share our passion for liberty, and when it comes right down to it, they don’t really represent we conservatives.  I’ve got some bad news for Speaker Boehner, and it’s not recklessly intended, but instead purposeful: If Obama-care is struck down by the courts, I am going to spike the ball.  I’m going to carry on an extended celebration in the endzone, and if the referees say anything about it, they might get the ball spiked in their faces too.

According to Reuters:

“No one knows what the court will decide,” Boehner said in a memo to fellow Republicans. “But if the court strikes down all or part of the president’s healthcare reform law, there will be no spiking of the ball.”

He underlined the last eight words to emphasize his reference to the NFL football end-zone celebration.

Boehner fears Republican gloating over a court victory could detract from the party’s emphasis on the struggling economy and the need for job growth, two campaign issues that consistently trump healthcare as voter priorities in national opinion polls.

“We will not celebrate,” Boehner said, during a time of unemployment and rising government debt and healthcare costs.

If you’re a conservative, you probably wonder why it is that an allegedly conservative Speaker of the House might take such a stance, and why there’s anything wrong with a little celebratory “ball-spiking” should the law be overturned.  The answer is simple: For those who rule over us in Washington, DC,  even the leadership of the party that claims to represent us, liberty is not important.  What upset John Boehner to the point of tears over the passage of the Affordable Care Act wasn’t the content of the bill, so much as the way in which it was passed.  While it’s true that Pelosi, Reid, and Obama used every device of the villain in order to pass the law, and suspended rules, and played fast-and-loose with House and Senate rules in order to shove this law down our throats, that’s still not the most important part of the matter.  At the heart of the matter is the question of liberty, and for that, John Boehner had few tears, and those in the GOP establishment didn’t shed any, either.  For Boehner, it was about the process, and how he had been closed out of it, and how then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi(D-CA) shoved a bill through that really had no business coming for a vote.  You will doubtless recall the whole “deemed passed” business, and the entire fiasco of passing a bill originating in the Senate as though it had been the House bill all along, in order to sidestep the ordinary legislative process.  This is what wrinkled Boehner’s shorts.

The fact that the government was taking over one-sixth of the US economy was not the salient issue in his view.  The fact that the American people would now see the intentional destruction of private health insurance and markets was not the cause of his tears.  The idea that the government could claim to be regulating non-existent commerce, precisely because it did not exist had not been the source of his discomfort.  No, none of these bother John Boehner so much as the way in which the bill was passed.  Boehner had been concerned about process.  With his focus on the employment situation, one would think Boehner could see that Obama-care is itself a job-killer, and for that reason alone, there would be good cause for celebration if the law is overturned by the court, but as usual, Boehner is worried about process and politics.

If you want to know why it is that John Boehner is urging restraint should Obama-care be struck down, it’s simply because he’s trying to look at the political ramifications.  In general, it’s true that nobody likes a sore loser, and few more like an obnoxious winner, but in this case, I believe Boehner and the rest of the political calculators are missing the point.  Nearly three-fourths of the American people believe this law is unconstitutional.  Three-fourths!  If this is even close to accurate, then ball-spiking may not present any particular political dangers, but it also may actually assist Republicans in the Fall.  After all, conservatives can now point to the fact that we do have a limited government, despite the usurping proclivities of Barack Obama and the Democrats, and they can further point to all the reasons why any Republican president who would presumably appoint conservative Supreme Court justices must be preferable to the current president who will continue the trend of appointing justices obnoxious to the US Constitution.

The simple fact is that when a people overcomes governmental treachery, and what this author views as treasonous legislation, there is every good justification to celebrate, or “spike the ball.”  If John Boehner wasn’t such a predictable, unfailing beltway insider, he too would understand that if this law is turned back by the courts, it will be every reason for the celebration of those who have fought tirelessly against this law, from it’s introduction to its passage, and even beforehand.  While John Boehner has whined about being “one-half of one-third of the government,” he has failed to make a stand on behaf of liberty.  Instead, he’s been a plodding, tepid Speaker of the House, and he’s done nothing to risk his position, and I believe that’s the trouble:  Boehner is risk-averse to a pathological extent.  He’s been more apt to stick it to his own party than he has been willing to do battle with the Democrats in the House, or face off against Majority leader Harry Reid(D-NV) in the Senate or the resident at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

All of this talk assumes that the bill will be struck down in part, or in whole, but we won’t know that until the decision finally comes out, sometime later this month.  What we must learn from this is that should a Republican majority re-convene next January, we conservatives must exert maximum pressure on our respective House members to ensure that John Boehner is not retained as the Speaker of the House.  We simply cannot tolerate this brand of hand-wringing leadership, devoid of the passion for liberty we conservatives share, and to have a Speaker telling his members that they should not celebrate when victorious is abominable.  Of course, maybe that’s the problem Boehner has with all of this:  If the Supreme Court strikes down Obama-care, Boehner has a whole new problem:  How does he manage to re-write the law, if it’s to be written at all?  Billions upon billions of dollars have already been spent in terms of the implementation of the law.  That money cannot be un-spent.  Many things will be left in limbo as a result, and you can bet that left in place, Boehner will fail to pursue the righting of things, particularly if Obama manages to beat the presumptive Republican nominee this Fall.

We need leadership, and that leadership must press advantages, politically as well as legislatively, but to do so requires a principled view of the issues at hand.  Boehner’s unwillingness to do a victory dance in the end-zone signifies that he doesn’t understand what moves the grass roots, and average, ordinary Americans, who will be thrilled to hear of it should the court strike down Obama-care.  It will be the first sign in more than four years that government is finally being brought under control, and that is most definitely something to be celebrated, but if John Boehner can’t understand that, and thinks it improper, I suggest he do what he does best.

What He Does Best?

 

Counting Obama-Care Chickens Before They’ve Come Home to Roost

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

How Much Will We Matter?

There’s a good deal of talk about how the oral arguments before the Supreme Court seemed to have gone badly for the government, particularly Solicitor General Verrilli, with a good deal of talk about how unprepared he seemed to make the arguments before him, but let’s be careful about two things:  I’m sure Verrilli is an able attorney, but there’s no way to plaster enough lipstick on this pig to disguise its true nature, but more importantly, I don’t think we should take for granted anything about how this or any other court will rule based on their questions alone.  If all the people who’ve spent the week trying to read the tea-leaves are wrong, we may be in for a serious disappointment come the end of June.  For my part, while the questioning offered some measure of hope, I won’t count my chickens before they’ve hatched, or even count Obama’s before they have gone home to roost.

Listening to the media, you would think Verrilli had been the constant butt of jokes, and while it’s clear that there were a few laughs at his expense, I think this says more about the impertinent character of the Obama-care legislation than it says about Verrilli’s legal scholarship.  He was placed in this position by a Congress now long gone, defeated and sent home by voters in 2010, and a President who was willing to sign this tract of tyranny into law despite a 2 to 1 disapproval by the American people at the time, that has only managed to worsen, now just shy of three-fourths of Americans considering the law unconstitutional.  As any litigator will tell you, if you have his client with a smoking gun in hand over the dead body with a signed confession, and thirty eyewitnesses, you’re not going to make it far on the defendant’s claims of innocence, but as an attorney, if your client says he will plead not guilty, you must still stand in and defend him.  That he’s left you with no conceivable method for doing so isn’t your fault, so I’d prefer we not tread too heavily on Verrilli.  He may be a left-wing goon for all I know, but he was doing his job.

The question of severability on Wednesday seemed to cause the greatest stir from the leftist members of the court, because they wanted to find some way, any way at all, to salvage some part of the “Affordable Care Act.”  One after the next, they tried to set up questions designed to muddy the water, but fundamentally, the problem is this:  If the individual mandate is struck down as unconstitutional, the rest of the bill is eligible because it would be difficult to imagine how the exchanges and the rest of the complex structure of the law operates without the mandate provision.  Some have assumed that the court may bounce the remainder of the bill, because Justice Scalia pointed out the impossibility of going through the law and figuring out what stays and what goes without risking larger damage.  In other words, keeping some of the Act might well wind up causing more trouble than it fixes.

I think that’s the proper way to view it, and you might wonder in light of this why the liberals on the court are so intent on keeping such parts of it as they are able.  The answer is simple enough once you understand their highly political motive: The mandate, if carved out, would merely affect the funding mechanism, but it would not do anything to the spending side.  The spending would go on, and the Congress would face deficits even greater than those already envisioned with this irresponsible law, and the entitlement would become firmly rooted in the American culture.  Once that happens, repeal becomes almost impossible.  For the liberals, therefore, preserving as much as the bill by severing only the mandate becomes the object of the ruling.

The conservatives may not be inclined to tamper with any of it.  They may not wish to toss out the entire bill for what will to some be an appearance of a political ruling, but the truth is that no matter what the court rules, it will certainly have political ramifications.  The question is whether that matters to all of the justices.  We know it drives the liberals on the court, but the problem is the conservatives are generally disinclined to weigh politics in their considerations on rulings.  If that is the case, you could well see a bifurcated ruling in which they throw out the mandate but leave the entirety of the remainder in place.  This too would constitute a disaster because the spending would commence in full as the law comes into force, with the revenue then [more] uncertain.

It could also happen that the court rules 5-4 that the mandate is constitutional, and if that happens, the country is thoroughly screwed.  At that point, the whole severability question is moot, and the law is implemented on schedule.  Of course, there are many theories about how this may play out, but the fact remains that we won’t know until late June.  Liberals are preparing for the scenario in which some or all of the law is tossed by preemptive strikes in media against various justices, particularly Justice Scalia.  I expect those attacks to ratchet up, even though the voting is already complete, and all that remains is to write the ruling and publish.

This process is important to the function of our republic, and yet there are those who disparage it as anachronistic, but I believe that if we are to remain a nation of laws, we must give the process its due. Leftists want to know the ruling now, and you can bet every court clerk is being prodded for answers by media who want to know in advance.  I would urge conservatives not to become to happy over what they have heard and read from the oral arguments.  Politically, you should remain engaged as though the law is going to be upheld.  You won’t be surprised if it is, and you won’t wonder about what to do next.

 

Did the Solicitor General Lie to the Supreme Court?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Asking the Tough Questions

In Tuesday’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said something in response to a question from Justice Antonin Scalia that I believe was intended to mislead.  Scalia was much too clever for Verrilli, and why he didn’t call Verrilli on it, he made it clear that he understood full well what Verrilli was doing with his wording.  It might not have been a “lie” in the strictest sense of the word, but it was intended to obfuscate the issue, and to do so in such a way as to shield the government from the very basis on which I have been criticizing the “individual mandate” since its proposal.  To understand this “lie,” “misleading statement,” or “obfuscation,” whichever you will prefer to call it, you must understand the basic issues in context. In my view, Verrilli tried to hide something crucial, and you should know it.

What General Verrilli tried to conceal is the fact that this “cost-shifting” that Obama-care’s mandate is intended to address was created by government statute.  Let us start with the transcript, available in full here:

GENERAL VERRILLI: That — that absolutely is a justification for Congress’s action here. That is existing economic activity that Congress is regulating by means of this rule.
JUSTICE SCALIA: Mr. Verrilli, you could say that about buying a car. If people don’t buy cars, the price that those who do buy cars pay will have to behigher. So, you could say in order to bring the price down, you’re hurting these other people by not buying a car.
GENERAL VERRILLI: That is not what we’re saying, Justice Scalia.
JUSTICE SCALIA: That’s not — that’s not what you’re saying.
GENERAL VERRILLI: That’s not — not -

JUSTICE SCALIA: I thought it was. I thought you’re saying other people are going to have to pay more for insurance because you’re not buying it.

Now for the key exchange:

GENERAL VERRILLI: No. It’s because you’re going — in the health care market, you’re going into the market without the ability to pay for what you get, getting the health care service anyway as a result of the social norms that allow — that — to which we’ve obligated ourselves so that people get health care.

Here, Scalia absolutely demonstrates he understands the issue:

JUSTICE SCALIA: Well, don’t obligate yourself to that. Why — you know?

And now, for the slam dunk:

GENERAL VERRILLI: Well, I can’t imagine that that — that the Commerce Clause would — would forbid Congress from taking into account this deeply embedded social norm.
JUSTICE SCALIA: You could do it. But does that expand your ability to issue mandates to — to the people?

Let me explain why I’ve italicized the portions above.  When Verrilli argues that the receipt of healthcare by the so-called free-riders is the result of “the social norms that allow,” he stammered through a self-correction, “to which we’ve obligated ourselves so that people get health care.

What Verrilli is here talking about is that Congress has enacted laws prohibiting an emergency room from turning away patients on the basis that they cannot show an ability or willingness to pay.  Verrilli tried to hide this behind a “social norm,” and later a “deeply embedded social norm,” but in fact, Scalia understood with acute perception why it is that Verrilli would do this, and he spat it back in Verrilli’s face, as was right and proper: “Well, don’t obligate yourself to that.”   In other words, if you don’t want people to receive treatment without having paid, repeal the law that provides that treatment must be provided.

Verrilli wasn’t satisfied with this, and he claimed that “[he] can’t imagine that the commerce clause would forbid Congress from taking into account this deeply embedded social norm.”

Here, Scalia might have asked him: “How deeply embedded a social norm is it that has been enacted within my lifetime,” but he did not, preferring to underscore the larger point:

“You could do it. But does that expand your ability to issue mandates to — to the people?

What Scalia is asking here is plain enough:  The government may claim an interest in taking this “deeply embedded social norm” into account in creating its policy, but a desire to support a “social norm” (deeply embedded or otherwise) confer upon the government the authority to stand in demand of participation in the social norm?

What Scalia here recognized is that which I’ve been telling you all along:  The government may enact a law forcing somebody to provide a good or a service(I reject that too, by the way) but the fact that the government creates a legal obligation for itself does not give them an additional claim of authority over you.

A good example is this:  You let one of your adult children move their entire family into your home with you, despite the fact that they can or should afford their own domicile on their own, but when you perceive it is too burdensome, you then go to your other adult children and demand they help you support them, since it’s now bankrupting you.  Your other adult children would rightly say to you:  “Don’t let them live their any longer.”

What kind of mind would actually propose this to their other adult children?  The other adult children would be best to remove themselves from the conversation and ignore the demanding parent.  The problem is that in this case, it’s the government that’s making the demand, and we(the other adult children) are prohibited from ignoring it.

What Scalia recognized, and every one of you must know, is that there is a cost to the choices one makes, but having made them, there is no authority to shift the costs of those choices onto unwilling others who would have chosen differently.  This is at the heart of the entire Obama-care insurance mandate argument:  The government voluntarily decides to fund or subsidize something for somebody, and then mandates that you participate in the payment.  There is no right to health-care, or any other material commodity or service, and nobody is obligated to pay for it.  This should be the basis upon which the entirety of the New Deal and the Great Society are tossed out to the curb, but what’s particularly objectionable about Obama-care’s mandate is that it compels you to purchase an insurance against such costs that you may well never incur.

Understanding this, you should see why it is that what Solicitor General Verrilli attempted to conceal, but Scalia didn’t permit, is that more than “deeply embedded social norms,” these are laws inflicted and imposed upon us by Congress, and that Congress is free to repeal them, but the creation of these obligations does not disparage our liberties.  I hope Antonin Scalia lives to be one-hundred-twenty years old, or longer,  and delivers us from as much evil as he is able.  His agile legal mind, and his clear understanding of the issues at stake is among the best hopes we have for maintaining our liberties, or reclaiming those we have forfeited already.  Our lives quite literally depend on it.

 

 

 

 

Message to Obamacare Goons: Kiss My…

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Tyrant with a law degree

I’ve been looking at some of the information about the case that comes before the United States Supreme Court over the matter of the Affordable Care Act(widely known as Obama-care.)  I ran into one story that frankly made me angry, because it’s typical of the sort of lies and misdirections of this administration, and frankly any stink-from-the-head lefty one may encounter.  It’s ridiculous to read their arguments and realize that their backward logic is actually the basis for laws in the United States.  The Obama administration is full of some very despotic people, but the garbage Neal Katyal spews on behalf of Obama-care is some of the most obnoxious.  AFP is reporting via YahooNews a story I find so detestable that it has caused me to spit coffee across the screen.  AFP interviewed Neal Katyal who has defended Obama-care as the acting solicitor general, and frankly, leftist double-speak like this needs to be shredded:

“The challengers to the reform say that never before has the government forced people to buy a product. We’re not forcing you to buy a product. Health care is something all Americans consume, and you don’t know when you’re going to consume it. You could get struck by a bus, you could have a heart attack and the like. And if you don’t have health insurance, then you show up at the emergency room. The doctors are under orders to treat you — as any Western, any civilized society would do. And who pays for that? Well, ordinary Americans pay for that. They’re the ones who have to pick up the tab for those who don’t have insurance. We are not regulating what people buy, we’re regulating how people finance it.”

There’s a good deal to tear apart here, but let’s begin with the first premise: Katyal says they’re not forcing you to buy a product.  Instead, the claims is laid that they’re merely regulating how you finance it.  What if I don’t want to finance it, because I won’t use it?  What if I refuse care?  What if I want to finance it differently?  What if I’m in a car wreck tomorrow and killed before I ever use any?  Do I get my money back?  No? Then you’re forcing me to buy something I may never use.

The claim is made that doctors are under orders to treat those who show up at an emergency room, and it’s true that this is the law.  Get rid of the law.  Don’t command the entire population of Americans on behalf of the claim that doctors, nurses, and hospitals must labor without any proof of a patient’s willingness or ability to pay.  Don’t like that?  Fine. What the government can do is put medical bills outside the reach of bankruptcy protection, much like they do your tax bill, or you child support payments, or your student loans. Give it the second bite at the apple of one’s estate, after federal taxes.  The fact that some people do not pay is not a burden to be commanded upon all.  We shouldn’t be doing that anyway, and I really don’t want to hear any silly arguments about Western or “civilized” societies.  There is nothing remotely civilized about the government putting a gun to my head and forcing me to pay for products and services I may never consume, or may have not intention of consuming.

Life and death and all of the other necessities of life are not the government’s proper role or responsibility, ridiculous laws notwithstanding.  When I read remarks from a useless jack-ass like Katyal, I realize that this is one of these idiots who probably wants to mandate legal insurance on us too. (Trust me, there is a whole movement among lawyers who want this.)  There can be no authority to regulate how I finance something on the basis that I might decide to buy it, otherwise what you’re compelling me to do is purchase in advance.

The rest of the article is filled with similar drivel, and I encourage you to read it on the basis that you ought to know what we’re fighting.  I also saw the beginnings of a smear-campaign against the court in the interview, and I want you to notice how they’re preparing to smear the court with this “unelected” business:

“If the Supreme Court struck this down, I think that it wouldn’t just be about health care. It would be the Supreme Court saying: ‘Look, we’ve got the power to really take decisions, move them off of the table of the American people, even in a democracy. And so it could imperil a number of reforms in the New Deal that are designed to help people against big corporations and against, indeed, big governments. The challengers are saying that this law is unconstitutional, which means even if 95 percent of Americans want this law, they can’t have it. And that’s a really profound thing for an unelected court to say.”

On the one hand it’s true: If 95% of Americans want to suppress free speech, that doesn’t make it constitutional, but let me suggest to this legal moron that if 95% of Americans want to suppress free speech, they can easily amend the constitution to do it, thus making it constitutional.  Besides, 60-65% of Americans oppose this law anyway, so the very idea posited is false. Give me a break!  Here comes the garbage, however:

“The two main outcomes that one can predict — the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate as unconstitutional because it’s unprecedented or it upholds it and says it is part of Congress power over commerce and over taxation. The latter is far more likely because it is such a grave thing for unelected judges to take a decision of such a magnitude for American people. I expect the Supreme Court’s ruling at the end of its current term, June 30.”

Is this clown kidding?  That’s what the Supreme Court exists to do: Make judges of this magnitude for the American people.  More, the very idea that the Supreme Court is unelected is now a bad thing flies in the face of lefty arguments that were only too happy to see “unelected judges” impose Roe v. Wade, or Social Security, or any other damned thing they want on the American people. No complaints then, at all.

Leftists are scum. I truly hope there is still sufficient wisdom on the court to overturn this unconstitutional monstrosity.  If not, the only course remaining is repeal, but for that to happen, Republicans will need to capture sixty seats or more in the Senate, and replace Barack Obama.  That’s a tall order in any year, but if Romney is the nominee, prepare to live as slaves to the will of idiots like Katyal.

 

Ruth Bader-Ginsburg Goes to Egypt, Criticizes Constitution

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Justice Ginsburg in Egypt

Conservatives have known ever since this leftist was shoved onto the Court by Bill Clinton that she would be a thorn in our sides until she departs that body.  On a trip to Egypt, Associate Justice Bader-Ginsburg was interviewed and asked her opinion about the process by which Egypt was creating its own constitution, and this Supreme Court justice used the opportunity to talk about the US Constitution and its history, but saying ultimately that it was not an example for others to follow, and that Egyptians should look to the South African Constitution, the Canadian Constitution, and the European Conventions on Human Rights. She did at times speak positively about the US Constitution, but she did  so while slinging a little mud at the founders for slavery and the rights of women, among others.

I must say that if I’m a Supreme Court justice, and I am asked such a question by people who are about to write a Constitution, I am going to say some things she didn’t, and omit a few she did, and I am going to point to the superiority of the US Constitution as distinct from those others she named.  She may not have said anything terrible, but  one gets the sense that she has a different sort of reverence for our constitution, not in what it is, but for what she’d like to make of it.

Elections Matter: Judicial Appointments

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Breyer, Scalia on Law in South Carolina (Associated Press)

Justices Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia appeared at South Carolina Bar Association debate on Saturday.  Both avoided details on pending cases, but one case that did see some discussion was the decision in  the Citizens United case that has led to the rise of the SuperPACs.  The two men had very different takes on the case, and it’s clear that Scalia had the better of the arguments.  Breyer’s argument was outcome-based, while Scalia’s was based on the constitution.  This distinct difference in judicial orientation explains the current problem in American legal battles: Some justices will abide by the constitution, but there’s a wider group that ignores it, using their personal policy preferences as the yardstick by which the constitutionality of law will be decided.

You can learn a good deal about their judicial philosophies simply by examining what they say in even the most generic terms.  Scalia was asked about the influence of money that will presumptively reign supreme in the wake of the Citizens United decision, but in answer, he said something important that reveals his underlying temperament:

“I don’t care who is doing the speech – the more the merrier, People are not stupid. If they don’t like it, they’ll shut it off.”

It is clear from this that Scalia does not view the American people with contempt and derision.  He clearly leaves it to us to decide, and that’s what free, independent people are able to do.  This explicitly tells us that Scalia’s tendency is toward liberty.

Contrast this with the remarks of Justice Breyer, who was in the  minority on the Citizens United decision:

“There are real problems when people want to spend lots of money on a candidate … they’ll drown out the people who don’t have a lot of money,”

Do you see the difference? Breyer assumes that Americans will not be able to discern among candidates if there is too much money spent on one side of a contest.  He assumes this will freeze out those candidates with fewer resources, and his decision in the case was based not on what the Constitution implies about liberty, but instead in pursuit of implementing a specific policy goal. Also notice what this implies about Breyer’s view of the American people: You have not the sophistication to discern for yourselves among candidates if too great a disparity exists in the amount of money spent by candidates.  You should note that as Breyer offered this explanation, Gingrich, who had only a fraction of the resources of Romney, was running away with a landslide victory over his well-funded rival in the very state in which this judicial discussion was simultaneously in progress.

Point: Scalia.

This difference describes not only the underlying dissent in the Citizens United decision, but also the entire scope of rulings the court hands down.  The “judicial activists” on the court are those who use the occasion of cases not merely to gauge the constitutionality of law, but imagine what they would prefer to see in law, and implement it through their rulings.  This also describes a contempt for the American people, their discernment, and their ability to filter through nonsense.  The view of the judicial activists like Breyer is that they know better what is in the interests of the American people, while the strict constructionists like Scalia stand by the notion that it is the role of the courts is to interpret law, but not to write it out of whole cloth.