Sunday, June 26, 2022

Justice Thomas strives to release a can of worms

Justice Thomas strives to release a can of worms:

 Justice Thomas: SCOTUS ‘should reconsider’ contraception, same-sex marriage rulings - POLITICO

 A can of worms, indeed, Justice Thomas wants to release. His goals portend of years of legal, social, and political turmoil. The attempt to eliminate birth control pills, the morning after pill, same-sex marriage, and government rules regarding the kind of sex you can have are on the fanatical right-wing agenda and possible if in 2022 and 2024 Congress and the White House are in their hands. As with abortion, they want such acts and methods to be criminal and enforced by those they elect to district attorneys' offices and appointments to law enforcement leaders. The Court is lost for a generation to any reconsideration given the young age of the new members, but the permission slip they gave on June 24 was that life begins at conception, not at viability, and any interruption of pregnancy destroys a potential life. Is potential life the only priority? Does that mean birth control, a pill or IUD which stops any potential conception, is in danger, too? Or sex and marriage between those of the same sex should be banned because it does not contribute to potential conception? Thomas may have to come up with a new batch of theological and judicial reasons to argue for these issues. Fasten your seatbelts for more Court religious biased and Court power rationales for their activist edicts. The Supreme Court just destroyed the concept of settled law (prior decisions in effect for many years need to be upheld) and that works both ways. What the Court ruled on June 24 is not settled law and can be subject to reversal by a future court as well. It might just take years for such a reversal, however.

The reason we are in this situation is that elections have consequences and Trump beat Hillary and not enough democrats were elected to the Senate.... clear and simple.... to stop the appointment of three ideologically biased pro-life justices. The way we can keep the situation from becoming worse is also by elections and by electing more Democrats or like-minded to state and federal legislative bodies to formulate national and state laws that extend protections against such fanaticism. One likely outcome is there will be renewed interest in expanding the court to give it additional members with a pro-choice view, but that depends on who gets elected to Congress and who is in the oval office at the time.

MUFTIC FORUM BLOG: What happens when the Supreme Court makes unpopular decisions..


 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

The tyranny of the minority. We saw it in action in June.

 Last week, the Supreme Court issued opinions on two issues that put into effect government policy that reflected only 30% of public opinion and will.  The result is that a minority will now be able to tell what laws the other 70% are to obey. It is a tyranny of a minority. Although only 30% of the nationwide public polled wanted Roe v Wade overturned, the Court did it anyway    On the concealed weapons restrictions of New York state and in a public with 80% wanting the government to do something in the wake of years of mass killings, the Court put more guns in the hands of violent criminals on the streets in spite of what a state legislature or public sentiment had wanted.   The Court overturned prior decisions to protect 2nd amendment rights to have weapons to protect their homes, now extending that right nationwide to carry guns outside their homes with little constraint.

We allegedly live in a closely divided country, but what we are now seeing in public policy issues, where there is a consensus of more than 60% in favor, the Court has stuck it to the majority. One of the basic tenants of democracy is majority rule. The Supreme Court as now constituted has declared itself not bound by popular opinion but by the standard of conformity to the Constitution and its intent. However, its power to apply laws to their standard and to see its opinions enforced in reality depends on the respect given to it by the public and the enforcers.  If they are so far out of step with public sentiment,  the public will use other means through executive orders and legislation to contest and work around technical details. Enforcers of crimes may choose not to put the issue high on their priority list and use their limited resources for fighting murder and theft, instead of taking to court a woman who interrupted a pregnancy unintentionally because of natural causes.  You can imagine the resources that it takes to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt and whether the accused intended for it to happen.  Also, unresolved is the issue of the life of the mother.   Life is life, whether the person is already born or in the womb if you want to take the argument to its conclusion.  Is potential life more important than an existing life?  The future will hold years of turmoil in the courts and in legislatures and legislators indeed heed public opinion or lose their seats.  Those responsible for determining which cases to try, district attorneys, are also sensitive to public sentiment because they are elected.  The victims will be the women who lost their privacy and control of their lives.  The Supreme Court just released a can of worms.

 The American system has a unique twist: it protects the right of the minority to be able to make their case to the public via free press and peaceful assembly and the ability to access the ballot box without discrimination in fairly run elections. The American constitution was meant to protect minority views,. It also built into the Constitution checks and balances that limited the power of the government to interfere in individual lives pursuing their life, liberty, and happiness.  That was the goal, but it was never meant to give a minority the ability to rule over the majority will as expressed of, by, and for the people at the ballot box. That is not the way it is turning out.

We still have a democracy in spite of failed attempts of a rogue president and allies to stage a coup to upend it.  We still have the ability to vote those out of office who want to upend democracy in favor of a dictatorship by a party or one person. We still have the power to vote out of office for those who do not reflect our opinions on governmental policy.  While we have it, we need to pinch ourselves and ask how is it that one party keeps losing national elections yet the mnority is winning the power to govern as if they were the majority?  How is it that when 60 to 70 percent of the public gets thwarted by the other30 percent?    While we still have a democracy, we need to seriously ask ourselves how this democracy has become so upside down.   The answers are many:  Gridlock in the Senate because of the filibuster rule requiring 60% to approve anything except judicial appointments. Gerrymandering that allows one-party rule in most state and federal legislative districts with boundaries drawn so the minority party gets more districts to elect representatives with a greater percentage of the favored representatives in legislatures... An electorate who never learned or did forget civics lessons of what American democracy is about and why it formulated a government ruled by law instead of a person..  A large segment of an electorate who go with their gut and prejudices instead of using their heads to look at facts and data. An electoral college that does not reflect one man one vote.  It is a system that weights votes to favor rural and former slave states constructed in the time before urbanization and the industrial revolution and the advent of weapons that could wipe out a classroom of kids in less than a minute. It was a system then that a man could support a family in 1950 without the wife having to work to support the family. It is not the case in 2022 and family planning made it possible for women to go to work.   It was also the result of the flow of money from special interests into a political system that requires money, money, and more money to message with expensive media platforms of television and the easy use of internet technology to spread lies and ignore reason and evidence to raise more money.    

The greatest imbalance is the takeover of one branch of the government by an ideologically, culturally,  and religiously based minority that wants to roll back civil rights and women's rights to the 1950s, when America was their definition of greatness..  The control of the Supreme Court was the result of more than 40 years of a strategy by a minority driven by religious zeal and the use of government and politics to impose their views on those who did not share them.   Their strategy was not so much to convince the majority of their righteousness but to use the government to impose their will on others, and to keep their opponents from voting with the same ease they themselves had to access the ballot box by making it more inconvenient for certain groups to vote.

The miracle is that we still have enough of a democracy left that we can still shape our future with a vote.  What we saw unfold in the January 6 Select Committee hearings is how we almost lost our American democracy by violence, trickery, lies, and abuse of power and laws. What politicians fear the most is losing an election.  Because of the built-in imbalance, it will take greater effort to succeed than ever before.  Don't just get mad, vote.

__________________________________________________________________________________

This segment is also posted separately as

Justice Thomas strives to release a can of worms:

 Justice Thomas: SCOTUS ‘should reconsider’ contraception, same-sex marriage rulings - POLITICO

A can of worms, indeed, Justice Thomas wants to release.   The attempt to eliminate birth control pills, the morning after pill, same-sex marriage, and government rules regarding the kind of sex you can have are on the fanatical right-wing agenda and possible if in 2022 and 2024 Congress and the White House are in their hands. As with abortion, they want such acts and methods to be criminal and enforced by those they elect to district attorneys' offices and appointments to law enforcement leaders.  The Court is lost for a generation to any reconsideration given the young age of the new members, but the permission slip they gave on June 24 was that life begins at conception, not at viability,  and any interruption of pregnancy destroys a potential life.  Is potential life the only priority? Does that mean birth control, a pill or IUD which stops any potential conception, is in danger, too?  Or sex and marriage between those of the same sex should be banned because it does not contribute to potential conception? Thomas may have to come up with a new batch of theological and judicial reasons to argue for these issues. Fasten your seatbelts for more Court religious biased  and Court power rationales for their activist edicts and more years of legal, social, and political turmoil.

 The Supreme Court just destroyed the concept of settled law (prior decisions in effect for many years need to be upheld) and that works both ways. What the Court ruled on June 24 is not settled law and can be subject to reversal by a future court as well.  It might just take years for such a reversal, however.

The reason we are in this situation is that elections have consequences and Trump beat Hillary and not enough democrats were elected to the Senate.... clear and simple.... to stop the appointment of three ideologically biased pro-life justices. The way we can keep the situation from becoming worse is also by elections and by electing more Democrats or like-minded to state and federal legislative bodies to formulate national and state laws that extend protections against such fanaticism. One likely outcome is there will be renewed interest in expanding the court to give it additional members with a pro-choice view, but that depends on who gets elected to Congress and who is in the oval office at the time.


Friday, June 24, 2022

What happens when the Supreme Court makes unpopular decisions..

 As the Supreme Court demonstrates they're being out of step with public opinion on gun safety yesterday and a Roe v Wade overturned today, their public opinion support has sunk to 25%. Expect a revolt from the public as the Court no longer gets public respect. The revolt will take the form of state legislation, executive orders, and downright workarounds. Expect this to be a hot issue in state house elections in 2022 and 2024, likely favoring the Democrats. Sadly, to avoid threats from those carrying concealed weapons, we will not be able to have airport-type scanners to keep wannabe killers and robbers out of our private shopping centers that ban armed visitors. https://news.gallup.com/.../confidence-supreme-court...

The right to abortion is protected by law in Colorado...one of the few places in the region. From the CPR article:"The next stage of Colorado’s abortion debate will likely involve bringing the issue directly to voters.   At the federal level, there will be another attempt to codify Roe v Wade in Congress, making it a law.   

Several groups are already collecting signatures for a ballot measure that would ban the procedure at any point in pregnancy and under any circumstances. Meanwhile, RHEA’s supporters have said they also plan to go to the ballot in 2024. Their goal is to guarantee the right to abortion in the state constitution.Coloradans have repeatedly voted to uphold legal abortion in previous ballot initiatives."

Update 6/28/2022:  James Fallows of the Atlantic on Morning Joe this morning suggested reforms that would resolve the problem of an ideological, partisan Supreme Court that has lost its legitimacy and respect and is extremely out of step with the majority of public sentiment. One would be term limits of 18 years. Currently there is lifetime tenure, with the gruesome death watch waiting for vacancies and elderly justices with equally elderly opinions. This could give a chance for every administration to have nominees for two replacements. The other proposal he advanced was  to expand the Court to 13 from the current 9 which has precedent in the past basing expansions on the number of federal appeals courts. He believes this would  be constitutional .

Colorado concealed handgun law:Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) | Colorado Bureau of Investigation

Colorado is an open carry state requiring you in certain instances to keep your weapon in plain view. Colorado Gun Laws | Department of Public Safety

fate of extreme laws out of step with the public willstep with public norms : tragedies and repeal

How the abortion underground is prepping for a post-Roe v. Wade world

Credibility of the DOJ helped by their going down the wackadoodle rabbit hole

The January 6 Select  Committee hearings revealed that it was not only Bill Barr's telling the president it was his opinion it was bull...t, that there was enough fraud to overturn the election.  It was helpful the Department of Justice ( DOJ) actually investigated the wackadoodle conspiracy theories, using the FBI and DHS  cyber wizards to check them out. Barr's statement was based on actual investigation and findings.  The DOJ can be criticized in retrospect for wasting taxpayer money and humoring the boss. On the other hand, while it may have failed to change Trump's mind to stop lying and/or continue with his delusions, it has value in  June 2022.  That the DOJ did investigate, they were able to say they did.   They debunked them with more credibility than if they just laughed them off. Some of the theories mentioned in testimony on June 23 were the Italians using cyber to change voting machine votes, a refrigerator semi truck with ballots, and in earlier hearings the boxes of ballots under a table in Fulton county.  That helps make the case that Trump himself wanted the DOJ to lie about their findings and conclusions so he could let his allies in Congress take it from there.  Simply lie the election was corrupt,, he asked the DOJ to do,   Jan. 6 hearing: Trump told DOJ to lieOJ officials 'just say it was corrupt, and leave the rest up to me' (cnbc.com)      What it also implies that Trump's fingerprints were all over the strategy to force the DOJ to lie so he could make his lie sound even more credible.