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Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court’

Did AOC Pretend To Be Handcuffed While Police Escorted Her From Supreme Court?

Posted by M. C. on July 20, 2022

Def: Joke – Washington DC

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/did-aoc-pretend-be-handcuffed-while-police-escorted-her-supreme-court

As the Daily Mail notes, “Ocasio-Cortez was seen walking escorted away by police with her hands crossed behind her back, as if she were in handcuffs, but she was not. At one point she uncrossed her hands and raised her fists to the other protesters.”

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Dismantling the Constitution: Police No Longer Have to Honor the Right to Remain Silent

Posted by M. C. on July 18, 2022

by John W. Whitehead

In other words, concludes legal analyst Nick Sibilla, “the Supreme Court has effectively created a new legal immunity for cops accused of infringing on the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination.”

“That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.”—Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

We are witnessing the gradual dismantling of every constitutional principle that serves as a bulwark against government tyranny, overreach and abuse.

As usual, the latest assault comes from the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a 6-3 ruling in Vega v. Tekoh, the Supreme Court took aim at the Miranda warnings, which require that police inform suspects that they have a right against self-incrimination when in police custody: namely, that they have a right to remain silent, to have an attorney present, and that anything they say and do can and will be used against them in a court of law.

Although the Supreme Court stopped short of overturning its 1966 ruling in Miranda v. Arizona, the conservative majority declared that individuals cannot hold police accountable for violating their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

By shielding police from lawsuits arising from their failure to Mirandize suspects, the Supreme Court has sent a message to police that they no longer have to respect a suspect’s right to remain silent.

In other words, concludes legal analyst Nick Sibilla, “the Supreme Court has effectively created a new legal immunity for cops accused of infringing on the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination.”

Why is this important?

In totality, the rights enshrined in the Fifth Amendment speak to the Founders’ determination to protect the rights of the individual against a government with a natural inclination towards corruption, tyranny and thuggery.

The Founders were especially concerned with balancing the scales of justice in such a way that the innocent and the accused were not railroaded and browbeaten by government agents into coerced confessions, false convictions, or sham trials.

Indeed, so determined were the Founders to safeguard the rights of the innocent, even if it meant allowing a guilty person to go free, that Benjamin Franklin insisted, “It is better a hundred guilty persons should escape than one innocent person should suffer.”

Two hundred-plus years later, the Supreme Court (aided and abetted by the police state, Congress and Corporate America) has flipped that longstanding presumption of innocence on its head.

In our present suspect society, “we the people” are all presumed guilty until proven innocent.

See the rest here

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Supreme Court Upholds ‘State Secrets’ Privilege to Protect CIA Torture Program

Posted by M. C. on June 13, 2022

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/supreme-court-upholds-state-secrets-privilege-to-protect-cia-torture-program/

by Jim Bovard

The Supreme Court ruled in March that Americans have no right to learn the grisly details of CIA torture because the CIA has never formally confessed its crimes. The case symbolizes how the rule of law has become little more than legal mumbo-jumbo to shroud official crimes. And it is another grim reminder that Americans cannot rely on politically approved lawyers wearing bat suits to save their freedoms.

In 2002, the CIA captured Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian radical, in Pakistan and falsely believed he was a kingpin with al Qaeda. The CIA tortured him for years in Thailand and Poland. As Justice Neal Gorsuch noted, the CIA “waterboarded Zubaydah at least 80 times, simulated live burials in coffins for hundreds of hours,” and brutalized him to keep him awake for six days in a row. The CIA has admitted some of the details of the torture, and Zubaydah’s name was mentioned more than a thousand times in a 683-page Senate report released in 2014 on the CIA torture regime. But the Supreme Court permitted the CIA to pretend that the case is still secret.

The Holy Relic of “State Secrets”

This case turned on the invocation of a holy bureaucratic relic of dubious origin—“state secrets.” As the court’s 6–3 ruling, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, noted, “To assert the [state secrets] privilege, the Government must submit to the court a ‘formal claim of privilege, lodged by the head of the department which has control over the matter.’” This is akin to permitting the Wizard of Oz to rotely certify that his curtain must remain closed for the good of all the munchkins in Oz. After a federal agency announces that it is entitled to secrecy, the court “should exercise its traditional “reluctance to intrude upon the authority of the Executive in military and national security affairs,” Breyer wrote. Breyer neglected to explain how self-government can be reconciled with near-total secrecy of an elected government’s foreign and military policies.

The court upheld a “state secrets” claim to block Zubaydah’s lawyers from serving subpoenas on the psychologist masterminds of the CIA torture program to learn the details of his interrogation in Poland. The court’s ruling also blocks Polish investigators seeking information about the crimes committed at a CIA torture site in their nation.

This case illustrated the fantasy world that permeates official Washington, D.C., controversies. In 2019, federal Judge Richard Paez rejected the CIA’s privilege claim because “in order to be a ‘state secret,’ a fact must first be a ‘secret.’” Even the president of Poland admitted that crimes were committed at that CIA torture site in his country.

But the Supreme Court disregarded common sense, ruling that “sometimes information that has entered the public domain may nonetheless fall within the scope of the state secrets privilege.” According to the Supreme Court, “truth” depends solely on what federal officials have publicly confessed. ACLU attorney Dror Ladin groused, “U.S. courts are the only place in the world where everyone must pretend not to know basic facts about the CIA’s torture program.”

It gets worse. Then-CIA chief Mike Pompeo asserted that exposing details of torture in Poland could hinder foreign spy agencies’ partnerships with the CIA. The court upheld “state secrets” to aid the CIA in “maintaining the trust upon which those relationships [between spy agencies] are based.” The court warned, “To confirm publicly the existence of a CIA [torture] site in Country A, can diminish the extent to which the intelligence services of Countries A, B, C, D, etc., will prove willing to cooperate with our own.”

The court acted as if it was merely smoothing the path for a Girl Scout troop to sell cookies at a shopping center instead of shrouding a “crime against humanity” (the United Nations’ verdict on torture). Pompeo bluntly described the CIA modus operandi: “We lied, we cheated, we stole. It’s like we had entire training courses.” The CIA’s long record of lawless assassinations did nothing to deter the deference it received from the court. Instead, the “mutual trust” between conniving spy agencies is more important than the trust that Americans should have in their own government.

State Secrets and the War on Terror

In his decision, Justice Breyer stressed, “Obviously, the Court condones neither terrorism nor torture, but in this case we are required to decide only a narrow evidentiary dispute.” But the Supreme Court necessarily condones any crime it helps cover up. The court’s sweeping rulings on state secrets and sovereign immunity have provided a get-out-of-jail-free card for Bush-era torturers and torture policymakers. No victim of Bush-era torture has received justice in federal courts.

State-secrets claims multiplied after the start of the war on terror. The Bush administration routinely invoked state secrets to seek “blanket dismissal of every case challenging the constitutionality of specific, ongoing government programs,” according to a study by the Constitution Project. In 2007, federal judge Harry Pregerson groused that the “bottom line here is the government declares something is a state secret, that’s the end of it. The king can do no wrong.” In 2009, a federal appeals court slammed the Obama administration’s use of state secrets: “According to the government’s theory, the judiciary should effectively cordon off all secret government actions from judicial scrutiny, immunizing the CIA and its partners from the demands and the limits of the law.” The Obama administration invoked the state-secrets doctrine to justify refusing to disclose the standards it used to place Americans and others on the assassination list of suspected terrorists.

As author Barry Siegel noted, in the vast majority of cases where state secrets are invoked, “judges rule blindly, without looking at the disputed documents underlying the State Secrets claims…They choose, instead, to trust the government—the ultimate act of faith.” Eventually, instead of a good excuse for breaking the law, all that is necessary is to claim that an excuse exists, even if the excuse is secret.

The Origin of State Secrets

Gorsuch noted that the Supreme Court created the doctrine in a 1953 case in which the Pentagon claimed “state secrets” to cover up the details of an Air Force crash. Half a century later, the government declassified the official report of the crash. It contained no national-security secrets but instead detailed how gross negligence had caused the crash (which killed three people). Yet the Supreme Court clearly has no shame about being conned by the Pentagon and other federal agencies.

State secrets is akin to a fraudulent religious miracle that was not exposed until after it became canonized. During oral arguments at the court last November, Chief Justice John Roberts talked as if the state-secrets doctrine was on a moral and legal par with habeas corpus, which was specifically mentioned in the original Constitution even prior to the Bill of Rights. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a former Bush administration lawyer, whooped up the state-secrets doctrine as “foundational to the national security of the country.” Gorsuch, on the other hand, observed that “it seems that the government wants this suit dismissed because it hopes to impede the Polish criminal investigation and avoid (or at least delay) further embarrassment for past misdeeds.”

Gorsuch, whose dissent was joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor (the most liberal member of the court), warned that granting “utmost deference” to the CIA would “invite more claims of secrecy in more doubtful circumstances—and facilitate the loss of liberty and due process history shows very often follows.” Law professor Steve Vladeck said the “ruling will make it much harder, going forward, for victims of government misconduct that occurs in secret to obtain evidence helping to prove that the conduct was unlawful.” A confidential report in February revealed that the CIA is vacuuming up masses of personal information from American citizens, probably in violation of federal law. But don’t expect to learn the tawdry details or the names of victims because of the state-secrets doctrine.

The first sentence of the Associated Press report on the ruling perfectly summarized the decision: “The Supreme Court sided with the government.” Swallowing state-secrets claims vivifies how the Supreme Court has become the guardian of Leviathan Democracy. Federal agencies are creating trillions of pages of new secrets each year. The majority of Supreme Court justices have no problem with federal agencies systematically blindfolding American citizens to the actions of the federal government.

When Justice Breyer, who wrote the court decision, announced his impending retirement, the media gushed over his long record of pragmatism at the high court. William James, the system’s philosophical godfather, declared that pragmatism means “that ideas become true just in so far as they help us to get into satisfactory relations with other parts of our experience.” James explained that “any idea upon which we can ride…is true instrumentally.” Breyer was popular with places like The Washington Post because of his endless deference to federal agencies on cases involving the Fourth Amendment (prohibiting unreasonable searches) and other issues. In D.C., covering up torture is pragmatic because it permits all three branches of the government to con the American people into believing that their rulers are on a leash. The most celebrated pragmatists in recent Washington history have all been “useful idiots for Leviathan.”

Bipartisan Support for State Secrets

See the rest here

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Why Rothbardians Should Oppose Roe v. Wade

Posted by M. C. on May 23, 2022

By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

It means that libertarians should cease putting all their judicial eggs in the basket of hoping to get good guys, like Richard Epstein or Alex Kozinski, on the Supreme Court. Far more important is getting rid of federal judicial tyranny altogether, and to decentralize our polity radically—to return to the forgotten Tenth Amendment.”

Like most of us who write for LewRockwell.com, I’m opposed to the Supreme Court’s pro-abortion Roe v.Wade decision. If the leak proves to be accurate and the decision is reversed, I’d be glad. As the great Dr. Ron Paul says, “All who support limited, constitutional government should support overturning Roe. The Constitution does not give any branch of the federal government authority to decide what does, and does not, constitute murder. Therefore, federal courts — including the Supreme Court — have no jurisdiction to decide what the penalty should be for performing an abortion.

Overturning Roe would not create a nationwide abortion ban. Instead, it would return to the individual states responsibility for deciding what, if any, restrictions to place on abortion.

If supporters of abortion ‘followed the science,’ they would have to admit that abortion is the taking of human life. A fetus with a heartbeat is developing, but is also still a human with a right to life.

The Biden Justice Department is supporting efforts to overturn the Texas heartbeat law in federal court. President Biden is also supporting the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of federal funds for abortions. If Biden and Congress are going to use tax dollars to support abortions, then they should allow anti-abortion taxpayers to withhold the percentage of their taxes that would be used to support abortion. The same should go for those with moral objections to America’s militaristic foreign policy that forces US taxpayers to subsidize the killing of innocent men, women, and even children. . . To ensure pro-life Americans are not forced to subsidize abortions — either directly or indirectly, it could be forbidden for organizations that promote or perform abortions to receive any federal funds. Denying federal funds to international organizations that promote or perform abortions might help reduce resentment of the US in other countries.

It is no coincidence that Roe v. Wade came at a time when respect for natural rights of life, liberty, and property was on the decline. Roe contributed to the decline in respect for rights and the rise in public and private immorality. These changes have led to violent crimes, people believing they have a moral claim — that must be enforced by the government — to the property of their neighbors, and acceptance of torture and ‘preemptive’ war. The way to reverse these developments is to restore respect for the inalienable right to life, liberty, and property of all human beings, both born and unborn. The cause of life is inseparable from the cause of liberty.”

Some pro-abortionists, especially so-called “left libertarians,” criticize us in this way. “You claim to be Rothbardians, but Murray Rothbard supported abortion. You are going against Rothbard!” As usual, these phonies have it all wrong. Murray supported reversal of Roe v. Wade. As you would expect, he gives a brilliant argument for reversal.

Rothbard says something few other people would think of. Even if you are “pro-choice,” you should still favor overturning Roe v. Wade. “But even apart from the funding issue, there are other arguments for a rapprochement with pro-lifers. There is a prudential consideration: a ban on something as murder is not going to be enforceable if only a minority considers it as murder. A national prohibition is simply not going to work, in addition to being politically impossible to get through in the first place. Pro-choice paleo-libertarians can tell the pro-lifers: ‘Look, a national prohibition is hopeless. Stop trying to pass a human life amendment to the Constitution. Instead, for this and many other reasons, we should radically decentralize political and judicial decisions in this country; we must end the despotism of the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary, and return political decisions to state and local levels.’ Pro-choice paleos should therefore hope that Roe v. Wade is someday overthrown, and abortion questions go back to the state and local levels—the more decentralized the better. Let Oklahoma and Missouri restrict or outlaw abortions, while California and New York retain abortion rights. Hopefully, some day we will have localities within each state making such decisions. Conflict will then be largely defused. Those who want to have, or to practice, abortions can move or travel to California (or Marin County) or New York (or the West Side of Manhattan.)” https://www.rothbard.it/articles/religious-right.pdf

Many “pro-choice” people oppose reversal because if abortion is left to the state or local community to regulate, then a poor woman who lives in an area where abortion isn’t allowed would have to travel to another area. She might not have the funds to do so, For that reason, they say, leaving abortion up for popular decision is an undue “hardship” on her. Rothbard skewers this so-called “argument:” “The standard rebuttal of the pro-abortionists that ‘poor women’ who haven’t got the money to travel would be deprived of abortions of course reverts back to a general egalitarian redistributionist argument. Aren’t the poor ‘deprived’ of vacation travel now? Again, it demonstrates the hidden agenda of the proabortionists in favor of socialized medicine and collectivism generally”

Murray also opposes forcing taxpayers to subsidize pro-abortionist physicians and counselors. “An unfortunate act of President-elect Clinton was to reverse the Bush policy of not funding physicians who counsel abortions. Leftists cleverly distorted this action as an ‘invasion of the free speech of physicians.’ But no ‘freedom of speech’ was involved. People should be free to speak, but this does not mean they must be shielded from the consequences of such speech. No person, and hence no physician, has a ‘right’ to receive taxpayer funding. Everyone may have the right to say whatever they like, but not the right to say whatever they like and still be funded by the taxpayers. And just as taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortions, neither should they be forced to fund people who counsel abortions.”

As always with Murray, he sees things in their broader context. It isn’t enough to reverse Roe v. Wade, Our target should be the whole system of federal judicial tyranny. “A commitment to radical decentralization means that pro-choicers should give up the Freedom of Choice Act, which would impose abortion rights by the federal government upon the entire country. It means that libertarians should cease putting all their judicial eggs in the basket of hoping to get good guys, like Richard Epstein or Alex Kozinski, on the Supreme Court. Far more important is getting rid of federal judicial tyranny altogether, and to decentralize our polity radically—to return to the forgotten Tenth Amendment.”

The so-called “left libertarians” don’t like Murray’s answer. They aren’t Rothbardians in any sense. We are the true Rothbardians, and we agree with Murray on this vital issue.

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The Irrational, Misguided Discourse Surrounding Supreme Court Controversies Such as Roe v. Wade

Posted by M. C. on May 4, 2022

The Irrational, Misguided Discourse Surrounding Supreme Court Controversies Such as Roe v. WadeThe Court, like the U.S. Constitution, was designed to be a limit on the excesses of democracy. Roe denied, not upheld, the rights of citizens to decide democratically.

Politico on Monday night published what certainly appears to be a genuine draft decision by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn the Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. Alito’s draft ruling would decide the pending case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which concerns the constitutionality of a 2018 Mississippi law that bans abortions after fifteen weeks of pregnancy except in the case of medical emergency or severe fetal abnormalities. Given existing Supreme Court precedent that abortion can only be restricted after fetal viability, Mississippi’s ban on abortions after the 15th week — at a point when the fetus is not yet deemed viable — is constitutionally dubious. To uphold Mississippi’s law — as six of the nine Justices reportedly wish to do — the Court must either find that the law is consistent with existing abortion precedent, or acknowledge that it conflicts with existing precedent and then overrule that precedent on the ground that it was wrongly decided.

Alito’s draft is written as a majority opinion, suggesting that at least five of the Court’s justices — a majority — voted after oral argument in Dobbs to overrule Roe on the ground that it was “egregiously wrong from the start” and “deeply damaging.” In an extremely rare event for the Court, an unknown person with unknown motives leaked the draft opinion to Politico, which justifiably published it. A subsequent leak to CNN on Monday night claimed that the five justices in favor of overruling Roe were Bush 43 appointee Alito, Bush 41 appointee Clarence Thomas, and three Trump appointees (Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett), while Chief Justice Roberts, appointed by Bush 43, is prepared to uphold the constitutionality of Mississippi’s abortion law without overruling Roe.

Draft rulings and even justices’ votes sometimes change in the period between the initial vote after oral argument and the issuance of the final decision. Depending on whom you choose to believe, this leak is either the work of a liberal justice or clerk designed to engender political pressure on the justices so that at least one abandons their intention to overrule Roe, or it came from a conservative justice or clerk, designed to make it very difficult for one of the justices in the majority to switch sides. Whatever the leaker’s motives, a decision to overrule this 49-year-old precedent, one of the most controversial in the Court’s history, would be one of the most significant judicial decisions issued in decades. The reaction to this leak — like the reaction to the initial ruling in Roe back in 1973 — was intense and strident, and will likely only escalate once the ruling is formally issued.

Every time there is a controversy regarding a Supreme Court ruling, the same set of radical fallacies emerges regarding the role of the Court, the Constitution and how the American republic is designed to function. Each time the Court invalidates a democratically elected law on the ground that it violates a constitutional guarantee — as happened in Roe — those who favor the invalidated law proclaim that something “undemocratic” has transpired, that it is a form of “judicial tyranny” for “five unelected judges” to overturn the will of the majority. Conversely, when the Court refuses to invalidate a democratically elected law, those who regard that law as pernicious, as an attack on fundamental rights, accuse the Court of failing to protect vulnerable individuals.

This by-now-reflexive discourse about the Supreme Court ignores its core function. Like the U.S. Constitution itself, the Court is designed to be an anti-majoritarian check against the excesses of majoritarian sentiment. The Founders wanted to establish a democracy that empowered majorities of citizens to choose their leaders, but also feared that majorities would be inclined to coalesce around unjust laws that would deprive basic rights, and thus sought to impose limits on the power of majorities as well.

The Federalist Papers are full of discussions about the dangers of majoritarian excesses. The most famous of those is James Madison’s Federalist 10, where he warns of “factions…who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” One of the primary concerns in designing the new American republic, if not the chief concern, was how to balance the need to establish rule by the majority (democracy) with the equally compelling need to restrain majorities from veering into impassioned, self-interested attacks on the rights of minorities (republican government). As Madison put it: “To secure the public good, and private rights, against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our enquiries are directed.” Indeed, the key difference between a pure democracy and a republic is that the rights of the majority are unrestricted in the former, but are limited in the latter. The point of the Constitution, and ultimately the Supreme Court, was to establish a republic, not a pure democracy, that would place limits on the power of majorities.

Thus, the purpose of the Bill of Rights is fundamentally anti-democratic and anti-majoritarian. It bars majorities from enacting laws that infringe on the fundamental rights of minorities.

See the rest at Glenn Greenwald on Substack

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NY Gov Slams State Supreme Court Ruling Abolishing Mask Mandate, Pledges To “Reverse It Immediately” | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on January 25, 2022

We wonder how the Empire State’s business community feels about the governor’s pledge to find a way around the ruling?

New Yorkers actually voted her and Cuomo into office. How does a rational prson do this?

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/ny-gov-slams-state-supreme-court-ruling-abolishing-mask-mandate-pledges-reverse-it

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

In a decision that will likely be welcomed by many New York parents and schoolchildren, along with the countless workers, consumers and tourists in the Empire State, the Supreme Court of New York struck down Gov. Kathy Hochul’s statewide mask mandate. In its ruling, the court declared the mask mandate “unconstitutional” and “null, void and unenforceable”.New York State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rademaker of Nassau County wrote in his opinion explaining the decision that the governor doesn’t have the authority to impose the mandate since the “emergency powers” once wielded by her predecessor, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, are no longer in place.Without the assent of the legislature, the Court determined that the governor doesn’t have the ability to order masks mandates, although the circumstances would be different if emergency powers granted by lawmakers were still in effect.

Gov. HochulThe ruling goes: “While the intentions of Commissioner Bassett and Governor Hochul appear to be well-aimed squarely at doing what they believe is right to protect the citizens of New York State, they must take their case to the State Legislature.”Gov. Hochul ordered the mandate last month amid a flurry of new restrictions ordered by various states. President Biden has seen SCOTUS and another federal judge overrule his vaccination mandates.In response to the ruling, Gov. Hochul said the following: “My responsibility as Governor is to protect New Yorkers throughout this public health crisis, and these measures help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. We strongly disagree with this ruling, and we are pursuing every option to reverse this immediately.”Put another way, Gov. Hochul says she doesn’t care about the legal precedent, and will do everything in her power to continue enforcing the mandate.

We wonder how the Empire State’s business community feels about the governor’s pledge to find a way around the ruling?

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Supreme Court rules: here’s the good news and the bad news

Posted by M. C. on January 15, 2022

vaccination requirement for health-care workers as a condition for receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds.

Opinions like this one are maddening to read, because they confine themselves to questions such as whether the Secretary of Health and Human Services exceeded his congressionally granted authority when imposing this requirement. The Court then proceeds to explain that the Secretary has been understood to enjoy a very broad authority when it comes to imposing requirements regarding the administration of Medicare and Medicaid.

Not considered is where the federal government’s authority to intervene in matters involving health, whether or not given statutory expression by Congress or delegated to a health bureaucrat, derives from or how it can be justified.

https://mailchi.mp/tomwoods/scmandates?e=fa1aba8cd8

Tom Woods

First, the bad news.

The Supreme Court has upheld the vaccination requirement for health-care workers as a condition for receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds.

Opinions like this one are maddening to read, because they confine themselves to questions such as whether the Secretary of Health and Human Services exceeded his congressionally granted authority when imposing this requirement. The Court then proceeds to explain that the Secretary has been understood to enjoy a very broad authority when it comes to imposing requirements regarding the administration of Medicare and Medicaid.

Not considered is where the federal government’s authority to intervene in matters involving health, whether or not given statutory expression by Congress or delegated to a health bureaucrat, derives from or how it can be justified.

Perhaps this ruling will lead to further growth in direct primary care practices, which accept neither Medicare nor Medicaid, nor even traditional insurance. That is another question.

The good news is very good: the OSHA vaccine mandate for employees of businesses with 100 or more workers has been blocked.

Such a measure, the Court says, constitutes a vast overreach by OSHA into the more general field of public health, where it has not been granted authority.

It would have been nicer to hear an opinion based on the nature of what was being demanded as opposed to whether the institution doing the demanding was the correct one.

But I’ll take what I can get.

I pulled out some relevant passages from the opinion of the Court:

“Although COVID– 19 is a risk that occurs in many workplaces, it is not an occupational hazard in most. COVID–19 can and does spread at home, in schools, during sporting events, and everywhere else that people gather. That kind of universal risk is no different from the day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases. Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life—simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock—would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization….

“OSHA’s indiscriminate approach fails to account for this crucial distinction— between occupational risk and risk more generally—and accordingly the mandate takes on the character of a general public health measure, rather than an ‘occupational safety or health standard….’

Justice Gorsuch concurred with the Court, and was joined by Justices Thomas and Alito in a concurring opinion from which I draw the following passages (internal footnotes omitted):

“I start with this Court’s precedents. There is no question that state and local authorities possess considerable power to regulate public health. They enjoy the ‘general power of governing,’ including all sovereign powers envisioned by the Constitution and not specifically vested in the federal government.

“The federal government’s powers, however, are not general but limited and divided. Not only must the federal government properly invoke a constitutionally enumerated source of authority to regulate in this area or any other. It must also act consistently with the Constitution’s separation of powers. And when it comes to that obligation, this Court has established at least one firm rule: ‘We expect Congress to speak clearly’ if it wishes to assign to an executive agency decisions ‘of vast economic and political significance.’ We sometimes call this the major questions doctrine. OSHA’s mandate fails that doctrine’s test. The agency claims the power to force 84 million Americans to receive a vaccine or undergo regular testing. By any measure, that is a claim of power to resolve a question of vast national significance. Yet Congress has nowhere clearly assigned so much power to OSHA….

“The question before us is not how to respond to the pandemic, but who holds the power to do so. The answer is clear: Under the law as it stands today, that power rests with the States and Congress, not OSHA. In saying this much, we do not impugn the intentions behind the agency’s mandate. Instead, we only discharge our duty to enforce the law’s demands when it comes to the question who may govern the lives of 84 million Americans. Respecting those demands may be trying in times of stress. But if this Court were to abide them only in more tranquil conditions, declarations of emergencies would never end and the liberties our Constitution’s separation of powers seeks to preserve would amount to little.”

This does not solve all problems, obviously. Some private entities will persist in vaccine mandates despite their injustice, irrationality, and general uselessness. Other problems, like vaccine passports, are occurring at the local level and must be dealt with at the local level — though we can hope they will resolve themselves as they destroy business and tourism.

But it is a start.

Just yesterday on the Tom Woods Show I spoke to the owner of an art gallery in New York City who is refusing to demand proof of vaccination from his patrons.

He’s a lifelong Democrat and his parents are civil-rights lawyers.

He feels like he is carrying on their tradition.

We can hope that more such people will be emboldened to speak out.

In the meantime, you will enjoy this important conversation:
  https://tomwoods.com/ep-2042-i-wont-comply-manhattan-business-owner-refuses-to-demand-vaccination-proof/
Tom Woods

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America Is Erasing Herself – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on December 19, 2021

When a country’s universities are against the country, sooner or later the people will be so also. Universities train leaders and educators who take the training to children. It is entirely possible to completely revolutionize and destroy a society through its educational system.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/12/17/america-is-erasing-herself/

Paul Craig Roberts

In the event you are unaware that insanity now encompasses the US Supreme Court, the Court ruled in 2020 with only three dissents that a person’s gender is self-declared and unrelated to biological fact. The consequences of the Supreme Court’s elevation of fiction over fact are now showing themselves.

A female middle school child declared herself to be male, but the school prevented her from using the boy’s locker room. A naked girl showering with naked males was not the school’s idea of family values. However, a local court in Blue Springs, Missouri (57,000 population) ruled that as the girl said she was a boy, she had to be believed. The school had singled her out on the basis of her female genitalia and ruled that she was female and not eligible for the boys’ locker room. This decision based on biological fact the jury decided was discrimination and awarded the girl $4 million dollars. https://www.rt.com/usa/543444-missouri-school-transgender-bathroom/

This is a good example of what I mean when I say that in the US facts no longer matter. A country in which counterfactual claims take precedence over fact is a country soon to be bereft of scientific and technological capability.

Facts no longer matter across the spectrum from history to law, from language to mathematics. In America, law is whatever a prosecutor decides. For example, a federal prosecutor has decided that it is espionage for a non-citizen outside the country to publish leaked documents, as journalists have been doing for decades. The law being applied to Julian Assange does not exist on the US law books. But it doesn’t matter as law is whatever a prosecutor says, just as a person’s gender is whatever the person declares. Glenn Greenwald Explains How Truth, Law, and Justice are Overwhelmed by Deliberate Disinformation: https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-real-disinformation-agents-watch?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjoyMzM4MTg3OCwicG9zdF9pZCI6NDU1Nzg0NjQsIl8iOiJtTUJ0MyIsImlhdCI6MTYzOTY3MTcyNSwiZXhwIjoxNjM5Njc1MzI1LCJpc3MiOiJwdWItMTI4NjYyIiwic3ViIjoicG9zdC1yZWFjdGlvbiJ9.oh0_jj2_xj6Q5HaiRiZn2jAqRBSBdC5DKecLswJ2pEw

The English language has the largest vocabulary and is the most expressive. But according to the Woke imbeciles, this makes it oppressive. The Woke program is to shrink the language until all oppressive elements, such as gender pronouns, are eliminated. Once we no longer can know if it is a he or a she, a mother or a father, a grandmother or grandfather, aunt or uncle we will no longer be oppressed.

The new history is also free of factual basis. Wars are about whatever issue an organized interest group finds serves its interests. Critical Race Theory is a theory that specifies the facts, not a theory based in facts.

Mathematics is racist. That 2+2=4 is a white racist construct. This reduces mathematics to systemic racism.

Disrespect for facts is the hallmark of tyranny. Educational systems are the institutions that enculturate people into society and pass on its values. It is how a society and a culture survive as a country lives and develops in time. Today enculturation has been replaced with alienating youth from the society and culture that is their birthright. Instead, they are taught that their culture is evil and has a long history of crimes against humanity. Indeed, the New York Times 1619 Project teaches that the United States was founded on racism. The so-called “Civil War” is explained as the North’s attempt to cleanse itself of its own racist sins by projecting them upon the South.

When a country’s universities are against the country, sooner or later the people will be so also. Universities train leaders and educators who take the training to children. It is entirely possible to completely revolutionize and destroy a society through its educational system. That is what is happening in the US and UK. The two societies are erasing themselves. There is very little left.

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The Poor Forgotten Baker – LewRockwell LewRockwell.com

Posted by M. C. on November 10, 2021

The libertarian position on discrimination has nothing to do with racism, sexism, prejudice, bigotry, hate, intolerance, homophobia, or xenophobia and everything to do with freedom.

Anti-discrimination laws are an attack on property rights, freedom of association, the free market, and freedom of thought.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/11/laurence-m-vance/the-poor-forgotten-baker/

By Laurence M. Vance

Earlier this year, Colorado baker Jack Phillips got in trouble again for exercising what he thought was his right in a free country to discriminate. Some libertarians have been strangely quiet about his plight.

In 2013, Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver, was accused by Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission (CCRD) of discriminating against a homosexual couple because he refused to bake them a cake for their “wedding.” An administrative law judge found in favor of the couple, and this was affirmed by the Commission. The decision was appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals, which again affirmed the Commission’s decision in 2015. A petition for a writ of certiorari was filed with the Supreme Court in 2016, and was granted in 2017. The Court, in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2018), in a 7-2 vote, ruled in favor of Phillips because “the Commission’s actions here violated the Free Exercise Clause.”

But the radical left wasn’t done with Phillips.

Soon after the Supreme Court decision, Autumn Scardina—who was born and remains a man no matter how many left-libertarians call him a woman—requested that Phillips bake him a cake pink on the inside and blue on the outside to celebrate his birthday and seventh anniversary of his “gender transition” from male to female.

Phillips refused, so Scardina filed a complaint with the CCRD.

CCRD director Aubrey Elenis concluded that there was probable cause that Phillips had unlawfully denied Scardina “equal enjoyment of a place of public accommodation,” and ordered the two to enter mediation. Phillips, represented again by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), sued the state of Colorado in U.S. District Court in Denver for renewing its “crusade” again him because he again refused to bake a cake that would have violated his religious beliefs.

In March 2019, the state Attorney General’s office announced that it and Phillips’ attorneys had “mutually agreed to end their ongoing state and federal court litigation,” including the CCRD action against Phillips.

So Scardina filed a civil suit of his own in state court.

In June of this year, Denver District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones ruled that Phillips violated Colorado anti-discrimination law by refusing to bake the special cake and fined him $500. (I wonder if the judge would have likewise ruled that a Jewish baker who refused to bake a cake for Nazis in honor of Hitler’s birthday and a seamstress who refused to monogram robes for Klan members violated Colorado anti-discrimination law? Of course he wouldn’t.)

For months now I have been watching carefully the libertarian reaction to Phillips’ recent plight. It is almost non-existent from some quarters. And when the right of Phillips to discriminate is mentioned, it is usually tempered by some statement implying that his beliefs are wrong. As one prominent libertarian said back in June: “You may not agree with Phillips’ beliefs—I don’t—but a liberal, pluralistic society requires tolerance for people of different moral beliefs coexisting without using the state to crush dissent out of one another.”

CDC libertarians are so enamored with the Covid-19 vaccine that they have forgotten about the poor baker. They have been so busy telling us that private businesses have the right to require that their customers wear masks, social distance, and get the Covid-19 vaccine that they have ignored Jack Phillips. Never in their life have they talked as much about the right of businesses to discriminate as they have during the past year. But it is usually always in reference to the right of businesses to discriminate against the unmasked and the unvaccinated.

Since CDC libertarians rarely make an unequivocal case for the absolute freedom of discrimination, let me state the libertarian position on discrimination as clearly and succinctly as I can: Since discrimination—against anyone, on any basis, and for any reason—is not aggression, force, coercion, threat, or violence, the government should never prohibit it, seek to prevent it, or punish anyone for doing it.

The libertarian position on discrimination has nothing to do with racism, sexism, prejudice, bigotry, hate, intolerance, homophobia, or xenophobia and everything to do with freedom.

Anti-discrimination laws are an attack on property rights, freedom of association, the free market, and freedom of thought.

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Opinion | The Supreme Court has abdicated its duty to the Bill of Rights – The Washington Post

Posted by M. C. on November 7, 2021

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/11/04/supreme-court-qualified-immunity-frasier-evans/

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By Radley Balko

The Supreme Court, having created the problem of qualified immunity to shield police from being held liable for their misconduct, keeps refusing to fix it.

This week, the court declined to review an especially outrageous ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit involving a Denver man who was detained for recording a traffic stop, then had his computer confiscated and searched.Opinions to start the day, in your inbox. Sign up.

No one doubts the man, Levi Frasier, had the right to record the stop. To date, six federal appeals courts have ruled there is a constitutional right to record police officers in public, a sentiment shared by the overwhelming majority of constitutional scholars. No federal appeals court has ruled the other way. In fact, the law is so well established that the officers in Denver were trained that citizens have such a right, and to respect it.

Yet the 10th Circuit ruled that because that circuit had yet to rule on the matter, the right was not yet “clearly established.” In a truly remarkable sentence, the court added, “It is therefore ‘irrelevant’ whether each officer defendant actually believed — or even in some sense knew — that his conduct violated . . . the First Amendment.”

In my last column, I looked at the origins of qualified immunity, the court-created doctrine that makes it extremely difficult to sue police officers for abuse and other constitutional violations. As I previously pointed out, legal scholars generally point to 1967′s Pierson v. Ray as the court’s first major decision affording protection to law enforcement (and other government officials) from civil liability for constitutional violations, so long as the violations were in good faith.

But that decision required courts (or juries) to determine the state of mind of the officers accused, always a difficult thing to discern. So in 1982, the court revised the policy and created qualified immunity as we know it today. To successfully sue a police officer, a plaintiff must pass a two-prong test, showing that: (A) the police violated the plaintiff’s constitutional rights, and (B) a reasonable person should have known the officers’ actions were unconstitutional under “clearly established” law.

See the rest here

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