Average Joe SCOTUS: Houston Community College System v. Wilson

David Wilson was elected to the board of trustees of the Houston Community College District (HCC) in 2013. After a few years, Wilson found that the other eight members of the board were assholes of the highest order. Specifically, he argued they were taking bribes and shit like that.

Wilson decided to shout that shit from the mountaintops, but that landed his ass in some hot water. You see, a board is composed of nine members who vote. If one member, calls the other eight corrupt mother fuckers, and they take it to a vote, eight people are going to tell Wilson to shut the fuck up. And so they did.

Their feelings were so hurt by Wilson’s accusations, they publicly censured him, and took away his travel privileges.. They even called him “reprehensible.” The nerve of those vindictive little scumbags.

As is usual, this is a court dispute. Wilson was so pissed off by this censure bullshit, he sued in a state court, that his 1st amendment rights had been violated. But the court sided with HCC. Their argument was that a censure is just them calling him a whiny little bitch, but all publicly and shit. It doesn’t violate his first amendment rights. He can still do his job, and say whatever the fuck he wants. They weren’t hurting him at all, and thus he has no reason to be suing them. Seems they were awfully quiet about the $20,000 fine they laid on him, which I think we all agree, could be called “damages.”

But then the 5th circuit was like, “Whoa, hold on a minute you little state court punks. This dude does have cause to sue. So fuck your little piece of shit ruling—you’re a bunch of idiots. Who the fuck even gave you a gavel? They punished the man in a public manner and official capacity, for calling those corrupt fucks out. That qualifies as “cause” in our opinion.”

HCC was like, “Hey, wait a fucking minute. By trying to block the censure, you’re denying us our first amendment rights to call this asshole an asshole.”

So now, we have two people who have diametrically opposed first amendment rights, trying to get SCOTUS to determine who gets to say what and when.

In a unanimous decision, SCOTUS sided with the HCC. Not that they were promoting their corrupt bullshit, but just the censure itself isn’t a violation of Wilson’s free speech. While Wilson can’t be thrown in jail for saying what he said, the courts can censure him if they wanted to.

Average Joe SCOTUS: United States v. Texas

As was mentioned in Whole Women’s Health v. Jackson, Texas’ SB8 Heartbeat Abortion Bill is being questioned in this case, also. Who doesn’t love a good abortion debate, right? Clearly SCOTUS, does, because they took on two of them.

This one is merely to decide whether the federal government can sue the state of Texas in federal court to stop them from enforcing a law that they deem is unconstitutional.

While the law was passed while Donald “The Chosen One” Trump was president, giving Texas a friend in the Whitehouse, Joe “Brandon Brown” Biden is president now, and he’s all about what women want, as long as he can smell their hair later. So he was like, “Look how fucking woke I am, all you hot bitches, I’ll sue Texas for you.”

Originally, they asked US District Judge Robert Pitman to put the law on hold, and he was like, “Sure dude, I’ll pump the brakes on that shit for you.” He was like, “Texas, this is the shadiest fucking scheme I’ve ever seen to prevent judicial review. I admit it’s creative, but seriously, fuck you.”

Texas was like, “Fuck that guy,” so they went to the 8th circuit, and complained Pitman hurt their feelings. The 8th circuit was like, “Awww, sorry Texas, you need your woobie? Here, have a sucker. Also, we’ll tell Pitman to get fucked for you.” With that, the law was back on track.

While all this shit was happening, Biden and team went to SCOTUS and were like, “Seriously, this is getting ridiculous, can you please step in?”

SCOTUS was like, “We’re not halting the halt of the halt. Fuck you. But fine, we’ll fast track these fucking cases at least, and resolve this petulant bullshit once and for all.

Counsel for Biden’s team launched a scathing opening salvo, arguing:

Elizabeth B. Prelogar

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court: Texas designed S.B. 8 to thwart the supremacy of federal law in open defiance of our constitutional structure.

States are free to ask this Court to reconsider its constitutional precedents, but they are not free to place themselves above this Court, nullify the Court’s decisions in their borders, and block the judicial review necessary to vindicate federal rights. As this case comes to the Court, there are three principal questions: First, is Texas responsible for this law? Second, can the United States sue to hold Texas to account? And, third, is the injunctive relief available? And the answer is yes down the line. Texas is responsible for the constitutional violation here.

It enacted a law that clearly violates this Court’s precedents.

It designed that law to thwart judicial review by offering bounties to the general public to carry out the state’s enforcement function, and it structured those enforcement proceedings to be so burdensome and to threaten such significant liability that they chill the exercise of the constitutional right altogether. The United States has a manifest sovereign interest in suing to redress this violation.

S.B. 8 is a brazen attack on the coordinate branches of the federal government. It’s an attack on the authority of this Court to say what the law is and to have that judgment respected across the 50 states.

And it’s an attack on Congress’s determination that there should be access to pre-enforcement review in federal court to vindicate federal rights.

The United States may sue to protect the supremacy of federal law against this attack. Finally, the injunction is a proper response to Texas’s unprecedented law.

If Texas can nullify Roe and Casey in this manner, then other states could do the same with other constitutional rights or other decisions of this Court that they disfavor. Federal courts are not powerless to craft relief to stop that intolerable threat to our constitutional hierarchy.

When counsel for Texas came to the table with his creative arguments, the justices were quick to point out, what would happen if a communist state like New York or California decided that guns weren’t an individual right, and passed similar laws to hold gun owners civilly liable for exercising their 2nd amendment right?

Justice Kagan even went on to ask:

Elena Kagan

I mean, if that’s right, you know, and we say that, we would live in a very different world from the world we live in today.

Essentially, we would be inviting states, all 50 of them, with respect to their un-preferred constitutional rights, to try to nullify the law of — that this Court has laid down as to the content of those rights. I mean, that was something that until this law came along no state dreamed of doing. And, essentially, we would be like, you know, we’re open for business — you’re open for business.

There’s — there’s — there’s — there’s nothing the Supreme Court can do about it.

Guns, same sex marriage, religious rights, whatever you don’t like, go ahead.

The response from Texas’ counsel was full-blown legalese. I read it three times, heard it audibly, still don’t have a fucking clue what he’s trying to argue. I don’t think Justice Kagan was impressed either.

After listening to both sides, SCOTUS was like, “We can’t even…” and just dismissed the case entirely, saying, “We never should’ve bothered with shit in the first place, and we can’t be bothered to write an opinion. You’re all assholes. As such, the application to vacate the stay that was applied was denied.

Listen to oral arguments or read about the case here. https://www.oyez.org/cases/2021/21-588

Average Joe SCOTUS: United States v. Zubaydah

So, remember 9/11? Al Qaeda and those merry band of assholes who flew planes into places planes aren’t supposed to be flown, and killed a lot of innocent people? Well, if so, you probably also remember they were lead by the king of all assholes, Osama Bin Laden.

Well, Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn who goes by the name Abu Zubaydah was a former friend of that scumbag. And his dumb ass got caught by American troops in Pakistan. They sent him on an all-expenses paid trip to Gitmo.

While he was enjoying the hospitality of the United States military, he claims to have been the victim of enhanced interrogations at a CIA site in Poland, known as a “black site.” If you’re unfamiliar, “enhanced interrogations” is supposedly code for torture. But torture these days is more about causing distress, than physical harm, and I think being reasonable and fair, should not be considered the same as things like electrocuting someone’s balls while they sit in a bath of water or something.

Anyway, he complained and said that they were mean to him, and he felt that was cause for releasing him. He asked they compel the CIA operative in Poland at the time to come testify on what happened. But the CIA was like, “You know, there’s this thing called state secrets privileges, where we can keep our fucking mouths shut if we can clearly show the country could be harmed if we opened them.”

In opening remarks, US counsel pointed out that what happens at these sites, could cause irreparable harm to our allies, since they occurred in their countries. Further bolstering his argument about why state secrets privilege plays a roll here.

In a 7:2 decision, SCOTUS sided with the United States, Gorsuch and Sotomayor, the dissenters. This allows the United States to keep it’s secrets from Zubaydah, and everyone else, regarding a black site in Poland, because it could harm both the US and Poland if the CIA and it’s peeps were to publicly testify about it.

Gorsuch and Sotomayor were just like, “This shit happened two decades ago, the shit’s been declassified, and there’s all kinds of books and movies about it already. What fucking secret are we protecting here exactly?

I’m guessing that the majority were like, “Yeah, but if we set precedent here, we open up a whole can of worms for the future. So STFU Neil and Sonia.

Hear oral arguments and read about the case here.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Brown v. Davenport

Back in 2008, all round scumbag, Ervine Lee Davenport was convicted of murder. During his trial, he was restrained with shackles and shit, presumably because someone thought he was dangerous enough to require as much.

Here’s the rub. In  Deck v. Missouri, SCOTUS ruled that shackling a criminal during a trial, biases the jury against the shackled person, and thus violates their right to a fair trial. So the state is required to show some reason why the dude must be shackled up, which didn’t happen in Davenport’s case.

When Davenport challenged his conviction, a Michigan appellate court argued that his shackling was harmless in biasing the jury, as he admitted he killed the person. His argument was self-defense, but prosecutors were also trying to prove premeditation, not whether he was the killer.

While Davenport’s section was curtained off in court to hide the shackles and such, the jurors admitted seeing that he was shackled, and discussing it. But they all suggested it did not affect their decision to convict.

Other precedents are involved here, though. In 1993,   in Brecht v. Abrahamson, the court adopted a harmless error review, the court ruled that in order for someone to win on appeal in such a situation, they have to show that the thing in question did harm them. So like, did these jurors seeing the shackles, form an opinion they wouldn’t have, had they not seen that shit.

Years after Brecht, congress passed the AEDPA, which basically limits the “Get out of jail free” card for someone, on a technicality such as this. Even if there is some constitutional violation, like shackling a defendant for no good reason, unless they can show that it definitely poisoned the jury, that conviction stays in place.

As the case made its way to the 6th circuit court of appeals, they were like, “Woah, Michigan. Clearly, these shackles would have poisoned the jury against Davenport. That’s why there’s a case specifically about this shit. We aren’t just going to take your word that it didn’t poison the jury. Those dumb fucks were poisoned to the point of being brainwashed, and would probably say they weren’t, just so this mother fucker would rot in jail. Overturned, bitches!”

In a split 6:3 decision along political lines, the conservative justices sided with Brown though, overturning the 6th circuit’s decision. They argued that while the 6th circuit’s decision jived with the Brecht ruling, it failed the AEDPA’s standards miserably, and unless it passes both tests, no habeas relied is to be granted. As such, the 6th circuit are a bunch of dumb fucks.

The difference being that Brecht test is basically that the action must show, “substantial and injurious effect or influence on the verdict.” But the AEDPA is basically saying, “you only get relief if the decisions was either totally the opposite of what established law says, or based on some bullshit determination of the facts presented.”

In the liberal justices dissent, they argued that if it fails the Brecht test, it has to fail the AEDPA test, presumably because it it “contrary to established law” as outlined in the Brecht precedent. That’s a bit of a stretch, since precedent isn’t law.

But anyway, Davenport may continue to rot in prison, enjoying his prison food, and reading his prison books.

Hear oral arguments and read about the case here. https://www.oyez.org/cases/2021/20-826