Category Archives: Libertarianism

Average Joe SCOTUS: Terry v. United States

Eons ago, back in 2008, Tarahrick Terry, some random fucking crackhead, got his dumb ass busted with some crack—about 4 grams. To put that in perspective, a nickel is 5 grams. So basically, it was mountains of the stuff (sarcasm).

Because we have many drug laws written in an era that racism was still quite prevalent in government, crack cocaine, the drug of choice for the black community back then (it’s cheaper than regular cocaine), carries a much more severe penalty than regular cocaine, the drug white people tended to use, that is more expensive. At the time, it was a 100:1 ratio, which is fucking crazy. And while some people throw around racism pretty willy nilly, this law was in fact passed with intent to control the black population at the heart of it.

Terry was sent up the pokey for 188 months for his indiscretion! Over fifteen fucking years, for having some recreational crack on him. Fucking crazy!

In more modern times, this bill came to be a shining example of systemic racism, and in 2010, then president Barack Obama signed a bill reducing the 100:1 disparity down to 18:1. Because apparently the non-racist 1:1 number wasn’t deemed proper, a little racism is still apparently important to keep the wheels of justice turning.

Terry, seeing an opportunity to reduce his sentence by making the new standard retroactive, challenged his sentence in court. He was like, “Y’all motherfuckers knew this was wrong, and some racist bullshit, which is why you passed this new fucking law. I get it, I’m guilty and broke your dumb fucking laws, but my sentence is fucked up and you need to reduce it.”

In 2018, congress and Donald Trump passed the First Step Act, making sentencing reforms retroactive, allowing past offenders to be resentenced. Because you know, Donald Trump was a total bigot and hated black people (sarcasm). While I was no fan of Trump, I think the argument he was akin to some KKK person, was absolute nonsense, and while he was a grade A asshole, he was painted out to be an even bigger asshole than he really was. But anyway, moving on.

So here’s where it gets kinda silly. Aside from the 100:1 disparity, they also adjusted the tiers. The tiers were tier three = 0-5 grams, tier two = 5-50 grams, and tier one = 50+. The more you had, the bigger the sentence you got, since it would seem you were a dealer, not a user.

In the First Step Act, congress made tier one 280 grams and above, and tier two 28-280 grams. One would think then, that tier three was now 0-28 grams, right? RIGHT? Well, those no math doing motherfuckers didn’t fucking adjust tier three. It’s still 0-5 grams. So apparently, if you have between 5 and 28, you hit Bingo and and you’re free to go?

Now, here’s where Terry gets fucked. The First Step Act allowed for people whose sentences were modified by the law, to get resentenced. But as I just mentioned, tier three wasn’t fucking modified. So the courts were like, “Fuck you Terry, you aren’t part of this shit. Rot in jail, motherfucker.”

In a unanimous decision, the court ruled against Terry, and probably not uncoincidentally, the court’s only black justice, Clarence Thomas, wrote the opinion.

At first glance, one might think this is the court supporting systemic racism to it’s core. However, knowing the court still has three left wing justices who are the last people to support racism, it’s clear they were abiding by the text of the law, and effectively telling congress it’s their job to fucking fix this. That 5-28 golden spot is blatantly there for all to see, and it’s up to them to amend the law to cover that gap as they should have the first time they wrote it.

In their concurrence, they make clear that according to the law, if Terry were busted today for the same thing, he’d get the same sentence. So even if they overturn this, otherwise will befall the same fate. In her opinion, Sotomayor, made clear that the disparity between crack and cocaine was ridiculous, and was a clearly racist law. However, that was not the question they were faced. Hopefully, a new congress and a new president will see fit to fix this nonsense once and for all.

Read about the case and/or hear oral arguments at Oyez here or at SCOTUSBlog here.

Average JOE SCOTUS: Americans for Prosperity v. Bonta

We all know the People’s Republic of California love to rule with an iron fist, right? Well, federal regulations require charities to disclose a list of their major donors, to help protect those donor’s interests, in case those charities are doing some shady shit.

Well, California, believing themselves to be better than the federal government are requiring companies give them donor names and addresses as well. Here’s the rub.

California has had breeches of these lists, and leaked that info to the public. So for instance, if some dude has a hard on for Jesus, and donates to an anti-abortion group, Californians outs that motherfucker as an “anti women’s rights” person, when they had no desire to have their position publicly outed. While we here at Logical Libertarian are pro-choice, we consider a pro-life stance a fair belief to have, and that belief has nothing to do with women’s rights, it has everything to do with giving basic human rights to a human life that merely hasn’t exited the womb yet.

No one who’s pro choice is out there pushing to take away women’s rights in any other way. This is merely a misleading tactic to get people to join their side.

So charity Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and their peers are arguing this is a violation of their first amendment rights to freely associate, because it might deter them from otherwise donating to their cause.

They hear California’s argument that it’s to help prevent charities fraud, but they’re like, California never even uses that information to do that, all they do is fucking leak it when they don’t like people. Not to mention, the IRS already has that info.

In the words of the defense:

Because the attorney general has failed to take measures to adequately protect the Schedule B forms, some donors will consider the Attorney General’s scheme and reasonably conclude that the risks of disclosure are too great.

The group cited that California employees themselves, posted over 1800 of these forms on a public website, just to out donors they disliked.

California contends, this doesn’t directly prevent anyone from freely associating, so they’re calling bullshit. If people believe in a charity, they can donate to it all they want, we just want to know about it, and we may tell the world about it because we’re assholes.

So throughout the case, the terms strict scrutiny and exacting scrutiny have been bandied about. The petitioner’s want a strict scrutiny ruling. Which seems to mean that if the state wants this info, it has to go about getting it in the least intrusive way possible, and this isn’t it.

However, the state is arguing that an exacting scrutiny standard should be applied, and because this law doesn’t actually have a component to prevent free association, the petitioner’s argument is bullshit. They’re not associating because they’re afraid of being publicly outed, not because the state is preventing it. So it’s not EXACTLY preventing free association.

A handful of whiny twats in congress for the DNC asked Justice Barrett to recuse herself, since Americans for Prosperity donated heavily to help ensure she was confirmed to the supreme court. She was unimpressed with their argument, and did in fact participate. She’s nominated for life, after all, so there’s no power they hold over her, and she has no reason to side against what she thinks is right. This is likely an attempt at Democrats to both get more information for Commie Cali, and to attack Barrett for her Christianity again, as they did when she was confirmed.

We here at Logical Libertarian are also atheist, but we find these attacks on her religion equally disgusting as misrepresenting anti-abortion arguments.

Anyway, back to the case. California’s argument is that they need this info to investigate charities fraud. But the petitioner is like, “That’s some fucking bullshit. They never use this info for that. They never investigate charities fraud proactively, to where they’d need this info on hand. They only fucking investigate when there’s an actual accusation of fraud or some shit, in which case, they send an audit letter, or subpoena the info. So there’s no need to have this shit ahead of time.

Gorsuch, going after California, pushed on the right to privacy issue specifically, asking if the first amendment’s right to peaceably assemble also assumes some level of privacy, to which she responded it did. So then Gorsuch asked her to draw a distinction between California charities disclosed up front, and say some company being forced to send their company Christmas card list, to see if they’re friends with anyone government cares about, or who they’ve dated in the past so they try to compile data on who people end up marrying?

Counsel danced around this, in saying that if the people in question had a fear of reprisal, they could certainly argue that as a reason why not to disclose such info. But notice that this flips the script, and argues that government has a right to demand it, and it can only be thwarted if the people cite a reason why, as opposed to the people have a right not to disclose it, until government proves it has a compelling interest that supersedes their right to privacy. And this is why it’s Communist California, and not a state which gives a fuck about rights in any meaningful way.

Gorsuch however, interrupted her and said, “assume there’s no reprisal whatsoever.”

Here response:

Aimee A. Feinberg

I think that would be very difficult because, in that situation, there would be a significant burden on intimate association.

There would very likely be a significant burden resulting from public dissemination of that kind of information. And, as a result, the government would have to come forward with a commensurately strong justification, and it wouldn’t be clear to me in that context what that interest would be.

Call me crazy, but she ultimately just made the argument for the petitioner’s.

In a 6:3 partisan decision, liberty won out. The conservatives protected the 1st amendment rights of charitable donors against the commie assholes in California. The dissenters argued that this is a pretty creative interpretation of the first amendment, and opens the door to other shaky 1A arguments. But you know what, fuck those assholes. California was out of line, and I don’t mind saying it.

Hear oral arguments or read about the case, here.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2020/19-251

Average Joe SCOTUS: Republic of Hungary v. Simon

Bringing up some old WW2 shit, Rosalie Simon and company are survivors of the holocaust from Hungary. They sued Hungary in the US for damages incurred during the holocaust. Weirdly, they opted to sue here in the US, and not in Hungary, claiming that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) expropriation exception which reads:

A foreign state shall not be immune from the jurisdiction of courts of the United States or of the States in any case—in which rights in property taken in violation of international law are in issue and that property or any property exchanged for such property is present in the United States in connection with a commercial activity carried on in the United States by the foreign state; or that property or any property exchanged for such property is owned or operated by an agency or instrumentality of the foreign state and that agency or instrumentality is engaged in a commercial activity in the United States;
Basically saying that because these items were taken in violation of international law, they can be sued in our federal court. But the opposition argues that Hungarian courts should be given a crack at hearing this first, and they can’t just sue here in the US out of convenience.
The court enjoined this case with the Germany v. Philipp one, and kicked that shit back to Hungary, arguing this is basically none of our fucking business.
Read about the case here at Oyez

Average Joe SCOTUS: Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski

In a case with two names that can’t be pronounced by any reasonable person, we’re going to talk about free speech.

Chike Uzuegbunam, a student at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) is a religious dude, and he wanted to talk about his faith and shit with anyone who would listen. GGC has two free speech zones that can be reserved, and they told Chike to do that shit there. The rest of campus, he should keep his trap shut about any of his “God” propaganda.

Chike was like, “Fine you assholes,” and reserved one of those zones as he was asked, and then went on to spread the word of whatever religion it was he wanted to talk about. But Chike, is one dedicated mother fucker, and made up literature for that shit to go with his speeches.

So then the school was like, “Woah, we didn’t say you could pass out literature, man. WTF are you doing?”

So now Chike was like, “This is some bullshit” and sued them for violating his first amendment rights, and decided to seek damages.

The school, knowing they done fucked up, changed their rules accordingly, and then said, “See look at us, we fixed it. So now this case is moot, and we don’t owe him anything, right?”

But Chike was like, “Fuck you man, the damage was done. I appreciate you fixing it after the fact, but you can’t run over me with your car, put me in the hospital, and then say you don’t owe me for my hospital bills because you sell the car and can’t run over me anymore.”

So now here we are at SCOTUS to determine if mooting the case absolves GGC from owing Chike some scratch.

Chike’s side basically argues that a case is only moot if the courts have no action left to help them due to the changes made by the other party. While the school changed their policy, they didn’t do anything to compensate Chike as a result.

The defense of course didn’t suffer any injury, and therefore there isn’t any damages incurred.

Basically, the school was hoping SCOTUS would see they changed their rules, moot the case, and effectively sweep it under the rug, as opposed to dropping some legal hammer on them for shitting all over Chike’s 1st amendment rights. In order to make the case not moot, Chike’s team included like a fucking dollar’s worth of damages, so that even if the case is considered mooted because the school changed their rules, there’ still the matter of that fucking dollar to decide.

In an 8:1 decision, where only John Roberts dissented, SCOTUS ruled in favor of Uzuegbunam, saying that the nominal damages rendered the case not moot, and they could proceed, and the courts could ultimately decide the case for Uzuegbunam. That even nominal damages requested by the petitioner are worth deciding.

John Roberts in his lone dissent, was like, “You eight stupid assholes basically just ensured that every god damn case we’ll hear, from now to kingdom fucking come, will have a fucking dollar of damages added to it. Great job, dumbasses. We’ll never be able to moot a case and go home early every again. Serious, fuck you.

Read about the case here:

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2020/19-968

and here:

Average Joe SCOTUS: Opati v. Republic of Sudan

Back in 1998, Al Qaeda detonated some truck bombs in Kenya and Tanzania, near the US embassies there. It became pretty clear that Al Qaeda was behind it, and that Sudan had given them some training and safe harbor for their part in these bombings.

So families of the victims decided to sue the fuck out of Sudan for wrongful death. Sudan didn’t give a fuck, and didn’t even bother to show up to court to defend themselves.

As is typical in a civil court proceeding, if you don’t show up to defend yourself, you’re going to lose your judgement. And they did.

So then, when awards were handed down, they decided to appeal. Hard to appeal when you didn’t bother to defend yourself, but fuck it. They’re going for it.

Most countries have sovereign immunity in a U.S. court, which basically means they’re not bound to any U.S. law, and therefore can’t typically be sued in a U.S. court. But, under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), a country determined to be involved in terrorism loses such sovereign immunity, and can be subject to a lawsuit. It’s not the easiest thing to enforce, but if these nations happen to have money parked in the United States, we’ll seize that shit.

In 2008, Congress amended the law to allow for punitive damages in such a suit. So the Sudanese government is challenging on the grounds that this shit occurred ten years before the punitive damages amendment to the law, and therefore, the action is not open for punitive damages.

In an 8-0 unanimous decision (Kavanaugh couldn’t be bothered, and decided to sit this one out), SCOTUS sided with Opati. They determined that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) is retroactive, and applies to things that happened prior to it being written, such as these bombings.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue

In Montana, they offer a tax-credit for people who donate to scholarship funds. Espinoza’s child was a recipient of one of these scholarships. But because Espinoza’s spawn was going to a private Christian school, it’s an issue. Because Montana has a rule, and we have the 1st amendment, which largely forbids any relationship between government and the church.

So now SCOTUS must decide if giving someone a scholarship, funded by taxpayers, should be prohibited from going to a religious school, in order to preserve the separation of church and state that people believe the 1st amendment represents. For the record, it doesn’t. It’s merely written as “Congress shall make no law…”

But, a long time ago, SCOTUS has ruled that 1A was meant to create a separation between church and state, and it’s been precedent ever since.

So Espinoza’s team is trying to argue that this law from Montana forbidding such scholarships based on religious grounds is the unconstitutional rule, because it discriminates against religious people.

Montana obviously argues that giving taxpayer money to a religious school violates the first amendment.

In a 5:4 partisan decision, SCOTUS sided with Epinoza. That the scholarship was awarded with no consideration to the school they choose to attend. As such, it is discriminatory to award it to them, but then restrict what school they can use the funds for.

The libertarian in me would like to point out that taxpayers shouldn’t be fucking funding education for anyone but their own fucking kids, or anyone else they voluntarily choose to help. If that were the case, we wouldn’t even be having this fucking argument.

While I’m atheist, I tend to agree with this decision. If we’re going to dole out scholarships on merit, we don’t have the right to tell them what school they use it with.

Ginsburg and Sotomayor argued that the law didn’t place any burden on the scholarship’s recipient, and therefore wasn’t a violation of 1A. But that’s fucking dumber than a box of rocks. If this person chooses a school, and then government steps in and says you can’t use our scholarship for THAT school, that’s a fucking burden. Again, I’m atheist. But fuck that. This is the problem with left wing assholes. They want the taxpayer to help everyone, but then they only want that help applied to things they agree with, and not what the person wants. This is why they can all kiss my lily-white ass, those arrogant pricks and prickettes.

Breyer’s and Kagan’s opinion was also a dissent, but in their case, they more argued that this was a 1A conflict since taxpayer’s ultimately end up funding a religious education. I can buy into that one.

 

Average Joe SCOTUS: Bostock v. Clayton County

In our previous episode of Average Joe SCOTUS,  we talked about R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, a case where a transgender male -> female person was fired because of their desire to transition, and whether Title VII of the Civil Rights act, which protects people in the work place from being discriminated against for their sexual identity.

In this case, a very similar issue is at play. So apparently SCOTUS is looking to deal with sexual identity/orientation issues in one session, and establish precedent. But whereas the previous case was about someone transitioning from man to woman, this is about sexual preference.

Gerald Bostock is a gay man who worked for Clayton County as a child services coordinator starting in 2003. By all accounts, was a damn good employee, and did his job like a boss.

Eventually, in 2013, Bostock decided to join an all-gay softball league. The backass motherfuckers he worked for, decided to criticize him over his participation in this league. Presumably making up some bullshit argument to link gay men to abusing young boys or some shit. I have no fucking idea how they thought being gay would hinder his ability to do his job.

In meetings, one person in the room was even noted as making disparaging remarks about being gay against Bostock. Shortly after, they announced they were auditing him and his work, and he was terminated shortly after.

Bostock, assuming he was fired for his open gayness, and not because of his job performance sued. So here we are at SCOTUS trying to determine if the Civil Rights Act covers sexual orientation.

The crux of Bostock’s counsel’s argument was as follows:

John G. Roberts, Jr.

Do you agree or disagree with Judge Posner’s statement that the statute should be read to encompass sexual orientation discrimination to “avoid placing the entire burden of updating old statutes on the legislative branch”?

Pamela S. Karlan

I disagree with Judge Posner.

I don’t think you need to do any updating here.

I think you should read the words as they were understood then, which is men and women.

Title VII was intended to make sure that men were not disadvantaged relative to women and women were not disadvantaged relative to men. And when you tell two employees who come in, both of whom tell you they married their partner Bill last weekend, when you fire the male employee who married Bill and you give the female employee who married Bill a couple of days off so she can celebrate the joyous event, that’s discrimination because of sex. Well, if no one has any further questions, I’ll reserve the remainder of my time for rebuttal. (Laughter ensued because this was her first argument, which was then met with silence as if none of the justices had a question.)

In a pretty big landmark decision, spanning multiple cases, SCOTUS rules 6:3 that the Civil Rights Act (CRA) of 1964 does cover gay and transgender people. The CRA is meant to protect people who are born a certain way, and then employers discriminating against them for being that way. Their decision accepts the idea that being gay or transgender isn’t a choice, but a condition of who you are as a person.