Category Archives: SCOTUS For The Average Joe

Average Joe SCOTUS: Lamone v. Benisek

So gerrymandering—it’s a thing. Weirdly, every politician says they hate it, and it should be stopped. Yet, every politician quietly does it in their party’s favor. But nonetheless, some people dislike it so much, that they decide to go to court to prevent it, so here we go.

Maryland drew up a map in a district the was traditionally Republican. But because of their redistricting map, a Democrat won the seat. So Republicans were like, “this is some bullshit.”

So they sought injunction against those scumbags who rigged the election legally, and a district court granted it. So now this thing meanders its way to SCOTUS, where the Maryland peeps hoped SCOTUS would tell the lower court they needed to know their fucking role.

SCOTUS on the other hand, decided the lower court was fine. But also, they were looking at another case, and they wanted to wait on the outcome of that shit, which they did.

So after hearing this shit the second time, they were like, “You know what? Fuck it. This is none of our fucking business. Good luck assholes. We care about the Constitution, not your childish fucking political games.”

5:4 Judgement for Lamone, and the courts to stay the fuck out of it. Separation of powers and shit. Good luck. The opinion was given under Rucho v. Common Cause in North Carolina, because there was gerrymandering fucking everywhere, and challenges were coming in like they were half-off on Black Friday.

Hear oral arguments or read about the case here.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Taggart v. Lorenzen

Holy fuck! This case has more twists and turns than a Hillary Clinton campaign position.

So this dude Taggart, (The petitioner here) owned 25% of a real estate company. But Taggart sucked with money and investing, was feeling kinda broke, and decided to sell his share to his attorney to get himself some scratch.

However, Terry Emmert and Keith Jehnke also owned 25% each, and they were represented by a Stuart Brown, who was then represented by Shelley Lorenzen (The respondent in the case). My head already fucking hurts from this shit.

Anyway, Emmert and Jehnke thought Taggart selling to his attorney instead of them, was a total dick move, and sued his ass. They won, and Taggart was booted from his own fucking company, with the shares being sold to Emmert and Jehnke. The courts also ruled that Emmert and Jehnke’s attorney could sue for attorney’s fees, so of course he totally did.

Taggart was all like, “Fuck you, I’m filing for bankruptcy.” Which means, his creditors are supposed to go to the bankruptcy proceedings if they want money from him. After that, it’s Hands-Fucking-Off. That’s why it’s called bankruptcy “protection.”

Anyway, this deadbeat Taggart was awarded his bankruptcy, but Brown, the attorney for the two assholes who were trying to squeeze blood from a turnip, decided to sue Taggart anyway, for legal fees, as mentioned earlier, after he got his bankruptcy. Their argument was that Taggart had “returned to the fray” and therefore didn’t deserve protection.

So now Taggart is suing Brown (Lorenzen) for contempt saying, “Hey, those motherfuckers knew I was in bankruptcy, and came after me for money anyway. But Brown (Lorenzen) were like, we thought it was Saul Goodman (Slang for “It’s all good, man”). We didn’t know we couldn’t come after him. We thought he “returned to the fray.”

So 97 different fucking courts weighed in on this shit before it finally got to SCOTUS who were asked to decide if someone in bankruptcy protection can sue someone who comes after them after the bankruptcy, if they thought in good faith, it was OK to sue for that.

SCOTUS unanimously thought Lorenzen, Brown, Emmert, and Jehnke were the bigger assholes in all of this. They fucking knew better, and did it anyway. Judgement for Taggart.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Department of Commerce v. New York

On the 2020 census, the Department of Commerce, at Trump’s request, wanted a question added to the census, that hadn’t been asked since before the Chevrolet Corvette came into being.

They wanted to ask if anyone in the household is not a U.S. Citizen. Their argument being it would help with enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. He argued:

One of the critical elements of Voting Rights Act enforcement is something called Citizen Voting Age Population, or CVAP.

Right now, everything for CVAP comes from the census, with the exception of citizenship.

So population, age, race, all of that comes from the census, except for citizenship, the C in CVAP. So a large amount of voting rights litigation focuses on expert witnesses who try to fill in that missing C and try to estimate that missing C through imputation based on the American Community Survey, which goes to just one in 38 households. And the Department of Justice wanted to get all of the same information from the same database so that critical feature of voting rights litigation, CVAP, all came from the same place.

New York, fearing that homes with an illegal immigrant would say “no” to avoid a visit from ICE, sought to prevent that question from being asked. They want an accurate count, which supports the idea of having the census, since an accurate count helps them understand how many public servants to employ to assist them, and such. Plus, they just think Trump is an asshole, and it’s an asshole question to ask.

So New York decided to depose Trump’s peeps, and ask why the fuck they felt they needed to ask this question in a census, since it seemed politically motivated, and doesn’t help get an accurate count. But the government applied for a stay, basically asking the courts to tell New York to STFU and let them run their goddamn census as they saw fit.

The courts denied this stay, however, and the depositions were allowed to go forward. In the meantime, the district court decided to lay down the law, and tell Trump’s peeps to get rid of the fucking question.

So now SCOTUS was asked by the fed to decide if the district court was out of line, both in handing down their decision, and compelling testimony from Trump’s goons. They were basically trying to get SCOTUS to quash the lower court’s ruling against them.

Breyer and Sotomayor seemed to take particular issue with the fed and their idea that the question wouldn’t cause the census to be less accurate, which was New York’s argument as well, because they laid into Noel Francisco (Solicitor for the fed) on this point like he had slapped their mothers.

In a unanimous decision, SCOTUS told the fed to go fuck themselves—remove the fucking question. The argued the courts did the right thing, and the feds can take their question and shove it up their ass.

Hear oral arguments and read about the case here.

 

Average Joe SCOTUS: Quarles v. United States

All around scumbag Jamar Quarles broke into a home years ago. And as such, was deemed a violent felon. Then, because of this, was not allowed to be carrying a gun, which this dumb motherfucker proceeded to do.

As such, his possession felony sent this idiot scumbag to prison for 204 months. But Quarles hired some scumbag ambulance chaser who was trying to get Quarles off on a lesser sentence.

Since the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) makes three felonies a condition for being considered as a career criminal, Quarles and his hired ambulance chaser were trying to argue that his burglary from years ago, which he didn’t dispute he did, wasn’t a burglary, because he didn’t form intent to burgle until after he was in the home, as opposed to the idea he broke in for the purposes of burgling.

Yeah, it’s one of those ridiculous semantic bullshit arguments I despise, but hey! At least he’s imaginative. Here’s one particular exchange that went to his point.

Stephen G. Breyer

Is there any reason to think that the person who stays in the bank, and then, ah, what a nice idea, I’ll help myself to some money, is any the less violent or at risk of violence or risk of — is there any less risk there than when he gets the idea of going into the bank two weeks earlier?

Jeremy C. Marwell

Yes.

I think the — the — the existence of pre-formed intent, so somebody who comes to the bank with the advance plan to commit another crime shows that they will be more resolute in their desire to accomplish that crime. It may result in them bringing a weapon because they know they’re going to do that.

And I think it aligns with this — with the fact that ACCA is governing career criminals, trying to select people who have that profit motive to do multiple crimes. And you look at the fact patterns of the cases that are really the point of disagreement between us and the government, you know, Gaines from the New York Court of Appeals, a homeless person who breaks into a warehouse to get out of the cold, while he’s in there decides to grab a jacket and is caught coming out, or the case of young people who break into a house not — not intending to steal something — this is the JNS case from Oregon — take something while they’re in there and caught on the way out.

So after losing in lower courts, they ended up at SCOTUS who was asked to define burglary further, and determine if intent had to be present before he wrongly entered the property he then burgled.

SCOTUS found him and his bullshit argument less than impressive, and unanimously told him to go fuck himself. Judgment for United States.

Hear oral arguments, and read about the case here.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Mitchell v. Wisconsin

Fourth Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Facts of the case

So this drunkard Mitchell was being a total piece of shit, driving under the influence. In Wisconsin, the legal limit is 0.08% blood alcohol level. This motherfucker was 0.222, nearly four times above the legal limit.

This motherfucker was so drunk in fact, he passed out in the squad car, so the cops had to take his dumb ass to the hospital instead of jail.

At the hospital, he passed out again, so the cops had the hospital take a blood test to determine how drunk this motherfucker was. The astute of you will say, “Hey, that’s a non-consensual search without a warrant.” You’d be right. But Wisconsin has a law that says if you obtain a driver’s license, you automatically agree to such a search.

Anyway, Mitchell thinks this is some bullshit end-run around the 4th amendment. So after trying his level best in Wisconsin court to get them to drop the results of this search, they were like “fuck you, you drunk motherfucker. We need to get your drunk ass off the streets.”

While SCOTUS acknowledges the exigent-circumstances rule allows for a blood test when someone is unconscious, it would have to be a situation where they needed to do so to prevent destruction of evidence, or to save a life. But in this case, the police did have time to get a warrant. So 5:4 decision for Mitchell.

While Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor dissented, they argued that the exigent circumstances rule shouldn’t apply to this bullshit rule in Wisconsin. That the state can’t create a law that basically exempts them from the limits in the Constitution. So they seemed to weirdly side with Mitchell, while still dissenting from the majority opinion which allows the rule, but requires a warrant be obtained in this case, since they had time to do so.

Hear oral arguments or read about the case here.

 

Average Joe SCOTUS: Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media

We all know about food stamps, right? I know it’s called SNAP now, as the government tries to rebrand it in such a way as to make users in the program not be made to feel bad about taking from other taxpayers, when they absolutely should.

Well, these hacks at Argus Media were presumably writing some story about people using the SNAP program, and submitted a FOIA request for information about the program, which included how much money individual stores were getting from the program.

At first, the USDA who manages SNAP declined to provide the requested information based on FOIA exemption three, which says they cannot disclose info that’s prohibited from being disclosed by federal law. But the lower courts were like, “What fucking law, exactly?”

So since they knew that was some bullshit, they went for exemption 4, which protects:

Trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential.

The courts had told the USDA to give over the information, and the USDA was all set to comply, but then these assholes at the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), believing they’d be harmed if this information was released, filed the appeal to block the information accordingly.

So here we are at SCOTUS trying to literally determine WTF “confidential” means.

First, SCOTUS decided that FMI had standing to sue, since they could incur damages if their competition found out the information being requested. Then they decided as such, the assholes at Argue didn’t need to know this information, and told them to get fucked. Confidential means something that company A has a legit purpose in hiding from company B, which this information would be.

6:3 judgement for FMI, with Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Breyer dissenting on how they defined “confidentiality” while still siding to protect FMI.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Fort Bend County Texas v. Davis

Lois Davis worked for Fort Bend County in Texas. Her boss at the time, we’ll call him Scummy McScummerson, apparently fancied her, and decided to go for it. But Lois wasn’t having that shit, and filed a sexual harassment claim.

After an investigation Scummy McScummerson resigned, and Lois was assigned a new boss. Her new boss, being friends with Scummy, decided to put Lois in the cross-hairs, and get rid of her.

One day, Lois needed the day off for a religious event, applied for the day off, and her new asshole boss declined. But Lois was like, “Fuck this shit, I’m going.” So she straight up ghosted those motherfuckers and went to church.

So then her new asshole boss was like, “Bingo, I can fire this bitch now.”

But Lois ain’t no pushover. She took their asses to court, and now dropped a new bomb on them, the “religious discrimination” bomb, that is.

Here’s the thing. There were outlined procedures in place for Lois to follow in appealing her termination and shit, but she didn’t pass Go, and didn’t collect $200. She went straight to court. So the assholes in Fort Bend tried to say she circumvented the process, and therefore had no case.

Davis was like, “Fuck you, and your process. I’m taking your trifling asses straight to court anyway.”

As usual, multiple federal circuits have two different precedents for the same god damn law, because every fucking law is simply not black and white. Most are grayer than gray.

So SCOTUS listened to all the arguments, and were like, “We’re the courts. We don’t give a fuck about your piss ant procedural rules. Fuck you. If someone wants to ask our opinion, they can come on in and do it. Any court that disagrees, well fuck you, too. Do as your told bitches. Thug SCOTUS life!”

Unanimous decision for Davis.

Hear oral arguments, or read about the case here.