Category Archives: SCOTUS For The Average Joe

Average Joe SCOTUS: Trump v New York

Back in July, Trump had the grand idea that the census which is used to determine congressional districts and such, should exclude illegal immigrants in their count used for this. Which seems pretty fair on the face of it, since illegal immigrants are criminals by definition, and not American by definition, thus shouldn’t be represented in Congress.

The census doesn’t even ask this fucking question though, but somehow he wanted them to take their full number of people, and figure out some way to get a tally of illegal immigrants, and remove those fuckers from that total. As usual, Trump is big on ideas, but short on ways to actually do it, and this is no different. So Trump just instructed the Secretary of Commerce to figure it out.

As you can imagine, a bunch of bleeding hearts who know that illegals tend to vote for them more, filed suit to block this order, saying it was unconstitutional, which is a colorful argument at best. Basically, they were saying that the Constitution defines how the census is used to determine the number of house reps, and trying to change that proportion based on a number coming from something other than the census, was contrary to the constitution’s scheme.

A federal district court agreed, so here we are at SCOTUS after Trump challenged it. So now SCOTUS is being asked to determine if the states can even challenge this, since it’s a federal rule. And if so, is Trump’s directive unconstitutional.

In a partisan split, SCOTUS sided with Trump, and essentially said that the lower courts no jurisdiction to give an opinion on this case, and that it was essentially too early for them to sue anyway, since a plan on how to do what Trump wanted to do, hadn’t even been finalized yet. They stated it was, “riddled with contingencies and speculation that impede judicial review.” Basically arguing, you can’t challenge it before he’s even decided how it would work. Besides, Trump’s directive to exclude illegal immigrants may require the use of estimates, which the Constitution doesn’t allow, meaning they could win on that, if Trump doesn’t figure out a plan for solid numbers.

Their ruling leaves an opening for it to be challenged later once Trump’s plan to do this is finalized, which of course is now likely moot since Trump’s dumb ass lost the election.

So while this seems like a win for Trump, it effectively changes very little, and it’s clear that Trump, had he won, could still ultimately lose the ability to do what he hoped to do.

The left-leaning justices dissented because they basically wanted to put an end to Trump’s agenda on this before he went any further.

Average Joe SCOTUS: United States v. Briggs

Back in 2005, scumbag Michael Briggs, while in the Air Force, “after an evening of heavy drinking” went to the room of one of the junior members of his squadron, and forced her to have sex with him, despite her repeated efforts to say “no” and get away from him.

Eight years later, the victim was able to provide evidence and get this asshole convicted. However, in normal law, there’s a five year statute of limitations on rape where the person isn’t murdered, but Briggs wasn’t made aware of such, and the judge at the military trial didn’t advise him as such since the military doesn’t have that limitation.

So on appeal, he brought this shit up in order to try to overturn his conviction, instead of being decent, accepting he did the fucking crime, and therefore he should do the fucking time.

The issue here is that in the military, there’s no statute of limitations for rape. They describe it as an offense punishable by death, as they consider it a more problematic crime for them over when it’s done in civilian life, because it puts missions and teams at risk. But on appeal, the court said that if Briggs had been told about the statute of limitations, he would have asserted it, and therefore would’ve had his case dismissed, completely ignoring the fact that the military doesn’t have a statue of limitations on rape.

There are two other similar cases of scumbags raping people in the military, and the state of limitations issue being at question.

Two precedents being considered here are the Supreme Court’s 1977 decision in Coker v. Georgia and its 2008 decision in Kennedy v. Louisiana. Essentially these removed the capital punishment possibility from any crimes that didn’t result in death, which includes rape.

So here we are at SCOTUS determining who’s the bigger idiot. Briggs (and others), or the U.S. Court of Appeals. Does the military rules that don’t apply a statute of limitations apply, or does the 8th amendment as argued in those cases take precedent, and these scumbags get to go free?

In a unanimous decision, SCOTUS sided against Briggs and ruled that there is no statute of limitations on rape, and they he and other assholes like him, will have their convictions reinstated.

Average Joe SCOTUS: FNU Tanzin v. Tanvir

A trio of Muslims, Muhammad Tanvir, Jameel Algibhah and Naveed Shinwari, are here in the U.S. legally, but not natural born citizens, so they’re either citizens or green card holders.

The FBI in their campaign on the war on terror, sought to have Tanvir and company inform for them against other Muslims who may be involved in terrorist activities. Tanvir and company told the FBI to go fuck themselves, and as a result, were put on a No-Fly List by the FBI.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) basically prevents government from harassing people based on their religion, unless the government can show that there’s a compelling government interest in doing so, such as preventing a terrorist attack. RFRA also allows people to sue federal agents if they violate those religious freedoms wrongly.

So Tanvir and his merry band of Muslims are suing the federal government officials who put them on the list for doing so, after they refused to rat out their fellow Muslims. But the government is arguing that the RFRA doesn’t allow these guys to sue individual agents, it only says they can seek appropriate relief.

So now SCOTUS must decide if the RFRA allows individual federal agents to be sued under the law.

In a unanimous decision, SCOTUS decided that the FBI assholes were completely out of line, and can be sued for damages by the three Muslim men, paving the way for future suits against other lawless pricks operating in law enforcement.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Carney v. Adams

James Adams is a Delaware resident, and a member of the state’s bar association. He applied for a judicial job, but the job required he be Republican, and Adams is apolitical. This rule is part of Delaware’s effort to make the courts balanced.

Adams, being a lawyer, decided to do what lawyers do best. Sue some people. He argued the provision in the Delaware Constitution that allows such a requirement of political affiliation is some bullshit.

There is precedent in rulings on Elrod v. Burns and Branti v. Finkel which allows policy makers to have partisan rules for hiring other policy makers. But Adams is arguing that judges aren’t policy makers, since they don’t write laws or regulations, they merely interpret them.

A district court sided with Adam’s argument, and the U.S. Court of Appeals agreed, although they argued that Adams lacked standing for some reason.

So now, Carney thinks this is some bullshit, and has challenged the decision for Adams here at SCOTUS.

So now SCOTUS is being asked to determine if this rule violates the first amendment. Many of the justices brought up the point that other parties such as the Libertarian or Green party aren’t represented, yet they might bring even greater balance. But Carney is essentially arguing that his interest is in balance, and not necessarily making sure all parties are represented.

Carney also argued that there were other judicial positions open, that he were qualified for, and that Adams is merely trying to make a name for himself by going after this one he’s not.

Justice Gorsuch questioned:

Neil Gorsuch

The major party provision prohibits Independents from service, serving as judges.

That’s quite a sweeping rule.

As I understand you, you’ve indicated that you’d agree that that violates the Equal Protection Clause as applied to elected positions. But you indicate that it’s somehow very different with respect to appointed positions. And I guess I’m not clear why, given the absence of any historically-rooted tradition along these lines with respect to the major party requirement. I understand your argument that it serves as a backstop for the bare majority rule, which does have historical antecedents, plenty of them, but, near as I can tell, none of those has ever included this backstop before.

This is a novel thing.

And it does prohibit a great percentage of the population from participating in the process.

Justice Kavanaugh went on to ask:

Brett M. Kavanaugh

Why can’t Independents even better serve the goal of a balanced judiciary nonpartisan/bipartisan judiciary?

In a 8:0 decision, SCOTUS decided they didn’t give a fuck about Adams claim, saying it’s none of their fucking business. They said that Adams couldn’t even sue because he wasn’t even ready to become a judge if he won. It’s like he was suing in case he decided to try.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Trump v. Mazars

So we all know, the DNC controlled House of Representatives not only hates Trump and are working hard day and night to remove him from office legislatively, if not at the ballot box. As a libertarian who dislikes Trump immensely, even I am put off by the amount of effort going into this by Democrats who are playing politics at the level of full-blown hatred, instead of just accepting that this is our current situation with Trump, and they should only make efforts to win in 2020.

Well, here’s another instance of them abusing their authority. Despite having no credible evidence of a crime, Congress has demanded Trump’s personal financial records, in hopes to uncover some wrongdoing. They’ve presented it as they need this info to consider how to draft new law.

Meaning they’re acting as though they aren’t looking to convict him of anything, they just want to be able to write good law, and his financial records will somehow help them. Is there anyone who believes this bullshit one iota? I hope not. Congress wouldn’t even elaborate on what law they’re looking to write.

So despite congress’ assertion, let’s assume they’re lying political hacks, because they have a good record of being exactly this. Let’s also assume that they’re using this in hopes to find an impeachable offense in the records, because they also have a record of this.

Here’s a couple of issues with this.

First: If the professionals at the IRS who most assuredly audited him didn’t find anything worthy of indicting him on, it is unlikely congress will either.

Second: Any write-offs he took advantage of, that the assholes in congress passed in the first place, will be used to argue Trump is just a greedy rich asshole, instead of that they passed a shitty law, favoring some of their favorite assholes, which Trump was able to exploit too.

Third: And this is most important, in a free country, my personal financial records should be none of anyone’s fucking business ever. EVER!!! The fact we have an income tax which penalizes people for success, instead of a consumption tax which merely takes a fair cut of commerce, is disgusting.

Fourth: We don’t subpoena records to see if there is a crime in them potentially, which is what congress is doing. We have evidence of a crime occurring, and then subpoena records that would confirm or exonerate someone of that crime, based on the evidence suggesting that the crime which occurred has evidence in those records.

Anyway, enough of my own personal opinions, let’s talk about this case.

Trump sued his accounting firm to prevent them from complying with his subpoena. That’s why it’s argued as him against them as opposed to Trump against the government.

Trump is claiming that this is an undue burden on him. But the respondent is arguing that Trump literally doesn’t have to do anything. The subpoena is for his accountant, and doesn’t require any work at all.

However, in this testy exchange, Justice Alito clearly saw through this shenanigan of an argument.

Stephen G. Breyer

Yes, you emphasized it goes to a private person and it’s for tax returns.

But the subpoenas that I’ve seen go far beyond that.

They apply to 15 Trump-affiliated entities.

They ask for all documents related to opening of accounts, due diligence, closing, requests for information by other parties, et cetera. Now that’s a lot of information, and some of it’s pretty vague.

And if somebody subpoenaed you for that information or subpoenaed your tax accountant or subpoenaed somebody in your business, wouldn’t you at least want to know what was being turned over? Wouldn’t you want to ask them? And might that not take time? And might that not take effort? So my problem is there may be burdens here, third-party or not, and not just political burdens.

The job of the House and Senate, in part, as the President, is politics.

That doesn’t bother me. But the Clinton v. Jones information does bother me.

And the fact that what I hold today will also apply to a future Senator McCarthy asking a future Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman exactly the same questions, that bothers me. So what do I do?

Douglas N. Letter

Justice Breyer, I fully understand that concern.

None of the subpoena recipients have complained about burden.

The reason these subpoenas go back a ways is because, as you know —

Stephen G. Breyer

I’m sorry to interrupt you.

I’m not talking about their burden.

I’m talking about the President’s burden in having to monitor, decide if there are privileges, figure out what his answers are to all those documents you are requesting which go, in my opinion, way, way, way beyond just tax returns.

SCOTUS is now charged with determining if Trump must comply with these unreasonable and clearly dishonest requests from congress.

SCOTUS opined that they understand this shit had deep political implications, and potentially opens the door for congresses of the future to go after any sitting president they dislike.

The president argued that congress should demonstrate a specific need, and SCOTUS said, “Nah, dawg.”

But the House argued that that they only needed to have a valid legislative purpose, and SCOTUS said, “Nah, dawg” to that, too, fearing it opens the door for a malicious congress to harass a president.

SCOTUS instead, decided to write their own rules for this.

  1. The courts have to prove only the president’s records will help, and not some other asshole’s
  2. Courts can’t make this shit any broader than is needed for what they’re doing
  3. Courts should review it, to make sure it’s legit, kinda like a warrant
  4. The courts should determine if the president is being harassed, or the subpoena is legit.

Thomas said Congress should simply not have the right to ask for private and unofficial documents from anyone, in his dissent. Alito felt like the House hadn’t met the burden of the test laid out by SCOTUS above. The rest sided with Mazars.

 

Average Joe SCOTUS: Mathena v. Malvo

So if you’re old enough, you’ll remember the D.C. sniper shootings back in 2002. It was all over the fucking news. Well, it was two assholes, Lee Boyd Malvo (then 17 years old) and John Allen Muhammad. Muhammed was an adult, tried, convicted, and sentences to death, that all around piece of shit was executed in 2009.

When SCOTUS, in 2012, decided Miller v. Alabama, they decided that it was cruel and unusual punishment to give a minor mandatory life in prison without parole. In a later ruling in  Montgomery v. Louisiana they decided that Miller must be retroactive as a matter of constitutional law. So Malvo, didn’t get a mandatory sentence, but he did get life without parole. So Malvo’s cheeky counsel is creatively trying to say that the ruling was about life, not about it being mandatory, and asked for relief.

Petitioner Mathena, chief warden of Virginia’s high-security Red Onion State Prison on the other hand, thinks this whole thing is some bullshit. Malvo is a first class scumbag, and at 17, certainly knew WTF he was doing, and deserves the sentence he got. It wasn’t mandatory, it was the sentence the jury came to. So Miller and Montgomery don’t fucking apply here.

The case was dismissed, being withdrawn by Malvo, due to a passage of new legislation which passed in Virginia on February of 2020 saying that if someone is given a life sentence under the age of 18, they are eligible for parole after 20 years.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania

We all remember the Affordable Care Act, right? The gift that keeps on giving? Anyway, part of that monstrosity, is a provision for women’s health which states that women should get preventative health care, such as contraceptives, because somehow the rest of us should pay for others to enjoy pleasure. This is after all to prevent pregnancies, and the two people have sex, are only doing so for pleasure, if they are not trying to get pregnant.

Anyway, initially the rule stipulated non-profit religious organizations had to file an exemption form, if they believed in some overarching theism that said every sperm is sacred. If they did, they could be exempted.

But then, Hobby Lobby came along in 2014, and were like, we may not be a fucking church, but we still believe every sperm is sacred up in this bitch. We think we deserve such an exemption, too—SCOTUS agreed.

Then also in 2014, in Wheaton v. Burwell, SCOTUS ruled that you don’t have to file for an exemption, because that’s an undue burden. You just have to notify Health and Human Services (HHS) you’re exercising your right to object.

But it gets better. In 2017 in Zubik v. Burwell, these fuckers decided that just having to notify HHS they intended to abstain was too much effort, and were like, “First amendment, assholes. We don’t have to tell you shit.” But the court was unimpressed, and told them to fuck off.

In 2017, Trump and his merry band of misfits amended the rules, allowing for a “moral” exemption, making it yet again easier to get out of this shit.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey challenged these rules, arguing it was some bullshit discrimination, and a district court agreed.

So here we are at SCOTUS to determine if the federal government was allowed to exempt such people, and if the Little Sisters peeps have standing to sue here.

Ginsburg questioned the idea that the exemptions outside of churches exist at all, because that’s not how the law was written. But the petitioner argued that the law was written to give HHS discretion on whether to require contraceptive care. So since the HHS is run by the executive branch, they get to decide on that rule, which Trump did.

In a 7:2 majority, where Ginsburg and Sotomayor dissented, SCOTUS decided that the executive branch, which directs the Dept of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has the authority to write its own rules, and so they did. They ruled that the rules only required “additional preventive care and screenings,” and the ambiguousness of that statement leaves the door open for DHHS to write it’s own rules within that framework.

Ginsburg and Sotomayor agreed they were allowed to write their own rules within that framework, but this was negating it altogether, which the ACA would not allow.