Thursday, December 8, 2016

Supreme Court

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Supreme Court

President Obama has not been one to shy away from making executive actions, and one of his most controversial ones is now before the Supreme Court.

Obama’s executive action would grant temporary legal status and work permits to about 4 million illegal aliens who arrived before 2010. Other than being here for over 6 years illegally, they would also have to be parents of US Citizens or legal permanent residents.

The “permanent residents” part has some people raising many questions. The executive action is to help families that have children who are US Citizens but are here illegally. Most people would agree that this group of illegals should receive some help, but the ambiguity of “permanent residents” is worrisome.

The executive action is being called “lawless” and now 26 states have challenged the action in court. Obama’s action was blocked from being implemented until the Supreme Court hears the case.

The troubling part of this law is that the administration would have the authority to enforce who should be arrested and deported. Since deportations are down in Obama’s second term, the new law may not see any more people deported–but 4 million given legal status.

Obama has released captured illegals who were known criminals and put them back on the street to commit more crimes.

The southern border is such a mess that Donald Trump has made it his main issue and it is helping him lead the race for the GOP nomination.

Nobody thinks that Obama is going to be tough on immigration and that is why our southern border continues to allow hundreds or more cross daily.

The answer isn’t what Donald Trump has suggested either. Deporting all 11 million illegal immigrants is not fair to those children and businesses, but something has to happen.

Will Obama get his way and give 4 million illegals a free path to being legal or will the Supreme Court find the overreach of power unacceptable?

What do you think? Should the Supreme Court overturn the executive action or should they allow it?

Let us know in the comments!

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ObamaCare might have survived its Supreme Court challenges so far–but it’s clear that the law just isn’t working for the people it was supposed to help.

Between March and June, ObamaCare’s state exchanges–which cover 29 states, plus the District of Columbia–lost a whopping 238,119 enrollees. That’s about 2.5% of the total enrollees who bailed on the controversial healthcare system–a substantial drop, considering it happened in just a couple of months.

“The poor performance of the program is bad news for the long-term sustainability of the federal and state Obamacare exchanges given their reliance on paying enrollees to meet costs,” explained Americans for Tax Reform, the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that analyzed the federal data.

“Exchanges typically fund their operations through a fee on premiums: the federal exchange that provides 37 states with coverage charges a 3.5 percent premium, while state exchanges are free to choose their own rate. Fewer enrollees could signal the beginning of a death spiral for the Obamacare exchanges.”

Fear of a so-called “death spiral” for ObamaCare has long been around–expressed by some even before the controversial law was passed in 2010.

It comes from the idea that, as costs go up, younger, healthier Americans will opt to pay the small fine, rather than sink more and more money into healthcare payments that they don’t need or want. As healthier enrollees leave, monthly healthcare premiums become more expensive to cover a sicker pool of subscribers, which causes even more enrollees to leave–and so on, until the system becomes unsustainable.

Only time will tell whether quarterly drop in enrollees was an anomaly, or whether it’s the beginning of the practical end for ObamaCare as a workable healthcare system–even if the law manages to stay on the books.

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Kim-Davis

Kim Davis might have started a new trend among county clerks–as other county clerks decide they’ve had enough over gay marriage.

Davis, the county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, who attracted nationwide attention when she refused to issue marriage licenses and was jailed for being in contempt of court, returns to work this week. As an elected official, she can’t be fired–she can only be voted out of office at the next election.

But, even as Davis plans to take back her office, other elected officials nationwide are doing everything they can to thwart the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

“In North Carolina, all four magistrates in rural McDowell County have recused themselves from performing civil wedding ceremonies for any couples. The moves are allowed under a state law passed in June that allows certain public officials to avoid marriage duties if they have religious objections. So far, 32 magistrates across the state—about 5% of the total—have done so, according to the state Administrative Office of the Courts.

“As a result of the void in McDowell County, magistrates from neighboring Rutherford County have been driving in to perform ceremonies three days a week, during reduced hours. Tonia Hampton, the McDowell County register of deeds, whose office issues marriage licenses, said the documents continue to be available during regular hours. ‘It’s business as usual for us,’ she said.”

Many county clerks–mostly in states where gay marriage was illegal until the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hobbes decision in June–are objecting to issuing marriage licenses because of religious grounds.

It remains to be see what impact, if any, anti-gay marriage warriors in government like Davis will have on the national legalization–but it makes it clear this fight is far from over.

 

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gay-marraige-numbers-fall

Gay marriage might be legal in the United States, following the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision last month–but that hasn’t made it more popular among rank and file Americans.

In fact, since it became legal nationwide, support for gay marriage has dropped–a lot.

According to a recent AP-GFK poll, support for gay marriage has dropped six percentage points between April and July. For the first time in recent polling, more Americans oppose gay marriage than support it.

Just 42% of Americans now favor legal gay marriage.

That’s down substantially from the 48% of Americans who supported gay marriage back in April.

But the poll also found that, as gay marriage support weakens, support for religious freedom is on the rise.

Despite the mainstream media’s narrative, religious liberty is more popular than gay marriage. 56% of Americans–a pretty substantial majority–believe that government should rule in favor of religious freedom.

Specifically on issues issues like forcing bakers to make wedding cakes for gay weddings, 59% of Americans believe that religious freedom should prevail–up from just 52% in April.

49% of Americans also agree that local officials, who oppose gay marriage for religious reasons, should be exempted from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

While popular opinion will likely have no effect on the legality of gay marriage–it would be highly unlikely for the Supreme Court to eventually ban gay marriage after they legalized it–it shows that the fight for religious freedom, and the fight against gay marriage, is still going strong in America.

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polygamy

It’s already happened: a Montana man has officially applied for a marriage license–for his second wife.

Yes, he’s still married to the first wife.

Nathan Collier of Billings, Montana, claims that the Supreme Court’s decision last week inspired him to seek a marriage license for his second wife–to see how accepting of polygamous marriages America actually is.

Collier married his first wife, Victoria, in 2000. He remains married to her–but “married” his second wife, Christine, in 2007. That marriage was conducted in a church but, obviously, is not legal in the eyes of the law, which does grant marriage licenses to polygamy.

Collier’s initial request for a second marriage license was rejected–but Collier argued. Officials at the Yellowstone County Courthouse, upon hearing his threats, told him they’d have to consult with the county attorney before they could reject or deny

If Collier’s request isn’t granted, he has already threatened to sue the state of Montana, urging that his marriages should be recognized under the law.

But his request isn’t as crazy as it may seem–from a legal standpoint, anyway.

In fact, even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, warned in his dissent in Obergefell v. Hughes (the gay marriage decision) that this kind of thing was coming:

“Much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” Roberts claimed.

The biggest problem–one unforeseen by the Left, who advocates both for feminism and gay marriage–is that the same logic can be used to justify gay marriage and polygamy.

If any American can marry whoever they want, and have the full blessing of the U.S. Government, what stops a man from marrying two women–assuming they’re adults that consent to the marriage?

According to the Supreme Court’s decision? Not much.

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Scott_Walker

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker isn’t a declared candidate in the 2016 Republican presidential race–though he’s expected to declare any day now. But he’s already tacking hard to the right on gay marriage.

On Friday, June 26, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 that gay marriage should be legal in all 50 states.
Gay couples can begin marrying nationwide immediately–and many already have.

Many of Walker’s opponents for the nomination have gone silent on the issue, preferring to just be happy that one of the Democrats’ social wedge issues has quickly disappeared from the table.

But Walker is speaking his mind:

“I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake,” Walker said, in a statement. “Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decisions acknowledges ‘has been with us for millennia.'”

But, since the Supreme Court is the law of the land–and decides, ultimately, whether laws are constitutional or not–there’s little way around their decision. The only thing that could overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling–aside from another decision from a different court case by the Supreme Court, which is highly unlikely to ever happen–would be to amend the Constitution.

That’s exactly what Walker plans to do.

Using the First Amendment’s “free exercise of religion” clause, Walker urges that Republicans “continue to fight for the freedoms of all Americans”–namely the Christians whom he feels have been attacked by the latest ruling.

Unfortunately for Walker and his supporters, there’s little chance of the Federal Marriage Amendment (as it was called under the Bush Administration) of ever becoming part of the Constitution.

An amendment to the Constitution requires not just 3/4 of Congress to approve, but also 3/4 of state legislatures to ratify.

It’s an uphill climb for even the most popular amendments–but, for something as controversial as gay marriage, that kind of landslide support would be virtually impossible.

The last time the Federal Marriage Amendment was voted on in Congress, it was soundly defeated–and that was back in mid-2006, when Republicans themselves dominated the House of Representatives.

Regardless of the likelihood of Walker’s plans, he’s staked out a clear vision for his future 2016 candidacy: that he’d run as a solid conservative.

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gay-marriage

Just announced!

The Supreme Court made a decision on Gay Marriage. Today the court says that same sex couples can marry in any state.

The decision means that all States must recognize the marriage of any two people.

Obergefell V. Hodges

(Same-Sex Marriage)

States are required to grant a marriage license to same-sex couples and recognize valid same-sex marriages from other states.

The news broke on the steps of the Supreme Court and the crowd went wild! The joyous crowd was cheering and hugging amidst the dozens of news cameras.

The crowd broke in to song shortly after the announcement, and some people are very happy today.

The 5-4 shows that this is still a divided issue, but right now; Gay marriage is the law of the land.

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confederate-flag

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that Texas did not violate the Free Speech rights of applicants for a proposed “specialty vehicle license plate” bearing the Confederate flag when the state refused to issue them because the plates were state property not personal property and, as such, not subject to First Amendment protections.

At issue in the case according to the U.S. Supreme Court was:

“(1) Whether the messages and images that appear on state-issued specialty license plates qualify as government speech immune from any requirement of viewpoint neutrality; and

(2) Whether Texas engaged in “viewpoint discrimination” by rejecting the license-plate design proposed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, when Texas has not issued any license plate that portrays the confederacy or the confederate battle flag in a negative or critical light.”

Supporters of the proposed license plate said the Confederate flag was an emblem of Southern pride while opponents said it was a symbol of racism.

The state’s decision to refuse the proposed license plate requested by the group Sons of Confederate Veterans was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on a 5-4 vote. The decision reversed a lower court ruling in the 5th Circuit Court.

Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Justice Elena Kagan voted for the majority opinion while Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Anthony Kennedy dissented.

Justice Stephen Breyer writing for the majority said when a message is government speech, officials have more leeway to determine what messages they want to approve without violating the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment free speech guarantee.

For decades, states have issued special license plates to generate revenue if advocates can meet a certain threshold of support for a particular design. Once the threshold has been met, people would pay a fee to affix them to their vehicles.

When oral arguments were heard in the case of Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans in March, a major concern for some justices was straightforward. If a state could not differentiate between suitable and unsuitable license place designs, it would confer a right on individuals to pick any image or slogan including Nazi swastikas, Islamist terror slogans and other generally outrageous applications.

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Feds-Takeover-Pension-Funds

Late last month, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that sets the legal stage for something believed impossible just a few years ago.

The ruling came in the case of Tibble v. Edison pitting retirement experts and investment managers against government regulators over the question what constitutes the best interests of beneficiaries.

In short, the federal government can, on its own authority and without recourse, seize private pension plans, 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and place them under government control if regulators believe the funds are being poorly managed.

Paul Joseph Watson writing for Infowars.com interviewed economist Martin Armstrong about the ramifications of this Supreme Court ruling and what it means for the property rights of middle class Americans should economic shocks – including a government default on public debt somewhere down the road – lead to sharp drops in the value of retirement portfolios going forward.

According to Armstrong, the Tibble v. Edison decision found that not only do employers have a duty to protect employees from poorly performing mutual funds – something no employer could possibly guarantee – and that to stem “losses”, the government can place troubled retirement plans under government management.

Armstrong added that:

“Between the court ruling and the Obama administration’s push for stronger fiduciary rules,” the developments send a, “strong message that government can much easier seize the pension fund management industry of course to “protect the consumer…”

Armstrong warns that the ruling, “sets the stage to JUSTIFY government seizure of private pension funds to protect pensioners,” when the economy gets “messy”.

“This fits perfectly just in time for the Obama administration’s next assault as they prepare a landmark change of its own by issuing rules requiring that financial advisers put the interest of customers ahead of their own…” “This creates a very gray area wide enough to justify public seizure of pension funds under management.”

In other words, if annual government deficits, the size of the national debt and the coming impact of unfunded mandates including Social Security and Medicare conspire to poison investor confidence in markets, the resulting drop in the value of retirement portfolios would allow the federal government to “nationalize” investor wealth in the name of saving investor wealth.

Evidence in such a scenario surfaced following the 2008 financial collapse in the housing industry and the release of reports on some of the coping strategies the federal government was considering at the time.

One of the more disturbing options was a plan by the federal government to seize the private 401(k) pensions of millions of Americans while enforcing a 5 per cent payroll tax increase as part of bailout program the Social Security Administration would be empowered to impose on retirees to “redistribute pension funds “fairly” amongst citizens”.

In addition, Armstrong warned that the seizure of pensions would be a first step in a wider move to impose “economic totalitarianism” on the American people along with the elimination of physical cash to give central big banks more power to manage cash flows.

Just recently, Bank of England economist Jim Leaviss floated the idea of eliminating cash in an article he wrote for the UK Telegraph. In it, Leaviss said:

“Forcing everyone to spend only by electronic means from an account held at a government-run bank would give the authorities far better tools to deal with recessions and economic booms.”

In early May, German Council of Economic expert Peter Bofinger echoed Leaviss’s idea saying the imposition of a cashless society would make it easier for central banks to enforce their economic policy.

Sceptics who dismiss such ideas as “conspiracy theories” should note that cash control measures are already being implemented in the United States.

Just this past week, former House Speaker Dennis Hassert was charged with “structuring” a series of cash withdrawals from his bank account to hide payments to a blackmailer who threatened to go public over sexual misconduct decades ago. And while charges stemming from the alleged incidents had long expired on the statute of limitations, the structuring charges had not.

Regulations state that banks must report cash transactions of $10,000 or more to federal authorities. Prosecutors allege that Hassert kept withdrawals below the reporting limit to avoid detection resulting in the charges against him.

Readers should note that economists consider Armstrong an authority on the subject of sovereign debt because he correctly predicted the 1987 Black Monday crash that saw the Dow drop more than 500 points on a single day as well as the 1998 Russian financial collapse.

Armstrong predicts America will experience a financial collapse marked by severe financial dislocations and widespread social unrest – including riots – in 2016.

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k-9_unit

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Rodriguez v. United States that police may not detain a driver at a traffic stop longer than necessary to check documents, search for outstanding warrants and issue a citation – not to call in K9 units to conduct drug searches.

The case concerns the March 27, 2012 traffic stop of Dennys Rodriguez by Nebraska Police officer Morgan Struble who observed Rodriguez veering off the travel lane on to the shoulder and back again onto the road.

Officer Struble questioned Rodriguez and asked for his driver’s license and car registration. The officer returned to his patrol car to check Rodriguez’s documents and to find out whether he had any outstanding arrest warrants. Officer Struble found nothing. Struble repeated the process with a passenger traveling with Rodriguez and everything checked out as well.

Struble issued Rodriguez a warning but did not let the men leave. Instead, Struble, a K9 officer, asked Rodriguez if a police dog could sniff around his car. Rodriguez refused.

Struble responded by detaining Rodriguez until another officer arrived where upon a police dog sniffed the car and alerted officers to the presence of drugs. A search of the vehicle turned up a bag of amphetamines.

A federal magistrate judge who reviewed Rodriguez’s motion to suppress the evidence found that officer Struble had nothing other than “a rather large hunch” to justify a search with a dog. Rodriguez was charged and found guilty on a drug offense and received a five year prison sentence.

On appeal, a federal appeals court ruled that the search was a “de minimis” (lacking significance or importance) intrusion of Rodriguez’s rights and that Rodriguez’s conviction and prison sentence would stand.

The Supreme Court disagreed by a 6-to-3 vote and remanded the case back to the appeals court for further consideration consistent with the decision.

Writing for the court majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that police may check for a driver’s license, ask for a registration and proof of insurance and check for outstanding warrants but that the stop becomes “unlawful if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete the mission of issuing a warning ticket.”

Ginsburg added that a traffic stop is aimed at enforcing the traffic laws and that a traffic stop cannot be “prolonged” without reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed pursuant to Supreme Court precedent on the issue.

Dissenting were Justices Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito. Alito called the Supreme Court’s majority decision was “unnecessary, impractical, and arbitrary” because the officer smelling a strong scent of deodorizer in the car – a tactic used by drug dealers to hide the odor of drugs in a vehicle.

Although Rodriguez won in the Supreme Court, he must return to the lower court for a final disposition in his case.

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