Tag Archives: SCOTUS

Roe vs. Wade Overturned

Roe vs. Wade
Roe vs. Wade

Today, Roe vs. Wade was overturned.

I am not certain where I picked up on this, but for years I have argued for exactly what happened today

The Constitution was also expanded in the 1960s with Griswold v. Connecticut. The activist SCOTUS stated the right of privacy was implied in the Constitution, even though it was never stated. Because of that, in the 1970s, Roe v. Wade was decided. The issue in Roe was that the decision for an abortion was protected as a private matter between a patient and her doctor.

Most folks would argue that what goes on between a doctor and a patient is indeed a private matter. My issue with the decision is that this is not a matter for the feds to govern. Because privacy is not a right for which the feds should have purview, it should not have decided Roe. Perhaps that puts me on the fringe with some folks, but it certainly does not put me in a position of demanding that the federal government regulate what happens in the bedroom or at the doctor’s office. This is a matter for the states, much like gay marriage and other social issues.

New Jersey is liberal. If it (not the federal government) decides that it wants to permit abortions, gay marriage, homosexuality, etc., have at it. While I may not favor such decisions, I recognize that it is the right of the state to determine those things. If the people want it, then it can be had.

Abortion has not been outlawed. Rather, the people won! The people now get to decide the issue for themselves. That is how it is supposed to work.

Why do many folks leave New York and New Jersey to retire in Florida, Arizona, and South Carolina? The tax laws are advantageous to do so. Want marijuana? You’re not getting it in all states, so you travel to those who offer it. States compete on many levels, taxes and pot being among them.

Abortion will be another. Some states will assuredly prohibit abortion. Others will assuredly permit abortion.

Sure, some will argue that a woman who desires an abortion who lives in a restrictive state is treated differently than a woman in a permissive state. Yes. Likewise, a taxpayer in New Jersey is taxed far more than one in Florida. It’s the way it is.

This is by design. The United States Constitution works this way. It’s a beautiful document.

I will be taxed to fund abortions in New Jersey, most likely. That is against my desire. I deal with it. And when it becomes too much for me, I will be heading to another state . . . perhaps Florida. 😉

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“One-termer and a two-timer . . .”
“One-termer and a two-timer . . .”

Scalia is brilliant! His appearance with Chris Wallace was just another datum to prove that . . . Hey, I won the Wizbang! caption contest two weeks ago . . . Loved listening to Bezos interview with Kindle Chronicles . . . I challenge one to tell me what hours the Millville Public Library is open. I can’t find that information on their web site . . . The organization never ends. Today I tossed 20 years of lesson plans but kept every observation, annual review, certificate of training, etc. . . .

Scalia’s Platitudes

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia gave the commencement address at Langley High School the other day. Scalia’s children were graduated from Langley and this day his granddaughter was too. If there is any doubt that Scalia “gets it”, this speech should remove it.

Scalia took on the typical platitudes that commencement speeches address and turned them on their head as only this mental giant can. Most of the speech can be heard here. The transcription of the speech is here.

“A Living and Breathing Document”

Many argue that the United States Constitution is a living and breathing document. Most of the time, that phrase is used to interpret the Constitution in modern terms. Folks contend that a document written more than 200 years ago cannot adequately handle all modern issues. For instance, technological security is not something the founders considered. Obviously.

The thing is, the Constitution was written in a manner so it could be expanded. Sure, the founders made it difficult to do.  The founders did not want the Constitution to be a political toy for the whims of current fancy.  Rather, changes were for serious measures that need to be addressed (think of the Fourteenth Amendment).

James Madison is considered the father of the Constitution. I read a letter he wrote to Henry Lee on 25 June 1824. In that letter he wrote:

I entirely concur with the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful exercise of its power. If the meaning of the text be sought in the changeable meaning of the words composing it, it is evident that the shape and attributes of the Government must partake of the changes to which the words and phrases of all living languages are constantly subject. What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of the law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense. And that the language of our Constitution is already undergoing interpretations unknown to its founders, will I believe appear to all unbiased Enquirers into the history of its origin and adoption.

Note, the fourth President of the United States and the father of the Constitution does not hold that the Constitution is to be interpreted in a “modern sense”. That seems significant to me when we look at the United States Constitution these days.

If one is going to disregard Madison on this matter, then the Constitution is more of an obstacle than the law.  What basis does one have for interpreting the Constitution in a “modern sense”?

Privacy and Griswold come to mind.  Sure, folks will claim that is settled law.  But isn’t that just an obstacle too?  Precedence is not meaningful when the Constitution is re-interpreted.

Just something to consider on this summer day . . .

Blind Justice

Justice is supposed to be blind; free from prejudices and bias, delivered dispassionately.

President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States today.

Judge Sotomayer is on record as saying:

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

That does not sound dispassionate to me.

The New Haven, CT fire department administered an examination for 15 lieutenant and captain positions. Of the 118 candidates, no blacks qualified for the promotion. Because of that, New Haven decided to promote no one, despite plenty of non-blacks having scored high enough. Understandably, the non-promoted qualified firefighters took offense. Eighteen firefighters who qualified filed suit. They lost at trial. They appealed. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision.

This white male sees a problem with this. So do others. As a matter of fact, there’s enough of a problem with this that SCOTUS granted cert to the case.

Sitting on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals is none other than Obama-nominee Sotomayor.

I am no lawyer and I could be totally off base with this, but my read on this case is that the trial court’s decision will be overturned by SCOTUS, or at least remanded. This is likely to happen as Sotomayor is on The Hill glad-handing the Senate. How ironic.

Having said all that, I suspect Sotomayor will be confirmed without much roughing up.

She seems not a stellar judge. She seems to have the politically correct characteristics. I find that problematic. More so, her seeming nod to race and gender as legitimate factors once again place burdens upon white men in this society who have no power and are not responsible for perceived injustices.

And if that isn’t enough, how blind is Sotomayor’s justice given this clip?

Lest anyone think this is a partisan shot at the president’s nominee, I direct you to my posts when President Bush nominated Harriet Miers to SCOTUS in 2005 (Bush League, Who Is Being Disingenuous?, Hewitt On Miers).

The Constitution Explained

Devil’s Advocate produced a video that explains the Constitution and the role of SCOTUS in relation to it. He correctly presents what would happen in Roe v. Wade were to be overturned. FWIW, states would enact laws to either permit or outlaw the practice. It would be up to each state. Certainly, New Jersey would be among the first to pass abortion legislation. While I would be against that, it is how the system is supposed to work.

Anyhow, enjoy the lesson.

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Scoble’s new venture launched recently (this can’t be the correct url) . . . Pot meet the kettle: scottO rips Groundspeak for its less than courteous customer service. I truly wonder what he thinks the perception of Terracaching.com’s customer service is . . . Ed Morrissey’s When the Democratic Party moves too far left for George McGovern, you know they’re in trouble made me spray my computer screen . . . It’s interesting that the guy who got me into geocaching is also now blogging . . . much ado is being made out of John McCain’s reaction to NY Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller. That isn’t anger to me and I have no issue with his response. It was a silly question he was asked and he let her know it . . . ’twas just reminded that I will be at Yankee Stadium in June for a game. It is the last season for the House That Ruth Built . . . gearing up for lawn care as I dropped the mower and edger off for service today . . . “Oh, get over it!” You have to love Scalia . . . from an e-mail I received earlier this week: “I hope all the bastards who got those no-money-down loans do get thrown out of their houses.” . . . completing classroom book orders online is wonderful. No longer do I have to fill out those dreaded forms and mail them in. We’ll see how quickly they arrive . . . California now requires parents who homeschool their children to have teaching certs. Ha! or should that be Bah! Sure, force parents to be indoctrinated in the system they want to be rid of. That makes sense . . . More spewage: “Adam Eaton is picking up right where he left off last season — getting pummeled like Apollo Creed in the beginning of Rocky IV” . . . I came across this (don’t ask how).  The more I see of stuff like this, the more I am sympathetic to celebrities.  I think they give up some of their personal lives as the trade off of stardom, but this kind of stuff is ridiculous . . . a good chuckle . . . Wow!  Reading a book is considered “racial harassment” . . .

Take Another Hit/More Bong Hits

As I wrote about here, the Bong Hits for Jesus case is at the Supreme Court. BoardBuzz has an excellent overview of the case. It’s in the Link Blog, but I wanted to further highlight it here.

It seems the media have mis-reported some of the facts of the case. For all those who like to take cheap shots at schools, Justice Souter has the correct take on the judgment call of the principal. As BoardBuzz puts it:

Justice Souter said it best when he pointed out, after the Court and attorneys had spent 50 minutes exploring the finer points of all this case law and wrestling with hypothetical fact variations, that perhaps the law might not be quite so clear cut for a school principal, either.

Remember that the next time your newspaper or a child presents the “facts” about what at school. It’s not always so clear cut as to what to do.

Hey Ninth Crcuit: It’s Bethel, Not Tinker

Joseph Frederick was an 18-year old senior at a Juneau, Alaska high school in 2002. During the year, the Olympic torch made its way through town. The high school emptied out onto the streets of Juneau. Students were supervised by their teachers as they spread out off school grounds onto the streets of Juneau to observe the torch.

Mr. Frederick unfurled an 18-foot banner during this event that read “Bong Hits 4 Jesus”.

He was told to take the banner down. He refused. The school board suspended the wise guy for 10 days. Frederick’s family sued. Sigh . . .

Alaska is in the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit. This is the court that held that the under God part in The Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit is the most reversed circuit court, indicating that it is out of step with American law.

Knowing that, it is not surprising that the Ninth Circuit agreed with Frederick. The decision seems to rest on the reason why the principal snatched the banner as well as distinguishing between classroom and non-classroom locations. She did not state that she was concerned with disturbances because of the banner. Bah!

Frederick freely admits this is not political speech, but rather meant to be funny so he could get on national television. If it is not political speech, the speech is not protected as political speech. Schools squelch all sorts of non-political speech. Thus Tinker v. Des Moines is not the operative case here; it is Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser. In Fraser, the Court held that the school district could suspend a student for delivering a speech with sexual references.

I suspect Mr. Frederick (and the Ninth Circuit) will be reminded of this soon enough once SCOTUS rules.