Mostly about my amusement

Tag: SCOTUS (page 1 of 1)

The SCOTUS handgun ruling

From the New York Time letter page. This is not my letter, but the sentiment is the same.

To the Editor:

Every year, millions of people across the United States willingly have their First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly restricted when local governments hand out permits for parades. The governments decide who can march, where they can march and when they can march, and require them to have a permit.

The recent Supreme Court ruling on the Second Amendment seems to set the right to buy and bear arms above the rights of the First Amendment. It deprives local governments of their right to decide who can carry a weapon, where they can carry a weapon and when they can carry a weapon, and, for all we know today, may lead to a time when people can carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Words are almost always harmless. Unfortunately, guns, by design, are never so.

Zachary I. Gold
Massapequa Park, N.Y., June 29, 2010

That’s what I don’t get. We routinely accept controls and limitations to our constitutional rights and these are done as a “common sense” measure.

No one says “let’s stifle freedom of speech and assembly”, but I can’t get 200 of my close friends for a protest without filing and obtaining a permit.

We have freedom of speech but no one expects that to permit someone yelling “FIRE!” in a crowded theater.

How are guns different? We can restrict some rights but why does the 2nd amendment get a pass on limitations or controls? I know full well that the ruling is about the outright ban on handguns, and is not about “Guns for everyone!” But if the law is re-worded, will it still pass this test?

Why can’t a state regulate that some types of guns are just not allowed?

Thumbnail credit goes to leasepics / Lala Roe for the image.

What would we do without political cartoons?

The second thing I look at on the NY Times website is the cartoons.

Oh, now SCOTUS is concerned about rights. Good thing for Jeff Skilling this case didn’t involve someone being kidnapped and shipped overseas to be tortured.

In addition to President Obama maintaining the worst of the previous administration, his Supreme Court nominee (while qualified) represents someone who is more like Roberts and less like Stevens.

When Elena Kagan is confirmed, there is no hope that SCOTUS will oppose expansion of the president’s power when national security is used as the excuse.

What a fun week it’s been

This past week some interesting events occurred. First, there was a special election in Massachusetts and then there was the SCOTUS ruling that says corporate entities (and unions) can’t be limited in advertising bombing the electorate.

That Scott Brown got elected is really a non-issue. People vote and get elected all the time and I don’t really feel sympathy for a party that has a 19 seat lead in the Senate. It’s the pundits and political hacks that are making hay out of this.

The Democrats lack the stomach to make changes to health care; this is not news. They are the mewling party of the self-inflicted gunshot wound and always have been. Scott Brown and the tea party birther nuts are not the problem for the Dems, they do it to themselves.

The SCOTUS ruling is different. There should be a level playing field for John Q. Public candidate in an election. Many corporate friendly pols are hailing this as an affirmation that rights are protected. But corporations are not people and they don’t have the same rights and privileges as a human being. For a better look at what I mean, check out this analysis on the SCOTUSblog, they pose a fun hypothetical.

Look at the recent New York City mayor election:

Mr. Thompson, who participated in the campaign finance system, was outspent by 14 to 1, and he struggled to attract experienced staff members and raise money.

How can anyone win when one side spends over $100 million and the little guy can only spend $7.2 million? Voters are not dumb and people who make the effort to vote are being good citizens. But anyone is susceptible to a bombardment of advertising.

Put it another way: when George Soros openly spends on candidates who reflect his values, what will these corporate friendly pols say then? When raises millions and goes after that conservative, woman hating, give to the rich not to the poor, faux christian candidate (you know who you are!), will people complain?

It’s not like candidates will place a Nike or other corporate logo on their hat. They should, if only so people really know who’s paying them to vote on bills. This ruling only illustrates that the Roberts court is openly partisan and will disregard precedent when it fits their world view.

Factually correct makes it fun reading

The best part of Frank Rich’s article is that his examples are dead on. Michael Steele’s words are just pure comedy gold.

The hearings were pure “Alice in Wonderland.” Reality was turned upside down. Southern senators who relate every question to race, ethnicity and gender just assumed that their unreconstructed obsessions are America’s and that the country would find them riveting.

via Op-Ed Columnist – They Got Some ’Splainin’ to Do –

Would there be an outcry if she said  “a wise experienced insert ethnic background here would be better than a robot”?

The idea of someone actually taking pride in her background (note: I’m also Puerto Rican) and using that background as a strength, why would that be a negative? She was obviously attempting to inspire and I think she succeeded. If that’s the most controversial statement that the opposition is focusing on, then they should have had the hearings in one day.

Judge Sotomayor will make a fine addition to the Supreme Court. The confirmation hearings turned into a farce many years ago.