Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Justices rule against consumer in debt collection case…

A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that debt collection companies can’t be sued for trying to recover years-old credit card debt from people who seek bankruptcy protection.

The 5-3 ruling is a blow to consumer groups that complain debt collectors are unfairly misleading people into repaying old debts even when they are not required to under the law.

The court sided with Midland Funding, which was trying to collect $1,879 in debt an Alabama woman had incurred more than 10 years earlier. Aleida Johnson argued that Midland was wrong to go after the debt because Alabama law has a six-year statute of limitations for a creditor to collect overdue payments.

While Johnson ultimately avoided paying the debt, a federal appeals court said she could sue Midland for trying to collect it as a violation the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. That law prohibits collection companies from making a “false, deceptive, or misleading representation” or trying to recover debt through “unfair or unconscionable means.”

Writing for the majority, Justice Stephen Breyer broke with his liberal colleagues to say efforts to recoup old debt during the bankruptcy process do not violate the law. He said it wasn’t false or misleading because bankruptcy law technically allows such claims.

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Trump annouces he will name Supreme Court choice…Take the Media off the ban story?

The guy is gonna make the announcement in Prime Time ?

(It was supposed to be on Thursday but I guess he’s tired of running out excuses on while he’s getting such a strong pushback against the ban and some Republicans starting worry about him OUT LOUD?)

I hope the Media does a split screen on this showing the ‘No Enter’ protestors  while Trump tries to divert people from his troubles…

A Supreme Court announcement Tuesday, live, from the White House

The Supreme Court — cosseted, cordial and militantly untelevised — is going prime time on live TV, with Mr. Trump announcing on Twitter that he will announce his pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

“I have made my decision on who I will nominate for The United States Supreme Court. It will be announced live on Tuesday at 8:00 P.M. (W.H.),” Mr. Trump wrote on his personal Twitter account at 8:43 a.m. — perfectly timed to catch the top-of-the-hour news roundups.

The president had originally planned to make the announcement on Thursday, but he had a rough weekend after protests over his executive order temporarily banning migrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries forced the Department of Homeland Security to decree that permanent residents would, for the most part, be exempted from the crackdown…

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The Supreme’s let stand insider-trading ruling that weakens convictions…

I have consistantly mentioned here that the US Government, Courts included, is NOT gonna hurt Wall Street in the long run ….

That even if some in the Finnacial markets are crooks….

The U.S. Supreme Court let stand a major insider-trading ruling that threatens at least 10 convictions and creates what the Obama administration calls a road map for securities fraud.
Rejecting an administration appeal without comment, the justices refused to consider reinstating the overturned convictions of hedge fund managers Todd Newman and Anthony Chiasson. Among those who may benefit are SAC Capital Advisors LP’s Michael Steinberg, who is seeking to reverse his own conviction on similar grounds.

The rebuff is a blow to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the New York prosecutor who had racked up more than 80 insider-trading convictions during a six-year attack on crooked fund managers, corporate insiders and consultants. The high court’s action came in a list of orders released on the first day of its new nine-month term.

The ruling was issued by the New York-based federal appeals court that is especially influential in securities-fraud cases. The decision raised the bar for prosecutions stemming from information passed by a corporate insider to a friend, relative or business associate.

President Barack Obama’s administration said the decision immunizes conduct that had long been understood to be criminal. The ruling “insulates from liability deceptive acts that undermine the integrity of the markets,” U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argued in the government’s appeal….

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Supreme’s stop Texas from closing more Abortion clinics…..

The court will review the Texas laws that raise abortion clinics requirement to a level so strict that 20 clinics have closed and another 10 would have closed if the court hadn’t entertained the emgency injuction against the law….

The Texas regulationsis are an efford to get around the Suprem Courts ruling that legalized abortion in America….

With the temporary hold, the 10 clinics will be able to stay open, in addition to another nine that were not impacted by the provisions, Miller said.
Monday’s order could also spur some of the 20 clinics that have already closed back into business and more could still open, Miller said.

The fate of the regulations will remain in limbo until the fall, when the Supreme Court will decide whether to take up the appeal. Four of the court’s more conservative members – Chief Justice John Roberts and associate justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito – opposed the order.

This is the second time that the Supreme Court has stepped in to temporarily halt pieces of the 2013 law, which activists say gives them hope that the court will eventually overturn lower courts’ decision to uphold the law.

“We think it’s a strong possiblity that the court will take this case,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

The Texas law is among the strictest in the country and drew national attention after a marathon filibuster from then-Democratic state senator Wendy Davis. Since then, about half of the state’s 41 clinics have closed…..

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Not ALL states want Marijuana use legal….

There is a storm coming on legal marijuana use…

While several states have move to ddecriminalize and even allow medical use of marijuana….

Most states have NOT….

And some states WILL NOT….

Marijuana use is STILL against federal law even though the Justice depratment and Congress have moved to NOT enforce that Federal law against marijuana….

Nebraska and Oklahoma are now inn the US Supreme Court complaining that other states actions are causing them problems…..

If the court does not take the issue…..

The President and his new Attorney General will have to come up with a solution…..

The issue is emerging as a major test for attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch, who will have to decide whether to embrace the hands-off approach to marijuana in the states that the Justice Department has adopted under Eric Holder — or take more decisive action to regulate it.

Experts and advocates floated a range of options if Congress or DOJ were to act, some more far-reaching or politically feasible than others. Anti-legalization advocates want an about-face from the administration: Enforce the existing federal marijuana ban and crack down on legalization regimes in Colorado and elsewhere. That’s a pipe dream for the current White House but not inconceivable if a Republican is elected president in 2016.

Pro-legalization advocates want Congress or the Obama administration to reclassify marijuana under sentencing laws so that it would carry lesser or no criminal penalties. Marijuana is currently considered a “Schedule I” drug, a category that includes heroin and LSD. Even cocaine is deemed less dangerous than pot under federal law.

Other experts say Congress should pass legislation that would deem marijuana federally legal in states that enact legal cannabis laws, thus removing ambiguity in those states. And still others want the administration to establish a standardized regulatory framework throughout the states, as the federal government does with other “vice industries.”

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Ginsburg….The Supreme’s will deal with Gay Marriage when asked to….

And she advises that she IS NOT leaving the court anytime soon.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Thursday that the court will not duck the issue of gay marriage.

“I think the court will not do what they did in the old days when they continually ducked the issue of miscegenation,” Ginsburg said in an interview with The Associated Press. “If a case is properly before the court, they will take it.”

She was referring to bans on interracial marriage, which were not struck down by the Supreme Court until 1967.

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With the wave movement in the nation’s state courts to view same-sex marriage as a ‘right’ one would expect the nation’s highest court to fall in line and bless the unions….

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Is the Supreme’s Majority Corrupt?

by Laurence LewisFollow for Daily Kos

Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony Kennedy

attribution: Supreme Court
Not even bothering to pretend anymore

The Supreme Court has always been a political institution. It has a history of making horrendous decisions. But this Supreme Court majority has a record of overreach and politicization that is so transparent and so unethical and so intellectually dishonest that it calls to mind a paraphrase of the old Lily Tomlin line about a corporate monopoly: They don’t care, they don’t have to.

This Court majority was empaneled after members of it and the previous majority overturned a presidential election, brought to power the man who received fewer votes than his opponent in the decisive electoral state, and did so by turning on its head that Court majority’s supposed judicial philosophy. That decision was so corrupt and challenged so many of that Court majority’s supposedly basic beliefs that the profoundly cynical written opinion specifically quarantined it from being used as precedent in future decisions. It was blatantly depraved partisan politics.

That the new Chief Justice and the other new Justice who were brought to the Court as a direct consequence of that infamous decision would join with the remaining members who made that decision to render a series of further decisions that are also corrupt and blatantly political should not come as a surprise. These justices operate with a wink and a nod. They do not look at the evidence and arguments before making conclusions, they start with conclusions, and then cherry-pick or concoct whatever evidence and arguments can be used to support them. Sort of. Because these justices don’t care that their political machinations are so transparent and so dishonest. They don’t have to. They don’t even respect their own institution enough to care that because of them what was always the most respected branch of the federal government now is held in almost as much contempt as the other branches.

This Supreme Court majority is at war with women, with minorities, with workers, and with anyone who isn’t a member of the white, male, theocratic social and economic elite. With demographic shifts rapidly transforming the electorate, it is only a matter of time before this Court majority’s already minority constituency is relegated to the political fringe. This Court majority is the last bastion of that political fringe, and its decisions certainly eventually will be overturned. History will remember these justices as it remembers the justices that ruled in Dred Scott. Disgust. Disdain. Outrage. Infamy.

For now, real people will continue to suffer from the blatantly dishonest politicization of this Supreme Court majority. For now, the very functioning of democracy and republic will be undermined and put at risk by the blatantly dishonest politicization of this Supreme Court majority. The older members of this Court majority know very well how they brought the rest of this Court majority to the Court. The newer members of this Court majority know very well how they came to be members of the Court. The corruption of this Court majority started with the corrupt decision that created it.

They know it. They know that many others know it. They don’t care. They don’t have to…..

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The Supreme’s majority seem to have the Right’s back these days, eh?

Democrats and the President maybe getting a bit LESS than a  half a loaf in recent rules from the US Supreme Court……

Some might disagree …

But it sure SEMS like it…..

Conservatives increasingly see the Supreme Court as a last line of defense against the Obama administration’s agenda.

Despite the court’s 5-4 vote to uphold the president’s healthcare law, the justices have more frequently pushed back at what conservatives see as overreach by the White House.

A view that the High Court is having more success than the GOP House as a check on President Obama has been developing for some time, but became all the more prevalent after its decisions in the recent Hobby Lobby and Noel Canning cases.

“What we are experiencing is a high court reining in an arrogant president who continues to exercise his unconstitutional overreach in a number of areas,” said Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of the conservative American Center for Law And Justice.

Sekulow added that “the Hobby Lobby’s victory for religious liberty is the latest in a series of stinging rebukes by the high court against the Obama administration. By some counts, President Obama has been on the losing end of some 20 Supreme Court cases during his time in office, outpacing former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.”

Claims that the Supreme Court has ruled against Obama a disproportionate number of times are, in fact, hotly disputed.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, recently asserted that the Noel Canning decision was “the 13th time the Supreme Court has voted 9-0 that the president has exceeded his constitutional authority.”

Defenders of the administration, and some non-aligned legal experts, insist that argument is exaggerated. Eight of those cases, they noted, revolved around policies that had begun during the tenure of Obama’s predecessor, President George W. Bush….

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Democrats will sing about the Supreme’s to rally the base and make money…

Yesterdays decisions against Unionization and Contraception, though actually narrow , are being used to rally Democrats around the country to action and fundraising….

Democrats are putting the Supreme Court in their cross hairs, using its decision against ObamaCare’s contraception mandate to rally their base ahead of the midterm elections.

Within hours of the high court’s decision that closely held companies cannot be compelled to offer contraception coverage as part of their employee health plans, Democrats were trying to raise cash and rally voters to their side.

Strategists said the issue of women’s reproductive health could play well in elections across the country, helping the party in contests that could largely be won and lost on turnout.
“It could play in almost all of the key Senate races,” Democratic pollster Celinda Lake told the Hill.

Democrats particularly think it will help them bring out young unmarried women and minority voters who normally sit out midterm elections as they try to hold onto the Senate and cut into the GOP’s House advantage.

“It’ll be useful in terms of get-out-the-vote for unmarried women under 55 and also for younger women and women of color who have plummeting turnout rates in midterms,” Lake said.

Republicans also sought to use the ruling to rally their base, labeling it a major win for religious freedom and a triumph over President Obama.

“This reignites the base. It chips away at ObamaCare, and if there exists the idea with Republicans that ObamaCare can be repealed that will ignite the base, get them excited again,” said GOP pollster Chris Wilson, who has polled on the issue for the conservative Family Research Council.

Democrats jumped on the ruling, pointing out that most women have used birth control in their lives and framing the decision as allowing employers to determine female employees’ health choices.

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Supreme’s will rule on union due’s issue for non-union employee’s next week…

Should non-union members at an organization that get union negotiated raises and benefits  be forced to pay the union a fee equal to union dues,  is the question before the court…

Courts for years have recognized the rights of unions to ask non-members to pay dues for union negotiating costs, but a group of home healthcare workers in Harris vs. Quinn are challenging dues they pay to a branch of the Service Employees International Union as a violation of free speech.

The case is pitting business groups and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation against labor giants like the SEIU, which worry the court could rule broadly to prevent all non-members of public sector unions from being compelled to pay dues.
Such a decision from the court, which is expected to rule on Monday, could deliver a “kill shot” to organized labor at a time when it is already struggling with a declining membership.

Still, some labor supporters say they’re anticipating a loss.

“I expect the worst,” said Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the progressive Economic Policy Institute.

The case was brought by Pamela Harris, who receives money from the state of Illinois to take care of her son.

Workers like Harris were once seen as independent contractors, but Illinois’s legislature in 2003 passed a law deeming them public employees. This forced people like Harris to have fees from their Medicare checks withheld as payment to the SEIU, which had the responsibility of representing all workers who were subject to the 2003 law.

Harris and others are arguing this represents a violation of their free speech. They say the state law compelled them to be represented by a union and to pay fees.

“That’s a huge injustice to force people to pay dues to a union that they want nothing to do with,” said Patrick Semmens, spokesman for the National Right to Work (NRTW) Legal Defense Fund.

A ruling that just affects the Illinois home workers might have a modest impact on labor law, but a broader ruling that prevents public sector unions from collecting dues from non-members could take millions of dollars out of their coffers.

“We’re concerned, but it’s certainly not going to stop workers from coming together with their unions and fighting to improve their jobs and the quality of public services,” said Judy Scott, general counsel at SEIU, which is a defendant in the case.

Eisenbrey argues the case is part of an effort by big business to further weaken union

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Supreme’s rule Police must get warrant to search arrested’s phone…

Law Enforcement must get a warrant when during an arrest they seek to access the information in a suspects cellphone….

The ruling reflects that fact that these days cellphones are really computers with a phone , camera and access to vast amounts of ones private information….

The Supreme Court struck a major blow in favor of digital privacy Wednesday by ruled that police generally need a warrant before searching the cell phone or personal electronic device of a person arrested.

Writing for a nearly unanimous court Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts said searches of digital devices for information are not comparable to searches law enforcement officers often conduct for contraband after making an arrest.

He acknowledged that the court’s decision would make it harder for police to fight crime, but said that did not justify excusing them from getting a warrant before conducting searches of cellphones and smartphones.

“We cannot deny that our decision today will have an impact on the ability of law enforcement to combat crime,” Roberts wrote for the court. “Cell phones have become important tools … among members of criminal enterprises and can provide valuable incriminating information about dangerous criminals. Privacy comes at a cost.”

All the justices except for Justice Samuel Alito joined Roberts’s majority opinion. Alito agreed with the court’s basic holding but said he’d give legislatures more leeway to set rules limiting the warrant requirement in certain circumstances.

The ruling in a pair of related cases is the latest effort of the highest court to grapple with the way advancing technology has outgrown the legal framework developed decades ago about what law enforcement is allowed to look at when arresting an individual.

The ruling gives guidance to law enforcement across the country, where federal and state courts have split on the question of whether a warrant is needed to look through a suspect’s cellphone at arrest, and how far they can go.

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Supreme’s rule Against Aereo in copyright case….

…from Politico…

Aereo is infringing on broadcasters’ copyright when it picks up over-the-air TV signals and streams them over the Internet to its subscribers, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a 6-3 decision.
Broadcasters had been fighting Aereo in numerous court battles for two years, until both parties urged the Supreme Court to take the case.

The ruling puts the future of Aereo in limbo. Even before the court heard oral arguments, Aereo’s financial backer, former broadcast executive Barry Diller, said a loss would mean the upstart is finished.

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Teacher Union’s ?

A Federal Appeals Court has throw out their tenure cause in California….

I don’t think its gonna stick….

But it has gotten people’s attention…..

As the two big national teachers unions prepare for their conventions this summer, they are struggling to navigate one of the most tumultuous moments in their history.

Long among the most powerful forces in American politics, the unions are contending with falling revenue and declining membership, damaging court cases, the defection of once-loyal Democratic allies — and a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign portraying them as greedy and selfish.

They took a big hit Tuesday when a California judge struck down five laws they had championed to protect teachers’ jobs. The Supreme Court could deliver more bad news as early as next week, in a case that could knock a huge hole in union budgets. On top of all that, several well-funded advocacy groups out to curb union influence are launching new efforts to mobilize parents to the cause.

Responding to all these challenges has proved difficult, analysts say, because both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers are divided internally. There’s a faction urging conciliation and compromise. Another faction pushes confrontation. There’s even a militant splinter group, the Badass Teachers Association.

Leaders of both the NEA and AFT have sought to rally the public to their side by talking up their vision for improving public education: More arts classes and fewer standardized tests, more equitable funding and fewer school closures. Those are popular stances. But union leaders can’t spend all their time promoting them: They must also represent their members. And that’s meant publicly defending laws that strike even many liberals as wrong-headed, such as requiring districts to lay off their most junior teachers first, regardless of how effective they are in the classroom.
The result: an unprecedented erosion of both political and public support for unions. And no clear path for labor leaders to win it back.

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Note….

In 2008 Barack Obama won big with Union support….

In the six years since ?

The Republicans and Right have taken concerted actions to weaken union’s across the nation thru actions and media efforts….

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Holder talks about racism in American Education at College address….

Sixty years after desegregating the nation’s public schools, Attorney General Eric Holder said the country is far from completely eradicating racism and that subtle bigotry stings the most.

Delivering the commencement address at Morgan State University, an historically black college in Baltimore, Holder said, “Our country is stronger when all Americans are treated equally. Yet we know that boys and young men of color have historically and consistently faced some of the most severe challenges to success.”

Instead of overt discrimination that prevented black and white children from learning together, current zero-tolerance policies and disparities in the legal system can end up harming African-Americans, Native Americans and other minorities more than others, he said in frank commencement remarks.
Overt discrimination is banned, he said, and the public may overwhelmingly disparage controversial comments made by people like Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.

But the “greatest threats do not announce themselves in screaming headlines,” said Holder, the country’s first African-American attorney general.

“They are more subtle,” he added. “They cut deeper. And their terrible impact endures long after the headlines have faded and obvious, ignorant expressions of hatred have been marginalized.”

Holder listed school safety policies that end up holding back minority students, harsh sentences disproportionately handed down to non-white criminals and voter identification laws as policies that perpetuate inequality in the U.S.

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The Attorney General joins the Administration in speaking up about racism with less than 3 years to go on Holder’s boss, President Obama’s second term in office….

Barack H. Obama, being the first American mixed race President has waited until the end of his run to bring something that many foolishly thought was gone after Obama’s election to office…

Racism is America, is NOT gone….

During Bush’s presidency, the Justice Department encouraged school districts to seek unitary status, said Dennis Parker, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Racial Justice Program. “They were literally writing letters to school districts inviting them to apply,” he said.

In the first year of the Obama administration — the only year with equivalent data — 10 districts were declared unitary, compared with an average 22 per year during the Bush administration. Unitary status means a judge says the district did away with a dual system of education and is free from most federal oversight.

By the time President Barack Obama got to office, there were far fewer resources for enforcing the remaining court orders, said Shaw, who worked on the transition team for the Department of Justice at the time.

Today, the Justice Department counts at least 43 school desegregation interventions during Obama’s first term.

“DOJ has recently used some of these existing desegregation orders to go after what you might call second- or third-generation racial segregation,” said Jim Eichner, managing director of the civil rights group the Advancement Project and a former attorney at the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights…..

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The Supreme’s back EPA Cross-State Air Pollution Rule…

…from Politico….

The Supreme Court has upheld an Obama administration rule aimed at preventing some states from polluting their downwind neighbors from sources like coal-burning power plants.
The 6-2 decision upholding EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule marks yet another legal win for the administration’s environmental agenda. Opponents included states such as Texas, Virginia and Ohio.

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Is a replacement Voting Rights Bill Coming?…Yup….

When I see this bill go someplace I’ll believe it….

WTF would Republicans sign on to this unless the bill is so watered down that it’s useless?

A revision of the Voting Rights Act that was partially struck down by the Supreme Court last year will be unveiled in Congress today, aides confirmed.

A bipartisan group — including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) — began working on a new way to approach the law, which previously required that certain states with a history of voting discrimination receive clearance from the Justice Department or federal courts before changing their election laws. The Supreme Court ruled that the selection of states that must comply with the law could not be based on decades-old factors.

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Update…..

A bipartisan group of lawmakers took the first step Thursday to patch a gaping hole in the 1965 Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court eviscerated a key part of the law that allowed for federal oversight of states with a history of ballot box discrimination.

The bill, known as the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014, has been sponsored in the House by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., and in the Senate by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Chris Coons, D-Del. Their proposal includes several important provisions:

  • a trigger to bring states under federal pre-approval for election changes if those states have five or more voting rights violations over the past 15 years.
  • a way to allow courts to require federal oversight for states even if the Justice Department or private litigants can’t demonstrate intentional discrimination at the ballot box.
  • a requirement for states to provide broad public notice of voting changes such as redistricting and moving of polling places so the public gets early warning of potential problems.
  • a statement that makes clear states can continue to pass photo ID laws that are “reasonable.”

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