The only thing sure in life is death and taxes. The difference is that “We the People” can avoid taxes by making sure our Republic is sound and avoid the errors that the founding fathers and de Tocqueville (and I) warned us about.
Unfortunately, our Nation has decided – whether by default or not – that a group of nine appointed Justices are not only the “highest court in the land,” they are the highest LAW in the land. And so, we find ourselves at the mercy of the whims – and sometimes the least consistent – of these justices
I’ve been scanning the transcript from the Tuesday, March 27, 2012 debate before the Supreme Court, which is available at the SCOTUS website.
A question by Justice Alito :
“All right, suppose that you and I walked around downtown Washington at lunch hour and we found a couple of healthy young people and we stopped them and we said, “You know what you’re doing? You are financing your burial services right now because eventually you’re going to die, and somebody is going to have to pay for it, and if you don’t have burial insurance and you haven’t saved money for it, you’re going to shift the cost to somebody else.”
“Isn’t that a very artificial way of talking about what somebody is doing?”
“But the reason this is concerning, is because it requires the individual to do an affirmative act. In the law of torts our tradition, our law, has been that you don’t have the duty to rescue someone if that person is in danger. The blind man is walking in front of a car and you do not have a duty to stop him absent some relation between you. And there is some severe moral criticisms of that rule, but that’s generally the rule.
“And here the government is saying that the Federal Government has a duty to tell the individual citizen that it must act, and that is different from what we have in previous cases and that changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in the very fundamental way.”
Hear and read the passage, at Real Clear Politics.
Erickson points out that the media are changing the meme of the debate from whether the law is Constitutional to a rant that the Conservatives on the Court are bullying the rest. The Houston Chronicle joins the chorus and proves Erick’s point.
To think that I almost posted this without adding the Category “Media Abuse.”
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has ruled (by refusing to take the case) on at least one important election law dispute and will hear arguments on Texas redistricting, whether the EPA can use the Clean Water Act to control all water and even shut down construction of homes on private property and (as explained by the Wall Street Journal), “broadcasters be able to air whatever the &#%@ they want?”
There are complaints that the first case, Bluman v. Federal Election Commission, which will in effect uphold a ban on political contributions by non-citizens of the United States is inconsistent in light of Citizens United ruling of a couple of years ago that allowed corporations, including non-profits like the pro-life Citizens United to accept donations and make political statements. I’m concerned about the problems related to reporting contributions to the corporations or non-profits, but agree with the basic premise that there should not be any limits to political speech by US citizens, other than those in the Constitution (and the Declaration of Independence, on which it’s based). I believe that it’s logical to discriminate between US-based corporations and foreign citizens or corporations.
As to the Texas Redistricting case, I hope someone reminds SCOTUS that some of our Republican Legislators are Hispanic!