JanF

SCOTUS Watch – Monday, June 15th – UPDATED

June is SCOTUS Decision month, when legal geeks look to the Supreme Court for rulings on the cases argued this session before the court adjourns on June 30th for the summer. The calendar calls for orders and decisions to be released every Monday at 10:00am but history has shown that additional “decision days” are often added as the month unfolds.

This week, the decision days will be Monday and Thursday.

As always, the Moose News Network will cover the SCOTUS events with the help of SCOTUSblog and Twitter.

 
All eyes turn to the court

UPDATE: Decisions on three cases: Kerry v Din, Baker Botts v ASARCO, and Maya v Lynch

Back on Thursday! There are 17 cases left to rule on this term.

The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for orders and opinions starting at 10:00am Eastern. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link starting at 9:30am Eastern. The Thursday liveblog will begin at 9:30am Eastern with opinions at 10:00am.

Included in the list of cases heard in the current term but not yet decided are these:
– The marriage equality cases, listed under Obergefell v. Hodges (6th Circuit ruled in favor of the state bans)
– The Affordable Care Act state exchange case, King v Burwell (4th Circuit ruled in favor of Burwell)
– The “can citizens redistrict?” case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the district court upheld the redistricting, legislature appealed directly to Supreme Court)
– A death penalty case related to the drugs used, Glossip v Gross (Oklahoma wants to change its drug protocol, 10th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and for the state)
– Some other First Amendment cases:
– The Confederate license plate case, Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans (5th Circuit ruled against state, state appealed)
– A signage case Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona (9th Circuit ruled that the restrictions were reasonable, Reed appealed)
– An assault on the Fair Housing Act, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (The 5th Circuit ruled against the state agency’s application of the Fair Housing Act)
– Three suits against the EPA over its regulation of utilities and “failure” to consider costs, listed as Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (The states are appealing a ruling upholding EPA rule making procedures)
– A 4th Amendment case involving hotel guest registries, The City of Los Angeles vs. Patel (city is appealing 9th Circuit ruling that the registries do not need to be turned over)

A full list of pending cases (with links) is below the fold.

Democratic Party Principles: From Four Freedoms Park

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held the first major event of her 2016 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on Roosevelt Island at Four Freedoms Park. 

It is wonderful to be here with all of you.[…]

To be here in this beautiful park dedicated to Franklin Roosevelt’s enduring vision of America, the nation we want to be.

And in a place… with absolutely no ceilings. (Cheers, applause.)

You know, President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms are a testament to our nation’s unmatched aspirations and a reminder of our unfinished work at home and abroad. His legacy lifted up a nation and inspired presidents who followed.

Transcript via Vox: Hillary Clinton’s official campaign launch speech

The Four Freedoms speech in January 1941 warned the world that America was watching the rise of dictators and would stand with our allies when necessary. But President Roosevelt also reminded people about the foundations of a strong democracy, Democratic Party principles, goals that are still unmet 74 years later:

FDR: [There] is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:

– Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.
– Jobs for those who can work.
– Security for those who need it.
– The ending of special privilege for the few.
– The preservation of civil liberties for all.
– The enjoyment . . . the enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.

These are the simple, the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. The inner and abiding strength of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations.

Weekly Address: President Obama – Stand Up for American Workers and Pass TAA

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, the President reiterated that his top priority is to grow the American economy and ensure that every hardworking American has a fair shot at success. It’s because of this commitment that the President has worked to enact smart new trade agreements that level the playing field for our workers, open new markets for our businesses, and hold other countries to the kinds of high standards that Americans are proud to hold ourselves to here at home. On Friday, Republicans and Democrats in the House took an important step by voting to help the United States negotiate and enforce high-standard trade deals. But they also failed to renew Trade Adjustment Assistance, despite the fact that it provides vital support to about 100,000 workers, and passed the Senate with bipartisan support. The President urged the House to pass TAA without delay so that more middle-class workers can earn the chance to participate and succeed in our global economy.

Graphic Evidence

From the anals annals of right-wing world, comes this new thing: Obamacare Truthers

In an interview with the Trussville Tribune earlier this week, freshman Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) declared that, on net, no additional people have gained insurance since the passage of Obamacare. “I’m not sure that’s true that more people are covered,” Palmer declared after the host noted that more people have health care today than in 2010. “There’s just about as many people uninsured now as there were before the Affordable Care Act.”

Of course, when your political philosophy, teapartyism, requires ignoring pesky things like facts even a pictoral representation of the numbers can’t penetrate your ideological fog.

Lies from Gallup?

That ThinkProgress article included a link to this wonderfully titled piece by Jonathan Chait, also discussing that graph: “Uninsured Rate Falls Again for Random Reason Totally Unrelated to Obamacare”

Not long ago, the hypothesis that Obamacare would substantially reduce the uninsured rate was a point of fierce ideological disagreement. The National Center for Policy Analysis, a major conservative health-care think tank, predicted in 2013, “the massive law that was enacted to solve the problem of the uninsured in America is more likely to worsen it.” “At the end of the day, for all of the rhetoric and promises about what Obamacare would achieve, the health law’s most ardent supporters have stuck to their guns because of one thing: coverage expansion,” wrote Avik Roy, a leading Republican health-care adviser, in 2014. “But new data suggests that Obamacare may fail even to achieve this goal.” Obamacare would result in “essentially the same number of uninsured,” insisted Charles Krauthammer in February 2014.

Chait suggests that “it is starting to look possible that this trend is not some random fluke that has happened six straight quarters but is somehow related to the enactment of Obamacare.”

p.s. Rep. Palmer also contends that temperatures are not rising but are actually falling!

Lies from NOAA?

President Obama Speaks on Health Care in America

The President spoke about health care in America on Tuesday, June 9, 2015.

(Transcript: Remarks by the President at the Catholic Hospital Association Conference)

From President Obama:

On a day in early September of 2009, I received the following letter from Senator Edward Kennedy. He’d written in May of that year, shortly after he learned that his illness was terminal. He asked that it be delivered to me upon his death.

It is a letter about the cause of his career — what he called “that great unfinished business of our society” — health care reform.

“What we face,” he writes, “is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.”

Senator Kennedy never stopped asking what he could do for his country. Today, tens of millions of Americans are better for it.

And while Teddy didn’t live to see his life’s work signed into law, more than five years after its passage, the spirit of his words ring true. This is, fundamentally, about the character of our country. Doing right by one another.

It’s who we are.

Tomorrow, I will deliver remarks about health care in America. Get a history of where we’ve been, and let me know you’ll be watching.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

From the White House: Health Care in America

News about the latest attacks on the president’s health care initiatives are below …

SCOTUS Watch – Monday, June 8th – Updated

June is SCOTUS Decision month, when legal geeks look to the Supreme Court for rulings on the cases argued this session before the court adjourns on June 30th for the summer. The calendar calls for orders and decisions to be released every Monday at 10:00am but history has shown that additional “decision days” are often added as the month unfolds.

As always, the Moose News Network will cover the SCOTUS events with the help of SCOTUSblog and Twitter.


All eyes turn to the court

UPDATE: Court rules on only one case today suggesting that they will need to add decision days to get through the remaining cases before June 30. Today’s case:
Zivotofsky v. Kerry Issue(s): Whether a federal statute that directs the Secretary of State, on request, to record the birthplace of an American citizen born in Jerusalem as born in “Israel” on a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and on a United States passport is unconstitutional on the ground that the statute “impermissibly infringes on the President’s exercise of the recognition power reposing exclusively in him.

DC Circuit ruling upheld in a 6 to 3 decision, Kennedy writing: the president has the exclusive power to recognize … statute is not permissable.

The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for orders and opinions starting at 10:00am Eastern. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link starting at 9:30am Eastern.

Included in the list of cases heard in the current term but not yet decided are these:
– The marriage equality cases, listed under Obergefell v. Hodges (6th Circuit ruled in favor of the state bans)
– The Affordable Care Act state exchange case, King v Burwell (4th Circuit ruled in favor of Burwell)
– The “can citizens redistrict?” case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the district court upheld the redistricting, legislature appealed directly to Supreme Court)
– A death penalty case related to the drugs used, Glossip v Gross (Oklahoma wants to change its drug protocol, 10th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and for the state)
– Some other First Amendment cases:
    – The Confederate license plate case, Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans (5th Circuit ruled against state, state appealed)
    – A signage case Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona (9th Circuit ruled that the restrictions were reasonable, Reed appealed)
– An assault on the Fair Housing Act, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (The 5th Circuit ruled against the state agency’s application of the Fair Housing Act)
– Three suits against the EPA over its regulation of utilities and “failure” to consider costs, listed as Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (The states are appealing a ruling upholding EPA rule making procedures)
– A 4th Amendment case involving hotel guest registries, The City of Los Angeles vs. Patel (city is appealing 9th Circuit ruling)

A full list of pending cases (with links) is below the fold.

#Griswold50

Planned Parenthood @PPact: #Birthcontrol became legal 50 years ago today. See that and more in our 100-year birth control timeline! #Griswold50

Planned Parenthood: Our 5 favorite things about birth control

Abortion should be safe and rare.

The best way to make abortion rare is by providing birth control to everyone who wants it.

The best way to keep it safe is to leave health care decisions to medical providers … and out of the hands of legislators.

Primary 2016: Horse race polls, June 7, 2015

The nominating conventions, when the Democratic and Republican parties will pick their general election candidates, are more than 15 months away. This far out, polls are generally not worth wasting pixels on. But NPR readers had a good question for their Ombudsman: “Why are the single digit also-rans in the Republican Party being treated with more respect than Sen. Bernie Sanders who is pulling in 15% in the Democratic Party primary polls?”

Here is a recent Q-Poll (May 28th):

If the Democratic primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were Joe Biden, Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, and Jim Webb, for whom would you vote?

Clinton 57%, Sanders 15%, Biden 9%, Chafee 1%, O’Malley 1%, Webb 1%, Someone Else 1%, Wouldn’t Vote 2%, Don’t Know 14%

If the Republican primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker, for whom would you vote?

Bush 10%, Carson 10, Huckabee 10, Rubio 10, Walker 10, Paul 7, Cruz 6, Trump 5, Christie 4, Fiorina 2, Kasich 2, Graham 1, Jindal 1, Perry 1, Pataki -, Santorum -, Someone Else -, Wouldn’t Vote 1, Don’t Know 20

The bigger question is whether any of these candidates can win a primary. Paul? I doubt it. Cruz? No way. Christie or Trump? HAHAHAHAHA!

Here is what NPR said, by the way:

Michael Oreskes, NPR’s editorial director and senior vice president for news, in a letter to the Columbia Journalism Review editors that he shared with me, wrote, “we do not use polling to allocate coverage,” adding: “Even mildly experienced political journalists and their editors understand that polls at this stage capture little more than name recognition.”

The bigger challenge, he wrote, “is what I’d call the paradigm problem,” that is, when “We get a certain paradigm in our heads. A conventional wisdom. Someone is a front runner, someone else a long shot. We develop this paradigm from a witches’ brew of polling, money, instinct and the ineffable judgments of the chattering classes of political ‘experts.’ ” The only antidote, he added, “is reporting.”

… going forward, as the campaign coverage gears up, I do hope that NPR will back off on what seems to me to be the overuse of dismissive terms, such as “long-shot,” to describe Sanders, or any of the multitude of presidential candidates, whatever their party affiliation.

As Oreskes wrote elsewhere in his letter: “Political journalists should not try to pick winners and losers. That’s the job of voters. Predicting the outcome of elections isn’t really very interesting and we aren’t any good at it anyway.

Exactly! Leave that up to Karl Rove and his “special math” …

Pssst, Karl!!!

President Obama: “The world noticed”

On Saturday, June 6, President Obama delivered a eulogy in honor of Beau Biden, the son of his friend and vice-president, Joe Biden.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

Without love, life can be cold and it can be cruel. Sometimes cruelty is deliberate –- the action of bullies or bigots, or the inaction of those indifferent to another’s pain. But often, cruelty is simply born of life, a matter of fate or God’s will, beyond our mortal powers to comprehend. To suffer such faceless, seemingly random cruelty can harden the softest hearts, or shrink the sturdiest. It can make one mean, or bitter, or full of self-pity. Or, to paraphrase an old proverb, it can make you beg for a lighter burden.

But if you’re strong enough, it can also make you ask God for broader shoulders; shoulders broad enough to bear not only your own burdens, but the burdens of others; shoulders broad enough to shield those who need shelter the most.

To know Beau Biden is to know which choice he made in his life. To know Joe and the rest of the Biden family is to understand why Beau lived the life he did.

Like his father, Beau did not have a mean bone in his body. The cruelty he’d endured in his life didn’t make him hard, it made him compassionate, empathetic. But it did make him abhor bullies.

Beau’s grandfather, Joe’s father, believed that the most egregious sin was to abuse your power to inflict pain on another. So Beau squared his broad shoulders to protect people from that kind of abuse. He fought for homeowners who were cheated, seniors who were scammed. He even went after bullying itself. He set up a Child Protector — Predator Task Force, convicted more than 200 of those who targeted vulnerable children.

You know, anyone can make a name for themselves in this reality TV age, especially in today’s politics. If you’re loud enough or controversial enough, you can get some attention. But to make that name mean something, to have it associated with dignity and integrity –- that is rare. There’s no shortcut to get it. It’s not something you can buy. […]

That’s what our country was built on –- men like Beau. That’s who built it –- families like this. We don’t have kings or queens or lords. We don’t have to be born into money to have an impact. We don’t have to step on one another to be successful. We have this remarkable privilege of being able to earn what we get out of life, with the knowledge that we are no higher than anybody else, or lower than anybody else. We know this not just because it is in our founding documents, but because families like the Bidens have made it so, because people like Beau have made it so.

As hard as it is right now, through all the heartache and through all the tears, it is our obligation to Beau to think not about what was and what might have been, but instead to think about what is, because of him. Think about the day that dawns for children who are safer because of Beau, whose lives are fuller, because of him. Think about the day that dawns for parents who rest easier, and families who are freer, because of him. Some folks may never know that their lives are better because of Beau Biden. But that’s okay. Certainly for Beau, acclaim was never the point of public service.

Jill, Joe, Hallie, Hunter and Natalie — the world noticed. They noticed. They felt it, his presence. And Beau lives on in the lives of others. And isn’t that the whole point of our time here? To make this country we love fairer and more just, not just for Natalie and Hunter, or Naomi, or Finnegan, or Maisy, or Malia, or Sasha, but for every child? Isn’t that what this amazing journey we’ve been on is all about -– to make life better for the next generation?

Full transcript below.