Interesting Items 7/02 -
Howdy all, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy -
In this issue:
1. ObamaCare. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court found the individual mandate in ObamaCare, the heart of the legislation, unconstitutional under the commerce clause as a penalty. Unfortunately, Chief Justice Roberts decided that it was constitutional if you call it a tax - which nobody in the entire process called it other than the Chief Justice. By a 7-2 majority, it also found the Medicare expansion was unenforceable, and that the states could opt out without putting all federal Medicare dollars into individual states at risk. Leaks from inside the SCOTUS indicated that Roberts originally voted to toss out the entire act as unconstitutional. Sometime during the process, he changed his vote and found a way to uphold it (finding the individual mandate as a tax) and wrote what was described as a convoluted and lame defense of it. Conservatives are all over the place about Roberts’ straying from conservative principles with his opinion. A large number are simply aghast at what he did, and are blasting away at him with impunity. These include Limbaugh, Levin, Sowell and Jack Wheeler. Another large contingent are busily shoveling their way through the pile of manure that is the majority opinion (which Roberts also wrote), trying to find the pony. This includes what I would call a majority of blogging conservative lawyers including Randy Barnett, Patterico and the PowerLine bloggers. A bunch of us are scratching our heads trying figure out what happened and why. There are those that believe that the Chicago mob got through to Roberts and â€œchanged his mindâ€ on ObamaCare. Some believe that he caved in to public pressure from the media and the Obama administration. Either of these would be very, very bad, as it would indicate that Chief Justice Roberts is no longer a reliable strict constructionist. There is also a third possibility that this is what Roberts really believes. Regardless, our path is clear. It is up to We the People to elect people this November to overturn this monstrosity. And now that the SCOTUS majority - all the liberals plus Roberts - has just voted to call it a tax, repeal can take place via budget reconciliation which takes only 51 votes in the Senate and cannot be filibustered. It is a crushing loss for individual liberty that this is not overturned, as it means that the SCOTUS cannot be trusted to protect our liberty and individual rights. On the other hand, the Medicare expansion opinion can be a very useful tool for the states to protect their sovereignty against future acts of congress and the overreaching federal bureaucracy. Over the last several decades, congress has levied unfunded mandate after unfunded mandate on the states. The Medicare expansion is simply the latest example. The carrot is a little more money to the states. The stick is another dumptruck load of federal rules and regulations along with the money. And if the states refuse to agree to take the money for the unfunded mandate, congress shuts off all money for that program. The stick congress intended to use for the Medicare expansion was a threat to cut off all Medicare money to the states should they refuse to accept the expansion. Past examples are threats to withhold all federal highway dollars should the states refuse to pass seat belt or helmet laws. Under this opinion, joined by the liberals, congress and the administration can no longer do this. This opinion will drive this election, as every single one of 23 democrat and independent US Senators up for reelection voted for this. Pick up four new seats, and elect Mitt Romney president while holding on to the House of Representatives, and it all goes away. Roberts tossed the entire mess back to the voters to solve, and solve it we will.
2. Contempt. On Thursday, the House also voted to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of congress for covering up and withholding documents on the Fast and Furious gun running scheme. The vote was 255 - 67, with 17 democrats voting for the contempt resolution. The Congressional Black Caucus let a walkout during the vote, which explains the small number voting in opposition. There were two votes, one for civil and the other for criminal contempt. Criminal contempt is handled by the (In)Justice Department (DOJ) itself, with the Federal Prosecutor for the District of Columbia doing the honors. DOJ immediately sent a letter to the House stating they would not be pursuing an investigation and prosecution. This leaves civil contempt which the House itself can pursue in court. Apparently the House also has the ability to arrest and jail Holder if they wish. While I don’t expect that to happen, impeachment is certainly in Holder’s future. Darrell Issa (R, CA) read secret wiretap applications into the congressional record on the floor of the House Friday. These smoking guns demonstrate that Holder’s (In)Justice Department knew they had lost track of firearms purchased and allowed to enter Mexico in 2010. They also demonstrate that Holder has been lying because the wiretaps are approved by Holder’s office. This is information that Holder’s department has been slow-rolling from congress for a couple of years in an attempt to keep the fecal matter from hitting the fan until after the election in November. Issa’s action in reading this into the congressional record protects him from prosecution for leaking classified. As of this writing, Holder and his department are in deep serious trouble and they are reacting poorly by shooting messengers and whistleblowers that are providing information to congress.
3. EPA. A federal district court in the District of Columbia ruled last week that the EPA was â€œunambiguously correctâ€ ruling that vehicle and industrial emissions of carbon dioxide were a threat to public health. This ruling bought the entirety of the EPA’s bogus finding that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and must be regulated for public safety. The court rejected challenges to the EPA from states, industrial groups, electrical generation utilities and auto manufacturers. It was a great win for the taxpayer funded frauds infesting Lisa Jackson’s EPA. The courts have become part of the problem, giving entirely too much latitude to the regulatory state. The EPA’s carbon dioxide finding was based entirely on the fraudulent UN IPCC process, which has been demonstrated to be created out of thin air via e-mails and computer code released out of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit. And as such, must be repealed. Once again, it appears that it will be up to congress to do the deed - yet one more reason for all of us to get off the dime and get to work for the November election. We have 120 days. Time to get to work.
4. Arizona. The SCOTUS earlier in the week gave the state of Arizona a pyrrhic victory in their fight over immigration with the Obama administration. The court found that Arizona could continue stopping people and checking on their immigration status. They invalidated three of the ten remaining sections of the law which will not allow Arizona to enforce federal law if the WH refuses to do so. The State of Arizona was pretty pleased that the heart of the legislation was upheld, and will take steps to correct the portions that the court found unconstitutional. In response, the Obama administration within hours of the opinion being released ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to stop all cooperation with Arizona, specifically ordering DHS to stop answering phone calls about whether someone stopped was legal or not. This directive, this diktat from the Obama WH is punishment to Arizona for having the temerity to challenge them in court and win. In essence, the Obama WH opened the southern border for all comers and they set up a civil rights hotline in the (In)Justice Department to handle calls for illegals who believe their civil rights are being violated when stopped. Arizona is considering their options. And they do have options. One would be to declare martial law along the border and call up the Arizona National Guard to patrol it. If done, they should be armed with live ammunition and allowed to pursue into Mexico if necessary. Another would be for Arizona to get together with New Mexico and Texas and draw up a State Compact between the three states to handle the problem of illegal open borders. They then submit it to congress for approval. Note that I do not include California as the democrat and union led state would not agree that they have a problem. If DHS is no longer interested in controlling illegal immigration, why do we continue to fund them? Note that the Obama WH action has touched off a mini-revolt within Immigration and Naturalization Service officers who are really interested in doing their assigned mission. This one is not yet over either.
More later -