Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Tag: Supreme Court

Justice Nominations and Senator Ron Johnson

United States Constitution Article II Section 2 Paragraph 2

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on February 13, 2016. Just over a month later, as is his right and duty granted by the United States Constitution, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland. And, our United State Senate voted on the nomination and confirmed Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court. Oh, wait, the United States Senate has NOT confirmed Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court. It is now the end of August and still, no vote.

Haven’t the American people waited long enough for a replacement for Justice Scalia?

We should be outraged that our duly elected officials are NOT doing their jobs. Unfortunately, our Founding Fathers didn’t anticipate this and put something in the Constitution to say what to do when the Senate refuses to do its job and vote on the President’s nominee. There is a clause about what happens if the Senate is in recess, the President can make the appointment.  But, not one word about the Senate not cooperating.  Not. One. Word.

“It’s just too highly politicized of an atmosphere. It’s not fair to the nominee, it’s not fair to the court. Don’t nominate anybody. That was our advice. President Obama didn’t follow it.” – Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)

I’ll bet our Founding Fathers never thought, never even considered that we might have elected officials so obstinate that they wouldn’t vote on the President’s Supreme Court nominee.  I don’t have a problem with them not confirming – it happens.  I don’t have a problem with them holding hearings, we’ve been doing that my whole life and probably longer.  I do take serious issue with our Senate not doing their jobs.

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) says he approves of this.  He tells his constituents that we don’t nominate and appoint Supreme Court Justices in election years.  Johnson said “It’s just too highly politicized of an atmosphere. It’s not fair to the nominee, it’s not fair to the court. Don’t nominate anybody. That was our advice. President Obama didn’t follow it.”1  (I should mention that in 1992, Joe Biden had the same idea. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now.)

This isn’t Senator Johnson’s only refusal to nominate a judge to a Federal Court. The US 7th District Court is still down a couple of judges and we have Ron Johnson to thank for it. He blocked the nomination of Victoria Nourse, who was nominated in 2010, before Johnson was even Senator. He said it wasn’t fair because he hadn’t been consulted. HE. WASN’T. THE. SENATOR.

Ron Johnson is up for reelection. We cannot in good conscience send this man back to Washington for another six years. These are not the only reasons not to reelect Johnson, they’re just my reasons today. I’ll have more as the election draws near.

1.Wisconsin Watchdog article...2/6/2016

U.S. Constitution and the Individual Mandate…

Oh, come on, the Republicans are getting a bit ridiculous!

I’m reading this story on Huffington Post about the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the Individual Mandate in the Health care law.  The article supports the notion that there are a lot of things the government mandates that everyone must do.  The example used is Medicare.  If you work, you pay into Medicare – you have no choice.

But, here’s what really got to me:  Mark Hayes – “former chief health counsel for the Republican staff of the Senate Finance Committee” states:

“Congress used more clearly defined constitutional powers when it created Medicare. “The power to tax and the power to spend…” “‘Here, with the individual mandate, it’s a different question – regulating interstate commerce. This is a novel question from a legal standpoint.'”

How is that novel?  Article I Section 8 Clause 3 states:

“To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”

Novel question? Um, I don’t think so. The word Novel, when used as an adjective and not as a noun means:

  1. new and not resembling something formerly known or used
  2. original or striking especially in conception or style

Um, if the Commerce Clause has existed in the Constitution since the beginning, how is Congress being able to use it now a “Novel” question?

I’m just wondering.

Cornel West Arrested Protesting on Supreme Court Steps

Yes, you read that headline right.  Cornel West, noted American Philosopher and Civil Rights proponent, was arrested for protesting on the steps of the Supreme Court.

Did you know that it is illegal to hold political signs on the steps of the Supreme Court? Neither did I, until I read this (see link). Excuse me, but isn’t the Supreme Court supposed to uphold the Constitution and isn’t freedom of speech the FIRST amendment?  How can it be ILLEGAL to protest ANYWHERE?

The Westboro Baptist Church – you know, those bigoted haters – are allowed to PROTEST at the FUNERALS of AMERICAN SOLIDERS!  It is THEIR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT.  This was upheld by the Supreme Court!

But, American Citizens are not allowed to protest against the Supreme Court decisions – such as the one where they declared Corporations to be human?  How is that possible in America?  How can that be in our great country?

Supreme Court Overturns California’s Video Game Ban

Yesterday, the US Supreme Court overturned California’s ban on selling violent video games to children.  I have to admit, I’m a little torn.  Is it really okay to allow kids to purchase violent video games?  I have no problem with adults purchasing these games, but there are morons out there who will hand over a game to their six year old without a care in the world.

On the other hand, I believe that parents should be responsible for their own children and that includes determining if their child can play certain video games.

I do have an issue with Justice Thomas’s dissent:  “The practices and beliefs of the founding generation establish that ‘the freedom of speech,’ as originally understood, does not include a right to speak to minors (or a right of minors to access speech) without going through the minors’ parents or guardians.”

Really?  We’re going to make a judgement call on our Constitution to what the founding generation thought?  Put it that way and women should still not have the right to vote.

 

Get a Backbone

I have been an out lesbian for over twenty years. I have marched, attended rallies, written blogs and lived my life with the idea that I can’t expect to get my Constitutional rights while hiding in a closet. I’m out to my family, friends and co-workers. Being out hasn’t always been all wine and roses, either. I’ve been harassed, fired and insulted because I am a lesbian. My life now is pretty well set, but there are still those on the fringes of my life who would rather I go away or, at least, pretend I’m not gay to make things easier on them.
But, I’m not going to live a lie just to make life a little easier or make someone else happy. I don’t think that anyone should. If you’re against gay marriage, then I think you should put signs in your yard and participate openly in the political process. I know your beliefs are wrong and misguided, but if you believe it, then you shouldn’t hide it. Be proud of your narrow straightness!

Yell it from the mountain tops! Man up!

Apparently, one of the groups that helped scare the state of California into voting for Proposition 8 – the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) – doesn’t agree with me. They think that their supporters and donors should have a right to privacy. They shouldn’t have to provide their donor lists to state election officials.
“But, Julie, why would they feel this way? What could they possibly have to hide?” I hear you asking.
Glad you brought it up – I have an answer.
They’re scared. They’re scared that their donors might be harassed for their beliefs. They filed a lawsuit which went right up to the US Supreme Court – Doe v. Reed – to protect the privacy of their followers.
(I went to their site to see what they wrote about the case, but I couldn’t find one word about it. I searched the case name, looked through their archives – nothing. I thought that was odd and I only mention it to see if any of you, my gentle readers, can find anything.)
“So, Julie, what happened with the suit?” I hear you ask.
Well, I’ll tell you – they lost and they lost big: 8-1. Surprised? No? Well, I am – a little.
Anthony Scalia, a man with whom I usually disagree, wrote:

“There are laws against threats and intimidation; and harsh criticism, short of unlawful action, is a price our people have traditionally been willing to pay for self governance. Requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed. For my part, I do not look forward to a society which…campaigns anonymously…and even exercises the direct democracy of initiative and referendum hidden from public scrutiny and protected from the accountability of criticism. This does not resemble the Home of the Brave.”

In other words, get a backbone.
I never mind when someone disagrees with me, but when someone places an anonymous comment knocking me (someone once called me lazy, fat and white trash) it really gets me. It’s not the comment that bothers me. I’ve been called worse before and I’m sure in the future, I’ll be called worse again. It’s the anonymous part. They’ll sit behind the Anonymous title and spout things about me that aren’t true and they don’t even have enough guts to stand up and say, “My name is Robert Smith and I think you’re a bitch.”

And, for me, it’s the same for the anti-gay crowd. If you want to say, “I don’t think you and Cheryl should be allowed to get married,” that’s fine. You have a First Amendment right to say it and believe it, but if you don’t have the guts to stand up and say, “My name is Robert Smith and I don’t think you and Cheryl should be allowed to get married” then I think you should keep your mouth shut. I have a lot more respect for someone who speaks their mind in public. I think if you give money to any organization that runs ads in support of one candidate or another; you should have to have your name on a list given over to state or federal election officials.
If you believe in a cause – any cause – enough to give money to it, you should believe in it enough to stand up and be counted or stand up and defend it. You shouldn’t coward in a corner.
To add to Justice Scalia’s comments, America is no place for cowards. We are the Home of the Brave and not the Home of the Chickens.
One final thought, I know on this blog, you have to have a Blogger or Google Account to not post Anonymous, but nothing says you can’t put your name in your post.
If you can’t say it to my face, you shouldn’t say it behind my back.
Man up, NOM!

Harriet Miers

Wow! What a difference a week makes!

Harriet Miers has withdrawn from being a Supreme Court Nominee. Hmmm, I’m kind of bummed, because the woman was growing on me.

Yes, I know that I did not support her nomination. I’m not going back on that. I still did not like the idea of someone without any judge experience being nominated for the Supreme Court. However, since I wrote that post, I have received emails from both the right and the left stating that Harriet Miers should not be a Supreme Court justice. Well, if she has both sides this upset, then she’s a pretty good choice in my eyes.

Now, this withdrawal of hers bothers me. Does this mean Bush will now go with someone who is extremely right wing? And, what is wrong with finding a judge that knows the consitution and sticks by it? Both sides should be happy with that, shouldn’t they?

Except, it all comes down to abortion and gays. Abortions shouldn’t be allowed and gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

But, does the constitution even address either one of these issues?

Now, I happen to be against abortions. I waiver only if it is used to save the mother’s life and how often does that really, truly happen?

I am for gay marriages. I think this marriage is only between a man and a woman stuff is just stupid. If someone could come up with a legitimate, non-religion based argument of why gays should not be allowed to marry, I would gladly listen. Until then, gays should be allow to marry, period — end of discussion.

© 2017 Top Of My Head

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑