NEWS OF: 7/3/2006

Supremes: We’re Going to Disney World

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Hey Supreme Court, you just wrapped up the 2005-2006 term with a passel of big rulings. What are you going to do now? CNN has a nice summary.

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NEWS OF: 6/30/2006

Republicans Boss Hop the Supreme Court

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled military tribunals for Guantanamo Bay prisoners illegal and unconstitutional, Senate Republicans say they’ll see what they can do about overturning the Constitution to give the President the authority he needs. See NPR

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NEWS OF: 6/29/2006

Supreme Court Pulls Plug on Bush Dictatorship

In a 5-3 decision, the US Supreme Court has ruled that military tribunals used to try inmates at Guantánamo Bay violate American law and the Geneva Conventions.

The court ruled that the trials were not authorised by Congress and that their structure and procedures violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The court found the military tribunal was illegally set up and that it denied the defendant basic rights, including the right to hear all evidence against him and to be present at his trial.

The three most conservative justices - Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito - dissented from the decision.

Mr Bush said he would consult Congress on how to respond to the ruling as soon as he stopped throwing up.

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NEWS OF: 6/23/2006

Supreme Court Comes to Friendship, Maine

Chief justice of the U-S Supreme Court, John Roberts has bought a a home on Hupper Island off the coast of Maine.

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NEWS OF: 6/19/2006

Supreme Court Paves Paradise to Put Up a Parking Lot

The Supreme Court set the stage for a re-examination of the 1972 Clean Water Act, as it narrowly ruled today 5-4 in favor of two Michigan property owners who plan plans to build a shopping mall and condominiums on land tracts designated as wetlands. Can you say “global warming?

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NEWS OF: 4/26/2006

Maine Supremes Uphold Ban on Tuition Vouchers for Parochial Schools

Maine Supreme Judicial Court has upheld by a 6-1 majority a 1983 law, which bans tuition vouchers from being paid to parochial schools. The recent lawsuit was brought by a legal advocacy group on behalf of eight families from Durham, Minot and Raymond who sought to use the public funding to send their children to St. Dominic Regional High School, Union Springs Academy and Pine Tree Academy. The previous challenge to the law was a 1997 lawsuit by five Raymond families who wanted the state to pay for their children’s tuition at Cheverus High School, a Catholic school in Portland. See Boston.com

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NEWS OF: 3/6/2006

The Supreme Court Wants You in the U.S. Army

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The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that military recruiters are entitled to the same kind of access as other employers on college campuses if that campus receives federal money. Some universities had wanted to limit access since America’s military discriminates against gay and lesbian soldiers. Our advice? Gay up. With Iran supplying a more deadly variety of IED to Iraq, and President Bush attempting to outsource the capture of Osama Bin Laden with Pakistan ’s President Gen. Pervez Musharraf the “war on terror” may start spilling over borders. And that will require more troops than a volunteer army. See CSMonitor.

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NEWS OF: 1/31/2006

Goodbye Freedom, Adios Privacy, Hello Alito

It’s official. The vote was 58-42, the smallest number of Democratic senators to support a justice in modern history - a statistic that truly defines the word “meaningless” at this point… All but one Republican Senator voted for Alito. Both of Maine’s Senators voted to confirm Alito, almost ensuring for themselves future opportunities to tell wonderful stories about how women once had the right to vote, among other rights.

Okay. No point in crying over this one. Every Democrat in the Senate needs to start buying this guy lunch, drinks, whatever it takes to turn him…

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NEWS OF: 1/24/2006

Alito’s Supreme Court: Origami Lions

Finding the pony in an Alito confirmation, Samuel Alito’s vision is of a high court that plays a more limited role in government. Removing the Supreme Court from high profile political cases by turning over more authority to the other two branches of government.

This limited authority would kick in, of course, as soon as they overturn Roe vs. Wade, repeal the vote for women, and maybe Blacks and Hispanics… annoint Jesus Christ to the new 39 cent stamp, eliminate birth control and sex education… return prayer to school and remove science… then they’ll turn over the car keys.

This is actually good news. First, the new Supreme Court will lose most of its impact in the lives of average Americans so we can stop worrying about what idiot is in the White House and who he/she may nominate. Like England’s royal family, the high court would be reduced to an origami lion. Considering they are in for life with virtually no minimum judicial experience required, that’s good. Because the original lifetime tenure of a court member was 14.9 years. Today it’s much longer. If a President is free to nominate a candidate like Harriet Miers who could serve for 30 years, then the appointment should be legally defined as the cake job that it is.
It’s also more effective than term limits on the Supreme Court, which average around 18 years, because we could then focus our attention on the executive and legislative branches of governments. President? Four to eight years tops. Senators? Six.

It might mean something of a rollercoaster ride for Americans, who would find their rights blinking on and off every 4 years, but it beats the alternative. See Mercury News

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NEWS OF: 1/11/2006

Alito: Concerned Alumni of the He Man Woman-Hater’s Club

When Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito was asked today whether he considered Roe v. Wade to be “settled law,” he refused to answer. Alito’s confirmation seems likely given the amount of Republican support he has. Women would be well advised to prepare themselves to start researching new ways to reclaim the right to choose, or start researching other options.
Also on the table is Alito’s membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton, the neoconservative group formed in 1972 in opposition to Princeton’s decision to admit women. There seems to be a trend here… See Mercury News

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NEWS OF: 12/12/2005

Giving Frist the Byrd

Responding to rumors of a democratic filibuster to send Supreme nominee Alito into chatroom hell, Senator Frist threatened exercising a “nuclear option” - wherein the GOP would seek a parliamentary ruling that declares filibusters are not permitted against judicial nominees. This ruling then goes to the full Senate for a vote where Republicans hold 55 seats.

“If he ever tries to exercise that, he’s going to see a real filibuster if I’m living and able to stand on my feet or sit in my seat,” Sen. Byrd said, adding, “I’m 88 years old, but I can still fight, and fight I will for freedom of speech. I haven’t been here for 47 years to see that freedom of speech whittled away and undermined.”

Republicans want the Alito nomination to slide through like a hot knife through butter no matter what kind of Nazi he may quietly be. Those against Alito include disability rights groups and gay/lesbian groups. See Forbes

NEWS OF: 12/1/2005

Alito: Pulling the Powder Puff Tails Off Bunnies, Canceling Halloween…

A Knight Ridder review of Alito’s 311 published opinions on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals - each of singular legal or public policy importance revealed him to be so strict that he makes the average “neocon” look like an ecstasy freak playing with a glow stick.

Alito “often goes out of his way to narrow the scope of individual rights, sometimes reaching out to undo lower-court rulings that affirmed those rights.” In one notable ruling, Alito snatched a lower-court victory from a group of diabetic inmates who alleged their jailers didn’t adequately treat their illness. Sweet! See Mercury News

NEWS OF: 11/30/2005

NH Abortions: Live Free or We’ll Tell Your Mom

The Supreme Court will be hearing the New Hampshire attempt to introduce a law that would bar doctors from performing an abortion on a girl younger than 18 unless one of her parents has been notified, even when the girl has a health emergency.

Questions include: (a.) How could this be enforced? (b.) If the “health emergency” results in a fatality, does the family sue the State of NH for wrongful death? (c.) If the father of the unwanted child is the father of the girl seeking the abortion, does the clinic contact the mother or the police? (d.) If the father of the child is someone else, are his parents notified? Is he subject to arrest for “irresponsible sexual activity?”

Supreme Court will be mulling this over until spring. See the Guardian

NEWS OF: 11/14/2005

Alito’s Extremely Troubling Views

Supreme Court nominee Alito’s documentation reveals opposition to abortion and racial quotas, but that’s not exactly a surprise. Considering that the Senate has simply been overturning the rulings of the Supreme Court, it may not particularly matter who they appoint. See Reuters

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