~ “I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.” Ronald Reagan.
The Supreme Court on Thursday delivered its decision on the controversial ‘individual mandate‘ embedded in President Obama’s landmark healthcare bill, ruling that it is constitutional.
The court’s decision comes as a major defeat to those who have fought against the healthcare overhaul since before President Obama signed it into law in 2010. U.S. citizens are still legally required to purchase insurance via the federal government and the bill’s expansion of Medicaid, although now limited, still stands. This means roughly 30 millions of uninsured low-income Americans are still eligible for coverage through the bill’s expansion of the state-run entitlement program.
‘The bottom line: the entire ACA [Affordable Care Act] is upheld, with the exception that the federal government‘s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read,’ SCOTUS Blog reports….
The Court rules that the case is not moot, first. It then rules on the merits: the union’s treatment of nonmembers who had opted out when they got notice of the dues ran afoul of the First Amendment.
Justice Alito delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas joined. Sotomayor filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Ginsburg joined. Breyer filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Kagan.
…By authorizing a union to collect fees from nonmembers and permitting the use of an opt-out system for the collection of fees levied to cover nonchargeable expenses, our prior decisions approach, if they do not cross, the limit of what the First Amendment can tolerate. The SEIU, however, asks us to go farther. It asks us to approve a procedure under which (a) a special assessment billed for use in electoral campaigns was assessed without providing a new opportunity for nonmembers to decide whether they wished to contribute to this effort and (b) nonmembers who previously opted out were nevertheless required to pay more than half of the special assessment even though the union had said that the purpose of the fund was to mount a political campaign and that it would not be used for ordinary union expenses. This aggressive use of power by the SEIU to collect fees from nonmembers is indefensible…
…Which side should bear this risk?
The answer is obvious: the side whose constitutional rights are not at stake. “Given the existence of acceptable alternatives, [a] union cannot be allowed to commit dissenters’ funds to improper uses even temporarily.” Ellis, 466 U. S., at 444. Thus, if unconsenting nonmembers pay too much, their First Amendment rights are infringed. On the other hand, if unconsenting nonmembers pay less than their proportionate share, no constitutional right of the union is violated because the union has no constitutional right to receive any payment from these employees. See Davenport, 551 U. S., at 185. The union has simply lost for a few months the “extraordinary” benefit of being em- powered to compel nonmembers to pay for services thatthey may not want and in any event have not agreed to fund.
As we have noted, by allowing unions to collect any fees rather than opt-in schemes when annual dues are billed, our cases have substantially impinged upon the First Amendment rights of nonmembers. In the new situation presented here, we see no justification for any further impingement. The general rule—individuals should not be compelled to subsidize private groups or private speech—should prevail.
Public-sector unions have the right under the First Amendment to express their views on political and socialissues without government interference. See, e.g., Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n, 558 U. S. ___ (2010). But employees who choose not to join a union have the same rights. The First Amendment creates a forum in which all may seek, without hindrance or aid from the State, to move public opinion and achieve their politicalgoals. “First Amendment values [would be] at serious riskif the government [could] compel a particular citizen, or adiscrete group of citizens, to pay special subsidies for speech on the side that [the government] favors.” United Foods, 533 U. S., at 411. Therefore, when a public-sectorunion imposes a special assessment or dues increase, the union must provide a fresh Hudson notice and may not exact any funds from nonmembers without their affirmative consent…
For those unfamiliar with Knox v. SEIU, you can catch up by listening to the Supreme Court’s oral arguments below.
“The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday the authorities need a probable-cause warrant from a judge to affix a GPS device to a vehicle and monitor its every move.
Thedecision(.pdf) in what is arguably the biggest Fourth Amendment case in the computer age, rejected the Obama administration’s position that American’s hadno privacy in their public movements. The government had told the high court that it could affix GPS devices on the vehicles of all members of the Supreme Court, without a warrant.
‘We hold that the government’s installation of a GPS device on a target’s vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a ‘search,’’ Justice Antonin Scalia wrote.
The justices agreed to hear the case to settle conflicting lower-court decisions — some of which ruled a warrant was necessary, while others found the government had unchecked GPSsurveillance powers….”
Honestly, I am surprised it took the Chief Justice so long to speak up. Many would say that Chief Justice Roberts should not stoop so low. Instead, I say that our Commander-in-Chief in all his condescending arrogance should not have bent over so far to slap our Supreme Court Justices in the face.
As the president, Barry Sotero should have conducted himself so. His discontent with the Supreme Court was not handled in a manner befitting the Oval Office. Instead, Obama chose to sink lower than Death Valley and upon doing so, it was at that moment that all bets were off.
Obama’s timing, reprimand and choice or venue was intended to disparage and intimidate the Supreme Court.
In so doing, it is my feeling that Obama’s very public and visible rebuke of the Supreme Court was an intended assault on the U.S. Constitution.
Chief Justice Roberts was within his right when he described the SOTU as a pep rally in which the president’s puppets stood up and cheered on cue reminiscent of children frightened of angering the class bully.
“Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said Tuesday that the scene at President Obama‘s State of the Union address was “very troubling” and that the annual speech has “degenerated to a political pep rally.”
Obama chided the Supreme Court in his Jan. 27 speech, with the justices seated before him, for a campaign finance case decision.
‘The image of having the members of one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering,’ Roberts told University of Alabama law students, ‘while the court — according to the requirements of protocol — has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling.”
“Tonight the president engaged in demogoguery of the worst kind, when he claimed that last week’s SupremeCourt decision in Citizens Unitedv. FEC, ‘open[ed] the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.’
The president’s statement is false.
The Court held that 2 U.S.C. Section 441a, which prohibits all corporate political spending, is unconstitutional. Foreign nationals, specifically defined to include foreign corporations, are prohibiting from making ‘a contribution or donation of money or ather thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election’ under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e, which was not at issue in the case. Foreign corporations are also prohibited, under 2 U.S.C. 441e, from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party, and they prohibited from making any ‘expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication… .’
This is either blithering ignorance of the law, or demogoguery of the worst kind.”
In furtherance, the concern should not be about whether Justice Alito shook his head or mouthed “that’s not true,” we all know that OBAMA LIED (again). It should instead be about the President using last night’s SOTU as a bully pulpit to admonish and attack the credibility of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States for a ruling that Obama himself opposes.
Barack Obama was wrong.
Such a move, to be blunt was tacky. The president’s behavior and remarks were in poor taste and equal to the hypocrisy so deeply embedded within the Obama presidency and administration.
Furthermore, Obama’s attack on the credibility of the Supreme Court is an affront to the Supreme Court, the citizenry and our nation of laws.
Obama is under the impression that his views and ideology are above the law. What is next gagging SCOTUS? How about Obama trying to replace those members of the Court who rule against his interests?
Sounds ridiculous? I beg to differ. In fact, it sounds just about right for the man in the Oval Office.
The mere fact that Barack Obama had the audacity to attack our Supreme Court justices and has so little respect for our Constitution should be a foremost concern to Americans. Moreover, we should be just as unsettled that said assault occurred as the eyes of the world were watching.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday evening lifted the stay blocking the sale of Chrysler’s assets to Fiat. In an unsigned, two-page decision, the Court noted that it was not ruling on the underlying merits of the Chrysler case. Instead, the per curiam decision — meaning it comes from the court, but without a designated author — emphasizes that stays are granted if it’s likely that at least four justices will agree to hear the underlying case.
The unnamed author, who may be Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who originally imposed the stay Monday afternoon, further noted that “in a close case, it may be appropriate to balance the equities, to assess the relative harm to the parties as well as the interests of the public at large.”