Category Archives: SCOTUS

SCOTUS to hear case re: Cali’s planned Medicaid reimbursement cuts

Under Ahnold, Cali attempted to cut funding for Medicaid reimbursements to physicians, dentists, pharmacies, health clinics and other medical providers.The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said hell no to that.

Governor Brown wants to do the same and to that end…SCOTUS will get the case now. This doesn’t really bode well for the Medicaid providers and ultimately the citizens of the state that must avail themselves of this form of healthcare as at least four of the Supreme’s find fault with the Ninth’s logic in how they ruled.  From McClatchy:

The court’s decision to hear three combined California legal challenges is good news for Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who wants to enact budget cuts similar to those that courts have previously struck down. Potentially, hundreds of millions of dollars in proposed savings are at stake.

“The fact that the court agreed to hear these cases is a big and important step for California,” Elizabeth Ashford, a spokeswoman for Brown, said Tuesday night.

The court’s decision also could please 22 states that have sided with California, including Florida, Idaho and South Carolina. California and the other states want to restrict the kinds of private lawsuits that can be filed over public benefits.

The Ninth Circuit of Court of Appeals previously rejected California’s proposed reimbursement cuts, initially put forward under Brown’s Republican predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Supreme Court’s decision issued without comment Tuesday means at least four of the nine justices question the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning. The impending review by a conservative-dominated high court worries the medical professionals and patient advocates opposed to the reimbursement reductions.

Thanks Jerry, you are looking more like a republican governor every, fucking day.

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Todays wingnut alert: Justice Antonin Scalia

Misogynist is an appropriate description to use when describing Scalia and his ‘thoughts’ on the Constitution and what and/or who it represents. From RawStory:

Roe v. Wade ‘a total absurdity,’ Scalia told audience

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s belief that women have no protection under the constitution could herald the return of officially-sanctioned gender discrimination, a prominent Washington lawyer says.

Justice Scalia reiterated his position that the Constitution’s 14th Amendment doesn’t guarantee protection against discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation in a magazine interview published this month.

“Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex,” Scalia told California Lawyer(Q&A w/Scalia). “The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that.”

This mental midget sits on the highest court in the country and has for 24 friggin years. That he would suggest such a strict interpretation of the Constitution is worrisome and downright disgusting. Why does he think he is the only individual that knows what the founding fathers meant? SCOTUS has steadfastly upheld civil rights for all citizens, except of course gay individuals, and hopefully will continue to do so, even though one of the sitting justices doesn’t accept the premise of equal protection under the law for everyone.

From our dept of WTF?

Orly got Alito to go along? Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously, is this a friggin joke? From TPM:

Birther queen Orly Taitz has spent the better part of a year fighting a $20,000 fine slapped on her by a federal judge for filing frivolous birther lawsuits contesting President Obama’s eligibility to hold the office. A few weeks ago, she applied to the Supreme Court to reverse the fine.

When Justice Clarence Thomas denied her application, she vowed to apply to each of the other justices in turn. The next justice she applied to was Samuel Alito, who has now referred the matter to the to the entire court.

As per her usual, she did it ass-backwards too…read the rest of the writeup. I now firmly believe that Justice Alito is mentally-challenged…a nice way to say he is eff’n retarded. This shows us how far up the federal ladder an idiot and/or rightwing nutter can go folks…sad ain’t it? Damn sad…..scary really.

SCOTUS rules against the NFL

In a 9-0 ruling, that surely will piss off the owners, SCOTUS reverses a lower court decision regarding the NFL’s powerful anti-trust position.  From DeadSpin:

American Needle doesn’t actually score a victory here, at least, not yet. The case merely returns to district court, where it will be reconsidered under what’s called the “Rule of Reason.” A doctrine dating back to Standard Oil, it states that monopolies aren’t inherently illegal, only if they “unreasonably” restrain trade. That’s still up for debate with the NFL’s licensing deals, and the Supreme Court gave no indication on that one way or another.

The NFLPA wins big. They had been terrified of a league with unchecked power to act unilaterally in labor issues, especially with an expiring CBA. Not that the player’s union is particularly powerful as is, but at least the league won’t be able to dictate salaries, free agency conditions and age restrictions without getting into the CBA first. If the NFL had won this case, those would all have been very real possibilities.

The NFL doesn’t so much lose as they fail to win. The league had been hoping for that antitrust exemption, which would have been a hammer to bring down in myriad smaller cases against the league. It would have given them sweeping powers enjoyed by no other business other than Major League Baseball. Now, those other cases proceed on their own merits.

Other sports leagues are not happy right now. Both the NBA and NHL filed amicus briefs in support of the NFL, hoping the precedent would give them more powers. With the NHL recently having to bail out a handful of teams, and a labor stoppage looming for the NBA, it could have been big. NASCAR, MLS, and most chillingly, the NCAA also publicly supported the NFL.

Baseball, on the other hand, still enjoys the country’s only antitrust exemption, dating back to a 1922 ruling that’s considered curious today. There’s no indication the High Court would revisit that ruling, but should it be challenged there’s certainly a precedent for it now. A limited one, however; American Needle v. NFL appears to apply specifically to merchandising.

My personal opinion is that none of the major sports groups in America deserves an anti-trust exemption. The rightwing nutters should support my opinion as well because they supposidly worship free trade. Protecting large groups by giving them anti-trust exemptions goes against everything the nutters believe in.

From our Dept of WTF?

SCOTUS has ruled that corporations now have civil rights. I shit you not. SCOTUS just opened up a huge can of vile, carpetbagging, worms.

You can read the ruling here (pdf). This decision is total crap. Corporations are not human, they are always money-making operations.

I am pretty sure the First Amendment was not created to protect The Corporatocracy.From Public Citizen:

Today, in the widely-publicized Supreme Court case Citizens United v. FEC, the Justices ruled in a 5-4 decision that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence election outcomes.

        Shed a tear for our democracy.

Today, in the case Citizens United v. FEC, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence election outcomes.

Money from Exxon, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer and the rest of the Fortune 500 is already corroding the policy making process in Washington, state capitals and city halls. Today, the Supreme Court tells these corporate giants that they have a constitutional right to trample our democracy.

In eviscerating longstanding rules prohibiting corporations from using their own monies to influence elections, the court invites giant corporations to open up their treasuries to buy election outcomes. Corporations are sure to accept the invitation.

The predictable result will be corporate money flooding the election process; huge targeted campaigns by corporations and their front groups attacking principled candidates who challenge parochial corporate interests; and a chilling effect on candidates and election officials, who will be deterred from advocating and implementing policies that advance the public interest but injure deep-pocket corporations.

Because today’s decision is made on First Amendment constitutional grounds, the impact will be felt not only at the federal level, but in the states and localities, including in state judicial elections.

So, wtf were those five assholes thinking?