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Thread: Notable & Ignoble Supreme Court rulings

  1. #41
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    waltky's Avatar Senior Member
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    Westboro loses protest case...

    Supreme Court Leaves in Place Nebraska Funeral Protest Law
    27 Nov 2017 | WASHINGTON — Members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church challenged the law but have lost in lower courts.
    The Supreme Court is leaving in place a Nebraska law that bars protests around funerals. Nebraska enacted the law in 2006. It prohibits protests near a cemetery, mortuary or church from one hour before the beginning of a funeral to two hours after.

    Members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church challenged the law but have lost in lower courts. Members of the church routinely conduct anti-gay protests outside military funerals. The protests have been a way of drawing attention to their incendiary view that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are God's punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.

    The Supreme Court said Monday it would not take up the church's challenge to Nebraska's law.

    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...otest-law.html

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    Kacper's Avatar Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltky View Post
    Westboro loses protest case...

    Supreme Court Leaves in Place Nebraska Funeral Protest Law
    27 Nov 2017 | WASHINGTON — Members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church challenged the law but have lost in lower courts.
    A little surprising actually since the SCOTUS is usually very bipartisan in its defense of free speech, not that I personally wouldn't like Westboro to get clipped by a semi when they are standing on the side of the road.

  3. #43

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    I'm a little surprised by this as well, though I haven't read the briefs or rationale.
    Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect. -- Woody Hayes​

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    It cost tax payers $45,000 a year for every person in the prison system. As a tax payer, do you prefer to shoulder this expense verses prefer they get the death penalty for murder? If a person murdered one of your loved ones, why would you want the murderer to live out his life? I certainly would want the death penalty.

  5. #45
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    Captdon's Avatar Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by exploited View Post
    The death penalty is a barbaric practice that will inevitably be declared cruel and unusual by the Supreme Court. It is only a matter of time before it is banned forever.
    How? Capital punishment is in the Constitution. Only a liberal Court could find a way around that. Scalia had it right: "As long as the method of execution is less than or equal to hanging, the death penalty is Constitutional."

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    waltky's Avatar Senior Member
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    Question

    Granny says dey need to get to the bottom o' who threw Billy Joe McCallister offa Tallahatchie bridge...

    Supreme Court to hear Florida-Georgia Apalachicola water case
    Jan. 7, 2018 -- The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a longstanding battle between Florida and Georgia about water flow in the Apalachicola River on Monday.
    In the case Florida v. Georgia, the state of Florida is asking the Supreme Court to cap the amount of water Georgia can use from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system. Florida claims oyster fisheries in in the Apalachicola Bay have been damaged by Georgia's water use. "It affects the whole economy," said Joseph Parrish, a commissioner in Florida's Franklin County. "It affects people's ability to buy groceries, provide for their family. You know, it'd be like a small town that relies on steel mills or relies on coal and all of a sudden there ain't no more." Florida officially filed its suit in 2013, but the battle between the two states over the distribution of water has been going on for nearly 30 years.


    Ralph Lancaster, a court-appointed special master, ruled in February that Florida failed to prove that a cap on Georgia's water usage would help the estuaries in the bay. Florida then requested the special master develop a more "equitable" distribution of water between the states. "For decades, Florida has done everything it could to avert that result -- and Georgia has fought it at every turn," a Florida brief said. "This litigation represents Florida's last opportunity to stem Georgia's inequitable consumption, and protect these irreplaceable natural resources, by apportioning the waters equitably between the states."



    The Supreme Court will hear arguments in a lawsuit between Florida and Georgia regarding distribution of water in the Apalachicola River, pictured above, on Monday


    Tom Cunningham, chief economist at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, argued a strict water usage limit in Atlanta would stunt population growth, drive away new businesses and lower property values. Georgia filed its own brief arguing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers effectively controls "the spigot at the state line," therefore a new water distribution plan wouldn't guarantee Florida would receive more water. In his ruling, Lancaster said the court couldn't "assure Florida the relief it seeks" because the Corps wasn't party to the lawsuit.


    Florida cited comments from the Corps stating it would adjust its water policies in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system based on the court's ruling. "It is at the very least reasonable to predict that the Corps would respond to an equitable apportionment by this court just as one would expect -- by adjusting its operations to effectuate that decree consistent with this court's decision and other applicable law," Florida said. Supreme Court Justices will hear arguments on Monday and make their own decision, independent of Lancaster's recommendation, later this year.


    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018...p&utm_medium=1

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    Cool

    Granny says, "Dat's right - SCOTUS is swingin' back to the right...

    Illegal immigrants have no automatic right to freedom, Supreme Court rules
    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - Immigrants being held for deportation don’t have an automatic right under the law to post bond and be set free, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a decision that could give the Trump administration more freedom to pursue stiff detention policies for illegal immigrants who show up at the border claiming asylum.
    In the 5-3 ruling, the justices also took a dim view of the kinds of class-action lawsuits on behalf of immigrants that have become a key tool for anti-Trump immigrant rights activists, leaving the activists worried about the fates of other cases winding their way through the lower courts challenging President Trump on issues such as illegal immigrant Dreamers and Iraqi deportees. The ruling was also a rebuke by the high court to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which had its decision overturned. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. chided the 9th Circuit for ignoring the text of immigration laws and creating a legal standard for bail hearings “out of thin air” by requiring that immigrants be given periodic bail hearings. “Spotting a constitutional issue does not give a court the authority to rewrite a statute as it pleases,” Justice Alito wrote for the majority.The complex case has been percolating through the courts for years, based on a challenge first brought by Alejandro Rodriguez, a Mexican national who has been in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident since 1987. The government tried to deport him in 2004 after several criminal convictions. Mr. Rodriguez fought deportation, but the government detained him during that time. He sued, arguing that under the detention law he was entitled to a bond hearing that could result in his release. The lower courts established a class action for Mr. Rodriguez and other immigrants being similarly detained, and ruled that they were entitled to bond hearings after six months and periodically after that. The lower courts said the law could be unconstitutional otherwise, based on a 2001 Supreme Court ruling that mandated release of immigrants whose home countries refused to take them back.Justice Alito, joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Neil Gorsuch — and to an extent, Clarence Thomas — said that amounted to a wholesale “rewrite” of the law. They sent the case back to the 9th Circuit for another review consistent with their ruling that the law doesn’t require bond hearings for all immigrants in detention. Immigrant rights groups said they will continue to fight as the case goes back to the lower courts and will argue that the law is unconstitutional if it doesn’t allow for bond hearings. They got backing Tuesday from the dissenters, led by Justice Stephen G. Breyer. He wrote that the country’s core liberty rights have always included the chance to challenge detention by seeking bail. “The bail questions before us are technical but at heart they are simple. We need only recall the words of the Declaration of Independence, in particular its insistence that all men and women have ‘certain unalienable Rights,’ and that among them is the right to ‘Liberty,’” he wrote.Justice Breyer said the majority decision appeared to eat into a key 2001 Supreme Court precedent, the Zadvydas ruling, which established a six-month maximum on detentions in cases in which the government is trying to deport immigrants but their home country won’t take them back. Detention applies to illegal immigrants caught at the border and inside the U.S., and to legal immigrants whose criminal activity has made them eligible for deportation. The biggest effect of Tuesday’s ruling could be on the surge of migrants who have shown up on the border in the past few years demanding asylum. Their numbers have swelled as smugglers have taught illegal immigrants to use “magic words” claiming fear of being sent back home to get on the asylum track. The Trump administration has argued that it should be allowed to hold them while their cases proceed — hoping that it will tamp down on bogus claims. Analysts said the Tuesday ruling appears to give the administration broad detention powers in those cases.

    https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2...gal-immigrant/
    Last edited by waltky; 03-02-2018 at 08:40 AM.

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  9. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by exploited View Post
    The death penalty is a barbaric practice that will inevitably be declared cruel and unusual by the Supreme Court. It is only a matter of time before it is banned forever.
    Since Capital Offenses is mentioned in the Constitution how can it be un-Constitutional? Scalia had it right: as long as the method uses are less than hanging there is no issue.
    Liberals are a clear and present danger to our freedom and our society and our morals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Standing Wolf View Post
    First, if the Solicitor General actually did suggest that "churches might lose their tax exempt status if they refused to perform same-sex marriages", he was high; strictly religious functions of the various religious bodies are protected under the First Amendment, and that will not change.

    What certain religionists do not seem to understand is that religious freedom is not a blank check when it comes to the rules and laws that govern business and other societal interactions of a public nature. Baking a cake, setting a broken leg, selling a car, if done as part of a licensed public business venture, is not a religious exercise - regardless of how religious the owners and operators of that business are or claim to be. Seeking to be exempt from a rule that any other like business has to follow on the grounds that to follow it would violate somebody's perception of a religious tenet is an attempt to establish a de facto special class of business operator who is free to pick and choose among the rules that govern his or her business.

    If some folks supported Trump in the hope that he would appoint judges whose rulings would return America to a time when the authorities turned a blind eye to discrimination of all kinds, particularly if the offenders invoked the name of God, I believe they are going to be disappointed, for the most part.
    There were a few who hoped that. They were disappointed when we had moved on without them realizing it. In one way it doesn't matter. They wouldn't have voted for Clinton anyway.
    Liberals are a clear and present danger to our freedom and our society and our morals.

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    The Supreme Court decided two key criminal-justices cases Monday that upheld individual rights...

    Supreme Court Upholds Individual Rights In 2 Key Criminal Justice Cases
    May 14, 2018 - The Supreme Court handed down five decisions Monday, and one that could pave a path for legalizing sports gambling throughout the country got most of the attention Monday morning. But the court also decided two important criminal-justice and personal rights cases.
    In one, McCoy v. Louisiana, the court ruled by a 6-3 margin in favor of a defendant whose lawyer told a jury that his client was guilty, disregarding the explicit instructions of his client. His lawyer wanted him to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty. "Guaranteeing a defendant the right 'to have the assistance of counsel for his defense' is the defendant's prerogative, not the counsel's," the court said in its ruling. In other words, it's up to the person accused of a crime how they want to plea, not a lawyer. In the other, Byrd v. U.S., the court unanimously decided that a driver of a rental car, whose name wasn't on the rental agreement, still has a reasonable expectation of privacy during a traffic stop. Police found 49 bricks of heroin and body armor in the man's trunk.

    McCoy v. Louisiana

    Robert McCoy's defense attorney told the jury his client was guilty of a triple murder despite the fact that McCoy expressly maintained his innocence. The Supreme Court decided that violated the client's constitutional right to counsel. "Guaranteeing a defendant the right 'to have the ASSISTANCE of Counsel for HIS defence,' the Sixth Amendment so demands," the court wrote. "With individual liberty—and, in capital cases, life— at stake, it is the defendant's prerogative, not counsel's, to decide on the objective of his defense: to admit guilt in the hope of gaining mercy at the sentencing stage, or to maintain his innocence, leaving it to the State to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." McCoy, was charged with killing three family members in a vain attempt to find his estranged wife, Yolanda. With the help of police, she had fled her Louisiana home after McCoy, at knife point, threatened to kill her. She brought her infant daughter along but left her 17-year-old son with her parents so that he could finish high school and graduate.


    The Supreme Court decided two key criminal-justices cases Monday that upheld individual rights

    A month later, McCoy was arrested and charged with killing his wife's parents and her son. A 911 tape recorded Yolanda's mother screaming: "She ain't here Robert. ... I don't know where she is. ... The detectives have her." After the sound of a gunshot, the line goes dead. Despite overwhelming evidence against him, McCoy steadfastly maintained his innocence, alleging that the killings were the product of a drug deal gone bad and that police conspired to frame him, because he supposedly revealed their involvement in drug trafficking. Five months later, state psychiatric experts found McCoy mentally competent to stand trial. His first lawyers were public defenders, but he fired them for refusing to subpoena his alleged alibi witnesses. His parents then hired Larry English for $5,000. He advised McCoy to plead guilty in exchange for life in prison instead of the death penalty, but McCoy repeatedly refused, insisting that he was innocent. He also refused to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

    Finally, English embarked on a strategy of conceding his client's guilt, in hopes of avoiding the death penalty. Indeed, in his opening argument, he told the jury, "There is no way reasonably possible that you can listen to the evidence and not come" to that conclusion. And in his closing, he told the jurors that he had taken the burden of finding and proving guilt off of them and the prosecutor. The defense lawyer was hoping that the jury would not sentence McCoy to death if he could convince them that McCoy suffered from diminished mental capacity and should therefore only be convicted of second-degree murder. But, as the prosecutor would soon explain to the jury, that defense was legally unavailable to McCoy, because Louisiana allows a diminished capacity argument only if the defendant has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. In any event, the strategy didn't work. The jury ultimately sentenced McCoy to death. The Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the decision and an infuriated McCoy, aided by a new lawyer, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, contending that the state had deprived him of his right to counsel.

    Byrd v. U.S.

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