Supreme Court

Supreme Court strikes down aggregate limit on campaign contributions

Today the Supreme Court ruled that you should be able give the base contribution to as many candidates as you like with no aggregate limit applied.

In the 2011–2012 election cycle, appellant McCutcheon contributed to 16 different federal candidates, complying with the base limits ap- plicable to each. He alleges that the aggregate limits prevented him from contributing to 12 additional candidates and to a number of noncandidate political committees. He also alleges that he wishes to make similar contributions in the future, all within the base limits. McCutcheon and appellant Republican National Committee filed a complaint before a three-judge District Court, asserting that the ag- gregate limits were unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The District Court denied their motion for a preliminary injunction and granted the Government’s motion to dismiss. Assuming that thebase limits appropriately served the Government’s anticorruption in- terest, the District Court concluded that the aggregate limits sur- vived First Amendment scrutiny because they prevented evasion of the base limits.

Held: The judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded.

893 F. Supp. 2d 133, reversed and remanded. CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS, joined by JUSTICE SCALIA, JUSTICE KENNE-
DY, and JUSTICE ALITO, concluded that the aggregate limits are inva- lid under the First Amendment.

"You cannot stand by. You cannot sit down."

“I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, Ala., for the right to vote,” he said.

Once again conservatives increase government power

The Supreme Court decided this week that police have the right to take DNA swabs from the cheeks of people who have been arrested. Not convicted - arrested. As in not proven guilty. Link to story.

I've said for a long time that we Democrats and members of the ACLU are today's true conservatives. The only Supreme Court justice who fooled me this time was Antonin Scalia. All the other so-called "conservatives" voted on the side of increased police powers - typical of today's "conservatives".

My Loving v. Virginia

In 3 weeks the Supreme Court will take up a case considering the constitutionality of Prop 8, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and generally the freedom to marry for LGBT couples. Recently Equality NC joined with many other organizations, politicians, and faith leaders to oppose marriage discrimination in the form of an amicus brief. Public events and demonstrations relating to the Supreme Court case are starting to pop up in NC, in DC, and around the country. In 20 or 30 years, how will you answer the question, where were you during this freedom to marry case?

LaRoque's voter suppression Hail Mary

Former state representative Stephen LaRoque appeared in federal court in Raleigh last week to face charges of theft and money laundering. Pending trial in Greenville at a later date LaRoque was released on an unsecured bond and restricted to travel within the 44 counties of the Eastern District of North Carolina. That has not stopped another case involving LaRoque from making it all the way to the Supreme Court in Washington DC. The spotlight will be on voter suppression, namely the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act, not LaRoque, though LaRoque’s name and statements appear in documents submitted to the court, including statements referring to his status as a state legislator.

Supreme Court deals setback for Environmental Activists and Refugees

On September 21, 2009,
the Second Circuit made an important decision on a case known as
Connecticut vs American Electric Power.
Without going into too much detail, this was a case where several groups like the Audubon society were trying to stop coal plant emissions because it was harming the value of their land trusts. The lower court ruled as other courts have, that Climate Change was part of the political realm, not the courts.
However, the appellate court overturned this decision on the grounds that the Energy company were causing a public nuisance, and nuisance cases have been heard by courts for decades.

The Purchase of the Supreme Court

Evidence continues to accumulate that our democracy in this country is not only for sale, but comes at a reasonable price. Recent news has called into question the integrity of the highest court in the land, as we find out that years before the supreme court's Citizens United Decision that was supported by justices Thomas and Scalia, Citizens United spent $100,000 to support Thomas' nomination to the supreme court. You may recall the Citizens United decision as the one allowing unlimited anonymous corporate donations to political campaigns.

Florida federal Court Ruling on health care law: today

From the NY Times on the ruling this afternoon in Florida Federal Court:

"...The judge’s ruling came in the most prominent of more than 20 legal challenges to some aspect of the sweeping health law, which was enacted last year by a Democratic Congress and signed by President Obama in March.

"The plaintiffs include governors and attorneys general from 26 states, all but one Republican, as well as the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents small companies. Officials from six states joined the lawsuit this month after shifts in party control brought by last November’s elections."

"The ruling by Judge Vinson, a senior judge who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, solidified the divide in the health litigation among judges named by Republicans and those named by Democrats..."

Supreme Court's Hands are the Devil's Playthings

Here in the United States of America, less than one percent of the population controls ten percent of the wealth. This is a figure that many have no doubt heard before, but it takes on new meaning in the era of corporations' rights that we now live in. In this new era, money changing hands is no different than conveying thoughts and feelings through articulate sounds in the eyes of the supreme court, both are equally protected by the first amendment. This shift in the basic nature of reality is dangerous because, by its very nature, the decision affords more rights to the moneyed and well-connected and diminishes the rights of those who are not. Post Citizens United, less than one percent of the population controls ten percent of the free protected speech in this country, and the balance is further skewed by the inclusion of corporations and interest groups into the equation.

Justice Stevens to retire this summer!

Justice John Paul Stevens just announced his intent to retire this summer.

Let the next fight begin.

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