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SCOTUS - Supreme Court of the United States

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by onejayhawk, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    Are they though? Does the court really want to make rulings on incredibly tenuous ground where there is no law applicable?

    I mean look at citizens united. That was a lawsuit brought to the supreme court when everyone in the country knew that we needed campaign finance reform. Campaign finance law at the federal level (where campaign finance law clearly belongs) was totally silent on any major issue of campaign finance that has come up since...when? The fifties?

    But lawsuits get filed and they have to be resolved and some justice on the court says "well, if we take this law that applies to individuals and apply it to corporations we can have a ruling that is at least tangentially related to existing law." No matter how much we want to run shrieking in terror from the most conservative court in nearly a hundred years they didn't go out of their way to rule on citizens united...and it is certainly not their preference to have gigantic obvious voids in the law that call for nonsensical rulings.
     
  2. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    As much as you claim that the Supreme Court is forced to make these idiot rulings because Congress abdicates its responsibilities, the truth is that the government was intentionally designed so that Congress would find it difficult to pass consequential legislation. E.g. giving any forty Senators a veto over the whole process.
     
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  3. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    Nah. It is not the design of the government that allows for 40+ senators who say "let's just have no law at all" to remain in office. I consider the crowd here to be more politically enlightened than most and look how hard it is to find agreement on "congress has abdicated their responsibility." Is it hard to pass healthcare reform? Of course. Does that excuse the fact that the executive branch (responsible for administering national health care programs) started calling for such reform starting with Richard Nixon and congress couldn't come to ANY sort of compromise, ever? "Oh well, we'll just sit with our thumbs up our butts until there is a supermajority and voters will keep re-electing us so why the hell not" was not actually the design.

    I use health care as the example, but we could put in any issue, really. How long have we known that campaign finance law was woefully out of date for current conditions? How many presidents have managed immigration policy by executive order specifically because there is no existing law that covers crossing the border other than on horseback?

    How many people get re-elected to congress running on "I sponsored two successful bills" and no one ever mentions "dude, you renamed two post offices in two years...we need someone, anyone, else"? That isn't a "design flaw," that is piss poor implementation.
     
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  4. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    I dunno, I think it is working precisely as designed. The original issue the framers wanted the government not to be able to address was slavery, not health care, but the principle is the same.

    The fundamental idea is that you need large, supermajority-type agreement in order for the executive and legislature to do big, consequential things. But minority vetoes are also built into the Constitution (the power of the Court itself to strike down legislation amounts to a 5-person veto over, in theory, the unified opinion of Congress, the President, and 33 state legislatures). Forty Senators can stop any legislation from being passed by Congress. The consent of every single state is required to abolish the principle of equal state representation in the Senate. And so on.

    The fundamental design of the government is that its administrative and regulatory powers should be limited and difficult to use. But the courts, as the primary venue for defending property claims, have much more power than in other democratic countries. That is part of the legacy of slavery and imo you can't really argue it wasn't an intended feature of the system.
     
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  5. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    Just seems like excuses for a system that isn't working
    Ours is unrepresentative and all that but at least the party in power can effectively do something
    You seem to have combined the unrepresentative nature of FPTP with the ineffectualness of proportional representation in 1 system
     
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  6. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    Quite frankly, they are.

    By refusing to integrate, there is a chance that that stokes racism and inequality. But with no schools, you are 100% guaranteed that all kids will be equally uneducated.

    Even so, the analogy breaks down because public schools are not charity work. Public education is an involuntary, taxpayer-funded institution. The Catholics' work is voluntary. They are under no obligation to do anything at all. They take no federal funding, and the adoptive parents take no federal funding. They plunk down $25,000 of their own personal money. And guess what orphans and foster children require? Taxpayer funding. The Catholics are doing you a favor as it is, so don't complain that they are not doing you MORE of a favor. Generosity on other people's part does not constitute entitlement on your part.
     
  7. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    That isn't the issue, the issue is that the bigots who shut down the public schools rather than educate black children are at fault, not the Supreme Court. Similarly, the bigots who throw a tantrum and say "if we can't discriminate then screw the whole thing" are at fault in the adoption situation.

    They're not doing me a favor. I'm happy to have my tax payments go to non-discriminatory care for orphans. I take personal offense when bigots refuse to adopt children to homosexual couples.
     
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  8. Gori the Grey

    Gori the Grey The Poster

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    Constitution didn't anticipate a whole party running for office precisely to do nothing once they were elected. For me it started with Norquist's bathtub quip, which the GOP seemed then to inflate into their governing platform. Have different ideas for different programs, not the idea of no programs. Don't know what to do about it, constitutionally.

    Totes funny, though, that Barrett's intro ceremony might prevent her from getting voted in. Or at least delay it.
     
  9. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Except that by the standards of today, the federal government at the time when all the framers of the constitution were alive did pretty much nothing.

    The people who want to drown the government in a bathtub are just the modern-day descendants (intellectual, not literal) of slaveholders who wanted a weak government so that society could be run directly by the men of quality. Modern-day conservatives are no different. They mostly don't believe in literal aristocracy and noble bloodlines but they believe that rich people are qualitatively superior to the rest and deserve to run things without the government getting in the way. When they talk about "family values" they mean the right of a father (or 'patriarch', if you will) to run the household like a despotism with no interference from the law. When they talk about economic freedom they mean the freedom of the employer to run the workplace as a despotism with no interference from the law. And so on.
     
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  10. Gori the Grey

    Gori the Grey The Poster

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    Fair enough.

    Well, then, to go back to my "what to do about it?" Maybe nothing. My own quip is that Americans' favored form of government is gridlocracy. We give a president two years with a Congress of his own party to get a little something done, then put the brakes on.

    Fundamentally conservative, our form of government is. Designed to keep things from happening.
     
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  11. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    First, that is also not a good comparison, because the Supreme Court and the southern states did not refuse to educate black people--they only refused to integrate them. Maybe the schools were separate-but-not-equal, maybe not. But if the separate black schools were not educating black people at ALL...those are black teachers with a black faculty. Surely they bear at least some of that blame?

    Second, I seriously doubt you are in the majority in wanting your tax money going to pay for orphans to remain orphans, when a Christian institution just offered some children a better life. Most people happen to like paying less taxes.
     
  12. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Well, I guess I've done the rest of the forum a service by outing you as a segregationist.

    I don't care.
     
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  13. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    Ding!

    Ladeeeeees and gentlemen, this bout is over. We have a clear loser here on all the judges cards...

    Sorry man, but when you have dug yourself such a hole that your argument becomes "hey maybe the black schools were just fine" you need to turn back before you say it.

    Stretcher!!! Get the medics in here.
     
  14. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Yeah, what do we do about it? In the short run, try to elect as many Democrats as possible so we get the supermajorities needed to actually govern. In the longer term, build the kind of power that would allow big changes to the Constitution.

    How do we do those things, you ask? I reply: "Dammit, I'm a doctor, not a prophet." I mean, yeah, campaign for the Democrats but as for the rest of it? I don't know.
     
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  15. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    Walk your straw man off the ring, please. That's not what I said, and I think you aleady know that.
     
  16. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    LOL...sorry dude but the quote that is right there says the opposite. That is exactly what you said.

    If you want to cry straw man I can't stop you, but I can sure quote you and make you look silly for it.
     
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  17. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    *Billy Mays voice* but wait! there's more!
     
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  18. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    Except they weren't closing down because they were forced to, they were closing down because they couldn't get federal funding. So yes they wanted federal funding. They could have continued without federal funding.
     
  19. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    I know...but mumbling after the knockout when he is just lying on the canvas trying to spit out his mouthpiece doesn't make it right to keep kicking him. Let them get him on the stretcher and carry him out.
     
  20. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    Nor can I stop you from looking highly manipulative.

    Dude, not even WHITE public schools are just fine. Why would I ever say black public schools are? And--AGAIN--it is STILL not a fair comparison, because both white and black people pay taxes into the system. The Catholics are entirely self-funded, through their own charity.
     

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