If Money Is Free Speech, Then…



…when you donate to political campaigns, you should have to take the consequences:

The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling against ProtectMarriage.com, the National Organization for Marriage and other supporters of a 2008 ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriages in California until the ban was overturned five years later.

The groups sought to conceal their past and future campaign finance records because they feared harassment of donors. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against them in part because the names have been publicly available for five years.

State law requires political committees to identify those who contribute more than $100 during or after a campaign, along with the donor’s address, occupation and employer.

Maggie Gallagher’s Pity Party was suing to keep the names of the donors for Prop 8 private. The bigots should wear their hatred proudly. And just as a reminder: Free Speech does not mean free of consequences. We can say all the stupid stuff we want (“I’m a Merkin, you can’t shut me up!”), but we also have to own what we say.

Takes One To Know One

The Death of the Media

clarence.jpgFrom Juan Williams writing in the Wall Street Journal, who sings the praises of Clarence Thomas as a race healer:


“Justice Thomas, who has been on the court nearly a quarter-century, remains a polarizing figure—loved by conservatives and loathed by liberals. But his “free”-thinking legal opinions are opening new roads for the American political debate on racial justice.

His opinions are rooted in the premise that the 14th Amendment—guaranteeing equal rights for all—cannot mean different things for different people. As he wrote in Fisher v. University of Texas (2013), he is opposed to “perpetual racial tinkering” by judges to fix racial imbalance and inequality at schools and the workplace. Yet he never contends racism has gone away. The fact that a 2001 article in Time magazine about him was headlined “Uncle Tom Justice” reminds us that racism stubbornly persists.

…Justice Thomas, meanwhile, is reshaping the law and government policy on race by virtue of the power of his opinions from the bench. Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American on the Supreme Court, stood up as a voice insisting on rights for black people. Justice Thomas, the second black man on the court, takes a different tack. He stands up for individual rights as a sure blanket of legal protection for everyone, including minorities.”

That the Uncle Ruckus of the Supreme Court is reshaping the law and government policy on race is by dismantling The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act clause-by-clause, of this there can be no doubt. Thomas’ fix to all societal problems is telling minorities to pull themselves up by their own societal bootstraps, even though (as Williams points out) he knows that racism exists. He gives a fig leaf of coverage to institutional racism.

Thomas’ one-size-fits-all world view will be put to the test with Marriage Equality this term, and I suspect he will absolutely be against it.

Why Fox News contributor Juan Williams is writing a mash note to Clarence Thomas is the real question here. Or maybe it’s not.

Your 3-Martini Stupid Is Served: Unpeech Ginsberg!


Well, now we’ve seen it all. Earlier in the year Wingnuttia was debating canceling the State of the Union Address because they didn’t want to invite The Kenyan Usurper to visit them in the hollowed halls of Congress, and now they are obtusely arguing that Justice Ginsberg should be impeached because she fell asleep during the speech:

You may recall pictures of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sitting on the front row in the House Chamber sleeping during President Obama’s State of the Union Address. News recently broke explaining why: “I wasn’t 100 percent sober.”

A State of the Union message is a constitutionally mandated duty (Article II, Section 3), and for those who respect the Constitution, this address is serious stuff. But apparently not to Justice Ginsburg – which probably is not surprising given that her rulings routinely reflect a general dismissal of the Constitution and that she publicly advises leaders in other nations to seek something better than the U. S. Constitution for their country.

…The first federal judge to be removed from the bench came at the behest of President Thomas Jefferson. That judge, John Pickering, was no obscure lightweight. Originally placed on the federal bench by President George Washington, Pickering had been a framer of the New Hampshire Constitution, served as the state’s governor, was selected as a delegate to frame the U.S. Constitution (but declined) and was subsequently a ratifier of the federal Constitution. So why was he removed? Among the reasons given was public intoxication (as well as a public disrespect for God). The Founding Fathers considered this to be bad behavior for a judge.

Don’t think I am calling for the removal of Ginsburg for her recent faux pas. Rather, I am pointing out that the current notion that federal judges are unaccountable because they have lifetime appointments is one of the greatest lies of our lifetime.

One Lump of Stupid or Two, Mr. Sessions?


“I think it’s an unhealthy trend that judges feel that they’re somehow reflecting popular opinion when first of all, it’s not popular opinion, and secondly, who are they to be ruling on cases based on how they feel.”

“The attorney general of the state of Alabama has appealed, which I support. And while a number of courts have held the way [the] Alabama court has, others have not, and to me this line of cases … represents an activist judiciary. No Congress has ever passed a law or a constitutional amendment that would ever would ever have been thought to have this result.”

“So, I think the proper role of the federal courts is to follow the law as it is, not as they wish it, might wish it to be.”

–Magically delicious, Sen. Jeff ‘Dixie’ Sessions commenting on the SCOTUS not extending the stay and thus forcing Alabama to allow Marriage Equality to come to that state.

And, yeah, I’m sure that thick-fingered vulgarians Antonin Scalia and his cohorts ‘The Pride of the Judiciary’ Clarence Thomas and Capo di Monte enthusiast Sam Alito are worried about popular opinion.

UPDATE: Most of the counties in Alabama, 52 of 67, are refusing to process paperwork, required by law, to issue marriages to same-sex couples. So, Mr. Sessions, who exactly are the activists now?

News That Will Drive You To Drink: Clarence Thomas Edition

So why should you fill up the I.V. bags (not bread bags) with booze for this tweet? Take it away Jeremy Hooper:

Robert George is the cofounder (along with Maggie Gallagher) of the National Organization For Marriage and one of the authors of the Federal Marriage Amendment. Ryan T. Anderson is a Heritage Foundation staffer and a top voice against marriage equality.

But you know, no one will ask Ol’ Clarence to recuse himself from the upcoming ruling on same-sex marriage unlike the chorus of Y’all Qaeda who are screaming for the women of the SCOTUS to recuse themselves because they know gay people.

Caterers in 30+ States Rejoice…


…as the SCOTUS declined to take up Marriage Equality cases for this term, leaving lower court rulings intact. This means that now 30 states and D.C. will let people marry whomever they love.

This does not, however, nationalize marriage equality, but surely that day is coming. (I know, quit calling you Shirley…)

The Sunday Talkies

Meet David Gregory's hair

Crooks and Liars has the run-down, per usual, and when you look at the guest list (mostly Wingnuts) you see that the discussion is going to be mostly about immigration. There is hardly anyone listed that is likely to talk about how all of our rights were taken away by the theocrats on the Supreme Court.

The Hobby Lobby Silver Lining

Uncle Sam with Speculum

The LA Times tells us…

As it happens, Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Anthony M. Kennedy, in their majority and concurring opinions, respectively, implicitly acknowledged the wisdom of single-payer healthcare as a way forward.

… Rather than forcing the businesses to pay for those methods, the justices said, the government could follow the path it already has laid down for nonprofit religious organizations objecting to the birth control mandate. In those cases the coverage mandate and its cost are transferred from the religious employers to their insurers — but the insurers are compensated for the expense via a reduction in a healthcare tax they’re required to pay under the ACA.

In other words, the U.S. government becomes the single payer for those groups’ employees choosing those birth control methods. Alito and Kennedy would expand this accommodation to closely held businesses whose owners assert religious scruples.

The pertinent question then becomes: Why stop there? Offer the same accommodation for all employers for all coverage, and you have a single-payer system at last.

I left out a lot of the story to get to the pertinent points, so go read the whole thing. On Monday, when I read the part of the opinion where Alito really says that the government can perform this function is what started me saying that it was the first step to socialized healthcare.

Hobby Lobby Wins



Closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage.

Looks like it was a 5-4 split. Alito wrote the opinion.

The Court says that RFRA requires the Govt to provide closely-held corporate objectors the same accommodation it already provides nonprofit organization objectors.

RFRA is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which is probably going to cause more legal trouble over time. Hobby Lobby might be able to use the same ruling to fire gay people, but Walmart couldn’t because it is publicly owned.

The opinion is posted.

At first it seemed inconceivable that the Supreme Court would rule this way, I was expecting a thumping upside the head. But the opinion seems to be very narrowly written and does not favor one religion over another. Presumably a closely held Jewish company could apply the case as well as a pagan-owned company. That the case was brought to us by admitted Xristian Theocrats is actually not the pertinent part of the the ruling.

What everyone is losing sight of is that this affirms that the Clinton-era Religious Freedom Restoration Act is constitutional, and it might hold some other surprises. I’ve said for a while that Obama’s presidency has been hobbled by trying to undo the damage not just of Chimpy McStagger, but of Bill Clinton: DOMA, DADT, financial deregulation, ending Welfare as we know it, and so on. I maintain that Clinton was The Best Republican President Ever, and to this day we are still reeling from the effects of his administration. Today’s ruling is another example.

That said, on the bright side: this ruling could compell another stutter-step towards socializing medicine. If the ACA regulators are now going to include birth control essentially for all women, it might not be that far a reach to have other services as well.