YOUR Civil Rights Are In Grave Danger As Supreme Court Reverses Key Precedent

A new Supreme Court ruling reversed a precedent that gives even more power to federal agents, especially Border Patrol agents, by limiting civilians’ abilities to sue agents for abusing their Fourth Amendment privacy rights. Now, Border Patrol agents can pretty much ignore the Fourth Amendment when acting out their duties which has far-reaching implications, since civilians cannot sue the agency for monetary compensation for damages involved in violations of the Fourth Amendment and can easily be applied to other federal agencies. Cenk Uygur and Adrienne Lawrence discuss on The Young Turks. Watch LIVE weekdays 6-8 pm ET. http://youtube.com/theyoungturks/live

 

“In a 6-to-3 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that border agents may unconstitutionally enter a person’s home without a warrant and assault him and … federal courts are powerless to do anything about it. The border, once again, is a Constitution-free zone. https://supremecourt.gov/opinions/21p…

Shannon Bream: Supreme Court leak is ‘career suicide’ | Will Cain Podcast

On this episode, Will does a deep dive on the leak out of the Supreme Court as the nation’s highest court may be poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. Will sits down with FOX News Chief Legal Correspondent and host of the Livin’ The Bream podcast Shannon Bream, Senior Fellow at the National Review Institute & former Manhattan prosecutor Andy McCarthy, and host of The Ben Domenech Podcast Ben Domenech to break down the bombshell report from a variety of perspectives. #Fox News

The Supreme Court Issue NO ONE Is Talking About

 

John Roberts represented the Chamber of Commerce in private practice.

Before Roberts, the Chamber’s preferred position was chosen 50% of the time.

Under Roberts, 70% of the cases are decided in the Chamber’s favor.

 

Before John Roberts, Lewis Powell represented the Chamber on the Court

Even the “Left-wing” supports the Chamber:

  • 53% Steven Breyer
  • 48% Sonya Sotomayer

 

The corporate media almost never covers these corporate law issues.

They want to distract from the corporate issues with social issues.

Environmental issues (Climate Change) are barely part of the converstation.

The Supreme Court Gaslights Its Way to the End of Roe

There are many reasons for dismay over the Supreme Court argument in the Mississippi abortion case, but it was the nonstop gaslighting that really got to me.

First there was Justice Clarence Thomas, pretending by his questions actually to be interested in how the Constitution might be interpreted to provide for the right to abortion, a right he has denounced and schemed to overturn since professing to the Senate Judiciary Committee 30 years ago that he never even thought about the matter.

Then there was Chief Justice John Roberts, mischaracterizing an internal memo that Justice Harry Blackmun wrote to his colleagues as the Roe v. Wade majority was discussing how best to structure the opinion Justice Blackmun was working on. The chief justice was trying to delegitimize the place of fetal viability in the court’s abortion jurisprudence, where for nearly 50 years, viability has been the unbreached firewall protecting the right of a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy.

“It’s an unfortunate source, but it’s there,” he said, referring to Justice Blackmun’s papers, on file and open to the public at the Library of Congress. “In his papers, Justice Blackmun said that the viability line was — actually was dicta.”

“Dicta” is a dismissive word that refers to asides in an opinion that are not actually part of the court’s holding. The entry in the Blackmun papers to which the chief justice was most likely referring was a memo of Nov. 21, 1972 that the author of Roe v. Wade sent along with a new draft opinion to the other justices, noting: “In its present form it contains dictum but I suspect that in this area some dictum is indicated and not to be avoided.”

In that memo, of course referring to what was still a work in progress, Justice Blackmun proposed that the right to abortion be fully protected only until the end of the first trimester of pregnancy. “This is arbitrary,” he wrote, “but perhaps any other selected point, such as quickening or viability, is equally arbitrary.”

But two weeks later, after consulting with other justices, including Lewis Powell and Thurgood Marshall, Justice Blackmun circulated another memo endorsing the viability line. Far from describing this determination as arbitrary, he wrote in a memo dated Dec. 11, 1972, that viability “has logical and biological justifications,” namely, that “few could argue, or would argue, that a state’s interest by the time of viability, when independent life is presumably possible, is not sufficiently developed to justify appropriate regulation.”

In other words, by the time the court issued the final opinion in January 1973, viability was not dicta but rather an essential element of the decision. Chief Justice Roberts may not like viability — as clearly he doesn’t, observing to Julie Rikelman, the lawyer for the Mississippi clinic challenging the state’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, that “viability, it seems to me, doesn’t have anything to do with choice” — but he was flatly wrong to suggest that it was an unconsidered aspect of Roe v. Wade.

(And of course it is extremely odd for a Supreme Court justice to dig into the court’s private work papers to cast aspersions on a published opinion.)

In fact, as the second Blackmun memo makes clear, the court that decided Roe saw a direct link between the viability line and a woman’s ability to choose abortion. In that second memo, Justice Blackmun referred to the “practical aspect” of the viability line, observing that “there are many pregnant women, particularly younger girls, who may refuse to face the fact of pregnancy and who, for one reason or another, do not get around to medical consultation until the end of the first trimester is upon them or, indeed, has passed.”

And then there was Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who rattled off a list of “the most consequential cases in this court’s history” that resulted from overruling prior decisions. If the court had adhered, for example, to the separate-but-equal doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson rather than overruling that precedent in Brown v. Board of Education “the country would be a much different place,” he told Ms. Rikelman. “I assume you agree with most, if not all, the cases I listed there, where the court overruled the precedent,” Justice Kavanaugh continued. Why then, he asked, should the court stick with a case it now regarded as wrongly decided?

More gaslighting: The superficial plausibility of Justice Kavanaugh’s analogy between Plessy v. Ferguson and Roe v. Wade dissolves with a second’s contemplation. For one thing, Plessy negated individual liberty, while Roe expanded it. For another, Justice Kavanaugh’s list could have been 1,000 cases long without casting any light on whether today’s Supreme Court should repudiate Roe v. Wade.

But the justice’s goal was not to invite contemplation. It was to normalize the deeply abnormal scene playing out in the courtroom. President Donald Trump vowed to end the right to abortion, and the three justices he put on the court — Neil Gorsuch, to a seat that was not legitimately Mr. Trump’s to fill; Amy Coney Barrett, whose election-eve nomination and confirmation broke long settled norms; and Justice Kavanaugh — appear determined to do just that.

It was Justice Sonia Sotomayor who asked the uncomfortable question. “Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?” she demanded of Scott Stewart, a former law clerk to Justice Thomas who argued for Mississippi as the state’s solicitor general. Listening to the live-streamed argument, I first heard “political acts” as “political hacks,” I suppose because still in my mind were Justice Barrett’s words when she spoke in mid-September at a center in Louisville, Ky., named for her Senate confirmation mastermind, Senator Mitch McConnell. “My goal today is to convince you that the court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks,” she said then.

Justice Barrett’s performance during Wednesday’s argument was beyond head-spinning. Addressing both Ms. Rikelman and Elizabeth Prelogar, the U.S. solicitor general who argued for the United States on behalf of the Mississippi clinic, Justice Barrett asked about “safe haven” laws that permit women to drop off their unwanted newborn babies at police stations or fire houses; the mothers’ parental rights are then terminated without further legal consequences. If the problem with “forced motherhood” was that it would “hinder women’s access to the workplace and to equal opportunities,” Justice Barrett asked, “why don’t safe haven laws take care of that problem?”

She continued: “It seems to me that it focuses the burden much more narrowly. There is, without question, an infringement on bodily autonomy, you know, which we have in other contexts, like vaccines. However, it doesn’t seem to me to follow that pregnancy and then parenthood are all part of the same burden.”

I’ll pass over the startling notion that being required to accept a vaccine is equivalent to being forced to carry a pregnancy to term. “Gaslighting” doesn’t adequately describe the essence of what Justice Barrett was suggesting: that the right to abortion really isn’t necessary because any woman who doesn’t want to be a mother can just hand her full-term baby over to the nearest police officer and be done with the whole business. As Justice Barrett, of all people, surely understands, such a woman will forever be exactly what she didn’t want to be: a mother, albeit one stripped of her ability to make a different choice.

I will give the gaslighting prize to Justice Kavanaugh and his suggestion that the court should simply adopt a position of “neutrality” with respect to abortion. Abortion is a contentious issue with important interests on both sides, he said to Solicitor General Prelogar. “Why should this court be the arbiter rather than Congress, the state legislatures, state supreme courts, the people being able to resolve this?” he said. “And there will be different answers in Mississippi and New York, different answers in Alabama than California because they’re two different interests at stake and the people in those states might value those interests somewhat differently.”

Justice Kavanaugh painted a soothing description of a down-the-middle resolution, but Solicitor General Prelogar, for one, wasn’t fooled. “The nature of fundamental rights is that it’s not left up to state legislatures to decide whether to honor them or not,” she responded.

Can Justice Kavanaugh really believe what he said? We’ll see soon enough. Last month, the court heard arguments in a case that challenges New York’s strict requirement for a license to carry a concealed weapon. Most states have looser restrictions. New York, through its legislative process, is in a minority.

Will Justice Kavanaugh and those of his colleagues who glorify a recently manufactured version of the Second Amendment allow New York City to keep going its own way on gun safety in the name of “letting the people decide”? That’s about as likely as the chance that those very same justices will decide to keep the right to abortion on the books. In both cases, we know what they’re going to do. The only mystery is how they will explain it.

Supreme Court Justices Make a Surprising Proposal in Torture Case

Twenty years after the Sept. 11 attacks, three justices said it was time to hear from the first detainee subjected to brutal interrogation by the C.I.A.

WASHINGTON — Twenty years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Supreme Court on Wednesday found itself struggling to address two issues stemming from that period: torture and government secrecy. Before the justices were done for the day, the proceedings had taken a surprising turn.

The basic question for the justices was whether the government could invoke national security to block testimony by two C.I.A. contractors who were instrumental in the brutal interrogations of the detainee known as Abu Zubaydah, who was waterboarded more than 60 times and is being held without charge at Guantánamo Bay.

Abu Zubaydah sought to subpoena the contractors in connection with a Polish criminal investigation. The inquiry was prompted by a determination by the European Court of Human Rights that he had been tortured in 2002 and 2003 at secret sites operated by the C.I.A., including one in Poland.

The United States government invoked the state secrets doctrine to bar the contractors from testifying in an apparent effort to avoid formally admitting what is common knowledge: that Poland was host to one of the so-called black sites.

Three justices proposed a novel solution: Why not let Abu Zubaydah himself testify in connection with the Polish inquiry? By allowing him to describe what he had endured, the justices suggested, the court could sidestep the question of whether the government had to allow the C.I.A. contractors to appear.

“Why doesn’t he testify?” Justice Stephen G. Breyer asked Abu Zubaydah’s lawyer. “He was there. Why doesn’t he say this is what happened?”

The lawyer, David F. Klein, said that was not possible. “He has been held in Guantánamo incommunicado,” Mr. Klein said of his client.

In the argument’s final minutes, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch urged the government’s lawyer to allow Abu Zubaydah to testify.

“Why not make the witness available?” Justice Gorsuch asked Brian H. Fletcher, the acting United States solicitor general. “What is the government’s objection to the witness testifying to his own treatment?”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor pursued the point. “Are you going to let him testify as to what happened to him?” she asked.

Mr. Fletcher would not give a direct answer. “I’m not prepared to make representations for the United States, especially on matters of national security,” he said.

But he promised to give the court a more considered response, presumably in a letter, after consulting with other government officials.

Justice Gorsuch seemed exasperated by the government’s position.

This case has been litigated for years and all the way up to the United States Supreme Court,” he said, “and you haven’t considered whether that’s an off-ramp that the government could provide that would obviate the need for any of this?”

Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, participating in the argument remotely after testing positive for the coronavirus last week, asked the last question, and it was an even more fundamental one. It concerned the status of the 2001 law that approved going to war against those responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or A.U.M.F.

Is the United States still engaged in hostilities for purposes of the A.U.M.F. against Al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations?” he asked, seeking to get at whether the United States still has a basis for holding Abu Zubaydah.

Mr. Fletcher said yes. “That is the government’s position,” he said, “that notwithstanding withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, we continue to be engaged in hostilities with Al Qaeda and therefore that detention under law of war remains proper.”

Most of Wednesday’s argument was devoted to an exploration of whether the government could invoke the state secrets doctrine to bar the C.I.A. contractors, James E. Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, from testifying about the torture of Abu Zubaydah, whose real name is Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn.

He was the first prisoner held by the C.I.A. after the Sept. 11 attacks to undergo so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, which were based on a list of suggestions drawn up for use on him by Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Jessen, both psychologists. It is undisputed that Abu Zubaydah was tortured at one or more black sites, and the justices frequently used the word “torture” to describe what he had endured.

Mr. Fletcher said Abu Zubaydah’s treatment was not a secret but that its location was. “Our nation’s covert intelligence partnerships depend on our partners’ trust that we will keep those relationships confidential,” he said.

That trust would be broken, he said, by confirming or denying the existence of an alleged C.I.A. facility in Poland.

That gave rise to a semantic puzzle. Was it possible to allow testimony from the contractors about what had happened but not where?

Chief Justice John G. Roberts said it seemed that the contractors could talk about many things other than the location of the events.

Mr. Fletcher disagreed. “You can’t take the location out of this proceeding because the whole point of the proceeding is to get evidence for a Polish investigation,” he said.

Mr. Klein, a lawyer for Abu Zubaydah, said he did not seek testimony about Poland, as a prosecutor there already had the relevant information. Rather, Mr. Klein said, he sought to provide the prosecutor with information about his client’s treatment by asking the contractors a series of questions.

“What happened inside Abu Zubaydah’s cell between December 2002 and September 2003?” he asked, giving the dates during which his client was understood to be held in Poland.

  • “How was Abu Zubaydah fed?
  • What was his medical condition?
  • What was his cell like?
  • And, yes, was he tortured?”

Justice Elena Kagan sketched out what she suggested was a gap in Mr. Klein’s argument.

The government has “conceded that Abu Zubaydah was tortured, but, because of relations with allies with cooperating intelligence services, they won’t say where it happened,” she said. “And you’re here saying: I need to know when it happened, and to know when it happened, the government would essentially be saying where it happened too.”

Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian, was captured in Pakistan in March 2002 and was initially thought be a high-level member of Al Qaeda. A 2014 report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said “the C.I.A. later concluded that Abu Zubaydah was not a member of Al Qaeda.”

Dem RIPS Kavanaugh for Dark Money Ties

In Sen. Whitehouse’s (D-RI) 7th speech on dark money and court capture, he exposes the dark money interests he says are tied to the FBI’s mishandling of the investigation on Justice Bret Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Fords claims that Whitehouse says ultimately led to Kavanaugh being sworn in.