June 26, 2014

#FreeSpeech gets another win from the Supreme Court

I agree with The Nine in killing a Massachusetts law severely restricting conversations around abortion clinics. SCOTUS did not invalidate its previous ruling upholding a Colorado law with "bubble zones," which Massachusetts used before 2007.

It was also sad, but not surprising, to see the ACLU on the wrong side of this case. That said, today's ACLU probably would not defend neo-Nazis marching through Skokie, Ill. It certainly would not defend anti-gay rights activists marching through the Castro district of San Francisco.

Yes, the old bubble-rule law required more police work. Aren't Constitutional liberties worth it?

SCOTUS has also decided Canning vs. NLRB, the case over whether Obama could use presidential recess appointment powers during "pro forma" Senate sessions. A majority ruling said "no," while leaving open the possibility that if pro forma sessions every three days cover longer periods of time, they'll relook at the issue.

On the other hand, the pro-forma sessions in the case at hand covered a two-week period, per the Times. How much longer of a period Senate obstructionists would have to stall out with pro-forma sessions to trigger Stephen Breyer's concerns, I don't know.

Nino Scalia, vaunted alleged "originalist" interpreter of the Constitution, in a partially concurring opinion, shows that his "orginalism" blows with the wind, like much of the hot air out of his mouth, per the first link on this story:
"The majority practically bends over backward to ensure that recess appointments will remain a powerful weapon in the president's arsenal," he said. "That is unfortunate, because the recess appointment power is an anachronism."

What a liar he is.

It would be nice to think he might feel the same way were Obama a Republican. But, I don't believe that.

That said, I, overall, think the ruling was right. As the Times notes, the partial filibuster reform Harry Reid rammed through makes this somewhat, but not totally by any means, nugatory.

The Hobby Lobby vs. Obamacare case looks like its ruling is on hold for one more day.

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