The recent US Supreme Court rulings set legal precedents that will further erode human and civil rights and empower corporations as well as open the door for more cases that will advance Christian and capitalist ideologies. Clearing the FOG speaks with two legal experts, Shahid Buttar and Marjorie Cohn, about the specifics of the recent decisions on abortion, gun rights, school prayer, and the EPA and how they fit into the bigger picture. They also provide guidance on what we need to do to stop growing fascism in the United States.
US Supreme Court
A climate activist has died 24 hours after setting himself on fire on the steps of the Supreme Court on Earth Day. Colorado photojournalist Wynn Alan Bruce, 50, suffered critical injuries in the incident at 6.30pm Friday on a plaza in front of the court. He was airlifted to hospital, where he died Saturday. Capitol Police, Supreme Court police, and DC police all responded to the incident. “A medical helicopter just landed near the Capitol for a medical emergency. This is not a public safety issue,” Capitol Police tweeted. Mr Bruce ran a portrait photo studio in Boulder, and his social media account was filled with posts about the environment and Buddhism. He also left a cryptic post on his Facebook page with a fire emoji and the date of his death 4/22/2022.
If the Supreme Court overturns the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) — a federal law that keeps Native children with Native families — tribal sovereignty could soon be a thing of the past in the U.S. Should the Supreme Court rule in the plaintiffs’ favor in the case of Brackeen v. Haaland, we could quickly see a return to blatant, pre-1978 genocidal practices — when Native babies were legally stripped of their families, culture, and identities. It’s critical that every one of us take immediate action. Before you do anything else today, sign our petition telling President Biden and the Department of Justice to defend ICWA, Secretary Haaland, and tribal sovereignty with every available means. In this landmark case, the Brackeens — the white, adoptive parents of a Diné child in Texas — seek to overturn ICWA by claiming reverse racism.
Washington — The Supreme Court’s conservative majority is allowing evictions to resume across the United States, blocking the Biden administration from enforcing a temporary ban that was put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic. The court’s action late Thursday ends protections for roughly 3.5 million people in the United States who said they faced eviction in the next two months, according to Census Bureau data from early August. The court said in an unsigned opinion that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reimposed the moratorium Aug. 3, lacked the authority to do so under federal law without explicit congressional authorization. The justices rejected the administration’s arguments in support of the CDC’s authority.
Washington — The Supreme Court today declined to hear Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, allowing lower court decisions in support of transgender students to stand. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit have both ruled that the school board violated Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause by prohibiting Grimm from using the same restrooms as other boys and forcing him to use separate restrooms. The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear Grimm’s case at an earlier stage of the litigation in 2017, but the case was sent back to the lower courts after the Trump administration withdrew the government’s support for Grimm’s claims.
I propped myself up on an elbow as the announcer read the news: The Supreme Court ruled, 6-3, against Nixon. The government’s unprecedented move to stop the presses had failed. The Court agreed with two lower courts that the attempt to impose prior restraint on the press was unconstitutional. The ruling turned out to be more complex than at first glance, but it was an unequivocal call for Constitutional constraint on an out-of-control control executive. The Court challenged the executive’s misuse of “national security” as a mantra to undermine the Bill of Rights and accrue quasi-dictatorial powers. Writing for the majority, Justice Hugo Black boldly took on Nixon’s nonsense: “To find that the President has ‘inherent power’ to halt the publication of news by resort to the courts would wipe out the First Amendment and destroy the fundamental liberty and security of the very people the Government hopes to make ‘secure.’
Rapid City, South Dakota - In a devastating blow to the Self-Determination of all Native American Indian Tribes in the United States, the Supreme Court denied the Petition in the case, Gilbert v. Weahke. In doing so, the Justices also violated Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, the Indian Self-Determination Act, the Lanham Act, the Transfer Act, and the Abstention Doctrine. The case began when a federal agency, the Indian Health Service (IHS), gave an Indian Self-Determination Act multi-million dollar contract to a South Dakota non-profit corporation to manage the Sioux San IHS Hospital in Rapid City, SD. As the South Dakota non-profit corporation was not a Tribal Organization under the jurisdiction of any tribe and without federal recognition, this was a violation of Public Law 93-638, the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA).
The legacy of Cesar Chavez has been getting another look in recent months. In January, President Joe Biden placed a bust of the 20th-century labor leader in the Oval Office, giving journalists the opportunity to reexamine how Chavez fought for farmworkers, while commentators on social media noted that Chavez’s treatment of undocumented immigrants, at certain points during his life, complicates his image as a tireless champion of migrant laborers. But a sinister reexamination of Chavez’s legacy is also happening. A California labor regulation that resulted from his campaigning is under threat from the Supreme Court at the urging of dark money-funded right-wing think tanks.
What began as a narrow jurisdictional question to be argued Tuesday before the U.S. Supreme Court in a climate change lawsuit filed by the city of Baltimore could take on far greater implications if the high court agrees with major oil companies to expand its purview and consider whether federal, rather than state courts, are the appropriate venue for the city’s case and possibly a host of similar lawsuits. The high court initially agreed to hear a request by the oil and gas industry to review a ruling by the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in which the court affirmed a federal district judge’s decision to allow Baltimore’s lawsuit to be tried in state, rather than federal, court based on a single jurisdiction rule.
Not long before Donald Trump’s election in 2016, the Pacific Legal Foundation filed suit against California’s farmworker access rule in federal court on behalf of two companies—Cedar Point Nursery in Siskiyou County and the Fowler Packing Company in Fresno. The foundation is a conservative libertarian group that holds property rights sacred and campaigns against racial equity. It fought hard for the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the high court. The access regulation, which took effect after the passage of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act in 1975, allows union organizers to come onto a grower’s property in the morning before work to talk with workers.
Oral arguments began in the case California v. Texas this week, just days after the confirmation of Trump-appointed justice Amy Coney Barrett. For the third time in the past 10 years, Republicans have launched yet another legal attack at the Supreme Court in an attempt to eliminate healthcare coverage for millions. Republicans hope to use the new 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court to deal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a final blow. In 2010, former President Obama introduced what would become his signature legislation under the name of the Affordable Care Act, known commonly as Obamacare.
Once again, the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health law passed under the Obama administration in 2010, will be in the hands of the Supreme Court. The court heard oral arguments in the case, California v. Texas, on Tuesday. A decision is expected in the spring. This is the third time the law has been tested in the Supreme Court, but this time experts are not certain the outcome will be as favorable as it was in 2012 and 2015 due to the loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her replacement with Amy Coney Barrett.
In this first installment of the Deception 2020 Series, we dig into that most supreme of undemocratic courts - just as Amy Coney Barrett looms over a smooth confirmation. Could the Democrats have stopped her? Then, we sit down with Dan Kovalik, human rights lawyer and author, for his take on the court, RBG, and more.
The Christian Right is content to have the focus on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett revolve around her opposition to abortion and membership in People of Praise, a far-right Catholic cult that practices “speaking in tongues.” What it does not want examined is her abject subservience to corporate power, her hostility to workers, civil liberties, unions and environmental regulations. And since the Democratic Party is beholden to the same donor class as the Republican Party, and since the media long ago substituted the culture wars for politics, the most ominous threat Barrett’s appointment to the court represents is going unmentioned.
One of the main reasons so many people cite their intention to vote for Biden is because of the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Let’s assume this is a valid reason, I don’t necessarily agree that it is but for argument’s sake we will go with it. This reasoning exposes a much more deep rooted problem in the political system of the US, that is, its anti-popular nature. This political system is so fragile and so anti-popular that theoretically the death of just 1 judge out of 9 could spell disaster for millions of people who are shielded by court rulings in the field of labor law, civil rights, and anti-discrimination.