RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Intro: "The Roberts Court's rulings appear to be a concerted effort to send us back to the Gilded Age. If they dump the Affordable Care Act, writes David Dow, we should dump them."

If the Supreme Court Justices dump the Affordable Care Act we should dump them. (photo: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)
If the Supreme Court Justices dump the Affordable Care Act we should dump them. (photo: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)

Impeaching the Supreme Court Justices

By David R. Dow, The Daily Beast

04 April 12


ou think the idea is laughable? Thomas Jefferson disagreed with you.

Jefferson believed Supreme Court justices who undermine the principles of the Constitution ought to be impeached, and that wasn’t just idle talk. During his presidency, Jefferson led the effort to oust Justice Salmon Chase, arguing that Chase was improperly seizing power. The Senate acquitted Chase in 1805, and no Justice has been impeached since, but as the Supreme Court threatens to nullify the health-care law, Jefferson’s idea is worth revisiting.

The problem with the current court is not merely that there is a good chance it will strike down a clearly constitutional law. The problem is that this decision would be the latest salvo in what seems to be a sustained effort on the part of the Roberts Court to return the country to the Gilded Age.

During that period - which ran from the years after of the Civil War to the start of the 20th century - wealth became highly concentrated and corporations came to dominate American business.

At the close of the Gilded Age, the U.S. infant mortality rate was around 10 percent - a number you find today in impoverished Central African nations. In some cities, it exceeded 30 percent. Women could not vote, and their lives were controlled by men. Blacks lived apart from whites and comprised an economic, social, and political underclass. Corporations exerted an unchecked and deleterious influence on the lives of workers.

All these ills were ultimately addressed by the federal government, but the strongest and most sustained resistance to fixing them came from the court. One exception was the great Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who argued that where economic regulations are at stake, judges must respect legislative decisions aimed at protecting society’s most vulnerable members. Our Constitution, Holmes famously wrote, does not enact social Darwinism. If the legislature acts to protect the poor and less powerful, its actions must be respected by the judicial branch.

That idea doesn’t appear to hold much water with the current court. Justice Clarence Thomas, in particular, has a well-known affinity for the values of the Gilded Age. But he has quietly gone from being an outlier to being only one of five consistently regressive votes.

The pattern began with the court’s 2007 decision in Gonzales v. Carhart, a case involving a rarely used, late-term abortion procedure. In holding that the government can prohibit abortion even where a woman’s life or health is at risk, the court overturned a decision that was not yet 10 years old.

To justify the ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy - an ostensibly staunch believer in individual liberty - explained that some women who might otherwise undergo it would come to regret their decision. Ah, fickle women! Since Roe v. Wade the abortion debate has always involved male-dominated legislatures enacting laws telling women what they can and cannot do. The Roberts Court, it seems, is similarly not averse to helping protect women from themselves.

Also in 2007, the court ruled that a Seattle school district’s plan to achieve racial balance in its public schools was unconstitutional. Reasonable people can of course disagree about whether using race to arrive at a diverse student body is good policy or bad. But there is an unquestionable moral distinction between using race to encourage racial integration versus using race to keep the blacks away.

The latter is, of course, what the court allowed in 1896, when it upheld the so-called “separate but equal" doctrine in Plessy v. Ferguson. Justice Harlan famously dissented in Plessy, insisting that the Constitution is colorblind. In a perverse rhetorical move, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the court in the Seattle case, suggested that Harlan's phrase applies equally where the government is trying to promote the blending of the races rather than maintaining their separation.

And then came Citizens United, in which the court struck down a popularly supported, bipartisan effort to place limits on the ability of the wealthy to dominate political discourse. Income inequality is a fact of life in a capitalist system. But when it comes to choosing our elected representatives, the people are supposed to stand on equal footing. Your right to control your destiny by electing people who share your visions and values is not supposed to depend on the fatness of your wallet. But now, thanks to five justices, it does. In ruling that corporations have a First Amendment right that precludes Congress from regulating how much money they can spend to support political candidates or causes, the court propped up a regime where the voices of the wealthy drown out all the rest.

Each of these cases was decided by a 5-4 vote, along predictable and ideological lines. Each overturned comparatively recent precedent. Each paid obeisance to a 19th-century norm. And while any individual ruling can always be justified or explained away, a larger truth emerges ineluctably from the whole. A decision overturning the Affordable Care Act will fit snugly into this narrative.

The vacuity of the arguments against the health-care law has been well covered (see especially Akhil Amar’s analysis in Slate). I will add only two points.

First, Congress’s authority in passing the law rests on an elementary syllogism: You don't have to drive, but if you do, the government can make you buy insurance. The logical structure at work here is that if you are going to do something (drive, for example), the government can make you purchase a commercial product (insurance, for example), so long as it has a good reason for doing so (making sure you can pay for any damage you do). That logic is obviously satisfied in the health-care context. You are going to use medical care, so the government can make you buy insurance in order to make sure you can pay for it. Liberty, like every other human and constitutional right, is not absolute. Under some circumstances, it can be regulated.

Which leads to the second point: critics of the health-care law say the only reason the rest of us have to pay for medical services used by people who have no money is that laws require hospitals to treat people who come in for emergencies regardless of their ability to pay. In other words, the critics say, the only reason there is a social cost - the only reason the syllogism works - is because of the underlying laws requiring hospitals to treat the poor.

Unlike silly examples involving broccoli and cell phones, that so-called “bootstrap" argument is sound. But here the critics drop their ideological mask as surely as the court dropped it in the Gonzales ruling. Their argument can be restated thusly: if you repeal laws requiring hospitals to treat the poor, you eliminate the constitutional basis for mandatory insurance coverage.

You don’t have to pull the analytical thread of that reasoning very hard to see that it boils down to an argument for allowing the poor to die. And if the Supreme Court strikes down the health-care law, that is exactly the ideology it will have to embrace. It will be saying that Congress cannot guarantee medical coverage for the poor and then implement a system to pay for it. In other words, the only people entitled to health care are the people who can afford it.

The last time the court went down this path, saner heads prevailed. Oliver Wendell Holmes’s view was historically and constitutionally correct, and the court finally acknowledged this in a pivotal 1937 case, West Coast Hotel v. Parish. In West Coast Hotel, the court ruled that the Constitution safeguards not just individual liberty but community interests as well; and in matters of economics, it is the legislature’s job to strike the appropriate balance between those two. If the Roberts Court overturns the Affordable Care Act, it will be mimicking the discredited court of 1935.

We can argue about whether President Jefferson was right to try to impeach Justice Chase. But there’s no question that he was right to say that impeachment is an option for justices who undermine constitutional values. There are other options, as well. We might amend the Constitution to establish judicial term limits. Or we might increase the number of justices to dilute the influence of its current members (though FDR could tell you how that turned out). In the end, however, it is the duty of the people to protect the Constitution from the court. Social progress cannot be held hostage by five unelected men. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+57 # pjbrunner 2012-04-04 09:20
You must mean Justice Samuel Chase. Salmon P. Chase was born in 1808 and became Chief Justice in 1864--40 years after Jefferson's death.

While in my judgment there are certainly several Justices I would love to see impeached that is not going to happen in a Republican controlled House. Nor would there be a two-thirds majority in the Senate to convict.

Nice thought though.
+16 # annashane 2012-04-04 10:26
no way for we the people to do it? There are only three branches, executive, legislative and judicial and no we-the-people?
+11 # Bodiotoo 2012-04-04 10:38
Impeachment trials have been political in nature. The less political farce the better. It was Samuel Chase that faced the impeachment trial...a signer of Jefferson's Declaration in 1776...died in 1811, still an associate justice.
+33 # Virginia 2012-04-04 11:20
While you may not like a decision or two it's apparent that neither you or Dow have read very many Supreme Court decisions - probably only the ones that made the headlines and likely only the book report synopsis.

Over the years I have read thousands of Supreme Court rulings and have found very few, if any, that were not based firmly in law. There are some cases that I, on a personal level, disagreed with but usually the decision the Justices were reviewing had flaws that stemmed from Congressional legislation.

Congress has broadened the discretionary limits of the judiciary - so much so that it is eating away at our right to Due Process. Remember, by the time a case is heard in the Supreme Court it has exhausted several other venues to get there.

Our concerns should be focused on Congress, the need to reign in the judiciary and their selection of new judges. If Americans want well balanced courts it historically has happened under a Democrat Congress.
+19 # feloneouscat 2012-04-04 15:20
So, in your opinion, what was the precedent that the Supreme Court used to establish that corporations had the same rights as people? I read the Citizens United decision it was quite apparent that they went from corporations->( miracle occurs)->same rights as people.
0 # Cassandra2012 2012-04-05 11:33
Though I agree. *rein* in , please (like a horse)
+11 # John Locke 2012-04-04 11:30
pj: yes you were correct it was associate justice Samuel Chase the writer was attempting to refer to. When I saw Salmon Chase. I thought the article was a fabrication! again only congress can impeach we can't!
+5 # feloneouscat 2012-04-04 15:16
There have been a lot of Chase's in government.
+126 # nts1016 2012-04-04 09:27
It's time for TERM LIMITS for the Supreme Court judges!
+62 # YELLOWDOG 2012-04-04 10:08
YES! and where do I sign the impeachment petition.
+27 # Bodiotoo 2012-04-04 10:44
The point of Life time appointments in the SCOTUS is to allow the justices to be able to distance themselves from politics...and the mob pressure. In theory they should be basing decision on the interpetation of the Constitution... not political points. Sadly constant 5-4 decisions point to the fact that the Court has become political. 5-4 decision leave a bad taste in the mouth of the populace.
Term limits should be tied to the actions of Congress... Congress should be able to perform for the good of the nation and each 2 year session needs to be productive on the behalf of the nation...not the parties! Left ot Right you hear "talking points" of the "parties" but not the copncerns and betterment of the American People as a Nation. Time for Congress to work for the people, not the parties or the corporations.
+11 # feloneouscat 2012-04-05 10:24
Judges are no more apolitical than members of Congress. One merely need look at Justice Thomas to be reminded of that fact (and how he refuses to recuse himself).

It would be nice if SCOTUS were above politics, but I fear that is merely a daydream.
+13 # Cassandra2012 2012-04-05 11:35
Yes, but since Thomas (and his wife) have transgressed in terms of ETHICS ( and Scalia acted in a totally POLITICALLY-mot ivated way in e.g., Gore vs. Bush) , there should be some practical way to discipline such unethical justices.
+97 # Barbara K 2012-04-04 09:54
Scalia, & Thomas need to be impeached for sure. Their actions are blatantly against their oath of office. They do not deserve the sets they hold and are a disgrace to the robes they wear. Every decision they were involved in should be called to question. They are clearly serving a Conflict of Interest, and should not even been making decisions on some cases. We need term limits, age limits, and the right of recall on them. We should not be stuck with lousy Justices for the rest of their lives. See how important your votes are in choosing a President? Be sure to ALWAYS vote.
+31 # swissms 2012-04-04 11:00
Yes, we brought this upon ourselves by having a republican president in office when it came time to replace justices. Perhaps the most significant negative effect of Bush's presidency outside of the Iraq war. I did not know that we could impeach justices just because they are rampantly politically biased. I am old enough to remember when the supreme court judges were assumed to be above party politics. The fact that they were going to hold the job for life made them immune to any political pressures.
+13 # Cassandra2012 2012-04-05 11:38
WE did not get Bush because we didn't vote .... we got a Repug. from Gore vs. Bush which was a result of Scalia's unethical maneuverings! (To which when called on this, he simply said , "Get over it!"
+43 # James38 2012-04-04 11:58
Re BarbaraK and nts, term and age limits are two-edged swords. They could eliminate a brilliant and progressive justice as often as they get rid of a fool. The obvious answer we have is to re-elect Obama, and work very hard to educate the public to see that humane Presidents are better for the country than corporate flacks.

We also have a desperate need to work hard to elect a sane congress. We must work locally to oust religionuts, American Taliban, and Teabaggers; and elect people who actually support progressive and humane policies.

In the long term, we need to consider a national vote to confirm Justices to the SC. No electoral college junk, no state by state, no Congressional fiat - a simple one-vote-per-ci tizen total national vote, majority required for approval. Just like the vote for President should be.
+15 # Barbara K 2012-04-04 12:54
James 38: My sentiments exactly!
-1 # James38 2012-04-09 01:01
And I would add, eliminating the electoral college would allow all US citizens to vote for President. National elections should be done on a count of all voting citizens. No differentiation should be made for place of residence. Valid citizenship should be the only requirement.

At present, all US citizens living in possessions (US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, etc; as well as those living abroad without a permanent US State address - are totally disenfranchised . This is a travesty. Many US citizens have never been allowed to vote for President. Yet there are supposed to be no "second class citizens". The Electoral College and Gerrymandering are two major impediments to democracy, and desperately need to be eliminated. They make an oxymoron of American Democracy. They make the rest of the world laugh when the US tries to tell them how to run their governments.
+29 # diacad 2012-04-04 10:05
Dow defends the ACA and mandated private insurance sales.

Insurance policies vary. A policy not covering unforseen conditions is worthless. What minimum coverage is "mandated"? If low, the system won't work even under optimistic assumptions - ER visits and destitution are the outcome. If high, the "mandate" burdens already stressed personal budgets. Buying insurance is gambling - our health care system is a giant compulsory casino; the house is run by insurance companies, the card dealers and croupiers are medical people, and the patrons are the marks. No other medical system in any advanced country is like this.

These policies will often be subsidized by the taxpayer - a huge government guarantee of increasing profits for the insurance industry and a rise in costs for us. No adequate cost control will widen the price gap between medical care here and abroad - now typically two to one.

Insurance companies add no value to health care. In most countries,
their role is marginal or nonexistent. Everywhere, health care is administered by doctors, nurses, and hospitals. Yet big insurance has been central in the planning and perpetrating of the ACA hoax.

SCOTUS will do immense service if they throw out parts or all of PPACA, so we can reset the process of obtaining a world-class single-payer health care system in our own country. It doesn't belong to the insurance companies and their venal politicians. Or shouldn't!
+25 # bbaldwin 2012-04-04 10:06
PJ - wouldn't it be nice to think that the electroic might "throw the bums out" and the dems would have a complete majority in both houses. Then the Robets court would be shaking in their boots. I can dream..
+18 # susienoodle 2012-04-04 11:49
I'm with you, but they are too arrogant to care, let alone shake.
I just wonder how much longer can it take for all the dolts who vote against their own interests to wake up? I'm afraid they never will.
+27 # giraffee2012 2012-04-04 10:08
Scalia and Thomas are the worst! The process is: The House starts the process (we know this House won't) and the Senate is the Judge - so how does anything think the House would do their duty? Term limits requires a constitutional amendment - another impossibility at this time.

Meanwhile President Obama just signed into law "no insider trader for anyone in Congress from now on" - hope Boehner, Rahn, the Turtle from KY, and a few more try and get caught!

Vote Dem; Vote Obama: Scalia is old and may go and then we get a non-GOP/TP put in the Supreme court. Rest is a pipe-dream
+38 # Scott479 2012-04-04 10:09
I'm 100% on board for these impeachments.
+41 # uglysexy 2012-04-04 10:19
I whole heartedly agree with the Author. The 5 humbug SCOTUS has inserted itself deliberately in 2 presidential elections now. The first in 2000 when they SELECTED Dubyah...thereb y insuring they'd preserve the Conservative Majority in the Court. Now they are set to deliver a timely slap in the face to another Dem Presidential Campaign. And those two assaults don't even include the harm Wrought by "Corporations United". They've cited Arch Conservative Cato Institute former associate Professor Richard Allen Epstein in 4 of their majority decisions. Epstein, according to wikipedia, favors repealing The Civil Rights Act and other Anti Discrimination Laws. BTW the Cato Institute is Nominally 'Libertarian' but was co-founded by Charles Koch.
This Court is not above Reproach in that the Majority is functioning as an arm of the Republican Party in Legislating from the Bench. And, as I've been arguing on msnbc host facebook pages...they seem hellbent on formally installing a form of Neo-Feudalism in both supporting any and all measures that continue the transfer of wealth to the elites and in seeming to follow the Dick Armey, Murdoch, Koch financed and supported Tea Party...which is a movement that runs on the fumes of the Confederacy and that is dedicated to forcing a brilliant black president from his Presiding Residence in the old White Pillared Plantation House in DC.
+21 # Patch 2012-04-04 10:21
That buffoon Rick Perry had one good proposal among all his bad ones. That is to create:

"A Constitutional Amendment creating 18 year terms staggered every 2 years so that each of the nine Justices would be replaced in order of seniority every other year."

It continues on spelling out terms and conditions. This really is the way to go--after impeaching Scalia and Thomas.
+5 # feloneouscat 2012-04-04 16:28
Frankly, I don't care if it is a good idea or bad idea, anything from Rick Perry is poison to my ears.
+42 # uglysexy 2012-04-04 10:22
I call the conservative majority the 'Five Injustices'
+6 # bkath 2012-04-04 10:22
Car insurance is not a federal requirement, it's a state requirement and not all states require insurance and those that do, don't all have the same coverage requirements. And, as you point out, not everyone drives.

I think it's appropriate for there to be regulation of the insurance industry, specifically, the kinds of things addressed in the ACA.

It is not right to provide a huge captive customer set for one industry. Assuring everyone of medical treatment (true health care is something else) is best provided by greatly enlarging the VA system or, as second choice, expanding Medicare. Considering that the kind of health care that I choose (non-pharma, non-surgical), the ACA provides me with very little.

As to impeaching the Supremes: since the Bush v Gore decision they do seem to have made decisions of a political nature that move us closer to fascism, but then, so is your argument of removing them of a political rather than a legal nature.
+12 # feloneouscat 2012-04-04 15:36
I see nothing wrong with reviewing an employee to see if they have been acting in good faith. Today, I do not see the court acting in good faith. They blatantly stepped in where a court shouldn't in 2000. They blatantly made up precedent for Citizens United (well, they cited what WASN'T precedent as if it were). They have become far more the "activist court" that conservatives all supposedly hate.

The pretense that they are "above politics" is absurd.
+19 # Fraenkel.1 2012-04-04 10:24
These people have allot in common with the ayatolahs of Iran. Not much chance of getting rid of either given the composition of Congress. Just thing we could have just put everyone on Medicare.
Perfectly constitutional. AlsoSpractGideo n.
+4 # Okieangels 2012-04-04 10:24
What should happen, and what will happen are two wildly different things....
+40 # uglysexy 2012-04-04 10:24
If the Scalia Court strikes down the ACA...THEY are the Real 'Death Panel'
+34 # annashane 2012-04-04 10:25
it's starting to look like it's leaked and they've overturned it. President Obama spoke two days after they voted, and I would bet one of the not-nutty justices told someone. This is a disaster, we don't need any more Republican gifts, but if this somehow leads to a big Obama win and the getting of both houses, then i think they've told us that only medicare for all is constitutional.
+24 # ckosuda 2012-04-04 10:31
ok - let's talk impeachment - but seriously - find a way - I support it 100% -

all efforts thus far are not going to work -

they are "protected" by too many laws, regulations, and cowardly folks in positions of power who could actually pull it off.

I should think lying at one's approval hearing would also be grounds - remember Roberts claiming that he respects the law?

unfortunately, in the legal profession it becomes clear that the "law" does not really exist - it is all a matter of interpretation, with exceptions, exceptions, exceptions - that's how they get away with it all.

what we see on the Supreme Court in terms of arrogance/ elitism, and contempt for the suffering of the masses is prevalent in most courts throughout this country -

it's a dirty little secret about the "law" and the "lawyers" who become "respected members of the bar."

your hair would curl.
+22 # FLAK88 2012-04-04 10:33
Although I'm sounding cynical, I'm hoping that enough people are negatively impacted by this court that they finally connect the dots as to who appoints these people (the President). Then, I would hope they have the brains to put their reservations aside and keep voting for Democrats. The court composition can be changed, over the not-so-long haul. In the meanwhile, hope for the right plane to crash ...
+20 # acohen8919 2012-04-04 11:49
One of the best ways to do that may be by increasing public awareness of the recent decision regarding strip searches. I'm working on starting a petition about this. Paint it this way: the SC has just given the green light to any little police force that chooses to strip search anyone for any offense. Your daughter has an Obama sticker on her Toyota with Massachusetts plates and she gets pulled over for a broken tail light in rural Alabama? She can be strip searched and it's perfectly legal.
+16 # reiverpacific 2012-04-04 10:39
Good idea "nts1016" and one I've been advocating since I knew about it.
It says nothing about lifetime appointment in any Section of Article 111 of the constitution. In fact there is a rather open-ended and strangely worded paragraph in Section 1: "The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices DURING GOOD BEHAVIOUR (capitals mine -note English spelling, used in my copy), and shall--goes on to cover "compensation".
So whatever the original intent of that "Good Behavior" phrase, we could surely get this lot (the five reactionaries) for abuse of their power in office. Any lawyer worth their salt could surely find plenty grounds for impeachment, recall or whatever name given the long overdue spotlighting of deliberate pro-corporate, anti-citizen bias which is becoming increasingly cynical.
Whatever they do to the Healthcare question, I personally think that detailed examination of their decisions would already be enough to show consistent bias thinly veiled in poorly written decisions -when they deigned to provide one which I have still to find for the "Citizens United" affirmation -and look at how many are 5-4! The more reasonable and judicial-like Ruth Bader Ginsberg suggested something like selective examination of each clause of the Healthcare Bill on it's individual merit, which is what they are getting "Compensated" for, innit? Or are these jokers getting too lazy and cynical to do their jobs as well?
-29 # coberly 2012-04-04 10:42
This is just stupid. I would like to be a liberal, I really would. But when the "ideas" from the left are this stupid, I really, really hate to be associated with them.

Impeaching the current Court is about as sensible as all the Impeach Earl Warren signs I used to see in the South.

Now it happens that I would wish the Court were impeached if they DO NOT find the ACA unconstitutiona l. Our gullible liberals don't recognize that it is a hard-right law because actual thinking is not something they do... any more than the "consrvatives." But an "individual mandate" is a very serious departure in American law. One that is not "obviously Constitutional, " and ought to be rejected, though perhaps on better grounds than we have heard offered so far.
+10 # reiverpacific 2012-04-04 12:19
Quoting coberly:
This is just stupid. I would like to be a liberal, I really would. But when the "ideas" from the left are this stupid, I really, really hate to be associated with them.

Impeaching the current Court is about as sensible as all the Impeach Earl Warren signs I used to see in the South.

Now it happens that I would wish the Court were impeached if they DO NOT find the ACA unconstitutional. Our gullible liberals don't recognize that it is a hard-right law because actual thinking is not something they do... any more than the "consrvatives." But an "individual mandate" is a very serious departure in American law. One that is not "obviously Constitutional," and ought to be rejected, though perhaps on better grounds than we have heard offered so far.

"Gullible" -as in dumbed way to Hell down, conservatives are why we are stuck with a reactionary activist courts and congress right now. And B.T.W., I'm not a "liberal" -I'm a full blown -lefty just to get your seemingly broadly-brushed terminology right. Which are you; Conservative (as in debate-worthy) or "Reactionary" as in blinkered and normally incapable of debate, like some who post here as "spoilers" the current crop of wannabe pres' candidates and some on the court.
Look at the constitution, Article 2, which this sorry lot are sworn to uphold; says nothing about lifetime appointments and much about treason and abuse of power.
+12 # feloneouscat 2012-04-04 15:43
The court has found, several times, that conscription (the draft) is perfectly Constitutional.

If one can be forced to carry a gun, go to another country and possibly be killed, how is that SO HORRIBLY LESS SERIOUS than requiring people to have health insurance?
-2 # John Locke 2012-04-06 18:22
There is a big difference, in defense of the country we can be drafted, but with wars of choice they would be hard pressed to draft. that doesn't mean they won't! however with insurance to require that everyone buy insurance or they will be fined is blatently unconstitutiona l The Court will strike this bill over that mandate!
+8 # Windy126 2012-04-04 10:49
I am for term limits. We don't need Reagans on the Supreme Court. Talked a hell of a good game if there was someone near by to clue him into what was going on and what papers to sign. Nancy has done a good ob of making "her Ronnie" a hero. Too bad he wasn't.
+21 # Linda 2012-04-04 10:53
Those who voted on the side of Citizens United should have all been impeached because what they did was unconstitutiona l ! They were not following the letter of the laws in our Constitution when they decided to say corporations are people . That was corrupting the voting system !
+3 # bkath 2012-04-04 12:34
No. As abhorrent as the Citizens United decision is, it upholds the intent of the originators of the 14th amendment who deliberately used "persons" rather than natural persons or citizens (which were defined in the first sentence). There are natural persons and there are artificial persons, i.e. corporations. The writers of the 14th amendment were looking out for the interests of their benefactors, the railroads.

Of course, the Supremes could have taken a decision on the narrow case originally presented by Citizens United but Roberts sent them back to change their case to the broader one. They also could have recognized the havoc of interpreting persons as the writers intended. They could have used instead the more common understanding of the word and insisted that it really meant humans which was probably the meaning used by those who voted for the amendment.

The remedy is a constitutional amendment that clearly states that corporations are not to be covered by the equal protections provided to natural persons.
+13 # lcarrier 2012-04-04 15:10
Corporations are not persons within the scope of the 14th Amendment. An "artifical person" is not a person, just as an "expectant mother" need not be a mother.
+20 # feloneouscat 2012-04-04 15:48
You might want to reread the 14th again. "All persons born or naturalized" - last I checked, a corporations isn't "born" it is created through legal paperwork.

Likewise, a human being is not created from legal paperwork but is born.

You can only be a citizen if you are born or naturalized - i.e. human beings.

How difficult it that to understand?
-11 # bkath 2012-04-04 17:34
If you and I were on the court we would agree that persons in the clause "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws" applies only to real persons.

The first sentence defines citizens. The first clause of the second sentence applies to citizens as defined in the first sentence, but the second clause specifically applies to "any person".

Those who actually wrote 14th amendment really intended to include artificial persons.
+5 # feloneouscat 2012-04-05 08:41
No, the first sentence defines WHO the 14th amendment applies. The second sentence does not exist outside of the first.

Those who wrote the 14th MEANT "persons born or naturalized".

Or do you now insist that corporations, being people, can also be representative and senators?

Your argument doesn't hold water and fails on so many levels.

EDIT: If they meant to include corporations, then why not SAY "corporations"? Dartmouth College v. Woodward occurred in 1819 prior to the drafting of the 14th. OR perhaps the 14th didn't mean to include corporations at all? All in all the timeline fails. Person meant "human being" not paperwork.
+14 # angelfish 2012-04-04 10:53
All this "Roberts Court" has done is Legislate from the Bench in favor of extreme Right-Wing Ideology. If that isn't an impeachable reason I don't know WHAT is!
+13 # humanmancalvin 2012-04-04 10:55
The whining of the right was in high throttle after President Obama called out the Supreme court. The right has called decisions they disagree with judicial activism so many times that it is complete hubris to whine about our president doing the same. Yet another solid reason to reelect President Obama, the chance that he may get to nominate a new justice. For all to decide: do you want President Obama or President Romney selecting a justice? Its a gimme for me.
+21 # susienoodle 2012-04-04 11:00
This court is despicable. Besides letting poor folks die, or more accurately encouraging it, now they can strip search anyone. Can you imagine how many perverts will join the police force? It already attracts trigger happy, aggressive types.
And the rethug minority in the senate won't confirm federal judges or other executive appointments, so after 3+ years. president Obama can't fill needed posts. It's appalling and I do not understand how they get away with this.
Can you imagine if rethugs were in the majority?!!!
Already OWS has changed the conversation from never ending deficit rhetoric to income disparity. And watch how many OWS folks will now be humiliated by strip searches, besides getting beat up by brutal cops.
America is so over unless we unite and begin to undo the damage starting with Reagan then escalating under Bush. It's tragic what they have accomplished. Impeachment of at least Roberts and Thomas for lying under oath at their confirmation hearings would be a welcome start in the right direction.
+8 # uglysexy 2012-04-04 11:05
Scalia was deliberately being obtuse, obdurate and obfuscative when he used the 'Broccoli' analogy. If all are in the market for food the correct analogy is to compel all to eat food to buy insurance such that they do not starve. Not that they be compelled to buy Broccoli or Broccoli Choice insurance...Foo d Insurance.
Further, many of you may not know that the Supreme Court will announce on approx. 4/16 whether they will take the Pro Landlord and Anti Tenant Harmon vs Kimmel or harmon vs NYC & NY State Case. The upshot of that case is that the Scalia 5 will ignore precedent and abolish the ability of states and municipalities to establish Rent Control, Stabilization and Renter Protections. To abolish this in NYC and NY State would also, seemingly, abolish same in San Francisco, Berkeley and Los Angeles. All liberal bastion cities mind you. This would cause a diaspora of the Poor and Middle Class and the Aged and Infirm from Liberal Bastion Cities. The number of those covered by these protections in these areas is between 3.2 and 6 million people. The least of the crimes here would be gerrymandering in Liberal Epicenters...a great big crime really...but the Unimaginable Miseries visited on the Tenants who would be purged in a class based forced migration if renter protections are abolished would be the Worse Result. This has received very little coverage except from the vulture Landlord class backed up by Murdoch Rags and Koch Brothers Cato Institute Types
+8 # Jane Gilgun 2012-04-04 11:10
The far right is so well organized that they are changing the principles and policies that are the foundations of a just society. We who want a just society have to match them in terms of our organization. Impeach the justices of the supreme court--for sure, but also let's think of a way to organize ourselves so that our efforts to rein in the supreme court are part of a well-planned offensive to continue to create a just society.
-9 # infohiway 2012-04-04 11:18
Their job is to determine which laws, written by fallible people, are constitutional and which ones are not.

Stephen Colbert got their attention for screwing up on Citizen's United, but then they really screwed up over (pervy) strip-searches.

Will someone show us where the U$ constitution authorizes the government to order mandatory over-priced medical insurance, losing 16 trillion dollars in the next ten years, on behalf of fascist privateers?

Or using the IRS, a private collection agency working for the private 'Federal (NOT!) Reserve (NONE!) Bank(ster's Ponzi scam)', to 'enforce ObamaCare'?

Or, 'inspect' granny's and their grandkid's body cavities?
+14 # feloneouscat 2012-04-04 15:54
Republicans feel that spending LOTS of money to fuel private companies is cheaper than spending a fraction of it but going through the government.

Their excuse is that they don't like socialism. The problem with that excuse is that is EXACTLY what private insurers use - they socialize the costs across the group.

So why is it okay for private companies to do it but not the feds?
+14 # claudesteiner 2012-04-04 11:19
No chance exists to impeach Scalia. The only realistic possibility is to impeach Thomas because he clearly lied under oath in his confirmation hearings regarding his sexual harassment of Anita Hill. see

Read and Weep
+23 # claudesteiner 2012-04-04 11:22
Lets start small: force C Thomas to recuse himself given that his wife is involved in paid political activity directly involved in the repeal of Obamacare
+13 # SlanAgat 2012-04-04 11:26
Impeaching members of the Supreme Court on ideological grounds - and make no mistake, that's exactly what you're advocating - is a dangerous, frightening precedent to set. However, there are perfectly valid grounds to impeach Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia: they have accepted gifts and acquired financial interests from parties with matters before the Court.

Unfortunately, corruption is de rigeur for the Republicans in Congress and such actions as those of Thomas and Scalia will never be prosecuted by their ilk.
+1 # dick 2012-04-04 11:28
The time to impeach was when they stole the election. Now is NOT the time. The zanier the right becomes, the more female voters lean left. Apparently fathers don't much care about the health, education, freedom of their kids, present company excluded, of course. Send $$ to RSN NOW! Don't be a freeloader.
You'll confirm the stereotype of a lefty.
-11 # Martintfre 2012-04-04 11:28
How about impeaching a president who takes us to war against a country that was no threat to us? and he sends CONgress and email after the fact saying what he was doing.

Calling the attack on Libya a Kinetic action rather then an act of war because no boots were on the ground would be like calling Pearl harbor a kinetic action cause there were no Japanese boots on the ground.
0 # ckingcta 2012-04-04 11:28
I disagree that the court is divided on ideological lines. The court has been very inconsistent in it's decisions as viewed from an ideological standpoint. The situation is far worse - they are divided on partisan lines. Thus they can say 'the state can decide you can't get an abortion' and 'the state can't decide that you must get health care' in virtually one breath. It serves the party, not the country. All the more reason to impeach.
-20 # Martintfre 2012-04-04 11:34
//First, Congress’s authority in passing the law rests on an elementary syllogism: You don't have to drive, but if you do, the government can make you buy insurance. //


WHY? Because that statement requires that 'government' is a monolithic blob with no distinction, no branches, no states, no separations of power.

The STATES may decide to or not do do many things - the FEDERAL government was created by the states to handle a few specific things and no more.
+11 # feloneouscat 2012-04-04 16:08
The Federal Government was created to handle quite a bit more than "a few specific things". This of course is incorrect. Even a superficial look at the history of the United States indicates that there has been much required by the Federal Government. Everything from water control (dams) to health (CDC).

Selective service can force you to join the military or, refusing that, go to prison. And it has been found Constitutional over and over and over.

I fail to see how the Federal Government CAN force one to die for his country but CAN'T force someone to live for his country.

The Supreme Court merely is validating what was said in the Republican debate "LET HIM DIE!".
0 # cordleycoit 2012-04-04 11:39
PJ was right Chase does not belong with Jefferson not even close. The issue is thorny to say the least. Other courts called into question include the Warren Court. One justice is a stand out target for acrimony, Thomas. I doubt if the charges brought against Thomas would stand now that his chronicalor Dr. Hunter Thompson has departed this life.
I doubt if the intelligent Mr. Obama would have the resources to go after the court except for individual justices like Thomas and maybe Roberts for anything except cause. Anything more would look like a corporate take over. Keep passing the pipe around but be aware there are larger fish that one might not see just before an election.
+8 # ellenandron 2012-04-04 11:40
Before we even think about Impeachment we need a 2/3 majority in the Senate.

The Impeachment Process
Impeachment is a two-step process; the impeachment phase is similar to a Grand Jury hearing, where charges (called "articles of impeachment") are presented and the House of Representatives determines whether the evidence is sufficient to warrant a trial. If the House vote passes by a simple majority, the defendant is "impeached," and proceeds to trial in the Senate.

The House of Representatives indicts the accused on articles of impeachment, and, if impeached, the Senate conducts a trial to determine the party's guilt or innocence.

The Senate trial, while analogous to a criminal trial, only convenes for the purpose of determining whether a Justice, the President (or another officeholder) should be removed from office on the basis of the evidence presented at impeachment.

At the trial a committee from the House of Representatives , called "Managers," act as the prosecutors.

An "Impeachment Trial Committee" of Senators act as the presiding judges to hear testimony against the accused, which is then presented as a report to the remainder of the Senate.

At the conclusion of the trial, the full Senate votes and must return a two-thirds Super Majority for conviction. Convicted officials are removed from office immediately and barred from holding future office.
+3 # noitall 2012-04-04 11:41
They're in office for life. It seems that they would be a little more cautious in making decisions that enable the President to bump off people that endanger the country and the constitution as they seem to have done and are doing. The case where a security agent killed a hooded black youth because he felt afraid for his life is another case. I fear the decisions of the Supreme Court and I believe that all non-selfish Americans feel the same. This is a Republic isn't it? (if we can keep it).
+12 # Peace Anonymous 2012-04-04 11:53
Can we make it retro active to November of 2000?
+3 # DLT888 2012-04-04 12:51
+15 # Pancho 2012-04-04 11:53
I'm getting sick of Kennedy being regularly identified as the "swing vote," on the Supremes. He has often written the court's most odious opinions, giving welcome cover to the four openly crypto-fascist members of the Gang of Five.

How could anyone involved in Bush v. Gore, Citizen's United v. FEC and other horrifying, though less notorious cases, ever be mistaken for anyone with ethics?

As far as the rest, I would think that "Uncle" Thomas would be most vulnerable to impeachment, as he has consistently voted in cases where he has a direct financial interest, usually through his wife's employment, and indirectly through his close association (shared with Scalia) to the Koch brothers.
+3 # oakes721 2012-04-04 12:03
All through the Bush residency every positive measure was defeated by only a few votes ~ keeping hope alive that, "Darn! We ALMOST made it." Effectively using positive hope against the possibility of actions to overthrow the pillagers' rape of our land.
+5 # sknyjohn 2012-04-04 12:05
WRONG! They ought to be impeached for ruling in favor of strip-searches, but Obamacare is CORPORATE WELFARE ("individual mandate")for the private health insurance racket, will make adequate health insurance coverage even less accessible & affordable, & will do nothing to reduce the 45,000 annual deaths in the u.s. due to inadequate access to health insurance coverage, & the "individual mandate" will be upheld anyway because the supr. court. "justices" are all corporatists, anyway, including the Obama appointees. Reasons why Obamacare needs to be replaced with Medicare For All are at &
+4 # rhgreen 2012-04-04 12:10
Sure, I'm all for it. But what are you smoking? What mechanism for impeachment do you see as viable in the present political situation? Isn't it better to spend all our time and energy getting Obama re-elected and then campaign hard for him to appoint progressives to the Court, using whatever tactics he has to in order to get them through? Maybe after the election, if a better Congress results from it, we could have another look at this option. But for now, you jus' dreamin' boy!
+2 # erogers 2012-04-04 12:12
IMPEACH THEM. I am a middle of the road voters and have never in my life seen a court so toned in to one side and that is the side of the extreme right. Some of these justices do not know a damned thing about the spirit of the law. They only know the letter of the law, and that letter changes on a regular basis. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that if the letter for the day was A and they were told to vote B, then the letter for the day of the vote would be B. some of the Supremes are no better then most members of Congress. This entire system is broken.
+4 # DLT888 2012-04-04 12:50
This group in that photo up there in the robes are anything but supreme or even justices. They are are lowly group of lying political hacks. They have no business wearing those robes.
0 # dick 2012-04-04 13:11
These are FAR from ordinary times. Egalitarian democracy is going over a cliff. "Ordinary" responses will not do. If Mitt picks Nikki Haley as a second "mate" he could win. MASSIVE, ONGOING, UNRELENTING demonstrations, novel media events, & MASSIVE civil disobedience will be necessary. ONGOING commitment & sacrifice will be needed. Wall St. & Big Oil will not fold gently. Maybe Liz Warren will take them on. She'll need a few million helpers. Send $$ to Wis, Mass, Neb, RSN.
+6 # CL38 2012-04-04 13:40
States can pass legislation to force women to undergo invasive ultrasounds in order to have a LEGAL abortion.

But the Supreme Court is seriously considering striking down the requirement that everyone buy health insurance???
+1 # jwb110 2012-04-04 14:07
Doesn't the Constitution that all rights and privileges not not specified and still held by the the People? Why can't health care be one of those. When the US Supreme Court comes up with these ruling the seems to forget that the People are part of the Constitution and not open to interpretation. The US is its Citizens and not the Supreme Court or the Congress or the Executive Branch. Providing for the public welfare is part of the Constitutional Oath of all offices.
0 # feloneouscat 2012-04-04 16:13
I don't think The SCOTUS 5 think that way.
+2 # sknyjohn 2012-04-04 14:24
The "individual mandate" violates the Commerce Clause of the u.s. constitution (but is much worse than that), which is why the supr. court is hearing the case, but it will be upheld anyway because the supr. court. "justices" are all corporatists, anyway, including the Obama appointees.
+7 # fraleigh44 2012-04-04 14:27
One additional point not mentioned in the article was even though Citizens United affirmed that the corporation was people, in a later decision the court bent over backwards to say how the corporations were not people when it came to suing them in relation to international issues of malfeasence. I guess you can have it both ways if you have enough money.
+4 # lcarrier 2012-04-04 15:07
The only guy to worry about on the ACA is Kennedy. Roberts, Scalia, Alito, and Thomas are lost causes. Judging from their questions, they simply don't know how to apply case law (or they do, but don't care to do it). If Kennedy cracks the way he did on Citizens-United v. FEC, then it's going to be like the 1930s, with the right-wing SCOTUS ponce again protecting the fat-cats.

Of course, I might be wrong, but it doesn't look that way.
+1 # Loupbouc 2012-04-04 15:14

I petition for progressive causes and support and vote for progressive political candidates. I worked to impeach Dick Cheney. I despise the GOP.

I have been a law professor for 40 years. Constitutional Law is among the fields of my expertise. My published Constitutional Law scholarship is greatly respected. My arguments have won in the Supreme Court and federal appeals courts and state supreme courts.

The “conservative” Supreme Court Justices have wrought some wrong law. Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas ought to feel shame for the positions they held in Bush v. Gore.

But Citizens United is not wrong law — though it has been used harmfully. Citizens United follows and long, substantial history of precedent, a history that began more than 100 years ago. Just so, Citizens United cannot be sidestepped; its opponents would need to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision (and I should support a well-cast amendment, one not like the two badly drafted amendments that have been introduced in Congress).

+4 # feloneouscat 2012-04-04 16:23
From what I understand (correct me if I'm wrong) there has never been a precedent set that corporations have the same rights as people. What WAS used was an "assumption" that corporations had the same rights as people in order to settle a case. But that case had nothing to do with corporate personhood. What I keep reading seems to fall back to that same case and again, using that assumption as if it were precedent.

To borrow from a famous cartoonist:

Corporation->(miracle occurs)->Person hood
+1 # Loupbouc 2012-04-04 18:03
You may be misled by myth that rests either on ignorance of federal court process or on a dissembling political design of discrediting Citizens United (falsely).

For centuries, American law has treated corporations as legal persons. Colonial & post-colonial 18th century America prosecuted corporations for committing criminal “nonfeasance.”

In Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 17 U.S. 518 (1819), the Court held that corporations have the same rights natural persons have to contract and to enforce contracts.

For MANY years, even informal, non-entity associations could sue & be sued.

In Santa Clara County v. So. Pac. RR, 118 U.S. 394 (1886), the myth's subject, the Chief Justice began oral argument with this statement: "The court does not wish to hear argument on...whether... the Fourteenth Amendment..., which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to...corporatio ns. We [the Justices] are all of the opinion that it does." The statement was memorialized in a headnote of the decision. The headnote is record that the statement formed a premise of the decision.

Consistently, later decisions treated the statement as part of the decision — hence precedent. They applied the precedent to myriad issues.

So, by the time of Citizens United, "corporate personhood" was established firmly & broadly, including in the field of first amendment free speech.
+2 # Loupbouc 2012-04-04 22:51
This supplements my comment replying to # feloneouscat 2012-04-04 14:23.

The "corporate personhood" issue is a red herring (imported by Democrats). The true matter is that the first amendment does NOT accord "persons" a "right" of free speech, but says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...."

That (first amendment) language does not limit free speech to "natural persons" or even to "persons." It says only that the law may not stop free speech or free press. Most "press" is corporate and has been for more than a century. If the first amendment benefitted only natural persons, the government could gag most press.
+1 # feloneouscat 2012-04-05 09:23
So we have now reduced it to that a $100 bill is now equal to speech?

Or are you arguing that it is ACCESS? And perhaps I may misunderstand, but does the Constitution actually argue for access? After all, that's the ONLY thing money can buy (since in and of itself it really isn't a statement).

If that is the case, then are the poor also being denied speech on the political stage? In other words, if being poor I'm unable to buy access (with money), doesn't that mean my free speech is being limited?

Justice John Paul Stevens had it right "Money is property; it is not speech". (NIXON V. SHRINK MISSOURI GOVERNMENT PAC (98-963) 528 U.S. 377 (2000)).

If we are to follow the long torturous path of "money is speech" we have to also argue that other forms of money are also speech - land, vehicles, intellectual property.

We have laws in the United States regarding the sale of cryptography equipment - however, this seems to fly in the face of the First Amendment. After all, the sale of such equipment (property) and the buying of such (access) seems to fall into "abridging the freedom of speech or of the press".

Your comment that "most "press" is corporate" is facile as the First expressly indicates free speech and free press - that in the mind of the writer the two were different as night and day.
-4 # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 12:08
Justice Stevens's argument and yours are red herrings.

Even "commercial" speech (advertisement, product marketing...... ..) is protected by the first amendment. The Supreme Court (and Justice Stevens) established so and continued to hod so in more than several cases. See, E.G., Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court of Ohio, 471 U.S. 626 (1985) & Shapero v. Kentucky Bar Assoc. 486 U.S. 466 (1988).

If you buy newspaper publication of a political advertisement, you exercise your 1st amendment freedoms of speech and press. The money is not the speech or press. The advertisement is. The money argument is a red herring.

Your "access" point is irrelevant, at least in a nation that is not strictly and quite manifestly communist in every aspect. (The Soviet Union was not communist to any degree, but "Red" fascist.) If John cannot buy newspaper publication of a political advertisement because John lacks enough money but X corporation can buy newspaper publication of such an advertisement, the trouble (if it is trouble) is our nation's economic pseudo-system and its economic state. The trouble is not Citizens United; or if it were Citizens United, that trouble would be the "fault" of the language of the first amendment [and, less, the history of the law's treatment of legal entities (juristic persons) called "corporation"].
-3 # feloneouscat 2012-04-06 17:14
The court said a "prohibition on corporate independent expenditures is an outright ban on speech". But expenditures can only BUY things (like print, radio and TV spots). They can also buy gum, typewriters and automobiles. Are we saying that corporate expenditures on corporate automobiles are also speech? Or, once again, is it a red herring (even using words from the court)?

What Justice Stevens was saying was exactly spot on (well, mostly - money actually is debt, but that's another discussion). The attempt to spin it as being speech is exactly that - spin. I can not find anything prior to 10 years ago that indicates anyone thought money was the same as speech.

The court made a huge mistake: they erroneously argued that expenditures were the same as speech (something I can't find in any dictionary) then attempted to use the First Amendment to justify it (as you are so doing).

The failure is not the First Amendment - the failure is attempting to argue that an expenditures is speech. It has nothing to do with the First Amendment.
-2 # feloneouscat 2012-04-09 11:28
More on "prohibition on corporate independent expenditures is an outright ban on speech".

Expenditures are not in any way speech. Prohibition of expenditures do not prohibit a corporation from speech. There is nothing in the Constitution that says Congress is prohibited from deeming what expenditures a business may or may not make. In fact, there are plenty of laws that PROHIBIT corporations from buying certain items.

The only way for SCOTUS to turn this upside down is argue that expenditures are speech and therefore can not be limited.

A corporation can be dirt poor and STILL have free speech. Expenditures are not required. Nowhere does the First mention expenditures.

Since a corporation is an entity composed of people, whose speech has NOT been affected one iota, the attempt to turn the organization into an entity is a false dichotomy. It is pretense which attempts to establish that people do not create, organize, and run the corporation - that somehow this entity has needs, wants, and desires.

What this court has done is glossed over what expenditures ARE and turned them into what they are NOT - merely so it can use the First to justify the decision. Corporate influence was an anathema to the Framers - history that many who agree with this decision seem to care little about.

Justice Stevens was right and the Majority of SCOTUS was wrong.
0 # feloneouscat 2012-04-05 09:29
Quoting Loupbouc:
You may be misled by myth that rests either on ignorance of federal court process or on a dissembling political ....

Okay, let's skip it. There are far more troublesome implications in Citizen United...
-2 # Loupbouc 2012-04-04 16:42
(a) Correction of second sentence of fourth paragraph of my comment's PART TWO:

Citizens United follows a long, substantial history of precedent, a history that began more than 100 years ago.

(The correction changes "and" to "a," before "long.")
0 # Bodiotoo 2012-04-04 20:33
Professor, My understanding was/is that corporations in the US were originally public companies for the purpose of the public good...Erie Canal probably being the most common example...and "exceptions" to the status of "person" was accepted because of the intended public good. Any truth to that, and if so, when was a difference actually recognized.
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-04 22:16
Your history lives in a universe I have not encountered. From the time of the nascence of English colonization of Virginia (by the "Virginia Company"), corporations were profit-seeking business entities, just as in England.
+3 # feloneouscat 2012-04-05 10:53
Justice Stevens: "The Framers thus took it as a given that corporations could be comprehensively regulated in the service of the public welfare. Unlike our colleagues, they had little trouble distinguishing corporations from human beings, and when they constitutionali zed the right to free speech in the First Amendment, it was the free speech of individual Americans that they had in mind."

This is slightly different than what Bodiotoo said, but I think this is what he meant.

The Framers, I believe, saw a country devoid of a ruling class and felt that corporate monoliths (as they saw in England) could control the national dialog to the detriment of the people.

As Jefferson put it "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." (letter to Tom Logan, 1816)

“By a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil, which no honest government should decline.” Jefferson's letter to Alexander Donald, Feb. 7.

Jefferson and Madison both had concerns about corporate influence on the nations welfare. As you say, "just as in England".
-4 # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 11:48
Justice Steven's observations were irrelevant. Congress can regulate some behaviors of both corporations and individuals. But Congress cannot pas a law that impairs the freedom speech or freedom of press. In Citizens United, the matter was whether the first amendment's free speech protection (and free press protection) applies to corporations (protects corporations from Congress's impair freedom of speech or press of corporations).

Except one aspect, your history (re: Jefferson, "the Framers"....... .) is irrelevant: It does not address the first amendment matter.

The one slightly relevant aspect occurs in your next-to-last paragraph. But, it is slightly relevant only because it says SOMETHING concerning free speech/press; yet, still, it says NOTHING concerning whether the first amendment's free speech/press provisions protect corporations from Congressional acts that would impair corporations' freedom of speech/press. So, it could not have participated, rationally, in disposition of the Citizens United issue.
-1 # feloneouscat 2012-04-06 17:30
Actually, my entire posting was in regards to Bodiotoo mention of "companies for the purpose of the public good" and had nothing to do with the Citizens United .

Jefferson's letter to Alexander Donald does not mention free speech, but does mention freedom of the press. The two are not one and the same. The relevant portion was Jefferson's "freedom of commerce against monopolies" which was of particular issue given how strong monopolies were in England. I can not find anything that seems to support the Framers WANTING greater corporate influence on the political system.
-3 # Bodiotoo 2012-04-04 21:11
The world I was born seemed like we here in the uS had it all but we were always striving to move in the right direction...the decisions by the SCOTUS DECISION...with the occasional bummer,, i,e Dred Scott thrown in...the discussion there was how politics seem to always push towards ruin. 3 majhor screwball decisions in the last 12 years...5-4s along idealogiical lines, rather than for the betterment of the society as a whole...what kind of ratings do these guys get in the polls...we have no Solomen's on this court!
0 # Bodiotoo 2012-04-04 21:14
Corporations are about standing in a court for the purpose of CONTRACTS...and they creat make believe boundries between properties, such as the "S" corporations,.. .shareholders do not get an equal voice in "meetings"...bu t as a registered, voting citizen I expect to always be favored over a piece of paper.
+2 # Loupbouc 2012-04-04 15:15

If the Court holds Obamacare's individual mandate unconstitutiona l, it will be clearly correct. The mandate is blatantly unconstitutiona l — well beyond Congress's Commerce Clause power.

Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942), marked the limit of Commerce Clause power. In Wickard, a WWII-era federal statute sought to protect domestic economy & War-supply by stabilizing wheat markets & wheat prices. The Act limited the wheat-quantity a farmer could grow, for sale or for on-farm consumption. The Act did NOT require, or use a money-penalty threat to extort, any individual to buy wheat or anything else.

The Supreme Court has NEVER upheld CONGRESSIONAL legislation that requires or extorts someone to make a purchase. Before passing mandate, Congress never required or extorted individuals to buy anything — never in the whole history of the U.S. See Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997).

When an individual mandate was being considered in the mid-1990s, Congress’s advisor (CBO) warned that very likely such mandate was unconstitutiona l. In 2009, when the mandate was being reconsidered, the CRS cautioned that “[d]espite the breadth of powers that have been exercised under the Commerce Clause,” likely Congress would not have a “constitutional foundation for legislation containing a requirement to have health insurance.”

+1 # Loupbouc 2012-04-04 15:28
Correction of second sentence of third paragraph of my comment's PART TWO:

Before passing Obamacare's mandate, Congress never required or extorted individuals to buy anything — never in the whole history of the U.S. See Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997).

(The correction inserts "Obamacare's" before "mandate.")
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 01:11
Correction of end of third paragraph of PART TWO. I ought to have written: Cf. [not "See"] Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997) at page 916.
+2 # Loupbouc 2012-04-04 15:16

David R. Dow's article (“Impeaching the Supreme Court Justices”) is Democrat party-line pandering. It parallels the GOP pandering of Fox News.

Near the end of 2009, Obama had a clear chance of having Congress pass a single-payer plan, even universally available Medicare. But, having been bought by medical insurers (as he was bought also by Big Banking and Big Oil), Obama extorted Harry Reid to stall reconciliation vote respecting any single-payer plan (universal Medicare or "public option") that had been submitted — despite Reid admitted that such plan had enough votes to pass (as one such plan had passed earlier in the House).

Obama yielded medical insurance firms a great benefit: a individual-mand ate-extorted and tax-payer-subsi dized guaranty of a HUGE increase of the number of people paying for medical insurance.

0 # feloneouscat 2012-04-04 16:48
I agree about the pandering aspect: there is no reality check. The reality of impeachment is such a huge undertaking and the political will is sorely lacking. It is akin to the people who had "Impeach Clinton" bumper stickers the week he was inaugurated.

However, one does have to ponder what to do with a court that allows it's ideology to affect it's work. I can not see the Framers being anything but horrified regarding strip-searching someone who committed no offense, much less a minor one.
-2 # Loupbouc 2012-04-04 18:23
You misunderstand the term "good behavior" of Article III, Section 1, of the federal constitution. To understand the term, consider its contrapositive, "bad behavior." A judge's Article III "bad behavior" is like a President's bad behavior that may justify his being impeached and tried by the Senate and removed from office: "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

A federal judge may be impeached, tried by the Senate, and removed from office if the judge renders, intentionally, a FALSE decision or accepts a bribe or decides a case so that an enemy nation may prevail against the United States or harms or threaten the Republic, our democracy, or the public welfare, not merely in effect, but by intent or reckelessly.

If a Republican judge chooses a republican-favo ring determination of a case that could, rationally, be determined so, the judge does not commit "bad behavior," even if the decision eventuates in harm.

A politically motivated judicial decision is not "bad behavior," partly because virtually all court decisions are political (since virtually all are motivated partly by social or economic or moral philosophy that bears political origin or consequence).

See also — concerning what are “high crimes and misdemeanors.
-2 # feloneouscat 2012-04-05 10:01
Slight disagreement. Good Behavior and Bad Behavior are not direct opposites. I.E. you cannot draw from Bad Behavior and say "everything that is the opposite of this is good behavior" - that IS facile. That is saying "what is not black is white" when in fact it might be blue or green or red. Surely the world of Constitutional law is not so simplistic? I may have missed my calling!

Let's take the instance of a judge who is deciding on a matter that his wife happens to be championing, but refuses to recuse himself. This doesn't fall into your category of "Bad Behavior" but it can't be seen as particularly good behavior. But it doesn't fall into high crimes and misdemeanors. So what is your judgement? Is that good behavior? Should we ENCOURAGE that amongst our judges? Or should it be discouraged? If so, how?

Only in the confines of the legal world can a decision that "eventuates in harm" not be considered bad behavior - or even a bad judgement. When a judgement inflicts great harm to the people of a country, how do you morally justify it? Or do you merely argue "it was legal" and brush it off?

Whether it favors one party or the other is of little importance, what I'm concerned with is does it favor the country as a whole.
-3 # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 11:13
I did not say "opposite." I said "contrapositive."

In the pertinent logical universe, only two worlds obtain; and they are contrapositives : "good behavior" and "not-good behavior." If an Article III, Section 1 Judge deviates from "good behavior," the judge's behavior can premise termination of the judge's tenure. The deviation is the contrapositive of "good behavior," and, being cause for removing the judge from office, it is bad behavior.

Your "not white does not = black" argument is irrelevant.
0 # feloneouscat 2012-04-06 17:46
I misread.

I guess the legal profession does like to deal with "black and white" issues. Shame that reality is tinged with gray. I would not surprise me if someone took issue with the contrapositive argument as being, well, simplistic. I know that this tends to be the issue in the theological world where doctrine has been reviewed and been found wanting.
-3 # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 11:20
You wrote: "Whether it favors one party or the other is of little importance, what I'm concerned with is does it favor the country as a whole."

Your concern is irrelevant. The matter is not whether a judge's decision favors or does not favor "the country as a whole." The matter is whether it is Treason, Bribery (or accepting a bribe) or a high Crime or high Misdemeanor.

If the decision does not favor the country "as a whole" (even if eventually it harms the country “as a whole”) but it is not Treason, Bribery (or accepting a bribe) or a high Crime or high Misdemeanor, it is not "bad behavior" (not impeachable). Again, for some indication of what is "impeachable," see
0 # feloneouscat 2012-04-06 18:03
Actually, my concern is quite relevant. It is only irrelevant to you. That's okay, we are all entitled to our own opinion.

When a person in high office performs an act that puts the country at risk, even when it is not illegal, that is a problem to me.

Also, you misunderstand me, I'm not for the impeachment of the Supreme Court judges as there is politically no way it could happen.
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 12:12
Somehow a sentence was clipped from the end of my reply. I intended that my reply's last paragraph be this:

Your "not white does not = black" argument is irrelevant. Compare biological-fath er & not-biological-fath er, or pregnant & not-pregnant.
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 12:52
My # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 10:12 reply-comment appears out of sequence. It ought to have been shown as an addendum of my # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 09:13 comment, which begins with this: I did not say "opposite." I said "contrapositive " (and which replies to # feloneouscat 2012-04-05 08:01).
+2 # feloneouscat 2012-04-06 18:04
You know you can edit your posts?
-2 # tm7devils 2012-04-05 01:02
[quote name="Loupbouc" ]PART THREE

David R. Dow's article (“Impeaching the Supreme Court Justices”) is Democrat party-line pandering. It parallels the GOP pandering of Fox News.

Near the end of 2009, Obama had a clear chance of having Congress pass a single-payer plan, even universally available Medicare. But, having been bought by medical insurers (as he was bought also by Big Banking and Big Oil), Obama extorted Harry Reid to stall reconciliation vote respecting any single-payer plan (universal Medicare or "public option") that had been submitted — despite Reid admitted that such plan had enough votes to pass (as one such plan had passed earlier in the House).

I believe you (and Reid) are wrong. ObamaCare passed by only 9 votes and if the "Public Option" was included, I know for a fact, knowing lobbyists, that they would not for a second think about spending $25 mil total for 5 votes to scuttle ObamaCare in order to save billions. Lobbyists write the bills that go through congress and put in what their masters want - and don't put in what they don't want - for purely monetary reasons. Q.E.D.
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 11:32
Two plans came to Reid for a vote. One was that of Bernie Sanders. The Sanders plan was to be given vote in reconciliation, so that it could not be filibustered. The other was a plan that included a "public option." That, too, would have received vote in reconciliation and could not have been filibustered.

At the time, the Democrats controlled the House, and the Blue Dogs were not able to block the public option. Reconciliation would have involved choosing the Sanders plan or the "public option" or some mix of the two.

Initially Reid agreed to let the plans come up through reconciliation. Then, because of Obama's pressure, he backed down and promised a vote in about months after the beginning of the next session. But then the Republicans gained control of the House, and Reid knew that control-shift would occur. Reid's action was a sell-out extorted by Obama.

You cannot "know for a fact" what happened in an event that did not occur.

And your logic is illogical and counter-factual.

Your logic is: If Obamacare passed by just nine votes, no single-payer or "public option" plan could have passed. But, in "reconciliation ," a mere 1-vote majority would have sufficed to pass a single-payer plan; and Reid counted the votes and found at least a 1-vote majroty; and a "public option" plan had passed the House.
+5 # lisamoskow 2012-04-04 15:32

This court has underrmined our democracy
more than any other institution!
+3 # beeyl 2012-04-04 18:17
"Our Constitution, Holmes famously wrote, does not enact social Darwinism."

It should be Social Darwinism, which is a thing unto itself, not social Darwinism, which suggests a brand or subcategory of Darwinism, which it is not.
+1 # Loupbouc 2012-04-04 19:04
I appreciate your appreciation of elegant language and its elegant logic and elegantly logical distinctions. So rare, so how greater my appreciation.

Language IS thought, not a mere thought-communi cator. Sloppy language is sloppy thought. (Except tying errors, which my naughty fingers commit.)
+2 # ckingcta 2012-04-04 18:51
Loupbouc missis the point of the court's recent actions. Though the writer is correct in saying that a court making a "political decision" is not "bad behavior", it is quite another thing for the court to act as a partisan arm of one party or another - acting not in fidelity to a legitimate interpretation of the Constitution, but in the sole interest of furthering any partisan aim.
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-04 19:28
The motive does not matter. And you misunderstand the pertinent law.

If a judge acts "as a partisan arm of...a [political] party" but the judge's decision rests on fact and law, the judge does no judicial wrong and does not commit "bad behavior." Virtually every judicial decision supports one political position or political party's agenda and hurts another.

I dislike Citizens United, because it conflicts gravely with my socio-political perspective. But I cannot say the decision was wrong, because it had premise in fact, pertinent constitutional terms, and precedent.

You appear to perceive that if a Republican judge decides a case in a way that happens to favor the GOP and oppose your politically-mot ivated view of what ought to be the implication of a constitutional provision, the judge does not act "in fidelity to a legitimate interpretation of the Constitution."

Most federal constitutional provisions are (designedly) ambiguous. So, most submit to numerous competing interpretations . A judge does no legal wrong if the judge chooses a linguistically valid interpretation that favors his political party and disfavors another.
0 # feloneouscat 2012-04-06 18:13
But it does. If we can not be assured of the court being non-partisan, then we cannot assure that it's decisions will be sound.

I dislike Citizens United because of the grave consequences it holds for our country.

I have read well written treatise on why the Negro is inferior to the White man, however just because it is well written doesn't make it correct or right.
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-06 20:38

Motive does not matter.

The only matters are actions and their precise (linguistic) terms and legal, juristic-fact, and logical premises.

Suppose a "liberal" judge adjudges a polluter-corpor ation liable to pay $50-billion damages to a state the land and water of which the polluter-corpor ation polluted so that agriculture, wildlife, and human health were devastated. But the "liberal" judge's true motive was benefitting his uncle's firm which was a competitor of the polluter corporation.

If the judge's judgment rested on (a) proofs that the polluter-corpor ation polluted as alleged and (b) a statute that clearly and preemptively made the polluter-corpor ation's pollution a crime the penalty for which is paying the amount adjudged to the plaintiff state, then the "liberal" judge's true motive is irrelevant. The judge did no legal wrong and did not stray from “good behavior.”

The judge's ACTION was right and lawful. It rested on unimpeachable, sufficient premises.

The same would be true if the judge were a "conservative." Politics do not matter. Actions do.
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-06 20:51
Deleted by Loupbouc
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-06 21:19
You wrote: "I have read well written treatise on why the Negro is inferior to the White man, however just because it is well written doesn't make it correct or right."


The matter is not whether a determination is well-written. The matter is whether it rests on sound, sufficient premises that the law permits or commands.

If the law says Negroes are inferior to Whites and a judge applies that law so that a Negro suffers harm, the judge may be legally correct in the perception of the state of the judge's jurisdiction, but the judge's action would be unlawful according to higher law — not "God's" law, but man's, law like the Nuremberg principles, law holding that one must refuse to enforce an evil law and cannot excuse doing grave wrong by claiming one has acted because of duty the evil law imposes.

Some Holocaust occurrences were commanded by Nazi Germany's “duly passed” law.
0 # feloneouscat 2012-04-09 12:40
Quoting Loupbouc:


Science also has rules based on precedence, prior findings, and (unfortunately) assumption. We call papers that follow these rules "well written". For the most part.

And although science doesn't call things "evil" or "good", the results can be considered one or the other. And law may, unfortunately, follow these papers.

Usually these are looked upon, in retrospect, as "justifying a preconceived belief". In similar ways that "separate but equal" justified a preconceived belief (in a universe that no way intersected our own) that somehow blacks and whites were treated equally.

I expect the ACA to be overturned (at least the individual mandate). I can't see it being Constitutional in the same way the Republican Civil Rights Act (or law) was similarly struck down. In the big picture, it is a horrible law - creating a "health care" network through private insurers? Egod, where does it say we guarantee insurers a profit? Just put everyone under Medicare and be done with it.

Citizens United will play out to be an evil law as it will create a Congress that is more attune to business and not to the people. Questions remain: does an expenditure to buy and import pillows filled with cat fur violate freedom of speech (it is illegal to import cat fur)? Or did the Court go a little over the top? What expenditure is speech and what isn't?
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-04 20:58
Addressing the "conservative" Justices' treatment of Obamacare's individual mandate, David R. Dow wrote: "...Congress’s authority in passing the law rests on an elementary syllogism: You don't have to drive, but if you do, the government can make you buy insurance."

(A) Mandatory car insurance is IRRELEVANT to whether Obamacare's individual mandate is unconstitutional.

(1) Mandatory car insurance is a state law matter, one of state "police power." Congress does not possess "police power." The Obamacare matter is one of the federal constitution's commerce clause, a matter of whether the federal constitution's commerce clause empowers Congress to require individuals to buy a product marketed by private entities.

(2) The car insurance laws say that one cannot have the privilege of owning and driving a car unless one has car insurance. The car insurance laws purpose is protecting car accident victims from torts committed by uninsured drivers.

Obamacare says that everyone must buy medical insurance simply because of being alive and being a U.S. resident -- not that one may not have a certain privilege unless one buys insurance, unless the "privilege" is being and staying alive. Obamacare does not protect people from medical problems suffered by other people, as if John Doe's medical problem is a tort (like car-driving negligence) that would injure Jane Roe unless John Doe bought medical insurance.
+2 # Loupbouc 2012-04-04 21:31
Trying to debunk the "conservative" Justices' treatment of Obamacare's individual mandate, David R. Dow wrote:

"Their argument can be restated thusly [sic!]: ...if you repeal laws requiring hospitals to treat the poor, you eliminate the constitutional basis for mandatory insurance coverage.

"You don't have to pull the analytical thread of that reasoning very hard to see that it boils down to an argument for allowing the poor to die." [Sic!]

No Justice rested a question on hypothesis of repealing laws requiring hospitals to treat the poor. The government argued that Obamacare's individual mandate is legitimate economic policy because it would cut freeloading.

The government's argument was specious & disingenuous. The mandate is an insurance-purch ase mandate, NOT an anti-freeloadin g measure. See also — at pages 15 to 51.

The GOVERNMENT'S ARGUMENT put an issue of whether to end free medical care of the poor. If the mandate's purpose were preventing freeloading, Obamacare would not use tax revenues to subsidize medical-insuran ce-acquisition of those who cannot afford to pay. It would prohibit medical services' being given to those who cannot pay. And if the purpose were, truly, to prevent freeloading by those who can afford but do not buy insurance, the mandate would prohibit giving medical services' to those who can pay but refuse.
-2 # Loupbouc 2012-04-04 22:27
This "reply" supplements my comment of 2012-04-04 19:31 This "reply" treats further the freeloading argument vis-a-vis the matter that the mandate is an insurance-purch ase mandate, not a regulation of healthcare commerce.

(1) The individual mandate applies even to people who NEVER seek medical care, because, like me, their diet, diet-based health-measures , genetic structures, and behaviors preclude their being ill, and they avoid traumatic injury. Such people NEVER enter healthcare commerce. So, the mandate does not merely regulate such people's healthcare commerce; rather, the mandate forces them to enter the medical insurance market.

(2) The “liberal” Justices & the Obama administration argue that the individual mandate seeks to prevent freeloading (as when a person obtains but does not pay for emergency-room medical care, which, then, tax money & others' insurance rate hikes must finance).

But a substantial number of uninsured people pay “out of pocket” for ALL the medical care they obtain. Those people do not freeload, but, instead, reduce the cost of medical care by, E.G., (and notice that I wrote “E.G.,) reducing medical providers' paperwork and operations costs & reducing costs employers must bear for insuring employees). The mandate forces those people to enter medical INSURANCE commerce — does NOT merely regulate their voluntary HEALTHCARE commerce.
-3 # dascher 2012-04-05 11:22
"The individual mandate applies even to people who NEVER seek medical care, because, like me, their diet, diet-based health-measures , genetic structures, and behaviors preclude their being ill, and they avoid traumatic injury. Such people NEVER enter healthcare commerce"

NOBODY can control whether they get ill or not. If you believe that you will never get ill or injured because you take such good care of yourself, then you are thinking with the brain of a 9-year old child. The fact is that nobody gets out this life without ever getting injured or sick.Grow up. It will make things easier for you when you do get sick or injured.
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 12:24
You wrote: "NOBODY can control whether they get ill or not."

Your terms "or not" are redundant. More important: your assertions is simply wrong. Before 23 years ago, I ate a "normal" American diet that included fish, shellfish, eggs, cheese, but no meat or fowl. I got sick often as most Americans: colds, flus, headaches, enteric virus, even mononucleosis. Twenty-three years ago, I began eating according to a certain unique kind of scientific dietary Chinese Medicine; and I have not been ill in any way, not even a cold or headache, despite I have been exposed greatly to air-communicate d viruses and all the other communicable diseases (except, perhaps, the AIDS virus).

Yes. My case is just one piece of anecdotal evidence. But I can cite too many other essentially identical cases.

See also the rather famous Chen/Campbell (Oxford/Cornell ) 10-year study of 13,000 randomly selected people of 62 counties of China. And consider the near-perfect health and far-the-greates t longevity of Okinawans who eat a traditional Okinawan diet.
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 12:35
I ought to have observed also that if one eats properly but feels a nascence of illness-onset, one can use dietary and other non-"medical" measures to prevent the onset's manifestation. And I do not mean New Wave, woo woo cures, but scientific dietary Chinese Medicine and other Chinese Medicine preventives. So, one never enters the field of (Western medicine) "healthcare" commerce.
0 # Oracorf 2012-04-05 00:38
Finally, someone is talking about this. Howabout a petition, people?
+1 # tm7devils 2012-04-05 00:45
How quaint! The author doesn't mention the 2000 case of Bush v Gore. Five justices voted to stop the Florida State recount...just in time to give the state's electoral votes to 537? votes. By their action they effectively elected the president of the US - an action prohibited by the constitution! Collusion? An ideological cabal? Or maybe they knew about J. Bush's and K. Harris' "felon caging lists" that kept 57,000(almost entirely Democrats) from the polls - and needed to act before that information became public.
Of the 57,000, most didn't have a felony conviction - just the same name(or almost the same name) as a felon. Even some of those who were felons had a right to vote. What did those five justices know and when did they know it?
The Readers of The Guardian in Great Britain knew about the caging lists, and, BEFORE SCOTUS handed down its decision to stop the recount!
(Read The Best Democracy Money Can Buy by Greg Palast) - the last, great investigative reporter.
After this debacle, any sitting politician worth his/her moral or patriotic salt would have had them impeached and thrown from the bench.
I guess that tells you what type of politician we have in congress.
+2 # RHytonen 2012-04-05 07:13
The only pertinent fact is that the government was created by the people, to protect the poor from the rich - i.e., the individual from the inherently inordinate power of wealth (i.e. business or a group of businesses or "Industry")to Plunder him without limit. And not irrelevantly, just as Jefferson described in an 1816 letter to George Logan, where he warned against "the aristocracy of our
moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

if you really want to see a corporatists' head smoke, see his other letters where he describes who should exclusively pay taxes - and clarifies the intent that the poor (or working class, the "farmer" being the equivalent of the later industrial America's "worker":)
"..will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of his country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his
earnings." --Thomas Jefferson to Thaddeus Kosciusko, 1811.
0 # RHytonen 2012-04-05 12:33
Whoever makes nonviolent protest impossible.....
-2 # RHytonen 2012-04-05 13:03
I know this could be better worded and argued, but the corruption of this SCOTUS is so obvious it should be more of an "I know it when I see it" argument.
1. In the claim:
"But a substantial number of uninsured people pay “out of pocket” for ALL the medical care they obtain."
"A substantial number" has not been, and CANNOT be, quantified.

2. The claim is also patently and provably untrue, unless the claimant can produce at least least one immortal person.
We will all die - of a medical condition.
no fact is less in need of substantiation.
And unless the patient is lucky enough for it to be "sudden," the amassed financial fortune that can withstand a horrifically protracted fatal illness has also never existed, to my knowledge. I have also watched number of "healthy living," active, vice-free and prudent people die of early -and totally unexpected- heart attacks or strokes.

3. "Costs" to the insurer, provider, "insured," or society; are VERY different things. When you "save" a provider "costs," the savings are invariably not 'passed on' to other victims(sic,) but absorbed as profit - and that profit does NOT predictably reduce the demanded profit in other transactions.
NO businessperson ever absorbs a cost or 'passes on' a windfall - especially not the perpetrator of a protection racket that doesn't even guarantee the protection for which it charges and collects, as does even the Mafia.
-2 # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 14:54
A “substantial number” is a statistically significant (5.01% or greater %) portion of a large population, like that of even of a small city, of, say, 30,000.

Many eat & exercise & avoid toxins & traumas well enough not to suffer ills that cost large “medical” bills, and many pay “out of pocket” — partly because the medical provider discounts for cash payment. But Obama's administration argues those folks must buy insurance despite they do not want or need it.

Many veery wealthy people can (& some do) pay “out of pocket” even for, E.G., allopathic treatment of illnesses like non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. They “self-insure,” as Obama's administration put the matter in oral argument. (Adequate pertinent statistics are not available — much because of current healthcare-priv acy law.)

Can one live long disease-free? See # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 10:24 (replying to # dascher 2012-04-05 09:22) & # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 10:35, which follows immediately # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 10:24 (replying to # dascher 2012-04-05 09:22).

You wrote: “We will all die — of a medical condition.”

Suppose a person was never sick enough to “need” medical care & then died in his sleep (because his heart just stopped pumping) — like many Okinawans who eat traditional Okinawan diet. You confuse “medical condition” with merely dying because of very old age.

Your point “3.” is incomprehensibl e. So, I shall not reply to it.
-2 # feloneouscat 2012-04-06 18:24
In regards to Okinawa: "The prefecture of Okinawa is known for the longevity of its population, for 30 years it had the longest life expectancy of all prefectures in Japan. However this advantage was lost in 2000 and male longevity is now ranked 26th among the 47 prefectures of Japan." National Institute of Health, 2008 -
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-06 20:19
You need to READ, not interpolate or edit.

I wrote: "Okinawans who eat traditional Okinawan diet" NOT "Okinawans."

In the past circa 15 years, Okinawans have strayed much from traditional Okinawan cuisine --- begun eating much meat, processed foods, wheat, fruit, canned-goods, frozen foods, microwaved meals.......and NOT eating the vital constituents of traditional Okinawan diet. Asian men tend to break tradition sooner and more than do Asian women; hence the greater drop of male longevity.

Among Okinawans who have continued traditional Okinawan diet, longevity remains the far the world's highest.

Also, traditional Japanese diet is very much like traditional Okinawan diet. And, for long as the matter has been studied, Japanese longevity has been the world's second highest.

So, one can infer very little, or nothing clear, from apprehending (& use “apprehending” because I do not buy your assertion) that the Okinawan male population is now 26th among Japan's 47 prefectural male populations: Japan's male population (including its Okinawa male population) has far the highest longevity of the world's male populations. Being 26th of 47 of the first percentile is stupendous when the 2nd percentile is (as it is) at least one standard deviation away.
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-06 20:54
I wrote: "Also, traditional Japanese diet is very much like traditional Okinawan diet. And, for long as the matter has been studied, Japanese longevity has been the world's second highest."

I ought to have written: "...the world's second highest, Okinawan longevity being the highest of all."
0 # feloneouscat 2012-04-09 13:00
Quoting Loupbouc:
You need to READ, not interpolate or edit.

I wrote: "Okinawans who eat traditional Okinawan diet" NOT "Okinawans."

Heavens, I knew what you meant! LOL And my post was about Okinawans, not Okanawan diet.

I'm ovo-lacto vegetarian for similar reasons. BTW, it is not my assertion, but the NIH, hence the reason for the link. I just thought it was interesting (and sad).

However, neither being Okinawan nor Japanese no matter how fastidious I am about it, genetically I am neither.

In a case of "you are what you eat" Chinese researchers found miRNA's of plants in mammalian blood serum. All very interesting.
0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-07 12:11

2 matters. The 1st matter is your assertion that Okinawan male longevity is "26th among the 47 prefectures of Japan" & my observations set in # Loupbouc 2012-04-06 18:19

This comment's PARTS 2, 3, and 4 will put the 2nd matter (the most healthful diet).

Re: the 1st matter, see

"When...the Principal Investigator of the OCS...began his studies [of Okinawans], he found an unusual number of centenarians... in extraordinarily healthy shape. They were lean, youthful-lookin g, energetic, and had remarkably low rates of heart disease and cancer — even stomach cancer, which claimed many mainland Japanese. And they enjoyed the longest life expectancy in the world. By 1995, according to Japan Ministry of Health and Welfare life tables, Okinawan life expectancy had even surpassed the absolute limits of population life expectancy estimated by the Japan Population Research Institute and many biodemographers...."

Mortality Rates in Long-Lived Populations
### [My ellipsis]

Rank* Expectancy
1 Okinawa 81.2
2 Japan 79.9
[I cut data re: kind of diet & causes of death & populations of other nations (which have longevity lesser than Okinawa's or Japan's).]

* Average life expectancy world rank
### [My ellipsis]
Sources: World Health Organization 1996; Japan Ministry of Health and Welfare 1996

0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-07 12:12

The TRADITIONAL Okinawan diet is the best of the world's diets derived from the happenstances of regional culture. But it is markedly not the best diet, because it does not account for critical details of the individual and the individual's environment.

Just so, some (though relatively few) Okinawans suffer serious diseases like cancer and life-threatenin g cardiovascular ills. See

The only truly healthful diet accounts scientifically for the physiological/b iochemical, anatomical, and bioenergetic, and genetic/congeni tal constitution of the individual & climate, season, time of day, the day's weather........ .. Only one diet does so, a certain unique, new, scientific Chinese Medicine diet that coalesces Traditional Chinese Medicine's dietary perspective with pertinent considerations of modern physics & chemistry & statistical method. What does that diet do?

0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-07 12:13


A woman appears genetically predisposed to suffering breast/reproduc tive-organ cancer but appears otherwise to have a strong constitution (E.G., very few instances of common diseases, like colds), except her body-temperatur e is consistently a little low. The season is early summer. Weather has been rather warm & dry & the National Weather Service says it will remain so for a month.

Her diet must (AMONG ELSE)

* be markedly alkalinizing/ac id-binding & internally warm-to-cool, not hot or cold

* have relatively little phosphate, relatively much sulphate, a sulphate-favori ng phosphate/sulfa te ratio, and 8:1 potassium/sodiu m ratio

* bear/produce inward, downward, upward, but little or no outward energy

* be DEVOID OF nightshades, “sweet” fruit (more than 1.5% fructose) & citrus (except a very little lemon juice used in sauce, dressing, or marinade) & wheat & meat & fowl & dairy (except a very little aged, non-rBGH, non-rBST, cheese used as flavoring)

* be about 25% short-grain brown rice, whole oats, whole barley, whole millet, whole rye (in that order of preference & very little rye), 40% vegetables locally in season & fitting the relevant preceding requirements, 5% Anasazi & aduki & garbanzo beans & no other beans/lentils, 12% oysters, mussels, wild salmon (favoring king/Chinook, Sockeye, Coho) & zero other flesh-food

0 # Loupbouc 2012-04-07 12:13

[diet details continued]

* well salted with PURE sea salt

* not raw & not cooked by steaming or deep-frying

* include extra virgin European olive oil, sesame oil, European grape-seed oil but no other oils

The preceding diet-details constitute just PART of what must be involved in the woman's diet. Other details include, but are far from limited to: details & preferences of cooking methods; what must be 100% organic or wild; absence of soy unless well-fermented, scrupulous avoidance of plastic containers, wraps, storage, utensils; kind of water; kinds of beverage; not drinking more than 24 ounces of any fluid any day; what to prefer mornings, afternoons, evenings........

The no-meat/no-fowl prescription implies a prescription of nothing made from meat or fowl (E.G., no meat or fowl broth/stock, no cheese made with (animal) rennet........).

The oysters, mussels, wild salmon prescription involves also making stock with salmon frames/fins, tails, skins, heads & using oyster liquor in soups & never eating raw oysters & not eating mussels, oysters, or (wild) salmon obtained from or that have lived in dangerously polluted water......

Food is medicine — good medicine or bad medicine — the most powerful medicine. Very small variances bear huge effects, just as do very small variances of kind & intake-quantity of antibiotics.

+2 # Loupbouc 2012-04-05 15:36
Qui est là, dans le couloir?
0 # feloneouscat 2012-04-09 13:05
Qu'est-ce couloir? Je suis au travail avec les chats.
0 # Innocent Victim 2012-04-06 22:15
Mr Dow's idea of clarity is agreement with him, but he is wrong. Much as I have little use for the SCOTUS, if it nullifies the ACA, it will be acting on clearly constitutional principles: the federal government has power to regulate only such commerce as has compelling interstate consequences that cannot be achieved otherwise. The states' mandating of insurance for motorists is within the powers of the states, which are not limited as are the powers of the federal government. What is not prohibited to the states and not specifically granted by the Constitution in Article I to the US Congress as a power is reserved to the states, according to the 10th amendment. Such is the case with automobile insurance. How Mr Dow fails to understand that, I cannot understand.

For the federal government to demand that a person buy health insurance from a group of private corporations is unconstitutional.

My fear is that the SCOTUS will not rule against that provision because the majority of the justices are in the sway of the health-care industry. The conservative justices will violate their own principles - I predict.
+2 # ganymede 2012-04-07 11:58
This Supreme Court will go down as one of the worst in our history, similar to the legacies of Reagan, Bush II and the whole modern Republican Party. As for health care - aren't we totally sickened by this discussion by now.

American 'exceptionalism ' now means we are the most stupid people in the developed world. Virtually every other country in the developed, civilzed world has either universal health care, single-payer, socialized or some combination of these three systems. These countries have healthier populations and spend much less than we do. Asides from the impeachable characters on the Supreme Court, why have we been so stupid?
+1 # Doc Mary 2012-04-07 19:38
It would be very difficult to impeach one of these justices. No easier than ... to get a Constitutional amendment passed. What about an amendment that limits the terms of all federal justices to 6 years. They can be reappointed, but they're not automatic lifers. (Jefferson always thought it had been a bad choice - that, and the electoral college system ...)

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.