OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Supreme Court’

My Voter Recommendations For The November 3, 2020 Election

Posted by Craig P Alexander on September 23, 2020

Each election I create my “Craig’s Pics” voter recommendations for those who would like some suggestions on how to vote.  Of course I also encourage everyone to conduct their own research and come to your own determinations.  

For the November 3, 2020 election here are my Craig’s Pics November 3, 2020 General Election. I hope you find them helpful.  

There are two other sites I recommend for voter recommendations.  One is Robyn Nordell’s Conservative California Election Website   Robyn does A LOT of research and she has recommendations for races I do not comment on.  She is also a wonderful servant and a champion of the home school movement. Robyn kindly publishes my Craig’s Pics recommendations along with other conservative’s recommendations on her Orange County page. And we do not always agree! 

The other site is Nancy’s Picks which is run by Nancy Sandoval.  Like Robyn, Nancy spends A LOT of time researching candidates and issues.  Nancy’s Picks is one of the other conservatives Robyn Nordell publishes on her Orange County page.

Whatever you do please do vote this election.  Even if you feel your vote for President will not deliver the state to President Trump, there are so, so many other down ballot races that need your vote! Congressional candidates in your area need your vote.  State Senate and Assembly candidates need your vote.  Local races need your vote.  If you do not vote, your voice will not count in your local city council races, school board races, etc., etc.  Many men and women in the military have paid the ultimate price to secure our right to choose our leaders at election time.  I highly recommend you vote this election! To find out how to register to vote in Orange County go to the Registrar of Voters web site for voter registration.  

 

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 29th Senate District, 37th Senate District, 38th Congressional District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 46th Congressional District, 47th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 55th Assembly District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, California, Capistrano Unified School District, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Mission Viejo, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, North Orange County Community College District, Orange County, Orange County Board of Supervisors, Orange Unified School District, Rossmoor Community Services District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, South Orange County Community College District, State Assembly, State Senate, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Do Justice Kennedy’s Prior Rulings Tell Us What He’ll Do in the Prop 8 and DOMA Cases?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 26, 2013

I usually loathe reposting old stories from our blog, but in light of the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop 8 case) today and United States v. Windsor (DOMA case) tomorrow, I thought I would repost the story I wrote back on February 8, 2012, after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Prop 8.  (OC Political was a mere nine days old at that point, with our first post going up on January 31, 2012.)  The Supreme Court will likely issue its ruling in June.

Everyone expects Justice Anthony Kennedy to be pivotal in deciding what will happen in these two cases.

Here’s what I wrote on February 8, 2012:

After yesterday’s ruling from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Prop 8 supporters jeered, and Prop 8 opponents cheered.  The news showed jubilant same-sex marriage supporters celebrating the ruling and resolute traditional marriage supporters vowing to appeal.

In the May 2009 California Supreme Court ruling in Strauss v. Horton, the result was the opposite, with Prop 8 upheld.  The August 2010 U.S. District Court ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger struck down Prop 8.  Yesterday’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Perry v. Brown upheld the District Court.  Prop 8 proponents have 90 days (well, technically, 89 as of this morning) to decide whether to appeal to an 11-judge en banc panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals or to appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

If there’s any lesson to be learned from all the court battles involving Prop 8, it’s that it doesn’t matter what a particular court rules, the side that wins hails the ruling as a historic victory in defense of the legal concepts they support while the side that loses vows to go to another court.  The only way this cycle ends is to take this to the highest court in the land: only the United States Supreme Court can decide this issue once and for all.

In all likelihood, U.S. Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito will vote to uphold Prop 8 while Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan will vote to strike down Prop 8.  This means that whether marriage means one man and one woman or whether it means two people of any sex in California and in America rests in the hands of one man: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

There’s a certain irony that Kennedy will be the key to this issue, since Prop 8 comes from California, and Kennedy is a native Californian who spent the majority of his life in this state and was appointed to the Supreme Court by fellow Californian Ronald Reagan.  A Catholic educated at Stanford University and Harvard Law School, Kennedy was a lawyer in private practice and has been a law professor at McGeorge School of Law during his time as a lawyer and continuing to the present day.

Kennedy’s judicial track record does not make it clear how he’d come down on this issue.

In Beller v. Middendorf (1980), Kennedy (a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge back then) wrote the decision that upheld the ability of the U.S. Navy to discharge sailors for “engaging in homosexual acts.”  In Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Group of Boston (1995), he joined a unanimous Supreme Court opinion allowing the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to exclude an Irish gay group.

In Romer v. Evans (1996), Kennedy wrote the decision invalidating a Colorado ballot measure prohibiting sexual orientation from becoming a protected class (protected classes include race, religion, etc.).  In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), Kennedy voted to uphold the right of the Boy Scouts of America as a private organization to exclude gay men from being scoutmasters.

Both sides of the issue can find favorable parts of Lawrence v. Texas (2003), where Kennedy wrote, “the Texas [anti-sodomy] statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual” but also wrote that the case “does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter.”  So Lawrence v. Texas tells us that Kennedy opposed attempts to regulate the conduct of consenting adults but also wanted to make clear that the decision did not affect marriage.

In Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (2010), Kennedy joined a court decision that allowed a public school to refuse recognition to a student group that wished to exclude gay members.

Kennedy’s dizzying array of court decisions leaves little clarity as to how he will rule.  However, there is little doubt that the fate of Proposition 8 and of the definition of marriage in California and America rests in the hands of one Californian above all others: Anthony Kennedy.

Of course, we mustn’t forget that Chief Justice John Roberts could somehow determine that traditional marriage, same-sex marriage, all forms of marriage, Prop 8, or DOMA is a tax, and comes up with a ruling that surprises everyone (see excerpt of June 28 post below), but then again there is the marriage penalty:

The second opinion of the day was the one everyone was waiting for: in a 5-4 decision in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the entire health care law officially known as the Affordable Care Act but often called Obamacare.  The individual mandate was held unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause but was upheld under the power to tax.  The shocker: swing voter Anthony Kennedy was in the dissent.  It was conservative Chief Justice John Roberts who not only voted with the four liberal justices but who wrote the opinion.

Posted in California, National | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Broader Implication of the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Arizona’s Immigration Law

Posted by Peggy Huang on April 25, 2012

Today, the Supreme Court heard oral argument regarding the constitutionality of the Arizona’s immigration law.  The central issue is whether preemption could prevent states from promulgating laws and regulations in the sphere traditionally considered under the federal jurisdiction.  Judging from Justices Anthony Kennedy and Sonia Sotomayors’ comments, it appears that the Supreme Court is not persuaded by the Obama Administration’s argument that because immigration is under the federal jurisdiction, the states cannot enact laws to protect themselves even if the federal government had failed to enforce its own laws.  Justice Sotomayor found the Solicitor General’s argument confusing and that his argument was not going well before the Court.

While the Supreme Court’s decision affects whether states could enact and enforce its own immigration law, I believe that the broader implication of the Court’s decision will be on the issue of what legal recourse could be pursued when government officials fail to fulfill their constitutional duties to enforce the laws that they disagree with.  What comes to my mind is the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision to send the Proposition 8 case back to the California Supreme Court on the issue of whether the proponents of Proposition 8 has standing to argue the constitutionality of Proposition 8 in federal courts when government officials (i.e. former Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown) refused to defend Proposition 8 in federal courts.  While the California Supreme Court’s decision to give standing to the proponents of Proposition 8 was based on the idea that if government officials could decide not to enforce voters-passed laws because the government officials disagree with the law, then the populist idea of referendums and propositions would be rendered meaningless.

Here, if the Supreme Court finds that Arizona could enact immigration laws to protect its border, the legal door is ajar to permit states to enact laws in areas where the federal government refuses to enforce, or in states where ordinary citizens could pass laws via propositions, citizens could pass laws without fearing that they have no legal recourse if their elected officials refuse to uphold the laws.

Posted in National | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

The dumbest dialogue on Obamacare yet

Posted by Brenda Higgins on April 3, 2012

In the wake of the recent oral arguments to the Supreme Court, politicians with stakes on both sides of the issue have exercised their liberty to open their mouths about it. With matters that are complex enough to necessitate Supreme Court intervention, politicians would have been well served to exercise restraint. As the saying goes, better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.

POTUS seemed to lob the first grenade in this nonsensical war of words with the following disposition of his genius.
“I am confident the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically-elected congress” Gee, I don’t know Barry, but maybe a clue exists in the cases of Marbury v. Madison, McCullough v. Maryland, Gibbons v. Ogden. In all of these cases the high court determined that Congressional or State Legislature actions were either appropriate or inappropriate under the powers granted to them by the Constitution. Judicial review? Ever heard of it? Just because the majority of a democratically elected Congress voted that we should all covert to Buddahism, does not mean that the court is going to allow such a law to stand.

I believe that Barry attended and graduated from Harvard Law School, even though I have not seen any official transcripts, BUT, my question would be whether or not he passed Constitutional Law after a comment like that. The popularity of the law, or the strength of the majority on the vote have no bearing on the grant, or lack thereof, of power to Congress, in the Constitution. I get that he is confused when he is losing on an issue, and is not very good on his feet, but these recent comments sound much like, “Oh yeah, I know I am but what are you?!” Genius. Articulate. Our POTUS.

Then, we have Mitt Romney being questioned about the comments of the President and we get this gem.

“So judicial activism is not following the Constitution. Judicial activism is departing from the Constitution”

Giving Mitt one tiny break, you can not impart a meaningful explanation of the concept of “judicial activism” in a one liner. When we have Obama jumping up and down crying “judicial activism” you can’t merely say, “judicial activism is not following the Constitution”. He could have said, the court will do what it has always done, and strike down laws that are not constitutional. That is their job, it is what we want them to do. He seems stunned by the question and ill prepared to address it. His retort sounds as childish as the comments from Barry and is tantamount to “Yeah, well come over here and say that!”.

Mitt, I understand, also received a Juris Doctor from Harvard, and I’m pretty sure it’s not one of those online law schools.

Judicial activism, is not like super-twins-powers-activate!, that you get all power and unsuspected, otherwise humanly impossible victory for your team whenever it is invoked or granted to your side. It is a criticism of the judiciary that they are allegedly utilizing and relying upon their own personal biases and politics when they are interpreting an issue of First Impression, which is that it has never been addressed before. Judicial activism then, is the battle cry of the whiners on losing side. Not unlike complaining about how blind the Umpire was at your kids Little League game.

When it comes to the Supreme Court, somebody is always unhappy, somebody leaves the building a loser, and somebody cries “injustice”, and yes, someone raves”judicial activism”. It just ain’t fair. It is the way the system works, and works pretty effectively. This utter lack of reverence and political demonizing of this branch is something that should be offensive to us all.

I have seen several comments questioning that if the court can be “activist” on Roe v. Wade, then why not be “activist” on overturning the PPACA (Aka Obamacare). THIS is the most illiterate and incomprehensible of all the dumb comments so far.

Roe, whether you like it or not, is a case protecting fundamental rights of individuals, primarily under the 14th Amendment. The focus is the individual and the protection afforded to all of us within the 14th Amendment. The PPACA case involves the POWER of Congress to do what it has done. This legislation is so breathtakingly broad, it is difficult to even start to describe the plethora of overstepping the powers of Congress that has gone on here. Just on its face, it compels businesses to provide health insurance coverage for employees, compels individuals to purchase health care coverage, and compels the same insurance companies to provide insurance to those whom they might otherwise not wish to have as clients. I don’t care at all about how “human” Obama wants to characterize this, Congress can not go around dictating who will do business and contract with whom, and dictating what we will purchase. While we get mired in whether Congress had the POWER to do ANY of this, we don’t even get to the question of the First Amendment Rights to Association that my be impacted by the various “mandates”. Breathtakingly broad. There is no other way to describe this abomination. In both cases, the court is the last vestige of defense and the one thing that protects the individual by curtailing the government.

Congress has overstepped and abused its powers. It is really that simple, and that complicated. It likely goes down, but Barry is obviously nervous, and he is the consummate campaigner. Sorry, the Supremes don’t work that way and their lifetime tenure make them generally immune (hopefully) from such public relations games by the Great Campaigner. As officers of the court, as elected officials, do these politicians not have the job to instill CONFIDENCE in the court? Please, all of you verbose campaigners, stop scapegoating the most distinguished branch or our government with your sore loser rhetoric. An ounce of respect and dignity for the branch that is literally our last defense against this kind of government infringement, socialism and tyranny, and all sorts of invasions of our rights and privacies.

Obamacare will likely be overturned because it is bad law, and it is the JOB of the Supreme Court, to overturn bad laws that violate the constitution.

Mitt, you can use that next time someone asks you.

 

Posted in National, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 14 Comments »

High Court Takes on Affirmative Action; What About Asian People?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 22, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court JusticesYou’ve likely heard the U.S. Supreme Court is going to hear the case of Fisher v. Texas, a challenge to the race-based affirmative action admissions policy at the University of Texas.  In 2003, Grutter v. Bollinger permitted the continuation of race-based affirmative action in public college admissions.  However, Grutter was decided 5-4, with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor voting joining the liberal justices to uphold race-based affirmative action while Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the conservative justices to strike it down.  Well, what a difference a few years makes: right-of-center swing vote O’Connor has been replaced by solid conservative Justice Samuel Alito, leaving Kennedy the Court’s swing vote, and he’s already on record opposing race-based affirmative action.  On top of that, liberal Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself from this case.  That sets the stage for a historic 5-3 ruling in Fisher v. Texas in the 2012-2013 session to strike down race-based affirmative action in public college admissions.

To be honest, I am shocked at the speed and circumstances of the likely end of race-based affirmative action in public college admissions.  I thought it would take another decade to accomplish, and I always figured it would be an Asian-American plaintiff.  Asian-American enrollment has soared at virtually every college in which race-based affirmative action has been banned.  After Proposition 209 banned race-based affirmative action in California, Asian-Americans have become the plurality or majority at seven of the nine campuses of the University of California (Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz are the two).  Study after study after study has found eliminating race-based affirmative action in college admissions increases Asian-American enrollment.

Excerpts from this New York Times article are telling:

…in 2005 Asian-Americans were admitted to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, at a much lower rate (54 percent) than black applicants (71 percent) and Hispanic applicants (79 percent) — despite median SAT scores that were 140 points higher than Hispanics and 240 points higher than blacks.

In the late 1980s, [UC Berkeley] administrators appeared to be limiting Asian-American admissions, prompting a federal investigation. The result was an apology by the chancellor at the time, and a vow that there would be no cap on Asian enrollment.

University administrators and teachers use anguished words to describe what has happened since.

“I’ve heard from Latinos and blacks that Asians should not be considered a minority at all,” says Elaine Kim, a professor of Asian-American studies at Berkeley. “What happened after they got rid of affirmative action has been a disaster — for blacks and Latinos. And for Asians it’s been a disaster because some people think the campus has become all-Asian.”

While complaints about affirmative action have long focused on whether whites were being discriminated against in favor of blacks and Latinos, the data indicates affirmative action is neutral for whites and discriminates against Asian-Americans in favor of blacks and Latinos.

The fundamental point to all this is that race-based affirmative action is discriminatory, and the Supreme Court will end this ridiculous bastion of the past in the next 16 months.

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Putting Yesterday’s Prop 8 Ruling in Perspective: It Means Nothing Until We Hear from Anthony Kennedy

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 8, 2012

After yesterday’s ruling from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Prop 8 supporters jeered, and Prop 8 opponents cheered.  The news showed jubliant same-sex marriage supporters celebrating the ruling and resolute traditional marriage supporters vowing to appeal.

In the May 2009 California Supreme Court ruling in Strauss v. Horton, the result was the opposite, with Prop 8 upheld.  The August 2010 U.S. District Court ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger struck down Prop 8.  Yesterday’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Perry v. Brown upheld the District Court.  Prop 8 proponents have 90 days (well, technically, 89 as of this morning) to decide whether to appeal to an 11-judge en banc panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals or to appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

If there’s any lesson to be learned from all the court battles involving Prop 8, it’s that it doesn’t matter what a particular court rules, the side that wins hails the ruling as a historic victory in defense of the legal concepts they support while the side that loses vows to go to another court.  The only way this cycle ends is to take this to the highest court in the land: only the United States Supreme Court can decide this issue once and for all.

In all likelihood, U.S. Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito will vote to uphold Prop 8 while Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan will vote to strike down Prop 8.  This means that whether marriage means one man and one woman or whether it means two people of any sex in California and in America rests in the hands of one man: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

There’s a certain irony that Kennedy will be the key to this issue, since Prop 8 comes from California, and Kennedy is a native Californian who spent the majority of his life in this state and was appointed to the Supreme Court by fellow Californian Ronald Reagan.  A Catholic educated at Stanford University and Harvard Law School, Kennedy was a lawyer in private practice and has been a law professor at McGeorge School of Law during his time as a lawyer and continuing to the present day.

Kennedy’s judicial track record does not make it clear how he’d come down on this issue.

In Beller v. Middendorf (1980), Kennedy (a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge back then) wrote the decision that upheld the ability of the U.S. Navy to discharge sailors for “engaging in homosexual acts.”  In Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Group of Boston (1995), he joined a unanimous Supreme Court opinion allowing the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to exclude an Irish gay group.

In Romer v. Evans (1996), Kennedy wrote the decision invalidating a Colorado ballot measure prohibiting sexual orientation from becoming a protected class (protected classes include race, religion, etc.).  In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), Kennedy voted to uphold the right of the Boy Scouts of America as a private organization to exclude gay men from being scoutmasters.

Both sides of the issue can find favorable parts of Lawrence v. Texas (2003), where Kennedy wrote, “the Texas [anti-sodomy] statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual” but also wrote that the case “does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter.”  So Lawrence v. Texas tells us that Kennedy opposed attempts to regulate the conduct of consenting adults but also wanted to make clear that the decision did not affect marriage.

In Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (2010), Kennedy joined a court decision that allowed a public school to refuse recognition to a student group that wished to exclude gay members.

Kennedy’s dizzying array of court decisions leaves little clarity as to how he will rule.  However, there is little doubt that the fate of Proposition 8 and of the definition of marriage in California and America rests in the hands of one Californian above all others: Anthony Kennedy.

Posted in California | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »