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Law & Order

It was a busy Monday in the U.S. Supreme Court.

In addition to that widely-publicized decision on the McCain-Feingold law, the Justices had quite a few items on their plates:

Court Limits Federal Court Jurisdiction, Taxpayers Lack Standing to Challenge Spending Programs

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that common taxpayers do not have standing to sue in federal court to challenge government-sponsored organizations that assist religious charities in applying for federal spending grants for items such as housing for homeless military veterans and AIDS patients.


The Court blocked a lawsuit by a group of atheists and agnostics that was filed against eight Bush administration officials.

That decision is correct on standing/jurisdiction grounds but there's a bigger issue here:

I happen to be an atheist/agnostic and I can tell you in no uncertain terms that some of the most deranged members of the country's political fringes are . . . {drum roll} . . . angry and bored atheists and agnostics!

Seriously.

Yes, separation of church and state is a pillar of our society and our political system. But if you actually believe you need to run off and sue the federal government to prevent the Salvation Army and like-minded organizations from applying for federal money to help people who've had their legs blown off in Iraq then you really need to up the dosages of your meds.

Court Limits Student Speech

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that public school officials were not barred by the First Amendment from disciplining high school students for speech the officials reasonably interpret as promoting illegal drug use.

That of course is the infamous 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' case.

I'm actually surprised by that ruling. I presumed the Court would rule in favor of the students and thus against further restrictions on student speech -- of which there have been several over the past 30-odd years. Not that I really mind. Certainly high school students need various restrictions on what they say and do. Hell, with Generation Y being as it is we should have raised the minimum voting age to about 25. But that's another rant for another time and place.

Court Limits Endangered Species Act

The Supreme Court on Monday limited the Endangered Species Act and thereby handed a victory to land developers.


Reversing the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the High Court ruled the EPA has full discretion and authority to allow individual states to control the issuance of water pollution permits, which are required in most jurisdictions before developers can begin large-scale construction projects. The majority opinion was written by Justice Samuel Alito.

Go figure.

Source: Associated Press accounts.
Note: I would have linked to the AP articles themselves, but they were so poorly written and in various respects so idiotic I figured I'd save you the aggravation.


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Comments (18)

It has been unusual histori... (Below threshold)
kim:

It has been unusual historically to separate church and state. The progressives are attempting to heal the breach.
===================

This is why I started readi... (Below threshold)
John in CA:

This is why I started reading the other blog you were on, and why I'm glad you're hear now. You just don't post enough. Where are your ICE updates?

Reversing the 9th Circu... (Below threshold)
marc:

Reversing the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals...

How SHOCKING!

Well not so much, the loonbats that sit on that bench probably have more reversals than any other Circuit Court.

Several great rulings today... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Several great rulings today from the SCOTUS.

Thank you George W. Bush!!!!!!!!!!!

: )

But if you actuall... (Below threshold)
jpe:
But if you actually believe you need to run off and sue the federal government to prevent the Salvation Army and like-minded organizations from applying for federal money

That's a short-sighted view of the decision. As I read the decision, the President could take funds allocated to the executive branch and start the National Baptist Church, and there would be no avenue for redress.

This decision was the equivalent of using a bazooka to kill a fly.

Well not so much, ... (Below threshold)
John in CA:
Well not so much, the loonbats that sit on that bench probably have more reversals than any other Circuit Court.

You are correct, they are the most reversed circuit court. Even S. O'Connor chastised them for the high level of reversals, and on a couple of occasions preemptively fired a shot across their bow.

The Ninth Circuit court, besides being decidedly liberal, is so large in terms of the area and the population it covers, it is structurally unwieldy and inefficient.

Efforts in past Congress's to split and restructure the Ninth have been met with accusations of trying to silence a court that conservatives don't like. The opponents of these actions (esp. DiFi) seem to not care about the quality of the judicial product from this Court, but rather maintaining her influence in Court nominees and appointments.

Source: Associated Press... (Below threshold)
ijosha:

Source: Associated Press accounts.
Note: I would have linked to the AP articles themselves, but they were so poorly written and in various respects so idiotic I figured I'd save you the aggravation.

Careful there, J.J. -- You are (apparently) quoting directly from those articles. I'd rather the links be there... how else can I determine in the future that I can trust your general assessment of their quality?

I only came to read the com... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

I only came to read the comments of the retarded left wingers. jpe did them proud in the retarded arena. To the lefties there's a bugger in every corner and no hope for life as we know it. jpe, BDS may be treatable if started early. Wait too long and there will be too many super rich democrats in line ahead of you.

Scrappy you're my soulmate.... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Scrappy you're my soulmate. lol

I'm an atheist also... I w... (Below threshold)
Cletus:

I'm an atheist also... I was raised lutheran but when I went through confirmation and took a studious look at the belief system, I honestly just didn't believe. So rather than be a hypocrite (something the church had a lot to say about, lol) and pretend to, I removed myself from that environment. I'm not hostile to religion, I respect those who believe (but don't try to convince me and I'll return the favor of not trying to talk you out of it), but I don't have their faith. I expect them to respect my position as I do theirs, and we can all get along just fine.

As to the restriction of st... (Below threshold)

As to the restriction of student speech: since this was a case involving a high school student I'd have to say that while any self-respecting parent would not permit their high school aged kid to raise such a banner in their home and would chastise the kid for it, it's not too far a stretch for that parent to expect the school to uphold the same standard. Now, if this stretches to college students, who by law are adults and free of their parents influence, it might be a different thing.

I punished my kids for bad language - until they became adults. Free speech had nothing to do with it. It was my job to teach them what was acceptable and respectful behavior and I'd expect the school they went to to reflect that.

The Supreme Court ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:
The Supreme Court on Monday limited the Endangered Species Act and thereby handed a victory to land developers.

Reversing the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the High Court ruled the EPA has full discretion and authority to allow individual states to control..

Sounds more like a victory for state's rights...

There are going to be a lot... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

There are going to be a lot more of 5-4 turn back the clock decisions...a big one coming up on Thursday dealing with schools...after all Kennedy is now the swing vote...
You all are getting what you wanted...
but may I warn..in the words of an American poet

"Watch out..you may get what you're after"

...Oyster..after all..when you were a teen, outside your home...you never did anything you would not do at home..you never..during your adolescence attempt to reject home rules in your attempt to express your independence...

Mike...it is clear you are ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Mike...it is clear you are not a hunter/fisher..if you were you would know the importance of wetlands..
But hey..if someone wants to get rich through development and folks want to move in?

I know a lot of folks want to go back to the 1850's and the power of State's rights...
But we fought that war..and the importance of a Federal laws was solidified.

"Oyster..after all..when... (Below threshold)

"Oyster..after all..when you were a teen, outside your home...you never did anything you would not do at home..you never..during your adolescence attempt to reject home rules in your attempt to express your independence..."

Of course I did. We all did. The point is, when I got caught, I was admonished for it by my parents, and rightfully so. Of course this kid was going to see what he could get away with. That is, again, not the point.

Sounds more like a... (Below threshold)
jpe:
Sounds more like a victory for state's rights...

Nope. The court only ruled that the EPA can stand back and let the state do what it wants. The EPA can always step back up and regulate the state.

Oyster, your comment only p... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Oyster, your comment only proves why the decision was wrong.

while any self-respecting parent would not permit their high school aged kid to raise such a banner in their home and would chastise the kid for it, it's not too far a stretch for that parent to expect the school to uphold the same standard.

Are you really arguing for a government agency to be allowed the same control over your child as you have? How about more control? What if the school requires PC language, such as "African-American" instead of "black"? Should they be allowed to tear down your child's banner for non-PC (but in your view perfectly acceptable) language? What if your child has a banner promoting Jesus, but the school has a "no religion" policy? Should they have the right to tear down the Jesus banner? How about if the school bans Mother's Day banners to be sensitive to those without mothers?

The point isn't to answer these specific questions. It's to highlight the flaw in saying that you approve of the government managing your child in the way you personally approve, without realizing that there's been no line drawn to protect your child from having the government manage them in ways in which you do not approve.

Now, if this stretches to college students, who by law are adults and free of their parents influence, it might be a different thing.

Well, it's a good thing then that the SCOTUS ruling has an exemption for college students or adults. Oh wait... no it doesn't. Sorry, since you're willing to have the government manage your child's speech, I guess you have to accept them managing yours as well. Why are you willing to accept such a thing? Which is more of a threat to society? One single teen hanging a banner with the word "bong" in it? Or a government telling the entire population of citizens that they're prohibited from hanging a banner with the word "bong" in it?

Brian, that was deeply reta... (Below threshold)
jpe:

Brian, that was deeply retarded. In fact, it was so stupid that the only sensible interpretation is that you're a robot that just failed the Turing Test.




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