Scumbag Scalia At It…Again

It is a national disgrace that this piece of corrupt garbage holds a seat on the highest court in the land…

Antonin Scalia: 14th Amendment Protects Everyone, Not ‘Only The Blacks’

During oral arguments on an affirmative action case on Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said the 14th Amendment protects everyone, not “only the blacks.”

The high court debated Tuesday whether voters can ban affirmative action programs through a referendum. The case is centered around a 2006 Michigan vote that approved a ballot initiative amending the state’s constitution to ban affirmative action programs in higher education.

Scalia has brought race into previous arguments. In February 2013, Scalia suggestedthat the continuation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act represented the “perpetuation of racial entitlement,” saying that lawmakers had only voted to renew the act in 2006 because there wasn’t anything to be gained politically from voting against it.

Scalia and Thomas Dine With Plaintiffs Before Hearing Their Case…

The most reliable in-the-pocket judges took some time out to have dinner with one of the parties appearing before their court later this month…

At the far right wing Federalist Society.

Scalia and Thomas dine with healthcare law challengers as court takes case

The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.

The occasion was last Thursday, when all nine justices met for a conference to pore over the petitions for review. One of the cases at issue was a suit brought by 26 states challenging the sweeping healthcare overhaul passed by Congress last year, a law that has been a rallying cry for conservative activists nationwide.

The justices agreed to hear the suit; indeed, a landmark 5 1/2-hour argument is expected in March, and the outcome is likely to further roil the 2012 presidential race, which will be in full swing by the time the court’s decision is released.

The lawyer who will stand before the court and argue that the law should be thrown out is likely to be Paul Clement, who served as U.S. solicitor general during the George W. Bushadministration.

Clement’s law firm, Bancroft PLLC, was one of almost two dozen firms that helped sponsor the annual dinner of the Federalist Society, a longstanding group dedicated to advocating conservative legal principles. Another firm that sponsored the dinner, Jones Day, represents one of the trade associations that challenged the law, the National Federation of Independent Business.

Another sponsor was pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc, which has an enormous financial stake in the outcome of the litigation. The dinner was held at a Washington hotel hours after the court’s conference over the case. In attendance was, among others, Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican and an avowed opponent of the healthcare law.

The featured guests at the dinner? Scalia and Thomas.

It’s nothing new: The two justices have been attending Federalist Society events for years. And it’s nothing that runs afoul of ethics rules. In fact, justices are exempt from the Code of Conduct that governs the actions of lower federal judges.

If they were, they arguably fell under code’s Canon 4C, which states, “A judge may attend fund-raising events of law-related and other organizations although the judge may not be a speaker, a guest of honor, or featured on the program of such an event.“

Nevertheless, the sheer proximity of Scalia and Thomas to two of the law firms in the case, as well as to a company with a massive financial interest, was enough to alarm ethics-in-government activists.

“This stunning breach of ethics and indifference to the code belies claims by several justices that the court abides by the same rules that apply to all other federal judges,” said Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause. “The justices were wining and dining at a black-tie fundraiser with attorneys who have pending cases before the court. Their appearance and assistance in fundraising for this event undercuts any claims of impartiality, and is unacceptable.”

Scalia and Thomas have shown little regard for critics who say they too readily mix the business of the court with agenda-driven groups such as the Federalist Society. And Thomas’ wife, Ginni, is a high-profile conservative activist.

FBI Looks Deeper Into Murdoch’s Empire

There appears to be more than one rat running around inside Newscorp. I will get interested when they get into Faux News, and some of Murdoch’s American holdings…

FBI widens its US inquiry into News Corp beyond 9/11 hacking

The American authorities have widened their investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to look into allegations of wrongdoing at the company beyond the claim that News of the World journalists attempted to hack the phones of 9/11 victims.

It was reported this weekend that FBI investigators, who are checking damaging claims that reporters at the now-defunct Sunday tabloid asked a New York-based private detective to access the voicemails of those killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks, have so far found no evidence that attempts were made to eavesdrop on the messages.

The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp, said US agencies were now examining whether there were further claims of misconduct at the company’s American subsidiaries that merit further investigation. The move comes as MPs in Westminster prepare to consider tomorrow the release of new documents related to hacking, which one former minister described as “dynamite”

The American authorities have widened their investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to look into allegations of wrongdoing at the company beyond the claim that News of the World journalists attempted to hack the phones of 9/11 victims.

It was reported this weekend that FBI investigators, who are checking damaging claims that reporters at the now-defunct Sunday tabloid asked a New York-based private detective to access the voicemails of those killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks, have so far found no evidence that attempts were made to eavesdrop on the messages.

The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp, said US agencies were now examining whether there were further claims of misconduct at the company’s American subsidiaries that merit further investigation. The move comes as MPs in Westminster prepare to consider tomorrow the release of new documents related to hacking, which one former minister described as “dynamite”.

The widened US inquiry, said to be at “an early stage”, will look at past claims against News Corp companies, including a lawsuit brought by Floorgraphics, an advertising company, which alleged computer hacking on the part of its Murdoch-owned competitor.

A New Jersey senator wrote to the US Attorney General’s office last month asking for an inquiry into News Corp’s behaviour in the US, citing the case of Floorgraphics, whose founders claimed their Murdoch-owned rival, News America, threatened to destroy their company when they rejected a takeover bid. A jury was told that 11 breaches of Floorgraphics’ password-protected website in 2004 were traced back to an address registered to a News America office and that sensitive information could have been accessed.

News Corp, which ended the lawsuit after agreeing to buy Floorgraphics for $29.5m (£18m), denied any claim that it threatened the company and said it condemned the hacking, suggesting it may have been carried out without its knowledge by an employee. News Corp is now facing questions about its US operations, including whether American corruption laws were broken if it is proven that NOTW journalists made payments to British police officers.

The developments came ahead of a potentially difficult week for Mr Murdoch’s son, James, as the Commons’ media select committee meets tomorrow to discuss further submissions arising from his testimony last month.

“Cash and Carry” Supreme Court Sells America Down the Tubes

The most corrupt court in America, also happens to be it’s highest.  Whether performing judicial fellatio for the Koch Brothers, or a political hand job in the Citizens United case – the 5 conservative justices on the Supreme Court are sold to the highest bidder…

Starting with Tommie Clarence and of course, Antonin Scalia.

My biggest disillusionment with the Obama Administration and crop of Yellowback Democrats is, while they are willing to go after their own – such as Charlie Rangel and “Cash Jefferson”…

There has been an utter refusal to bring Republican miscreants to justice, whether it was the criminal underworld of the previous Bush Administration – or the current legislation for sale Republican Congress… Or the Supreme Court Justices who flaunt both the rules and the Law.

I often work in Third World countries. This sort of corruption is often an endemic problem. and one of the major roadblocks to progress. Conservatives make America as corrupt as one of those Tinpot Dictatorships – each and every day. Indeed, the United States is now 22nd on the World Corruption Index.

The Supreme Court closes the door to justice

Has the Supreme Court lost faith in the American court system? That is a strange question to ask about the justices who sit at the top of the country’s judicial hierarchy. But in case after case in the just-completed term, the court, usually in 5-4 decisions with the conservatives in the majority, denied access to the courts.

Consider just a few of the examples:

• The court ruled that patients who suffer devastating injuries from generic prescription drugs cannot sue the manufacturers for failing to provide adequate warnings even when drug companies making the non-generic versions of the same drugs can be sued on the same basis.

• The court held that standard clauses in consumer contracts calling for arbitration preclude consumers from joining class-action suits even when the effect almost surely would be that no individual lawsuits would be filed because the amount involved was too small.

• The court decided that employees who claim to be victims of sex discrimination cannot sue in class actions when the employer has a policy that prohibits discrimination.

• The court concluded that a man who spent 18 years in prison for a murder that he did not commit could not sue the prosecutors who hid key evidence.

• The court said that taxpayers cannot bring an action in federal court arguing that a state impermissibly established religion by giving tax credits that go almost entirely to religious schools.

• The court held that prisoners convicted in state court cannot obtain a hearing in federal court even when they have new evidence that calls into question their convictions — because of matters such as ineffective defense counsel or failure of prosecutors to turn over evidence — notwithstanding a federal statute that expressly authorizes such hearings.

Group Files Bar Complaint Against Clarence Thomas

Calls are increasing for Thomas to face the music…

Clarence Thomas Faces Call For His Disbarment

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should be disbarred for his failure to truthfully complete financial-disclosure forms over a 20-year period, according to a complaint filed by the watchdog group Protect Our Elections (POE).In a bar complaint filed with the Missouri Supreme Court, POE attorney Kevin Zeese says Thomas committed multiple violations of the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct. (See full complaint below.) Zeese asks the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel to take immediate action against Thomas, including disbarment.Thomas became a member of the Missouri Bar in 1974, and former U.S. Sen. John Danforth (R-MO) was a primary supporter during Thomas’ confirmation hearings in 1991. How is the justice responding to recent allegations against him? He struck a defiant tone in a speech over the weekend in Virginia.Reports Politico:

Delivering the keynote speech at an annual symposium for conservative law students, Thomas spoke in vague, but ominous, terms about the direction of the country and urged his listeners to “redouble your efforts to learn about our country so that you’re in a position to defend it.”

He also lashed out at his critics, without naming them, asserting they “seem bent on undermining” the High Court as an institution. Such criticism, Thomas warned, could erode the ability of American citizens to fend off threats to their way of life.

What threats is Thomas talking about? He did not make it clear. But the justice apparently feels threatened by recent reports that herepeatedly failed to disclose his wife’s non-investment income. The story, broken by Common Cause, should lead to serious consequences, Zeese says. From the bar complaint:

Clarence Thomas breached his legal duty and violated the Rules of Professional Conduct by knowingly and willfully failing for 20 years to state truthfully on required AO 10 Financial Disclosure Forms that his wife Virginia earned non-investment income. Clarence Thomas further labored under a financial conflict of interest by failing to disclose $100,000 in support for his nomination by the Citizens United Foundation when he sat in judgment of a case involving Citizens United. Finally, he made rulings that his wife benefited from financially and professionally, and by extension, that benefited him. In short, this unethical and criminal conduct violates the Rules of Professional Conduct, and undermines the rule of law, respect for the law and confidence in the law.

More at Legal Schnauzer including a copy of the Bar Complaint.

Texas Miracle… Anther Fraud

What do the Texas “Education Miracle” and the Texas “Budget Miracle” have in common?

Really Big, Really Deep Holes...Good Places to Put Dead Rogue Elephants.

They are both frauds perpetrated by Republicans.

The Texas Education Miracle? This from one of the first people who broke the story about the fraud, George Scott -

The leadership of the Texas Republican Party in the Legislature and at the TEA made a calculated decision (individually and collectively) to permit the State of Texas to lie to parents about the academic skills of Texas students.

In validating, promoting and enshrining the lie, Texas Republicans have followed the path of many of their national counterparts.  They abandoned their principles and recruited allies to validate the academic corruption.  In sum, politicians, bureaucrats, many academicians and scores of public policy researchers reaped great financial, professional or political benefits from the schemes.

The same Texas Republican Party and Legislature is now doing it with the Texas Budget. After supposedly defying the national trend by fueling growth by tax cuts and budget cuts… The Piper has come home with a vengeance. The State is now projected to be $25 BILLION in the red. But like the Enron disaster of cooked books…The $25 billion number may well be the tip of the iceberg, in that the books may have been cooked to show the state with a surplus all along when it was in the red.

Conservative philosophy fails… Again.

The Texas Omen

These are tough times for state governments. Huge deficits loom almost everywhere, from California to New York, from New Jersey to Texas.

Wait — Texas? Wasn’t Texas supposed to be thriving even as the rest of America suffered? Didn’t its governor declare, during his re-election campaign, that “we have billions in surplus”? Yes, it was, and yes, he did. But reality has now intruded, in the form of a deficit expected to run as high as $25 billion over the next two years. Continue reading

Republican Judge Who Overthrew Oil Drill Ban Had Oil Interests

Another Republican appointed Judge…

Another dirty deal.

Martin Feldman was a Reagan Appointee to the Federal Court.

An Under the Table Conflict of Interest

Judge who overturned drilling bans had shares in the oil industry

Martin Feldman, who ruled against Barack Obama’s moratorium, accused of conflict of interests

The judge who overturned deepwater drilling bans allowing BP to resume oil extraction in the Gulf of Mexico, had shares in Transocean and other firms in the industry, it was revealed today.

Yesterday, a Louisiana-based judge Martin Feldman ruled that Barack Obama’s six-month drilling moratorium in the Gulf was unjustifiedbecause it assumed that all deepwater drilling was as dangerous as BP’s.

The White House promised an immediate appeal.

Meanwhile environmental groups have said Feldman’s ruling may have to be rescinded because of the possible conflict of interests.

Feldman’s most recent financial disclosure forms show that he was paid dividends from his shares in Transocean, the firm that owned the Deepwater oil rig that exploded in April killing 11 oil workers, prompting America’s worst environmental disaster.

The forms, which relate to the calendar year 2008, also show that he sold shares in Halliburton, which was also involved in the disaster.

Feldman’s other interests included Ocean Energy, Quicksilver Resources, Prospect Energy, Peabody Energy, Pengrowth Energy Trust, Atlas Energy Resources, and Parker Drilling. Continue reading

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