Keep Her In!
URL of the original posting site: http://comicallyincorrect.com/2017/06/27/keep-her-in/#EbX6dkqx0u1BHBM8.99
URL of the original posting site: http://comicallyincorrect.com/2017/06/27/keep-her-in/#EbX6dkqx0u1BHBM8.99
URL of the original posting site: http://dailysignal.com/2017/06/26/supreme-court-review-case-baker-fined-not-baking-gay-wedding-cake/
In a less-noted move, the court also agreed to review (“granted cert” in the legal jargon) a case about religious liberty, free speech, and government coercion to support gay marriage. The case involves Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, and whether he must create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings, even if doing so violates his beliefs.
The case goes back to 2012, when a same-sex couple received a marriage license in Massachusetts and asked Phillips to bake a cake for a reception back home in Colorado, a state that in 2006 constitutionally defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Phillips declined to create a wedding cake, citing his faith: “I don’t feel like I should participate in their wedding, and when I do a cake, I feel like I am participating in the ceremony or the event or the celebration that the cake is for,” he said.
The couple later obtained a wedding cake with rainbow-colored filling (illustrating the expressive nature of event cake-baking) from another bakery.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint against Masterpiece Cakeshop with the state, alleging violations of Colorado’s public accommodation law.
Administrative Law Judge Robert N. Spencer ruled against the bakery on Dec. 6, 2013, concluding that Phillips violated the law by declining service to the couple “because of their sexual orientation.”
Phillips objected to this characterization and responded that he would happily sell the couple his baked goods for any number of occasions, but creating a wedding cake would force him to express something that he does not believe, thereby violating his freedom to run his business in accordance with his faith.
Phillips is right. As Sherif Girgis and I explain in our new book from Oxford University Press, “Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination,” acting on the belief that marriage is the union of husband and wife does not in itself entail “discriminating” on the basis of sexual orientation. Indeed, part of the problem is that liberals are simply calling anything they disagree with “discrimination.”
This overbroad definition of “discrimination” is part of what creates the problems for the free exercise of religion and free speech. And here a pattern holds: Legally coercing professionals serves no serious need, but works serious harms.
Conservative wedding providers are few and dwindling due to market pressures—and most important, they don’t refuse to serve LGBT patrons. In case after case, bakers have had no problem designing cakes for gay customers for every other occasion. It’s just that an exceedingly small number can’t in good conscience use their talents to help celebrate same-sex weddings by baking a cake topped with two grooms or two brides—or, as in this case, with rainbow filling.
Coercing these cultural dissidents has vanishingly small effects on the supply of products for any given couple, but it impinges seriously on particular vendors’ freedoms of speech, conscience, and religion. If any harm remains in leaving these wedding professionals free, it is only the tension we all face in living with people who disagree with us on the most personal matters.
As Girgis and I explain in our new book, America is in a time of transition. The Supreme Court has redefined marriage, and beliefs about human sexuality are changing. Now, the Supreme Court has the chance to protect the right to dissent and the civil liberties of those who speak and act in accord with what Americans had always previously believed about marriage—that it is the union of husband and wife.
Such a ruling would help achieve civil peace amid disagreement. It would protect pluralism and the rights of all Americans, regardless of what faith they may practice.
Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, where he researches and writes about marriage, bioethics, religious liberty and political philosophy. Anderson is the author of several books and his research has been cited by two U.S. Supreme Court justices in two separate cases. Read his Heritage research.
This means the Court is allowing the ban to go into effect.
Any foreign nationals who lack any “bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the United States,” will be denied entry if they are from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The court, in a per curiam opinion, left the travel ban against citizens of these six Islamic countries on hold as applied to non-citizens with relationships with persons or entities in the United States:
We now turn to the preliminary injunctions barring enforcement of the §2(c) entry suspension. We grant the Government’s applications to stay the injunctions, to the extent the injunctions prevent enforcement of §2(c) with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. We leave the injunctions entered by the lower courts in place with respect to respondents and those similarly situated, as specified in this opinion.
Such formal relationships include: students accepted to US universities and an employee who has accepted a job with a company in the US.
According to Breitbart: The Court wrote that the lower court injunctions, even accepting the First Amendment arguments against the order as likely to succeed, went too far:[T]he injunctions reach much further than that: They also bar enforcement of §2(c) against foreign nationals abroad who have no connection to the United States at all. The equities relied on by the lower courts do not balance the same way in that context. Denying entry to such a foreign national does not burden any American party by reason of that party’s relationship with the foreign national.
The opinion also announced the Court will consolidate the cases from the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Ninth and Fourth circuit, Trump v. Hawaii and Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project, respectively. Both cases found the executive unenforceable as a likely violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment Establishment Clause because the lower courts held it was motivated by an attempt to disfavor Islam.
The Court had requested additional briefing from the parties in both cases earlier this month, signalling they would hear arguments on the case despite the Court going out of its regular term this week. Arguments are expected to be heard when the Court reconvenes in October. Attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center are expected to face off against a government team now led by acting Solicitor General Jeffery Wall.
The government had argued in the new briefing that the injunctions had delayed the start date for the 90-day order. This would allow the ban… to remain valid despite having been issued in March.
A dissent from the per curiam decision, written by Justice Clarence Thomas and joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, would have gone further and stayed the injunctions in their entirety, allowing the travel ban to go fully into effect immediately.
Will the Trump admin see a full victory in October? Time will tell, but for now we need to be thankful for this small victory.
America just took one step towards the safety of its citizens.
URL of the original posting site: http://comicallyincorrect.com/2017/06/20/hypnotic-media/#ydcqktuSlcVq4v2E.99
TODAY’S POLITICALLY INCORRECT CARTOONS FROM TOWNHALL.COM
URL of the original posting site: http://comicallyincorrect.com/2017/06/05/notorious-ruth-ginsburg/#hUucmemQRFsGBBrB.99
URL of the original posting site: http://dailycaller.com/2016/08/23/this-is-one-of-the-biggest-pending-scotus-case-you-havent-heard-of/
When Beckles was taken into police custody in 2007, his girlfriend asked authorities to remove his gun from her residence; he directed officers to the weapon, concealed under his girlfriend’s mattress. He was later charged and convicted of one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm — Beckles had two prior felony drug convictions. Given these two convictions, the court determined that Beckles was a career offender. The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (USSG), the set of rules which establish uniform sentencing practices across federal courts, instructed that his sentence should therefore be enhanced.
The court also ruled that Beckles’ possession of the shotgun constituted a “crime of violence,” which, per the USSG, also requires a sentence enhancement. The court ultimately sentenced Beckles to a 30-year prison term.
Beckles brought an appeal, Beckles v. U.S., in which he argued that his sentence was wrongly enhanced. He asserts that mere possession of a weapon does not constitute a “crime of violence,” and that his sentence enhancement should therefore be vacated. His appeal was rejected by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear his case in late June.
His argument was bolstered when the Supreme Court issued it’s ruling last year in Johnson v. U.S. In Johnson the Court found that the phrase “violent felony” — the functional equivalent of the phrase “crime of violence” — as it appears in the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) was unconstitutionally vague. A seven justice majority led by the late Justice Antonin Scalia reasoned by a due process analysis that the phrase, referred to as the “residual clause,” is poorly defined and leads to arbitrary and capricious application, in violation of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.
Beckles makes essentially the same argument as Johnson, arguing that the phrase “crime of violence” in the USSG is as vague as the residual clause of the ACCA, and should therefore be struck down (which, by extension, would vacate Beckles’ additional penalties.) His argument could have major consequences for the way federal agencies operate.
Strictly speaking, the USSG does not define possession of a sawed-off shotgun as a “crime of violence.” Instead, commentaries on the guidelines provided by the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) advise that possessing such a weapon should be considered a “crime of violence.” The government argues that those commentaries are subject to Auer deference, and that the Supreme Court must respect their interpretation of the law.
Auer deference is a legal doctrine which requires a court to defer to an agency’s interpretation of its own rules and regulations as long as its interpretation is not “erroneous” or “inconsistent with the regulation.” In Beckles, the government argues that the USSC commentaries are simply the agency’s interpretation of its own regulation (being the guidelines), and that the Court must defer to the USSC.
The Auer doctrine looms large in the administrative law scene. The doctrine is regularly invoked by agencies to protect their various activities. The U.S. Department of Labor invoked Auer deference when it announced that mortgage-loan officers were entitled to overtime. The Environmental Protection Agency did the same in requiring companies to obtain permits for water runoff from ditches running parallel to logging roads. It is difficult to overstate how much federal activity is protected by the Auer doctrine.
The Beckles case presents the Supreme Court the opportunity to revisit the Auer doctrine. Though it’s entirely possible the justices may sidestep the issue, opponents of Auer deference have gradually emerged on the high court in recent years. Scalia, the author of the Auer doctrine and a champion of judicial deference, made a thorough case for overturning the practice in 2013 in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center. Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito are also likely to share Scalia’s sympathies. (RELATED: Exclusive: Puerto Rico Is Full Of ‘Open Dumps’ Ripe For Spreading Zika, And EPA’s Ignoring Them)
Furthermore, as Andrew Hessick notes in the Yale Journal on Regulations, the case presents exactly the fact posture critics of agency deference often complain about. “The Commission issued a vague guideline through notice and comment and then set its meaning through an interpretation not subject to those procedures,” Hessick writes. “Further, although they must be the product of notice and comment, the sentencing guidelines are not subject to judicial review when they are promulgated.”
In other words, the fact pattern presented in this case is exactly the sort of thing critics of Auer deference complain about. Should the Supreme Court feel so bold, Travis Beckles’ sawed-off shotgun might end up dealing a double-barrel blast to federal agency power.