The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Of voting, lawyers, SCOTUS and other things that can *%$^&% your life

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Some people believe the rulings of the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) are not law, but opinions.

No argument here, but when a SCOTUS ruling can put you in jail, take away everything you own and end your life (capital punishment) I don't really see a difference between law and opinion.

So this week SCOTUS handed down several decisions. The one drawing the most attention is the 7-2 decision from Arizona which ruled in part, and in part ONLY, that states can't demand proof of citizenship to be eligible to vote.

positioned on the left side of the screen...
States are still free to petition the Election Assistance Commission and the Department of Justice for the 13 Southern states still subject to laws that don't apply in the rest of the nation. States can ask for ways to determine voter eligibility.

A minor problem is the Constitution splits authority for running elections between the states and Congress. This means a hodge-podge of election laws across the 50 states and various territories lumped in with federal election law.

The real problem is the oligarchy which is doing everything it can to prevent free elections. If state legislatures wanted free elections, they'd do away with taxpayer-paid party primaries, let anyone who wanted to get on the ballot do so (well, if the meet Constitutional requirements) and have an election.

Those who say such a system would result in mass confusion and pandemonium at the ballot box are also part of the problem.

MARACICH v. SPEARS:

I admit to not understanding a lot of this, except that it has to do with how parasites of the human condition conduct business and personal privacy. Each side is a class action suit. The plaintiff said the defendants got his personal information for their suit in violation of privacy laws. This one got kicked back to a lower court to see if damage awards are needed.

The majority ruled gathering personal info for a class action suit is not acceptable under the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act. According to the minority, this will make some lawyer's jobs harder.

 Sometimes we win one.

SALINAS v. TEXAS

In this one, the court ruled the Miranda rights only apply after being arrested. If you've not been arrested, they don't have to tell your rights.

Easy way out of this:

1) Keep your mouth shut.

2) If law enforcement persists with questions, tell them you need a lawyer present.

At the same time, be polite. Most law enforcement officers are trying to be helpful and take the oath to serve and protect very seriously.

You may think "I have nothing to hide." That may be. But it doesn't mean you must explain, show and allow them to investigate without a warrant or probable cause.

The most expected rulings didn't come down this week. The decision, opinion, ruling, whatever on gay marriage is the one everyone is looking for. The reality is this is not a case on gay marriage. It is a case of whether or not two people of the same gender who consider themselves married are entitled to all the legal benefits of a heterosexual married couple.

If you view marriage as a religious matter, as I do, government cannot be involved, cannot say it is right or wrong and in general can't have any view of it. The rights enumerated in the First Amendment spell that out.

In closing, go read for youself. Get you some.

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