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 OUR 4TH OF JULY DIFFERENCES

The Declaration of Independence Meant Something Different to America’s Not So Independent Slaves

Amy Goodman
WHO WE ARE-“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” asked Frederick Douglass (photo above) of the crowd gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, NY, on July 5, 1852. “I answer,” he continued, “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which lie is the constant victim. To him,…

Trumping Trump: Shun the Donald, Boycott His Palos Verdes Golf Course

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-I believe that it's really Donald Trump's hair. I seem to be unique in this belief. It's nice to be unique in some way, but what bothers me is that I have also been nearly unique, until now, in arguing that Trump should be shunned and boycotted. But times change. It's been a traumatic week both for Donald Trump and for the…

LA’s Sidewalks: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The City of Los Angeles is expected to spend $1.4 billion over the next 30 years to repair our sidewalks pursuant to a Settlement Agreement involving the Willits class action lawsuit that alleged that the City was not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the yet to be disclosed Settlement Agreement appears to…

Is It Really a Golden State or Is It Just One of Those Hollywood Illusions?

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-Is Los Angeles really part of a Golden State or is it a place to remember as you move to greener pastures? I pose this question following my recent visit to Chicago and other cities east of the Rockies. My travels to the east coast were part of my reserve LAPD duty. I was part of the group of LAPD Reserve Officers escorting the…

Want to Save The Bullet Train, Governor … Get Better Bullet Points!

Ken Alpern
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-George W. Bush had Iraq. Barack Obama has ObamaCare. And Jerry Brown has HIS bullet train. Not OUR bullet train, mind you, but HIS bullet train. And like Iraq, and like ObamaCare, the bullet train that was meant to help all of us, and which was promoted with great fanfare and wonderful intentions, has to survive the test of…

LA: Hit-and-Run Capital of the World May Be Getting an Alert System

Damien Newton
LA’S STREETS - After last week’s warning that CA Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s legislation to create a “Yellow Alert” system was imperiled by Senate Transportation and Housing Committee staff and the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) objections, there was a feeling of a looming showdown before today’s committee hearing. Assembly Bill 8 would create…

LA’s Citywide Sign Ordinance: By, For and Of Special Interests

Barbara Broide
IRATE PRIVATE CITIZEN’S OPEN LETTER-I write this letter not as a representative of my local homeowners association or neighborhood council, both of which have come out in support of the sign ordinance that limits new signage to sign districts in specified commercially zoned areas and who seek enforcement of and the issuance of citations to signs…

Now Is the Time For True Courage

Abby Zimet
FURTHER-Britanny 'Bree' Newsome - the filmmaker, organizer, activist and aspiring Super-Woman who memorably, determinedly climbed the flagpole at South Carolina's capitol to remove the Confederate flag - has spoken out for the first time about her feat, which she views "both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power…

When Did the American Civil War Really End and … Did Shenandoah Really Save the Whales?

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE - When did the American Civil War end? Could it really have been late June or early November of 1865? April 9, 1865 is the date widely accepted, and for good reason: it marked the surrender of General Lee’s army at Appomattox, Virginia. It was a foregone conclusion that other field commands would quickly follow suit. In fact, they did,…

 

  • Costco: Free Range Liars!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS POLITICS-Eight years ago grocery retailer Costco (COST) pledged to transition out of using eggs from chickens in small cages to cage free…
  • 10 Things Over-Thinkers Are Tired Of Over-Thinking

    Lindsay Holmes
    WELLNESS-While writing this intro, I deleted the first paragraph approximately six times. My thoughts ranged from "Just get to the point already" to…
  • Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically…



Sun Jul 05, 2015 @ 5:00PM - 09:00PM
Twilight in the Garden: Little Tokyo Concert Series
Thu Jul 16, 2015 @12:00AM
LA Equality Awards RSVP
Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth


Fail! Fail! Americans don’t know why we celebrate the 4th of July

Awwww! Tornado separates dog and owner … dog waits!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

The Roberts Court Is Born

SUPREMES AND HEALTHCARE - Today's Supreme Court is often referred to as Anthony Kennedy's Court. Although Kennedy is the swing justice who usually casts the deciding vote in close cases, the landmark ruling this week in the healthcare cases clearly marks the maturation of the "Roberts Court." Chief Justice John Roberts was the surprising swing vote in today's Obamacare decision. Although he agreed with the four conservative justices, including Kennedy, that the individual mandate was not a regulation of interstate commerce, he voted with the Court's moderates to hold that it was justified as a tax.

Because people who don't obtain insurance pay a tax to the IRS, the mandate was within Congress's power to raise taxes for the general welfare. As a result, the Affordable Care Act was upheld.

With this deft ruling, Roberts avoided what was certain to be a cascade of criticism of the high court. No Supreme Court has struck down a president's signature piece of legislation in over 75 years. Had Obamacare been voided, it would have inevitably led to charges of aggressive judicial activism. Roberts peered over the abyss and decided he didn't want to go there.

Roberts' decision was consistent with his confirmation hearings pledge to respect the co-equal branches of government, push for consensus, and reach narrow rulings designed to build broad coalitions on the Court. He promised to respect precedent. His jurisprudence, he said, would be marked by "modesty and humility" and protection of the precious institutional legitimacy of the Court.

Today, the institutional legitimacy of the Court was buttressed. President Obama wasn't the only winner at the Supreme Court today. So was the Supreme Court itself.

Roberts' humble move was a surprise only because his oft-stated concern for protecting the Court by avoiding bold rulings doesn't always hold. Despite today's decision, the Roberts Court is hardly conservative in the sense of cautious or avoiding bold rulings. In contrast to an older conservatism that emphasized judicial restraint, the Roberts Court is not hesitant to forcefully asserts its power.

Since John Roberts became Chief Justice in 2005, the Court has issued one landmark ruling after another. The Roberts Court gave us Citizens United, which struck down longstanding limits on corporate political spending.

This Court also allowed new restrictions on women's right to choose; became the first Supreme Court in American history to strike down a gun control law as a violation of the Second Amendment; effectively outlawed voluntary efforts by public schools to racially integrate; and curtailed the reach of environmental protections.

In many of these decisions, the Roberts Court overturned or ignored precedent, including Rehnquist Court decisions less than a decade old. Prior to Citizens United, the Supreme Court had explicitly held in two cases that corporate political expenditures could be limited -- the most recent of which was handed down in 2003.

Six years before the Roberts Court upheld  the federal ban on "partial birth" abortion, the Rehnquist Court, which wasn't known for its liberal leanings, had overturned a nearly identical law.

Of course, the Roberts Court isn't the first to overturn precedents and issue major rulings. Yet this Court has been uniquely willing to do so by sharply divided 5-4 majorities. The Warren Court's Brown decision was famously 9-0. New York Times v. Sullivan, which freed up the media to discuss public figures, was decided by the same margin. Gideon v. Wainwright, on the constitutional right to counsel, and Loving v. Virginia, invaliding bans on interracial marriage, were also unanimous. Even Roe v. Wade was decided by an overwhelming 7-2 vote.

Perhaps as a result of the Roberts' Court's controversial 5-4 rulings, public opinion of the Court is at an historic low. Even after controversial rulings like Roe and Bush v. Gore, the Court still maintained high levels of public respect.

But unlike the Warren Court, whose landmark rulings, though classified as "liberal," didn't match up with the platform of the Democratic Party -- southern Democrats were the biggest opponents of Brown -- its hard to ignore the usual fit between the Roberts Court's rulings and the Republican agenda.

Maybe that's why recent polls show the Court's public approval rating has dropped from 80 percent in the 1990s to only 44 percent today. Three in four Americans now believe the justices' votes are based on politics. Nothing could be worse for the Court's institutional legitimacy.

Roberts may have voted to save healthcare because he wants to preserve the Court's capital to take on other big issues heading toward the Court. Legal experts predict the Roberts Court will invalidate a key provision of one of the most important laws in American history, the Voting Rights Act, next term.

And the Court is set to end affirmative action in public education. Both policies have been centerpieces of America's commitment to civil rights for over 40 years.

The Roberts Court has only just begun.

(Adam Winkler is Professor of Law at UCLA and an expert on constitutional law. His book Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America, will be published by W. W. Norton in September 2011.  This column was posted most recently at huffingtonpost.com)
-cw

Tags: Adam Winkler, Supreme Court, healthcare, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, John Roberts, Justice Roberts, Chief Justice






CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 52
Pub: June 29, 2012

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