Adopt Swiss System

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stuck down a significant part of Obamacare yesterday, July 22, in their ruling on Halbig v. Burwell ending federal subsidies to those who purchased insurance on the federal exchange.

Why?

Because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as written only allows subsidies for insurance bought on state-exchanges. This stipulation was an important reason why the law got passed as Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska insisted on it for his necessary vote.

What the D.C. court did was declare that the IRS had no power in passing an edict overturning these words written in law.

Since 34 states — including Pennsylvania — have refused to create health exchanges the cost for many who have bought Obamacare insurance will rise dramatically because of this quite right decision.

It should be noted that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled on Halbig v. Burwell deciding in favor of the government and the case is bound for the Supreme Court.

Obamacare was poorly conceived and written with mind-boggling hubris. However, as the lollipop may be snatched away with Halbig resulting in crying until it is returned, it is imperative for the adults in Washington — namely the Tea Party Republicans — to act prophylactically  and not merely repeal the pollution but replace it.

A good model is the Swiss health care law.

It mandates the purchase by all of basic insurance to be used in the case of illness or accident or pregnancy and prohibits insurance companies from making a profit on this insurance.

The insured pays a premium of up to 8 percent of his income for this plan, and if the premium exceeds this the government gives him a cash subsidy to cover it.

Insurance companies can make a profit on supplemental policies covering things like birth control, private hospital rooms and routine dental care.

Notably businesses are not involved.  Switzerland has the highest life expectancy in the world. Healthcare costs there are 11.4 percent of GDP compared with 17.6 percent in the U.S.

Adopt Swiss System

Adopt Swiss System

 

 

Hobby Lobby Wins, SEIU Loses

The Supreme Court, this morning, June 30, held that privately held corporations don’t have to cover abortion drugs for their employees as it would violate the First Amendment rights of their owners.

The decision in Burwell vs Hobby Lobby Stores was 5-4 with the all the Democrat-appointed justices dissenting.

It was written by Samuel Alito.

The Court also ruled 5-4, again with Alito writing the opinion and the Democrat-appointed justices dissenting, that those who are not “full-fledged” public employees  don’t have to pay dues to a public employee union as this would violate their First Amendent rights.

The case was Harris et al v Quinn, Governor of Illinois in with the State of Illinois was trying to make home health workers pay dues to Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Illinois and Indiana.

Union dues are used to fund the campaigns of Democrats.

Hat tip Bryan Preston at PJMedia.com

 

Hobby Lobby Wins, SEIU Loses

 

Hobby Lobby Wins, SEIU Loses

 

SCOTUS Spanks Obama, Also Pro Lifers Win

The Supreme Court, today, June 26, upheld the complaint of a Pepsi-Cola distributor that appointments made by Barack Obama to the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional.

The complainant, Noel Canning, said that the appointments of three of the five members of the board were invalid because they were made with the approval of the Senate.

The Senate was taking a three-day break when Obama made the appointments.

The Constitution grants the President the power to make recess appointments which are appointments made when the Senate was not in session.

The Supreme Court unanimously held that a three-day break was not what the Constitution meant concerning the recess appointment clause and strongly suggested that a president wait at least 10 days before invoking it.

In other matters, the Court today unanimously overturned a Massachusetts law requiring  pro-life counselors stay 35-feet from an entrance or driveway to an abortion clinic.

It said that the law violated the counselors’ First Amendment rights because it restricts access to public ways and sidewalks that have been traditionally open for speech activities, among other things.

 

SCOTUS Spanks Obama, Also Pro Lifers Win

 

SCOTUS Spanks Obama, Also Pro Lifers Win

 

 

Supreme Court Ends Aereo Broadcasts

The Supreme Court ruled, today, June 25, that Aereo Inc. was violating the copyrights of broadcasters in providing its service.

Aereo had developed a technology to allow persons to watch over-the-air television broadcasts on their computers.

The broadcasters led by ABC said no fair.

The ruling, written by Stephen Breyer, was 6-3 with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joining him.

The dissent, written by Justice Antonin Scalia and joined by Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, was not so much in sympathy with Aereo but noted that the technical claim made by the networks in the lower courts —  namely that Aereo was the primary abuser of copyright which means actually using copyrighted work — was incorrect.

They recommended that the case be returned to the lower courts and appeared to have an expectation that Aereo would be found in violation of  “secondary liability” which means that they would be responsible for infringement by third parties.

The danger of ignoring the reasoning in the dissent means that it creates the possibility of new claims against internet service providers and such that previously had an expectation of immunity.

 

Supreme Court Ends Aereo Broadcasts

Supreme Court Ends Aereo Broadcasts

 

Supreme Court Changes Decisions

Apparently, the Supreme Court changes decisions after issuing rulings.

It’s not something taught in the typical civics lesson.

The matter was revealed by New York Times columnist Adam Liptak last month.

David Zvenyach, the general counsel to the Council of the District of Columbia, writes computer code as a hobby. He applied the JavaScript application Node to crawl the opinions posted on the Supreme Court  every five minutes.  He  then follows up with a manual tweet.

He explains why here.

Kudos to Zvenyach and all hail institutional transparency.

Hat tip Gigaom.com

Supreme Court Changes Decisions

 

Supreme Court Changes Decisions

 

Supreme Court Ruling On AZ Voting Was Win For Good Guys

J. Christian Adams, the former Justice Department civil rights attorney who has made a crusade of fighting abuses by the Obama Administration, is saying the Supreme Court ruling overturning Arizona’s requirement that proof of citizenship be presented when voting is actually a huge win for the good guys despite the hand-wringing occurring in some conservative circles.

Adams says that only a insignificant technical point was overturned while allowing Arizona to continue the citizenship mandate via other means.  He said the corrupters lost big and know it.

Read his explanation here.

Toomey Praises New Fed Judges

Toomey Praises New Fed Judges — The Senate, last week,  Nitza Quiñones Alejandro and Jeffrey Schmehl as U.S. District Judges for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, reports Sen. Pat Toomey.

President Obama nominated these two judges last November upon a joint recommendation from Toomey and Sen. Bob Casey.

“Since joining the Senate, I’ve worked closely with Sen. Casey to fill Pennsylvania’s judicial vacancies with qualified, experienced judges who have unquestioned honesty, ability and integrity,” Toomey said. “I believe both of these individuals meet this high standard.”

Toomey said that in her 21 years on the bench, Nitza Quiñones Alejandro has presided over many cases incorporating different facets of the law. In addition to her extensive experience in the courtroom, she has also remained active in her community through her work with schools and mentoring summer law interns.

“She is eminently qualified and a committed public servant. Moreover, I am proud that Judge Quiñones will be the first Latina judge to serve in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,” Toomey said.

Toomey said that Jeffrey Schmehl’s colleagues appointed him president judge of the Berks County Court of Common Pleas in 2008, a sign of his fitness for the bench. He has also helped veterans in need of legal assistance by working to establish a veterans court in Berks County.  He has a passion for the law and will be a dedicated jurist.

“I also am pleased that Judge Schmehl will be sitting in the Reading federal courthouse which has long needed a new judge,” Toomey said.

Toomey Praises New Fed Judges

Justice Breyer Robbed By Machete-Waving Home Intruder

Justice Breyer Robbed By Machete-Waving Home Intruder — Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was robbed Thursdays, Feb. 9, when machete-wielding man broke into his vacation home on the Caribbean island of Nevis and stole $1,000.

Breyer, 73, was with his wife and guests.

In 2004,  Justice David Souter was assaulted by a group of men as he jogged on the street in Washington.

In 1996,  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had her purse snatched while she was out walking with her husband and daughter near their home in Washington.

It seems that some liberals are just to far gone to be turned into conservatives by a mugging.

It also seems that conservative Supreme Court Justices don’t wind up being crime victims. The proper understanding of the Second Amendment appears to have advantages.

 

Justice Breyer Robbed By Machete-Waving Home Intruder

Justice Breyer Robbed By Machete-Waving Home Intruder

SCOTUS (Barely) Stands Up To U.S. Taliban

The Supreme Court, yesterday, said that lower court judges were  wrong in considering solely the religious aspects when they ordered removed  a cross erected Mojave National Preserve by World War I veterans in 1934 as a remembrance of fallen comrades. By a 5-4 vote they sent the case back for the lower court judges to get it right and presumably allow the symbol, which has been covered in plywood, to stay.

The dissenters were as expected the crowd that takes its cues from the Washington Post —  Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Stevens.

I suspect that the confused quartet fail to see that the destruction of an historic cross isn’t much different than the destruction of historic Buddhist statues by the Taliban. Perhaps the Washington Post should point it out to them.

 

Appeals Court Continues Torment For Marine Dad

Albert Snyder of York, Pa. lost his son Matthew, a Marine lance corporal, in Iraq on March 3, 2006. Matthew was 20. Matthew’s funeral was held seven days later at St. John’s Catholic Church in Westminster, Md., where he grew up.

A Kansas-based religious cult called the Westboro Baptist Church, most of whose 60 or so members are related to founder Fred Phelps by either blood or marriage, hates America because it perceives it as being overly tolerant of homosexuals. It has taken to picketing the funerals of military personnel with signs saying things such as “You’re going to hell,” “God hates you,” “Semper fi fags,” and “Thank God for dead soldiers.”

One of the funerals they picketed was Matthew’s. They then posted video of what they did on their web site.

Snyder sued Phelps, the church and other church leaders that June in U.S. District Court alleging state law tort claims of defamation, intrusion upon seclusion, publicity given to private life, civil conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Judge Richard Bennett, a Bush 43 appointee, threw out the claims of defamation and publicity given to private life but held the others for trial.

During the trial Snyder testified “I think about the sign  (Thank God for dead soldiers) every day of my life. . . . I see that sign when I lay in bed at nights. I (had) one chance to bury my son and they took the dignity away from it. I cannot re-bury my son. And for the rest of my life, I will remember what they did to me and it has tarnished the memory of my son’s last hour on earth.”

“Somebody could have stabbed me in the arm or in the back and the wound would have healed,” he said. “But I don’t think this will heal.”

He appeared visibly shaken and was often reduced to tears.

On Oct. 31, 2007, the jury ruled for Snyder awarding him $2.9 million in compensatory damages and  $8 million in punitive damages.

Well, Phelps crew appealed and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit after deciding that the First Amendment gave one the right to intrude on funerals and mock the grieving, on Friday, it not just merely overturned the jury verdict but ordered Snyder to pay $16,500 in legal fees to Phelps.

The case has been appealed to the Supreme Court.

In case, you happen to think Westboro Baptist Church is some kind of conservative organization, well, Phelps and his mob are Democrats.

In fact, Phelps Jr. hosted Al Gore at his home for a fundraiser and was a Gore delegate to the 1988 Democratic National Convention.