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Hey, I can post again! (No idea why this comes and goes.)

 

I thought of another reason the SCOTUS conservatives might back Alabama: To support the death penalty. I get the impression that opposition to the death penalty mostly comes from the left (though I haven't seen any statistics on this) -- notably on the grounds that it is applied preferentially to minorities and the poor, and even when there is strong evidence of bungled defense or active malfeasance by the prosecution and the state. So, enabling an execution in a deep red state, in the face of state misconduct, might just be a way of sticking a finger in the eye of liberals. It's not so much to privilege Christianity as to privilege states that still hold executions.

 

But this is speculation on my part. And even if I'm right, it's possible the justices are not consciously aware of their motivations.

 

Dean Shomshak

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On 2/12/2019 at 3:04 PM, Lord Liaden said:
As I've posted before, some legal scholars think Originalism was always a fraud. But this is a different argument. To many Evangelicals, the SCOTUS did make an Originalist ruling.
 
Here I can actually speak from something close to personal experience, based on the chain email rants my conservative uncle in Texas used to forward me. One perennial was the list of supposed quotes by Founding Fathers about how the USA was Christian, Christian, only and fundamentally Christian, and so all those secular liberals needed to "SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!" (Sic; and not just in caps, but in extra-large font.)
  
How to reconcile this with the Establishment Clause? Ah, the Founders intent was only that Congress could not establish one Christian sect above others.
  
I have not personally read any Evangelical celebrations of this ruling. I think it is a plausible speculation, though, that many will celebrate it as tacit acknowledgement of "Christian America."
  
 Dean Shomshak

 

My expectation of their interpretation of this was this as well.  Frankly I think he's forgetting how many Christian "sects" clearly, cheerfully, and willingly murdered and went to war with other Christian "sects". 

 

A proper historian could tell me if that oppression was part of the motivation in fleeing to America to begin with...

 

My personal thought is just that if your uncle thinks a Christian country is going to be more united, more strong, he is in for a really bad surprise.  If politicians have no outsiders to target, they have to look towards insiders... like the Irish.  I'm pretty sure I've started hearing those slurs in the media again...

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Ya wanna quote from a founding father about Christianity's place over the others? I got that.

 

Lets start with George Washington's visit to the Touro Synagogue in Newport.

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-06-02-0135

Quote

All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

 

Or there's the 1796 treaty with Tripoli. Now, there were, granted, a lot of treaties ratified that tried to deal with the north African pirates, and this one only lasted three years before it was broken. Even so, the version that the US ratified included this little bit:

Quote

Article 11.

As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, — as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, — and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

 

Now, amusingly, this treaty was the victim of bad translation. The original in Arabic didn't even include this bit! Nevertheless, this is the version that the Senate and President John Adams ratified. Read again, a number of founding fathers didn't mind putting their names to that text.

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*stands up, looks around*

 

Nope, I just don't get the feeling I'm in a national emergency.  You'd think I'd be feeling some tension or a sense of dread. 

 

Wait, here comes some people who are probably terrified...aaaand there they go walking right by the TV with the President talking and going leisurely about their day.

 

Huh.  :think:

 

Anyway, I don't really think it's as big a deal as is being made out.  Dozens of these things have been declared in the last 40 years for relatively minor things.  Where the money is taken from is probably the more serious concern.  Oh well.

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1 hour ago, Starlord said:

Anyway, I don't really think it's as big a deal as is being made out.  Dozens of these things have been declared in the last 40 years for relatively minor things.  Where the money is taken from is probably the more serious concern.  Oh well.

 

Money and politics, as usual, are inextricably linked here. The President is attempting to bypass Congress's Constitutionally-appointed responsibility for government financial expenditures, which sets a dangerous precedent. Whether the reasons for other "national emergencies" were "relatively minor" or not, no previous President has attempted to declare one over such strenuous Congressional objections.

 

The precedent is one that deeply worries Republicans, as well. If a Republican President can successfully declare a national emergency over immigration in the face of Congressional opposition, what's to stop a future Democratic President from declaring one over climate change? Or gun control? Or any other issue Republicans don't agree with?

 

In any event, the case is already bound for the courts. I expect most lower courts to deny Trump's desire, but the real test will be when it makes its way to the Supreme Court. Then we'll see whether or not the current SCOTUS suffers from more than the usual partisan divisions. Regardless, we have months of gnashing of teeth ahead of us.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Lord Liaden said:

In any event, the case is already bound for the courts. I expect most lower courts to deny Trump's desire, but the real test will be when it makes its way to the Supreme Court. Then we'll see whether or not the current SCOTUS suffers from more than the usual partisan divisions.

 

The fact that Chief Justice Roberts recently sided with the Court's more liberal wing on an important decision gives me at least a slight glimmer of hope that there are enough Justices who care more about the Constitution than about party affiliation that this thing could be resolved properly.

 

Of course, the Court's refusal last week to allow a convicted murderer to be executed in the presence of his spiritual advisor of choice gives me somewhat less hope on the matter. I guess we'll just have to see.

 

Either way, this seems to me like a desperate reach on the President's part.

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6 minutes ago, Pariah said:

Either way, this seems to me like a desperate reach on the President's part.

 

Like all of his moves as President, this one is calculated to please his base of support and the conservative pundits he listens to. Even if it ultimately fails, he'll be able to claim he did everything he could to make his wall happen. And then most likely blame Democrats, disloyal Republicans, the news media, and anyone else he can think of, as he has before.

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I don't believe the President has any idea what a can of worms he's opening today.

 

But it would not surprise me at all if the next President elected from the Democratic Party declares climate change an emergency and appropriates funds and institutes policy changes as a result. 

 

Or if the next Democratic President declares a state of emergency after the next mass shooting and implements a bunch of gun control measures without bothering to get Congressional approval.

 

It's what we science people refer to as the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum: What goes around, comes around.

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26 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Money and politics, as usual, are inextricably linked here. The President is attempting to bypass Congress's Constitutionally-appointed responsibility for government financial expenditures, which sets a dangerous precedent. Whether the reasons for other "national emergencies" were "relatively minor" or not, no previous President has attempted to declare one over such strenuous Congressional objections.

 

 

Which can also be argued as no other President attempted to declare a controversial emergency when his own party wasn't controlling Congress.  There are currently 30 some active emergencies.  This is left to courts to decide, just like an emergency concerning climate change could be decided and all other potentially stupid lawsuits and legal actions get decided.  All over a difference in about 3 billion dollars.  Making all of this into a big deal is actually what has ended up making this a big deal.

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A declaration of National Emergency is not like dealing with other emergencies. A state of National Emergency grants the President broad powers to act without following the usual legislative and legal procedures. The National Emergencies Act of 1976 was enacted to place limitations on the President's emergency powers; but it requires Congress to vote to do so.

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19 minutes ago, Starlord said:

 

Which can also be argued as no other President attempted to declare a controversial emergency when his own party wasn't controlling Congress.  There are currently 30 some active emergencies.  This is left to courts to decide, just like an emergency concerning climate change could be decided and all other potentially stupid lawsuits and legal actions get decided.  All over a difference in about 3 billion dollars.  Making all of this into a big deal is actually what has ended up making this a big deal.

 

I don't believe this situation is due to funding for the wall. I believe it's the cumulative result of a long list of moves by President Trump which a significant number of the public, experts, and the country's leadership -- if not the majority -- believe to have been misguided and dangerous. It's about Congress exercising its Constitutional duty to balance the authority and actions of the Executive branch. If the fight hadn't been picked over the border wall, it would have been something else. This is just the first issue the new Democratic House has been in a position to oppose, and the one Trump has chosen to make his stand.

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46 minutes ago, Pariah said:

I don't believe the President has any idea what a can of worms he's opening today.

 

A story has been making the rounds which may be apocryphal, being attributed to "unnamed sources within the Trump administration." Reputedly, when Republican Congressional leaders expressed concerns to the President over the future ballooning national debt resulting from his tax cuts combined with increased spending, Trump is said to have replied: "I won't be here."

 

Again, that may not be true, but it would be consistent with the attitude Trump's displayed to date. If it doesn't directly affect him, it doesn't concern him.

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7 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

I don't believe this situation is due to funding for the wall. I believe it's the cumulative result of a long list of moves by President Trump which a significant number of the public, experts, and the country's leadership -- if not the majority -- believe to have been misguided and dangerous. It's about Congress exercising its Constitutional duty to balance the authority and actions of the Executive branch. If the fight hadn't been picked over the border wall, it would have been something else. This is just the first issue the new Democratic House has been in a position to oppose, and the one Trump has chosen to make his stand.

 

And probably terribly cynically of me, any politician isn't likely to have a donor with any major loss based on either outcome of this battle.  The only losers are the people, and politicians' reputations... not the companies.

 

Though that's just my dubious thoughts, and eat them with a grain of salt, maybe some alcohol.

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6 hours ago, Cygnia said:

 

This is somewhat misleading. A regular service (not reserve) retiree receiving pay can be subject to the UCMJ. They usually won't court-martial unless it's an extreme case like the one in the article. Anyone else is only subject to the UCMJ for a short time after mustering out.

 

As for speaking against the CIC, here's what the article says, bolding added for emphasis by me:

 

" Under 10 U.S.C. § 888, a service member who speaks out against the government can be court-martialed: "

 

A "service member" is a . . . anyone who served (and in this context retired with pay.)

 

Here's what they quote from the USC:

 

" Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against  . . ."

 

So, at worse, this could apply to retired officers. But so far as I can tell, the only retired military brought back to stand court martial have been those accused of committing a serious crime, like rape or murder.

 

IMO, the article is a lot of Chicken Little nonsense and a non-issue. If I'm ever proven wrong on it, then I owe you a . . . chicken dinner, maybe?

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The writers at Saturday Night Live apparently thought that the President's "Emergency Declaration" was stupid and pointless, and Alec Baldwin portrayed the president in a parody over the weekend.

 

President Trump, of course, tweeted all of the usual things in response: fake news, hit job, Enemy of the People, and so forth. He even worked the word "retribution" into it. Nice.

 

I've grown tired of this stupid reality show. Will somebody just tell Donald Trump "You're fired!" so we can get on with the new season?

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