Friday, June 29, 2012

Pick The Tendler!

Annie Gowen at the Washington Post has written a lucid and troubling article about a lawsuit filed in Arlington this week against Human Life International. The lawsuit alleges that Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, a Catholic priest and former president of HLI, sexually abused a woman who had turned to him for counseling—and that he did so under the guise of performing an exorcism. (According to diocesan officials, Euteneuer was not authorized to perform exorcisms.) The lawsuit does not name Euteneuer as a defendant, but instead seeks damages from HLI which, according to the woman’s attorneys, knew about and permitted the exorcism. Euteneuer stepped down from his position as president of HLI in 2010....

A point of comparison might be the now-infamous Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia physician who allegedly performed abortions under fraudulent and negligently unsafe conditions, prescribed painkillers illegally, restrained patients against their will, and is now charged with 8 counts of murder based on accusations that he killed babies delivered alive. Not that it’s worthwhile to compare the men’s actions—for how does one tally up and weigh reports which, if true, reveal such deep cruelty?—but rather the reactions. When is an ethical position undermined by abominable behavior of those who espouse it?



Avi L. Shafran(ovitch) said...

I'm very pleased that tayera Bernie Madoff's brother Peter got off easy with Federal prosecutors. All he had to do was plead guilty and they only gave him 10 years and promised to not arrest his daughter Shanda, I mean Shana, who is married to that goy Swanson from the SEC who helped cover up the ponzi scheme all the years. It's gevaldig that the Feds would accept a plea deal even though it should have been an easy case to prove.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

Justice Roberts was more concerned with his legacy than upholding the Constitution. He had a duty to rule on the Mandate as it was presented and briefed to the court. To relanguage it as a tax was simply a travesty! Obama's reelection bid would have been over had Roberts upheld his position as an interpreter of the law rather than facilitate a law that was unconstitutional as presented to the court. For everlasting shame on Justice Roberts!

Archie Bunker said...

My first impression was to react as UOJ did, but having thought it over I think perhaps Roberts did something absolutely brilliant even if he did have a selfish motivation or two of personal legacy (and to restore confidence in SCOTUS being that less than 30% of Democrats respect it's current makeup).

You don't think the tax interpretation will bring out every able body to the polls to vote Obama out of office?

I think Roberts lured Obama into thinking he won while looking forward to the much bigger picture. I just hope the American people are not so apathetic and pathetic to not seize the moment. They did send Clinton back for a second term but the difference is he didn't have the mandate to tax them to death like Obama does with the Health Care Act and all his income tax ideas.

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

The Tax Issue is Not Just a Technicality

Posted: 28 Jun 2012 03:09 PM

by Ilya Somin - The Volokh Conspiracy

Some, including co-blogger Orin Kerr, have argued that today’s ruling that the individual mandate is a tax rests on a mere technicality. The mandate could have been a tax if only Congress had labeled it as such or structured it slightly differently, and so it makes sense for the Court to assume that it is a tax rather than invalidate an important law.

But the argument that this is not a tax has never been just about labeling or technicalities. The mandate is substantively a penalty rather than a tax, for reasons I explained here:

As recently as 1996, the Supreme Court reiterated the crucial distinction between a penalty and a tax. It ruled that “[a] tax is a pecuniary burden laid upon individuals or property for the purpose of supporting the Government,” while a penalty is “an exaction imposed by statute as punishment for an unlawful act” or – as in the case of the individual mandate – an unlawful omission. The individual mandate is a clear example of a penalty, where Congress requires people to purchase health insurance, and then punishes them with a fine if they fail to comply.

In September 2009, President Obama himself noted that “for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.” He was right….

Even if the individual mandate does somehow qualify as a tax, it is not one of the types of taxes that Congress is authorized to impose. The Constitution gives Congress the power to enact several types of taxes: Excise taxes, duties and imposts, income taxes, and “direct taxes” that must be apportioned among the states in proportion to population.

No one, including the federal government, claims that the individual mandate is a duty or an impost. The individual mandate is not an income tax because an income tax must target some “accession to wealth,” in the words of Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Glenshaw Glass Co., the leading Supreme Court case on the subject. The fine imposed by the mandate does not target any accession to wealth or flow of income. It simply forces individuals to pay a penalty if they disobey the federal government’s regulatory requirement. The fact that low-income individuals are exempted does not change this analysis. A fine for jaywalking would not become an income tax if low-income individuals were exempted from it….

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

It is even more implausible to suggest that the mandate is an excise tax. Excise taxes apply to economic transactions or the use of property of some kind. For example, a tax on the sale of alcoholic beverages qualifies as an excise. The individual mandate does not tax any kind of activity, use of property or economic transaction….

If the mandate is not a tariff, impost, income tax, or excise tax, it is either a direct tax or no tax at all. And if it is a direct tax, it would be an unconstitutional one, because it is not apportioned among the states in proportion to population as the Constitution requires.

Even if Congress had called the mandate a a tax, that still would not have made it constitutional. But to the extent that labeling does matter, it’s not just a pure legal technicality. Those who argue that Congress has a virtually unlimited power to impose taxes claim that the main constraint on this power is political accountability. But that accountability is undermined if the federal government can pretend that a bill is not a tax in order to get it enacted, and then turn around and claim it is a tax when it comes time to defend the law in Court. Had President Obama and the Democratic leaders in Congress announced this was a tax from the start, it likely would not have passed in the first place.

Ultimately, the constitutionality of this law doesn’t turn on labels. Labeling this penalty a tax would not have made it so. But for those who believe that political accountability is the sole constraint on the tax power, labels are not mere legal tecnicalities either.

UPDATE: It’s worth noting that Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion only briefly discusses the crucial question of whether the mandate – if it is a tax at all – turns out to be an unconstitutional “direct tax.” The four justice dissent by Alito, Kennedy, Scalia and Thomas properly takes him to task for this:

[W]e must observe that rewriting §5000A as a tax in order to sustain its constitutionality would force us to confront a difficult constitutional question: whether this is a direct tax that must be apportioned among the States according to their population. Art. I, §9, cl. 4. Perhaps itis not (we have no need to address the point); but the meaning of the Direct Tax Clause is famously unclear, and its application here is a question of first impression thatdeserves more thoughtful consideration than the lick-anda-promise accorded by the Government and its supporters. The Government’s opening brief did not even address the question—perhaps because, until today, no federal court has accepted the implausible argument that §5000A isan exercise of the tax power. And once respondents raisedthe issue, the Government devoted a mere 21 lines of its reply brief to the issue….

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

The Individual Mandate is unconstitutional!

His only obligation was to rule on the law as it was presented; no judge has a right to contrive or in essence reframe the argument for any case before him/her.

Justice Roberts is using his position to carve out a place in history for Justice Roberts; and that is reprehensible!

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

....... The Supreme Court's popularity? They're not elected, and that should NOT be a consideration factored in to their rulings!


Man charged with assaulting 4-year-old boy who was found dead on mid-Michigan reservation.

Agudah Kovod Zucher "serving" on your local yeshiva board said...

Justice John Roberts is a tchikava guy!

French Bastard from Le Marais said...

Dominique Strauss Kahn was finalment trown out by his shiksa journalist wife Ann Sinclair. She knew going in he is chasing every skirt but zee criminal charges for running a prostitution ring are too much.


Rushbo on Roberts

By Mark Halperin | June 29, 2012 Limbaugh on his Friday radio show:

“The Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court knew that and felt it was his duty, however, to save the legislation. I don’t even care about motivation. I don’t care if it’s because he wants the New York Times and Washington Post loving him. I don’t care if it’s because he wants to be the next John Marshall. I don’t care. All I know is that we were defrauded in front of our eyes, wide open. We were taunted, frauded, defrauded, mocked, laughed at. I guess 5-4 court decisions are perfectly fine now. 5-4, oh yeah, hey, we’ll take whatever we can get. We’ll take it however we can get it. Even if they have to invent law. Even if they have to rewrite a statute that was so poorly written it wouldn’t have gotten past a first grader who understood the Constitution.”

“What he did, he stretched the limits to avoid being accused of activism. In the process, he became more activist than any justice in recent memory.”

Read more: http://thepage.time.com/2012/06/29/rushbo-on-roberts/?xid=newsletter-thepagebymarkhalperin#ixzz1zOE0987c

UOJ gets results said...


Four Middle School Bus Bullies Learn Their Punishment

The four middle school students who were videotaped tormenting their adult school bus monitor learned today what their punishment will be.

The Greece, N.Y. Central School District said in a statement that all four boys will be suspended from school for one year. They are also barred from "school and regular bus transportation."

The video showed the teens lobbing vicious insults and threats at 68-year-old Karen Klein, at one point bringing her to tears. The video went viral, viewed more than two million times. The outrage and the response was were just as great.

An online appeal for funds for Klein pulled in more than ten times the targeted amount. The Canadian man who started the appeal said he was hoping to raise $5,000. The fund quickly rose to more than $650,000.

Klein has also been offered a trip to Disney World by ABC's parent company, Disney. Southwest Airlines has offered to pay for the flight.

The families of all four boys waived their right to a hearing and agreed to the one-year suspensions. During that year, the boys will be educated at the district's Reengagement Center, described as an "alternative education program [that] keeps middle school students on track academically while providing a structured opportunity for students to take responsibility for their actions."

Each of the seventh graders will be required to complete 50 hours of community service with senior citizens and will be enrolled in a bullying-prevention program.

The school district statement says all the boys, "admitted to wrongdoing [and] accepted the recommended consequences."

In the days after the video went viral, two of the boys, identified only by their first names, came forward to apologize.

Josh wrote, "I am so sorry for the way I treated you," Josh wrote. "When I saw the video I was disgusted and could not believe I did that. I am sorry for being so mean."

Sleaze said...