Category: Courts

Tax-Exempt Municipal Bonds Must End

In his autobiography, Calvin Coolidge singled out tax-exempt bonds as a travesty; idiotic, improper, probably immoral, and something which needed to be addressed.

Firmly believing that all the income of the nation had to be treated equally (and that public debt was hostile to liberty) Coolidge decried this special treatment, stating point-blank that it provided a way for the wealthy to hide their income from taxation, made it too easy for local governments to amass debt, and benefited local politicians and the buyers of their bonds all at the expense of the taxpayers who had to cover the interest on the debt.

In Coolidge’s day, the courts had ruled that the Federal government didn’t have the power to tax municipal bonds – cities are incorporated …


Healthcare Fallout: Obama’s Growing List of Coalitions

The bedrock of winning elections at every major level of politics is building coalitions of supporters for whom you can count on to head to the polls and cast a vote for you.  Especially in a country as large and non-monolithic as ours, coalition building on some level is a requirement for victory and often explains why politicians are so willing to speak often, but say very little.

A close look at President Obama’s effort in this area reveals that he has elevated this process to an art form—but far from art, what he has created is an ugly picture beneficial to himself, but terrible for America.

While the Supreme Court’s ruling on Thursday to uphold the Affordable Care Act certainly carries the negatives of …


What’s Wrong With Oklahoma’s Position on Sharia Law?

The voters in the state of Oklahoma earlier this month approved a measure that prevents state courts from considering international law or Sharia (Islamic) law. The measure was mostly in reaction to the New Jersey case of a women that sought a restraining order against her abusive husband and lost (but later won on appeal) because her husband’s beliefs (supported by Sharia law) gave him the right to force himself on his wife.

The Oklahoma measure (State Question 755) was put on hold yesterday by a Federal judge who thinks the ballot issue may be unconstitutional. It seems to core question to the judge is whether the specific reference to Sharia (and defining it within the question as being tied to the Quran and the …


The View From Here Is Dreadful

I watched Friday’s John and Cindy McCain interview on The View.  Below is part 1; parts 2 and 3 should be accessible from the video.

I see several posts refering to this interview as “McCain Grilled On The View”, for instance this story at Huffpo, and this one at Century Of The Common Iowan.

A stretch to say the least.

First of all, the ladies of The View basically threw the same lame questions at McCain that have been circulating the Liberal Media and Blog Sites for the past few weeks. It was clear that they did little in the way of real research, and set themselves up to look foolish.  Later in the show, Cindy was brought out, and from there on …


What If They’re Wrong?

I am surprised I didn’t see more blogs lit up over this today (Allahpundit over at Hot Air did hit on it,Justice In Question though).

The Supreme Court was wrong.

That is, Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion in Kennedy v. Louisiana, was wrong.  If you recall, Kennedy wrote in his opinion (discussed here last week) that

Thirty-seven jurisdictions—36 States plus the Federal Government— currently impose capital punishment, but only six States authorize it for child rape.

Kennedy then used this fact to establish that Congress’ lack of action to enact capital punishment for child rape reflected the country’s growing desire to treat child rapists more kindly.  I’m still gagging over that one.

In Wednesday’s New York Times, we find that Kennedy, along with …


Supreme Court: Capital Punishment Old-fashioned

Court Scales

The court is wrong.

As Lyle observes, the court has been progressively narrowing the conditions under which the death penalty can be used. By itself, this is a frustrating fact as the court appears to be referencing reasons with less basis in law and more basis in their feelings. Lyle observes:

…the longer a Justice stays on the Court and watches capital cases come and go, the greater the prospect that capital punishment will lose another vote…

But more disturbing is …


The Signs of Decline

I am not going to argue the merits of the case or the stretched use of precedence. And it is far too easy to poke holes at the California Supreme Court.

But instead I ask one single question. Does anyone not see this as a sign of the on-going decline of our society?

I’m not intending to be alarmist about this, and of course I’m going to be lumped with the extremist religious wackos that promote a “God hates the world” message (one that I vehemently oppose).

I support the rights of all to life, liberty and happiness, even for those who carry on privately in sexual or other conduct that is repulsive to me.

But for the government to establish a new order to …


If The Government Is Defective, Can We Get Our Money Back?

You should probably expect to see the following happen in the US within the next few years.

In Great Britain, a high court justice has ruled that British Human Rights laws apply to soldiers while in combat, according to a report heard on Friday’s BBC NewsPod Podcast. While this may sound relatively benign on the surface, the intent and impact of this ruling is to hold the Ministry of Defense (MoD) accountable for situations where soldiers are injured or killed due to the failure of defective equipment, or due to insufficient supplies in their kit.

Mr Justice Lawrence Collins, LL.D., FBA made the ruling during a request for military inquest guidelines in the case of the death of a Scottish soldier in Iraq who died …


DSM Register: Spitzer’s Privacy Invaded by Feds

There is little need to retrace the Eliot Spitzer story except to say: he got caught with a prostitute and apparently was using a form of structuring (attempting to get around federal bank reporting rules) in an attempt to hide the source and/or use of funds.  Although a lot of hay is being made about him being with a prostitute when he had set himself up as the hero against prostitution, the real issues here are going to center around how he was hiding money, and more importantly, why.  There were almost certainly laws broken here, and we suspect there is more to come.

However, the Des Moines Register (a substantively liberal media outlet) expressed an opinion today that this whole tawdry affair should never …


Follow-up on DeKalb Shootings

I’m still a little overwhelmed by the events of Valentine’s Day.

People died or were injured and should not have been. It never should have happened. As with any other shooting of this type, we will have days of analysis about the drugs that this young man stopped taking, about the easy availability of the weapons he used, and why stronger measures need to be put in place to limit the availability of these weapons from unstable members of the public.

What a bunch of nonsense.

I was hit with a surprisingly poignant question from my wife after the death toll was first announced:

Can I learn to fire a gun?

Wow. That hit me like a ton of bricks.

One thing about your friendly …


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