Recent US Supreme Court decisions give us as Conservatives a ray of hope in a world where we’ve had very little for the past 8 – 16 years.
First the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a Minnesota law prohibiting certain types of clothing at a polling place (Minnesota Voters Alliance v Mansky). The justices rightly noted in their majority 7-2 opinion that while a T-shirt bearing the words of the 1st Amendment would be OK, a T-shirt with the 2nd Amendment written on it would be banned. They viewed this type of subjective rationale as being capricious at best and a complete stripping of an individual’s freedom of speech at worst.
The next significant court case was the 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court decision aligning themselves with the Colorado Baker who was censured, fined and threatened with jail if he and his employees did not undergo mandatory “retraining” to welcome GBLT etc. into his business (MASTERPIECE CAKESHOP, LTD., ET AL. v. COLORADO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION ET AL. ).
In this case, the baker did not refuse to sell the gay male couple a cake, he just refused to make them a cake which he considered to be a work of art, an artistic expression, his free speech since making such a cake for a gay wedding would conflict with his religious views. The baker won his case and his freedom of religion won out.
Next on our list of SCOTUS hits is the case of Abbot (Texas Governor Abbot) v Perez. (5-4 decision) This case had to do with the Republican redistricting for election purposes. The court found several errors the lower court had made and sided with Governor Abbot and sent the case back to the lower court for further consideration.
In NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FAMILY AND LIFE ADVOCATES, DBA NIFLA, ET AL. v. BECERRA, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CALIFORNIA, ET AL., the court sided with the pro-life clinics that said the California law forcing them to place signage and otherwise inform a woman she had a right to a state funded abortion violated their freedom of speech and religion. The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision agreed. “BREYER, J., filed dissenting opinion, in which GINSBURG, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. “
And the big one (for today) is the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Hawaii v. Trump. The Supreme Court upheld by a 5-4 margin the right of the President to ban visas and/or limit entry into the United States of the 5 Muslim countries that Trump said sponsor terrorism.
The majority opinion read in part that the President has wide lattitude as to whom he deems would be a threat to the safety of Americans. And he has the right under INA (the Immigration and Naturalization Act) to ban individuals and countries he has deemed to represent a threat to our security.
And today (6/27/2018) the Supreme Court issued a major 5-4 ruling impacting government employees and union dues in:
JANUS v. AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY, AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, COUNCIL 31, ET AL.
The issue was the forced taking of fees from an employees paycheck, even if that employee did not join the Municipal Employees union. Many individuals do not join unions because of the causes that the unions participate in and back. Therefore it was a matter of forced conscription through the taking of union dues to support speech that the individual may find objectionable. A previous case Abood was referenced by the court as an error by the court and overturned that decision as well.
The Supreme Court majority (5-4 decision) held in part:
“2. The State’s extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting publicsector
employees violates the First Amendment. Abood erred in concluding
otherwise, and stare decisis cannot support it. Abood is
therefore overruled. Pp. 7–47.
(a) Abood’s holding is inconsistent with standard First
Amendment principles. Pp. 7–18.
(1) Forcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they
find objectionable raises serious First Amendment concerns.”
Many of the decisions have been decided by 5-4 margins such as Turmp v. Hawaii or Abbot v. Perez. We can be thankful Trump found a suitable replacement for Justice Scalia after his untimely death.