Tag Archives | Supreme Court

Tyson Foods Revokes Activist Chicken Farmer’s License To Raise Chickens; Farmer Sues & Loses Appeal in U.S. Supreme Court

TysonFoodsMark Sherman reports on the AP via Yahoo News:

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal from a former Tennessee poultry farmer who sued Tyson Farms after losing his contract to raise their chickens.

The justices did not comment in turning away Alton Terry, who said Tyson cut him off because he helped organize area farmers and complained about the company’s practices. Lower courts had previously dismissed the lawsuit.

Terry, essentially, argued that he lost his contract to raise chickens on his 12-acre farm, because he squawked too much.

Terry was a poultry farmer who brought together a group of area farmers and told them they had the right to complain about Tyson’s practices. He also raised concerns directly with Tyson, among the world’s largest meat companies.

Terry says Tyson and other big companies have too much sway over farmers, and federal courts also have bowed to agribusiness interests by setting too high a standard for the farmers to succeed in court.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Vermont Proposes Resolution To Ban ‘Corporate Personhood’

0Talk about a victory for common sense, in the face of one of the most harmful and breathtakingly idiotic judicial precedents in U.S. history. AlterNet reports:

A year ago today, the Supreme Court issued its bizarre Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited corporate spending in elections as a form of “free speech” for the corporate “person.” Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the dissent, had the task of recalling the majority to planet earth and basic common sense.

“Corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires,” wrote Stevens. “Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of ‘We the People’ by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”

Fortunately, movements are afoot to reverse a century of accumulated powers and protections granted to corporations by wacky judicial decisions.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Rep. Peter DeFazio Investigating Impeachment For Chief Justice John Roberts

Rep. Peter DeFazio

Rep. Peter DeFazio

From the Huffington Post:

With Democrats increasingly outraged over the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that allowed unlimited corporate spending in elections — a change conservatives have been more successful at taking advantage of — a Democratic congressman is raising the prospect of impeaching the Supreme Court’s chief justice over the issue.

“I mean, the Supreme Court has done a tremendous disservice to the United States of America,” Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. “They have done more to undermine our democracy with their Citizens United decision than all of the Republican operatives in the world in this campaign. They’ve opened the floodgates, and personally, I’m investigating articles of impeachment against Justice Roberts for perjuring during his Senate hearings, where he said he wouldn’t be a judicial activist, and he wouldn’t overturn precedents.”

In his 2005 confirmation hearings, Roberts famously said, “Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Real Loss in the Midterm Elections

Citizens UnitedAaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

Now that the polls have closed and American voters are either flaunting their victories or crying in their post electoral concession beers, voters can rest easy that they helped facilitate some change or did their civic duty.

Major corporations, “super” PAC’s and the candidates they backed can run at least one victory lap though, even if their horse actually lost the race. Meanwhile, once the balloons shrink and the cocktails go flat, expect more Americans to feel marginalized. Partially thanks to the Citizens United decision, this mid-term election season saw record spending on campaigns nationwide. Between party spending and independent interest groups it’s possible campaign spending will top $4 billion.

Nearly half a billion dollars (over 12%) of that money came from private interests, many of which did not disclose their political interests thanks to the GOP blocking legislation that would’ve required disclosure.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Man Threatens President’s Life on Craigslist: Gets Two Years in Jail

CraigslistRobert Wilonsky writes in the Dallas Observer:

You remember Brian Dean Miller, right? Sure you do. He’s the 43-year-old Northeast Dallas man who, back in March, posted to Craigslist’s “Rants & Raves” section an item titled “Obama must die.” Among its highlights, reminds the U.S. Attorney’s Office today, he wrote: “People the time has come for revolution. It is time for Obama to die. I am dedicating my life to the death of Obama.” That was his first post. Then came another one in which he wrote, “I am actively working to kill the president and destroy the U.S. government. … This is war. Join me. Or don’t. I don’t care. I’m not laying down anymore.”

Right. That guy.

Anyway. The U.S. Attorney’s Office just sent word: Miller, whose postings were brought to Secret Service’s attention by a concerned citizen in Arlington, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge David C.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Takes On Westboro Baptist Church Hate Case

WBC_protestJess Bravin reviews the upcoming docket of the U.S. Supreme Court, starting with a case relating to the Westboro Baptist Church, infamous for its “God Hates” placards, for the Wall Street Journal:

Free speech stands front and center in the Supreme Court term beginning next week, in a pair of cases testing the First Amendment’s reach in the digital age.

On Oct. 6, the justices will weigh whether the First Amendment protects a Kansas church’s campaign to publicize its beliefs by picketing military funerals with vulgar placards and insulting fallen soldiers’ survivors in online screeds.

The father of a fallen Marine is seeking damages for emotional distress from the church, which believes that God is killing American soldiers to punish the U.S. for its tolerance of homosexuality.

A month later , the court is to consider whether states can bar minors from buying violent videogames, on the theory that these games cause damage to developing minds and this outweighs young people’s constitutional rights.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Supreme Court Extends Handgun Rights

Handguns. Photo: Joshuashearn (CC)

Handguns. Photo: Joshuashearn (CC)

What do you think – was the Supreme Court right to uphold U.S. citizens’ right to carry handguns, even in major cities? I can appreciate both sides of the argument, but as a New York City resident I’d prefer not to see handguns in an urban environment. David G. Savage reports for the Los Angeles Times:

The Supreme Court reversed a ruling upholding Chicago’s ban on handguns Monday and extended the reach of the 2nd Amendment as a nationwide protection against laws that infringe on the “right to keep and bear arms.”

The 5-4 decision appears to void the 1982 ordinance, one of the nation’s strictest, which barred city residents from having handguns for their own use, even at home.

The ruling has both local and national implications.

Two years ago, the high court ruled in a case from Washington, D.C., that the 2nd Amendment protects the rights of individuals to have a gun for self-defense.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Supreme Court Aids Corporate Fraudsters

Is this really the time to give a “get-out-of-jail-free” card to corporate chiefs who can’t resist fraudulently dipping into the honey pot of riches that they have access to? I mean we’re still unraveling (and paying for) the massive frauds perpetrated by the banksters at AIG, Goldman Sachs and their Wall Street cronies and shills in Washington. I suppose it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the Supreme Court is in on it too, but the timing shows a particularly callous disregard for public sentiment. Report from the Los Angeles Times:

A Supreme Court ruling Thursday dealt a severe blow to legislation meant to fight public corruption and also could affect the recent convictions of former Enron chief Jeffrey Skilling and former newspaper magnate Conrad Black.

In ruling on “honest-services fraud,” the justices said Skilling and Black were wrongly convicted on that charge. All nine justices agreed that such fraud was too vague to constitute a crime unless a bribe or kickback was involved.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Limits Miranda Rights

CBP_Border_Patrol_agent_reads_the_Miranda_rights_Here we go again – the conservative-dominated Supreme Court, one of the enduring parts of the Bush legacy, is messing with a previous Supreme Court decision that most Americans hold sacred: the Miranda warning. From Detroit News:

A Michigan man will continue serving a life sentence for murder after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that he gave up his rights against self-incrimination because he did not explicitly tell police he wanted to remain silent after his arrest.

The 5-4 decision overturns a ruling by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and reinstates Van Chester Thompkins’ conviction for a Jan. 10, 2000, murder in Southfield.

Detroit attorney Elizabeth Jacobs, who argued the case for Thompkins, 33, in front of the Supreme Court in March, said the ruling is “very disappointing.” The court is “diminishing Miranda rights as we know them,” Jacobs said.

Miranda rights are the rights of a suspect to remain silent.

Read the rest
Continue Reading