Tag Archive: Elena Kagan


Supreme Court upholds prayer at government meetings

Supreme Court upholds prayer at government meetings

Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

On November 6, 2013, the Court heard oral arguments in the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway dealing with whether holding a prayer prior to the monthly public meetings in the New York town of Greece violates the Constitution by endorsing a single faith.

by Richard Wolf, USA TODAY

Posted on May 5, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Updated today at 9:13 AM

 

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the centuries-old tradition of offering prayers at the start of government meetings, even if those prayers are overwhelmingly Christian.

The 5-4 decision in favor of the any-prayer-goes policy in the town of Greece, N.Y., avoided two alternatives that the justices clearly found abhorrent: having government leaders parse prayers for sectarian content, or outlawing them altogether.

It was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, with the court’s conservatives agreeing and its liberals, led by Justice Elena Kagan, dissenting.

The long-awaited ruling following oral arguments in November was a victory for the the town, which was taken to court by two women who argued that a plethora of overtly Christian prayers at town board meetings violated their rights.

While the court had upheld the practice of legislative prayer, most recently in a 1983 case involving the Nebraska legislature, the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway presented the justices with a new twist: mostly Christian clergy delivering frequently sectarian prayers before an audience that often includes average citizens with business to conduct.

The court’s ruling said that the alternative — having the town board act as supervisors and censors of religious speech — would involve the government far more than Greece was doing by inviting any clergy to deliver the prayers.

“An insistence on nonsectarian or ecumenical prayer as a single, fixed standard is not consistent with the tradition of legislative prayer outlined in the court’s cases,” Kennedy said.

Kagan, joined by the court’s other three liberal justices, said the town’s prayers differed from those delivered to legislators about to undertake the people’s business. In Greece, she said, sectarian prayers were delivered to “ordinary citizens,” and their participation was encouraged.

“No one can fairly read the prayers from Greece’s town meetings as anything other than explicitly Christian — constantly and exclusively so,” Kagan said. “The prayers betray no understanding that the American community is today, as it long has been, a rich mosaic of religious faiths.”

The legal tussle began in 2007, following eight years of nothing but Christian prayers in the town of nearly 100,000 people outside Rochester. Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens, a Jew and an atheist, took the board to federal court and won by contending that its prayers – often spiced with references to Jesus, Christ and the Holy Spirit — aligned the town with one religion.

Once the legal battle was joined, town officials canvassed widely for volunteer prayer-givers and added a Jewish layman, a Wiccan priestess and a member of the Baha’i faith to the mix. Stephens, meanwhile, awoke one morning to find her mailbox on top of her car, and part of a fire hydrant turned up in her swimming pool.

The two women contended that the prayers in Greece were unconstitutional because they pressured those in attendance to participate. They noted that unlike federal and state government sessions, town board meetings are frequented by residents who must appear for everything from business permits to zoning changes.

 

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Dees Illustration

Stephen Lendman
Activist Post

It’s no surprise. Michael Parenti calls America’s High Court its “autocratic branch.”

It’s notoriously pro-business. It’s longstanding. In Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railway (1886), it granted corporations legal personhood.

More recently, in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes et al (June 2011), it denied longstanding sexual discrimination class action redress. It overruled a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision doing so.

In AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion (April 2011), it did so two months earlier. It blocked class action redress claiming fraud. The company’s wireless subsidiary charged sales tax on cellphones it advertised as free. Two California courts rules for plaintiffs. The High Court overruled them.

In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled for money power over democratic governance. One dollar = one vote.

Corporations and PACs can spend all they want. Doing so more than ever lets them control US elections. Voters are effectively disenfranchised. They have no say whatever.

Numerous other rulings show America’s High Court is supremely pro-business. The Roberts Court is more so than previous ones. Even The New York Times noticed.

On May 4, it headlined “Corporations Find a Friend in the Supreme Court.” It rejected an anti-trust class action suit against Comcast. Subscribers sought to prove unfair competition and overcharges. Wrongdoing was dismissed 5 – 4. It didn’t surprise. It’s consistently pro-business. Doing so facilitates corporate empowerment, discriminatory practices, willful fraud, and products harming human health.
Bowman v. Monsanto again showed where America’s High Court stands. Justice again was denied. Corporate interests alone matter. In 2007, Monsanto sued Vernon Bowman. He’s an Indiana farmer. At issue was alleged patent infringement.

He bought mixed soybean seeds. He did so from a grain elevator. He planted them a second time. He supplemented them with soybeans bought from the same source.

Monsanto’s licensing agreement forbids second plantings. It wants seeds sold used only once. It wants farmers to pay each time they plant.

Bowman claimed no patent infringement. It expired on what he first bought. He supplemented with commodity soybeans. They’re usually used for feed.

He said they naturally “self-replicate or sprout unless stored in a controlled manner.” In other words, he planted soybeans, not new seeds. He violated no law.

Justice Elena Kagan delivered the court opinion. She didn’t surprise. She and other justices spurn judicial fairness. They do so in defense of privilege. She rejected what she called “that blame-the-bean defense.”

Bowman had no chance. He was no match against Monsanto. He was ordered to pay nearly $85,000 in damages. He’s a small farmer. Doing so may bankrupt him. Longstanding agribusiness plans call for greater consolidation at the expense of small competitors.

Bowman lost at the district, appellate and High Court levels. They ruled one way. They claimed patent exhaustion doesn’t permit farmers to replant seeds and harvest them without patent holder’s permission.

Generic drug companies freely do it. The Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act permits it. Once patents expire, holders no longer have exclusive rights.

In 2014, the last of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready US patents will expire. Monsanto’s supposed to lose exclusivity. At issue is will or won’t it happen?

Expect Monsanto to press hard to keep it. Earlier it said it wants international regulatory Roundup Ready soybeans support until 2021. It’s unclear if other companies will be able to sell generic versions. Monsanto won’t make it easy to do so.

On May 13, Food Democracy Now (FDN) denounced the Supreme Court ruling. Executive director Dave Murphy accused Washington of complicity in permitting the “corporate takeover of (America’s) food supply.”

“Today,” he said, “the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the corporate takeover of our food supply, in a huge win for Monsanto, and a major loss for America’s farmers and consumers.”

Monsanto has long engaged in an effort to subvert family farmers that do not use their genetically-engineered seeds, and the Court has now handed corporations even more control over what our families eat.

Currently, Food Democracy Now! is a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit in the District Court of Appeals, Organic Seed Associations et Al. v Monsanto to protect America’s farmers from unwanted contamination of their crops by Monsanto’s patented genetically-engineered plants.

Our nation’s family farmers grow our food on farms where cross-pollination between organic, non-GMO crops and Monsanto’s genetically-engineered patented crops is regular and naturally-occurring process.

The Court’s decision to give Monsanto the power to control the future harvest of America’s family farmers and our county’s food supply is deeply troubling, immoral and a very bad sign for the future of our nation’s food.

In March 2013, Obama signed the Monsanto Protection Act.It’s the Farmer Assurance Provision rider in HR 933: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013. Monsanto lawyers wrote it.

It permits circumventing judicial decisions. If courts rule GMOs unsafe, Monsanto’s free to ignore them. So can the Secretary of Agriculture.

He’s free to ignore food safety. He can let hazardous GMOs poison America’s food supply. Obama’s complicit with giant corporate interests. He’s their man in Washington. He’s beholden to monied interests. They own him.

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Politics, Legislation and Economy News

Politics  :  Government – Corruption – Hypocrisy

SNOPES NO MORE – very interesting!

Many of the emails that I have sent or forwarded that had any anti Obama
in it were negated by Snopes. I thought that was odd. Check this out.

Shades of Krystalnacht

Snopes, Soros and the Supreme Court’s Kagan. We-l-l-l-l now, I guess the
time has come to check out Snopes! Ya’ don’t suppose it might not be a good

time to take a second look at some of the stuff that got kicked in the ditch

by Snopes, do ya’?

We’ve known that it was owned by a lefty couple but hadn’t known it to be
financed by Soros!

Snopes is heavily financed by George Soros, a big time supporter of Obama
and many other left wing organizations! In our Search for the truth
department, we find what I have suspected on many occasions.

I went to Snopes to check something about the dockets of the new
Supreme Court Justice. Elena Kagan, who Obama appointed, and Snopes said
the email was false and there were no such dockets. So I Googled the
Supreme Court, typed in Obama-Kagan, and guess what?

Yep, you got it; Snopes Lied! Everyone of those dockets are there.

So Here is what I wrote to Snopes:

Referencing the article about Elana Kagan and Barak Obama dockets:

The information you have posted stating that there were no such cases as
claimed and the examples you gave are blatantly false.

I went directly to the Supreme Courts website, typed in Obama Kagan and
immediately came up with all of the dockets that the article made reference
to.

I have long suspected that you really slant things but this was really
shocking.

Thank You. I hope you will be much more truthful in the future, but I doubt
it.

That being said, I’ll bet you didn’t know this.

Kagan was representing Obama in all the petitions to prove his citizenship.
Now she may help rule on them.

Folks, this is really ugly.
Chicago Politics at its best and the beat goes on and on and on.

Once again the US Senate sold us out!

Now we know why Obama nominated Elana Kagan for the Supreme Court.
Pull up the Supreme Courts website, go to the docket and search for Obama.

She was the Solicitor General for all the suits against him filed with the
Supreme Court to show proof of natural born citizenship. He owed her
big time. All of the requests were denied of course.

They were never heard.

It just keeps getting deeper and deeper, doesn’t it?
The American people mean nothing any longer. It’s all about payback time
for
those who compromised themselves to elect someone who really has no true
right to even be there.

Here are some websites of the Supreme Court Docket:

You can look up some of these hearings and guess what?
Elana Kagan is the attorney representing Obama!

Check out these examples:
http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/09-88…

http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/09-67…

http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/09-72…
If you are not interested in justice or in truth, simply delete.

However, if you hold sacred the freedoms granted to you by the
U.S. Constitution, by all means, PASS it ON!

There truly is tyranny afoot.

 

Snopes Exposed?

Netlore Archive: Is Snopes.com biased and unreliable?

By , About.com Guide

Forwarded email alleges that the urban legend debunking site Snopes.com is ‘owned by a flaming liberal’ who is ‘in the tank for Obama’ and can’t be trusted to provide reliable information.

Description: Email rumor
Circulating since: Oct. 2008
Status: False (see details below)

See also: The Obama / Kagan Connection
Example:
Email text contributed by Elliott F., Oct. 20, 2008:

Subject: Snopes under fire

PLEASE READ!!!!!!! VERY IMPORTANT—– SNOPES EXPOSED:

Snopes under fire

I have suspected some problems with Snopes for some time now, but I have only caught them in half-truths. If there is any subjectivity they do an immediate full left rudder.

Truth or fiction.com  is the better source for verification, in my opinion.

I have recently discovered that Snopes.com is owned by a flaming liberal and this man is in the tank for Obama. There are many things they have listed on their site as a hoax and yet you can go to Youtube yourself and find the video of Obama actually saying these things. So you see, you cannot and should not trust Snopes.com…. ever for anything that remotely resembles truth! I don’t even trust them to tell me if email chains are hoaxes anymore.

A few conservative speakers on Myspace told me about snopes.com <http://snopes.com/&gt; a few months ago and I took it upon myself to do a little research to find out if it was true. Well, I found out for myself that it is true. This website is backing Obama and is covering up for him. They will say anything that makes him look bad is a hoax and they also tell lies on the other side about McCain and Palin.

Anyway just FYI please don’t use Snopes.com anymore for fact checking and make your friends aware of their political leanings as well. Many people still think Snopes.com is neutral and they can be trusted as factual. We need to make sure everyone is aware that that is a hoax in itself.

———————————–

Analysis: It apparently never occurred to this anonymous emailer to cite even one actual instance of Snopes.com promulgating “half-truths” or “lies” under the guise of providing reliable information. So much for credibility (the email’s, I mean).

It’s doubly ironic that such a scurrilous attack should be mounted against the oldest and most respected fact-checking site on the Internet at the denouement of an election year (2008) marked from beginning to end by unrestrained smear-mongering, much of which it fell to Snopes.com to debunk.

Let’s examine the specific accusations.

  • CLAIM: Snopes.com is ‘owned by a flaming liberal’ with a partisan bias.First off, it’s clear that whoever wrote this piece made it up as they went along. Anyone who has spent even a few minutes browsing Snopes.com knows that the website is owned by two people, not one. They are husband and wife David and Barbara Mikkelson of southern California. This is stated on the website and has been common knowledge for quite some time.Second, the charge of partisanship is laid without evidence. At no time have the Mikkelsons publicly stated a political preference or affiliation, or expressed support for any particular party or candidate.Moreover, Barbara Mikkelson is a Canadian citizen, and as such cannot vote in U.S. elections or contribute to political campaigns. In a statement to FactCheck.org, David Mikkelson said his “sole involvement in politics” is voting on election day. In 2000 he registered as a Republican, documents provided to FactCheck.org show, and in 2008 Mikkelson didn’t declare a party affiliation at all. Says Mikkelson: “I’ve never joined a party, worked for a campaign, or donated money to a candidate” (source: FactCheck.org).Anyone who claims proof to the contrary needs to come out with it.A NOTE ON GEORGE SOROS: A later variant of this rumor alleges, without evidence, that Snopes.com is financed by liberal philanthropist and hedge fund tycoon George Soros. This is false. The website is entirely self-supporting through advertising sales.
  • CLAIM: Snopes.com is ‘in the tank’ for Obama and ‘tells lies’ about McCain and Palin.You’d think it would be easy for someone so blithely asserting that the owners of Snopes.com are “flaming liberals” to offer evidencethat they’re “in the tank” for Obama and “covering up” for him. None is provided.As of this writing dozens of forwarded texts pertaining to Barack Obama and his running mate have been analyzed on Snopes.com, each meticulously researched with copious references cited. I have perused them all, not to mention the twenty-odd texts concerning Republican candidates John McCain and Sarah Palin, and find no discernible pattern of bias or deception, nor any evidence of advocacy for or against. To the contrary, I see a consistent effort to provide even-handed analyses of texts which more often than not are themselves dripping with political bias.That’s my assessment, as someone who has investigated the bulk of these rumors himself and can boast a better-than-average familiarity with the subject matter. I invite you to make your own.
  • CLAIM: TruthorFiction.com is a more reliable source than Snopes.TruthorFiction.com has condemnedthis anonymous attack against Snopes.com and, in fact, lauds the site as an “excellent” and “authoritative” resource.What’s ironic about claims to the contrary is that when you compare the contents of the two sites their findings rarely diverge in any substantive way. Shouldn’t we therefore conclude that TruthorFiction.com is biased too?

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