Tag Archives: John Roberts

Judicial Tyranny: Dissenting opinions on Supreme Court’s ruling on homosexual marriage

Supreme Court 2015

Yesterday, by a razor-thin margin of one, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5-4 in favor of the absurd notion of same-sex marriage. Henceforth, homosexual couples must be allowed to marry in every state of the disunion.

The five (names in pink above) are Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor — 3 Jews (Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan) and 2 liberal Catholics (Kennedy, Sotomayor). The four dissenters (names in blue) are John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas — all Catholics.

But the 5-4 vote actually should be 3-4 because two justices who voted in favor of same-sex marriage, Ginsberg and Kagan, should have recused themselves (or removed by Chief Justice John Roberts) due to conflict of interest, both having performed homosexual marriages. Title 28, Part I, Chapter 21, Section 455 of the U.S. Code reads (source):

“Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority’s opinion (source):

“The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality. This is true for all persons, whatever their sexual orientation…. No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were,” Kennedy wrote. “It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. … They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

“”It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it”?

Homosexual British actors Derek Jacobi and Ian McKellen, who star as swishy bitchy gay lovers in the British sitcom Vicious and are the grand marshals of this Sunday’s Gay Pride March in Manhattan, immediately put a mockery to that.

McKellen (l) and Jacobi (r)

McKellen (l) and Jacobi (r)

In a Vine posted to BuzzFeed’s accounts, the two celebrated the court ruling with a mock marriage proposal from Jacobi to McKellen, although Jacobi already has a “husband,” Richard Clifford, with whom Jacobi registered their civil partnership in March 2006, four months after civil partnerships were introduced in the United Kingdom.

The four dissenting justices’ minority opinions deserve to be known. Here are excerpts (source).

From the dissenting opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by Justices Scalia and Thomas:

[T[his Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be….

Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not. The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a State are free to expand marriage to include same-sex couples, or to retain the historic definition. Today, however, the Court takes the extraordinary step of ordering every State to license and recognize same-sex marriage. Many people will rejoice at this decision, and I begrudge none their celebration. But for those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening. Supporters of same-sex marriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens—through the democratic process—to adopt their view. That ends today. Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law. Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.

The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. The majority expressly disclaims judicial “caution” and omits even a pretense of humility, openly relying on its desire to remake society according to its own “new insight” into the “nature of injustice.” Ante, at 11, 23. As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are? …

Understand well what this dissent is about: It is not about whether, in my judgment, the institution of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples. It is instead about whether, in our democratic republic, that decision should rest with the people acting through their elected representatives, or with five lawyers who happen to hold commissions authorizing them to resolve legal disputes according to law. The Constitution leaves no doubt about the answer….

The Constitution itself says nothing about marriage, and the Framers thereby entrusted the States with “[t]he whole subject of the domestic relations of husband and wife.” … There is no dispute that every State at the founding—and every State throughout our history until a dozen years ago—defined marriage in the traditional, biologically rooted way. The four States in these cases are typical. Their laws, before and after statehood, have treated marriage as the union of a man and a woman….

This Court’s precedents have repeatedly described marriage in ways that are consistent only with its traditional meaning…. Allowing unelected federal judges to select which unenumerated rights rank as “fundamental”—and to strike down state laws on the basis of that determination—raises obvious concerns about the judicial role….

The majority’s driving themes are that marriage is desirable and petitioners desire it. The opinion describes the “transcendent importance” of marriage and repeatedly insists that petitioners do not seek to “demean,” “devalue,” “denigrate,” or “disrespect” the institution. Ante, at 3, 4, 6, 28. Nobody disputes those points…. As a matter of constitutional law, however, the sincerity of petitioners’ wishes is not relevant.

When the majority turns to the law, it relies primarily on precedents discussing the fundamental “right to marry.” … None of the laws at issue in those cases purported to change the core definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman…. These precedents say nothing at all about a right to make a State change its definition of marriage, which is the right petitioners actually seek here…. Neither petitioners nor the majority cites a single case or other legal source providing any basis for such a constitutional right. None exists, and that is enough to foreclose their claim….

Same-sex couples remain free to live together, to engage in intimate conduct, and to raise their families as they see fit. No one is “condemned to live in loneliness” by the laws challenged in these cases—no one. Ante, at 28. At the same time, the laws in no way interfere with the “right to be let alone.” …

In sum, the privacy cases provide no support for the majority’s position, because petitioners do not seek privacy. Quite the opposite, they seek public recognition of their relationships, along with corresponding government benefits. Our cases have consistently refused to allow litigants to convert the shield provided by constitutional liberties into a sword to demand positive entitlements from the State…. Thus, although the right to privacy recognized by our precedents certainly plays a role in protecting the intimate conduct of same-sex couples, it provides no affirmative right to redefine marriage and no basis for striking down the laws at issue here….

It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If “[t]here is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices,” ante, at 13, why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry? If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their children would otherwise “suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,” ante, at 15, why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children? If not having the opportunity to marry “serves to disrespect and subordinate” gay and lesbian couples, why wouldn’t the same “imposition of this disability,” ante, at 22, serve to disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships?…

The majority’s understanding of due process lays out a tantalizing vision of the future for Members of this Court: If an unvarying social institution enduring over all of recorded history cannot inhibit judicial policymaking, what can? But this approach is dangerous for the rule of law. The purpose of insisting that implied fundamental rights have roots in the history and tradition of our people is to ensure that when unelected judges strike down democratically enacted laws, they do so based on something more than their own beliefs. The Court today not only overlooks our country’s entire history and tradition but actively repudiates it, preferring to live only in the heady days of the here and now….

The legitimacy of this Court ultimately rests “upon the respect accorded to its judgments.” … That respect flows from the perception—and reality—that we exercise humility and restraint in deciding cases according to the Constitution and law. The role of the Court envisioned by the majority today, however, is anything but humble or restrained. Over and over, the majority exalts the role of the judiciary in delivering social change….

Nowhere is the majority’s extravagant conception of judicial supremacy more evident than in its description— and dismissal—of the public debate regarding same-sex marriage…. What would be the point of allowing the democratic process to go on?

Those who founded our country would not recognize the majority’s conception of the judicial role. They after all risked their lives and fortunes for the precious right to govern themselves. They would never have imagined yielding that right on a question of social policy to unaccountable and unelected judges….

The Court’s accumulation of power does not occur in a vacuum. It comes at the expense of the people. And they know it…. When decisions are reached through democratic means, some people will inevitably be disappointed with the results. But those whose views do not prevail at least know that they have had their say, and accordingly are—in the tradition of our political culture—reconciled to the result of a fair and honest debate. In addition, they can gear up to raise the issue later, hoping to persuade enough on the winning side to think again. “That is exactly how our system of government is supposed to work.” …

But today the Court puts a stop to all that. By deciding this question under the Constitution, the Court removes it from the realm of democratic decision. There will be consequences to shutting down the political process on an issue of such profound public significance. Closing debate tends to close minds. People denied a voice are less likely to accept the ruling of a court on an issue that does not seem to be the sort of thing courts usually decide…. Indeed, however heartened the proponents of same-sex marriage might be on this day, it is worth acknowledging what they have lost, and lost forever: the opportunity to win the true acceptance that comes from persuading their fellow citizens of the justice of their cause….

Today’s decision…creates serious questions about religious liberty. Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is—unlike the right imagined by the majority— actually spelled out in the Constitution. Amdt. 1….

Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage…. Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage…. There is little doubt that these and similar questions will soon be before this Court. Unfortunately, people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today.

Perhaps the most discouraging aspect of today’s decision is the extent to which the majority feels compelled to sully those on the other side of the debate…. By the majority’s account, Americans who did nothing more than follow the understanding of marriage that has existed for our entire history—in particular, the tens of millions of people who voted to reaffirm their States’ enduring definition of marriage—have acted to “lock . . . out,” “disparage,” “disrespect and subordinate,” and inflict “[d]ignitary wounds” upon their gay and lesbian neighbors…. These apparent assaults on the character of fairminded people will have an effect, in society and in court.… Moreover, they are entirely gratuitous. It is one thing for the majority to conclude that the Constitution protects a right to same-sex marriage; it is something else to portray everyone who does not share the majority’s “better informed understanding” as bigoted….

If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it. I respectfully dissent.

From the dissenting opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Justice Thomas:

I join THE CHIEF JUSTICE’s opinion in full. I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy….

Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact— and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.

Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best. Individuals on both sides of the issue passionately, but respectfully, attempted to persuade their fellow citizens to accept their views. Americans considered the arguments and put the question to a vote. The electorates of 11 States, either directly or through their representatives, chose to expand the traditional definition of marriage. Many more decided not to. Win or lose, advocates for both sides continued pressing their cases, secure in the knowledge that an electoral loss can be negated by a later electoral win. That is exactly how our system of government is supposed to work….

When the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, every State limited marriage to one man and one woman, and no one doubted the constitutionality of doing so….

But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law. Buried beneath the mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages of the opinion is a candid and startling assertion: No matter what it was the People ratified, the Fourteenth Amendment protects those rights that the Judiciary, in its “reasoned judgment,” thinks the Fourteenth Amendment ought to protect….

Thus, rather than focusing on the People’s understanding of “liberty”—at the time of ratification or even today—the majority focuses on four “principles and traditions” that, in the majority’s view, prohibit States from defining marriage as an institution consisting of one man and one woman. This is a naked judicial claim to legislative—indeed, super-legislative—power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government. Except as limited by a constitutional prohibition agreed to by the People, the States are free to adopt whatever laws they like, even those that offend the esteemed Justices’ “reasoned judgment.” A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy….

[T]his Court, which consists of only nine men and women, all of them successful lawyers who studied at Harvard or Yale Law School. Four of the nine are natives of New York City. Eight of them grew up in east- and west-coast States. Only one hails from the vast expanse in-between. Not a single Southwesterner or even, to tell the truth, a genuine Westerner (California does not count). Not a single evangelical Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of Americans19), or even a Protestant of any denomination…. And to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation.

But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch. The five Justices who compose today’s majority are entirely comfortable concluding that every State violated the Constitution for all of the 135 years between the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification and Massachusetts’ permitting of same-sex marriages in 2003. They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a “fundamental right” overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since….  They are certain that the People ratified the Fourteenth Amendment to bestow on them the power to remove questions from the democratic process when that is called for by their “reasoned judgment.” These Justices know that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry. And they are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, stands against the Constitution.

The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic…. Of course the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent. “The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality.”23 (Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie. Expression, sure enough, is a freedom, but anyone in a long-lasting marriage will attest that that happy state constricts, rather than expands, what one can prudently say.) Rights, we are told, can “rise . . . from a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives define a liberty that remains urgent in our own era.”24 (Huh? How can a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives [whatever that means] define [whatever that means] an urgent liberty [never mind], give birth to a right?) … I could go on. The world does not expect logic and precision in poetry or inspirational pop philosophy; it demands them in the law. The stuff contained in today’s opinion has to diminish this Court’s reputation for clear thinking and sober analysis.

From the dissenting opinion by Justice Thomas, joined by Justice Scalia:

The Court’s decision today is at odds not only with the Constitution, but with the principles upon which our Nation was built. Since well before 1787, liberty has been understood as freedom from government action, not entitlement to government benefits. The Framers created our Constitution to preserve that understanding of liberty. Yet the majority invokes our Constitution in the name of a “liberty” that the Framers would not have recognized, to the detriment of the liberty they sought to protect. Along the way, it rejects the idea—captured in our Declaration of Independence—that human dignity is innate and suggests instead that it comes from the Government. This distortion of our Constitution not only ignores the text, it inverts the relationship between the individual and the state in our Republic. I cannot agree with it.

The majority’s decision today will require States to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize same-sex marriages entered in other States largely based on a constitutional provision guaranteeing “due process” before a person is deprived of his “life, liberty, or property.” I have elsewhere explained the dangerous fiction of treating the Due Process Clause as a font of substantive rights. McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 811–812 (2010) (THOMAS, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). It distorts the constitutional text, which guarantees only whatever “process” is “due” before a person is deprived of life, liberty, and property. U. S. Const., Amdt. 14, §1. Worse, it invites judges to do exactly what the majority has done here—“‘roa[m] at large in the constitutional field’ guided only by their personal views” as to the “‘fundamental rights’” protected by that document….

By straying from the text of the Constitution, substantive due process exalts judges at the expense of the People from whom they derive their authority. Petitioners…ask nine judges on this Court to enshrine their definition of marriage in the Federal Constitution and thus put it beyond the reach of the normal democratic process for the entire Nation. That a “bare majority” of this Court…is able to grant this wish, wiping out with a stroke of the keyboard the results of the political process in over 30 States, based on a provision that guarantees only “due process” is but further evidence of the danger of substantive due process….

The majority claims these state laws deprive petitioners of “liberty,” but the concept of “liberty” it conjures up bears no resemblance to any plausible meaning of that word as it is used in the Due Process Clauses….

Even assuming that the “liberty” in those Clauses encompasses something more than freedom from physical restraint, it would not include the types of rights claimed by the majority. In the American legal tradition, liberty has long been understood as individual freedom from governmental action, not as a right to a particular governmental entitlement….

Whether we define “liberty” as locomotion or freedom from governmental action more broadly, petitioners have in no way been deprived of it. Petitioners cannot claim, under the most plausible definition of “liberty,” that they have been imprisoned or physically restrained by the States for participating in same-sex relationships. To the contrary, they have been able to cohabitate and raise their children in peace. They have been able to hold civil marriage ceremonies in States that recognize same-sex marriages and private religious ceremonies in all States. They have been able to travel freely around the country, making their homes where they please. Far from being incarcerated or physically restrained, petitioners have been left alone to order their lives as they see fit….

Instead, the States have refused to grant them governmental entitlements. Petitioners claim that as a matter of “liberty,” they are entitled to access privileges and benefits that exist solely because of the government. They want, for example, to receive the State’s imprimatur on their marriages—on state issued marriage licenses, death certificates, or other official forms. And they want to receive various monetary benefits, including reduced inheritance taxes upon the death of a spouse, compensation if a spouse dies as a result of a work-related injury, or loss of consortium damages in tort suits. But receiving governmental recognition and benefits has nothing to do with any understanding of “liberty” that the Framers would have recognized….

In a concession to petitioners’ misconception of liberty, the majority characterizes petitioners’ suit as a quest to “find . . . liberty by marrying someone of the same sex and having their marriages deemed lawful on the same terms and conditions as marriages between persons of the opposite sex.” … But “liberty” is not lost, nor can it be found in the way petitioners seek. As a philosophical matter, liberty is only freedom from governmental action, not an entitlement to governmental benefits. And as a constitutional matter, it is likely even narrower than that, encompassing only freedom from physical restraint and imprisonment….

The majority’s inversion of the original meaning of liberty will likely cause collateral damage to other aspects of our constitutional order that protect liberty.

The majority apparently disregards the political process as a protection for liberty…. In our country, that process is primarily representative government at the state level, with the Federal Constitution serving as a backstop for that process. As a general matter, when the States act through their representative governments or by popular vote, the liberty of their residents is fully vindicated…. What matters is that the process established by those who created the society has been honored…. The definition of marriage has been the subject of heated debate in the States. Legislatures have repeatedly taken up the matter on behalf of the People, and 35 States have put the question to the People themselves. In 32 of those 35 States, the People have opted to retain the traditional definition of marriage…. That petitioners disagree with the result of that process does not make it any less legitimate. Their civil liberty has been vindicated.

Aside from undermining the political processes that protect our liberty, the majority’s decision threatens the religious liberty our Nation has long sought to protect…. In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution; it is a religious institution as well. Id., at 7. Today’s decision might change the former, but it cannot change the latter. It appears all but inevitable that the two will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples. The majority appears unmoved by that inevitability….

Had the majority allowed the definition of marriage to be left to the political process—as the Constitution requires—the People could have considered the religious liberty implications of deviating from the traditional definition as part of their deliberative process. Instead, the majority’s decision short-circuits that process, with potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.

Perhaps recognizing that these cases do not actually involve liberty as it has been understood, the majority goes to great lengths to assert that its decision will advance the “dignity” of same-sex couples…. The flaw in that reasoning, of course, is that the Constitution contains no “dignity” Clause, and even if it did, the government would be incapable of bestowing dignity. Human dignity has long been understood in this country to be innate. When the Framers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” they referred to a vision of mankind in which all humans are created in the image of God and therefore of inherent worth. That vision is the foundation upon which this Nation was built. The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away….

Our Constitution—like the Declaration of Independence before it—was predicated on a simple truth: One’s liberty, not to mention one’s dignity, was something to be shielded from—not provided by—the State. Today’s decision casts that truth aside. In its haste to reach a desired result, the majority misapplies a clause focused on “due process” to afford substantive rights, disregards the most plausible understanding of the “liberty” protected by that clause, and distorts the principles on which this Nation was founded. Its decision will have inestimable consequences for our Constitution and our society. I respectfully dissent.

Statue of Liberty in tears

H/t FOTM’s MomOfIV

In sorrow,


Lucifercare fines charitable hospitals that treat poor people for free

If anyone is still so deluded as to think Obama actually cares about the poor, this should extinguish your delusion for good.

The (un)Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare and more truthfully should be called Lucifercare, will fine charitable hospitals that provide healthcare for poor people — for free.

The fines can be as high as $50,000.

After that, Lucifercare — via its minions in the IRS — will remove the nonprofit status from those hospitals. Currently, some 60% of U.S. hospitals are nonprofits.

Of those, a sizeable number are Catholic. 615 Catholic hospitals account for 12.5% of community hospitals in the United States, and over 15.5% of all U.S. hospital admissions.

Last year, it was Chief Justice John Roberts’ siding with the four liberals on the Supreme Court which led to the court’s narrow 5-4 ruling that Lucifercare is a tax and therefore is constitutional. Roberts is a Roman Catholic. I hope you’re happy with yourself, Roberts you POS.

Lucifercare’s fining and hounding-int0-extinction charitable hospitals should tell you, once and for all, that when Obama and all Democrats say they care about the poor, it’s all lip service, otherwise called *Lies*.

What they care about is *POWER*their power.

H/t FOTM’s pnordman and New American


Fuhrer Obama by Bill DaviesImage by Bill Davies

Patrick Howley reports for The Daily Caller, Aug. 8, 2013:

Charitable hospitals that treat  uninsured Americans will be subjected to new levels of scrutiny of their nonprofit status and could face sizable new fines under Obamacare.

A new provision in Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, which takes effect under Obamacare, sets new  standards of review and installs new financial penalties for tax-exempt charitable hospitals, which devote a minimum amount of their expenses to treat uninsured poor people. Approximately 60 percent of American hospitals are currently nonprofit.

Charity for the uninsured is one of the factors that could discourage enrollment in Obamacare, which requires all Americans to purchase health insurance or else face new taxes themselves from the IRS.

“It requires tax-exempt hospitals to do a community needs survey and file  additional paperwork with the IRS every three years. This is to prove that the  charitable hospital is still needed in their geographical area — ‘needed’ as defined by Obamacare and overseen by IRS bureaucrats,” said John Kartch, spokesman for Americans for Tax Reform.

“Failure to comply, or to prove this continuing need, could result in the loss of the hospital’s tax-exempt status. The hospital would then become a for-profit venture, paying income tax — hence the positive revenue score” for  the federal government, Kartch said. “Obamacare advocates turned over every rock to find as much tax money as possible.”

Additionally, the rise in the number of insured Americans under Obamacare will make it more difficult for tax-exempt hospitals to continue meeting required thresholds for treating the uninsured, driving more hospitals into the for-profit category and yielding more taxable money for  the federal government.

“The requirements generally apply to any section 501(c)(3) organization that  operates at least one hospital facility,” according to a “Technical Explanation” report of new Obamacare provisions prepared by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) on March 21, 2010, the day Obamacare passed.

Obamacare’s new requirements could slam hospitals with massive $50,000 fines if they fail to meet bureaucrats’ standards.

“The hospital must disclose in its annual information report to the IRS  (i.e., Form 990 and related schedules) how it is addressing the needs identified  in the assessment and, if all identified needs are not addressed, the reasons  why (e.g., lack of financial or human resources). Each  hospital facility is required to make the assessment widely available. Failure to complete a community health needs assessment in any applicable three-year  period results in a penalty on the organization of up to $50,000,” according to  the JCT report.

The government is particularly interested in how and why hospitals will be  providing discounted or free care to poor patients, requiring each of them to  “adopt, implement, and widely publicize a written financial assistance policy”  and explain the methods they use to screen applicants for assistance and how  they calculate patients’ bills.

A delegate working under the Department of Health and Human Services must  review the innumerable reports charitable hospitals file every three years, along with copies of their audited financial statements.

After sifting through this massive amount of information, the delegate and HHS secretary must attempt to identify trends in the hospitals’ spending and send in a comprehensive report of their findings to Congress by 2015, according to the JCT report.

Healthcare experts warn that the Obamacare’s new requirements make it almost impossible for charitable hospitals to navigate treacherous new waters.

“Nonprofit hospitals should be advised that the new PPACA requirements will  play a significant role in how they operate and report, specifically when it comes to billing and collections for services provided to the uninsured. The new law leaves many gray areas and hospitals themselves will have to establish eligibility criteria for financial assistance. Following the new procedures as  best they can will ensure the best chance of maintaining their tax exempt status,” wrote D. Douglas Metcalf, partner at the law firm Lewis and Roca, in a 2013 op-ed entitled “Will nonprofit  hospitals disappear under Obamacare?”

The White House did not return a request for comment.

Are you game for another Caption Contest?

This is the 41st world-famous FOTM Caption Contest!

Here’s the pic:

2013 Inauguration

The above photo, by White House photog Lawrence Jackson, was taken on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2013, as Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath of office to the POS during the official swearing-in ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House.

You know the drill:

  • The winner of the Caption Contest will get a fancy Award Certificate and a year’s free subscription to FOTM! :D
  • FOTM writers will vote for the winner.
  • Any captions proffered by FOTM writers, no matter how brilliant (ha ha), will not be considered. :(

This contest will be closed in a week, at the end of next Friday, March 8, 2013.

To get the contest going, here’s my caption:

“Ah, ain’t America great? Even an illegal immigrant can become President! – not once, but twice!”

For the winner of our last Caption Contest, click here!


Does Congress have the power to tax, including Obamacare tax?

In the Supreme Court’s recent very split 5-4 ruling on Obamacare, it was Chief Justice John Roberts’ siding with the four liberals on the court which led to the “health care” law being deemed constitutional.

Roberts’ contention is that the individual mandate in Obamacare is not a matter about the Commerce Clause. Rather, the individual mandate — Obamacare’s demand that every American must acquire medical insurance or be penalized — is really a tax, which in turn makes it constitutional.

Roberts’ ruling is problematic for a number of reasons, one of which is the always controversial question of whether the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to tax in the first place. Below is an essay on just that by a professor of history at the conservative Hillsdale College.


A Short History of Congress’s Power to Tax

By Paul MorenoWall St. Journal – July 6, 2012.

In 1935, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins was fretting about finding a constitutional basis for the Social Security Act. Supreme Court Justice Harlan Fiske Stone advised her, “The taxing power, my dear, the taxing power. You can do anything under the taxing power.”

Last week, in his ObamaCare opinion, NFIB v. Sebelius, Chief Justice John Roberts gave Congress the same advice—just enact regulatory legislation and tack on a financial penalty, as in failure to comply with the individual insurance mandate. So how did the power to tax under the Constitution become unbounded?

The first enumerated power that the Constitution grants to Congress is the “power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” The text indicates that the taxing power is not plenary, but can be used only for defined ends and objects—since a comma, not a semicolon, separated the clauses on means (taxes) and ends (debts, defense, welfare).

[Note from Eowyn: The word “plenary” is derived from the Latin term, plenus (“full”). The legal definition of “plenary” refers to complete control in other circumstances, as in plenary authority over public funds, as opposed to limited authority over funds.]

This punctuation was no small matter. In 1798, Pennsylvania Rep. Albert Gallatin said that fellow Pennsylvania Rep. Gouverneur Morris, chairman of the Committee on Style at the Constitutional Convention, had smuggled in the semicolon in order to make Congress’s taxing power limitless, but that the alert Roger Sherman had the comma restored. The altered punctuation, Gallatin said, would have turned “words [that] had originally been inserted in the Constitution as a limitation to the power of levying taxes” into “a distinct power.” Thirty years later, Virginia Rep. Mark Alexander accused Secretary of State John Quincy Adams of doing the same thing after Congress instructed the administration to print copies of the Constitution.

The punctuation debate simply reinforced James Madison’s point in Federalist No. 41 that Congress could tax and spend only for those objects enumerated, primarily in Article I, Section 8.

Congress enacted very few taxes up to the end of the Civil War, and none that was a pretext for regulating things that the Constitution gave it no power to regulate. True, the purpose of tariffs was to protect domestic industry from foreign competition, not raise revenue. But the Constitution grants Congress a plenary power to regulate commerce with other nations.

Congress also enacted a tax to destroy state bank notes in 1866, but this could be seen as a “necessary and proper” means to stop the states from usurping Congress’s monetary or currency power. It was upheld in Veazie Bank v. Fenno (1869).

The first unabashed use of the taxing power for regulatory purposes came when Congress enacted a tax on “oleomargarine” in 1886. Dairy farmers tried to drive this cheaper butter substitute from the market but could only get Congress to adopt a mild tax, based on the claim that margarine was often artificially colored and fraudulently sold as butter. President Grover Cleveland reluctantly signed the bill, saying that if he were convinced the revenue aspect was simply a pretext “to destroy . . . one industry of our people for the protection and benefit of another,” he would have vetoed it.

Congress imposed another tax on margarine in 1902, which the Supreme Court upheld (U.S. v. McCray, 1904). Three justices dissented, but without writing an opinion.

Then, in 1914, Congress imposed taxes on druggists’ sales of opiates as a way to regulate their use. Five years later, in U.S. v. Doremus , the Supreme Court upheld the levy under Congress’s express power to impose excise taxes.

Then, in 1922, the court rejected Congress’s attempt to prohibit child labor by imposing a tax on companies that employed children. An earlier attempt to accomplish this, by prohibiting the interstate shipment of goods made by child labor, was struck down as unconstitutional—since it was understood since the earliest days of the republic that Congress had the power to regulate commerce but not manufacturing. “A Court must be blind not to see that the so-called tax is imposed to stop the employment of children within the age limits prescribed,” Chief Justice William Howard Taft wrote in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. “Its prohibitory and regulatory effect and purpose are palpable.” Even liberal justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis D. Brandeis concurred in Taft’s opinion.

Things came to a head in the New Deal, when Congress imposed a tax on food and fiber processors and used those tax dollars to provide benefits to farmers. Though in U.S. v. Butler (1936) the court adopted a more expansive view of the taxing power—allowing Congress to tax and spend for the “general welfare” beyond the powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution—it still held the ends had to be “general” and not transfer payments from one group to another. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt threatened to “pack” the Supreme Court in 1937, it accepted such transfer payments in Mulford v. Smith (1939), so long as the taxes were paid into the general treasury and not earmarked for farmers.

And now, in 2012, Justice Roberts has confirmed that there are no limits to regulatory taxation as long as the revenue is deposited in the U.S. Treasury.

Are there any other limits? Article I, Section 2 says that “direct taxes shall be apportioned among the states” according to population. This is repeated in Article I, Section 9, which says that “no capitation, or other direct tax, shall be laid,” unless apportioned.

The Supreme Court struck down income taxes in 1895 (Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co.), on the ground that they were “direct” taxes but not apportioned by population. Apportioning an income tax would defeat the purpose of the relatively poorer Southern and Western states, who wanted the relatively richer states of the Northeast to pay the bulk of the tax. The 16th Amendment gave Congress the power to tax incomes without apportionment.

Other direct taxes should presumably have to be apportioned according to the Constitution. Justice Roberts quickly dismissed the notion that the individual mandate penalty-tax is not a direct tax “under this Court’s precedents.” To any sentient adult, it looks like a “capitation” or head tax, imposed upon individuals directly. Unfortunately, having plenty of other reasons to object to ObamaCare, the four dissenting justices in NFIB v. Sebelius did not explore this point.

Some conservatives have cheered that part of Justice Roberts’s decision that limits Congress’s Commerce Clause power. But an unlimited taxing power is equally dangerous to constitutional government.

Mr. Moreno is a professor of history at Hillsdale College and the author of “The American State from the Civil War to the New Deal,” forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

Economist: Most of Obamacare costs will fall on the middle class

Forget about the $250,000 figure.

Obamacare is “a big punch in the stomach to middle class families.” That’s what the Wall Street Journal’s senior economics writer Stephen Moore told FOX and Friends this morning.

Nearly 75% of Obamacare costs will fall on the backs of Americans who make less than $120,000 a year. 

After the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Obamacare is constitutional and that the controversial Individual Mandate is just a tax, Obama the POS gloated by twittering “Still a BFD.”

BFD is slang for “Big Fucking Deal.”

This is how low America has sunken: a President of the United States tweeted the F-word.

The POS is wrong. Obamacare is not a BFD.

Obamacare is a BFT (Big Fucking Tax).

H/t Jim Hoft of Human Events

The latest, according to two sources with specific knowledge of the Supreme Court’s deliberations, is that Chief Justice John Roberts initially had sided with the four conservative justices to strike down the heart of Obamacare, but later changed his position and formed an alliance with liberals to uphold the bulk of the law.

Thanks a lot, John Roberts. I hope you’ll have the insomnia that now plagues the 51% of Americans who still pay the federal income tax and will be bearing the brunt of “just a tax” Obamacare.


Tyranny in the Guise of a Supreme Court Justice

Judicial Activist John Roberts

I do not have any legal experience, but I do know judicial activism (when courts do not confine themselves to reasonable interpretations of laws, but instead create law. Alternatively, judicial activism is when courts do not limit their ruling to the dispute before them, but instead establish a new rule to apply broadly to issues not presented in the specific action. “Judicial activism” is when judges substitute their own political opinions for the applicable law, or when judges act like a legislature (legislating from the bench) rather than like a traditional court. In so doing, the court takes for itself the powers of Congress, rather than limiting itself to the powers traditionally given to the judiciary. ) when I see it, and yesterday was the most blatant example of judicial activism we have probably seen.

By calling the individual mandate a tax instead of a penalty(which even Obama denied it was a tax), John Roberts ignored the Constitution and changed the wording of the law to suit his ruling instead of judging the law on its merits and constitutionality.

What John Roberts has done is open up a Pandora’s box of taxes that the democrats can exploit at will starting with the 21 NEW taxes  that Dr. Eowyn detailed  in an earlier post. So this opens up new territory for the tax happy liberals and new intrusions into our lives. I can see in the future that liberals could tax us if we decide not to drive an electric or hybrid vehicle, if we decide not to eat healthy we get taxed, if we decide not to use solar panels on our houses, we get taxed, and these are only scratching the surface. We are now on the fast track to complete government control over our lives.

I for one will not be a slave to government control, I will not allow a dictator to tell me what I can or cannot do, I will die fighting against it first, I don’t fear the fight and I don’t fear death, but I’ll be damned if I will submit to tyranny by a government that seeks to control every aspect of my life and a supreme court justice that spits on the Constitution.


Tom in NC

We’re Hosed As A Country!

Supreme Court Dumps on the Majority of the United States!

Supreme Court Upholds Individual Mandate

The Supreme Court on Thursday delivered its decision on the controversial “individual mandate” embedded in President Obama’s landmark healthcare bill, ruling that it is constitutional.

The court’s ruling comes as a major defeat for those who have been fighting the healthcare overhaul well before President Obama signed it into law in 2010. The bill was not dismantled entirely and its expansion of Medicaid, although now limited, still stands. This means roughly 30 millions of uninsured low-income Americans are still eligible for coverage through the bill’s expansion of the state-run entitlement program.

“The bottom line: the entire ACA [Affordable Care Act] is upheld, with the exception that the federal government‘s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read,” SCOTUS Blog reports.

After hearing oral arguments on the constitutionality of the bill in March, the Supreme Court Justices focused on these four points:

  1. Whether the “individual” mandate is constitutional
  2. Whether SCOTUS has the authority to rule on a tax law even though it hasn’t come into effect
  3. If the individual mandate is overturned, will it be cut from the rest of the law as a separate entity or will other provisions fall with it?
  4. Whether the law’s Medicaid expansion is constitutional

Of the four points discussed, the Supreme Court ruled that, as a tax, the individual mandate is constitutional.

Several analysts predicted that if the court ruled against the mandate, it would have negative long-term consequences on the president’s legacy and would weigh heavily on his reelection bid.

It doesn’t seem that way now.

Chief Justice Roberts, whose vote saved “Obamacare,” announced the court’s decision at 10:07 EST.

Obama’s economic collapse is now complete.

Tom in NC