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Five Major Cases The Supreme Court Will Decide This Month  

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noOne
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June 16, 2014 3:08 pm  

Five Major Cases The Supreme Court Will Decide This Month

Contraception Mandate

One of the most closely-watched cases this term is about whether the federal government can require for-profit businesses to cover emergency contraceptives for female employees in their health insurance plans at no extra cost. The mandate, authorized by Obamacare, has been challenged by the Christian owners of two companies (Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts chain, and Conestoga Wood, a cabinet maker) under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which says laws that substantially burden religious liberty must be narrowly tailored to meet a compelling governmental interest.

Outlook: unclear. It doesn't look particularly good for the White House given that the five Republican-appointed justices expressed deep skepticism of the legality of the contraceptive mandate during oral arguments. Justice Anthony Kennedy, a possible swing vote, expressed a modicum of sympathy for the regulation.

I am for contraceptives. It prevents unnecessary pregnancies that could be put on welfare/foodstamps - it's just smart business.

Recess Appointments

A case that could alter the separation of powers raises the question of whether the President may use the Constitution's recess appointment power to fill government slots while the Senate is technically not on recess but not conducting business (known as pro forma sessions). The Constitution provides that the "President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate." President Barack Obama has used this power to fill seats on panels like the National Labor Relations Board during pro forma sessions while his nominees were bottled up by Republicans.

Outlook: bad for the White House. Justices liberal and conservative were very skeptical that the president can define pro forma sessions as "recess" when the Senate does not define them so. If the justices agree with an appeals court decision, the power could be curtailed even further.

I think this is a power that the President is abusing and should be changed for future presidencies.

How We Watch TV

An historic case that carries major implications for the future of television in the United States pits major broadcasters, led by ABC, against Aereo, a startup that lets people stream TV shows on digitally-enabled devices for a monthly subscription fee. The broadcasters say Aereo is violating copyrights law by streaming their programs via tiny antennas without paying them.

Outlook: trouble for Aereo. Justices appeared to agree that Aereo was taking advantage of a kink in the law that didn't anticipate the advent of new technologies that the startup is utilizing. But the law itself is antiquated so the outcome is less than clear.

All of our copyright and patent laws need re-defining in this new age. You can video tape (no sound) someone in many places in the US and it is not eavesdropping, like recording with a microphone would be, for example.

Cell Phone Searches

A major privacy rights case this term is about whether police officers need a warrant to search a person's cellphone upon arresting him or her. Cops typically must have a warrant to search an individual's possessions but have more latitude to do so with items a person is holding upon arrest.

Outlook: unclear. Justices seemed open to some limits on searches of an individual's smartphone in minor arrests like traffic stops. But Justice Antonin Scalia, an important vote in many Fourth Amendment cases, expressed sympathy with letting cops search someone's iPhone in certain situations, like when they have reason to believe doing so may stop a bomb from detonating.

I should be just like searching your car, they need to have permission or a reason to search a cellphone, and bombs change nothing, IMO.

Buffer Zones At Abortion Clinics

The Court will rule on the validity of a Massachusetts law that limits speech within 35 feet of an abortion clinic except for those passing by and employees of the clinic. The aim of the law, challenged is to ward off harassment of visitors to the clinic by anti-abortion protesters. It is challenged by Eleanor McCullen, a woman who argues that it violates her First Amendment right to free speech.

Outlook: grim for Massachusetts. Conservative justices voiced considerable skepticism of the validity of the state's law as it relates to peaceful or quiet talk. That includes Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is seen as a likely swing vote.

I think it is a matter of free speech for a client to make it to a clinic without being harassed:

Mass. Buffer Zone Law Protects Free Speech, Safe Entrance to Abortion Facilities

The law limits anyone from occupying the space around the entrance or driveway of an abortion clinic. These limits apply whenever people identify as pro-choice or anti-choice, and have exceptions for patients, those accompanying them into the clinic, clinic staff, those on official business, and pedestrians who happen to cross a clinic’s path while on their way somewhere else. Anyone can still distribute literature, hold signs, protest, or engage in conversation—just not within that 35-foot neutral zone to let patients through.

Personally, I am pro-life, with the exception that I am not a woman and it is not my choice, unless it was my baby and I would want to have the baby. Confusing enough, heh?


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speee1dy
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June 16, 2014 7:35 pm  

noone, they do not want to ban all contraception, just those they deem to be abortion like. there were still plenty of options-my understanding. do they cover rubbers also? if you are going to cover contraception, that should be on the list as well. or dont have sex? always an option

the president has abused a few other powers in the past

i agree those laws need to be redefined. especially with the technology we have now

i think if you are under arrest, they should be able to search your phone otherwise-no

i agree with having no one outside the doors-i think they should be 25 feet or more away from any entrance or parking area.


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noOne
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noOne
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June 26, 2014 2:06 am  

Aereo loses at supreme court, deemed like "traditional cable company"

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that TV streaming service Aereo is illegal, siding with broadcasters who claimed the company breached copyright law.

Aereo rents out tiny antennas, installed in datacenter equipment, used to capture over-the-air broadcast signals and allow customers to watch TV from any device. The antennas, it argued, made the arrangement little different to everyday home TV receiving and recording.

TV broadcasters, however, claimed that it was exploiting a legal loophole and was effectively a cable company--and 6 of the 9 justices agreed, finding that the service was not merely an equipment provider.

"Rather, Aereo, and not just its subscribers, “performs” (or “transmits”). Aereo’s activities are substantially similar to those of the CATV companies that Congress amended the Act to reach," the majority wrote in their verdict. While acknowledging that streams were user-initiated rather than broadcast, "the dissent’s copy shop argument, in whatever form, makes too much out of too little. Given Aereo’s overwhelming likeness to the cable companies targeted by the 1976 amendments, this sole technological difference between Aereo and traditional cable companies does not make a critical difference here."

Dissenting were conservative justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito: "Unlike [cable] services, Aereo does not provide a prearranged assortment of movies and television shows. Rather, it assigns each subscriber an antenna that — like a library card — can be used to obtain whatever broadcasts are freely available. Some of those broadcasts are copyrighted; others are in the public domain. The key point is that subscribers call all the shots: Aereo’s automated system does not relay any program, copyrighted or not, until a subscriber selects the program and tells Aereo to relay it."

The outcome is expected to have a significant impact on how shows are delivered online. More analysis of the verdict: Techcrunch's Jordan Crook says Aereo was clearly how consumers preferred to watch TV; The Verge's's Jacob Kastrenakes says the company is done for.

I'm not sure about this. Shouldn't all media companies be treated the same, no matter the details?


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noOne
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June 26, 2014 8:51 pm  

[url= http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/supreme-court-rebukes-obama-on-recess-appointments/2014/06/26/e5e4fefa-e831-11e3-a86b-362fd5443d19_story.html?wpsrc ="AG0003357"]Supreme Court rebukes Obama on recess appointments[/url]

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that President Obama lacked constitutional authority to make high-level government appointments at a time he declared the Senate in recess and unable to act on the nominations.

Obama made appointments to the National Labor Relations Board in January 2012 at a time when the Senate was holding pro forma sessions every three days precisely to thwart the president’s ability to exercise the power.

“When the Senate declares that it is in session and possesses the capacity, under its own rules, to conduct business,” that is sufficient to keep the president from making recess appointments, Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote for the court.

[...]

But Senate Majority Leader (D-Nev.) Harry M. Reid blamed Senate Republicans for denying nominees a chance to be confirmed through a vote of the full Senate.


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noOne
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speee1dy
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June 27, 2014 7:09 pm  

good for the obama not being allowed to make appointments, bad on the abortion buffer zone. not sure how i feel about aereo. i kind of think on the cell issue, i flip flop on this issue.


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noOne
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speee1dy
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June 30, 2014 9:34 pm  

i for one am happy about that


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Alana33
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June 30, 2014 11:16 pm  

The Supreme Court just joined the war on women.

In a 5-4 decision, the Court just ruled that Hobby Lobby and certain other private corporations may now deny female employees insurance coverage for contraception by simply claiming it goes against their company's religion.1

That’s right: According to the all-male Supreme Court majority, Viagra gets covered. But if you're trying to avoid getting pregnant--or have endometriosis and need a birth control prescription--you’re out of luck.

Why? Because as Justice Anthony Kennedy literally said during arguments, birth control is "not that important."


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speee1dy
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July 1, 2014 12:11 pm  

it is not all contraception, only 4 methods they consider to be abortion. they still have coverage for 16 methods. i am sure with those 16 they should be able to find a viable solution. this also seems to leave the man out of any responsibility in the matter.
my only concern would be if someone were raped. the day after and the like should be covered in those cases.


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Michaelds9
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July 1, 2014 9:57 pm  

The Supreme Court just joined the war on women.

In a 5-4 decision, the Court just ruled that Hobby Lobby and certain other private corporations may now deny female employees insurance coverage for contraception by simply claiming it goes against their company's religion.1

That’s right: According to the all-male Supreme Court majority, Viagra gets covered. But if you're trying to avoid getting pregnant--or have endometriosis and need a birth control prescription--you’re out of luck.

Why? Because as Justice Anthony Kennedy literally said during arguments, birth control is "not that important."

What "war on women" would that be?
Please not the law in question was signed by Bill Clinton and was widely supported by democrats.

As for abortifacients how about you cause miscarriages using your own money?


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Linda J
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July 1, 2014 10:46 pm  

The point is, this is a slippery slope. Why can't a Jehovah's witness refuse to cover blood transfusions, or a Christian scientist refuse to cover surgery? The fact that the court says this is a limited ruling makes no sense.


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Michaelds9
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July 1, 2014 11:50 pm  

The point is, this is a slippery slope. Why can't a Jehovah's witness refuse to cover blood transfusions, or a Christian scientist refuse to cover surgery? The fact that the court says this is a limited ruling makes no sense.

How is this a "slippery slope"?
If you do not like a particular wage and/or benefit offered by any given employer you are absolutely free to seek employment elsewhere. How are "you" harmed? Why should "you" get to force your ideas upon another? Does not my right to swing my fists about stop and the end of your nose?

This is a really good bad example of gvt meddling
The whole idea of employer provided health care is an unintended consequence of gvt interference in what should be a free market - but clearly is not.


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Linda J
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July 2, 2014 12:04 am  

I disagree. Workers deserve fair, equal treatment. Carry your example out - does an employer have the right to only hire whites, or women? Does the employer have a responsibility to maintain a safe workplace? Or do you think, if you don't like the unsafe conditions, change jobs. Doesn't the community as a whole (through it's government) have a responsibility to all citizens?


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speee1dy
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July 2, 2014 1:03 pm  

what does that have to do with birth control that they think equates to abortion. they can still get those things, just with their own money. same with condoms.
they still have other viable alternatives.


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Linda J
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July 2, 2014 10:43 pm  

My question is, where does it end? If a Christian scientist employer refuses to cover ANY surgical procedure, do you still think the average person could pay out of pocket?


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rotorhead
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July 2, 2014 10:55 pm  

Why does your employer have anything to do with your healthcare? Your employer pays you wages. You spend your wages anyway that you like including healthcare. That way you get the coverage that you want. Obamacare screwed all of this up by FORCING employers to provide healthcare, why didn't they just extend medicare to include everyone and leave the employers out of it? Employer provided healthcare is a benefit that employers use to attract employees. "Benefit" not "Entitlement". Anyone is free to purchase their own coverage as they see fit.

Repeal Obama's Crazy Healthcare!

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/2/obama-worst-president-wwii-new-poll-shows/

I expect many companies to drop healthcare benefits altogether and opt to pay the $2000 per year penalty.


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PeteyToo
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July 4, 2014 2:01 am  

"Obamacare", didn't screw "all of this up" by forcing employers to provide healthcare.

Healthcare is now mandatory for all, ,employed or not, much like death and taxes.

I also expect many individuals to opt for the yearly penalty.

.


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MissJustice
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July 5, 2014 12:28 pm  

Why does your employer have anything to do with your healthcare? Your employer pays you wages. You spend your wages anyway that you like including healthcare. That way you get the coverage that you want. Obamacare screwed all of this up by FORCING employers to provide healthcare, why didn't they just extend medicare to include everyone and leave the employers out of it? Employer provided healthcare is a benefit that employers use to attract employees. "Benefit" not "Entitlement". Anyone is free to purchase their own coverage as they see fit.

Repeal Obama's Crazy Healthcare!

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/2/obama-worst-president-wwii-new-poll-shows/

I expect many companies to drop healthcare benefits altogether and opt to pay the $2000 per year penalty.

Your crystal ball told you that? Or you pulled that out of a brown place?
Okay, let me understand you.. When it was not required most large employers paid health insurance premiums. Now that it is required they are going to suddenly stop and pay a penalty?
And Obama is going to force us to become Muslims. Did your crystal ball show that?
By the way, which major national company has stopped covering premiums or announced that they will? Yawn. Wake me up when you think up some new farce.


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rotorhead
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July 5, 2014 3:47 pm  

United Parcel Service is planning to drop 15,000 workers' spouses from its health insurance plan, citing higher costs due to Obamacare.
http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/21/news/companies/ups-obamacare/

Target Joins Home Depot, Walmart, Others In Cutting Health Care For Part-Timers, Citing Obamacare
http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/01/22/target-joins-home-depot-walmart-others-in-dropping-health-care-for-part-timers-citing-obamacare/

The report concluded that the documents provided "confirm what opponents of [[the health-care overhaul] ] have long claimed: the law will increase costs, make future planning for hiring and expansions difficult due to the uncertainty created by the law, and could ultimately lead to employers dropping health-insurance coverage for their employees."
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304811304577367833267990666


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noOne
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July 5, 2014 4:51 pm  

Post-Hobby Lobby, Religious Orgs Want Exemption From LGBT Hiring Order

...The letter, first reported by The Atlantic, was sent on Tuesday by 14 representatives, including the president of Gordon College, an Erie County, Pa., executive and the national faith vote director for Obama for America 2012, of the faith community.

"Without a robust religious exemption," they wrote, "this expansion of hiring rights will come at an unreasonable cost to the common good, national unity and religious freedom."

The leaders noted that the Senate-passed Employment Non-Discrimination Act included a religious exemption:

"Our concern about an executive order without a religious exemption is about more than the direct financial impact on religious organizations. While the nation has undergone incredible social and legal change over the last decade, we still live in a nation with different beliefs about sexuality. We must find a way to respect diversity of opinion on this issue in a way that respects the dignity of all parties to the best of our ability. There is no perfect solution that will make all parties completely happy."


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MissJustice
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July 5, 2014 11:05 pm  

United Parcel Service is planning to drop 15,000 workers' spouses from its health insurance plan, citing higher costs due to Obamacare.
http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/21/news/companies/ups-obamacare/

Target Joins Home Depot, Walmart, Others In Cutting Health Care For Part-Timers, Citing Obamacare
http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/01/22/target-joins-home-depot-walmart-others-in-dropping-health-care-for-part-timers-citing-obamacare/

The report concluded that the documents provided "confirm what opponents of [[the health-care overhaul] ] have long claimed: the law will increase costs, make future planning for hiring and expansions difficult due to the uncertainty created by the law, and could ultimately lead to employers dropping health-insurance coverage for their employees."
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304811304577367833267990666/blockquote >

Walmart? I was referring to companies that actually provided healthcare, pension, and decent wages to all or most of their workers now. Walmart? The slum lord of employers? You must be struggling to respond. Nice try. Lmao

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/06/03/california-to-wal-mart-enough-no-more-taxpayer-subsidized-profits-for-you/

And as for UPS, they are referring to workers' spouses, not the workers themselves. And only those spouses who had access to employer sponsored healthcare. Do you even read your own links? Allow me to enlighten you.

http://www.npr.org/2013/10/11/231103865/faq-how-obamacare-affects-employers-and-how-they-re-responding

And the bottom line is, even if people don't have access at work, they can get decent coverage through an exchange.

But the law is not perfect. The territories are excluded thanks to the House Republicans. But we will soon overturn that in court.


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speee1dy
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July 6, 2014 10:46 am  

miss justice, how in the world do you know what walmart pays, they are not the slum lords of employers. I know many people who have worked there for good pay, good benefits. they actually start most people above minimum wage.
if you go to indeed you will see where employees for the most part actually like working there

http://news.walmart.com/the-facts-on-walmart-wages-and-benefits

http://www.indeed.com/cmp/Walmart/jobs

http://www.ehow.com/facts_6974447_average-salary-wal_mart-store-manager.html

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=Wal-Mart_Stores%2c_Inc/Hourly_Rate

I agree with the last answer, as another walmart employee I also enjoy the first answer since the One of the 5 CEOs took a huge voluntary pay cut so that walmart didn't have to lay off employees.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_does_Walmart_pay_their_customers. the above quote came from here

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081230165400AAVuMF1

but anyhow you get the jist. you can actually do some research to find out the actual answer to this. this is just what I found in a couple of minutes.

and what is this about rotor thinking Obama is going to force us all to become muslim? I don't get that line

and walmart-if you start talking about slave labor-any store you shop in is mostly NON American made. so what would be your point about that.


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MissJustice
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July 6, 2014 2:43 pm  

Thank you for your comments. Most of your links are Walmart sites. Do you think they are going to say "we are the slumlords of employers"?
What Walmart does not say is what percentage of their employees are parttime.
They also don't say what percentage of their employees are on Medicaid which is half. And that was before the ACA.
A number of states have passed "walmart legislation" where only walmart would fit which places a requirement to reimburse state Medicaid funds based on full time equivalents to address their loophole of hiring parttimers.

I worked at a walmart before I went to graduate school. So I speak from experience to answer your question about what I know about walmart.

http://m.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/16/1270030/-Latest-Rightwing-False-Equivalency-Mambo-Walmart-Healthcare-vs-the-ACA#

This link explains some of the propaganda printed on the walmart sponsored sites.

And by the way, full time minimum wage workers qualify for foodstamps and Medicaid. One would need to make $12.50/hr as a single person to exceed government assistance income thresholds. To say that they pay $8.10 /hr which is almost minimum wage is still a poverty level by government ratings.

The reference to the Obama forced muslimhood was to underscore my impression that rotor sounds like the irrational anti Onama talking points.

When I was speaking about insurance and benefits I was imagining conscientious made in America employers like IBM, Caterpillar, Ford, you know, companies that pay living wages and give pension benefits. Not Walmart, the quintessential slumlord/sweatshop poster child both here and abroad.

The bottom line is that walmart will have to provide coverage based on full time equivalents thanks to the ACA and we will less have to underwrite their their profit margin. Thank you Democrats.
I hope the $10 minimum wage is next.


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