The Supreme Court made a good ruling this week and I discussed it on my show. It required that law enforcement obtain a warrant before searching a cell phone and that it was not the same as searching a wallet. That was a good ruling. But we had two bad rulings. One was the ruling that President Obama violated the Constitution by his appointing three people to the National Labor Relations Board during what he believed was a Congressional recess. The other ruling struck down a buffer zone law that required people protesting abortions to stay back a certain number of feet even if they were on public property (like a sidewalk). I will deal with that second ruling in another post.
In the ruling of the non-recess appointments the Supreme Court had ruled that a 3 day recess was not a long enough recess to justify a recess appointment. Arbitrarily Justice Breyer said that a recess less than 10 days would be too short. I am not exactly sure where that figure comes from, since no where does the Constitution place a requirement on the number of days a recess might be. There has been a tradition of Presidents not making such appointments during breaks less than 10 days. That tradition is not found in any law. However, I guess a line has to be drawn somewhere so that isn’t my issue with the ruling.
My issue with the ruling is the trampling or even usurpation of the Presidential authority to make recess appointments by making bogus “pro-forma” sessions in order to block such appointments. What happened in this case is that the House required the Senate to have meetings called “pro forma” sessions of the Senate every third day in order to keep the President from saying that the Senate was actually in recess. What happened during these sessions? One Senator came in and banged a gavel. That’s it. No business was conducted. So how on earth can the Supreme Court justify calling such meetings an interruption of a recess? It is just absurd.
The ruling could have been worse. According to the minority opinion they believed that recess appointments should only happen if the vacancy starts during the recess. This is the wording of the Constitution on the matter:
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
It seems to me that all that the Constitution requires is for the vacancy to exist during the Recess of the Senate (i.e. it must be happening during the recess). It doesn’t require the vacancy to start in that vacancy. But saying it could have been worse does not make me feel better about a bad ruling. The idea that one person banging a gavel in the Senate because the House requires it is enough to call it no longer a recess is a trampling of a constitutional authority of the President and that the court couldn’t see that disturbs me greatly.
On the March 26, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:
I will discuss Hobby Lobby and their views on birth control. That is it. The entire hour will be devoted to the problems and flaws that the Hobby Lobby case has and the arguments made before the Supreme Court. See the previous blog post for more information on where I will be coming from on the podcast.
So tune in at 8pm Central and/or download the podcast afterwards.
On the December 25th episode of Liberal Dan Radio:
This is the final eposide of the year so I will review the year and go over some of the good, the bad and the flat out ugly that took place over the course of the year. From the LAPD actions in hunting for Dorner, the SCOTUS arguments over same sex marriage and Prop 8, toll wars in New Orleans, the George Zimmerman verdict, Rodeo Clowns, the nuclear option, Conservative insanity over keeping your doctor or keeping your plan, liberal spinlessness over defending those words and more.
Of course, I could not do this show without discussing the Phil Robertson controversy over his comments about homosexuality and race as well. So that will be one topic that will be covered.
All that, plus headlines, tweet of the week, words of redneck wisdom and more tonight on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.
Thursday June 27th, 2013 on Liberal Dan Radio
Jeffrey Skilling, former Enron executive, was given a reduced sentence last week. You won’t believe why.
A huge week for the Supreme Court this week. I will go into the issues of voting rights and marriage equality and point out the highs and lows of this week’s rulings.
Also, I will be discussing the line item vetos that Louisiana Governor Jindal made to cut needed funding from Louisiana’s children with special needs. On the show I will have activists from the grassroots organization Override The Veto.
Those issues, headlines, words of redneck wisdom, tweet of the week and more, this week on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk from the left, that’s right.
And please remember the Liberal Dan Radio Kickstarter to help fund the show through the year.
Read the title. Twice.
The recent Supreme Court ruling Salinas v Texas ruled that if you are not under arrest and you are voluntarily answering some questions the police are posing to you that you cannot just choose to not answer questions and assume you are protected by the fifth amendment. Not only can your answers be used against you (since you are not under arrest) but your silence can be used against you as well. Part of the testimony that convicted Salinas was the fact that he chose to not answer the question on if the shotgun shells would match his gun. He was silent and he nervously fidgeted. His silence was used as evidence of guilt.
Read that last part again. His silence was used against him in court as evidence of his guilt. Isn’t that absurd? And the Conservative Supreme Court ruled that if you are in custody and wish to invoke your fifth amendment right to remain silent that you must SAY that you are invoking your fifth amendment rights.
YOU ARE REQUIRED TO NOT BE SILENT IN ORDER TO INVOKE YOUR RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT!
When you are under arrest you are presumed to not know your right to remain silent and as such must be read your rights and told that you have the right to remain silent and that whatever you say can be used against you in a court of law. In Berghuis v. Thompkins a similar requirement to specifically invoke your fifth amendment right to remain silent was ruled on. But at least in that case the person knew that you were under arrest and was read (and understood) the Miranda rights. So why is it that when you are under questioning by police officers while not under arrest that you are all of a sudden assumed to know what your rights are and that in order to invoke those rights you have to state that you are invoking them? People not under arrest perfectly know their rights but people under arrest magically must be told them? That makes no sense.
This is why it is vital that you know what to do if the police want to question you. I have nothing but respect for people who put themselves at risk by serving in law enforcement. However, that doesn’t mean I need to make things easy for them if they believe I may be involved in some sort of crime. If you are being questioned, the only thing you should ask if you are free to go. If you are, just walk away peacefully. If not, you are considered to be under arrest and the only thing you should do is ask to speak to a lawyer. Anything else and you risk incriminating yourself. The “I shot the clerk” scene in My Cousin Vinny should be a good, if comical, look at what might happen if you don’t follow these simple rules.
That advice was sound advice before this ruling though. Now? It is even more vital.
This Thursday on Liberal Dan radio I will be discussing the myriad of Supreme Court decisions made after the myriad decision. Many rulings were revealed on Monday. Of those I will at least discuss the ruling on voting rights in Arizona and on 5th amendment rights.
At the time of this posting there has been no ruling on prop 8 or DOMA. However, by the time the show airs on Thursday, many are speculating that those rulings will come down as well. So obviously I will be discussing those cases as well.
I will also be spending some time discussing the GOP obsession with abortion bans. Just when you thought they couldn’t get any more crazy…
I will also talk about David Vitter and both his amendment to the farm bill and his Freudian slip about it.
Finally, I will be updating everyone on the Liberal Dan Radio Kickstarter project that I created. Several new funding levels were started to give people a wider variety of options. So please, take advantage of it while it is still open for backers.
All that plus Words of Redneck Wisdom, Tweet of the Week, Headlines and more on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk from the left, that’s right.