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Actually it was the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights act that brought this home...   The Civil Rights Act among many other things enforced the  role a Federal Government should have over the national character.  Prior, if the South behaved in one way, that was acceptable.  If the North behaved in another, that was acceptable...

The Civil Rights Act stated that some behaviors are indeed deemed not acceptable.  It dealt with opposing local laws, opposing local enforcements of segregation, and opposing  individual business practices  perpetuated by the wishes of small handfuls of individual business owners who like Hobby Lobbyists, thought they could do what they liked....

The Civil Rights Act in no uncertain terms, said:  No! We are a nation of principles embodied in our Constitution as well as our Declaration of Independence, and you cannot violate those principles in the name of "your" personal freedom....

Hobby Lobby sort of changes all that...

The big fear is that it just opened a door so that corporations can freely do whatever they feel is best, and that any legislation voted and signed, now has no real impact upon them because they are after all: ... corporations....  You have all read the slippery slope theories and so I won't redo them.  But slippery slopes have a tendency to sometimes be idle warnings....  A lot of people walk on slippery slopes; very few fall off... In part that may be due to warnings from others that they are on slippery slopes and to be be careful...  Just like a road sign of a car with skid marks makes one say, "oh yeah, that's right, it's raining, I'd better take this curve slower." and possibly affect the outcome of that turn....

But slippery slope or not, the Hobby Lobby decision does do this:  it says that what a government says you have to do, you don't have to do, provided you can find a reason that is valid for you not doing so...

And that is rather Libertarian.

It makes one sigh that history is a lost art.  Because there were times in our history when Libertarianism indeed was the predominant philosophy.... So why was there never a Libertarian Party?   After all, one would think that a dominant philosophy would have a Libertarian Party, correct?

How soon we forget.....  The reason there was no libertarian party formed to compete against other parties is because during this time of Libertarianism, there was no structure of Government requiring organized parties....  Of course I am referring to the times under the Articles of Confederation....  When the idealism of throwing off the king of England, made the predominant meme that one of "not taking on a new authority to replace the role of the other"....

The reason we don't have a Libertarian run government today, is because the reality turned out to be that it could not work.  It's own beliefs worked against its own existence...  How can you have an effective government telling you what to do when your government was founded on its not being able to tell you what to do?....

So, America's top citizens at that time scrapped the Confederation, established a Constitution, and today, we are still here.... Debating Libertarianism rampant in today's court....

Just looking over the final stats, I did see that the percentage of  cases in which this Supreme Court decided things 5-4 were only 14%. Yet, its 9-0 decisions marked 65% of this year's final tally.  So it is with a grain of salt that we should dismiss the entire court... In doing so we fail to see the wisdom behind having the third branch of government...  It allows for the last look.

This year the average age of the Supreme Court is 68....  it's average composite would have been born in 1946... would have gone through grade school in the 50's while segregation was perfectly legal, would have been a high school senior the year Kennedy was shot,  college would have structured by the military-industrial complex, being too soon they would have missed out on the protests of '68 onward, would think Jersey Boys were the ultimate musical group ever, would never try drugs, would have been disappointed in the 70's as that decade's media ridiculed all the structure with which they grew up and made them iconoclasts inside their own world, would always fondly remember Mom at home and Dad always working to the bone, would be in their late 30's when Reagan came into in office, and see in his grandfather qualities the fondness of the times they grew up, would be 45 when the Soviet Union imploded, 57 when we invaded Iraq, 62 when the Global Depression hit, and now stand at the cusp of 68...

Justice Kennedy.  The swing.  Appointed by a someone today dead 10 years, 27 days,  elected 34 years ago this November.... Thirty four years...  Ironically half a lifetime of a 68 year old.  In some cultures, a grandparent.   Who ironically, when that president was sworn in, the number one single was "Imagine".....

Today, people under 20 years of age make up over a quarter of the U.S. population (27.3%), and people age 65 and over make up one-eighth (12.8%)...The national median age is 36.8 years...

So to say the Supreme Court is representative of all of America is bolderdash...  Nothing could be further from the truth... But perhaps that was exactly the point in how the Supreme Court came to have as much power as it does, now checking the other two branches?

Originally the Supreme Court was an appendage organ of the Constitution.  It's power was sharpened only 30 years after the Constitution was founded when changes were being made by Congress and the Executive Branch, that woke up the Supreme Court and stirred it into saying,... "Hey, no!  That is not what the Constitution meant.  We were there! We know..."   It was kind of hard to refute that argument back then...  If you walked and talked with Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, you probably had a better grasp on the  Constitution than some thirty year punk still green behind their ears....

It is a global common tendency of youth to dismiss the wisdom of their elders...  "You don't know because you don't live in our world now", is a very common expression in most households of teenagers no matter what upbringing those old children have had. I fondly remember my frustration with my own parent's conservatism, thinking they were incapable of thinking anything different what they had been told to think.  My children made me realize otherwise.  In fact, once I was seasoned I was surprised to learn that my parents thought they were the rebels dismissing the conservative attitudes their parents had bestowed, and were proud they were the cutting edge of liberal child-raising in their day... Furthermore, in candid discussions with my grandparents, I was quite surprise to hear how they threw out the patterns of THEIR parents and raised their children using the cutting liberalism of child raising in THEIR day...   Bottom line, my great grandparents must have been REALLY conservative...  And now, according to my children... I'm just like they were....

No one would let a child run a family.  No one should let a 30 year old run a business.  No one should have a 40 year old run a nation... But we do.  Rarely does it work....

Point is:  the Supreme Court will always play it's role... That role is to look at fundamental changes and decide how they stack up to the Constitution...  As a periphery example of what could happen without this type of check, just review what happened to our own economy since the Bush tax cuts went into effect.  With a new crowd taking over our economy since 2000, dismissing the old tried and true policies, we have seen how destructive new untested fads can be... Imagine if an economic court of New Dealers had been present to say "NO, this is the 1920's all over?"  Our national debt could be zero now.  The same is true in government.  Were Congress to become completely bought out, and sell our votes for arbitration, and there were no check?  The end of the world as we know it.

Will old geezers always be right?  No.

But if they are wrong, natural forces congeal and work harder to overturn the well-intentioned but error-filled decisions.  Slavery took a war.  Segregation took television beatings of a proud race to show us that intimidation would not work; beatings wouldn't stop "being right" from moving forward.

But if the geezers are right, it stops bad right then and there....

Not to absolve the Supreme Court but their primary function isn't to distinguish between "right" or "wrong".  Their job specifically, is to see how our system of laws stacks up to our Constitution... by looking at one challenged law at a time.  Sometimes when they do, it comes up right.... and sometimes when they do, it doesn't....

If you think the Court was wrong,  and if you think it is out of touch, YOU HAVE AN OBLIGATION  to vote Democratic in 2014, and to express to all others, both Republican and Democrat  the importance of THEIR voting democratic as well in 2014 to send this signal, and we will see, just how wrong this court is.... If you can't get out the vote... then gee, maybe the court was right after all.

Which... as the framers of the Constitution intended, in the end, puts us, the American people....  firmly in charge of our government....

Originally posted to kavips on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 10:08 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Used 15% of vote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    .. as an arbitrary number for calling a political party a real party...  Pulled it out of the body since it cluttered things up.

    Libertarians;  you can relax now.. You have a party, just under 15%.

  •  You Came Within a Millimeter of the True Damage: (5+ / 0-)
    provided you can find a reason that is valid for you not doing so
    Alito I think specifically clarified that the reason need not have any external validity.

    So the truth is you the corporation can evade the law:

    provided you can find a reason that is valid for you not doing so
    That's the point of "sincerely held belief." You can decline because waaaaaaaa.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 10:16:30 AM PDT

  •  Hobby Lobby Easy to Deal With (7+ / 0-)

    Any state -- such as California -- could pass a law that simply dissolves the corporate veil for any corporation that claims to have religious beliefs imputed from its shareholders.  If a corporation is going to be the alter ego of the owners, then the alter ego theory of piercing the corporate veil should explicitly be applied.

    And what that would mean would be that if the corporation committed a mass tort, or if it borrowed huge amounts of money it couldn't pay back, then the creditors or other injured parties could go after the personal fortunes of the people who own the corporation.  Their recovery would not be limited to the assets of the corporation.

    Which means that the whole advantage there is for incorporating would be gone while, at the same time, corporate profits would be taxed, then any distribution to the shareholders would also count as taxable personal income as well.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 10:22:49 AM PDT

    •  I'm not sure that would work. I like the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep, TheDudester

      idea, but to the extent that SCOTUS has held that closely held corporations have religious rights, I don't think they can be punished for expressing them.  

      •  What's the precedent for burden of proof? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA, sheraa

        If Hobby Lobby is a member of religion, it should have to prove it is a member of said religion by providing documentation of its standing within its church. Where is its elder? When was it inducted into the congregation? Did it experience a coming-of-age ceremony? Received sacrament? Does it tithe ten percent of its earnings to its church? Has it engaged in behaviors that would cause it to be excommunicated from the flock?

        Let's make things fair, and start having a litmus test for "sincerity of religious belief."

        After all, it won't be long before the Church of the Conveniently Faithful reminds us all that OSHA safety guidelines are interfering in God's Will and hard hats are just another way to say you haven't accepted Jesus.

        How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

        by athenap on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 04:15:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Also... (0+ / 0-)

        Wouldn't it be likely if CA passed such a law, SCOTUS would just repeal it? They are an activist court after all.

        My guess is you can't really do anything effective about this, Citizen's United or the myriad of other terrible decisions until one of the five is replaced with someone who isn't firmly in the pocket of big corporations and makes all their rulings based entirely on personal ideology.

  •  I have an obligation to vote Democratic. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Josiah Bartlett, odlid

    When those candidates actually represent the bulk of people who labor for a living.

    I don't vote social issues.

  •  the religion of America is BUSINESS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    post rational

    Business corporations are in business to make a PROFIT.
    They are created that way when life is blown into their articles of incorporation. So who is to say that guiding principle should not be deemed their religion?
    A corporation may sincerely believe that this basic tenet of their "religion" demands that they always seek to reduce labor costs. In this case, it would be contrary to their religion to insist, contrary to "market values", that they pay a Minimum Wage.
    The right wing may pretend that Christianity is the religion of America, but it would be more accurate to say that the religion of America is business.  It will not be long before this sort of reasoning is argued before the Supreme Court.

  •  Do company have 2nd amendment rights (0+ / 0-)

    As Target asking shoppers to not bring their guns into store,Right not bear arm on one property ,you can generally set the rule of what behavior one let others do your  property  

  •  Why is a Mom & Pop sized Christian Cake business (0+ / 0-)

    told that they must violate what their religious book says and make a product for people whose lifestyle they don't approve of, while at the same time a Big Corporation is told they are okay when they decide to make choices for their employees whose lifestyles they apparently don't approve of?  

    Maybe there's some legal difference between the way we treat employees and the way we treat customers, (we don't have to buy something for the former, but we do have to make the product that the latter wants...)?
      I dunno. I'm not saying that a business shouldn't have to serve everyone fully in the public sphere- I thought we decided that part with the Civil Rights Act so long ago. (Although I do think it's fair to wonder why they couldn't just find another bakery but I'm not trying to start that up either.) What I am wondering is, why the employers in a secular country weren't forced to cover everyone fully in a public business, against their will like Mom & Pop have to.

    Do corporations have more rights because they are bigger people?

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 05:43:05 PM PDT

    •  Difference here is the bakers were refusing to (0+ / 0-)

      sell their usual product to some people.

      A baker could however refuse to sell large cakes without including a bride and groom on top, if they did so for all customers.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 08:17:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    athenap, JerryNA

    Enjoyed your diary and statistics.  I am 72.  The 5 Republican Catholic "Justices" ruled by their ideology.  Our generation was more involved in violent protests that ruined many of the protestors' lives.  Without them taking to the streets we would still have the draft that sent them to Vietnam to lose 55,000 in that war of aggression by the US.  We would still have segregation in the south if northern often white people of conscious had not risen and a few died.  We had 3 assassinations in short order or 4 counting Medgar Evers.    Our parents had lived through the Great Depression, survived WWII (barely did my Dad survive).  They knew the meaning of hardship and death from both the wealthy crashing the economy and the evils of the fascists.  After spending a week with my visiting younger generations I have confidence in you because you are tied to your devices and communicate with each other almost constantly.  I don't understand you, but I think you have the ability to replace those old nasty men with a better world.  It is time for women to rise.  Those old men feel it.  Clearly the GOP is doing all they can to ruin the lives of poor women.

  •  The idea of linking health care to employment (0+ / 0-)

    is really nuts. I have a small machine shop. I don't want to deal with insurance companies. When you have a big company that provides health care for their employees, you have more layers of bureaucracy in every case. This creates resistance and inefficiency in the delivery of actual care.

    Decouple health care from employment, and this draconian Hobby Lobby issue would be closed.  

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 03:35:47 AM PDT

  •  Corporate Power is Ascendant (0+ / 0-)

    And both parties are making sure that happens.The Democratic Party is busy working on the Super Secret TPP right now.

    Hillary, Obama, and Penny Pritzker...all on board.

    Here's our prize:

    Take it away, Billionaire Heiress U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker:

    The TPP is an ambitious, comprehensive, 21st century agreement that will enable U.S. companies to compete on a level playing-field with our global competitors and set transparent rules of the road reflective of American values.
    Gee, I can hardly wait to be competing with wages in Vietnam or Malaysia. You? And how about those dispute courts?
    TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement still in negotiation, is a NAFTA-like treaty — it will have the legal force of a treaty — that ties the hands of any government that signs it in their dealings with big money corporations (and small ones too).

    It includes a NAFTA-style trade dispute court, also legally binding, in which corps can sue cities, states, counties and nations for lost future and potential profit resulting from, for example, environmental regulations, or anything else covered by the treaty

    Now I would be the last one to say that "both parties are the SAME"...but they sure do have some common interests!

    And one of those interests is consolidating corporate power at the expense of the citizenry.

  •  Were Someone To Ask Me How To Fix It? (0+ / 0-)

    No one has yet, but were someone to ask for a responsible course of action that would change results with a minimum of effort,  I would say, ... tax them....

    I know it sounds almost cliché of a response. I would have thought so too before 5 years ago...  But seeing the crash, and the rebuilding afterwards, has driven home a point that democracy isn't really what made America great in the 20th Century.  It was our re-investment in ourselves....

    It was forced upon us by WWII.  We used credit to build a war machine, giving most Americans a little money left over to spend after necessary expenses had all been paid.   Those whose investments did benefit off the expansion, were taxed (it was for the war) and almost all that money was immediately plugged back into furthering the expansion....  (Today we can see how China used the same plan to morph itself from where it was in 1989 to where it is now)...

    Which means back then that one did not really care if his boss was getting richer because the more the boss made the better all our financial opportunities appeared to be going as well....

    Historically, this is what happened in WWII.  It was then shifted behind the burgeoining labor movement, behind the philosophy of working for one's corporate employer for a retirement watch and pension, behind the movement to increase our investment options under Reagan, behind the Clinton economic expansion, and behind the housing boom and derivative's investment increases of the 00's...

    The reason we were making things easier for the top one percent was that it would benefit all of us as well too....

    The crash dashed that.  It exposed the lies for what they were. The greed for what it was.  The chimera for the illusion it had given...  As we then worked  hard to rebound this nation, we saw those at the top do better than ever, off our own expense.... Literally.... The highest salaries were going to those who had the least mercy when it came to consolidating companies and putting people out of work....

    So , why was this rebound different?  To the government it was almost as expensive as WWII's ... (We put money into banks, instead of boats and bombs.)  And the simple reason appears to be this:...  this time we didn't put rules on them reinvesting that wealth....  

    If you make a billion dollars and are taxed at 90%, that billion dollar profit really is a 900 million investment back into the economy...  More money will be made off that 900 million.  But if you make a billion and are taxed 10% of it, that 900 million is free to escape and leave the economy.   China and the the rest of the world took advantage of that.

    To fix it, we need to raise the cost of making so much money....  If you make $500,000 you really don't need to lose much at all.  Because when it comes to spending, there is a lot you can do with that money... But if you make $500 million each year...  well, how does ones mind spend all that money?  You just can't.  You can't grasp your hands around such a big amount,... and so you park it...

    Or you get lazy and take the easy approach... Instead of building with that money, ... you buy...  Might as well.  Why is that different?  Buying companies eventually means consolidating companies, which means eventually making them both more productive, which ultimately means... laying more people off...

    Instead of investing in the economy, you are sucking off assets out of the economy.....
    Both the Bolshevik and Mao revolutions sought to right that imbalance existing in their worlds... Only their methods didn't work... Whenever you have to kill people to right a wrong, it tends to turn you into a monster after all those you needed to be killed, were gone.  Gee, your extermination unit asks, who can we kill now?  Instead of shutting down, they begin feeding on their own people...

    No.  We know that approach does not work.  Riots?  Destructive and the wrong people get hurt, and the rebuild is long, arduous, and costly.. Meanwhile, we lose economic activity while the rebuild is taking place, so it is a net loss.. That too does not work...

    The one thing that will work, would be if there was a theoretical way for all of us to do better, as our wealthiest one percent got better....  So we would be cheering them on... Go, go, go.. make our investments grow larger!

    It's not theoretical; it's real.  All we have to do is tax them just enough for that to happen... America should not be ashamed of  its wealth... But when getting wealth can only come from stealing it from those clutching on to what tiny little they need to survive, then getting wealth in that way is simply wrong... Morally, socially, and even religiously.....

    A lot of people still balk at the idea of tax rates hurting themselves...  Well, if you only tax the accumulation of wealth at the esoteric incomes existing in the 1%, that won't affect the other 99% of us, now will it?   If you are at the top, it won't shrink any wealth you already have.  Just make the extra you earn on top, be applied to interests more geared to re-investment, instead of hoarding...

    Next question. By how much?  I used to think that Clinton's 40% was a good starting point..  Economic results from '92 to '00 proved it.  But he wasn't starting from a spot where 40% of the population hold less than 0.5% of the nations wealth...

    So arbitrarily picking, if I decided that 5% of this nation's wealth should be owned by our lower two quintiles,  after doing all the complicated math, to achieve that over a range of 10 years, it would mean we'd need 10 years of a ten percent more assessed on incomes within the esoteric 1% level...  Talking about a 50% rate.

    Personally, I would like to see a new tax cut included with those higher assessments which states one can allow ones construction costs across that year, spent on physical capital, to be deducted dollar for dollar off tax owed...

    Translated, that means if you build a factory that year then your debt to society's costs will come out of your own pocket, and the US will not assess you on that amount, since your debt has already been paid.

    If I owed a billion in taxes, but my construction costs were $500 million, I'd pay the government $500 million.

    With much of the one percent's money suddenly scrambling over to physical capital investment, the economic growth would do what it was supposed to: make all of us have better years in the future (regardless of our current income-level) than what we have now.

    That, in a nutshell, is how I would fix it...

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