Tag Archives: Unconstitutional

U.S. District Court Judge Issues Memorandum Opinion Calling Obama’s Executive Amnesty Unconstitutional…

U.S. President Obama speaks about Iraq and also the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri on Martha's Vineyard

Weasel Zippers

Someone forgot to tell this judge Obama is above the law.

Via CNS News:

A judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania issued a “memorandum opinion” on Tuesday stating that President Barack Obama’s unilateral action on immigration–which would allow some illegal aliens to stay in the United States and work–is unconstitutional.

“The November 20, 2014 executive action on immigration is unconstitutional,” says Judge Arthur J. Schwab in one heading of the “memorandum opinion” he issued in the case of United States of America v. Elionardo Juarez-Escobar.

The case involves and illegal alien who had been deported from the United States in 2005, returned, was working in Pennsylvania, and then was pulled over this year for a traffic violation and subsequently charged with driving under the influence.

“In determining whether the Executive Action is applicable to the Defendantt, this Court must first determine whether the Executive Action is constitutional,” said the court. “The Court is bound to ensure that the Constitution’s structural safeguards are preserved.”

Liberal Harvard Law Professor: EPA Climate Rule Is Unconstitutional…

Gina McCarthy

Weasel Zippers

This coming from a liberal at Harvard is saying a lot…

Via Daily Caller:

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants is unconstitutional because it violates the Tenth Amendment and the Fifth Amendment, according to a noted liberal Harvard law professor.

“In short, coal has been a bedrock component of our economy and energy policy for decades,” writes constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe. “The [EPA’s rule] demonstrates the risk of allowing an unaccountable administrative agency to ‘make’ law and attempt to impose the burden of global climate change on an unlucky and unfortunate few.”

“EPA’s singling out of a mere handful of emitters and limiting (or curtailing) their property is exactly the type of overreaching the Fifth Amendment seeks to prevent,” Tribe, who is on retainer for the coal company Peabody Energy, wrote in his comments to the EPA.

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Barack Obama Teams Up With the UN to Bypass Congress and the Constitution

Conservative Tribune

President Obama doesn’t seem to see either Congress or the United States Constitution, which he swore to protect and defend, as more than minor inconveniences.

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For example, he has specifically instructed his cabinet to look for ways to get around Congress, especially the Republican-controlled House. His executive orders have been widely labeled as unconstitutional, even by liberal experts and commentators. Additionally, he seems to feel the same way about the Supreme Court, even though he appointed two of its justices.

Now a new report confirms that Obama is prepared to illustrate his disregard for America’s institutions once again, this time to force the country into a climate change treaty that the American people do not want and would not support, if given a voice.

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Everyone should know just how much the government lied to defend the NSA

snowden woman

It turns out neither of two statements that held up in the nation’s highest court were true – but it took Snowden’s historic whistleblowing to prove it. Photograph: Philippe Lopez / AFP / Getty Images

 

The Guardian

If you blinked this week, you might have missed the news: two Senators accused the Justice Department of lying about NSA warrantless surveillance to the US supreme court last year, and those falsehoods all but ensured that mass spying on Americans would continue. But hardly anyone seems to care – least of all those who lied and who should have already come forward with the truth.

Here’s what happened: just before Edward Snowden became a household name, the ACLU argued before the supreme court that the Fisa Amendments Act – one of the two main laws used by the NSA to conduct mass surveillance – was unconstitutional.

 

In a sharply divided opinion, the supreme court ruled, 5-4, that the case should be dismissed because the plaintiffs didn’t have “standing” – in other words, that the ACLU couldn’t prove with near-certainty that their clients, which included journalists and human rights advocates, were targets of surveillance, so they couldn’t challenge the law. As the New York Times noted this week, the court relied on two claims by the Justice Department to support their ruling: 1) that the NSA would only get the content of Americans’ communications without a warrant when they are targeting a foreigner abroad for surveillance, and 2) that the Justice Department would notify criminal defendants who have been spied on under the Fisa Amendments Act, so there exists some way to challenge the law in court.

It turns out that neither of those statements were true – but it took Snowden’s historic whistleblowing to prove it.

 

                             

One of the most explosive Snowden revelations exposed a then-secret technique known as “about” surveillance. As the New York Times first reported, the NSA “is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans’ e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance.” In other words, the NSA doesn’t just target a contact overseas – it sweeps up everyone’s international communications into a dragnet and searches them for keywords.

The Snowden leaks also pushed the Justice Department to admit – contrary to what it told the court – that the government hadn’t been notifying any defendants they were being charged based on NSA surveillance, making it actually impossible for anyone to prove they had standing to challenge the Fisa Amendments Act as unconstitutional.

It’s unclear how much Solicitor General Donald Verrilli knew when he told the government’s lies – twice – to the justices of the supreme court. Reports suggest that he was livid when he found out that his national security staff at the Justice Department misled him about whether they were notifying defendants in criminal trials of surveillance. And we don’t know if he knew about the “about” surveillance that might well have given the ACLU standing in the case. But we do know other Justice Department officials knew about both things, and they have let both lies stand without correcting the record.

Lawyers before the supreme court are under an ethical obligation to correct the record if they make false statements to the Court – even if they are unintentional – yet the Justice Department has so far refused. As ACLU deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer explained, the Justice Department has corrected the record in other cases where it was much less clear-cut whether it had misled the court.

The government’s response, instead, has been to explain why it doesn’t think these statements are lies. In a letter to Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall that only surfaced this week, the government made the incredible argument that the “about” surveillance was classified at the time of the case, so it was under no obligation to tell the supreme court about it. And the Justice Department completely sidestepped the question of whether it lied about notifying defendants, basically by saying that it started to do so after the case, and so this was somehow no longer an issue.

But there’s another reason the government wanted any challenge to the Fisa Amendments Act dismissed without being forced to argue that it doesn’t violate the Fourth Amendment: it has an extremely controversial view about your (lack of) privacy rights, and probably doesn’t want anyone to know. As Jaffer wrote here at the Guardian earlier this week, the government has since been forced to defend the Fisa Amendments Act, and it’s pretty shocking how they’ve done it. Here’s what the government said in a recent legal brief:

The privacy rights of US persons in international communications are significantly diminished, if not completely eliminated, when those communications have been transmitted to or obtained from non-US persons located outside the United States.

This is an incredibly radical view of the right to privacy. We already know the government does not think you have any right to privacy when it comes who you talk to, or when, or for how long, or where you are while you’re talking. Now the government has said, in court, that you don’t have any right to the content of private conversations with anyone who is located outside the United States – or to any domestic communication remaining private if it is, at some point, transmitted overseas, which happens often. Jaffer explained the consequences of this view:

If the government is right, nothing in the Constitution bars the NSA from monitoring a phone call between a journalist in New York City and his source in London. For that matter, nothing bars the NSA from monitoring every call and email between Americans in the United States and their non-American friends, relatives, and colleagues overseas.

Intelligence director James Clapper’s infamous lie to Congress – in which he claimed just months before Snowden’s leaks that the NSA was not collecting data on millions of Americans – will certainly follow him for the rest of his career even if it never leads to his prosecution. But while Clapper almost certainly broke the law, the senate committee members in front of whom he spoke knew the truth regardless.

The Justice Department, on the other hand, convinced the supreme court to dismiss a case that could have dramatically curtailed the NSA’s most egregious abuses of power based on false statements. And now all of us are forced to live with the consequences of that.

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The Obamacare “Tax” is Likely Unconstitutional, and Here’s Why

constitution

The Daily Sheeple

Nearly two years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts deemed the ACA’s individual mandate penalty a “tax” and saved Obama’s signature law.

But did he really save it – or did he doom it?

Many legal experts have disputed the classification of that provision of Obamacare as a “tax” – the ACA itself refers to it as a “penalty”.

Ilya Shapiro, an attorney and senior legal fellow at the Cato Institute, calls the a tax a “‘unicorn tax,’ a creature of no known provenance that will never be seen again.” In a column for Forbes, Shapiro explains that the tax that Justice Roberts “invented” is unconstitutional based on the Origination Clause:

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DNI Chief James Clapper Confirms Obama NSA Performed Warrantless Searches On Americans…

Weasel Zippers

Just a tad unconstitutional.

Via Guardian:

US intelligence chiefs have confirmed that the National Security Agency has used a “back door” in surveillance law to perform warrantless searches on Americans’ communications.

The NSA’s collection programs are ostensibly targeted at foreigners, but in August the Guardian revealed a secret rule change allowing NSA analysts to search for Americans’ details within the databases.

Now, in a letter to Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat on the intelligence committee, the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has confirmed the use of this legal authority to search for data related to “US persons”.

“There have been queries, using US person identifiers, of communications lawfully acquired to obtain foreign intelligence targeting non-US persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States,” Clapper wrote in the letter, which has been obtained by the Guardian.

“These queries were performed pursuant to minimization procedures approved by the Fisa court and consistent with the statute and the fourth amendment.”

The legal authority to perform the searches, revealed in top-secret NSA documents provided to the Guardian by Edward Snowden, was denounced by Wyden as a “backdoor search loophole.”

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Obama’s Executive Order Raising Minimum Wage For Employees of Federal Contractors Unconstitutional According To Supreme Court…

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Weasel Zippers

As if Obama gives a sh*t what the Supreme Court or Constitution says.

Via NRO:

The president issued an executive order last week purporting to raise the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $10.10 an hour. The order is unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court made clear in Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer that “the President’s power, if any, to issue the [executive] order must stem either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself.” Furthermore, “when the president takes measures incompatible with the expressed or implied will of Congress, his power is at its lowest ebb, for then he can rely only upon his own constitutional powers minus any constitutional powers of Congress over the matter.”

Nothing in the Constitution grants the president authority to set or raise the minimum wage independently of an act of Congress. Furthermore, although the president generally has authority to improve the efficient discharge of federal contracts, the president’s minimum-wage order is incompatible with the expressed and implied will of Congress.

Congress has made its will regarding the minimum wage for federal contractors abundantly clear in four separate statutes: The Service Contract Act, the Davis Bacon Act, the Walsh-Healey Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under those statutes, the minimum wage for many, if not most, employees of federal contractors is the prevailing minimum wage for employees in the specific job classification in the locality where the work is to be performed. For the remaining classifications of employees for whom no prevailing minimum wage exists, the minimum wage is slotted into the minimum for similar jobs, or is governed by the minimum set by Congress in the Fair Labor Standards Act, i.e., $7.25.

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