Friday, July 1, 2016


Is there a commonality between BREXIT and the Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders phenomena’s?

There are those that believe all three represent for better or worse a “Populist Spring” revolution.

All three represented an objection to elitism in government; to a resentment of the loss of the people’s power to make its laws. Much has been talked about the rank and file working class in the UK reaction against the influx of immigrants and foreign workers creating lack of low level jobs for the resident population.

Some believe that it was rather an objection to enclaves of people whose customs, religion ethnicity accompanied by a different language that set them apart from the masses that precipitated the vote to leave the EU.

More likely it was a resentment to having to abide by laws set by a body to which the Brits had no input.

If this is true it is no more than a 21st Century expression of the Boston Tea Party and the cause of the American Revolution; the right of the people to govern themselves.

Sanders’ socialist agenda I similarly an attempt for the people to determine a “democratic society” as a way of life not one ruled by laws that are determined by a powerful few.

Trump’s appeal has been a call to overthrow our government’s regulation of every aspect of our daily activities.

Jefferson and Madison preached against a small elite group running the Government. During the era of the Railroad Barons, the Standard Oil Company (Rockerfeller), the Carnegie control of the steel industry this was negated by their economic power in which one party could be favored over others.

The first true attack was the Sherman Antitrust act of1890 who said” It is the right of every man to work. Labor, and produce in any lawful vocation and to transport his production on equal terms and conditions and under like circumstances, this is industrial liberty, and lies at the foundation of the equality of all rights and privileges”.

Under Woodrow Wilson the greatest attack on monopolies took place and perhaps lasted until the post Regan era when such acts as the unregulated airline act instead of creating more competition resulted into mergers so that only about four major airlines now exist and completely control the cost of air transportation and its services.

Similarly we now have the Banking industry centered into perhaps 5 or 6 major companies.

Free and open international trade has been the bulwark of our financial independence not restrictive agreements or tariffs. Restrictive tariffs did not protect jobs as the pre WWII experience showed. Government cannot regulate this to the people’s benefit.

The more governments control services and industries the less is the incentives to develop new ideas and new jobs. With the increase of efficiency jobs are lost but new industries do not develop and therefore new jobs are not created.

There is much more to the revival of Populism

Which would take several pages to post. The danger is that many who are supporting our political proponents have not considered their personalities which will create a real threat to our way of life. That would not be what was intended but rather a repetition of the ultimate course of the “Islamic Spring”.

Thursday, June 30, 2016


I omitted a decision by SCOTUS that unanimously upheld Arkansas In dependent  Redistrict Commission’s plan which the  protagonists had complained that the redrawn  favored Republicans  and tended to include mass Democrat populations in other districts.

Justice Breyer explained that the Constitution requires states to try to distribute residents evenly among legislative districts, but it “does not demand mathematical perfection.” In particular, states can draw districts with populations that aren’t perfectly equal if there is a good reason to do so – for example, to draw districts that are compact or to ensure that a city or county is not split up.

And the fact that districts aren’t perfectly equal, standing alone, does not mean that a redistricting map violates the Constitution, Breyer explained, if the largest deviation from perfect equality is less than ten percent.

In effect in this decision and one on Texas’s redistricting the Court upheld gerrymandering.
Gun control remained a subject that Congress wished to only pay lip service. By failing to pass three Republican and three Democrat sponsored bills no action was taken until the Senate came up with a bipartisan compromise bill

The Senate voted on Thursday to keep a proposal to block gun sales to terrorism suspects alive, but placed it in a procedural limbo that made its adoption unlikely anytime soon.

"The compromise measure, drafted by Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, had emerged as the one piece of legislation since the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., with a chance of winning bipartisan support and passage in Congress.

The measure, which had been in danger of failing because of Republican opposition, would block gun sales to anyone on the government’s no-fly list or the so-called “selectee” list of people subjected to heightened screening before they are allowed to board a plane.

Republican leaders, however, had expressed deep misgivings about the bill because they said it would deny due process to individuals who might have ended up on the lists without just cause.

That left them in a quandary of how to stall the measure without allowing Democrats to gloat that Republicans were so opposed to tighter gun restrictions that they defeated even a bill offered by a member of their own party.
The solution was a procedural maneuver by which the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, scheduled the bill for a vote on a motion to table it. By voting not to table it, Republicans could keep it alive without advancing or defeating it outright — putting it in a sort of legislative purgatory".

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


A full morning resulted in the delay in this blog's posting. Tomorrow's may also be late or early afternoon
SCOTUS closed its 2015-16 session with a bang. It was supposed to be the ultra-right’s year. However Scalia’s death and the Republican Senate’s refusal to consider Obama’s Nomination created a new ball game.

Like Congress itself it was felt that the 4:4 political orientation division among the Judges would result in no actions. Never the less SCOTUS adjudicated 80 cases this session.

Among them was at least two important rulings; one by a 5:3 vote with Justice Kennedy joining the liberal bloc the court affirmed a woman’s right of choice when it found that Texas cannot place restrictions on the delivery of abortion services that create an undue burden for women seeking an abortion

Earlier with Justice Kagan abstaining the Court 4:3 upheld the University of Texas’s right to use race as a criteria for admission.

By a 6:2 vote the Court ruled that any law in which domestic violence was a criteria to prohibit owning a gun was illegal.

The 8:0 verdict that vacated the conviction of former Virginia’s Governor under the Hobbs Act will make a reassessment of accepting gifts fin exchange of using influence a criminal act more difficult to prosecute

The Courts’ 4:4 deadlock and referral back to the 5th District Court of Appeals in essence blocked Obama’s DAPA program that would permit immigrants to avoid mandatory expulsion...

By a 5:3 vote SCOTUS held that the search incident to arrest doctrine permits law enforcement to conduct warrantless breath tests but not blood tests on suspected drunk drivers. 

By a 7:1 SCOTUS ruled that in a federal criminal prosecution under the Hobbs Act, the government is not required to prove an interstate commerce element beyond a reasonable doubt. The basis of this decision was a 2005 ruling where Congress may ban the use of marijuana even where states approve its use for medicinal purposes.

Also 5:3 the Court upheld the right of search if a valid arrest warrant that is outstanding is discovered at the time the individual is stopped.

And by a 6:2 vote in a case involving a Paterson NJ policeman who was demoted because he had picked up a lawn sign, the Court held that a public employee's constitutional rights might be violated when an employer disciplines them for the belief that the employee was engaging in protected speech, even if the employee never actually exercised their constitutional rights.

The next court term starts in October. It is sad that our court system is a political football and politics as always determine the law of the land.