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Juris Imprudence June 29, 2008

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, Photography, Politics, Videos, Zoos.
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The Not So Supreme Court ended their term with a bang, not a whimper. As the nine black robed jurists head for their three month summer vacation, we, the people, are left in their Titanic like wake of destruction.

Here are some of the decisions that pissed me off.

– The Exxon gift wrapped package: In a 5 to 3 ruling, the Court overturned a $2 billion punitive damage penalty and reduced it to $500 million. Keep in mind that the oil spill of 1989 was the biggest spill in history and that Exxon’s profits last year exceded $40 billion dollars. A head scratcher you say?

Note: The Black Robed Nine have had to recuse themselves from several cases where a conflict of interest might be noted. The Justices are allowed to hold stocks in their portfolios so since the courts has been hearing more corporate cases than ever, they have had to step aside and at times there are not enough judges to actually rule on a decision. How about making these robed people sell their stocks and go into less obvious conflict of interest holdings?

– Bang, bang, you’re dead: I do not waffle about this issue. With over 30,000 Americans killed by hand guns each year, I think ‘we’ have lost the right to ‘bear arms’. However, this ever leaning right wing Court has decided that the strict laws in the DC area were unconstitutional. Let the mayhem begin. Other suits by gun rights advocates have already been brought against major cities. Stay tuned.

– Campaign Finance Reform is dead as a door nail: The Supremes have decided that millionaires should not be penalized for trying to buy an election. In a 5 to 4 decision, the decided that the Millionaires Amendment violates the First Amendment of the Constitution. “Different candidates have different strengths. Some are wealthy; others have wealthy supporters who are willing to make large contributions. Some are celebrities; some have the benefit of a well-known family name. Leveling electoral opportunities means making and implementing judgments about which candidates should be permitted to contribute to the outcome of an election. The Constitution, however, confers upon voters, not Congress, the power to choose the Members of the House of Representatives, and it is dangerous business for Congress to use the election laws to influence the voters’ choices.”

– The controversial issue of the death penalty is back in the headlines: The Court decided that the rape of a child does not warrant the death penalty. I am against the death penalty, period. Life in prison, without parole, is my choice for heinous crimes. So – in this case, I am with the judges. So shoot me!

– One of my favorite Court decisions was the massive blow to the Thug Administration regarding the detainees at Gitmo. My most liked talking head on the Keith Olbermann show is Jonathan Turley, the Constitutional Lawyer expert. Read what his has to say about that decision.

– Another thing that gets me crazy is when the Repugnants discuss ‘activist judges.’ We all know that they are referring to the dying breed of Liberal Judges but in actuality, the most ‘activist’ decisions being made today are from the Conservative guys on the right, in the black robes. For instance. Check out the leader of the pack, Antonin Scalia, in an interview with the Telegraph in London. He blames Al Gore for the 2000 debacle. He believes Al Gore should have simply conceded and not brought in the Courts during the 2000 nightmare.

Other Notable Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, 2007-2008 Term

– Supreme Court Restores Control to Federal Judges: Court votes, 7-2, to give federal district judges the authority to impose sentences at their discretion even if the sentences conflict with federal sentencing guidelines.

– Supreme Court Says 401(k) Participants Can Sue: Justices unanimously vote to allow 401(k) retirement participants to sue under a pension protection law to recover their losses, which will affect 50 million workers with $2.7 trillion of retirement investments.

– Supreme Court Sustains Lethal Injection Case in Kentucky: Judges ruled 7-2, that Kentucky’s method of execution by lethal injection is constitutional. Dozens of executions were delayed awaiting the decision.

– Supreme Court Favor Voter ID Law: In a 6-3 ruling, Judges ruled to uphold Indiana’s voter identification law, declaring that the requirement of having a photo ID does not encumber the right to vote.

– Supreme Court Upholds Child Pornography Law:  Judges ruled 7-2, that a 2003 child pornography law is not unconstitutionally vague, after the United States Court of Appeals asserted that the law is too broad and violates the First Amendment.

– Supreme Court Supports Older Workers: The Supreme Court votes, 7-1, that lay-offs hurt older workers more than others and that employers must prove that an employees termination is not based on age, but on other “reasonable factors.”

WCS’s Bronx Zoo opened its new Madagascar exhibit last week. The opening was greeted with much deserved fanfare and praise. It was too tempting for me to wait, so I hopped on up to the Bronx last Monday and was captivated by the sensational sounds and sights I witnessed. Enjoy my photo montage of the new exhibit and a second montage of some of the other fabulous faces I saw in other parts of the Zoo on the same day.

– In the always leave ’em smiling mode, watch my video of some playful bonobos at the San Diego Zoo.

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