Dodd-Frank Financial “Reform” Violates Property Rights and Equal-Protection Guarantees

Here is a superbly documented post regarding the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform bill. While our attention is diverted these days, good news is that that portions of this  bill are being challenged in the Courts. We can only hope for some good smack downs soon. Here tis:

Last week, I described how the Dodd-Frank financial “reform” law passed last summer violates constitutional separation-of-powers safeguards by giving unaccountable bureaucrats the power to seize companies and legislate through administrative fiat.  But that is not the only way Dodd-Frank violates the Constitution.  It also violates property rights and equal-protection guarantees.

For example, it contains racial preferences that were criticized by members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. It “imposes race and gender employment quotas on the financial industry,” noted economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth in the Washington Examiner. Its ”Section 342 states that race and gender employment ratios must be observed by all government agencies that regulate the financial sector, as well as private financial institutions that do business with the government.”

This unconstitutional requirement is the brainchild of Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the Castro-loving, left-wing ideologue who earlier praised the Los Angeles race riots that destroyed scores of Korean-owned businesses as an “uprising” against injustice. Waters once told a CEO in a public Congressional hearing, “This liberal will be all about socializing . . . .uh, uh . . . would be about, basically, taking over and the government running all of your companies.”

Law Professor Richard Epstein notes that Dodd-Frank is also an unconstitutional “taking” of private property, since it deliberately forces certain banks to process debit card transactions at a loss. (That provision is being challenged in a lawsuit called TCF Bank v. Bernanke. Debit cards did not contribute to the financial crisis in any way, but Dodd-Frank regulates them at the behest of large businesses that objected to being charged any fee by banks for processing debit card payments. Thanks to Dodd-Frank, some customers will now be charged annual fees for their debit cards.) More here at Open Markets

Supreme Court declines Katrina Global Warming Case

It would have been great to have this put to rest, but we will take what we can at this point. This decision was based more on the technical aspects as opposed to merit. Here is a redo and update of a previous story.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday not to review a pivotal global warming case brought by coastal residents seeking damages for property damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The Supreme Court has put the kabosh on a lawsuit brought by Mississippi homeowners against Murphy Oil, Shell, ExxonMobil, and over two dozen other companies, charging them with contributing to the destructive force of Hurricane Katrina by creating greenhouse gas pollution.

As Mark Schliefstein reports today in The New Orleans Times-Picayune, the homeowners “claimed that by emitting greenhouse gases, the companies helped cause global warming and exacerbated Katrina’s wrath.”

The case was decided on the nuances of the appeals process, rather than the substance of the charges. As Schliefstein writes,

The Supreme Court was asked to step in after so many members of the 16-judge 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had recused themselves that it could not conduct a rehearing of a partially successful appeal of the suit.

At issue for the nation’s highest court was the question of whether the 5th Circuit should have dismissed the appeal after determining that it lacked a quorum.

Under the circuit court’s rules, the court’s original three-judge decision in favor of the homeowners had been vacated after the full court agreed to rehear the case, and the appeal was dismissed by the failure to get a quorum.

Remember back to October 2009, when the 5th Circuit Court ruled that a lawsuit against companies that produce greenhouse gases could go forward from folks who say these companies made Hurricane Katrina worse. Yeah, about that

After an unusual about-face prompted by a late recusal, a federal appeals court has scrapped a ruling that said the nation’s largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions could be sued for the damage caused by global warming.

The case, Comer v. Murphy Oil, started with a lawsuit by Gulf Coast residents affected by Hurricane Katrina. Claiming that global warming contributed to the severity of the storm, the plaintiffs sued dozens of the nation’s largest polluters — a veritable who’s who of utilities, chemical companies and the oil industry.

The Comer case is one of several pioneering climate change cases based on claims of public nuisance, a centuries-old mainstay of common law that allows people to sue their neighbors for nuisances such as foul smells, loud noises or overgrown trees. A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that the plaintiffs could proceed with their lawsuit, but that ruling is now out of play unless the plaintiffs appeal to the Supreme Court and the justices decide to intervene.

Basically, it is a muddle case of recusals, with seven originally being recused. An 8th was recused in April, and, because they did not have a quorum to make the decision, they had to retroactively say “our bad!” and vacate the original decision. The Cato Institute has a good read and can be picked up over at Right Wing News-Right Wing News

FDA Helps States Get Execution Drug

The Food and Drug Administration helped Arizona and California obtain a quick overseas source of a hard-to-find execution drug even as the agency declared it would not regulate or block imports, records show.

The ACLU accused the FDA of trying to hold two contradictory positions at once.

“The FDA is actively assisting these states, but they’re not enforcing the law, and they’re not doing anything to determine that the drugs are what they’re claimed to be and that they work properly,” said Natasha Minkser, death penalty policy director for the ACLU’s Northern California chapter More at .CNBC

Down memory lane, recall this? Supreme Court OK’s non-apporved execution drugs – yes, the ACLU had brought this up last year before the Supreme Court because the Non-approved drug “could be dangerous”

Guess who voted to stay the executions?? Yes, Sotomayer and Kagan.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayorand Kagan voted for the stay. Justice Elena Kagancast her first vote on the Supreme Court late Tuesday, joining the liberals in dissent when the high court cleared the way for the execution of an Arizona murderer.

“There is no evidence in the record to suggest that the drug obtained from a foreign source is unsafe,” the Supreme Court said.  GEE WHIZ.

Obama Regime Considering $6 Billion Bailout for Puerto Rico

Obama has big hopes for Puerto Rico. He wants to make it our 51st State. Amazingly, last Spring, a Bill passed in the House to approve without so much as a shout out from anyone. When I caught this story, I recalled this episode. The Dems would pick up two more Senators, and a lift in moving forward his agenda. Bet he is up to trying it again.

(Daily Caller)– The Obama administration is eying a secretive tax deal critics charge is an indirect bailout for Puerto Rico to the tune of billions of taxpayer dollars.

The U.S. territory, desperate for revenues in the midst of the recession, surprised industry with a $6 billion tax on foreign firms – including a significant bloc of U.S. pharmaceutical firms – late October in a rare weekend legislative session without any public debate in advance.

But now U.S. taxpayers, not the firms, could end up footing at least a significant chunk of the bill.

Gov. Luis Fortuño signed the new tax into law Oct. 25. That day, the Washington, D.C.-based whiteshoe law firm Steptoe & Johnson issued him a legal brief arguing U.S. firms should receive money from the U.S. government to offset the Puerto Rico tax increase, which Fortuño sent to the Internal Revenue Service, where a decision is pending.

Rest here>>>

Bunkerville story:April 28, 2010 — bunkerville:  House Approves move to make Puerto Rico 51st State.

Yea: 223 (52%)
184 39 0
Nay: 169 (39%) 41 128

Dems Push For Puerto Rico To Become 51st State…

As reported by the NY: Rigging Puerto Rico’s Route to become the 51st State. Post: NY Post

Since 1967, Puerto Ricans have voted three times against becoming a US state and in favor of maintaining their status as an independent commonwealth in association with America. The last time was 11 years ago.

But now a bill moving in Congress would have Puerto Ricans vote on the issue of statehood yet again. And this time, the process is rigged to favor statehood. Here is our earlier Story Here from Bunkerville

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