Proof That Conservative Supreme Court Jurists Are Not Strict Constructionists

If you are like the rest of America, you too are tired of the baloney that conservatives try to spoon-feed us thought the media.  Again, and again conservatives try to spin their narrative that liberal judges make laws from the bench, while they are only interested in making narrow interpretation of constitutionality.  While that is a bogus argument that can be easily discounted, there is not a smooth way for conservatives to get out from under the latest blemish on their face.

This week much was made of the Supreme Court ruling  in Knox v. Service Employees International Union.

NPR did a nice segment on the extra moves the court made on this matter, and today The New York Times spelled it out nicely in an editorial.

Cutting to the bone one will find these facts.

The court’s moderate liberals were rightly dismayed by the majority’s willingness to breach court rules in pursuit of its agenda. In this labor union case, there is no getting around that the legal approach is indistinguishable from politics. The court’s five conservatives ruled that in 2005, Local 1000 of the Service Employees International Union should have sent a notice to all nonmembers it represented when it imposed a temporary 25 percent increase in union dues for public-sector employees in California to fight two anti-union ballot measures.

The court said the union infringed on the free speech rights of the nonmembers by not giving them the chance to prevent the use of their dues to support expressions of political views unrelated to collective bargaining. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed with this narrow judgment only.

This produced a 7-to-2 ruling on that specific question. But Justice Samuel Alito Jr., writing an opinion representing the conservative five only, went far beyond this principle, which has been settled law since 1986.

The majority held that “the union should have sent out a new notice allowing nonmembers to opt in to the special fee.” Justice Alito described the longtime rule allowing union charges to nonmembers unless they opted out of paying part of the dues as “a remarkable boon for unions” that approaches “the limit of what the First Amendment can tolerate.” For the first time and on its own initiative, the court mandated an opt-in requirement.

To reach this decision, Justice Sotomayor explained in an opinion joined by Justice Ginsburg, “the majority breaks our own rules and, more importantly, disregards principles of judicial restraint that define the court’s proper role in our system of separated powers.” Under the court’s rules, only the questions set out in the appeal are to be considered by the court.

Bluegrass And Pineapple Flowers At Dane County Farmers’ Market

There were more clouds than sun today at the Capitol, but the warm temperatures felt great during the Dane County Farmers’ Market.  A real lively, and well-tuned group of pickers and singers made for lots of smiles as folks gathered around.

A most unusual flower was for sale, at least unusual to me.  I had never seen such a plant called a Pineapple Flower.  There was no scent to the blooms, but as the photos show it looks like the tasty fruit at the base of the flower.



How Democrats Might Feel The Morning After Supreme Court Ruling On Health Care Law

From the column to appear Monday written by E.J. Dionne.

If the Supreme Court “throws out all or part of the law now popularly known as ‘Obamacare,’ we will need a fearless conversation about how a conservative majority of the court has become a cog in a larger right-wing project to make progressive political and legislative victories impossible. … The [Affordable Care Act] is the victim of a vicious cycle: Obamacare polls badly. Therefore, Democrats avoid Obamacare, preferring to talk about almost anything else, while Republicans and conservatives attack it regularly. This makes Obamacare’s poll ratings even worse, which only reinforces the avoidance on the liberal side. … Were the health care law to be eviscerated, those who battled so hard on its behalf might draw at least bittersweet comfort from what could be called the Joni Mitchell Rule … ‘you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.'”

Wedding Couple Should Never Ask For Money In Lieu Of Gifts -Wedding Guests Are Not Cash Cows

I am quite sure that the gay couple that made news this week with their wedding did not ask for money from wedding guests.

But how should one look at a wedding couple who does seek money when mailing a wedding invitation?  That topic came up last evening while talking with a friend on our front lawn.    While we were sure there was no way asking for cash at a wedding was a sound idea as it sounds so tacky, I still promised to look into the question.  Since this blog leans eclectic I thought I would post my findings.

Miss Manners lays it out quite clearly.  She says no to Cash Gifts!

Asking for cash gifts is a Wedding Etiquette blunder. Miss Manners says that asking for cash gifts makes the bride and groom look greedy. Even if the couples want to donate the cash gifts to charity, Miss Manners is still against the couple who will plead for cash gifts. Whichever way one may look at it, people will think that couples who ask for cash gifts have a mark of greed on their foreheads.

One very short letter to Miss Manners simply asks her “What would be the tactful way to say “no presents but a money tree”?” to which Miss Manners’ equally simple yet caustic reply is, “Never mind all that junk – just gimme your wallet”!

It is just tacky–white trash tacky–to ask for money from wedding guests for anything. 

Lets make it crystal clear–Only gimme-pigs regard their wedding guests as cash cows.

Saturday Song: The Best Divorce Songs

Thanks to online circuit court records weddings can be a whole lot more fun.

Delicious amusement can follow the dropping of a name from a wedding invitation into the court database.  After all, it will help in determining if ‘modesty bed sheets’ are still the best gift to give!

With that in mind it is time to tap my personal country music database concerning the best divorce songs ever recorded.  Though these songs are for pure fun it does not make the desire to walk down the aisle for used goods gain any favor.

The very first song that came to my mind was The Box It Came In recorded by Wanda Jackson.  It is truly a hoot, and a classic–and I mean in the sense of outstanding pithy lyrics.  Give it a listen.

But the box that it came in was all that I found
He took everything with him that wasn’t nailed down
Bet he’s got a new sweetheart to fill my wedding gown
But somewhere I’ll find him then I’ll have peace of mind
And the box he comes home in will be all satin lined

Loretta Lynn is known for her songs of real life and lost love.

Hello, I’d like to introduce myself, I’m the other woman. The other woman in your husband’s life.

Songs of regret dot the landscape of country music, and as I combed my mind for perhaps the best of this type relating to divorce I thought of Pasty Cline, I Cried All The Way To The Altar.

Now too late I know that we
Were wrong to part
Oh my darlin’ now too late
We can’t go back and start anew
Now too late I’ve thrown away
My chance of happiness with you
I cried all the way to the altar

Divorce songs are probably as much fun to write as record. My Mom had strong feelings against divorce, and if I were to use her feelings in a song it would require that I find words that rhyme with ‘hind-end’.

One of those fun songs about divorce comes from Billy Ray Cyrus, titled Where Am I Going To Live When I Get Home.

I knew our road was gettin kinda rocky
She said I was gettin way too cocky
She waited till I was gone
She packed from dusk till dawn
So where am I gonna live when I get home?

Perhaps the whole nation best knows this country song by Tammy Wynette as the ultimate D-I-V-O-R-C-E  song.

The best songs of this genre are not all from the 1960’s or thereabout.  Two of the best were recorded by Alan Jackson who copied Who’s Cheatin Who, and Mark Chesnutt’s original Going Through The Big D.