US Supreme Court

US Supreme Court to rule on Asheville water contamination suit

When bad state statutes rear their ugly heads:

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case today that could have major impacts on lawsuits against Camp Lejeune over contaminated drinking water. CTS Corporation v. Waldburger deals with North Carolina law and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

But CTS disagrees, because state law requires lawsuits involving real property to be brought within three years of discovering injury or 10 years of the defendant's last act. If the Supreme Court upholds the state's statues, it would make lawsuits filed against Camp Lejeune for contaminated drinking water from the 1950's to 1985 invalid.

As you may recall, the CTS contamination of local wells was detailed in this letter we published a few years ago. It often takes years for trichloroethylene to migrate in the groundwater just a few thousand feet, but it's still all kinds of nasty when it arrives in your drinking glass. This (NC) statute should have been done away with a long time ago, but I don't see NC Republicans doing that particular job anytime soon.

Disabled still face execution in N.C.

Disabled still face execution in N.C.
March 11, 2014 By Kristin Collins


Thomas Larry (pictured above) has mental retardation, but remains on death row because of one IQ score.

DOMA is dead!

Some good news at last....

DNA Ruling Hurts Us All

The recent supreme court ruling over DNA was decided with ignorance. The justices do not understand the implications of DNA because science does not understand it yet. Kennedy said, "Taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee's DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment." This could not be further from the truth. Fingerprints and photos are extremely limited in potential uses, whereas DNA can be altered, mistaken, stolen and used maliciously, the examples are only limited by our understanding. I do realize how important it is to get the criminals off the street, however, we have to maintain our privacy in order to sustain the beautiful fabric of the American way of life.

Courts could end up deciding this year's Presidential election

What I most dread about this election is the possibility of another election like the Gore-Bush fiasco of 2000. With so many complaints already filed in many states by both major parties, I think the possibility is real. The NY Times has an excellent article on the various court cases pending now:

The November presidential election, widely expected to rest on a final blitz of advertising and furious campaigning, may also hinge nearly as much on last-minute legal battles over when and how ballots should be cast and counted, particularly if the race remains tight in battleground states.

Supremes to issue ruling on "Obamacare" today...

...probably.

I am wondering if they will actually issue a ruling this time. I have been expecting this for over a week. However, a good article that explains several possible ramifications for people like me who really, really need national healthcare, came out a few days ago at TPM:

Most of the speculation and reporting about the Court’s options has centered on the mandate: Will the Court uphold it? Will it strike the mandate alone? Or will it strike the mandate, along with tightly linked measures that end discrimination against people with pre-existing medical conditions, and guarantee them access to affordable insurance.

Boomerang: Republican Russell Robinson destroys Amendment One

Russell Robinson III, a prominent lawyer and conservative in Charlotte writes against Amendment One in yesterday's Charlotte Observer.

The proposed amendment is so poorly worded and so unnecessary that its adoption would actually increase the probability of a federal court invalidating its ban on same-sex marriage. This is exactly the opposite of the result intended by the amendment’s proposers.

He lays out even more unintended consequences of Amendment One -- for the opponents of gay marriage. Because of the vague language used in the NC Amendment, he writes:

That language in the recent California case describes the proposed amendment to our North Carolina constitution so well that it strongly invites the filing of a federal court action in North Carolina to invalidate our similar constitutional amendment as well. In fact, it might make North Carolina the best state in which to bring such an action.

Emphasis mine in both quotes.

And he writes correctly. Some lawyer will become very famous getting this Amendment overturned in federal court should it pass on May 8.

h/t Watauga Watch

Our rivers: The latest corporate giveaway

The US Supreme Court keeps on giving and giving. Last week, the Court tossed yet another bone to corporations and dealt another blow to environmentalists. The issue in PPL Montana LLC v Montana was who owns the riverbed beneath 10 hydroelectric dams sitting on three Montana rivers. This may seem like a snoozer, but given the latest grabs for the public’s water by private corporations, it has huge implications for the American people, and especially the people of North Carolina.

Does the rule of law apply to Republicans too?

Expect to see a lot more of this, right here in North Carolina, too. Art Pope will be making a full-court press to own all branches of government, including the North Carolina Supreme Court. He already keeps one ex-justice in the Show. The only question is, who will be next?

Toyota, NHTSA, and The Supremes

Today, MSNBC is reporting that State Farm notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)in 2007 of various problems with acceleration control in Toyota vehicles. State Farm is the nation's largest auto insurer, and says they routinely track claims for evidence of vehicle design flaws and report such findings routinely to NHTSA.

Now that corporations like Toyota can apparently contribute limitless dollars to campaign coffers, based on the recent ruling of the five men in black robes in DC, why bother with the appearance of a federal "watchdog" over automobile and highway safety?

On the other hand, which corporation's pot of money would win the arm-wrestling match, with drivers and their passengers watching on with interest?

What a mess we have created!

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