• Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    Today, 08:46 AM
    The sad thing is, there are plenty of folks who are too gullible to realize the article's a satire.
    5 replies | 133 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    03-20-2020, 05:22 PM
    An earlier IRS announcement said that the April estimated tax payment would be postponed for 90 days.
    8 replies | 389 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    03-11-2020, 05:45 PM
    I read the brief. The issue in the case is whether discrimination on the basis of gender identity is covered by the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination on the basis of "sex". Two other cases that wwere consolidated on appeal deal with whether seual orientation is covered by the statute. The issue isn't one of compelled speech or First Amendment rights; rather, it's simply one of determining the applicability of a statute. The circuit courts of appeal have split on the issue of sexual orientation, so SCOTUS needs to decide the matter. I don't understand why the organization that filed the brief concentrated on compelled speech, other than it wanted to present a horror-story-filled slippery-slope argument that has no real bearing on the case that's before the Court. The brief is really addressing the policy of including gender identity in the statute, not whether a reasonable interpretation of the language compels such a conclusion. Personally, I don't think it does; it's inconceivable to me that the Congress in 1964 had transgendered people in mind. Interestingly, Justice Goresuch expressed some sympathy with the plaintiff's arguments. See https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/08/supreme-court-clashes-over-meaning-of-sex-in-lgbt-discrimination-cases.html I think the Court will punt the issue back to Congress and hold that the existing statutory language doesn't cover gender identity. But I could be wrong; I never thought Roberts would be the swing vote on the validity of Obamacare.
    44 replies | 1333 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    03-11-2020, 03:12 PM
    On the other hand, they might side with the student and find that the professor's refusal to use the student's choice of terms of address created a hostile and toxic environment for the student, possibly opening up the university to liability. Beware of generalizations. The government compels speech in many situations. Members of the military must salute (a type of symbolic speech) a superior officer and refer to him/her as "sir"/"ma'am". People called as a witness or as a prospective juror must answer questions, barring a claim of self-incrimination. Even refusing to answer a census question can be a crime (see 17 USC §221).
    44 replies | 1333 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    03-11-2020, 08:33 AM
    Let's take an extreme case. A government employee addresses his African-American co-workers as "ni**er" and "boy". The government (through its supervising employee) tells him to refer to them as "man" or by their given name. Does anyone think this guy has a First Amendment right to disobey his employer's directive?
    44 replies | 1333 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    03-09-2020, 04:31 PM
    Perhaps Swordsmyth can point out exactly where the 2015 order "explicitly obligated" all internet users pay a tax to Google and YouTube. I don't see it anywhere. Moreover, the 2015 order has been superseded by the FCC in an order issued in December 2017. See https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40616.pdf The author of the article claims that he "was injured by Google, Facebook, and Twitter in Texas, and is looking for attorneys willing and able to represent him against them." Sounds like a desparate attempt to find state action where none exists.
    3 replies | 274 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    03-03-2020, 10:23 AM
    It's not so much that new constitutional powers are being discovered; the 14th Amendment explicitly gives Congress the authority to enforce its provisions. The real issue is the courts' interpretation of "due process" and "equal protection" that have resulted in curtailing state sovereignty in certain areas (e.g., school desegregation and gay marriage). But it should be recalled that the very purpose of the 14th was to curtail state power. It should also be recalled that there was a period in which the 14th was interpreted in a non-progressive manner -- in the so-called Lochner era (roughly 1897 to 1937) state and federal laws regulating economic matters were struck down because the Supreme Court held they violated economic liberty and private contract rights. The legal theory the court used was "substantive due process", which is an oxymoron when you think about it.
    94 replies | 6367 view(s)
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We have long had death and taxes as the two standards of inevitability. But there are those who believe that death is the preferable of the two. "At least," as one man said, "there's one advantage about death; it doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
Erwin N. Griswold

Taxes: Of life's two certainties, the only one for which you can get an automatic extension.
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