Tag Archives: US Constitution

Today in Texas History – March 21

From the Annals of the Losing Litigators –  In 2010, then Texas Attorney General (and now Poor Idiot Governor) Greg Abbott made the following statement regarding the passage of the Affordable Care Act: “The federal health care legislation passed tonight violates the United States Constitution and unconstitutionally infringes upon Texans’ individual liberties. To protect all Texans’ constitutional rights, preserve the constitutional framework intended by our nation’s founders, and defend our state from further infringement by the federal government, the State of Texas and other states will legally challenge the federal health care legislation.”

Abbott  completely failed in his attempt (and wasted a bunch of Texas tax dollars) to have the ACA overturned in federal court.   In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Unitied States Supreme Court upheld Congress’ power to enact most provisions of the ACA and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act including the individual mandate requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.  The Court upheld the mandate as a constitutional exercise of Congress’s taxing power.

Today in Texas History – Jan 11

From the Annals of Criminal Justice    In 1954, the landmark appeal styled Hernández v. the State of Texas was brought before the United States Supreme Court.  Hernandez is considered to be the only Mexican-American civil rights case decided by the Court in the post-war era.

Pedro Hernandez, a Mexican-American agricultural worker, was convicted by an all-white jury in Jackson County for the 1950 murder of Joe Espinosa. Hernandez’s pro bono legal team, led by Gustavo C. Garcia,  wanted to use Hernandez’s conviction as a test case to challenge “the systematic exclusion of persons of Mexican origin from all types of jury duty in at least seventy counties in Texas.”  The appeal was based on the established practice of systematically excluding Mexican Americans, a recognized minority in Texas, from service on grand juries and juries.  The evidence showed that although numerous Mexican Americans were citizens and had otherwise qualified for jury duty in Jackson County, during the previous 25 years no Mexican Americans were among the 6,000 persons chosen to serve on juries.  This was a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as juries were restricted by ethnicity.  The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Hernandez, and required he be retried by a jury composed without discrimination against Mexican Americans. The Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment protects persons beyond the racial classes and applies to discrimination based on nationality groups as well.

Photo of Pedro Hernandez with his attorneys Gustavo Garcia and Johnny Herrera.

 

Today in Texas History – June 23

From the Annals of Equality – In 1919, the Texas House passed the Nineteenth Amendment which provided women with the constitutional right to vote. The Texas Senate passed the amendment on June 28.   With the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in August of 1920, Texas women finally had the full right of voting.

 

Is There Anything Ted Cruz Doesn’t Lie About (cont.)?

Red loves his frequent emails from Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas).  The one this morning contained some real whoppers revealing that our Cubo-Canadian senator is either a constitutional ignoramus or liar.  Red goes with liar.

Our Founding Fathers designed the Constitution to act as chains to bind the mischief of government (actually we all know it was written to empower the government to actually accomplish stuff after the disastrous gridlock caused by the Articles of Confederation – but pish!) and protect the liberties endowed to us by our Creator (forgetting to include a single reference to God or a Creator must have been an oversight – and that whole thing about “no religious test ever being required as a qualification to any office or public trust”  – well that’s just words). Today, with a vacancy on the United States Supreme Court, those liberties hang in the balance (you know scales of justice and all that). The sanctity of life (except for executing possibly innocent bad guys and I have no problemo with that), marriage (gay cows are out the barn already), religious liberty (aka an excuse to exercise their bigotry to some), and the Second Amendment (how horrible if I can’t make machine gun bacon anymore) are at risk.

The American people must have a voice in deciding the next Supreme Court Justice (I forget exactly where that is in the Constitution), and accordingly, I will continue to fulfill my constitutional duty (other than actually bothering to show up to do the job I was elected to do) by advising that the Senate should not consider any replacement nominated by President Obama (or in other words – ignore my constitutional duty to advise and consent). 

“Justice Scalia was a lion of the law (he literally loved to stalk, kill and eat plaintiff’s lawyers),” said Sen. Cruz. “He was someone I knew for 20 years (although he didn’t remember me working for the Court). He was brilliant. He was principled. He singlehandedly changed the course of American law (Yes, he actually won many 1-8 decisions just by the sheer force of his personality). I’ve said before, like Ronald Reagan was to the presidency (except that we all know he couldn’t get elected dog catcher in today’s GOP), so Justice Scalia was to the Supreme Court (well, except for that whole being senile at the end part). For 80 years it has been the practice that the Senate has not confirmed any nomination made during an election year, and we shouldn’t make an exception now (notice how I have subtly changed that argument to get around the fact that Anthony Kennedy was confirmed 97-0 in the last year of Reagan’s presidency, but I am guessing you aren’t paying very close attention to that fact or the 15 other Supreme Court Justices who were confirmed in an election year going all the way back to George Washington – the founding fathers were really morons to let that happen).

Jan Mickelson Update – Yep, He’s Still Crazy

Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson, who recently came out in support of slavery (you read that correctly – slavery), is back at it – this time cheering on Texas officials who have been violating the 14th Amendment by refusing to provide birth certificates to American citizens.   Mickelson has proposed that undocumented immigrants should become “property of the state” (or state-owned slaves) and be conscripted for forced labor unless they leave Iowa.  He is now applauding the Texas Department of State Health and Human Services’ plan to deny birth certificates to American children of undocumented immigrants. Media Matters has the details.

On his August 28 show, Mickelson criticized what he called “street hustler” civil rights groups who have filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of State Health Services for refusing to issue birth certificates to U.S. citizen children born to undocumented immigrant parents. [T]he plaintiff’s complaint alleges that Texas stopped allowing “matricula consular” identifications — official papers issued by the U.S.-based consulate of the immigrant parents’ home country — “to meet the requirements to acquire a birth certificate for their U.S.-born children” around two years ago.

Mickelson, who denies that the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship applies to the children of undocumented immigrants, said he thinks it is “cool” that Texas is refusing to issue these birth certificates and expressed his appreciation of Texas’ approach as “Iowa passive-aggressive,” which will prevent such children “to start this process of looting.”