Monday 18th of June 2018

rewriting the law...


US constitution....

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has been quietly revising its decisions years after they were issued, altering the law of the land without public notice. The revisions include “truly substantive changes in factual statements and legal reasoning,” said Richard J. Lazarus, a law professor at Harvard and the author of a new study examining the phenomenon.

The court can act quickly, as when Justice Antonin Scalia last month corrected an embarrassing error in a dissent in a case involving the Environmental Protection Agency.

But most changes are neither prompt nor publicized, and the court’s secretive editing process has led judges and law professors astray, causing them to rely on passages that were later scrubbed from the official record. The widening public access to online versions of the court’s decisions, some of which do not reflect the final wording, has made the longstanding problem more pronounced.

Unannounced changes have not reversed decisions outright, but they have withdrawn conclusions on significant points of law. They have also retreated from descriptions of common ground with other justices, as Justice Sandra Day O’Connor did in a major gay rights case.

The larger point, said Jeffrey L. Fisher, a law professor at Stanford, is that Supreme Court decisions are parsed by judges and scholars with exceptional care. “In Supreme Court opinions, every word matters,” he said. “When they’re changing the wording of opinions, they’re basically rewriting the law.”

Supreme Court opinions are often produced under intense time pressure because of the court’s self-imposed deadline, which generally calls for the announcement of decisions in all cases argued during the term before the justices leave for their summer break. In this term, 29 of the 70 cases argued since October remain to be decided in the next five weeks or so.

The court does warn readers that early versions of its decisions, available at the courthouse and on the court’s website, are works in progress. A small-print notice says that “this opinion is subject to formal revision before publication,” and it asks readers to notify the court of “any typographical or other formal errors.”

the corporations' golden boy...

From Ralph Nader...


In his 1999 foreword to the reissued edition, historian Edward S. Shapiro called Who Owns America? “one of the most significant conservative books published in the United States during the 1930s” for its “message of demographic, political, and economic decentralization and the widespread ownership of property” in opposition “to the growth of corporate farming, the decay of the small town, and the expansion of centralized political and economic authority.”

It is not easy today to convey the intense belief of many activists and intellectuals in the ’30s concerning the necessity and inevitability of radical change. Among the best known are the different advocacies that swirled around Franklin Roosevelt’s liberal New Deal years. Norman Thomas, the Socialist Party’s frequent presidential candidate, was pushing FDR toward government health insurance, unemployment compensation, Social Security, and labor union rights.

Then there were the “spread the wealth” movements of popular figures like Sen. Huey Long and radio personalities like Father Coughlin and, in contrast, the Wall Streeters’ own challenge: the attempt to save capitalism from President Roosevelt, whom they called a “traitor to his class.”

Gus: No fear of Tony Abbott being a traitor to his golden class... Er... hang on a minute... Didn't the little turd grow up with an uncle being a rabid communist and in a pretty modest socialist average family? I don't really remember and am too lazy to search... But Tony treats every one with contempt but himself — and sometimes one wonder about that last bit...

Tony is of course the corporation's golden boy and a traitor to the working families... while his garden of nepotism is well looked after, by government appointment and private scholarships. It is likely that his Rhodes scholarship came in a brown paper bag. Someone should look into that.

it's a mad mad world...


Pope Francis has launched a sweeping attack on the world's economic system, saying it discards the young, puts money ahead of people and survives on the profits of war.

The 77-year-old leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics said some countries had a youth unemployment rate of more than 50 per cent, with many millions in Europe seeking work in vain.

"It's madness," the Pope said in an interview with the Barcelona-based Vanguardia daily's Vatican correspondent Henrique Cymerman.

"We discard a whole generation to maintain an economic system that no longer endures, a system that to survive has to make war, as the big empires have always done," he said.

"But since we cannot wage the third world war, we make regional wars.

"And what does that mean? That we make and sell arms. And with that the balance sheets of the idolatrous economies - the big world economies that sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money - are obviously cleaned up."

Nothing new here except more of it... In the past young people had to learn a trade or/and go to war... As well some of the siblings of large families were taken by the clergy to become monks, sisters or priests. This happened in most level of classes, with the difference that the nobility's progeny went to become generals or bishops directly by appointment. The low classes provided the cannon fodder. Nowadays, the cannon fodder has been replaced by "consumers" as we are bombarded by advertising.


the weather is fine... er... fined...


BNP Paribas has pleaded guilty to US criminal charges of violating sanctions on Iran, Sudan and other countries and has been fined a record $US8.9 billion ($9.5 billion) to settle the case.

The US Justice Department said the French bank deliberately hid thousands of transactions with the two countries, as well as Myanmar and Cuba, during the period between 2004-2012 in what officials called a "complex and pervasive scheme" and a "serious breach" of US law.

Officials described the fine as the largest penalty ever obtained by the Justice Department in a criminal economic sanctions case, and the largest in any criminal case involving a bank.

"BNP went to elaborate lengths to conceal prohibited transactions, cover its tracks, and deceive United States authorities," US attorney-general Eric Holder said.

The violations aided countries involved in terrorism and human rights violations, Mr Holder added, "in many cases to the detriment of United States national security."

The bank agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiring to violate sanctions, making it the first bank found guilty in a sanctions case.

As part of the settlement, BNP agreed to dismiss or let go 13 employees, including the chief operating officer, who resigned earlier this month.

"This landmark resolution demonstrates the Justice Department's firm commitment to enforcing embargoes and other measures designed to protect America's security and our vital national interests," said Mr Holder.

"This outcome should send a strong message to any institution, any institution anywhere in the world, that does business with the United States, that illegal conduct will simply not be tolerated."

In comparison, the US banks and "rating organisations" got off lightly for having stuffed the entire world economy back in 2007... They all should have sunk below 20,000 leagues under the sea... Instead, apart from one bank, all of them got rescued by the US government that printed money. Now they are all back in business as usual... selling more dirty tricks, betting on derivatives and packaging parcels no-one should even look at...

Here we of course should look at our own AWB... etc... See toon at top...