The Weiner Component #148 – Death of a Supreme Court Justice: The Ultimate Irony

English: President Barack Obama and Vice Presi...

English: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden with the members of the Supreme Court and retiring justice David Souter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...

English: The United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, in 2009. Top row (left to right): Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Bottom row (left to right): Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Antonin G. Scalia, and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

photograph of the justices, cropped to show Ju...

photograph of the justices, cropped to show Justice Scalia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(For a more detailed discussion of the significance of the 2016 Election upon the Supreme Court see: The Weiner Component #136 Part 1, which deals with the current Supreme Court.)

 

With the unexpected death of 79 year old Antonin Scalia a strange and dynamic situation exists on the Supreme Court.  Judge Scalia was probably the most conservative member of the Court.  His death, from a heart attack, neutralizes a Conservative Court.  There are currently four liberal Justices appointed by Democratic Presidents and four conservative judges on it appointed by Republican Presidents, with one vacancy.  Most of the important cases now have four conservative and four liberal votes.  A tie means the case returns to the prior decision made by a lower court.  Whoever the ninth Justice will be, would determine whether the new Court will be liberal or conservative.

 

President Obama has announced that he will do his Constitutional duty and choose a candidate for the court and that he hopes the Senate will do their Constitutional duty and provide “advice and consent,” that is acceptance or rejection to the individual chosen.  Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, and other Republican Senators have announced that they will absolutely not hold a hearing on anyone for that position.  They have said that they want the people of the United States to choose whether the candidate should be liberal or conservative by voting for the next President to be elected.  Their assumption is that if the next President is a Republican then he will choose a conservative judge.  Actually they feel that a Republican will be elected and they can replace Scalia with another conservative and maintain conservative control of the Supreme Court.  Of course their assumption may be wrong and a Democratic President would choose a more liberal candidate.

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The question here goes back to the Constitution.  On the one hand the Republicans tend to believe in a strict interpretation of the Constitution.  They believe that one should adhere to the original intent of the document.  Meanwhile the Democrats, beginning with Thomas Jefferson, the original founder of the Democratic Party, believed in a loose interpretation of the Constitution.  They would rely on the general meaning or intent of the document. 

 

The point to keep in mind is that the founding fathers came from both free and slave states.  They needed a document that could be agreed upon by both groups.  In fact when Thomas Jefferson, a slave holder, wrote the Declaration of Independence he, among other things, denounced the King of England for forcing slavery to be brought into the original colonies.  Benjamin Franklin edited that section out of the document.  The problems, which arose a number of times in the writing of the Constitution, was that issues arose that the two sides couldn’t agree upon.  Their solution in these cases was to get vague so that both sides could agree.  All of this would today be called compromise.  The document is a series of compromises; and the meaning of many of these has changed over the years as the conditions within the United States have changed.

 

In addition specific changes have been made to the Constitution by Amendments being added to it or just general historical usage.  The one major question over who was dominant, the Central Government or the State Governments was resolved by the Civil War.  Women are never mentioned in the Constitution.  It took an Amendment early in the 20th Century for them to obtain full civil rights for them and also the vote.

 

Today much of these arguments are nonsense.  The real question is: How would the Founding Fathers have behaved or have meant if they lived in the 21st Century?  In the instance of Antonin Scalia’s death the Republicans vie toward a loose interpretation of the Constitution and the Democrats toward a strict reading of the document.

 

The Constitution itself states in Article 2, Section 2, Second  paragraph:

          He (the President) shall have Power, by and with

          the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make

          Treaties, provided two thirds of the present concur;

          and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice

          and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors

          other Public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the

          Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United

          States. . .

The next paragraph states:

          The President shall have the power to fill up Vacancies

          that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by

          granting Commissions which shall expire at the end of

          the next Session.

 

What does the Constitution actually say?  According to President Obama it can mean that he has to choose a candidate to serve on the Supreme Court as soon as he finds someone competent.  President Obama will be in office until the middle of January 2017, which is approximately eleven months from now.  According to the Senate, he is a lame duck president, who cannot be reelected, therefore he should allow the next president to choose a replacement for Scalia. 

 

Who’s right, according to the Constitution?  I suppose you could say, whoever wins the argument.  But a year is a long time to wait for a replacement on the Supreme Court!  A lot of decisions will not be able to be made with its current makeup by a Court divided into four liberals and four conservatives.  Also in the entire history of the Court there has never before been this long a dormant period in the nonfunctioning of the Supreme Court.  Putting the Court on hold for a year is really stretching out the Constitution.  What this does is politicize the Court according to the majority will of the Senate.

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While the major issue is whether the newly constituted Supreme Court will lean toward the right or the left, there is also in the minds of most Blacks in the United States the fact that they, the Republicans, feel that Barack Obama has never been a real President to the majority of their group.  They have questioned his citizenship and his religion.  Presumably many still believe that he is neither a citizen of the United States nor a Christian. 

 

The bulk of the Blacks in the United States believe that no white President would have been treated as Barack Obama has been, even though he won the presidency twice by overwhelming majorities.  They feel that the issue of confirming a new Supreme Court would never have arisen with any other white president, that a good part of this issue is race prejudice.  While a good part of the Republican leadership would vehemently deny this, I do believe it is largely true.

 

In addition ten Republican controlled states will be placing voter restriction laws into place shortly before the 2016 Presidential Election in November.  These laws range from new hurdles to registration to cutbacks on early voting to strict voter identification requirements.  These ten states have a collective population of over 80 million people and will yield 129 of the 270 electoral votes needed to elect the next President.  The theory here being that by passing these qualifications at the last minute no law suit or any other restriction can be put on them until after the election.  There will not be enough time. 

 

Whether this holds true is another question.  But taken with the so-called legal voter restriction that already exists, in addition to the long lines and long periods of waiting in order to vote, taking in some cases eight hours or more, the Republican pattern is to keep Democrats from voting.

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Irony is an interesting topic!  For example: the current Republicans in the United States Senate refused to allow Elizabeth Warren to become head of the new U.S. Commercial Financial Bureau which she strongly helped bring into existence.

 

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is a legal scholar and former Harvard Law School Professor specializing in bankruptcy law and commercial law.  From 2010 – 2011, as special advisor she helped develop the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  In September of 2010 President Obama named Elizabeth Warren, Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to set up the new agency which had been, among numerous other things, specifically included in the new Dodd-Frank Law of 2009.  Elizabeth Warren was supposed to head the new agency as its director but was strongly opposed by Financial Institutions and Republican Senators who believed that Warren would be an overly zealous regulator.

 

President Obama, believing that Warren could not be confirmed, appointed Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray in January of 2012, over the objections of Republican Senators, to the post in a recess appointment.  (The Republicans and the banks did not want anyone to head the agency.)

 

Elizabeth Warren went on that year to run for the Senate as the Democratic candidate from Massachusetts.  She ran against the Republican, Scott Brown, who was known as the centerfold in an issue of Playgirl magazine.  He had won his Senate seat two years earlier in a Special Election after the death of Senator Ted Kennedy.  She defeated Brown and won the election.

 

There was in 2015 a movement for her to run for the presidency in 2016 which she turned down.  She has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the current Supreme Court Opening. 

 

Elizabeth Warren is the Republican’s worst nightmare.  If they had let her head up the agency she helped bring into existence then, at least, she would have been quiet outside of her agency.  But the Republicans apparently felt that if they never confirmed anyone to head up the Consumer Protection Agency it would never function.  It is functioning and doing its job protecting American consumers. Their biggest mistake was attempting to force their will or opposition upon the President.  It didn’t work.  To them and a number of other conservatives outside of Congress they now have a strong force representing the rights not only Massachusetts but also of a lot of ordinary Americans, functioning in Congress who could conceivably run for the Presidency in 2020 or 2024.  In addition she might become the ninth Supreme Court Justice. 

 

This is true irony.  In essence the Republicans have set themselves up by attempting to force their will upon the President.

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On Thursday the 13th of February, 79 year old Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died as a guest in a luxury ranch in Cibolo Creek, Texas, of a heart attack.  His death has upset the balance on what has been a Conservative Supreme Court.  That night, during the Republican Debate of the potential candidates Donald Trump, who is currently leading the group in national popularity, stated that the Republican Senate should stall and refuse to act.  Others in the Republican Presidential Debate also indicated delay.  The consensus was that they wanted the next President to choose a Court successor.  That would be almost a year after Scalia’s death.

 

Later, in an ABC interview, Ted Cruz, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee stated, “Let the election decide it.  If the Democrats want to replace the nominee, they need to win the election.” 

 

Marco Rubio stated that the Republican controlled Senate should ignore any nomination made by President Obama.

 

Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader in the Senate clearly said that President Obama should not try to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia since there was less than a year left in the President’s term.  Actually there is only 11 months left.

 

The Democrats stated that a refusal to even consider a nominee would be an outrageous act of obstructionism.  No such case has ever existed in the entire history of the United States.  The Democrats predicted that there would be a voter backlash, particularly in swing states that the Republicans need to win in order to maintain control of the Senate after 2016.

 

Scalia died on Thursday, February 13, 2016.  By Wednesday the 17th of February a number of Republicans had cooled down.  For one thing they are afraid of a backlash and losing control of the Senate and for another since 1900 there have been over a half dozen instances where Presidents have appointed Supreme Court judges on election years.  One of these was President Ronald Reagan.  He filled a vacancy that occurred in 1988, his last year in office.  He first chose Robert Bork who was defeated in the Senate and then chose Anthony Kennedy who was confirmed.

 

President Obama said that the Republicans who call themselves strict interpreters of the Constitution were suddenly citing unwritten precedent about not confirming Justices during an election year to justify their position.  “It’s pretty hard to find that in the Constitution… The Constitution is pretty clear about what is supposed to happen now. 

 

Senator Charles E. Grassley, the 82 year old Iowa Republican who chairs the Judicial Committee, said Tuesday that he may be open to holding hearings on President Obama’s nominee.  “I would wait until the nominee is made before I would make any decisions…In other words, take it a step at a time,” he told radio reporters in Iowa.  Three days earlier he had insisted that the “standard practice” was to not confirm Supreme Court Judges in an election year.

 

Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina warned that if fellow Republicans rejected an Obama nominee “sight unseen” they would “fall into the trap of being obstructionists.”  Republican strategists said that GOP leaders may have made a tactical error that could trigger a public backlash.

 

As of Monday, February 22, the Democrats were for nominating a new Supreme Court Justice and the Republicans who were totally against it earlier were then sort of against it.  By Tuesday, February 23 the Republicans had probably held a party caucus and were again definitely against the idea.  Mitch McConnell stated that “If the shoe were on the other foot, the Democrats would not approve a Republican nominee.” But they did on February 18, 1988 when President Ronald Reagan’s choice, Anthony Kennedy was confirmed for the Supreme Court.  Another Republican Senate leader stated that there was no point in Obama appointing anyone because the Senate will turn him down.  On Wednesday, February 24th President Obama responded to the Republican declaration with the statement that he will nominate a fit candidate for the vacancy on the Supreme Court.  What will happen is anyone’s guess.

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If the Republicans are successful in not confirming anyone to take Scalia’s place.  After all they can hold endless hearing and conceivably vote down all the possible candidates.  It could happen with everyone President Obama nominates then I would suggest an interesting alternative.

 

The probability is that the Democrats being the majority party will win the Presidential election, especially after these shenanigans and either Hillary Rodham Clinton or Bernie Sanders will be the next President of the United States.  It will then be the job of one of them to nominate a candidate for the open position on the Supreme Court. 

 

In addition it is also probably that the Senate will return to Democratic leadership.  There is a total of 100 Senators, two from each of the 50 states.  Of these currently there are 54 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 independents who caucus with the Democrats.  In the November 8, 2016 election 1/3 of the Senate seats will be up for election.  A number of these are in swing states.  There the election could go any way.  The probability is that the Democrats will again take control of the Senate.  It seems that a lot more people come out to vote in Presidential Elections; this has historically tended to benefit the Democrats.  In nonpresidential elections more people tend to stay home and this has benefited the Republicans.

 

It is very possible, if the Republicans are successful in forestalling the Supreme Court appointment until after mid-January of 2017 when the new president takes office that the new incoming Democratic President will appoint an attorney who has taught Constitutional Law and is well experienced in the current problems of the United States.  And that would be Barack Obama, who would then have become unemployed.  He would, in my opinion, make an ideal candidate for the Supreme Court in 2017.  And the precedent is there, William Howard Taft was President from 1908 to 1912 and was appointed as chief justice to the Supreme Court in 1921.

 

This would be the worst nightmare the Republicans could experience.  Not only would the Court become liberal, it would have someone who could argue many of their cases from direct experience.  The Republicans seem to have an innate ability to “shoot themselves in the Foot,” to make a minor victory into a later tragedy for themselves as they did with Elizabeth Warren.

 

There is a good probability that the Senate, after the election, will move back to Democratic control.  If this were to happen it would be the ultimate in irony for the GOP, for they would have brought it about themselves, on themselves by their own stubbiness and irascibility.

 

The Weiner Component #136 – Part 1: Thoughts About the 2016 Election – Effect Upon the Supreme Court

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court justice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For a variety of reasons it is important whether a Republican or Democrat gets elected to the Presidency in 2017.   One institution that may be strongly affected is the Supreme Court, the third arm of our government.  Currently there are four liberal Justices appointed by Democratic presidents and five conservative ones appointed by Republican presidents in the Court.

 

The four liberal Justices are, in order of their age, at 2017 when the new President takes office: Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (84), Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer (79), Associate Justice Sonya Sotomayer (61), and Associate Justice Elena Kagan (57).  The five conservative Justices are: Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (81), Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (81), Associate Justice Clarence Thomas (69), Associate Justice Samuel Alito (67), and Chief Justice John G, Roberts (62).  Both Justices Kennedy and Roberts have occasionally supported more liberal positions at different times but currently the overall cast of the Court is Conservative.

 

There is no retirement age.  Even though former Presidents like Franklin D. Roosevelt threatened to have such a law passed Supreme Court Judges serve for life.  They can, if they wish, retire with full pay; but many do not.

 

William H. Rehnquist, the former Chief Justice died while still on the court four weeks before his 81st birthday in September of 2005.  He had served eighteen years as Chief Justice and before that he was an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court for a number of years.

 

Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman who was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan, retired in 2006.  She retired because her husband was ill, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; he died in 2009.  Her husband needed her and she wanted to spend more time with her three children and grandchildren.  Today she is 86 and still functioning in legal circles.

 

Associate Justice John Paul Stevens was born in 1920.  He was appointed by President Gerald Ford, a moderate Republican.   Stevens served on the Supreme Court from 1975 to 2010, thirty-five years and retired from the court at the age of ninety.  Toward the end of his career when he was considered a liberal judge he was asked if he still thought of himself as a Republican.  Stevens did not answer that question.

 

In the case of Gore vs. Bush, where the majority of votes had been nationally and in Florida for Gore, Stevens wrote a scathing dissent in that 2000 case where a 5 to 4 decision ended the troubled vote count and made George W. Bush president with a minority of both the national and troubled Florida vote.

 

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born on March 3, 1933, shortly after Franklin D. Roosevelt came to office as President of the United States, during the depth of the Great Depression.  She was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton on August 10th 1993.  Despite two different bouts with cancer which she has overcome she seems currently in good health at the age of 82.  In 2012 she stated that she would like to serve four more years on the Court.  Now she seems ready for another four years.  I would suspect that the job itself keep her alert and functioning.

 

Both Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy were born in 1936 and both are 80 years of age.  Scalia tends to be a rigid conservative on all his cases and Kennedy has gone both ways in 5 to 4 decisions.

 

In 2016 the average age of judges on the Supreme Court will be 72¾ years old with the age limits going from 84 to 58.  The mean age tends to be toward the higher number.  This mean that of the nine judges eight could legitimately retire if they so desire during the next 4 year presidency.  Will they?  Probably not.  But through natural causes the country could lose one or more Justices of the Supreme Court.

 

The significance of this loss could determine the direction of Supreme Court decisions for the next decade or more.  The probability is that a Democratic President will appoint a liberal candidate to the Supreme Court while a Republican President would appoint a conservative one.  If the person to pass were to be Justice Ginsburg who will be 87 by the end of the next Presidential term, then a Republican President would change the balance of the Court to 6 to 3 in favor of the conservatives.  A Democratic President would maintain the current balance.  On the other hand if one of the two senior Republican appointees were to die or retire over the next four years then a Democratic President would appoint a liberal candidate and the current balance would swing to 5 to 4 in favor of a less rigid interpretation of the Constitution.

 

If for no other reason than for the future of the Supreme Court, the choice of a president in 2016 is all important.  The majority party in the United States is the Democratic one.  Yet, through gerrymandering, suppression of the vote, endless financing, (since a relatively recent Supreme Court decision has made the endless spending of money in elections a first Amendment right by individuals,) and vociferously denouncing the Democrats, the Republicans have made themselves appear more important.  It struck me as blatantly unfair that the Democrats cast a million and a quarter more votes for their House of Representative candidates in the 2014 Midterm but through the 2011 gerrymandering election boundaries the Republicans set they ended up with the majority of Candidates in the House of Representatives.

 

Depending upon your political position the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election is all important.  The potential Democratic candidates are all challenging the 2010 Citizen’s United Case that made almost unlimited political contributions an extension of the First Amendment’s free speech clause and the 2014 McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission Case which further extended this right.  The probability is that the next elected president will appoint one or more new replacement justices to the Supreme Court.  Whether the next President is liberal or conservative could very well determine the direction in which this country could go for the next decade or more.

English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...

English: The United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, in 2010. Top row (left to right): Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. Bottom row (left to right): Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Weiner Component #127- North Carolina’s New Religious Law & the Supreme Court’s Same Sex Marriage Decision

On Friday, June 25, 2 015 by a 5 to 4 decision the Supreme Court decided that same sex marriages were constitutional. Prior they were legal in 33 states. Earlier on Thursday, June 11th 2015 the state of North Carolina passed a law that made the First Amendment to the Constitution primary over the Fourteenth Amendment, giving licensing registrars and Justices of the Peace the power to refuse to license or carry out civil marriages if they went against their religious beliefs. It seems that the state of North Carolina now has a serious problem dealing with homosexual or lesbian marriages which are now constitutionally legal throughout all of the United States.

To specifically pass a law making same sex marriages illegal within that state would be discriminatory and unconstitutional. Consequently, North Carolina passed a law that allows both the registrar, who issues marriage licenses, and/or the Justice of the Peace, who can legally marry couples, to be able to discriminate on the basis of their religious beliefs and therefore to deny either the issue of marriage licenses or performance of the marriage ceremony.  Presumably this is a constitutional way of ignoring a constitutional judicial decision.

Both Houses of the State Legislature have voted to do this and both have overridden the Republican Governor, Pat McCrory’s veto. This is the second state to pass such a law.  Utah passed a similar law earlier in 2015.

This means that some of the workers in the register of deeds offices and magistrates who perform civil ceremonies to solemnize civil marriages can refuse to perform these functions if they hold a “sincerely held religious objection.”  The law “protects sincerely held religious beliefs while also insuring that magistrates are available in all jurisdictions to perform lawful marriages” that go along with their individual religious beliefs.

Somehow we seem to have a contradiction in legal concepts. If we look at the first amendment to the United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights it states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof…” This was passed in 1789. In section one of the 14th Amendment of this same document it states that “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;” . . . “nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  This was added to the Constitution in 1868.

We have a clear contradiction between the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.  Which should predominate?  The issue of limited rights was debated during the mid to late 19th Century by numerous philosophers and the overall conclusion which the courts have also upheld was that an individual’s religious freedom extends to the point where it limits someone else’s rights.  From there on it is abuse rather than religious freedom.  Basically to allow municipal employees this unlimited religious right is to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

The civil clerks and magistrates do have a right to their beliefs and the practice thereof. They can resign their positions and allow others who will carry out the laws to replace them.  But to maintain their positions and refuse to carry out the law is simple hypocrisy.

The Utah and North Carolina law allow for this practice of hypocrisy.  Also with the late June decision of the Supreme Court specifically making same sex marriages legal throughout the United States all the various antics against these marriages also become nonsense.  In essence sections of the United States are now asking some of their civil employees to not perform their legal duties.

I suppose the problem for these righteous misguided people is: How do you disobey the law without disobeying the law?  And their answer was to base it upon the true religious belief of a number of their citizens.  But if all their registrars and magistrates are good simple Protestant Christians then aren’t they showing illegal favoritism in their state hiring practices?  Which is illegal.

If some of these state employees happen to be sincere practicing Catholics or Jews, or, for that matter, Muslims, then aren’t they opening up a can of worms that they, the legislators, will find hard to digest.  For these people can voice objections based upon people of different religions marrying, or even different so-called races intermarrying.  Or for that matter, heathens, generally known as Christians, marrying.

For the State Legislature to clearly or otherwise state that they find homosexual or lesbian marriages unacceptable according to their individual interpretations of the Old and New Testaments is discriminatory and therefore illegal. They can’t even imply that this is their true purpose in this law.  Thus they open up a Pandora’s Box based simply upon the religious beliefs of their state employed registers and magistrates.

It should be interesting if some of their magistrates don’t have “sincere religious beliefs” about anything.  Will they perform these ceremonies and keep their jobs?  And, of course, if only “fire-eating” Christians hold all these positions then isn’t that discriminatory hiring practices?

Somehow all of this is extremely stupid. There is a distinct possibility that these two laws in Utah and North Carolina will be overturned by the Courts.  However it strikes me that our legislators have to be called to account for particularly idiotic laws that hamper the functioning of a presumably free society. This would include anyone else who is in a position to effect same sex marriages in any state.

The basic weapon that the public has that can be felt anywhere in the nation is economic restraint or boycott in any section of the United States. The public, by the way it spends its money, can determine the behavior of the legislatures.  Since government functions on tax dollars then if that amount is significantly reduced the state government doesn’t continue to function that well.

If you find the behavior by the North Carolina and Utah legislatures absurd, or, for that matter in any municipality equally ridiculous and are a member of one of those two states or of communities that are strongly opposed to what is now the law of the land, and you live near the borders of the state, then I would suggest that you begin doing your grocery shopping across the state or county line.  If you have to make a major purchase like an automobile, a refrigerator, furniture, or any other major item then buy it in a state other than North Carolina, Utah, or the municipality that is protesting what you disapprove of.  In essence, boycott spending money in either of those two states or communities. This would also include any type of business practice.

The pressure upon the local merchants will have an adverse effect upon the legislature. Ultimately if they hold out and refuse to change their position, regardless of how much business the state loses, then be sure not to vote for any of them in the 2016 elections.

In addition, to use a slightly historical example: during the Vietnam Police Action (War) many high earning celebrities who opposed the war refused to pay their income taxes to the nation that perpetrated that war. What they did was to put the money that they would ordinarily pay in taxes into a separate bank account and thereby force the federal government by way of the IRS to get a court order to seize those funds.  It was a symbolic way for these people to object to a war they thought was unjust.

The people living in North Carolina and Utah or in some city or county whose actions they disapprove of can do the same thing. When they figure out their state income taxes they can put that money into a separate account and then inform the state that on the basis of their religious belief they object to paying the salaries of registrars who refuse to issue certain licenses and magistrates who refuse to perform certain marriage ceremonies but that they have put the tax money aside in a separate bank account so they won’t accidentally spend it. (In fact if they put those funds in a Wells Fargo bank they will be helping the bank clerks keep their jobs since they are under a quota system for registering new bank accounts.)

The state franchise board can get court orders to release these funds, even though they would be going against the religious beliefs of the people who deposited these monies. Of course the individuals can each bring suit against the state for the sacrilege the state would then be performing.

It all should make interesting headlines in local and national newspapers. And that doesn’t consider the effect it will have on Fox News and the other TV news programs or the late night comedians.  It would be something interesting for the nation to talk about for a while.

English: 14th Amendment of the United States C...

English: 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, page 2. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten ame...

English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution Česky: Originál Listiny práv, prvních deseti dodatků k Ústavě Spojených států amerických Deutsch: Die Bill of Rights genannten ersten zehn Zusatzartikel zur US-amerikanischen Verfassung, die den Bürgern bestimmte Grundrechte garantieren Español: La Carta de Derechos de los Estados Unidos, el término por el que se conocen las diez primeras enmiendas de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos de América (Photo credit: Wikipedia)