Daily Archives: June 28, 2010

SCOTUS: Freedom of Association? Not So Much

Here’s the upshot from attorneys for the Alliance Defense Fund which helped  in the case of the Christian Legal Society.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5–4 Monday to uphold an unusual university policy that forces student groups to allow outsiders who disagree with their beliefs to become leaders and voting members.  The court confined its opinion to the unique policy and did not address whether nondiscrimination policies in general, which are typical on public university campuses, may require this.   The court concluded that public universities may override a religious student group’s right to determine its leadership only if it denies that right to all student groups.

Attorneys with the Christian Legal Society and Alliance Defense Fund represented a student chapter of CLS at California’s Hastings College of the Law in the lawsuit, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.  The suit was filed in 2004 after the law school refused to recognize the chapter because the group requires all of its officers and voting members to agree with its basic Christian beliefs.

So while the Christian group at Hastings School of Law was required to take all comers it now must also allow non believers a voting voice on its board. Oh, and the animal rights crackpots? They must allow their board to be populated by meat eaters. Jewish groups? Muslim holocaust promulgators. 
In his dissent, Justice Alito made this dire warning:

I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that today’sdecision is a serious setback for freedom of expression in this country. Our First Amendment reflects a “profound national commitment to the principle that debate onpublic issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, 270 (1964). Even if the United States is the only Nation that shares this commitment to the same extent, I would not change our law to conform to the international norm. I fear that the Court’s decision marks a turn in that direc-tion. Even those who find CLS’s views objectionableshould be concerned about the way the group has beentreated—by Hastings, the Court of Appeals, and now this Court. I can only hope that this decision will turn out tobe an aberration. 

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Illegal Weeds Matter More Than Illegal Aliens to Portland’s Rainbow City Council

The City of Portland has outlawed illegal weeds (here). No, this is not a joke. An entire battery of week whackers has been hired by the “The City that Works.” They’ll deploy workers to help get rid of these illegal weeds. As we discussed on the show today (Victoria Taft, 11-3pm, KPAM 860):
Bad weeds, you understand, take nutrients and resources away from the native species.
Bad weeds take away from the more productive.
Bad weeds don’t allow the native species to flourish and reproduce because there’s less room.
Bad weeds come from somewhere else and reproduce unabated if the environment is a welcome host. 
So the Rainbow City Council has deemed them illegal.They’ll actually send someone out to your house to tell you how to get rid of them. And you’d better.
But they invite illegal aliens who do the same thing to the natives–read citizens.
So now plants are outlaws but people who break our laws, steal our resources, steal identities, reproduce to have anchor babies are ok in the city’s eyes. They spend hundreds of thousands of  our tax dollars so they can crowd us out. 

*[slogan stolen from Chicago]

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

The Stop Naming Our Buildings Act

In light of the passing of long time West Virginia Democrat Senator, Robert Byrd, who is well known for having many structures, buildings, roads, and other projects named after him, Jim Geraghty of National Review Online tells us a witty tail of Fred Thompson traveling with Trent Lott and noticing so many buildings and such named after the former Mississippi Republican Senator and how it appeared that he missed one, when they drove past a school with a different name.

He also tells of David Castillo, candidate for Washington States 3rd Congressional District saying, “If elected, I will introduce legislation that will forbid any building, road, museum, etc. built with federal dollars from being named for a living member of Congress or family member. I am thinking about calling it the ‘Stop Naming Our Buildings,’ or, the SNOB Act.”

Gotta love a candidate with a sense of humor.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

SCOTUS ON SarBox: Reverses Part of it. Calls for ReWrite on Rest.

 Here’s a backgrounder from the Competitive Enterprise Institute which prevailed, in part, in today’s decision:
The main issue was about the Presidential appointments clause and whether the SEC could set up a commission to oversee industry —keeping it two steps away from Presidential oversight. 

Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the majority (5-4)

We are asked, however, to consider a new situation not yet encountered by the Court. The question is whether these separate layers of protection may be combined. May the President be restricted in his ability to remove a principal officer, who is in turn restricted in his ability to remove an inferior officer, even though that inferior officer determines the policy and enforces the laws of the United States?
We hold that such multilevel protection from removal is contrary to Article II’s vesting of the executive power in the President. The President cannot “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” if he cannot oversee the faithfulness of the officers who execute them.

I was hoping this would bear on the “Czar” issue but it doesn’t appear to do so. Czar, I expect, would fall under the term, “inferior officers,” and so not be subject to the limitations of this decision. I’ll ask CEI when they come on the show today.
Justice Breyer made some good points on the dissent, naming agencies that stand two steps away from the Presidential powers of hiring and firing, but Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the majority, said the framers didn’t intend for Congress to have super authority over the Presidential appointments process. This board named by the SEC to oversee Sarbannes Oxley did just that. 
The net result of the Sarbannes Oxley regulation has been flight of industry from the US, delisting of at least a couple of big companies from our stock exchanges, and a dampening effect on fiscal productivity. 
Here’s what CEI says about this:

The PCAOB’s interpretations of Section 404 governing “internal controls” over auditing costs public companies $35 billion a year, according to the American Electronics Association. University of Rochester economist Ivy Zhang found that the law has cost the American economy $1.4 trillion in direct and indirect costs. 
Almost as important is that Zhang and other researchers have found that Sarbox has had no quantifiable benefits in fighting fraud.

That’s right, $1.4 Trillion has been spent fulfilling the requirements of SarBox which has required accounting for both important items and the idiotic–how many letters in everyone’s password, for instance. And it has forced companies to stay private while gathering oodles of money to eventually go public–making them BORROW money in a tight economy just to make it to an initial public offering (IPO). Here’s CEI again:

This illustrates the devastating effect of the law in holding back present and future economic growth. Budding Home Depots and Microsofts can no longer go public to raise money for growth. They must wait until they are as big a Google to go public to lock in their gains.  

And how much economic activity has been stymied because of the onerous accounting policies and unintended (and intended) consequences of SarBox? CEI has been amassing figures:

IPOs was lower in every year after SOX was enacted in 2002 (2003 to present) than in every year of the decade from 1991 to 2000, including the early ’90s recession years. For instance, in the post-SOX boom year of 2006, there were 162 U.S. IPOs listed. Yet in 1991, a year when the U.S. was mired in recession but did not have SOX, there were 295 U.S. IPOs listed. 

The sheer size of companies going public has also increased, in large part because a company needs to be pretty big to afford the accounting costs that have shot up fourfold as a result of SOX, according to a summary of research in the Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Journal. According to Business Week, the median market cap (as measured by number of shares times share price) for a company undertaking an IPO was $52 million in the mid-‘90s. Today, it has shot up $227 million. Google had a $1 billion market cap when it went public in 2004. And Facebook still hasn’t gone public, despite having an estimated market cap of nearly $10 billion. By contrast, in 1981, Home Depot went public with just four stores. Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus told Investor’s Business Daily that his firm could never have gone public and raised money for growth had SOX been in effect. 

It makes you wonder what will happen if Chris Dodd’s financial regulatory framework goes into effect, doesn’t it? And it makes you wonder how many years it will take to fix the unintended (and intended) consequences it will bring.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

SCOTUS: GUNS Good News & Bad News

Good news: SCOTUS says 2nd Amendment means you can have guns federally without outright bans. Bad news: Four lib members disagreed.
More bad news: Kagan will provide them the 5th vote next time.o
Sorry,  I corrected that assertion on the air but not on the blog and alert 5th Listener Dave Lister called my attention to it.
Still the point is that four justices voted against using the 14th amendment to confer second amendment rights. Sad.
Here 
The decision is HERE.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Dorothy English Redux

Did you see THIS op ed in the Zero? Here’s an  excerpt from a piece by a man named Jim Crawford about the plundering of private property continuing unabated even after the Dorothy English smack down from the Oregon Supreme Court.
Crawford writes that in much the same way Portland stole land from owners to appropriate Forest Park (making it too expensive to continue to own) and how Multnomah County and Metro did the same against Dorothy English, planning poobahs are doing the same thing in NW Portland:

These demands have become so extreme for the North Bethany area that some estimates of the SDCs exceed $1 million per acre, which is about double what the land might have been worth at the peak of the housing market.
The concept planning and zoning process has been even more abusive for the landowners of Bonnie Slope. After refusing to even begin the process for many, Multnomah County and the city of Portland and their hired consultants produced a collection of maps and studies that were inaccurate and misleading. Much of this misinformation has since been corrected after one of the landowners hired his own consultants to rebut it. But the bureaucrats and policy-makers — aided and abetted by activists from groups such as the Friends of Forest Park, Outer Northwest Neighborhood Association and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance — have dominated the concept planning and zoning process.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

SCOTUS: Freedom of Association? Not So Much

Here’s the upshot from attorneys for the Alliance Defense Fund which helped  in the case of the Christian Legal Society.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5–4 Monday to uphold an unusual university policy that forces student groups to allow outsiders who disagree with their beliefs to become leaders and voting members.  The court confined its opinion to the unique policy and did not address whether nondiscrimination policies in general, which are typical on public university campuses, may require this.   The court concluded that public universities may override a religious student group’s right to determine its leadership only if it denies that right to all student groups.

Attorneys with the Christian Legal Society and Alliance Defense Fund represented a student chapter of CLS at California’s Hastings College of the Law in the lawsuit, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.  The suit was filed in 2004 after the law school refused to recognize the chapter because the group requires all of its officers and voting members to agree with its basic Christian beliefs.

So while the Christian group at Hastings School of Law was required to take all comers it now must also allow non believers a voting voice on its board. Oh, and the animal rights crackpots? They must allow their board to be populated by meat eaters. Jewish groups? Muslim holocaust promulgators. 
In his dissent, Justice Alito made this dire warning:

I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that today’sdecision is a serious setback for freedom of expression in this country. Our First Amendment reflects a “profound national commitment to the principle that debate onpublic issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, 270 (1964). Even if the United States is the only Nation that shares this commitment to the same extent, I would not change our law to conform to the international norm. I fear that the Court’s decision marks a turn in that direc-tion. Even those who find CLS’s views objectionableshould be concerned about the way the group has beentreated—by Hastings, the Court of Appeals, and now this Court. I can only hope that this decision will turn out tobe an aberration. 

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

SCOTUS ON SarBox: Reverses Part of it. Calls for ReWrite on Rest.

 Here’s a backgrounder from the Competitive Enterprise Institute which prevailed, in part, in today’s decision:
The main issue was about the Presidential appointments clause and whether the SEC could set up a commission to oversee industry —keeping it two steps away from Presidential oversight. 

Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the majority (5-4)

We are asked, however, to consider a new situation not yet encountered by the Court. The question is whether these separate layers of protection may be combined. May the President be restricted in his ability to remove a principal officer, who is in turn restricted in his ability to remove an inferior officer, even though that inferior officer determines the policy and enforces the laws of the United States?
We hold that such multilevel protection from removal is contrary to Article II’s vesting of the executive power in the President. The President cannot “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” if he cannot oversee the faithfulness of the officers who execute them.

I was hoping this would bear on the “Czar” issue but it doesn’t appear to do so. Czar, I expect, would fall under the term, “inferior officers,” and so not be subject to the limitations of this decision. I’ll ask CEI when they come on the show today.
Justice Breyer made some good points on the dissent, naming agencies that stand two steps away from the Presidential powers of hiring and firing, but Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the majority, said the framers didn’t intend for Congress to have super authority over the Presidential appointments process. This board named by the SEC to oversee Sarbannes Oxley did just that. 
The net result of the Sarbannes Oxley regulation has been flight of industry from the US, delisting of at least a couple of big companies from our stock exchanges, and a dampening effect on fiscal productivity. 
Here’s what CEI says about this:

The PCAOB’s interpretations of Section 404 governing “internal controls” over auditing costs public companies $35 billion a year, according to the American Electronics Association. University of Rochester economist Ivy Zhang found that the law has cost the American economy $1.4 trillion in direct and indirect costs. 
Almost as important is that Zhang and other researchers have found that Sarbox has had no quantifiable benefits in fighting fraud.

That’s right, $1.4 Trillion has been spent fulfilling the requirements of SarBox which has required accounting for both important items and the idiotic–how many letters in everyone’s password, for instance. And it has forced companies to stay private while gathering oodles of money to eventually go public–making them BORROW money in a tight economy just to make it to an initial public offering (IPO). Here’s CEI again:

This illustrates the devastating effect of the law in holding back present and future economic growth. Budding Home Depots and Microsofts can no longer go public to raise money for growth. They must wait until they are as big a Google to go public to lock in their gains.  

And how much economic activity has been stymied because of the onerous accounting policies and unintended (and intended) consequences of SarBox? CEI has been amassing figures:

IPOs was lower in every year after SOX was enacted in 2002 (2003 to present) than in every year of the decade from 1991 to 2000, including the early ’90s recession years. For instance, in the post-SOX boom year of 2006, there were 162 U.S. IPOs listed. Yet in 1991, a year when the U.S. was mired in recession but did not have SOX, there were 295 U.S. IPOs listed. 

The sheer size of companies going public has also increased, in large part because a company needs to be pretty big to afford the accounting costs that have shot up fourfold as a result of SOX, according to a summary of research in the Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Journal. According to Business Week, the median market cap (as measured by number of shares times share price) for a company undertaking an IPO was $52 million in the mid-‘90s. Today, it has shot up $227 million. Google had a $1 billion market cap when it went public in 2004. And Facebook still hasn’t gone public, despite having an estimated market cap of nearly $10 billion. By contrast, in 1981, Home Depot went public with just four stores. Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus told Investor’s Business Daily that his firm could never have gone public and raised money for growth had SOX been in effect. 

It makes you wonder what will happen if Chris Dodd’s financial regulatory framework goes into effect, doesn’t it? And it makes you wonder how many years it will take to fix the unintended (and intended) consequences it will bring.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

SCOTUS: GUNS Good News & Bad News

Good news: SCOTUS says 2nd Amendment means you can have guns federally without outright bans. Bad news: Four lib members disagreed.
More bad news: Kagan will provide them the 5th vote next time.o
Sorry,  I corrected that assertion on the air but not on the blog and alert 5th Listener Dave Lister called my attention to it.
Still the point is that four justices voted against using the 14th amendment to confer second amendment rights. Sad.
Here 
The decision is HERE.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Dorothy English Redux

Did you see THIS op ed in the Zero? Here’s an  excerpt from a piece by a man named Jim Crawford about the plundering of private property continuing unabated even after the Dorothy English smack down from the Oregon Supreme Court.
Crawford writes that in much the same way Portland stole land from owners to appropriate Forest Park (making it too expensive to continue to own) and how Multnomah County and Metro did the same against Dorothy English, planning poobahs are doing the same thing in NW Portland:

These demands have become so extreme for the North Bethany area that some estimates of the SDCs exceed $1 million per acre, which is about double what the land might have been worth at the peak of the housing market.
The concept planning and zoning process has been even more abusive for the landowners of Bonnie Slope. After refusing to even begin the process for many, Multnomah County and the city of Portland and their hired consultants produced a collection of maps and studies that were inaccurate and misleading. Much of this misinformation has since been corrected after one of the landowners hired his own consultants to rebut it. But the bureaucrats and policy-makers — aided and abetted by activists from groups such as the Friends of Forest Park, Outer Northwest Neighborhood Association and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance — have dominated the concept planning and zoning process.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com