(2008-05-27) Dirty Dozen Supreme Rulings

Robert Levy's Dirty Dozen ISBN:1595230505 covers 12 Supreme Court cases that the authors see as most undermining the US Constitution (cf States' Rights).

  • interfere in your private contractual agreements (Home Building & Loan Assn. v. Blaisdell - 1934) Majority: Hughes; Joined by: Brandeis, Cardozo, Roberts, Stone. Dissent: Sutherland, Joined by: Butler, McReynolds, Van Devanter

  • Helvering v. Davis (1937) allowed the government to tax and spend for the "general welfare," thereby opening the floodgates through which the redistributive state was ready to pour - taking money from some, giving it to others, without any meaningful constitutional constraints (New Deal) Majority: Cardozo, Joined by: Sutherland, Hughes, Roberts, Stone, Van Devanter; Dissenting: Butler, Joined by: McReynolds.

  • curtailed gun owners' rights (United States v. Miller - 1939) - Majority:McReynolds; Joined by: Hughes, Butler, Stone, Roberts, Black, Reed, Frankfurter (no dissent).

  • Wickard v. Filburn (1942) let Congress use the Inter State commerce clause to restrict activities that are neither interstate nor commerce, thus extending federal regulatory authority to nearly every productive activity and eviscerating the principle that federal powers are limited to those enumerated in the Constitution (contra States Rights) Majority: Jackson; Joined by: Stone, Roberts, Black, Reed, Frankfurter, Douglas, Murphy, Byrnes (no dissent)

  • enabled government to arrest and imprison you indefinitely, without filing charges (Korematsu v. United States - 1942) Majority: Black; Joined by: Stone, Reed, Douglas, Rutledge, Frankfurter, Dissent by: Roberts, Murphy, Jackson. (Japanese InternMent)

  • permitted government "taking" of private property through unlimited cost-inducing regulation (Penn Central Tranport v. New York - 1978)

  • empowered government to seize your private property, without compensation, when someone uses the property for criminal activity - even if you don't know about it (Bennis v. Michigan - 1996)

  • opened the door to lawmaking by administrative agencies (Whitman v. American Trucking - 2001)

  • curtail your right to criticize or support political candidates (Mc Connell vs. Federal Election Commission - 2003)

  • permitted racial discrimination by state entities for the "right" reasons (Grutter v. Bollinger - 2003)

  • KeLo v. City of New London (2005) declared that the government can seize private property and transfer it to another private owner, providing one more deplorable example of eroding property rights - permitting local planners to run roughshod over isolated and vulnerable members of society

Maybe we should add Smith v. Maryland (1979) when the Supreme Court decided that phone records (Meta Data) didn't deserve any Privacy protection.

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