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worst court decisions in our history

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Duane, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Duane formerly DKSuddeth

    I know that there are decisions from the courts that are totally hated by some group or another. Some base those decisions on 'judicial activism' or 'strict constructionism', sometimes even original intent.

    what is/are your most hated court decisions and what is the reason for them? It does not have to be a USSC decision either.

    I have 3 of them.

    1) gonzales v. raich, which gave the federal government power to prohibit anything and everything over an individuals life/choices that they make. Scalias concurring opinion even made it worse by invoking the necessary and proper clause. This goes way beyond activism and puts it squarely in tyrannical territory. this totally obliterated the limited government view of the original constitution and allows the government to do just about whatever it wants under the guise of commerce. this is a result of living constitution theory.

    2) Kelo v New London, which allowed government entities to steal private property and give it to another private entity under the newly defined public use term, which became public benefit. Increasing tax revenues is not public use and eliminates nearly all protections afforded by the 5th Amendment. this is also a result of living constitution theory.

    3) any and every case that removes the jurors right to judge the application of laws in this country, otherwise known as jury nullification. This is we the peoples system of justice, not the governments. It takes away the very last check to government power and leaves us totally unprotected from the whims of an oppressive government. this is a result of living constitution theory.
  2. Remixer

    Remixer Middle Eastern Doofus

    Frankfurt, Germany
    This is so a thread for KirStang.

    I prefer Civil over Common law systems anyway.

    The fuck is it with 12 civilians deciding on the strength of the evidence/arguments, when you have perfectly well-trained judges available to do that? *rhethoric idiocy*
  3. Did you copy/paste these? Or are you a lawyer?
  4. Duane formerly DKSuddeth

    neither. law does interest me greatly though.
  5. Joniemack

    Joniemack Beta brainwaves in session

    Reading, UK
    There's been many court decisions I've dropped my jaw over in my long life but the decision that has despaired me the most is the "Citizen's United" case.

    Unparalleled activism on the part of the Supreme Court's right wing contingent, in support of corporations intent on influencing election outcomes (at the very minimum). It's effectiveness toward this end has already been tested in the past election.

    Though the cases you pointed out Wayne are disappointing as well.
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  6. Any case that results in an guilty person going free or an innocent person being imprisoned.
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  7. Frosstbyte

    Frosstbyte Winter is coming

    The North
    On the contrary, sometimes juries just get shit wrong. Jurors, by and large, are not lawyers. They are not trained in the ways of the law. Sometimes what is LEGAL is not easily digested as FAIR. When jurors decide to be FAIR instead of LEGAL, it undermines the rule of law in this country. Jury nullification may have been fine when we were colonies or small groups of people and what the "town thought" was important. It's extremely dangerous in such a heterogeneous and large society as we have now. If laws are wrong, there are mechanisms (both popular and judicial) to change those laws. Having a jury capriciously decide to ignore the law is not one of those ways. And, given the lack of oversight and training given to juries, it's not one of the ones you should like.
  8. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Foggy Bottom
    There are many USSC decisions with which I disagree.

    But what I hate is when folks talk about original intent as if the framers of the Constitution were of one mind and and one thought and did not intend for the federal judiciary to interpret the Constitution.

    Or when those same folks want to remedy what they consider subverting the so-called original intent by proposing to impeach judges when they dont like the decisions or when they propose to remove the federal judiciary from its Constitutional role of protecting basic individual rights.

    See: Ron Paul's "We the People Act"
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  9. Arc101

    Arc101 New Member

    For me it is any judgement made following religious text, not logic. For example sharia law, when a woman is raped and is punished for being raped.
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  10. Duane formerly DKSuddeth

    sigh, this is why our justice system is so screwed up right now. you've swallowed the bullshit lie that the law is too complicated for us idiots to understand and now it requires professionals in order to work. bullshit.

    if laws are wrong, they are wrong. why should people who have committed no real crime, go to prison?
  11. Willravel

    Willravel Getting Tilted

    Dartmouth v. Woodward. It was a just ruling that went on to become the foundation for one of the least just precedents in legal history. Before the American Revolution, Dartmouth College was provided with land and a governance structure by King George III. Almost 50 years later, after the American revolution, the New Hampshire legislature tried to essentially nationalize the college, making it a public college. Dartmouth trustees believed this was unconstitutional and the case made it before the Supreme Court. This was the very first time in American history the Supreme Court reached a decision regarding the application of the Contract Clause on corporations, and when everything was said and done, a sort of proto-corporate personhood was born. It was established that corporations have the same rights in a contract as natural persons.

    Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad.In 1978, the California state legislature created a new state constitution that prohibited railroad corporations from deducting their debts from their taxes, as this was something only individuals could do. The railroad corporations refused, and several California counties took them to court, and, as you might have guessed, this went before the Supreme Court. Despite the fact the ultimate decision was separate from the constitutional issue, a headnote was written that stated the Fourteenth Amendment applies to corporations. It was this headnote that has basically brought us up to what we now know as corporate personhood.

    This of course leads us to corporate political spending, in Citizens United v. FEC. Reversing a number of lower court decisions, the conservative Roberts Court decided that because money equals speech, corporations and unions could essentially spend as much as they'd like on elections so long as it wasn't in dealing directly with the campaigns. As bad as campaign finance was before, this made it much, much worse. We're moving in the opposite direction of removing millions (now, billions) of dollars from our campaigns, and it's become much easier for the ultra-rich and powerful corporations to influence politics.
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  12. Just a small one last week. The Queen was visiting Gunwharf in Portsmouth. Whilst she was there, two unmarked police cars were parked illegaly, and with officers in them, were sneakily wheel clamped by this chap who must be like a ninja clamper. I did ask the local police at one of those goodwill Q & A efforts, 'How would one clamp two police cars without being noticed?' His answer, with a smile, 'wait for them to go to sleep'. Wheel clamper said they were not marked cars, he asked for proof they were on duty and to call his office for instruction - but they were rather heavy handed and it hit the papers and the wheel clamper has just been fined for obstruction and such.
    There are always police cars parked at the local supermarkets whilst they are on duty - one assumes as they are in company car - officers pop in to use the cash point or buy food. Funnily, within about four brisk minutes walk of the police station are shops selling food stuffs - but they prefer the much longer drive. Aunty saw one parked on double yellow lines on a corner with traffic lights and using the cash point. Aunty, being a bit of a bugger, mentioned 'I hope you are on police duty, because I am paying for this'. They often park in the disabled bays, as it is so much harder for them to make it to the door than say someone in a wheelchair or using sticks. I guess this means that Hampshire Constabulary is opening up totaly to employing people regardless of any disability.... or .......
    Like many, I felt for the wheel clamper - something that does not happen often in this world. We saw him as the definate underdog being bullied by four lazy gits with badges. He was handed rather large fines, and I should imagine getting security clearance now might be a problem.
  13. OJ?
  14. No thanks. I have coffee.

    But seriously... His trial(s) is in a category all it's own.
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  15. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    I'm not a legal expert, but I tend to think any decision which is in congruence with the idea that organizations deserve to be treated as individuals probably falls on the wrong side of any "this will work out for the best" criterion.

    With respect to the interpretation of the constitution, I don't think that it is possible to interpret anything objectively. I don't think we ought to give too much weight to the opinions of people who've been dead for centuries. I think that the world is a complicated place, and that simplistic solutions are often inadequate. I think that history is malleable and that it is a mistake to put too much weight on selective interpretations of historical fact when it comes to deciding what is right now. I don't need to know the opinions of any of the founding fathers to correctly surmise that treating corporations- entities which aren't bound by human mortality and have as their sole purpose the pursuit of wealth- as people is a bad idea. I don't need to know the opinions of the founding fathers to be aware of the fact that any privilege granted to law enforcement agencies is one that will be abused, and probably systematically abused with the implicit blessing of the people in charge of said law enforcement agencies. Anyone who needs to consult the founding fathers on matters like these is more than likely going to see whatever they want to see, and in doing so, mistakenly pick up the belief that their preconceived notions have the ringing endorsement of this country's framers.
  16. Frosstbyte

    Frosstbyte Winter is coming

    The North
    I'm a lawyer. I've personally watched jurors fuck up the law because they don't think the law is fair. I have not swallowed anything. It is a daily reality of my profession, life and livelihood. I also explained that I don't disagree that some laws need to be changed because they are unjust. But, like most things in our world, the law has become far more complicated than it used to be. At one point most people could saddle a horse with ease. Similarly, most people could understand the law. Now, most people can't fix a broken engine. Similarly, a lot of (particularly civil) law is far too complex for the average person to handle. That's not a knock on most people, it's just a reality. Again, I don't necessarily agree that law SHOULD be complex, simply stating that it IS too complex.
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  17. MSD

    MSD Very Tilted

    Most people say that if they could o back in time, they would kill Hitler. I wouldn't risk fucking with the timeline like that, I would go back and meet Ronald Reagan long before he knew he would become a politician. I would approach him on the quad in college, scream at the top of me lungs "THIS IS BECAUSE OF ANTONIN SCALIA," and punch him in the balls as hard as I could, then disappear back into the future. Make him wonder for decades what the fuck that was all about.

    The two you cited in the OP plus the Citizens United decision that Joniemack mentioned pretty much cover it. Those are the worst.
    Knowing that something is wrong does not require formal training. The mechanisms in place to change laws are slow-moving and unreliable. I will proudly serve on any jury for which I am selected and will proudly vote to acquit any person who is tried under what I feel is an unjust law.
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  18. Indigo Kid

    Indigo Kid Getting Tilted

    O.J. Simpson getting off.

    Money talked and a murdered walked - IMHO. I'm surprised more tfpers haven't even mentioned this court room actrocity.
  19. Rekna New Member

    citizens united
  20. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member

    I agree with everyone who has said Citizens United.

    I would also add Plessy v. Ferguson to the list of unfortunates.