- Two June 2010 decisions show the workings of a right
wing High Court, with five Federalist Society members - Chief Justice John
Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy, and Samuel Alito.
- Once confirmed, Elana Kagan will solidify their control
when the Court reconvenes in October - her record exposing extremist positions,
including outlandish anti-terrorism practices, unconstitutional federal
litigation, and "love (for) the Federalist Society," affirming
her endorsement of an organization supporting rolling back civil liberties;
defiling human rights; ending New Deal social policies; opposing reproductive
choice, government regulations, labor rights, and environmental protections;
subverting justice in defense of privilege; and as Solicitor General, arguing
against First Amendment rights without which all others are at risk - an
ideology the Court endorses, one protecting privilege against the rule
- Rolling Back First Amendment Protections
- In his same day article, New York Times writer, Adam
Liptak, headlined, "Court Affirms Ban on Aiding Groups Tied to Terror
(despite no tie whatever), saying:
- "In a case pitting free speech against the national
security, the Supreme Court....upheld (in a 6 - 3 decision) a federal law
that makes it a crime to provide 'material support' to foreign terrorist
organizations, even if (it entails) training for peacefully resolving conflicts."
- Affirming a bogus terrorist threat, Chief Justice Roberts
- "At bottom, plaintiffs (supporting free speech)
simply disagree with the considered judgment of Congress and the executive
that providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization
- even seemingly benign support - bolsters the terrorist activities of
- US Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113B, 2339A, defines
"Providing material support to terrorists" as:
- (1) "....any property, tangible or intangible, or
service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities,
financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses,
false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities,
weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (and) transportation,
except medicine or religious materials;
- (2) the term 'training' means instruction or teaching
designed to impart a specific skill, as opposed to general knowledge; and
- (3) the term 'expert advice or assistance' means advice
or assistance derived from scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge."
- As Solicitor General, Elena Kagan agued the case in February,
Justice Roberts at the time contradicting himself saying "The government
is wrong that the only thing actually at issue in this litigation is conduct,"
not protected speech, then adding that combatting terrorism takes precedence
over First Amendment rights, Justices Breyer, Ginsberg and Sotomayor disagreeing
in their decision.
- So did Center for Constitutional Rights plaintiff David
C. Cole saying:
- "We are deeply disappointed. The Supreme Court has
ruled that human rights advocates, providing training and assistance in
the nonviolent resolution of disputes, can be prosecuted as terrorists.
(This decision says) that the First Amendment permits Congress to make
human rights advocacy and peacemaking a crime. That is wrong."
- It also criminalizes opponents of US laws in violation
of constitutional protections, the Patriot Act and others post-9/11 most
prominent, ones making America a police state, supported by High Court
complicity. In addition, charity is now a crime, when given to bogusly
designated terrorist organizations or any individuals or groups against
American imperialism, making them enemies of the state, the Dallas-based
Holy Land Foundation Charity (HLF) an example, the largest US Muslim charity
until the Bush administration shut it down.
- On December 4, 2001, the Treasury Department declared
HLF a terrorist group, froze its assets, falsely claimed they were used
to funnel millions of dollars to Hamas, when, in fact, they provided vital
aid to needy, impoverished families in Occupied Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan,
Bosnia, Albania, Checknya, Turkey, and US cities, HLF explaining:
- "We gave:
- -- books, not bombs;
- -- bread, not bullets;
- -- smiles, not scars;
- -- toys, not tanks;
- -- peace, not terror;
- -- liberty, not poverty;
- -- hope, not despair;
- -- love, not hate; (and)
- -- life, not death."
- It got its five principles long prison terms, the daughter
of former CEO Shukri Abu-Baker, Zaira, interviewed on the Progressive Radio
News Hour on June 13, this writer now exchanging emails with her father
at Terre Haute federal prison's Communications Management Unit, segregating
Muslims from the general prison population, treating them more harshly,
no matter that most there are innocent, Shukri one of the most prominent
- Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) Press Release
on the High Court Decision
- On June 21, CCR headlined "Supreme Court Ruling
Criminalizes Speech in Material Support Law Case," saying:
- In Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, the first case
against the Patriot Act, supporting free speech rights over bogus national
security concerns, the Court ruling criminalizes "many groups and
individuals providing peaceful advocacy....including President Carter for
training all parties in fair election practices in Lebanon." He submitted
an amicus brief opposing Holder's position.
- Initiated in 1998, plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality
of laws making it a crime to provide "material support" to designated
terrorist groups, CCR's Senior Attorney Shayana Kadidal explaining that:
- "The Court's decision confirms the extraordinary
scope of the material support statute's criminalization of speech. But
it also notes that the scope of the prohibitions may not be clear in every
application, and that remains the case for the many difficult questions
raised at argument but dodged by today's opinion, including whether publishing
an op-ed or submitting an amicus brief in court arguing that a group does
not belong on the list is a criminal act."
- CCR called the ruling "one of a very few times that
the Supreme Court has upheld a criminal prohibition of speech under strict
scrutiny, and the first time it has permitted the government to make it
a crime to advocate lawful, nonviolent activity."
- Given extremist right wing governance under both parties,
(Eric Holder the new John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales, or Michael Mukasey;
Obama the new Bush) no longer do constitutional protections apply. As a
result, anyone may be prosecuted for supporting human rights, civil liberties,
democratic freedom, writing articles like this one, or airing populist
views on programs like the Progressive Radio News Hour.
- High Court Lifts Ban on GMO Alfalfa in Monsanto v. Geertson
- On June 21, The New York Times published Greenwire writer
Jennifer Koons' article, headlined, "Supreme Court Lifts Ban on Planting
GM Alfalfa," saying:
- "In its first ruling on genetically engineered crops,
the Supreme Court today overturned a lower court's decision prohibiting
Monsanto Co. from selling pesticide-resistant alfalfa seeds until the government
completes an environmental impact study."
- In 2006, environmental groups, farmers and consumers
sued the USDA, forcing it to rescind its 2005 approval, arguing that cross-pollination
could contaminate farmland, and that overusing Monsanto's Roundup herbicide
would harm soil and groundwater, creating "Roundup-resistant 'super
- After the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the
ban, Monsanto appealed to the Supreme Court, winning 7 - 1, Justice Stephen
Breyer abstaining because his brother, US District Court Judge Charles
Breyer, ruled against the USDA in 2007.
- Another case is now affected, "involving Monsanto's
breed of pesticide-resistant sugar beets, US District Court Judge Jeffrey
White allow(ing) plantings of the modified crops to continue this year
but warned that he might block use of Monsanto's seeds in future seasons
while an environmental review takes place."
- Environmental groups, including the Center for Biological
Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Humane Society of the United States,
and National Resources Defense Council filed an amicus brief against the
ruling, arguing that it will limit their ability to rely on National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA) protections "to ensure a meaningful consideration
by federal agencies of the impacts of their actions on the environment,
and particularly wildlife and plants."
- California, Oregon and Massachusetts Attorneys General
also filed briefs for their "states' interests in protecting their
natural resources and their citizens' rights to be informed about the environmental
impacts of federal actions."
- Monsanto supporters included the US Chamber of Commerce,
the American Petroleum Institute, CropLife America (favoring pesticide
proliferation), and the National Association of Home Builders, filing their
own brief, advocating no restraints on the right to pollute and plunder,
even at the expense of human health, the usual position they endorse.
- Alfalfa is America's fourth largest crop, grown on about
23 million acres, according to Monsanto.
- Harmful GMO Seeds and Foods
- In 2003, Jeffrey's Smith's "Seeds of Deception"
exposed the dangers of GM foods and ingredients, independent tests showing
them harmful to human health. For example, rats fed GM potatoes had smaller
livers, hearts, testicles and brains, damaged immune systems, and structural
changes in their white blood cells, making them vulnerable to infection,
disease and early deaths - compared to other rats fed non-GM potatoes.
- In addition, after 10 days of testing (the human equivalent
of 10 years), thymus and spleen damage, enlarged tissues, liver atrophy,
and significant proliferation of stomach and intestines cells (a sign of
future cancer risk) showed up.
- Yet despite the known risks, GM foods and ingredients
saturate our diet, over 80% of processed ones containing them as well as
corn, rice, soybeans and soy products, sauces, ice cream, salad dressings,
vegetable oils, peanut butter, meat, other animal products, eggs, even
infant formula, making everyone consuming them lab rats in an uncontrolled,
unregulated mass human experiment, involving risks too late to reverse
once enough of them are consumed - no authority representing the public
welfare to stop it, corporate interests are all that matter.
- In their ruthless pursuit of profit, Monsanto and other
agribusiness giants freely contaminate US farmlands (and vast areas globally),
making most foods consumed harmful to human health, and organic ones increasingly
compromised, because winds carry GM seeds to most other crop acreage, the
High Court sanctioning much more once GM alfalfa plantings proliferate.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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