Category Archives: Legislation

U.S. Supreme Court Case “Coeur Alaska v. S.E. Alaska Conservation Council” – Opinion Announcement – June 22, 2009

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

Justice Kennedy has our opinion this morning in case 07-984, Coeur Alaska, Inc. versus Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and the consolidated case.

Anthony M. Kennedy:

These cases require us to decide whether a plan to dispose of mining waste violates the Clean Water Act.
Continue reading “U.S. Supreme Court Case “Coeur Alaska v. S.E. Alaska Conservation Council” – Opinion Announcement – June 22, 2009” »

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How to Move to Canada

The United Nations ranks Canada as one of the best countries to live in the world. 250,000 people move to Canada every year. If you wish to be one of those people, here are the steps you’ll need to take.

How to move to Canada

Step 1 – Eligibility

Check your eligibility to move to Canada on Canada’s government website.
Some people are not allowed to come to Canada. They are known as “inadmissible” under Canada’s immigration law.
Inadmissibility reasons include:
– Security risk.
– Human or international rights violations.
– Criminal conviction, or committing an act outside of Canada that would be a considered a crime in Canada.
– Ties to organized crime.
– Serious health problems.
– Serious financial problems.
– Misrepresentation on the application or in an interview.
– Not meeting the conditions in Canada’s immigration law.
– Relative that is not allowed into Canada.

Continue reading “How to Move to Canada” »

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2016 Supreme Court Justices Cheat Sheet, Bios and Position on the Issues

Supreme Court Justices. Anthony Kennedy - Reagan. Clarence Thomas - Bush, G. H. W. Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Clinton. Stephen Breyer - Clinton. John G. Roberts- Bush, G. W. Samuel Alito - Bush, G. W. Sonia Sotomayor - Obama. Elena Kagan - Obama.


Anthony McLeod Kennedy, Associate Justice

Born in Sacramento, California, July 23, 1936. Nominated by President Ronald Reagan on November 11, 1987, and took office on February 18, 1988. Kennedy was preceded by Lewis Powell appointed by Richard Nixon. Kennedy is a Roman Catholic, Republican, married (since 1963) to Mary Davis and has 3 children.

Kennedy, who was appointed by a Republican president is expected, in theory, to be one of the conservative justices. However in practice, he has long been the most enigmatic of the swing voters on many of the Court’s 5–4 decisions.

Potions on the issues

Abortion
  • In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) Kennedy voted to uphold Roe v. Wade (1973), which extended the 14th Amendment to a woman’s decision to have an abortion.
  • In the case of Hill v. Colorado (2000) Kennedy, citing the First amendment, disagreed with the Court’s rejection of pro-life activists’ challenge to a Colorado statute limiting their ability to engage in leafleting and counseling outside abortion clinics.
Capital punishment
  • In Atkins v. Virginia (2002) and Roper v. Simmons (2005) Kennedy agreed that the execution of the mentally ill and those under 18 at the time of the crime was unconstitutional.
  • In Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008) Kennedy delivered the majority opinion which ruled unconstitutional the death penalty for a man convicted of rape, based on the prohibition in the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment. Kennedy wrote that “the death penalty should not be expanded to instances where the victim’s life was not taken.”.
Environment
Gay rights
  • In Romer v. Evans (1996) Kennedy delivered the majority ruling to recognize the GLBT as a constitutionally-protected class.
  • In Lawrence v. Texas (2003) Kennedy delivered the majority ruling to disallow all sodomy laws against same-sex activity.
  • In United States v. Windsor (2013) Kennedy delivered the majority ruling to strike down a federal law denying benefits to married same-sex couples.
  • In Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) Kennedy delivered the majority ruling to guarantee same-sex couples the right to marry.
  • In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000) Kennedy joined the majority ruling that the Boy Scouts of America had a First Amendment right to ban homosexuals from being scoutmasters.
Gun control
  • In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) Kennedy joined the majority to overturn the ban on handguns in the District of Columbia, as the ban violates the Second Amendment.
Habeas corpus
  • In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004) Kennedy joined the Plurality, ruling that enemy combatants who are U.S. citizens must have the rights of due process, and the ability to challenge their status before an impartial authority.
  • In Boumediene v. Bush (2008) Kennedy delivered the majority ruling that Guantanamo Bay prisoners have a constitutional right to go to federal court to challenge their continued detention.


Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice

Born in Pin Point, Georgia, June 23, 1948. Nominated by George H. W. Bush on July 1, 1991, narrowly confirmed and took office on October 23, 1991. Thomas was preceded by Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American justice to serve on the Supreme Court, appointed by Lyndon Johnson. Thomas is a Roman Catholic, Republican, on his second marriage to Virginia Lamp and has one child.

Thomas is the second African-American justice to serve on the Supreme Court. Thomas is a quintessential conservative justice.

Potions on the issues

Abortion
  • In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) Thomas join the dissented from the plurality’s decision to uphold Roe v. Wade (1973), and strike down the spousal notification law, contending that Roe was incorrectly decided questioning the fundamental right to an abortion, the “right to privacy,” and the strict scrutiny application in Roe.
  • In the case of Hill v. Colorado (2000) Thomas disagreed with the Court’s rejection of pro-life activists’ challenge to a Colorado statute limiting their ability to engage in leafleting and counseling outside abortion clinics.
Capital punishment
  • In Atkins v. Virginia (2002) and Roper v. Simmons (2005) Thomas disagreed with the Court’s ruling that the execution of the mentally ill and those under 18 at the time of the crime was unconstitutional, stating that the Eighth Amendment provided no measures to determine what is “cruel and unusual”.
  • In Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008) Thomas joined the dissent arguing that child rape is a capital offense and can carry the death penalty.
Environment
Gay rights
  • In Romer v. Evans (1996) Thomas joined the dissent arguing that if it is constitutionally permissible for a state to make homosexual conduct criminal, surely it is constitutionally permissible for a State to enact laws disfavoring homosexual conduct.
  • In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000) Thomas joined the majority ruling that the Boy Scouts of America had a First Amendment right to ban homosexuals from being scoutmasters.
  • In Lawrence v. Texas (2003) Thomas dissented the majority ruling joining the argument that disallowing sodomy laws against same-sex activity dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction between heterosexual and homosexual unions.
  • In United States v. Windsor (2013) Thomas dissented the majority ruling to strike down a federal law denying benefits to married same-sex couples.
  • In Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) Thomas dissented the majority ruling to guarantee same-sex couples the right to marry.
Gun control
  • In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) Thomas joined the majority to overturn the ban on handguns in the District of Columbia, as the ban violates the Second Amendment.
Habeas corpus
  • In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004) Thomas dissented from the Plurality ruling, he was the only justice who sided entirely with the Executive branch. In Thomas’s view, based on the security interests at stake enemy combatants who are U.S. citizens may not have the right of due process.
  • In Boumediene v. Bush (2008) Thomas joined the dissent against the majority ruling that Guantanamo Bay prisoners have a constitutional right to go to federal court to challenge their continued detention.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice

Born in New York City, New York, March 15 1933. Nominated by Bill Clinton on June 14, 1993 and took office August 10, 1993. Ginsburg was preceded by Byron White appointed by John F. Kennedy. Ginsburg is a Jewish, Democrat, widowed since 2010 and has 2 children.

Ginsberg is the second female justice to serve in the Supreme Court. Before becoming a judge, she served as the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. Ginsburg is generally viewed as belonging to the liberal wing of the Court.

Potions on the issues

Abortion
  • In the case of Hill v. Colorado (2000) Ginsburg joined the Court’s rejection of pro-life activists’ challenge to a Colorado statute limiting their ability to engage in leafleting and counseling outside abortion clinics.
Capital punishment
  • In Atkins v. Virginia (2002) and Roper v. Simmons (2005) Ginsburg agreed that the execution of the mentally ill and those under 18 at the time of the crime was unconstitutional.
  • In Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008) Ginsburg joined the majority opinion which ruled unconstitutional the death penalty for a man convicted of rape, based on the prohibition in the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment.
Environment
Gay rights
  • In Romer v. Evans (1996) Ginsburg joined the majority ruling to recognize the GLBT as a constitutionally-protected class.
  • In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000) Ginsburg joined the dissent, objecting to the majority ruling to uphold the Boy Scouts of America’s organizational right to ban homosexuals from being scoutmasters, based on the fact that in “the Boy Scouts’ Law and Oath” there is no term expressing any position on sexual matters.
  • In Lawrence v. Texas (2003) Ginsburg joined the majority ruling to disallow all sodomy laws against same-sex activity.
  • In United States v. Windsor (2013) Ginsburg joined the majority ruling to strike down a federal law denying benefits to married same-sex couples.
  • In Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) Ginsburg joined the majority ruling to guarantee same-sex couples the right to marry.
Gun control
  • In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) Ginsburg dissented from the majority ruling to overturn the ban on handguns in the District of Columbia, as the ban violates the Second Amendment.
Habeas corpus
  • In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004) Ginsburg joined the Plurality, ruling that enemy combatants who are U.S. citizens must have the rights of due process, and the ability to challenge their status before an impartial authority. However, she dissented from the plurality’s ruling that “Authorization for Use of Military Force” established Congressional authorization for the detention of enemy combatants.
  • In Boumediene v. Bush (2008) Ginsburg joined the majority ruling that Guantanamo Bay prisoners have a constitutional right to go to federal court to challenge their continued detention.


Stephen Gerald Breyer, Associate Justice

Born in San Francisco, California, August 15, 1938. Nominated by Bill Clinton May 13, 1994 and took office August 3, 1994. Breyer was preceded by Harry Blackmun who was nominated by Richard Nixon. Breyer is a Jewish, Democrat, married to Joanna Freda Hare (since 1967) and has 3 children.

Breyer is considered one of the best writers in the federal court system, he has authored several books about federal regulation. Breyer occasionally sides with the conservative wing, however more often allies with the Court’s liberal wing.

Abortion
  • In the case of Hill v. Colorado (2000) Breyer joined the Court’s rejection of pro-life activists’ challenge to a Colorado statute limiting their ability to engage in leafleting and counseling outside abortion clinics.
Capital punishment
  • In Atkins v. Virginia (2002) and Roper v. Simmons (2005) Breyer agreed that the execution of the mentally ill and those under 18 at the time of the crime was unconstitutional.
  • In Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008) Breyer joined the majority opinion which ruled unconstitutional the death penalty for a man convicted of rape, based on the prohibition in the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment.
Environment
Gay rights
  • In Romer v. Evans (1996) Breyer joined the majority ruling to recognize the GLBT as a constitutionally-protected class.
  • In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000) Breyer joined the dissent, objecting to the majority ruling to uphold the Boy Scouts of America’s organizational right to ban homosexuals from being scoutmasters, based on the fact that in “the Boy Scouts’ Law and Oath” there is no term expressing any position on sexual matters.
  • In Lawrence v. Texas (2003) Breyer joined the majority ruling to disallow all sodomy laws against same-sex activity.
  • In United States v. Windsor (2013) Breyer joined the majority ruling to strike down a federal law denying benefits to married same-sex couples.
  • In Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) Breyer joined the majority ruling to guarantee same-sex couples the right to marry.
Gun control
  • In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) Breyer dissented from the majority ruling to overturn the ban on handguns in the District of Columbia, as the ban violates the Second Amendment.
Habeas corpus
  • In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004) Breyer joined the Plurality, ruling that enemy combatants who are U.S. citizens must have the rights of due process, and the ability to challenge their status before an impartial authority.
  • In Boumediene v. Bush (2008) Breyer joined the majority ruling that Guantanamo Bay prisoners have a constitutional right to go to federal court to challenge their continued detention.


John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States

Born in Buffalo, New York, January 27, 1955. Nominated by George W. Bush July 19, 2005 and took office September 29, 2005. Roberts was preceded by James Buckley who was appointed by Ronald Reagan. Roberts is Roman Catholic, Republican, married to Jane Sullivan (since 1996) and has 2 children.

Roberts belongs to the conservative wing of the Court, though he did side with the liberal wing when reaffirming the legality of Obamacare.

Capital punishment
  • In Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008) Roberts joined the dissent arguing that child rape is a capital offense and can carry the death penalty.
Environment
  • In Rapanos v. United States (2006) Roberts concurred with the Court’s ruling to prevent federal jurisdiction to regulate isolated wetlands under the Clean Water Act.
  • In Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency (2007) Roberts went against the majority ruling to force the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants, arguing that Massachusetts’ alleged injury was too speculative due to insufficient scientific evidence that greenhouse gases contribute to global warming, and that there is no traceable causal connection between the EPA’s refusal to enforce emission standards and petitioners’ injuries.
  • In Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper Inc. (2009) Roberts joined the majority to uphold the EPA’s decision to allow cost–benefit analysis when determining best technology available to maintain national environmental standards.
  • In Coeur Alaska, Inc. v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (2009) Roberts joined the majority, voting in favor of an Alaskan mining company, to uphold a USACE permit to dump waste into a lake.
Gay rights
  • In United States v. Windsor (2013) Roberts dissented the majority ruling to strike down a federal law denying benefits to married same-sex couples, arguing the “Defense of Marriage Act” was unconstitutional because the federal government was interfering with state control of marriage.
  • In Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) Roberts dissented the majority ruling to guarantee same-sex couples the right to marry, criticizing the Court for expanding fundamental rights without caution or regard for history – namely the historic definition of marriage the “the union of a man and a woman”.
Gun control
  • In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) Roberts joined the majority to overturn the ban on handguns in the District of Columbia, as the ban violates the Second Amendment.
Habeas corpus
  • In Boumediene v. Bush (2008) Roberts dissented from the majority ruling and argued against Guantanamo Bay prisoners having a constitutional right to go to federal court to challenge their continued detention.


Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr., Associate Justice

Born in Trenton, New Jersey, April 1, 1950. Nominated by George W. Bush on November 10, 2005 and took office January 31, 2006. Alito was preceded by Sandra Day O’Connor who was appointed by Ronald Reagan. Alito is a Roman Catholic, Republican, married to Martha Bomgardner and has 2 children.
Alito belongs to the conservative wing of the Court.

Capital punishment
  • In Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008) Alito led the dissent arguing that child rape is a capital offense and can carry the death penalty.
Environment
  • In Rapanos v. United States (2006) Alito joined the plurality ruling to prevent federal jurisdiction to regulate isolated wetlands under the Clean Water Act.
  • In Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency (2007) Alito joined Roberts in the dissent, voting against forcing the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants, arguing that Massachusetts’ alleged injury was too speculative due to insufficient scientific evidence that greenhouse gases contribute to global warming, and that there is no traceable causal connection between the EPA’s refusal to enforce emission standards and petitioners’ injuries.
  • In Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper Inc. (2009) Alito joined the majority to uphold the EPA’s decision to allow cost–benefit analysis when determining best technology available to maintain national environmental standards.
  • In Coeur Alaska, Inc. v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (2009) Alito joined the majority, voting in favor of an Alaskan mining company, to uphold a USACE permit to dump waste into a lake.
Gay rights
  • In United States v. Windsor (2013) Alito dissented the majority ruling to strike down a federal law denying benefits to married same-sex couples, arguing the “Defense of Marriage Act” was unconstitutional because the federal government was interfering with state control of marriage.
  • In Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) Alito dissented the majority ruling to guarantee same-sex couples the right to marry.
Gun control
  • In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) Alito joined the majority to overturn the ban on handguns in the District of Columbia, as the ban violates the Second Amendment.
Habeas corpus
  • In Boumediene v. Bush (2008) Alito joined the dissent against the majority ruling that Guantanamo Bay prisoners have a constitutional right to go to federal court to challenge their continued detention.


Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice

Born in New York City, New York, June 25, 1954. Nomintaed in May 2009 by Barack Obama and took office on August 8, 2009. Sotomayor was preceded by David Souter who was nominated by George H. W. Bush. Sotomayor is a Roman catholic, Democrat, married to Kevin Noonan (since 1976) and has no children.

Sotomayor’s desire to become a judge was inspired by the TV show Perry Mason. She is the third woman chosen to serve in the Supreme Court and the first Latina Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history.

Gay rights
  • In United States v. Windsor (2013) Sotomayor joined the majority ruling to strike down a federal law denying benefits to married same-sex couples.
  • In Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) Sotomayor joined the majority ruling to guarantee same-sex couples the right to marry.


Elena Kagan, Associate Justice

Born in New York City, New York, April 28 ,1960. Nominated by Barack Obama May 10, 2010 and took office August 7, 2010. Kagan was preceded by John Paul Stevens who was nominated by Gerald Ford. Kagan is a Jewish, Democrat, unmarried and has no children.
Kagen is the forth woman chosen to serve in the Supreme Court.

Gay rights
  • In United States v. Windsor (2013) Kagan joined the majority ruling to strike down a federal law denying benefits to married same-sex couples.
  • In Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) Kagan joined the majority ruling to guarantee same-sex couples the right to marry.


Anthony Kennedy John G. Roberts Clarence Thomas Samuel Alito Ruth Bader Ginsburg Sonia Sotomayor Stephen Breyer Elena Kagan

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