Supreme Court declines to hear “Top Two” appeal from California minor parties

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is turning away a challenge from minor political parties in California that claim they are essentially excluded from general election ballots because of the state’s top-two primary system.

The justices on Tuesday rejected an appeal from the Green and Libertarian parties, among others.

h/t Ballot Access News. 

50 thoughts on “Supreme Court declines to hear “Top Two” appeal from California minor parties

  1. Richard Winger

    The US Supreme Court hasn’t taken any minor party or independent candidate ballot access case since 1991. There have been about 60 serious attempts since then. But when a state loses a ballot access case, and asks for US Supreme Court review, about half the time the Court grants the state’s cert petition, and every time it does that, it then reverses the lower court. I don’t know why the members of the US Supreme Court have so little concern for minor parties, independent candidates, and the voters who want to vote for them.

  2. NewFederalist

    ” I don’t know why the members of the US Supreme Court have so little concern for minor parties, independent candidates, and the voters who want to vote for them.” – Richard Winger

    I think you have a pretty good idea, Richard. It can only serve to upset the system and they are as gutless as Congress. Only the emperor-president knows where to take the country and as long as the other branches cower it will only get worse. BTW, the last non-emperor-president IMHO was Coolidge.

  3. Michael H. Wilson

    I think we should ignore the top two and work on abolishing the primary system to save tax dollars. Just have the general election and work on using ranked choice or something similar in the general. Okay. Now I’ll go piss up a rope.

  4. jim

    Michael H. Wilson:
    Well, maybe we ought to do something similar. Say to the states, “We, the Libertarians, have decided to handle candidate selection by ourselves, and declare our candidate to run in the general election”.
    There is an argument for this: The states may argue that they are putting on an primary free for all comers. However, maybe they allow ALL voters to vote for any candidate. Meaning, if there were TWO labelled “Libertarian” candidates, perhaps the Republicans or the Democrats, perhaps both, could vote for one libertarian, instead of another. In other words, one libertarian might win NOT because he was the choice of a majority of libertarians, but instead because R’s and D’s happened to vote for him too.
    Clearly this isn’t proper.
    In addition, for example, in some states ex-felons aren’t allowed to vote. We, the Libertarians, could take the position that we want ALL citizens to be able to decide which particular libertarian to run for us. We can’t have that, if the only “primary” offered to us is one where ex-felons are prohibited from voting. Therefore, we insist on choosing NOT to use the “primary” system the state provides, and instead we select our own candidate…and and then angrily ask, “why are we denied the opportunity to run in the general election?”

    I think this is an argument that could be brought at the state level.

  5. paulie

    I’d be up for getting rid of primaries (or at least making them privately run by the parties with no government intervention), but we still need to address the real and present danger of top two.

  6. jim

    Paulie: Yes, but the problem is to establish that SOMETHING WRONG is being done. If Libertarians (or other third-party) is being forced to use a primary where cross-voting is being done, or a primary where ex-felons (or for that matter, felons in prison) are being disenfranchised, this interferes with our right to select OUR OWN candidate. If they say, “you HAVE TO” use our defective primary in order to get into the eventual general election, our rights are arguably being violated.
    Is this an argument brought up by such cases?

  7. paulie

    It’s a great matter to argue about, but top two only is still a whole separate problem over and above the general problem with primaries.

  8. jim

    Paulie: I guess you don’t see that my goal is to intermix the two issues. The SC, or at least state courts, need to be convinced that to force candidates to go through the two-stage primary/top-two process is a violation of people’s rights of association. I just explained how that might be done. You didn’t bother to UNDERSTAND that.

  9. jim

    Paulie:
    Well, I will give you a specific example: Suppose there are 4 candidates who would go through one or the other system. One D, one R, and 2 libertarians, L1 and L2. Suppose further that if L1 was run against D and R, he would win 35 to 33 to 32. Suppose that if L2 was run against those same D’s and R’s, he would lose 30 to 34 to 36.
    But further suppose that if those two libertarians were included in the primary, the results would be:
    D: 30, R: 25, L1: 23, L2: 22.
    You can easily see that if the ‘top two’ primary was done, both Libertarians would lose, in large part because they split the Libertarian vote. But if they were running in a conventional primary, Libertarian L1 would eventually win the libertarian position, and the final vote would have him win the overall general election.

    It gets worse. If the D’s and R’s know that L1 is the better candidate against them, they can decide to vote in favor of L2 in the primary, helping to assure that he will win, at least win the primary. This occurs in a so-called “open primary”, one in which anyone can choose to vote for any candidate. The Libertarian party isn’t “free to associate” if D’s and R’s can ‘assist’ in the selection of their candidates.

    I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking, “Hey, Libertarians, just don’t run so many candidates!!!”. But the error you would be making is assuming that libertarians can avoid it. What’s to prevent a Richard-Burke-like character (from LPO, for those who don’t yet know of him), but one who is much better at concealing his Republican (or Democrat) roots. He runs, deliberately intending to split the vote. He can be readily trained to speak the Libertarian line. Who can PROVE he isn’t a good libertarian? If anybody who gets enough signatures to get into the primary can do so, this tactic would work quite effectively.

  10. paulie

    Nice conversation you are having with yourself (for the record, anyone can find in my many past comments on IPR and the LNC list when I was an alternate among many other places, I am for the LP running lots of candidates).

    What you are missing is that I am not disagreeing with you, just saying that top two only is a whole separate problem that is more urgent and serious.

    Suppose you know you have a termite problem. That is a serious problem, but it’s nor immediate. If you wait a week chances are you can still save the house, and if you can’t, chances are you couldn’t have a week earlier. Now suppose in the midst of this the house catches on fire.

    I’m saying that the fire is something that needs to be addressed right now. You are saying wait, what about the termites. And trying to make it out like I am saying the termites are not a problem. But that’s not the case. I acknowledge the termites are a problem. But the house fire is a more urgent problem.

  11. Richard Winger

    In California, the polls are suggesting that in November 2016 there will be two particular Democrats on the ballot for US Senate, both Democrats who mostly agree with each (Attorney General Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez). If that happens, Republicans won’t be permitted to vote for anyone except one of those two Democrats. Maybe that will wake people up to the fact that the system is destructive of voter choice. So far, in California and Washington, all the statewide races under top-two have been one Democrat and one Republican, but maybe 2016 will be different.

  12. jim

    Richard Winger: As you can see, if a state is heavily biased such as California, it virtually behooves them to run TWO candidates in races, in the top-two primary: If things work out, this will automatically shut out any Republicans.

  13. jim

    Paulie, you said: “I am for the LP running lots of candidates”
    Well, I am too…but ideally, NOT in the same race, or at least, not in the final ballot. (Thus splitting the vote.)

    Unfortunately, I think you are demonstrating your flippant, rude, and insulting attitude when you say, “Nice conversation you are having with yourself.” Is that a substitute for actually DEBATING what I said? Too many times I see precisely this avoid-the-debate tactic here, and elsewhere.

  14. Ted Brown

    We can’t depend on the courts. We have to sponsor an initiative to repeal Top Two in California.

  15. paulie

    Is that a substitute for actually DEBATING what I said?

    You keep missing that I haven’t disagreed with you. Unlike you, I have a hard time debating myself.

    We can’t depend on the courts. We have to sponsor an initiative to repeal Top Two in California.

    Excellent idea, but very expensive.

  16. jim

    Ted Brown: You said, “We can’t depend on the courts. We have to sponsor an initiative to repeal Top Two in California.”

    Certainly. But can we depend on the VOTERS? Even without the Top Two system, our “first past the post” system is fatally flawed because it tends to lock out third parties. Putting the Top Two system in place greatly strengthens the lock the D’s and R’s have over the system.

    If you were a loyal D or an R, and you knew about all this, you might be powerfully motivated to have or keep the Top Two system in place. I mean, you would view a third party as a potential vote-sink, particularly if the third party seemed to be ‘closer’ to your party’s system than the other.

    I think America needs a system that gives EVERY voter proportional representation.

  17. Andy

    “Ted Brown

    October 14, 2015 at 12:01 am

    We can’t depend on the courts. We have to sponsor an initiative to repeal Top Two in California.”

    Ted, I put out the suggestion months ago that Libertarians in California should launch a ballot initiative to repeal Top Two Primary. This is the perfect time to do it because the signature requirement has gone down to the lowest that it has been in 20 plus years due to low voter turn out in the 2014 election. If voter turn out is significantly higher in 2016, which it probably will be, the signature requirement to place initiatives on the ballot in California will go back up.

    So right now is the right time to strike while the iron is hot, yet it appears that once again, Libertarians do not have their act together.

    I’d like to see Libertarians leading the charge to repeal Top Two Primary in California, but really, Green Party supporters, and anyone else who supports minor party or independent candidates should also be a part of a coalition to repeal Top Two Primary.

  18. Jed Ziggler

    Agreed with Andy and Ted. Really this should be a nonpartisan and all-inclusive grassroots effort. Frame it correctly, crowdfund, build a statewide grassroots effort. Of course, this all should have started months ago.

  19. Andy

    “Jed Ziggler

    October 14, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Agreed with Andy and Ted. Really this should be a nonpartisan and all-inclusive grassroots effort. Frame it correctly, crowdfund, build a statewide grassroots effort. Of course, this all should have started months ago.”

    It takes time to file an initiative, fund raise, and build a campaign. The deadline to place initiatives on the ballot the November 2016 election in California for the 2016 election is I believe sometime in May or June of next year. I’m not sure if this initiative would have to be a statute or a constitutional amendment. If the initiative could be in the form of a statute, it would need 365,880 valid petition signatures. If the initiative had to be a constitutional amendment, it would need 585,407 valid petition signatures.

    Like I said above, if this does not happen for the 2016 election, the signature requirement will likely go up for the next election if voter turn out is higher in 2016 than it was in 2014.

    So the time is now. Strike while the iron is hot.

  20. Andy

    “Matt Cholko

    October 14, 2015 at 1:38 am

    Does anyone know what something like that would cost?”

    The initiative proponents would probably have to pay at least $3 per signature (this would be doing it pretty cheap), plus they’d have to collect some extra signatures for padding. Let’s say they turn in 600,000 signatures if it can be done as a statute, and if it has to be a constitutional amendment, let’s say they turn in 950,000 signatures.

    So, for a statute, I’d say $1.8 million, and for a constitutional amendment, I’d say $2.85 million.

    There are also additional expenses such as printing costs and shipping costs, and other miscellaneous expenses. There’d also have to be money for a vote yes campaign.

    If you think that the above estimates are a lot of money, keep in mind that it will cost more money in the future because the signature requirement will increase if voter turn out increases, which it almost certainly will.

  21. Andy

    Keep in mind that right now there is a Top Two Primary petition circulating in South Dakota, and keep in mind that the LNC knowingly hired non-libertarian mercenary petition circulators who are working the Top Two Primary petition to work on the Libertarian Party ballot access petition (and I have inside sources through my extensive contacts in the world of ballot access that have confirmed this), so they are literally getting people to sign one petition to put Libertarian Party candidates on the ballot, while at the same time getting them to sign another petition that would take Libertarian Party candidates off of the ballot for general elections.

  22. Richard Winger

    The initiative in South Dakota is not a top-two primary. It is an initiative for non-partisan elections for all office that is now partisan (except president).

    As to California, the initiative would need to be a constitutional amendment. We would need to decide what to propose in the initiative. I favor returning to the blanket primary that California used in 1998 and 2000, in which primary voters can vote for any candidate for any office they wish, and then the top vote-getter from each party advances to the general election. That was thrown out by the US Supreme Court in 2000, but it would be constitutional if it provided that the blanket primary is voluntary and parties that don’t like it could instead nominate by convention at their own expense.

    Alaska has a blanket primary for all parties except Republican. Republicans don’t like the blanket primary so they have their own semi-closed primary.

    I favor a blanket primary because our opponents would not be able to scream that our proposal limits voter choice in the primary. They would be hard-pressed to come up with an argument against our proposal. Our proposal would retain all the choice voters now have in the primary, and add significant to choice in November.

    The number of signatures is relatively low right now, but that same number will also be in effect for 2018. We might get much more support for this idea after the June 2016 primary, if indeed it does result in two Democrats only qualifying for November. Thanks to Ted Brown for starting this conversation.

  23. paulie

    The initiative in South Dakota is not a top-two primary. It is an initiative for non-partisan elections for all office that is now partisan (except president).

    It would have a primary that everyone would go into without a party label and then the top two in that primary would be on the general election ballot. I think that has the essential features of keeping LP candidates off the ballot, and is actually even worse in that they don’t even get a party label in the primary or in the few cases where they run against an otherwise unchallenged opponent and end up in the top two.

  24. paulie

    I agree with Richard about what the initiative should say.

    As for the cost, the signature gathering phase – while expensive in its own right – is just a small part of the cost of a successful initiative. The advertising campaigns to pass initiatives in California typically run in the tens of millions.

  25. Andy

    “Richard Winger

    October 14, 2015 at 9:35 am

    The initiative in South Dakota is not a top-two primary. It is an initiative for non-partisan elections for all office that is now partisan (except president).”

    The initiative in South Dakota is THE SAME THINGS as Top Two Primary, they are just using the gimmick of taking away party labels. The fact remains that ONLY THE TOP TWO VOTER GETTERS in the primary will be the ONLY two candidates on the ballot in the general election.

    The Democrat and Republican party machines will have the big money to make sure that their preferred candidate is the one whose name gets out to the public, especially if they are incumbents, and any minor party or true independent candidate will be eliminated in the primary, and therefore NOT on the ballot in the general election.

    This is the same system used to elect people to the unicameral legislature in Nebraska, and there are a grand total of ZERO state legislators in Nebraska who are affiliated with a minor party or who are true independents. The Libertarian Party in Nebraska has never elected anyone to the state legislature, and I’m not sure when the last time any minor party or true independent candidate was elected to the state legislature in Nebraska.

    If this initiative passes in South Dakota, Libertarians will still have to gather petition signatures to get on the ballot. The party would still have to collect signatures to place the presidential candidate on the ballot, and if any Libertarians in South Dakota wanted to run for a state or local office, they’d have to petition their way into the non-partisan Top Two election, where they will stand little chance of making it through the primary, so they won’t be on the ballot in November. Remember, most of the public does not start to pay attention to the elections until AFTER the primary is over, so most of the public will never hear from the Libertarian candidates, because they will almost always be eliminated in the primary, and the higher level the office, the less likely that the Libertarian candidate will make it to the general election ballot. Also, since party labels will be eliminated for all offices other than President, most of the public will have no idea which candidates are Libertarians.

    The Libertarian Party has not had party status in Oklahoma since the year 2000, but the Libertarian Party has had candidates on the ballot as independents for offices other than President (note that it is pretty easy to get on the ballot in Oklahoma as an independent for all offices other than President, which is very difficult to get on the ballot for as an independent in Oklahoma). Oklahoma does not have a Top Two system, so there have been Libertarian Party candidates on the ballot in Oklahoma as independents (as in with no party label next to their names) over the last 15 years, but since they have not had the Libertarian Party label next to their names, hardly anyone knows that they were Libertarian Party candidates. I am also not aware of any of these Libertarians who have run as independents in Oklahoma being elected to anything.

    If this non-partisan Top Two initiative passes in South Dakota, it will be a bad thing for the Libertarian Party.

    Remember that the LNC is financially rewarding the petition non-libertarian mercenary petition circulators in South Dakota who are gathering signatures for this non-partisan Top Two Primary by paying them to gather signatures for the Libertarian Party at the same time.

  26. Andy

    Richard Winger said: “As to California, the initiative would need to be a constitutional amendment.”

    Then the $2.85 million I cited above for 950,000 signatures to meet a signature requirement of 585,407 valid signatures is probably in the ballpark of what it would cost. If Libertarians, Greens, and American Independent Party supporters in California could gather a significant number of volunteer signatures, they could lower the cost of this a bit, but I wonder how many volunteer signatures they could actually get.

    California is one of the easiest states to be a volunteer signature gatherer in because it is one of the easiest states in which to get access to venues that carry public foot traffic. You can literally get signatures in front of any grocery store in the state, and plenty of other locations.

    This would actually be an excellent opportunity for Libertarians in California to get up off of their butts and engage in some public outreach and party building activities while gathering signatures on an initiative to repeal the Top Two Primary.

    As for what to replace the Top Two Primary with, I’d favor that they return to the way it was before Top Two passed in California, which was that each ballot qualified political party had its own primary, and that voters received a ballot for which party’s banner they were registered under on primary election day, and that registered independents, known as Decline To State A Political Party, could chose which party’s primary ballot they wanted to vote in for the primary election. There was really nothing wrong with the pre-Top Two system in California (unless one wants to make the argument that all parties should nominate by convention instead of by primary, but this is another issue).

    “The number of signatures is relatively low right now, but that same number will also be in effect for 2018. We might get much more support for this idea after the June 2016 primary, if indeed it does result in two Democrats only qualifying for November.”

    Oh yeah, this is right, because they base the initiative signature requirement on how many people voted in the Governor’s race, and the next race for Governor in California is in 2018.

    There has been a new development in California that would likely help us get an initiative to repeal the Top Two Primary on the ballot in 2018, but will likely make it more difficult for us to get such an initiative on the ballot for 2020. That development is that a law was recently passed in California that will automatically register all known California residents to vote (who are eligible to register to vote). I think the way they are going to do it is that they are going to add everyone who is eligible to vote and who has a California driver’s license or a California ID card to the voter rolls. They are supposed to send out mailers to all of these people informing them that they have been added to the voter rolls, and if a person does not want to be on the voter rolls, they will have to fill out something on the mailer to request that they be removed from the voter rolls. I would bet that very few people will bother to fill the thing out and mail it back saying that they want to be removed from the voter rolls, so this is likely to add millions of Californians to the California voter rolls. I read an estimate of 6.6 million people would be added to the voter rolls in California, but I think that it could end up being more than that.

    Having everyone who is eligible to vote in California who has a California driver’s license or state ID card added to the California voter rolls will greatly increase the number of people who can sign petitions. Right now in California petition circulators can have people who are not registered to vote fill out a voter registration form and then they can sign petitions to place issues or candidates on the ballot the same day, and the name will count as valid so long as the voter registration card gets turned in before, or at the same time as, the petition (so long as the registration card is filled out properly), however, some people do not feel like filling out the form, so those who are not registered and who do not want to take the time to fill out the form cannot have their names counted on petitions. This will be much less of a problem after this automatic voter registration law goes into effect.

    I think that the automatic voter registration law goes into effect next June, so if this is correct, it will be too late to effect most of the petition drives in California for the 2016 election, but it will have a big effect on the 2018 election.

    I expect that the automatic voter registration law will increase voter turn out in California, so voter turn out will likely be quite a bit higher in 2018 than it was in 2014, which will mean that the petition signature requirements for the 2020 ballot will be quite a bit higher than they are for the 2016 and 2018 ballots.

    If it is not possible to “get it together” in time to place an initiative on the ballot for the 2016 election to repeal Top Two Primary, then there needs to be a major effort to get this on the ballot for the 2018 election.

    I have heard that the Top Two Primary in California may lead to two Democrats being on the ballot for US Senate in 2016. If this happens, hopefully it will piss enough people off in California to get an initiative on the ballot to repeal Top Two in 2018, and hopefully it will pass in 2018.

  27. Richard Winger

    The proponents of top-two in California and Washington like to call their system a “nonpartisan” system, which is just propaganda because party labels are on the ballot and the legislature and congress are organized on partisan lines. When we call the South Dakota initiative a “top-two” system, we are just feeding into that propaganda. Systems with party labels are NOT nonpartisan, and nonpartisan elections correspondingly should not be called top-two.

  28. Andy

    Richard Winger said: “Systems with party labels are NOT nonpartisan, and nonpartisan elections correspondingly should not be called top-two.”

    The article I posted a link to above refers to it as a Non-Partisan Top Two Primary.

    This is still a Top Two because it only allows for the top two voter getters to be on the November election ballot.

    The bottom line here is that this initiative, if it passes, will lead to less choice on the November election ballot, and I doubt that any Libertarians, or any other minor party or true independent candidates, will be likely to make it on to general election ballots in South Dakota very often, if at all, if this initiative passes.

  29. paulie

    The proponents of top-two in California and Washington like to call their system a “nonpartisan” system, which is just propaganda because party labels are on the ballot and the legislature and congress are organized on partisan lines.

    Yes, but that doesn’t make an actually nonpartisan top two system not a top two system just because it’s nonpartisan.

    That would be like if someone went out and claimed root beer had alcohol because it has beer in the name, and your response was to chide us for saying actual beer has alcohol, even though it does.

    The essential element of a top two system is that there is a primary in which all candidates (with or without labels and regardless to what their labels if any are are) compete and two and only two candidates in each race (the “top two”) go on to the general election, even if one wins it outright in the primary. This essential element is still present in the South Dakota scheme. Whether there are party labels or not is a secondary issue.

  30. Richard Winger

    The United States has had non-partisan elections for the vast majority of public offices for over a century. Probably 90% of all elections in the U.S. are non-partisan. No one ever called those elections “top-two.” That term was invented by the Washington state press in 2004 when the Grange put their initiative on the ballot. The press couldn’t call it an “open primary” because Washington already had an open primary. So the press invented a new term, “top-two”, which most people felt was fair to both sides. The Grange initiative provided for party labels on ballots.

    Now, all of a sudden, the term “non-partisan elections”, used for over a century, suddenly isn’t a good label anymore?

    The proponents of top-two know that “nonpartisan” sounds great. It is propaganda on their part to call the California and Washington systems “non-partisan top-two.” In the beginning they insisted on referring to top-two as “the open primary”, which was dumb because “open primary” already had another definition, a system in which a voter is free to choose any party’s primary ballot but parties do have their own nominees and their own primary ballots.

    When they finally decided to stop referring to top-two as “the open primary”, they switched to calling it the “top-two non-partisan primary.” Why should we be suckers enough to help their propaganda?

  31. paulie

    The United States has had non-partisan elections for the vast majority of public offices for over a century.

    Yes, but as far as I know most of those don’t follow the methodology of having the top two finishers in a primary face off in a general election even if one wins outright in the primary. And most states do have partisan elections for Congress, legislature and statewide offices at a minimum.

  32. Andy Craig

    “Yes, but as far as I know most of those don’t follow the methodology of having the top two finishers in a primary face off in a general election even if one wins outright in the primary.”

    That’s how it works in Wisconsin for nonpartisan local elections, with the caveat that the primary isn’t held if only one or two candidates are running. There’s a primary, and then the top two from that run in the general, regardless of if they won an outright majority in the primary. No party labels.

    I don’t know common that is elsewhere, though.

  33. paulie

    With the top two only on the November ballot? I hadn’t noticed such a trend in most states I have lived in.

    But even if that’s the case it generally does not apply to congressional, statewide or legislative races in most states.

  34. Andy

    “Richard Winger

    October 15, 2015 at 11:36 am

    It is very common. Two-round non-partisan elections are held in a majority of states.”

    This does nothing to promote the Libertarian brand, and Libertarians seldom make it through the primary to one of the top two.

    Also, a big reason why Libertarians run for office is to get the Libertarian message out to the public, yet most of the public that pays any attention to politics does not start paying attention until AFTER the primaries, and since Libertarians almost always get eliminated in top two primaries, most of the public will never hear from the Libertarian candidate.

    This initiative in South Dakota will be a bad thing for the Libertarian Party, as well as for other minor party and true independent candidates.

  35. Richard Winger

    I agree that the South Dakota initiative is bad public policy, and that it is bad for all parties, large and small. If I lived in South Dakota I would be active in opposing it.

    I have just been trying to persuade people not to call the South Dakota initiative a top-two, because that plays into the hands of our enemies.

  36. paulie

    Andy,

    True… plus with no label on the ballot, even the few that make it through the primary or even for the relatively few people that pay attention during the primary they still would not have the LP label and would not communicate their views if they don’t have money for ads nor help build the LP brand.

  37. paulie

    I agree that the South Dakota initiative is bad public policy, and that it is bad for all parties, large and small. If I lived in South Dakota I would be active in opposing it.

    That’s the real point that Andy was trying to make all along.

    have just been trying to persuade people not to call the South Dakota initiative a top-two, because that plays into the hands of our enemies.

    The way I see it, non-partisan and top two are like two intersecting circles. Some things are one or the other, some are both and some are neither. I agree with you that it is not accurate for our opponents to describe a partisan top two system as a nonpartisan top two system, but I think it’s equally inaccurate for us not to describe nonpartisan top two systems as not top two just because they are nonpartisan and just because some other people inaccurately call partisan top two systems nonpartisan.

    In my example above: if some people claim root beer has alcohol because it has the word beer and beer has alcohol, it’s not accurate for us to respond that a beer is not a beer because it contains alcohol and root beer does not have alcohol.

  38. Moltzian Minion

    I don’t know why the members of the US Supreme Court have so little concern for minor parties, independent candidates, and the voters who want to vote for them.
    -Richard Winger

    You didn’t bump your head when you fell off the applecart, yesterday, did you?

    I suspect it’s for the same reason that Southern Plantation owners had “so little concern” for slaves, in the antebellum South.

    I mean, one might hazard the guess that if it’s buried at the bottom of a giant sewage flat, and it smells like shit, there’s a pretty obvious cause, even if you haven’t nailed down the precise turd that you’re inhaling. In fact, one might call looking for a cause at that granular a resolution “absurd.”

    Let me take a shot at describing the view, from above the sewage flat that has produced the current “Supreme Court.” The 9 SCOTUS “justices” were in a career position to be nominated to the Supreme Court by presidents who are all members of major parties. This means they never once “bucked the system.” They upheld the tortured Marxist rationale behind the drug war, gun control, and the IRS. They are thus self-selected for being incapable of understanding the simple English in our Bill of Rights, the common law, and basic moral decency.

    The Supreme Court works for the Federal Reserve. Their paychecks are dependent on the Federal Reserve being able to create debt-based money. As is the tyranny they have supported their entire traitorous careers, as they worked their way up the lower courts as prosecutors and then judges. When John Roberts refused to commit to accepting the broadest possible interpretation (an incorrect interpretation) of “the interstate commerce clause,” in his Senate confirmation hearing, Charles Schumer went ballistic and literally started screaming at him. You see, Roberts hadn’t expressed full and total agreement with the Raich decision, which sentenced a terminally-ill woman to death without access to the medical marijuana she needed. Schumer then stated that (a misreading of) the interstate commerce clause has given us “the drug war, gun control, the IRS, …literally a mandate for every portion of the modern federal government.”

    He named everything that is wrong with America, and wanted Roberts to commit to perpetuating the immense fraud, IN ALL CASES, WITHOUT EVEN HEARING SPECIFICS OF ANY CASE. Every single voting record in Congress, with the exception of Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Justin Amash, and Thomas Massie supports everything Schumer supports, consistently or otherwise. …And even the four prior are imperfect, although Amash comes close to being consistently good. 4 out of 535 are people who oppose pure totalitarianism being the order of the day in the “Supreme Court” of the USA.

    Without the perverse-incentivizer of the Federal Reserve applied system-wide, things like the ONDCP, FDA, DEA, ATF, IRS, EPA, etc. are simply far too expensive to use as the cudgel that applies the threat of “cruel and unusual punishment” to those who dare stand up to the Marxist-collectivist control of the lower courts.

    The government that we have is unsustainable without the illegitimate use of force that pays for it to remain thousands of times larger than it should ever have grown.

    There is nothing about the Supreme Court “Justices” that indicates they are anything other than totalitarian(as far as their legal theory and political philosophy) power-worshipping political hacks. They are bar-licensed “yes men,” and nothing but. They were appointed by presidents who belong to one of the totally illegitimate “major” political parties that have obtained their position of near-absolute power by all the illegitimate and prejudicial laws that you regularly report on, Richard.

    To issue a benevolent ruling on any subject is rare indeed for the Supreme Court. To issue a ruling that would dramatically alter the system toward minimal government would be to go against every prior instinct and expressed preference that got them to the positions they occupy. As Norbert Wiener wrote, they are the “Lords of things as they are” par excellence!

    Instead of placing absolute confidence in the morality of the common man (the jury), the American people have stupidly acquiesced to the idea that those who most desire power (desire it enough to obtain it) are the best arbiters of “what is right.” This happened a long time ago, when the court, in “Marbury v. Madison” essentially declared itself the arbiter of the law. (In the olden days, the Supreme Court occasionally called up a jury to decide moral questions. They’ve done this at least 9 times, but never recently.)

    Don’t fall into this naive way of thinking. The direct opposite is the truth. Those who are appointed to high office are “the worst of the worst.” They are people who obtained power without even having to fool a plurality of idiots in a rigged “election.” This is why they don’t let the slaves have recreational drugs, automatic weapons, prostitutes, etc.: it interferes with the smooth operation of the Federal Reserve Plantation. If slave productivity decreases, the amount they can skim off the top of every transaction and every saved dollar also decreases.

    What’s that? It’s not about theft? It’s about individual rights?

    What should be is not what is. If you think the Supreme Court cares about individual rights, you haven’t been paying a lick of attention to anything they’ve ever done.

    Here’s a link that indicates that the vast majority of the court believes that the “necessary and proper” and “interstate commerce” clauses in the Constitution, taken out of context and incorrectly interpreted, nullify the rest of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzales_v._Raich

    Concern for individuals and their rights interferes with organized theft and destruction of innocent lives. Destruction of innocent lives assists the goal of “theft on an immense scale.” If people are afraid to start tomatoes indoors, lest armed stormtroopers raid their house and shoot their dog, for the non-crime of being suspected of growing safer drugs than alcohol, then the Court has done the job it was hired to do: Send a clear message to the slaves that justice is arbitrary, capricious, expensive, and has no relation to material reality.

    As prosaic a concept as “private property” that any five year old has a fair grasp of, utterly mystifies the Supreme Court “justices.” (Never mind the complexities of modern contract law, as it applies to new technologies, they can’t even seem to figure out that the wealth of prior America is due to the ownership of things like “houses” and “vegetation” and “cattle.”) As “exhibit A” I offer:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelo_v._City_of_New_London

    And the recognition of self-ownership? The most basic form of property ownership possible? The fountainhead of mutual human respect and basic human decency? Here’s a “SCOTUS-ified” example:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiibel_v._Sixth_Judicial_District_Court_of_Nevada

    Now, maybe you know why “the members of the US Supreme Court have so little concern for minor parties, independent candidates, and the voters who want to vote for them.” They have absolutely no concern for individual rights. The concept is completely alien to all of them. Why? Because it hasn’t been necessary for them to have any respect for individual rights their entire careers. They were appointed by major-party-sociopaths who were voted into office by the anti-freedom idiocracy. There is, therefore, no reason for them to not be totalitarian sociopaths themselves.

    If you still “don’t know why…” there have been many great books written about the lack of empathy known to the psychological sciences as “sociopathy.” I’d start there.

  39. paulie

    The issue of what you call it aside, I think we can agree that the South Dakota initiative would be very bad for the LP and that the LP is shooting itself in the foot by combining forces on the ground with those who would institute the system.

    In this case, however, I think it’s a moot point at this point. But it could still serve as a general lesson moving forward. Not that that is likely to happen, either.

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