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“Good Old Conservative Days Fading?”: Regardless of Republican Obstruction, The Supreme Court Is Already Changing

If Republicans have their way, it might be a long time before another Supreme Court Justice joins the bench. But Dahlia Lithwick documents all the ways the Court is already changing in the short time since Antonin Scalia’s death in an article titled: The Conservative Era is Over.

* As she wrote previously, the women took over during oral arguments on an abortion case.

* A unanimous order affirming the right of same-sex partners to adopt children and the tossing of a death penalty conviction in Louisiana.

* “Friday’s unsigned order allowing several abortion clinics in Louisiana to reopen their doors, following an emergency decision from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that would have shuttered all but one clinic in that state.”

* Embattled Justices Thomas and Alito have formed an alliance of two as a bulwark against “the path set out by their six colleagues.”

* There’s also “a growing sense among conservative interest groups and litigation shops that the good times and rich bounty of the old Roberts court are no longer on offer and that it may be better to cut and run than stick around and lose.” That includes a recent settlement by Dow Chemical in their major anti-trust appeal and the fact that a key gun rights group opted to drop its challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s SAFE Act.

Lithwick draws this conclusion from what she’s seen so far:

Expect a lot more weirdness and subtle signaling from the court as the term rolls on. An institution that never wished to be an election issue has become one. What might have once been routine orders have now turned into a complex game of reputation management. Whether it’s the chief justice trying to appear apolitical, the conservative justices trying to fly the flag of ideology, or the liberals making hay while the sun briefly shines, nothing at the court these days is exactly what it appears to be, and it appears it will be that way for a while.

As public pressure on Republican Senators ramps up against their obstruction strategy and the prospect of Donald Trump as the party’s presidential nominee portends the potential loss of their Senate majority, it will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to justify their position. If the trends Lithwick identified continue, you can add to that the specter of an increasingly liberalized Supreme Court.

 

By: Nancy LeTourneau, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, March 9, 2016

March 10, 2016 Posted by | Conservatives, GOP Obstructionism, U. S. Supreme Court | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Territorial Tax System”: CEO’s Of Tax Dodging Corporations Push Congress To Cut Corporate Tax Rates

Several corporate CEOs representing the Business Roundtable, a lobbying group, were on Capitol Hill today to unveil a set of measures that they claim will boost the economy. Not surprisingly, some of the high-profile items are a cut in the corporate tax rateand shifting to what’s known as a territorial tax system:

Fresh out of a meeting with members of the Blue Dog Coalition, dozens of CEOs in town for a series of Business Roundtable policy and lobbying meetings today unveiled proposals to boost the economy.

The plan, billed as “Taking Action for America,” calls for a balanced federal budget, a reform of federal regulations and a lower corporate tax rate based on a territorial tax system, among others.

A territorial system, as well as cutting the corporate tax rate without raising more corporate tax revenue, are both misguided proposals. But the interesting thing about these particular CEOs pushing this particular policy prescription is that several of them already run corporations that pay little to nothing in taxes.

For instance, Boeing CEO Jim McNerny is part of the group calling for corporate tax cuts, despite the fact that his company has a negative federal tax rate for the last decade. Only twice in the last ten years has Boeing had federal tax liability in a given year, and between 2008 and 2010, the company made $9 billion in profits without paying any federal corporate income tax.

Andrew Liveris, president and CEO of the Dow Chemical, also joined the lobbying party, even though his company received nearly half a billion dollars in tax refunds in 2010. Proctor & Gamble’s CEO also participated, while heading a company very fond of exploiting loopholes to avoid taxes.

Corporate tax rates are already at a 40 year low. As billionaire investor Warren Buffett explained, “it is a myth that American corporations are paying 35 percent or anything like it…Corporate taxes are not strangling American competitiveness.” Yet corporate CEOs whose companies already pay literally nothing think driving rates down further is the answer to boosting the economy.

 

By: Pat Garofalo, Think Progress, March 7, 2012

March 8, 2012 Posted by | Corporations, Taxes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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