Duplicity in The Court’s Rulings

I started writing this a while back. Never put it up, was too busy doing other things like writing about healthcare and trying to finish a long post on pharmaceutical pricing replete with how the PBMs function and the kickbacks, discounts, chargebacks or rebates, cash discounts, free goods contingent on a purchase agreement, upfront payments, coupons, goods in kind, free or reduced-price services, grants, or other price concessions or similar benefits from manufacturers, pharmacies, or similar entity. All of this to get your Prilosec, Lipitor, Atorvastatin, etc. It is involved, I also edit and moderate.

And this post?

There is a pattern or practices at SCOTUS “of discrimination or engaging in discrimination against a group of persons that raises an issue of ‘general public importance (related directly or indirectly with the interest of citizens).'” Often, the Department’s lawsuits allege that a defendant has done both.

This jumps around a bit. It may make better sense at the end.

Territories administered by the War Department’s Bureau of Insular Affairs

The issue: Some thoughts and additional information on UNITED STATES v. VAELLO MADERO and incorporated and unincorporated territories.

At this time, we are talking about Puerto Rico.

Justice Neil Gorsuch;

“A century ago in the Insular Cases, this Court held that the federal government could rule Puerto Rico and other Territories largely without regard to the Constitution. It is past time to acknowledge the gravity of this error and admit what we know to be true: The Insular Cases have no foundation in the Constitution and rest instead on racial stereotypes. They deserve no place in our law,”  

Justice Sonia Sotomayor affirmed:

“I do agree, with Justice Gorsuch’s view that it ‘is past time to acknowledge the gravity’ of the error of the Insular Cases.”

The citizens of Puerto Rico are US Citizens.

I am not going to discuss what Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote (above briefly) for the majority to which Justice Neil Gorsuch concurred . . . eventually. The U.S. Supreme Court did rule 8-1 with Justice Sonia Sotomayer in the minority. And Gorsuch followed the leader.

The United States does not violate the equal protection clause by denying disability benefits to residents in Puerto Rico. The Social Security Administration sued José Luis Vaello-Madero for Supplemental Security Income benefits received in Puerto Rico. This suit entails a nonsensical argument put forth by the Social Security Administration. Vaello-Madero was legally receiving benefits at his address in the state of New York where he also worked and paid the subsequent taxes.

Specifically, what the court is doing is denying a group of citizens disability (SSI) based upon their address. If José Luis was still at his old or a new address in the continental US, he could collect Supplemental Security Income benefits which he did pay into via US taxation.

What a particular Justices says;

Justice Neil Gorsuch

The flaws in the Insular Cases are as fundamental as they are shameful. Nothing in the Constitution speaks of “incorporated” and “unincorporated” Territories. . . . or extends to the latter only certain supposedly “fundamental” constitutional guarantees. . . . and authorizes judges to engage in the sordid business of segregating Territories and the people who live in them on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion.

The Insular Cases can claim support in academic work of the period, ugly racial stereotypes, and the theories of social Darwinists. But they have no home in our Constitution or its original understanding. In this country, the federal government “deriv[es] its powers directly” from the sovereign people,

“skipped a section” and a discussion of a modern invention

The Insular Cases’ departure from the Constitution’s original meaning has never been much of a secret. Even commentators at the time understood that the notion of territorial incorporation was a thoroughly modern invention. The Insular Cases deviated, too, from this Court’s prior and longstanding understanding of the Constitution.

Because no party asks us to overrule the Insular Cases to resolve today’s dispute, I join the Court’s opinion. But the time has come to recognize that the Insular Cases rest on a rotten foundation. And I hope the day comes soon when the Court squarely overrules them. We should follow Justice Harlan and settle this question right. Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico deserve no less.

Gorsuch has to be asked to side with Sotomayor? Even though he openly states Insular is wrong headed and is not mentioned in the Constitution? Court duplicity or double dealing in the case of Puerto Ricans. You are a full US citizen if your feet or on continental US soil. And not quite a citizen in Puerto Rico.

Insular Cases: The Insular Cases “authorized the colonial regime created by Congress, which allowed the United States to continue its administration—and exploitation—of the territories acquired from Spain after the Spanish–American War.” These Supreme Court rulings allowed for the United States government to extend unilateral power over these newly acquired territories.

The Court also established the doctrine of territorial incorporation, under which the Constitution applied fully only in incorporated territories such as Alaska and Hawaii. Incorporated territories are those that the U.S. Federal Government deems on a path to statehood. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court ruled the Constitution applied only partially in the newly unincorporated Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. The Supreme Court created the distinction that unincorporated territories were not on the path to statehood, which effectively allowed for the Constitution to apply differently.

I guess Puerto Rico is not worthy?

Justice Neil Gorsuch believes this is wrong and still votes with the majority because he was not asked to review Insular Cases. He states no where in the constitution is there discussion of incorporated and unincorporated territories. Gorsuch concurs with the majority even though he could have concurred and written his reasoning separately.

José Luis Vaello-Madero lost at SCOTUS. Then we have the looting of Haiti in 1914.

Justice Thomas: “we are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don’t like.”

To wit, minority Republicans certainly like their particular outcomes which impacts the majority.

Particular outcomes causing “no” harm to the minority opposing the outcome which is causing great harm to a majority of citizens. Once the Feds vacate Roe v Wade, states having laws restricting or forbidding abortion will enforce them as well as those who have just passed new laws.