How many Supreme Court 5 to 4 decisions have set your teeth on edge? How many have turned the word "democracy" upside down? How many have made a difference in your lives?

How many would have turned out differently had there been one more Supreme Court justice who didn't hang out with the Koch brothers or marry a lobbyist, tea party group founder who leaves voice mails for Anita Hill?

What would happen if a Republican were to win the White House in 2012? How would SCOTUS decisions look then? 6-3? 7-2? It could happen. Think about that when you read this, from the New York Times:

The Supreme Court on Monday effectively upheld an Arizona program that aids religious schools, saying in a 5-to-4 decision that the plaintiffs had no standing to challenge it.

The program itself is novel and complicated, and allowing it to go forward may be of no particular moment. But by closing the courthouse door to some kinds of suits that claim violations of the First Amendment’s ban on government establishment of religion, the court’s ruling in the case may be quite consequential.

Guess who were the 5 (Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.) and guess who were the 4 (Justices Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor).



Important numbers to remember.

  • Money is fungible, a $500 tax credit (credit mind you not a deduction) is $500 less in revenue that would need to be made up elsewhere. When you prepare your taxes, that is $500 less that you have to pay, really because of your religious affiliation, and your decision to fund private education. What's next, a tax credit for your offerings at church? The majority opinion could just as easily be applied to this practice.

    Compare this to Republicans in the House of Representatives. In HR 3, the so-called "No Federal Funding for Abortions" act, where the legislation (and my Congressman) takes the position that taking a tax deduction on the costs of premiums (a legitimate expense), if that policy covers abortions, is directly funding abortions.

    Well, at least we know how SCOTUS would rule on HR3...... unless they ignored their precedence in this case.

  • Scalia and Thomas should be recalled. This is very sad, going backwards instead of forward.

  • Anonymous

    The K-RATS strike again. Kennedy,Roberts,Alito,Thomas,Scalia. What happened with the part in the constitution of separation of church and state?

  • Thanks Walt. If nothing else, there's your reason to vote for Obama.

  • Walt

    Good post, Laffy. That is all you need to know how powerful the Supreme Court has become and what to expect if the Republicans get the White House again. There is too many Obama bashing liberals who are not paying attention or are aware of the significance of the Supreme Court in our politics.