DOJ

Oh, THAT Marbury v. Madison!

(CBS News) In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president's bluff -- ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.
 
The order, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, appears to be in direct response to the president's comments yesterday about the Supreme Court's review of the health care law. Mr. Obama all but threw down the gauntlet with the justices, saying he was "confident" the Court would not "take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress."
 
Overturning a law of course would not be unprecedented -- since the Supreme Court since 1803 has asserted the power to strike down laws it interprets as unconstitutional...
Ah, yes, Marbury v. Madison.
 
Audio from the 5th Circuit hearing, with Judge Smith's order to DOJ, is available here (docket no. 11-40631).
...The bottom line from Smith: A three-page letter with specifics. He asked DOJ to discuss "judicial review, as it relates to the specific statements of the president, in regard to Obamacare and to the authority of the federal courts to review that legislation."
 
"I would like to have from you by noon on Thursday -- that's about 48 hours from now -- a letter stating what is the position of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, in regard to the recent statements by the president," Smith said. "What is the authority is of the federal courts in this regard in terms of judicial review?"
 
Smith made his intentions clear minutes after the DOJ attorney began her argument, jumping in to ask: "Does the Department of Justice recognize that federal courts have the authority in appropriate circumstances to strike federal statutes because of one or more constitutional infirmities?"
 
[DOJ attorney Dana Lydia] Kaersvang replies yes...
Hmmm.  Incoming...
 
 
h/t Tom
 

Fighting Fire with Quotas

From Tom Reynolds:

Eric Holder’s INjustice Department strikes again.  First they are not going to pursue black on white legal issues and then they are not going to uphold the Defense of Marriage law.  Now, according to the Washington Times, they are trying to force the NYC Fire Department to hire rejected test takers who got 70% wrong on a basic, fire-related, multiple choice, OPEN BOOK test. (The exam screens candidates for the fire academy.)

INjustice submitted a proposed order for rejected minority applicants who scored at least 25 right out of 85 questions.  They would get compensation for lost seniority and seniority over firemen who have been working. (Our tax dollars at work!)

A 2009 case in Connecticut said they could NOT do this, but INjustice doesn’t seem to  worry about the law anymore—unless the law is Obamacare. 

If the test isn’t necessary, why do it?

But if the test is valid to get qualified fire fighters, INjustice is putting people’s lives at risk.

If you think 25 out of 85 is a low bar, the first 11 questions are related to a fire scene and ask how many firefighters are on hand, how many fire hydrants in view, the street address, what floor had a person standing in the window, etc.

To refresh your memory about the New Haven firefighters' case, go here (Sonia Sotomayor, in her pre-SCOTUS days, argued against what turned out to be the prevailing decision—maybe that's all you need to know).
 
For some very interesting reading and more information on what exactly is on these tests anyway and how they are "discriminatory," go here.
 
And, lastly, for the Washington Times piece cited above as well as this:

[Those] upset about the disparate impact such exams have on blacks want to separate “who’s the best for the job” with “good education.” But how can measuring cognitive skills not be related to who’s best for the job? If the exam asked candidates to expound on the theory of relativity, [they] would have a point...

But requiring job candidates to demonstrate an understanding of a fire fighting-related passage they just read is assessing who’s the best for the job, and such a requirement is not biased against blacks.
go here. The author is La Shawn Barber, a conservative woman whose writing appears on such blogs as Michelle Malkin in addition to her own blog, and who happens to be—black.
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