The case, he said, “is about the power of our people to govern themselves.” He added: “We have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation.” The court’s error came from a “diseased root: an exalted conception of the role of this institution in America,” Justice Scalia said, referring to the court itself.
These are amazing words from a justice who only a day earlier had joined the 5-to-4 majority that disabled Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act – the renewal of which seven years ago passed overwhelmingly after 20 months of consideration, 21 hearings and a legislative record amounting to 15,000 pages. As Justice Ginsburg pointed out in her Shelby County dissent, distrust of Congress radiates from the majority’s every page.
See more choice quotes from Scalia’s DOMA dissent.
And not to mention other 5-4 SCOTUS gems this past week, like the one stripping generic drug injury victims of all state tort remedies (see our coverage here), deciding apparently that the federal government gets it right every time when it comes to drug safety - which no one believes, and you know they sure don't believe. Or deciding that the Federal Arbitration Act of 1924 trumps not only all state laws but also all federal laws that grant victims the right to go to court to vindicate their rights.
Well as I said, I thought nothing could beat that kind of choot-spa. But then, BP showed up.
If you can believe this, BP is now trying to intimidate businesses that it harmed following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion (and as we recently noted, a disaster that continues to wreak havoc) from being adequately compensated according to a settlement that BP negotiated and agreed to. The company is going so far as to purchase enormously expensive full-page print ads in major U.S. newspapers showing why it doesn’t want to spend money helping businesses that it harmed and agreed to compensate.
Here’s an example of how offensive BP is being towards these businesses:
When BP hosted an event at the London Olympics to promote Gulf seafood and highlight its oil-spill cleanup efforts, Louisiana chef John Folse appeared in his BP chef coat with several tons of seafood dishes his company cooked up and shipped overseas from his manufacturing plant in Donaldsonville.
Now, BP is arguing that Chef John Folse & Co. is not a seafood processor at all -- and therefore should not get the millions of dollars a court-appointed claims administrator recently awarded it to cover its spill-related losses.…
Loyola Law Professor Blaine LeCesne, “who has been closely following the civil claims process from the beginning,” found it “laughable that BP is trying to deny the claim when they have so publicly co-opted Folse’s business to promote themselves on the world stage.”
Here’s another example: “BP called Wall’s Gator Farm in Springfield an example of a ‘fictitious’ agricultural claim. But an affidavit by the farm’s consultant states that alligator eggs were damaged by the spill and that accounted for $2 million in losses -- more than double what Juneau calculated.”
Meanwhile, BP has sent out “hundreds of letters” asserting that “if it is successful in court in trying to block those payments, the company expects that the claims administrator will fulfill his fiduciary duties by seeking to recover all excessive claims payments” and instructs claimants’ lawyers, “You may wish to advise your client to consider the effect of such potential obligations for budgeting and planning.”
[Attorney Steve] Herman described the letter as a “hollow intimidation tactic” that was “disingenuous, inaccurate and inappropriate”.
He added: “One thing the letter is not, is surprising, given that BP has been suspended from doing business with the US government for a lack of corporate integrity, and pleaded guilty to lying to the federal government about the spill.”
Mary Alice McLarty, president of the American Association for Justice, added that this is a “campaign to evade accountability”:
“BP is not a victim of small businesses, judges or even trial lawyers; they are still just a corporate felon who pled guilty to killing 11 rig workers, polluted the Gulf and ruined the livelihoods of thousands of Americans," McLarty said in a statement.…
“Simply put, BP has buyers' remorse because it guessed wrong on the cost of a deal, which it - for nearly two years - negotiated, co-authored, agreed to and sought court approval of,” said Jim Roy, one of the lawyers for the individuals and businesses who sought compensation. “The notion that BP is somehow trying to portray itself as a victim is preposterous.”
Preposterous choot-spa if you ask me!