Congress and/or a President would not even be allowed to bring forward Trans Pacific Trade Pact or Foreign Economic Zone policies because they are illegal and threaten our national sovereignty. It would be that Supreme Court ruling against MONOPOLY AND ESPECIALLY GLOBAL MONOPOLY----but they don't.
Ginsburg has been hailed as a socially progressive justice and indeed she has made some good votes. Gradualism is Marx's credo so any Bill Clinton appointee was to gradually dismantle all NEW DEAL and CIVIL/LABOR/WOMEN'S rights EQUAL PROTECTION. Ginsburg would not have come out conservative and right-leaning right from the start. We can see Ginsburg voting that right corporate stance these few decades.
One of the first opinions by Ginsburg was exactly this-----she was accepted by Republicans because she viewed the abortion issue as SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION and not a PRIVACY issue. Now, the US Constitution has far more PRIVACY PROTECTION than it does SEXUAL RIGHTS protection so when Ginsburg moved this abortion issue from PRIVACY TO SEXUAL she was weakening the ABORTION STANCE. As she did this media kept calling her strong on women's rights.
'Clinton announced Ruth Bader Ginsburg as White's replacement on June 15, 1993, and she was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 3, 1993.On April 6, 1994, Associate Justice Harry Blackmun announced his retirement (and assumption of senior status), which ultimately took effect August 3, 1994. President Clinton announced Stephen Breyer as Blackmun's replacement on May 13, 1994, with the United States Senate confirming Breyer on July 29, 1994'.
'More important, she was a pioneer in the legal fight for women's rights—a female Thurgood Marshall." In addition, Ginsburg was noted as moderate-to-conservative on criminal matters and had a different rationale for supporting Roe v. Wade than most liberals: she considered laws banning abortion a form of sex discrimination rather than a violation of privacy. Hatch told Clinton that he would support Ginsburg as well'.
Ginsburg has been quite the global market wealth and power player on the Supreme Court which is why Bill Clinton appointed her. Never look at one vote-----never allow the media to sensationalize that one vote---look broadly at all votes to know a candidate or appointee.
Now, when a court ruling is written whether in defense of the majority or in dissent it is the WORDING of that stance that sticks to PRECEDENT. We may think a ruling that International Law regarding torture is good----AND IT IS-----it is the way Ginsburg's opinion is written that opens the door broadly to FOREIGN LAWS BEING ACCEPTABLE. If the goal of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA was to install a ONE WORLD GLOBAL CORPORATE TRIBUNAL RULE----then having a Supreme Court precedent of foreign laws being OK under our US Constitution would MOVE FORWARD that goal. Our Supreme Court would not be the place for rulings on foreign activity that is an Executive and a Legislative venue.
We see every left-leaning citizens' bad guy Thomas writing the CORRECT STANCE ON SUPREME COURT RULINGS........opposing citation of foreign law in constitutional cases. Ginsburg did this to open the door to Trans Pacific Trade Pact ----Foreign Economic Zones and global corporate tribunal rule. When she is called LIBERAL-----they mean FAR-RIGHT WALL STREET GLOBAL CORPORATE NEO-LIBERAL.
THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ALL THE BROUHAHA FROM CONGRESS.
“I frankly don’t understand all the brouhaha lately from Congress and even from some of my colleagues about referring to foreign law,” Justice Ginsburg said in her comments on Friday'.
'The court’s more conservative members — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — oppose the citation of foreign law in constitutional cases'.
Ginsburg uses Canada as an example of Supreme Court rulings siting foreign law but Canada has a very different governance structure -----the US has other venues where that citation occurs.
The US Constitution was written heavily protecting America from foreign wealth and power because our history is revolution to break free from just that. These kinds of Supreme Court writings paves the way for America to be held under more foreign legal influence which is why a Congress back then would have cried FOUL.
Ginsburg Shares Views on Influence of Foreign Law on Her Court, and Vice Versa
By ADAM LIPTAKAPRIL 11, 2009
COLUMBUS, Ohio — In wide-ranging remarks here, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg defended the use of foreign law by American judges, suggested that torture should not be used even when it might yield important information and reflected on her role as the Supreme Court’s only female justice. The occasion was a symposium at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University honoring her 15 years on the court.
“I frankly don’t understand all the brouhaha lately from Congress and even from some of my colleagues about referring to foreign law,” Justice Ginsburg said in her comments on Friday.
The court’s more conservative members — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — oppose the citation of foreign law in constitutional cases.
“If we’re relying on a decision from a German judge about what our Constitution means, no president accountable to the people appointed that judge and no Senate accountable to the people confirmed that judge,” Chief Justice Roberts said at his confirmation hearing. “And yet he’s playing a role in shaping the law that binds the people in this country.”
Justice Ginsburg said the controversy was based on the misunderstanding that citing a foreign precedent means the court considers itself bound by foreign law as opposed to merely being influenced by such power as its reasoning holds.
“Why shouldn’t we look to the wisdom of a judge from abroad with at least as much ease as we would read a law review article written by a professor?” she asked.
She added that the failure to engage foreign decisions had resulted in diminished influence for the United States Supreme Court.
The Canadian Supreme Court, she said, is “probably cited more widely abroad than the U.S. Supreme Court.” There is one reason for that, she said: “You will not be listened to if you don’t listen to others.”
She also offered a theory about why after World War II nations around the world started to create constitutional courts with the power to strike down legislation as the United States Supreme Court has.
“What happened in Europe was the Holocaust,” she said, “and people came to see that popularly elected representatives could not always be trusted to preserve the system’s most basic values.”
American hostility to the consideration of foreign law, she said, “is a passing phase.” She predicted that “we will go back to where we were in the early 19th century when there was no question that it was appropriate to refer to decisions of other courts.”
Justice Ginsburg turned 76 last month and underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in February. Here on Friday, she was energetic, enthusiastic and characteristically precise in her answers to questions from two law professors in a 90-minute conversation. She spoke mostly about her career as a litigator specializing in women’s rights and her years on the court.
In a videotaped tribute, Chief Justice Roberts described Justice Ginsburg’s work habits — including her “total disregard for the normal day-night work schedule adhered to by everyone else since the beginning of recorded history” — and congratulated her for reaching what he said was the midpoint of her career on the court.
In her remarks, Justice Ginsburg discussed a decision by the Israeli Supreme Court concerning the use of torture to obtain information from people suspected of terrorism.
“The police think that a suspect they have apprehended knows where and when a bomb is going to go off,” she said, describing the question presented in the case. “Can the police use torture to extract that information? And in an eloquent decision by Aharon Barak, then the chief justice of Israel, the court said: ‘Torture? Never.’ ”
The message of the decision, Justice Ginsburg said, was “that we could hand our enemies no greater victory than to come to look like that enemy in our disregard for human dignity.” Then she asked, “Now why should I not read that opinion and be affected by its tremendous persuasive value?”
Justice Ginsburg also discussed her career as an advocate, one that included six Supreme Court arguments and a role in shaping the language of the law. She helped introduce the term “gender discrimination” as a synonym for “sex discrimination,” she said, explaining that her secretary had proposed the idea while typing a brief to be submitted to male judges.
“ ‘The first association of those men with the word “sex” is not what you’re talking about,’ ” the secretary said, Justice Ginsburg recalled. “ ‘Why don’t you use a grammar-book term? Use gender. It has a neutral sound, and it will ward off distracting associations.’ ”
Justice Ginsburg expressed dismay at being the only woman on the Supreme Court. “There I am all alone,” she said, “and it doesn’t look right.”
In this area, too, the Canadian Supreme Court provides a model, Justice Ginsburg said. That nine-member court has four women, including its chief justice.
Justice Ginsburg concluded her remarks with advice to the students in the audience about one of her great passions.
“For a first opera, I would say, pick ‘Butterfly’ or ‘Bohème,’ ” she said. For her part, she added, she was looking forward a little warily to a six-hour production of Wagner’s “Siegfried.”
“Wagner is a great, great composer,” she said, “but he needed a good editor.”
SURVEILLANCE AND POLICE STATE KIND OF GUY THAT BREYER----
The importance of Bill Clinton's Stephen Breyer was his commitment to legislative activism trumping US Constitutional ruling precedence. He was the one who was willing to ignore a century of NEW DEAL SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC STANCES to return to Robber Baron and landed gentry kinds of power. Breyer was that CLINTON/BUSH neo-liberal/neo-con BLEND of extreme wealth and extreme power trumping our equal protection amendments.
These few decades were important for issues of PRIVACY------as regards everything from selling WE THE PEOPLE'S personal information---to police and HOMELAND SECURITY PATRIOT ACT kinds of search and seizures. Stephen Breyer was that majority vote with conservatives. Every time I turned around Breyer was right there with the extreme wealth and extreme power vote ---and that was why Bill Clinton appointed him.
'The fourth member of the court's liberal wing, Justice Stephen Breyer, joined the four conservatives to form a majority on the eight-justice court'.
Remember the dynamics of voting---whether in congress, state assembly, or city hall-----pols and appointees look at the totals to decide how they will vote. Just because what we are calling LIBERALS----like Kagan, Sotomeyer voted for privacy now definitely does not mean they will support privacy later----they are 1% Wall Street global corporate neo-liberal appointments who are ruling for that 1% and their 2%. BREYER was that fall guy in what was called the liberal group of justices-----he made that majority vote so the other 'liberals' did not have to.
BREYER IS HAILED AS A GREAT JURIST BY THE GLOBAL 1% AND THEIR 2% BECAUSE HE INDEED BROKE WITH OUR ORIGINAL PRECEDENCE ON ISSUES LIKE THE 4TH AMENDMENT----AND MORE. THIS IS WHY A BILL CLINTON APPOINTED HIM.
The Fourth Amendment originally enforced the notion that “each man’s home is his castle”, secure from unreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government. It protects against arbitrary arrests, and is the basis of the law regarding search warrants, stop-and-frisk, safety inspections, wiretaps, and other forms of surveillance, as well as being central to many other criminal law topics and to privacy law.
Remember, NEGATIVE LIBERTY is the code for the rich accumulating wealth anyway they want ---no morals, no ethics, no Rule of Law. All of today's massive looting of our US Treasury, corporate fraud and corruption is tied to NEGATIVE LIBERTY.
JUSTICE BREYER’S FOURTH AMENDMENT JURISPRUDENCE
A. The Proportionality Analysis in Action
B. Narrow Rulings
C. Relying on the Common Law as of 1791
D. A Clear Case of Active Liberty
II.BREYER’S LACK OF
A. Negative Liberty
B. Out of Left Field
has managed to remain relatively consistent in his two majority opinions and most of his thirteen dissents or concurrences
Breyer believes that there are “two overarching goals of our democratic Constitution:
to protect negative liberty, meaning freedom from government constraint, and to protect active liberty, meaning the ability to participate in governance” and the ability to trace a governmental decision back to the people in the area of Fourth Amendment law.
Several of Breyer’s decisions, however, are inconsistent in that they do not align with his usual constitutional and Fourth Amendment views, but these decisions can at least be explained by other considerations. On the other hand, there are a few of Breyer’s decisions that completely lack consistency and provide little insight into why Breyer ruled the way he did. Although one could possibly square away these outliers with Breyer’s usual constitutional and Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, doing so is quite a strain.
He was nominated by President Clinton as a justice of the Supreme Court in 1994.
It is this second aspect that Breyer attributed great significance to in the several books he has written, emphasizing that “
judicial review . .. should be undertaken with close reference to active liberty.”
In other words, Breyer believes that judges should practice judicial modesty and defer to the decisions of the political branches.
Statistically, it appears that Breyer has held true to his
statement. Several studies conducted in 2005 have shown that Breyer, more so than any other justice on the Rehnquist Court, had the highest percentage of votes to uphold congressional acts and executive decisions.
In light of Breyer’s active liberty jurisprudence, he argues that constitutional individual liberty cases require an emphasis on the use of two unique interpretive tools—what Breyer calls values and proportionality.
The first tool, values, requires determining
the basic underlying values of the constitutional provision and
ensuring that the solution reflects those values.
To determine the provision’s purpose, the judge must ask what the Framers sought to protect when drafting the amendment, while also taking into consideration changing circumstances.
Breyer has stated that he considers “individual constitutional provisions as embodying certain basic purposes, often expressed in highly general terms.”
THE CIVIL RIGHT OF INDIVIDUALS TO BE FREE FROM GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE ---IS WHAT IS GIVING US NO OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY AS FRAUD AND CORRUPTION GO WILD.
For instance, Breyer believes one of the underlying values or purposes of the Fourth Amendment is the protection of privacy.
Once the judge comes up with a proposed interpretation, he must again use his values tool to ask whether the likely consequences of his decision “are more likely to further than to hinder achievement of the provision’s purpose.”
The tool of proportionality comes into play when important constitutional rights and interests clash.
Proportionality involves asking whether the restriction on the constitutional right “is proportionate to, or properly balances, the need.”
This analysis requires a three-part enquiry. First, the judge must use the values tool to determine the underlying value of the particular constitutional provision.
The judge must then determine whether the restriction furthers a competing and compelling state interest and whether that interest imposes a burden on the constitutional value.
If it does, the judge must determine whether the restriction, in its efforts to further the compelling state interest, “disproportionately burdens the interest the[constitutional provision] seeks to protect.”
If the burden is proportionate, the restriction is constitutional.
Remember, CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA is simply a GRADUALISM towards global corporate rule----they are a tag team and not Republican or Democrat.
Bush's appointment of ROBERTS has made even Republican voters mad as Robert's is that same Justice Breyer who goes back to US Constitution as its original interpretation and Roberts is squarely with team global rich. This is why Roberts' rulings are taking the US beyond that national sovereignty as with Ginsburg-----and creating obligations inside the US to global legal standings----the global 1% and their 2%.
Here is Roberts using Ginsburg in moving issues of women from privacy to sexual rights -----he does the same with the GBLT marriage rights.
'Then Chief Justice Roberts quoted another member of the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from a 1985 law review article criticizing the court for moving too fast in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision identifying a constitutional right to abortion: “Heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.”'
'On September 5, two days after the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Bush renominated Roberts as the 17th Chief Justice of the United States. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 29, 2005.
On October 3, Bush nominated White House Counsel Harriet Miers to succeed O'Connor. However, Miers withdrew her nomination on October 27 after facing significant opposition.
On October 31, Bush nominated another federal appellate judge, Samuel Alito, as his new choice to replace O'Connor. Alito was confirmed as the 110th Justice of the Supreme Court on January 31, 2006'.
'Young libertarian and conservative lawyers had gained valuable experience in the Reagan and first Bush administrations'.
Roberts was behind the MANDATORY HEALTH CARE INSURANCE----a massive win for the global health insurance corporations. This is a Republican think tank policy painted through PROGRESSIVE POSING as funding for low-income health care access that will never happen. This brings us to this week's discussion of campaign finance with Roberts allowing a ruling of CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE. We see here as well the second amendment----the right wing rights to bear arms-----now, in colonial America colonists were not allowed to have a standing army-----no weapons to use against global corporate rule ----at that time it was England and global corporation EAST INDIA CORPORATION. So, Roberts is that kind of guy that will go all the way back to colonial interpretations of law----that look upon gun ownership as threatening to global rule. When we go all the way back to colonial America for our interpretation of meaning to US Constitution----we have that 1% and their 1% having all the rights and no WE THE PEOPLE WITH RIGHTS. This kills both right-wing and left-wing US Constitutional rights.
'All they needed was Roberts’s vote. They didn’t get it'.
Conservatives are still searching for silver linings, and perhaps there will be some. By vindicating the individual mandate as a tax, the Roberts decision makes it vulnerable to repeal through the filibuster-proof reconciliation process (though Democrats will surely return to text of the statute and insist the mandate is a fine).
The photo of John Roberts and Elena Kagan both tied to Wall Street's Harvard University as that ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE global rich having no connection to a US Republican or Democratic Party. Mandated insurance is that same GLOBAL EAST INDIA TAX ON TEA-----that sent colonial citizens into warfare. Roberts is OPUS DEI-----extreme wealth and extreme poverty----and Kagan as President of Harvard is ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE ---the NEW CONSTITUTION according to HARVARD LAW SCHOOL.....which leads next to OBAMA.
John Roberts’s Betrayal
The "stealth strategy" for the court has failed -- try winning elections instead.
By W. James Antle III • June 28, 201
Talk Radio News Service / Flickr
The Supreme Court was poised to deliver conservatives a major victory by overturning a hated liberal policy with little basis in the Constitution. A majority of the justices had been appointed by Republican presidents. Some of them were so conservative that Senate Democrats had attempted to prevent their confirmation.
Yet when the much anticipated ruling was finally handed down, the liberal policy was upheld with fairly minor caveats. A Republican-appointed justice unexpectedly voted with the liberal bloc. Instead of a victory, conservatives feared they had endured a permanent defeat on an important issue, and in an election year to boot.
While this certainly describes the past day’s events, it was also true 20 years ago. When the Senate narrowly confirmed Clarence Thomas, liberals feared he would be the deciding vote against Roe v. Wade. Well, Thomas did rule that Roe was wrongly decided at his first opportunity. But in 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 5-4 majority affirmed the core holding of the infamous abortion decision.
Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee, saved Roe with a pivotal flip-flop and ended up writing an opinion as filled with liberal clichés as any amicus brief filed by a pointy-headed lefty law professor. Sandra Day O’Connor, also a Reagan pick, was another of three Republicans to join the plurality opinion. Harry Blackmun, a Nixon appointee, gave us Roe in the first place. Earl Warren, William Brennan, John Paul Stevens, David Souter—some of the most liberal justices of the postwar era were actually named by Republican presidents.
It’s too early to include John Roberts in that sad pantheon of Republican judicial failures. The chief justice has generally been the conservative jurist his supporters had hoped he would be, and a conservative conviction—a belief in judicial restraint—likely factored into his opinion in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. But Roberts’s untimely defection was in many respects a bigger blow to conservative legal circles than Kennedy’s two decades ago.
When Kennedy was nominated to the High Court, he was Reagan’s third choice. The Democratic-controlled Senate rejected Robert Bork as too conservative. Douglas Ginsburg had to withdraw amidst allegations that he had smoked marijuana. By this time Reagan was getting desperate to fill the seat and he turned to someone with a shorter paper trail of controversial legal writings. Souter was a similar “stealth” appointee.
The stealth strategy was good for getting Republican nominees confirmed, but bad for the conservative project of changing the composition of the courts. If Kennedy was a disappointment, Souter was an unmitigated disaster. Reagan may have gotten assurances from Kennedy’s priest that his nominee was pro-life; John Sununu vouched for Souter. But Kennedy was at best a swing vote and Souter became a full-time member of the liberal bloc.
Thanks to organizations like the Federalist Society, conservative legal networks were growing. Young libertarian and conservative lawyers had gained valuable experience in the Reagan and first Bush administrations. There were now clear markers to identify conservative legal talent that were more subtle than Bork’s abrasive public polemics. Absent such markers, there was no reason for conservatives to support a particular judicial nominee—and increasingly, they didn’t. When rumors circulated that George W. Bush intended to nominate Alberto Gonzales to the Supreme Court, conservatives pushed back and ultimately got Roberts. When Bush actually did nominate Harriet Miers, the right went into open revolt and got Samuel Alito.
Nobody embodied this new, improved judicial nomination strategy more than Roberts. He was widely known as a conservative in personal and professional circles, but had a sparse enough track record on substantive issues to plausibly keep Senate Democrats from pinning him down on future high-profile cases. His credentials were impeccable, so exactly half the Democratic conference felt they had no choice but to vote in favor of his confirmation. The other half, including then-Senator Obama, saw the same smoke signals the Federalist Society did and voted no.
Obama probably feels a bit guilty about that vote now. Roberts single-handedly rescued Obamacare’s individual mandate, despite agreeing with a set of constitutional arguments advanced principally by libertarian legal theorist Randy Barnett that would have allowed the mandate to be overturned without departing from generations of commerce-clause precedent. Four other Republican-appointed justices—including Kennedy—were prepared to strike down the whole healthcare law in a toughly worded conservative decision.
All they needed was Roberts’s vote. They didn’t get it. Instead of voting with Alito, Thomas, and Antonin Scalia, Roberts effectively sided with Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. To be sure, he limited the damage the liberals would have done in turning the commerce clause into a general federal police power. But like Kennedy in Casey, he turned what could have been a 5-4 conservative triumph into a defeat.
Conservatives are still searching for silver linings, and perhaps there will be some. By vindicating the individual mandate as a tax, the Roberts decision makes it vulnerable to repeal through the filibuster-proof reconciliation process (though Democrats will surely return to text of the statute and insist the mandate is a fine). Politically, he has established Obama as a tax-hiker, with the Congressional Budget Office estimating that 75 percent of those subject to this tax earn less than $250,000 a year.
Casey had its silver linings too. The decision paradoxically ended up strengthening pro-lifers during the 1990s by giving them the flexibility to change the law in areas where the public agreed with them (such as parental notification for minors seeking abortions) while keeping their more sweeping goals constitutionally off-limits.
Perhaps that should be the lesson taken from Roberts as well. Like the pro-life movement, those who wish to restore constitutionally limited government can only expect so much from the courts, no matter what nomination strategy Republican presidents pursue. Making public arguments, winning elections, and passing constitutionally sound legislation is at least as important as trying to get five unpredictable justices. If Republicans mean what they say about Obamacare repeal, they must demonstrate it by their actions. They can no longer hide behind John Roberts’s robe.
The common theme of Supreme Court rulings these few decades has both Republicans and Democrats shouting 'foul'-----because these are global 1% Wall Street Libertarian appointments---rewriting our US Constitution taking us back to before the American Revolution. The common thread to far-right, authoritarian, militaristic, extreme wealth and extreme poverty Libertarian Marxism is the DARK AGES ---
I have been very open to ties to our US 1% and their 2% to growing authoritarian and global rich ------and in educating on public policy we must understand where these appointments will lead policy
Opus Dei Influence Rises to the Top in the Vatican
By Betty Clermont
Sunday Apr 06, 2014 · 8:07 AM EST
Opus Dei, an official institution of the Catholic Church, at the top is a secret society of international bankers, financiers, businessmen and their supporters. Their goal is the same as other plutocrats – unbridled power – except they use the influence of the Catholic Church and its worldwide network of institutions exempt from both taxes and financial reporting requirements to advance rightwing parties and governments.“It's widely known that Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas belong to Opus Dei - and that Chief Justice John Roberts may also be a member,” stated Matthew Fox, a former priest, progressive theologian and author of more than 23 books'.
If Democratic voters would stop and think about the goals of Affordable CAre Act-----being a mirror of deregulation and consolidation of the banking industry-----global for-profit health care systems----then they will see that INSURANCE MANDATE has nothing to do with helping to fund health care access for the poor-----it was written by Republican think tanks to maximize profits for the private health industry...............so, we see 1% Wall Street global neo-liberals Kagan, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor joining with Bush neo-con Roberts to pass what will become a tax on WE THE PEOPLE
'Roberts effectively sided with Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg'.
Conservative voters know this but somehow social Democrats are still believing that Affordable Care Act is socially progressive instead of 1% Wall Street profiteering.
HMMMM....wonder if Cardinal O'Malley is related to our Baltimore Mayor turned Governor O'Malley?
'Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the only American on the G8, is a faithful supporter of Opus Dei and has sponsored the canonization of the priest who “established an Opus Dei presence among students and professors at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology” between 1946 and 1956'.
Bush's second appointment ALITO is Opus Dei conservative as well----this is why we are getting lots of Supreme Court rulings ignoring centuries of court precedence, threatening our US Constitutional rights, Bill of Rights, and protecting WE THE PEOPLE against this push towards third world societal structure.
Opus Dei Influence Rises to the Top in the Vatican
By Betty Clermont
Sunday Apr 06, 2014 · 8:07 AM EST
Opus Dei, an official institution of the Catholic Church, at the top is a secret society of international bankers, financiers, businessmen and their supporters. Their goal is the same as other plutocrats – unbridled power – except they use the influence of the Catholic Church and its worldwide network of institutions exempt from both taxes and financial reporting requirements to advance rightwing parties and governments.
A year after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s elevation as head of the Church and his many appointments, the dust has settled. Three cardinals have emerged as the most powerful in this papacy; all have close ties to Opus Dei. Two now control all Vatican finance.
Still the most exhaustively researched book written about “The Work” as it is referred to by its members, Their Kingdom Come (1997, 2006) by Robert Hutchison, a Canadian financial journalist, traces the growth of Opus Dei financial power “by all available means” - deception, dirty tricks, even “physical muscle” like poisonings which mimic heart attacks. “What gives Opus Dei its importance is the influence it wields and also that it deploys its immense financial resources…Opus Dei knows very well that money rules the world,” Javier Sainz Moreno, professor of Law at Madrid University, told Hutchison. One of their goals was to control the Vatican’s wealth, now closer than ever to being realized.
Like many religious cults, the members at the bottom are sincere believers that Opus Dei is the path for personal holiness. Many are “numeraries,” men and women vowed to celibacy who live in communal residences and hand over their earnings to the organization. This creates workers totally dedicated to their assigned tasks, assures a steady stream of revenue and makes it difficult for members to leave. “Supernumeraries” are married and live independently but are still required to make large contributions and send their children to Opus Dei schools if available. At all levels, the names of the lay members are secret unless self-disclosed. Opus Dei also has an order of publicly identified priests and prelates.
Opus Dei's only "charity" is founding schools, mostly business schools and student centers at the world’s leading universities to train and recruit a continuous supply of professionals dedicated to Opus Dei/Catholic goals. Opus Dei is “significantly connected to 479 universities and high schools,” according to journalist Michael Walsh based on a confidential report submitted to the Vatican in 1979.
Opus Dei’s flagship university is in Navarre, Spain. Its graduate business school, IESE, founded in 1958, “has growing alliances in key areas such as Latin America, China and Eastern Europe, campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, and New York City and teaching facilities in Munich and Sao Paulo,” according to a 2012 report in the Economist. They also operate a global network of MBA schools per Bloomberg.
Probably Opus Dei’s largest financial institution is Banco Santander S.A., “the largest bank in the Eurozone by market value and one of the largest banks in the world in terms of market capitalization.” Santander funds Opus Dei schools. "Santander's interest in higher education is a deep interest, long term, because we understand that at the university are studying the leaders who will run the country in the future,” explained a company official.
“Opus Dei pursues the Vatican’s agenda through the presence of its members in secular governments and institutions and through a vast array of academic, medical, and grassroots pursuits. Its constant effort to increase its presence in civil institutions of power is supported by growth in the organization as a whole….Their work in the public sphere breaches the church-state division that is fundamental to modern democracy,” wrote Gordon Urquhart author of The Pope’s Armada: Unlocking the Secrets of Mysterious and Powerful New Sects in the Church (1995).
“It's widely known that Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas belong to Opus Dei - and that Chief Justice John Roberts may also be a member,” stated Matthew Fox, a former priest, progressive theologian and author of more than 23 books.
“They're in the CIA, the FBI,” said Fox. “Daniel Ellsberg recently told me that some of the ranking commanders of our military are also Opus Dei,” Fox stated in another interview. Veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh made a similar observation. “Hersh stated that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Vice Admiral William McRaven and others in the Joint Special Operations Command (the group responsible for the assassination of Osama Bin Laden) were members of the Knights of Malta and Opus Dei. ‘They see themselves as protecting [Christians] from the Muslims….And this is their function.' Hersh added that members of these societies have developed a secret set of insignias that represent ‘the whole notion that this is a culture war between religions.'”
The New York Times noted in 2012 that an Opus Dei boy’s prep school “has become the popular school for a small clique of Washingtonians”: Rick Santorum; lobbyist and former U.S. Senator (R-FL), Mel Martinez; Sect. of Defense Chuck Hagel; the infamous FBI spy and Opus Dei member Robert Hanssen’s boss, former FBI director Louis J. Freeh; NOM founder Maggie Gallagher and National Review editor Kate O’Beirne.
Fox said that both Santorum and Newt Gingrich are members but that doesn’t guarantee Opus Dei/Catholic Church backing. These organizations will support whichever Republican candidate has the best chance of winning regardless of his religious affiliation. That’s why the endorsement by five former U.S. ambassadors to the Vatican of Mitt Romeny in early January 2012 before the primaries signaled that “big money” had already chosen the GOP presidential nominee.
Robert P. George, a Princeton University professor closely associated with Opus Dei, changed the landscape of U.S. politics. Neocon politico Deal Hudson stated that "If there really is a vast, right-wing conspiracy, its leaders probably meet in George's basement." Referred to by the New York Times as “the country’s most influential conservative Christian thinker,” it was George's study conducted in the late 1990s showing that allegiance to the Republican Party depended not so much on religious affiliation as the frequency of church attendance which Karl Rove used to direct support for George W. Bush into pulpits, church bulletins, parking lot pamphlets and mailing lists taken from parish rosters.
After the Religious Right lost the 2008 Presidential Election, it was George who drafted the November 2009 Manhattan Manifesto introducing the theme of “religious liberty” as the new battle cry for the 150 Christian leaders who signed it. “We see [the struggle for religious liberty] in the use of antidiscrimination statutes to force religious institutions, businesses, and service providers of various sorts to comply with activities they judge to be deeply immoral....We view [restrictions on the free exercise of religion] as an ominous development, the overweening authority of the state,” they declared.
George is NOM (National Organization for Marriage) board chairman emeritus. “NOM, the Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus are responsible for funding nearly 65 percent of all anti-equality efforts in Minnesota, Maryland, Washington State and Maine.”
Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) and supernumerary declared last month that liberal and women’s studies professors should be “taken out and shot.” He had previously called for the murder of Hillary Clinton.
Opus Dei Influence in the Vatican (It’s the Money, Stupid)
The emptying of church pews in Europe has been reported for decades. In the U.S. Catholics are roughly 22-24 percent of the population. The latest poll conducted in Feb. 2014 by the Public Religion Research Institute showed that the percentage of Catholics who are non-Hispanic white is down to 60 percent. Of those, the majority (58 percent) attended Mass only a few times a year, seldom or never. Considering the lower average income of Latinos and that around 90 percent of Sunday collections remain in the parish, it is not the people in the pew providing the funding for Catholic organizations to mount scores of court challenges to Obamacare (at what cost to taxpayers?), lobby against women’s health care and same-sex marriage legislation, obstruct every state’s expansion of statutes-of-limitations which would favor survivors of child sex abuse nor pay almost $3 billion in legal costs and settlements to the Church's victims of sex abuse in the past eight years.
Nor can the Vatican maintain its inestimable wealth from Third World Catholics.
After a year of concentrated activity to make sure his assets are better managed and under his control, including the creation of four commissions, the hiring of six international consulting firms which service the plutocracy together with appointments of trusted allies, Pope Francis established the Secretariat of the Economy this past Feb. 24.
He appointed Australian Cardinal George Pell as its head reporting directly to him. With “authority over all economic and administrative activities within the Holy See and the Vatican City State,” this makes Pell de facto manager of the entire Roman Curia since he holds the purse strings.
After becoming an archbishop, Pell invited Opus Dei to establish themselves in Melbourne and then Sydney. Under Pell’s patronage, “Opus Dei's star is on the rise, it is said, and that of others - including other more established groups within the Church - is sinking,” Sydney Morning Herald’s religious affairs columnist wrote in January 2002. This reporter saw “signs of a new elitism….a clerical culture is being encouraged in which there is a highly select ‘in’ crowd around Pell.”
Pell has maintained a close relationship with Australia’s conservative PM, Tony Abbott, and his party for decades. Days before Pope Bergoglio appointed Pell on April 13, 2013, to his “G8” group of cardinals who would advise the pope on “governing the Church,” Pell attended a “Gala Dinner” celebrating the Melbourne-based Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) an “ultraconservative think tank.” Rupert Murdoch was guest of honor and Abbott the keynote speaker. (Murdoch was awarded a papal knighthood by Pope John Paul II for “promoting the interests of society, the Church and the Holy See.")
From Bergoglio's point of view, Pell has sound business experience. “[Pell’s] archdiocese's assets have nearly doubled since 2004 to over $1 billion at the end of 2013....Since Pell became archbishop in 2001 the archdiocese has paid out $6.8 million to settle 82 claims for sex abuse according to figures provided by the archdiocese's business manager - an average of $83,200 each," reported one Australian newspaper. “The disturbing consequence of this strategy, adopted widely in the Catholic Church, is that Catholic leaders effectively accepted that human worth can be measured by economic price. They accepted that the priority of the Church lay in the market where its task was to preserve and enhance its financial resources,” noted another Australian publication.
Pell is permanently relocating to Rome and will probably reside in the "grand apartment" he has used in the past at the Australian Church's guest house in Rome recently refurbished at a cost of “between $30 million and $85 million.”
As regards clerical sex abuse, Pell said the Church had been a victim of "smears," and he had refused communion to gay and lesbian parishioners. All Bergoglio’s appointees share his worldviews.
Along with the Secretariat of the Economy, the pope also created a new Council for the Economy which “will consider policies and practices and to prepare and analyze reports on the economic-administrative activities of the Holy See.” This council is comprised of eight prelates and seven laymen “reflecting various parts of the world.” As we have seen a year after the pope named his G8 “from the five continents of the world” only those close to Opus Dei have advanced in power; the rest have hardly been heard from since. Tokenism is becoming evident in all of Bergoglio’s group appointments. By all accounts, all power rests firmly in the pope and those close to him.
The Council for the Economy will be coordinated by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, another member of Bergoglio’s G8. Marx was the invited speaker for 300 guests of Opus Dei at a meeting held in the Deutsche Bank, Germany’s central bank. He has presided at Masses celebrating Opus Dei’s founder, Josemaria Escrivá, and visits the Opus Dei center for university students in Munich.
The Work is said to be very powerful in Germany’s financial capital of Frankfurt. Der Speigel observed that “There is hardly a German bishop who does not regard the organization with favor."
After his appointment as coordinator of the Council for the Economy, Marx told the press that the Vatican’s “real bank” would no longer be the IOR (Institute for Religious Works commonly referred to as the Vatican Bank) but will be the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), the department which, up to now, has primarily managed the humongous Vatican securities and property holdings. Whether or not this decision is a result of pressure from financial regulators on Bergoglio and his predecessor to “clean up” the IOR or else the bank would be prohibited from engaging in international transactions, remains to be seen.
Opus Dei/Vatican may have been preparing for this shift under the guidance of Peter Sutherland, managing director and chairman of Goldman Sachs International, former chairman of BP Oil and member of the International Advisory Board of IESE, the flagship Opus Dei graduate business school. Sutherland has been a Vatican consultant for years and was appointed by Bergoglio to the supervisory board for APSA.
In the event that APSA comes under the same regulatory pressures as the IOR, Banco Santander already “offered its availability” to the Vatican months ago. I suspect that this Opus Dei banking group will handle any Vatican financial dealings which, if exposed, would threaten the carefully constructed public image of Pope Francis since it already has the reputation of being ethnically-challenged. (see “Banco Santander S.A.Fined $200 Million for Advice Failings,” “Banco Santanger, The Epitome of Bankster Evil” and “Huge Eurobank, rated ‘Britain’s worst,’ now accused of gouging U.S. consumers.”)
One of the seven cardinals in addition to Marx named to the Council for the Economy is Houston’s Daniel N. DiNardo. The rest come from Peru, France, Mexico, Italy, Hong Kong and South Africa. As with so many of the pope's other appointments, three of the cardinals have “words and deeds regarding clergy sex crimes and cover ups” which are “deeply troubling”: DiNardo, Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico and Wilfrid Fox Napier of South Africa.
Houston is the center of the U.S. petro-chemical industry. In 2007, Archbishop DiNardo was elevated to the rank of cardinal – the first American city to be so recognized for its importance since Los Angeles was given a cardinal in 1952. The current prelate of the Los Angeles archdiocese, Jose Gomez, headed the Opus Dei regional headquarters in Houston. Gomez was appointed to lead the Church in Los Angeles the same month (April 2010) that Archbishop Thomas Wenski, who had given the invocation at the 2008 Republican National Convention, was put in charge of Miami.
The plutocracy now had the right hierarchs to represent their interests in three U.S. cities with close commercial ties to Latin America.
With “vast oil reserves,” in Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Guatemala, Cuba looking to increase foreign investment and a pope from Argentina, Latin America will be an increasingly important area of “evangelization” for the Church.
Catholic reporter Rocco Palmo referred to a group who met in Mexico City as the “A-list prelates.” The meeting held this past November was cosponsored by the Knights of Columbus, and Supreme Knight Carl Anderson addressed the group.
- Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, coordinator of the G8, has become the pope’s right-hand man, “some might say vice pope.” Rodríguez Maradiaga is “the leader of Opus Dei” in Honduras which “participated actively in the 2009 coup against the constitutional [and progressive] president, Manuel Zelaya.” “Active members of this clan are making intromissions in Honduran national politics.” “Honduras now has the highest homicide rate in the world fueled by the drug trade and government corruption. Only 2 percent of murders are solved.” Rodríguez Maradiaga blamed "the Jews"for the scandal arising from clerical crimes.
- Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the only American on the G8, is a faithful supporter of Opus Dei and has sponsored the canonization of the priest who “established an Opus Dei presence among students and professors at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology” between 1946 and 1956. Metropolitan Boston now has more than eighty colleges and universities attracting thousands of students from around the world. Like Cardinal Marx, O’Malley celebrates special Masses commemorating Opus Dei founder, Josemaria Escriva, and visits the Opus Dei (male only) center at Harvard.
- Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet was reconfirmed by Bergoglio as president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. Prior to Pope Ratzinger’s departure to Mexico and Cuba in 2012, Ouellet said, “Latin America is recognized as a leader on the current international scene....Aren’t Latin American countries going through economic processes involving exportation to various markets on the one hand, and attracting foreign capital on the other?” The week after Ratzinger returned to Rome, Mexican President Felipe Calderon met with Cuban President Raul Castro and Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega to discuss “deepening the dialogue on trade and investment between the two countries,” including “the extraction of shared oil resources” in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Laymen Guzmán Carriquiry Lecour, reconfirmed by the pope as secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, is a member of Opus Dei, Bergoglio’s “close friend” and “highest ranking layman at the Vatican.” Having been founded in Spain, Latin America was the first target of Opus Dei expansion in the 1950s.
- Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput is to be host to the pope’s October 2015 trip to the U.S. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has invited the pope to address the full Congress and Pres. Obama invited him to the White House. The pope’s visit is a “thank you” for Chaput’s exemplary service to the plutocracy as leader of the U.S. bishops’ assault against Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008. As head of the Denver archdiocese until 2011, Chaput gained the support of local moguls, turned out faithfully Republican priests from his two seminaries, obstructed justice for victims of clerical sex abuse and founded a nationwide campus ministry and influential media empire.
- Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron might seem like an odd choice until we remember that Wojtyla removed the Cayman Islands, where the Vatican has its own financial facilities, from its geographical diocese of Kingston, Jamaica, and put it under the authority of his close ally, Detroit Cardinal Adam Maida. The Cayman Islands remained attached to the Detroit archdiocese after Maida’s death. Similarly, the Turks and Caicos Islands, another offshore haven for those who wish to hide their fortune from tax collectors and regulators, are a “mission” of Opus Dei Cardinal John Myers of Newark. The chancellor for this territory, Bishop Peter Baldacchino, was just moved from Newark to Wenski’s Miami archdiocese.
- Peruvian Opus Dei Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, also named to the Council for the Economy and the most senior Opus Dei hierarch, was present to “welcome” Gomez as archbishop of San Antonio in 2005 and to Los Angeles in 2010.
Laymen appointed to the Council for the Economy
Pope Bergoglio has verbally attacked the global economic system as based on a “god called money,” and has urged international financiers to break down “the barriers of individualism and the slavery of profit at all cost.” Yet again and again, Bergoglio has appointed those who labor for the plutocracy to manage his own wealth. Widely reported as “cleaning up” Vatican finances, the pope has never appointed any forensic accountants or other specialists from any law enforcement or government regulatory agency whose expertise is curbing unethical/illegal finance to advise him about the notoriously dishonest Vatican finances. The seven laymen on the Council for the Economy reflect this.
- Joseph F.X. Zahra, coordinator for the laymen, is a former director of the Central Bank of Malta, former chairman of Bank of Valletta plc., Maltacom plc., and Middlesea Insurance plc.
- Jean-Baptiste de Franssu is chairman of INCIPIT, a mergers and acquisitions consulting firm. He was CEO of Invesco Europe, an investment management company.
- John F. Kyle retired in 2008 as vice president and treasurer of Imperial Oil Ltd., Exxon Mobil’s Canadian subsidiary.
- Enrique Llano Cueto was an audit partner of KPMG and then lead partner responsible for major clients in the public and private sectors. (See “KPMG Facilitated the Financial Fiasco”)
- Jochen Messemer is a former partner of McKinsey & Company (1993-2003). (See the list of criticisms resulting from McKinsey's advice to the world’s largest firms) He is chairman of the board of Ergo International Ltd.
- Francesco Vermiglio was a board member for Banco di Sicilia and Bank of Valletta (Malta).
- George Yeo was Minister of Finance for Singapore and a Brigadier-General in the Singapore Armed Forces. He was a visiting scholar to Peking University and remains a visiting scholar at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He is on the advisory board of Harvard Business School and Opus Dei’s graduate IESE Business School.
Paul Bui Van Doc was recently named archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City in the hope that he “may ease the relationship between the Holy See and Vietnam,” one of the few countries which doesn’t have diplomatic relations with the Church. Bui Van Doc has encouraged dialogue between the two governments. On March 22, the pope met with Nguyen Sinh Hung, president of the Vietnam parliament.
Opus Dei has been in Tokyo since 1958, Hong Kong 1981 and Singapore 1982. The Work “embraced” South Korea and Vietnam in 2008.
Sex Abuse Commission
Cardinal O’Malley was named to Bergoglio’s new commission on child sex abuse which was announced in December. Details were withheld until the day before Pres. Obama left for his trip to Europe which would include a visit with the pope. (Gerald Slevin, a rare independent Catholic blogger, made this “catch.” Please read his perceptive and astute "Pope Picks Abuse Panel On Eve Of President Obama’s Visit".)
Five women were also named to this commission including one who was raped by a priest when she was 13. As victim’s advocate Fr. Thomas Doyle stated, the new commission is “another promise waiting to be broken”:
[Fr. Hans] Zollner said the commission will look into Church law to see what has worked then make recommendations. That says it all. The pope and the commission could save a lot of time and effort because this has already been figured out, and the answer is short: Not much has worked….So it seems that to avoid having to confront and do something about the real issues facing the Church, the commission will be asked to reinvent the wheel.
Over the past three decades, a massive amount of research has been done into every aspect of clergy sex abuse….The vast majority of this research has been done and continues to be done in the United States. The whole nightmarish cesspool would not have been uncovered were it not for the bravery and determination of the American victims. Yet the only American on the commission is a cardinal.
The same day Obama was at the Vatican (March 27) Bergoglio also met with Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian bishops’ conference. The next day, the conference announced its policy as regards clerical sex abuse – “with backing from the Vatican” – stating they are not obliged to inform law enforcement officials if they suspect this crime has been committed. Notifying civil law enforcement agencies has been recommended over and over again by victims and their advocates as one of the necessary reforms the Church has to make if they are really serious about protecting children.
Also on March 28, the American bishops’ conference released the results of a yearly audit they are mandated to conduct under their own "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," adopted in 2002 following that year’s national headlines about pedophile priests. “Of particular concern are four dioceses that would not allow any audits to take place and the fact that ‘most’ dioceses do not allow or conduct audits of parishes or schools, where most reporting of abuse is thought to occur, the auditors write.”
On April 2, The Irish Times reported:
Claims made by the Vatican in a submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) last December were so inaccurate, it prompted Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to write to Rome seeking clarification.
The Vatican asserted to the UNCRC that the four religious congregations [of nuns] that ran Magdalene laundries in Ireland were willing to pay part of a compensation scheme developed by the State for women who had been in the laundries.
However, two of the religious congregations concerned have since repeated their unwillingness to contribute to any compensation scheme for the women.
Recall Bergoglio’s recent interview: “"The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility. No-one else has done more. Yet the Church is the only one to have been attacked.”
On March 31, Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, and his family were granted a private meeting with the pope even though his employee retirement plan – partially funded by the company – “held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions.” Green “thanked the pope for underlining the importance of religious freedom.” Green said Bergoglio “asked when the ruling was going to come down,” referring to Hobby Lobby's case before the U.S. Supreme Court where the company is challenging Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate.
Kudos to former Fox News correspondent and member of Opus Dei, Gregory Burke, Vatican senior communications adviser for brilliantly manipulating the news. Burke said during an interview with the Washington Post, “I would love to bring some Roger Ailes into this job,” but Burke has been doing just fine. What was the most prominent headline about the Church in the past two weeks after Obama meeting the pope and the formation of a sex abuse commission? “Pope Francis Removes German ‘Bishop of Bling.’”
Although Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst had tendered his resignation last October and the committee formed to investigate the matter had not yet reached its conclusion, the day before Obama arrived at the Vatican it was announced that the pope was accepting Tebartz-van Elst’s resignation. The day following the Obama visit, the bishop was granted a private meeting with Bergoglio (no hard feelings?). As a German newspaper reported, “Former Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst can look forward to a good pension.”