Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Supreme Court ruling like drunken sailors

News item:

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday threw out the record $2.5 billion in punitive damages that Exxon Mobil Corp had been ordered to pay for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska, the nation's worst tanker spill.

By a 5-3 vote, the high court ruled that the punitive damages award should be slashed -- limited by the circumstances of the case to an amount equal to the total relevant compensatory damages of $507.5 million."

What a freakin' travesty! What a joke!

So, in effect, Exxon has just gamed the justice system for the past 20 or so years waiting for a friendly court packed by a fellow oil man to get out of having to pay for destroying the livelihoods of some 33,000 Alaskans. They went from having to fork out $5 billion, which would take them about four days to make, to paying a paltry $500 million which will take them about 24 hours to recoup. I think I heard somewhere that works out to about $15,000 for each victim of Exxon's drunken sailor.

Don't spend it all in one place folks!

Now, that's real non-activist justice for you.

Of course, the ruling was 5-3 because Justice Alito has money wrapped up in Exxon. Many of the Justices, in fact, have the same recusal problem Alito has. Makes inquiring minds think that any corporation with a sob story coming before the Court is going to get a more than favorable hearing.

But not to worry, any hint of impropriety is being taken care of as we speak! As the WaPo pointed out earlier this month, the Justices have been selling off a lot of their stock lately in order to maintain the bare minimum of Justices required to hear cases. All of them have such a pressing financial interest in many of the cases they're hearing, you understand, it makes them look . . . well, not so impartial.

The WaPo:

"It was not clear whether the justices took advantage of a recent change in federal law that allows them to defer paying taxes on capital gains by reinvesting the proceeds in mutual funds, government bonds or other assets. " [They're so naive at the WaPo, aren't they?]

Making some token sales of stock to make it look like they're impartial? $500 million. Making even more money while doing it? Priceless!

And coming along soon is the big decision on DC's gun ban and the individual's right to bare arms, a concept not recognized by the courts in decades, but coming to a gun show near you soon.

Anyone know how much stock Alito has in the gun industry, btw?

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