Judicially-imposed tax increases if Hillary is elected

Judicially-imposed tax increases if Hillary is elected

If Hillary Clinton wins, she will pick at least one and probably several Supreme Court justices, pushing the legal system radically to the left. Right now, there are already four left-leaning Supreme Court justices who vote in lockstep, and soon, Mrs. Clinton will appoint a fifth justice to create a firm 5-to-4 left-leaning majority on the court.

The result will be judicially-imposed tax increases of various kinds. Effectively, we the people will lose some of our right to self-government, as state and local governments are ordered by federal judges to levy increased taxes for various social causes favored by progressives.

One ruling that will likely be overturned by the new left-wing Supreme Court is the 5-to-4 ruling in Missouri v. Jenkins (1995), which limited the ability of federal courts to impose opulent new spending paid for by judicially-imposed tax increases. A federal judge ordered the State of Missouri to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the grossly wasteful and mismanaged Kansas City, Missouri School District. It already had far more money per pupil than other school districts in the state. The judge did it “because student achievement levels were still ‘at or below national norms at many grade levels.'” The pretext for the judge’s order was the fact that the school district had once been segregated many years before. The Supreme Court’s four liberal justices would have upheld this spending, which supplemented additional spending that a judge had ordered the school district to raise by disregarding tax limits contained in state law.

In the 1980’s, a judge ordered the Kansas City property tax increased to far more than the amount permitted by state law. A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled in Missouri v. Jenkins (1990) that the judge could not raise the tax himself, but could order the school district to raise them if necessary. The four most conservative justices dissented against the idea of judges ordering any tax increase. The liberal majority opinion would have been much more extreme, had it not been written by moderate justice Byron White, the swing vote on such matters.

Another ruling that may be overturned by the new left-wing Supreme Court is the 5-to-4 ruling in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez (1973). In that decision, the Supreme Court, over a dissent by liberal justices, held that paying for schools based on local taxes is not a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause, even though such taxes vary from city to city and county to county. The court also ruled that education is not a federal (as opposed to state) constitutional right, leaving the matter for local control and democratic decisionmaking. If the court had decided differently, federal judges would have spent most of the last 40 years ordering states to raise taxes for schools. That is what has happened in many states, which have state constitutions interpreted as making education a judicially enforceable right: in those states, judges have forced state legislatures to raise taxes for schools over and over again. Such state judges have raised taxes even though researchers like David Armour and Christopher Jencks have consistently found no benefit from these judicially-imposed spending increases and tax increases, which do nothing to increase student achievement. In New Jersey, the state supreme court spent 30 years ordering more and more spending in the Abbott v. Burke case, ultimately awarding far more money to politically-favored urban school districts than is received by the typical school district in the state on a per-pupil basis. The last thing we need is such endless, costly lawsuits at a federal level, allowing left-wing judges to order spending on politically-correct causes in the schools at taxpayer expense. At the state level, judges often are hesitant to increase taxes too much, lest they be removed from office by angry voters, or not be reappointed by governors or state legislators.  But at the federal level, left-wing judges will feel no such restraint, because federal judges have life tenure.

Hillary Clinton’s left-wing appointments to the Supreme Court will also make life worse in many other ways. For example, they will make it harder to obtain maximum sentences for murderers and certain other violent criminals, as we previously explained at this link. That will likely lead to an increase in the murder rate and the violent crime rate. Hillary Clinton has demonized the police, making false claims about race-based arrests.  She also falsely accused America’s police of “systemic racism” in a speech to the NAACP.

By contrast, Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court picks consists of experienced, well-respected appellate judges who support free speech and property rights, and who are highly-rated by conservative and libertarian legal scholars. Since Trump has always been passionately anti-crime, even many years ago, he is likely to nominate anti-crime judges. Anti-crime judges tend to be more conservative than judges who are soft on crime, so Trump is more likely to nominate conservative judges than Hillary Clinton, just due to his stance on crime. Anti-crime judges are also less likely to engage in left-wing judicial activism, less likely to permit abusive lawsuits, and more supportive of free speech, property rights, and freedom of association, than judges who are soft on crime.

Jerome Woehrle

Jerome Woehrle

Jerome Woehrle is an attorney and author, who writes about politics.


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