Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Giustizia, Stati Uniti

Corte Suprema. Sentenza Tax Board v. Hyatt. Ci interessa e molto da vicino.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-05-22.

2019-05-15__Scoturs__001

La sentenza della Corte Suprema degli Stati Uniti sul caso Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, No. 17-1299  riguarda sicuramente l’America, ma ha anche grandi risvolti sia per la giurisprudenza in generale sia alla fine per tutto il mondo, Europa in particolare.

Essendo una sentenza molto tecnica non è intuitivo cogliere il nesso: cercheremo di spiegarlo al meglio: i giuristi perdonino se useremo un linguaggio piano, ma lo scopo è quello di farsi intendere dal largo pubblico. Le persone con conoscenze specifiche troveranno piacevole leggere il dispositivo qui riportato.

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In sintesi succinta:

– vieta di portare in giudizio uno Stato nella Corte di Giustizia di un altro Stato.

– afferma il diritto della Corte Suprema di sentenziare anche variando ovvero annullando sentenze pregresse.

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«Overruling a 40-year-old precedent, the Supreme Court said on Monday that states may not be sued in the courts of other states»

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«most states already grant sovereign immunity to other states, shielding them from lawsuits»

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«there have been only 14 cases in the past 40 years in which one state allowed another to be sued in its courts»

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«The decision was more important for its discussion of when precedents may be overruled»

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«Today’s decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the court will overrule next»

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«In 1991, Mr. Hyatt, who had lived in California, told the authorities that he had moved to Nevada, which collects no personal income tax. The authorities were doubtful, and they started an aggressive investigation, interviewing estranged family members and making private information available to Mr. Hyatt’s business associates.Mr. Hyatt sued in state court in Nevada over that conduct, and he won a large jury award that was later reduced to $100,000. California argued that allowing such a lawsuit violated the Constitution.»

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«In 1979, in Nevada v. Hall, the Supreme Court had ruled that such suits were permissible»

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«Writing for the majority on Monday, Justice Clarence Thomas said California had the stronger argument, basing his decision on constitutional history. Before the states joined the union, he wrote, they were independent nations. “The founding generation thus took as given that states could not be haled involuntarily before each other’s courts,” he wrote.

The Constitution, Justice Thomas added, confirmed that principle, if not in so many words. “The Constitution implicitly strips states of any power they once had to refuse each other sovereign immunity,” he wrote.»

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«The most heated disagreement in Monday’s decision was over the doctrine of stare decisis, which is Latin for “to stand by things decided.”»

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«Justice Thomas, noting that respect for precedent is not an “inexorable command,” said three of four factors supported overruling the 1979 decision. »

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«The people of this nation rely upon stability in the law, …. Legal stability allows lawyers to give clients sound advice and allows ordinary citizens to plan their lives. …. To overrule a sound decision like Hall is to encourage litigants to seek to overrule other cases; it is to make it more difficult for lawyers to refrain from challenging settled law; and it is to cause the public to become increasingly uncertain about which cases the court will overrule and which cases are here to stay»

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Il problema è affascinante da un punto di vista giuridico, massimamente in un sistema giuridico basato sul common law, ove le sentenza acquisiscono valore di leggi.

L’errore sottile si insinua qualora si cercasse di massimizzare l’enunciato di una sentenza.

Le sentenze pregresse dovrebbero essere considerate sempre con il massimo rispetto, formale e sostanziale, ma né possono né debbono essere divinizzate. Come tutte le azioni umane possono rivelare nel tempo vizi di forma o carenze di dottrina, possono generare effetti secondari non voluti, indesiderati ed indesiderabili, ovvero potrebbero dimostrarsi superate dai tempi.  Nel ragionare su queste evenienza, Sua Giustizia Thomas reintroduce nella prassi mentale della Suprema Corte ciò che un tempo era denominato ‘buon senso’.

Non solo. Avoca alla Suprema Corte il potere e l’obbligo di riformare sentenze pregresse, in ossequio a quanto prima enunciato.

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Il malcontento e la costernazione dei liberal democratici è ben descritto nei seguenti articoli.

Supreme Court Weighs Core Questions of Precedent and States’ Rights

Supreme Court Precedents That May Be at Risk

«Fourteen cases had civil rights at their core, like rulings involving voting rights, affirmative action and deportation. However, one case has already been overturned by Congressional action or another may require assistance from Congress before a new Supreme Court majority could act.

In 2009, Congress passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act after the Supreme Court ruled in Ledbetter v. the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 imposed strict time limits for bringing workplace discrimination suits.

In a 2013 decision, Shelby County v. Holder, the court struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act, which essentially gave Congress a chance to redraft the law. Should Congress rewrite it, a new liberal majority would most likely sustain the new version.»

The Threat to Roe v. Wade in the Case of the Missing Precedent

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Vediamo adesso cosa questa sentenza implica per l’America e per il resto del mondo. Quindi anche per l’Italia.

Per i liberal democratici stava diventando abitudine citare gli stati che legiferavano a maggioranza repubblicana presso Corti di altri stati a maggioranza democratica, i giudici delle quali regolarmente bloccavano le leggi deliberate dalle maggioranze espresse dal Popolo Sovrano. Si metteva così in atto un ostruzionismo giudiziario di lunga durata, che era quindi abilmente utilizzato per bollare come illegale ogni legge promulgata dai repubblicani, salvo poi abbandonare l’argomento quando interveniva la Corte Suprema a ristabilire il rule of law.

Dal 23 aprile i giudici politicizzati sanno che saranno incriminati.

L’incriminazione del giudice Joseph ha costituito un altro punto di svolta nella competizione giudiziaria, evidenziando come i comportamenti partigiani dei giudizi non sarebbe stati più a lungo tollerati.

Immediatamente, giudici e media si son fatti silenziosi e cauti.

Più delicata e sottile è invece la questione che la Corte Suprema possa rivedere sentenze già emesse.

Sono infatti in attesa di essere sottoposte al vaglio della Suprema Corte un largo numero di sentenze emesse da Corti inferiori inerenti problemi etici e morali che così stanno a cuore dei liberal democratici, massimamente poi la questione dell’aborto.

Alabama passes bill banning abortion

Avendo fatto dell’aborto e dell’etica il proprio programma politico, i liberal democratici si sentono scendere per le ossa che questo potrebbe essere semplicemente distrutto in via giudiziaria. Ed il tutto con grande clamore.

Ma il crollo dei liberal democratici negli Stati Uniti avrebbe consistenti ripercussioni sull’Europa, ove molte nazioni sono governate ancora da una loro maggioranza.


The New York Times. 2019-05-13. Justices Split Over the Power of Precedent

WASHINGTON — Overruling a 40-year-old precedent, the Supreme Court said on Monday that states may not be sued in the courts of other states.

The vote was 5 to 4, with the court’s more conservative members in the majority. The ruling itself will probably not be particularly consequential, as most states already grant sovereign immunity to other states, shielding them from lawsuits. By one count, there have been only 14 cases in the past 40 years in which one state allowed another to be sued in its courts.

The decision was more important for its discussion of when precedents may be overruled. In dissent, after repeatedly citing a 1992 decision that reaffirmed the constitutional right to abortion established in 1973 in Roe v. Wade, Justice Stephen G. Breyer said he feared for the future.

“Today’s decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the court will overrule next,” he wrote.

Monday’s decision, Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, No. 17-1299, resolved a long-running dispute involving Gilbert P. Hyatt, who had made money from technology patents, and California’s tax authorities. In 1991, Mr. Hyatt, who had lived in California, told the authorities that he had moved to Nevada, which collects no personal income tax.

The authorities were doubtful, and they started an aggressive investigation, interviewing estranged family members and making private information available to Mr. Hyatt’s business associates.

Mr. Hyatt sued in state court in Nevada over that conduct, and he won a large jury award that was later reduced to $100,000. California argued that allowing such a lawsuit violated the Constitution.

In 1979, in Nevada v. Hall, the Supreme Court had ruled that such suits were permissible.

In an earlier encounter with Mr. Hyatt’s case, the court in 2016 came close to overruling that decision. But the court was short-handed after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, and it deadlocked 4 to 4.

Writing for the majority on Monday, Justice Clarence Thomas said California had the stronger argument, basing his decision on constitutional history. Before the states joined the union, he wrote, they were independent nations. “The founding generation thus took as given that states could not be haled involuntarily before each other’s courts,” he wrote.

The Constitution, Justice Thomas added, confirmed that principle, if not in so many words. “The Constitution implicitly strips states of any power they once had to refuse each other sovereign immunity,” he wrote.

In dissent, Justice Breyer took issue with both points. Before and after the adoption of the Constitution, he wrote, states generally granted sovereign immunity to other states — but only as a matter of grace and self-interest. Those that desired to take a different approach could do so, Justice Breyer wrote.

The most heated disagreement in Monday’s decision was over the doctrine of stare decisis, which is Latin for “to stand by things decided.” Justice Thomas, noting that respect for precedent is not an “inexorable command,” said three of four factors supported overruling the 1979 decision.

The earlier decision, he said, was poorly reasoned, inconsistent with related decisions and in tension with later legal developments. But he said that Mr. Hyatt and others had relied on the decision, a factor cutting the opposite way.

“We acknowledge that some plaintiffs, such as Hyatt, have relied on Hall by suing sovereign states,” Justice Thomas wrote. “Because of our decision to overrule Hall, Hyatt unfortunately will suffer the loss of two decades of litigation expenses and a final judgment against the board for its egregious conduct.”

Justice Breyer responded that there was no good reason to overrule the precedent.

“The people of this nation rely upon stability in the law,” he wrote. “Legal stability allows lawyers to give clients sound advice and allows ordinary citizens to plan their lives.” He added, “To overrule a sound decision like Hall is to encourage litigants to seek to overrule other cases; it is to make it more difficult for lawyers to refrain from challenging settled law; and it is to cause the public to become increasingly uncertain about which cases the court will overrule and which cases are here to stay.”

Justice Breyer did not address the fate of Roe v. Wade directly. But he sounded a general note of caution, saying it was “dangerous to overrule a decision only because five members of a later court come to agree with earlier dissenters on a difficult legal question.”

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