Dirty laundry is still dirty, even if no one sees it

Really depressing read, if you’re a person who may have a direct and personal interest in any of the huge questions that are before the Supreme Court:

Before retiring from the Supreme Court in 2009, liberal Justice David Souter penned a dissent so critical of the court’s conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts went to great lengths to prevent it from being published. That’s one of the clams from The New Yorker’s epic dissection of the 2010 Supreme Court Decision Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission. Taking us inside the legal wranglings of the high-profile case, staff writer Jeffrey Toobin describes a dissent Souter wrote at the end of his tenure at the Supreme Court. The argument, which remains unpublished, accused Roberts of engineering the outcome of the Citizens United case:
Souter wrote a dissent that aired some of the Court’s dirty laundry. By definition, dissents challenge the legal conclusions of the majority, but Souter accused the Chief Justice of violating the Court’s own procedures to engineer the result he wanted.
Roberts didn’t mind spirited disagreement on the merits of any case, but Souter’s attack—an extraordinary, bridge-burning farewell to the Court—could damage the Court’s credibility. So the Chief came up with a strategically ingenious maneuver.
Toobin goes on to explain that Roberts put Citizens United down for the process known as “reargument” on June 29, 2009, the last day of that year’s term, and the day that Souter retired. The maneuver set the trajectory of the case and ultimately prevented Souter’s dissent from being published. As U.C.–Irvine School of Law professor Rick Hasen notes on his blog, “thanks to the reargument … the criticism that the Court decided the issue without briefing was gone.”
If you’re interested in seeing Souter’s full dissent, so are we. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. As has been reported, Souter gave all “his papers to the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord, where they will remain closed for 50 years.”

If Toobin’s account is accurate, I’m a little confused on the “damage the credibility of the Court” angle. If Souter believed that what he wrote was true, then perhaps the Court’s credibility should be damaged, or maybe we could read it and decide for ourselves. How far are we willing to go on “protecting credibility”? Doesn’t credibility have some connection to actions taken?






161 replies
  1. 1
    Egg Berry says:

    Wait, Souter was a liberal?

  2. 2
    Li says:

    Kung Tsu said that it is best to not bend over in a melon patch to tie your shoes, lest you be mistaken for a thief. Our Supreme Court seems to have turned that on its head; Steal melons all day, but be sure that no one sees you do it, lest they think of you as a thief.

    It’s a good principle to follow if your desire is to be evil. Which is why shooting the messenger (i.e. Souter) is worse than any message he might carry, because it proves you are up to no good.

  3. 3
    rlrr says:

    @Egg Berry:

    Compared to Thomas and Scalia…

  4. 4
    c u n d gulag says:

    Yes, because nothing says “Freedom and Liberty” quite like the highest court in the land suppressing dissent from one of their own!

    You have to love Conservatives who exclaim to one and all how much they “LOVE” America – all except the parts that make it America.

    I think the place our Conservatives would have felt most at home in, is in the old Soviet system.
    They’re all Lenin and Stalin wannabe’s.

  5. 5
    rlrr says:

    Remember Nader saying there was no difference between the Bush and Gore (or Kerry). A Democrat would never have appointed Roberts…

  6. 6
    Kay says:

    @Li:

    It’s bizarre to me. It’s as if “credibility” is completely disassociated from “actions people take”. I think those two things are connected. They better be, or “credibility” isn’t worth a whole lot.

  7. 7
    cathyx says:

    I think Justice Souter needs to write a letter to the editor.

  8. 8
    rlrr says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Conservative: Someone who loves America but hates Americans

  9. 9
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    OK. This is conspiracy theory bullshit. If Souter wanted to air the court’s dirty laundry, he could appear on any media outlet available, or start a blog.

  10. 10
    amk says:

    @c u n d gulag: Nah. They want apartheid south africa in good ole america.

  11. 11
    kdaug says:

    Doesn’t credibility have some connection to actions taken?

    There is no other connection.

  12. 12
    Xenos says:

    Souter is still alive, last I heard. If he wanted the public, at least, to read his dissent I am sure he could dig up an old draft and email it to someone.

  13. 13
    maya says:

    Wow! Citizens United was recalled before the SC by Roberts for only one reason: The per-conceived and planned outcome he wanted? I’m flabbergasted.

  14. 14

    This story just confirms mine, and many others perception that certain cases are being decided for political expedience by the court’s movement conservatives. And few cases could generate as much political gain for republicans, than letting loose their dogs of wealth into the democratic process. I suspect we will see similar decisions, unless Kennedy’s conscience gets the better of him, for the VRA, and possibly the ACA. And whatever other cases in the pipeline to be decided, that can create electoral advantage for the wingnuts. It’s a cold war folks, the old rules don’t apply.

  15. 15
    Li says:

    @Kay:

    It is the way things are done. When the media’s purpose is to deceive, as it clearly is, it is easier to cover up things done than things said. In that sense, you can lie, cheat, steal, murder, torture, wiretap, assasinate-by-flying-death-robot all day, and the media will pretend it didn’t happen. But if you say something about it, it’s impossible to keep that off the YouTube and thus impossible to stonewall too successfully*. A gaffe is inadvertently telling the truth, after all.

    *The exception is UFO stuff. You can have half a dozen astronauts say things like this, and laughter is all you need to stonewall it, regardless of how often it is said. I think it works in this case because there are things that people prefer not to believe; mostly things that shatter their illusion of being in control.

  16. 16
    Steve in DC says:

    @rlrr

    Nader’s continued point is that both the Democrats and the Republicans believe in neo-liberal economic policies and both have long since sold the working class off in the name of globalism for their corporate masters.

    And you know what, he’s exactly correct. The question is do you vote for a party of the 1% that panders to social conservatives to get votes or do you vote for party of the top 5% that uses social liberalism to white wash it’s attacks on the working class?

    Of course there is “a difference” but unless you’re far enough up the food chain, you’re choosing who gets to savage you economically or voting your social values.

  17. 17

    @Steve in DC: Let me know which mountain range in which you intend to base your guerrilla movement, so I can steer support and recruits that way.

    Failing that, the address of your campaign committee’s finance director.

  18. 18
    John X. says:

    Conservatives like to pretend that institutions should be respected because they are respected institutions.

  19. 19
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Activist judges, indeed.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The Supreme Court sacrificed its credibility to install a deserting sack of shit into the Presidency in 2000.

    Nothing has changed, except that two of those who voted to install aforementioned deserting sack of shit were replaced by twits of similar persuasion. Roberts himself a mendacious sack of shit.

  21. 21
    NCSteve says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Either he wrote the unpublished dissent or he didn’t. If he did, what you said is silly. If he didn’t, well Toobin’s lying.

  22. 22
    TR says:

    Activist judges, activist judges.

  23. 23
    Hal says:

    @rlrr:

    Remember Nader saying there was no difference between the Bush and Gore (or Kerry). A Democrat would never have appointed Roberts…

    Some Liberals make this argument all the time, and it just blows my mind. Al Gore would have never given us a Roberts Court or nominated Alito. Dukakis (remember him?) would have never picked someone like Clarence Thomas as the successor to Thurgood Marhsall.

    Some of these people are one issue voters and no matter what else is on the table, they can’t bring themselves to look at the bigger pitch. Hell, I still have a friend who cries “War monger!!” every time Hillary Clinton gets mentioned.

  24. 24
    NCSteve says:

    Just a basic disconnect in thinking. Democrats think credibility is something you earn through your actions. Republicans think credibility is something you manufacture with sophisticated advertising and P.R. campaigns to keep your actions from having adverse consequences. It’s all part of “running government like a business.”

  25. 25
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Kay @ Top:

    If Toobin’s account is accurate, I’m a little confused on the “damage the credibility of the Court” angle. If Souter believed that what he wrote was true, then perhaps the Court’s credibility should be damaged …

    Is there anyone to the left of Dick Cheney — is there any knowledgeable independent or Democrat? — who would argue that the Court’s credibility has not been damaged by the last 12 years of the Supreme Court’s decisions?

    I don’t know that anything Souter could add would damage SCOTUS more than Bush v. Gore, Citizen’s United, Ledbetter, etc., already have, but it sure would be useful to have Souter’s take on the process of how the four radical conservatives have manipulated and ignored procedure and precedent to achieve their socially destructive ends.

    .

  26. 26
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @NCSteve: if toobin’s lying, that’s problematic. If Souter wrote the dissent, then he can say what he wants anywhere he likes. I don’t see this as silly.

  27. 27
    balconesfault says:

    As a dissent, Souter’s piece would follow Court protocols, and have some measure of legal weight for future courts considering cases.

    As an op-ed, Souter would be labeled an ideological drama queen and ignored.

    Love him or hate him – Souter has never been a drama queen.

  28. 28
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @balconesfault:

    As a dissent, Souter’s piece would follow Court protocols, and have some measure of legal weight for future courts considering cases.

    how much measure?

  29. 29
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    @Steve in DC: Hey, my favorite concern troll. Nice talking points this morning.

  30. 30
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    balconesfault:

    As an op-ed, Souter would be labeled an ideological drama queen and ignored.

    Souter is a former Supreme Court justice with a largely centrist record. Only the far-right would ever label him an ideological drama queen.

    Though I admit the far right has become a pretty crowded country over the past two decades.

    .

  31. 31

    And to put an exclamation point on the bullshit, polls out today show public thinks Obama came out for gay marriage mostly for political gain. And the wingnuts are piling on that meme, in between writing articles saying that it’s bad politics that will hurt Obama in the election. Tally Ho!! The Funhouse is officially open.

  32. 32
    EconWatcher says:

    @Steve in DC:

    Clinton quietly but very substantially expanded the earned income tax credit to help the working poor. Obama’s health care reforms will come very close to providing universal health insurance. Neither of these are targeted to help the top 1%, or the top 5%. They do more for the American working class than Nader has ever done or will ever do.

    It’s awfully late in the day to defend Nader.

  33. 33
    Jamey says:

    Release it. Let the courts decide…. Oh, right.

  34. 34
    balconesfault says:

    @EconWatcher: +1

  35. 35
    balconesfault says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Dr. Thomas R. O’Connor of Wesleyan College:
    “A dissenting opinion can also serve the purpose of setting the stage for later Supreme Court decisions. In exceptional cases, a dissenting opinion can also urge Congress to overturn the Supreme Court’s interpretation of a law.”
    http://faculty.ncwc.edu/toconn.....ecourt.htm

  36. 36
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    arguingwithsignposts:

    This is conspiracy theory bullshit. If Souter wanted to air the court’s dirty laundry, he could appear on any media outlet available, or start a blog.

    Right. Because when I want conspiracy theories, The New Yorker is the place I turn to. It’s not like they have some sort of legendary fact-checking department or anything like that.

    C’mon, AWSP, you usually know better than that.

    .

  37. 37
    GregB says:

    I hear Orly Taitz is on Romney’s short list to replace Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

    Other than that there’s no difference between Mitt and Barack.

  38. 38
    NCSteve says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: You seemed to be saying that because Souter hasn’t chosen to be the first retired Supreme Court justice in the nearly two and a half centuries that the institution has existed to loudly go public with the Court’s dirty laundry, there’s no reason to believe that Toobin’s story is accurate.

    Reasonable minds can differ on whether that’s silly, but the institutional inhibitions against letting the public know about the roaches and filth in the kitchen that an appellate judge acquires over decades are formidable. It’s easier to imagine cows turning into carnivores.

    That said, Toobin got this story from somewhere . . .

  39. 39
    priscianusjr says:

    @Xenos: Souter is still alive, last I heard. If he wanted the public, at least, to read his dissent I am sure he could dig up an old draft and email it to someone.

    Or maybe he was looking to stir up a little wind in his sails first.

    It can’t be completely inaccessible. Obviously Toobin has read it. Now how do you suppose he did that?

  40. 40
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @JGabriel: Fact is, Toobin is peddling shit. if Souter wants to, he can pony up and say so. otherwise, let’s hear how 9/11 was an inside job and the moon landing was fake.

  41. 41
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    And, for the record, I’d be glad to be proven wrong here.

  42. 42
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    arguingwithsignposts:

    … if Souter wants to, he can pony up and say so.

    priscianusjr:

    If he wanted the public, at least, to read his dissent I am sure he could dig up an old draft and email it to someone.

    Yeah, I’m curious about that as well. Maybe Souter didn’t think it would garner much interest. The attention Toobin’s article generates might give Souter the impetus to reconsider that decision.

    .

  43. 43
    foggy follansbye says:

    What’s the big deal? Souter objected that the Supreme Court was about to overrule McConnell without having it adequately argued or briefed, so Roberts set it for reargument to address the specific points raised by Souter. Kagan got to argue it as SG.

    What we lost is an entertaining and harshly-worded opinion by Souter that means nothing because Roberts conceded the procedural point to Souter.

  44. 44
    balconesfault says:

    @priscianusjr: Or maybe he was looking for a little wind in his sails before he does that.

    Excellent point. Firing it off out of the blue risks the whole controversy about him criticizing the court eclipsing whatever the criticism is.

    However, if this touches off a public debate about the merits of a former justice criticizing the court by releasing a dissent that was procedurally silenced, much of that controversy would have been played out before Souter actually released it … building anticipation for the message itself.

  45. 45
    Emma Anne says:

    I heard Souter speak to a bunch of lawyers shortly after he retired, and he did talk about his disdain for how the court had been operating. As I recall he talked more about Bush v. Gore than CU, but that may just be the part I remember. In any case, he is far from a drama queen.

  46. 46
    amk says:

    OT – looks like the con scheme called americans elect has folded ? poor buddy romer. his one big chance to be the prezinent has gone pfft.

  47. 47
    handsmile says:

    Toobin’s New Yorker article is an absolute gut-punch. Read it now only if you don’t mind drinking this early in the day, but do read it if only to have all your suspicions about the radical nature of the Roberts Court made manifest.

    With this account, it would seem almost certain that both ACA and VRA will be found to be unconstitutional or at best eviscerated by a 5-4 majority of this Court. Stare decisis (legal precedent) and the vaunted “reputation of the Court” are now mere quaint notions.

    To my mind, the Souter dissent in Citizens United seems a rather weak brew for controversy. The published dissent by Justice John Paul Stevens, at ninety pages the longest of his career, lays out fully the legal threadbareness and political expediency of the majority opinion.

    As others have mentioned above, Souter could perhaps be prevailed upon to publish his quashed dissent in some form. But given the man’s reclusive nature, I suspect such appeals would not be successful.

  48. 48

    Hmm… curious how Robert could have engineered the outcome he wanted? What exactly could he have done? Is Souter alleging misconduct here? If Roberts breached his constitutional and judicial oaths then he could be removed. Impeached, whatever it is they do to SCOTUS justices.

  49. 49

    @Emma Anne:

    In any case, he is far from a drama queen

    Until Mister Rogers died and Justice Souter didn’t, I was none too sure they weren’t the same person.

  50. 50

    Let’s boil it down to the essential words: Political documentary, banned, government.
    What progressives ignore is the liberal justices acknowledge that banning a Political documentary goes too far.

  51. 51
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @WWStBreitbartD: troll harder!

  52. 52
  53. 53
    JPL says:

    @handsmile: This.
    I’m surprised that they haven’t announced the decision already. ACA is dead and that will drag down the President’s poll numbers. I don’t see good days ahead.

  54. 54
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    amk:

    OT – looks like the con scheme called americans elect has folded ?

    Maybe. Here’s the key takeaway from Americans Elect’s statement:

    … [No] candidate has reached the national support threshold required to enter the “Americans Elect Online Convention” this June. … Because of this, under the rules that AE delegates ratified, the primary process would end today. There is, however, an almost universal desire among delegates, leadership and millions of Americans who have supported AE to see a credible candidate emerge from this process.
    __
    Every step of the way, AE has conferred with its community before making major decisions. We will do the same this week before determining next steps for the immediate future. AE will announce the results of these conversations on Thursday, May 17.

    Sounds like they’re admitting their so-called primary failed to select a candidate — but don’t want to “give up on the dream” just yet, those romantic plutocrats.

    .

  55. 55
    rlrr says:

    @Southern Beale:

    So their search for a non-Democratic Barack Obama failed…

  56. 56
    rikryah says:

    I appreciate you bringing us things like this, kay. only confirms what I already thought about Roberts and his ilk. there is no credibility damage, because Roberts and his ilk had already damaged the court.

  57. 57

    @JGabriel:

    … don’t want to “give up on the dream” just yet, those romantic plutocrats.

    Awww. Bless their strange little hearts.

  58. 58
    Gary says:

    I’ll read the article, but I don’t think any action of the Supreme Court could depress me more than Bush v. Gore.

    That was the decision that revealed the conservatives on the Supreme Court are unprincipled hacks that care nothing for the country or even their legacy. It was theft, it was treason, it was the gift that keeps on giving. Without Bush v. Gore, we would never have had Supreme Court Justices Alito and Roberts, Citizens United, massive deficits or the war in Iraq.

  59. 59
    eemom says:

    I don’t trust a damn thing that drama queen Toobin says after his disgusting performance over the ACA hearings.

    And I’ll say the same thing if the Court strikes it down 9-0.

  60. 60
    handsmile says:

    @Southern Beale: (#48)

    curious how Robert could have engineered the outcome he wanted? What exactly could he have done?

    That process is precisely what Toobin dissects in this New Yorker article. If you have the time, do read it; weeping will likely ensue.

    Souter is alleging nothing here; in fact, he and his dissent play a very minor role in Tobin’s account. Which is not at all to say that its content would not illuminating if it were to published. John Paul Stevens plays a more prominent role and his disgust with the majority opinion in Citizens United, as well as the the Court’s hard right shift, is detailed in the article.

  61. 61
    jackmac says:

    It’s long past time to call the “Supreme Court” what it really is: the Republican Party Tribunal.

  62. 62
    Kay says:

    @handsmile:

    No one is ever going to read a 14 page article, let alone a 60 page dissent, and campaign finance is technical and boring.
    Citizens is unpopular. People get that unlimited donations with no disclosure requirements are a bad idea. I’m glad that it continues to be discussed, no matter how or in what context.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @JGabriel:

    There is, however, an almost universal desire among delegates, leadership and millions of Americans who have supported AE to see a credible candidate emerge from this process.

    They’ve set a ridiculously low bar, and they still haven’t found a single candidate who can clear it. The only way they can get a candidate at this point is to throw out all their rules and just appoint somebody. That is not the path to a credible candidate, no matter how much you talk about the insatiable desire of America for something different.

  64. 64
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Southern Beale:
    “…whatever it is they do to SCOTUS justices.”

    Well, they usually leave them sitting at the bench until they’re withered dried-up old husks, completely out of touch with the world – and then they hang around some more until they get someone from their own party in position to replace them.

    Once in awhile, we, the people, get lucky and one dies, or retires.
    Souter was the exception, and retired when a Democrat was President.
    I think THAT was his revenge.

    O’Conner left while “Baby Doc” was still President, and gave us Alito – causing still further harm, after her Bush v. Gore disaster of a decision, for which the country will never forgive her.

  65. 65
    Stooleo says:

    Anybody still think that the health care bill (ACA) is not going to be struck down?

  66. 66

    I’m reminded of the round of the non-disclosure-blood-oaths now extracted from clerks after Edward Lazarus’ Closed Chambers book came out in 1999 — just in time for Bush v. Gore

  67. 67
    Kay says:

    @eemom:

    I don’t trust a damn thing that drama queen Toobin says after his disgusting performance over the ACA hearings.

    I thought it was excessive too, but what if it was genuine? What if he was genuinely shocked at what he heard, when he arrived expecting to hear something else? Is that even a possibility? I think it is.

  68. 68
    Kay says:

    @Stooleo:

    There’s much more than the health care bill at stake. They heard the (conservative-libertarian) Medicaid argument too. I still have no idea what is going to happen.

  69. 69
    lacp says:

    @Southern Beale: Why, that’s terrible! Dashing the hopes and dreams of millions – yes, millions! – of good, patriotic Americans. I just..eh, I…heh, uh, hah, uh,HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH!!

  70. 70
    Triassic Sands says:

    …an extraordinary, bridge-burning farewell to the Court—could damage the Court’s credibility.

    What credibility?

  71. 71
    JPL says:

    @Triassic Sands: 27 percent of the population think the present court is credible.

  72. 72
    Professor says:

    It is well known that Justices Alito,Thomas and Scalia surreptitiously attended meetings organized by ALEC. So don’t be surprised about their outlook about life!

  73. 73
    Narcissus says:

    Man, our government is really shot to shit, isn’t it.

    We’ve got two out of three branches basically broken.

  74. 74
    JPL says:

    The President is on the View. They should have it online later.

  75. 75
    Kay says:

    @eemom:

    I guess the question for me is, what is Toobin’s job? Is it his job to explain what he heard to lawyers in the context of this Court, or is his job to explain his reaction in practical terms, to what it might mean for 40 million people who don’t have health insurance, assuming his reaction was honest? If they overturn this law, are the vast majority of people going to care why they overturned the law? Again, assuming his reaction was honest, what is served by his muting or conditioning that?

  76. 76
    MBunge says:

    @Kay: “I thought it was excessive too, but what if it was genuine? What if he was genuinely shocked at what he heard, when he arrived expecting to hear something else? Is that even a possibility? I think it is.”

    Which raises the question, when did Toobin know about the stuff in this article? If he knew about this stuff when the ACA decision came down, how could he have been so shocked? If he didn’t, how did this stuff come to him since them?

    Mike

  77. 77
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Roger Moore:

    There is, however, an almost universal desire among … millions of Americans

    If there were an almost universal desire among millions f Americans then you’d think some of them would have clicked on a Web page or something. If you can’t get 10,000 “votes” through their method, then you are really, really, really lame.

  78. 78
    Punchy says:

    Anybody still think that the health care bill (ACA) is not going to be struck down?

    The minute the Obama Admin decided to skip further appeals and let it go directly to the USSC I knew they were fucked. Why they didn’t play the longest game possible and hope for a retirement/death and replacement in the meantime seems foolish.

    By the way, whats the “VRA”? Is that Voting Rights Act? Is that being ajudicated right now by the USSC?

  79. 79
    JPL says:

    @MBunge: The decision hasn’t been announced yet. It will be shortly though cuz those supremes don’t want folks getting their refunds.

    If he knew about this stuff when the ACA decision came down, how could he have been so shocked? If he didn’t, how did this stuff come to him since them?

  80. 80
    Kay says:

    @MBunge:

    Which raises the question, when did Toobin know about the stuff in this article?

    Well, I wouldn’t go that far. He could know what happened here and still believe he was going to hear something different on health care.
    My problem is this: most legal commenters completely dismissed the idea that the health care law exceeded the limits of the Commerce Clause. I think there WAS genuine shock, which is understandable, considering that MOST of them said it was a slam dunk. That happened. If they were ALL wrong, that’s shocking. We can’t sort of ignore that, and pretend they all said it was a coin toss. That’s not what happened. Maybe he was acknowledging that FACT.
    I don’t know, but I think it’s possible.

  81. 81
    Clime Acts says:

    Doesn’t credibility have some connection to actions taken?

    In American politics?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  82. 82
    Mark S. says:

    This is why Bobo gets the seven figure salary:

    But Obama has displayed a kind of ESPN masculinity: postfeminist in his values, but also thoroughly traditional in style — hypercompetitive, restrained, not given to self-doubt, rarely self-indulgent.

    ESPN is postfeminist? What does that even mean?

  83. 83
    Cacti says:

    Bad SCOTUS Justices are very difficult to remove from office, as the Constitution intended.

    However, the Constitution does not fix the number of Justices at 9. Changing that merely requires an act of the legislature.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    Kay says:

    @Punchy:

    By the way, whats the “VRA”? Is that Voting Rights Act?

    Conservatives want to repeal parts of the VRA because it’s insulting to conservatives. Their feelings are hurt. They’re not racists, and they would never, ever disenfranchise people by putting in state law that can’t be challenged prior to an election.

    It’s a feelings argument. They’re sad. You may want pre-clearance on state restrictions on voting rights, but what about their feelings, huh?

  86. 86
    JPL says:

    @Mark S.: Bobo does give Obama the unchurched vote though.

  87. 87
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @MBunge:

    If he knew about this stuff when the ACA decision came down, how could he have been so shocked? If he didn’t, how did this stuff come to him since them?

    __
    It is possible that Souter is using Toobin to send a message to the RATS faction on the court re: the PPACA case, i.e. “if you take another dump in the punchbowl, I’ll air your dirty linen in public”. When a major leak occurs it is not always the reporter who is the active party with an agenda driving the story.

  88. 88
    amk says:

    @Mark S.: feminzai on a pole ?

  89. 89
    handsmile says:

    @eemom: (#59)

    While Toobin may have been the first to express his alarm after the oral arguments (and did so in particularly vivid terms), he was hardly a lone Cassandra.

    For example, professor Ronald Dworkin, not a noted thespian, raised similar concerns in his NYRB essay, “Why the Mandate is Constitutional”, while outlining a robust case for upholding ACA: http://www.nybooks.com/article.....tion=false

    Of course, it is understood that should your and burnspbesq’s predictions in this matter prove true, you will be able to mock us lesser mortals lacking a juris doctor degree forever and ever.

  90. 90
    gaz says:

    @Mark S.: maybe a variation on postmodern?

    Really though, I have no idea. I do know that it’s pretty standard fare for Bobo to couch unreasonable arguments in polysyllabic bullshit in order to maintain a thin veneer of intelligent thought. I’m pretty sure he does this to placate his readers, since they can read through the psuedo-intellectual nonsense and it makes them feel like they haz a smart. Real intellectual analysis is a mugs game, as any well paid hack could tell you.

  91. 91
    PGE says:

    This can’t be true. After all, Roberts told us he would be a neutral umpire, just calling balls and strikes.

  92. 92
    jibeaux says:

    @Mark S.: Why are you trying to make a Bobo column make sense? Are you certifiably insane from trying to locate an Applebee’s salad bar?

  93. 93
    bob h says:

    The five shitheads feel free to practice Fox News soundbite level jurisprudence, but expect the respect and deference due a first world judiciary. They deserve the kind of respect Vladimir Putin would give them.

  94. 94
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mark S.:

    ESPN is postfeminist? What does that even mean?

    I think it means, “Argle bargle gargle, big impressive sounding stuff that doesn’t mean anything, gabble gabble gabble, I’m supposed to sound like an intellectual.” That’s a very rough translation because English lacks terms for all of the dumb things they say in Punditese.

  95. 95
    gaz says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    If you can’t get 10,000 “votes” through their method, then you are really, really, really lame.

    Too right. It’s the damned internet. Just put some pr0n on the page, FFS and offer a “free preview” for anyone that clicks on one of the idiots.

  96. 96
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Mark S.:

    ESPN is postfeminist? What does that even mean?

    __
    A feminist with sharp elbows who can block out, rebound and score in the low post position, as distinct from one of those old fashioned feminists who rely more on perimeter shooting from beyond the 3-point line.

  97. 97
    Face says:

    After all, Roberts told us he would be a neutral umpire, just calling balls and strikes.

    I think you misheard. He said he had the balls to strike shit down.

  98. 98
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Steve in DC:

    Howzit?

  99. 99
    Cacti says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    And to put an exclamation point on the bullshit, polls out today show public thinks Obama came out for gay marriage mostly for political gain. And the wingnuts are piling on that meme, in between writing articles saying that it’s bad politics that will hurt Obama in the election. Tally Ho!! The Funhouse is officially open.

    You must be referring to that poll from NYT/CBS that wasn’t actually a poll at all.

    The Obama camp is jumping all over it:

    Wasn’t a randomized sampling, but a panel-back survey of respondents to a previous poll.

    Of the 852 previous respondents, only 562 agreed to be re-interviewed.

    NYT/CBS is using some funny methodology to sell the horse-race narrative.

    Way to go “liberal media”.

  100. 100

    @Cacti:

    Yea, I just saw that. Something about a ‘callback method’, or other funny business.

  101. 101
    Kay says:

    @Cacti:

    I think it is going to be a horse race, but conservatives/media have convinced themselves that Romney is a good politician, and I don’t think he is, so there’s that.

    They thought Sarah Palin was popular too :)

  102. 102
    Starfish says:

    @Mark S.: It’s like Bobo is struggling with a way to say that Obama is metrosexual, but I am not sure how that ties in with ESPN.

  103. 103
    Cacti says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    Yea, I just saw that. Something about a ‘callback method’, or other funny business

    I’ve had my doubts about the NYT/CBS methodology, ever since they released their poll a couple months ago, showing the POTUS with 41% approval, when everyone else was showing 47-49.

    This latest chicanery confirms to me that they shouldn’t be trusted.

  104. 104
    Kay says:

    @Cacti:

    I’m bothered by something. Why is it okay for the NYTimes to talk incessantly about Obama/Democrats and “The Black Church” while showing so much deference to 1. Romney’s religion/politics and 2. Republicans-fundamentalist Christians-Mormons?
    We have daily discussions on Obama-Democrats-black-people-religion. Why is The Black Church not off limits, but Mormons are?
    It’s a real double standard. Just glaring, to me.

  105. 105

    @Kay:

    The whole Bain Capital experience, along with images of Romney with dollar bills stuck out his ears and mouth, and the meme of ‘job destroyer’ will be played to the hilt by Obama and crew. Most of the public is not yet tuned into this aspect of Mitt’s career. ie ‘corporations are people’. Maybe he can wiggle out from under that past, but it will take a lot of wiggling. The other stuff reflecting his coreless being will just be icing on the cake. Still, Obama wins by 2 or 3 points, tops.

  106. 106
    JPL says:

    @eemom: Did you see this article at Balkinization arguing for the court to uphold ACA under taxing power. link

  107. 107
    Cacti says:

    @Kay:

    I think it is going to be a horse race, but conservatives/media have convinced themselves that Romney is a good politician, and I don’t think he is, so there’s that

    I think Romney’s going to outperform McCain in the popular vote, and get walloped in the Electoral College. I think most of his popular vote gains will come in states that are R-safe.

  108. 108

    @Starfish: ESPN carries the National Spelling Bee, for chrissake. It’s gayer than a French trombone.

    Real men watch bull-riding on NBCSports/Versus. And that’s only because there’s no gladiatorial-combat channel

    Yet.

  109. 109
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @handsmile:

    Toobin’s New Yorker article is an absolute gut-punch. Read it now only if you don’t mind drinking this early in the day

    Funny–I actually read it on my plane home last night. I was tired, and the article made me angry and depressed, so I got what Jack Donaghy would call “business drunk.” Didn’t help.

  110. 110
    Yutsano says:

    @Cacti: Hol shitballs. That breaks just about every random sampling rule that exists in survey research. If you let a population self-sample, there is absolutely no way to correct for the biases in the poll. So that thing is pretty much total garbage. I wonder how long they have been pulling this shit and who in their polling office thought this was a good idea.

    But, you know, Teh Narrative and horserace etc.

  111. 111
    Someguy says:

    @Steve in DC:

    The question is do you vote for a party of the 1% that panders to social conservatives to get votes or do you vote for party of the top 5% that uses social liberalism to white wash it’s attacks on the working class?

    That’s not exactly correct. Wall Street, most of the big media money and a lot of corporate money is very much behind the Democrats, and the upper middle class breaks decisively Democratic, while a lot of corporate and chamber-of-commerce level business is behind the Republicans but it’s largely correct insofar as both parties are primarily concerned with serving big money interests, just different ones.

  112. 112
    Peter says:

    I’m sure Burnsie will be along any minute to condescendingly explain that Citizens United was still correctly decided.

  113. 113
    Brandon says:

    Add in some cantarella and lusty love making to the story and it becomes nearly indistinguishable from an episode of the Borgias.

    Scalia is the Borgia pope. Roberts is Cesare. Alito is Gioffre. Kennedy is Lucrezia. Thomas is a Cardinal extra. Which I guess leaves the role of Savonorela to Souter.

    It is seriously not that far off.

  114. 114
    gaz says:

    OT: charles pierce turns phrases like scott walker turns corporate tricks… I humbly submit “This leaves the state party on the ideological scale somewhere to the right of an Uzi.” as a QOTD

    heh.

  115. 115
    rlrr says:

    @Cacti:

    I would almost like to see Obama lose the popular vote and win the Electoral College. The resulting shit storm from the right (and the explanations that 2000 was different) would be a source of amusement for months…

  116. 116
    Seth Owen says:

    @Cacti: And WHICH political movement is extreme and ruthless enough to go ahead and change it if they get the necessary control of Congress and the presidency? Might I respectfully suggest it doesn’t begin with a ‘D.’

  117. 117
    Face says:

    @JPL: That’s a great article. Thanks for linking! Where his argument fails, IMO, is where he expects the Justices to actually care that a vote to bounce the ACA would bring chaos, uncertainty, etc. As if they have morals that allows them to consider this aspect, that may sway their vote. IMO, they view it as a simple R vs. D thing, and they’ll vote accordingly.

    I’m sure eemom will disagree.

  118. 118
    JPL says:

    @Face: Ugh!..Back to drinking..

  119. 119
    RP says:

    @Kay: The issue to me is more that Toobin’s reaction to the questions at oral argument didn’t make any sense. Even if he thought that the legal arguments were a slam dunk, there was absolutely no reason to think that the court wouldn’t ask Verrilli tough questions. That’s what they do, and their grandstanding tendencies were certain to be magnified by several orders of magnitude in a case with this much media attention. So for Toobin to be shocked, shocked!, by the questions, he either has to be incredibly naive or was being melodramatic to get attention. I don’t think he’s naive.

    Morever, they actually asked the other side some pretty tough questions, but that part of the argument doesn’t seem to have gotten any attention.

  120. 120
    handsmile says:

    Anyone here expect Tony to make a peep?

    From today’s Guardian: “The Wrong Carlos: How Texas sent an innocent man to his death”:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....-man-death

    The first two paragraphs:

    “A few years ago [in 2005], Antonin Scalia, one of the nine justices on the US supreme court, made a bold statement. There has not been, he said, “a single case – not one – in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit. If such an event had occurred … the innocent’s name would be shouted from the rooftops.”

    Scalia may have to eat his words. It is now clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit, and his name – Carlos DeLuna – is being shouted from the rooftops of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. The august journal has cleared its entire spring edition, doubling its normal size to 436 pages, to carry an extraordinary investigation by a Columbia law school professor and his students. The book sets out in precise and shocking detail how an innocent man was sent to his death on 8 December 1989, courtesy of the state of Texas.”

    [Alsotoo: Seems like an Open Thread is needed hereabouts; this one is busting out in all directions. And then I can crow about Murdoch goon Rebekah Brooks being criminally charged today with perverting the course of justice in the phone-hacking investigations!]

  121. 121
    Kay says:

    @RP:

    So for Toobin to be shocked, shocked!, by the questions, he either has to be incredibly naive or was being melodramatic to get attention. I don’t think he’s naive.

    All good points, but to what do you attribute his reaction, then? Honestly, he’s always struck me as someone who defers too much to the court’s institutional credibility, on CNN anyway, he’s more critical in the New Yorker. He’s hardly anti-government. So why did he go so far off the reservation? What’s in it for him? Is it the punditry thing where they have to be the first to rush out and call it? It’s not like they’re ever held accountable for bad calls, so I could see that, but I don’t think that’s been his history. He was the only pundit, Left, Right or Center who admitted that McCain’s speeches were absolutely horrible.

  122. 122
    Dork says:

    There has not been, he said, “a single case – not one – in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit.

    Man bites dog story. Fat Tony and ilk will parse, redefine, and “clarify” the word “clear” every which way till Sunday until it’s “clear” that his innocence is not “clear”. Clearly, b/c he was found guilty in a court of law! Unpossible that Carlos was innocent.

  123. 123
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    @handsmile: You’re kidding. Brit paper breaking the story, some faggy college that Obama went to doing an “investigation”? Please. I went out to the sandbox in my back yard, reenacted the crime with my sister’s Barbie dolls, and there is simply no way that Texas could have ever executed an innocent man.

  124. 124

    @rlrr: He’d be dead by Christmas, if that happened.

  125. 125
    Kay says:

    @RP:

    Here’s the thing. IF they rule against the health care law, I think there’s going to have to be some kind of hard reckoning among legal experts (and pundits) because the fact is many of them said it was a slam dunk. I think that’s fairly profound, because it means they cannot predict what the court is going to do based on precedent, and that’s frightening. I felt as if there was a sort of panic that came from being unmoored, losing some solid ground, having to contemplate the idea that they may not know, or be able to predict.

    I’m sympathetic to that. I don’t have that kind of certainty myself, but I’m not a SCOTUS expert. Many of them are. If (most) of their analysis was wrong, that must be disconcerting. I think they can either confront that honestly, or dodge it. I hope they confront it.

  126. 126
    RP says:

    What’s in it for him? Is it the punditry thing where they have to be the first to rush out and call it?

    I think that explains most of his reaction. He’s a lot smarter and more reasonable than 99% of the other pundits out there, but he’s still a pundit. And while he’s one of the best known Supreme Court analysts in the country, he isn’t really a household name, so he might have viewed this case as the perfect opportunity to raise his stock.

    That said, I do think it’s possible that he was a little shocked by the tone of the questions because of his tendency to defer to the court’s institutional credibility that you noted above. So to backtrack a little from my comment above, he may be a little naive in some respects.

  127. 127
    Joel says:

    If Souter wanted to air the court’s dirty laundry, why not just write about it afterwards? I mean, none of this is surprising…

  128. 128
    Joel says:

    If Souter wanted to air the court’s dirty laundry, why not just write about it afterwards? I mean, none of this is surprising…

  129. 129
    Paul in KY says:

    @Steve in DC: Your comments in #16 are FOS (just like Nader).

  130. 130
    RP says:

    @Kay: I think you’re absolutely right, and for that reason I still don’t think the court is going throw the statute out. The one positive aspect of Toobin’s story about Citizen’s United is that it’s evidence that Roberts does care about the Court’s reputation and legacy. I think he knows that overturning ACA will seriously damage the Court. I still think he’ll uphold the statute based on the taxing power.

  131. 131
    gocart mozart says:

    Everyone who has gone to law school and studied the 100 year history of commerce law jurisprudence would tell you that the ACA was obviously constitutional. Remember when a couple of years ago, Pelosi was asked if it might be unconstitutional and she scoffed as if it was a ridiculous question. That’s because it is a ridiculous question if you have studied post New Deal Commerce clause rulings. Lawyers more than anyone will be dumbfounded if it is overturned. Shows you how radical this court is.

  132. 132
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Peter: I am not going to speak for burnsie, and I shall try not to be condescending. Controversial Court cases do not have one right or wrong answer. The interplay between lines of precedent and the importance given to differing legal theories can permit judges and legal scholars to come to differing conclusions that are legitimate. I may, in fact, disagree with a result reached by a court while recognizing that it is well within the legitimate array of possible results. CU is a reach, but it is still within the bounds of the legitimate decisions available. Please note that I do not agree with the result. I think they got it wrong. The reason some of us have been confident that the ACA will be upheld is that, because of prior decisions, it is hard to see how a legitimate decision overturning the law could be crafted.

  133. 133
    Lex says:

    @JGabriel:

    Though I admit the far right has become a pretty crowded country over the past two decades.

    So has the group labeled as drama queens. See, inter alia, critics of torture, people who claimed Bush was warned about 9/11, public-health officials warning of dangers to 9/11 rescue workers, climate-change researchers, ad nauseam, ad infinitum.

  134. 134
    Lex says:

    @Southern Beale:

    If Roberts breached his constitutional and judicial oaths then he could be removed. Impeached, whatever it is they do to SCOTUS justices.

    They (theoretically) impeach them for “high crimes and misdemeanors” (in this case, perjuring himself during his confirmation hearings, remove them from office, strip them from federal benefits (pension, etc.) and bar them from ever again holding federal office.

    Roberts should go to prison, but I’d settle for the above. Won’t happen, though. Accountability is for Democrats and the little people.

  135. 135
    RP says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I agree with this post 100%. I hate the CU decision, but it’s hard to say that it was wrong. Roberts et al have some legitimate arguments.

    ACA is in another category.

  136. 136
    Brachiator says:

    @Kay:

    If Toobin’s account is accurate, I’m a little confused on the “damage the credibility of the Court” angle. If Souter believed that what he wrote was true, then perhaps the Court’s credibility should be damaged, or maybe we could read it and decide for ourselves.

    And

    No one is ever going to read a 14 page article, let alone a 60 page dissent, and campaign finance is technical and boring.

    No. It’s worse than that. Of course, people would read a 60 page dissent. The other justices might have responded to Souter’s arguments. Other federal judges and attorneys would have read the dissent, which would have been part of the formal judicial record.

    A dissent which has been disconnected from the case, and which all the conservative justices were free to ignore, becomes almost worse than useless, and has less meaning than an op-ed piece. It may still have some philosophical value, but practically none legally.

    BTW, it’s just dumb to simply try to summarize Souter as a centrist. He was originally brought on the court because he had little paper trail, and liberals feared he would meekly echo the opinions of the conservative justices. But Souter turned out to be, in my view, one of the most incisive critics of Mad Dog Scalia, and a justice who had a clear understanding of the overwhelming importance of what the Court does.

    From his confirmation hearings:

    The first lesson, simple as it is, is that whatever court we are in, whatever we are doing, whether we are in a trial court or an appellate court, at the end of our task some human being is going to be affected. Some human life is going to be changed in some way by what we do, whether we do it as trial judges or whether we do it as appellate judges, as far removed from the trial arena as it is possible to be. And so we had better use every power of our minds and our hearts and our beings to get those rulings right.

    Contrast this with Mad Dog Scalia’s view that justice is served if an innocent man ends up executed as long as the correct procedures are followed.

    Actual Attorneys obviously will correct this lay person’s perspective. Anyone know if anything like this has happened before, with respect to a dissent being spiked?

  137. 137
    Punchy says:

    it is hard to see how a legitimate decision overturning the law could be crafted

    Once they’ve decided to overturn, why must their decision be “legitimate”? After one has been caught fucking the family goat, isn’t pretty much any excuse offered considered pointless? If SCOTUS has the votes to overturn, I’m not sure they’ll feel the need to opine anything beyond “Fuck You Democrat Party. And, oh yeah, this ruling has NO BEARING on anything else law-wise anywhere for anything”.

  138. 138
    Roy G. says:

    The Roberts Court is to jurisprudence what Phil Gramm was to banking reform.

  139. 139
    trollhattan says:

    @PGE:

    This can’t be true. After all, Roberts told us he would be a neutral umpire, just calling balls and strikes.

    Exactly. It’s unpossible Roberts would have done such a thing. Souter is just shrill.

  140. 140
    EconWatcher says:

    @Punchy:

    It’s all about what Justice Kennedy does. And he can be surprising (his opinion striking down sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas is one of the most inspiring pieces of legal prose I’ve read). But lately he seems to have gone full metal wingnut. I’m not expecting anything good from him on ACA.

  141. 141
    JPL says:

    If ACA is overturned, wouldn’t it endanger other legislation. Medicare and Social Security are mandates to employers and employees. Medicaid is a state mandate and EMTALA is a mandate for hospital treatment.
    Do any of these programs survive?

  142. 142
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Punchy: Because, in my view, the Justices almost always look for “legitimate” reasoning as I defined it above to support their decision. Bush v. Gore is an exception.

    Roberts seems very concerned about the legitimacy of the Court’s decisions. I think it will matter. They go for the hard right result when they can get there. With the ACA, it is hard for me to see how a majority can get there. I don’t think that Thomas or Alito care, so they will vote against it. I have always figured that one more will do so as well. But that is it. I may be wrong, and I am sure many of you will tell me that I am. OTOH my opinion is based on something other than kneejerk cynicism.

  143. 143
    James E Powell says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’ve been betting Uphold, 6-3, for a long time. I didn’t hear anything in the oral arguments to change my thinking. Then again, I am only human.

    I see it as an actual 5-4 vote, with Roberts jumping to the majority so he can write the opinion. I can’t think of any reason for Scalia, Alito, or Thomas to join the majority.

  144. 144
    Catsy says:

    @Steve in DC: Bookmark this comment, everyone, and pull it out anytime you’re tempted to commit the tragic error of taking seriously anything Steve in DC has to say about American politics. He’s been bleating out his tedious “both sides do it” horseshit for weeks now, and has finally done us the favor of outing himself as a Naderite.

  145. 145
    gaz says:

    @Catsy: We don’t need to bookmark it. Steve in DC goes from zero to stupid in record time with every single post he makes.

  146. 146

    Scott Lemieux today, reviewing a book on FDR’s court-packing plan:

    After one particularly silly Sutherland opinion gutting the SEC’s investigatory powers, [Jutice Harlan F. ] Stone wrote Felix Frankfurter that the opinion “was written for morons… When our Court sets at naught a plain command of Congress, without the invocation of any identifiable prohibition of the Constitution, and supports it only by platitudinous irrelevancies, it is a matter of transcendent importance.”

    Some times the mutatis flat-out refuse to mutandis.

  147. 147
    Triassic Sands says:

    @JPL:

    Yeah, but I generally don’t poll the insane unless I’m curious about what’s going on in the asylum.

  148. 148
    eemom says:

    1. I think that both Toobin’s excessive deference to the Court on most occasions, and his over the top hysteria at the ACA hearings, are easily explained as two sides of the same media whore coin that he is.

    2. Actual legal scholars who have sat down and written reasoned, thoughtful pieces about how this might turn out REALLY do not deserve to be compared to his multimedia meltdown.

    3. I am not going to be the least bit embarrassed if I turn out to be wrong and a majority votes to strike down the law. I am going to be horrified and heartbroken.

  149. 149
    handsmile says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Grateful for the link. It so happens that just last week I checked this book out from the library; it seemed a timely read. Lemieux’s enthusiastic review may motivate me to retrieve it from the pile.

  150. 150
    Kay says:

    @eemom:

    2. Actual legal scholars who have sat down and written reasoned, thoughtful pieces about how this might turn out REALLY do not deserve to be compared to his multimedia meltdown.

    I’m not really comparing them, though. I’m saying they have two different audiences. There has to be some sort of “popular”, surface commentary on supreme court decisions, because they are politically relevant, and this one will matter a lot to tens of millions of people.

    I agree he could have done a better job, but if you (and lots and lots of other people) are right, and I hope you are, Toobin will look like an absolute idiot, so there’s that.

  151. 151
    JWL says:

    Assuming Souter’s arms aren’t broken, I assume there is nothing stopping him from rewriting it for publication.

  152. 152
    eemom says:

    @Kay:

    I agree, but look at Nina Totenberg and that nice lady on Snooze Hour. They serve that function with grace and dignity.

    No matter how you spin Toobin’s take on the questioning, his “OMG Obama’s TOAST” schtick was waaaaaay out of line.

  153. 153
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: I generally think Toobin is okay. I am not sure why he lost his shit over this case. He has seen enough and is bright enough to know better. I guess the lad simply panicked.

  154. 154
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Brandon: Where’s Ezio Auditore when we need him?

  155. 155
    J R says:

    @Kay:

    If “No one is going to read a 14 page article…” why are we talking about Justice Souter’s dissent? Surely it’s longer than 14 pages!

    Really, though, Bush v Gore was the end of democracy in America, when the Republican Court ruled that their choice was more important than counting the votes of actual, you know, voters. So why would anyone be interested in what the Republican Court has to say?

    Off topic, but has Thomas asked a question from the bench yet? Can he speak at all outside a partisan meeting?

    No hard feelings, Kay. But we all know they are the Republican Court.

    Personally, I believe Thomas should have been impeached the very day we learned he had filed fraudulent IRS returns, or perhaps offered the chance to retire first. Judges must be held to a higher standard than mere lawyers, lest we suspect they aren’t actually independent thoughtful jurists.

    But that’s just me, and I don’t count, I’m just a voter. That makes me suspect, right there!

  156. 156
    mclaren says:

    How far are we willing to go on “protecting credibility”?

    To any lengths. America fought an unwinnable war in Vietnam for 12 long years to protect its credibility, then fought another unwinnable war in Iraq for 8 years to protect its credibility, and is now fighting in Afghanistan for its 11th year of yet another unwinnable war to protect its credibility.

    Credibility = legitimacy. Once an institution loses its perceived legitimacy, it’s dead.

    And the Supreme Court lost its perceived legitimacy in the year 2000 when it engineered the grossly manipulated outcome of a massive assault on American democracy, AKA the presidential selection of 2000. Not “election.” Selection.

    The Supreme Court is now just another gang of backroom racketeers fixing elections and rigging the system. The Supreme Court has become a group of gangsters in black robes. They have no more legitimacy and no more credibility than Al Capone ordering a paid judge to release some of his indicted hoodlums in 1929 because “I need them for a hit on Dutch Schulz and his boys.”

  157. 157
    gocart mozart says:

    @JPL:
    logically yes but isn’t logic a non sequitor.

  158. 158
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Catsy:

    That’s total bullshit, Catsy. When did you join the Purity Posse?

  159. 159
    Jose Padilla says:

    @Punchy:

    It’ll be difficult to overturn ACA without overturning 75 years of Commerce Clause jurisprudence, and a lot of that jurisprudence works to the benefit of corporate America (the preemption doctrine, for example). Maybe they’ll decide this is a “one time only” case, never to be cited as precedent, like Bush v. Gore.

  160. 160
    fuckwit says:

    I think it was called by the Reagan people “maintaining the fiction”, during Iran/Contra.

    Maintaining the fiction that the government isn’t a bunch of corporate tools and corrupt jackals.

  161. 161
    David Koch says:

    Glenn Greenwald, the leading legal authority of our time, said Citizen’s United was correctly decided.

    When people criticize CU, they’re indirectly criticizing Glenn. How dare people question Glenn!

Comments are closed.