Dear Justices Scalia & Roberts: If You’re Gonna Go Full Godwin, At Least Get Your Facts Straight

Via commentor Rikyrah, the Electronic Urban Report quotes HuffPo:

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Friday that he was “absolutely shocked” to hear Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia describe a key piece of the Voting Rights Act, one of the most significant achievements of the civil rights movement, as a “perpetuation of racial entitlement” earlier this week.

“I’m not easily surprised by anything, but that took me to a place I haven’t been in a long time,” Clyburn said of Scalia’s comments, during an interview with HuffPost. “What Justice Scalia said, to me, was, ‘The 15th Amendment of the Constitution ain’t got no concerns for me because I’m white and proud.’”

Growing up in South Carolina, Clyburn said he “grew almost immune” to the racist comments being made around him. He said he will never forget hearing the late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) defending his opposition to the 1957 Civil Rights Act by saying, in Clyburn’s paraphrased words, “Our negroes are pleased with their plight.”…

“When you have in 2012 … states making changes to their laws that you can look on their face and see that these changes will make it harder for minorities to have their votes affect the results that they intend, you say that we don’t need [the Voting Rights Act] anymore? Is this some kind of entitlement?” Clyburn asked. “Well, the Constitution of the U.S. is an entitlement for everybody.”

Via commentor Cacti, Massachusetts’ Secretary of State calls Justice Roberts out in the Boston Globe:

… “Do you know which state has the worst ratio of white voter turnout to African-American voter turnout?” Roberts asked Donald Verrilli Jr., solicitor general for the Department of Justice, during Wednesday’s arguments.

“I do not know that,” Verrilli answered.

“Massachusetts,” Roberts responded, adding that even Mississippi has a narrower gap.

Roberts later asked if Verrilli knew which state has the greatest disparity in registration. Again, Roberts said it was Massachusetts.

The problem is, Roberts is woefully wrong on those points, according to Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin, who on Thursday branded Roberts’s assertion a slur and made a declaration of his own. “I’m calling him out,” Galvin said.

Galvin was not alone in his view. Academics and Massachusetts politicians said that Roberts appeared to be misguided. A Supreme Court spokeswoman declined to offer supporting evidence of ­Roberts’s view, referring a ­reporter to the court transcript.

On Thursday, Galvin tried to set the record straight. “We have one of the highest voter registrations in the country,” he said, “so this whole effort to make a cheap-shot point at Massachusetts is deceptive.”…

I actually meant to look this up, because Roberts’ assertion sounded like contotionist-level special pleading, but kudos to Galvin for getting out there on his much larger podium!

131 replies
  1. 1
    jharp says:

    “Well, the Constitution of the U.S. is an entitlement for everybody.”

    Mighty powerful statement Representative Clyburn.

    Awesome. Cheers to you.

  2. 2
    SFAW says:

    What Scalia meant to say was that the extra 2/5ths of a vote that the darkies NOW get in SOME states is a type of entitlement which real people don’t get.

    So Clyburn should get off his high horse, and get back to singing “I Get a Kick Out of You.”

  3. 3
    jharp says:

    I think what we are seeing is standard wingnut logic. And yes even from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

    Look for shit that might or might not be true and use it to justify the position the have already taken.

    What is important is that it justifies your goals. They don’t give a fuck if it is factual or not.

  4. 4
    aimai says:

    The Roberts assertion is some high level bullshit–it just kind of boggles the mind (I’m from MA, btw) and any normal person would have stopped before he said it and asked himself if it were likely–at all likely–that it were true? But Roberts and Scalia must be on the same right wing websites/radio shows and email lists. This reeks of the contrarian counterfactuals that have always gone around on those circuits. You know the ones “trees kill more people than auto pollution” and “more people were killed in Europe after they banned guns than before” or “men are the real sufferers from domestic violence.”

    What scares me is the thought of men of such puny intellect and such absolute gullibility being on our supreme court.

  5. 5

    Does Scalia have any serious health problems yet?

  6. 6
    beltane says:

    If they were interested in getting their facts straight they wouldn’t be wingnuts. Like all right-wingers, they tend to wallow in a steaming dung pit of subjectivity and emotionally tainted thinking.

  7. 7
    chrome agnomen says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    other than having flat-lined mentally?

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bob In Portland: Does a withered and dessicated soul count?

  9. 9
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Bob In Portland: I don’t know but from the size of his bloated hands, I’d hazard to say he has very bad edema and hypertension. (If so, he’s at risk of a stroke.)

  10. 10
    Mark S. says:

    Are the opinions of the Roberts Five going to have any legal citations anymore or are they just going to cite talk radio and Townhall columns?

  11. 11
    Schlemizel says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    You’re just trying to make me feel good!

  12. 12
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Schlemizel: We all know better than to try that.

  13. 13
    kay says:

    I think what bothered me more was his foray into raw political operative.

    Can anyone give me another explanation for “even the Virginia Senators…they will lose” (if they vote against the VRA)

    Is Scalia actually handicapping GOP Senate races now? From the bench? He’s openly musing on the effect of the AA vote on GOP Senators chances in VA?

  14. 14
    Punchy says:

    I was expecting Scalia to argue that the VRA gave broccoli the right to vote in Mississippi….

  15. 15
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kay: It seems like he isn’t even trying anymore. The reputation he worked to build for himself of being rigorous and consistent even to the point of take a perverse pride in his (few) “liberal” opinions is being thrown away. I don’t feel bad for him; he is and always was an asshole, but this is not good for the Court.

  16. 16
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: He’s been in a couple of car accidents around DC, so he has reckless driver syndrome. Unfortunately it hasn’t selected him for the next step in his existence yet.

  17. 17
    SFAW says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yeah, a lot of his comments the other day seemed based on political considerations, not legal rationale.

    Maybe he’s still pissed that the RNC couldn’t suppress enough votes to allow him to pick the Preznit one more time?

  18. 18
    Face says:

    I’ve always wondered who fact-checked the Supremes. After all, without an appeals court above them to smack them down, what’s the check on the veracity of their statements? As Scalia and Crew grow even more unhinged, shouldnt we expect more patently false bullshit every case going forward? Ignored by the media of course, b/c both sides do it and all.

  19. 19
    beltane says:

    @Face: Right now, we’re a supposedly 1st world country with a decidedly 3rd world high court. However, Scalia & company are working hard to remedy this disparity.

  20. 20
    JoyceH says:

    BTW, when Scalia says that ‘perpetual of racial entitlement’ has been ‘written about’ – does anyone know what he’s referring to? What’s this guy been reading?

  21. 21
    kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Okay, so two things. A justice on the SCOTUS believes that VA Senators need court protection from the electorate. If they vote the way they believe, “they will lose”. He wants me to believe Senators cannot be held responsible for their positions, by losing an election, that that is unfair, to Senators.
    Second, a common wingnut theme is that Democrats “took” VA from Republicans, thru the AA vote. Is this his belief? Is that why he used, specifically, VA?

  22. 22
    kc says:

    What the fuck? Are all of our right wing justices getting their information from World Nut Daily?

  23. 23
    Joseph Nobles says:

    I’m content with Rachel Maddow’s assessment on the Daily Show the other night. Scalia’s a straight-up troll now. He’s on government healthcare with a lifelong hold on his seat. He’s a honey badger.

  24. 24
    Ruckus says:

    Why would anyone expect a winger to have any common sense or to actually use reality in their “thought process”? If that happened they wouldn’t be wingers, they might actually be human.

  25. 25
    kc says:

    @JoyceH:

    Red State.

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kay: I got nuthin’. It was actually as bad as it looked and sounded. He is an embarrassment. To the Court, to the profession, to the US.

  27. 27
    eclecticbrotha says:

    Isn’t Roberts suggesting its OK to disenfranchise a demographic because they probably won’t vote anyway?

  28. 28
    amk says:

    “I do not know that,” Verrilli answered.

    What kind of preparation this fucker had before he made his appearance before the supremes ? Shouldn’t he have boned up on the voter registration facts beforehand ?

  29. 29
    eclecticbrotha says:

    @Bob In Portland: It really has come to this, hasn’t it: hoping the most obtuse members of the court would just die already so the rest of us can get on with our lives?

  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eclecticbrotha: I didn’t read it that way. I saw it more as “why do the pre-clearance states have jump through hoops when they now achieve AA voting rates as good as those in MA?” Aside from the being untrue, it misses the point, that it is not whether people actually vote but whether there are barriers put in place by the states to prevent them from voting.

  31. 31
    Suffern ACE says:

    @eclecticbrotha: no. He’s doing the old “land of the pointy heads and Kennedys” are where the racists are while the poor poor south has to suffer routine. If the state with the lowest minority vote turnout were Nebraska, he wouldn’t bring it up. He’s arguing though that Massachusetts means no one needs to precertify in places where the voting rights act was necessary. The fact that the statement is false doesn’t matter.

  32. 32
    Roger Moore says:

    @Yutsano:

    He’s been in a couple of car accidents around DC, so he has reckless driver syndrome. Unfortunately it hasn’t selected him for the next step in his existence yet.

    Even worse, he doesn’t appear to carpool with Thomas, Alito, Roberts, or Kennedy.

  33. 33
    Roger Moore says:

    @kay:

    Second, a common wingnut theme is that Democrats “took” VA from Republicans, thru the AA vote.

    Yeah, when you let African Americans vote, the Republicans are way less likely to win. It’s totally unfair!

  34. 34
    gf120581 says:

    I’d go further than Maddow in calling Scalia a troll. I think he just doesn’t give a shit anymore. He knows his future reputation and historical legacy is ruined beyond repair and he’ll be looked upon as one of the worst Justices ever to sit on the court and furthermore, he sees the GOP and the conservative movement he serves on borrowed time and moving toward a death spiral. So all he’s got left is being an asshole and shitting on everyone else as he slouches further and further to the end. And he especially must enjoying sticking it to those minorities who are rapidly sealing the GOP’s demographic oblivion.

    Bottom line; he’s a piece of shit and not only seems aware of it, but enjoys it. I thought his blowup after Roberts supposedly backstabbed him over Obamacare was a low point, but there seems to be no low he won’t sink to. At this rate he’ll be so subbterranean he’ll penetrate the earth’s core and be engulfed in lava.

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @amk: You can’t know everything. You learn your legal arguments. You learn the facts that are in the official record in front of the court. You do multiple/endless moot court arguments to practice every variation of questions that can be thrown at you. Still, something can come from left field.

  36. 36
    efgoldman says:

    @gf120581:

    …but there seems to be no low he won’t sink to.

    Because we all know that Peak Wingnut is a singularity that can never actually be reached.

  37. 37
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Still, something can come from left field.

    Or in the case of our current court, from deeeeepest right field.

  38. 38
    Calouste says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It’s something else. Why would you as a lawyer prepare for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States flat out lying to you?

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Correction cheerfully accepted.

  40. 40
    amk says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It came from the right field. Still no excuse for a guy appearing before sc. Come on, this hearing was all about VRA and he couldn’t be bothered to read up on all the facts and data on this? I call it incompetence.

  41. 41
    jayjaybear says:

    @JoyceH: He’s actually referencing HIMSELF, from his concurring opinion in a case called Adarand Constructors v Pena. So what he means is that “it’s been written about” by HIM.

  42. 42
    efgoldman says:

    …kudos to Galvin for getting out there on his much larger podium!

    When Billy Galvin was in the legislature, he was considered one of the sleaziest indsidery politicians in a very sleazy insidery place. So its been a lovely surprise to see how effective he’s been as Secretary of State, especially on voting matters. The SoS office was for decades one of the worst hack patronage places in the state. For all I know he’s still giving jobs to every state rep’s brother-in-law who needs one, but he’s doing a helluva job anyway.

  43. 43
    efgoldman says:

    @amk:

    …this hearing was all about VRA and he couldn’t be bothered to read up on all the facts and data on this?

    Right. And the suit was brought by an Alabama county as surrogate for all the [Southern] pre-clearance states. Why the fuck would he be ready for a statement out of far right field, that wasn’t true, about Massachusetts?

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Calouste: That too.

    ETA: One isn’t generally expected to know all the political science data connected to an issue in order to argue it in front of an appellate court, let alone be prepared to contradict or preempt lies from a sitting judge.

  45. 45
    Cacti says:

    With the Prop 8 case coming up, what’s the over/under on Scalia saying…

    “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!”

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cacti: It is a virtual certainty.

  47. 47
    mai naem says:

    @amk: I think Roberts’ assertion is obscure enough that you wouldn’t know enough to argue with that factually.
    @gf120581: I don’t think he thinks he’s going to go down as a bad justice, just a conservative justice.
    @Bob In Portland: To me his hands look like he has poor circulation.
    @PurpleGirl: Jeffrey Toobin had a piece pushing for USSC term limits. He said that Lewis Powell had a stroke and was lucid only at times and that the other judges decided not to make any decisions until Powell retired. Also, Thurgood Marshall had a stroke and told his clerks that if he was not lucid enough to decide, to have his vote be the same as Brennan. I think Scalia will go the same way.

  48. 48
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cacti:

    what’s the over/under on Scalia saying…

    Over/under is for guessing how often something happens, not how often it happens. Unless you’re expecting him to say it several times, you probably want straight odds rather than an over/under. /pedant

  49. 49
    Xenos says:

    The original ‘even-in-Massachussets’ argument is, of course, Plessy.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Xenos: Christ, you are right. Is that really the direction they want to go?

  51. 51
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Is that really the direction they want to go?

    Well, its becoming pretty clear that the plain language of the 14th and 15th amendments means nothing to them. And they’re not doing a terrific job with the 4th, 5th and 6th either.

  52. 52
    Cacti says:

    I can’t remember where I saw it, but I remember someone mentioning that Obama’s election and re-election have brought back hard edged racism.

    That is, with a black man guaranteed another 4-years in the White House, whites who were quietly racist don’t feel sorry for minorities anymore. So rather than condescending pity, they’ve started to bare their fangs.

    Other than “white people have lost their shit,” how do you explain the factually sloppy and nakedly political posturing of Scalia and Roberts?

    They’re not even trying to be coy, a la voter ID. They’re basically just saying “fuck you black people!”

  53. 53
    Yutsano says:

    @efgoldman: The amendments mean exactly what they say they mean and nothing more. Jeebus. We have a court of Humpty-Dumpty.

  54. 54
    👽 Martin says:

    @efgoldman: These are the originalist originalists. Those amendments? Obviously not what the founders intended.

  55. 55
    efgoldman says:

    @Yutsano:

    The amendments mean exactly what they say they mean and nothing more.

    You better hope they don’t get to #16 next, lest you be out of a job.
    (And somewhere in LegalTeaHadi land, you can bet someone is working up a brief as we speak.)

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @👽 Martin: And yet they provided a mechanism for amending the thing.

  57. 57
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Cacti:

    I can’t remember where I saw it, but I remember someone mentioning that Obama’s election and re-election have brought back hard edged racism.

    This. I think it is rampant in Washington.

    Republicans have been doing crazy shit for four years, but the Village rationalizes it all. Hell, a significant segment of the stenographers are blaming Obama for the wingnuts’ behavior.

  58. 58
    balconesfault says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: There we have the problem.

    He should have been watching Fox, listening to Rush, and reading WND, if he wanted to properly prep for questions from the Roberts Court bench.

  59. 59
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Hell they did so 10 times right from the get go. What rule said they had to stop there?

    @efgoldman: Oh I lurve 16th Amendment arguments. My favourite is it wasn’t passed legally so it totes don’t count. Needless to say that doesn’t work.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @balconesfault: Wouldn’t whacking oneself in the forehead with a ball peen hammer be quicker and kinder?

  61. 61
    MikeJ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The only person I know who ever argued there won 9-0, which means it shouldn’t have been there to begin with. Needless to say, he didn’t get any questions he thought were tricky.

    So: if given a chance to argue in front of the USSC, would you rather argue a 9-0 slam dunk that you win, or a 5-4 with no guarantee of the outcome?

  62. 62
    balconesfault says:

    I think the proper response from Verrilli would have been

    Please proceed, Governor

  63. 63
    patrick II says:

    going full Godwin and getting your facts straight. are mutually exclusive.

  64. 64
    dance around in your bones says:

    I don’t know. Scalia seems like a nutcase, Roberts simply estupido.

    I’m watching Rushmore for the zillionth time and just enjoying it a hell of a lot.

    Any chance of a new thread with music and movies?

  65. 65
    GregB says:

    Wasn’t Verilli the same man who had that appalling appearance before the court when he stammered and coughed and practically keeled over?

    @mai naem:

    Scalia will ask that his vote the be same as Jefferson Davis.

  66. 66
    mdblanche says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That? Just a clerical error.

    @balconesfault: Boning up on the works of Kafka, Orwell, and Lewis Carroll would also have helped.

  67. 67
    MikeJ says:

    @GregB:

    Wasn’t Verilli the same man who had that appalling appearance before the court when he stammered and coughed and practically keeled over?

    You mean the ACA case he won?

  68. 68
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MikeJ: 7-2 win.

    While waiting for a jury to come back a few years ago, the judge was chatting with opposing counsel and me and he said that waiting for the jury to come back had always been his favorite part of litigating. Me, I like favorable settlements or the moment opposing counsel decides not to appeal a verdict in my client’s favor.

    ETA: I have moved away from litigation.

  69. 69
    👽 Martin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    And yet they provided a mechanism for amending the thing.

    Clearly Congress could not be trusted with such a thing.

  70. 70
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @GregB: Ultimately, the briefs matter more than the oral argument.

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dance around in your bones: Here is some music in the spirit of the thread.

  72. 72
    Citizen Alan says:

    @amk:

    What kind of preparation this fucker had before he made his appearance before the supremes ? Shouldn’t he have boned up on the voter registration facts beforehand ?

    How the hell can anyone “bone up” enough to prepare for the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court making up false data?!?

  73. 73
    David Koch says:

    No difference btw Bush and Gore!

  74. 74
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Yea! I was just gonna split a Xan.ax and go to bed since this place seemed rather dead.

    Not that I want to emulate Lil Boots or anything in the complaint dept.

    eta: plus Rushmore just ended. dang.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dance around in your bones: Well, my choices are going deeper into Leonard Cohen or going to bed. Bed should win. Really, it should.

  76. 76
    Xenos says:

    @dance around in your bones: It is so dead that it is time for breakfast for some of us. Getting some cold chicken chipolata sausage to deal with the hangover…

  77. 77
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh, Leonard Cohen!

    That deep, sexy voice. Shame what happened to him while he was off being all monkish.

    I loved his unplugged album, which I cannot find a video of (just covers by other people). I also loved his other albums. Great songwriter/singer, which is my favorite combo.

    eta: well, I found a Hallelujah video done when he was old and broke, but I guess that’s been done to death.

    I really should go to bed. No chipotle sausage before bed, though!

  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Xenos: Continental Europe?

  79. 79
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Must be, it’s only 11:30 here on the commie coast.

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dance around in your bones: This song is one have been I have been using if I get down about my divorce. This, otoh, was our song, and I am reclaiming the motherfucker.

    Oh, yeah, if you ever happen to be a single guy, make sure you have Leonard Cohen’s music available. My experience suggests that attractive young women who like Cohen are much more interesting in and out of bed than those who don’t.

  81. 81
    Anne Laurie says:

    Open Thread up top, should anyone care…

  82. 82
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh thank you _ I was just going to ask you where you can find Leonard Cohen songs, since my Google-fu is weak and I can’t be arsed to search through my old cd’s.

    Leonard would put most women into an :::ahem::: pre-orgasmic state.

    eta: of course, now I see ‘top 100 Leonard Cohen songs’ on the YouTubey thing. Search fail on my part. Must be that half a Xan.ax kicking in.

    eta#2: Definitely reclaim A Thousand Kisses Deep. It’s yours now, dude.

  83. 83
    dance around in your bones says:

    You’re prolly in bed now, but thanks for sending me down the L. Cohen rabbit hole.

    eta: (meant for omnes, who no doubt is deep in slumberland, possibly with Little Nemo)

    Reading on my kindle whilst listening to Leo :)

  84. 84
    Xenos says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yeah… in Luxembourg. I catch up on the evening’s conversations zhile drinking my coffee at 5:30 am/11:30 EST. Sometimes I check in during the pause café and Yutsano is the only one still up. Sometimes I make a clever comment but the thread is long dead by then. Or the given comment was never so clever to begin with.

  85. 85
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @👽 Martin: Well, of course not. Everybody knows Senators don’t vote their conscience if they’re afraid it might cost them reelection. What would become of a democracy if the electorate can affect government policy? I mean, there could be…

    Nope, I got nothin’. That argument is so terrible it is beyond snark.

  86. 86
    Tokyokie says:

    @Bob In Portland: Well, he’s immune to heart disease.

    Seriously, John Lewis needs to corner him and make look real closely at the scars on his noggin and tell him that’s what his so-called “racial entitlement” looks like.

  87. 87
    LittlePig says:

    @Tokyokie: Exactly this.

  88. 88
    El Cid says:

    Facts don’t tell Chief Justice Roberts — he tells them.

  89. 89
    SFAW says:

    @Tokyokie:

    You write that as if you think Scalia would give a shit. He wouldn’t. Not sure exactly how he’d respond, but I think it’s a safe bet it would be something extremely dickish.

    @efgoldman:

    When Billy Galvin was in the legislature, he was considered one of the sleaziest indsidery politicians in a very sleazy insidery place.

    Yeah, he wasn’t call The Prince of Darkness for nothing. I, also, have been a tad surprised by his apparent turnaround.

  90. 90
    Bruce S says:

    This bullshit from Scalia, Roberts, et. al. flies in the face of the Constitution. The Constitution is explicit that Congress shall have the power to determine enforcement of the amendments in question. The context of Scalia’s slur was that Congress isn’t competent to hold that Constitutionally-mandated power. It really is that simple. Scalia, aside from the rhetorical offensiveness of his comment, is declaring an aggressive “judicial activism” against the letter and substance of the Constitution itself.

    The “justice” believes that he, as an individual who has been granted the privilege and awesome responsibility of serving on the Supreme Court, knows better than Congress which is specifically mandated to enforce voting rights, and that he knows better than the people who wrote and passed the amendment and any subsequent legislation designed to fulfill the amendment’s explicit mandate.

    Scalia isn’t a conservative. He’s a radical reactionary ideologue of the first order, unfettered by even minimal respect for anything other than his personal biases and vanities. This man – along with the chief justice and their fellow travelers – is a stain on the court. Sotomayor demolished this hack case being brought by right-wing activists in her questioning of the argument, but it won’t likely matter. Ugly day.

  91. 91
    Bruce S says:

    @kay:

    Scalia’s belief in raw political power over any alleged principle was unveiled for anyone who had bought into his “conservative philosophy” game in the Bush v. Gore judicial debacle. This latest isn’t exactly a “foray” – it’s who Scalia is.

  92. 92
    Anya says:

    Bill Maher’s ignorance is harmful to the causes he supports. Him and his panel are ignorant about the VRA that he thinks it was about creating black districts. The whole discussion is madening but Maher’s assertion about the intent of the VRA is as ignorant as it can get.

  93. 93
    pluege says:

    definition of a republican:

    every crap characteristic a human being can possess with none of the good.

  94. 94
    SFAW says:

    @Bruce S:

    Your diatribe would be REALLY depressing if it were true.

    Oh, wait …

  95. 95
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bruce S: A large number of people on the right (and some on the left) do not believe in democracy.

  96. 96
    SFAW says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Both sides do it?

    On a more serious note: let’s stipulate that BruceS’s point about Scalia (and possibly Roberts) is(/are) contravening the Constitution, in order to get the political outcome he craves.

    At what point does that behavior become impeachable? I guess Samuel Chase was impeached for “letting his Federalist political leanings affect his rulings,” but he was acquitted, and WikiAnswers says that the acquittal established “the right of the judiciary to independent opinion.”

    But this goes beyond the “affect his rulings,” I think, since (to me at least) there’s a difference between a rulling being affected, and a ruling contravening the US Constitution. (Yes, I realize it’s the Supreme Court that allegedly determines what is and isn’t constitutional.)

    Look, I realize that unless and until Scalia goes full-nutzoid, we’re stuck with him. But, still …

  97. 97
    Bruce S says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    “do not believe in democracy”

    No shit. But the current variant isn’t some old-school “Burkean” conservative political caution in the face of angry masses. It’s contempt for even the most moderate attempts to invest the system with more equity, fairness and the resultant social stability. I don’t believe that “conservatism” exists anymore on the right – with very few exceptions. The current mania on the right is an aggressively reactionary paranoid politics that has almost completely overtaken the GOP. It’s rooted in what I politely call “cultural resentments” along with malicious ignorance. If you want to find an actual conservative in our current political discourse, you’re better off tapping a moderate Democrat, who generally actually want to conserve stuff, bring greater stability to the social and economic system while moving cautiously on any potential reforms. That’s conservative – not the government-hating radicals who have inherited variations on every ugly, reactionary, know-nothing impulse that has ever soiled our nation.

  98. 98
    SFAW says:

    @Bruce S:

    They’re acolytes of Buckley, and do their best to follow his credo of standing athwart sanity, screaming STOP!

  99. 99
    Bruce S says:

    @SFAW:

    “both sides do it”

    You pretty much have to venture into the miniscule zoo of the Far Left to find people as nutty, oblivious to empiricism and contemptuous of traditional mainstream politics of compromise and very minimalist post-New Deal social contract as you find in the typical GOP/Tea Party activist and the GOP elected officials who either agree with them or fear them and parrot their talking points. The former are marginal on a good day while the latter are successfully shoving shit in the country’s face this very day on the issues of fiscal policy and voting rights.

  100. 100
    Bruce S says:

    @SFAW:

    Ironically – and probably falling into what Chris Hayes jokes about as liberal nostalgia for conservatives who aren’t actually around anymore – I think Buckley himself would have been embarrassed by some of what he has wrought. He did lose enthusiasm for the war in Iraq and his son totally fell out with The Crazies and was ejected from the pages of his old man’s mag. Goldwater also seems to have held a lot of his alleged followers in contempt late in life when there wasn’t anything at stake other than one’s image as “elder statesman.” Of course, in his heyday Buckley defended overt racism in the pages of NR and Goldwater opposed the Civil Rights Act when it really mattered.

  101. 101
    SFAW says:

    @Bruce S:

    I was joking, you know. Would it have been obvious enough if I had done the “Also. Too.” thing?

    In case it wasn’t clear, I’m pretty much in agreement with a lot (if not all) of what you’ve written.

  102. 102
    SFAW says:

    @Bruce S:

    And, as if on cue, CNN has a Gergen-penned “both sides do it” piece regarding the sequestration. I have to confess, though: I put this one into the “TS;DR” category, so maybe he fooled me.

    David Gergen, heir to the Broderian Tradition.

  103. 103
    Bruce S says:

    @SFAW:

    “unless and until Scalia goes full-nutzoid, we’re stuck with him. But, still … ”

    Unfortunately, it appears that once you’re on the Supreme Court, even if you show up wearing what appear to be your underpants on your head, you keep the job. (Not sure where Scalia got that strange hat he sports, but it sure as hell looks like his underpants to me.)

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SFAW: @Bruce S: No both sides don’t do it, not in the same way. I was just looking to avoid the inevitable quibble that would have come up if I hadn’t mentioned the non-democratic left; it seems I stumbled into the inevitable quibble for mentioning it.

    As far as impeachment goes, as a practical matter, it won’t happen. Traditions are too strong and a good chunk of the House probably agrees with Scalia.

  105. 105
    Bruce S says:

    @SFAW:

    Gergen has faithfully served both GOP and Democratic White Houses, which means he is one of Washington’s wisest men, sagely invoking the Golden Mean as a solution to every problem… or an unprincipled hack with political schizophrenia and an inflated sense of self importance that drives him to parade his terminal mediocrity in any and all available media outlets with zero embarrassment. Take your pick.

  106. 106
    Bruce S says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    “a good chunk of the House probably agrees with Scalia”

    Although, one wonders what kind of self-respect a legislator could possibly have in agreeing with Scalia’s characterization – which was a total put-down. Frankly, his remarks should be as offensive to elected officials as elected officials as they were in a purely racial context.

    That said, of course you’re right!

  107. 107
    SFAW says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    No both sides don’t do it, not in the same way.

    As I said, I was joking.

    I was just looking to avoid the inevitable quibble that would have come up if I hadn’t mentioned the non-democratic left; it seems I stumbled into the inevitable quibble for mentioning it

    Bleedin’ lawyers, always looking at 12 sides to every issue.

    As far as impeachment goes, as a practical matter, it won’t happen. Traditions are too strong and a good chunk of the House probably agrees with Scalia.

    I agree re: impractical, given the current House, and that Scalia is white. My question was more along the lines of “What would it take?” (assuming a semi-rational House, which is not a good assumption, of course). Writing an opinion that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote? Stating that Congress CAN infringe upon the right to bear arms? (Actually, doing that would probably be the best chance to have the House “rise up.”) If he wrote that the Constitution says “X,” when it clearly and unambiguously says “Not X,” would that be enough?

    Look, they tried to impeach Abe Fortas for ethics violations, so how high would the bar (as opposed to Bar, I guess) have to be set for a Scalia impeachment? (Insanity of House Republicans set aside for the moment.)

  108. 108
    SFAW says:

    @Bruce S:

    I’ll take the former. I don’t think he’s a total schmuck, just a product of his (former) environment.

  109. 109
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Does Scalia have any serious health problems yet?

    I understand that a gradual decline of inhibitions can indicate Alzheimer’s Disease.

  110. 110
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Yutsano:

    @Omnes Omnibus: He’s been in a couple of car accidents around DC, so he has reckless driver syndrome.

    Really? Got cites? Because that (along with gradually-declining inhibitions, as I noted earlier) can be a sign of Alzheimer’s Disease.

  111. 111
    SFAW says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I understand that a gradual decline of inhibitions can indicate Alzheimer’s Disease.

    Thus the underwear hat he keeps wearing.

    Or maybe he’s converted to LDS, and that’s his version of how Magic Underwear should be worn? (Of course, if he DID convert, that would kinda screw his chances to become Pope Nino the First.)

  112. 112
    Tonal Crow says:

    @JoyceH:

    BTW, when Scalia says that ‘perpetual of racial entitlement’ has been ‘written about’ – does anyone know what he’s referring to? What’s this guy been reading?

    The Human Events comments sections.

  113. 113
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Calouste:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It’s something else. Why would you as a lawyer prepare for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States flat out lying to you?

    Why would you not prepare for a wingnut to lie to you?

  114. 114
    Bruce S says:

    @SFAW:

    I’ll go for a bit of both…these guys are full of themselves and, like Woodward, totally mediocre. I can’t see where honesty or integrity could possibly be their primary values – they’re driven by group think and something akin to a “fraternity” ethic (i.e. your reference to his environment.) They also can’t seem to embrace the empirical reality that the flaming Communist Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute ultimately came to recognize – “Both Sides Don’t Do ‘IT’, not in ways that are remotely comparable. Not only can they not see what’s in front of their Beltway-focused faces, they make that Big Lie the central tenet of their punditry.

  115. 115
    SFAW says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Why would you not prepare for a wingnut to lie to you?

    Because life is finite, and there are only so many hours someone can devote to ATTEMPT to prepare for any of the possible scenarios that an insane mind can pose to you.

    It’s kinda like: you’re going out on a hot date – do you research restaurants that serve fine French cuisine? Asian fusion? Fish? Steak? Italian? Mexican? Or maybe, who serves the best tire rims and anthrax?

    99.999 percent of the world would try to choose between the first six. But you want us to prepare for the seventh choice?

    As I said, life is finite, and there’s no way to prepare for every possible alternative that an irrational mind can throw out.

  116. 116
    SFAW says:

    @Bruce S:

    There’s a line somewhere about expecting someone to understand something when their main job is NOT to understand that thing. If I weren’t getting so senile, I’d remember, and cite it.

  117. 117
    Tonal Crow says:

    @SFAW: I agree that it’s impossible to prepare for every possibility, but I also think it’s wise to assume that a Republican will lie to you.

  118. 118
    Tonal Crow says:

    If Democrats play Scalia’s outburst well, it will be a gift that keeps on giving: “Why do some Republicans say it’s a ‘racial entitlement’ for you to vote? Is voting only for white men now?”

  119. 119
    SFAW says:

    @Tonal Crow:
    I don’t disagree. In fact, I have (not often enough) used the old line about “how can you tell if a Rethug is lying to you?” or some variation thereof. But the problems here are that:
    1) How do you prep for every possible lie?
    2) How can you call the Chief Justice a liar and expect the rest of the Court to give you a fair hearing after that?

    If the liar-in-question were Boehner or McConnell or Ryan or Mittens or Rove or about a bazillion others, no problem re: calling him/them on their lies. But I’m thinking it’s a little different before the Supreme Court.

  120. 120
    balconesfault says:

    @SFAW: I agree that you cannot prepare for every lie a right winger might throw out there these days. One can only look back to John Edwards, a phenomenally skilled courtroom attorney who was an excellent debater, sitting dumbfounded as Cheney tossed out lie after lie during the 2004 VP debate.

    I still think you have to prepare for them by boning up on your wingnutese by tracking some of the right wing memes of the day on the issue at hand. You’re not going to be able to shoot them all down, but if you can catch one in mid-air and clutch it and tear the wings off one by one in full view of the audience, you can destroy credibility.

    Unfortunately, none of that is really available to someone going in front of the SCOTUS. One can’t exactly respond to Justice Roberts “I do believe you’re full of shit”.

  121. 121
    currants says:

    @Bob In Portland:
    In a class recently, two former classmates of Scalia’s noted that he’s always been, ah, conservative, but in the past 10 years or so, he seems to have “lost the thread.”

    I’m going with dementia, in one of its many ugly forms. (Not by way of excusing the SOB, mind you, though I guess it’s a nicer–if more complicated for the rest of us–explanation than that he simply feels entitled to spout racist bs.)

  122. 122
    SFAW says:

    @balconesfault:

    One can’t exactly respond to Justice Roberts “I do believe you’re full of shit”.

    You can. Once.

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @balconesfault:

    One can’t exactly respond to Justice Roberts “I do believe you’re full of shit”.

    I believe it is pronounced, “Your honor, that happens to not be the case.”

  124. 124
    kc says:

    @amk:

    I expect he probably only boned up on all the relevant facts, data, and law.

  125. 125
    kc says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    In the future, attorneys should prepare for arguments before the Supreme Court by boning up on American Thinker and World Nut Daily.

  126. 126
    kc says:

    @balconesfault:

    Unfortunately, none of that is really available to someone going in front of the SCOTUS. One can’t exactly respond to Justice Roberts “I do believe you’re full of shit”.

    Or “what the FUCK?”

  127. 127
    rpl says:

    @SFAW:

    While his wardrobe has changed, it is a more drastic change than you are stating here.

    The underwear hat he is actually wearing on his head is looking more like a hood, and the black judicial robes are a stark white now.

  128. 128
    SFAW says:

    @rpl:

    As Johnny Carson used to say: “I did not know that.”

    The white robes thing seems familiar, somehow. Thinking …

    Is he wearing red shoes? ‘Cause maybe the white robes means he’s the Pope?

  129. 129
    Bruce S says:

    @SFAW:

    By sheer accident – serindipity? – I ran across this source for your quote:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelli.....help.html#

    It’s Upton Sinclair, a notorious commie bastard.

  130. 130
    Bruce S says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Seriously, this little prick has to be called out for what he is. Hoping at least some of the MSM pick up on this crap. Not likely…

  131. 131
    SFAW says:

    @Bruce S:

    Thanks.

Comments are closed.