Out of 16 major American institutions, Congress ranks dead last in the eyes of the American people according to Gallup. Even HMOs are more revered. If Carrot Top and Joey Buttafuoco were elected to Congress, it would improve the legislative branch’s reputation.
The reasons for Congress’s craptacular standing are too long to list here. But some culprits never get blamed, even though they are hiding in plain sight. Chief among them: the U.S. Supreme Court.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Of course, the originalism of both Justices Scalia's and Stevens's opinions are in stark contrast with Justice Breyer's dissenting opinion, in which he advocates balancing an enumerated constitutional right against what some consider a pressing need to prohibit its exercise. Guess which wins out in the balancing? As Justice Scalia notes, this is not how we normally protect individual rights, and was certainly not how Justice Breyer protected the individual right of habeas corpus in the military tribunals case decided just two weeks ago.
So what larger lessons does Heller teach? First, the differing methods of interpretation employed by the majority and the dissent demonstrate why appointments to the Supreme Court are so important. In the future, we should be vetting Supreme Court nominees to see if they understand how Justice Scalia reasoned in Heller and if they are committed to doing the same.
Why is it so difficult for people who consider themselves "liberal" to understand any of this? Simple - individual rights don't matter to them, when they aren't in the mood....
The Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, upholding the Second Amendment right of individuals to own firearms, should finally lay to rest the widespread myth that the defining difference between liberal and conservative justices is that the former support "individual rights" and "civil liberties," while the latter routinely defer to government assertions of authority. The Heller dissent presents the remarkable spectacle of four liberal Supreme Court justices tying themselves into an intellectual knot to narrow the protections the Bill of Rights provides. Or perhaps it's not as remarkable as we've been led to think.
And making gross errors of fact in the process of the knot-tying.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
"This is an enormous social advance. I am all for strengthening the social contract (and law enforcement) so that fewer men commit rape, assault, or robbery. But until human nature has improved so radically that grievous bodily harm has passed from living memory, I don't understand why more feminists don't push for widespread gun ownership."
"I am reminded of PJ O'Rourke's comment that America is like the most popular (and hated) girl in the class. Canada and Europe, particularly, seem to be prone to the illusion that we spend all of our time thinking up ways to make them feel bad, when in truth we barely think about them at all. Probably we should, more. But it's hard to imagine a situation in which our first thought would be: 'Let's make Irish voters reject the . . . what was the name of that treaty again?'"
"The jury unanimously determined that petitioner should be sentenced to death…"
"Oops!... There goes another one!
Wright- Pfleger- His white grandmother- Trinity Church- Muslim girls at a rally..."
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Today’s New York Times:
Justice Department officials illegally used “political or ideological” factors in elite recruiting programs in recent years, tapping law school graduates with Federalist Society membership or other conservative credentials over more qualified candidates with liberal-sounding résumés, an internal report found Tuesday.
New York Times, March 24, 1993:
Attorney General Janet Reno today demanded the prompt resignation of all United States Attorneys, leading the Federal prosecutor in the District of Columbia to suggest that the order could be tied to his long-running investigation of Representative Dan Rostenkowski, a crucial ally of President Clinton.
Nearly three years after Hurricane Katrina turned FEMA into a punchline, many homeowners, politicians and community leaders in the flood-stricken Midwest say that so far, the agency is doing a heckuva job--and they mean it.
Monday, June 23, 2008
"There are places where outrage is appropriate. But the level of outrage in the blogosphere has made outrage meaningless. Someone disagrees with me about national healthcare, the fascist monster! Someone thinks that women shouldn't have to carry babies to term if they don't want to--baby-hating sadists! What's left when people actually do horrible things for awful reasons? First, kill all the fascist-baby-hating-monster-sadists!
Sorry, I fell alseep during the global warming hate-olympics. Um, 8.7! What were you saying?"
"The Iraq War is vanishing from the front pages. That’s probably because situation on the ground no longer fits any of the narratives that were so confidently projected in 2007. Written off as a morass rapidly descending into chaos, Iraq is threatening to become a regular country. And that’s not the sort of news many newspapers are interested in."
"My speculation: Because Obama’s vacuous campaign of “change” is meant to create a blank whiteboard that everyone can project their fantasy scenarios onto. It is a brilliant marketing gimmick. Every time that Obama seems to suggest an actual direction, it jars with the fantasy, and causes cognitive dissonance and irritation, and a pronouncement that the REAL Obama is the one in my head, not the one who intermittently articulates the ghostly outline of a coherent policy position."
Sunday, June 22, 2008
"That Washington, D.C., gun ban that the Supreme Court should toss out any day now because it is unconstitutional is often compared to the handgun ban in Chicago.
But what's not often reported by the decidedly pro-gun-control media is that since Chicago's anti-handgun law went into effect in 1982, only two classes of people have had ready access to firearms:
The criminals. And the politicians."
It is all about power in the end.