August 24, 2006

Why do judges make it easier for their critics?

The NYT has an editorial about the controversy that has boiled up connecting Judge Anna Diggs Taylor to the ACLU, the party she summarily handed a victory to in ACLU v. NSA.
[I]t would have been prudent for her to disclose any activity that might conceivably raise questions about her ability to be impartial. Regrettably, it was left to a conservative group, Judicial Watch, to point out her role as a trustee to a foundation that had given grants to a branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, a plaintiff in the case....

Judge Taylor’s role at a grant-making foundation whose list of beneficiaries includes groups that regularly litigate in the courts is still disquieting — and, even worse, it is not all that unusual for a member of the judiciary. The most important lesson here may be the wisdom of re-examining the sort of outside activities that are appropriate for sitting federal judges.
I don't understand why judges don't steer clear of anything that can be used against them like this. Well, to dredge up yesterday's paper -- the one with my op-ed in it -- I don't understand why judges don't swaddle their opinions -- whether result-oriented or not -- in very professional, neutral-sounding verbiage. Why make it easier for your critics?

94 comments:

JohnK said...

Why do judges make it easier for their critics? Because they are so arrogant. They don't think they are accountable to anyone. I am really starting to turn against lifetime appointments. It takes a truly remarkable character to resist the temptations associated with being a judge. I am convinced that no matter how well meaning someone is when they first come to the bench, eventually to absolute power granted to judges will corrupt even the most incorruptible person. No judge should be on the bench more than ten or fifteen years.

Robert Burnham said...

I see it more as a case of Bush Derangement Syndrome. She knows she's right, thus close reasoning in the opinion isn't important, and the strength of her rightness means that little things like conflicts of interest are simply transcended.

(And so once again, evil genius Karl Rove strikes from behind the scenes. Warning: that man is everywhere.)

Goesh said...

Yes, 10 yrs. on the bench is quite enough, then send them packing off to pasture and away from the tax trough to earn their salt in private practice or pine away from the loss of power and authority in their lives. There is nothing inherent in the practice of Law that prevents and protects Judges from becoming corrupt and egomaniacs. Said profession is no more sacrosanct in this respect than that of common shoe cobblers.

Mark the Pundit said...

So Judicial Watch is a "conservative group" once again?

I could have sworn when they sued over the Cheney energy task force they were referred to merely as "a watchdog group."

Mike said...

Mark the Pundit said: "So Judicial Watch is a "conservative group" once again?

I could have sworn when they sued over the Cheney energy task force they were referred to merely as "a watchdog group."


Remarkable, isn't it? It is truly a puzzle to me whether the left's refusal to admit to the left-slanting bias in the media is blindness or disingenuousness. One of life's little mysteries.

Doyle said...

I agree that the current constitutional crisis would be better resolved if Judge Taylor had done more swaddling.

Surely, if she had used more neutral language in ruling the NSA progam grossly illegal, the right wouldn't be upset at all.

snarkalicious said...

Remarkable, isn't it? It is truly a puzzle to me whether the left's refusal to admit to the left-slanting bias in the media is blindness or disingenuousness. One of life's little mysteries.

Oh please. Left Slanting Media. You're one funny guy.

I suppose you have no problem when a justice goes....say duck hunting with the Vice President...right?

Balfegor said...

Surely, if she had used more neutral language in ruling the NSA progam grossly illegal, the right wouldn't be upset at all.

Yes, yes, we'd still complain. But the question is people on the margin, people in the middle, and people who agree with her result, out on the left. I think Balkin's criticism was really the big one, there, since he hates Bush, but even he couldn't in good faith stand behind this opinion. From a PR perspective, having commentators who would otherwise agree with the opinion slam it for shoddy reasoning transforms the impact from "Bush got smacked down by the courts => huge defeat for Bush!" -- what the Democrats would have liked this to be -- into "Activist judges at it again, and this time she didn't even try to hide it!" -- which is the Republican narrative on judges in general, even apart from this particular controversy. It flips it all around.

PatCA said...

Yes, Mark, interesting use of language. A "conservative group" for JudicialWatch and a "group that litigates..." for, what, the ACLU? The NYT campaign continues apace.

Richard Dolan said...

Ann says: "I don't understand why judges don't steer clear of anything that can be used against them like this."

The reality is that the vast majority of federal judges do steer clear of any situation that might create the appearance of partiality. Judges routinely resign from boards of non-profits or other entities when they take the bench, especially if those entities are engaged at all in or fund litigation as a form of advocacy.

And Ann is using some intentionally loaded language when she asks why judges "don't swaddle their opinions -- whether result-oriented or not -- in very professional, neutral-sounding verbiage." The suggestion that a well-done judicial opinion is just a better cover for the kind of agenda-driven decision making on display in Judge Taylor's opinion is quite unfair. Obviously, judges are appointed as the result of a political process, and all of them are quite likely to have views about the major political issues of the day. But it is wildly inaccurate to suggest that the decision making process in federal court is just an exercise in dressing up the judge's determination to apply his political views to the cases before him, so that an unsuspecting public won't see what the Wizard is really doing behind the curtain. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of federal judges work very hard at applying the law fairly. That becomes hard to do in politically charged cases, and some will always see an agenda driven result no matter what the judge decides. But there is already quite enough cynicism about the judiciary, and nothing good will come from adding to it by suggesting that Judge Taylor's decision was anything like a normal opinion from the federal courts.

Given all the commentary, such as your op ed yesterday, rightly noting the many levels on which Judge Taylor's decision is deeply ironic and very disappointing, it is important to be clear about one fact: Nothing about Judge Taylor's decision, or the way she went about deciding this case, is typical of the work of the federal judiciary.

Disgustipated said...

"I don't understand why [law professor/legal experts] don't steer clear of anything that can be used against them like [. . .Professor Ann Althouse] quoted Warren Burger(referring to him as “Justice Burger,” not “Chief Justice Burger,” as if she wanted to spotlight her carelessness)] . . . I don't understand why [law professor/legal experts] don't swaddle their opinion [pieces] -- whether result-oriented or not -- in very professional, [informed, and especially non-hypocritical] verbiage [as well as substantive analysis]. Why make it easier [than shooting fish in a barrel]for your critics [to point out the intellectual inferiority of your arguments]?"

As Madison Guy points out:

Would Ann Althouse call this "carelessness," or what would she call it, do you think?
Judge Anna Diggs Taylor's decision in American Civil Liberties Union v. National Security Agency, which enjoins Bush’s warrantless surveillance program, was almost instantly reviled by wingnuts everywhere, almost before they even had time to inform themselves on the case. The talking point of the day seemed to be that the decision was sloppy and careless. (I suppose, from one point of view, a black woman jurist taking on the president is, by definition, sloppy and careless.) Glenn Greenwald has had some excellent posts analyzing the "experts" who jumped in and too carelessly accused Taylor of being careless -- one of them being Ann Althouse.

Althouse's commentary, which culminated in a New York Times Op-Ed piece today, struck me as a poorly reasoned ad hominem attack on Taylor and a "divine right of kings" defense of the president -- considering the source, only to be expected. But what especially caught my eye was this barb that first appeared on her blog (emphasis added):
Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ends her opinion with a quote from Earl Warren, whom she refers to as "Justice Warren." How can you forget to call him Chief Justice? -- Ann Althouse, Althouse, 8/20/06
She seemed pleased with her line about Taylor being too dim to know what to call the Chief Justice, so she repeated it to kick off her Op-Ed today:
To end her opinion in American Civil Liberties Union v. National Security Agency — the case that enjoins President Bush’s warrantless surveillance program — Judge Anna Diggs Taylor quoted Earl Warren (referring to him as “Justice Warren,” not “Chief Justice Warren,” as if she wanted to spotlight her carelessness): “It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of ... those liberties ... which makes the defense of the nation worthwhile.” -- Ann Althouse, New York Times, 8/23/06
Far be it from me to challenge a law professor on a matter of terminology, but something tugged at the back of my mind. Was she making not only a trivial accusation here, but a false one as well? My understanding as a sometime journalist is that when citing the Chief Justice's written opinions, the preferred title is "Justice," since in his opinion he is simply acting as first among equals. The opinion, in and of itself, carries no more weight than that of any other justice, and thus "Justice" is appropriate. In contrast, in referring to the Chief Justice's duties as head of the federal court system -- or in an impeachment trial -- as well as a general public honorific, using the full title would be warranted and appropriate.

Being unable to find a rule confirming my understanding regarding accepted usage, I decided to search the New York Times archives for examples of their usage. Imagine my surprise when one of the first citations that came up was another Althouse Op-Ed (sorry about the Times Select link):
Well, quite aside from the tedium of cliché, we might want to consider whether Judge Alito really is all that much like Justice Scalia. If you're old enough, you might remember how savvy it once seemed to respond to the nomination of Harry Blackmun by lumping him with Warren Burger and calling them ''the Minnesota Twins.''

Both men were appointed by Richard Nixon, who, like George W. Bush, ran for office saying he wanted to appoint strict constructionists to the bench. Yet while Justice Burger remained conservative, Justice Blackmun went on to write the opinion legalizing abortion in Roe v. Wade and, eventually, to vote consistently with the liberal justices. -- Ann Althouse, New York Times, 11/01/05
And that would be Chief Justice Warren Burger, right?

It was Emerson who famously said, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." Apparently the New York Times agrees -- at least when it comes to selecting Op-Ed columnists.


http://letterfromhere.blogspot.com/2006/08/would-ann-althouse-call-this.html

RogerA said...

I think Volokh had a piece on the alleged conflict of interest--If I recall correctly, someone analogized the situation to donating to the Catholic church, which in turn provided money to some charity, say anti-abortion, and then having to rule on an anti-abortion issue. In short, VC didnt think there was much of a conflict of interest, and the charge was bogus--

Yes, there is always the issue of "appearances," but while I agree that the judge's ruling was at best not very "judicious," her conflict of interest--like that of Justice Scalia duck hunting with the VEEP--is totally inconsequential and petty partisanship.

Disgustipated said...

Judicial Watch Smears Judge Who Ruled Warrantless Wiretapping Is Illegal, Media Takes The Bait

Last week, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled that President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program was unconstitutional. Subsquently, Taylor was attacked by the conservative group Judicial Watch which claimed that she had a “conflict of interest” because she “serves as a Secretary and Trustee for a foundation that donated funds to the ACLU of Michigan, a plaintiff in the case.”

Judicial Watch’s allegation has garnered extensive media coverage. It’s a bogus charge. Here are the facts:

– Over the last two years the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan has donated about $50 million to charitable causes. Its $45,000 in grants to the ACLU represents just .09% of their total giving.

– The money to the ACLU had nothing to do with their activities relating to this litigation or government surveillance. The grant funded “a gay rights project.”

– Judge Gibbs is one of 50 community members on the foundation’s board. It wasn’t a personal decision by Judge Gibbs.

None of this information was disclosed by Judicial Watch. Once you know the facts, there is not a “reasonable question about [her] impartiality” based on the foundation’s activities. That hasn’t stopped the media (or the blogosphere) from breathlessly reporting the “story.”

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/08/24/judicial-watch-smear/

. . . hook. . . line . . . and sinker.

Doyle said...

I'm suspicious that the media's treatment of this ruling is evidence of its liberal bias.

The NYT has published several pieces, including Ms. Althouse's op-ed, which are primarily concerned with the opinion's shortcomings, rather than the import of its findings (i.e. that the government is spying on Americans illegally).

This is especially strange because the quality of her legal reasoning is not relevant to the ruling's chances of surviving appeal.

Finally, accusations of "judicial activism" in this case serve only to eliminate what little meaning remained in that term other than "judicial opinion I don't like."

FISA is a very explicit law. The only way to legally wiretap American citizens is in accordance with its provisions.

The Article II and AUMF arguments are so weak that the DoJ would rather not have to make them, and thus has only argued state secrets.

The opinion might piss people off, and overreach on the 1st and 4th amendment issues, but the decision is a victory for the rule of law.

Balfegor said...

This is especially strange because the quality of her legal reasoning is not relevant to the ruling's chances of surviving appeal.

But from a PR perspective, it's an own-goal. As a matter of fact, no matter which way she ruled, it's unlikely that it would matter much, legally, because either one side or the other would appeal it, and a superior court would then reach its own conclusions. The only meaningful thing in a lower court opinion, at this stage, is its impact on the public debate.

Ronald Coleman said...

Rogera, you can spin all day, but as they say, "Judges have been disqualified for much less."

As a practical matter, Ann, the surprising part here is not that the judge didn't do a good job of conforming to the expectations of us legal realists (and us bitter litigators). It's that her clerks didn't. That means either she grabbed this one for herself, unable to contain her Bush Derangement Syndrome, or, perhaps, that her clerks are lousy.

I guess this is a job for Article III Groupie.

Pogo said...

Re: "the decision is a victory for the rule of law"

Too bad the rule of law doesn't seem to be one obeyed by terrorists. We must follow Queensbury rules, but they can bite, cut, shoot, kick us in the groin, use human shields, use children as props, and blow us up.

We may be then overtaken by Sharia Law, but at least we obeyed the US laws (that then cease to exist). So while enslaved, at least we'll feel pure.

I say screw it. I'm with Abe Lincoln here. Imprison them until the hostilities are over, deny habeas corpus for suspected terrorists, and take no prisoners (kill them all in the field).

Bullshipper said...

Why don’t judges “swaddle their opinions -- whether result-oriented or not -- in very professional, neutral-sounding verbiage. Why make it easier for your critics?”

Perhaps just to make it easier, period. Maybe clarity has a place in legal writing as well as –dare I say it?- ass-covering-by- baffling -with-bullshit. After reading far too many of Rehnquist and Thomas’ opinions (one can’t call most of them decisions), I found Judge Taylor’s decision refreshingly clear and concise, qualities which, of course make it easier for her critics to kvetch .

Why are Judges so “arrogant”?

“They don't think they are accountable to anyone. I am really starting to turn against lifetime appointments.” You see, JohnK, the whole point of lifetime appointments is to insulate them from influence by partisan forces, that is, to be accountable to no one. Of course this only applies to their job functions: they can still be impeached for behavior above and beyond.

“ I see it more as a case of Bush Derangement Syndrome. She knows she's right, thus close reasoning in the opinion isn't important, and the strength of her rightness means that little things like conflicts of interest are simply transcended”.

Is it possible, Bob, that some violations of law are so egregious, so clear and so plain that a great deal of hooraw simply isn’t necessary (see baffling – with – bullshit, above). Isn’t it just possible that the Fourth Amendment’s requirement that a warrant be issued by a magistrate upon a showing of probable cause and limited in scope and duration prior to a search means just what it says-no warrant, no search?? Isn’t it just possible that the Court’s prior holdings that the President’s War Powers don’t extend to ignoring, breaking or re-writing the laws and the Constitution at will means just what they say? Isn’t it at least conceivable that the Congress’ admonition that warrants shall issue ONLY by the Fourth Amendment procedure or by application to the FISA court means just what it says? THE ADMINISTRATION ADMITS-NO, BRAGS- THAT IT IGNORED THE LAW! Maybe, just maybe, this case is as simple as that: I know this Administration is that simple .

Al Maviva said...

The reason that the black letter of the law must be honored, is that our agreement to abide by the black letters is the only thing that stands between us, and rule governmental fiat, the supposed rule of kings that the judge and so many on the left are swooning over. The firm of Wilson, Ellis, Ellenburg, and Wilson's Cabana Boy has come out strongly in favor of this opinion, which can best be summarized as "I believe the case ought to come out this way, so that's what the ruling is." Once validated, the same "interpretive method" will be used by people on the other side of the political aisle. Just as howling mad sixties radicals stormed government buildings to get their way, so did howling mad Republicans storm election commmission offices in Florida in 2000. If your side introduces a shoddy tactic into public "discourse," and then seeks to legitimize the tactic, you should fully expect it will be used against you by your political enemies in the future. Each mindless endorsement of this judge's technique simply validates and endorses the results-oriented judicial approach. This judge does not even make colorable efforts to hew to the law as it actually exists, instead imnplicitly clinging to an end-justifies-the-means argument. If the end really justifies the means, why not just bust a cap or two on the people you say are endangering the country? That would be the "right thing to do," if the threat to the nation is mortal, would it not? The end result of the ongoing abuse of the text will be more judges of all stripes, especially including the ascendant conservative judges, implementing their personal policy preferences using the same tactics.

And as for electronic surveillance being unconstitutional due to a 1st Amendment chilling effect... well then, so to are all other wiretaps, even those properly granted, since a warrant sworn out under 4th Amendment procedures merely abrogates 4th Amendment rights, not 1st Amendment rights. For the state to abrogate 1st Amendment rights, a hearing of another nature, showing some sort of compelling state interest, would be necessary.

But then, nobody would take this straightforward reading of the opinion seriously, because we all know that the judge didn't really mean what she was saying when she slipped that fig leaf over the opinion, it was just meant as a fig leaf, not as a serious statement of the law...

Doyle said...

Pogo -

The NSA can, and should, spy on terrorist communications until the cows come home.

FISA only prevents the surveillance of American citizens who can't even be reasonably suspected of having ties to terrorists. If there were any reason to suspect them, a FISA warrant could be readily obtained.

The courts' record of approval is like 18,000-0-3.

Ann Althouse said...

Mark and Mike: I looked it up and found that the NYT was in fact calling Judicial Watch conservative event when they sued over Cheney:

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
The New York Times
May 11, 2005 Wednesday
Late Edition - Final
SECTION: Section A; Column 5; National Desk; Pg. 1

LENGTH: 859 words

HEADLINE: Appeals Court Backs Cheney In Secrecy Case

BYLINE: By DAVID STOUT

DATELINE: WASHINGTON, May 10

A federal appeals court said on Tuesday that Vice President Dick Cheney did not have to divulge details about how the White House's energy policies were shaped, ruling in a case that touched on the constitutional separation of powers.

The 8-to-0 decision, handed down months after the lawsuit became an issue in the 2004 election, was a victory for the executive branch in general and the Bush administration in particular.

The ruling, by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, upheld the administration argument that it was not obligated to disclose whom it consulted on energy matters early in President Bush's first term and what was said.

The decision could be the last word in a case that reached the Supreme Court last spring, only to be sent back to the lower courts. And it comes as Congress is weighing energy legislation that Mr. Bush says will combine efficiency with environmental protection, and that his critics say is a gift to the energy industry.

The Sierra Club, a liberal environmental group, and Judicial Watch, a conservative legal organization, jointly filed the suit. They contended that officials in the industry were so deeply involved in policy making that they became de facto members of Mr. Cheney's panel, the National Energy Policy Development Group, and therefore that their identities were subject to disclosure under the Federal Advisory Committee Act."

Birkel said...

Ann,
It's because they've gotten away with hiding results oriented rulings in legalistic jargon that this judge became so arrogant as to dispense with the formalities. It is results oriented judging that is, itself, the problem here.

Look no further, btw, than law professors who applaud the dressing up of cramped logic so as to accomplish appropriate results than to find the coddlers and appeasors of our judicial overlords.

David Thomson said...

"I suppose you have no problem when a justice goes....say duck hunting with the Vice President...right?"


I most certainly don't. Everything is not relative. There’s a huge difference between a someone participating in a social get-together like a duck hunting party---and “Judge Taylor’s role at a grant-making foundation whose list of beneficiaries includes groups that regularly litigate in the courts...”

Balfegor said...

FISA is a very explicit law. The only way to legally wiretap American citizens is in accordance with its provisions.

Maybe yes, maybe no. It seems to me that a factual defense, on this point, would have to go through the definition given in the FISA statute, covering "electronic surveillance," and would implicate classified information about the structure of the data-gathering program at issue here:

(f) “Electronic surveillance” means—

(1) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire or radio communication sent by or intended to be received by a particular, known United States person who is in the United States, if the contents are acquired by intentionally targeting that United States person, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes;

I don't think this provision is at issue, although because the definition of United States person is not restricted to citizens, it's conceivable that it could be, if a surveillance target moves into the US as a permanent resident or somesuch.

(2) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire communication to or from a person in the United States, without the consent of any party thereto, if such acquisition occurs in the United States, but does not include the acquisition of those communications of computer trespassers that would be permissible under section 2511 (2)(i) of title 18;

This one is probably the strongest argument that FISA is implicated. But we don't actually know, I think, because as far as I know, we don't know the details of the programs involved. Interception may be occurring outside the US. Back in the 90's hysteria over Echelon, the theory was that the US was acquiring foreign signals routed through the US, for the use of foreign governments, and foreign governments obliged by capturing US signals abroad, and turning them over to us. For all I know, that may be the case here as well, such that acquisition is not occuring in the US. That information is probably classified.

(3) the intentional acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any radio communication, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes, and if both the sender and all intended recipients are located within the United States; or

I don't think this one is at issue. Because my understanding (as always, possibly incorrect) is that we're looking at foreign transmissions.

(4) the installation or use of an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device in the United States for monitoring to acquire information, other than from a wire or radio communication, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes.

I don't think this is at issue either, but it might be, depending on what this actually means (because I do not understand it).

I'm not an expert in this field, certainly, but I can read the statute, and see that this is not, as Doyle would have us believe, an open-and-shut issue.

The "reasonable expectation of privacy" language is also a possibly avenue of attack, as (I think) Orin Kerr pointed out -- when you're crossing the border, the government can apparently take your car and disassemble it, looking for contraband, if they feel like it. All the usual privacy concerns seem to dissolve in the border zone.

altoids1306 said...

Personally, I'm puzzled why the NYT allowed our dear professor to use their megaphone to skewer one of their sacred lambs.

Did they realize that defending the decision was impossible? Did they decided to engage in some positive reinforcement of their own, to bring Althouse back to the fold? Did they realize that being a rag for the left is doing nothing good for their circulation?

Whatever the reason, this is a welcome development. I know NYT has posted Althouse op-eds before, but none of those were in such direct opposition to the official editorial position of the NYT.

James Stephenson said...

Have any of you who agree with this verdict actually read the 4th Amendment?

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against [b]unreasonable[/b] searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

If I call my neighbor, it is unreasonable for the Government to listen in without a Warrant. If I call a terrorist phone number it is Reasonable for the Government to listen in without a Warrant. Hell I would expect them too. As a matter of Fact I would be mad as hell if they did not listen to my conversation with a known terrorist phone number.

Basically, will you people upset now, be upset if a Democrat President was doing this? Cause I sure as hell would not be upset, like I said if he did not have it done, I would consider him lax in his duties and campaign to have the rascal kicked out on his ass.

Question, the police see a man stop at a known crack house, and come back out to his car. Is it unreasonable for that man to then get stopped and searched? I believe the answer to that question is no. Happens all the time.

There is no difference between this scenario and calling a known terrorist phone number. Especially considering if you wait for warrant, phone call over, phone used thrown in the river.

The President's job is to protect Americans from Enemies, Foreign and Domestic. And any idiot stupid enough to call a terrorist phone number is a possible enemy.

David said...

Judges are arrogant because the President keeps enforcing their opinions, no matter how asinine. They are like a child, who will continue to push the envelope until his Daddy tells him "enough!" If Mom or Dad don't stop him, he'll just continue to worsen.

Not to say Judges are childish, but the analogy is apt. The President should simply instruct the appropriate law enforcement officials to ignore orders he disagrees with. CLEARLY the president will have to use discretion in, and not simply overturn everything. ( He would have no time for that, even if he wanted). But on major issues, that is what he should do.

The other option is for Congress to get serious about impeaching Judges for activism.

Balfegor said...

They are like a child, who will continue to push the envelope until his Daddy tells him "enough!" If Mom or Dad don't stop him, he'll just continue to worsen.

Not to say Judges are childish, but the analogy is apt. The President should simply instruct the appropriate law enforcement officials to ignore orders he disagrees with.

Oh yes. We really want to return to the days of Roosevelt II, and his scheme to transform the court into a rubber stamp for the Presidency. The fact that courts sometimes overreach doesn't justify cutting them out entirely.

David said...

Altoids - newspapers like the NYT frequently give space to conservative op-eds, just like the WSJ gives space to liberals. it allows them the vanity of believing they are even handed. Besides, Althouse was not espousing a conservative view, but only an honest view - Judges should not be activists. The problem for liberals and the NYT is that the desire for honest Judges and media is seen as a conservative goal. ( That's why liberals protray Glenn Reynolds as a conservative, a man who supports abortion and homosexual marriage)

Balfegor said...

Judges should not be activists.

I'm not sure she was even going that far -- I think she was just saying that judges ought to take care in writing their opinions, and conform to the informal opinion-writing standards of their profession.

Aaron said...

There is both a certain naiveté and cynicism in looking at the Judiciary as imbued with better judgment than the executive or legislative branches. It is naive because some assume a judge is somehow going to make better decisions about things far outside their area of expertise (schools, prison, national security etc.) just because they don’t have to stand for re-election. A judge is one person with only one man's allotment of wisdom. Just because a judge isn't a politician and seemingly has no one to answer to (although they obviously have incentives just as strong as an election shading their reason) some think he will automatically make wiser choices. I find that naive and unlikely.

It seems cynical to me to look to judges as superior to the other two political branches because of their lifetime tenure. Inherent in this is some amount of a dismissal of democratic process as the source of legitimacy. Even the constitution had to be ratified. I think it is cynical to axiomatically assume that a Judge's decision is superior to the will of the people. The necessity of following precedent and spelling out their reasoning is a necessary counterpoint to their lifetime tenure.

I am more and more in awe of our founders.

Ace said...

Oh please. Left Slanting Media. You're one funny guy.


Wow, what "analysis" there!

I mean, I could actually provide evidence of this, but you, in your pompus grandeur convinced me otherwise!

Ace said...

The opinion might piss people off, and overreach on the 1st and 4th amendment issues, but the decision is a victory for the rule of law.

Thanks for the laugh.

You're obviously not bright enough to see the irony.

Henry said...

Judges should not be activists...

I read the op-ed as political neutral. Perhaps concern with process over results seems conservative, though I don't see why it should.

You can easily read Ann's op-ed as espousing a liberal view: if you're going to beat back the executive, you need to do it right.

Funny, as we've seen, what people read into that.

Ace said...

– Judge Gibbs is one of 50 community members on the foundation’s board. It wasn’t a personal decision by Judge Gibbs.

None of this information was disclosed by Judicial Watch.


Who is Judge Gibbs?

. . hook. . . line . . . and sinker.


Obviously.
Too funny...

Aaron said...

I hear a lot of folks opine that the reason liberals support the Judiciary is because they cannot enact their policy concepts via political branches. I wonder if there is a more innate sympathy. Being insulated from election makes the Judiciary seem more pure from the "corrupting" effects of self-interest. I think it is this suspicion of obvious self-interest that makes libs more likely to admire Judges than a working politician. It is this moral dimension that could lead to a Judge to believe in their moral superiority and therefore behaving arrogantly. This would be true of academics as well.

Doyle said...

I read the op-ed as political neutral. Perhaps concern with process over results seems conservative, though I don't see why it should.

a) The "process" of writing this op-ed did not include reading the briefs filed in the case, which are relevant to the ruling.

b) The process Ms. Althouse wanted to see was a grappling with the "serious argument[s]" put forth by the Administration. But of course no arguments were advanced by the DoJ on the merits of the case.

Plus, the arguments they'll eventually trot out (Article II, AUMF) aren't all that "serious" either.

The Drill SGT said...

Ann,

On a slightly OT, I think Bruce Hayden deserves a round of applause for his sterling nearly single handed defense over at VC yesterday.

Aaron said...

Doyle -

Your two points were dealt with exhaustively and persuasively in the op-ed comments from this blog where you posted yesterday. Your first point is moot and also countered by left wing legal experts critiquing the opinion. There seems to be a consensus on the quality of the opinion by experts of all stripes. It was also refuted by folks saying that Judges need to do their own research. It is also refuted by the fact that if you think the ACLU's briefs were exhaustive and excellent those arguments should have been included and hashed out in the opinion. Even if your assertion that the DOJ's brief was weak tea it doesn't mean the Judge can put out weak tea in response. I don’t know why we should accept your assertion regarding the DOJ’s arguments anyway. Why don’t you debate Cass Sunstein?

Doyle said...

Even if your assertion that the DOJ's brief was weak tea it doesn't mean the Judge can put out weak tea in response.

I believe it in fact requires a weak tea response. In civil cases the judges are not supposed to address arguments that are not put forth.

Veeshir said...

I saw somebody yesterday say something that struck me as pretty funny.
She was appointed by Carter. That means what, 1977-1981? So she's been a judge for over 20 years, through Reagan, HW Bush, Clinton and W Bush. Bush will be gone in 2.5 years, and she'll probably still be on the bench.
And yet she talks about Bush being a hereditary monarch.

That's pretty darn funny.

Aaron said...

Doyle:

It seems there are many experts who disagree with you about what was required in this case. Leaving that aside - Are you saying that the opinion didn't deal with the best arguments on the administration's side but that is ok because they weren't raised by the DOJ? If that is the case then it says more about the quality of the DOJ's legal minds than the merits of the administration's position. If that is true then looking at this opinion as some kind of indictment of the administrations position is even less worthwhile. If it never really dealt with the most substantive arguments for the Bush position then the NYTimes and WaPo and others were making a big to do over nothing.

Just the short snippets I have read of the opinion didn’t read as if the judge was limiting herself in other ways about what issues she addressed so I will disagree with you about what was required and what the opinion should have been like.

Henry said...

Doyle -- you forgot to quote my last point:

Funny, as we've seen, what people read into that.

Look, you obviously don't accept the premise that Diggs' was a weak opinion. Or maybe you do (I believe it in fact requires a weak tea response). But that's neither here nor there as far as Ann's argument goes. If the opinion is insubstantial, however righteous the reasons, it disserves those who want it to stand.

Joe said...

Some of the comments on this thread only confirm my initial thoughts on this decision - Diggs, having neither facts nor law in her favor, was playing to her moonbat audience. And I see they are lapping it up.
If she was such a fine jurist and upstanding patriot, why did she enjoin the government instead of staying her own decision on appeal? Would not the prudent thing to do be to err on the side of national security? But her BDS knows no bounds.
If people think a warrant is needed to tap into enemy communications in wartime, I don't believe there is a common area where we can even discuss the issue. So far the majority in this country appears to agree with me. If they don't by 2008, why then we can have a democrat president and let the UN protect us.

Maxine Weiss said...

I'm in love with my Bill of Rights argument:

Look at the 9th (IX) Amendment to the Bill of Rights--- It says you are not supposed to substitute one thing for another.

But evil Judge Diggs-Taylor did exactly that which was supposed to be prohibited: She took away Executive privilege in order to uphold the search and seizure rule.

Completely in violation of Bill of Rights Amendment IX:

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."---Amendment IX--Bill of Rights

The American people have a right to Executive privilege under their Chief Executive.

Taylor-Diggs has contrued to deny the people that right.

Bad bad baaaaaad.

Peace, Maxine

Bruce Hayden said...

On one level, Judge Taylor's ties to that organization that gave the money to the prevailing party in the NSA litigation is not that troubling. Under normal circumstances, according the NYT legal ethicists, she wouldn't get disciplined (if that is even possible with federally appointed and confirmed judges), and she should have just put the parties on notice of this appearance of impropriety.

Of course, cynically, I suggested elsewhere that the reason that she didn't inform the parties of this is that then she would have to refuse a motion to recuse herself in order to keep the case away from a less sympathetic judge (i.e., one not appointed by Carter), esp. given her trying to steal that U. Mich. Affirmative Action case. Sorry, but, as you can tell, that is just snarky on my part.

The problem for the judge though is that this ties in fairly well to Ann's NYT article yesterday. The judge's opinion was intemperate and intensely partisan in tone already. Finding out that she is the secretary and trustee of an organization that routinely contributes to the prevailing party just makes this appearance of impropriety worse.

Finally, as a note to the poster who tried to excuse this because she is one of 50 trustees, let me note that she is also secretary, that the trustees do make all of the contribution decisions, and the fact that the money contributed was for another ACLU cause is irrelevant, since, as they saying goes, money is fungible. What the ACLU didn't have to spend on gay rights because of the contributions, could be spent on the NSA suit.

dreamingmonkey said...

Judicial Watch describes itself as a conservative group.

"Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. "

http://www.judicialwatch.org/about.shtml

Josh Kinniard said...

Atrios and others have made good points about your written commentary as of late.

Your site isn't a democracy; I'm sure this comment will be taken down quickly.

snarkalicious said...

...So she's been a judge for over 20 years, through Reagan, HW Bush, Clinton and W Bush...

And only now do you hear conservatives complaining. Enenmy of the moment, I say.

Ann Althouse said...

"Would Ann Althouse call this "carelessness," or what would she call it, do you think?"

I'd call it a mistake, and it should have been caught in the editing.

Balfegor said...

re: snarkalicious

And only now do you hear conservatives complaining.

Not really. As Bruce Hayden points out above, people were complaining about her in the recent Affirmative Action cases, where there were allegations that she improperly manipulated the court assignment process to ensure that the "right" result was reached.

Ann Althouse said...

Bullshipper: "Why don’t judges “swaddle their opinions -- whether result-oriented or not -- in very professional, neutral-sounding verbiage. Why make it easier for your critics?” Perhaps just to make it easier, period. Maybe clarity has a place in legal writing as well as –dare I say it?- ass-covering-by- baffling -with-bullshit. After reading far too many of Rehnquist and Thomas’ opinions (one can’t call most of them decisions), I found Judge Taylor’s decision refreshingly clear and concise, qualities which, of course make it easier for her critics to kvetch."

But it doesn't make it easier. It may be easy to see the conclusion when all there is is a conclusion, but that's like turning in your math homework with only the answers. Without the reasoning demonstrated, we're left to guess about what the reasoning was and encouraged to think there wasn't any. Your idea that it's easier can only reflect the idea that a judge just picks outcomes. That's what my op-ed is about: if that is in fact all a judge is doing, we might as well go with the President's conclusion about what the answer is. Your attitude is blindly self-defeating. If you don't see why it is, you need to think more.

Seven Machos said...

I'm seeing way too much of this mentality on the left of "we don't really care about the means, only the end." It's frightening.

Also, Josh: I'm sure your post will be removed immediately if it hasn't been already like all the other criticisms in the 300 or so comments. Tow the line or get the hell out.

37383938393839383938383 said...

"That's what my op-ed is about: if that is in fact all a judge is doing, we might as well go with the President's conclusion about what the answer is. Your attitude is blindly self-defeating. If you don't see why it is, you need to think more."

The real problem I have with this post is that it means we will never see Ann's feet again, because I cannot imagine how this dude could remove them.

Doyle said...

Ann Althouse: Without the reasoning demonstrated, we're left to guess about what the reasoning was and encouraged to think there wasn't any.

What if the "math problem" in question isn't as hard as you think it is? This would explain both the correct answer and the absence of more work.

That she was more strident than meticulous also supports the "It's clearly illegal" theory.

Jeff said...

"Seven Machos said... I'm seeing way too much of this mentality on the left of "we don't really care about the means, only the end." It's frightening."

Hasn't that been a hallmark of the left since at least Roe v. Wade?

Doyle said...

Gee, fellas, do you think this fresh "ends justifying the means" angle could be applied elsewhere in a discussion of warrantless wiretapping to catch terrorists?

knoxgirl said...

Balfegor: Not really.....people were complaining about her in the recent Affirmative Action cases, where there were allegations that she improperly manipulated the court assignment process...

Now this is what I love about the internet. No more monopoly. Is there any chance a person like me, who really doesn't know much about the law, would ever come in contact with information like this? No.

With that said, I do have to give props to the NYT for publishing Ann's editorial. It's not often I give the NYT props.


Doyle, you need to read Sippican Cottage's comment from the last post on this subject, which nicely explains why "wiretapping" is an obfuscation of this matter.

Aaron said...

Doyle:

Suppose I say "You are wrong". I then don’t back it up. I offer no evidence. Is that sufficient even in a blog post?

In this case it is a legal conclusion at the center of a heated political debate in a campaign year with national security implications and it flies in the face of professional practice. I don't care if the question at hand is as simple as pie – under these circumstances you need to show your work. Furthermore, if you want to argue that it is an easy call where to draw lines balancing civil rights and national security in the face of a terror threat that is unprecedented you can. Anyone who thinks the issue is simple I'd call ignorant, or a fanatic - or both.

FISA was established in the early 1970s. Other applicable law also predates current circumstance. To say that using law created pre-internet, cell phones, and Al Qaeda is an easy and obvious call – that the law is easily interpretable in light of both modern telecommunication technology and the difficulties of terrorism is ridiculous.

Actually your point is so obviously flawed perhaps I will just reply: you are wrong.

Ron said...

Yow more frothing!

Seven Machos said...

Doyle -- There is nothing unconstitutional about the federal government monitoring conversations between people inside the United States and foreigners who at best want to destroy U.S. property and kill Americans and who at worst are at war with the United States.

If said monitoring becomes a problem, the Congress has the power to stop it by de-funding it.

When did spying on enemies become a constitutional issue?

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jpe said...

The organization gave 23 million to around 1,000 groups. There's no way she even knew that 45k of that (over several years) was going to the ACLU.

jpe said...

Forgot to mention: that 23mill to 1,000 groups was in 2004 alone.

hansydney said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Would Ann Althouse call this "carelessness," or what would she call it, do you think?"

I'd call it a mistake, and it should have been caught in the editing.
4:21 PM, AUGUST 24, 2006
Oh, Professor! Now we can add to “ The dog eats my homework” “ my computer carshed” hall of excuses new entry “ the Evil New York Times Editor failed to catch my mistake”. If the omission of the title “Chief Justice” was of such intellectual importance as to justify your separate blog entry to attack Justice Taylor’s judicial capability, then why oh why didn’t you issue a correction right after that publication?

hansydney said...

judicial activism
n : an interpretation of the U.S. constitution holding that the spirit of the times and the needs of the nation can legitimately influence judicial decisions

Aaron said...

FISA was established in the early 1970s. Other applicable law also predates current circumstance. To say that using law created pre-internet, cell phones, and Al Qaeda is an easy and obvious call – that the law is easily interpretable in light of both modern telecommunication technology and the difficulties of terrorism is ridiculous.

6:29 PM, August 24, 2006

And you guys accuse Justice Taylor of "judicial activism"?

Bruce Hayden said...

Doyle asks: What if the "math problem" in question isn't as hard as you think it is? This would explain both the correct answer and the absence of more work.

The problem here is that the decision is not nearly as easy as it may appear at first glance. To get an idea of all the stuff that the judge seemed to ignore, you should read the government's motion and brief to dismiss - that was coincidently denied in the opinion and associated order that have been the object of these discussions (and, thus, were before the Court). I should note that my general feeling reading the government's brief and the judge's opinion together is that after she finished determining that she could proceed despite the State Secret privilege, that she then flat ignored the government's brief thereafter.

For anyone who is interested, I am accumulating relevant information, including links to all the pleadings I have found, the statutes, etc.

hdhouse said...

i'll be a lot more sympathetic to your posting when i read your blog on the scalia/cheney hunting episode.

i can't imagine why anyone in law wouldn't support the ACLU. It is bipartisan and has a very specific mission.

As a con-law guru one would think that your wisdom for supporting civil liberties would be paramount.

Seven Machos said...

"i can't imagine why anyone in law wouldn't support the ACLU. It is bipartisan and has a very specific mission."

What percentage of the Board of the ACLU do you think voted for President Bush in 2004? What percentage voted for a single Republican in the last major election? What percentage of financial contributors do you suppose voted for a single Republican in the last major election?

I do not support the civil liberties of people who are at war with the United States. I am quite sure a super-majority of Americans agrees with me.

Yoo should probably stick to writing awesome slogans, hd.

Wickedpinto said...

I'm a very "smart" guy, as in, whenever I learn a subject, I tend to learn it well.

I'm also, a relatively uneducated guy, I left university, cuz I got bored when I would try to relate to other aspects of a particular subject, only to be told to subscribe to chronicles, and weeklies, and then be lectured about how I should "interact" in class.

Also, I was a Marine, who acted, who made decisions without specific info, and I reacted in the wrong way some times, and correctly in others.

Looking back on it? The Marine Corps was a better educational method. rather than kissing ass, I had to DO something, and the decision was made by clear rules (and don't think that SIMPLE tactics are easy, I suggest all arrogant academics attend mountain warfare school, or Battle Skills Training)

Judges make it easier? because LAWYERS, and LAW prof's, and LAW grads, who became reporters, or middle management wanna build themselves up so much, that they have brainwashed society into thinking that all of us "less educated people" to quote aaron sorkin "leave the deep thinking to those of us with post grad degree's" (thats from sportsnight)

Maybe judges should realize that even us stupid non-lawyer retards, can still read.

MADAME JUDGE? the vast majority of people can read your idiocy, and see that you are an idiot. The reason judges make it easy? is cuz lawyers have patronism on quickdraw, and cuz most people are too busy paying for wives and children, and their childrens futures. If you don't like "the people" hating you?

Don't write anything that is easily hateable.

Although. . . I must admit. . . she nearly succeeded, cuz as a highschool, and college dropout, I'm more articulate than this crazy broad.

Having said that, I KNOW that if I were her only opponent? she would say "he didn't even graduate highschool!"

and she would be correct, yet, with my convoluted semi-intoxicated statements? I'm more logical that this insane self serving bitch.

She wants to make a political move to secure an advanced judicial position, thats why she did it, or she wants to get ousted so she can run for other offices.

Why don't people understand that?

Palladian said...

"And you guys accuse Justice Taylor of "judicial activism"?"

Wow, did Stevens finally retire? I must say that Justice Taylor's confirmation hearings were a lot faster than the Alito hearings! Maybe it will be in the morning papers...

dave said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Seven Machos said...

Dave: you are suggesting that you support the civil liberties of people who are at war with the United States.

Have you read the opinion? Do you know what it's about?

But, yeah. Protecting the rights of Islamic radicals to communicate with other Islamic radicals outside the United States, in their efforts to fund and carry out attacks against U.S. interests and murder U.S. citizens. That's your 2006 election strategy right there. Run with it! Hdhouse can think up an awesome slogan for you.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Revenant said...

Why do judges make it easier for their critics?

Because when you combine enormous power with a complete lack of accountability for bad decisions, arrogance inevitably follows.

Jonathan said...

"And you guys accuse Justice Taylor of "judicial activism"?"

Hansydney, the definition you provided limits judicial activism to constitutional interpretation. Aaron was talking about statutory interpretation. Your slipshod reasoning undermines your snark - ironically enough, since that's been the point critics of Judge Diggs's opinion have been making since she issued it.

tjl said...

Palladian:

I loved your one-line critique of Dave's sentence structure. Like so many others on the left, Dave believes that anger makes an adequate substitute for thought. Judge Taylor's opinion is Exhibit A, but there are so many additional examples.

Le style, c'est l'homme.

Joe said...

Thank you Dave, for making perfectly clear your position that the terrorists with whom we are at war are entitled to the full panoply of constitutional rights. I suppose the attacks of 9-11 are to be defended as performance art under the 1st Amendment.

Stephen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
hdhouse said...

OHHH this is such an easy target:

"Seven Machos said...
"i can't imagine why anyone in law wouldn't support the ACLU. It is bipartisan and has a very specific mission."

What percentage of the Board of the ACLU do you think voted for President Bush in 2004? What percentage voted for a single Republican in the last major election? What percentage of financial contributors do you suppose voted for a single Republican in the last major election?"

I gather from your admission that republicans, by in large, do not support the bill of rights and, your opposition to a group that defends individual rights that you concede that Republicans care for neither.

Thank you for making my point.

Seven Machos said...

Hdhouse -- You claim that the ACLU is an organization that supports the Bill of Rights and "defends individual rights." In some cases, it does these things. Too often, however, the ACLU is a part and parcel of the Democratic party. Where was the ACLU in Kelo? When public universities in Michigan and Texas chose students based on ethnicity? When the federal government passed a law prohibiting the sale of guns under the Commerce Clause?

There is an entity that actually supports the Bill of Rights and "defends individual rights." It's called the Institute for Justice.

Stick to sloganeering, hd. You are awesome at that. Coherent argument that rises above the level of remedial and lame attempts at gotcha!-type attacks: not so awesome.

Seven Machos said...

"Sale" should read "possession," and it was in school zones.

Not that you would know about these inane details regarding law, hd.

Stephen said...

"I gather from your admission that republicans, by in large, do not support the bill of rights and, your opposition to a group that defends individual rights that you concede that Republicans care for neither."

You're kidding right?

Or can this be played both ways--like if the majority of NRA execs vote Republican, that means Dems are against that part of the Bill of Rights?

I say I support all that is good and right in the world.

I usually vote Republican.

Ergo, all Dems who oppose me are opposed to all that is good and right in the world.

Am I following this?

Revenant said...

I gather from your admission that republicans, by in large, do not support the bill of rights

That's an extremely silly way to misread what he said.

You claimed that the ACLU was "bipartisan". 7M was just pointing out that they're not. "Bipartisan" does not, as you seem to think, mean "composed of those political views which you agree with". It means "representing both sides".

As for the notion that they defend "the bill of rights" -- they defend their interpretation of those parts of the bill of rights that they think are important and significant. Not quite the same thing as "defending the bill of rights", as (for example) gun owners well know.

hdhouse said...

Oh you silly gooses. the ACLU actually does defend the principle first - then the party involved. are liberals against the second amendment? Not at all. We are or at least I am, the dithering with it to fit a "cold dead hands" mentality. The constitution is, above all else, a study in common sense not, as some sillies want to make it, an on/off switch. Because print is black on white doesn't mean your thought process should be.

And while we are at it...there are a number of posts decrying the liberal media "...the left's refusal to admit to the left-slanting bias in the media ..." and some nerd was in wonderment the NYTimes would give Ms. Althouse space to skewer one of their own....

Please stop listening to Rush Limbaugh and getting your talking points on this subject from him. Left-slanting media as you so inaccurately call it is simply a shill rap because "right-slanting" media is frustrated by their second class intellectual and, frankly, honesty status. Do you think that the Washington Times has anything in common with the NYTimes in terms of journalism? It is a pipsqueak paper with a circulation just over 100,000..putting it OUT of the top 100 in the US. It isn't small without reason. It is small by in large because it is so much inferior to the Post.

But let's get on to the real "left-media". What pray tell is the left media? Someone define that please. Your right wing media, lead by the Rush/Sean/Savage crowd dwarfs the alleged "left" in both reach and frequency of message. Rush the blowhard farts unrelenting and highly inaccurate spewey for 3 hours a day and reaches more people each week than the top 200 (yes 200) newspapers in the US "left or right". The conservative media audiences outnumber print and if the "labeling" is evening remotely applicable, the evening newses included by 200%.

Does the so called "left" decry the "right wing media" for the sins of the world? We might and we of course should, but what the "left wing media" moniker really means is a jealousy factor immeasureable.

And to the reasoning and thought processes of lawyers: Get a grip. I repeat my earlier observation. If being a lawyer is such a high and mighty position in life - something of the Olympus of intellectually achievement - the world series and world cup of truth, knowledge and the American way (sans cape) then how there are so many of you? Certainly there can't be THAT many ambulances.

Stephen said...

"Oh you silly gooses. the ACLU actually does defend the principle first - then the party involved. are liberals against the second amendment? Not at all. We are or at least I am, the dithering with it to fit a "cold dead hands" mentality. The constitution is, above all else, a study in common sense not, as some sillies want to make it, an on/off switch. Because print is black on white doesn't mean your thought process should be."

Hdhouse, is this meant to make no sense or does it just look that way?

-

Jonah Goldberg has a position on media bias I've come to agree with--it's so patently obvious the media is left leaning that I get bored with even arguing over it.

Every poll shows an overwhelming amount being Democrat. Of the journalism students I met in college, an overwhelming majority of people who went into the field were always Democrat. Of the journalists I've talked to one-on-one, it's always assumed those they work with are Democrats.

And when I get into arguments about this, the examples people on the other side cite always boil down to some radio talk show host with a few hundred thousand listeners or Fox News: a cable news network. (Ok, Limbaugh has more. No, he does single-handedly cancel out everybody else.)

When you're relegated to citing those, as far as I'm concerned you've proved my point. Maybe you cited more--I honestly don't know (like I said-I'm beginning to agree with Goldberg on this; I'm not interested in reading five paragraphs here on this and since your other posts haven't been much more than ad hominems (that means personal attacks) there's not much of a chance anything informative will be in them.

(BTW part 1, I'm much more civil towards people who don't deal in ad hominems-you should try it sometime)

(BTW part 2, the chances you haven't read this post are less than Katie Couric voting Republican so don't bother replying with that)

Life is short and I think taking the time to even write all this is questionable. Anyway, if you've wondering why you're not getting more responses, that's why.

Seven Machos said...

I just used the Firefox search function to look for "liberal media" in this thread and the previous one about this case. "Liberal media" is mentioned twice, once by advertising extraordinaire Hdhouse and once in a post by "Smedley Underfoot," another left-liberal (albeit far less of a hack).

If you don't like conservative media outlets, don't watch or listen to or otherwise use them. But what does it have to do with this atrocious district court opinion?

hdhouse said...

children children children.

an overriding problem with the unlearned rightwing is that they have no patience for facts and frankly if facts bother them, they simply ignore them.

Rush's audience (daily) is approximately the same size as the 3 major news casts combined. Where you think and that is the optimal word here "think" that the nightly news is left wing, may I kindly remind you that they are obligated by law NOT TO EDITORIALIZE otherwise the fairness doctrine and equal time doctrines go into effect. Unlike cable that has no such governance.

And then there is Rush, Sean, Savage, and the host of other lunatics who spout on radio (also unregulated) and instead of a perceived (not real) attack imagined on nightly news, they crapforth (appropos wording) for 3 hours daily...15 hours a week...of incessant stupidity and lies.

They taunt you zealots to defend them with slogans about the liberal media and truly yea i say verily unto you, you have not one single idea or fact to back it up other than some halfass opinionated bilge.

Please don't mess up Althouse's blog with your swill. And it does have nothing to do with her opinion and everything to do with your responses. They are innane, self serving, artifical and downright stupid on face.

Seven Machos said...

The Fairness Doctrine was repealed several years ago. There is no Fairness Doctrine in the United States today.

You have gone shrill and otherwise off the deep end, hdhouse.

Moreover, you are still the only person discussing media bias, accusing others of making a charge and then excoriating them for making a charge. But no one is charging anything. Except you.

You are pretty bush league, hdhouse. The left has far better minds than yours.

hdhouse said...

Yo Nachos -

Yes we all know that the fairness doctrine was repealed in 1987 (God Reagan certainly had millions of dollars in good reasons to do so) but - and I guess if the only connection you have to television is to flip the clicker - you think that broadcast doesn't fully embrace it to this day stives for acccurate report least the possibly offended party errupts and gives airtime to opposing community views and disparate views and generally anyone or anything of merit least it have issues when licenses come up for renewal.

If the networks didn't still uphold the doctrine as a core responsibility, there would never be a "care to comment" solicitation seeking the view from the other side of the coin.

Obviously you know zip about how the television news process operates, what is news and what is entertainment news and sadly what is just entertainment that the public takes for news.

It is a much deeper issue than the little layer of top soil you plow over and over again.

Seven Machos said...

"the nightly news is...obligated by law NOT TO EDITORIALIZE otherwise the fairness doctrine and equal time doctrines go into effect. Unlike cable that has no such governance." -- hdhouse, a few hours ago.

I haven't said anything about any kind of bias in news. My point is that you, hdhouse, brought it up for no reason in a discussion about a poorly reasoned district court opinion.

Stephen said...

"children children children.

an overriding problem with the unlearned rightwing is that they have no patience for facts and frankly if facts bother them, they simply ignore them.
"

House, if you had posted a fact in the previous 80 posts instead of ad homs, I'd bother to read the rest of your comment.

Revenant said...

are liberals against the second amendment?

Most of them, yeah.

Let me put it to you simply: if the ACLU read the first amendment as narrowly as it reads the second amendment, nobody would be allowed to give a political speech or publish a book or newspaper without written authorization from the US government.

The ACLU is an ideological organization, sure. But the ideology it promotes is that of the ACLU, not that of the US Constitution. Sometimes the two overlap, other times they don't.

Revenant said...

Where you think and that is the optimal word here "think" that the nightly news is left wing, may I kindly remind you that they are obligated by law NOT TO EDITORIALIZE otherwise the fairness doctrine and equal time doctrines go into effect

The fairness doctrine was mostly repealed in 1987 and completely repealed as of 2000.

The equal time rule does not apply to interviews, documentaries, scheduled newscasts, or spontaneous news events. Also, the equal time rule only covers time given to political candidates, not time spent editorializing on behalf of a candidate.

In other words, you're completely wrong and haven't the foggiest idea what the hell you're talking about. There's no legal barrier to any news outlet being entirely partisan.