December 2, 2007

"He sees an opening right now to move the law toward what the conservative movement wants..."

"...and you never know whether that opening will last." Says Anthony Lewis about Chief Justice John Roberts. He's reviewing Jeffrey Toobin's "The Nine" in The New York Review of Books.

It's a rank slur on the Chief Justice.

148 comments:

EnigmatiCore said...

Is it as much of a slur as calling a gay man a homosexual?

I am trying to learn the new rules of slurs and am struggling mightily.

Trooper York said...

Well at least he didn't call his teddy bear Xenu, cause that would really have pissed off John Travolta.

Jack said...

I used to actually believe that stuff about the Court not being political, but honestly, does anyone really believe that anymore?

I'm asking seriously.

Because from where I stand, watching (for example) the parade of right-wing justices giving speeches at the politically-charged conventions of the Federalist Society, or listening to the Republican candidates constantly promise more Justices like Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts, how can anyone believe the justices aren't political?

Like I said: I'm asking seriously. Can anyone make a reasonable argument that those four justices aren't Republicans seeking to advance the Republican agenda?

My loss of faith started with Bush v. Gore, and by now I feel foolish for every thinking they were really objective and not political.

christopher said...


Like I said: I'm asking seriously. Can anyone make a reasonable argument that those four justices aren't Republicans seeking to advance the Republican agenda


Of course not.

Won't stop people from Simon from trying, of course, but he's just being disingenuous.

Jack said...

One of my best childhood friends (since 2nd grade), became a born against Christian when he was 12 years old. (Coinciding with his mother's 2nd marriage, to a fundamentalist Christian.) It was at this point in my friend's life that he became aggressively pro-life.

From that point on, he was raised into a very conservative, Church-based view of the world, attending a Pentacostal church and buying into the whole Republican/Religious-right agenda.

He's currently in his 2nd year of law school, and a member of the Michigan State chapter of the Federalist Society. He's aggressively political and is extremely ambitious about entering politics and "saving America" from "liberal judges," etc. etc. etc.

Basically, for him, law school is nothing more than finding a secular language and secular tools to advance a right-wing fundamentalist Christian agenda.

There is, for him, a perfect correlation between his own political and religious goals and the goals of the Republican Party.

He absolutely adores George Bush, Sam Alito, John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, and especially Clarence Thomas.

It's all political.

If he thought Bush/Roberts/Alito/et al., lacked an ideological agenda, he would be crushed.

He may be an adult, now, and will soon be a lawyer, but his future career will be devoted to advancing an agenda he had chosen at age 12: Stopping the liberals and restoring a Christian America.

christopher said...

It was at this point in my friend's life that he became aggressively pro-life.

Pro-life is a total misnomer.

It's actually Pro-coathanger.

Fred said...

You know, 'what the conservative movement wants' vs. 'what the conservative movement needs' are entirely different.

Jack: the courts are highly politicized now, there is no justice in the short term. The reason we'll have justice over the long haul is that the political pendulum continues to swing indefinitely. For Democrats, what was so frightening about President Bush's appointments? Well, simple, some of the issues / precedent are sure to be overturned because what one side believes is 'just', another believes is unconstitutional or against the word of God.

Had President Bush not screwed up during his two terms in office, if he played the Clintonian strategy (sans Monica), Republicans would be set for a hundred years. 2008 wouldn't be such a desperate situation for the GOP and Democrats wouldn't be in a position to sweep in and take both the Presidency and strengthen their numbers in Congress.

You lose 2008, you can forget about the America you were hoping for when Clinton left office. It will become a country in Bill Clinton's image. (regardless of whether or not Hillary makes it into office)

Jack said...

Ann,
Just curious: have you ever seen one of the Federalist Society's events broadcast on C-SPAN? Are you aware of just exactly how politically-rooted the Federalist Society actually is?

Paul Zrimsek said...

This is shoddy stuff even by Anthony Lewis standards. (Sample howler: "The first, Leegin Creative Leather Products v. PSKS, rejected an antitrust rule that had been in effect since a 1911 Supreme Court decision: that price-fixing agreements are per se violations of the law." Leegin was about resale price maintenance; price-fixing agreements are just as illegal as always.)

Gahrie said...

Because from where I stand, watching (for example) the parade of right-wing justices giving speeches at the politically-charged conventions of the Federalist Society,

But watching the parade of left-wing justices giving speeches at politically charged conventions of the ACLU is OK....right?

You do know that Justice Ginsburg served as a lawyer for the ACLU, but still was confirmed 96-3 right?

That's because Republicans understood that Clinton had the right to choose a liberal for the Court.



or listening to the Republican candidates constantly promise more Justices like Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts, how can anyone believe the justices aren't political?

Right, because democratic politicians never talk about litmus tests, or appointing liberal justices to the Court.

You do realize that no liberal appointment has ever turned conservative on the Court, but many conservative appointments have turned liberal. So who's being more political?

Jack said...

Had President Bush not screwed up during his two terms in office, if he played the Clintonian strategy (sans Monica), Republicans would be set for a hundred years.

So true. The events of 9/11 were an enormous benefit for Bush and he should have been able to leverage them to his own and his party's long-term advantage.

However, the only thing Bush blew was his own legacy; he will clearly be remembered as a collosal failure who did enormous damage to the United States.

But the Republican Party will be fine. It's a given that they will win the White House again in 2008, and there is virtually no chance of another incompetent Republican president like Bush. He really was a one-off.

But what did people expect? A former drunk and coke-head who was too lazy to hold down any job for more than a few months prior to his 40th birthday? Obviously he never had the temperment or intellect to be president.

But the Republican Party will be fine; the media, for one thing, will ensure that our next president is a Republican.

And the American people will be forced to choose between the party that wants to surrender to the enemy and the party that wants to keep you safe.

There's no way on earth the Democrats win that content.

christopher said...


And the American people will be forced to choose between the party that wants to surrender to the enemy and the party that wants to keep you safe.


Apparently, the scary brown people are already hiding under your bed.

That's how they're going to establish the Caliphate.

Vigilance!!!!

Jack said...

But watching the parade of left-wing justices giving speeches at politically charged conventions of the ACLU is OK....right?

I didn't say it's OK. Those were your words which you are for some reason attributing to me. (However, I am not aware of any left wing justices appearing at ACLU events; is that actually true?) In any event, it sounds like you agree with me that the courts are political?


You do know that Justice Ginsburg served as a lawyer for the ACLU, but still was confirmed 96-3 right?

Yes, I am aware of that.


That's because Republicans understood that Clinton had the right to choose a liberal for the Court.

OK, well, as long as we agree that the Justices are merely extensions of the political parties that nominated them, I don't think we have much to argue about here.


Right, because democratic politicians never talk about litmus tests, or appointing liberal justices to the Court.

You sound angry, and defensive, but so far as I can tell, you're totally backing me up. It sounds like we agree completely.

It's refreshing to know that at least one other people isn't going to try to sell me this nonsense about the non-ideological court.

rcocean said...

Anthony Lewis is still alive?!

Incredible. Maybe when he hits 85 he can replace Daniel Schorr in the "boring old has-been" slot at NPR.

Jack said...

Apparently, the scary brown people are already hiding under your bed.

Christopher,
When I was describing the choice the American people will be "forced to make," between those who want to surrender and those who want to protect America, I wasn't endorsing that description. I'm a liberal Democrat.

I was just saying, the Republicans and their media enablers will turn the election into a choice between the party of treason and surrender and the party of God, Apple Pie, and protecting you from scary Islamofascists.

And since that is what the election is going to be about, the Democrats will lose. The elite media will ensure that no American goes to the polls without having been warned many times that a vote for the Democrats is a vote for Al Qaeda.

It's the strategy that Bush/Rove have been using with help from the media since the September 11 attacks. It's far too effective and the political rewards are far too great for them to ever give it up.

Ann Althouse said...

Jack, since you're trying to dominate this thread, please do us the courtesy of identifying yourself. You ask a lot of questions, but who are you?

christopher said...


It's the strategy that Bush/Rove have been using with help from the media since the September 11 attacks. It's far too effective and the political rewards are far too great for them to ever give it up.


I misunderstood your point.

Sorry....

Jack said...

Dominate the thread? Am I posting too much? Do you want me to post less? I posted my thoughts, and then responded to the people who responded to me. If that's a violation of your comment standards, I will gladly cease and desist.

Who am I? You want my actual name?

jeff said...

SO this is starting out as the crazy person thread.

There are two basic sides on the topic of the Supreme Court. There is the side of those who want the justices to rule on what the constitution and law says and there are those who want the justices to take over the job of the legislator to write new law to make things more "fair".

Jack, since your so good about predicting the future, how about telling me what next week power ball numbers are?

Anyone who puts pro-life and pro-coat hanger in the same sentence has zero concept on what a pro lifer believes AND zero concept of what abortion was pre-Roe v wade and zero concept of what the fall out would be should it be overturned.

Gahrie said...

The issue isn't whether or not the Court is ideological. It has been since at least Chief Justice Marshall, and probably Chief Justice Jay too.

Presidents have been appointing justices on the basis of ideology since President John Adams.

Until fairly recently this was not only not seen as unremarkable, it was seen as a perogative.

Then the left decided to use the Court to win battles they couldn't win at the ballot box. President FDR started the process when he attempted to change the very structure of the Court in order to pack it with his ideological allies. Ever since the left has seen the Court as a political resource. The right on the other hand generally seeks to limit the role of the Court in politics, and return political issues to the ballot box.

jeff said...

"The elite media will ensure that no American goes to the polls without having been warned many times that a vote for the Democrats is a vote for Al Qaeda."

Hehe. Wait. You were serious? Wow?

christopher said...

Anyone who puts pro-life and pro-coat hanger in the same sentence has zero concept on what a pro lifer believes AND zero concept of what abortion was pre-Roe v wade and zero concept of what the fall out would be should it be overturned.

Caca de toro on every level.

christopher said...

Ever since the left has seen the Court as a political resource. The right on the other hand generally seeks to limit the role of the Court in politics, and return political issues to the ballot box.

Right. You want Roe overturned so the individual states can decide to legalize.

I have some bridgefront property in Brooklyn I'd like to interest you in...

Gahrie said...

Guess who spoke at the 2006 ACLU Membership conference?

Why none other than Justice Scalia.

http://action.aclu.org/conference/webcasts.html#1

Simon said...

What a consignment of geriatric shoe manufacturers

"Despite Roberts' expressed desire for unaminity,] in the Court's ... [last term], the number of unanimous decisions dropped sharply. More than a third of the argued cases were decided by votes of 5–4, a modern record proportion. In many of the most important cases Chief Justice Roberts led the identical five-man majority, in which he was joined by [Scalia, Kenedy, Thomas and Alito]. What happened?

That's one of those little statements that really makes you wince. What happened? What do you mean what happened? You mean why weren't more cases unanimous? Well, why wasn't Ledbetter unanimous, for example? Perhaps it was because Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer disagreed with the majority. But we aren't supposed to infer a criticism of the four - we're supposed to infer a criticism of the five for not just going along with the dissenters. Roberts can express a desire for greater unaminity all he wants, but what are you willing to sacrifice for unaminity? Are you willing to go along with an opinion that you think is totally wrong for the sake of unaminity? Is that really the sort of person we want on the bench?

"On the issue that moved them most deeply, abortion, conservatives were at odds with a substantial majority of Americans. A Quinnipiac University poll this year asked a sampling of registered voters, 'Do you agree or disagree with the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that established a woman's right to an abortion?' In reply, 62 percent said they agreed, 32 percent disagreed."

Polls routinely find that majorities don't want to overrule Roe, and yet, in the same polls, even larger majorities favor regulations on abortion that can't be enacted without overruling Roe-Casey. Conclusion: most people don't have any idea what Roe-Casey does and doesn't permit, which makes it all-but impossible to say how many of that 62% would be willing to sacrifice Roe to adopt regulations that they approve of.

As to Rehnquist, Miranda and Dickerson, I've written about that before and incorporate those remakrs by reference.

rhhardin said...

It's a slur because if the court doesn't stick to what is legislated, then voters get no say, absent a vacancy on the court.

It's not a conservative agenda to aim that way, except insofar as the court has gone into feelings it ought not to have indulged in.

Had the court gone the other way, with Bible thumpers on the bench, it would be a liberal agenda to let the voters have a say.

The voters saying is certainly political, and ought to be. Roberts aims to bring back politics as a viable exercise.

The more literal the court is, the more control voters have over what's done to them.

Simon said...

christopher said...
"Of course not. Won't stop people from Simon from trying, of course, but he's just being disingenuous."

I find it somewhat disappointing that you doubt my good faith. I don't ask you to agree with me, but to accuse me of disingenuity is completely unjustifiable.

jeff said...

"Caca de toro on every level." Feel free to refute me. Oh wait. Your Chris. You don't have that ability. Never mind.

Gahrie said...

Right. You want Roe overturned so the individual states can decide to legalize

No. I want Roe overturned because it is bad law, and terrible Constitutional interpretation. It is the worst example of judicial legislation.

I also want Roe overturned because I believe in federalism.

I believe until we as a nation recognize that the fetus is a human life, and has the right to life, that states have the right to legalize abortion.

jeff said...

"Right. You want Roe overturned so the individual states can decide to legalize."

Of course. Was I using to many big words?

christopher said...


Simon said...

christopher said...
"Of course not. Won't stop people from Simon from trying, of course, but he's just being disingenuous."

I find it somewhat disappointing that you doubt my good faith. I don't ask you to agree with me, but to accuse me of disingenuity is completely unjustifiable.


No, it's not. You're Federalist Society, right? I'm sorry...I don't trust any organization that would have a villain like Ted Olson as a prominent member.

Jack said...

Jack, since your so good about predicting the future, how about telling me what next week power ball numbers are?

Hey, I'm just giving you my opinion. I don't think I'm the only person who has tried to predict what is going to happen next year. There are plenty of people predicting a Democratic win next year. I just happen to disagree. My apologies for offering my opinion.


Anyone who puts pro-life and pro-coat hanger in the same sentence

That wasn't me.


has zero concept on what a pro lifer believes AND zero concept of what abortion was pre-Roe v wade and zero concept of what the fall out would be should it be overturned.

If abortion is made illegal, as conservatives hope, there is no doubt that abortions will still be conducted, albeit with coat hangers and other methods that women resort to when abortion is illegal.

jeff said...

"Of course not. Won't stop people from Simon from trying, of course, but he's just being disingenuous."

Simon, you realize that when Christopher makes that statement, so much irony drips off of it to make it a hazardous waste superfund site.

Freder Frederson said...

Who am I? You want my actual name?

She wants you to make sure you are not Mary. She hates that there are more than a handful of people in the world who disagree with her. After all, how many people in the world can there be who are so wrong?

Therefore, the only reason people who disagree with her, do so out of personal animus, not out of a rational difference of opinion. So you must be some crazed stalker.

christopher said...


jeff said...

"Caca de toro on every level." Feel free to refute me. Oh wait. Your Chris. You don't have that ability. Never mind.


Refute what? You didn't make a statement of fact or offer proof of anything. You put up an opinion that I find assinine on the face of it. Tough crap.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't mind if you post, Jack, but I think it's a bit much to come in and be so domineering when you have no information in your profile. It's especially absurd to say to me "Ann,
Just curious: have you ever seen one of the Federalist Society's events broadcast on C-SPAN? Are you aware of just exactly how politically-rooted the Federalist Society actually is?" You sound like a presumptuous twit. You've got some nerve.

christopher said...


I believe until we as a nation recognize that the fetus is a human life, and has the right to life, that states have the right to legalize abortion.


Baloney. When Roe is oveturned, you'll try to find some legal justification for making it impossible for the states to legalize it.

Jeebus, talk about disingenuous.

jeff said...

"Hey, I'm just giving you my opinion."

I was refering to your view of how Bush is viewed 50 years from now.

"That wasn't me"

Yes, I know. Aimed at Chris.


"If abortion is made illegal, as conservatives hope, there is no doubt that abortions will still be conducted, albeit with coat hangers and other methods that women resort to when abortion is illegal."

We are not talking about making it illegal, unless you feel the majority of the people in all states will vote to do so. We are talking about Roe V Wade, and the legislature doing their job rather than farming it out to the court. However, the coat hanger thing is largely an urban myth, and way back in the past the issue was infection which modern medicine takes care of. I seriously doubt if it will ever be banned however, so that's pretty much a moot point.

theobromophile said...

Because from where I stand, watching (for example) the parade of right-wing justices giving speeches at the politically-charged conventions of the Federalist Society,

Political? The Federalist Society refuses to take a stand on any political issue. They have fascinating intra-society debates on everything from legalisation of drugs to prayer in school. The conservative/libertarian divide is strong; more importantly, the goal of the Federalist Society is to insure a consistent approach to deciding issues, not a consistent result.

I've often said that "conservative" jurisprudence is a misnomer. A "conservative" ruling, such as Ledbetter, leaves open the possibility of Congressional (or state, as applicable) legislation to achieve a different result, even if that is a result not desired by the justices (see, for example, Scalia's vote in Texas v. Johnson). The point of liberal jurisprudence is to prevent Congressional and state legislation that the justices find problematic.

A conservative Court will let Congress implement liberal policies; a liberal Court does not give the same deference to their conservative cohorts.

So, if Chief Justice Roberts is "moving the Court to the right," who really cares? Liberal? Make liberal law, and it will stand.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mcg said...

When Roe is oveturned, you'll try to find some legal justification for making it impossible for the states to legalize it.

There are, of course, states that have already passed legislation to make abortion illegal if Roe v. Wade is overturned. But states like California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada and Washington have done just the opposite, codifying legal abortion into state law.. For them it won't be a matter of legalization at all; it will simply remain legal.

Ann Althouse said...

And screw you, Freder. You know damned well I let people disagree with me here all the time and that I have a problem with a particular person who is a former student of mine. You owe me an apology. If it doesn't come fast, everyone ought to see that you are in bad faith.

jeff said...

"Anyone who puts pro-life and pro-coat hanger in the same sentence has zero concept on what a pro lifer believes AND zero concept of what abortion was pre-Roe v wade and zero concept of what the fall out would be should it be overturned."

You could document your charge that pro life means they want women to die. You could document what the actual danger was to women pre-roe and you could document what will happen should it be overturned, OR you can dodge since you really dont understand the issue and just use it to slur the pro life people. You depth of knowledge is limited to the talking points on your side.

jeff said...

What Mcq said.

"For them it won't be a matter of legalization at all; it will simply remain legal."

EnigmatiCore said...

I want to dominate this thread.

If I visualize it, I can make it happen.

I OWN this thread. It is MINE. Complete and utter DOMINATION.

Jack said...

She wants you to make sure you are not Mary.

Who's Mary? For the record, I'm not Mary. And I'm not a blogger, nor anyone else anyone here has ever heard of. I can't believe I have to explain myself like this. I've been reading this blog for a long time and never seen anyone asked to identify himself. I'm a resident of northern Michigan and I read blogs.


I think it's a bit much to come in and be so domineering

I didn't think I was being domineering. I was just trying to carry on a conversation, and specifically hoping to hear an explanation from educated and informed people about whether Supreme Court justices should really be considered ideologically or politically agnostic, a position that I understand is held by many, but which seems to defy all of my own observations.


It's especially absurd to say to me "Ann, Just curious: have you ever seen one of the Federalist Society's events broadcast on C-SPAN? Are you aware of just exactly how politically-rooted the Federalist Society actually is?" You sound like a presumptuous twit. You've got some nerve.

Good Lord, I was just asking a question. I stated above that my queries were sincere. Maybe I should have been a bit more explicit. I have no background or training in the law. I'm a computer programmer. But I realize that there are a lot of well-informed and astute commenters here, and I was hoping someone would be able to explain the concept of the non-ideological court to me, because from my limited perspective, it appears that the court is totally political.

A "presumptuous twit."

I've hardly ever commented here before. Just one other thread, in which I asked both you and Simon for your thoughts on the unitary executive theory, and both you and Simon were extremely gracious and friendly.

I'm totally stunned by your hostile slap in the face.

I've seen comments in several of your recent posts about how this forum needs more liberal commenters who rise above the ad hominem and personal attack.

And so I comment today, showing no disrespect for anyone here, and how am I treated? I'm called crazy, a twit, and asked to identify myself.

rcocean said...

"She hates that there are more than a handful of people in the world who disagree with her."

Cheap shot. And completely false. Yep, you owe her an apology - just for that.

But you won't.

christopher said...

You could document your charge that pro life means they want women to die.

Oh hell, they don't just want women to die -- they want doctors to die.

In March James Kopp was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for his 1998 sniper murder of Dr Barnet Slepian, an abortion provider, at his home in Buffalo, New York. Kopp is also charged or suspected in six other sniper-style attacks dating back to 1994 on doctors in Canada and the United States that left three seriously wounded. All the victims either were Jewish or had Jewish names.

There's your Pro-Life movement right there....

Jack said...

Constrast today's reaction with the friendly engagement I got last time I dared to comment:

What did Mukasey say about Presidents..."

I'm "Jack" in that thread, too.

EnigmatiCore said...

Should be? Of course.

Have been? Not that I can remember.

How does the current Court compare to past Courts in this regard? Pretty well, actually. There are some cases where the sides align in quite surprising ways. More often, admittedly, they align as you would expect. But then, one would expect that completely different ways of looking at the law, as happens with conservatives and liberals, would result in common alignments when the court has liberals and conservatives on it.

In other words, just because the votes often align politically, does not mean that politics drove the decisions. Correlation does not imply causation. They could result from a common cause.

Ann Althouse said...

Well, Jack, if you've been reading this blog for a long time, do you know who I am? Do you know why your question is obviously insulting to me? If your answer to the second question is no, how can you answer to the first question be yes? If your answer to the first question is no, how can it be true that you've been reading this blog for a long time? Something's not right here. Yet you claim to be stunned. Explain. This is a forum where people have license to participate, but there are responsibilities to be met.

jeff said...

"whether Supreme Court justices should really be considered ideologically or politically agnostic, a position that I understand is held by many, but which seems to defy all of my own observations."

Individually who cares if the Judges have a political opinion. We expect them to set their opinion aside and rule based on facts and the constitution. Like the lower judges are supposed to do. They might disagree with the law, but that has or shouldn't have anything to do with it being constitutional.


"And so I comment today, showing no disrespect for anyone here, and how am I treated? I'm called crazy, a twit, and asked to identify myself."

Actually the crazy comment came from me and was primarily directed to Chris who has a ancient history of commenting by insults and is dishonest in his debate.

"liberal commenters who rise above the ad hominem and personal attack."

"But what did people expect? A former drunk and coke-head who was too lazy to hold down any job for more than a few months prior to his 40th birthday? Obviously he never had the temperment or intellect to be president."

Which is not only ad hominem and personal attack on Bush but a shot at the people who voted for him.

It might just be reflexive for you, but why can you not just disagree with him and give reasons why rather than just shoot off the insults?

EnigmatiCore said...

Christopher,

I kind of like your whole coathanger comment. It is like you read my mind. I am not sure if I am pro-life or not, but whenever I am feeling that I might be I have visions of coathangers dancing in my head, and I can barely control myself from orgasming at the thought of women dying and completely selfless doctors having their lives ruined just for my pleasure.

It is a tingly feeling, actually. Kind of like using Selsun Blue on my privates.

Ann Althouse said...

rocean: Thanks. And sorry I had to delete something you wrote. Email me if you want an explanation. I was one particular thing that I didn't want up.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Who's Mary? For the record, I'm not Mary."

But are you a Mary?

Feel my thread domination, beeeatch.

jeff said...

"There's your Pro-Life movement right there...."

No, there is your James Kopp movement. This is what I mean by being intellectually dishonest. Suppose there has been a Dr somewhere who has both performed an abortion AND committed some sort of crime? And if so, are you saying the entire pro choice community can be convicted along with him?

christopher said...

I can barely control myself from orgasming at the thought of women dying and completely selfless doctors having their lives ruined just for my pleasure.

It is a tingly feeling, actually. Kind of like using Selsun Blue on my privates.


I'll bet.

EnigmatiCore said...

Stinging rejoinder there. You must have used all five of your braincells to come up with it.

Jack said...

Well, Jack, if you've been reading this blog for a long time, do you know who I am?

I feel like I'm in elemetary school, again, and am being dressed down for misbehavior.

Yes, I know you are a law prof at the University of Wisconsin. I know you blog about lots of things, including the law, and that many of your commenters know a lot about the law.

I also know that the political viewpoints expressed here are typically to the right of my own, and so on this and one previous occasion, I tried to respectfully engage in a dialogue so I could learn more about the issues at hand.

Furthermore, this has been helpful to me. Both your and Simon's responses in the Mukasey thread helped me see the issue of exectuive power a little more clearly. I thought I might get some similar enlightenment by asking about the topic of this thread.


Do you know why your question is obviously insulting to me?

I suppose you are upset because as a law prof, "obviously" you know all about the Federalist Society.

Please remember where I'm coming from: I don't think about the law all day like you and some of your commenters. I have no training and no background in the law.

So my question was stupid. Thanks for calling me out on it.


If your answer to the second question is no, how can you answer to the first question be yes? If your answer to the first question is no, how can it be true that you've been reading this blog for a long time? Something's not right here. Yet you claim to be stunned. Explain. This is a forum where people have license to participate, but there are responsibilities to be met.

OK, well, what can I say. You've totally shut me down. Kick in the ass received.

I'm just a stupid dumbass, a presumptuous twit, and have failed to meet my responsibilities as a commenter.

I guess I won't post here anymore.

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, why did this thread get so hostile? Look, I'm sorry for contributing to the hostility. I haven't read all the comments, but that question of Jack's really looked like the work of a troll. Other than that, I only saw that he wrote a lot and I didn't recognize his name from other threads. So if he's really just a computer programmer who wants to join in and had no idea why that question was insulting, then I apologize.

christopher said...

EnigmatiCore said...

Stinging rejoinder there. You must have used all five of your braincells to come up with it.


Truly worthy of the Algonquin Roundtable. I salute you!

EnigmatiCore said...

Does that mean I have to stop my thread domination?

EnigmatiCore said...

"I salute you!"

OK, now we are getting somewhere. Who wants to get pwned next?

christopher said...

are you saying the entire pro choice community can be convicted along with him?


No. I'm saying that the logical and practical result of Pro-Life rhetoric is dead women and doctors.

Sorry.

Ann Althouse said...

Don't go away, Jack. I'm sorry. And I wrote that last comment of mine before reading yours. I really did see you as a troll, and I have to contend with a lot of trollery around here. I'm genuinely sorry.

Titusur said...

Fellow republicans I will be traveling again this week. Yes, it sounds glamorous but it isn't. I only see airports and hotels.

My itinerary consists of Chicago tomorrow and then onto San Diego San Francisco and ending in Seattle on Friday.

Sometimes it is difficult being so strategic and important and in such a high level position within a company. Yes, I am a key opinion leader in my company and senior level management rely on me for key recommendations and decisions. Wo is me. The only consolidation to these trips is I stay in fabulous hotels and have amazing meals with senior level staff. I told them my Kentucky story about the mating horses and I was a huge hit. I wonder if they know I am gay??? My friends said they are not stupid but I never talk about it.

Have a great week fellow republicans I will miss you greatly.

And Althouse, maybe I have walked with the rare clumbers around Brooklyn Heights recently. Would you even know if you passed us? Do you think you would be able to recognize the fabulousness and rareness of the clumbers? We may have already passed each other. I am all about anonymity so I would never say hello and if you did say hello I would keep walking. Discretion is a must.

theobromophile said...

There's your Pro-Life movement right there....

It is questionable, at best, whether or not we should judge the validity of a movement or school of thought based upon the character of all of its adherents. One could easily say, for example, that most people who supported the slavery regime in the South were decent enough people, so why fight a war over it?

It is a slight twist upon ad hominem attacks, either way; the point is to analyse not the validity and soundness of the theory itself, but those who follow it.

It is utterly disingenuous to smear a movement that involves roughly 50 million people* based upon the actions of one particular person. Do you really expect millions of people to change their philosophy simply because one person who practices it is a total nutjob?

It would be fair to analyse the reaction of the group, but that is still engaging in an analysis of the people, not the philosophy.


*Roughly half of the people who vote in an election; about half of people who answer data polls indicate some pro-life leanings.

christopher said...

One could easily say, for example, that most people who supported the slavery regime in the South were decent enough people, so why fight a war over it?


Thank you for proving my point.

And now, good night.

jeff said...

"No. I'm saying that the logical and practical result of Pro-Life rhetoric is dead women and doctors."

Why?

"Question: How were abortions done before it was legal then? According to the head of the U.S. Public Health Service, according to the head of Planned Parenthood, writing in a journal article in the 1950's, over 95% were done by physicians, and these illegal abortions were done in the same manner that they're done now and with similar types of instruments. And they were done in a relatively sterile environment. Those few extras were done by skilled midwives.

Question: Women still died from these illegal abortions, though, didn't they? Yes, but women dying from illegal abortions were really quite rare. You have to go back before the penicillin era to find more than a thousand women a year dying in the U.S. from illegal abortions – and good records have been kept. "

The year before Roe V Wade 39 women died from an illegal abortion.


So why is the death of women and drs the logical outcome?

Ann Althouse said...

Ann Althouse said...
Titusur said..."Fellow republicans I will be traveling again this week. Yes, it sounds glamorous but it isn't. I only see airports and hotels."

Well, I'm glad you're here. We need some leavening.

"And Althouse, maybe I have walked with the rare clumbers around Brooklyn Heights recently. Would you even know if you passed us? Do you think you would be able to recognize the fabulousness and rareness of the clumbers?"

I notice the dogs I pass. I think I'd notice 2 clumbers. 2 of anything interesting. It's more likely that I'd be walking around Manhattan than that you'd be over here. Really, why come to Brooklyn if you live in Manhattan? I wouldn't. What's the point?

"We may have already passed each other. I am all about anonymity so I would never say hello and if you did say hello I would keep walking. Discretion is a must."

You wouldn't say hello, but you'd be thrilled.

Paddy O. said...

I need a pretty sunset picture after reading this thread.

Maybe a bird picture to go with the sunset.

EnigmatiCore said...

"2 of anything interesting."

Must resist the obvious guy line.

No, I mustn't.

Ann Althouse said...

And even if there was a point, why would you drag 2 doggiwogs along with you?

Freder Frederson said...

And screw you, Freder. You know damned well I let people disagree with me here all the time and that I have a problem with a particular person who is a former student of mine. You owe me an apology.

Nice way to ask for an apology. Of course you let people disagree with you, but when they do you ridicule them or call them trolls (who, in your world are anyone who doesn't share your point of view).

And what exactly am I supposed to be apologizing for? Seems your comments kind of prove my point, your rather late apology notwithstanding.

Simon said...

christopher said...
"No, it's not. You're Federalist Society, right? I'm sorry...I don't trust any organization that would have a villain like Ted Olson as a prominent member."

It may surprise you to know that Prof. Calabresi doesn't call me up and ask my opinion before issuing every membership card... ;) And I'm not asking you to trust the society, I'm asking you to trust - not even agree with - me. You've been around here for long enough by now, I'd have thought, so see that although we probably disagree on a lot of issues, I'm not exactly a dittohead.

Out of curiosity -- succinctly, please, since it's OT -- what's your beef with Olson? I can think of a couple of reasons, and I'm curious..

EnigmatiCore said...

Ted Olsen intentionally put his wife on that plane. It's true!

jeff said...

"Do you think you would be able to recognize the fabulousness and rareness of the clumbers?"

Titus, are we again allowed to mention the breed again? When you are out of town, who takes care of your dogs? What is their reaction when you come back after being gone for an extended period of time?

Doyle said...

You sound like a presumptuous twit. You've got some nerve.

Damn, Jack. She doesn't usually break down like this. Tip of the cap!

And I fail to see how it's a "rank slur" to argue that the conservative Chief Justice is looking to move the court to the right. I mean it doesn't go without some proving but gimme a break.

EnigmatiCore said...

I'm just not feeling a lot of love around here in any direction for any one.

If I were a liberal, it would break my heart. If I were a conservative, it would give me grim satisfaction.

But, no. All I want is to have some wings. But it is cold outside.

jeff said...

"Out of curiosity -- succinctly, please, since it's OT -- what's your beef with Olson?"

He disagrees on some things with Christopher. Clearly evil. Or more likely, he represented his client as solicitor general to the best of his ability so again...evil.

Titusur said...

I was kidding Althouse the rare clumbers and I have not walked around Brooklyn Heights. I turn into a pumpkin if I leave the island.

Are you kidding? They can barely make it to Hells Kitchen.

A guy asked me what kind of dogs I had today and I told him and he said "more like plumpers". I said, good day sir.

jeff said...

"And I fail to see how it's a "rank slur" to argue that the conservative Chief Justice is looking to move the court to the right."

Depends on the implication. Is it he is moving the court to the right, constitution be damned, or is he moving it to the right with a more literal interpretation of the constitution?
The first would be a rank slur. It would mean he is violating his oath of office for political reasons.

Simon said...

Freder, you really are a total pillock, you know. I've frequently "disagree[d] with her," and I doubt anyone here would suggest that I "do so out of personal animus...."

Gahrie said...

I believe until we as a nation recognize that the fetus is a human life, and has the right to life, that states have the right to legalize abortion.

Baloney. When Roe is oveturned, you'll try to find some legal justification for making it impossible for the states to legalize it.


What part of "until we recognize the fetus is a human life and has the right to life..." was too hard for you?

The left is currently using a (contrived) legal justification to make it impossible for states to ban abortion.

I don't wish to use a legal justification to enforce my will, I want to use reason and science to change the minds of my fellow citizens, and pass legislation to protect the lives of our children.

Fred said...

"I have to contend with a lot of trollery around here. I'm genuinely sorry."

That is hilarious, made me smile! I think when you have to moderate a bunch of people with legal backgrounds both in the classroom and online, you've gotta put the smack down on the bad boys.

Problem is, how do you define trolls in a forum driven by alphas politicos? I think we can all be over the top sometimes because of our passion.

*bites the troll*

Paco Wové said...

Simon, why do you think you can have a rational discussion with 'Christopher'? Do you have any evidence that such a thing is possible?

Gedaliya said...

Ann, you should consider investing (not much money) in a tool to block ip addresses. This will give you an easy way to prevent people like Mary from posting on your blog.

Titusur said...

Yes, we can now say rare clumbers. I am fine with it and they feel ok about it.

The rare clumbers stay at a "crate free doggy day care". The place is fabulous. Couches, a swimming pool, obstacle course and no crates=unless they are bad. It has a large indoor gym and a backyard outside. When I return they each get a report card. They usually get all A's with the exception of C's for not being as social as they should-but I take pride in those C's. I don't want them being too social. When I come get them they are usually so tired that they don't have much emotion when seeing me. I am going to be spooning with them very soon.

My dogs are perfect though. I call every night to see how they are doing and they put them on the phone so I can speak with them.

So have you seen the movie I recommended yet Althouse? If not, go girl go. You will absolutely love it. It is only playing at "selected cities". I love that when the movies say that. What that means is only fabulous cities. The rest of you loser cities will be able to catch it in March. It is just one of the little things in life that make me feel good.

SMGalbraith said...

From a NY Times "Week in Review" interview shortly after he had retired from the paper (12/18/01).

Question: "Have you changed your view on socialism?"

Anthony Lewis: "I'm still for it. But it doesn't work."

Who wishes to argue with someone who can say those two sentences?

Henry said...

I'm sorry...I don't trust any organization that would have a villain like Ted Olson as a prominent member.

You mean the bar?

Good God, what happend to this thread? Trooper York hit a nice zinger in comment two, and since then it's been Christopher's strawman show. Don't challenge Christopher's strawman or he'll come back with a red herring, a some gross generalizations, and a pair of guilt-by-associations.

At least there's not so much reliance on rhetorical questions this go round, but the night is young.

reader_iam said...

Is it safe to stop by yet?

theobromophile said...

Jeff,

You should also mention that 24 women died from legal abortions in 1972.
(http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5212a1.htm)

...as if any of this has to do with what the Constitution says about the division of rights between the federal government, the states, and the people.

Simon said...

christopher said...
"When Roe is oveturned, you'll try to find some legal justification for making it impossible for the states to legalize it."

For the record, I see nothing in the federal Constitution preventing states from legalizing abortion. And neither does Justice Scalia, not exactly a noted pro-choice activist himself:

"[J]ust to show that this is a, you know, an equal opportunity fallacy, do not think that the anti-abortion people are not willing to use The Constitution the same way. I mean, I've spoken to people who say that The Constitution not only does not require the States to permit abortion, it requires the States to prohibit abortion.

"And I read my Constitution, my Bill of Rights, I can't find anything in there about it. It says nothing about it[,] ... [b]ut the anti-abortions say well 'nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.' And the fetus is a person and therefore it's covered. The only thing is the very next sentence; you see, I'm a lawyer so I do read the next sentence. I mean, talking about a text here.

The next sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment says representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers counting the whole number of persons in each State. You think they were counting fetuses?

I don't think so. So reading it as a lawyer I think The Constitution says nothing either way on it. And we should stop trying to resolve profound social questions by fighting them out on the Supreme Court and having the Supreme Court make essentially policy judgements.
"

Of course, once Roe's been overruled, I'll push for states to basically eliminate it, but I'm going to lose that fight, and that's legitimate. It's the how that I object to more than the result, the subversion of the legitimate process.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Trooper York hit a nice zinger in comment two, and since then it's been Christopher's strawman show. Don't challenge Christopher's strawman or he'll come back with a red herring, a some gross generalizations, and a pair of guilt-by-associations"

I'm trying to goad him into a straw herring-- maybe even one chewing Red Man.

But we can handle all of his generalizations and associations. They are all gross, and we know he is guilty.

Gedaliya said...

Simon, I'm also curious as to why you waste your time engaging "christopher." His "coat hanger" comment is evidence enough that he is neither a serious thinker nor someone interested in honest dialogue. He is a troll pure and simple.

Ann Althouse said...

"My dogs are perfect though."

Oh, I don't know. They sound fat.

Anyway, I'm not going to travel into the city just to see a movie, especially since you can't trust those Manhattan theaters not to be complete crap. If I'm going to go to the theater to see a movie, I expect a quality experience, and so far, in New York, I haven't seen it. I'd rather wait until I'm back in Madison. The theaters in New York are like what Madison was in the 80s. It's really awful. Looks worse than TV. What's the point?

Now, just think, everyone, what if Chief Justice Roberts is reading this thread, thinking this is where people will be showing him some respect. How's he going to feel?

Gahrie said...

Jack: (if you are still here)

I was hoping someone would be able to explain the concept of the non-ideological court to me, because from my limited perspective, it appears that the court is totally political.

1) You seem to be using the terms political and ideological as synonyms. They're not. (at least not necessarily.

2) I doubt anyone would try to argue that the Court is not divided ideologically. In fact, much of the struggle over membership on the Court is based on ideology. For instance there is a struggle between the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted the way the Founders wrote it and the idea that the Constitution is a living document whose meaning changes over time. There is a struggle over whether it is wise to refer to international law when examining the meaning of the Constitution.

3) However the Court was designed to try and keep it free from politics. However this was not entirely successful. Throughout our history politics have intruded on the Court, going back at least as far as Marbury V Madison.

In modern times the stakes have been raised by the left's attempt to use the court to win political battles they could not win in Congress or the ballot box.

Simon said...

Paco Wové said...
"Simon, why do you think you can have a rational discussion with 'Christopher'? Do you have any evidence that such a thing is possible?"

I don't think he's a troll, and I think he could potentially be a productive and interesting voice around here if people engage with him. I'm an optimist.

Trooper York said...

Freamon; Who you?
Moreland: I'm just a humble motherfucker with a big-ass dick.
Freamon: You give yourself too much credit.
Moreland: Okay then. I ain't that humble.
(The Wire, 2002)

Paco Wové said...

"I'm an optimist."

You certainly are.

Titusur said...

Abortion is such a boring topic.

Let's talk about something else. I know....how about ME!!!!! Yea, that sounds like a good topic.

Where do I start???

Right now I am looking at my fabulous loft and I have painting on almost every inch of wall.

Let me tell you about some of my prints. My favorites are a huge movie print from the movie All About My Mother. Next is a movie print with a huge eye from Requiem for A Dream. I also tend to like quite a bit of modern art. Don't get the wrong impression these are not originals but they are framed fabulously. A couple of Paul Klee's; Kenneth Holands; Matisses; Keith Harrings; Picassos; the guy who did all the cartoons-can remember his name I am looking at one now on my wall where a woman is crying and she is dreaming of a man; and one of my walls is all mirrors and on the other wall is white and black stripes.

How fabulous am I.

EnigmatiCore said...

"How's he going to feel?"

He's a conservative. He doesn't feel. He has no feelings. Just coathangers. Nothing but coathangers.

Ann Althouse said...

Since when is a poster a painting?

Since when is a wall of mirrors fabulous? Not since the mid70s, I'd say, when everything was horrible.

Trooper York said...

Jack McCall: Should we shake hands or something, relieve the atmosphere? I mean how stupid do you think I am?
Wild Bill Hickok: I don't know. I just met you.
(Deadwood, 2004)

Titusur said...

Did any of you go onto the Idaho Statesman today and listen to the audiotapes of the 5 different guys who claimed to have sex with Larry Craig.

It was like a porn phon sex tape.

As a gay man, after listening to those I actually felt really sad for Larry Craig.

Sad because he couldn't own up to who and what he is and has lived a lie his entire life. Sad because he obviously cheated on his wife. Sad because he feels the need to lie. Sad because he felt the need to have sex in public restrooms.

Titusur said...

Bitch the mirrors are cut in all kinds of shapes. Don't think 70's think modern today.

It's cool ok-I am not tacky. Gee, I thought we knew each other better than that.

Trooper York said...

Francis Wolcott: I am a sinner that does not expect forgiveness. But I am not a government official.
(Deadwood, 2004)

Palladian said...

"How fabulous am I."

So fabulous that you can't even get Kenneth Noland's name right.

Titusur said...

The mirrors were done by a fabulous interior designer in my hood ok.

Gee, now you are accusing me of being tacky.

It wasn't like these mirrors have been there since the 70's.

The building was refurbished in 2002 and I had them put in in 2003. No designer in Chelsea would come up with some tacky 70's looking mirror thang in a modern loft.

Gee, now I feel I have to justify my fabulousness.

You enjoy putting me down. Does it make you feel better about yourself? You call my food choices pedestrian and now my interiors 70'ish.

I am just a career girl in the big city making my way.

Titusur said...

Palladian, hugs-I just ran to the painting and looked at the name and spelled it wrong.

It is the blue and black dart board kind of thingy.

Palladian, it is cold out tonight. Do you need anyone to warm you up?

I am still a Wisconsin geek in many ways but I do try.

EnigmatiCore said...

He's holding out for Christopher.

Palladian said...

titus and I are far too fabulous to even consider a tired old thing like christopher. Please!

Palladian said...

I'm warm enough, titus. I have a little bit of a cold.

Plus boyfriend radiates heat; it's the Latin blood.

jeff said...

"Did any of you go onto the Idaho Statesman today and listen to the audiotapes of the 5 different guys who claimed to have sex with Larry Craig."

Nope. What was the verification of their stories?


I'm not being defensive about it, I'm just curious how they verified any of it before releasing the tapes?

Ann Althouse said...

Titusur said..."Sad because he couldn't own up to who and what he is and has lived a lie his entire life. Sad because he obviously cheated on his wife. Sad because he feels the need to lie. Sad because he felt the need to have sex in public restrooms."

What if "who he is" is a guy who wants sleazy sex in bathrooms and then to go home to a wife who has no idea? What then?

"Bitch the mirrors are cut in all kinds of shapes. ... It's cool ok-I am not tacky. Gee, I thought we knew each other better than that."

All I can say is I hope you keep your parakeet in the cage -- and that's not an expression -- I mean if you have a parakeet, you'd better not let it fly around. Those mirrors can be deadly. The parakeet will think it's another room and fly right into it.

"It wasn't like these mirrors have been there since the 70's."

Are they smoked or with any kind of a marbled gold pattern on them? I bet they are.

"The building was refurbished in 2002 and I had them put in in 2003. No designer in Chelsea would come up with some tacky 70's looking mirror thang in a modern loft."

Oh, that's what you say now.

Titusur said...

The movie theaters in madison suck-what are you talking about?

Point 6 Eastgate Westgate? Hilldale?

They are horrible.

Kevin said...

Ann said: Anyway, I'm not going to travel into the city just to see a movie, especially since you can't trust those Manhattan theaters not to be complete crap. If I'm going to go to the theater to see a movie, I expect a quality experience, and so far, in New York, I haven't seen it. I'd rather wait until I'm back in Madison. The theaters in New York are like what Madison was in the 80s. It's really awful. Looks worse than TV. What's the point?

I ran across that problem here in Minneapolis this weekend. The new cut of Blade Runner is playing locally, in 35mm. Bad news is that it's in a theater that is old and has crappy seats.

I'd like to see the film in full splendor, but might just pass and watch it on DVD when it comes out because I'm not thrilled with the theater.

Titusur said...

It just increased to 8 different guys now.

Each guy told a story of how they either met with and had sex with Craig. One of them was the prostitute that did Ted Haggard. A couple did him in a bathroom. Another couple did him at some republican convention and another couple were propositioned by him.

Larry Craig, of course denys all.

Honey, I am all for sleazy sex, but I don't believe you should be doing it if you are married. Call me a prude I guess.

OK, I have to go to bed-catch a flight tomorrow.

Palladian, your boyfriend is latin? He's uncut then huh? That's hot.

Titusur said...

Lastly, I have no fricking birds in my house-that's gay.

Ann Althouse said...

Titusur said..."The movie theaters in madison suck-what are you talking about? Point 6 Eastgate Westgate? Hilldale? They are horrible."

Hilldale is currently a pile of rubble. Have you been to Sundance 608? I avoid Eastgate and Westgate though. Point is excellent. What is 6? You need some commas.

"Honey, I am all for sleazy sex, but I don't believe you should be doing it if you are married. Call me a prude I guess."

I don't either, but I'm questioning this "be what you are" theory that you're propounding. It's bathetic.

Simon said...

Titus, is Larry Craig just terrifically attractive to gay men or something? He seems kinda... I dunno, doughy.

Palladian said...

"He seems kinda... I dunno, doughy."

That's precisely what these kind of gay men like about Larry Craig types. They're doughy.

jeff said...

heh. How odd. We have women here who like the same thing.

Kirk Parker said...

Christopher,

1. "Right. You want Roe overturned so the individual states can decide to legalize."

You clearly don't know any people who actually respect and prefer the Constitution, do you? I happen to live in Washington State, where abortion was already legal pre-Roe. If Roe were overturned, it would go back to being legal here, except of course with today's much, much lighter set of restrictions than those in place in the early 70s. I'm very much pro-life, but I want Roe overturned because it's an abomination of nonsense, not because it's going to result one one fewer abortion in the state were I live (because it won't.)

2. "Baloney. When Roe is oveturned, you'll try to find some legal justification for making it impossible for the states to legalize it."

How could it possibly do otherwise than go back to the status quo ante, where it was legal in some states and not in others? Throwin' "disingenuous" right back at 'ya!

3. "There's your Pro-Life movement right there"

Your ignorance knows no bounds. I disagree with Kopp's sentence only in that I think he deserved the death penalty instead.

(OK, reading the intervening stuff about the inability to actually discuss with C: I agree, but still I think the "arguments" should be answered.)


Jack,

"If abortion is made illegal..."

Right, but overturning Roe won't do that.

Regarding your admonition from Ann: I can see that, if you really did just innocently wander in here, then perhaps you really were blindsided by the reception you got. That being the case, though, I'd venture that the place you wandered in from has a far lower standard of discussion, because around here statements like the following, from your opening post, are guaranteed to cause quite a few regulars to write you off as an idealogue:

"My loss of faith started with Bush v. Gore"

I completely understand that this might have been the point where you started paying close attention, but really that just puts you in the position of someone who wanders into the scene of a crime already underway and shoots the undercover cop because he has a gun. Those who have been there from the beginning have a different, and more accurate, picture of what's happening.

bill said...

Ann Althouse said...
Well, Jack, if you've been reading this blog for a long time, do you know who I am? Do you know why your question is obviously insulting to me? If your answer to the second question is no, how can you answer to the first question be yes? If your answer to the first question is no, how can it be true that you've been reading this blog for a long time?


As a reader and occasional commenter going on a couple years now, I have no idea why this is insulting to you. Sorry I wasn't taking notes, didn't realize there would be a quiz.

No idea why you snapped at Jack when there are plenty of others who consistently dominate the threads. In comparison, his tone and number of comments was quite light.

Hey, why did this thread get so hostile? Look, I'm sorry for contributing to the hostility.

More and more, I'm of the opinion that you're actively cultivating the hostility.

reader_iam said...

A year ago, shy just a week and so ago, there was a quite the brouhaha over Althouse's reaction to a Federalist Society confab, and to discussions of libertarianism. I suspect that this--along with other stuff over the past few weeks--provides at least some of the context.

Offered strictly as a point of reference, and nothing else.

reader_iam said...

OT:

CARACAS, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 3 — Voters in this country narrowly defeated a proposed overhaul to the constitution in a contentious referendum over granting President Hugo Chávez sweeping new powers, the Election Commission announced early Monday.

/OT

Fen said...

If abortion is made illegal, as conservatives hope, there is no doubt that abortions will still be conducted, albeit with coat hangers and other methods that women resort to when abortion is illegal.

If we make x illegal, people will hurt themselves in their effort to break the law.

WTH do they teach kids in school these days? Illogic 101?

Mortimer Brezny said...

This is interesting. The article Ann linked to is interesting and her tweak on it is provocative (and, of couse, Simon is addressing the substance of it), but there is very little substantive discussion here concerning the post and its links. (I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.)

I guess Jack's point is -- oh, and go ahead and accuse me of being Jack -- that it isn't so controversial to accuse the Justices of being attitudinal political hacks, so Anthony Lewis isn't really slandering the Chief Justice. The problem, though, is that while the attitudinal model is popular in political science and regurgitated by high-minded journalists, it has been shown to be incoherent and a poor predictor of outcomes. Not to mention denied explicitly by former SCOTUS clerks and the Justices themselves. So making these wild quasi-Fruedian claims about the motivations of Justices is rather irresponsible, much like it is irresponsible to claim, without evidence to support it, that Johnny must have entered the kitchen with a knife to kill his mommy rather than to cut the birthday cake on the kitchen counter. Why reporters -- & liberals in particular -- insist on seeing the world through the prism/lens of outcome-oriented decision-making when interpreting the behavior of Federalist Society members who believe in rule of law and law of rules, is a matter of projection. Is it slander? No. But it is damn sure annoying. Because we really could be having a higher level of debate.

On that note, I would ask Simon (or Ann) what his opinion is on the Boumediene v. Bush v. Al Odah moot court on C-SPAN, which I found very interesting:

Boumediene Moot Court with Michael McConnell and Pam Karlan.

Joan said...

Ann's big dust-up over the Federalist Society has to come to mind in this discussion, but what really irritated me was Jack's "Are you aware?" construction. It's condescending, whether or not it's intended to be.

State the facts, don't beat people over the head with them, and don't set them up as traps, either.

reader_iam said...

In most matters it is more important that the applicable rule of law be settled than that it be settled right

I get Brandeis's point.

But the very bit excerpted above explains, far more than I think is credited, the cynicism of a good chunk of The People, whether they'd put it in those terms or not.

Ann Althouse said...

Good point, Joan. Thanks, reader_Iam and Mortimer.

And bill, it's kind of unfair for you to write that at this point in the thread when I made a big apology to Jack.

Simon said...

reader_iam said...
"A year ago, shy just a week and so ago, there was a quite the brouhaha over Althouse's reaction to a Federalist Society confab, and to discussions of libertarianism."

I remember what you're talking about, and I'm 99% certain that wasn't a Federalist Society event.

Mort said...
"On that note, I would ask Simon (or Ann) what his opinion is on the Boumediene v. Bush v. Al Odah moot court on C-SPAN, which I found very interesting"

I'll take a look. Having not read the briefs, though, and likely won't have time to do so this morning, I'm somewhat reluctant to talk about the case.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Wow. I doubt Jack will be coming back after that bit of abuse.

Roger said...

OMG--SCOTUS is political! who knew? Of course they are political. I don't know if they still mention this in pol sci 101, but in discussing the supreme court, the old aphorism is: "the supreme court reads the election returns." The only problem with Tony Lewis' point is that he fails to ascribe similar political motives to the courts liberal wing, for in Tony Lewis' world, only liberal's are correct.

The political nature of the court has always been there and has, IMO, been exacerbated by the politics of confirmation for the last 30 years. Its divisions reflect our sharply divided political society. Seems to me this should be a blinding flash of the obvious and not particularly worthy of much comment.

Ann Althouse said...

Simon: The president of the Federalist Society was one of the participants in the event, a Liberty Fund conference, but the event wasn't about the Federalist Society. I've spoken at a number of Federalist Society events, including one where Justice Scalia was a featured speaker. That one was on C-Span, by the way.

Here are my posts with the tag Federalist Society, in case anyone is interested.

Let's remember what Jack wrote that ticked me off, "Ann" — he addresses me by my first name, taking an attitude of familiarity — "Just curious" — an intro that often signals insolence — "have you ever seen one of the Federalist Society's events broadcast on C-SPAN?" — indicating that the only way I'd have contact with the group is if I saw it on television — "Are you aware" — suggesting I have at best a shallow glimmer of understanding — "of just exactly how politically-rooted the Federalist Society actually is?" — asking a question you'd only ask of someone who you thought might know absolutely nothing about the current legal culture in America. And this, from someone who claims to read my blog a lot. Can you see why I thought that just didn't add up and made him look like a troll? I think it's damned obvious why I thought that.

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"I've spoken at a number of Federalist Society events, including one where Justice Scalia was a featured speaker. That one was on C-Span, by the way."

I remember that panel - toyed with attending, but Milwaukee's quite a long haul for me - and I think I watched CSPAN's coverage but neither you nor Scalia were covered. The next vlog you do, I'll have to ask you to talk about Rehnquist. ;) In the meantime, you could direct readers to Chief Justice Rehnquist and the Search for Judicially Enforceable Federalism (a title that always makes me think of "Spaceballs the Sequel: The Search for More Money").

I laughed a little going back to your post about driving into Milwaukee and finding a closed ramp. When I was there earlier this year, I drove under this overpass, and said an exceptionally rude word on realizing that it was precisely the overpass my driving directions required me to go over on my way out of the city the following day. And a half-mile later, realized my off ramp was closed, too. The city's a bloody building site!

(A very pretty building site, though. I attempted an artsy Althouse-style angled photo while I was there, too.)

Paddy O. said...

"More and more, I'm of the opinion that you're actively cultivating the hostility."

I entirely disagree with this. Take the recent comment section conversation during the last debate. There were comments flying back and forth, many of them not at all complimentary about the candidates or the issues. But it was civil.

I come back here because Ann and a number of the commentators are intelligent, informed, and not predictable on a given issue. Unfortunately, there are also people who will take predictable partisan positions and then camp out, claiming they have important roles but somehow able to flood comment sections with a hundred posts, most of which end with insult or derision.

Ann responds very rarely to that kind of childish incivility, but when she does she is attacked in very condescending and insulting ways. Such people come here not to discuss nuance but to express their hate and rage and sad little souls. They are like zombies, dead but needing brains. The sorts of people brave in anonymity and indulging in the worst kinds of discourse.

Meanwhile, as in the comment thread I mentioned above, someone who disagrees while remaining civil becomes a treasure. Disagreement is encouraged, but some folks make themselves feel like martyrs for a cause when in fact they are just entirely unlikable people and shame their cause.

Ann, like a normal human, reacts to insult and incivility. It surprises me again and again that she doesn't respond more to people coming to her online home and throwing vases and insulting the guests.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Althouse wrote:

Can you see why I thought that just didn't add up and made him look like a troll?

IMO, you read way too much into what Jack wrote.

In any case, if your apology to Jack is genuine, why try to rationalize your reaction now?

Ann Althouse said...

Why try to rationalize it? Because I am rational and people wanted to overlook my apology and attack me. I didn't like it. Why should I?

Simon said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...
"[Althouse wrote: 'Can you see why I thought that just didn't add up and made him look like a troll?'] IMO, [she] read way too much into what Jack wrote."

That doesn't answer the question. Specifically, in terms of the breakdown offered of the comment above, can you see why the question was phrased in a way that was incongruous with what a reasonable reader would assume her, a law professor (to borrow that favorite meme) would know about the Federalist Society, and thus at least faintly insulting?

zzRon said...

"...."Just curious" — an intro that often signals insolence..."

Personally, I am fond of using the phrase "just curious" whenever I am, well, just curious :-). I will stop though....since I can see now how one might view it as being insolent or condescending. Thanks for the tip.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Simon,

I didn't read Jack's comments that way, but I understand that Althouse did. IMO, she read too much into them. I thought the point of her apology was an acknowledgment that she might have got it wrong. The way I see it, today's rationalization (i.e., "excuse") undoes the apology. It's a shame, really, since the apology was the only thing I found to like about the way Jack was treated by the hostess.

Lefty John said...

Simon said Milwaukee is "A very pretty building site, though."

My first visit to Milwaukee was in high school to attend a chess tournament there, and I remember having a great time, and being surprised by how nice-looking the city was (especially relative to my expectations involving breweries, etc.), and how friendly the people were. Years later I worked in Milwaukee as a Brinks truck driver and guard, and the shine came off a bit, but I still think Milwaukee is a very nice city.

reader_iam said...

Sorry for my conflation. Shouldn't go with off-the-top-of-my-head recollection without verifying. I do know better.

knoxwhirled said...

In any case, if your apology to Jack is genuine, why try to rationalize your reaction now?

oh, puke.

Smilin' Jack said...

If I'm going to go to the theater to see a movie, I expect a quality experience, and so far, in New York, I haven't seen it. I'd rather wait until I'm back in Madison.

I happened to see "No Country for Old Men" at Sundance 608 when I was in Madison last week. And I mean "happened"...we'd bought tickets for "Into the Wild," but went into the wrong theatre by mistake. Now Sundance 608, as well as being stupidly named after an area code(!) and charging a stupid $2 "amenity fee" for not showing commercials(!), also has a stupid policy of assigned seating...you buy specific seats instead of just sitting wherever you want.

But not only did we not sit in our assigned seats, we didn't even go to our assigned movie! Haw! We really stuck it to the Man that night!

The movie is better than the book, because in the book the good guy has a chance to kill the bad guy but stupidly doesn't, which made me lose all sympathy for him. They leave that out of the movie.

And I think Ann apologized too soon to that other Jack...I don't have any legal training and it was obvious to me why that question was offensive. There should only be room for one Jack around here anyway.

From Inwood said...

Simon

You & Gharie have covered the "Government By Judiciary" & "Depends On Whose Ox Is Gored" points here so well that there's no need for me to repeat them in my own words.

But, speaking of my own words, your refutation of the "why are these conservative guys so out of the mainstream" argument is so good & so much better than my long explanation to others that I'm gonna plagiarize it in the future! As Doris K. G. & the late Steve A. would tell us, "plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery".

I mean your statement that:
"we aren't supposed to infer a criticism of the four [Liberal]dissenters - we're supposed to infer a criticism of the five for not just going along with the dissenters."