May 19, 2009

Jeffrey Toobin has at Chief Justice John Roberts.

In the New Yorker.

1. Things Roberts did to Deputy Solicitor General Neal K. Katyal during the oral argument in the voting rights case: a. "pounced," b. "removed his glasses and stared down at," and c. "was relentless in challenging.”

2. The tone of Roberts's questions aimed at a lawyer arguing in favor of a city's affirmative action policy: "belligerent."

3. What Roberts is like compared to Scalia: "extreme" and more "effervescent."

4. Why Roberts's style is inconsistent with the self-image as an "umpire" that he promoted at his confirmation hearings: "In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff." And "Roberts has served the interests, and reflected the values, of the contemporary Republican Party."

5. I skimmed the rest of the article.

IN THE COMMENTS: Juris Dentist said:
On the Althouse blog:

1. We went to the laundromat!

2. We took a drive.

3. We took a walk.

4. Boo hoo, why does Jeffrey Toobin get to write articles that should be written be me!!!

5. I skimmed the rest.

60 comments:

SteveR said...

Damn those "stealth" nominees, right Jeffrey?

Joe said...

Ah, the old canard that if someone holds conservative values, any advancement of them is serving the interests of the Republican Party. Of course, anyone who holds and advances liberal values is merely being genuine.

Toobin is an ass. Umpires aren't passive; they sometimes have to argue with belligerent managers and idiot players and toss them from games if need be.

Brent said...

Jeffrey Toobin is an excellent author - "The Nine" was well written, and I knew when beginning it who Toobin is politically and that he has axes to grind.

The fact that he writes for the New Yorker is great - because we all know that the New Yorker is a home for liberal to far left mentality ( I used to subscribe until I got bored). We can all vociferously and joyously discuss what he says with no artifice or elephant on the room.
`

What I hate is when like articles appear in the New York Times and everyone tries to pretend that it's played down the middle.
`

Toobin is so often wrong, especially about voting rights, that it's often laughable - really. I burst into laughter twice reading this article as Toobin tortured the very existence of logic to bring a point about Roberts home.

But again, he's often insightful and deetailed - when he's not watching himself. I truly believe that there is a bit of a closet conservative in Toobin. I'm just not certain that he has the cajones to come out of the closet.

Treacle said...

I wish Toobin had explored the physical more. Roberts is far and away the most attractive justice in years. He's youthful and handsome with a raw sexual energy that belies his clean cut looks.

Compare poor Ruth Bader Ginsburg. When do we throw out the used up dish rag?

There's some real material here, and it's too bad Toobin didn't explore it.

EDH said...

Treacle, we'd like to introduce you to our very good friend Titus.

We think you would have some things in common.

Do you like rare clumbers?

:)

Scott said...

Cucumbers?

ricpic said...

So much of the vilification of dominant males like Roberts is simply the revenge of the nerds.

madawaskan said...

Roberts’s face is unlined, his shoulders are broad and athletic, and only a few wisps of gray hair mark him as changed in any way from the judge who charmed the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing, in 2005.

Is it safe to say Toobin does not find the current crop of choices "charming"?

rdh said...

"Originalists, whose ranks now include Scalia and Thomas, believe that the Constitution should be interpreted in line with the intentions and beliefs of its framers."

I guess there were some originalists that thought the constitution should be interpreted according to the "intentions and beliefs of its framers" but that is not the kind of originalism that Scalia and Thomas believe in.
It's pretty sad that Toobin gets to write article in the New Yorker as some sort of Supreme Court expert, and yet he doesn't understand Scalia's and Thomas's judicial philosophies.

bearbee said...

Scott said...
Cucumbers?.

fyi.......
Rare Cucumbers

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

In every major case since he became the nation's seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the strike zone over the hitter, the balk call over the pitcher, the lineup card over the manager, and the rainout over the mud.

Last week, Tampa Bay Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon mistakenly submitted a lineup card with two players listed at third base. Justice Roberts made him bench one of the two, burn his DH, and allow pitcher Andy Sonnastine to hit for himself.

Actually it was crew chief Tim McClelland that made that call, but Roberts would have made it if asked.

Toobin must not be a baseball fan, because in baseball, the umpires are extreme conservatives.

aberman said...

Toobin forgot to say that Robert's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, children could not be taught about evolution.

sean said...

Law is politics, though conducted in a specialized grammar. Justice Roberts's politics are not those of Jeffrey Toobin.

The longer version of the foregoing is in The New Yorker.

Jordan said...

Wow. Toobin forgot his moderation at the courthouse door.

John said...

People like Toobin and Lithwick are just leftist performance art. If John Paul Stevens had gone after a lawyer representing some disfavored class like white males or gun owners, Toobin would be writing about what a tough, no nonsense, judge Stevens is. Toobin's coverage is just leftist comfort food written to confirm his readers' prejudices. Why anyone would waste time reading him or Lithwick is beyond me.

Jeremy said...

In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff.

John said...

"In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff."

He didn't in Heller. He sided with the ordinary citizen and their constitutional rights over the government.

Sigerson said...

I was amazed that Toobin wrote all that and never mentioned that Roberts is gay, or at the very least, that there is a lot of speculation about his sexuality.

veni vidi vici said...

In other news, Jeffrey Toobsteak will be performing a selection of arias on the skin flute Thursday evening at Royce Hall. Clothing optional.

Aaron said...

i lost all respect in toobin when he claimed that outrage over the kelo decision was primarily conservative. No, actually the left was mad that it meant the rich can victimize the poower, and the right was mad for the disrespect shown to property. For different reasons there was a real bipartisan spirit of outrage to those rulings. anyone who fails to understand that is a hack.

And veni, that is gross and childish. i don't like Toobin either, but please have some decorum.

John said...

Aaron,

Reaction to the Kelo decision really showed which liberals actually believe in helping the poor and less powerful and which ones are liberals because they like being a part of the elite.

elHombre said...

Several years ago Toobin interviewed me concerning a series of events about which I had first hand knowledge and no axe to grind.

When the article appeared, it excluded a number of facts I had disclosed to him that should have mitigated the point he was obviously committed to making.

He is an advocacy journalist for the left and should be viewed as such.

Frodo Potter said...

Aaron and John, I salute you both. I could not haave said it better myself. Kelo was an outrage, a travesty.

Lem said...

A lot people seem to forget Jeffrey Toobin is an OJ Simpson trial hold-over.

A prime time, affirmative action tottie.

Juris Dentist said...

On the Althouse blog:

1. We went to the laundromat!

2. We took a drive.

3. We took a walk.

4. Boo hoo, why does Jeffrey Toobin get to write articles that should be written be me!!!

5. I skimmed the rest.

Frodo Potter said...

I meant to say it was a travesty of justice. It would actually be more accurate to say it was an unconscionable decision.

Revenant said...

"In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff."

This is, presumably, using the formula "if Roberts sided with the defendant, the condemned, the legislature or the individual, it doesn't count as a major case".

Jeremy said...

Lem said..."A lot people seem to forget Jeffrey Toobin is an OJ Simpson trial hold-over. A prime time, affirmative action tottie."

Could you explain what the hell that even means?

Toobin covered the trial the The New Yorker. (That's a problem?)

As to how Toobin felt, here are a few of his quotes:

"The question in this case was, was there specific mistreatment of O.J. Simpson by Mark Fuhrman and the LAPD? I eventually concluded absolutely not, but the defense very cleverly and very successfully exploited that history.

"The evidence against Simpson was so overwhelming that it seemed both physically impossible and unnecessary for the cops to have tried to have framed O.J. Mark Fuhrman was a racist, but he didn't frame O.J. Simpson. Absolutely not. Never happened."

"I'm totally sure, because the evidence dictated it. His shoeprints are at the scene; the blood of the victims is on the glove; there is blood in O.J.'s car. There's no framing going on here."

"There was enough evidence in this case to convict O.J. Simpson 10 times over. There wasn't reasonable doubt in this case. There was no doubt in this case."

Where do you get the "hold-over" or "affirmative action" blather?

Jeremy said...

Rev - "This is, presumably, using the formula "if Roberts sided with the defendant, the condemned, the legislature or the individual, it doesn't count as a major case"."

I have no idea what that means.

But one would certainly think he would at least sided differently at some point.

Jeremy said...

John - J. Harvie Wilkinson III - A judge on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals:

"Conservatives across the nation are celebrating" because of the Heller decision, Wilkinson begins. "I am unable to join in the jubilation.

Heller represents a triumph for conservative lawyers. But it also represents a failure -- the Court's failure to adhere to a conservative judicial methodology.

In fact, Heller encourages Americans to do what conservative jurists warned for years they should not do: bypass the ballot and seek to press their political agenda in the courts."

Wilkinson is referring to the fact that Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion overturned the will of the elected D.C. Council by striking down its strict handgun ban.

John said...

"I have no idea what that means."

Somehow that doesn't surprise me. To put it in simpler terms, he is saying that you are chosing to ignore cases in which Roberts did side with the individual.

Again, Roberts did side with the individual in Heller. That is a case of the individual winning against government oppression. And it is something that you as a liberal should be applauding. It is not often that both conservatives and liberals can agree and support individual rights.

John said...

"Wilkinson is referring to the fact that Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion overturned the will of the elected D.C. Council by striking down its strict handgun ban."

A ban that violated the plain language of the Constitution at the expense of individual's rights. If the council had banned interracial marriage or the right to a jury trial, would you want the court to bow to the will of an elected official then?

Either you believe in Constitutional rights or you don't. Every liberal should have been very happy about Heller.

Jeremy said...

John - More fundamentally, Wilkinson argues that Heller, like Roe, amounts to "judicial aggrandizement," defined as "a transfer of power to judges from the political branches of government -- and thus, ultimately, from the people themselves."

John said...

"John - More fundamentally, Wilkinson argues that Heller, like Roe, amounts to "judicial aggrandizement," defined as "a transfer of power to judges from the political branches of government -- and thus, ultimately, from the people themselves."


By that standard, everytime a judge prevents an elected official from violating the plain language of the Bill of Rights, he is engaging in "aggrandizement". That of course is nonsense. Where the Constitution plainly sets out a right and the government violates it, the Courts must overrule the government and affirm the right of the individual.

Henry said...

Jeremy -- with that kind of logic, Roberts is the most virtuous liberal on the court -- except for Heller.

traditionalguy said...

Judicial aggrandizement, started by John Marshall, is the taking the power of having the final word on a constitutional Right in a way that that trumps the Congress and President's views. So we live with that for harmony in hard cases. But the finding of Privacy as an implied right is the stretch without an Amendment. In Heller the Amendment is in your face there and on point until it is repealed. So where is there any aggrandizement? It is the usual liberal "Let's Pretend" game.

Ann Althouse said...

Guess why I just frontpaged Juris Dentist and not Jeremy.

SteveR said...

You could have chose neither.

Henry said...

Word count?

David said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Guess why I just frontpaged Juris Dentist and not Jeremy."

Because Juris Dentist was funny and Jeremy has never been funny in his life?

Paddy O. said...

Cleverness gets the prize.

elHombre said...

Because Jeremy doesn't know the difference between explicit language and emanations from penumbras?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Guess why I just frontpaged Juris Dentist and not Jeremy.

Because Juris Dennis wrote something amusing and original and all that Jeremey does is cut and paste other people's thoughts as if they were his own, with out attributing the origin of the source material??

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...and all that Jeremey does is cut and paste other people's thoughts as if they were his own, with out attributing the origin of the source material??

Has anyone ever seen Jeremey and Maureen Dowd in the same place at the same time? I'm just asking...

Titusiseatingfageyogurtthankyou said...

I happen to think Ruth Bader Ginsburg is poised and elegant.

I like her little collars on her robes. So cute.

rcocean said...

Toobin is an excellent author? I think not. More like a conventional left-wing hack. Boring lefties like "Jeremy" and Keith Olbermann are his target audience.

Conservative= bad, Liberal= good. That's all you get out of Toobin.

Palladian said...

Althouse, you do know that "Juris Dentist" is just another pseudonym of your personal blog poltergeist AJD don't you?

Palladian said...

You have to give AJD credit though. It's been "on message" for years. Almost every single one of its comments have been variations on the same "Althouse is a lame narcissist that I don't like".

It's kind of elegant, really.

Ann Althouse said...

@Palladian No, I didn't. But he had real style and humor this time. I'm trying to encourage Jeremy to be like that too.

Ann Althouse said...

@Palladian No, I didn't. But he had real style and humor this time. I'm trying to encourage Jeremy to be like that too.

Ann Althouse said...

@Palladian No, I didn't. But he had real style and humor this time. I'm trying to encourage Jeremy to be like that too.

Palladian said...

"I'm trying to encourage Jeremy to be like that too."

Good luck with that one.

At least AJD is brief and infrequent.

jeff said...

"At least AJD is brief and infrequent."

Oh, I was tempted. Trying to take the high road.

Mortimer Brezny said...

It seems like Toobin's point is that Roberts is presently the only racist on the Court.

veni vidi vici said...

"And veni, that is gross and childish. i don't like Toobin either, but please have some decorum."

LOL; pretty rich comment within the context of the Althouse comment threads!

Was my comment juvenile? Of course. Gross? Oh, grow up. Has Toobin's name always reminded me of "toobsteak"? Yes. Oh well / SFW. So it goes.

Original Mike said...

"I'm trying to encourage Jeremy to be like that too."

Like trying to teach a dog to write poetry. It's beyond them.

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doyle said...

More polite version: I would be curious to see you actually "have at" Toobin, instead of doing what you always do when mocking/dodging Greenwald (i.e. addressing their linquistic style instead of their arguments).

amba said...

I think you missed quoting the nastiest and most partisan line: "The kind of humility that Roberts favors reflects a view that the Court should almost always defer to the existing power relationships in society."