January 22, 2010

And you, President Obama, a law professor!

So, the Supreme Court came out with a big free-speech decision yesterday, and President Obama's response was that he needs "to develop a forceful response to this decision. The public interest requires nothing less." I've already used that quote as part of the discussion in the earlier post "On the day that the Supreme Court struck down a U.S. statute as a violation of free speech, Hillary Clinton was promoting free speech on the internet," but I want to break out a very particular question for discussion.

The President was a law professor — technically, a "senior lecturer" at the University of Chicago Law School — for 12 years. Why would a law professor oppose a Supreme Court decision on a matter of constitutional law and not respect the authority of the Court and honor our system of separation of powers?

Now, I've been a law professor and I've been with the professors for more than twice 12 years, and I have my answer to that question. I'll tell you that in a little while. I'll just watch this movie clip....



ADDED: A day has passed, and you've chewed over the question. Now, I'll give my answer. It is exactly what I, a law professor, would expect to hear from another law professor! The odd thing is that Obama, a politician, didn't stop himself from saying the kind of thing lawprofs say to each other.

Non-lawprof Americans tend to think that the Constitution really means something and that that the Supreme Court has a special role and expertise in saying what it means, that a 5-4 decision is something more than just a vote on what 9 power-wielders would like the law to be.

I would expect a politician to tend to the voters' feelings. Obama should have said that he would like to explore ways to write a new statute that will respect the rights the Court has articulated and still serve the good and proper goals that the defective statute was meant to serve. With some sugar about how rights are important.

200 comments:

miller said...

Maybe someone forged the signature on his law degree.

Maybe he's just into the law when it suits his purpose, and into power when it doesn't.

storkdoc said...

What I, a nonlawyer fails to understand, is why law professors are unable to under the simple phrase "Congress shall make no law..." Seems to be no wiggle room there. Are there additional definitions of these words that I'm not aware of?

miller said...

I don't think his heart is in the game anymore.

Soon he will retire to spend more time with his family, I think.

The Ghost said...

so he wants Congress to pass a law that would reinstate the restrictions on free speech just struck down by the Supremes ?
What is this, wack a mole ?
In what alternate universe does he think the appropriate response to the Supreme court saying, "you can't do x", is to propose a law that does x ?
Does he really want to Amend the Constitution ? Because that is the only way to overturn this decision.

Wow, just wow ... and he was "the smart one" in the last election ?

Peano said...

Why would a law professor oppose a Supreme Court decision on a matter of constitutional law and not respect the authority of the Court and honor our system of separation of powers?

Because he is truly a Progressive in the mold of Herbert Croly. In his heart of heart, Obama agrees with Croly on this:

The time may come when the fulfillment of a
justifiable democratic purpose may demand the limitation of certain
rights, to which the Constitution affords such absolute guarantees; and
in that case the American democracy might be forced to seek by
revolutionary means the accomplishment of a result which should be
attainable under the law.


I believe that Obama would happily preside over those "revolutionary means" if he ever got the chance.

kent said...

Why would a law professor oppose a Supreme Court decision on a matter of constitutional law and not respect the authority of the Court and honor our system of separation of powers?

Because, so far as President Present is concerned: this is a nation of men, not laws.

He is, at his core, the anti-John Adams.

Peter V. Bella said...

Why would a law professor oppose a Supreme Court decision on a matter of constitutional law and not respect the authority of the Court and honor our system of separation of powers?

He is a brilliant idiot with a large bully pulpit. He would oppose anything that stands in the way of his agenda and the agenda of those who he thinks put him into power- the far left.

He also has a tendency to shoot from the lip. I guess he does not realize yet that the decision benefits his backers- the unions- too. They now may be able to increase spending on political campaigns.

Spending the dues money- hundreds of millions of dollars in the aggregate- of their members on politicians instead of using it to provide health care insurance for said members.

Peter V. Bella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter V. Bella said...

What I, a nonlawyer fails to understand, is why law professors are unable to under the simple phrase "Congress shall make no law..."

You are really asking a lot of our iconic politicians and their followers. You want them to be competent and efficient. Altruistic and generous- with our money. And now, now, you expect them to know how to read? You expect reading comprehension too? You expect them to have a fourth grade education?

You ask too much!!!!!

TMink said...

Obama is a socialist and from his approach to governing it is clear that the Constitution is a barrier rather than a road map to him and his ilk.

Trey

Pogo said...

"Why would a law professor oppose a Supreme Court decision ...and not respect the authority of the Court and honor ...separation of powers? "

It presumes he had any of those virtues (respect, honor) to begin with, or that he being a law professor presupposes honor or respect for the law at all.

Some people study architecture and construction in order to destroy buildings, rather than build or preserve them.

The best way to crush a church or a state has always been from within.

miller said...

I suppose this is a way where Bambi is not like Bush.

Bob_R said...

"And you, a law professor!" = "Judas!" ??

ricpic said...

First and always Obama is a creature of his marxist mentors. The law? A means not an end.

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

Maybe he was just as lousy a law professor as he was a community activist or Senator? You know, titled but not actually capable? Dare I say, thin?

Henry said...

Is this worse than Bush signing a law he assumed would be overturned?

If Obama thinks the majority made the wrong decision, why shouldn't he criticize it? Other law professors certainly will. If he wants to sponsor a constitutional amendment to "fix" free speech, let him go ahead.

If he offers to pack the court, then impeach his ass.

In the meantime, why doesn't he work on that transparency thing he used to talk about so much.

kent said...

The default mind-set of the repressive left, on unvarnished and indefensible display, re: this very topic.

There simply isn't enough Thorazine in the world, for some people.

miller said...

This is the guy who spent $0.75 BILLION to get elected?

The irony gene is rich with this guy.

Sofa King said...

If Obama thinks the majority made the wrong decision, why shouldn't he criticize it?

It shows a certain disrespect for the separation of powers that is fundamental to our system of government.

SteveR said...

They'll take rights away from you for the common good.

Michael said...

He is not that smart a guy. Were he not half black he would not have a Harvard law degree, he would not have been a "senior lecturer" at the University of Chicago, he would not be a graduate of Columbia University and he would most definitely not be President of the United States. Every day that passes shows the suit emptier.

Pogo said...

"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."


How soon he forgot.

Salamandyr said...

To be fair to Obama, as a law professor, he could just think they got it wrong.

Of course, he may have a similar mechanistic view on the law that the average citizen does "good=constitutional", corporate free speech is bad, thus "bad=unconstitutional". For myself, I don't think it works that way, but that seems to be a prime motivator for most people I talk to.

miller said...

I don't think he's dumb. I think he's smart, quite smart.

I do think he lets his arrogance get the better of his intelligence, however.

Pogo said...

"Why would a law professor not ...honor our system of separation of powers?"

What is in that word “honor”?
What is that“honor”?
Air.

ricpic said...

OT - Did anyone catch blowhard Arlen Specter admonishing Michelle Bachmann to act like a lady when she dared to disagree with him before he had finished uttering his latest idiot pomposity?

Henry said...

There's nothing that says that the different Federal powers can't criticize each other. In fact we expect them too.

If Obama attempts to override the decision via unconstitutional means that's a different story.

traditionalguy said...

The dilemma for Obama in our system of government is the pesky division of powers. He wants all the powers so he can skin fat cats and give their hides to the Poor. That is a Huey Long Populism that Obama will trump the middle class American voters "populism" by voting their best interests. The Immigration Reform Bill legalising the new voters Obama needs to win with this scam will be the other side of the coin he is now playing. There is nothing new under the sun. As to his legal stance...we call that grandstanding for his client. The grandstanding attorney is only playing to his ignorant client who will be impressed by the fight while he was too uneducated to see that it was always a sure losing argument. That is unethical practice since it sell out that attorney's client behind a smoke screen.

Roux said...

I know you noted it but he was never a law professor. I'm sure that if Bush or any conservative had claimed that they'd be vilified in the press.

traditionalguy said...

Arlen Specter is actually a great example of a trial lawyer gone into politics./ Most Lawyers in politics are wheeler dealers for the wealthy interests that sponsor them. A real trial lawyer in the game is very rare, and you see why in Arlen's case.He is acting like the world of politics is a courtroom instead of a Punch and Judy show.

AllenS said...

Because he doesn't know jack shit about the law. Or the Constitution. He represents everything that is wrong with affirmative action.

WV: ticskill

Lem said...

With that statement president Obama made his friend Chavez proud.

Obama is turning this country into a banana republic.

AJ Lynch said...

Two comments:

Obama said "we are just days away from fundamentally transforming this country" a few days before the 2008 election.

The Philly Inquirer reported just this morning that, in 2008 Prez race, Obama got $109 Million in corporate contributions while McCain only got $57 Million. So Obama is full of soup on this issue!

AJ Lynch said...

My mistake- the totals were actually Obama $323 Million versus Mccain's $240 Million.

Paul said...

"First and always Obama is a creature of his marxist mentors."

This is exactly right and is the proper template from which to gauge everything the man does.

Anyone who grasps this will be able to accurately predict his actions.

Those who don't understand this, who believed his shtick in the campaign, are always flummoxed by his behavior.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Why would a law professor oppose a Supreme Court decision on a matter of constitutional law and not respect the authority of the Court and honor our system of separation of powers?

Well maybe it has something to do with his lack of respect for our system? His being a law professor is irrelevant. Hell I had a prof in college who was an expert on communism but was about as anti-communist as you could get.

The man grew up his entire life surrounded by people who held nothing but disdain for this country so why in the name of God and sonny Jesus himself should I be expected to believe that he honors anything about our system?

garage mahal said...

Saudi Oil giant ARAMCO, CNOOC, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Al Qaeda, Inc, all can now send billions to influence our elections,

USA! USA! USA!

Sofa King said...

Saudi Oil giant ARAMCO, CNOOC, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Al Qaeda, Inc, all can now send billions to influence our elections,

Oh, no! People we don't like are SAYING THINGS! We're doomed I tell you! DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

PatCA said...

I'm not a law professor but I wondered the same thing. This is ludicrous!

Perhaps he's trying an FDR-like intimidation of the Court because he anticipates legal challenges to his agenda?

Almost Ali said...

Now his supporters know why Obama's academic/political enablers buried his transcripts; the man is intellectually unqualified.

But ideologically, at least, his position is entirely understandable; it's impossible in a capitalist society for labor collectives (unions) to outspend employers (corporations). In the Obama School of Law, all things are political.

What's really interesting about the question here is the skepticism inherent in the asking - the question itself challenging the underlying legitimacy of the president.

Post-Scott Brown, the disenchanted have been coming out of the closet in droves, an army of Rip Van Winkles now ready to scrutinize every word the man says.

David said...

Why would a law professor oppose a Supreme Court decision on a matter of constitutional law and not respect the authority of the Court and honor our system of separation of powers?

Simple. Because he has decided that part of the means to redeeming his political glory is to bash big business, special interests, etc.

This may be a redoubling of lefty emphasis, or just a sound bite for the base as he moves to the center. (My guess is the former but only time will tell.)

Obama is proving to be a man who has not thought very deeply about anything except himself.

Peter V. Bella said...

Saudi Oil giant ARAMCO, CNOOC, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Al Qaeda, Inc, all can now send billions to influence our elections,

USA! USA! USA!


SEIU, the Teamsters, AFSCME, and other corrupt criminal unions- non-profit coporations- can now spend hundreds of millions of dollars of their members dues money to influence elections instead of using it to provide health insurance for their members.

You really are a one dimensional tool.

USA USA USA

Sofa King said...

I think it's tragilarious how the same liberals who talk about the need to hold fast to our constitutional and moral convictions in the face of terrorist attacks are ready to piss away the First Amendment because they're worried Al Quaeda might say something about an election!

Hoosier Daddy said...

"Why would a law professor oppose a Supreme Court decision

Quite frankly I can’t fathom why four USSC justices dissented the opinion. Either we have free speech or we don’t. Last time I checked there wasn’t an exemption in the 1st Amendment for corporations.

I think people get caught up in the false visualization of corporations as faceless inhuman entities when in fact they are run by human beings who answer to a Board of Directors and shareholders. They also have other human beings called employees who also tend to donate to political causes and many do so through the company’s PAC.

Obama’s denouncement of this decision in light of the fact that he took in millions of dollars from the very entities he is now decrying is simply mindboggling. If this is such an egregious assault on the health of the Republic then an amendment repealing or modifying the First Amendment should be a priority.

Anthony said...

The law professor disagreed with teh decision for the same reason the 4 justices dissented. The wrong reason I think but I respect that he feels the decision was wrong and can be repaired by federal action.

Joe said...

Oh Garage, you poor dude/dudette it's STILL Illegal for foreign governments or organizations to contribute to US political campaigns....yoyu might have missed that one.

Of course, Loral can contribute more, after receiving a White House retro-blessing for giving the PRC missile technology, but that won't ahppen again, I'm sure.

kynefski said...

So the consensus here is that separation of powers constrains the Executive from expressing an opinion on the actions of the Judiciary.

Interesting. Has that always been the case?

George said...

Well, I'm not a law professor either, but I do recall the following quote from Obama in 2001, in which he makes it quite clear that he views the US constitution deficient and in need of change (i.e., HIS concept of change):

"But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can't do to you. Says what the federal government can't do to you, but doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf."

Sheepman said...

Not sure about a connection with "Mr Jones" and Obama (his thinness or alleged cluelessness?), but that was one of the few scequences in "I'm Not There" that worked for me. The bit in the bathroom with the mirrors was good and the movie Mr Jones did a much better job questioning Dylan than the real life journalist did.

Almost Ali said...

the decision was wrong and can be repaired by federal action.

Congress shall make no law...

Meanwhile, Obama's fall to earth makes him subject to the small test. Which may not seem fair since he brings with him a lot of residual odor.

Sofa King said...

So the consensus here is that separation of powers constrains the Executive from expressing an opinion on the actions of the Judiciary.

I think that is a bit broad. It's one thing, I think, for the Executive to disagree, even strenuously, with the rulings of the Court, but it is another thing to suggest, however slightly, an unwillingness to follow it, per the duty of the office.

garage mahal said...

Oh Garage, you poor dude/dudette it's STILL Illegal for foreign governments or organizations to contribute to US political campaigns....yoyu might have missed that one.

Many U.S. corporations are foreign owned. See UBS for instance. The Chinese ARAMCO has a U.S. unit.

Maguro said...

The wrong reason I think but I respect that he feels the decision was wrong and can be repaired by federal action.

OK, I get that thinks the decision was wrong, but how can a Supreme Court decision "be repaired by federal action"

Could Roe v. Wade be repaired by federal action? Brown v. Board of Education?

rhhardin said...

Obama is setting up the need for an appointment.

I'd go with enlarging the court.

Comrade X said...

Saudi Oil giant ARAMCO, CNOOC, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Al Qaeda, Inc, all can now send billions to influence our elections,


how do we know they didn't already? obama turned the credit card filters off.

Henry said...

but how can a Supreme Court decision "be repaired by federal action"

Maybe the FDA can declare that television is a drug and start regulating it to protect us from ourselves.

bagoh20 said...

I thought that's why we have law professors. It's one of those professions where the job is never finished, like a farmer, trash collector, or comedian.

t-man said...

Sofa King,

Great post at 10:40.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The Chinese ARAMCO has a U.S. unit.

Yeah just think of the deals they could have gotten if your girl had won instead of The One.

Am I wrong in my understanding that prior to the travesty the court handed down yesterday that the eeeevil were just donating to 527s who in turn donated to the candidates? Seems to me all we did was remove the middle man no?

Henry said...

rhhardin wrote: "Obama is setting up the need for an appointment. I'd go with enlarging the court."

The New York Times, meanwhile, is either hoping for the same thing, or just wishing death on someone in the majority: "The four dissenters made an eloquent case for why the decision was wrong on the law and dangerous. With one more vote, they could rescue democracy."

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm also a little surprised at your new found xenophobia garage. Its a bit shocking to say the least. Next thing you know you'll be bitterly clinging to your toy gun, copy of Das Kapital and holding antipathy toward people not like you.

I don't like this new garage mahal. Its scaring me.

edutcher said...

Barry learned to hate this country and everything (and everyone, probably) in it from his mommy, the commie, and likely from other members of the family, as well (I'm thinking Grandad, here). He gravitated to other "small c" communists in college and later life, who, in turn, taught him how to game the system to bring it down.

Keep in mind that Barry's tenure as law reviewer, professor or anything else was witness to as little real work by him as possible and used as another stepping stone to the next level.

The other point to keep in mind is that the rest of the ChiTown/Haavahd crowd around him sees things the same way he does. There are no laws that can be allowed to stand in their way - only to constrain their opponents and, of course, the little people who don't know what's in their best interests. And, of course, no morality - Papa Saul, Uncle Mao, and Grandfather Karl is their Trinity.

miller said...

I don't think his heart is in the game anymore.

Soon he will retire to spend more time with his family, I think.


Your lips to God's ears, my friend.

Peano said...

Why would a law professor oppose a Supreme Court decision on a matter of constitutional law and not respect the authority of the Court and honor our system of separation of powers?

Because he is truly a Progressive in the mold of Herbert Croly. In his heart of heart, Obama agrees with Croly on this:


The time may come when the fulfillment of a justifiable democratic purpose may demand the limitation of certain rights, to which the Constitution affords such absolute guarantees; and in that case the American democracy might be forced to seek by revolutionary means the accomplishment of a result which should be attainable under the law.


I believe that Obama would happily preside over those "revolutionary means" if he ever got the chance.

I have the feeling the fellow who composed the Armed Forces oath, especially the part, "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic", was thinking of The Zero when he wrote it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Sofa King,

Great post at 10:40.


Seconded. Definitely the thread win. Hell that may be the thread win for the year.

Lem said...

I second HD on the SK post @ 10:40.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Obama should have illustrated his response with an aerial photo of Riyadh showing where the weapons of mass communication are hidden.

Lem said...

Remember how apeshit the left was over Bush's use of signing statements?

Now Obama says..

"That's why I am instructing my Administration to.. develop a forceful response to this decision".

During the Bush years that would have been called a coup d'etat.

Hoosier Daddy said...

During the Bush years that would have been called a coup d'etat.

No Lem. Coup d'etat is French and since Bush=Hitler putsch would be the appropriate term.

Richard Dolan said...

Althouse says she wants to "break out a very particular question for discussion": "Why would a law professor oppose a Supreme Court decision on a matter of constitutional law and not respect the authority of the Court and honor our system of separation of powers?" OK. It doesn't strike me as a particularly interesting question, but let's have a go.

The many premises built into that question don't make sense, and so the question as a whole doesn't either.

1. In discussing a SCOTUS decision, a law prof (or any other person) has no duty to support it and no reason not to 'oppose' it if opposition seems warranted. That, too, is an element of free speech which, as it happens, this SCOTUS decision sought to uphold.

2. SCOTUS "authority" is a statement about the court's power, not the wisdom, cogency or persuasiveness of its decisions. And in its official acts, the SCOTUS is as subject to criticism (opposition, if you like) as any other gov't actor. It's easy to regard such criticism as an informal petition for the redress of grievances, a process that has its own constitutional protection.

3. A key aspect of this decision was the SCOTUS' conclusion that its own prior decisions in Austin and other cases were wrongly decided and that stare decisis concerns were not enough to stop the court from acknowledging as much. In short, the SCOTUS itself was doing so pretty serious work in "oppos[ing] a Supreme Court decision on a matter of constitutional law and not respect[ing] the authority of the Court ..." No reason why others can't join in the fun. And the SCOTUS sometimes adopts such criticism -- this decision, in fact, quotes law prof articles that had harsh things to say about Austin, and ends up adopting that criticism.

4. One aspect of the separation of powers docrine is the importance of 'checks and balances.' Criticism directed at SCOTUS decisions that seem wrongheaded to another branch of Gov't (to say nothing of a law prof or any other private citizen) is part of that 'checks and balances' process.

One could go on listing still other oddities built into the question, but they are all as obvious to Althouse as they are to everyone else.

So the real question is: why is the good professor asking this question, and what is she trying to get going here? I don't know where the vortex is heading here, but I expect we're about to find out.

Lem said...

tushe

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Lem, thanks for the "signing statements" link. It was fun reading the comments and reliving those dewy eyed days when hope was in the air and the koolaid was still fresh.

Superdad said...

He is saying that because he is smart enough to try to revive the concept of co-ordinate and co-equal branches of gov't. I doubt he will push it as far as Andrew Jackson, who completely ignored a Supreme Court rule on whether a State could enforce its laws on Indian lands and (allegedly) said, “Mr. Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”

I think he may instruct the FCC to continue to regulate this speech in some manner and claim his administration has the right to interpret the Constitution that is co-equal with the Court.

Too many jims said...

1. Both parties have been known to take their shots at the Supreme Court over their jurisprudence. Until I see the legislation which attempts to codify Austin, I'd say it is premature to say that his statement represents a lack of respect for the authority of the Court. Now if they produce something like the Flag Protection Act of 1989, I'll completely agree that whoever supports or signs that legislation has no respect for the Court and separation of powers.

2. Really, the decision represents a dramatic seachange and Congress does need to do something. An example is the foreign corporation issue. Sure a foreign corporation which has only forign nationals as officers and employees and that was capitalized and owned exclusively by foreign nationals would still run afoul of 441e. Sure a domestic corporation which only has U.S. citizens for employees and officers and which was capitalized and is owned exclusively by U.S. citizens is allowed to make such communications. But that leaves a lot of corporations out there.

garage mahal said...

I'm also a little surprised at your new found xenophobia garage.

One thing you can guarantee with certainty, every single time, is when a Republican accuses somebody of something, they are already doing it.

traditionalguy said...

The genius of Obama (besides smiling like he is totally in love with his subjects) is to step into a crisis situation between two hostile camps and impose The Peace of Obama, for a sufficient fee of course. He likes to be seen running a Mediation Service that can morph into binding Arbitration the moment he has been trusted with the power to impose his outcome upon the parties. What is missing for Obama's act to work on us today is our sufficient division into two hostile camps...Race in't working anymore... women vs men isn't working...insured vs uninsured isn't working ...maybe good old fashioned Robber Barons vs the Poor Workers (like Edwards used to run in his speeches) will cause the division into two hostile camps? Or there is always the related Supreme Court vs the people fake wrestling show. Remember it is always a show.

Sofa King said...

Really, Garage? That's the best you've got? "I know you are but what am I?"

Hoosier Daddy said...

One thing you can guarantee with certainty, every single time, is when a Republican accuses somebody of something, they are already doing it.

LOL!

Well garage, you don't see me wetting my pants over the thought of Osama bin Laden or the Chicoms donating to the DNC.

Coffee Guy said...

As a communist anarchist I totally support (strategically) this Supreme Court decision .

Spin the merry-go-round again!

Let the most non-productive elements on Wall St. continue to buy off Washington. The United States government just bailed out the economy to a tune of one trillion plus dollars because of Wall Street shenanigans. I say turn Wall Street loose and they will be even more emboldened to wreak havoc.

Give them enough rope!

And thank god (said ironically) for useful dupes like Ann Althouse!

rdkraus said...

Ya know, just looking at one of my (many) copies of the Constitution, I don't see any limits in the First Amendment regarding corporations or foreigners or non-citizens. Ya know ...."Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech..." Simple and sweet. They really wanted to allow free expression. OMG,the horror of it.

The answer to "bad" speech = good speech.

Not sure how much difference it makes. We have freedom of the press (those other big corp's), yet most of the major media really didn't do much investigative journalism about the big dope we now got as Pres.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ya know, just looking at one of my (many) copies of the Constitution, I don't see any limits in the First Amendment regarding corporations or foreigners or non-citizens

Well according to our lefties here constitutional protections only extend to foreigners when they are trying to murder us by the plane load. Then they need to be afforded all the rights and privledges that John Q. American Citizen enjoys (including halal meals and prayer rugs)

Anything less would mean the death of the Republic.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I'd think a communist anarchist would be sufficiently stoked about the "Congress shall make no law" stuff not to need a strategic reason to like this decision.

rdkraus said...

So Coffee, how does that commie anarchy stuff work anyway?

Seems kinda oxymoronic

Coffee Guy said...

So Coffee, how does that commie anarchy stuff work anyway? Seems kinda oxymoronic."

First anarchy. Which Wall Street, turned loose by this decision, will provide.

howzerdo said...

Perhaps his thinking has been influenced by the conflict theorists, such as Marcuse.

John Cunningham said...

Obama loathes the Constitution, because it has limits on state power. his whole career is based on whipping up mob power to make a revolution to crush individual liberty.

traditionalguy said...

Coffee...You are good. You ought to be get into paid propaganda services as a profession. But is it the Jewish bankers or the Gentile bankers that need exterminating for the profit of the down and out this time? Or maybe it's a CIA coup that we need to be fighting this time.

Shanna said...

the decision was wrong and can be repaired by federal action.

Congress shall make no law...


Exactly. Congress made a law, supreme court struck it down. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Unless “federal action” is “scrap the Supreme Court”, I’m not sure what the heck he’s talking about here.

Synova said...

I don't think that separation of powers means that the different branches of government shouldn't push against each other. In fact, I'd say that they're required to push against each other. They're supposed to work as checks on the other, not some separate pristine entity doing their very own thing undisturbed.

That said!

I think that Obama, for all his Constitutional Law credentials, views the purpose of the Constitution to be fairness and thus anything that is deemed to contribute to fairness is quite obviously Constitutional.

My guess. I wonder if any student of his will emerge with reminiscences of how his lectures tended to go.

But I certainly don't have to guess about his behavior since running for President. No one said so much as a peep when Chavez started shutting down radio stations. Not even the pristine free speech/free press ideas make a difference there. What I would have thought was a "no-brainer" that one did not ask *why* a radio station was shut down, that there was no reason, no possible reason to restrict the press... turned out to be something that a huge portion of this nation simply had no problem supporting.

Radio stations in Venesuela... some how they don't count as press or free speech.

FOX News, it's not the press, it's the opposition!

And that's coming right from the top. Right from Obama himself.

From the middle, from colleges and professors and repeated by students we're told that free speech doesn't apply to offensive speech.

From the "average Americans" we have approval and agreement that it is right and good for government to limit speech, cheers when FOX is defined as not the press, silence when it comes to Chavez.

Where are the liberals? Where are the defenders of free speech who used to quote Evelyn Beatrice Hall speaking of Voltaire in their internet sig lines "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." We used to see that all the time. Now we see it not at all.

For the last years 2nd Amendment defenders have been saying that it's not possible to discount the 2nd and maintain the 1st. Is this turning out to be true? I think that maybe it's just that attitudes about one have to apply to the other because our 2nd Amendment rights have probably strengthened, but the people most likely to insist on the 1st are those who think that the 2nd is important, and those who think we can weaken the 2nd for the public good think also that we can weaken the 1st for the public good.

Paul Zrimsek said...

In Soviet Union, Party airs attack ad against you!

Joe said...

Uh Coffee, you CAN'T be a "communist Anarchist"...
that's like being a virginal professional sex-worker...they are opposites.

You could be an Anarchist, sure. You can be a Communist, one of many stripes, but not both...
One eschews authority and single-point rule-making bodies, and one ESTABLISHES just such beasties, as a matter of course....

You must be the product of the Western College milieu.

traditionalguy said...

Synova...Thanks for your well written comment putting all of this Constitution Power limitations stuff into perspective.

Chris said...

Don't be silly. It is perfectly reasonable for the executive branch to disagree with the judicial branch.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Here is President W commenting in response to the June 2008 Supreme Court decision on Guantanamo:

"With this decision, hardened terrorists, hardened foreign terrorists, now enjoy certain legal rights previously reserved for American citizens."

"This is precisely the kind of judicial activism that frustrates the American people and the best way to change it is to put Republicans in charge in the Senate and John McCain in the White House."


He also said that while he "will abide by" the decision, he would like to seek new legislation in response.

How it this different from Obama's situation?

Oh wait...

I get it...

Bush's decision was about a TRIVIAL matters like secret prisons and torture and the right for prisoners to be tried in court and indefinite detention.

While Obama's decision was about the much more SERIOUS matter of Hillary: The Movie.

Synova said...

"I'll tell you that in a little while. I'll just watch this movie clip...."

What is the movie clip of?

Paul Zrimsek said...

If this is just disagreement, I take it that "forceful response" means only "a better rebuttal than the lame one in this statement", and nothing more?

VW: purgui. Left-click on People's Enemy icon to generate secret arrest order. Right-click on Kulak icon to liquidate.

Hoosier Daddy said...

How it this different from Obama's situation?

Let me see...oh I know... Corporations are not actively trying to blow my ass up to satisfy their stupid religious bloodlust.

Next question.

madawaskan said...

miller-

This is the guy who spent $0.75 BILLION to get elected?

This, is the guy that spent $8 billion, to keep unemployment-

"below 8%"....

Irony, doubles down...

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm sorry but I am fed up with idiots thinking that fighting Islamic terrorism should be relegated to an &@*(@)ing CSI episode.

Sofa King said...

How it this different from Obama's situation?

1. He promised to abide by the decision.

2. He suggested further legislation, not a "forceful response." "Forceful response," when coming from the CEO of the U.S. military, has some troubling implications. I don't really think Obama meant anything like outright defiance of the Court, but his words do not inspire me.

Sofa King said...

I mean to type CIC, not CEO, above. But same thing, basically.

John Lynch (another) said...

Pres. Obama has an opinion that the constitution is an interesting document consisting mainly of negative rights that doesn't reflect the modern liberal concept of positive rights and therefor is not a document worthy of full adherance. That's another way of saying he uses it when useful, ignores it when not. Oath be damned as he can apply similar logic to his oath.

Synova said...

After searching wikipedia and reading about the song, the reference to The Thin Man novel, and the movie, I still don't know what the clip is about even though I know what it is.

In one sense it appears to be a man who is afraid of the song writer and trying to destroy him. Before reading all the links and context I wondered if he was supposed to be a G-man looking for subversion, but I didn't think that was supported by the context of the song or movie.

AlphaLiberal said...

To Ann's question:

Because this Republican Supreme Court has acted far beyond their traditional practice and role, taking a hyper-activist approach to change the Law of the Land.

They reached out to grab this case and push it forward while they still had the majority. They ignored long-established precedent to pursue a personal and partisan ideological agenda.

It is a rogue Supreme court that is doing great damage to the American system of government.

Nowhere in the "balance of powers" does it say that the Executive branch needs to bow before the Judicial.

And, of course, if this was a Republicant doing the same, Ann Althouse would applaud.

Chris said...

Really? Here's my prediction. Unless forceful response means getting corporations onboard and having them spend some money, NADA. Why must everyone be so silly. One side is claiming this is the end of the republic and the other side is feigning shock that law prof Obama has tangled with the SCOTUS. Lions and tigers and bears.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@Sofa King- Politicians have been using the phrase "forceful response" for ages! Sure, the paranoid Freepers might think he means physical force, but that's just not rational. Interpreting that is just creating a drama out of, at worst, a slightly bad choice of a oft-used phrase.

AlphaLiberal said...

"Originalists", my ass.

Where in the US Constitution does it say that creatures of the State - Corporations - are endowed with the same (or greater) rights as citizens and human beings?

The Republican justices created that equivalence, themselves.

rdkraus said...

AL

The Con does not talk about "rights."

It simply says that Congress shall make no law ...

YOU are making something up. Like emanating pnumbra thingies.

AlphaLiberal said...

An option being tossed around by some liberals is to appoint two more Justices to the Supreme Court. they say the Constitution does not specify the number of justices.

Don't know if I like it, but it's time for some hardball to defeat those who would remake this nation into a corporate state.

AlphaLiberal said...

What lunacy!

AL

The Con does not talk about "rights."
.

That's just dumb. Are you saying the "Bill of Rights" is not part of the US Constitution?

garage mahal said...

I'm sorry but I am fed up with idiots thinking that fighting Islamic terrorism should be relegated to an &@*(@)ing CSI episode.

Except to stop an actual attack here in the U.S., it would be law enforcement, not a cruise missile. Brilliant thought process you got going on there.

AlphaLiberal said...

I hope that now we will see bills introduced treating corporations the same as people when it comes to tax rates. Both at the state and federal level.

After, all, "they're people!" So tax them like people! Give them no more privileges than people get.

AlphaLiberal said...

RDKraus selectively reads the Constitution:

Ya know, just looking at one of my (many) copies of the Constitution, I don't see any limits in the First Amendment regarding corporations or foreigners or non-citizens. .

Please point out where the US Constitution says the word "corporation" or anything like it.

Let alone to give these legal entities the same standing as humans and citizens.

IMO, the only reason Republicants like this ruling is because they know their party wins because of the favors they bestow on the corps.

It has NOTHING to do with principle.

rdkraus said...

AL

I mean read what the First Amendment actually says before making up some BS about rogue Courts.

Very simple language... Congress..make no law... etc

Paul Zrimsek said...

Equal rights for non-corporate citizens! How come a corporation that can't pay its bills can be forced into Chapter 7 liquidation and I can't?

edutcher said...

The weeping and gnashing of teeth by our Lefties does not, of course, occur when an outfit like Media Matters or SEIU gets a pass in an opinion.

Lem said...

tushe

I think you mean touche (with an accent grave).

Unless, of course, you're referring to one of the flouncier parts of the female anatomy.

AlphaLiberal said...

RDKraus selectively reads the Constitution:

Ya know, just looking at one of my (many) copies of the Constitution, I don't see any limits in the First Amendment regarding corporations or foreigners or non-citizens. .

Please point out where the US Constitution says the word "corporation" or anything like it.

Let alone to give these legal entities the same standing as humans and citizens.


It doesn't give them to unions, PACs, or any other type of special interest group. But, and here's the rub, it doesn't forbid them, either. Those damned 9th and 10th Amendments again.

AlphaLiberal said...

RDKraus.

I get your point. But those rights apply to people, not to corporations. The Constitution does not mention corporations nor grant them equal (or greater) rights to citizens.

The Roberts court created the equivalence in a hyper-activist opinion. It's a rogue court acting on a metaphor gone wild.

Corporations are not people. The people within the corporations all have rights as citizens. "Balls and strikes" Roberts granted greater rights to the executives of the corporations above and beyond other citizens.

Like a new form of royalty.

AlphaLiberal said...

Unless, of course, you're referring to one of the flouncier parts of the female anatomy. .

Now I have a ZZ Top song going in my head. works for me!

AlphaLiberal said...

Edutcher:

It doesn't give them to unions, PACs, or any other type of special interest group. But, and here's the rub, it doesn't forbid them, either. Those damned 9th and 10th Amendments again. .

So, if Congress wanted to pass legislation granting some or all of those entities the same rights as human beings, they could do so?

Maybe. But the court is not supposed to legislate.

Unless, of course, they are openly aiding the Republican Party!!

IOKIYAR!

rdkraus said...

I give up.

It must be five o'clock somewhere.

Where's my drink?

Time to Manhattanize it.

Synova said...

Being a liberal these days means very carefully determining what speech is acceptable and what speech is not, who has the right to speak and who does not, what types of speech are included in free speech and what types are not, who counts as a journalist and who does not.

It's very important.

Are you going to try to scare us with Chavez again AL? As if you don't entirely approve of Chavez and his shutting down of the horrible corporate and business sponsored radio stations in his country who were speaking out against Chavez and his policies... other wise known as "the people."

You want to do the same thing here.

Shut down the big-money who might say what you don't like.

You only bring up Chavez because you know that conservatives don't like him and you're trying to scare us with the specter of Chavez even while you are insisting that we go the same way, that Chavez was right.

Peter V. Bella said...

They ignored long-established precedent to pursue a personal and partisan ideological agenda."

So by your logic, the precedent that stated human beings are chattel should have stood, the precedent stating that slavery was legal should have stood, the precedents that allowed segregation should have stood, the precedents allowing wiretaps without court orders should have stood.

How many slaves do you own Garage? How do you keep people of color out of your town or county, and is your phone tapped?

richard mcenroe said...

Obie is a law professor the same way he is a statesman, a leader, an honest man, a black man, and a Christian.

Short form: not so much.

Nothing worse than when an inflated resume comes back to bite you in the ass.

The Ghost said...

alpha L ...

the courts have previously ruled that corps are people ...

So let me get this straight ... the court strikes down a law that does x and Obama says he wants Congress to pass another law that does x.
Isn't that the definition of insanity ?
And Obama was the "smart one" in the last election ?

Synova said...

When Chavez shut down opposition radio stations in his country he explained that they were owned by big business and therefore evil and only wanted to lie to the people.

And liberals in the United States nodded in sage agreement.

And since the horrible terrible no-good big-money evil speech was shut down in Venezuela and the interests of the common people were no longer dominated by corporations and businesses and the wealthy, things have only gotten better. Only real speech is allowed and the flow of opinions as increased, the exchange of ideas is dynamic, and problems get solved before they become problems. The businesses taken over by Chavez flourish and the needs of the people are met.

How could it be different?

Free speech, after all, only means ensuring that "the people" are heard.

Synova said...

Honest liberals would quit lying and calling themselves liberal.

Just go ahead and say what you really are. Be proud. Own it.

Paul said...

Honest liberals? Haha...that's like anarchist communists.

6p00e5500018d48833 said...

AlphaLiberal,

Corporations don't pay takes, they collect them. The economic reality is it is the end user that ultimately pays the tax. If I make a widget that I sell for $9, and the government decides to tax me $1 on each one, I then sell them for $10. Who is paying the tax?

AlphaLiberal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

I believe at the heart of this for the dem leadership, is that if Corps can fight back using/in the media, then it makes it that much harder for Corps to be nationalized. Saying that Corps WILL buy politicians is ridiculous... they have been doing that already. Its a straw man.

AlphaLiberal said...

Fricken Blogger.

Synova, liberals did not applaud Chavez shutting down radio stations.

By all means, back that shit up.

cf said...

He's never shown any substantial knowledge of or respect for the constitution or legal process. (Note how he, for example, prejudged the Gates case publicly even as he admitted he didn't know the facts.) He's a walking empty suit and an exemplar of the failure of affirmative action. Columbia, Harvard and the University of Chicago Law School should all be embarrassed.
BTW the SCOTUS took the action the ACLU requested it take.

t-man said...

traditional guy -

Specter is not a "trial lawyer" as most understand that term. He was a prosecutor in Philadelphia. His son, however, it a classic plaintiffs' trial lawyer -- think medical malpractice -- which is why Specter always helps to shelve tort reform.


AL --

Court packing! Good God, I'd love to see them try it. You make it sound like the idea is new. Do you know any history at all?

Squid said...

AlphaLiberal,

Does Congress have the power to keep me from expressing my views the week before an election? I don't think they do.

Does Congress have the power to keep me from getting together with a bunch of my friends to pool our money and buy print space and airtime to express our political views the week before an election? I don't think they do, but evidently you disagree.

If it's not too much to ask, would you share with me the source of Congress' power to restrict me from expressing my political views just because I'm too poor to buy the airtime all by myself?

Alex said...

It's only activism when the lefties don't like it.

Koblog said...

Saudi Oil giant ARAMCO, CNOOC, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Al Qaeda, Inc, all can now send billions to influence our elections...

Hey, Garage Mahal,

At least they'd be spending the billions we give them here in the US.

Perhaps if we drilled our own offshore Pacific and Gulf coast oil, Colorado oil shale and ANWR oil, built nukes for electricity and quit demonizing US manufacturing as evil, selfish, greedy polluters, those foreign concerns you are so fearful of would not be so influential.

And you cutely put Al Qaeda in there, too!

Obama would have Eric "Black Panther" Holder find a special way for that to happen.

If KSM gets a multi-hundred million dollar New York trial and the Christmas Day PantyBomber gets Miranda rights and taxpayer-funded legal representation, why not let Al Qaeda buy ad time?

The question, of course, is who would Al Qaeda buy ads for?

A candidate that vows their destruction or their BFF Obama?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Who is paying the tax?

To a liberal, it doesn't matter who is paying. The only thing that matters is that they get to spend the money.

Seerak said...

Substitute the "Kelo" decision for this one; imagine that Bush had said something similar. Does the same question apply?

I understand "a law professor's respect for the system" as meaning that while a certain court decision may be a bad one from the standpoint of liberty, it is also important that the decision be legally sound. In a healthy, self-correcting polity, bad laws are identified and corrected by legally sound means (as opposed to unsound ones such as ignoring the rule of law).

In that context, the legally sound decision does us a favor by highlighting the existence of a bad law (by taking it to its logical extreme result). In such a case, it should be proper for a legislator to declare that the bad law should be fixed ASAP.

While the particulars are completely different from the standpoint of basic principles (Kelo went against individual rights, while McDonald partially reaffirms them), I don't see how they differ from the legal viewpoint.

I therefore do not understand how his statement necessarily constitutes contempt for "the authority of the Court and honor our system of separation of powers". It certainly is informed by a basic contempt for the principle underlying the First Amendment... but that's a political viewpoint, not a legal one.

That being said, I realize fully that it hinges on what the hell he meant by "forceful". If OBama were to resurrect FDR's old "packing the Supreme Court" gambit, it would constitute such contempt IMO.

Jack Reylan said...

If securities rules applied to federal research grants, half the professors would be in jail! Obama's constituencies are universities, lawyers and unions. The universities are in it for the grants. Any Republican that votes money for universities is a traitor.

UPI June 6, 1992 Sovern took over at Columbia after student protests of 1968 and New York's fiscal problems in the '70s resulted in less financial support for the school, a situation made more dire by recent federal government budget cuts. . . But Columbia will be looking for a new president in a period troubled by criticism for destroying records that were being reviewed for improprieties. Universities in general have been under greater scrutiny for how they charge the government for federally sponsored research.

They love third world students because they don't expect the professors to work for the tuition! Surely You Are Joking Feynman p 215 "If I ask you a question during the lecture, afterwards everybody will be telling me, 'What are you wasting our time for in the class? We're trying to learn something. And you're stopping him by asking a question'."

When Obama falls in 2010, we should go through the grant-grubbing Ivy Leagues that produce commie-nutty organizers with a flame thrower! Ivy League universities are not good at getting students jobs, only grants to be commie nutty organizers. If you are liberal, anything you do is inherently ethical for the cause, but if you are a conservative, and believe in GOD, family or business, your very moral fiber, even down to trivial autonomic responses, is subject to persecution as either dangerously criminal or the result of clinical illness. Bush 43 had two Ivy degrees and they treated him as stupid because he was conservative even though he had better grades and entrance scores and took a lot tougher courses than Gore. Professors are the ultimate molestor high priests because they extort and control your transcripts and your grants if you turn them in. Like a cult, they will make your children denounce you and everything you stand for as unworthy. The lowest level university bureaucrats actually suffer the worst affectations and are likey to be the most vicious persecutors of your children. No business ever trusts such left wing graduates who don't believe in capitalism and become crooks because they are taught the only way business makes money is crooked so they seek to avenge their unemployability through their own crookedness. The universities consider real jobs and competition beneath them, so they want their little sissies to live off grants, even in the hard sciences or business. How many of their engineering professors have Professional Engineering certification? Almost none! They love foreign students because they slave up and don't expect professors to actually work for the tuition, like American students do. No middle class parent should consider sending their kids there, because these schools will destroy your entire family. The only schools that understand middle-class values are for-profits. Middle class parents foolish enough to buy into the Ivy League dream die way too young.

Joe said...

Alpha:
...liberals did not applaud Chavez shutting down radio stations.

By all means, back that shit up.


I agree Alpha, Wm Ayers condemned Chavez, as did Danny Glover, as did Mother Sheehan...oh wait.

Squid said...

Technically, I think Alpha's right -- liberals didn't applaud Chavez' takeover of the media.

They just ignored it.

bagoh20 said...

With todays info tech available to all, the amount of money spent on campaigns should be less important. You can learn as much as is available fast and free. If you make a voting decision based on campaign adds, you're an idiot.

In a perfect world, a candidate would have their website answer honestly every question that voters might reasonably have about them. Answer every charge and every issue. This does not cost anything.

Everything else is just obfuscation or fluff.

It's my world, and it works. I'm clearly a superior being.

Joe said...

Well Squid,
Except for Bill Ayers, who joined Chavez on the podium and celebrated the Bolivarian Revolucion.

Paul said...

And didn't one of Bill Ayers' famous acquaintances, someone who "just lives in his neighborhood", give Chavez the bro fist bump? I think he's the same guy who prostrated himself in front of the Saudi king.

Imagine if a guy like that actually ran for national office!!

Synova said...

"Technically, I think Alpha's right -- liberals didn't applaud Chavez' takeover of the media.

They just ignored it.
"

It's a sad thing when being technically right is enough.

Yes, liberals ignored it. There was a vast silence. Obama was all chummy with Chavez. Fist bump indeed! And Obama was silent.

Obama and others were not silent about Chavez's creature Zelaya, but publicly supported him and put the weight of our government behind him.

What was there not to like?

garage mahal said...

Yes, liberals ignored it. There was a vast silence. Obama was all chummy with Chavez. Fist bump indeed! And Obama was silent.


Chavez just criticized Obama about the relief efforts in Haiti. SILENCE from the Right. Chavez has consistently criticized Obama, much like conservatives have. Voila! Conservatives and Chavez share at least one thing in common.

Tom Armstrong said...

I say let them spend billions on advertisements. TV, print, whatever. Hell trillions. It will great for the economy. Anybody who hasn't figured out how to use TiVo yet deserves to have to watch all the drivel.

Synova said...

And it hurts doesn't it garage?

Here Obama was so incredibly friendly and his supporters were all excited about how he'd improve relations with everyone and Chavez gets up in Copenhagen and talks about the stench he's smelling.

You'd think that maybe his speech about smelling the evil of Bush/Satan at the UN wasn't about Bush after all! Wow.

But how could that be? Bush was horrible. Chavez is just trying to do the will of the people. Obama smiled and said nice things and even set the power of the United States against the tiny country of Honduras and Chavez just spits in his face.

It's so sad.

iron308 said...

Why is anyone surprised by this?

Paul said...

Oh please garage. how obtuse can you get. Conservatives despise Chavez (name one who has has fist bumped him).

Now if there is infighting between the ideological comrades Chavez and Obama why on earth would conservatives do anything other than sit back and enjoy the show.

I never think you can get any stupider and you keep surprisng me.

garage mahal said...

And it hurts doesn't it garage?

LOL. What hurts? Why?

Synova said...

Oh, and garage... is the "right" really silent about the incredible mendacity of Chavez and other "Latin American" countries crying that we're "occupying" Haiti?

If you're trying to find some hypocrisy there (and we do know that there is no other sin than hypocrisy) you're going to have to create a fantasy version.

Chavez is who he is, and has been, and will be. He and people like him will destroy their countries in bits and dribbles and say all the right words about being for the people and for the little guy and how evil businesses are and he'd really rather watch poor people die than admit he's wrong.

And those on the left in the United States will allow cheerleaders for this human disaster, like Ayers, to teach our children at our universities and our intellectual betters will continue to insist that we not criticize, us haters, us racists, we must not criticize other people in other countries before we admit our own guilt and our own responsibility for any tirade against us. We'll have to listen to the same words, the vilification of business and technology of *progress* and certainly of capitalism, as are used to convince the poor in developing nations to put their faith in yet another Mugabe or Chavez.

And the "right" has seen that and known that from day one. Nothing has changed.

There is no hypocrisy on this from the "right". There is no failure to speak of the danger and the horror that the anti-liberal forces in developing nations cause.

They call it liberal you know? The think that Chavez and others hold up as a danger and oppression and use to justify their control in order to protect the people? Liberalism. Freedom of people and markets.

The "left" with their fingers in their ears going "la la la la la" is not the same thing as a silent "right".

Chris said...

I wonder if Obama will try to fund raise in Europe during the next election cycle. I hear he is quite popular over there.

Peter V. Bella said...

The left is silent about Chavez because they love socialist dictators- the more ruthless and murderous the better.

The Ayatolah, the Taliban, Castro, Chavez, Ortega, Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Mussolini...

They study them under a microscope and try to determine just what they can emulate and get away with.

Peter V. Bella said...

I wonder if Obama will try to fund raise in Europe during the next election cycle. I hear he is quite popular over there.

They love American comedians in Europe. They love any American entertainment.

jcrue said...

It helps to understand that which you wish to circumvent, manipulate, or destroy.

That is why Obama studied and taught what he did.

Paul said...

"The left is silent about Chavez because they love socialist dictators"

Dictators have the most of what lefties crave.

Power and status.

The very cravings that are at the root of everything they do.

Of course in their narcissistic minds the power they would wield is for the good of humanity and the status they will achieve will be that of saviors and saints.

But we know how it always plays out.....

garage mahal said...

The "left" with their fingers in their ears going "la la la la la" is not the same thing as a silent "right".

There you go. You have the best of intentions, unlike those nasty unnamed liberals who worship Chavez. Oy.

Shanna said...

Anybody who hasn't figured out how to use TiVo yet deserves to have to watch all the drivel.

Seconded!

algie said...

Progressive legal practices

The Lav is an ass & a fool
Although it's a most useful tool
We twist & abuse it
As we make it to fit
Out ends no matter how cruel

....uuuu..'o^o'..nn!n....algie
Illegitimi nOn carborundum

Brian said...

That's because Obama has a much better understanding of Constitutional law than the right-wing ideologues that infect every decision that comes out of the Supreme Court. Rather than complain about Obama criticizing this disgusting decision that will allow oil companies, Haliburton, and insurance companies control the political discourse, you should be explaining how Bush's right, unqualified nominess are usurping the Constitution in order to advance the right-wing agenda.

Joe said...

...unlike those nasty unnamed liberals who worship Chavez. Oy.


Reading comprehension is not a strong point for you is it , Garage? Unnamed...BILL AYERS, DANNY GLOVER, CINDY SHEEHAN...if you throw in Castro you get to add OLIVER STONE, too...and that's just off the top of my head. But you go on and tell yourself "no" Liberals like Socialist Dictators, or just a few unknown ones.

Syl said...

FACT: 26 states already allow corporate free speech in their elections. This just puts it at the federal level.

So what's the hairy deal with these paranoids?

It's all show. It's all about keeping their voters and the nutroots ignorant and paranoid.

mccullough said...

These decisions involving the constitutional rights of corporatiosn are tough, but the Court got this case right.

Although the constitutional rights of corporations (except the Right not to Incriminate itself) are well-established, one could take the position that only individuals have a right to free speech and the press (to publish), to be compensated for property taken by the government for public use, etc.

Under this view, Congress could control/prohibit all speech and publication not by individuals. The New York Times would be out of business, but Althouse would be safe (although she'd probably need to host her site on her own server). Obama's view would also making mince meat out of the implied right to associate in the First Amendment unless its a right to associate but not in the corporate form).

Also, Congress could ban all individuals from donating to a political campaign or from joining together to raise money to give to a campaign or cause unless that campaign or cause is an individual.

Barack Obama's presidential campaign was a corporation. So under his view of the Constitution, Congress could have banned anyone from giving money to his campaign corporation and banned his campaing corporation from saying anything or publishing anything.

This would be an interesting way to run campaigns.

Obama is not a thoughtful person.

Between his statement that "Scott Brown was swept into office on the same wave of change that brought me into office" and his tired "special interests" screed against this Supreme Court decision, he's shown what a fool he is.

No amount of "special interest" corporate spending was necessary to expose this.

I R A Darth Aggie said...

Saudi Oil giant ARAMCO, CNOOC, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Al Qaeda, Inc, all can now send billions to influence our elections,

George Soros, ACORN and SEIU are on lines 1, 2 and 3 for you...

I R A Darth Aggie said...

Unnamed...BILL AYERS, DANNY GLOVER, CINDY SHEEHAN...if you throw in Castro you get to add OLIVER STONE, too...and that's just off the top of my head.

Dude. How could you forget Sean Penn?

(honestly, I had to think about that for a bit myself)

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

We should give corporations the right to vote in numbers that match their revenue. And then we should just say, fuck it... and let them openly buy off votes on eBay. It's the American way.

Let's go Romans! Greedy Onanism Party (GOP) forever!!!

Jay said...

uh you lefties screaming corp greed... they are buying dem votes already... in case you have'nt been paying attention to the healthcare lobbying. But you havent noticed it because its been IGNORED by the cheerleading media.
This ruling may have even saved big media... they now have a bigger role to play in elections... following the money. Which is great. Not so much, if they keep choosing sides.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

"It simply says that Congress shall make no law ..."

...against libel, slander, public obscenity, shouting fire in a crowded theater.... You know, protected speech! The republic would die were we to not allow for those absolutely vital methods of choking off honest debate and threatening public safety! The horror of liberals who would abridge speech that way!!!

This is an economic issue, not a speech issue. If you have the means to drown out the speech of others and simply desire to use those means, that is not a legitimate aim of speech. It is an issue of whether we permit the corruption of government by getting it to work for the highest bidder instead of the most votes. It is an issue of whether the people can redress their grievances to a government that is responsive to money and not to their voices.

Of course, in all likelihood you know all this...

Jay said...

Ritmo... really? Political speech isnt protected in the constitution?
Who then determines which political speech is kewl and... oooo I see what your doing. You really trust those einsteins in congress, don't you? Good luck with that. Makes sense. 60 seat majority isnt enough nationalize to thier hearts content. Censorship would certainly help.

Maguro said...

If you have the means to drown out the speech of others and simply desire to use those means, that is not a legitimate aim of speech.

Too bad none of your "legitimate use" qualifiers are actually in the constitution.

Congress shall make no law....

Talk about making shit up as you go along.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Political speech isnt protected in the constitution?

Yes. By all means let's make this a debate about the principle of the thing and not about your interest in perpetuating the idea of minority rule.

I believe that political speech by human beings with natural rights is protected by the Constitution. But perhaps you mistake corporations for human beings with natural rights.

Interesting how you think that dead people shouldn't get away with stuffing a ballot box but that a charter should allow an artificial entity (which has no rights to vote) a voice in the political process.

I guess that's what someone does when they lack the capacity to actually relate to other human beings and would prefer to just drown out what they have to say instead.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I love Maguro's bullshit presumption that the First Amendment was created not to give people a right to their voice, but to mollify it with the voices of non-humans.

Maguro said...

Corporations aren't "non-humans", they're groups of people who associate with each other voluntarily.

Just like Code Pink, MoveOn.Org and the United Auto Workers.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

A group of people is not a person, Captain Spock.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And constantly with the Move On, UAW... who needs them to lend voice to a political campaign?! Who cares!? The people have a strong enough voice without such groups having to compete with your corporate electoral substitutes, and that's what you fear. Liberals (i.e. people who take seriously the concept natural rights) know this. So stop trying to muddle the debate with nonsense. Stop trying to trick yourself into believing that you're tempting me with an argument I never endorsed, and would never think to endorse.

But I guess these are the tactics of someone who confuses articulate speech with drowning out debate. How fitting.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Anyway, no offense, but I'm on the move myself tonight. Take your time to think of some respectable, cognitively meaningful rebuttals. Go on. Take all night, if you need it. Or all year.

Maguro said...

Oh, so no one has any free speech rights except the guy standing on a street corner all by himself?

The UAW, Warner Bros Studios, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, none of these organizations has a right to free speech?

As Spock might say...fascinating.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
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Ritmo Brasileiro said...

They can speak all they want. But as "they" have no vote, "they" have no argument for a compelling right to influence an election.

I keep referring to natural rights and artificial entities. And you keep not getting it. Does a corporation get charged with breaking laws? If the board of a corporation conspired to kill someone can the state charge that entity, and let the individuals off the hook? Of course not.

Corporations are not people and do not have, and never will have the same rights as people. No matter how many examples you can conjure up to argue otherwise, I can quash every one of them.

Ultimately, your position is wrong.

Corporations can have some rights. However, they are not entitled to the protections of the Constitution.

Cut It said...

Better Question: Why would a LAW PROFESSOR suggest that another LAW PROFESSOR's criticsm of a Supreme Court decision on a matter of constitutional law reflected inappropriate respect for the authority of the Court and insufficient honor of our system of separation of powers?

In fact, what role do law professors play in the separation of powers? I must have skipped that article.

Or...

Why would a LAW PROFESSOR suggest that criticism by one branch of another branch implicated anything in terms of separation of powers? And since when does criticism of any judicial decision reflect a lack of respect for that body's authority?

Synova said...

"Yes. By all means let's make this a debate about the principle of the thing and not about your interest in perpetuating the idea of minority rule."


For some people it is most certainly the principle of the thing. Perhaps that is something you simply can't get your head around. Liberty for the sake of it. Freedom for the sake of it.

You can pretend that those who are saying that they think that freedom of speech is important enough to be number one in the bill of rights just want to keep the ability for minority rule (otherwise known as protection of individuals from majority whim and tyranny).

And you can continue to pretend that you care about the *source* of the speech and not the content.

I don't know that you actually need other participants for either of those fantasies, however. So carry on!

Synova said...

"I love Maguro's bullshit presumption that the First Amendment was created not to give people a right to their voice, but to mollify it with the voices of non-humans."


Oh, I forgot. The First Amendment says nothing at all about the non-human entity "the press."

Joe said...

But those rights apply to people, not to corporations.

Where does the constitution say that? Nowhere.

Companies existed at the time the constitution was written. Early forms of corporations existed. Yet the founding fathers saw fit to not exclude them specifically from the protections of the Constitution and for good reason. Corporations are collections of people; they aren't just some anonymous thing that exists outside human existence.

Even more bizarre, if corporations aren't protected by the constitution, then the government wouldn't need warrants to search the premises of any corporation or company. (Also curious that if corporations aren't protected by the constitution, does the commerce clause only apply to individuals?)

"Congress shall make no law..."

You have to be pretty fucking stupid to not understand that.

Peano said...

Ritmo Brasileiro said: "Corporations can have some rights. However, they are not entitled to the protections of the Constitution."

Corporations aren't entitled to the right of due process of law? Corporations aren't protected by the takings clause? Newspaper corporations aren't protected by the First Amendment?

From what comic book did you learn constitutional law?

exfloridian said...

Isn't this conceding the point that the Supreme Court has the final say on all things Constitutional? Are we to assume that the President and Congress can violate the Constitution, but the Supreme Court can't?

I was livid when Bush signed McCain-Feingold even after he'd previously said it was unconstitutional. The President (and members of Congress) all take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. They should not be ceding that duty to the Supreme Court, and they can and should speak up when the Court oversteps their bounds.

(That being said, I don't think the Court DID overstep in this case; in fact, I'm saddened that the case was still as close as it was. I think Obama is dead-wrong in this case. But I don't think the President, especially a Constitutional Law lecturer, should sit idly by when they think the Court has violated the Constitution.)

Methadras said...

So tell me Ritmo, what was the intent of the 1st Amendment created for? It wasn't for any generalized bit of free speech, but to protect political speech, but even that wasn't possible at the time. Do you know what the X, Y, Z affair is? You don't even understand the Consitution at all. When people say freedom isn't free, well, they are in essence correct considering that the Constitution doesn't enumerate rights, and even the Bill of Rights doesn't assure you in any way, shape or form said rights. Unless of course you think those rights stem from your precious love of government. You are a piss poor representative of your ideological ilk. Oh, that's right you claim not what your ideology is, but instead smear it around for all of us to smell. Pretended to be a crass, sarcastic, little prick as a way to conflate and project what you think you know to the rest of us. You are not the ID of Althouse.

Mick said...

"Why would a law professor oppose a Supreme Court decision ...and not respect the authority of the Court and honor ...separation of powers? "

Why would a Law Prof. run for the office of POTUS when he knows he is not an eligible Natural Born Citizen (his father was NEVER a US Citizen). AND why don't any of you supposed "lawyers" call him on it?

Roger J. said...

Ritmo: assertion is not argument--and you continue to make some egregious assertions. But do carry on.

luagha said...

Obama may have been a 'senior lecturer' at the University of Chicago Law School but he is by no means a 'constitutional scholar' as some have made him out to be.

He taught a Voting Rights class about the disenfranchisement of blacks and districting of same; and a class on Due Process and Equal Protection as it pertains to blacks and racism. You can look up his past exams online, and his sample answers. (They seem pretty childishly simple to me, and I'm not even in the legal profession.)

Simply put, he taught racism law, history of racism law, and how to use racism law. That's it, that's all.

luagha said...

Obama may have been a 'senior lecturer' at the University of Chicago Law School but he is by no means a 'constitutional scholar' as some have made him out to be.

He taught a Voting Rights class about the disenfranchisement of blacks and districting of same; and a class on Due Process and Equal Protection as it pertains to blacks and racism. You can look up his past exams online, and his sample answers. (They seem pretty childishly simple to me, and I'm not even in the legal profession.)

Simply put, he taught racism law, history of racism law, and how to use racism law. That's it, that's all.

Ann Althouse said...

Alpha: "They reached out to grab this case..."

That's how they get all their cases. It's called certiorari.

D. B. Light said...

Ann, Are you suggesting that there should be limits on judicial review -- that the court's decision could be over-ridden or modified by Congress or the Executive? Andrew Jackson certainly felt that way. Obama seems to agree. Do you?

Chip Ahoy said...

Why would a law professor oppose a Supreme Court decision on a matter of constitutional law and not respect the authority of the Court and honor our system of separation of powers.

Because opposing a Supreme Court decision does not necessarily mean he does not respect its authority or does not honor the system of separation of power. On the contrary, he respects them and honors them and seeks to change them using his own separated power, and see then how far he can get with that. I suppose.

Now get off his back already!

For the record, I don't see why the decision demands a forceful response and why the public interest requires one.

Oh. This reminds me; that adage about ostriches sticking their head in the sand bugs me because zoology informs us they don't do that, but still, the adage persists to characterize political opponents. Last night I got an idea that was stimulated by such a political ad, to draw an ostrich with a post hole digger, bummed out because its wings couldn't get the tool to work since it was made for humans. But now that I told you, it's hardly worth drawing.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, Are you suggesting that there should be limits on judicial review -- that the court's decision could be over-ridden or modified by Congress or the Executive? Andrew Jackson certainly felt that way. Obama seems to agree. Do you?"

Well, there are limits on judicial review. There has to be a real case or controversy to present the legal question for example. But I don't think the other branches can change the Supreme Court's interpretation of constitutional law. However, they might be able write a new statute that complies with the constitutional law and is aimed at the same problem as the statute that was stricken down. They can also make statutes that protect rights *more* than the Constitution does (which isn't the issue here). They can also decline to pass statutes that violate their idea of what the Constitution means even though the Court has said the Constitution isn't that restrictive (which is the Andrew Jackson point). They can also try to amend the Constitution (totally impossible as a practical matter in this case), and they can pay attention to who gets on the Court in the future. There's also impeachment and cutting back the jurisdiction of the federal courts (which Congress has the power to do, but doesn't look too good politically).

From Inwood said...
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From Inwood said...
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peter hoh said...

storkdoc asked: In what alternate universe does he think the appropriate response to the Supreme court saying, "you can't do x", is to propose a law that does x ?

That would be the same universe in which we find those opposed to Roe still proposing laws to chip away at Roe.

There was all sorts of noise after Kelo about using law to remedy the issue.

From Inwood said...

Richard Dolan (1/22 @11:48)

You’re spot on.

I agree with Prof A as to how she thinks most Con-law Profs today would interpret a decision of a conservative court, that is, as Obama (but not a seasoned pol) did about this one.

As for the general public, it is uneducated or undereducated about the Constitution. (As are law school grads who just read the cases & take notes from the Orthodox Liberal Prof.) All they see is that it is the subject of endless nit picking, angels on the head of a pin, Talmudic disputations. Thus, they are susceptible to the inevitable encroachments of the judicial power-seekers & the politicians who enjoy their decisions.

I would argue that "Independence" of the Judiciary means simply that it is a co-equal branch of government.

That "Independence" does not mean that its foolish pronouncements, such as

-Dred Scott,
-No Income Tax,
-Segregation in Public Accommodations = OK, or
-the WW II Japanese imprison decisions,


may never be questioned, much less vitiated by another branch of the tranche or by a Constitutional amendment.

So when Conservatives in recent history have questioned SCOTUS' activism and argued for congressional action to reign it in or for a Constitutional Amendment to overturn/modify/clarify a decision, many Liberals thoughtlessly accused such Conservatives of attacking the "independence" of the judiciary or, worse, suggested that conservatives were advocating that its decisions do not have to be "obeyed". The fact that the four decisions referred to above, are now generally thought of as wrong & that three were overturned, one by the Civil War, no less & one “fixed” by reparations? Nevermind!

Now, many Liberals when it comes to this decision are questioning SCOTUS' activism and arguing for congressional action to reign it in.

And, since the ends do not justify the means, even if independent thinkers & serious students of the Constitution approve of the result of a particular SCOTUS decision, they may & should correct thoughtless rigid people who say that a SCOTUS decision like this & the reasoning behind it are fixed & unchangeable.

And Prof A, with all due respect, when you claim that

“Non-lawprof Americans tend to think that the Constitution really means something and that that the Supreme Court has a special role and expertise in saying what it means, that a 5-4 decision is something more than just a vote on what 9 power-wielders would like the law to be”,

I suggest, er, yes, except when the 5-4 decision is obviously nothing more than just a vote on what 9 power-wielders would like the law to be.

And, yes, I too would expect a politician to tend to the voters' feelings. As you note:

”Obama should have said that he would like to explore ways to write a new statute that will respect the rights the Court has articulated and still serve the good and proper goals that the defective statute was meant to serve. With some sugar about how rights are important.”

Anne Abler & said...

Mr. Dooley said:

I strongly suggest there is a real benefit to reading the (opposition's ) playbook, if you want to follow how this is going to be played out. I know, I know, it took him the better part of six years to write it, so it wasn't published until well into the 1920's. Still, there are several editions out there, most in translation (Mannheim's is my favorite) and it's even "free for the reading of it" on Kindle. Get your copy today,and "read it with a ruler" before the White House gets its ban in place and packs the court!!!

Worked in my century, surely could work in yours.

Mr. Dooley

Georgfelis said...

I keep hearing Cartman in my head saying "Respect mah Author-it-tay!"

Our Government has become South Park.