April 28, 2016

"There are few sights more disconcerting during a Supreme Court argument than smart justices playing dumb."

Linda Greenhouse expresses dismay over the Justices' [feigned] difficulty over the "lawfully present"/"legally present" distinction in immigration law.

71 comments:

Real American said...

what's worse is when they're pretending to be wise.

mccullough said...

I'd say Roberts and Alito's questions get to the heart of the matter. Greenhouse is pretending otherwise.

Henry said...

There are few rhetorical tactics less convincing than fake dismay.

Gabriel said...

The point of the "playing dumb" is that "lawfully present" is represented by the government to include "people whom we have chosen, using executive discretion, to not deport even though the law says we are supposed to". (I am not quoting anyone, just setting off my paraphrases.)

In other words, a person is "lawfully present" at the whim of the executive. This is why the justices are "playing dumb" about what the term means.

Linda Greenhouse is herself "playing dumb", but in the form that Orwell called "crimestop":

the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.

Look at her closing paragraph:

If DAPA is neither of those things, what is it? Clearly, it’s something that the conservative justices don’t like, put in place by a president they don’t much like either. But at the end of the day, is it too much to expect that they are good enough lawyers to see through their own smoke screen and to understand immigration law for what it is, not for what they would prefer it to be? I said earlier that I wouldn’t make a prediction, and this isn’t one. Call it a hope, for the millions of immigrant parents, and also for the Roberts court.

What the conservative justices don't like is that the government is using the word "lawful" to refer to people who are violating the law the government has decided it cares not to enforce. But Greenhouse describes the government's position as a consequence of immigration law being complicated, rather than that the government is willfully ignoring the law because it chooses to.

David Begley said...

There is nothing more predictable than an NYT employee shilling for the Obama Administration.

There is NOTHING he could do that would draw criticism by the NYT.

Franklin said...

"...doesn’t have the obvious meaning it would have in everyday speech..."

Well then, we can just explain that it's a typo like "an exchange created by a state", right Linda? They've already argued that it's the intent that matters, not the text.

These people will say absolutely anything, no matter how false or intellectually inconsistent, to justify their desired destruction of the United States.

eric said...

Gabriel beat me to it, but Greenhouse is the one playing the games here. The justices are (surprise!) looking at plain language and how it ought to be applied, while Greenhouse and the administration are playing games with our immigration law.

Yes, you can be lawfully present temporarily but not legally present. However, it's going to amount to the same thing in the long term.

And here is a prediction for you. If the next President cancels these programs and we go back to actually deporting people, their will be lawsuits that will jump up like white on rice. These suits will say, in effect, you can't do that! It's unfair treatment under the law! We were promised one thing and now you're yanking the rug!

Bet on it.

Mrs Whatsit said...

From what I can see -- having read the NYT article, but not the briefs -- the word play that Greenhouse objects to began with the Solicitor General, who relied on a supposed distinction between the meaning of "lawfully present" and "legally present" to support his argument that DAPA didn't change the law. When Roberts and Alito questioned Verrilli about how this distinction makes sense in terms of the English language, Greenhouse got upset and accused the judges -- not the attorney who drew the distinction -- of "playing dumb." Greenhouse isn't making sense. When a judge is asked to rely upon a semantic distinction, how is it dumb for the judge to ask about the substance behind the semantics and whether it's a distinction without a difference? What seems dumb to me is to ascribe dumbness to the judges who question the argument, rather than to the attorney who propounds it.

coupe said...

The only way forward, is to join the rest of the world and deny citizenship based on Jus Soli.

There should be no instance whereby a person can become a citizen just because they were born here.

The only way you can become a citizen is if one of your parents was already a citizen, and by naturalization.

People coming here on vacation or illegally and having babies should not result in citizens. They should be returned to a border and ejected.

This was needed when the land was taken from the natives, but as a nuclear superpower with dwindling water supplies, it is suicide.

cubanbob said...

Greenhouse apparently isn't capable of grasping the distinction between an invited guest and a trespasser. Apparently Roberts and Alito do and are trying to get the government declare what it considers the individuals involved to be: guests or trespassers.Once that has been determined the rest flows from there.

What Greenhouse doesn't get is that if the government can decide to ignore enforcement of the law on such a massive level when it comes to immigration why assume that is where it ends? Imagine if the next Administration decides Global Warming is a scam and purposefully chooses to ignore and not enforce all statutes and regulations pertaining to carbon dioxide emissions? Or Title 9? Or any number of areas it chooses to like a permanent rescission of the Davis-Bacon Act?

Greenhouse suffers from the same symptoms of Hillary Clinton; stupid in the way only highly intelligent but arrogant people can be and double down on their stupidity.

Dan Hossley said...

Ms. Greenhouse is engaging in misdirection. The question isn't why Roberts asked the question, it's why was Verilli unable to answer it.

David Begley said...

Franklin

And I think State was capitalized and a defined term in the ACA.

DanTheMan said...

What bunk. As long as she's going off on the "plain meaning" of words, how about her use of "unauthorized" to describe those in the country illegally?

If they want to be "authorized", we have a process for that.

Lauderdale Vet said...

> At this point, Justice Alito took a swing:
> “And how is it possible to lawfully work in
> the United States without lawfully being in
> the United States?”
>
> Mr. Verrilli: “There are millions of people,
> millions of people other than the DAPA
> recipients about whom this is true right now.”
>
> Justice Alito: “I’m just talking about the
> English language. I just don’t understand it.
> How can you be –“
>
> Mr. Verrilli: “Well, let me –”
>
> Justice Alito: “How can it be lawful to work here
> but not lawful to be here?”

> And so on. What was going on here on the part of
> the justices was not a search for information or
> understanding, but word play.

Perhaps I am too simple.

Looks like a perfectly valid line of questioning to me.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Greenhouse: At the heart of the case, although not in plain view, is a deceptively simple question: Did DAPA change immigration law? If the answer is no — if DAPA represents, albeit on a grand scale, the traditional exercise of executive-branch discretion to set priorities in enforcing immigration law — then the program is both procedurally and substantively valid and the states’ challenge fails. That, unsurprisingly, is the administration’s position.

So according to Greenhouse a Republican president could pass a binding executive action that said "the Federal gov. will not prosecute any violations of the National Firearms acts of 1934 nor 1968, and further will not assist in any prosecutions or law enforcement actions against citizens (by states, say) for possible violations" and that'd be fine? That'd be constitutional, to Greenhouse?
How about the EPA? Or the IRS? Hey, it's just an enforcement decision, it's not changing the law!

Lauderdale Vet said...

Hoodlum Doodlum just won the internets.

Bravo.

Mike Sylwester said...

Greenhouse's last sentence:

Call it a hope, for the millions of immigrant parents, and also for the Roberts court.

So, Greenhouse is calling these people "immigrants", even though they have not immigrated lawfully or legally.

Mike said...

There are none so dumb as those who choose not to understand. MJB Wolf

Gabriel said...

@HoodlumDoodlum:Hey, it's just an enforcement decision, it's not changing the law!

What she says is worse than that. She says that enforcement decisions are by definition part of the law. This makes "law" as currently understood meaningless, since "law" is whatever the executive chooses to make it.

Roy Jacobsen said...

The Administration has gone full Humpty Dumpty*. You never go full Humpty Dumpty.

*"When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.

Gabriel said...

@Roy Jacobsen: You never go full Humpty Dumpty.

You have to, because Humpty Dumpty is exactly right.

There's nothing wrong with doing that provided you are consistent.

Where it's wrong is when you flip back and forth between your private meaning and the accepted meaning with the intent of misleading people.

Leeatmg said...

After reading the author's tortured attempt to justify her preferred outcome, the only thing that came to mind was...

Ms. Greenhouse...now that must have been a very hard column to write.

Largo said...

I suspect this is a bullshit complaint. The Justices may have been using the lawyers' particular responses to these questions to gain insight into where they are coming from, leading to the possibility of more penetrating questions.

Of not. But I am not going to bitch about a judge's questions.

David Begley said...

Everything - even the sports and business sections - of the NYT has to be read and understood through a liberal filter.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Gabriel said...

What she says is worse than that. She says that enforcement decisions are by definition part of the law.


Oh I read that part, and the legal reasoning behind it--since Congress appropriates funds sufficient to deport only a small percentage of the total illegal alien population prosecutorial discretion is in fact a part of the law itself, and by extension I suppose any type of discretion (up to and including officially declining to enforce the fucking law at all) is a-ok.

I mean, shit, my local PD doesn't have enough officers to ticket every speeder, so I guess legally it'd be fine for the mayor or governor to just declare that speed limits don't apply to anyone (insomuch as no tickets will be written) and under Greenhouse's reasoning (and, allegedly, that of members of the Court itself) that'd be fine. Good to know.

Gahrie said...

Yet I'm sure Greenhouse considers Roe V wade to be the height of legal reasoning......

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The claim of authority seems to be based on something called a Deferred Enforced Departure. It has certainly been applied before.

Anybody know how to find whatever statute authorizes such things? That would help in understanding how far outside ( or inside ) the usual Presidential authority these actions lie.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Answered my own question:

DED emanates from the President’s constitutional powers to conduct foreign relations and has no statutory basis.

Gabriel said...

@Ignorance is Bliss:DED emanates from the President’s constitutional powers to conduct foreign relations and has no statutory basis.

It does not seem that this power can trump immigration law any more than his power to conduct foreign relations can allow him to forbid publication of criticism of foreign heads of state.

virgil xenophon said...

Greenhouse swims out to meet troopships..

The Gold Digger said...

People coming here on vacation or illegally and having babies should not result in citizens. They should be returned to a border and ejected.

You mean when they come here pregnant and have preemie, sick babies, those babies should not get citizenship, Medicaid, and SS disability?

Asking for my sister, who is a neo-natal nurse practitioner in Washington DC.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Gabriel said...

It does not seem that this power can trump immigration law any more than his power to conduct foreign relations can allow him to forbid publication of criticism of foreign heads of state.

Especially since this is not a case of the President conducting foreign relations, but rather a case of the President conducting domestic politics.

n.n said...

The People and their unplanned Posterity are not amused by the Court's semantic games with their lives, welfare, and happiness. That said, they really jumped the ass when they received instruction from gods in the twilight zone. Everything since has been filling in the dark fringes of the establishment.

Gabriel said...

@The Gold Digger:You mean when they come here pregnant and have preemie, sick babies, those babies should not get citizenship, Medicaid, and SS disability?

We can certainly treat them humanely without them incurring obligations for life on our citizens. There is a large middle ground that can be explored here.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

There are few sights more disconcerting during a Supreme Court argument than smart justices playing dumb.

I must have missed the column where she complains about five Justices pretending that they didn't know the meaning of the word marriage.

traditionalguy said...

Legis-latures lay down Legis as a measuring stick to judge performance of the Government and the subjects. The Kings have always simply dissolved the Legislature and sent them home when they become a nuisance by passing laws restricting the King. They were only needed once every few years to approve Taxes for another war, and then only since Magna Carta.

King Obama laughs at the people's Law. The SCOTUS has little courage to side with the Representative Democrat institution's silly laws against the King's rule.

Philosopher Kings tend to flock together with the other King.

eric said...

Blogger Ignorance is Bliss said...
There are few sights more disconcerting during a Supreme Court argument than smart justices playing dumb.

I must have missed the column where she complains about five Justices pretending that they didn't know the meaning of the word marriage.


Well played.

eric said...

Blogger Gabriel said...
@The Gold Digger:You mean when they come here pregnant and have preemie, sick babies, those babies should not get citizenship, Medicaid, and SS disability?

We can certainly treat them humanely without them incurring obligations for life on our citizens. There is a large middle ground that can be explored here.


That's just it, inhumane is hogwash. It's not that people are arguing for inhumane treatment. Instead, we have changed the definition of inhumane, alone with a bunch of other words.

It's now inhumane if we don't place supplies in the desert for illegals crossing there. This is dumb. If border patrol comes across illegals, they arrest them and treat them humanely. They are given food and shelter and treated better than they live at home. But now we take it a step further and spend great time and resources to rescue them from their own decisions which is to cross inhospitable territory in the heat of the summer.

Give me a break.

This is just one example, but it illustrates the point. There is no middle ground for the left. They aren't seriously interested in humane treatment. They have goals and humane treatment is a club to be used to achieve these goals.

Sammy Finkelman said...

If the state of Texas is wrong, they have standing. But if Texas is right on the substance, they don't have standing to sue. Because then they don't have to issue driver's licenses. This could be a paradox.

David said...

If this is so obvious, why didn't one of the liberal Justices jump in and correct that stupid Alito and that dunderhead Roberts?

Sammy Finkelman said...

DACA, for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — is in effect and is not at issue in the case.)

Only because they chose not to sue, because the law should be the same for both of them. How is that being consistent? Is someone suddenly concerned about practicalities, and people's feelings and sense of justice?

Sammy Finkelman said...

Under the “deferred action” of DAPA, eligible immigrants are informed that the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t plan to deport them during the next three years. Their legal status doesn’t change — that is, they remain technically deportable and are ineligible for most government benefits.

Also, should they leave the United States, they can't get back in, with some possible exceptions.

coupe said...

The Gold Digger said...You mean... those babies should not get citizenship...

Correct. That's how Europe and most of the world operate.

Our system (same with Canada) is no longer sustainable. It is the reason we are attracting all of Central America and Mexico to rush to our borders and output from their birth canals.

Sammy Finkelman said...

At this point, Justice Alito took a swing: “And how is it possible to lawfully work in the United States without lawfully being in the United States?”

That was the state of the law before 1986, because only then did Congress make it illegal. They are two separate things. In just the same way, a person can lawfully buy a bus ticket, or a restaurant meal, without lawfully being present in the United States.

Sammy Finkelman said...

There are two questions: One is, why can't Texas change its law? Chief Justice Roberts said, well, then they'd be sued. Justice Kagan said in fact the people suing Texas would lose the suit, to which the Solicitor General agreed, but said maybe it depends on what exactly they do, but the court shouldn't answer that question. (Maybe Texas can make the injury, possible legal fees?) Justice Alito said they have to take a position now on whether Texas can do that, meaning Texas loses standing only if DOJ agrees they ahve the right to refuse to give dirver's licenses to the people who qualify here.

Here it is in the arguments:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/15-674_b97d.pdf

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Their argument is, we're going to give driver's license to people subject to deferred action. And you're saying, okay, that's your injury? You can take that away.

And I just think that's a real catch22.

If if you're injured, you have standing. But you're not injured because you can change your policy and not give driver's license to these people.

And I suggest that I think you would want you would sue them instantly if they said,
people here lawfully present under the Federal authority are being discriminated against. It's a preemption argument the government makes on a regular basis. And
if you don't, the intervenors will sue them. They've already said that they think that's illegal.

GENERAL VERRILLI: The fundamental problem, Mr. Chief Justice, is with that theory is that it requires this Court essentially to issue an advisory opinion about whether this new law of theirs would, in fact, be preempted. After all, we might think it's
preempted, but it's up to the judiciary ultimately to decide whether it's preempted. So in order for that injury to occur, they the law the judiciary would decide whether it's preempted. And the normal way --

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: So you're saying they would not have injury because they can do this, and you might lose the suit.

GENERAL VERRILLI: That's correct. It's -- it's hypothetical at this point.

JUSTICE KAGAN: I mean, General, I don't understand why you wouldn't lose the suit. I mean, Section 1621 says, "States aren't required to give State benefits to nonqualified aliens, including deferred action recipients."

I guess I don't really understand what the basis of a preemption suit would be given that section.

GENERAL VERRILLI: Justice Kagan, I'd like to be able to agree with you about that. We don't think 1621 actually applies to driver's licenses. And it -- depending on
what they did, we might or might not think the law is preempted. But until they actually take that step, which would be a significant change from Texas law as
it now exists, they really are asking you for an advisory opinion about whether
the thing they want to do would be preempted. I mean, if you think about it --

JUSTICE ALITO: You're saying they have inflicted this injury on themselves because
they have options. And one of the options, and I assume the one that they would like
to pursue, is to deny driver's licenses to the beneficiaries of DAPA. And if you're
going to make the argument that they lack standing because they have a viable legal option, I think you have to tell us whether, in the view of the United States, it
would be lawful for them to do that.

n.n said...

It is illegal but lawful by virtue of feigned ignorance.

They would like to reinforce a distinction between law and enforcement, as in privacy.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Verilli seemed to hint they might sue Texas based on the denial of licenses being some kind of Civil Rights violation. (He said motve would matter)

So this gets us back to if Texas is right on the substance, they would win that lawsuit, and then they wouldn't have standing to sue.

The second issue is: Just what did the president do? Is the kind of deferral of deportation he issued, the same thing as a deferral of deportation that occurs because of a court proceeding?

Roy Jacobsen said...

"Humpty Dumpty is exactly right.

There's nothing wrong with doing that provided you are consistent."

Flimsy canker sore washed out the new features of this week.

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Justice Kennedy's question:

Imagine a Federal statute. Every State must give a driver's license to a member
of the Federal armed forces. That's a statute. Second statute: We are transferring one quarter of a million soldiers to Rhode Island.

Now, Rhode Island thinks the first statute is unconstitutional, and it also thinks that the second statute, for some technical reason, is unlawful. We're only talking about standing. In that circumstance, does Rhode Island have standing?

See, totally analogous. I'm trying to say there is a law, which you say is vague. I'm imagining it's there. It says, Texas, you have to give a driver's license to certain people. And then there's a second law which says, we are sending you a million of those people. Now, all I want to know is: Can Texas, under those circumstances your argument is we don't know if that's true here or not but under the ones I hypothesize, is there standing, in your opinion?

Texas would say the first law is wrong, unconstitutional for some reason. The second is wrong because it technically failed for some reason. Do they have standing to say that?

GENERAL VERRILLI: The -- I have to -- I have to caveat my answer, because I think if the second law is an immigration law that says we're going to make an immigration policy judgment that's going to result in additional people being in the State, then I don't think they would have standing.

But the fundamental point, I think, of importance here is that the premise that the first of the first law that they are required to give driver's licences is not present here.

JUSTICE BREYER: I have no doubt it isn't present here. I asked the question to clarify what it is I'm supposed to say if I agree with you.

GENERAL VERRILLI: And I tried to answer ..


Then he argued what if it as a case where a state had a minimum wage law, and then it decided it wasn't going to enforce it, could the federal government sue the state to enforce its own law, because they also have a law covering minimum wages and wopld have to increase enforcement. (a better example would be marijuana laws) And as matetr of fact two states have sued Colorado, claiming that Colorado is causing an increase in the interstate commerce of drugs.

jelink said...

Under the “deferred action” of DAPA, eligible immigrants are informed that the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t plan to deport them during the next three years. Their legal status doesn’t change — that is, they remain technically deportable and are ineligible for most government benefits.

************

Of course, "government benefits" doesn't mean STATE government benefits. Here in MA the illegals get subsidized housing, EBT cards, can drive unlicensed and in unregistered cars etc.

And didn't that smirking asshole at the IRS tell us the other day that his agency is only too happy to issue tax refunds to illegals?

Sammy Finkelman said...

Texas agreed that there is the authority to defer deportation. They claimed that there was, however, no authority to authorize work. (I might question where does Congress get the authority in the first place to deny it? This is worse than Wickard.)

Verilli argues that are other categories of people for whom there is no statutory authority to grant working rights but they do it - people applying for adjustment of status, people who applied for cancellation of removal, people in removal proceedings - and that's been the way it has been since 1987. (when this issue of work authorization first arose. The retriction as to who could get Social Security cards dates from February, 1974, but this did not affect employers.)

Gabriel said...

@Roy Jacobsen: Flimsy canker sore washed out the new features of this week.

Why do you think this is a refutation? In what centralized storehouse are the One True Meanings kept and by what authority are they designated?

Your sentence might be perfectly acceptable as poetry, for example. If you are trying to communicate something concrete you'll need to supply more context, but that depends on your audience and that is ALWAYS true.

Leather sunrise, by which I mean, there's a knock-down argument for you.

Mike Sylwester said...

Greenhouse:

... while there are an estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country, Congress annually appropriates only enough money to deport a few hundred thousand. So discretion on the part of executive branch officials is hard-wired into the system.

Greenhouse expects her readers to accept her false premise that President Obama cannot do anything to increase the money available for deporting illegal aliens.

Of course, Obama could ask Congress for more deportation money, or he could reallocate money within the Department.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Of course, "government benefits" doesn't mean STATE government benefits.

That's right. Under the equal protection clause. Actually, not all benefits. After all, they don't have to get in-state tuition (only it doesn't make economic sense to charge out of state tuition)

The Supreme Court has ruled only certain things apply.

Mike Sylwester said...

Greenhouse's last sentence:

Call it a hope, for the millions of immigrant parents, and also for the Roberts court.

Correction:

Call it a hope, for the millions of illegal alien parents, and also for the Roberts court.

tim in vermont said...

You can't lawfully buy a bus ticket if you are breaking a law to get to the counter. can you lawfully watch somebody's TV after breaking into his house? Certainly watching the TV don't count as an additional crime, but you didn't do it lawfully.

Fen said...


"I'd say Roberts and Alito's questions get to the heart of the matter. Greenhouse is pretending otherwise."

Yup. Apparently Linda Greenhouse was sleeping when the Socratic method was covered in class. Why is she an analyst? Because she has a vagina?

Mike Sylwester said...

Of course, Obama could ask Congress for more deportation money, or he could reallocate money within the Department.

Obama also could streamline the deportation process, spending less money on endless, expensive appeals.

An illegal alien could be limited to one appeal, which would be conducted in the US embassy of the country to which he has been deported immediately.

Rumpletweezer said...

Thinking like hers can only be produced by someone with a legal education. Oh, look, Yale Law School 1978. Don't you hate it when stereotypes are confirmed empirically?

tds said...

A person playing dumb whether "DAPA has changed the immigration law", charges 2 SC justices with dithering on lawfully vs. legally present.

Roy Jacobsen said...

"If you are trying to communicate something concrete you'll need to supply more context, but that depends on your audience and that is ALWAYS true."

Which is something Humpty Dumpty -- and this administration -- has not done. They've merely asserted some as-of-yet unexplained distinction between "lawful" and "legal."

Birkel said...

I always hate the Sammy Finkleman "contributions".

Sammy Finkleman:
Do you get paid by the word in your practice?

Sammy Finkelman said...

Greenhouse expects her readers to accept her false premise that President Obama cannot do anything to increase the money available for deporting illegal aliens.

It doesn't matter what Obama asks for - it what Congress has appropriated. Yes, he could ask for multiplying the budget by 27 times. He doesn't have to. What he asks for has nothing to do with what his limitations or freedoms are.

And what's now is way below the amount that would be enough to handle everything in one year.

Verilli is saying Congress has instructed the president to prioritize certain categories of deportable people, mainly criminals and recent border crossers, and to avoid certain categeries, like people applying for asylum, and he says he can exclude other categories wholesale the way he has done, (in this case for a 3-year period) and the limit is definitely below what he has done.

And that anyone who's not being actively sought is entitled to get work authorization, because they've been issuing work authorization for 30 years now almost to people not specifically authrized by statute to get them.

And they go into something about whether something was said here that wasn't said elsewhere and whether theer could be some legal case according to the Administrative Procedures Act.

rehajm said...

It's an editorial. Opinions are like...

Gabriel said...

@Sammy Finkelman:And that anyone who's not being actively sought is entitled to get work authorization, because they've been issuing work authorization for 30 years now almost to people not specifically authrized by statute to get them.

Because they never enforced the law for everybody, and were never able to, that authorizes them to never enforce it for anyone if they so choose? That's a very curious argument.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Sammy Finkelman said...If the state of Texas is wrong, they have standing. But if Texas is right on the substance, they don't have standing to sue. Because then they don't have to issue driver's licenses. This could be a paradox.

Really? Could it really, Sammy? Can you think of any recent examples of something similar, Sammy? Like, I dunno, just off the top of my head here, making a determination that a given provision represents a tax when considering both standing and what level of scrutiny and statutory authority should apply but then ruling that the particular provision is in fact a penalty (and not a tax) for purposes of judging the provision/law's constitutionality? Naaah, nothing like that could ever happen. Too paradoxical!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Sammy Finkelman said...and he says he can exclude other categories wholesale the way he has done, (in this case for a 3-year period) and the limit is definitely below what he has done.

When the argument is precisely over what "the limit" is I'm not sure what value your assertion that the limit is "definitely below what he has done" is supposed to have. What's the limit, Sammy? It's DEFINITELY lower than a blanket promise not to prosecute whole classes of individuals for years at a time, so what's the limit? Could he make the same promise with fewer, or even no, parameters for the class to which his promise to not enforce the law would apply? Could he make the parameters more arbitrary (no prosecutions for people under 5'10"), or last longer (for the full length of his administration, maybe, or how about for a given 50 year period)?
You seem pretty sure of what the limit is (and that, of course, President Obama's actions are DEFINITELY below that limit/threshold), so maybe you can tell the rest of us--including the Supreme Court--since it seems to be, you know, not super-clear to we mere mortals.

tim in vermont said...

I still say if we called illegal aliens what they are, scabs for the Chamber of Commerce and the Democrat Party, it would go a long way to clarifying these issues. But we don't want to clarify them, we want to obfuscate them.

Birkel said...

Crazy says what?

Cue the butterfly nets.

damikesc said...

I mean, shit, my local PD doesn't have enough officers to ticket every speeder, so I guess legally it'd be fine for the mayor or governor to just declare that speed limits don't apply to anyone (insomuch as no tickets will be written) and under Greenhouse's reasoning (and, allegedly, that of members of the Court itself) that'd be fine. Good to know.

We can't punish EVERYBODY killed by gunfire (more than half are suicides, after all). Ergo, no more criminal cases for people killed by gunfire.

This is easy.

They will HATE it when somebody they don't like uses it against them. I'd kill for a President to decide "Title IX is being abused and we're not going to enforce it AT ALL until Congress corrects the problems".

Joe said...

How can people allegedly so smart, be so stupid? Roberts and Alito weren't "feigning" ignorance; they were trying to ascertain if the Solicitor General knew what the hell he was talking about.

The real question is why Ms. Greenhouse chose to go after Roberts and Alito instead of Verilli and the administration who had a tremendously stupid argument.