July 30, 2007

Something is wrong with the Chief Justice's brain.

Linda Greenhouse writes:
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. was hospitalized on today after suffering a seizure at his summer home in Maine, the Supreme Court announced.

The episode, described as a “benign idiopathic seizure,” was similar to one he suffered 14 years ago, according to the court’s press release. Idiopathic means that the cause of the seizure remains unknown....

“In the majority of seizures you see no anatomical cause,” [said Dr. Langer, who is also an assistant professor at Albert Einstein Medical College,] said. A cause could be a tumor, bleeding in the brain, a clogged blood vessel or an injury.

ADDED: From the Maine newspaper:
St. George Ambulance responded to a call at about 2 p.m. Monday of a man who had fallen 5 to 10 feet and landed on a dock, hitting the back of his head. The patient was ashen and was foaming at the mouth.
ADDED: This is the sort of thing that makes me glad I cut Wonkette from my blogroll a few weeks ago.

UPDATE: He looks okay now, doesn't he?


MadisonMan said...

Here's to a speedy recovery!

Simon said...

Wishing him well. He's young and fit, and will hopefully push past this. Still, even if minor, these are always matters for concern; when I was sixteen, my best friend had a seizure and broke his neck. These things always carry the risk of danger, directly or indirectly.

Eli Blake said...

I also hope he does fully recover. As we saw with Senator Tim Johnson, brain conditions can be very tricky. It sounds though like the medics up there got to the scene quickly and there doesn't seem to be any serious complication.

Jeff said...

I eagerly await Robin Givhan's snarky description of his hospital gown.

Simon said...

Eli, do you know if Johnson's back on active duty now? I seem to remember his being released from supervised care about a month ago.

PatCA said...

"...when I was sixteen, my best friend had a seizure and broke his neck. These things always carry the risk of danger, directly or indirectly."

Yes, someone I know had that experience as well. Recover soon, Mr. Roberts, and stay safe.

peter hoh said...

Here's wishing him a speedy recovery.

Yes, the Wonkette bit is in bad taste. Meanwhile, Michael Savage is suggesting that the Chief Justice's injury is connected to Shumer's remarks on Friday -- or rather, that The Left can't prove to him that there was not some sort of conspiracy behind this.

MadisonMan said...

Re: Senator Johnson: I recall reading recently that his son said the Senator was aiming for a return in September.

reader_iam said...

Some things, you can almost set your watch by ... .

Savage, Wonkette: Some people never disappoint. In this context, that's not a compliment.

reader_iam said...

I did notice the purge, by the way.

Simon said...

Ann, re the Wonkette thing, the reaction of commenters at left-leaning blogs is entirely predictable. The comments sections to firedoglake and so forth carry explicit warnings by the proprieters (that they need to put such warnings up is indicative), and it's still quite nasty.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Godspeed to a full recovery.

downtownlad said...

I thought the Wonkette post was funny. But why would they want him to die now? 18 months from now - yeah. But not now.

Seven Machos said...

I thought the Wonkette post would have been a lot funnier if she would bashed gays and called for the imprisonment of all gay people who are married.

That would have been hilarious.

downtownlad said...

Well Seven. That's what Roberts wants to do to gay people.

And that's why we laugh at him when he almost croaks.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

michilines said...


michilines said...

A winner, finally?

Theo Boehm said...

Back in 1977, Jerry Mander published his widely read, weird little book, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television.  I'm sure we've all come across similar arguments about how terrible the Internet is, and occasionally some brave, demented soul will call for the Internet to be pulled down, with approximately the same effect of Mr. Mander's little '70's screed.

But, I'll tell you, if I had to write Four Arguments for the Elimination of the Internet, "Wonkette" would have pride of place, just behind identity theft and ahead of porn.  What a nightmare.

My family and I wish Chief Justice Roberts a full and speedy recovery, and we will keep him and his family in our prayers.

michilines said...

dtl it's down to us, again

if this keeps up, revenant will talk -- in unambiguity.

Oh, and that's only in my dreams . . .

Internet Ronin said...

You would, DTL, given your declassé myopia.(BTW, the Volokh post you referred to on Saturday was written by Clayton Cramer, not Eugene Volokh. Cramer has not been a contributor to the website for quite some time. It would help your argument if you bothered to read the links you provide. You might want to take your blinders off long enough to read some of the contributions of Dale Carpenter, to name just one of the current contributors. Rant and rave all you want in response, intentionally twist and misinterpret facts to your heart's content, prove yet again just how pitiable a being you really are, but I'm out of here.)

michilines said...

theo is my first nom for "with Ann drunk on American Idol."

Baloon-Juice got it better:

To all nominees:

Who has boobs?

too funny

michilines said...

revenant, ronan,

take you all seriously? you post on ann's site.

enough said :)

Seven Machos said...

1. Everyone who posts on Ann's site is an unserious idiot.

2. Michilines posts on Ann's site.


TMink said...

Ya know, it has been quite some time since downtownlad posted anything worth reading.

I am just noticing.


michilines said...


great comment :)


I'm drunk!lol!lol!

michilines said...


let me introduce you to adjective clauses.

or not

dtl, i can only come by every so often.

michilines said...





you are now a joke.

a very funny one

Seven Machos said...

Inside the mind of the loony left.


blake said...

michilines used to boast about bringing Althouse down, as s/he/it claimed to do with some other blog.

Haven't noticed any slowdown, mic.

DirkDiggler said...

How scarey is that? You can have some seizure like this out of the blue. A healthy 50 something man just on vacation and all of a sudden bam.

When I read about stories like that it makes me try and enjoy every moment of life because you never know when life can hit you with an unexpected tragedy.

Hopefully, he will be fine.

B said...

Congratulations Ann,

on your excellent judgment and taste regarding:

- eliminating wonkette, the blog written in the style and at the reading level of frat boys . . . in middle school, and

- standing your ground against the collection of out-of-work, socially retarded idiots that attack you ceaselessly for not being all the liberal wuss they believe you can be. You're in good company: they feel the same way about all Black and Hispanic Americans. They don't have the cajones to make and defend an actual argument on it's merits, ergo the personal shout-downs that must have worked so well for them as bullies in the third grade - or wished they did when the bullies beat them up. Intelligence is just outside their grasp, that's why there are so few different words in their comments.

This conservative doesn't agree with you, Ann, on about 60% to maybe 70% of your political stands, but again, I appreciate the opportunity to express myself among many great writers of all political sides.

Don't give in to the bullies. High School Days are over for the reasonable on both sides of the political line - but the trolls just can't let those Days go.

I believe it has something to do with their immature, underdeveloped sexuality . . .

DirkDiggler said...

Also, Althouse are you going to get rid of the Corner from your blogroll?

K Lopez commented that there was a case of bestiality in Massachusetts and eluded that it was a cause and effect of gay marriage in that state? Not exactly cool.

Revenant said...

revenant, ronan,

take you all seriously? you post on ann's site.

Um, michilines... I'm not sure which of the voices in your head you *thought* was me when you wrote that response, but I hadn't actually posted to this thread yet.

Revenant said...

BTW, the Volokh post you referred to on Saturday was written by Clayton Cramer, not Eugene Volokh. Cramer has not been a contributor to the website for quite some time.

More specifically, he was a contributor to the sight for less than a week, back in early 2003. Differences with the other Conspirators and reader backlash over his homophobic remarks led to a parting of the ways soon after he first started posting there.

But seriously, Ronin -- you're trying to reason with a guy who claimed Instapundit was "one of the most homophobic bloggers on the net". Don't bother.

amba said...

I have personal experience with a similar condition, and therefore know that it is almost certainly no big deal.

The only problem is that people who have the odd seizure, while better off than people who have frequent ones, are also less likely to recognize any subtle warning sensation and get to safety.

Eli Blake said...

b: I happen to be one of those Liberals (proudly, capital 'L'), and I work TWO jobs, don't trash other bloggers, don't categorize 'blacks' and 'Hispanics,' as groups I should feel some way towards, or otherwise characterize your post. Maybe you should re-examine your characterization of 'Liberals.'

Of course if you want to bash liberals, here is some food for you to take a whack at: I acknowlege that a very well thought out, planned murder was committed against the person of Matthew Booth of Elizabeth Township, Pennsylvania. I just put up a post though advocating that prosecutors are wrong in charging his killer with murder, and why I would support a lesser charge. The post is here. Now, I DARE you, Mr. conservative, to argue to me that the prosecutors are right in prosecuting this as a fullblown murder case.


My suggestion, then, would be not to go to that site. Reading what you just wrote, causes me to have no desire to go there either. But if you hadn't noticed, Ann is very miserly in giving out links. I've been coming here for two years and have yet to get a link to anything on my blog from Ann (much less a blogroll listing.) Of course, lately my (slow, rural, dial-up) computer has had trouble loading her sidebar anyway, not sure what is doing that.

Eli Blake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eli Blake said...


I'm glad it's not.

And until he is safely out of the hospital, I also promise not to tell any Roberts jokes. But once they are out of danger....

Q: Why was Dick Cheney's pacemaker battery replacement so tricky?

A: It's not often that they work on a pacemaker sized to fit a toddler's heart in a man his age.

Sir Archy said...

Ah!  Almost a Riot of Madmen here!  And let us not forget Miss Michelle: our female Lunatick!

As the Ghost of the Imaginings of the Brain of a Madman in Bedlam, dead these 200 years, I am beyond all Insult.  My only Pleasure in haunting the Brain of my present Host is Madman-watching, or, Lunatick-Theatre.  As I fancy myself as something of a Critick of Plays, I hope it will not be taken amiss if I offer some modest Advice to those who read and write here, whether Lunatick or rational Person.

My days in Bedlam at first pass'd in great want of Amusement; my Madman conceived a low and narrow Rôle for me, which I confess abash'd me greatly.  I was in such a Place and state to observe the crème de la crème, so to speak, of Lunaticks; so as a Scheme of Entertainment, I acquired by degrees the Habit of noting the Varieties of Madness at hand.

I have seen many a Lunatick in Bedlam such as Miss Michelle.  Sad cases, all, incapable of Reform or being turned to any Use.  These Lunaticks are in possession of certain idées fixes, which they believe any Person of Sense would share.  They go about mumbling odd Remarks to no one in particular, as if all within hearing were in possession of every detail of the Phantasms that rise before their diseas'd Brains.  They find it risible that others do not share their Opinions, and, like many Lunaticks, they issue forth Insults, often of a low and obscene turn, if they perceive the slightest Deviation from their set Ideas in their unfortunate Interlocutors.

Many a Lunatick afflicted with this Variety of Madness may live hidden away, harmless to any save their Families.  Some, when set upon the greater World, may live for years without external incident.  Yet, there remains the Chance, that something will be taken too far, and the full Degree to which the poor wretch's Brain is diseas'd, exposed.  I have seen many come thus to Bedlam, and will only advise Miss Michelle and others to leave off Insults and Gloatings over others' hard Knocks, lest such Cases be taken to Law, as they would have in my day.

Sir Archy

Shawn Levasseur said...

This is NOT how I wanted my neighborhood to get into the news.

But, to add a bit of local knowledge to bear here:

First the "Maine Newspaper" in referred to Ann in the post is the Courier-Gazette, the local paper of Rockland Maine. Not surprising that she didn't credit them, as their website is a conglomeration of the various small town newspapers from around the state owned by Courier Publications.

Second, the fact that he is being held at Pen Bay Medical Center, is a good sign. It's highly unlikely that they are "soft pedaling" his condition. Pen Bay is a smaller hospital, one with a mixed reputation. If he gets moved to one of the larger hospitals in either Bangor or Portland, you might start to worry for Roberts. (Though not necessarily, in some specialties, doctors can only available in those cities.)

B said...


Sorry you took offense - if you read a little more carefully you'll see that I was referring to the trolls who ceaselessly have one main theme - attack Ann Althouse.

Also, Eli, I didn't classify the idiots as liberals, Large L or small - just idiots who don't like it when Ann describes herself as liberal. Idiots who seek to hijack every conversation for their anti-althouse, pedophilia-like need to have power over others. True liberals commenting on this blog contribute - they don't seek to turn the conversation back to the virtues or failings of the blog owner.

And, I'm not certain that any of the trolls are actually politically liberal - politically they seem more like reactionaries or anarchists to me.

Finally, Eli, you are actually one of the writers I have expressed respect for in the past. I do believe that you have contributed numerous thought provoking, well written comments.

See - it is possible for liberals and conservatives to have a decent, respectful conversation.

But again, you and those like you were not my subject.

PS Answer me this:

why don't trolls such as Alpha Liberal, who prefer that all liberals and Democrats - especially Democratic Presidential candidates - avoid Fox News because of it's supposed bias, take their own advice and avoid Althouse?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Roberts had one seizure before, during the confirmation hearings, a result of stress.

It may be the case that this is connected, in a way, to Schumer's rhetoric.

Roberts has been getting extremely intense, negative press. Assuming he follows the news, that could have resulted in stress that triggered his seizure.

John Stodder said...

And that's why we laugh at him when he almost croaks.


DTL, you're saying all gays are as f-d up as you are?

Who knew you were such an anti-gay bigot?

I will suggest this about Wonkette: just wondering, is it possible he/she was making fun of the loony left commenters, and not actually wishing for Roberts' death? The theme of heartless and crude comments from the left is out there, and Wonkette is a satirical site, so...

Probably not. But it crossed my mind.

Revenant said...

Roberts has been getting extremely intense, negative press. Assuming he follows the news, that could have resulted in stress that triggered his seizure.

I doubt it. It isn't like his job or his life depends on press opinion in any way.

Cedarford said...

Morning! I woke up today and one of my thoughts was of checking on John Roberts and how he was doing.

A young woman at work a few years back had a similar "benign idiopathic seizure"...great gal..fellow MBA. But when it happened it looked anything but benign - pale, mouth in spittle and froth, violent convulsions, her bleeding from banging her head on a chair and her urinating and defecating...Very scary.

She was back in a few days, but honestly took a few months to mostly get over the psychological trauma of losing her control, awareness, everything, with only a split second or so of warning something happened...then living with doctors telling her and her husband they didn't know why it happened, it could happen again, maybe not..
She moved to a different city. I hear she's been OK, but tries not to drive, or drive alone.., never with just her and her kid in the car..We all wished her the best.

Same with John Roberts. I wish him the best.

Christy said...

I, for one, never got the charm of Wonkette.

When I heard of the seizure, more than anything else I realized how well most of us muddle along with imperfect bodies to lead full productive lives, mostly by not embracing the flaw. I'm not discounting real debilitating illness, but the sort of thing that rarely manifests and have little consequence.

When this happened to a pal of mine here in Maryland, she was not allowed to be alone for something like 6 weeks and not allowed to drive for some period of time. I guess Chief Justices rate drivers in any case?

Roger said...

there are some very very sick people out there--very very sick. John Roberts can be helped; the ones I refer to cannot. The very best to the chief justice.

EnigmatiCore said...

"I thought the Wonkette post was funny."

I think it is funny that you believe this is something to be proud of, or even worth noting.

I never had wondered if dogshit is proud to be dogshit. But, alas, now we know.

Bissage said...

The emphasis so far seems to be on the event of the seizure, and it’s easy enough to see why.

But what if the Chief Justice had simply fallen off a ladder or something?

A blow to the back of the head from a boat dock after a fall of 5 to 10 feet sounds pretty serious.

Simon said...

Mortimer Brezny said...
"Roberts had one seizure before, during the confirmation hearings, a result of stress."

Roberts had one seizure before in 1993, which was neither the time of his nomination to the Supreme Court or either of his nominations to the court of appeals. So far as I know, in 1993 the Chief was happily ensconsed back at Hogan & Hartson. Are you saying that there's an unreported third seizure, or just getting your dates mixed up?

"Roberts has been getting extremely intense, negative press. Assuming he follows the news, that could have resulted in stress that triggered his seizure."

I don't think the negative press he's been getting is serious enough to get stressed over - how can you take seriously accusations that you're trying to overrule Brown when you've just written a case that reaffirms its core holding over a dissent that adopts the position pressed by the school boards, for example? How would you not find that funny? - but who knows.

John said...

"They don't have the cajones to make and defend an actual argument on it's merits"

Cajón is a Spanish word meaning crate, box, or drawer. They don't have the crates? They don't have the boxes?

vet66 said...

Speedy recovery for Chief Justice John Roberts. We are blessed to have people of his calibre looking after our interests. His family is in our prayers also.

As for the trolls, they never miss a chance to disgrace themselves in civil society.

SteveR said...

Am I wrong but isn't the Wonkette, not even the Wonkette (Ms Cox) anymore? Not that funny then and not funny now.

Cajones/cojones? Pelotas? Huevos?

Joseph Hovsep said...

Roberts has been getting extremely intense, negative press. Assuming he follows the news, that could have resulted in stress that triggered his seizure.

I don't think his press has been that intense or negative. He's the Chief Justice of the United States. He should expect lots of critical attention from the press. Frankly, if it were the case that negative press gives the man seizures, he is not fit for the job. But that's not the case and I trust he is more than fit for the job. Hoping for a speedy recovery.

Yachira said...

And here are some comments from the Democratic Underground. As you can imagine, they are hate-filled diatribes: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x2935004#2935009

aquart: Unless he fell on his head, it ain’t nuttin’. He can break pretty much anything and still go back to work. Look at Corzine.

ThomCat: I hate to wish anyone ill, but I hope his tenure on the supreme court is a short one.

kaygore: If there is a God, then he is not too young to become the right-hand maiden to Satan in the inner reaches of Hell.

antifaschits: [responding to a request for prayers] why? karma, if it exists, will probably kick this SOB in the teeth. Except, unlike 40,000,000 americans, he has access to the best of the best health care plans in the world. If, unexpectedly, he sees his own frail human life, his ability to suffer and die, his future pass before his eyes, like it does to hundreds of thousands each day in this country, if it educates him about the harm he inflicts on others, then, yeah, I can see hoping for him. But more likely than not, he won’t. He will not recognize life as most of us see it. He will continue in his neocon way of viewing things, and simply add fat to the fire when he recovers and returns to the bench.

aquart: Was there lightning?

aquart: [responding to the request for prayers] Okay: Dear Lord, May the evil John Roberts does come back to him and only him, from every place it has gone, from everyone it has harmed.

kaygore: Better prayer. Dear God, Please release Satan’s hand-maiden, John Roberts, from his worldly cares and allow him to join once again with the Prince of Darkness in the lowest reaches of Hell. We pray this in the name of your son, our lord, Jesus. Amen.

Bornaginhooligan: I prayed. But it didn’t come true.

Yes, The party of tolerance and compassion !

Joseph Hovsep said...

Yachira: Yes, I also find that anonymous comments left on blogs are the best way of judging the integrity of adherents to a given political persuasion.

Joseph Hovsep said...

... especially when those anonymous comments are handpicked by another anonymous commenter on another blog. If Wonkette or Jon Stewart or Michael Moore says something offensive or off-color and their audience laughs, then you can might have some basis for making legitimate judgments about liberals generally. But a few anonymous commenters on a political blog? Please.

MadisonMan said...

Yes, you can always find the worst in people who hold opinions contrary to your own. What better way to convince yourself that your views are superior?

Of course my support is John Roberts' opinions is the true and right path! Just look at the evil things people who are opposed to him say!

I'm not expressing myself very eloquently -- I was up late last night waiting for the son to get home -- but I hope you all understand the gist of it.

Original Mike said...

Why, exactly, does the left hate John Roberts? I don't get it.

Simon said...

Joseph, MadisonMan - I sympathize with your point, but nevertheless, if you go to mostly any mainline left-leaning blog with a post about Roberts' seizure, the tenor of the comments is almost uniform and absolutely unmistakable.

This is normal operating mode for the leftosphere. HuffPo has previously had a frontpage poster who prayed out loud for Cheney's death, and when Cheney survived an assassination attempt, commenters on those blogs were heartbroken. I know that not all liberals see their political opponents as blood enemies to wish death upon, but there is a disturbing number that sees that as acceptable behavior.

MadisonMan said...

Simon, this contrasts I suppose to the general outpouring of love from the loony right when Justice Brennan died.

Simon said...

MadisonMan, I have no idea how it contrasts to what was said on conservative blogs when Justice Brennan died (my suspicion is "not much" since there weren't any), but it does contrast with what was said on conservative blogs when Tim Johnson suffered a brain hemorrhage last year.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Simon, You may instinctively want to disagree with me here, but I sincerely believe that there is just as much inappropriate and hateful commentary in comparable online quarters on the right. As MadisonMan said, its easy to see evil in people you disagree with, and we naturally dismiss or ignore the crazies and intolerants on our own side. I think the nastiness here is more a reflection of the nature of anonymous/pseudonymous blog commentary than any particular political perspective. I wish people could recognize the limits of reading much into the substance of this genre of writing and not be so quick to take these opportunities to reinforce their confidence that people who disagree with them must be evil.

John said...

Madisonman, which blogs were you reading in 1997 when Brennan died?

Yachira said...

Joseph Hovsep says: "...You may instinctively want to disagree with me here, but I sincerely believe that there is just as much inappropriate and hateful commentary in comparable online quarters on the right"

Well, you believe, do you. How about showing us one or two, just ONE or TWO examples of your belief in action? Hmmmmmm?

Simon said...

I certainly agree that if you look around, you will find isolated examples of anonymous commenters saying vile, hateful things on conservative blogs. There's no doubt in my mind that when Harry Blackmun died, some people said to themselves "welcome to Hell, Harry." And I'm sure you'll find some comments on some righty blogs saying "good, hope the bastard dies" or what have you from Johnson's mishap or Corzine's.

But what's striking about the way the left deals in this rhetotic of death is how pervasive it is, how what is an unacceptable fringe on the right is the general tenor of the left. When lefty blogs started posting about Roberts, I saw several blogs that explicitly warned commenters to play nice, and numerous deleted comments. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what's going on here: what's under those "deleted by an admin" tags, or why the feel the need to warn commenters to be civil.

Of course you can find examples on both sides, but that doesn't by any means imply equivalence.

Welcome back, by the way. :)

froggyprager said...

On a different note, I am sure he will recover. Since he had another one in the past, his doctors may recommend that he take anti-seizure medication. That is very significant because all anti-seizure/ anti-convulsant meds have side effects including impacts to your ability to concentrate, decreased energy level, drowsiness, etc. If he ends up taking some drugs, I would be very interested to know if watchers of the court see any change in his behavior, speech, thinking, etc.

Joseph Hovsep said...


There are endless counterexamples wherein liberals have trolled conservative sites and picked out nasty comments to prove how degenerate conservatives are. But my point is that this whole enterprise is unhelpful and not actually revealing about the underlying ideologies as much as the underlying online, anonymous, detached forum.

Since I fear you'll respond that there aren't counterexamples if I don't post some, here are a few examples of your counterparts on the left exposing the ugliness in conservative blog commentary (here, here). See also Dr. Helen on "toxic disinhibition" and blog comments.

Ayo said...

From LGF:

Isn't it about time for justice stephens to meet St Peter? what is he like 95 years old?
come on old man, take one for the team and go to the light

Assign 10 terrorists to each dissenting judge so they can watch them for a week, then see if they would like to revisit their decision.

Stevens tops my list of people over 80 who need to move on to retirement or the heavenly choir. Jimmah Carter, Helen Thomas and Noam Chomsky are also prominent on that list.

The SCOTUS I'm hoping kicks the bucket soon is Anthony Kennedy. A male version of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and one of Reagan's few big mistakes.

Time to formally declare the Supreme Court to be in rebellion against the Government of the United States - and to suppress the rebellion by force of arms.

And that is just the first post I read concerning the Supreme Court. I'm sure I could find a ton of other examples to show how PERVASIVE calls for the deaths of Democrats are. Never doubt the power of Simon's partisan blinders.

Original Mike said...

I ask again. What Robert's rulings so offend the left?

MadisonMan said...

original mike -- I would guess Guilt By Association with GWB.

Simon said...

Joseph, neither of the posts you cite provide good examples. One provides no examples of personal animus towards named individuals, and the other at best suggests that some posters on Bill O'Reilly's site aren't thrilled with the idea of Clinton 44. This isn't to say that they're palatable, only that they're not comparable to specifically wishing death and harm on particular persons. And in any event, the point remains that it isn't true that there are no isolated examples. You're suggesting that because there are trees on our lot that your densely-forested lot is no worse. Same goes for Ayo - and if it'll make you feel any better, I think those commenters on the right who've used such language are also reprehensible. I wish Justices Stevens, Ginsburg and Kennedy a long, healthy and happy life, I'd just prefer they spent it in retirement. :)

Miike, just going from commentary on the leftosphere, I think the main ones are FAIR, his League v. Perry concurrence, Garcetti, Hudson v. Michgan, Marsh, Philip Morris, Leegin, Morse, WRTL, School Cases, and most of all, Carhart and Ledbetter. Basically, all the cases since he was appointed that came out in ways they don't like where Roberts was in the majority (regardless of what the voting line-up was).

Original Mike said...

MM - That what I assume to be the case, but I thought I'd give them the benefit of the doubt that there's actually something substantial. Thus, the question.

Mortimer Brezny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mortimer Brezny said...

Are you saying that there's an unreported third seizure, or just getting your dates mixed up?

No. You are wrong.

Roberts had one -- the first one -- when his nomination to the DC Circuit stalled, because of the bad press. That is what his close friends reported to the press. The level of negative press scrutiny now is greater than it was then, particularly after his opinion gutting Brown.

Original Mike said...

Thanks, Simon. Agree or disagree with them, none of those cases warrant the level of hatred on display, IMHO.

Mortimer Brezny said...

From CNN.com:

"Sources close to the chief justice said Roberts suffered an unexplained seizure in 1993, soon after his first nomination to the D.C. circuit stalled in the Senate.

Friends blamed the seizure on stress from the confirmation fight,
and Roberts limited certain activities such as driving after it happened. But after a few weeks, the problem went away, the sources said. "

Mortimer Brezny said...

I would note that Roberts is known to read blogs like How Appealing and so forth. It would not be hard to come across some stress-inducing vitriol directed in his direction in so doing.

Mortimer Brezny said...

And, yes, I know How Appealing is tame. The emphasis is on the so forth (similarly substantive sites with comments sections or nasty/sarcastic posters).

Theo Boehm said...

Upthread I mentioned Jerry Mander's 1977 book, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. One of Mander's points is that television is not good for democracy. Neither, I think, is the Internet.

Television, in Mander's view, coarsened and cheapened the political debate. It was also (in 1977) in the control of narrow corporate interests, so it could be said that it narrowed political discussion. This is obviously not true today of either the Internet or TV and radio.

But what we have gained in bandwidth and broad access, we have lost in a thoroughly coarsened, cheapened, and almost depraved political debate. We've heard the arguments about "echo chambers," but the problem goes deeper.

The nature of Internet writing itself, which necessarily must be short and simple, makes extended argument almost impossible. But we are not getting clarity and economy of expression. Instead, we have something like Newspeak on the Internet. And it is managing to do what Orwell's nightmares had in mind: It is making thought, especially political thought, impossible.

It is also giving scope to cranks and people who "Sir Archy" quaintly refers to upthread as "Lunaticks." Look at those who wished the Chief Justice dead. They are not confined to the flying monkeys and trolls of this or other amateur sites. A major, influential, commercial site with a staff could wish the Chief Justice dead. Can you imagine a newspaper, any newspaper, doing this anytime since the Civil War?

Can you imagine what goes through the mind of someone who would give expression to such a thought, and expect, correctly, I'm sorry to say, to be petted and rewarded for such sparkling banter? The Internet allows, amplifies and rewards these people. Soon enough, if not already, the understanding of the restraint necessary for a democracy to function will have fled, leaving our public discourse to resemble the 18th century Bedlam amusingly evoked upthread.

Combine that picture with the abysmal ignorance of our population, how long do you think it will be until tyranny arrives, gratefully accepted as a long-sought cure for chaos and dysfunction?

Original Mike said...

Theo Boehm said: "One of Mander's points is that television is not good for democracy. Neither, I think, is the Internet."

There is good with the bad. I, for one, feel much more politically aware and informed than I was in the day of getting my news solely from the MSM.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Simon, I don't claim to be able to provide a comprehensive comparison showing no partisan difference in nasty political blogs comments. I doubt you can back up your views with much more than anecdotal experience either. I doubt either of us has the time. Perhaps there is such a study out there (and I'd be curious and openminded), but, if so, I'd wager it'd be more than likely created for partisan reasons as well. It would also be difficult to do an accurate comparison since more of the big conservative blogs don't have the comment feature.

I think the links I provided do represent examples on the left of what Yachira was trying to do: cherrypick a few choice quotes purportedly from comments made by political opponents to denigrate the political philosophy espoused by such opponents and demonize the people who espouse such political beliefs. That's my beef. I'm all for airing conflicts and expressing criticisms and anger and hurt, etc., but I think that this kind of activity in particular is not productive in any real positive way, but fosters disrespect and inhibits people from honestly understanding each other's goals and motivations.

I'll make two more points. First, I think its worth understanding these nasty comments for what they are: offensive humor, not deathwishes. When Ann Coulter said someone should slip rat poison in Justice Stevens' creme bruele, it was an offensive and inappropriate joke, not a real deathwish. Same with Wonkette's comment and most similar blog comments. Sure, this kind of thing should be condemned, but it is not seriously the speaker's goal to hasten the target's death.

Second, so what if we could show by some objective measure that liberals are more likely than conservatives to engage in offensive commentary/humor of the deathwish/assasination variety? What would that prove? Liberals have some kind of inherent disrespect for life? Liberals are mean-sprited? Liberals are degenerate idiots? I don't see any real productive use for making the claim except to undermine one's opponents' arguments because they belong to this degenerate class regardless of the merits of their arguments, and to reinforce one's own feelings of superiority and pride in one's own class. None of this is meant to be personal to you or to conservatives or liberals. I'm just explaining my objection to the whole project Yachira and Ayo are engaging in.

I've been called a "concern troll" (not here), which label really annoys me, almost as much as I probably annoy others.

Simon said...

Well, I'm not saying that you're wrong, but let's get the timeline straight here. He was nominated by Bush 41 in 1992. The nomination stalled in 1992, and expired in December 1992 with the adjournment of the 102d Congress. His stroke was some time the following year - so one could say that his first seizure was "soon" after his nomination, but only in the same way that one might say that his opinion in WRTL was written "soon" after he joined the court. It's by no means impluasible - but it seems a stretch to rely on a CNN piece citing uncontextualized paraphrased remarks by unnamed "friends."

Invisible Man said...

Good post Joseph. Simon seems to be willing to hold others to an evidentiary hurdle that he isn't willing to jump. The fact is that there are nasty people on both sides of the aisle who say nasty things. His anecdotal evidence isn't enough to tar liberals as some sort of morbid partisans wishing for the death of conservatives.

Also, I dated a girl in college who had these stress seizures. She had a completely dysfunctional family so severe stress was a near daily event, but I've seen seizures caused by small and large incidents. Truly used to scare the crap out of me because there was almost no way to predict when one might start. Here's hoping that Roberts recovers quickly and goes back to making my liberal life miserable.

Simon said...

Mortimer Brezny said...
"...[P]articularly after his opinion gutting Brown."

Oh for crying out loud. I don't know why you insist on repeating something you know full well to be a complete lie. That is a blatant and deliberate misrepresentation of the opinion, and common though it may be in some circles, it doesn't work on anyone who's actually read the opinions. There are those who simply disagree with what the court did, and that's fair enough. But the people who go further and say the court attacked Brown break into two categories, those who are cynically and disingenuously charging it with overruling Brown for whatever reasons they have, and and the people who don't know any better and believe the propaganda. You know better.

It's not going to work. You can kick and scream and holler all you like, but the opinions are there for anyone to read. And anyone who reads them will see through the lie. Give it up. Criticize the decision, say it was wrongly-decided, explain what you'd have done instead, all fair game - but this Orwellian inversion that lauds a dissent that really does stand contrary to Brown and in the same breath castigating two opinions that are squarely within Brown and its progeny is absolutley absurd, and untenable. Go peddle it at Daily Kos or wherever, but when you come and post here, have the courtesy to assume people have read the opinions. Ga-LAX-y!

Simon said...

Well, Yachira seems to be trying to argue that the sun doesn't rise in the east, by implication that there aren't even one or two examples of conservatives saying horrendous things about liberals. That's plainly an untenable position, and it isn't one I've advanced. Despite what Invisible Man implies, I've not been arguing that "there are[n't] nasty people on both sides of the aisle who say nasty things." I agree with you that there are such comments out there, but if you look at the threads at FireDogLake, for example, or Crooks & Liars, the overwhelming tenor of the comments in those threads is not just disagreement but hostility. with but a few honorable exceptions, the best anyone could do was painfull qualified stuff - "hopefully he gets better and this experience makes him more liberal." Such touching concern with the man's health! By contrast, when Johnson had his health problems, I don't remember RedState havig to warn its commenters to play nice - it just doesn't occur to normal people to think "I hope he comes through this, as long as the experience makes him jump sides!"

FWIW, I condemned Ann Coulter's joke about Stevens. Joke or not, I didn't think that was appropriate.

What would it prove? The leftosphere ≠ all liberals, but I think it would just reaffirm what we already know: that the leftosphere personalizes and brutalizes politics in a way that is alien to civilized persons. They can't stop with "I disagree with X about Y." For them, it has to be that X is evil, stupid, drunk, a liar, involved in dark conspiracies and so forth. When Dick Cheney had a hunting accident, I remember a lot of comments about all of a sudden they want Justice Scalia to go hunting with Cheney again. Indeed, in a newspaper piece I remember discussing how long flags ought to be lowered for Gerald Ford, the author detoured and said that flags should be lowered for x weeks when dies a member of the Supreme Court, adding " - this means you, Scalia." Nastiness, hatred, and unacceptable rhetoric exists on the right. But it is pandemic in the leftosphere, infecting and seeping into every interaction they have with anyone who doesn't agree with them on absolutely everything - as the legions of ADS victims testify.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Well, I understand what you're saying but I must respectfully disagree with your take, Simon. I am not up for investigating and compiling a list of nastiness from the right because that's contrary to my main point, so I'll just leave it at that.

Revenant said...

Since I fear you'll respond that there aren't counterexamples if I don't post some, here are a few examples of your counterparts on the left exposing the ugliness in conservative blog commentary (here, here).

The second link collects anti-Muslim sentiment from LGF. Muslims aren't lefties and lefties aren't Muslims, so that's not a very good example of right-wing blogs cheering the death of lefties.

The first link simply cites a person who responded to the question "If Hillary wins, will you be respectful of her?" by saying "If she wins which hopefully she won't. My guns are loaded for the revolt, are yours?".

The leftie site Dowdified this into "If Hillary wins... my guns are loaded", but it is obvious that the actual quote isn't a threat against Clinton.

amba said...

Why, exactly, does the left hate John Roberts? I don't get it.

It's indiscriminate. They would have hated anyone appointed by Bush and suspected (by them) of being appointed because of a predisposition to overturn Roe v Wade.