July 1, 2014

Morning Hobby Lobby blogging dilemma.

I've read the 27,000+ words of the Hobby Lobby case — all of the opinions. I read the whole thing out loud to Meade yesterday as we drove 500 miles. And it took all 500 miles, with pauses to talk about the details and to debate the issues. Has anyone spent as much time with this text as I have? (Other than lucky/poor Meade?) I have the notes I took as we drove so I'd remember specific points I want to develop in blog posts. I was totally immersed in my engagement with this text, which includes the analysis of many cases — like Lee and Braunfeld — that I know very well, having taught Religion and the Constitution for more than a decade.

When we arrived at our destination, one of the first things I saw was a TV tuned to MSNBC and a news head was interviewing the president of NARAL who was delivering talking points that, every few seconds, misstated what was in the case. I glance around the internet in my usual way and see the chatter about the case and get the nagging feeling that everyone on the internet is getting things wrong and it's my job to get busy chiding them for this and that or making sport of their stupidity and deviousness. Why these folks have a political agenda! Don't you need me to entertain and enlighten you by selecting some egregious examples of what you very well know they must be doing? War on Women! The warriors are out in force, determined to strike first and leave a mark, a mark that's unlikely to fade, because the marked ones — the masses of American electorate — are never going to do what I, the law professor, would like them to do to erase that mark: Read those 27,000+ words.

What should Althouse do?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

About that car ride?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

ADDED: I'm preserving the poll results:



58 comments:

Titus said...

Where you driving to Mary?

Bob Boyd said...

First do some thing really nice for Meade. Apparently he truly is "formidable".

Lance said...

Limbaugh or Hewitt should invite you to provide legal commentary one their broadcasts.

Bob Ellison said...

I like the introspection in this post. You cut inadvisedly with the grain by pointing out your credentials and then wondering how you can be Super Law Professor.

It's a universal problem. The car guy wishes people would just pay attention to the lights on the dash; the computer guy wishes people would know a hardware problem from a software one.

You can't fix the world. Just keep doing what you're doing.

chickelit said...

Grasp the dilemma by the bases of both horns and impale away with the tips.

Meade said...

"What should Althouse do?"

It's a beautiful day. Go hiking with Meade.

Matthew Sablan said...

I said this in another thread, but it makes more sense here.

I haven't spent nearly as much time with the decision, but I get the feeling, the activist left has a Twitter-deep understanding. They see it as a prelude to a Herland-esque dystopia instead of a very limited case.

The thing is, if they were honest, they might actual persuade me that the decision was wrong. But, the problem is when they're screeching that this decision will now let me fire gay people because, religion, and how God-lovers will ruin us all, it throws up an impediment to an honest discussion.

The left's loudest, most praised advocates are often the left's worst. They are ill informed, and they spread the ignorance around in ways yellow journalists never dreamed possible.

MadisonMan said...

I find myself looking at my facebook feed and seeing so many old friends/acquaintances getting the facts wrong too.

I did think that this article neatly summarized things.

There's not a lot to do when people get in high umbrage mode. I like to think that cooler heads will prevail. We'll see.

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

The older I get, the more I think most people consume news not to see what's going on in the world, but to unconsciously torture the information into support for views they already hold so as to bludgeon enemies into submission and get a dopamine hit from the self-righteousness.

"Cruel neutrality" now, more than ever!

rehajm said...

I see summer session syllabus!

Rae said...

I voted for interspersed, but I really do want to hear your legal analysis. I get that the usual suspects are out in force, I saw it on my twitter feed all day yesterday. Some of the hysterics were, well hysterical.

JRoberts said...

I have to agree with Meade's initial comment. Step away from the computer and get some distance from the topic for a while.

When you decide to take on the topic again, you could provide a great service by providing some concise commentary on the specific areas of misunderstanding / misrepresentation - almost like Fact Checker. If the claim is a total lie, give the claim "Five Garages"

Renee said...

I chose the first option. Law can not be widdled down to a digestible bit presented as an internet meme.

But that is how the American public operates.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

So how did Meade do on the test?

James Pawlak said...

Put a warm washcloth over his eyes and a cold one on his forehead.

Anonymous said...

Terrible Reading Comprehension Guy says:

Althouse has surely missed the point on this one. By stating "it took all 500 miles" she is insisting that the only way to comprehend the ruling is to travel great distances. Surely our forefathers did not envision a car as a necessary utility to understand a law -- I wonder if Althouse even knows that they did not have cars back then.

ddh said...

The progressives are enjoying feeling oppressed because that feeling proves they are virtuous and heroic.

That said, Meade sounds like a terrific guy, and you're lucky to have him.

Ralph Hyatt said...

"I haven't spent nearly as much time with the decision, but I get the feeling, the activist left has a Twitter-deep understanding. They see it as a prelude to a Herland-esque dystopia instead of a very limited case."

Yep, its the next step towards a dominionist theological dictatorship that will make "The Handmaid's Tale" look utopian.

Cause if there is one thing the 20,000 sects of Christianity (that is what I like to call a made-up fact) agree on is that we need to establish a Christian dictatorship. Even the Episcopals are on board.

KLDAVIS said...

It's only when the media tries to talk about something you truly understand that you can really comprehend how full of shit they must be the rest of the time.

rhhardin said...

Those are only the opinions of the ones deciding it.

Everything will change when one of them dies.

David said...

I have to admit that, for some reason, the misstatements and mistakes about the question in HL are annoying me more than the average misstatements and mistakes about SCOTUS decisions.

TCR James said...

I'd be interested in hearing how & whether this fit the Althouse tea leaves, and why. Having spent ~10 years periodically visiting the religion & constitution saltmines myself, albeit as a practitioner rather than a deep thinker, I didn't see how this case could turn out any other way, not without substantially undermining the Court's other (startlingly protective-of-religious-practice) RFRA / RLUIPA cases. The only thing I failed to foresee is how narrowly cabined the case is, probably because I don't give Justice Roberts enough credit for leading the court toward an old-school, careful judicial modesty.

madAsHell said...

You're are going to pushing back against Sandra Fluke, Nancy Pelosi and Lena Dunham.

Have you thought about tying one hand behind your back??

MadisonMan said...

and a cold one on his forehead.

Better yet, a cold one in his hand.

Mark said...

It's summer, after a winter of polar vortices.

Get outside. Turn off, tune out, drop out. Grab the camera and he hiking boots and leave technology in the car.

The outrage machine will be cranking along just fine until you return.

Bob Boyd said...

MSNBC mission statement: Put on smart glasses and organize a wankfest.

B said...

I prefer to read SCOTUSblog's retweets instead of turning on MSNBC or Fox.

Sam L. said...

Meade: Mayhap he mostly zoned out, focusing intently on his driving. I used to work with a woman who talked to herself, hummed, sang poorly and off-key, pretty much continuously...and I think I'm still sane. (My wife mostly agrees.)

Matthew Sablan said...

... Hah. I mixed up Herland with Hand Maiden's Tale.

DKWalser said...

If I could have, in your second poll I would have voted for options 1 and 2. I would have loved to have had the chance to have such an in depth discussion. Still, it would have required a lot of patience on the part of BOTH parties to endure such a debate without feelings being hurt and egos bruised.

mccullough said...

So Meade drove the whole 500 miles?

Will said...

I would not know how to properly dissect the Opinions, even if I read them all.

Teach us how to fish Professor!!!

I would pay $ to learn

CWJ said...

I'm commenting only to encourage Matthew Sablan to keep on commenting, and encourage Althouse to keep on blogging.

Althouse, you have often said that you blog what interests you. Surely, one option interests you more than the others. Follow that one.

Tank said...

KLDAVIS said...

It's only when the media tries to talk about something you truly understand that you can really comprehend how full of shit they must be the rest of the time.


Really ! On several occasions, cases I'm handling have been written about in the local press. Their coverage was always wrong in important ways which could only mislead the reader.

Robert Rogers said...

I'm voting on Meade on the "What should Althouse do?" question.

I'm hoping that Hobby Lobby was yesterday's second most important decision. Like the various flag burning type of decisions it actually affect a very small number of people in a very minor way. On the other hand, if the conservatives on the court are ready to deal a death blow to mandatory contributions to public employee unions, that would be huge.

Saint Croix said...

I want to give a shout out to the Chief, Dread Pirate Roberts. I like him. I like his opinion in the Obamacare case. That was a sound legal ruling.

I know he's got to be embarrassed by these 5-4 splits along partisan lines. They are embarrassing. They're awful. It's a joke. And all 9 Supreme Court Justices are responsible for it. You can't blame the Republicans for always voting Republican when the Democrats are always voting Democrat.

Embarrassing! If you really were a textualist, Scalia, you would break up this logjam by saying a corporation is not a person. And a baby is one! That's an obvious interpretation of an obvious word. But Scalia is a faint-hearted textualist.

Aside from the humiliating aspect of 9 unelected people acting like partisan hacks, the worst part of this 5-4 logjam is that it's given Anthony Kennedy all this power. The man has no jurisprudence, so he's just dictating his RINO philosophy to the world.

Roberts opinion in the Obamacare case blew up the 5-4 logjam and was a sucker punch aimed at Kennedy. And now Roberts assigns two big cases to Alito? Awesome. What that says to me is that Roberts is saying to Kennedy, "Go ahead and bolt, amigo. I hate this 5-4 joke that you've turned the Supreme Court into."

I wish Obama would have put Akhil Amar on the Court. That would have been amazing. Or a liberal who believes passionately in free speech and the First Amendment. Ann Althouse on this Court would shake things up, right? This constant 5-4 along partisan lines is very, very embarrassing, and all 9 of them are to blame.

FDR put Hugo Black and Felix Frankfurter on the Court, and it was amazing. That's a jurisprudential battle! This modern court is crap. Too many legal mediocrities, voting along partisan lines. New blood, please. Pick an attorney at random. Anything.

Larry J said...

About that car ride?

Althouse should count herself lucky that Meade didn't deliverately drive off a cliff or into a bridge abutment to end it all.

Drago said...

David said...
I have to admit that, for some reason, the misstatements and mistakes about the question in HL are annoying me more than the average misstatements and mistakes about SCOTUS decisions.

These are not average misstatements and mistakes about the SCOTUS decision.

This is simply a continuation of the lefts purposeful mischaracterization of what is being said, decided upon and outcomes.

This is the Media-Matters-ization of the entire liberal/left block of purposeful "misunderstandings" in order to advance their narratives.

With the left, the truth must be destroyed and/or buried in order for the leftists to carry the day.

The examples are endless and continue to pile up today before our very eyes.

"Land, Peace and Bread!"

ken in sc said...

SC decisions are like Presidential speeches. It doesn't matter what they actually say. What matters is what the media says they say.

sean said...

Someone is wrong on the internet! Hopefully Meade will tell Prof. Althouse to relax and come to bed.

SMGalbraith said...

It's not about the facts or the law; it's about the symbolism of the ruling.

For the left, this is a "symbol" of the second class standing of women in America.

Facts and logic cannot penetrate emotion.

traditionalguy said...

MSNBC's narrative: 5 old guys are staking out young women on anthills with their bodies smeared with honey instead of just giving them their "birthrights" of free abortion pills and copper IUDs, and giggling as they watch them suffer while cheering on the hoards of campus rape guys.

Funny thing was the story was also presented by FOX TV talkers as women being denied birth control.

Only the new lady on FOX who has been a lawyer understood the real story...Meagan Kelley.

Kevin said...

Gosh you must be very resistant to car sickness to read that long, even on an interstate. I'd not make 1 of those miles reading without feeling sick, or 5 without throwing up.

Titus said...

where r u Helen?

Clayton Hennesey said...

Having only seen pictures of Meade gardening and walking dogs, I'm not sure I'm clear on what his role is in all of this. Was this a Driving Miss Daisy scenario?

Freeman Hunt said...

I look forward to the rhetorical eviscerating, filleting, slicing, dicing, flaming, and serving upon a platter of the bad arguments of the day. I am mentally setting the table and readying my knife and fork for the delectation.

Deirdre Mundy said...

My husband and I would happily spend 7 hours in a car discussing law with Althouse. That would be a great way to make the hours fly by!

richard mcenroe said...

OK, first, you know he didn't roll that window down, right? He just bashed it out banging his head on it. *g*

Second, a Cliff's Note's-style reduction of the rulings would be a valuable resource for many people. I'd certainly buy one.

And if you think Meade had it bad, think of the poor bastard who TWEETED the entire Obamacare act.

Sigivald said...

interviewing the president of NARAL who was delivering talking points that, every few seconds, misstated what was in the case

Yesterday I was seeing NARAL "infographics" on Facebook claiming that The Pill was "banned" while Viagra was "covered".

(They didn't mention The Pill by name, but they showed a monthly daily-planner, which applies to The Pill and not to the Morning-After contraception or IUDs in the decision. Viagra was identifiable by its name being on the package shown.)

Even assuming (I haven't checked) that Viagra is mandated to be covered, the fact that NARAL either

1) Really thinks The Pill was in issue or

2) Doesn't care and uses it anyway

reaffirms my relegation of them to the "Pure Propaganda Mill" basket and gleeful blocking.

(The funny thing being, of course, that while I can't stand NARAL's tactics or overall politics, I'm quite happy with abortion being legal.

But, well, when you can't stand using the mere facts to support your "side", and have to lie to people? You automatically lose.

If they'd argued for the things that were in question being allowed? That'd be honest and good.

If they'd argued that to be fair Viagra shouldn't be mandated [presumably as part of "sexual function" coverage]? That's be honest, too.

Their actual meme was dishonest.)

Hagar said...

Whatever Meade has done wrong in his life; he did not deserve that!

damikesc said...

I wonder how much law Meade has picked up over the year. People pay a shit ton of money for the same education he gets for free, wanted or otherwise. I wonder if he could possibly pass the bar after years of talking and living with the prof here.

C R Krieger said...

Is Meade getting course credits?

Regards  —  Cliff

C R Krieger said...

Is Meade getting course credits?

Regards  —  Cliff

David said...

Go easy on them, Althouse. Probably some of them are just lazy and stupid.

Original Mike said...

For one who disdains travel, you sure do a lot of it.

southcentralpa said...

for the first poll, my vote would definitely have been "Luxuriously indulge herself in her penchant for her peculiar brand of self-righteousness." (Not nearly as insulting as it sounds)

Kirk Parker said...

Saint Croix,

I'm very late to the show here, probably you won't see this...

But:

" This modern court is crap."

I totally agree with that sentiment, but guess what? It's Dread Chief-Justice Roberts that heads up the crap-parade, most notably for the PPACA decision which is crap on steroids.

Kirk Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.