March 29, 2012


Today, at TPM:

This court would not only have to stretch, it would have to abandon and completely overrule a lot of modern precedent, which would do grave damage to this court, in its credibility and power,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D), a former attorney general of Connecticut. “The court commands no armies, it has no money; it depends for its power on its credibility. The only reason people obey it is because it has that credibility. And the court risks grave damage if it strikes down a statute of this magnitude and importance, and stretches so dramatically and drastically to do it.”

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said the law has been thoroughly vetted.

“As a senior member of the Finance Committee,” he said, “I can tell you that we had one of the most rigorous and transparent legislative processes that I have witnessed in almost 3 decades here in the Congress. We worked with some of the brightest, most thoughtful and experienced constitutional lawyers in order to make sure that the law was constitutional.”

And me, yesterday, in anticipation of such a rhetorical ploy to prepare the political battlefield:

See? There’s that far-right extremist conservatism again, insisting that laws must be followed to the letter, and not simply be ignored to accommodate the spirit of “social justice”.

They fetishize a document, and yet they care not for  26-year-old children forced (by choice) to live without health insurance! It’s an abomination. And I think it is the kind of decision, should this be the Court’s final ruling, that, like Citizens United before it, suggests that the Court can no longer be trusted to act compassionately, and can therefore be ignored.

For the greater good.

After all: the ruling is just words. And the only power they have, really, resides in our willingness to accept them and/or enforce them. But who says we have to do that…?

My emphases.  Compare and contrast.

(thanks to geoffb)


Posted by Jeff G. @ 2:15pm

Comments (29)

  1. Fundamental Unseriousness has been around for a long time, it seems.

    Here’s what Joseph Story wrote on the Preamble in his 1833 Commentaries On The Constitution:

    The importance of examining the preamble, for the purpose of expounding the language of a statute, has long been felt, and universally conceded in all juridical discussions. It is an admitted maxim in the ordinary course of the administration of justice, that the preamble of a statute is a key to open the mind of the makers, as to the mischiefs, which are to be remedied, and the objects, which are to be accomplished by the provisions of the statute…. There does not seem any reason, why, in a fundamental law or constitution of government, an equal attention should not be given to the intention [emph. add.] of the framers, as stated in the preamble. And accordingly we find, that it has been constantly referred to by statesmen and jurists to aid them in the exposition of its provisions.

    Must be why it’s so unserious.

  2. It’s like over 100 years old and stuff.

    Be serious.

  3. Seriousness begins when the New Critics realized

    Authors! We don’ need no steenkin’ authors!

  4. Columnists often fall into familiar patterns. For E.J. Dionne Jr., one of those patterns goes like this: if conservatives don’t act like liberals they’re not really conservatives. The latest example of this writing tic can be found in E.J.’s column today, in which he argues that the conservative Justices on the Supreme Court should – if they’re really and truly conservative – find an unconstitutional law to be constitutional.
    But the most revealing thing about Dionne’s column is its tone: snide, angry, and condescending toward the conservatives on the Court. It is evidence that he and other progressives are beginning to lash out as they see Barack Obama’s health care law – an unworkable, unconstitutional monstrosity they were convinced was a permanent part of the American political landscape – slip through their fingers. If that in fact occurs – and I’ll believe it when I see it – then prepare for a level of rage from the left that we haven’t seen since the worst days of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

    The progressive-left is getting all its pieces arranged on the board and fired up for the summer. Summer 2012 will not be the “Summer of Love” it’s being shaped to be the “Summer of Hate”. “Armies” and “money” indeed.

  5. The court commands no armies, it has no money

  6. You know who commands armies and has tons of money? Obama, that’s who. It’s crazy talk to say that isn’t the final authority.

  7. Maybe the Mayans did get the inside scoop on 2012.

  8. Scalia replied coolly: “Well, don’t obligate yourself to that.” Does this mean letting Butler’s uninsured guy die?

    Well, does it, E.J.? So long as the Catholic Church, or any number of other private charitable organizations hears about the man’s plight, we believe it certainly does not mean letting Butler’s uninsured guy die. If on the other hand, government takes so much of the citizen’s income or wealth that the citizen has no means whereby to fund the charitable organizations the citizen would like to fund and which can charitably serve the interests of Butler’s uninsured guy, it may very well mean letting Butler’s guy die at the hands of neglectful, wasteful government “care”. But by all means, scumbag, go ahead insinuating Justice Scalia simply intends for the poor man to die.

  9. If Horseface Kerry and Blumenthal vouch for the constitutionality, why even bother with the Supreme Court?!

  10. Joseph Stalin: “How Many Divisions Does the Pope Have?”

    Dick Blumenthal: “The court commands no armies….”

    Tar, feathers, rail..apply with gusto.

  11. So does this mean when the EPA and the other alphabet agencies start regulating us to death, we can just say, “Well, that doesn”t look Constitutional to us, so we won’t comply.” Oh wait, the EPA and the rest of the alphabets DO have armies. Or at least SWAT teams…

  12. I’d say “credibility” is at the base of the power of the President and Congress too. Without it will any army follow orders? Will money be sent in in taxes to be spent?

    Telling the SCOTUS to “F” off only when you disagree with them does not seem to be a credibility building exercise for either Congress or especially the President.

  13. geoffb, it depends on the audience. Ignoring SCOTUS and Congress by the Executive is just fine according to all the fascists that currently populate the Democrat party.

  14. So the OFA is the “army” spoken of?

  15. The hot air gets turned up on “Tony” Scalia.

  16. “As a senior member of the Finance Committee,” he said, “I can tell you that we had one of the most rigorous and transparent legislative processes that I have witnessed in almost 3 decades here in the Congress.

    Look! A lying motherfucker!

  17. Blumenthal’s statement is a bit disturbing.

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  19. The progressives are only interested in the SC as far as it can keep the rest of us in line. Otherwise, meh.

  20. Oh wait, the EPA and the rest of the alphabets DO have armies. Or at least SWAT teams…

    When people have to choose between facing the EPA’s “elite crisis response team” or watching their children shiver in the dark…

  21. Something just occurred to me — isn’t Blumenthal essentially declaring rebellion?

  22. Nice Court You Have There, It Would Be A Shame If Something Happened To It

  23. Blumenthal’s statement is a bit disturbing.

    Indeed. And he is a former Attorney General. I think whenever his name pops up, it’s worth reminding people about what should have disgraced him if he had any shame at all:

    “But what is striking about Mr. Blumenthal’s record is the contrast between the many steps he took that allowed him to avoid Vietnam, and the misleading way he often speaks about that period of his life now, especially when he is speaking at veterans’ ceremonies or other patriotic events.

    Sometimes his remarks have been plainly untrue, as in his speech to the group in Norwalk. At other times, he has used more ambiguous language, but the impression left on audiences can be similar.”

  24. ““I can tell you that we had one of the most rigorous and transparent legislative processes that I have witnessed in almost 3 decades here in the Congress.”

    John “The Hat” Kerry

    It may have been transparent when y’all had it in your offices, but when you were done, Ms. Pelosi wrapped it in five layers of roofing felt, dipped it in tar, and told us we couldn’t peek until we passed it.

    So, no, what we got was far from transparent.

  25. I’ve been trying to remember Blumenthal making a spectacular ass of himself over something, and it just hit me. Beck demolished him a while back.

  26. If people like Kerry, Blumenthal and Dionne were five-year olds, they would be threatening to hold their breath until they turn blue if they don’t get what they want.

    By the way, is cyanosis covered under IPAB?

  27. Ms. Pelosi wrapped it in five layers of roofing felt, dipped it in tar

    We should have done that to Pelosi herself.

  28. Well if Vietnam Veteran, John Kerry, says its constitutional, then by God, its probably constitutional. That being said, I’m waiting for Al Gore to weigh in.

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