Justice Thomas appears in an exhibit that was installed Sunday, a Smithsonian spokeswoman said Monday. The display honors both of the black justices who ascended to the pinnacle of the legal profession. The other is Thurgood Marshall.
Justice Thomas’ apparent omission irked conservative observers, who suspected an ideological bias among Smithsonian officials and called for the influential jurist’s inclusion in the museum.
Ronald D. Rotunda, distinguished professor of jurisprudence at the Dale E. Fowler School of Law at Chapman University, said Justice Thomas deserves to be recognized for his contributions to constitutional jurisprudence, his record of public service and his inspirational life story.
“Like Thurgood Marshall, he has been a very influential justice, and like Thurgood Marshall, he has risen from humble beginnings,” Mr. Rotunda said. Read the rest of this entry »
Justice Scalia was referred to as a “conservative” justice, but his judicial philosophy was about ahdering to the Constitution.
Source: National Review
Brock, the former right-wing journalist-turned-pro-Clinton crusader, takes aim at a top New York Times editor in a soon-to-be released book obtained by POLITICO. In the book, titled “Killing the Messenger: The Right-Wing Plot to Derail Hillary Clinton and Hijack Your Government,” Brock accuses senior politics editor and former Washington bureau chief Carolyn Ryan of helping to turn the paper into a “megaphone for conservative propaganda” by unfairly targeting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The founder of liberal watchdog groups Media Matters and Correct the Record casts Bill and Hillary Clinton, whom he tormented in the 1990s as a reporter with the American Spectator, as personal and political angels who offered him access to some of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors.
But he uses the book as a platform to attack the Times — whose editorial board endorsed Clinton over Barack Obama in 2008 — over its approach towards the Clintons from the Whitewater investigations of the 1990s to the current coverage of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
“As it concerns Clinton coverage, the Times will have a special place in hell,” he writes, claiming that interviews with current Times employees prove his case. Read the rest of this entry »
“Thomas’s discussion was clearly above George Tekei’s intellectual pay grade. He owes the quiet justice a big, fat apology.”
Wesley J. Smith writes:
…Tekei claimed falsely that Thomas wrote that slavery was somehow “dignified.” He most certainly did not.
Rather, Thomas argued that human dignity is intrinsic and equal among all human beings, and moreover, that our inherent worth can’t be taken away by government or anyone else.
”Slavery did not strip its victims of their inherent dignity. It was evil precisely because they had inherent dignity.”
So does each and every LGBT human being. Read the rest of this entry »
George F. Will writes: Conservatives are dismayed about the Supreme Court’s complicity in rewriting the Affordable Care Act — its ratification of the IRS’s disregard of the statute’s plain and purposeful language. But they have contributed to this outcome. Their decades of populist praise of judicial deference to the political branches has borne this sour fruit.
“Since the New Deal, courts have permitted almost any legislative infringement of economic liberty that can be said to have a rational basis. Applying this extremely permissive test, courts usually approve any purpose that a legislature asserts. Courts even concoct purposes that legislatures neglect to articulate.”
The court says the ACA’s stipulation that subsidies are to be administered by the IRS using exchanges “established by the State” should not be construed to mean what it says. Otherwise the law will not reach as far as it will if federal exchanges can administer subsidies in states that choose not to establish exchanges. The ACA’s legislative history, however, demonstrates that the subsidies were deliberately restricted to distribution through states’ exchanges in order to pressure the states into establishing their own exchanges.
“The Roberts Doctrine facilitates what has been for a century progressivism’s central objective, the overthrow of the Constitution’s architecture. The separation of powers impedes progressivism by preventing government from wielding uninhibited power. Such power would result if its branches behaved as partners in harness rather than as wary, balancing rivals maintaining constitutional equipoise.”
The most durable damage from Thursday’s decision is not the perpetuation of the ACA, which can be undone by what created it — legislative action. The paramount injury is the court’s embrace of a duty to ratify and even facilitate lawless discretion exercised by administrative agencies and the executive branch generally.
The court’s decision flowed from many decisions by which the judiciary has written rules that favor the government in cases of statutory construction. The decision also resulted from Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s embrace of the doctrine that courts, owing vast deference to the purposes of the political branches, are obligated to do whatever is required to make a law efficient, regardless of how the law is written. What Roberts does by way of, to be polite, creative construing (Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting, calls it “somersaults of statutory interpretation”) is legislating, not judging.
” The paramount injury is the court’s embrace of a duty to ratify and even facilitate lawless discretion exercised by administrative agencies and the executive branch generally.”
Roberts writes, almost laconically, that the ACA “contains more than a few examples of inartful drafting.” That is his artful way of treating “inartful” as a synonym for “inconvenient” or even “self-defeating.”
Rolling up the sleeves of his black robe and buckling down to the business of redrafting the ACA, Roberts invents a corollary to “Chevron deference.”
Named for a 1984 case, Chevron deference has become central to the way today’s regulatory state functions. It says that agencies charged with administering statutes are entitled to deference when they interpret ambiguous statutory language. Read the rest of this entry »
Symposium: When strict scrutiny ceased to be strict
At SCOTUSblog, Floyd Abrams writes: The result in the Williams-Yulee case was a difficult one to predict except that it was entirely predictable that the result would be by a deeply divided Court. It is no surprise that it was a five-to-four ruling, and no surprise at all that the jurists on both sides appear to have been irritated and frustrated by the views of those on the Court with whom they differed. The same had been true in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White (2002), the Supreme Court’s last trek into the muddy constitutional waters that required an assessment of First Amendment issues in the context of judicial elections. That case was not only decided by a five-to-four vote, but one of the five Justices — Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — repeatedly announced after her retirement that she regretted her vote.
“Critics of Citizens United can take no solace from yesterday’s decision, since it is rooted in all respects in the difference between judicial elections and all others. If anything, the more the Court focuses on the special and distinct role of judges as opposed to other elected officials, the more firmly it reinforces its earlier ruling as to the latter.”
The unavoidable problem in the case stems from the reality that if judges are to be elected, they must be allowed to campaign for election. Yet, what they say in their campaigns about what they will do as judges may lead people to doubt their open-mindedness as judges.
[Also see – Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar: A Disappointing End by Jonathan Keim]
And when they personally raise money, at least from lawyers and potential litigants before them, it may well lead to the perception of indebtedness on their part to their contributors.
“One need not adopt wholesale Justice Scalia’s final thrust at the majority in the case to admire its beauty: ‘The First Amendment is not abridged for the benefit of the Brotherhood of the Robe.’”
The Florida Code of Judicial Conduct sought to strike a compromise, barring judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign funds, while allowing their campaign committees to solicit funds for them and allowing the candidates to write thank-you notes to contributors. On its face, it was a perfectly reasonable, good faith effort to walk a difficult line. The First Amendment, however, is more demanding than that.
The problem with the ruling begins with an ostensible First Amendment victory. Seven of the nine members of the Court (all but Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer) concluded that strict scrutiny should apply, a usual predicate for striking one sort or another of government limitation on speech. Read the rest of this entry »
Resenting the Republic
You wouldn’t think, five years into the Obama presidency, that so many liberal Americans wouldn’t like America.
A new Pew survey found that 44 percent of Americans don’t often feel pride in being an American, and only 28 percent said that America is the greatest country in the world. Respondents who “often feel proud to be American” were overwhelmingly conservative (from 72 percent to 81 percent, depending on the kind of conservative). A majority (60 percent) of “solid liberals” said they don’t often feel proud to be an American.
“To listen to some of the hysterical responses to the court’s decision, you’d think the government in Washington is the only thing thwarting the desire of millions of businessmen to drape their female employees in burqas.”
The polling data only prove what has been obvious for a while.
Georgia representative John Lewis recently said that “if the Civil Rights Act was before the Congress today, it would not pass, it would probably never make it to the floor for a vote.”
Lewis is right. If it came before the Congress today, it wouldn’t pass. You know why? Because we passed it 50 years ago. The GI Bill wouldn’t pass today either, because that was enacted in 1944. If, somehow, we had Jim Crow today, the American people — and Congress — would vote to abolish it in a landslide.
In fairness, Lewis was primarily condemning congressional gridlock, not GOP racism.
Primarily. Read the rest of this entry »
“But without checks, democratically approved legislation can oppress minority groups…”
— Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
WASHINGTON (AP) —Mark Sherman reports: The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Michigan’s ban on using race as a factor in college admissions despite one justice’s impassioned dissent that accused the court of wanting to wish away racial inequality.
The justices said in a 6-2 ruling that Michigan voters had the right to change their state constitution in 2006 to prohibit public colleges and universities from taking account of race in admissions decisions. The justices said that a lower federal court was wrong to set aside the change as discriminatory.
“This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it.”
— Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy
The decision bolstered similar voter-approved initiatives banning affirmative action in education in California and Washington state. A few other states have adopted laws or issued executive orders to bar race-conscious admissions policies. Read the rest of this entry »
Re: the Trayvon Martin case:
“I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American”
To which Bryant replied:
“I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” he said. “That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, we’ve progressed as a society, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.”
For those that remember early 20th Century Harlem Renaissance artist Zora Neale Huston, whose contribution to Ethnography, Anthropology, and Literature made her a rock star in her time (Zora’s popularity reemerged in the 1980s when Alice Walker reintroduced her work) not many remember that Huston’s political views were contrary.
Neale was a conservative. Unlike many of her literary peers, she rejected notions of group identity, grievance, and identity politics. Though we’re not suggesting Kobe Bryant is a conservative, Neale and Bryant both declined to speak for the “black community”, believing that we should be beyond that. Once asked to comment on a news-making achievement of a fellow African American (just because she, too, is black) her response was not unlike Bryant’s. It was identical. Huston said dismissively (though not an exact quote, this is the gist of her comment):
“When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, do you think white people jumped for joy (that one of their race made this achievement)?’
Which expresses the same common-sense rejection of racial grouping Kobe Bryant expresses here:
“Well, we’ve progressed as a society, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right?”
“I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. . . . I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature has somehow given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are all hurt about it.”
Juan Williams speaks out against the ‘staggering amount blind hatred directed at black conservatives by liberals’Posted: March 8, 2014
There’s two things I really admire about Juan Williams.
1. Though I disagree with Juan 85% of the time (his feisty support of Obamacare, his reliable defense of Team Obama’s foreign policy, and his stubborn loyalty to the Administration’s policies in general, can be exasperating to watch) to his credit, Juan Williams does not have a double standard when it comes to intolerance, and doesn’t hesitate to call it out. Unlike a lot of news talk show hosts, and guests, he doesn’t indulge in fake outrage.
2. Juan Williams has unusually good taste in neckties. Contrary to Blake Gopnik’s complaint about the sorry state of neckwear among political commentators these days, I believe Williams is the under-appreciated winner here. True, most of the time Juan’s ties are not noteworthy. But every once in a while, he’ll appear on a talk show with a necktie so unique, so well-coordinated , so exquisite, I’ll find myself thinking, “man, that’s a nice necktie”. I’ve even tweeted Juan to say so. Sure, it may seem trivial. But man with wrong opinions, but good taste in neckwear, is hard to hold a grudge against.
“There is a disgraceful double standard amongst liberals, particularly those in academia, in the hatred they direct at black conservatives.
We saw this last April when the conservative neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson was forced to step down as a Commencement Speaker for Johns Hopkins University (where he ably served as the head of pediatric neurosurgery).
Liberals on the Hopkins campus mobilized against Carson because he criticized President Obama’s health care reform law and said that he opposed gay marriage.
I am not a conservative but I have spoken out for years against the staggering amount blind hatred directed at black conservatives by liberals.
It’s become a compulsion to use the label for any political opponents—and it’s destroying our cohesiveness as a society. Is no one proud of the progress we’ve made?
“The worst I have been treated was by northern liberal elites. The absolute worst I have ever been treated… The worst things that have been done to me, the worst things that have been said about me, by northern liberal elites, not by the people of Savannah, Ga.”
From firsthand experience, I know exactly what Justice Thomas is describing…
Ron Christie writes: Are we obsessed with race and racism in our society? Before you answer the question, consider how issues of race are brought up in the media and discussed around the proverbial water cooler. Do we discuss the remarkable progress we’ve made as a country since the dark days of segregation and Jim Crow?
Do we consider how blacks lived in the South in the not too distant past—like my grandparents, who ran the risk of being lynched for looking at someone white? That’s given way to interracial marriage no longer being a taboo. The Supreme Court didn’t repeal the statute banning interracial marriage in Virginia until 1967.
Unfortunately, very little of the dialogue involving race in America today is positive, uplifting, or inspirational. Instead, there is a compulsion by many on the left to brand their political opponents as being racist. Two specific events occurred in the past week that have me firmly convinced that there is an obsession with race in America today that is destructive to our societal cohesiveness.
You and What Army? Delusional Lt. Col. Robert Bateman’s Captain Queeg Moment: Insults Supreme Court for Heller Decision; Calls for Massive Gun Bans, Turn-InsPosted: December 9, 2013
“Ah, but the strawberries! That’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt…”
NRA-ILA reports: To say the least, some of the characters who have appeared on the national scene in recent years have demonstrated some enormous egos and used some pretty ill-tempered language in their efforts to turn this nation into something we wouldn’t recognize. But Army Lt. Col. Robert Bateman is challenging them for top dishonors in that regard, with an over-the-top rant in Esquire magazine this month.You pretty much know what’s coming when a guy begins by claiming, “My entire adult life has been dedicated to the deliberate management of violence. . . . My job . . . is about killing. I orchestrate violence. . . . I am really good at my job.”
Real warriors don’t brag, of course. They let their actions speak for themselves. And real warriors support the Second Amendment and oppose gun control, as indicated by a letter signed by over 1,100 current and former Army Special Forces soldiers in January.
Bateman’s self-adulation was just the beginning, however.
He next attacked Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for “his attempt to rewrite American history and the English language” in his majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller. Bateman also extended his attack to Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas for concurring with Justice Scalia. “They flunked basic high school history,” Bateman said. Bateman added that Esquire readers could read the Heller decision for themselves, but that it really isn’t necessary, because “I can spell it out for you in ten seconds.”
At this point, we found ourselves asking to be spared additional arrogance and ignorance, but Bateman wasn’t inclined to oblige.
Bateman continued to explain his factually incorrect idea is that the Second Amendment’s reference to the well regulated militia means that no one has the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms. “As of 1903, the ‘militia’ has been known as the National Guard,” Bateman insisted.
The War on Conservative Minorities
Racist and sexist attacks on women and minorities are acceptable, if the targets are conservative.
John Fund writes: Members of both political parties use sharp elbows to rough up and discredit the opposition, but the media are supposed to call “foul” on the worst abuses. But when the media are ideologically opposed to conservatives — especially minority conservatives — the abuses sometimes get lost in the shuffle.
Take what happened last week to New Hampshire state representative Marilinda Garcia, who announced she would challenge incumbent Democratic representative Annie Kuster in a highly competitive district that has switched party control in three of the last four elections.
Democrats were clearly rattled by the 30-year-old Garcia’s entry. Democratic-party communications director Harrell Kirstein said she would inevitably be part of a “reckless race to pander to the same extreme right fringe of the Republican Party that forced the federal government shutdown.” He called her a “loyal rubber-stamp” for the “irresponsible” agenda of former GOP house speaker Bill O’Brien.
Tough but in bounds.
But then prominent Democratic state representative Peter Sullivan, a self-described leader of the legislature’s “progressive” bloc, entered the picture. Using his Twitter account, he compared her unfavorably to O’Brien and conservative state representative Al Baldasaro this way:
She’s Al Baldassaro [Sullivan misspelled his name] in stiletto heels, a lightweight and O’Brien clone.
Bill O’Brien + Kim Kardashian = Marilinda Garcia
She is a right-wing, homophobic, anti-worker shill for the Koch Brothers.
Sullivan’s sexist comments drew fire from some blogs. Twitchy.com noted that describing Garcia as a male lawmaker in “in stiletto heels” suggests she’s merely masquerading as a woman and that Sullivan, with the Kardashian comparison, was “not-so-subtly tying Garcia to a woman who rose to fame as the star of a sex tape.” GOP state representative Jane Cormier said her Democratic colleague “owed all women an apology for bringing sexist and demonizing remarks into the political process here in NH.”
Garcia has a “pretty significant political résumé,” Cormier pointed out. She was elected for the first time in 2006 and currently serves on the House Finance Committee. Previously, she served as co-chair of a House caucus and as a majority whip. In 2010, she received a master’s of public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. As an accomplished harp player, she is an adjunct professor of music at several universities.
Wes Vernon writes: Taken page by page, this book is a fun read. Taken as a whole, it remains entertaining but acquires a deeper meaning. One must add up all “50 Things Liberals Love to Hate” to appreciate fully the huge canyons that have divided us into two nations in terms of worldview.
It is now common-sense Americans (of whatever ethnic, racial or religious background) versus a segment of the population that has bought into a strain of thought that constitutes an intellectual “foreign object” in our midst.
The latter is a disruption to — and arguably, an attempted destruction of — the free exceptional nation we have come to know and love and for which our Founding Fathers sacrificed that we may enjoy prosperity and happiness as rewards for hard work and initiative.
Author Mike Gallagher is a radio talk-show host whose daily routine is such that he can’t avoid stumbling over other-planet ideas promoted by those who, with a straight face, imply, “Doesn’t everybody think so?” If they get the wrong answer to that question, their follow-up will include such epithets as “racist,” “bigot,” “homophobe,” and “Islamophobe,” to cite some of the milder insults.
Mr. Gallagher obviously had fun putting all these leftist pet peeves between two covers. The book is filled with howlers that are at once amusing and threatening.
Take, for example, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, two parts of one of the “50 Things,” and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) acolytes who go to court to force each of those two groups to admit members of the opposite sex into their ranks.
The people pushing that idea are not ignorant of the most basic facts of life and human nature. Most (though not all) know that boys and girls are wired differently. Liberals know it all too well. That’s what they intend to change.
Ann Althouse writes: Discussed previously here, linking to an Above the Law item that is now titled “Justice Clarence Thomas Speaks!” but was previously titled “Justice Clarence Thomas Speaks — And Oh What A Speech!”
I’m going to guess that the “And Oh What A Speech!” part got dropped not because ATL wanted to back away from expressing enthusiasm but because it’s not a speech. It’s an interview. And part of what’s good about it is that the interviewer 7th Circuit Judge Diane S. Sykes is excellent. Read the rest of this entry »