The Spectacle Blog

A Ridiculous Majority Opinion…

By on 1.17.06 | 1:12PM

...calls for a ridiculous pun in the dissent. Scalia writes (pdf):

Since the Regulation does not run afowl (so to speak) of the Court's newly invented prohibition of "parroting"; and since the Directive represents the agency's own interpretation of that concededly valid regulation; the only question remaining is whether that interpretation is "plainly erroneous or inconsistent with the regulation"; otherwise, it is "controlling."

Get it? Afowl, parroting? Get it?

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Re: Federalism

By on 1.17.06 | 12:38PM

John, You criticize the liberals on the Court of inconsistency, if I read your comments below correctly. I agree that regarding home-grown marijuana as interstate commerce in Raich was quite a stretch. But do you also think that regulating a licit drug's "legitimate medical purpose" is outside the commerce clause?

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Federalism, But Only When We Feel Like It

By on 1.17.06 | 12:03PM

Surely, assisted suicide is a state issue: The federal government doesn't belong in the middle of a state-regulated doctor-patient relationship. Except the Court ruled in Gonzales v. Raich, the medical marijuana case, that the feds do indeed belong right there. I've only read summaries of the opinions so far, but it sounds like Thomas is spot on: Kennedy pretends to make a statutory ruling based on the Controlled Substances Act, but in fact makes a constitutional ruling at odds with Raich. (Thomas correctly dissented in Raich; Kennedy joined the majority.) O'Connor, at least, is a consistent federalist (whether or not the justification makes sense), but she's leaving the Court. Kennedy and the liberals are willing to check federal power when they feel like it, but only so long as they retain the veto and don't actually establish a general principle. The hubris is breathtaking.

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Supreme Swinger

By on 1.17.06 | 10:40AM

In our culture of death, much will be written about the Supreme Court's 6-3 upholding of Oregon's assisted suicide fetish. Among other things, though, it signaled who the successor to Sandra Day O'Connor will be: none other than Anthony Kennedy, who jumped at the chance to make his presence felt as "a more influential swing voter after O'Connor's departure," as the AP put it in its initial report. Yet another reminder that the real shift in the court's balance won't come unless President Bush can make a third binding appointment.

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Roberts Comes Through

By on 1.17.06 | 9:54AM

We've seen him performing well during oral arguments, but in his first major decision, Chief Justice John Roberts joined Justices Scalia and Thomas in dissenting against the Court decision upholding the Oregon assisted suicide law. The opinions aren't posted yet, but it looks like we'll be treated to another great Scalia dissent.

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He Speaks So Well

By on 1.17.06 | 9:00AM

Hopefully Mayor Nagin won't be teaching English to the chirrun on Nawlins' (more from that CNN story linked above):

"You can't have New Orleans no other way."

"I don't care what people are saying Uptown or wherever they are. This city will be chocolate at the end of the day," Nagin said in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech. "This city will be a majority African-American city. It's the way God wants it to be."...

"How do you make chocolate? You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That is the chocolate I am talking about," he said.

"New Orleans was a chocolate city before Katrina. It is going to be a chocolate city after. How is that divisive? It is white and black working together, coming together and making something special."

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“Chocolate” NOLA Preempts Judge

By on 1.17.06 | 8:58AM

Mark Gauvreau Judge won't be joining Laura Ingraham after all today -- Ray Nagin's call for a "chocolate" New Orleans (that's a city with a black majority, apparently) is taking precedent.

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Former Chief Justice Al Gore on the NSA

By on 1.17.06 | 7:47AM

Well, until Al Gore chimed in about the NSA wiretapping story, I was convinced the President had the authority under Article II of the Constitution to conduct warrantless searches and surveillance to protect the USA against foreign threats. In fact, I was under the impression that every President since Jimmy Carter had maintained that despite FISA (signed in 1978 by said Georgia peanut farmer), the executive had the inherent and irrevocable authority to conduct such operations. No less than Bill Clinton and Al Gore's own Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick maintained that presidential authority in testimony before the Senate. And then there's the whole FISA Court of Review opinion from 2002 that affirmed the president's warrantless surveillance authority (the Supreme Court subsequently declined to hear the ACLU appeal of the matter thus settling it for the time being). But pay no mind to all that.

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Re: Sixty Days

By on 1.17.06 | 5:57AM

John: So if the recidivism rate were as high as I claim - and I think we can both dispute the numbers - you think it wouldn't make any difference whether Hulett was imprisoned for sixty days or sixty years? I give up. I'd rather imprison the guy for the max (which, in this case, would be about sixty years) and thus preventing him from committing more child rapes in that period. So what if treatment may work in some cases? The sentence provided by law should be imposed not only to punish but just as importantly to prevent the criminal from committing more crimes while he's in jail. This judge imposed a sentence that abuses the law. He should be removed and Hulett jailed for the maximum sentence.

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Re: Golden Globes

By on 1.16.06 | 11:20PM

I watched part of the first season of 24 and a couple of episodes last season. But you can't miss an episode if you want to catch every plot twist, and I guess I've never been convinced that it's worth the commitment. (Another factor: My bride-to-be is uninterested. There aren't many shows that I watch alone anymore.)

I generally find the Globes less frustrating than the Oscars, so I usually catch them. Steve Carrell's hilarious acceptance speech alone was worth my time. As far as Davis is concerned, I didn't really have a dog (figuratively speaking!) in the Best TV Actress fight, so I wasn't too upset. (I can't really comment on the Best Drama award -- I'm not a good enough person to have seen Brokeback Mountain yet.)

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