Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Warch how Chuck Todd and his First Read crew at NBC News distribute blame for Supreme Court partisanship (emphasis added):

Yesterday's oral arguments at the Supreme Court raised the distinct possibility that the individual mandate -- and perhaps the entire health-care law -- could be decided by another controversial 5-4 decision. Such an outcome, especially after other 5-4 decisions like Bush vs. Gore and Citizens United, would have two potential consequences. One, it would feed the perception that the U.S. Supreme Court is as partisan as Congress and increasing parts of the media; in other words, these nine justices (either trained at liberal law schools or members of the conservative Federalist Society) are essentially political actors wearing black robes....

Oh, I see -- despite the fact that this is a Court on which nothing significant and left-leaning can possibly survive by more than a 5-4 vote, any non-right-leaning vote inevitably appears to be the result of a liberal plot. Never mind the fact that the conventional wisdom before yesterday was that the law was obviously constitutional, based on precedent that people on the right as well as the left had acknowledged. Never mind the fact that Reagan solicitor general Charles Fried and veteran Republican hack Laurence Silberman have endorsed the health care law, Silberman from the bench -- a vote to uphold will seem to be an act of naked partisanship, according to Todd and his crew, because these conspirators were all "trained at liberal law schools." (Love the sinister, McCarthyite sound of that word "trained," by the way.)

The groundwork is being laid, incidentally, for the discrediting of any decision that emerges from a Supreme Court with an Obama second-term appointee who tips the Court's ideological balance. It won't matter that we've been living for decades with a Supreme Court that has had most of its judges appointed by Republican presidents; if, in a few years, that's no longer the case, any close decisions won't really deserve to count, as far as people like Todd are concerned.

Oh, and then there's this:

And two and most importantly, a 5-4 decision would satisfy no one. If the court strikes down the mandate and the health-care law by that narrow margin, liberals and Democrats would blame it on the conservative justices. If the mandate and law are upheld by a 5-4 decision, conservatives would point their fingers at the liberals and the unpredictable "mushy" swing justice, Anthony Kennedy. That's the problem with a split decision: The losers would feel like they lost on a political technicality, not because there was a legal consensus.

You know what? A 5-4 decision the right's way will absolutely satisfy right-wingers -- they were pretty well satisfied when their presidential candidate lost the popular vote by half a million and won Florida through skulduggery, intimidation, voter caging, ballot ineptitude, and, ultimately, a partisan Supreme Court decision, so why would they be dissatisfied with this? And, really, I can't blame them -- I'd take a 5-4 call Obama's way. I'm envious of the right, however -- the right's media will proclaim that a 5-4 ruling is a historic victory over tyranny, while, if there's a 5-4 ruling our way, the "liberal media" will respond with the likes of ... this.

1 comment:

Roger said...

Someone should explain to Chuckles the meaning of the term "either":

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. - Harvard (J.D.)
Justice Antonin Scalia - Harvard (L.L.B)
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy - Harvard (L.L.B)
Justice Clarence Thomas - Yale (J.D.)
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Columbia (L.L.B)
Justice Stephen G. Breyer - Harvard (L.L.B)
Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. - Yale (J.D.)
Justice Sonia Sotomayor - Yale (J.D.)
Justice Elena Kagan - Harvard (J.D.)