“I wouldn’t have hired Jeff Sutton,” Justice Scalia said. “For God’s sake, he went to Ohio State!"
“I wouldn’t have hired Jeff Sutton,” Justice Scalia said. “For God’s sake, he went to Ohio State!"
Antonin Scalia went to my HS, or rather I guess I went to his...good man! lol
Damn it -- now there's something I don't hate about Scalia. There'd better be only one. There can be only one.
Any judge who goes duck hunting with a defendant and says the two are above impropriety is just completely wrong.
...you know nothing about the rules of recusal at the Supreme Court.
Fill me in on how he could go duck hunting with Cheney at Dick Cheney's private reserve just before Cheney was to be the defendant in a case before the Supreme Court.
Republican response: Dollars.
...first off, Cheney wasn't a defendant before the Supreme Court. The case you're talking about is Cheney v. District Court. He was the appellant before the Supreme Court, meaning, he brought the appeal. He was the defendant in the federal District Court. Yes, there is a difference.
Second, Supreme Court justices make the decision whether to recuse themselves. They normally will do so when they own stock in a company before them, or when they took part in the decision below (for example, any case Justice Alito took part in at the 3rd Circuit before he was appointed). Scalia wrote a 21-page memorandum explaining why his decision not to recuse himself was supporting by precedent and legal authority. The rest of the court accepted his opinion and he took part.
Third, GO BLUE.
The idea is that Chaney was a named party, but was only acting in his official capacity and was not seeking any relief for himself personally. The relief sought was for the benefit of the government. If friendship warranted recusal under these circumstances, about 10 percent of cases involving the Federal Govt. would require judges to recuse themselves.
with Justice Scalia's mode of legal interpretation is that words in themselves don't mean anything - it is only through the active participation of the reader that any meaning can exist in a given group of words. for Scalila to say something "means what it says" is basically to say it means what he wants it to say.
Linguistic anthropology is a little more complicated than that. While understanding a group of words depends on the interpretation of the reader, a fair interpretation must also account for the writer's intentionality.
I think you meant the writer's intentionalisumitation, which is far more appropriate in that context.
unless you're using Scalia's strict constructionist, textual approach, under which we are not supposed to consider the writer's intent. which further underscores my original point that Scalia uses a limited and practically unworkable methodology.
....a majority of the Justices in our history were originalists.....I'd hardly say the philosophy was, or is, unworkable...
ahh the 1930s. those were the days...
wwII was gearing up. the country was in massive debt. the depression was under way. and polio was still rampant. how we miss those times.
even true? where in the text of the constitution does the supreme court's prerogative of "judicial review" even exist? in fact, it was a power more or less arrogated by the court via John Marshall in Marbury v. Madison.
Scalia's originalism is "unworkable" in the sense that any overly rigid schematic is unworkable - there are times where justice demands looking at alternative modes of decision-making, such as precedent, legislative intent and even foreign law. the weakness of such an approach is a lack of bright line rules - but if bright line rules and rigidly dogmatic systems are the only way to make decisions, we'd be better off removing the human element by a degree and writing a computer program to make all decisions.
...his philosophy isn't nearly as streamlined and hard-nosed as you say. It's rather simple. If it's prohibited by the Constitution (remember, the Constitution is written as a limitation upon government's powers), then you can't do it. But if the Constitution doesn't regulate it, then it's up to the legislature to decide, NOT judges.
Why is that rigid and ridiculous? Let me give you two examples: flag burning and medicinal marijuana. Scalia permits flag burning (it's protected by the First Amendment) and medicinal marijuana can be regulated (Necessary and Proper Clause).
The Constitution is the shortest one in the free world today and it's lasted the longest - I think we're doing a good job.
Foreign law = blah. Have you heard of the Exclusionary Rule? That if a cop violates the Constitution the evidence gained gets thrown out?
Well, we're the only country in the world that has the Exclusionary Rule. Should we give a "tip of the hat" to foreign law and get rid of it? If no, why not? The Exclusionary Rule isn't in the Constitution - it's admittedly prophylactic.
Last word - I trust 300 million Americans to vote in a Legislature to make policy decisions. That is how the Constitution was written. I trust 9 judges to determine whether the Legislature's rules are Constitutional - I don't trust them to make up the rules based on how they feel.
If he's lurking, Promote RichRod's pants are currently filled with shit, in brick form, reeking of rage.
God I was thinking the same thing, he would be ALL OVER this thread. Because he goes to law school. AT MICHIGAN. Michigan Law. School. Ann Arbor.
the exact opposite of scalia's approach
responding to Obes?
First, jg2112 is correct, and this interpretation is incorrect. Scalia's approach does in fact allow for intent, in fact, to support his opinions on the words of the constitution, he often uses other examples of the framer's writings, which shed further light on their intent.
Secondly, originalism, identified with the political right (it is not necessary to be a conservative to believe in it, some famous liberals followed it) strives in every case to determine the meaning and intent of the original words of the constitution as applied to today. Contextualism, which is a more left oriented approach to the law, argues that the the meanings of those words change over time, and that we have to "adapt" the constitutions words to today's cases.
If you don't strive to follow original meaning of the constitution's words, you then are basing decisions on what individual judges think the constitution should mean today. In other words, there is no constraint on judges other than what they think the law should mean. That's a disaster that originalism seeks to prevent.
attempting to divine the "framers' intent" is equally fraught with peril, in that they didn't share a cohesive, unified idea as to what the document they crafted actually meant. for example, consider separation of church and state under the 1st amendment. some founders, such as Jefferson and Madison, thought it meant a "wall of seperation" ought to exist between church and state. others thought it simply meant that the federal government couldn't declare an official state religion, but any state would be free to do if it desired. one could fairly argue that both views represent the "framers intent".
Too often people go crazy on this or any strong political issue. Anyway, not surprisingly, I disagree. While Jefferson did write that-later in life than when the constitution was written-I think the preponderance of evidence shows that the framers meant freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. Just one example: it would have been inconceivable at that time for anyone to publicly or privately declare they were non-believers. Moreover, the existence of a prayer at the beginning of every congressional session, the history of settlement in America, and many others.
But what I most respect about originalism is my belief that it is the most democratic form of judicial philosophy. The impact of it's decisions usually is to have the greatest number of decisions possible lie with the states and Congress, not the judiciary. We would be far better off in this country if we allowed the states to decide most issues, because that means far less social strife and far more democracy. Example; gay marriage. I'm perfectly happy to live in a country where that is decided, as it is now, state by state. I wish abortion would be addressed in the same manner. And originalism says" it's not in the constitution, so you guys decide by voting." Liberal judicial philosophy says " the constitution is about freedom for all, which means that denying a human right is wrong, and gay people deserve to have the human right of marriage." Social strife and 30 years of crap then ensue.
It's still an indirect swipe at OSU, I guess, but he didn't "bash them". He was responding to a criticism that he takes only Ivy-League Graduates as his clerks. He admitted that was valid, but then remembered one exception - Jeff Sutton. So what you omitted was the qualifying "If I only took Ivy League Grads" before that sentence.
Because, like, he DID hire Jeff Sutton. Who went to Ohio State.
Quit being pretentious -- especially if you're wrong. Read the paragraph again. Scalia DID NOT hire the guy; Powell did.
And he did bash them. To paraphrase: "This clerk's performance was impressive, despite the fact he went to Ohio State."
the article also says that the Supreme Court only takes clerks from "elite" schools, listing Harvard and Yale as the two big feeder schools for half the clerks, and Columbia, Virginia, Chicago and Stanford providing the other half. So, it is possible that he would have made the same type of comment for any law school that was not one of those 6 feeder schools (including, apparently, UofM).
But, for the record, I still think that OSU is a Neanderthal institution and that Scalia is a terrible Justice.
According to Wikipedia, Scalia has hired only one Michigan clerk in 20 years on the bench -- tied with OSU. (Sadly, Scalia has hired three ND grads, probably because ND has a reputation for producing conservative lawyers.)
Thankfully, other justices continue to hire UM law grads, about one per year overall. That's much less than Harvard or Yale, but about on par with Virginia.
As a M Law alum, I defer to no school when it comes to elitism and snootiness.
I'm firing off a letter to the NYT and demanding that they immediately correct the article to include Michigan as an elite law school!
/no I'm not
Yale Law people are fucking insufferable.
....the article is stupid. Clarence Thomas hires clerks from "non-elite" schools (there is a religious one in Virginia I believe where he's hired a few).
Tell me why Scalia is a "terrible" Justice. If "terrible" = I don't like how he rules, you need to do better than that.
If you could have dinner with Scalia or Stephen Breyer, I'd love to hear why you'd want to eat dinner with Breyer. Pour it on.
id like to hear why you think hes a good justice...other than "im a republican,and so is he"
may be more interesting to have dinner with, but that does not make him a "good" justice
...but I can tell when someone is smart and believes in what he believes in. Scalia is clear, cogent and has a clear philosophy. Whether you agree or not, that's great. Scalia is a brilliant man - 4.0 in high school, 1st in his class at Georgetown, Magna Cum Laude at Harvard. He, as well as Souter, Stevens, Brandeis, Thurgood Marshall, and Cardozo are some of the Justices I greatly admire. I could care less about their politics - I admire their writing and their expression. It would be good if the country could get over this stupid Republican v. Democrat thing - they're both just teams who play for the win and could care less what they believe in as long as it's popular. Judges, however, craft philosophies and styles and are enjoyable to learn about.
Scalia writes entertaining opinions (especially some of his dissents) and he's funny at arguments, but he still can be inconsistent and hypocritical at times, which is why I dislike some of what he writes. A lot of times "originalism" just means whatever he wants it to mean. Check out his opinion in Crawford v. Washington, he takes one arbitrary definition of "testimonial" to completely change Confrontation Clause jurisprudence.
Absolutely agree about his dissents. I've always enjoyed reading his. Well... as much as one can enjoy reading dissents. The sarcasm and wit that he uses in writing a dissent is an art form. That said, he does a good job when writing for the majority as well. His opinion in Heller was quite well written, despite the media portrayal. However, of all of the "modern" justices I enjoy reading Stevens' opinions the most.
"It would be good if the country could get over this stupid Republican v. Democrat thing - they're both just teams who play for the win and could care less what they believe in as long as it's popular."
but am still unconvinced that Scalia's strict constructionist approach is actually any different than ruling on cases based on how he feels. not to mention that Scalia's crabbed interpretation of judicial standing in environmental law cases wholly undermines the intent of congress to grant citizens the right to sue under certain environmental laws.
i agree that Scalia can be clear and cogent - at times. then again, at other times he can use tortuous logic, straining to fit decisions within the framework of his overarching philosophy. while its not good policy for judges to rule solely based on whatever whims they are following on a given day, i also think that they should consider a wider range of factors in reaching their decisions than the text of the constitution itself. after all, whether something is "prohibited by the constitution" is seldom as clear cut as Scalia's originalism would prefer. to list an obvious example, does the constitution grant a right for individuals to bear arms? the answer isn't at all clear, based on the text itself.
He could have said Jordan B. Hansell, a Michigan grad who clerked for him, but that might not have had the same effect.
Of the current and future clerks for SC justices (including the final four for Souter), Yale and Harvard lead with 23 and 18.
There's a second tier of Stanford (6) and Virginia (5). Then Georgetown has three, and Chicago, Columbia, GW and Michigan have two apiece.
The others with one 2009 or 2010 clerk are Creighton, George Mason, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame, NYU, Pepperdine, Rutgers-Camden, Seton Hall, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
Historically, over 25 percent of clerks came from Harvard (441) and 16.5 percent was Yale. Then there's a big dropoff to a second tier of Chicago (7.19%), Columbia (6.04 %), Stanford (5.75%), Virginia (4.6%), and Michigan (3.97%).
Between 1-2 percent was Berkeley, Northwestern, NYU, Penn, Texas, Georgetown. Others over 10 clerks historically were BYU, UCLA, GW, Notre Dame and Duke.
Ohio State has had three.
So if you look at the stats, it seems Scalia is correct that the top schools are and have always been feeders for clerkships in SCOTUS. Yale and Harvard are going to provide about half, with another 25 percent taken from among the next level of law schools (which includes Michigan) and then the last quarter will be from decent law schools (or, as often in the 20th century, the justice's alma mater).
So I hear that this Denard kid is pretty fast.
Someone I know who graduated from UM Law a few years ago interviewed with Scalia and got an offer to be his clerk. She decided to work for Ginsburg instead.
So he wants Michigan grads, but he doesn't always get them.
In this context, it becomes clear that his recent comments ripping on Ohio State are simply a feeble ploy to attract UM law grads.
And for the record, Scalia is a total dick. When he came to Ann Arbor to speak, the first thing he did was yell at the law school's long-time photographer in front of a packed crowd. I could give a rat's ass about his stupid gimmicky legal philosophy and whether it's correct.
quite the opposite is true.
Originalism a/k/a/ "intentionalism" is quite predictable. And the furthest thing from "gimmicky."
I said I didn't care about whatever legal philosophy he supports. He treats other people like shit. He's a dick. I don't care what he thinks about anything, including Ohio State. Get it?
You happen to be wrong. Scalia has more friends on the court than any Justice. Ruth Bade Ginsburg, a liberal, and he are great friends. You don't get that by being a dick.
that postmodernism is destructive and has the intellectual value of rat feces.
This thread is stupid, as are most of the posters scrutinizing a Supreme Court Justice as if they are the epitome of wisdom and knowledge.
Did you know that Ruth Bader Ginsburg received an honorary degree from the University of Michigan (http://www.michigandaily.com/content/pinsky-speak-graduation) in 2001 right before the UM admissions policy case was coming before the court (http://www.vpcomm.umich.edu/admissions/legal/grutter/gru-ussc-op.html)? And she didn't recuse herself? And that fact was convieniently left out in most news reporting on the matter. Oh and when introduced at the graduation ceremony (I was there sitting in the stands in grad garb listening), she was lauded as a defender of "diversity in higher education". Huh.
So apparently, for constitutional revisionist jurists, it's OK for conflict of interest to just be glossed over when its a DEFENDANT PAYING A SITTING JURIST within 18 months of hearing a case.
Scalia writes some of the best researched and intellectually sound opinions consistant with a originalist interpretation of US constitutional law. You won't find him quoting non-ratified UN treaties or Scottish common law or "what I think is fair" as justifications for his decisions.
....is that Ginsburg and Scalia are incredibly close friends outside of the Court. Proof that ideology does not need to trump respect or other shared interests.
Ideology, no. Football rivalry, yes.
Then again, if you can explain why civility should be expected when we're arguing over the future of our nation and actual effects on peoples' lives; but be thrown out the window when a football team in maize and blue plays a (the) football team in (the) scarlet and (fake) silver, then you have won a no-expense opportunity to explain it to Misopogal.
I added the "OT" because the following response has nothing to do with Michigan sports. It's my thoughts on Scalia and his place in SCOTUS (and this girl I once had a class with who couldn't get through a doublespaced, 12-pt. page of Poli Sci paper without adding a badly-reasoned dig at the president, but I put up with because, you know, she was kind of hot and it's not like Michigan was teeming with hot chicks). If you're interested in Scalia (not the hot chick -- she's just a passing reference), read on. If not, it's an awfully big Internet, and I'm sure there's something else more worth your time.
I think Scalia the Legendary Minimalist and Scalia the Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court are two different things. It's been my opinion since I started watching SC cases that Scalia often comes to the opinion that the Republican Party desires, and then writes an extraordinary Originalist justification for that opinion, not the other way around.
On a balanced court, I think a justice who "writes some of the best researched and intellectually sound opinions consistent with a originalist interpretation of US constitutional law" would be very beneficial to the country. He's the perfect justice for the minority opinion, the kind of guy you want in there for life so that when the Democratic do-goodniks use the federal govt. to try to make Americans' lives better or fix the economy -- things that body really wasn't intended for -- there's someone there to make sure the framework of the legal system isn't undermined in the process.
Put it this way: SCOTUS only gets to try the laws that are made -- they're not an originative legislative body, nor have they, like the president, gained originative legislative powers through history. If the overwhelming body of law that comes its way is conservative in nature, then Scalia is a pawn in the execution of laws that exploit weaknesses in the Constitution for the benefit of Conservative ideals. If the overwhelming body of law he tries initiates from a liberal standpoint, he is a bastion of Constitutional Liberties.
For those of us who went to Michigan, think of when you peer-reviewed a fellow student's paper that gushed with liberal or conservative (usually liberal -- it being U-M -- but the few conservatives certainly made their khakis visible) biases. Now, if you were of the same political persuasion, the partisan drivel might be excused, the paper turned in to the professor still slathered in partisanship. If you were of the opposite political persuasion, the biases would be very easy to spot, noted, and ultimately removed, producing a better paper.
There is no one right or wrong way of looking at the Constitution. I think we can all agree that its words are not holy. I think we can all agree that its text should never be ignored just because it's inconvenient. There's a huge middle ground in there for our best jurists to work in.
Scalia, as a relative extreme toward originalism, was less useful when there was a GOP Congress and President, for the same reason you wouldn't want a Communist jurist when Socialists were in charge of the country. There are inherent flaws in originalism, e.g., the 2nd Amendment was written when the nation was split on whether having a standing army at all was a good idea, and firing a weapon was a complicated process. President Bush and Congress during the early 2000s exploited these deficiencies.
On the other hand, having him there now, when a liberal reading of the Constitution is generally favored by those who are writing and executing our laws, is more helpful.
Very well said. I have nothing to add, I just wanted to state my appreciation.
While there are challenges that face any philosophy of judicial interpretation, at the end of the day the Constitution has to mean something. Regardless of your preferred approach, I think that it is clear that over time certain aspects of the Constitution have been reinterpreted in ways that run counter to the purposes for which the document was originally created.
Most people would probably agree that the framers of the Constitution would not have believed that our current form of government could have developed while remaining true to the framework that they established. Whether or not you agree with the intent, the Constitution was created in order to establish a federal government of limited powers. These days there appear to be few limitations, if any, on the power of the federal government (token commandeering decisions aside). For example, the Commerce Clause has transformed from a narrowly-defined source of power to an all-encompassing grant of power. That was clearly not what was intended, whether you look to the intent of the framers, the understanding of the ratifiers, or whatever standard you choose. The document had some meaning at the time it was created and ratified, and certain provisions and clauses, without having been formally amended, now mean something different. To me, that is an indication that we are not being true to the Constitution. If you want to change something, amend the Constitution through the formal process. Don't amend it by judicial fiat.
truly few limitations on federal government power nowadays, then please explain to me how a conservative-leaning court ruled against the Bush Administration's plan to try the Guantanamo detainees by military commission in Hamdan - in a "time of war", no less?
i will grant you that congress' powers under the commerce clause have greatly expanded beyond the framers' imagination. but then again, the framers' imagination consisted of an agrarian-based economy that was more local than global in nature. the times change, and with them the laws do as well.
If such changes are so universally understood and so obvious, wouldn't an amendment to the Constitution saying as much be easy to get passed and ratified? My point is when we amend the Constitution by judicial fiat, according to what judges perceived to be the updated "common understanding" of the people, doesn't that undermine the purpose of a written constitution? We already have a body that governs according to the zeitgeist, and it is called Congress. The Constitution was intended to place explicit limitations on Congress and the Executive. Why have a formal amendment process if the document was intended to be continually amended by judges? The argument for a "Living Constitution" means that we essentially have a dead Constitution.
" the constitution means what it says." The other school says "the constitution means what I think it should mean."
I'll side with the former every time.
these two schools are more alike than you might think.
In reply to: wolverine1987
The constitution is quite ambiguous in a lot of instances (try applying the 1st amendment to a multitude of different cases). There's plenty of wiggle room to contort the document to whatever personal view one has.
If you limit out anything that isn't explicitly mentioned in the original documents, you leave out the right to privacy and other situations that were not brought up back when the constitution was created. Would it be better to have amendments for every new situation that comes up? Perhaps, except that's very difficult to implement. Instead, there's a thing called precedent, which can be pretty close to an amendment at times.
Also, opinions are researched, you know. Judges are appointed by a president that was popularly elected and a congress that was also popularly elected, so they will generally reflect his views; however, they have the freedom to do as they choose without being subject to popular opinion once instated. For some justice's opinion to be ill informed, (s)he would have to be approved by the other two branches first. After that, there's still 8 other justices to keep them in check. Saying you don't trust justices to interpret the constitution is basically saying you don't believe a Supreme Court can work. I think it can.
I don't trust judges to interpret the constitution. What i don't trust is judges who take the opportunity to make social policy (even laudable social policy) from the bench. I think it's GOOD that it is difficult to approve amendments to the constitution, that ensures that only the most passionate and important issues will be incorporated into the document. I'd have much rather have had an amendment articulating a right of privacy pass through the process and be written in than a judge deciding that it should be in the document.
Then I am sure you are particularly troubled by the potential replacement who will be chosen for Souter. It's mindboggling that we have a President who is on record stating the wants SCOTUS Justices who will "stand up for the little guy", rather than Justices who will interpret the law. While the former is a laudable goal, it is not a viable judicial philosophy.
that's exactly what Obama said. my understanding is that he wants a justice with "empathy". in dictionary definition terms, this is: "the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another". i.e., Obama wants a justice who is open-minded and willing to consider all sides to legal arguments - along with considering the impact the ultimate legal decision will have on people in their day-to-day lives. i don't see anything at all problematic or unreasonable with such an approach.
Except Obama never, ever, said he wanted a justice who would "stand up for the little guy". He said he wanted someone with "empathy" for the participants - empathy, essentially, is being aware and able to understand the feelings of others.
That, in no way, suggests "standing up for the little guy". It means that the justice can understand the motivations and feelings of the participants involved. In no way does that imply any sort of bias to any kind of plaintiff or defendant - it's asking the judge to understand how each feels about the case. Why on earth is that so bad?
He may have not said exactly that, but anyone who is intellectually honest knows that me meant just that. His exact quote was "We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges." Those things are irrelevant (or at least should be) in making the decisions that a Supreme Court Justice does, or at least should be in a system where justice is blind. It's a bad thing because it interjects something that is irrelevant in the decision-making process as a prominent element in that process.
...that empathy, as described by Obama, is or should be irrelevant. An easy example is the holding in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and the application of the undue burden test. Now, I'm not arguing that the test is constitutionally sound or anything like that, I'm just saying that to properly apply the test it helps to have an understanding of what would actually constitute an "undue burden" to a young teenage mom and what doesn't. There are dozens of other examples of similar tests where I would argue that empathy is valuable as well, that's just one off the top of my groggy and slightly hungover head.
I disagree with that. Instilling that understanding is the role of the advocate. The Justice's own personal understanding really shouldn't be relevant and it's dangerous to promote the use of it because then you might well end up with Justices making decisions based upon their own personal understanding that very well could have nothing to do with the case at bar.
And the quality of empathy allows a jurist to accept or reject the understanding proffered from the advocate. In other words, I really don't see the problem. I mean, I see what you're getting at, but in my opinion it misapprehends how judges tend to make their decisions.
Regardless, I think we're all making far too big a deal about a particular word or phrase that Obama used at this stage of the game. Either the candidate will be qualified or they won't. We'll find out when Obama makes his selection. It seems more appropriate to freak out (or rejoice) accordingly at that point, you know?
But whichever side we're on, remember that this particular selection won't drastically change the ideological makeup of the court in any appreciable way for many, many years to come. If ever.
Your point is well taken and I understand what you're saying. It really just comes down to a fine line difference of opinion on Judicial philosophy, and I'm OK with this difference of opinion because in the run of the mill cases it's not going to matter. It's just in those few cases where an improper bias can creep in when you use that empathy as a basis for decision-making that I have a concern. That said, your point is well stated and well reasoned.
Everything you have said in the above comments chimes exactly with my thoughts on this. Empathy is a synonym for activist when used in this context. That is exactly what we do not need. I am very afraid.
How can "empathy" mean "activist" in any honest definition of either word?
But when talking about politics, it does.
In one of her most notable decisions, as an appellate judge she sided last year with the city of New Haven, Conn., in a discrimination case brought by white firefighters. The city threw out results of a promotion exam because too few minorities scored high enough. Coincidentally, that case is now before the Supreme Court.
Empathy has been used as a codeword for activist when applied to court justices.
According to Orrin Hatch, who is opposed to everything Obama stands for politically and in ideology. Hatch wants to scare people into thinking that "empathatic" means "will kill babies".
Further, I imagine that her decision (if she wrote the decision? Clearly other federal judges had to side with her - it's a panel of 3 judges) rested in law? Like she used law to back up her point? I'm not a lawyer, so I wouldn't know what laws relate to the case, but I would know enough to research them before I implied that her decision was based on "all I vote on are racial lines".
Didn't mean to imply that she only votes on racial lines, just that she is a bit more prone to do so. I'm just trying to reinforce my point about the meaning of empathy in this context. I realize this seems somewhat at odds w/ my statement, but I don't feel like elaborating more at this time. Maybe later, mornings suck.
She's a George H. W. Bush federal appointee. She has voted with Republican judges more often than she ohas voted with Democratic judges. In the one abortion-issues case she has sat on, she voted on the "pro-life" side.
On the firefighters case, she upheld 2nd Circuit Court precedent. I'm not saying she was right, but that's hardly "activist".
You're looking at a single decision and assuming it was made for one of a myriad of issues.
When did he say that? It wasn't when Souter retired, because here's the transcript:
Planned Parenthood convention. July 2007. http://cnnwire.blogs.cnn.com/2009/05/01/as-candidate-obama-called-for-ju...
Did you think I just made an entire 52 word quote up of thin air? Seriously?
No, I was wondering where/when he said it.
implies that this qualification is to be used on the job. And since it was mentioned prominently by Obama, I think it is a good assumption that empathy is an important criteria for him. It serves no purpose to require a certain criteria (empathy) that is not to be incorporated into the job (in this case, supreme court decisions).
Obviously, the concern is that the justice's empathy towards a certain litigant could take precedence over a reading of the law. I share this concern.
"Empathy": may be relevant for Judge Judy and other local judges who hear local grievances, but it should be irrelevant for the Supreme Court. The SC decides cases primarily on their interpretation, be they liberal or conservative, of whether or not the principle to be decided in the case before them is consistent with, or inconsistent with, SC precedent and the constitution. Feelings of any kind, whether of sympathy, empathy, anger, outrage, or any other emotion should be entirely irrelevant. Wanting SC justices with empathy is empty headed, mushy thinking that introduces elements best left out of any courtroom.
Can you imagine heated debate over constitutional law at the Ozone or RCMB? Me neither, and that's why I love this blog.
The brahs would be debating whether to put the roofies in the drink before or after the ice, while the bucks argue the proper way to crap in a cooler
This is a thread that would never exist on an MSU or OSU football blog.
I was thinking about posting the exact same thing. Exact wording too.
get outta my head
Great minds, homey.
...to this debate. It's reasoned, supported by argument, examples, and with a civil back and forth. And like you all said, nothing I'd see on a tOSU or Tennessee blog.
No matter how we come out on this here Constitution thing, it is amazing a document so short has kept this country together for over 230 years. That is to the credit of the people who have strived to improve this nation and correct its errors.
Well done, MGoBloggers.
Also, in response to the "Scalia is a jerk" crowd, a lot of the time those who he's a "jerk" to deserve it. He spoke at my law school a few years back and some dumb ass asked him about him about the implications of having mandatory sentencing guidelines (this was post-Booker) and he laid into her for asking a question with an improper understanding of the law. There was a lot of grumbling after the fact about how he was a jerk for laying into her like that, but no one said a peep about the girl for being a moron and asking him a question like that. Now to me, it would seem like common sense, that if you are going to get a chance to ask a Justice a question in front of a large group of people that you would take the time to make sure that your question was based in fact. Maybe it's just me.
Or maybe, beyond "fact", it could be argued that a Supreme Court Justice could possibly find a tactful way of dismissing the question rather than wasting his considerable intellectual talents shredding a law student apart. That actually sounds like something an asshole would do.
Maybe instead of saying what you have here you should have asked what he actually said to her before you came back with this response? You're making quite the assumption, now aren't you? That's awfully small minded and presumptuous of you. You don't like him. We get it.
Do you see what I said in my original post and what you did in response? Way to unmask your own bias.
I don't follow the court enough to have an opinion about Scalia. So no, I don't dislike him.
You said that he "laid into" a law student in a public forum. I've seen enough people get off on their authority by making less powerful people seem small, and that's not impressive to me. By your brief description as quoted above, that's what it sounded like.
You are quite talented at being incredibly condescending, however, so bravo.
Thanks. I take pride in that. It's obvious that you don't follow the Court, that you're not a lawyer, and that you really don't know what you're talking about in your comments that you've made in this thread.
I don't need to be a lawyer to know that no matter how you try, the definition of the words "empathy" and "activism" will never, ever, be the same.
I don't need to be a lawyer to think that a Supreme Court Justice "laying into" a law student in a public forum is being an asshole. My evaluation of that doesn't require me to follow the court, be a lawyer, or have an opinion on Scalia.
What does being a lawyer have to do with my ability to good the definition of the words "activism" and "empathy"? What does being a lawyer have to do with my personal opinion that a Supreme Court Justive making fun of a law student in public is sort of shitty? I object, your honor.
Have fun saving the world by chasing one ambulance at a time.
I always love that response from some moron who has been made to look foolish. Do you seriously think none of us have ever heard that line before?
As for the "laying into" argument that you are trying to make, again, you would have be much better off to have asked what in fact he said instead of flying off on your little tirade. Seriously, it gives away your bias, or at the very least your lack of analytical capacity. I never said that he "made fun of" the student.
Also note that I never said that "empathy" meant "activism". That was someone else. Maybe you need to not try to put words in my mouth.
You are terrible, just seriously awful, at debating.
What am I debating? You told a brief story. Based on the brief story, I said it sounded like he was a dick. Now you want to accuse me of not making you go into greater detail? If your story was supposed to reveal something about Scalia's character, why didn't you tell it in a way that revealed anything?
Then you wrote an extremely hostile post to a comment that didn't address you, at all. Rather than addressing anything I said, you decided to flame me. Now you're laughing that I'm desperate for going ad hominem on you? You've created a conflict here when I didn't seek to have any. Unjustifiably treating people like shit isn't something to take pride in.
I have no problem going into greater detail, but see, the thing is, you never asked me to go into greater detail. You just flew off the handle and made assumptions. My "story" was not only supposed to reveal something about Scalia's character, but also the character of those who are biased against him. That purpose was accomplished.
As to your second point, I never once responded to a post of yours that wasn't a response to mine. You might want to go back and take a look again at that if you believe otherwise.
You're right, unjustifiably treating people like shit isn't something to take pride in, but justifiably doing so can be. Look, you got in over your head on something you didn't know as much about as you think you did and it was pointed out to you. Dude, just let it go.
You created this "debate" out of whole cloth. I made a comment, and you essentially called me a biased asshole. There's nothing I "got in over my head" - you just went crazy.
The record is pretty clear that you created it by making an ignorant and uninformed comment based on an incorrect assumption. I called you on it. If that means that I called you a biased asshole, so be it. There really isn't any other reasonable way to view the assumption that you made and the conclusion that you reached. Hell, I have no problem saying it: you're a biased asshole.
For the last time: I don't care enough about Scalia to be "biased" against him. Your story of him "laying into" a law student made him sound, to me, dickish. Why can't you just accept that's all I based my statement on, instead of fabricating this story that I have this enormous axe to grind with the man that I seek out opportunities to do so on a fucking college football blog? I didn't even say "Scalia is an asshole", as I don't know that to be true. What I said was that the single incident you cited made him seem, to me, an asshole. That's all.
You're doing anything to pick a fight. Just stop it.
Nevermind, this would just keep the argument going for no good reason at all.
OK, so you made a really poor assumption, instead. That's not really that much better.
And you completely freaked out. I apologize for you telling a story that was supposed to be illustrative without enough information that one could make assumptions off of it.
No see, you don't get it. My story did exactly what it was supposed to do. It was illustrative of Scalia's character, yet at the same time worked perfectly to smoke out bias (not saying you had bias) and bad assumptions (you definitely made a bad assumption). The wording of your post here is kind of funny, actually, because you say that I didn't give enough information to make assumptions, yet you made an assumption. Good stuff.
...find a tactful way of dismissing the question rather than wasting his considerable intellectual talents shredding a law student apart. That actually sounds like something an asshole would do.
But isn't that exactly the complaint a number of posters here have regarding the old WLA members? They didn't suffer fools well, and perhaps (we don't know how the question was phrased or the manner it was asked) Scalia doesn't either. Sometimes this is not a bad thing.
Regardless, even though the two forums are quite different, when in doubt this [finding a tactful way] is sound advice to a number of posters on this here blog.
I have zero problem with Scalia being a dick to law students. They're freaking law students, people. They probably deserve it.
And if they don't and can't take it, they're going to have a real rough time once they get their bar card.
I agree that Scalia can sometimes be a dick, but there are definitely times when the person asking the question had it coming. I can't speak for his conduct other places, but when he came to speak at Michigan some of the people asking questions were not subtle about their disdain for Scalia and his ideals. Speaking at a place like Michigan is like entering the lion's den for someone like Scalia, and I don't see a problem with him responding to their obvious attitude with a little attitude of his own. That, and watching him give students at an elite law school a little dose of humility is also pretty entertaining.
There were some law students who made it their mission to heckle Scalia. For instance, someone asked Scalia if he would compare him and Justice Thomas to Batman and Robin. That's just downright disrespectful. That guy, and others, had it coming.
But he opened the lecture by yelling at the law school's photographer. I don't want to blow this out of proportion, because I've already mentioned it once.
All in all, he just seems like a brash man . . . . a litigator. Other people in the legal world should be used to this character type. It's not shocking, and if it hurts you emotionally, then as others said, you probably shouldn't be in law school.
It is a little unusual to see the litigator attitude on the Supreme Court though. Our preconceived notions say that a Justice should be objective, thoughtful, and reserved.
That's not Scalia. He definitely breaks the mold. While I think many disagree with his legal analysis, many more are reacting to his persona because it conflicts with what they think a Justice should be.
Even though I don't like his persona, I have to admit that I like the way he's enlivened debate about the law. He's instigated people into taking viewpoints. He's breathed life into a dusty, boring institution. I have to give him credit there.
I think he also sold a lot of copies of his book after visiting various law schools.
If you told the WLA that they were "assholes", do you think they'd object?
I'm sure you recall a number of instances, and the reaction to it varied depending on (1) who did the name-calling and (2)the WLA member responding.
For the most part, it was ignored (or I even imagine, laughed at) since the attack came from someone who held a grudge due to a prior run-in with them.
But if the "you" refers to me specifically, yes I think they would object, because it would be contrary to virtually everything I have expressed. They could be outrageous, they could be over the top, but they were always interesting. I think they forced some people to check their facts and think a little more before posting. I suspect you already knew this, though.
Regarding the larger matter to which you commented to, I do take issue in referring to both the WLA and Scalia in that manner. However, people are allowed to express themselves the way they see fit, but I think in both cases the blog is worse off.
I'm not saying the WLA were assholes. I'm merely saying that if someone called them assholes, they'd probably shrug and say "yes".
But part of the response was due to the source(s) of the insult.
But coming from others, it may cut a little deeper.
This is awesome to watch. It's also forcing me to reevaluate my presuppositions on the MGoBoard community.
For some reason, while there a lot of quality posts around these parts, I thought 95% of all posters here were freshmen dicking around in the UGLi, McFarlin-esque teen trolls, and bored recent-graduates killing time in their first engineering job.
Apparently we could form our own law firm from the MGoBoard (MGoBarristers? MGoLaw?). Awesome sauce.