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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Nuts Attack On Roberts

Chief Justice John Roberts, in responding to a question during a law school forum, took the very reasonable position that what happened at the State of the Union address was troubling:
"First of all, anybody can criticize the Supreme Court without any qualm," he said, adding that "some people, I think, have an obligation to criticize what we do, given their office, if they think we've done something wrong."

"So I have no problems with that. On the other hand, there is the issue of the setting, the circumstances and the decorum. The image of having the members of one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering while the court -- according the requirements of protocol -- has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling."
I will be less polite than the Chief Justice. The sight of Chuck "my flight attendant is a bitch and Scott Brown is a teabagger" Schumer jumping to his feet right behind the Justices so he could clap loudly in the ears of the Justices was ... vomitous.

But the Chief was more reserved, criticizing not the criticism, but the theater created by Obama to ridicule the Justices.

The critics of Roberts almost to a person ignore the distinction Roberts made between criticism of the Court (which he views as proper) and the "cheering and hollering" surrounding the Court by the likes of Schumer.

And then Glenn Greenwald took it one step further, claiming that Roberts suffers from a psychological defect (emphasis mine):

The very idea that it's terrriby [sic] wrong, uncouth, and "very troubling" for the President to criticize one of their most significant judicial decisions in a speech while in their majestic presence -- not threaten them, or have them arrested, or incite violence against them, but disagree with their conclusions and call for Congressional remedies (as Art. II, Sec. 3 of the Constitution requires) -- approaches pathological levels of vanity and entitlement.

The particular Obama/Roberts/Alito drama is an unimportant distraction, but what this reflects about the mindset of many judges, including (perhaps especially) ones on the Supreme Court and obviously the Chief Justice of that court, is definitely worth considering.

The theme that Roberts' observation reflects some deep psychological problem was reiterated by Jonathan Weiler at HuffPo:
But Roberts' apparently deep sense of injury over being criticized, the evident insecurity he feels notwithstanding his awesome power and the frankly stunningly simplistic nature of his reasoning (at least when it comes to race and affirmative action) are likely not play-acting. They provide a revealing and, I would dare say, troubling window onto the soul of the man who may head our high court for the next generation.
The claim that Roberts' reasonable comments reflected a psychological problem is, well, just nuts.

Update: Some pretty good commentary from Jan Crawford of CBS:

For the life of me, I just don't get why the White House continues to try to pick a fight with the Supreme Court. I've suggested before that perhaps it's a sign President Obama intends to tap an outsider when John Paul Stevens retires, so he can beat the drum that the Court is out of touch with everyday Americans.

But after Chief Justice John Roberts made some entirely reasonable remarks yesterday -- and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs just had to respond -- it's now getting ridiculous.

Whether the White House has a short-term or long-term strategy or no strategy at all, it's flat-out absurd and ill-advised for the administration to think it should always have the last word. It's like my 6-year-old: "I don't LIKE your idea. I like MY idea."

Is it finally sinking in? This administration always has to have the last word, and is intolerant of dissenting views. Since the only thing Obama ever accomplished in his life was winning political campaigns, everything looks like a political campaign.

Related Posts:
Alito Was Not "Rude" Enough To His Arrogancy
A Window Into His Divisive Soul
First Take on SOTU - A Small Speech

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  1. Crazy times we live in Professor.

  2. This attack has Alinsky Rule 13 all over it: Pick the target. Freeze it. Personalize it. Polarize it.

    The leftists are so predictable. It reminds me of Janeane Garofalo with her pseudo-psychobabble about Conservatives and mental illness. Same old, same old. And that they attack such a brilliant, respectable Chief Justice - beyond the pale!

    If it wasn't so offensive, it would be laughable - it is that ridiculous! But I think you put it best: "... vomitous."

  3. I don't think Roberts was taking an ideological view, but a defensive view of the court as an equal branch (a check) as the executive and legislative, yet not being allowed to publicly display in kind that equality in this setting.

    He was not just defending Alito, but every member of his court.

    Obama's public screw ups are stretching the Democrat's imagination in defending his faux pas. I've been listening to Hannity and his democratic strategist claiming Obama is constitutional expert of some kind.

    Obama is not only a bore, he is becoming a rude, inconsiderate one.

  4. This is the same Greenwald who declared that Sam Alito had "flamboyantly insinuat[ed] himself into a pure political event, in a highly politicized manner" merely by mouthing "not right" at the SOTU.

  5. That SOTU scene reminds me of Saddam Hussein's hanging. The taunting, beating and cheering by those Iraqi executioners during the execution was barbaric and demonstrated why Iraq was far from ready to be considered a civilized society. Civilized societies follow the law and procedures that allow civilized societies to execute its worst criminals as an unfortunate but sacred ritual. Executions are harsh punishments but they do not legitimize boorish and barbaric behavior. The difference is what allows us to hold on to our legitimacy as a civilized society.

    What Obama, Schumer and the entire gang of thugs did during that SOTU scene was to trash the very protocols and traditions that make us civilized just like those barbaric executioners. With a government run by such yahoos and thugs, how long will it be before we can no longer legitimately claim to be a civilized society?

    Good manners may not guarantee the survival of a civilized society but they are necessary in periods such as we are now in when traditions force us to behave as if we are civilized long enough to rediscover the reasons why we do.

    Having tossed aside good manners as well as traditional protocol, these louts have revealed themselves to be not unsophisticated rubes but outright barbarian thugs. This was "Lord of the Flies" behavior.

  6. What pasadenaphil said better than I ever could muster....

    Greenwald evidently has no sense of decorum and of the traditions of past SOTU addresses before this Chicago mobster turned the affair into a political pep rally. Obama is lacking any sense of appropriate approaches and may be one of those mavericks who believes that he can stay in his "terrible twos" for the rest of his life. Tantrum speechmaking and taunting a group which has to maintain its traditional judicial temperament all while a pack of barking rabid congresscritters surround the nine justices howling froth-mouthed to the moon.

    What made the playground ruckus worse was that the sophomoric POTUS distorted and was factually erroneous to the point that a true scholar like Alito mouthed an objection. How Greenwald can call out Alito for silently and with dignity objecting to silly misrepresentations by a second-rate, soon to be one-term president only demonstrates his own estrangement from America's true political culture, one of civility in public events like the SOTU.

    Methinks political thugs and guttersnipes on the left like Greenwald will have a very short shelf-life in the marketplace of ideas, for the sake of maintaining decorum befitting the traditions of our country's governance. Greenwald's own pathological projections of his Marxist mindset onto men of great accomplishment and success stem from his own difficulties with personal demons rather than any behavior of gentlemen like Roberts and Alito.

  7. I think what Greenwald needs is to compare Justice Alito with someone like... me. I would never have mouthed the words "not true". I would have stood up, turned around, raised my robe and mooned the lying bastard.

  8. @Dave B: that has to be the best comment here !!!

  9. Over the past few weeks I have been doing some research about the "fool on the hill". I am at odds with some of what I have been reading, thinking that it is over the top, and so far not really verifiable. However, some things do stick....

    1. According to what I have learned, there is no doubt that the "fool" (because he lacks wisdom and do check out what it says in the Psalms) has been groomed to take on the position of POTUS. Doors were opened in very mysterious ways... but there is a common thread in the names mentioned. Tony Rezko is definitely a clue regarding how the campaign was financed.

    2. In keeping with the Citizens United case, one very real issue is how "the fool" managed to raise more than $800million as a campaign war chest through the use of the 507s. It is through them that money from Middle Eastern countries was laundered. He received millions of dollars in donations via the 507s and those donors are not transparent. They are also illegal.

    3. The White House would like us to believe that the Citizen's United decision is going to open the floodgates of funding from corporations etc., and they went as far as claiming that it would open the way for foreign corporations to take out campaign advertisements. This is not true... and anyone who has bothered to read what Kennedy wrote can see that this is not the case. S144(e) [I think I have the right section number] was not struck down. The only section struck down was s144(b) and the reason was due to the First Amendment. It is because of a mandate - there was a financial sanction involved - that the Supreme Court chose to strike down this clause. Corporations are staffed by citizens. They have as much right to put forward their views as the media corporations. If they are under attack by the White House, then they should have the right to pay for advertisements to set forth their views.

    The Citizens United case that is the reason for all of this nonsense (or is it just an excuse by the WH to discredit certain people on the Supreme Court aided by their minions such as Greenwald) does not fundamentally change much. The people behind Citizens United approached the FEC to get permission to show a documentary on Hillary on cable television but it would be viewed inside the 60 days from a primary election. It is because there was a small amount of funding from a corporation that the FEC was approached and said No. If Citizens United had gone against the FEC then they would have faced fines. Hence they took the issue to court, and in the end, the justices in the Supreme Court determined that McCain-Feingold acted against free speech and what was of concern was the mandate, the penalty.

    Something else that I did learn is that there are now people coming forward with claims such as: University of Chicago were told to hire "the fool" and he was hired as an "adjunct lecturer". He was never a professor, and it seems doubtful that he ever taught Constitutional Law. I will be glad when someone comes forward who was in his class and tells the world exactly what he was teaching - like "how to get around the Constitution".

    What is important about what I have learned is that there is no doubt about his Marxist roots, and that he was fed Marxism from the moment he was born. His mother and grandparents were Marxist. His alleged father was not exactly on the scent. Those Marxist connections include Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn, and his other connections include Louis Farrakahn - the Nation of Islam.

    I do think that this attack on the Supreme Court by the White House is totally unacceptable.

    It will be interesting when the cases start coming in if the Abominable Care is passed, since it is clearly unconstitutional, and it should be overturned. In fact everything being done by the Congress at present is unconstitutional.

  10. The actions of the President and the Democrats was inappropriate and smacked of political demagogurey. I think those like Schumer forgot that this is the United States not Venezuela or the nation that they wanted Honduras to become. Thankfully our founders understood the political bullying and harrassment that can take place and created an indpendent judiaciary.Thankfully this is why after being voted into office SCOTUS is not dependent on their positions to the Congress. How smart were the founding fathers that they knew that inadequate men and women need to bully to get their way instaed of using logic and intelligence. But then if they had a lgoical and intelligent argument they wouldn't need to bully. KudosJustice Roberts.


  11. Greenwald was right. Pres. Obama could have them arrested, but all he is doing is stating what the Constitution requires and allows him do...stating what is wrong with the SOFU and offering remedies.

    Just so you say it, Alinsky, etc... does not mean it is real or factual or anybody cares. Let's see, Pres. Obama does not like white people, yet he hires them, his mother is white....he hates America, yet having been born in Pakistan, Kenya, or whatever, he stays in a country he hates. This is beyond silly