jmatonak: (Default)
“This court has never held,” Justice Scalia wrote, “that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.” -- New York Times.

Oh, Nino, no.

"There's no precedent for this!" is a stupid argument, especially in this case. You're arguing that someone should be executed for your procedural convenience. (Roberts actually gave you a pro-snuffing precedent, but that opinion was fucking stupid.) We can walk back through a long line of things the Court "never held"- until it did. One of the things the Supreme Court is for is overturning precedents, and you know it, and you've done it. It's amazing how much precedents matter to you when you agree, and how much they don't when you don't.

Oh, well. Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, and maybe precedent should be revered. But I'm getting off the train when the argument is, "hey, wait, the fact that this guy is innocent makes bureaucracy uncomfortable."

Nino Scalia, ladies and gentlemen. What a maroon.

Moron DOMA

Jun. 12th, 2009 09:58 pm
jmatonak: (Default)
This is a comment I posted in [livejournal.com profile] digital_eraser's journal, extensively revised because I am really getting pissed off here.

Marriage needs defending. Because if the law doesn't *force* heterosexuality, it will die out. )

Legal hackery: not just for torturers anymore!

ETA: The sarcasm quotes around the word "marriage" in the congressional report on DOMA are a particularly classy touch.
jmatonak: (Default)
So the Department of Justice filed a brief that amounts to a defense of DOMA in federal court on Thursday. A married gay couple wants federal benefits; I assume it's because one of them is a federal employee. More here.

A letter I sent to the White House )

Looking at it now, I feel I was too reasonable. What I've seen of the brief is shameful, and the idea that the DoJ "must" enforce it is horseshit. I suspected it was, and now I have proof. This is just crap piled on crap. Epic fail is too mild.

The President does a lot of stuff I agree with, and I admire him. But not for this. This is bigotry and bullshit, and he should know better.
jmatonak: (Default)
The high court, in a 5-4 ruling, overturned the 1986 Michigan v. Jackson ruling, which said police may not initiate questioning of a defendant who has a lawyer or has asked for one unless the attorney is present. - Wall Street Journal

It's really poor form to root for someone to die. But I very much wish the Chief Justice were someone a hell of a lot better, and it's a lifetime appointment.

--

President Barack Obama today announced his nomination of James Madison to the Supreme Court. Madison, who has served as the fourth President of the United States and the recording officer of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, and played a key role in the drafting of the Bill of Rights, was attacked as "insufficiently qualified" for the position, having never served as a magistrate in any court. Critics say Madison, whose Bill of Rights is extensively concerned with the rights of accused and convicted criminals, is "dangerously out of touch" and "pro-crime, to a disturbing degree." Some are bothered by Madison's presumed stances on such issues as abortion and gay marriage, as these topics are not mentioned anywhere in Madison's extensive body of writings.

Read more... )
jmatonak: (Default)
I am so very, very tired of how people who face disagreement in the media whine about their "right to free speech". I believe in free speech. What I do not believe in is the right of anyone, at any time, to say anything they like without fear of disagreement and with no possibility of any assertions they make being questioned.

If you don't like child porn, and you say so, and someone comes along and disagrees with you, both parties have spoken. Freely. If your opinion is unpopular and you feel shunned because of it, that is not "taking away your right to free speech."

The "right to free speech" is sometimes invoked instead as "First Amendment rights." What people seem to forget is that the First Amendment restricts government action ("Congress shall make no law abridging...") and not the actions of private persons or corporate entities. If you go to a private company's message board and post something that gets you banned, that's not "a violation of the First Amendment." And I personally reserve the right to ban people from posting comments on my LJ entries if those comments are obnoxious.

Finally, if "the media" fact-checks your assertions and they are wrong, or if the press asks you questions you think are unfair, you have to eat it. The only First Amendment issue here is the freedom of the press, and if your tendency to say stupid things gets you in trouble that's your problem.
jmatonak: (Default)
A Congressional REPRESENTATIVE is hard at work. The Treasury SECRETARY enters.

SECRETARY: OMG OMG OMG! You HAVE to give me SEVEN HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS or WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!

REPRESENTATIVE: ...

SECRETARY: I'm seriously, you guys. Due to the packaging and selling of financial instruments designed to shift risk to those least able to bear it, the economy is fucked. We need hundreds of billions of dollars, pronto, or a bunch of paper debt and the stupid rewrite of the bankruptcy law we did will KILL US ALL.

REPRESENTATIVE: ...

SECRETARY: Also, I want to disburse this money as I see fit, and I don't want to be subject to any kind of administrative oversight, or even judicial review.

REPRESENTATIVE: Fuck you.

THE END

By the way, I think it's cute that Sec. Paulson thought Congress could make him immune to judicial review. It's really precious. I think what he meant was some kind of assertion of sovereign immunity whereby he could not be sued. The phrase I heard, though, was "not subject to review", which, frankly, is impossible given the last *two centuries* of Supreme Court decisions. But, you know, it was a nice try. Asshole.

Please, if I missed an important detail here, so inform me and rip me a new one. I'm praying on bended knee I missed something crucial.

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jmatonak

January 2012

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