You Disagree With Tony Kennedy (When He Reaches a Conservative Result), You Oppose the Rule of Law

>> Friday, January 29, 2010

Paul and I have compiled some examples of conservative academics arguing that Obama needs to be sent to Sally Quinn Reeducation Camp or something for disagreeing with an innovative constitutional doctrine just announced by a bare majority of the Court. At the time, though, I missed an even funnier argument, namely William Jacobson's assertion that by criticizing the Court, Obama was threatening the rule of law itself:

The attack on the Supreme Court exposes the intolerance of this President. The politician who campaigned and allegedly champions the rule of law actually has very little use for the rule of law when it does not advance his political agenda.
This is an...interesting argument. Let's examine some other examples of prominent public officials who, in disagreeing with decisions announced by the Supreme Court, therefore oppose the rule of law:

  • "The 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade is a good time for us to pause and reflect. Our nationwide policy of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy [sic] was neither voted for by our people nor enacted by our legislators — not a single state had such unrestricted abortion [sic] before the Supreme Court decreed it to be national policy in 1973. But the consequences of this judicial decision are now obvious: since 1973, more than 15 million unborn children have had their lives snuffed out by legalized abortions. That is over ten times the number of Americans lost in all our nation's wars...Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right granted by the Constitution." --Saint Ronald Reagan, 1983
  • "After a day of consideration, the McCain Campaign has decided to come out hard against yesterday's 5 to 4 decision to grant more rights to court review for enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "The United States Supreme Court yesterday rendered a decision which I think is one of the worst decisions in the history of this country," McCain said. He went on to quote from Justice Roberts dissent in the case, rail against "unaccountable judges," and say that the courts are about to be clogged with cases from detainees."
The 2008 election was contested between two candidates who oppose the rule of law -- shocking! Anyway, I could go on, but since I assume that even Jacobson himself doesn't believe in this ridiculous definition of the "rule of law" cataloging further examples would be redundant.

For further comedy, in attempting to claim that Obama's public disagreement with 5 of the Court's 9 members was "unprecedented," Col. Mustard uncritically quotes someone asserting that "[e]ven President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had a lot of grievances with the Court, never mentioned it in any of his State of the Union messages." This might strike you as implausible in the extreme. Well, I happen to have FDR's 1937 State of the Union Address right here, and...


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