Supreme Court

"We talked about the Citizens United case and she said she thought the court was not sufficiently deferential to Congress."

|

That's from Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) after a meeting with Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. As The Hill reports:

Specter declined to say whether he would support her nomination, but his comments pave the way for a yes vote.

"She was very forthcoming in our discussion," Specter said. "We talked about the Citizens United case and she said she thought the court was not sufficiently deferential to Congress.  

"The issue of deference to Congress on fact-finding matters is something which I consider very important."

Perhaps Kagan will now let us know about the other big cases where she thinks the Supreme Court was insufficiently deferential to federal or state lawmakers. Perhaps she thinks the Court in D.C. v. Heller should have sided with the local officials who banned handguns. What about the Texas lawmakers that criminalized sodomy? Perhaps Kagan agrees with Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent in Lawrence v. Texas, where he criticized the majority for being "impatient with democratic change." As President Barack Obama told us last month, "the concept of judicial restraint cuts both ways."

For more on Kagan's troubling embrace of judicial deference, see my column today.

NEXT: Falling For the Myth of Cleggmania

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Arlen: It’s a separate branch of government for a reason, you dillhole. If the Supremes don’t defer to Con-gress, that’s a feature, not a bug.

    1. SCOTUS not deferring to us is a bug if my team is running Congress — which it currently is.

      It’s also a bug if they will defer to Team Red but not Team Blue.

      God, do I have to explain everything to the rubes?

      1. Seems lie your team is always running congress, Arlen.

  2. “The issue of deference to Congress on fact-finding matters is something which I consider very important.”

    The Supreme Court doesn’t decide matters of fact; it decides matters of law. It determined, correctly, that the law was unconstitutional and so unenforceable. The facts of the case are irrelevant.

    Gentleman’s C for Senator’s Civics report.

  3. How about a justice who thinks the court should be sufficiently deferential to the people? Is there a jurist who understands the purpose of the Bill of Rights is to protect liberty from government intrusion? Is there such an animal to be found anywhere? Perhaps outside of Harvard or Yale, maybe?

    1. Exactly. It reminds me of that decision that lets defense attorneys cross examine the people who work for the labs that provide testing for the state. In the dissent it was said that this would make it hard on the state to prove their cases, and would be of major cost and inconvenience to labs.

      Wow, I must of skipped over that part of the constitution. You know, the one that says the state must never be inconvenienced.

      But what do I know, I’m just some jerk from Pittsburgh?

      1. And we’re going to agree to forget last night’s debacle ever happened.

        See you next season.

        1. Ahem. Some of us are thrilled that Sid the Twit got knocked out of the playoffs.

          1. yup. Fuck Cindy Crosby.

            1. First of all, it’s Cindy Crysby or Cindy Gaysby.

              And that leads me to second of all: I have nothing against the Montreal Comedians team, but the fans at the Bell Centre have got to be some of the least knowledgeable hockey fans in the world. Granted they are French, but they are also Canadian, and therefore as a matter of national pride need to figure out the difference between a minor infraction and standard defensive play (or at least stfu until you figure it out).

      2. Holy crap, how many Pittsburghers are there on this site? Never knew this was such a hotbed of limited govt sympathies. Of course Ron Paul was born in Greentree, so I should know better.

        1. My family’s from around there: father from McKeesport, mother from Brownsville. Doug Schulkind of WFMU fame is moving to Pittsburgh.

        2. I have relatives in Latrobe.

        3. Also, Warty lived in Pittsburgh for a time.

          1. Damn straight I did, and I loathe the fuck out of that shitty place.

            1. Yinz must have been here during the Bubby Brister era. Or was it Kordell?

              1. Kordell, and part of DA BIG BEN EHRA N’AT. Jesus Fuck, why can’t someone just murder that fat rapist hillbilly already?

                1. Jesus Fuck, why can’t someone just murder that fat rapist hillbilly already?

                  Warty, for the win.

                  I’m in the part of town with all the bars, you know what it is, and Ben’s dickheadedness has been well established by the locals since his rookie year. I would be surprised if he could buy a drink without a loogie in it.

                  1. It’s been was clear to me from the beginning that he’s nothing but a slovenly moron. I’m glad that everyone besides me, and all the myriad bar staff who he’s mistreated, have finally realized what a worthless sack of fuck that redneck idiot is, but I’m sorry that it took him forcing some poor sorority slut to blow him in order for it to happen. But at least it finally happened.

                    I just hope he manages not to wreck another fine Hayabusa when the inevitable happens and he finally kills himself in some moronic accident. We wouldn’t want anything worthwhile to get damaged, after all.

      3. Wifey’s parents are from North Hills and they’re big fans of Neal Boortz. Not that that makes them Libertarians, but it doesn’t make Pittsburgh look bad either.

      4. jerk from Pittsburgh

        Redundant. I kid, good to know you’re all not a bunch of union steel types.

  4. “The issue of deference to Congress on fact-finding matters is something which I consider very important.”

    I wouldn’t defer to Congress on a fact-finding matters concerning the location of their collective asses.

    1. My thoughts exactly.

      A non-trivial number of the “facts” congress finds are matters of political opinion, and at the same time they can’t seem to find honest to goodness facts like “we’ve already spent all the money in the social security ‘trust fun'”.

      Specter’s position is that, if congress writes “Whereas the sky is green” the Justices shouldn’t go outside and look up before they rule.

  5. You’d think a sitting senator would know what incoming ego-fluffing bullshit sounds like.

    1. I certainly do know what it sounds like, and I LOVE it.

      1. I’ve heard more than one Congressturd quote the Declaration of Independence in matters of Constitutional law, so nothing surprises me.

        1. don’t forget the “good and proper” clause

  6. What’s her position on Teachers disciplining students?

    Teacher Beating Video Highlights School Violence
    Mother of Beaten 13-Year-Old Calls Teacher Sherri Davis’ Alleged Attack ‘Horrifying’

    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/teac…..d=10634450

    1. Sorry, I first took “Teacher Beating Video” as referring to a teacher’s beating a video. Next I thought it was about video highlights of beatings of teachers.

  7. Specter said. “she thought the court was not sufficiently deferential to Congress.”

    For an alleged lesbian, she sure knows how to suck a guy’s dick when she needs to, at least rhetorically.

  8. Why won’t the supremes have more deference to the fucking constitution. Is there anybody promotable out there that believes in what our parchment says?

    1. The parchment is fading.

    2. Why won’t the supremes have more deference to the fucking constitution. Is there anybody promotable out there that believes in what our parchment says?

      Many justices keep reintepreting the Constitution (as opposed to applying the original public understanding of the Constitution.)

  9. Jesus Fuck, what a stupid whore.

  10. He can’t become an ex-senator fast enough for me.

    1. Tuesday, my friend. It’s almost enough to make me register as a D for the day. But then I’d have to vote for that schmuck Sestak.

    2. He’ll be replaced – if he is – with Joe Sestak. Its a wash, as best. As a Pennsyvlanian currently represented by both of them, I can tell you a wash is the best you could hope for. Trust me, Sestak is no better. To the extent that he seems to be, its a “grass always seems greener” problem.

      Sestak had a telephone town hall during teh whole bailout thing where he answered questions about mismanagement of the bailout/TARP funds with promises that proper use of the money would be A1 priority. Ignoring that the original TARP funds were never used for what they were intended, he still did a piss-poor job on his A1 priority.

      1. I love that picture.

  11. Whoa whoa whoa. Hold it right there, Kagan. If you’re talking about your opinions of matters that might come before you as a justice behind closed doors with friendly senators, you need to answer those questions in public before the committee too.

    1. She will answer those questions in public — with evasions that politely suggest we can all go fuck off because she’ll have 60+ votes.

  12. Forgive the threadjack, but I just read the most oddly political movie review in The New York Times. Here’s a sampling:

    You may have heard that Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor, but that was just liberal media propaganda. This Robin is no socialist bandit practicing freelance wealth redistribution, but rather a manly libertarian rebel striking out against high taxes and a big government scheme to trample the ancient liberties of property owners and provincial nobles. Don’t tread on him!

    The whole thing reads like that–a smug liberal smugly liberalizing. Ye gods, in a movie review? About Robin Hood?

    1. It’s a sickness.

      1. Note his subtle use of the word “libertarian.” Fucking leftist twat.

        1. Wow, I’m pissed off, aren’t I?

          1. It’s getting so hard to distinguish the NYT from the Village Voice.

            1. Where does the doofus think liberalism began, anyway? Magna Carta–which was adopted during King John’s reign, incidentally–was the product of an aristocratic rebellion, not one of the common man. But without that and what followed, all those little people he so condescendingly thinks he owns would still be living in and eating shit.

              Virtually every successful revolution in the modern era was a middle class one. Must hate those–too bourgeois.

              1. Geez, ProL, don’t you believe in ROADS?

                1. Nice one, sage.

          2. That’s the proper emotion to have after reading anything from that broke-ass rag, Pro Lib. It means you’re healthy. Well, sort of.

            1. He even mocks our revolution in that bit: “Don’t tread on him!” I’ll trod where and when I like, thank you very much.

              1. I’m frankly amazed that you even read the NYT reviews, because they’re practically all politicized.

                But man, the left is freaking out over their “libertarian” boogeyman. It’s really quite pathetic, especially because they don’t even mean “libertarian” when they say it.

                For the left, “libertarian” now means “tea partiers, people who protest huge sweeping government bailouts and takeovers, and basically anyone who isn’t for bigger and bigger government”. They’re idiots, but just like they turned “racist” into a meaningless term, they’ll do the same here through overuse.

                1. I don’t normally, but I clicked through on the Google News page.

                  How (some) Americans have reached this level of insanity is beyond me.

                  Perhaps that’s why we attract so many liberal trolls–they want to see the essence of libertarian “evil.” What a pack of nutjobs.

                2. I think the left is freaking out for two reasons. One, they can’t allow themselves to even entertain the thought that most Americans don’t approve of what Obama and his gang are doing. It must be the result of some sort of manipulation of opinion. Two, they thought the millennium had arrived after the 2008 elections, and we (libertarians, “Tea Baggers,” etc.) are doing a pretty good job of spoiling that. Having the candy snatched away just when you’d finally got your hands on it is terribly irksome.

                  1. Let’s face it–their agenda requires that government force people to behave in certain ways and to cough up money to fund various programs. If they continue to do that while acknowledging the validity of libertarian views, they reach an irreconcilable barrier. To accept libertarian values at all, you have to agree that limited government is a net good. Can’t do that when unlimited government is perceived as the only means to certain ends.

                    Damned shortsighted attitude, if you ask me.

                  2. I think they’re also freaking out because they really did think that if they got their wishlist of bullshit, the world would suddenly look like a Care Bears cartoon and everything would smell like spring rain and Drakkar Noir. Wait, the Drakkar part is just me, having a nightmare.

                    But instead of getting their Eden, they got a guy who lies and panders to unions and the world is still pretty much the same.

                3. Neocon

                  1. That was intended to Epi’s comment about liberal boogie-words.

                    1. If you’re saying that they would lump neocons in their “libertarian” boogeyman concept, I agree, and it shows how fucking stupid they truly are.

    2. This Robin is no socialist bandit practicing freelance wealth redistribution, but rather a manly libertarian rebel striking out against high taxes and a big government scheme to trample the ancient liberties of property owners and provincial nobles. Don’t tread on him!

      Were not provincial nobles part of the government?

  13. Regardless of her positions, which I’m sure are dreadful (but probably not significantly more or less than anyone else Obama would’ve nominated) it’s refreshing to see a SCOTUS nominee give something approaching a direct and forthright answer when asked her opinion on a recent court decision.

  14. Oh, for a Republican Senator on the Judiciary Committee with the brains, spine, and balls, to read that to her during her hearing, and grill her on it.

    And when she tries to beg off answering because it has to do with a matter that may come before her on the Court, ask her why she can discuss it in private with Senators who will vote on her confirmation, but not in public.

    1. You are underestimating Jeff Sessions.

  15. “We talked about the Citizens United case and she said she thought the court was not sufficiently deferential to Congress.”

    Plus, she’s ugly. There, I said it!

    1. Lookist!

  16. If the Constitution doesn’t require the corporate form exist whatsoever, how does the Constitution preclude Congress from, instead of banning it entirely, limiting it legislatively? Maybe you can make a federalism argument, but I’m not convinced by the First Amendment claim.

    Congress could create a business form called a Zorperation, which pays no taxes whatsoever. However, the statute would also preclude Zorperations from contributing to elections. Is your position that this is unconstitutional? If so, why?

    1. Apparently it’s not, because you sorta generally described a 501(c)(3). Tax-exempt (in general), but can’t engage in electioneering.

      1. Such a statute would be unconstitutional, because it would be a “law” that was “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”.

        Unconstitutional in the sense of violating the clear wording of the 1st, rather than in the sense of getting 5+ SCOTUS judges to strike it down.

    2. If the first amendment claim is not valid, then Freedom of the Press means nothing. Who do you think puts out newspapers? It is not individuals all by themselves.

  17. Enabling the unconstitutional behavior of other branches of the government is not ‘judicial restraint’ or ‘deference,’ it’s abdication of the judge’s pledged duty to the Constitution.

    Recall Mad Max’s Law: Judicial restraint is the doctrine that it’s OK for the courts to jump off a bridge if all the other branches of government are doing it, too. (The bridge, in this metaphor, is of course the Constitution).

    1. And, may I add, as a troll who happens to live under that particular bridge, I find it very annoying to watch Congressmen, Presidents, and judges drop into the water when they could have just stayed on the bridge and kept dry and secure.

      (in my metaphor, the water under the bridge represents the uncharted seas of lawlessness, or something along those lines)

  18. The issue of deference to Congress on fact-finding matters is something which I consider very important.

    I find it less important, because Congress would have a hard time finding a fact with both hands if it was glued to Congress’s collective dick (assuming Congress has one anymore).

    I mean, the way that Congress’s “findings” work is that Congress simply declares something to be so. Just look at any choice piece of legislation within the past 30 years or so. In order to justify its existence and fortify it against potential constitutional challenge, Congress just starts out with “Congress finds that …” and puts in a bunch of bullshit justification masquerading as facts that Congress supposedly “found.”

    Good case in point was the Gun-Free School Zone act struck down in U.S. v. Lopez. The Court pointed out that there was an insufficient nexus with interstate commerce to save the law. The Court explicitly said something to the effect of, “geez, Congress didn’t even offer up some findings that guns in school zones affected interstate commerce. And heck, they also didn’t limit the law to guns that had actually traveled interstate.”

    So what did Congress do, immediately after that decision came out? Re-passed the law, but this time, with some bullshit “findings” that guns in school zones can affect commerce, and then made the law apply to guns – or parts thereof – that had traveled interstate.

    What a joke.

  19. Thread detour –

    This headline has to be worth some kind of award:

    BP hopes pipe insertion will capture spewing crude.

  20. Sounds like a bunch of political back sliding to me dude.

    Lou
    http://www.total-anonymity.se.tc

  21. Perhaps Kagan agrees with Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in Lawrence v. Texas, where he criticized the majority for being “impatient with democratic change.”

    As was pointed out in the dissent, and the Bowers case it overturned, sodomy was not generally recognized as a civil right at the time the Ninth Amendment was ratified.

  22. “not sufficiently deferential” = “just shut the fuck up and do what Congress says, and double-shut the fuck up about the Tenth Amendment, you freaks of nature”.

    Chad? Tony? Your turn. Fight over who goes first.

  23. “The issue of deference to Congress on fact-finding matters

    “Fact finding matters”?

    What the fuck?

  24. Obama likes his Justices to be authoritarian liberals. What more is there to understand?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.