Supreme Court

Stephen Breyer's Commerce Clause Stream-of-Consciousness, as Performed by The Dude


The D.C. Examiner's Conn Carroll has highlighted what he calls Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's "unhinged Commerce Clause ramblings." So naturally I thought we should make a crude animation using the star of The Big Lebowski:

Reason's coverage of the Supreme Court case has been terrific; start here for a list of articles, blog posts, and videos.

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  1. shut the fuck up donnie

  2. Breyer mischaracterized the facts and holdings of every case he alluded to.


  3. Stephen Breyer is just a nihilist.

    1. He believes in nothing, Harris. Nothing. And tomorrow he comes back and he cuts off your chonson.

      1. Say what you want about National Socialism. But at least it was an ethos.

        1. You know who else believed in National Soci….wait…..never mind.

          1. Excellent commenter, would read again!

        2. I look back at history and I see National Socialism as a government. An efficient government created out of nothing. Is it a government? I think it is.

      2. And I here I was thinking they believed in Nussing.

        Boy do I have egg on my face.

        1. *pulling up pants*

          That’s not egg on your face…

      1. Thought provoking comment!

        1. The Dude abides.

    2. You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don’t wanna know about it, believe me.

  4. Reason’s coverage of the Supreme Court case has been terrific

    It must be true, for Reason told me so itself.

    1. The august personage of the Editor-in-Chief, no less! Don’t wrench your shoulder patting yourself on the back, Matt.

      I kid. It has been good. Plus, y’all do something a lot of outlets won’t: you link to the audio and transcripts. Apparently letting the proles see primary source documents is verboten for some outlets.

      1. I guess part of the reason I feel fine in doing so is that I really haven’t played a major role in producing said coverage. Just giving props to the colleagues!

        1. I gathered that, because I’d yet to see an analogy to Jim Fregosi or Brian Downing.

      2. Apparently letting the proles see primary source documents is verboten for some outlets.

        It’s because it has to go through the NPR News Interpretation Organ first. Guess which end you’re on?

  5. “The Dude: I’ll tell you what I’m blathering about… I’ve got information man! New shit has come to light! And shit… man, she kidnapped herself. Well sure, man. Look at it… a young trophy wife, in the parlance of our times, you know, and she, uh, uh, owes money all over town, including to known pornographers, and that’s cool… that’s, that’s cool, I’m, I’m saying, she needs money, man. And of course they’re going to say that they didn’t get it, because… she wants more, man! She’s got to feed the monkey, I mean uh… hasn’t that ever occurred to you, man? Sir? “

    1. It’s just, do you have to use so many cus words?

  6. Yeah, well, y’know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

  7. Beautiful, Matt.

    It’d be nice to see what can be similarly done with this or this.

    1. I’m, I’m saying, that’s cool, cause … I mean, it’s … like been done, you know, already by, uh, itself.

  8. Reason’s coverage of the Supreme Court case has been terrific

    Citation from independent source?

    1. He doesn’t need someone to declare him independent. He wrote the book on it.

  9. It is clear that the obamacare proponents are rationalizing. The notable exception is Pelosi who is at least honest enough to say ‘fuck you, thats why’. God, what a vile hag she is.

    1. she looks like she was bonable back in the day tho. so there’s that

      1. In addition to being an idiot, you now demonstrate for us that your taste in womenz is GROSS??

        Jersus, Urine…


        1. hey now – dont barf ur gay on me

          *burning clothes*

      2. o3, I don’t think you could fit her dick in any orifice of your body. That fucker’s gotta be *huge*

      3. I’ve thought this too. I find that women with small faces age a bit better.…..90×656.jpg

    2. The legal analogy of “Why? Because fuck you, that’s why”:

      “Why? because Commerce Clause, that’s why”

  10. OT: Repost –…..nt_2947715

    What do you guys think of it?

    1. That’s very screwed up. Considering the amount of benefit of the doubt that police get for their “mistakes…”

      Having said that, the part that kind of blew my mind a little was at the very end:

      The juvenile co-suspect was charged with two counts of commercial burglary, one count of grand theft and one count of failure to register as a gang member as a condition of his probation…


      1. “Well, since you Crips and Bloods REGISTERED as gang members, we’ll let this series of gangwars go, but…watch it.”

      2. “Don’t forget to write your registration number on the check.”

      3. Sounds like a law that’s used to tack on another charge on someone like not paying a special tax on drugs.

        1. That’s exactly what it made me think of.

    2. Well, DUH! Clearly we can’t have 911 called getting the Po Po all riled up, so OF COURSE the caller should be charged with “Making Police Overreact and Kill Someone Whom They Probably Wouldn’t Have Otherwise”.

      I hope he has to pay for their counseling, too, which they’ll clearly need after this traumatic event.

      What a jerk…

      1. I say “probably wouldn’t otherwise kill” because – you know – they might be dog owners or somethings, so….

      2. “Making Police Overreact and Kill Someone Whom They Probably Wouldn’t Have Otherwise”.

        Depends on the officer’s patrol route.

  11. His argument is ridiculous, and so intentionally obtuse that I am amazed that a USSC Justice made it.

    Case in Point: He says “Congress can make you drive faster than 35 or 45 mph”. True, but Congress can’t pass a law making you get into the car and drive.

    Or, at least, they can’t until Obamacare is approved and their new compelling powers are mercilessly applied everywhere else…

    1. Congress can’t make you drive at any speed limit maximum or minimum unless you are on federal land.

      What they can do, is threaten to withhold revenue sharing with the states. One of several reasons I hate the idea of revenue sharing.

    2. Congress can make you drive faster than 35 or 45 mph

      But they STILL can’t make Sammy van Hagar drive fitty fie.

      1. Can they make me drink?

  12. Well this is what happens when you fight a stranger in the alps Breyer!

  13. Declare that law unconstitutional and you are entering a world of pain.

  14. Posting this as “The Dude” is actually insulting to the real Duderino. Cause Breyer does not abide.

  15. The xtranormal voice actually sounds like Breyer’s real voice.

    1. The Breyer abides.

  16. I say, hey, can’t Congress make people drive faster than 45 — 40 miles an hour on a road? Didn’t they make that man growing his own wheat go into the market and buy other wheat for his — for his cows? Didn’t they make Mrs. — if she married somebody who had marijuana in her basement, wouldn’t she have to go and get rid of it? Affirmative action?

    Holy fuck.

    That right there, in P Brooks -topia, would be sufficient to initiate removal from the bench.

    1. When I can make a better argument than a SCJ, it’s time for them to go.

  17. The little prick is stonewalling us.

  18. Careful man, there’s a beverage here.

  19. Reason’s coverage of the Supreme Court case has been terrific

    Fuck, Mary even has Matt Welch trolling. Nice one.

  20. To be honest, I find Carol’s nitpicking of Breyers arguments of how past cases don’t directly apply very unsatisfying. All it does is reinforce the Commerce Clauses’ viability!

    For example:

    This is a reference to McCulloch v. Maryland, in which the Court upheld Congress’ ability to create the Second Bank of the United States. But, as Paul Clement pointed out in oral argument, Chief Justice John Marshall found that Congress’ power to create the bank came from the Necessary and Proper Clause, not the Commerce Clause as Breyer suggests.

    1. wiki
      The clause has been paired with the Commerce Clause to provide the constitutional basis for a wide variety of federal laws.

      Indeed, the influence of the Necessary and Proper Clause and its broader interpretation under McCulloch v. Maryland in American jurisprudence can be seen in cases generally thought to simply involve the Commerce Clause.

      Marshall’s op:…..16_ZO.html

      Although, among the enumerated powers of Government, we do not find the word “bank” or “incorporation,” we find the great powers, to lay and collect taxes; to borrow money; to regulate commerce;

      But it may with great reason be contended that a Government intrusted with such ample powers, on the due execution of which the happiness and prosperity of the Nation so vitally depends, must also be intrusted with ample means for their execution.

      1. To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.

        Not :

        “to regulate commerce”.

        sumbitch can’t even quote the source material honestly before he starts dishonestly misinterpreting it.

    2. I’m sorry, but isn’t nitpicking the very essence and lifeblood of the legal profession?

      1. and libertarians

    3. No, they didn’t. Breyer is pretty clearly referring to the landmark New Deal case Wickard v Filburn here, a case where the Department of Agriculture fined a farmer for growing more wheat than the government set quota allowed. Again, no one forced the farmer to do anything. He could have chosen not to grow wheat, or not to be a farmer at all. The individual mandate is completely different. Just by their very existence Congress is forcing everyone to buy a specific product. also very unsatisfying. “Hey ok, that was legit use of Commerce Clause, but you can’t apply that here!”

      Ok, no one is “forced” to buy insurance. We’ll just penalize you every time you go to the doctor. After the wheat farmer was not forced to grow wheat, he was just penalized for doing so.

    4. This is like SolGen’s being suprised by the “limiting” arguements. It’s like Breyer didn’t bother to prepare or bother to peruse some of the pile of amicus briefs — or even have his clerks give him the 25 cent tour of them and their arguements.

      Really folks, you people get paid nicely and have cushy jobs. But if you are going to be front and center in a historical case, at least read the fucking Cliff Notes.

  21. Does Breyer have to use so many cuss words?

    1. Fucking amatuers.

  22. See, the Constitution is just a nationwide game of Simon says.

    1. I see it more as a nationwide game of red-light green-light.

      Pass any bill as fast as you can before the electorate catches you. If they don’t catch you, you get to keep all the ground you covered…

  23. nitpicking of Breyers arguments

    Wait, what? It now constitutes “nitpicking” to highlight his nonsensical senile ramblings?

    1. because it still legitimizes the use of the Commerce Clause (and Breyer was actually right on the national bank case, the marijuana case, and the wheat farmer case; see above)

      If you don’t dismantle the instrument that can and has been used to rationalize nearly anything the government does, then you can nitpick the arguments as to establishing precedent for applying to Obamacare, and they can still just rephrase it or workaround it (see the wheat farmer example above).

      1. I was kinda hoping he was pointing out the logical trail of bad decisions that lead us here so that they could use this occasion to revisit these precedents.

        What…. why are you laughing?

        1. I’m laughing because this historical episode is unprecedented.

  24. Anyone else think the only reason to hope for a Romney win is that he might nominate a SC justice or two that’s worth a shit?

    1. No. Romney doesn’t appear to believe in anything, so what that means is that he’ll nominate a justice who will believe anything.

  25. Bartender! I’ll have two of what the Justice is having.

    1. No, you’ll have two of whatever the Justice is giving. Big difference.

  26. Behindertsein ist sch?n

  27. According to wickerpedia, Breyer makes $213,900 a year. So just remember, as you mail off that 1040, it takes you and most of your neighborhood, depending, just to pay this one guy. And for what? A thought process so mushy it could literally put him in danger of serious legal repercussion, were he to be employed in any of a number of other more technically rigorous lines of work.

  28. I was kinda hoping he was pointing out the logical trail of bad decisions that lead us here so that they could use this occasion to revisit these precedents.5 toe shoes

  29. It likes so fun!I really appreciated it.5 toe shoes

  30. I really appreciated it.

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