Supreme Court

Dear Liberals, Stop Freaking Out About the Supreme Court

Freedom isn't so dangerous.

|

Reaction to Supreme Court decisions generally falls into two camps: (a) The court wisely followed the Constitution, legal precedent, first principles, logic, and sensible jurisprudence, or (b) WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!

Reaction B was on full view after the Hobby Lobby decision, in which the Supreme Court held that some companies could cite religious objections to avoid complying with a federal contraception mandate. The New Yorker offered a typically measured and thoughtful response: "When the Taliban Meets Hobby Lobby," which was based on the extremely realistic premise that the Taliban would move to the U.S., set up a closely held corporation, and then file suit to avoid having to pay insurance coverage for polio vaccinations.

The essay drew a lot of amused response. "What if the Taliban wanted to exercise its right to free speech?!?!?!?!" mocked one reader on Twitter. "Sure, the 4th Amendment SOUNDS nice," wrote another. "But what if a cop pulled over Osama bin Laden driving down I-95?!"

Still, you can't blame people who lose an argument for getting upset. Unfortunately, they also tend to exaggerate. And to complain not only that the reasoning was wrong but that the decision will produce consequences so horrible we'd all be better off letting an asteroid the size of Texas smack into planet Earth and kill everything but the roaches.

That was the reaction in many quarters after two Supreme Court rulings in favor of gun rights. After the high court struck down a District of Columbia handgun ban, Mayor Adrian Fenty predicted that "introducing more handguns into the District will mean more handgun violence." Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin agreed: "There is no question that this decision from the Supreme Court makes it harder for all mayors to keep their city safe," she warned. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley called the ruling "very frightening." The New York Times insisted that the Court had "all but ensured that even more Americans will die senselessly."

Two years later, the Supreme Court extended its District of Columbia v. Heller ruling in McDonald v. Chicago. Reaction? Lather, rinse, and repeat.

Yet none of those predictions turned out to be accurate. After the rulings, the national homicide rate kept falling, and as did violent crime overall, and large cities especially enjoyed some of the largest declines. But wait—weren't 14 people killed by gunfire in Chicago last weekend alone? Sadly, yes. (Pertinent point: Two of them were gunned down by police officers.) But that headline overshadowed the fact that, overall, Chicago's homicide total has been trending down—and last year reached a low it hadn't seen in half a century.

A similar pattern played out after the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United, which said the government could not prohibit the election-season distribution of a movie about Hillary Clinton just because it was produced by a corporation. Reaction from the left was hotter than thermite plasma.

The Court had given corporations the power to "overwhelm elections," fumed the New York Times corporation. A commentator from another corporation (MSNBC) declared the case the worst ruling since Dred Scott, which upheld slavery. President Obama said Citizens United "strikes at democracy itself." Others called the ruling a "constitutional Frankenstein moment," a "corporate takeover," "radical," "absurd" and "terrifying." Some progressives launched a campaign to rewrite the First Amendment. Really.

How did the predicted hostile takeover of democracy by corporate America turn out? In the aftermath of the 2012 elections, the Times reported: "American Crossroads, the super PAC founded by Karl Rove, spent $104 million in the general election, but none of its candidates won. The United States Chamber of Commerce spent $24 million backing Republicans in 15 Senate races; only two of them won. Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul, spent $53 million on nine Republican candidates, eight of whom lost." It was, as the paper noted, "A Landslide Loss for Big Money."

Oh.

Nevertheless, after the court ruled this year against aggregate contribution limits in McCutcheon v. FEC, the same parties made the same dire predictions about the same dire consequences that were sure to follow. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

Then came Hobby Lobby, and the million or so predictions that future cases will lead to countless other religious exemptions from other federal mandates. Taliban Inc. is on the way!

Anything is possible, and all the many horribles the Court's critics have hypothesized could come to pass. There's always a chance. Why, in a few years, the health care marketplace might look just as it looked in those dark, primitive days of … July 2011, a month before the Department of Health and Human Services issued its insurance-coverage mandates.

In that event, employees of large companies could find themselves in the same boat as—well, employees of small companies. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees don't have to cover contraception. Or blood transfusions. Or immunizations, or emergency room care. In fact, small companies don't have to offer insurance at all.

Yet many do. Heck, for that matter, even Hobby Lobby covers contraception—16 kinds of it, excepting only four it considers contrary to the doctrines of faith. As a matter of fact, the AP reports, free birth control coverage is becoming the norm. Despite the Hobby Lobby ruling, "business groups and employee benefits consultants say they see little chance that employers will roll back contraceptive coverage." Imagine that.

Funny how things work out, isn't it? Time and again, the Supreme Court expands the boundaries of liberty. Time and again, statists predict that the sky will fall, the seven seals of Revelation will be opened, dogs and cats will start sleeping together—and then things will really start to go downhill. Yet time and again, the gloom and doom fail to materialize.

Maybe freedom isn't quite so dangerous after all.

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.

131 responses to “Dear Liberals, Stop Freaking Out About the Supreme Court

  1. Look, liberals gotta freak out about something. And most of the time, that something makes no sense at all. So if they’re going to freak out about something, and they are, it may just as well be this as fracking, GMO, global warming, gay rights, war on women, tea baggers, dangerous extremist libertarians, Koch bros, the Christian Taliban, Boosh, Joos …. need I go on?

    1. Hyperion|7.14.14 @ 12:05PM|#
      “Look, liberals gotta freak out about something.”

      And from the pol’s POV, it’s wonderful! Make noise, do nothing, pander to low-info voters, get re-elected!

      1. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

    2. Thomas Sowell said, ‘Liberals take what works and replace it with something that seems like a good idea.”

      1. its awesome,,, Start working at home with Google. It’s a great work at home opportunity. Just work for few hours. I earn up to $100 a day. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. http://www.Fox81.com

    3. Stop calling them liberals. Progs are as illiberal as it gets. Proto-fascists with a taste for power and a make it up as they go set of “principles”

  2. Maybe all the goddamn idiots on both sides should take a larger understanding of the bigger solution:
    STOP GIVING THE GOVT SO MUCH CONTROL OVER YOUR FUCKING LIVES

    Then, there’s less likelihood that a decision from 9-dress wearing dinosaurs that could ever affect your freedoms/birth control/gun rights/healthcare/etc.

    Not only do all these idiots want to hand control of everything over to a wise federal govt, they also expect that any ridiculous challenges from those who disagree should be always unanimously defeated. When challenges actually succeed, it’s endless whining and butthurt.

    1. you just don’t get it, do you? If people had control over their own lives, they might not make the “right” decisions. They might do something stupid. They might try something and fail. They might have to face consequences for their decisions or, horrors!, pay for those decisions themselves.

      1. They might try something and fail.

        I’m absolutely convinced this is the only motive behind every progressive out there; the fear of failing.

        1. They don’t fear failure as much as the consequences of failure. Because they have good intentions. And they shouldn’t face consequences when their good intentions cause more harm than good. That’s just not fair.

          Thus the Road to Hell is paved.

          1. The forseeable consequences of an action are not separable from the action itself lest the meaning of “action” become irrelevant.

            1. It is irrelevant, only intentions matter

              1. If only I could make a living off of my intentions!

                1. You can! Just follow these easy steps:

                  1) Become a “victim”
                  2) Lobby for “victim” recompensation
                  3) Vote accordingly
                  4) Mooch off mom and dad in the meantime

            2. The forseeable consequences of an action are not separable from the action itself lest the meaning of “action” become irrelevant.

              We’re talking about people who use terms like “social justice,” which is by definition injustice. They’re all about making meanings of words irrelevant. It’s called progress.

          2. We just want to make it so that failure in capitalism is not a death sentence. And not just because of our bleeding hearts, but because people who don’t have to worry about basic needs are more *free* to take risks in capitalism.

            You worship a vulgar and basic form of capitalism that amounts to bartering and begging.

            1. Tony:

              because people who don’t have to worry about basic needs are more *free* to take risks in capitalism.

              Yeah, and let’s ignore the fact that people who fork over 50% if their income to various levels of government aren’t more *free* to take risks in capitalism.

              Because it really is that simple and one-sided: all benefit, no cost.

              1. Yeah there’s a cost: the amount in taxes taken to pay for it, which for the wealthy is not enough to leave them anything but still wealthy, and thus significantly more free to participate in capitalism than the poor people’s livelihoods he’s helping to subsidize.

                Since we’re now working under the assumption that such things as tax policy are open to debate, that rates are based on practical and ethical concerns, what you’re saying is you prioritize the ability of wealthy people to keep more wealth over the feeding and clothing of starving children. Now, I think these priorities are seriously fucked up, but ethical rightness is subject to interpretation.

                1. Because only the wealthy pay taxes. Right.

                  I’m sorry, but, at the point you’re taxing people 50% of income, exactly how many people would be wealthy, but never become so?

                  Because the idea that all people taxed are wealthy and remain so is a seriously fucked up math fail, and mathematical rightness is not subject to interpretation.

            2. If that was all we were talking about it would be much simpler. However, that really isn’t the nature of government in the US. Not in the slightest.

              As an aside, what is the difference between someone “begging” the indifferent bureaucracies of the state and “begging” from the (more likely) altruistic workers at a charity?

            3. Tony…That sounds good, the part about people not having to worry about basic needs, but people who don’t have to worry about basic needs usually do nothing. And, that means someone else is working twice as hard as he or she could be working in order to support the person doing nothing.

              Why don’t we just give everyone all their basic needs? Why not? Think about it. Those who want to accomplish more and live beyond that will do so, and those who don’t will settle back and collect pogey. Progressive utopia.

              But, who is paying for all those who choose to do nothing? Where are their needs coming from. Whose productivity? Address that in a practical way, come up with a way that someone else’s needs can be met by a 3rd party without detracting from the 3rd party and you’ll be famous, as you would be the only person ever to write an algorithm for socialism that works.

        2. No. The motive behind a substantial bunch of Progressives, identical to the motive of most Aristocrats, is the fundamental belief that it is onlt just ans right that they tell the rest of us what to do, and we do it. What they are deathly afraid of is that we might ignore them, as the truely insignificant arrogant twits that they are.

      2. You aren’t free unless you are free to be wrong.

        1. Who is more free to be wrong? The person who takes a risk, is wrong, and then starves to death? Or the person who takes a risk, is wrong, and is able to pick himself up and try again?

          1. Tony:

            Who is more free to be wrong? The person who takes a risk, is wrong, and then starves to death? Or the person who takes a risk, is wrong, and is able to pick himself up and try again?

            Please explain to me why it’s rational for someone who’s on the verge of starving to death to take risks.

            1. It’s not, that’s what I said. Starvation is a lack of freedom in this and every other way.

              But the freedom deficit you really care about what a billionaire can’t because he has to pay taxes.

              1. can’t do*

                1. RIght. Because only billionaires pay taxes, and all taxes go to feed starving children.

                  If you’re assumptions are all fantasies, so are your conclusions.

          2. Tony…can you come up with an example that makes even a little sense? Make it real enough that you can’t instantly be dismissed as a twit.

    2. If the government doesn’t have absolute control, how can it force someone else to pay for your rubbers?

  3. I don’t think the terms “liberals” and “progressives” should be used interchangeably.

    If you think that the First Amendment shouldn’t protect beliefs that you don’t like? Then you may think of yourself as a “liberal”, but I saw a homeless guy on the Strand, once, who thought of himself as Nero.

    A “progressive” is someone who thinks the government should force individuals to make sacrifices (often of their individual rights) for what they see as the greater good.

    And so, if these “liberals” think people shouldn’t be free to believe things that (supposedly) aren’t in society’s greater interests–no matter what the First Amendment says? Then why call them “liberals”?

    They’re not liberals–they’re progressives.

    1. “Progressive” has a positive connotation to it for those uninitiated to political theory that is remarkably Orwellian newspeak. I prefer the term leftist.

      1. I’d use the term “statist” if conservatives weren’t often so damnably intent on claiming that title for themselves.

        1. Or just plain socialist or fascist. The average low-information voter needs to learn that fascism is a disease of the Left. Somehow they’ve been conned into thinking it comes from the Right.

          1. Fascism is a melding of the worst aspects of BOTH the far left and far right. And to be fair, there are few prominent politicians in the U.S. that deserve that label.

            But you are right about something…Low information voters are a problem. But I’d posit that the misinformed voters are worse.

            1. I must respectfully disagree; far too many politicians in the U.S. Deserve to be called Fascist. That are addicted to meddling, and suffer from the delusion that they should be immune from criticism and invective.

    2. Matter of degree.

      Republicans and democrats, liberals and conservatives, liberals and progs, conservatives and tea partiers…

      None of them base their beliefs on “first principles”. They simply select a position on a given issue (usually) based on taking the opposite side of their political opponents. They can’t trace it back to an overarching ideology. In fact, they could switch positions entirely on an issue and no one would notice.

      Liberal vs prog? Not sure if there is a difference other than the latter seems a bit more militant.

      1. I just pointed out the difference.

        Liberals really do believe in things like the First Amendment.

        Progressives really don’t.

        A Progressive is someone who genuinely believes that progress is made by using the government to force people to make sacrifices–and who sees individual rights as an obstacle to progress.

        Liberals honestly believe that everyone has certain rights. These were the liberals who thought black people should have the same rights as everyone else, for instance, during the Civil Rights struggle. It’s important to remember that happened during the Baby Boomers’ lifetimes–seems like ancient history, but those people are still with us.

        Liberals have since made common cause with progressives, and they’re being subsumed by progressives–but those older liberals are still out there.

        I see this as being a little bit like one of Jean Kirkpatrick’s distinctions between authoritarianism and totalitarianism, where she argued that authoritarians are reachable. As far off as we libertarians are from them on economic issues, liberals–who reverence individual rights–really can be reached.

        Because progressives are hostile to the very existence of individual rights (Tony will refer to believing in them as “believing in magic”), progressives are completely beyond our influence. There’s just no common context. Nothing with which to engage or find traction.

        1. So you’re saying, they’ve shifted DOWN.

          I put it to you that the right is shifting UP.

          Now it’s simply good vs evil.

        2. The only liberals left are libertarians. The others went full on commie a long time ago.

        3. Liberals really do believe in things like the First Amendment.

          Well, kinda. People who self-identify as liberals support the business speech exception to the 1A, support state-imposed penalties on speech via “hostile workplace” and “hate speech/crime” laws, and support restriction on political speech via campaign finance laws.

          And they have completely tossed aside the right of free association.

          Other than that, though . . .

        4. Liberals honestly believe that everyone has certain rights.

          That’s part of the problem; most of those “rights” involve the right to MY SHIT.

          1. I’m not saying that they’re correct about your rights or that they’re in any way consistent about your rights…

            But liberals do believe in and reverence rights in their fashion, so they are reachable in that respect.

            This is in stark contrast to progressives, who are hostile–almost by definition–to the very existence of rights generally and individual rights in particular since they get in the way of “progress”.

        5. Nobody of the liberal persuasion believes any of this horseshit or finds it remotely coherent. This is Glenn Beck U crap. Liberals can’t even tell you what the difference is between them and progressives, and there really aren’t any clear lines. They’re just names. “Progressive” became popular once the right started turning “liberal” into a pejorative. (They’re good at propaganda and little else. Sorry that you’re a victim.)

          1. Tony:

            “Progressive” became popular once the right started turning “liberal” into a pejorative. (They’re good at propaganda and little else. Sorry that you’re a victim.)

            This from the people who call themselves “progressive”? As if that’s not pure question begging?

            Why don’t you just call yourself “good”? “We’re the good people. We like goodness, instead of badness. What, are you for badness, and against goodness?”

            Yeah, I’d hate to be on a side that uses propaganda.

            1. They’re just labels. They’re not that important. Except to people for whom power and duping people go hand-in-hand and are the only thing they’re interested in. Now, clearly, “progressive” has been pushed through the Luntz grinder and turned into a dirty word.

              Rightwingers can’t think much more deeply than this level of mere terminology, which is why it excites them so much. It hurts their heads to actually have to think about stuff; much simpler just to have the Red Scare replayed over and over with different terms.

              1. wow, that is a surprisingly incisive view from one of the duped. At least you are aware that the party line you hew to is a joke.

              2. Progressive was the term for lefties in the up until about the mid 30’s. Why did they change their brand from Progressive to Liberal? Because the leaders of the movement were almost all – to a man – supporters of Italian fascism: George Soule, W. E. B. DuBois, Charles Beard, H.G. Wells, FDR, Teddy R, Wilson, Samuel McClure, Rexford Guy Tugwell, G. B. Shaw,etc.

                After fascism acquired it’s characteristic stink, they changed their tune.

          2. Tony:

            “Progressive” became popular once the right started turning “liberal” into a pejorative. (They’re good at propaganda and little else. Sorry that you’re a victim.)

            Actually, I think progressive predates “liberal” in the modern sense of the word (i.e., not classical liberalism).

            But, hey: don’t let that get in the way of a right-wing rant.

            1. Call it cyclical, sort of like how “insufferable bastard” and “libertarian” have exchanged places from time to time.

              1. Insufferable: 1. too extreme to bear; intolerable. 2. having or showing unbearable arrogance or conceit.

                Please explain again how to organize society through the application of violence to maximize human well-being, as you’ve figured out, since you know everything.

                Then, please explain how libertarians are insufferable.

        6. Historicism is at the heart of Progressivism. From that, they deny that there exists timeless axiomatic principles of government. So it is trivially true, from their set of beliefs, that inalienable rights don’t/shouldn’t exist.

          Thus they are fiendish assholes who need to be removed from power.

          1. One can be a reductionist while realizing that human societies are too complex for us to have a fully correct grasp on their underlying interactions or axioms (as of this point). “Society” is a classic example of a complex system for which a reductionist approach is inadequate. I’d say we have partial knowledge, but a lot more than you would admit to, in fact. Thus, your allegedly non-Historicist principles amount to dogmatic assertions.

            The real distinction is more broad, between scientific rationalism and dogmatism. Rights are either assertions or they are codified. None are literally inalienable, because all rights can be violated. That’s just careful use of language. Nobody’s saying rights shouldn’t exist.

            1. If one decides to treat them as inalienable – with the requisite discipline that entails – then they become as inalienable as they can get. If one is religious then inalienable rights from the Creator had added authority. Other groups can add authority through their conviction to the idea that as a consequence of being human (or a citizen of a certain country, etc.) one has rights that cannot revoked. It’s an idea that has applications for society. It should be as ubiquitous and universal as the illegality of murder. Sadly, it is not.

              Progressive scholars are/have been influenced by Historicism. That is a fact. The pragmatic theory also suggests that axioms of government (rights, principles) are only valid within historical context. Therefore, “inalienable” rights cannot exist within that framework. This mode of thought influences everyone (in some way) who is trained in Progressivism…thus the fiendish nature of Progressives, even if they don’t realize just how craven they are.

            2. Tony…your first sentence is the first thing you’ve ever written, that I’ve read, that makes any sense. “…societies are too complex for us to have a fully correct grasp on their underlying interactions….”. That is what libertarianism is about. We know that, that is why we know a committee of the best and brightest making decisions for all of us is just another stupidity. The only non-stupidity is to have the maximum amount of intelligence, that is individuals acting in ways they think will enhance their lives, continually correcting and improving, until their lives actually are better is the basis of a good society.

            3. Tony:

              That’s just careful use of language. Nobody’s saying rights shouldn’t exist.

              Since rights are abstract, please explain how they “exist,” using careful use of language, of course.

            4. Tony:

              Rights are either assertions or they are codified.

              1. assertion: a confident and forceful statement of fact or belief. 2. the action of stating something or exercising authority confidently and forcefully.

              This implies that all rights are assertions, whether or not the are codified. Your distinction is meaningless, or reduces to “some rights are codified, some are not.”

              Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory.[1]

              There is nothing in this definition that says that “real” “existing” rights are only codified.

              And, if you say that only the “real” “existing” rights are codified, do you use the force of law to mandate that everyone accepts that? If not, is it not just an assertion?

              Therefore, you’re engaging in a performance contradiction: you are willing to make assertions about rights which are not backed up by the violence of the state, yet you insist that assertions only matter when they are backed up by the violence of the state. Therefore, one has no reason to accept your premises, and your argument invalidates itself.

              Any attempt to say “well, state enforcement is the only thing that matters” invalidates everything not enforced (you)

              1. Not only that, but you’re invalidating and contradicting your own statements about rights.

                You frequently say that people have a right, or should have a right, to universal healthcare. This is not current US policy, and is not codified by law. Therefore, your statement is just an assertion. By your previous statements, this implies that it can be ignored as dogma.

                However, if we use the usual definition of rights above, you are actually making a statement about an ethical principle.

                Which do you prefer? I’d suggest choosing one and going with it.

    3. I once saw a girl describe herself as a ‘libertarian-communist’ on Al Gore’s Internet.

      1. That’s roughly analogous to anarcho-communist, which I have heard multiple times from various idiots being profiled at protests.

      2. One of our forefathers, probably Nock, did borrow the rarely-used term libertarian from the mutualist types.

        Apparently the usual European suspects had taken to calling themselves libertarian in the early 20th century, as labor-theory policy would free them from the wage slavery of capitalism. Which makes as much sense as an abolitionist calling himself a libertarian b/c prohibition would free him from the slavery of drink, but that’s a socialist for you.

    4. Liberals, Progressives … what they are is would-be Aristocrats, and to hell with the lot of them.

  4. I’d be more than happy entertaining the various end-of-the-world suppositions made by the left if they would at the very least get the essentials of the case and decision right. Of course, having done so I doubt they’d find very much noteworthy about this tepid and bloodless victory in defense of freedom of conscience.

    1. For most of them, it’s just another battle in the culture war.

      Score one point for Team Red.

      Why get lost in the details?

      1. This. I remember having a discussion with a family member after the Supreme Court struck down the VRA requirements that had caused the monitoring of voting in many counties across southern states. He was very upset with theSCOTUS, as his position was that they were against/removing voter’s rights for minorities. I informed him of the fact that the real question was that the data upon which these counties were chosen for federal election monitoring was 50 years old. Congress had not done its job in updating the data in all that time. If he wanted to be mad at someone, it should be Congress. I then also reminded him that neither he, nor I would want to be measured now, by our behavior as teenagers. He got quiet, but I’m not sure it actually sunk in.

  5. I am sorry but I just don’t get you Americans. Have any of you bothered to read the Constitution? If you have and have looked at all of the things that the Federal Government does you have to panic about what the SCOUTS has been doing. The way I see it the Constitution is treated as just another piece of paper by the politicians and voters don’t seem to care. The fact that Obamacare passed or that the SCOUTS made a ruling on something that was so clearly unconstitutional should be a cause for panic not just by liberals but by everyone.

    1. But the left tends to concentrate its supreme court freak-outs mostly on cases where the court actually rules in accordance with the limited and enumerated powers.

    2. Yeah, the problem is that we’re Americans.

      If we were another country, our politicians and our people would be virtuous and immune to scaremongering and demagoguery.

      And it wouldn’t really matter where it was!

      Asians are virtuous and immune to scaremongering. Latin Americans are virtuous almost to a fault and never fall prey to demagoguery. And Europeans?

      Well, don’t even get me started there! They’re so much more sophisticated, virtuous, and immune to demagoguery, that we Americans are just peons in comparison. It’s amazing that we Americans don’t all just kill ourselves out of embarrassment!

      1. And the Europeans have better healthcare and it’s free for everyone! And in fact, everything in Europe is better than here. I know this because some proggie who’s never been there said so.

    3. “you have to panic about what the SCOUTS has been doing”

      Vague person is vague.

      What exactly should people be panicking about?, re: the Hobby Lobby ruling?

      1. It opens the door to THEOKKKRACY!!@ (or so I have heard.)

      2. Go troll around on democraticunderground or balloon-juice

        I hope they have a backup plan that allows all women who can’t get access to contraception to get onto some kind of public option. And some kind of penalty for the employers who discriminate would be nice.

        This is what happens when you negotiate with conservatives. The first “religious objection” for churches and non-profits was a purposeful foot in the door. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fat Tony told them how to do it.

        It’s not any boss’s business, and healthcare should be single payer NOW with perhaps a tax to the employer to pay for it. With no loopholes at all.

        1. Fat Tony

          That’s quite racist, isn’t it?

          1. “You promised me dog or higher!”

            1. + a-gabillion Skinner.

    4. Americans care more about getting “free shit” than liberty. Been that way since 1933.

      1. What about the implementation of the personal income tax, which was sold to Americans on the premise that the wealthiest would pay a higher proportion than the lower rungs?

        1. the wealthiest DO pay a higher proportion, by a significant margin. If I remember right, the initial income tax only touched a small percentage in the first place. That it has expanded is just a foreseeable consequence of govt action.

          1. BUT, BUT, BUT, somewhere there’s a gazillionare who doesn’t pay his fair share!

          2. Right. My point is that the free shit parade started earlier even than 1933.

        2. What about the implementation of the personal income tax

          Don’t disagree…that was bad…

          But the downfall of America rests SQUARELY on the shoulders of FDR.

          America’s Hitler.

          1. Franklin Delano Romankowski?
            http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net…..18/FDR.jpg

          2. There is not a single person, assuming an average lifestyle, who would prefer to live pre-FDR rather than post-FDR who is not insane.

            You have just about the best lifestyle any human being has ever been afforded. There are people living under real tyranny. There are real slaves. But someone, somewhere might be trading food stamps for booze money. Quelle horreur! You are a whiny prickly pissypants.

            1. Tony:

              There is not a single person, assuming an average lifestyle, who would prefer to live pre-FDR rather than post-FDR who is not insane.

              You have just about the best lifestyle any human being has ever been afforded.

              Yeah, the best parts of life are all thanks to FDR. Where would we be without the Export Import Bank?

              1. FDR deserves a lot of credit, but the point is western civilization has done nothing but make life better for people who live in it, either despite or because of the advent of the modern welfare state. In fact, the only times we seem to slip backward are when those who profess a preference for small government get into power and fuck everything up.

                1. *boggle* Really? Please tell us, oh wise Tony, when and where it was that these people who “professed a preference for small government” got into power, and how exactly it was that they fucked everything up so bad that life got worse for all the people.

                2. Yeah, like that hyper-libertarian, small government zealot Bush, whose almost complete dismantling of government is responsible for all our problems today.

            2. There is not a single person, assuming an average lifestyle, who would prefer to live pre-FDR rather than post-FDR who is not insane.

              HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    5. Don’t you know that you can’t get invited to D.C. cocktail parties unless you ignore your duty and just do what Chris Matthews tells you?

    6. I stopped worrying about what the SCOUTS were doing a long time ago. After they raped all the girl scouts and stole the thin mints, they’re just out of control and too scary to oppose.

      Better to just leave the SCOUTS alone, buy some thin mints, enjoy, and stay out of their way.

    7. I am sorry but I just don’t get you Americans. Have any of you bothered to read the Constitution?

      Nope. I’ve been assured by my betters that the Constitution cannot be read in its plain language, and in fact takes at minimum 3 years of highly rigorous legal education before it can be deciphered.

      Any attempts to argue otherwise are usually met with a condescending “tut, tut” followed by a stern little lecture about leaving the important work to those who know what they’re doing.

      1. This is not hyperbole. You have to spend years of study to learn how to read up as down and left as right.

        After all, the constitution is not a suicide pact.

        Example: obscenity. Congress shall make no law .. Abridging freedom of speech. Except obscenity, of course. That part is just obvious and didn’t need to be written down.

        And now that is stretched to include political speech. As if The entire point of the first amendment was anything other than protecting political speech.

        Of course the 9th and 10th amendments don’t even exist for those in the cognoscenti.

      2. This is not hyperbole. You have to spend years of study to learn how to read up as down and left as right.

        After all, the constitution is not a suicide pact.

        Example: obscenity. Congress shall make no law .. Abridging freedom of speech. Except obscenity, of course. That part is just obvious and didn’t need to be written down.

        And now that is stretched to include political speech. As if The entire point of the first amendment was anything other than protecting political speech.

        Of course the 9th and 10th amendments don’t even exist for those in the cognoscenti.

  6. But they’re so cute when they’re mad!

  7. Progs are outraged when conservatives assault their boots with their faces.

  8. The Court had given corporations the power to “overwhelm elections,” fumed the New York Times corporation

    And by god, that’s a job reserved for the NYT!

    1. I love posting this:

      New York Times Company certificate of inforporation:

      http://investors.nytco.com/fil…..on2007.pdf

      1. inforporation is very similar to incorporation.

        1. That would be an awesome word in like a neo-Orwellian dystopian novel.

          The Inforporation for Public Broadcasting.

        2. YA…but NYT is a GOOD corporation! Don’t you know there’s a difference???

          1. They can’t be, they’re not non-profit. Everybody knows that profit makes you evulllll

            1. But THEY know how to use the money better than evil corporations. Just like the government! DUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

            2. Well, then, the NYT can’t be very evil, because they aren’t making much of a profit.

  9. Does freaking out over every 5-4 decision make it easier to endure all of those 9-0 bench slaps that their favorite constitutional scholar has endured?

    1. Kinda like crying about a dick in your mouth while you have 2 in your ass.

      1. Does your employer’s insurance have to cover that?

        1. Of course it does. Only a homophobic tea bagger would object to being forced to pay for another persons triple dicking.

      2. Go on…

  10. Slightly OT: It appears John Oliver has truly found his audience, the envious retarded.

  11. I do not get articles about factions ‘freaking out’ over decisions. We libertarians had reactions to decisions like Kelo or the Penaltax that could be described as ‘freakouts.’ Social conservatives reacted to Windsor similarly. Anyone who can not think of a SCOTUS decision worth ‘freaking out’ about is not following the Court.

  12. I actually agree with all the recent (6-7 years) SCOTUS decisions.

    Citizens United, Heller, Kelo, Obamacare, Hobby Lobby, Hamdi, EPA, all come to mind. Going further back Lawrence vs Texas. No liberal freakout here. I can’t think of the exception yet.

    Bush vs. Gore was entirely partisan though.

    1. Bush vs. Gore was entirely crybaby

    2. You agree with Kelo?

      1. Yes, I have a broad interpretation of “public use” that includes more than just pipeline/utility right of way.

        As long as there is fair and just compensation.

        1. Well, we’re just going to come and take all of your stuff right now. We’ll decide what’s fair and just compensation.

          I’m sure you won’t mind.

        2. There is no ‘fair’ or ‘just’ compensation from property literally taken by force over protest of the property owner.

          1. Then remove the Takings Clause from the Constitution. I’m good with that.

        3. Re: Peter Caca,

          Yes, I have a broad interpretation of “public use” that includes more than just pipeline/utility right of way.

          “The list should include hotel, spa and golf course, of course, of course!”

      2. If he does, then all true libertarians should.

        /derp

        1. If he does, then all true libertarians should proglotards do.

          FIFY

        2. As long as they leave him 8% of his land as a matter of principle.

          1. Land? Doesn’t he live in a gated community? Oh wait, that was our other progtard, it’s hard to tell them apart these days.

  13. Use force to take someone’s home, give it to another private party – certainly that is exactly a “public purpose” – that one and Robert’s penaltax are two of the most disgusting opinions in the last 50 years.

  14. the very basics..

    1. It’s not just liberals freaking out about the court. Americans have the lowest opinion in recorded history of the SCOTUS.
    “rank among the lowest approval ratings for the court in Gallup’s 14-year trend.”
    Unless you think 1/2 of Americans who have a low opinion are true liberals, the premise is wrong.

    2. Defining “Freedom” as appointing a POTUS (Bush v Gore) and allowing fundamentalists & corporations to skirt law and policy….is fairly far out.

    Laws and Freedom (real freedom, not libertarian or tea party slogans) all require compromise. I don’t like the war policies, but I certainly have to pay for them. Lots of things I don’t like – but I have to 100$ support through my taxes and behavior.

    On the flip side, I’m not very worried about crime and I can travel most anywhere and the air and water and machines are getting cleaner, and health is getting better and LOTS of other things add to the General Welfare and Happiness and Security of the people….

    A decent compromise when compared to much of history. But I’m with most of you in terms of cutting down the security state to size.

    As to the SCOTUS – you once again have to chuckle. After screaming and repeating the famous talking point of “activist judges” for decades, the right (including libertarians, who are today perhaps the far right) seems to have – all of a sudden – a taste for extreme judicial activism.

    That’s fantastic….in terms of yet another issue of gross hypocrisy on the right.

    1. I’m officially downgrading you to shrieking retard-level troll.

      You may file a 27B-6 to seek appeal of this decision.

    2. “As to the SCOTUS – you once again have to chuckle. After screaming and repeating the famous talking point of “activist judges” for decades, the right (including libertarians, who are today perhaps the far right) seems to have – all of a sudden – a taste for extreme judicial activism.”

      People here who don’t have on Team Red partisan blinders should concede this point.

      1. Striking down statutes for lack of constitutionality is not judicial activism. It is adherence to the principle of law: the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

        So Citizens United v. FEC, DC v. Heller, McDonald v. Chicago, and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby are not activist decisions. The First and Second Amendments specifically and unambiguously forbid such laws.

        On the other hand, Roe v. Wade, Gonzales v. Raich, Gonzales v. Carhart, and NFIB v. Sebelius are examples of judicial activism because they involve the judges changing the meaning of the law, whether at the statutory or constitutional level.

        I will agree that many conservatives have embraced judicial activism (Raich, Carhart) but I do not agree that such a consensus has been reached among libertarians, nor even that they were uniformly opposed to it in the first place.

  15. What freaks me out is how often SCOTUS justices will completely ignore the constitution when making their opinions. I mean I don’t mind dissent or debate – but when their opinions exclude citing the constitution to any meaningful degree, I have to wonder if they understand the depth of their own hypocrisy.

  16. People seem to forget that the whole Hobby Lobby question wouldn’t have arisen if it were not for massive government overreach during WWII.

    Employers were given generous tax breaks to provide health insurance to their employees. Insane, when you think about it (why don’t our employers provide our groceries, also)?

    I would prefer if Hobby Lobby wouldn’t impose their religious views on their employees (they also pay really well and donate generously to charity, BTW), but I would fully support their right to limit their health care options if they would turn down the federal tax breaks (which in my mind bring the establishment clause into the argument).

    I could have written a better health care law than Obamacare in one line: “All tax incentives related to employer-provided health care are hereby abolished.”

    1. “…but I would fully support their right to limit their health care options if they would turn down the federal tax breaks”

      What tax breaks are you talking about? If they are available to any similarly situated business (has nothing to do with religious views) then the establishment clause cannot apply.

      I have to presume what you mean by “tax break” is that monies used to compensate employees are business expenses and non-taxable. It nothing to do per se with health insurance. It would be better to apply that to individuals as well as businesses.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.