Supreme Court

The Trouble With Trump SCOTUS Contender William H. Pryor

There are reasons to worry about the 11th Circuit judge on Trump's Supreme Court shortlist.

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit

President-elect Donald Trump will soon announce his pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. Among the 21 potential candidates that Trump has floated so far, one name in particular has many conservatives buzzing with excitement. That name is Judge William H. Pryor Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. In the admiring words of National Review, Pryor "isn't just regarded as a brilliant legal mind; he is viewed as the most rock-ribbed conservative of any potential Supreme Court appointee."

Pryor's brand of conservatism was certainly on full display back in 2003 when the U.S. Supreme Court was weighing the constitutionality of a state law that criminalized "homosexual conduct" in a case known as Lawrence v. Texas. At that time Pryor was working as the attorney general of Alabama (Jeff Sessions was his predecessor in that job). In a state amicus brief he filed at the Supreme Court in Lawrence, Pryor came out firmly in defense of every state's unbridled power to incarcerate consenting adults for the supposed crime of having same-sex relations in the privacy of their own homes. "The States can and must legislate morality." To rule otherwise, Pryor's brief declared, would be to enshrine a "sophomoric libertarian mantra."

Pryor's career is replete with that sort of stuff. Indeed, it is his social conservatism for which he is perhaps best known—both in and out of legal circles. But there is something else to know about Judge Pryor. Namely, he is an adherent to the legal philosophy known as judicial deference.

Judicial deference is the idea that because the judiciary is the least democratic branch of government, judges owe extra respect—or deference—to the actions and decisions of the elected branches of government. In practical terms, that means that the courts are supposed to tip the scales in favor of the government in the vast majority of cases. In the words of Progressive era Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., one of the Supreme Court's earliest and most influential advocates of judicial deference, "a law should be called good if it reflects the will of the dominant forces of the community, even if it will take us to hell."

This deferential philosophy has proven to be quite popular in certain quarters of today's conservative legal movement. The late jurist and scholar Robert Bork, for example, was a thoroughgoing Holmes-ian who insisted that, "in wide areas of life, majorities are entitled to rule, if they wish, simply because they are majorities." Chief Justice John Roberts has taken a similar view. In 2012, for example, when he cast the deciding vote to uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare, Roberts not only cited one of Justice Holmes' opinions, he explicitly invoked Holmes' deferential credo. "It is not our job," Roberts wrote in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, "to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices."

William H. Pryor follows in the deferential footsteps of Holmes, Bork, and Roberts. For example, in a 2007 article published in the Virginia Law Review, Pryor praised the Supreme Court's famous "switch-in-time" decisions from 1937, in which the Court upheld several sweeping New Deal economic regulations. After pointing favorably to National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., in which the Court adopted an expansive new interpretation of congressional power under the Commerce Clause, and to West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, in which the Court overturned its previous line of cases protecting the fundamental right to liberty of contract, Pryor went on to write, "not every controversy requires a judicial resolution or trumping of the will of the majority." In those pro-New Deal opinions, Pryor concluded, "the judiciary wisely has acted with restraint." Justice Holmes could not have said it better himself.

To make matters worse, Judge Pryor's pro-government deference extends beyond the realm of economic activity. He also has a troubling record of favoring broad judicial deference towards law enforcement. Consider the case of United States v. Shaygan. At issue was the sweeping federal prosecution of a Florida doctor named Ali Shaygan on charges of illegally prescribing pain medication. In 2009, after a jury had acquitted Shaygan of all 141 charges lobbed against him, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida publicly reprimanded and sanctioned the federal prosecutors in the case for "gross negligence" and misconduct, including for the act of secretly recording Shaygan's legal defense team. The prosecutors "acted vexatiously and in bad faith," the district court concluded. Their actions "are profoundly disturbing" and "raise troubling issues about the integrity of those who wield enormous power over the people they prosecute."

The vexatious federal prosecutors then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. There they found a far more sympathetic audience in the form of Judge William H. Pryor. "The district court abused its discretion when it imposed sanctions against the United States for a prosecution that was objectively reasonable," Pryor ruled. The district court's reprimands and sanctions against the offending prosecutors were erased from the books.

Here's the thing. Federal and state lawmakers have an unfortunate habit of violating constitutional rights by passing arbitrary and unnecessary laws. Likewise, federal and state prosecutors (and police) have an unfortunate habit of violating constitutional rights by employing suspect law enforcement tactics. According to the devotees of judicial deference, however, the courts are supposed to tip the scales in favor of the government in such cases.

Regrettably, judging by his record on these crucial issues, Trump SCOTUS contender William H. Pryor seems to favor the same overly deferential approach.

NEXT: President-elect Trump wants to ban flag-burning. Here's why the Constitution protects it.

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  1. The Sophomoric Libertarian Mantra would be an excellent name for a band.

    1. Also, fuck William H. Pryor, yo.

      1. If you do, make sure you robe your justice.

      2. Also a good name for a band.

        1. Aw, man… beat me to it. (That’s what Pryor said.)

          1. Sadly I got here late so it won’t get any traction.

        2. My wife is gonna be hella surprised that you people decided i’m gay. Or maybe she won’t be.

          ?\_(?)_/?

          1. Look, getting a chubby off the schadenfreude of a “rock-ribbed” social conservative judge having nudes on gay websites doesn’t make you gay, it makes you a human. Possibly not a good one, but we wouldn’t be here if we were good, now would we?

            1. Thanks, jesse. You really know how to lube up a man’s conscience.

          2. She shouldn’t judge. Unlike us. We judge.

            1. You know who else judged?

        3. Well, is that any surprise? When people want to legislate against gay sex, what they are saying is that gay sex is like drugs or gambling: so much fun that only strict laws can keep people from it. People like Pryor just don’t seem to understand that most other men don’t actually need laws to keep them from sleeping with men.

          (Now, Judge Pryor, please show us again where the priest touched you and how it made you feel.)

    2. “You should write that down.”

  2. Forget it, Trump’s just trolling us.

    1. This is the only response needed to anything that happens for the next four years.

      1. Obama was a masterful troll. He got Republicans to step on their own dicks time and again. Trump’s ascension to Prime Pepe Harambeness is not comforting.

        1. I dunno, he got Clinton to step on her own dick. Could be entertaining.

            1. *pats swissy firmly on the back…stops…sees that it’s too late.*

  3. In the words of Progressive era Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., one of the Supreme Court’s earliest and most influential advocates of judicial deference, “a law should be called good if it reflects the will of the dominant forces of the community, even if it will take us to hell.”

    It really reflects the thought process today of two of the branches of government. The Judicial seems more than happy to move its responsibilities over to the Legislative, and the Legislative seems content to defer its responsibilities to the Executive (whose unelected bureaucracy is more than happy to take on).

    1. Except for, you know, pot.

    2. Holmes challenged the constitutionality of the Prohibition Amendment, but that was worth every bit as much as a bucket of warm Coors. The Minority Report read: Great Dred Scott!

  4. He’s 1 out of 21. What are the chances that Trump will choose someone this awful?

    Citizen X whispers “Steve Bannon.”

    Well, fuck.

    [tears up index cards, goes home]

    1. Could be Trump’s sister.

    2. Hey, leave me out of your sick fantasies. Anyway, that Bannon motherfucker smells like cheese, and he owes me twelve dollars.

    3. CX does have a disturbing tendency to whisper Bannon’s name at the most…awkward moments.

      1. Sorry, Hugh, i didn’t know you were about to ‘max right then. In my defense, you WERE jacking on the sidewalk in front of my house.

          1. Eventually.

        1. Was he holding a stereo over his head, blasting you guys’ tune, as he was expressing himself?

          1. How many hands do you think I have?

            1. That’s actually a pretty good song, and not something I would waste on CX. This is our song.

              1. I thought you two were still sweet on each other, so I chose a classy tune sung by lesbos. Peter Gabriel is too good for both of you. Frankie Goes To Hollywood, however, isn’t.

          2. That’s ridiculous. He has football shoulder pads with the speakers glued on top, like a Raiders fan, but, you know, absurd 80’s technology instead of spikes.

            1. Also like a Raiders fan, his obscene facial tattoos make him completely and permanently unemployable.

  5. Would SCOTUS Judge Pryor be the swing vote upholding a ban on flag burning?

    1. Trump continues his policy of “distraction politics” and the country laps it up.

  6. It is not our job,” Roberts wrote in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, “to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

    By that logic, then no person should ever be able to bring any case against the government ever, since their presence and abuse of power is a consequence of their political choices.

    1. Fucking Roberts. Who is “the people”? Certainly not me, because i didn’t vote for anyone who supported the ACA.

      1. Rights are so sophomoric.

        1. Yes. I too was really into rights for a while, but that was before I matured into a cowardly looter responsible member of society.

        1. You should get that checked out by a doctor.

      2. Let’s put the ACA up for a vote and see what happens.

        1. It fixes the cable?

      3. So, what he meant was that it’s not the job of SCOTUS to protect rights of the minority as indicated by the US Constitution from the political decisions of the majority.

  7. “The States can and must legislate morality.” To rule otherwise, Pryor’s brief declared, would be to enshrine a “sophomoric libertarian mantra.”

    So Bastiat is sophomoric, but Judge Pryor is what then?

    1. So Pryor is basically Sweater Vest without the sweater vest?

      1. Who knows what he’s got on under those robes?

        1. For me there’s just something creepy about a bunch of grown men and women sitting around in fucking black robes and wanting to be known as ‘your honor’. I would rather they just wear togas and stay drunk and stoned all the time and we refer to them as ‘hey dude’.

          1. If i were a judge, i tell you, i would never NOT be freeballin’.

            1. Like you ever wear underwear anyway.

              Sorry – Hugh talks a lot when he gets drunk.

            2. Citizen X would never have to worry about anyone borrowing his gavel.

              1. [bangs gavel on bench repeatedly] “How did all these potato bugs get in here?”

            3. You say that now, but it’s not practical.

              When the judicial wingnut sets in, you’ll see what I mean.

          2. Like the judge in Idiocracy

      2. What does Jim Tressel have to do with this?

        1. I think they mean Santorum in this case.

    2. A “sophomoric libertarian mantra” like “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men.”

      Governments have no business legislating morality, except incidentally in that violating rights is immoral. Conservatives who go further, who feel that they can prohibit immoral acts that aren’t violations of rights, who feel that they can thereby “improve” society, have drunk the Progressive Kool Aid.

      1. Progressivism is never having to say that you’re sorry, not sorry, unless there’s a law mandating that you do so.

      2. Conservatives who go further, who feel that they can prohibit immoral acts that aren’t violations of rights, who feel that they can thereby “improve” society, have drunk the Progressive Kool Aid.
        That “feeling” predates modern political parties and movements. Heck, it predates America. Blaming it on any given political ideology is a bit, well, short-sighted.

        1. I don’t doubt for a minute that control freaks have been around since before modern man. Progressive Kool Aid is a new name for an ancient brew, older than beer even.

      3. Have some compassion for people like Pryor: he thinks gay sex is very tempting and feels terribly guilty about it, which is why he thinks he needs to express his disapproval so strongly.

      4. Conservatives who go further, who feel that they can prohibit immoral acts that aren’t violations of rights, who feel that they can thereby “improve” society, have drunk the Progressive Kool Aid.

        Yes, kind of like when the Catholic party and the Nazi party got together in 1930’s Germany to restore law, order, family, and morality.

        Christians, conservatives, progressives, and socialists are largely interchangeable in their statism; their ideology is just a way of carving up interest groups / voting blocs.

  8. In those pro-New Deal opinions, Pryor concluded, “the judiciary wisely has acted with restraint.”

    Luckily the Constitution would severely limit Pryor’s restraint.

    BOOM. Nailed it.

      1. I’ll restrain you after you get the job done.

    1. I’m sitting here and finishing my coffee.

  9. Petitioners’ protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, a constitutional right that protects “the choice of one’s partner” and “whether and how to connect sexually” must logically extend to activities like prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia (if the child should credibly claim to be “willing”).

    Something…. something…. consent… something…..

    1. Some of these things are not logically like the others.

      1. One gets the impression that Pryor believes sex to be a distasteful act that ought to be committed solely for purposes of procreation, through the fly of a pair of Fruit o’ the Looms.

          1. Lights off.

            1. Lights on during sex is depraved and unconscionable.

              1. That’s why it’s so great!

              1. I am so sick of people criticizing the missionary position. Look, sometimes I tired.

                1. There’s nothing wrong with missionary. There’s nothing wrong with any other position. It’s all good.

                  1. I see you’ve never made a late night trip to the hospital after a session of reverse cowgirl gone horribly wrong.

                    1. No, but i did get whiplash once during angry make-up sex.

                      My wife and i have also broken a couch.

          2. If some eye holes are cut into it.

            Get it? Get it? Because Trump appointees are all KKK members.

            I kill me.

        1. Purification rituals must occur afterwards.

      2. Just hold on there Citizen. This guy has been proclaimed a brilliant legal mind.

        1. Sure he is, in the same sense that Barack F. Obama is a “Constitutional scholar.”

      3. Give the guy some slack, he’s a Catholic; he’s been taught all his life by people who pretend to use reason, logic, and “natural law”, while actually just coming up with rationalizations for why their church should hold massive power and wealth.

  10. “After pointing favorably to National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., in which the Court adopted an expansive new interpretation of congressional power under the Commerce Clause, and to West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, in which the Court overturned its previous line of cases protecting the fundamental right to liberty of contract”

    Sod off, involuntary-servitude monger.

    And here is another reason Pryor is a bad choice:

    “Pryor received national attention in 2003 when he called for the removal of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who had disobeyed a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Judicial Building. Pryor said that although he agreed with the propriety of displaying the Ten Commandments in a courthouse, he was bound to follow the court order and uphold the rule of law. Pryor personally prosecuted Moore for violations of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, and the Alabama Court of the Judiciary unanimously removed Moore from office.”

    Sure, the federal courts were out of line, but let’s punish the person who stood up to the oppressors.

    1. What an interesting retard you are.

      1. As opposed to you, the uninteresting kind.

      2. “At least Reason has thoughtful discussion in the comments section!”

        /Contributors

  11. “sophomoric libertarian mantra”

    So Pryor is actually Tony?

    1. Those words are too big for Tony, but yeah.

  12. Here’s the scary part though. If Trump could make a decision as bad as appointing Sessions AG and Mittens, or Guliani, or Huckleberry as SOS, then he most definitely could make a choice that bad for SCOTUS.

    1. This.

      *** deletes image of flag ***

    2. Bolt Head Bolton…

      1. Get yer very own Bolt On Bolton Head right here!

  13. I’m skimming his judicial restraint article.

    He says the Marshall court showed deference to Jefferson (!), and as a reward, the Senate acquitted Justice Samuel Chase when he was impeached for judicial oppression of defendants.

    Samuel Chase should have been thrown out of office. On his ass.

    Then Pryor praises the Court’s “restraint” in letting a newspaper editor during Reconstruction be tried in front of a military commission, during what was for all practical purposes peacetime. Not to mention the First Amendment problems. But the Court just sat on its hands waiting for Congress to take their jurisdiction away.

    1. (just to be clear, the Court had plenty of time to decide the editor’s case before Congress stripped them of jurisdiction)

    2. and as a reward, the Senate acquitted Justice Samuel Chase when he was impeached for judicial oppression of defendants.

      So…judges should show favor to the other branches so the other branches hold them less accountable in a quid pro quo arrangement. Sounds legit.

      1. You’re not supposed to phrase it that way, it sounds wrong.

        1. To be fair, Pryor was simply *raising the possibility.* You see, the Supreme Court exercised *good judgment* by being restrained, and *maybe* as a reward they got to keep Chase.

      2. Checks and balances

  14. “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

    OK, John — What is “our job”?

    1. To enforce the constitution. He was right when he said that. The constitution doesn’t prohibit all bad laws.

      1. Well, I was asking John *Roberts*; but your point is well taken.

        1. I know you were. And that statement was a good one. The problem was he didn’t do his job of saving us from unconstitutional choices.

          1. On health care, the states made certain choices and Congress made certain other choices. The choices conflicted. The Court could either uphold the choices of the people who were (supposedly) represented in Congress, or the choices of the people of the states.

            But Roberts just assumed that Congress represents Teh Will of Teh Peeple.

            1. Someone should explain to Roberts that the will of the people means jack shit. Despite the declarations of the flappy eared shitbag in the whitehouse we are not a democracy. We are a goddamned constitutional republic.

              1. Right, but this isn’t like a case where Congress abolishes trial by jury and the Supreme Court has to step in to protect the individual.

                It’s a question of *what level of government* gets to pass this sort of law – state level or federal level?

                By rejecting Congressional power, Roberts would simply have been saying that the people must regulate this at the state, not the federal level.

                1. That’s the position the dissenters took – they let the states pass their version of Obamacare, they just didn’t believe the feds could do it.

                2. He is also the one who blocked the mandatory expansion of Medicaid.

                  People seem to forget that.

      2. The Constitution doesn’t prohibit any laws.

        It expressly grants Congress the power to create laws in specific legal areas. Any laws created outside those very narrow boundaries are de facto unconstitutional.

        It might allow for the creation of bad laws though. Of course, the apathy/ignorance of the people to these principles has allowed the creation of a myriad of unconstitutional laws on top of this.

        1. It prohibits a lot of laws. What do you think “Congress shall make no law…” does if not prohibit laws that do certain things?

          1. Repeal the 1st Amendment, and Congress would still not be allowed to legislate on speech, freedom of religion, etc. This is why an amendment was necessary to grant the power to prohibit alcohol.

            The Bill of Rights is essentially just a list of examples about the kind of things Congress cannot legislate on, because they have to stay within the framework of the powers the Constitution grants. It was created to eliminate any confusion about specific subjects, but instead it just lent credibility to the idea that the Congress can legislate on damn near anything as long as it isn’t enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

            The pre-amble to the Bill of Rights (which seems oddly missing from most printed versions of the Constitution), along with the 9th and 10th Amendments makes all this pretty clear.

            It’s a subtle distinction between whether the Constitution “prohibits” or “allows” something, but an important one.

            1. ^This. This this. This this this this this. All of this.

            2. How would congress be prevented from legislating on speech? It tries all the time even despite the existence of 1A.

              1. Obviously this was a theoretical argument.

                If enough people accept or ignore the passing of unconstitutional laws, they will stay on the books and even be enforced.

          2. If only anyone actually read the Federalist papers…

            1. Yeah I get the argument. We have all read the Federalist papers. But things didn’t work out the way they thought. And beyond that, just because natural rights prohibit the Congress from passing laws doesn’t meant the BOR doesn’t as well. They are not mutually exclusive.

              If only people knew what words meant.

      3. To enforce the constitution. He was right when he said that. The constitution doesn’t prohibit all bad laws.

        The Constitution limits laws to those that fall within the small set of powers granted to government, so “badness” needs to limit itself to those areas. Outside those areas, the Constitution prohibits all laws, good or bad.

      4. To enforce the constitution. He was right when he said that. The constitution doesn’t prohibit all bad laws.

        The Constitution limits laws to those that fall within the small set of powers granted to government, so “badness” needs to limit itself to those areas. Outside those areas, the Constitution prohibits all laws, good or bad.

  15. His job as Alabama AG was to defend the law. We have been through this before. Reason has decided that it is okay for AGs to refuse to defend state laws in court as long as the AG doesn’t like the law and neither does reason. I think that is a really bad idea. We don’t want AG’s deciding which laws are worthy of defending in court because doing that effectively gives the state AG a veto on any law on the books. The last thing we need is for state AGs to have more power.

    Maybe this guy really believes in the power of the states to regulate all morality. I don’t know. I have never met him. The fact that he said that in an amicus brief he filed as State AG is not evidence of it. It is evidence he did his job in defending the law of Alabama. His job as AG was to make the best arguments necessary to defend the laws regardless of his opinion.

    1. AGs, like other government employees, take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. So yes, they should refuse to defend state laws in court if they believe they’re unconstitutional.

      1. They should see the people of their state as clients – if the people approve a law, make any ethical argument you can to have the law upheld. If there’s no ethical argument in the law’s favor, say so, but this should be a rare occurrence.

      2. Okay, who decides what is “unconstitutional” and what is not? Isn’t that the whole point of having courts? If the AG can decide he doesn’t think the law is constitutional and lets the challenge to it default, then the AG not the court is deciding whether it is constitutional.

        You think that great in the case gay marriage. It isn’t going to work out so well in other cases. What if an AG refuses to defend a shall issue conceal and carry law some day? He says it is unconstitutional and you just said he shouldn’t be defending anything that is unconstitutional. Right?

        1. I can imagine a law saying “Bob Smith is to be executed without trial.” The AG could then say, “OK, there’s no reasonable argument I can make for this, it’s so obviously unconstitutional anyone could see it.”

          But if it’s a law regulating marriage or fisheries or some area where the constitutional answer isn’t obvious, then the AG should defend the “client” – the people – with any reasonable method.

          1. Of course, to the gay-lib crowd, there’s no legitimate argument to be had. There’s righteousness (SSM) on one side, and fascism (govt recognizing traditional marriage) on the other. You’re either righteous or a fascist.

            But I’m talking about reasonable people, not gay-lib fanatics.

        2. A plain reading of the Constitution should decide if a law is constitutional or not.

          The Constitution doesn’t have a clause granting the legislative power to decide who gets married or not, hence any (federal, at least) laws on that issue are unconstitutional.

          If a specific issue is not considered a right (historical context implies a negative right, like the right to marry the person you love if they agree to it), the power to legislate on it is reserved to the states and the people.

          A judiciary that is incapable of reading less than 30 (small) pages of plain English and apply them to laws accordingly is useless. Originalism is simple, and is the only way to read the Constitution that doesn’t involve massive amounts of sophistry.

          1. If you think “originalism” makes it that simple, I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t even know how to start to explain to you how it isn’t. And again, what the plain meaning of the constitution is up to the courts to decide not the AG. Unless you think it is the AG, then you can’t give the AG the power to just not defend laws. If defending the laws violates his conscience, he should resign and leave the job to someone who will do it.

            1. …what the plain meaning of the constitution is up to the courts to decide not the AG. Unless you think it is the AG, then you can’t give the AG the power to just not defend laws. If defending the laws violates his conscience, he should resign and leave the job to someone who will do it.

              It’s no different than asking a defense attorney to take a dive on one of her clients because “we all know he’s guilty.” Something that I think most of the commentariat would not be OK with.

              The client may be obviously guilty, but it isn’t the defense attorney’s place to decide that. If the defendant is so obviously guilty, or the law so blatantly unconstitutional, then the court will have an easy time ruling.

              An AG’s job, absent some other ethics regulation, is to enforce the laws of the state. Writing amici is part of that job. If they can’t write the amici without lying, or making an utterly ridiculous argument (or whatever the standard for e.g, Rule 11 FRCP is), then they might be able to claim they can’t enforce the law.

              But it’s very rarely that clear cut in legal problems. Otherwise, there’d be nothing to fight about.

            2. If you think “originalism” makes it that simple, I don’t know what to tell you.

              Legally and logically it is that simple.

              Politically, of course, it isn’t: people in power have an interest to come up with rationalizations to give themselves more power, so they do.

          2. A plain reading of the Constitution should decide if a law is constitutional or not.

            It can’t. Take the fourth amendment: based purely on a plain reading of the Constitution, what criteria distinguish a “reasonable” search from an “unreasonable” search?

            1. what criteria distinguish a “reasonable” search from an “unreasonable” search?

              If this was such a difficult question to settle, how are search warrants ever granted?

              If you are suspected of violating the negative rights of another, the law may have reason to suspend your negative rights and search your person or property for evidence of this. And they may take that evidence if found. If you are not convicted of a crime, your property must be returned to you.

              That would be a reasonable search and seizure.

              An unreasonable search and seizure would be if your person or property was searched, and something seized in the absence of a crime against the negative rights of another. Like when your house is taken from you without trial, because your adult son sold drugs to his friends in your driveway.

              You would need to employ a ridiculous amount of mental gymnastics and odd interpretations to justify the constitutionality of the latter example. Yet here we are.

              We know the emphasis on natural rights was an important one to the framers of the Constitution, so there is a really easy framework to help you figure all this stuff out. All you need to know is a tiny bit of history and philosophy, things that are very well described by the actual people who wrote this document.

              1. Also remember, the US Constitution originally only applied to Congress, not the state governments. And since Congress was only allowed to legislate on very specific things, this narrows the scope of what those searches and seizures can even be applied to. Such as trade between the states, or crimes related to the post office.

                Congress was never meant to create or enforce laws outside these particular areas.

                The 14th Amendment changed some of these things, but only slightly. In fact the 14th Amendment is a good example of powers that are granted to Congress (implying that anything else is not within that power):

                Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

              2. If you are suspected of violating the negative rights of another, the law may have reason to suspend your negative rights and search your person or property for evidence of this. And they may take that evidence if found. If you are not convicted of a crime, your property must be returned to you.

                1.) Where is that said in the plain text of the constitution is any of that laid out
                2.) “suspected of violating the negative rights of another”. Suspected by whom? And is any articulable suspicion enough? Oh right, “probable cause”. But where in the plain text reading is “probable cause” defined?

                1. I need to better understand what your definition of “is” is, in order to read your reply.

    2. We don’t want AG’s deciding which laws are worthy of defending in court because doing that effectively gives the state AG a veto on any law on the books.
      In case you didn’t notice, the courts have done a pretty good job of making sure that when an AG declines to defend a law that someone defends it. And generally speaking, that “someone” is a person who actually wants to defend it.

      So in short… you want a system where people are obligated to defend a law they believe is unconstitutional, thus handicapping any defense, as opposed to a system where laws are defended by people that believe those laws are constitutional, regardless of whether that person happens to have “AG” in front of their name.

      1. That is idiotic. Lawyers defend things they don’t believe all of the time. If you can’t do that, don’t be a lawyer.

      2. So in short… you want a system where people are obligated to defend a law they believe is unconstitutional…

        No. In short, we a system whereby lawyers hired are forced to advocate for their clients. In short, we want a system where lawyers having already agreed to take the job are not allowed to tank the case because they disagree with their clients’ opinions. Furthermore, it shouldn’t matter if the client is a single defendant facing criminal charges or the client is the state itself.

  16. The Trouble With Trump SCOTUS Contender William H. Pryor?

    He’s a white man. What more do you need to know?

  17. Ted Cruz would be a better pick. (I hope you read this Jacket)

  18. there is no law beyond the feelings of the justices and if you don’t believe me, reread the Obergefell majority opinion. the court is just made up of legislators. Trump should put someone like Pryor on there who will be a reliable vote in favor of conservative results!

    1. You’re not really clear on what website this is, are you.

      1. What ever you think of gay marriage, Ogberfell was one of the most hilariously bad and poorly reasoned decisions the court has ever issued. It was absolutely the court legislating from the bench. A principled decision giving the gays right to state marriage would have necessarily also recognized the right to polygamy and pretty much any other marriage individuals wanted to create. What the court did was say the states no longer had to authority to define marriage. Marriage was whatever the individuals involved decided it was.

        Of course, that is not what they did. Judges love gays but for whatever reason hate polygamists and people who want to marry their biological family. But there is no middle ground. Either the states have the power to define marriage or they don’t. But Kennedy and the liberal justices really like gays and wanted to force the states to recognize gay marriage. So they wrote a absurd opinion about how everyone has the fundamental right to be loved and how having one true love, rather than four or five or ten, is the greatest and most important right in the world and therefore gay marriage is a right but not that icky polygamy or incest.

        The entire thing was vomit inducting.

        1. Aren’t you used to that by now? And if you read appeals court decisions from other countries, they’re even more about the feelz.

        2. A principled decision giving the gays right to state marriage would have necessarily also recognized the right to polygamy and pretty much any other marriage individuals wanted to create.

          Consider laws governing employer-employee relations. Is it constitutional to make distinctions based on the number of employees? Sure: we distinguish small and large employers legally. Is it constitutional to make distinctions based on family relationships between employer and employees? Sure: there are laws that deal with nepotism. Is it constitutional to make distinctions based on the sex of the employees without a rational basis? No. Well, marriage works the same way: restrictions based on number and family relationships of participants are constitutional restrictions based on the sex of participants are not.

  19. I said this about a year ago. Ogberfell was a 5-4 decision. Kennedy was the 5th vote. Kennedy is over 80. It is a pretty good bet he will retire in the next four years and a near certainty that he will retire in the next 8. Given that the Senate is unlikely to switch back to the Democrats in the next four years and that Trump seems pretty intent on putting conservatives on the court, I don’t think Ogberfell is in any way sure to remain good law.

    Maybe Roberts was just putting on a show to try and win conservatives back after the Obamacare debacle. Knowing Roberts, it wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t mean a word of his dissent. If he did mean it, however, the conservative justices were really pissed off by Kennedy’s decision in that case. I can’t believe they wouldn’t overturn it at first opportunity.

    1. I can’t believe they wouldn’t overturn it at first opportunity.

      Oh, I can. Too much hassle.

      1. Stare decisis FTW!

        1. Stare decisis is just a fancy way of saying “you can’t do that”. That works sometimes but it doesn’t always work, because yes they can.

        2. No matter how long you stare at that decisis, it ain’t getting any prettier.

      2. What do they care? They have appointments for life. And they wouldn’t have to “overturn it”. They could through a series of decision limit it to its facts to such a degree that the gay marriage “right” amounted to nothing more than a piece of paper that wasn’t enforceable anywhere. The whole point of having a marriage license is to get the government to put a gun to the head of your employer or anyone else and force them to recognize your marriage. Once you take that away, there isn’t much left beyond getting fucked on your taxes if you are a two income family and having a judge decide the terms of your relationship if you ever break up.

        One of the great misnomers of that entire debate was the idea that government marriage is some kind of great benefit available only to straight people rather than the restriction on contract and freedom that it is.

        1. John, just give up. Gay marriage is not going away. It’s the transgenders you are supposed to be freaking out about now. Just think of your hypothetical four year old daughter using a public restroom and seeing an Adam’s apple!

          1. We will see. One thing that is going away is religious freedom. I always thought Libertarians cared about that. But I was a bit naive.

            1. We do, too bad the religious don’t

              1. Let me clarify, the religious that seem to care most and loudest about religious freedom really only care about religious domination and making sure their morals are put in place (see Christian, Muslim, Hindu where those populations are in majority)

                1. Yeah, Christian nations are just like Muslim ones. Yes, you hate religious people and are happy to see them lose their rights. Good luck with that. Glad to know rights are contingent on Libertarians approving of you.

              2. No you don’t. You say you do but you would never walk back from any other position or make any compromise to save it. If you cared about religious freedom, you would have said “no gay marriage unless it is done in a way that doesn’t trample religious freedom”. Libertarians did not do that. They just wanted gay marriage. Their stated preference is for both. But their revealed preference shows that they care about religious freedom just barely enough to give it lip service but no more.

            2. You confuse special privileges for Christians with religious freedom.

              I think everybody should be allowed to discriminate against anybody who they find objectionable.

              What isn’t acceptable is that Christians are shielded by law from discrimination and determine privileges doled out by government according to their preferences, while denying the same right to everybody else.

              So, if you want to be libertarian, then work towards striking down religious non-discrimination laws, special tax treatment for religions, government support of religious programs, etc. Until you do, you are simply using libertarianism as a fig leaf for special government-granted privileges you desire.

          2. Beyond that, why do you think they wouldn’t overrule it? It was a five four decision. Just because it resulted in people you hate losing their business doesn’t mean it can’t be overturned. You may have to find another way to get the government’s boot on those people’s faces.

            And yes, thinking my 12 year old daughter should not be forced to shower with a boy who is mentally ill and thinks he is a girl is kind of a big deal to people. Some people didn’t get the Libertarian memo that Trannies are now sacred.

        2. “One of the great misnomers of that entire debate was the idea that government marriage is some kind of great benefit available only to straight people rather than the restriction on contract and freedom that it is.”
          Which is why, of course, the handful of efforts to abolish legal marriage as a meaningful concept was easy to carry out. Because everyone was like “yeah, we don’t need this anyway”.

          … oh, wait, that didn’t happen. Because as jaded as you may be about legal marriage, most Americans still find it to be useful and good.

          1. Sure they do. But they don’t find useful and good fro reasons that Libertarians would find appealing. Libertarians spend 40 years claiming legal marriage was terrible and a restriction on freedom only to turn around and argue that justice demanded it be extended to a new class of couples.

            1. Libertarians spend 40 years claiming legal marriage was terrible and a restriction on freedom only to turn around and argue that justice demanded it be extended to a new class of couples.

              There is nothing inconsistent about that. I may object to the mortgage interest deduction in principle, but as long as it exists, I certainly expect it to be available to all Americans, not just to Christians, or blacks, or whatever.

        3. The whole point of having a marriage license is to get the government to put a gun to the head of your employer or anyone else and force them to recognize your marriage

          You’re absolutely right. Now, can you explain why that gun should be put to the heads of employers and others according to the preferences of Christian conservatives?

    2. Except, really don’t think Trump is going to push it. One of the states might, but I suspect the admin will stay as silent as possible on the issue. And it’s good politics. For all their shrieking, the last election has suggested that the public might be getting fed the hell up with the social justice warriors’ jihad on all things not alternative. The last thing the Republicans need to do now is to wade back into that shitstorm. Wasn’t it Napoleon who said, when your enemy is destroying himself, not to interfere?

      1. I am sure the admin will. I don’t think Trump has even thought of the issue. I think he will appoint a justice who agrees with him on other issues and gets through the Senate easily and Ogberfell would end up as collateral damage.

        And politically overruling it would be bad for Republicans. Most people thought gay marriage would end all of the bitching and culture wars. Now that it hasn’t, people are in less of a mood to listen to the SJWs and their latest demands.

        1. I don’t think Trump has even thought of the issue.

          As far as I can tell, Trump’s position on gay marriage is “They should all hold their receptions in one of my hotels. Beautiful places. Fabulous. Believe me.”

          And what you noted (“Most people thought gay marriage would end all of the bitching and culture wars. Now that it hasn’t, people are in less of a mood to listen to the SJWs and their latest demands.”) is precisely why steering clear of the issue is politically optimal for Republicans. Yes, the public is fed up with SJW demands. The last thing they need is to be seen as the aggressors on the other side. Let the public focus in on the SJWs as the assholes.

          1. I agree. I hope they are smart enough to do that. See above

            Chipper Morning Wood|11.29.16 @ 12:51PM|#

            John, just give up. Gay marriage is not going away. It’s the transgenders you are supposed to be freaking out about now. Just think of your hypothetical four year old daughter using a public restroom and seeing an Adam’s apple!

            That is the SJW today. We are now telling anyone who thinks men who pretend to be women shouldn’t be in the women’s shower at the gym or in the women’s bathroom is just a big ignorant fundie. Because we can’t ever even admit that objecting to the SJW agenda is reasonable. Nope, everyone is either with them or a Bull Connor. I think it is wearing pretty thin on a lot of people. But they won’t stop.

      2. I suspect the admin will stay as silent as possible on the issue

        If it ever comes to it, I don’t think Trump will be able to help himself.

    3. It is a pretty good bet he will retire in the next four years and a near certainty that he will retire in the next 8. Given that the Senate is unlikely to switch back to the Democrats in the next four years and that Trump seems pretty intent on putting conservatives on the court,

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      1. The Republicans have very few Senate seats up in 2018. and isn’t this entire thread one giant pants shitting thread about Trump putting a SOCON on the court?

        Would you dumb asses please pick a fucking narrative. Is Trump a crazed fascist or a secret liberal who is going to sell out his supporters? I really don’t care which but you fucking retards need to decide what exactly you are shitting your pants over.

  20. I agree with Root that justices should interpret the Constitution as protective of rights in all cases. However, I’d suggest what we have now is the worst possible option – judges get to pick and choose whether the Constitution protects rights or whether they should defer to the legislature based on their politics and their feelings. As execrable as a Bork saying that there is no right to privacy is, it strikes me as at least consistent, rather than saying there’s a right to privacy, but no right to contract because FYTW.

    1. You are absolutely right Bill. Ogberfell is a perfect example of what you are talking about. We have a right to state sanctioned gay marriage but not a right to state sanctioned polygamy. Why? Because judges like gays and hate polygamists. There is no rational reason behind the distinction. It is just tyrannical rule from the bench.

      But people like Root think tyranny is just fine as long as it is giving them something they like and want. I think tyranny is bad even if it is giving me what I want. But, I don’t want to live in a cage even if it is gilded. Root seems to disagree.

  21. Silly me, and I thought the Supreme Court was supposed to understand the US Constitution and ‘enforce’ it.

  22. Judicial deference is the idea that because the judiciary is the least democratic branch of government, judges owe extra respect?or deference?to the actions and decisions of the elected branches of government.

    “Unless the laws are for fags!” – the honorable Billy Prior.

  23. “The States can and must legislate morality.”

    Whenever I tell people I think a big chunk of the Republican Party still wants to outright criminalize homosexuality and just doesn’t think they can openly admit that, people keep telling me I’m paranoid.

    1. You’re paranoid. And, you’re under arrest for thought-crime.

    2. You are right. A big chunk of it is. And it is a lot more militant about it than it was ten years ago. I know a fair number of social conservatives. And none of them harbored any overt animosity towards gays that I could ever tell. But after the gay marriage thing and the various publicized cases of bakeries being sued and all that, they do now.

      I would say I see and hear more direct and overt animosity towards gays today than I have at any time in the last 20 years. And that would include disgruntled social conservatives, Muslims and more secular people who view gays as just another prog victim group out fucking with people.

      Gays being accepted in society is not the norm. Most societies in history have hated gays. The idea that our society’s acceptance of them is some permanent thing rather than a very rare and fragile thing was always absurd.

      1. Ladies and Gentlemen: the Ike Turner defense

        1. How is that a defense? It is what it is. I am just telling you what I am seeing. Why do you think pointing that out is saying it is a good thing?

          It would be better if it were not happening. But life is like that sometimes.

          It is funny as hell. I say something really damning about the Republican party and you still make some prick comment about it. I don’t care that you disagree with me. Sometimes you make good points. I just can’t understand why you then choose to be so incredibly stupid. This subject seems to do that to people on here.

    3. I’m sorry, is there a major party that’s not trying to legislate morality?

      1. Yeah. They got 3.4% last election.

        1. Their candidate was okay with bakeries being sued out of business for not catering gay weddings. So, I don’t think even they count. They are just different in degree not kind.

          1. Fair point. GJ was a least-evil choice, especially with William Quisling as a VP candidate.

            1. Most of the people on this board are okay with it too. A few aren’t but most feign concern and certainly wouldn’t ever do anything to stop it. So, Gary was absolutely in tune with his supporters on that.

              1. most feign concern and certainly wouldn’t ever do anything to stop it

                As opposed to your “well violence toward gays is okay, because they vote Democrat, and we all know rights are only for people who reliably vote for Republicans”.

                1. As opposed to your “well violence toward gays is okay, because they vote Democrat, and we all know rights are only for people who reliably vote for Republicans”.

                  Show me where I ever said that? I never have. And I certainly don’t think it. So why do you think that I do? There is no evidence I do. I guess you just really need to invent some rationalization for the fact that you are totally onboard with ending religious freedom in this country.

                  Do me a favor, leave me out of the morality plays you are running in your head. You can be as hateful and stupid as you want to be, just don’t slander me to rationalize it.

          1. What, I was supposed to read your comment accurately?

            Fascist.

    4. a big chunk of the Republican Party still wants to outright criminalize homosexuality

      Point me to any elected politician who had “criminalizing homosexuality” as part of his campaign platform, please. If there’s a “big chunk”, surely they have at least one congressman in office?

    5. SoCons who think the government can legislate morality must also be OK with it taking away guns, cigarettes, cars, etc…At least the proggies understand this, which means SoCons must be even dumber than proggies.

      1. They never get that. Socons hate porn and drugs. Okay. Progs hate guns and big sodas. If you can ban drugs and porn for people’s own good, why can’t they ban guns and sodas?

        1. I’d leave guns out of it given the Second Amendment, but the rest is reasonable.

  24. I just heard that Kanye West has been officially prohibited from owning a firearm.

  25. This guys is horrible on paper. I am sure he’ll get the job.

  26. This guy sounds TERRIBLE. I don’t agree with Reason’s smarmy crap about police prosecutors etc. “make a HABIT” of violating constitutional rights bla bla. Ime, it’s rare, but it’s odious when it happens.

    Of course I am the happy recipient of a large settlement due to filing a civil case against law enforcement for violating MY RIGHTs. Thank you taxpayers.

    God knows – they do it and I’ve always conceded that. Just like every other profession on earth, there are some people in any field that do bad stuff, through incompetence or willful misconduct.

    1. Of course I am the happy recipient of a large settlement due to filing a civil case against law enforcement for violating MY RIGHTs. Thank you taxpayers.

      What is, bullshit in the first degree?

      1. Dunphy blew a cop so hard that he broke his wrist. True story.

        1. I’m almost incentivized to post a link to the judgment as I won a fuck ton of money and I was TOTALLY vindicated

          Don’t violate muh rights!!!!!!

          It would fuck with my anonymity, but it’s SO Fucking satisfying

          I’m actually 3 for 3 so far in civil courts.

          The wheels of justice turn slooooooowly

          Btw, Sloopy will be happy to hear I won in part because of medical privacy issues being violated

          heh…

          b00ya HIPAA

          smooches!!!!!

          1. Go home, Charlie Sheen, you’ve had too much to drink/smoke/snort/shoot up

    2. God knows – they do it and I’ve always conceded that. Just like every other profession on earth, there are some people in any field that do bad stuff, through incompetence or willful misconduct.

      Your “Bad Apples Theory” of police misconduct might be of value if it weren’t plainly evident on printed paper that the police posses all sorts of immunities to criminal prosecution and insulation from civil suits that no one else in society has, which greatly perverts incentives and induces misconduct on a scale that would not otherwise be possible.

      1. Police have QUALIFIED immunity

        which can be and is vitiated given gross negligence and other violations

        I can cite PLENTY of cases where police immunity is overturned

        Judges and prosecutors have ABSOLUTE immunity

        a *much* stronger protection

        grok it?

        smooches

        1. I can cite PLENTY of cases where police immunity is overturned

          … but you didn’t and won’t

        2. Police have QUALIFIED immunity

          which can be and is vitiated given gross negligence and other violations

          Yes a cop kills someone that would get anyone else a murder charge, but the cop gets a manslaughter charge or some kind of negligence charge because he was wearing special costume with shiny badge. And that is with exceedingly few exceptions the best case scenario for equal application of the law.

          I can cite PLENTY of cases where police immunity is overturned

          Yes, you can go ahead and cite some cases that do naught else but prove the exception to the rule I’m talking about.

          Judges and prosecutors have ABSOLUTE immunity

          a *much* stronger protection

          Which is also wrong, and you’ll hear plenty of valid complaints about that, but then again judges and prosecutors aren’t typically tasked with being out on the streets doing the enforcement. That immunity might lead to callous and brazen rights violations in the court room, but seldom can it be used as a blank check to rob, injure, maim and murder people without consequence.

    3. Any chance God managed to smite the ku-klux twink with last night’s tornado in Alabama?

  27. Of course any state ultimately is legislating morality to some degree. Even a libertarian state starts with the assumption that it is moral to protect individual rights always or almost always before any other considerations.

    So there are two questions we would need to ask, one general, one specific.

    Generally, do I want the state to be legislating these types of morals? I’d say, resoundingly, no.

    Specifically, does the Constitution of the government we have allow the state to legislate morality in this way? That’s more complicated and may vary depending on the level of government doing the legislating. I’m personally persuaded that 14A was sufficient to overturn state-level bans on gay marriage.

    Regardless, this doesn’t sound like the kind of person I would want on the Supreme Court.

    1. All good points. Apparently you missed the memo that Libertarian morality is different.

    1. That might be the smartest thing you have ever posted on here. Really. You should stick to fewer words.

      1. From the man who’s posted hundreds of comments, just this morning, without once making a cogent point.

        John:

        10 state false premise
        20 defend false premise to the point of rolling on back and pissing on self
        30 upon failure, resort to personal attacks
        40 move on to next thread
        50 state false premise completely inconsistent with previous
        60 goto 20

        You are pathetic and ridiculous.

        1. You are the dumbest person who has ever posted on here. You really are. Shreek is a troll. Tony is just confused. But none of them can touch you for a combination of utter thick hotheadedness and ignorance.

          I am glad you think everything I say is dumb. You have no idea how glad I am. If I ever started making sense to you, it would be a very bad sign for my rationality. You are the only person I have ever seen who cannot grasp deductive logic and reasoning. The even more amazing thing is, you actually seem to pride yourself in that. You don’t even understand how simple minded you are. You think you are the smartest guy on the board. it is kind of tragic really.

          1. John, you are a blathering idiot.

            You haven’t made two consistent arguments in weeks. You are completely without principle. You take positions on issues in the same way your average progressive does. How John feelz about it at the particular moment in time. And then goes on to contradict his previous argument with the next one.

            You are completely impossible to argue with, and trust me, it’s not because you’re good at it. You simply refuse to cede valid points, move the goalposts, fail to recognize your own inconsistencies and then resort to personal attacks. One may as well argue with a three year old.

            And you nailed it, John. It’s not that your arguments are completely void of logic or principle…it’s that people are too stupid to understand your advanced reasoning (sarc, in case you missed it dripping from every letter).

            Look at yourself. You’re batshit crazy. Look at the number of posts you’ve made just this morning. What sane person does that? And with you it’s a standard day.

            You are, quite simply a pathetic windbag that likes listening to himself talk.

            1. “I never argue with mystics.” –Ayn Rand

  28. Nude Photographs Of Federal Judge Bill Pryor Appeared In The 1990s On A Gay Pornography Site

    Nude photographs of federal judge Bill Pryor appeared in the 1990s on a gay pornography Web site, a Legal Schnauzer investigation shows.

    The photos appeared in 1997 on badpuppy.com, which was in its online infancy, having debuted in mid 1995. Based in Cocoa, Florida, the site has morphed into one of the largest gay porn sites on the Web.

    Images obtained by Legal Schnauzer show Pryor posing completely nude, staring into the camera and sporting a noticeable erection. We see no indication that the photos were taken surreptitiously, without Pryor’s knowledge. Sources say Pryor was college age when the photos were taken.

    Pryor rose to national prominence in Republican circles on the basis of a staunchly conservative record, including consistent opposition to gay rights. He also has supported school prayer and the death penalty, while opposing abortion rights, making him a highly unpopular figure among liberal and progressive interest groups.

    1. Is this one of those fake news stories I keep hearing so much about?

    2. Well, at least he’s not one of those knock-it-before-you-try-it types.

      1. He is naked. Naked isn’t the same as gay. Maybe his girlfriend took the pictures?

    3. If he didn’t consent to them being published, how is this not just revenge porn? Revenge porn should not be a crime but it is not a good thing either.

  29. This Pryor guy sounds like he has the bad qualities of Scalia but does he have the positives (strong on free speech etc?)

    No judge I’ve ever seen is good on everything (imnsho) at least according to my analysis.

    This guy sounds like a statist tool to the nth degree and Waaaaaay to deferential to law enforcement.

    Taping the defense team in private conference should at minimum trigger disbarment hearings.

    Btw, a double standard Reasonoids will never admit. Coworker of mine arrested a guy who repeatedly called him the N word, said he was going to shoot him with his rifle when he had the chance, that as a black man he was not even human, that if the cop took off the cuffs he’d kill him, that he needed to go back to Africa bla bla.

    Prosecutor said does not meet filing standards for intimidating a public servant let alone a “hate crime” (SAVAGE HYPOCRISY).

    no doubt if he was just some dude, not a cop, they would have filed. we are expected to take more bullshit including threats, even when racially biased in this “hate crime” era.

    it’s a double standard no reasonoid anti cop bigot would admit

    btw, still at a 40 yr high for public admiration for police!!!! we are WINNING

    as did I in my civil suit against bad cops! :p

    JUSTICE!!!!! Contracts!!!!! Power to the People. POLICE UNIONS!!!!

    1. Not today, man. Fuck you.

      1. smooches! viva police unions!

        fighting for our rights!

        An injustice to one is an injustice to all!!

        1. fighting for our rights!

          But the remaining 320 million of us can all get fucked.

    2. we are WINNING

      But what is the prize?

      1. Your blood on his nightstick.

        1. Walking a beat would take actual work. He’s not boosting the union so heavily because they make him work hard for his paycheck.

    3. Coworker of mine arrested a guy

      Why?

      who repeatedly called him the N word

      Free speech

      said he was going to shoot him with his rifle when he had the chance

      IANAL, but my understanding is that this is still protected speech since it doesn’t sound specific, isn’t intended to cause bodily harm, and could reasonably be considered hyperbole depending on the circumstances. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      that as a black man he was not even human

      Free speech

      that if the cop took off the cuffs he’d kill him

      Again, why was he cuffed in the first place? And see above.

      that he needed to go back to Africa

      Free speech

    4. I would hope cops are psychologically stable enough and have enough training to ignore this kind of stuff.

  30. You left out his calling the Miranda decision one of the worst examples of judicial activism. I guess he figures that rights are great as long as people don’t know what they are.

  31. i guess i’ll ask this of you libertarians, because i’m genuinely curious. given that you’re unlikely to get a judge you love, and any judge is going to be imperfect, where do you draw the line on who should get scalia’s seat?

  32. It is shocking that so-called writers lack an English vocabulary. Stone-age superstition is the mark of rocks in the head, not ribs. Conservative–especially in the case of this robed bigot–means National Socialist, plain and simple. This judge is exemplary of the 99.5% of German voters and members of government in 1933. The ideology of mystical altruism is alive and well, and can be observed in natural habitat at websites such as christogenea.org–complete with prewar pamphlets reconciling national socialism with positive christianity. This judge, the Tea and other women-baiting prohibitionist parties–they are the reason God’s Own Prohibitionists lost in the popular vote count. They are also the reason the GOP is dying, to be replaced by sane libertarians.

  33. The doctrine of ‘judicial deference’ is fatuous on the face of it. The Constitution establishes the judiciary as a *co-equal* branch of government, with the *duty* to defend the Constitution against any person or persons (including a majority) seeking to evade or abridge it. The origin of the doctrine is clear: it is a technique for rationalizing the unlimited power of the “two-party” system (the oligarchy with two factions) whose approval judges must obtain in order to be appointed to office.

  34. While Scalia’s seat is rightfully President Obama’s to fill, as long as we’re blowing up that tradition, Pryor, at first glance, seems at least somewhat more principled than Scalia in application of judicial conservatism. I personally favor a robust interpretation of constitutional rights and strong judicial scrutiny of alleged violations of them, but that’s only because this has traditionally been done in favor of maltreated classes, who need all the help they can get in a democratic system. Pryor’s equation of homosexual relationships with bestiality is just dumb. I’d take him minus the apparent requirement of being a conservative Catholic, which, no matter how objective he thinks he is, obviously colors his worldview. Just not as arrogantly as Scalia.

    1. but that’s only because this has traditionally been done in favor of maltreated classes, who need all the help they can get in a democratic system

      And, guess what, many Americans disagree with you that the legal system should hand out favors based on class membership. We believe that the legal system should address individual injuries and be blind to whatever class you think you are a member of.

  35. Pryor came out firmly in defense of every state’s unbridled power to incarcerate consenting adults for the supposed crime of having same-sex relations in the privacy of their own homes. “The States can and must legislate morality.” To rule otherwise, Pryor’s brief declared, would be to enshrine a “sophomoric libertarian mantra.”

    Unfortunately, judge Pryor doesn’t seem consistent in his views: while he thinks the states have an unlimited right to incarcerate people for gay sex, he doesn’t seem to believe in states rights when it comes to drugs or abortion. Furthermore, he doesn’t seem to have considered what “legislating morality” actually means. As a Catholic, he should be careful what he wishes for, because traditionally, Americans have been staunchly anti-Catholic.

    On the charge of being “sophomoric”, I leave it to yourself to decide whether this quote from Glenn vs Brumby is the argument of a mature legal scholar or a “sophomore”:

    Petitioners’ protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, a constitutional right that protects “the choice of one’s partner” and “whether and how to connect sexually” must logically extend to activities like prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia (if the child should credibly claim to be “willing”).

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