Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Scalia Is A Horse's Ass

I mean no offense to horses or their prodigious excretory abilities. But "horse's ass" is the nicest description up which with I could come in describing that darling of conservatives, Antonin Scalia. And if he is indeed a horse's ass (indeed, he is), I don't know what to call those who love him so much, but it's probably prohibited by most sacred and civil law. Kentucky, possibly, excepted.

As RWS™ holler nonstop about liberal judges legislating from the bench, letting personal politics affect their decisions (ie ruling in ways they don't like), there is none so prone to doing it as Mister Justice Scalia. Here's what he said today about the Affordable Care Act:

In the morning session -- in which the court weighed how much of the law should stand if the mandate is ruled unconstitutional -- Scalia cited the horsetrading required to pass the bill -- including the politically embarrassing, and failed, Cornhusker Kickback. He also admitted that he'd like to see the whole law fall if the mandate is ruled out of bounds.

In the afternoon, he took pains to remind the court of the unpopularity of the individual mandate.

The exchange occurred when Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. rejected a hypothetical that relied on the notion of Congress passing a massive new tax. This, he argued, would have to overcome massive political constraints.

At that point Scalia chimed in: He would've thought the individual mandate would also be too much of a political liability to ever pass Congress.

Now I'm hardly a constitutional scholar, and I have no idea how the court will eventually rule, except to predict that, with Kennedy as the wild card, it'll likely follow the usual predictable split along party lines; and to point out how pathetic it is that it's nearly always possible to predict how our most supreme jurists will individually decide cases. (And I'll say once again that I've never liked the fact that the plan relies on private insurance, which is what makes the "individual mandate" necessary -- as Mitt Romney acknowledged again, just last night.)

But it doesn't take much more than a Palinesque mind to recognize that nothing Scalia said is relevant to the question of constitutionality of the Act, nor should have any role at all in deciding the case. In fact, in those cases I've taken time to read about, Big Tony nearly always seems to have extra-legal justifications for his decisions. In this case, it was right-wing talking points.

Seems to me Hizzoner is the Platonic ideal of a judge who lets his prejudices, his religion, his politics guide his judicial decisions; the exact opposite, in other words, of the sort of judge conservatives claim they want in courtrooms.

It's almost as if they're hypocrites or something...


  1. What I dislike about Scalia (of the small amount I know, being just a bit more informed than " a Palinesque mind") is that he interprets the Constitution as it was understood when originally written. So, "all men are created equal" would exclude 1/2 the people in the US? Maybe that is a poor example,but from what I heard today on "the news" the healthcare law is not likely to stand.

  2. C'mon Sid, its better to wait till you lose to be a poor loser...
    Ahh Alzheimers, the sadness of watching a loved one regress to the "Your a Big Doo-Doo Head" stage...
    But hey, your at the "Horse's Ass" stage, which isn't quite as sad, except for badly showing your age.
    I mean we didn't say "Horses Ass" when I was a kid, am I'm 50 :(
    But if your gonna throw out the Ad-Homo-nyms, how bout a few at the "General"
    Damn Idiot made ME look lucid.



    She doesn't know what EMTALA is.
    She thinks a kid in anaphylactic shock and unable to breathe, but without insurance won't be treated in an ER.
    Her brother is a physician; a pulmonologist/allergist.

    What say you, oh wise blogger?


  4. No worse than Scalia; maybe less, because he's repeating a political talking point. And he laughed at the idea of actually reading the bill on which he'll be ruling.

    And whereas it's true ERs can't turn away emergencies, there are plenty of people who use them for routine care (which is why RWS™ say no one is without health care) who get stuck with a bill twice as large as what insurers pay.

    And when they can't pay it, they go bankrupt. And hospitals eat the loss, passing it on to you and me. And among those people, there are many who don't have emergencies, who are refused care, as I assume you know.

    So the idea that ERs are a perfectly reasonable place for the uninsured to get care -- which was her point, if mangled -- which Rs like to say, is more ignorant that the good justice.

  5. P.S: Your reference website notwithstanding, PT, Justice Sotomayor needn't know anything about EMTALA in the deliberations, and it doesn't say much about her that she doesn't. It's not relevant to the issue at hand.

    Your side can laugh at her for not knowing, but it's not at all the same as Scalia claiming something is IN the act when it ISN'T, and referring to it in the RWS™ terminology. Revelatory, I'm sure you agree.

  6. PPSS: I'll admit, however, that both sides seem to enter stuff into the argument that has nothing to do with the central question of constitutionality. Scalia made snide remarks about the wisdom of the law: not his job, not relevant.

    I bet you'd agree that it's sort of disturbing that something as theoretically black and white as constitutionality -- it is or it isn't -- breaks predictably along party lines. And it hardly means one side is "activist" and the other isn't. If you believed that at one time, I assume you no longer do, after Citizens United.

  7. PPPPSSS: You might find this interesting, too, long as we're talking about the role of ER in providing care to the poor and uninsured.

  8. 1. I didn't laugh at Sotomayor. I actually felt nauseous.
    2. I KNEW you would say she didn't need to understand EMTALA, but that's arguable. If worried about providing for the general welfare, an unconstitutional ruling has vastly different consequences without EMTALA in place.
    3. I am very disturbed that the court is divided along political lines. Either the constitution is a "living document" or it isn't. I would say it isn't, based on the difficulty of the amendment process plus the writings of James Madison, but you know what they say about opinions and ...
    4. Regarding glib comments and extracurricular additions, I'd agree. The comment from Kagan about "free federal money" not being coercive was a doozy that made me wonder if she understands medicaid funding. One thing I learned is that justices often voice extreme hypotheticals, such as forcing people to buy broccoli, as a common practice to test the attorneys and also consider the future effects of any precedents they may set. It's interesting that following the "slippery slope" argument to various conclusions is encouraged. I think it's a good idea since, technically, we can eventually be forced to buy other stuff.
    5. Regarding limiting Medicaid, I like the second plan that focuses on frequent flyers, etc, rather than blocking only specific diagnoses; the pt doesn't know what's wrong with them! That article is a good example of how govt is SUPPOSED to work; different viewpoints meeting halfway to agree on something that works best for everyone. Thanks for sharing. It'll be interesting and important to see the results. The states as laboratories for change without federal intervention, what a great idea!

    Take Care,

    P.s. kagans comments:

  9. Just read this. Never heard much of this info. Pretty counterintuitive. Take a look if you want.


  10. Not sure what to make of your last link, in that I've always thought the "penalty" for not getting insurance was pretty teeny, and hardly much of an inducement for young people to buy insurance rather than pay it.

    But, again, it doesn't matter: the court shouldn't be deciding about the whys and wherefores of the legislation, the wisdom or lack thereof (I've said a billion times that I think it's stupid to have gone for insurance companies instead of single-payer.) Their job is to decide constitutionality, nothing more or less. So the rest of the smoke and mirrors, from either side, is irrelevant, as I (hardly a constitutional scholar) see it.


Comments back, moderated. Preference given for those who stay on topic.

Popular posts