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January 28, 2010


200 Grande

What a douchebag.

The Strongman, Vladamir Putin

If this were Russia, Alito would arrange (how do you say?) special ingredient for Obama's next halal hamburger: polonium.


First of all, the absolute worst thing that Justice Alito could ever do is go on Sunday talk shows and inject himself into a political debate. The Executive and Legislative branches are often referred to as the "political" branches of government. The Supreme Court is NOT a political branch and any justice who attempted to make it so should, in my opinion, be the subject of an immediate impeachment effort. That sort of politicization of the Court would be incredibly damaging to both the Court and the nation.

Chief Justice Rehnquist is said to have felt that the Supreme Court Justices should not even attend the State of the Union address. Because they properly sat there neither applauding nor showing any other approval or disapproval, he said they sat there looking like bumps on a log. But bumps on a log is the proper way for members of a branch of government that MUST be above and apart from the political fray to behave. Regardless of how one feels about any decision of the Court or another's comments about it, Alito was dead wrong to respond that way in that setting. I hope we never see a repeat performance by any other Justice.

As to the decision itself, it seems most folks are viewing it through a narrow partisan lens (surprise, surprise). Most knowledgeable observers realize that this decision greatly benefits the Republican Party. At least in the short term. So we see Republican partisans hailing it as a great and beneficial decision that was properly decided. For the same reason we see Democratic partisans taking the opposite position. Perhaps it would be wise if we considered the impact the decision will have on the nation rather than its impact on the fortunes of either political party.

Brad Smith, who you cite in your post, is a law professor. I'll stipulate he probably knows far more about constitutional law than I do. But I think it is fair to say his argument is tendentious. And you have to admit that President Obama's credentials in the area of constitutional law aren't too shabby either.

What Smith says about the law as it pertains to foreign individuals and foreign corporations is correct. I certainly wouldn't dispute that. But, as with so many specious arguments put forward to advance a partisan position, it ignores some important points that must be considered when assessing what the real world results will be of this sweeping decision.

If a corporation is foreign owned BUT is incorporated in the United States it can pour as much money as it likes into American elections as a result of this decision. If a foreign owned corporation has a subsidiary corporation in the United States it can funnel big buckets of money into American elections through that subsidiary under this decision because the subsidiary is an American company.

It is time to stop cheering this decision because it has short term political benefit for the guys wearing the jerseys for your team. It is time to take a sober look at the impact this will have on the United States of America. And that impact is not a positive one.

It is also ironic that the very folks who have made careers decrying "activist" courts should be lauding this sweeping display of judicial activism. The Court was presented with a very narrow case to decide and twisted and turned and jumped through hoops to broaden it so that they could then overturn previous precedent. And some surprisingly recent precedent at that. It is hard to see what has changed since 1990 except who sits in a couple of the chairs that would justify such a sweeping disregard for legal precedent.

200 Grande

I think Dan makes a very good point regarding foreign entities and the ambiguity in the nexus of their participation in ownership of American business and how U.S. election laws are situated to deal with them.

If only Obama brought up this matter in this context, but he's a douchebag.

Too bad both parties will insist on politicizing this issue.:)


Interestingly, many folks believe that corporate money already so saturates our political process that it won't be that big a deal. Sadly, they may be right. Which would mean we are already farther gone than one might have hoped.

local gop

I think its especially interesting that Alito was the only juror to make a visual sign of disagreement with the remarks. Interesting because his confirmation hearings were especially brutal if I remember correctly. I would even say that he got a much harsher treatment than any other juror...maybe there's some hidden animosity between him and the dems that grilled him i.e. Obama


I know Alito's wife was very upset at his treatment during confirmation. But I think we can all understand that and accept that she isn't exactly an objective observer of the matter. We all get our backs up when we perceive someone we care about is being attacked.

I don't believe Alito was the subject of an extraordinarily brutal confirmation process. And it was not a particularly lengthy process. He was nominated on Oct. 31, 2005 and his confirmation was voted in the full Senate on Jan.31 2006.

With the intervening holiday recess it is difficult to see how the nomination could have been acted on much faster. Hard to see how such a speedy process was brutal to the nominee. Unless you call asking the guy a few questions before installing him on the Supreme Court brutal.

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