God: Not Dead Yet

“The truth is that (as the decision in the Arizona case should remind us) the current Court is certainly not simply the legal equivalent of the Sean Hannity, no matter how many crazed partisan rants Scalia might indulge himself in. We might get there in the future (or not), and we might get some decisions that sure look very partisan, but that’s not where we are now. It’s simply not true that there are five solid votes (or even four solid votes) for whatever wacky, ad-hoc legal theories GOP spinmeisters come up with.” — Jonathan Bernstein [here]

The partisan hacks interpretation entirely depends, I’m convinced, on the false hypothesis that Citizens United is nothing but the obedient work of the puppets of corporate paymasters, as opposed to a side in a contribution to a ‘reasonable people can differ’ debate about how much the federal government can regulate election season expressive acts without falling afoul of the First Amendment (I never tire of stressing that what the group Citizens United had done that was allegedly unlawful was say bad things about Hillary Clinton in public during an election cycle). If you accept that this is a genuine question, and you note in passing alleged partisan hack Anthony Kennedy’s two pro-gay opinions, Scalia’s one pro-gay opinion and one pro enemy combatant detainee opinion, that pretty much kills the partisan hack hypothesis dead. Or else at least two of them are utterly incompetent partisan hacks.

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One comment on “God: Not Dead Yet

  1. Richard says:

    I find that in most cases a “partisan” decision is one that differs from the preferences of the commentator, specifically commentators from the left. (The equivalent on the right uses the term “activist” instead of “partisan”.) Since the Court has become more conservative in recent decades, it therefore issues more “partisan” opinions than it used to.

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