Thursday, June 26, 2008

Supreme Court Roundup

The Supreme Court is taking no prisoners these days, handing down rulings left and right that are sure to piss someone off.

A month ago, the upheld the constitutionality of Indiana's requirement that voters show government-issued ID when they go vote, pretty much relying entirely on the fact that, back in "Gangs of New York"-era New York, machine politicians paid people to vote multiple times. Never mind that this type of voter fraud seems to be non-existent today, or that the law results in travesties like busloads of nuns being turned away (by other nuns!) at the polls because most nuns don't get driver's licenses. I think that it is safe to say that if you just issued a ruling and it is turning nun against nun, you fucked that ruling up.

A few weeks ago, they ruled that the prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay could appeal their detention in federal courts through the right of habeas corpus, which Congress and the President had done away with via the Military Commissions Act, basically reminding those two branches that, hey, guess what, you can't just, you know, suspend the law and shit. This pissed off people who think this is going to mean that a bunch of terrorists are going to be set free to blow us all up (Justice Antonin Scalia falls squarely into this camp. The believing they'll blow us up camp, not the actual blowing us up camp. To my knowledge. He is an angry jurist.) It also "pissed off" John McCain, who probably secretly agreed with the decision (one would have to think that a former prisoner would have a soft spot in his heart for judicial review, which was not available to him, as the U.S. has yet to open up a District Court in Hanoi), but figured it would be politically expedient to decry it.

They've kept the ball rolling this week. In a stunning double blow to all Marine Wildlife-Americans, the Court knocked back the punitive damages that Exxon got smacked with for the Valdez debacle from $5 billion to $500 million, and also decided to take up a case from the Ninth Circuit in California (read: it accepted the case so that it can overturn the decision some time next year) which will result in the Navy being able ignore the Coastal Zone Management Act so that it can conduct all sorts of sonar exercises that will cause "behavioral disruptions" and hearing loss to whales and dolphins. So basically, dousing all sorts of wildlife in raw petroleum is now cheaper than ever, and we'll be driving whales and dolphins deaf and crazy so we can be ready for when those terrorists attack us with their terrorist submarines! Who cares, you can't hear anything underwater anyway, right? So who cares if whales and dolphins are deaf? You know who was deaf? Fucking Beethoven, man.

Michael Chertoff also got a free pass to ignore environmental regulations when the Supreme Court declined to take a case where the lower courts let Homeland Security waive environmental regulations so that it could build its awesome border fence (built to keep Lou Dobbs's night terrors at bay) without worrying about whether it cuts rivers in half, or how many folks' properties it runs through. But it's all good, because as the Cold War taught us, big-ass walls work!

Also disappointed by recent rulings were vengeful, raped babies, who were very upset that the Supreme Court's liberals said it was unconstitutional to execute someone for raping a baby. Both presidential candidates came out against the decision, because, I mean, how can you be running for president and be for baby raping? Baby raping polls very, very badly.

Also, it is very likely that today or tomorrow, Justice Scalia will take a minute to inform us, while striking down D.C.'s gun control statute, that we need all the guns we can get in order to be safe from the Redcoats. I'm calling it right now.

Update: About 10 minutes after I posted this, Scalia did actually come down from the mountain armed with an opinion opining that we do indeed have substantial Constitutionally-protected rights to bear arms.


Anonymous said...

come on, don paco, tell us how you really feel. i'm sure buchanan is pro-raping babies...

Don Paco said...

Actually, I think it's fair to say that all the candidates are anti-baby rape, which is for the best. However, I am fairly certain the Guiliani campaign had baby raping as part of the platform there for a while. Proving once again what political scientists have been saying for 50 years: you can't run your campaign on 9/11, baby rape, and the mad hope that the people of Florida just can't wait to vote for you in their primary.