October 12, 2004

If you were confused by Bush's reference to "Dred Scott" (a 148 yr. old Supreme Court decision)... when he was asked about his criteria for Supreme Court nominees in the last debate, you will be interested to know (as I was) that it is Religious Right code for "Roe v Wade". <Explanation via Slate>
  • you mean he wasn't just citing 19th century con law trivia off the top of his head??? YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE!
  • If he uses that YCRBYCH line on Wednesday, I'm downing the entire fucking bottle of Vodka. Who does Bush think he is winning over with such nonsense? Why does his entire campaign revolve around shoring up his base?
  • Because he seriously couldn't give a fuck what you care about? Because even when he got elected by judicial fiat, he acted like he had a mandate from heaven? Because you're going to hell, and since he's been saved he don't have no truck with you sons-of-bitches? That's why he's appealling to his base. He truly does not give a fuck about you.
  • He truly does not give a fuck about you. Nor you him.
  • Astounding. The pro-life movement wants the state to take control of (pregnant) women's bodies, and they're comparing pro-choice to slavery?
  • Bush was semaphoring to hard-core abortion opponents that he would indeed apply one crucial litmus test: He would never, ever, appoint a Supreme Court justice who condoned Roe. This is no secret. And it does not mean that Bush would appoint a Supreme Court justice who would overturn Roe. Big difference. Bush bungled this one big-time, however; the reference was nearly incoherent amid the babbling. Not sure why he felt the need to use it...
  • Yeah but isn't the president's job to give a fuck about us? Also, I'm with fuyugare on that imbecilic line he's intent on drilling into our crania. Save some vodka
  • This argument is rather thin- just because several conservatives have made a similar metaphor doesnt make it a "code." As if anyone thought Bush would appoint a justice who would condone abortion anyway. The greater mystery is why those old coots on the court havent retired- are they that confident of a Bush win? Also this brings up an interesting question- Bush says the Constitution guarantees freedom to all, so the Dredd Scott judges were wrong- but doesnt the constitution also guarantee equality to gays? yet he supports not only judges denying gays the right to marry, but actually amending the constitution to restrict their freedom?
  • to answer my own question- maybe the justices feel they will be needed to help assure another Bush win? Although a new Bush appointee could do the same just as easily. I dont think the whole election is headed to the court like last time, but the Colorado thing, about splitting the electoral votes could well be- which could mean the difference between Bush getting all 9, or Kerry getting 4 of them, which in some scenarios could decide the election...
  • drjimmy11, you seem to be confusing rhetoric with logic.
  • drjimmy11, you are commenting on a thread of mine from about 3 weeks ago on "why haven't they retired?". Sadly, I cannot link to it, since the database recently started over.
  • I have long ago lost any respect for someone who votes for Bush in this election.
  • One imagines Will, looking out the window from his office, could on any given afternoon identify three or four cloud formations that remind him of Dred Scott. That's funny
  • f8- Not at all. I care greatly about Mr. Bush, as Mr. Bush has the power to wreak great havok in my life. If I was more facile, I'd suggest that I care so much about him that I'd like to see him on vacation forever, far away from the stress of the presidency.
  • OMG, every high school graduate has heard of Dred Scott. We just don't know what it was about aside from something to do with "slavery is bad."
  • I completely agree with tss. It's the only answer that makes sense.
  • I thought the same thing as tss when I was watching the debate. I thought it either had to be Bush trying to say "Hey, Missourians! I read about you in High School" or another indication that Bush is living is some alternate reality. My understanding of the Dred Scott case is that it had nothing to do with activist judges and everything to do with states rights and personal property rights. At the time of the Dred Scott case the three-fifths compromise was still in effect. Dred Scott, being a slave, was only counted as three-fifths of a person and not considered a citizen according to the US constitution. While the judges in Missouri ruling went against prescient and Missouri state law, the supreme court ruling, that Scott had no legal standing as a slave and only three-fifths a person was probably the only decision that could have been made at the time. How the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision even might apply to either Roe vs. Wade or gay marriage cases is beyond me. If the argument is that the Missouri judges were the activist judges, that's pretty thin when you consider that at the time it was pretty much a given that if a black person was involved in any kind of court case against a white person in the South, or a border state like Missouri, they would loose.
  • To add to Mexican's comments, Dred Scott is in fact a great example of the limitations and perils inherent in a "strict constructionist" interpretation of the Constitution.. The outrage and the irony here is that the kind of folks Bush has nominated for positions on the Federal bench have been, despite his claims to the contrary, "judicial activists." They are **conservative** judicial activists, eager to tow the line of legal interpretation in any way that suits their agenda. The most appalling example of this kind of "activism" is not gay marriage, but the Supreme Court ruling in Bush v. Gore. If you read the decision, you'll see the stretches and convolutions Scalia et al need to make to justify calling a halt to the recount, including the laughable notion that their ruling shouldn't be used as any kind of legal precedent in the future.
  • WRT why the justices haven't retired yet, I don't see why thinking they'd be needed to install Bush again would stop them--after all, presumably Bush would appoint someone who would help install him again if the case arose. Maybe they're holding on because they're afraid of the kind of nutjob he'd be likely to appoint? Maybe deep down they really respect the bench and their offices and don't want it to be sullied in the way they anticipate it would be by Bush appointments? ... Naaaah, you're probably right. It's probably just that they're not ready for bingo five nights a week yet.
  • Bush Won't Reinstitute Slavery! Dred Scott decision reflected personal bias President Bush announced in the second debate that he wouldn't appoint any Supreme Court justices who supported the Dred Scott decision, which ruled that owning slaves was constitutional. What a relief! /partisan attack
  • I liked the part where he started to quote the Constitution, realized he didn't actually know what it said, and then turned it around to, "well, it doesn't say that."
  • In all this Dred Scott business, people have forgotten the other example our illustrious leader trotted out:
    Let me give you a couple of examples, I guess, of the kind of person I wouldn't pick. I wouldn't pick a judge who said that the Pledge of Allegiance couldn't be said in a school because it had the words "under God" in it. I think that's an example of a judge allowing personal opinion to enter into the decision-making process as opposed to a strict interpretation of the Constitution.
    Now, correct me if I'm wrong here, but wouldn't a strict interpretation of the constitution insist that "under God" be kept out? As it was prior to the 50s? I mean, if you're gonna be STRICT about it... ah, never mind.
  • I did not see the RSS comment on Metafilter because I wasn't able to get it to load for the past day. Strangely, I can get the RSS comment from the link provided, but when I attempt to click on the Metafilter HOME link, I still get either a blank page or a text "connection failed" message. What is up with that? Happens on my Mac with multiple browsers, as well as my Dell.