Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Justice Scalia was recently up in Canada to participate in an international judicial panel on torture and terrorism. Apparently, the subject of the interrogation techniques of Jack Bauer–the fictional character from 24–came up, whereupon a Canadian jurist expressed disgust at same and Justice Scalia responded by saying:

Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer … I don’t think so …. So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes … [a]nd ought we believe in these absolutes.

Just remember that Justice Scalia dresses like this,

The Man

And the Canadian judge dresses like this.


Who you gonna believe?

Thx to the WSJ LawBlog

The current members of Motley Crue are suing one of their former managers for purportedly giving them bad career advice by forcing Tommy Lee to participate in the twin reality show phenomenons, Tommy Lee Goes to College, and Rock Star: Supernova. The band alleges that Mr. Pam Anderson’s involvement in the shows hurt his reputation as a musician and prevented the band from performing as many concert dates as it might otherwise have been able to.

Musical genius

I was not aware that Tommy Lee nor Motley Crue possessed musical reputations.

Thx to the WSJ LawBlog

Today’s SCOTUS opinon in Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., No. 06-484, slip op. (U.S. June 21, 2007), contains a lively exchange between Justices Stevens (in dissent) and Scalia (in concurrence). As usual, I find Justice Scalia’s argument the more logical, eloquent, and persuasive.


Justice Stevens thought Justice Scalia’s concurrence to be “clearly wrong,” explaining:

The meaning of a statute can only be determined on a case by case basis and will, in each case, turn differently on the clarity of the statutory language, its context, and the intent of its drafters. Here, in my judgment, a probable-cause standard is more faithful to the intent of Congress, as expressed in both the specific pleading requirement and the statute as a whole, than the more defendant-friendly interpretation that Justice Scalia prefers. He is clearly wrong in concluding that in divining the meaning of this term, we can merely “read the language for what it says,” and that it is susceptible to only one reading. He argues that we “must be content to give ’strong inference’ its normal meaning,” and yet the “normal meaning” of a term such as “strong inference” is surely in the eye of the beholder. As the Court’s opinion points out, Courts of Appeals have divided on the meaning of the standard, and today, the Members of this Court have done the same. Although Justice Scalia may disagree with the Court’s reading of the term, he should at least acknowledge that, in this case, the term itself is open to interpretation.

Id. at 2 n.1 (Stevens, J., dissenting).

Justice Scalia, meanwhile, takes his longtime colleague’s logic to task:

The Court and the dissent criticize me for suggesting that there is only one reading of the text. They are both mistaken. I assert only that mine is the natural reading of the statute (i.e., the normal reading), not that it is the only conceivable one. The Court has no standing to object to this approach, since it concludes that, in another respect, the statute admits of only one natural reading, namely, that competing inferences must be weighed because the strong-inference requirement “is inherently comparative.” As for the dissent, it asserts that the statute cannot possibly have a natural and discernible meaning, since “courts of appeals” and “Members of this Court” have divided over the question. It was just weeks ago, however, that the author of the dissent, joined by the author of today’s opinion for the Court, concluded that a statute’s meaning was “plain,” even though the Courts of Appeals and Members of this Court divided over the question. Was plain meaning then, as the dissent claims it is today, “in the eye of the beholder”?

Id. at 3-4 (Scalia, J., concurring).

Of interest perhaps only to me, both Justices refer to the “Courts of Appeals” instead of the “Courts of Appeal.” I guess when you’re SCOTUS, you can phrase things however you wish.

One last aside, do you realize that Justice Stevens was nominated by President Ford, and was born in 1920 before the Great Depression?

Thx to the WSJ LawBlog and Justice Scalia

It is no secret that I am not ideologically aligned with Michael Moore or most liberals in the public eye for that matter. That said, I think Moore is an undeniably-talented documentary filmmaker, even if he plays too fast and loose with the facts for a purported nonfiction medium.

However, one area upon which I think people of all political leanings in this country can agree is that the healtcare system in the U.S. is increasingly frustrating for those covered and uncovered alike.

I’m no fan of socialistic programs, but I do think there is enormous room for improvement over our current system. Heck, I know I shell out a few grand every year just in deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums on my family’s health insurance, so any proportionate tax hike–if it eliminated my need for private insurance–would be a wash for me financially.


When you have the chance, I encourage you to see SiCKO because even if some of the silly stunts Moore pulls (such as taking 9/11 rescue workers to Cuba for free healthcare) offend and incense you, it is a pretty thought-provoking film nonetheless.

Particularly so the anectdotal stories of folks denied timely or needed healthcare procedures, even though they were covered. Many of these cases resulted in the death of the afflicted person.

Thx to (hate to admit I’m saying this) Michael Moore

For having been off the last week or so. Unfortunately, work sometimes rudely intrudes on my frivolities.