All the really successful blogs are little niche-type blogs. You get your sports news here, you get cool military photos there, and you get daily cute puppies here. (Seriously, check out the puppies.)
Every good blog fits into a nice little category. However, since I do this for me - I'm going to switch gears just a tiny bit. A little. I actually was going to get off the political/legal issues for awhile. However, when I hear the President say this, I want to throw something at my television:
"For years what we've heard is the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint - that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law," Obama said. "Well, this is a good example," he said. "And I'm pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step."
This is weapons-grade stupid on several levels, so it actually pains me that everyone things our President is so smart. Maybe since he's so smart, he should have done the oral arguments.
First, the term "judicial activism" is whatever you don't like the Court doing. It's different for everyone. It's just a cop-out argument. People on all sides of issues use the word. If you don't like the Court's opinion, you call it "judicial activism". It's just a label, and it's almost meaningless, because it's been used to mean so many different things. All you have to know is that when you hear it, the person saying it means decision of the court = bad. So congratulations Mr. President, you have a buzzword. Kudos to you.
Second, what the hell does "duly constituted and passed law" mean? Really. Put the teleprompter down, slowly back away, and tell me what it means. I'll wait.
Think about this: "duly constituted" as opposed to what? A random guy snuck into the Capitol and put the bill into desk drawer? A guy from your bowling league gave it to you over a plate of nachos? All it means is that some Congressmen talked about it in a meeting. Which brings us to: "and passed law". It passed because Congress took a vote. Congratulations kids, you took a vote! Well that is the end of the analysis under super-duper smart President. They voted on it. End of analysis. Okey-dokey.
Congress wrote something down and then took a vote = duly constituted and passed law.
This isn't the legal standard. It can't be the legal standard. It's not even close to the legal standard. You know why? Because every law that the Supreme Court has found unconstitutional on substantive grounds was a duly constituted and passed law. Here are two other laws that were duly constituted and passed:
The Judiciary Act of 1789 (Marbury vs. Madison)
Jim Crow Laws (culminating in Brown vs. Board of Education)
Whoa! You mean the Supreme Court doesn't just defer to laws that were duly constituted and passed! That's so crazy! Taking a vote in Congress isn't the end of the test?
If we did what our President is advocating, we don't even need a Judiciary. We can send them all home. If a legislature duly constitutes and passes a law...that's all we need under our President's theory. However, the way the Constitution is set up is that the branches of government have this relationship - checks and balances. You may have heard of it, it's kind of a big deal around here.
Someone get our President a copy of Marbury vs. Madison. Oh and highlight this part for him, in case he's not as smart as everyone says he is.
Certainly all those who have framed written Constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation, and consequently the theory of every such government must be that an act of the Legislature repugnant to the Constitution is void.FYI, it's not judicial activism if the theory of striking down a law is that it is repugnant to the Constitution.
The Supreme Court: Taking Congress out behind the woodshed since 1803.