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Did Obama and Holder screw up?

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So, the cornerstone of Obama’s first three years in office is the Affordability Care Act. It now looks as if the whole thing may go up in flames. Of course, reading the Supreme Court is like trying to read tea leaves in the middle of a windstorm. We really don’t know how many of the justices are going to vote. It looks as if it comes down to Justice Kennedy, who has been the swing vote since Alito was nominated by President Bush. By many accounts, the Solicitor General had a really bad day. So, my question is whether he is, after all, the best guy to argue the case. Don’t we need to have somebody. or should we have somebody. who doesn’t have bad days? Shouldn’t we have had some superstar?

From Mother Jones:

Virtually everyone agrees that today’s arguments before the Supreme Court were a disaster for the Obama administration. Adam Serwer sums up the reason:

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. should be grateful to the Supreme Court for refusing to allow cameras in the courtroom, because his defense of Obamacare on Tuesday may go down as one of the most spectacular flameouts in the history of the court.

Stepping up to the podium, Verrilli stammered as he began his argument. He coughed, he cleared his throat, he took a drink of water. And that was before he even finished the first part of his argument. Sounding less like a world-class lawyer and more like a teenager giving an oral presentation for the first time, Verrilli delivered a rambling, apprehensive legal defense of liberalism’s biggest domestic accomplishment since the 1960s—and one that may well have doubled as its eulogy.

This is just bizarre. Verrilli is an experienced guy. He’s been involved in loads of Supreme Court cases and has personally argued more than a dozen. So what on earth happened? So far, I haven’t seen anyone even take a stab at trying to figure it out. How could Verrilli possibly be unprepared for the questions he got, given that the conservative arguments against Obamacare have been extremely public and obvious for well over a year? Everyone in the world knew what to expect. Everyone except Verrilli, apparently.

This is just mind boggling.

Finally, I can’t stand liberals who can’t defend liberalism. It makes me want to vomit. Liberalism is all about giving people opportunities to get ahead. It you fumble those opportunities, then you fail. Whether it is a public school system which gives inner-city kids (blacks and whites… everybody) an opportunity at a better life or universal healthcare, which covers everybody. It is highly frustrating that this guy couldn’t articulate that.

By |2012-03-27T21:20:34-04:00March 27th, 2012|Healthcare|6 Comments

Are you a person or a corporation?

I found this great post on the Citizens United case:

Supreme Court cases are usually interesting to lawyers, scholars, and those directly affected. Occasionally, a decision makes the news for a few days before disappearing from the public eye. But sometimes there’s a game changer-a decision that is so clearly wrong that it becomes a rallying point. David Cobb, former Green Party presidential candidate and longtime activist on corporate personhood, points to Dred Scott v. Sandford as one such decision. Citizens United, Cobb says, is shaping up as another.

The two cases are mirror images of error. In 1857, the Dred Scott decision said that a flesh-and-blood human being had no constitutional rights because he was black. On January 21, 2010, the Court, in a 5-4 decision, used Citizens United to declare that corporations-legal entities with no human attributes-have the same constitutional free-speech rights that humans have.

Dred Scott was the most notorious Supreme Court decision of its time. It was not a groundbreaking case-it simply took existing law to its logical conclusion. But it so clearly violated both logic and human decency that it forced people to look at what slavery really meant. Rather than legitimizing the status quo, as it was intended to do, the decision galvanized the growing abolitionist movement, and set the stage for the end of slavery. But it took the 14th Amendment to overturn Dred Scott.

Citizens United also takes existing law to its logical conclusion. And, like Dred Scott, it is generating tremendous discussion and debate-this time about corporate power and about what role, if any, corporations should play in the political process. (more…)

By |2010-06-07T21:38:57-04:00June 7th, 2010|Supreme court|Comments Off on Are you a person or a corporation?
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