Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Thursday, June 26, 2014

SCOTUS--A Little Thought About the Letter and the Spirit of Law

It chagrins me to say this, but while I have issues with the results of the rulings handed down today regarding recess appointments and abortion clinic buffer zones, my issues aren't really about the law, just the results. The phrase "the law is an ass" is greatly appreciated by myself--and I think the idea that there are limits to what the law can allow is necessary--even if the results of abiding by it seem appalling.

With me so far?

Take the recess appointment to-do that SCOTUS has doused with ice-water. The intent of the Founders (how originalist of me!) in granting an executive right to recess appointments seems to have been one of expediency, in that in the event of a Congressional recess, the President might need to resort to the expediency of making a cabinet appointment without Congress for the purpose of carrying out the business of state. I don't think that the Founders ever foresaw that a time would come when it would be more expedient, for the sake of getting anything done at all, to wait until Congress wasn't around and then try to get something done. Alas, they were of the mind that Congress was intended to be useful--but that they currently aren't is a political problem, not a legal one. We could probably sort it out by getting more people amenable to doing government-ish things in office. (The Founders were probably also supposing an informed populace who were not hostile to the idea that government can do stuff, but who am I to chide the voters, other than an interested party making conversation?)

Regarding the buffer zones, I am not really sure why free speech matters so desperately upon the ability of persons to go to unwilling or uninterested people and subject them to insults, terroristic threats, slurs, or even shit-mouthed pieties intended to reduce one to tears or at least self-doubt. I am not a pregnant 16 year old, but a 40-something feminist termagant, so I think I could run that gauntlet with a "wish a motherfucker would" attitude, but I know a lot of people who would find it psychically brutal. Especially with the reality being that there are some of these zealots who actually would kill. Who would kill sentient, developed human beings to supposedly protect the rights of pharyngula.

But freedom is a two-edged sword, is it not? And the friendly counsel that sunny-brained Justice Roberts (who also thinks corporations have multiple interests besides profit and that racism is dead) imagines is happening on those sidewalks (and totally discounts the terrorist threats and the terrorism) can probably be sent back, with love, from those of us who respect the choices women make for their own bodies and lives, right?  I am not sure the spirit of the law regarding freedom of speech was that it should result in unrest, necessarily, but it had to be understood it could. And I think some anti-abortion folks will get in the distance of a fist and act out a death wish.  I think this is ugly, but there we are.

Such a fine hew to the sense of the words. Such a distance from what might be needed.

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