A Disregard For The Law

May 26, 2009

Well, at least Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor thinks it’s funny that people might criticize her for making the law in her own image when she disagrees with it.

Well, Sonia, this is not a joke. Nobody elected you to any position for you to “make policy.” That is the jurisdiction (perhaps you’re familiar with the word) of legislatures.

When a law is first conceived, it is usually done to address some sort of grievance or some loophole in an existing law. Legislators are allowed to take everything into account: How will this new law affect the poor? The rich? Will it have an adverse impact on blacks? On whites? On Hispanics? What will be the long term effects of the law?

In an ideal world, laws would be carefully written and even more carefully read, thoroughly debated both honestly and publicly at great length, and voted on without regard to party politics or identity politics. The votes cast for or against the law would be based on the best argument in the honest and public debate, and lawmakers would be moved by their own consciences and by the opinions of both their fellow legislators and the public. Laws should be passed slowly and carefully because once enacted they become very difficult to overturn. We don’t live in an ideal world, of course, and we never will. We can’t immanentize the eschaton, remember?

Jurists like Sonia Sotomayor believe something far different. They believe that justice is more important than law, and that justice is defined as whatever they wish it to be.

Law is the pursuit of justice, and when a law creates unjust results, the law can be changed by the same (or succeeding) legislatures. Unforeseen effects of the law can be taken into account and legislators, after another lengthy, public, and honest debate, can amend the law or eliminate it entirely. It is unfortunate when justice is not served by the law, but it happens and there are checks in place to further the cause of justice.

It is the role of the people of this country to elect legislators that will put into place the laws the people want. It is the role of the legislators to pass, and amend, laws. It is the role of the judiciary to see that the laws are being followed according to what they say. Sonia Sotomayor, and her soon-to-be fellow justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Paul Stevens, and to a slightly lesser degree, Anthony Kennedy turn this notion upside down.

In Sotomayorland, the people elect the legislator, the legislators debate and pass the laws, and then Sonia Sotomayor decides what the law really means. If the law says one thing, and Sonia Sotomayor wishes it said something else, then poof! like magic, the law is interpreted to mean something else.

Recently a group of New Haven firefighters were blocked for promotion because they were white (and, in one case, Hispanic). They did better on the tests, but were told that because no blacks did well enough on the test to get promoted the results of their hard work and hours of study were eliminated. They sued on the grounds of discrimination in what certainly appears to be an open and shut case.

Enter Queen Sonia.

The case ended up in Sotomayor’s court, where the Queen apparently believes that it’s okay to discriminate against non-blacks in the name of diversity. She dismissed the court case without so much as an explanation in what one of her fellow judges (a liberal judge, no less) said was an attempt to bury the case. In Sotomayorland, whether the litigants were right or wrong under the law was irrelevant. They were wrong under Sonia Sotomayor.

This disregard for the law as it is written has led her decisions to be overturned numerous times. She has had several decisions appealed to the Supreme Court. Out of a possible 44 votes in her favor, Sonia Sotomayor has received only 11. What this means is that she is out of touch with even the liberals on the Supreme Court.

So what can be done? How do we keep a far-Left radical ideologue off the Supreme Court?

The short answer is that there is nothing we can do. Sonia Sotomayor (unless some scandal comes to light that forces Obama to pull her name) will sit on the Supreme Court and she will continue to make legal decisions based on her personal and political beliefs with an utter disregard for the letter of the law. This is why she was picked.

What judicial conservatives of all parties should do is open this debate publicly and honestly about what it means to be a justice and whether or not judicial activism is something that is desirable. Sotomayor should be grilled without mercy about her beliefs and her prior rulings. The left will try to paint anyone who opposes her as an anti-Hispanic bigot and her opponents will need to be able to counter that disgusting and bogus charge, not shrink in fear of it. Then she should be voted on by the Senate. No filibusters, just a straight up or down vote.

Elections have consequences, and Sonia Sotomayor is going to be a doozy.

Remember The Fallen

May 25, 2009

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

On this Memorial Day weekend, please remember all those who have sacrificed everything so that we may live in freedom in the greatest country on Earth. From Lexington and Concord to Baghdad and Kabul, we are in your eternal debt.

The Car Of The Future, Part 2

May 20, 2009

Apparently, the Car Of The Future already exists. Honda has already built a car that meets Federal government standards.

Here’s the review.

H/T The Corner

Financial Bailouts Based on Race?

May 20, 2009

The usual gang of idiots are at it again. Now they are appealing to Treasury Secretary Geithner to give bailout money to failing media outlets…but only if those outlets are owned by minorities.

Aside from the fact that the very concept of this is racist to the core, is it really the government’s obligation to ensure “diversity” in the media? Isn’t that what the marketplace decides? Should the government fund a radio station that plays only songs that I like? After all, I don’t consider myself to be “served” by the corporate radio channels or NPR. That’s silly, of course. Apparently the government wants to make sure that “underserved communities” get the media they need. So if I can prove that I’m part of a community of people who like only certain songs, will the government then make sure we get our own radio station to listen to?

Seriously, I am offended by the racism on display here. And I’m not talking about racism against white millionaire station owners. They’ll do just fine. I’m talking about a mentality that says that black people can not survive in a bad economy without “special help.” I’m talking about a mentality that says that black people are doomed to fail without government largesse. I’m talking about a belief that the color of your skin is what makes you “diverse” as opposed to your beliefs, opinions, mindset, skills, talents, etc. No, for the race hucksters in Congress, the only thing that matters is skin color. Since “diverse” means “differences” it is the Clyburns and Franks of the world who are standing before Congress and saying “Black people are different because they are black.” It is the infantilizing of an entire race of people. I have said this before and I will say it again, “Under the skin of those who support ‘diversity’ based on race, lies the rotting, beating heart of a bigot.” For those who protest that this measure is supported by blacks in Congress, I say, “So what?” The Congressional Black Caucus are not prejudiced against those who share their skin color, but they have a built a large industry by stoking the fires of grievance. As long as black people feel that whites are holding them down, as long as they are beholden to government for affirmative action or “diversity-based” financial help, then the awful likes of Rep. James Clyburn will continue to get re-elected.

I presume that the “minority owners” in question are, first and foremost, businessmen and businesswomen. If they have a flawed business model (i.e., one that is not attracting interest) then they need to change that model. Propping up a failed business plan is a) not the government’s job, and b) a really stupid, money-sucking proposition. More money will not create more interest in a failed product. There’s nothing that says minority-owned businesses need to tend to the interests of minorities only. I would think that a good business plan would be to try and appeal to as many people as possible, regardless of ethnicity or gender. But there I go again with my starry-eyed, bleeding-heart utopianism.

The Car Of The Future

May 19, 2009

You’ve probably seen those displays where the automakers roll out some sleek, futuristic-looking car with the legend that this is the “Car of The Future.” They’re usually silver, all the harsh angles have been gently rounded off, and they come complete with a list of promises: it runs on a battery! it flies! it goes underwater! it can hold fifteen people and their luggage! etc.

I was really looking forward to getting that car, but I knew that I’d have to wait until the market found a way to make this masterpiece affordable.

Enter Government Motors.

The Obama Administration has now told auto companies that they must produce cars that get approximately 35 miles per gallon in the next seven years. What if the technology is not up to that level by then? Tough. What if it increases the cost of cars dramatically (The Administration estimates that the cost of a car will increase by about $1300 under the new rules, and we all know how well the Administration estimates costs)? Tough.

Of course, there is one surefire way of increasing the MPG rate: make the car more lightweight and smaller.

Behold the new, revised Car of The Future:


Remember how the Government told all the networks and cable companies that they must broadcast their signals in a digital format by February of 2009? Of course, the technology wasn’t quite there by then so the date was pushed back to June. And then there were thousands and thousands of people who didn’t have cable TV and who had to buy converter boxes? And how we couldn’t just force people to shell out their own money for the boxes, so the stimulus package that was recently passed had $640 million dollars for “coupons” so people could get their converter boxes? Now let’s apply these principles here: Government mandates by setting arbitrary goals and deadlines; technology and innovation fail to operate under a government deadline; deadlines get delayed; costs mount. As sure as Niagara Falls…

Why can’t these people just let the market (i.e., consumers, the people) decide how and when they want these things to change? Government mandates assume that a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington D.C. are so omniscient that they can dictate what people really want. Well, an office in the nation’s capital doesn’t grant the occupant with any special knowledge of John and Jane Public. In many ways, the isolating cocoon of a government office removes the knowledge of what the people really want and need.

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