The Supreme Court: Who will play daddy?

By Joan Walsh

Topics: Joan Walsh

Read the story

Thank you for a very thoughtful and wise analysis of the situation. One can only hope that Justice Scalia’s heavy-handed opinion has alienated him from the crucial swing voting justices (Kennedy and O’Connor) and that they might rule in favor of Gore, in part, to rebuke him and restore some credibility to the now-battered Supreme Court. We should know pretty soon. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. “Daddy” may not have left the building yet.

– Kirk Moon

Justice Scalia considers himself a strict Constitutional textualist, believing that the Constitution and its laws can be understood solely by reference to their actual words, rather than more modern judicial interpretation or shifting historical circumstances. In fact, in his dissent in the 1992 review of Roe vs. Wade (Planned Parenthood vs. Casey), he argued that a privacy-based right to abortion doesn’t exist in the Constitution. Duh. Given his Baptist fundamentalist-like Constitutional reasoning, how, with intellectual honesty, can he possibly pretend to adjudicate issues concerning modern voting methods, such as Vote-A-Matics and optical scanners? They certainly weren’t mentioned in the Constitution!

The one issue we seem to be overlooking is that until the modern era, ballots were counted by hand, and no one had a problem with electing a president that way. In fact, Bush’s lawyers, in part, base their arguments on election case law in which manual ballot counts were the standard. Now methodology is being excoriated by them in deference to potentially more objective, yet also potentially less accurate, voting devices. It’s obvious: Manual recounts should still be valid in extremely close elections.

– William Nathan



Oh please, let’s not confuse order with the shibboleth “paternalism.” Does Joan Walsh really suppose that if the hand count, flawed by lack of common standards, did show Gore the winner and then the Supreme Court ruled that the votes didn’t count that we wouldn’t have something short of mayhem?

It seems to me Scalia did act the parent that maintains order as a birthday party gets out of order. More seriously, I think the Founding Fathers would approve. They did realize that sometimes citizens have to be protected from themselves.

– Robert Stanley

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>