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July 26, 2005

'Tis Worse Than We E'er Imagined...

mccarthy.jpg My fellow Americans, I bring you grave news.

Not only is John Roberts an oppressor of hapless arroyo toads ** and a vile, scum-sucking, Specie-ist of the worst order...

[drum roll]

...But it now appears the ever-vigilant WaPo (*my hometown paper*... oh, be still my beating heart!) hath brought to light yet another dangerous treason lurking in our midst:

Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. has repeatedly said that he has no memory of belonging to the Federalist Society, but his name appears in the influential, conservative legal organization's 1997-1998 leadership directory.

Having served only two years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit after a long career as a government and private-sector lawyer, Roberts has not amassed much of a public paper record that would show his judicial philosophy. Working with the Federalist Society would provide some clue of his sympathies. The organization keeps its membership rolls secret, but many key policymakers in the Bush administration are acknowledged current or former members.

Dear God in Heaven is there no end to the Perfidy of the Right? I think we can expect rigorous scrutiny of this alarming breach of professional and personal ethics.

And after all the fuss and bother over A Womyn's Right to Chuse, we now learn the upcoming Auto da Fe will center, not around abortion (as expected), but around an even more emotionally-fraught topic:

Toads and the Commerce Clause

I won't say it. OK, I will... "I toad you so".

Your federal tax dollars at work. And I'm sure we can expect Congressional lackwits deep thinkers like Ted Kennedy, Dick Durbin, and Joe Biden to probe this juicy quote for hidden meaning in light of the Dread Pirate Roberts' sinister past membership on the honorary steering committee of the FedSoc:

The panel's approach in this case leads to the result that regulating the taking of a hapless toad that, for reasons of its own, lives its entire life in California constitutes regulating "Commerce ... among the several States."

And should our attention-deficit-disordered brethren from across the aisle manage to plow through Judge Roberts' lengthy five-paragraph dissent without nodding off or misquoting him, they might just notice that, far from condemning the hapless toad to a grim fate bereft of the Overarching Toadstool of federal EPA regulation, his dissent was actually quite restrained.

Not only did he forebear to slap the hapless amphibian upside the head with a construction spade. Roberts neatly observed the DC court's majority opinion both conflicted with the 5th Circuit's ruling, and provided ample rationale for a possible en banc review in which EPA regs could be invoked without conflicting with SC precedent. He even helpfully quoted Judge Garland's criteria, (I cannot believe I looked this up) as if in silent sympathy with Toadkind:

... The court found that application of the ESA fell within the third Lopez category, concluding that the regulated activity "substantially affects" interstate commerce. In so holding, the majority agreed upon two rationales: (1) "the loss of biodiversity itself has a substantial effect on our ecosystem and likewise on interstate commerce"; and (2) "the Department's protection of the flies regulates and substantial- ly affects commercial development activity which is plainly interstate."

Is this the same man who issues stern French Fry justice?

Oh... but even in that case, it would seem Roberts ruled minimally. Presented with a fundamentally cretinous law and the absence of any compelling reason for invoking the 14th Amendment, he applied what seems a reasonable standard for examining it (rational basis review) which states only that "the law or act must be reasonably related to a legitimate governmental interest". Roberts then ruled that the law, though undoubtedly foolish, was constitutional.

This was hardly surprising, as it is difficult to get a law examined under rational basis scrutiny ruled un-constitutional. Again, this seems a restrained ruling - as I understand it, it is not his job to make law, but to rule as to whether the law was constitutional or not.

Heaven preserve us from these activist judges.

Posted by Cassandra at July 26, 2005 03:35 AM

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I don't understand the flap about the Federalist Society. It's not some sort of secret campus cabal. More like a debating society. For example, we would have say a law professor debate an author on the general applicability requirement in Free Exercise jurisprudence. Everyone was always invited to attend, because it wasn't supposed to be a rally. Other times we'd hold croquet tournaments on the lawn to raise money for local causes. Why croquet? Because everybody can play, regardless of age or physical condition. As part of my membership, three times a year I receive The Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy a publication that explores, uh, law and public policy in such articles as "Market Rights and the Rule of Law: A Case for Procedural Constitutionalism." (Guido Pincione, Spring 2003).

It's unfortunate that the Society is being painted as some sort of right wing ACLU, because although it shares the ACLU's interest in the Constitution, it prefers not to have the gift of the Founding Fathers used against a well-ordered society.

Posted by: spd rdr at July 26, 2005 07:47 AM

Hm. John Kerry tried to distance himself from the Vietnam Vets Against the War; Hanoi Jane tried to recieve absolution from the very vets she helped to
keep in prison and tortured...

And they are worried about THIS?

Posted by: Cricket at July 26, 2005 08:17 AM

Like spd said, the Federalist Society isn't some sort of secret campus cabal. Jeesh, you'd think he was in Skull and Bones.

Posted by: KJ at July 26, 2005 01:22 PM

And George Washington was a Mason, too.

Go figure.

Attorney rdr writes:
"Other times we'd hold croquet tournaments on the lawn to raise money for lacal causes"

Lacal? Put a 't' in the right place and you're a more enlightened member of the patriarchy than many supposed.

Posted by: David at July 26, 2005 02:22 PM

Are you now or have you ever been...

Posted by: Tongueboy at July 26, 2005 03:07 PM


Posted by: Cassandra at July 27, 2005 05:37 AM

David, I'm surprised at you.

We all know what a generous, civic-minded individual we have in mr rdr. I can't believe you would be so petty as to take him to task for his well-known support of the womanly arts.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 27, 2005 06:15 AM

"Heavens to Mergetroid"-Snagglepuss I like your earlier description of such imbicility:Transparent asshattery.I like it;it has a certain ring to it.Now I bid you adieu the way Snagglepuss always did:"Exit stage Left"!

Posted by: Lisa Gilliam at July 27, 2005 08:10 PM


spd, I still think there is something vile and suspicious about this croquet business. All this bashing about with mallets is really quite worrisome.

At Villa Cassandra, we love Croquet. We used to like to get quite inebriated and have parties at which croquet was a featured event.

At St. John's in Annapolis (my youngest boy's alma mater) they have annual croquet matches with the Naval Academy that are quite the event - people dress all in white (we've done that at home - it's fun with mint juleps in summer). They've also done something called Xtreme Midnite Croquet, which sounds dangerous but very fun.

Living as we now do on a 45 degree hill, we don't play as much. So we will probably sell our house and get one with a small pool and some flat land so I can indulge my more bohemian tastes :)

Posted by: Cassandra at July 28, 2005 07:31 AM

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