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July 11, 2014

Five Angry White Men

The Senate Majority Leader beclowns himself with gratifying regularity, but this time we think he may have outdone himself:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) vowed on Tuesday to take action this month to try to combat the recent “Hobby Lobby” ruling from the Supreme Court. In his remarks he referred to the decision and decried the “five white men” who rendered it.

“The one thing we are going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determine by virtue of five white men,” Reid said.

Herr Reid, if you recall, has a bit of a bee in his bonnet when it comes to Justice Thomas. Back in 2005, Reid accused Thomas of poor judicial reasoning and writing like an 8th grader. Had this sort of pronouncement been made of a black progressive justice by a white, male Republican (but we repeat our ownselves), screeching about coded language and racist dog whistles would have filled the airwaves.

But standards designed for lesser men are not to be applied to intellectual titans like Reid:

HENRY: Let's take a look at what you said. When you were asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" whether or not you could support Justice Thomas to be chief justice you said quote, "I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. I think that his opinions are poorly written."

Could you name one of those opinions that you think is poorly written?

REID: Oh sure, that's easy to do. You take the Hillside Diary case. In that case you had a [dissent] written by Scalia and a [dissent] written by Thomas. There — it's like looking at an 8th grade dissertation compared to somebody who just graduated from Harvard.

Scalia's is well reasoned. He doesn't want to turn [stare decisis] on its head. That's what Thomas wants to do. So yes, I think he has written a very poor opinion there and he's written other opinions that are not very good.

Except that Justice Scalia didn't write an opinion in the Hillside Dairy case, and the entirety of Justice Thomas's opinion was this:

Justice Thomas, concurring in part and dissenting in part.

I join Parts I and III of the Court's opinion and respectfully dissent from Part II, which holds that §144 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, 7 U. S. C. §7254, "does not clearly express an intent to insulate California's pricing and pooling laws from a Commerce Clause challenge." Ante, at 6-7. Although I agree that the Court of Appeals erred in its statutory analysis, I nevertheless would affirm its judgment on this claim because "[t]he negative Commerce Clause has no basis in the text of the Constitution, makes little sense, and has proved virtually unworkable in application," Camps Newfound/Owatonna, Inc. v. Town of Harrison, 520 U. S. 564, 610 (1997) (Thomas, J., dissenting), and, consequently, cannot serve as a basis for striking down a state statute.

I have no idea what's supposedly badly written about this paragraph. What's more, as James Taranto points out:

... Thomas and Scalia both would overturn Supreme Court precedent in this area; the only point of disagreement in Hillside Dairy was whether to address the question in this particular case.

It's one thing for Reid to publicly demonstrate his shocking ignorance of that giant among landmark SCOTUS decisions: the Hillside Dairy Case.

But calling Justice Thomas a white man just seems beyond the pale.

Posted by Cassandra at July 11, 2014 07:09 AM

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I see what you did there.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at July 11, 2014 02:07 PM


Posted by: Cassandra at July 11, 2014 02:51 PM

Didn't the Left revoke Justice Thomas's black cred years ago for leaving their plantation?

Posted by: Matt at July 12, 2014 02:09 AM

With great respect, Dingy Harry has long since surpassed beclowning himself, and is establishing a new standard in shaming himself.

Posted by: CAPT Mike at July 12, 2014 02:15 AM

Had this sort of pronouncement been made of a black progressive justice by a white, male Republican (but we repeat our ownselves), screeching about coded language and racist dog whistles would have filled the airwaves.

As ever, those on the left give each other passes on that which they would lose their minds over, were someone on the right to do. For a recent example, see this (with a NSFW audio warning):

CNN plays a music clip that, had this happened on FOX News, might have had the left calling for the FCC to shut them down over, and yet barely any notice is taken.

"It was just a mistake!" For CNN, while apparently, according to Chris Matthews, "IRS" is racist code for "black".

Posted by: MikeD at July 21, 2014 02:05 PM