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(Talking Points Memo)   Jon Stewart biatch slaps SCOTUS: "the last great hope of preserving our democracy from the corrupting influence of money is carpal tunnel syndrome"   (talkingpointsmemo.com) divider line 180
    More: Cool, U.S. Supreme Court, Supreme Court, undue influence, democracy, donations  
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2763 clicks; posted to Politics » on 04 Apr 2014 at 10:20 AM (16 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-04 10:08:55 AM
The concept that nothing but straight up quid pro quo is corruption is so ridiculous it's not even laughable. I wonder how the Supreme Court feels about the fact that as a federal employee, I can't accept a gift worth more than $20 from someone I do business with?

That's right, according to the President's Clinton (who started the process) and Bush (who ordered the regulation) a non-cash gift of some nice flowers is more corrupting than the Supreme Court believes uncapped monetary donations are.
 
2014-04-04 10:18:16 AM
While some rich people like this ruling, many hate it.  Now they are going to be squeezed for more money and they don't have the easy out they used to have if they didn't feel like giving.
 
2014-04-04 10:23:10 AM

EvilEgg: While some rich people like this ruling, many hate it.  Now they are going to be squeezed for more money and they don't have the easy out they used to have if they didn't feel like giving.


Yea they do. They didnt get rich by being nice. They can just say no.

Not that I expect them to but they could if they wanted to.
 
2014-04-04 10:23:18 AM
The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.
 
2014-04-04 10:24:40 AM
That seems a bit harch against a unanimous ruling that an airline can kick you off their frequent flier progams.
 
2014-04-04 10:25:36 AM
David brooks column made me see this in a different light.
 
2014-04-04 10:26:09 AM

JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.


Seriously lifetime terms is ludicrous.  It should be like the President 8 years max back to back and you are elected.
 
2014-04-04 10:27:16 AM
Jon Stewart, the comedian?  For farks sake...who cares. Move this the entertainment tab.
 
2014-04-04 10:28:21 AM

TNel: JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.

Seriously lifetime terms is ludicrous.  It should be like the President 8 years max back to back and you are elected.


Election is a horrible way to chose a Judge, I'm not sure appointment is better.  Perhaps is should be like jury duty.  Everyone in the Bar association names go in a hat.
 
2014-04-04 10:28:22 AM

JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.


They aren't politicians.

The insanity is electing idiots like George W. Bush.
 
2014-04-04 10:28:41 AM
The silver lining here is that the Republican 1%ers can now flush 10x more of their personal wealth down the toilet while backing a losing presidential candidate
 
2014-04-04 10:29:01 AM
Why do so many people like to pretend that we ever had some farking vibrant democracy, where the rich and powerful didn't run the show?

What this ruling does is slightly change the way the rich and powerful have to compete with each other to become our leaders.

That's it.
 
2014-04-04 10:29:56 AM

TNel: JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.

Seriously lifetime terms is ludicrous.  It should be like the President 8 years max back to back and you are elected.


Subjecting the Supreme Court to the corrupting influence of campaigns and the vagaries of public opinion is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. Give them an extra-long term - 18 years, rotated, so a seat comes up every 2 - but under no circumstances should judges, at any level, be elected.
 
2014-04-04 10:30:57 AM

JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.


Wow, the irony here goes on for miles. Nicely done. :D
 
2014-04-04 10:34:28 AM

Phil McKraken: JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.

They aren't politicians.

The insanity is electing idiots like George W. Bush.


They most definitely are politicians.
 
2014-04-04 10:34:39 AM

JolobinSmokin: David brooks column made me see this in a different light.


..only if you buy into the argument that stronger parties (as opposed to specific candidates) is healthier for democracy, which I -strongly- disagree with.
 
2014-04-04 10:35:48 AM

Dougie AXP: Yea they do. They didnt get rich by being nice. They can just say no.


And that worked so well for the drug problem in this country...
 
2014-04-04 10:37:38 AM
Yawn.  "Last great hope" my ass.

forexcashmagnet.com
 
2014-04-04 10:38:49 AM

JolobinSmokin: David brooks column made me see this in a different light.


his argument is basically that if a whole bunch of really stinky farts happen at the same time, a not quite as stinky fart doesn't seem as bad and really you can't even smell it through the eye watering haze
 
2014-04-04 10:38:52 AM

qorkfiend: TNel: JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.

Seriously lifetime terms is ludicrous.  It should be like the President 8 years max back to back and you are elected.

Subjecting the Supreme Court to the corrupting influence of campaigns and the vagaries of public opinion is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. Give them an extra-long term - 18 years, rotated, so a seat comes up every 2 - but under no circumstances should judges, at any level, be elected.


I agree with this.  But there should definitely be a term limit, because these people get more and more senile as time goes on, it seems.
 
2014-04-04 10:38:58 AM
What's a guy gotta do to get convicted of bribery?

Videotape himself accepting a large cash donation and immediately saying "Good Lady Monsanto, I accept this BRIBE! It's a BRIBE! I'm being BRIBED! in exchange for switching my previously intended 'no' vote to a 'yes' vote on the 'Monsanto Can Pollute Wherever it Wants, Because Carbon is Freedom-Dust Act' because you are paying me this large sum of cash as a BRIBE! Still a BRIBE! and without reporting it on the disclosure forms, for some strange reason"?
 
2014-04-04 10:39:49 AM

Phil McKraken: JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.

They aren't politicians.

The insanity is electing idiots like George W. Bush.


"You're welcome!"

Best wishes,
SCOTUS
 
2014-04-04 10:39:51 AM

JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.


No Supreme Court, only a Supreme Jury. Americans, picked at random, will determine the nation's biggest cases.
 
2014-04-04 10:40:58 AM

Danger Mouse: Jon Stewart, the comedian?  For farks sake...who cares. Move this the entertainment tab.


img.fark.net
 
2014-04-04 10:41:43 AM

Dr Dreidel: What's a guy gotta do to get convicted of bribery?

Videotape himself accepting a large cash donation and immediately saying "Good Lady Monsanto, I accept this BRIBE! It's a BRIBE! I'm being BRIBED! in exchange for switching my previously intended 'no' vote to a 'yes' vote on the 'Monsanto Can Pollute Wherever it Wants, Because Carbon is Freedom-Dust Act' because you are paying me this large sum of cash as a BRIBE! Still a BRIBE! and without reporting it on the disclosure forms, for some strange reason"?


Seeing what happens to Bob McDonnell should answer that question.
 
2014-04-04 10:43:10 AM

Dr Dreidel: What's a guy gotta do to get convicted of bribery?


blog.nola.com
Just be, um, you  know, ah, that is, er, how you say..."socialist."
 
2014-04-04 10:43:44 AM

EyeballKid: JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.

No Supreme Court, only a Supreme Jury. Americans, picked at random, will determine the nation's biggest cases.


Jurors decide fact not law. Your way is incredibly dumb.
 
2014-04-04 10:44:58 AM

The Bestest: JolobinSmokin: David brooks column made me see this in a different light.

..only if you buy into the argument that stronger parties (as opposed to specific candidates) is healthier for democracy, which I -strongly- disagree with.


I didn't say I liked it, just said I saw it in a different light.
 
2014-04-04 10:46:38 AM

nmrsnr: The concept that nothing but straight up quid pro quo is corruption is so ridiculous it's not even laughable. I wonder how the Supreme Court feels about the fact that as a federal employee, I can't accept a gift worth more than $20 from someone I do business with?

That's right, according to the President's Clinton (who started the process) and Bush (who ordered the regulation) a non-cash gift of some nice flowers is more corrupting than the Supreme Court believes uncapped monetary donations are.


If your the kind of person who thinks teachers make too much money but mutli-millionaires need a tax cut, it probably makes sense.
 
2014-04-04 10:47:10 AM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: EyeballKid: JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.

No Supreme Court, only a Supreme Jury. Americans, picked at random, will determine the nation's biggest cases.

Jurors decide fact not law. Your way is incredibly dumb.


Dumber than keeping up the façade that Clarence Thomas and Justice Scalia give a damn about anything other than making their pockets fatter and sticking it to "dem libz?"
 
2014-04-04 10:47:29 AM

nmrsnr: The concept that nothing but straight up quid pro quo is corruption is so ridiculous it's not even laughable. I wonder how the Supreme Court feels about the fact that as a federal employee, I can't accept a gift worth more than $20 from someone I do business with?

That's right, according to the President's Clinton (who started the process) and Bush (who ordered the regulation) a non-cash gift of some nice flowers is more corrupting than the Supreme Court believes uncapped monetary donations are.


That was in the wake of some big scandals in the DoD aquisition community.

It is actually that it has to be claimed, and I have no beef with it.

But it does highlight a huge double standard, and lgaring problems with our campaign finance laws.
 
2014-04-04 10:47:30 AM

bborchar: qorkfiend: TNel: JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.

Seriously lifetime terms is ludicrous.  It should be like the President 8 years max back to back and you are elected.

Subjecting the Supreme Court to the corrupting influence of campaigns and the vagaries of public opinion is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. Give them an extra-long term - 18 years, rotated, so a seat comes up every 2 - but under no circumstances should judges, at any level, be elected.

I agree with this.  But there should definitely be a term limit, because these people get more and more senile as time goes on, it seems.


I think that at 18 years most Supreme Court judges would be ready to retire, so one term would probably be enough. For a second term, you could do something like have them be automatically renominated, and if the Senate re-confirms them, they get another 18-year term; if the Senate declines, the President appoints and the Senate confirms a new justice under the normal process.

All of this would require a Constitutional amendment, of course.
 
2014-04-04 10:48:56 AM
Tonight's guest...Pele!

He was tapping Xuxa back in the day.
 
2014-04-04 10:50:41 AM

bborchar: I agree with this. But there should definitely be a term limit, because these people get more and more senile as time goes on, it seems.


Its not senile, its jurisprudentially ideological - for example Thomas has pretty much been Thomas since the third year he was on the court and Alito is young (for a justice) but still has been willing to gut sections of the bill of rights he doesn't particularly favor.

I am not entirely sure term limits would reach the results you would like, as judges are almost always conservative (in that they are not well versed on change, not conservative politically) and you could end up getting more ideological purity on the bench because the trend is that justices actually tend to liberalize the longer they are on the court.  The theory is that actually having to come to grips with nuance and hard calls makes them more empathetic overall.  It of course inst a hard and fast rule, but look for example at Souter, Kennedy and O'Connor.

/speaking of O'Connor, i love that her appointment meant that this was the first time you had two Justices who had (openly) dated in the past as she went out with Rehnquist in law school.
//pointless facts!
.
 
2014-04-04 10:51:58 AM
The SC has the special ability to consider whatever they want when making a decision. They're allowed to set and break precedent, and can make sweeping decisions that permanently reshape the social landscape of America. In practice they able to right wrongs that just can't be handled in any other way by our system of govt.

And what do they do? Throw on some blinders and let power-players get more control of the political process, replacing good ideas with good marketing. Not to mention disillusioning and disempowering the average voter.
 
2014-04-04 10:55:51 AM

liam76: That was in the wake of some big scandals in the DoD aquisition community.

It is actually that it has to be claimed, and I have no beef with it.

But it does highlight a huge double standard, and lgaring problems with our campaign finance laws.


My point wasn't that the rule was unreasonable, it's clear that unregulated gifts are potentially corrupting. My point was it's insanity that the Executive knows this, and strictly clamps down on it, while the Judicial and Legislative branches pretend that it just doesn't happen.
 
2014-04-04 10:56:14 AM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: EyeballKid: JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.

No Supreme Court, only a Supreme Jury. Americans, picked at random, will determine the nation's biggest cases.

Jurors decide fact not law. Your way is incredibly dumb.


The current way kind of sucks, too.
 
2014-04-04 10:57:33 AM

EyeballKid: Dumber than keeping up the façade that Clarence Thomas and Justice Scalia give a damn about anything other than making their pockets fatter and sticking it to "dem libz?"


Here is the thing i dislike about the standard Fark narratives regarding the court - you keep playing the legislature arguments when you are talking about the judiciary.  Scalia and Thomas aren't inconsistent and likely dont give a shiat about "making their pockets fatter."  They can, in one lecture, earn what the average amerrican family makes in a year.  They are some of the most powerful and most connected people in the world.

The problem with the narrative is that it suggests that these fellows are corrupt.  As someone who has worked with many of their clerks, I assure you they are not.  If you disagree with them, they are in fact much more terrifying.  They are ideologically pure - or at least wish they were.  In their minds they are the line in the sand, American heroes defending their views of the constitution.  They completely believe what they are doing - they do not do it because of filthy lucre, they do it because they think they are right.  Its like trying to demonize the Taliban by saying they only blow up buildings because they are obviously in the pockets of "big reconstruction."  They do what they do because they fervently believe it. 

If you are against them (which i usually am, especially Thomas) it doesn't make them more or less wrong, but understanding how they think is fundamentally important in understanding what you are opposing.
 
2014-04-04 10:59:11 AM

Teiritzamna: Scalia and Thomas aren't inconsistent


Crap. I meant to say they aren't inconsistent with regards to their pre-judge writings/philosophies.  They are often somewhat inconsistent from case to case.  I have heard pointing this out is a good way to pissing off a supreme court justice.
 
2014-04-04 10:59:19 AM

Danger Mouse: Jon Stewart, the comedian?  For farks sake...who cares. Move this the entertainment tab.


This.  If you use politics as a platform for laughs, you should be kicked off the internet.  Obama farted so loud last night that it shattered every window in my house.  He shatters my windows and he's shattering the deficit.  Go to hell, Windowbama.
 
2014-04-04 10:59:38 AM

qorkfiend: Subjecting the Supreme Court to the corrupting influence of campaigns and the vagaries of public opinion is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. Give them an extra-long term - 18 years, rotated, so a seat comes up every 2 - but under no circumstances should judges, at any level, be elected.


I don't know why the Supreme Court couldn't be handled like the federal appellate courts, where after a certain age and length of service they are put on senior status and their seat on the court is vacated and a new judge takes their place.  The senior judge is still a judge, but they don't hold up seats indefinitely.  It's semi-retirement, but a forced one.  In the lower federal courts, this means they take fewer cases, but in the Supreme Court maybe the panel of senior judges could decide emergency petitions to the Court or file nonbinding concurring or dissenting opinions.
 
2014-04-04 11:00:15 AM

qorkfiend: TNel: JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.

Seriously lifetime terms is ludicrous.  It should be like the President 8 years max back to back and you are elected.

Subjecting the Supreme Court to the corrupting influence of campaigns and the vagaries of public opinion is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. Give them an extra-long term - 18 years, rotated, so a seat comes up every 2 - but under no circumstances should judges, at any level, be elected.


alot of judges are elected.
 
2014-04-04 11:00:20 AM

Danger Mouse: Jon Stewart, the comedian?  For farks sake...who cares. Move this the entertainment tab.


i.ytimg.com
 
2014-04-04 11:00:48 AM

EyeballKid: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: EyeballKid: JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.

No Supreme Court, only a Supreme Jury. Americans, picked at random, will determine the nation's biggest cases.

Jurors decide fact not law. Your way is incredibly dumb.

Dumber than keeping up the façade that Clarence Thomas and Justice Scalia give a damn about anything other than making their pockets fatter and sticking it to "dem libz?"


You just revealed the problem, even if the number of Republicans willing to "stick it to dem libz" is 27% (the number who approved of George W. Bush on his way out) that means you have a disturbingly high probability of getting retards who will make terrible decisions with long-lasting legal precedent because "the libs were agin' it!"
 
2014-04-04 11:02:06 AM

nmrsnr: The concept that nothing but straight up quid pro quo is corruption is so ridiculous it's not even laughable. I wonder how the Supreme Court feels about the fact that as a federal employee, I can't accept a gift worth more than $20 from someone I do business with?

That's right, according to the President's Clinton (who started the process) and Bush (who ordered the regulation) a non-cash gift of some nice flowers is more corrupting than the Supreme Court believes uncapped monetary donations are.


I'm wondering if Roberts is just defining "corruption" as specific illegal acts like bribery etc. when in this case we want him to recognize the larger meaning of corruption - systemic corruption, which is not illegal, just depressing.

/not sure if that makes sense. It works in my head though
 
2014-04-04 11:02:15 AM

webron: qorkfiend: TNel: JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.

Seriously lifetime terms is ludicrous.  It should be like the President 8 years max back to back and you are elected.

Subjecting the Supreme Court to the corrupting influence of campaigns and the vagaries of public opinion is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. Give them an extra-long term - 18 years, rotated, so a seat comes up every 2 - but under no circumstances should judges, at any level, be elected.

alot of judges are elected.


I'm well aware of that, and like I said, I think it's an awful idea.
 
2014-04-04 11:02:17 AM

webron: alot of judges are elected.


Yeah and it is generally considered to be a shiatty way to do it, as it massively farks up the impartiality part of the prong of the judiciary's job.  Its hard to have a counter-majoritarian branch of government that is beholden to majoritarian principles.  See, e.g., the farking of elected state supreme court judges after holding that a particular state constitution required gay marriage.
 
2014-04-04 11:03:31 AM

Trail of Dead: I'm wondering if Roberts is just defining "corruption" as specific illegal acts like bribery etc. when in this case we want him to recognize the larger meaning of corruption - systemic corruption, which is not illegal, just depressing.


That is exactly what the holding of McCutcheon is about.  The majority says the only corruption that the government can stop is straight bribery, while the dissent argues that preventing broader corruption is a legitimate compelling government interest
 
2014-04-04 11:03:42 AM

qorkfiend: TNel: JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.

Seriously lifetime terms is ludicrous.  It should be like the President 8 years max back to back and you are elected.

Subjecting the Supreme Court to the corrupting influence of campaigns and the vagaries of public opinion is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. Give them an extra-long term - 18 years, rotated, so a seat comes up every 2 - but under no circumstances should judges, at any level, be elected.


An idea is truly terrible when I have to agree with you about its terribleness.

Don't know about 18 year terms, although 36 seems excessive. Don't want one two-term President to get to pick 4/5 of the court. 7 Justices for 28 years? 11 for 22 or 13 for 26 seems like to many.
 
2014-04-04 11:03:59 AM

TNel: JesusJuice: The SC should be abolished. Having unelected and unaccountable politicians serving lifetime terms decide matters of great national import is a horrible idea, and will inevitably result in these sorts of shenanigans.

Seriously lifetime terms is ludicrous.  It should be like the President 8 years max back to back and you are elected.


That will have one of two effects. Either a) the Supreme Court, for fear of public opinion, will never, EVER, again make another landmark ruling, opting for innocuous middling rulings on everything, or b) their partisanship will go through the roof in order to appease their electorates. Essentially, electing our SCOTUS justices is a stupid farking idea.

There's a reason they have lifetime appointments. The House is elected every two years because they are the people's house, the ones who are supposed to be most affected by public opinion. Senators serve 6 year terms, and only 1/3 face election every two years, so that that chamber can be relatively free of the shifting winds of public opinion. The President every four so that there is stability in the nation's Head of State and Government. The Supreme Court is lifetime because it is the branch of government above and unaffected by public opinion, and so our constitution remains a governing document and not a political one.
 
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