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(Think Progress)   SCOTUS: "Richard Milhous Nixon was a stand-up fella, and nothing he did amounted to corruption or even looked like a distant cousin of corruption"   (thinkprogress.org ) divider line
    More: Obvious, Richard Nixon, U.S. Supreme Court, Nixon White House, corruption, Latin phrases, Nixonian, stand-up, Chief Justice John Roberts  
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3286 clicks; posted to Politics » on 07 Apr 2014 at 12:13 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-04-07 12:15:48 PM  
5 votes:
What's amusing/maddening about this is that we had an example of the corrosive effect of money on the system when Chris Christie went crawling on hands and knees to Sheldon Adelson to apologize for referring to Israel as "occupied territory."   It's plain to see that there guys sell their political positions to the highest bidder.  To anyone but Roberts, I guess.
2014-04-07 12:53:40 PM  
3 votes:

Tricky Chicken: Ok where are the goalposts now? OP implied he was anti-black.


You can't make an honest assessment of Nixon's record on race without the Southern Strategy.
2014-04-07 12:34:00 PM  
3 votes:

whistleridge: 1. The idea of originalist arguments is just as silly when the left uses it as when the right does. Multinational corporations as we know them didn't exist then, political parties were seen as a bad thing, and the unspoken code of gentlemanly behavior was that it simply wasn't 'done' to campaign. What the Framers did or didn't think is immaterial in this situation.


This is only partially correct.  Multinational corporations as we know them didn't exist, but the East India Company sure existed.  One thing that most people don't get when history is filtered through the public schools is that the framers *hated* the East India company.  King George was a shiat to be sure, but King George was *far* away and most of the decisions on how to rule were done at that level.  My reading of history leads me to believe that the framers didn't believe that we would be so stupid as country to start giving so much power to chartered entities... which, of course, is exactly what we did when the railroad barons started to grab power.
2014-04-07 11:46:08 AM  
3 votes:

whistleridge: 1. The idea of originalist arguments is just as silly when the left uses it as when the right does. Multinational corporations as we know them didn't exist then, political parties were seen as a bad thing, and the unspoken code of gentlemanly behavior was that it simply wasn't 'done' to campaign. What the Framers did or didn't think is immaterial in this situation.


I was using the originalist argument because Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts argue that what was intended with the original writing of the Constitution is the most important thing to interpreting its meaning in current court cases. If they're just making up arguments for what the original meaning of the Constitution was, then they're just making up their final opinion of what constitutes corruption.
2014-04-07 11:41:30 AM  
3 votes:

Serious Black: That's the kicker here. In order for McCutcheon v. FEC to be correctly decided, Citizens United v. FEC also had to be correctly decided. And going further back, Buckley v. Valeo had to be correctly decided.

All of these cases hinged on the definition of the word "corruption" as SCOTUS has agreed consistently that Congress has the power to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption. The plurality opinion and concurring opinion both said that the aggregate limits did nothing to address quid pro quo corruption, meaning outright bribery, so they were unconstitutional. They also said quid pro quo corruption was the only kind of corruption that Congress has the power to prevent.

There are two problems with this thought. One, the Framers of the Constitution clearly didn't intend for quid pro quo corruption to be the only kind of behavior they found to be corruption. There's contemporaneous evidence that the Framers thought the British Parliament was corrupt because they were improperly dependent on the King rather than the people. That suggests the conservatives err with the originalist argument that bribery is the only thing to combat. Two, quid pro quo corruption is basically impossible to police in the federal government thanks to the Speech or Debate Clause and a split in circuit court rulings that SCOTUS has refused to resolve, making it seem like the federal government officially is not corrupt in any way.


A couple of objections:

1. The idea of originalist arguments is just as silly when the left uses it as when the right does. Multinational corporations as we know them didn't exist then, political parties were seen as a bad thing, and the unspoken code of gentlemanly behavior was that it simply wasn't 'done' to campaign. What the Framers did or didn't think is immaterial in this situation.

2. The Framers knew that, which is why they gave Congress such broad powers, AND they made the Constitution itself amendable. The courts should act as a brake/check, but they shouldn't be able to completely buck the system. 

3. 'Corruption' is not a thing defined by the Constitution. It's a floating term, and you can hardly blame the court for identifying and finessing that.
2014-04-07 10:57:16 AM  
3 votes:
I think they just changed the writing on the barn.

Also sadly, Nixon is worlds better than what his party puts out today.
2014-04-07 12:55:39 PM  
2 votes:
Well I will admit that he was the last competent Republican president at least.
2014-04-07 12:51:26 PM  
2 votes:
Nixon was fairly progressive in much of his politics and also corrupt as hell. He didn't even hide most of it. Supposedly there's a toll bridge in the Caribbean that was in his name that made his millions every year and it was his payback for allowing some gold dealers to cash out early before he took the country off the gold standard.

I mean, Nixon's corruption was at least old-school legit, not NASCAR style sponsored by pigs like the Koch brothers. If you don't think Nixon was corrupt, I literally have a bridge to sell you.
2014-04-07 12:28:49 PM  
2 votes:
The same Supreme Court that practically gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 thinks the same Richard Nixon that pioneered the Southern Strategy wasn't so bad? What a shock.

upload.wikimedia.org

I screwed you all, but thanks for blaming it on the black guy.
2014-04-07 12:26:20 PM  
2 votes:
The Roberts court: Prime example of why lifetime appointments for the SCOTUS is a bad idea.
2014-04-07 12:25:17 PM  
2 votes:

Prey4reign: So Nixon really wasn't a crook?


well... compared to what we have now...

t1.gstatic.com

Even this guy thought that the Bush (2) administration was more corrupt than Nixon.
2014-04-07 12:24:46 PM  
2 votes:
It's kind of sad that we live in an era where we fondly look back at Nixon and think that he really wasn't all that bad.
2014-04-08 03:25:19 PM  
1 vote:
moothemagiccow: I know it's cool to pick on Roberts like he's the king moron of the court, but four others keep agreeing with him and 22 Senate Democratsconfirmed his nomination  nominated him. Whatever they got for that isn't looking so good now, is it?

FTFY
2014-04-07 08:39:47 PM  
1 vote:
This would be the same Nixon that gave us OSHA and the EPA, and raised the minimum wage by 40% before imposing a wage and price freeze? The same Nixon that cut bait in Vietnam too bad you defense contractors? That Nixon?

Yeah he sounds like a real shill for campaign donors. What a puppet.

/revisionist fools
2014-04-07 05:13:39 PM  
1 vote:

dwrash: whidbey: Destructor: Maybe Nixon was the worst we ever had... But it seems Obama might be giving him a run for the money.

lolwut

What makes people post shiat like this?

Anyone?

Because it's the truth and you refuse to acknowledge it.


But it isn't. It's just you talking shiat and making absurd comparisons.

You have a big case of cognitive dissonance on your hans.

Like comparing things you don't like about Obama to real documented crimes of the Nixon administration?

Dude, pull your farking head out of Ron Paul's ass.
2014-04-07 04:11:34 PM  
1 vote:

Serious Black: What if you make an obscene political statement?


The test for determining obscenity pretty much prevents such an occurrence as one of the prongs requires a finding that:

the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value
2014-04-07 03:50:09 PM  
1 vote:

Saiga410: You need to prove corruption. Is is corrupting if my criterion for donation is a candidates stance on left handed people's rights and a 1/4 of the dems and 1/4 of the repubs are all in for my cause, I should be unable to give to all of them because of some money cap or a restriction to only one team?


This is in fact the crux of the case - the court is not saying that quid pro quo is the only type of corruption that exists, its that the government hasn't shown either that preventing the other types is a compelling interest of government, or - more importantly - even if preventing such corruption is a legitimate and essential role of government, that the challenged law is the least restrictive means of reaching that end.

In first amendment jurisprudence this usually mans that the law is question is overly broad - by which we mean that the law scoops up a lot of legitimate expressive conduct in an attempt to preclude harmful expressive conduct.  This is why quid pro quo is usually seen as the only corruption that is an easy win for the government - because there is no legitimate form of bribery; there is no bribery like expression that is unharmful.

The trick is with the other forms of "corruption" discussed in this thread it is much harder to distinguish legitimate attempts to get people you really think will make America better elected and self serving attempts to elect cronies. I know many here feel that this is a foolish statement, that much like Potter Stewart's statement re: obscenity, "i know it when i see it" but the fundamental difference is that  obscenity is not covered by the First Amendment, while political expression is.  Thus while the court can have  a bit more leeway in the fuzzy test of what is obscene, when establishing rules for stifling what may be legitimate expressive conduct, the court will often err on the side of caution.
2014-04-07 01:58:16 PM  
1 vote:

Tricky Chicken: jaytkay: Tricky Chicken: Ok where are the goalposts now? OP implied he was anti-black.

You can't make an honest assessment of Nixon's record on race without the Southern Strategy.

the southern strategy does not require a dislike for blacks.  It was a short sighted political strategy playing upon the hatred others had for blacks.


If your political strategy is built around exploiting racial divides you're a racist. The notion of 'like' or 'dislike' doesn't enter into it.
2014-04-07 01:40:19 PM  
1 vote:

Tricky Chicken: the southern strategy does not require a dislike for blacks. It was a short sighted political strategy playing upon the hatred others had for blacks.


If racism is the core of your strategy, you're a racist.
2014-04-07 01:00:55 PM  
1 vote:
I bet Nixon is Palin's favorite president. Because he quit.
2014-04-07 12:45:42 PM  
1 vote:

whistleridge: DamnYankees: whistleridge: Or rather, I think that, if you believe the underlying logic behind  Citizens United was valid (I don't, but for the sake of the argument let's run with it), then the logic of the majority in  McCutcheon was more or less inevitable. All it really does it allow the small guy the same freedom that has already been allowed to the big groups.

I don't think this follows. The two cases were decided on very different grounds. McCutcheon has a long discussion on what corruption is. I don't think CU had that, but I could be wrong.

The focus of the public's ire with CU was that it equated corporations with people. But the meat of its logic was to equate spending money with free speech.

Once that linkage was made, McCutcheon was the obvious next step. Simply giving money in support of a candidate isn't corruption. It may be plutocracy, but it's not corruption. The two findings go hand in hand.


Let's look at a small but specific example. A group of university students were unwittingly invited into a psychological experiment when half were given a coffee mug valued at $6 by the bookstore and half were given nothing. The students who got nothing valued the coffee mug at $2.25. The students who got the mug for free valued it at $5.25. Even tiny gifts corrupt how you think.
2014-04-07 12:45:15 PM  
1 vote:

Tricky Chicken: Bith Set Me Up: The same Supreme Court that practically gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 thinks the same Richard Nixon that pioneered the Southern Strategy wasn't so bad? What a shock.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 485x585]

I screwed you all, but thanks for blaming it on the black guy.

Implying he is a racist? The desegragation guy? Please read just even a tiny bit about what he did. You know aside from the watergate scandal you fixate upon.  You guys are as bad as the republicans are about Lewinski.  At least Nixon didn't perjure himself in a lawsuit against himself.


remember racist means more than being against black people then go look up Nixon's comments on Jews and come back with your defense of his open mindedness.
2014-04-07 12:35:07 PM  
1 vote:

jaytkay: Roberts has shown very consistently that he believes the court must rule to assure the right kind of people are favored.

Roberts is Catholic, but he exhibits a strict Calvinist belief in predestination, people with money and power are by definition the right kind of people.


This is the biggest objection against this court.  The cases are being judged based on who the outcome benefits, not what the law says.
2014-04-07 12:31:53 PM  
1 vote:
Roberts has shown very consistently that he believes the court must rule to assure the right kind of people are favored.

Roberts is Catholic, but he exhibits a strict Calvinist belief in predestination, people with money and power are by definition the right kind of people.
2014-04-07 12:30:55 PM  
1 vote:

d23: Saiga410: List of quid pro quo corruption.

THE DECISSION MAKES THESE LEGAL.

The Decission, Quid pro quo is corrution (paraphrased.)

but constant gentle persuasion using cash is not.  *BUZZ*


Cash donations = free speech then bribery is not a crime.
2014-04-07 11:25:36 AM  
1 vote:

whistleridge: Mmm...I think I have to disagree.

Or rather, I think that, if you believe the underlying logic behind  Citizens United was valid (I don't, but for the sake of the argument let's run with it), then the logic of the majority in  McCutcheon was more or less inevitable. All it really does it allow the small guy the same freedom that has already been allowed to the big groups.

I know that, as a practical matter, all this did was give the big guys even more license, but the decision isn't nearly the stretch that  Citizens  was. Nor, to be honest, is Citizens all that untenable. I don't LIKE it, but that doesn't make me automatically right. I certainly hope some sort of campaign finance amendment is shoved through sooner rather than later, but in the interim...at least  McCutcheon laid the rules out clearly and unambiguously.

Nor, I should note, are the Democrats and the left helpless babes before the financial might of the GOP. Yes, the right is the primary beneficiary of the ruling is currently the right, but there's absolutely no reason whatsoever that they can't hustle and level the playing field. I'll agree it's a shiatty field, but at least it is actually still an even one.

Unless you're the small guy. Then you get f*cked.


That's the kicker here. In order for McCutcheon v. FEC to be correctly decided, Citizens United v. FEC also had to be correctly decided. And going further back, Buckley v. Valeo had to be correctly decided.

All of these cases hinged on the definition of the word "corruption" as SCOTUS has agreed consistently that Congress has the power to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption. The plurality opinion and concurring opinion both said that the aggregate limits did nothing to address quid pro quo corruption, meaning outright bribery, so they were unconstitutional. They also said quid pro quo corruption was the only kind of corruption that Congress has the power to prevent.

There are two problems with this thought. One, the Framers of the Constitution clearly didn't intend for quid pro quo corruption to be the only kind of behavior they found to be corruption. There's contemporaneous evidence that the Framers thought the British Parliament was corrupt because they were improperly dependent on the King rather than the people. That suggests the conservatives err with the originalist argument that bribery is the only thing to combat. Two, quid pro quo corruption is basically impossible to police in the federal government thanks to the Speech or Debate Clause and a split in circuit court rulings that SCOTUS has refused to resolve, making it seem like the federal government officially is not corrupt in any way.
2014-04-07 11:19:11 AM  
1 vote:

Gecko Gingrich: I'll admit to only reading the article until this part, but it wasn't SCOTUS. It was CJoSCOTUS.


If you're going to be picky, you gotta be pedantic. John Roberts' title is not "Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States", it is "Chief Justice of the United States".
2014-04-07 11:02:26 AM  
1 vote:

Makh: I think they just changed the writing on the barn.

Also sadly, Nixon is worlds better than what his party puts out today.


The Bush cabinet just WAS a lot of the Nixon cabinet.

"Hey maybe these shiatbags will behave differently this time"
 
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