I’m Glad You’re Here to Tell Us These Things

Filed under:Jerks,Language Barrier,Not Cool — posted by Anwyn on April 22, 2008 @ 9:27 am

Telling people what they really think, and how they really think, seems to be going around. Justice Stevens of the Supreme Court says:

…current decisions by state legislatures, by the Congress of the United States, and by this Court to retain the death penalty as part of our law are the product of habit and inattention rather than an acceptable deliberative process…

Well! Now that you’ve pointed that out, Justice Stevens, perhaps you can tell us what exact line of thought and conclusion would be an “acceptable” deliberative process. Or, rather, tell it to your fellow Justices and to Congress so they can get it right next time.

H/t Pat Buchanan.


  1. The fact is, Anwyn, that Stevens gave a lesson on judicial restraint in that concurrence. Despite his obvious distaste for the death penalty, he voted to affirm Baze’s death sentence and mode of execution. He talked like an advocate but he behaved like a judge. Beldar thinks that he did even more than that. That he sent a message to death penalty opponents: “If you can’t even get my vote, give it up (for now). I’m the fat lady and I sang.”

    And I have looked at Pat Buchanan with a jaundiced eye since he did his best to give us the Clintons in 1992 and Al Gore in 2000.

    Comment by nk — April 25, 2008 @ 8:14 am

  2. And I’m glad he did (behave like a judge) but his rhetoric was a bag of wind nevertheless.

    I *almost* put in a disclaimer to that hat-tip saying I wasn’t endorsing or even necessarily agreeing with the thrust of Buchanan’s argument in that piece. But the quote is accurate.

    Comment by Anwyn — April 25, 2008 @ 8:21 am

  3. And I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree with Beldar in a non-lawyer way. All Stevens did was, reluctantly, admit that the law supports the death penalty. I think his rhetoric makes it clear that he would like these laws changed, rather than saying that death penalty opponents failed to convince him. That they failed to coonvince him the death penalty is unconstitutional, well and good, but that’s not what I’m really talking about here.

    Comment by Anwyn — April 25, 2008 @ 8:23 am

  4. I like good judges, no matter what their politics (or say better “policy-making”). I think they are rare on the Supreme Court. Warren Burger was one. And I think Roberts and Alito are too. I am inclined to think that Thomas is but I am not entirely sure (mainly because he and I seem to agree so much ^_^) and I am inclined to think that Scalia is not, despite the conservative icon he has become.

    Comment by nk — April 25, 2008 @ 8:38 am

  5. I know as little about the Supreme Court in general and about Stevens in particular as is possible for any relatively well informed American. I am not making a sweeping indictment on Stevens and I agreed with you that his concurrence despite his personal attitude showed good judgeship. That does not excuse the passage I quoted from being offending and condescending to his fellow brain-posessing human beings, especially the ones in government bodies. Which was all I was saying to begin with.

    Comment by Anwyn — April 25, 2008 @ 8:46 am

  6. We’re just talking on our front steps, remember? ^_^ What makes you think that I think that you were wrong and that I’m right?

    And does your site support emoticons? ;)

    Comment by nk — April 25, 2008 @ 9:11 am

  7. Not a thing in the world makes me think I’m wrong. Obviously. ;)

    You seemed to be saying that because you like Stevens and because he ruled appropriately in the case, there’s nothing wrong with what he said quoted above. I concede that Stevens may be likeable and that he ruled appropriately and still think he stuck his food in his mouth with the above, that’s all. If you’re not saying that, if you’re saying what he said above was offensive but you like him anyway, well and good.

    And I turned the emoticons off a while ago … smileys still welcome. :)

    Comment by Anwyn — April 25, 2008 @ 9:18 am

  8. Hey, Xrlq told me that we “missed you by that much” on April 7-9. Email me, if you want, the next time you’re in the vicinity especially now that the weather is nice. Our Peanut (yes, that’s what we called her) will like meeting your Bean.

    Comment by nk — April 25, 2008 @ 10:33 am

  9. That would be fun … we’ll have to see what we can work out. :)

    Comment by Anwyn — April 25, 2008 @ 1:08 pm

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