Monday, 9/13/10, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

12 responses to “Monday, 9/13/10, Public Square

  1. History Through A Supreme Court Justice’s Lens

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has sparred for years with Justice Antonin Scalia on the printed pages of legal opinions. The two have even debated about constitutional interpretation in public. And now Justice Breyer has taken his argument to the printed pages of a book written for popular consumption.

    In his first interview about the new book, Breyer’s targets are the ideas of originalism and textualism advocated by Scalia — the notion that the framers of the Constitution meant what they said and no more — and that the provisions of the Constitution are limited to what they covered back in 1789.

    Breyer’s book, Making Our Democracy Work, A Judge’s View, is a combination of history and legal philosophy. It argues that there are no easy, color-by-the-numbers answers to many legal questions and that to suggest there are is an illusion.

    Scalia’s view is much more black and white. “The Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living, but dead,” he famously said.

    Scalia contends that the Constitution is not flexible and its meaning cannot change over time. To allow the Constitution’s meaning to morph over time, he contends, just allows judges to say it means whatever they want it to say.

    Not so, Breyer says.

    “People think we decide things politically,” Breyer says, “or that the only way to protect against subjective views of judges is to have something called originalism, which is as if you could reach decisions by means of an historical computer. I don’t think any of those things are true.”

    Breyer argues that the founders did want a living Constitution; they wrote a Constitution they wanted to last for the ages. The founders knew “perfectly well that conditions would change. The values don’t change. The circumstances do.”

    To continue and to read an excerpt of Making Our Democracy Work, A Judge’s View —

    • paulasayles

      Bet Scalia wouldn’t say that the Bible is dead.

      So, what’s the difference between the Bible (for Christians the foundation of all Christian faith, knowledge and law) and the Constitution (for America the foundation of all laws and governing institutions)?

      The magic of both is the exact opposite of what Scalia believes to be true; they are not dead, they are very much alive and open to constant reinterpretation.

  2. tosmarttobegop

    Yesterday a mother and son came to pick out a cat to take home.
    Normally these cats spend their time just laying on the front porch all day.

    Once the people got here, the cats took off like they were being shot at!

    You might get a glance of one or another, but then “boom” they were gone and hiding again.
    Finally the people left and just as suddenly the cats came back to the front porch and once again were napping.

    Hee I say cats are actually smarter then dogs, if I was going to shoot the dogs all I would have done was to call them and they would have came right up and stood there while the gun went off.

    The cats get fed and are not expected to do anything they do not want to.

    If I even mention shooting them, they would be gone before I could have gotten out the word cats!

  3. tosmarttobegop

    And no I would not ever shoot any of my cats or dogs shoot I can not even bring myself to take them to the pond.

  4. Average SAT scores fluctuate slightly within class of 2010

    Test takers averaged 1,509 points out of a possible 2,400 in three sections, the same as last year.

    Nearly 1.6 million 2010 high school graduates took the test, a record. The report says SAT performance remained “stable” this year even as a larger and increasingly diverse number of students took the test. Typically, average scores drop as more students, and a more diverse range of students, take the test.

    Since 2000, math scores have climbed 2 points while critical reading scores have declined 4 points. Over 20 years, critical reading scores have increased 1 point and math scores 15 points.

    But critics of standardized testing say aggregate scores of both the SAT and ACT over the last several years suggest that the federal No Child Left Behind law has failed to reform education.

  5. Why did John Boehner change his mind now on Bush tax cuts?

    He’s getting ready to be speaker of the House. With many polls showing it likely that the GOP will make big gains this fall, it’s possible that Boehner will become speaker in the next Congress. That’s a very different job than the one he now holds. The speaker has more responsibility for governing the nation – and that means more responsibility for actually getting bills passed.

    In a Republican-led House, Democrats would nonetheless constitute a substantial minority, and it’s likely they would fight hard against extending the cuts for the wealthy. By saying now that he is open to compromise, Boehner could be laying the foundation for a quick tax-cut deal over which he could preside.

    Even if the House gets around to voting on tax cuts before the election, Boehner appears more statesmanlike just by talking about compromises. He could be gradually shifting from a purely oppositional approach to the Obama administration.

    He’s trying to make Republicans the party of “maybe.” President Obama for months has described the GOP as the “party of no.” Republicans have voted against health-care reform and other White House priorities, in a party bloc. Democrats have long complained that their counterparts across the aisle won’t come out from behind their barricade and work together on legislation.

    • paulasayles

      Maybe he’s concerned that the public might actually hold him accountable if things don’t get better with GOPPERS in office.

      I don’t think he has anything to worry about. The public didn’t hold the GOP accountable for its Contract ON America or the 9/11 attacks…among many other things. If the public votes in a Republican majority, it also shows that they don’t hold the GOP accountable for the disastrous economic situation in which we now find ourselves.

      If that’s the case, why worry? Ever?

  6. Oh My Gosh, What Happened To Paraguay? And China, You Are So Big!

    Most maps let you see where places are.

    These maps let you see where people are.

    Choose a “people category.” Ask where rich people are, poor people are; ask which country has the most internet users, chicken exporters, people killed by extreme temperatures (map 253) and they’ve got a map for that.

  7. fnord, just in case you’d like to see this. Of course, others are welcome to enjoy it, too. 🙂

    • I watched this game and was impressed! I enjoy that team more than the one that played the first game, and hope the coaches decide to bring them to the next game. 😉

      Listen to the announcers voices in this video. They are shocked, amazed, unbelieving…

  8. tosmarttobegop

    I know my daughter-in-law has a great deal to do with it. But I want to dedicate this to both of my sons, expecting their child.

    Every time I hear it I am taken back to a certain day when I walk into a hospital room.

    I saw my oldest holding a small and tender bundle in a blanket.

    In his eyes I saw the most beauty look, he was seeing God that day.