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  1. #161
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Because the alternative is a judicial despotism based on the arbitrary whims of nine unaccountable lawyers, which tends to lead to unchecked federal power in the long-run. Oh, and I actually like things like federalism, limited (not to be confused with small) government, and separation of powers.
    Could all of those things be maintained in a different way? Trying to guess the motives and interpret the wishes of people from a culture from 200 years ago, who weren't even "Americans" in the same sense we are (they were English imports and thus still very much a product of their root country) seems a little silly, especially when the needs of people alive today are more transparent and understandable. I'm thinking that's kind of where Mac was going with that comment.

    I'm also kind of surprised at what you see by the alternative -- arbitrary? About as arbitrary as you or me, and probably less, as they actually have experience in making decisions like that. Usually the "worst case" scenario is not appropriate; if I went by your style of definition, I'd just label democracy as a bunch of ill-educated, ill-informed, self-centered people driven by their worst impulses to make decisions with regard for the welfare of others.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #162
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Could all of those things be maintained in a different way? Trying to guess the motives and interpret the wishes of people from a culture from 200 years ago, who weren't even "Americans" in the same sense we are (they were English imports and thus still very much a product of their root country) seems a little silly, especially when the needs of people alive today are more transparent and understandable. I'm thinking that's kind of where Mac was going with that comment.
    By 'originalism' I'm referring to 'orginal meaning' rather than 'original intent'. The methodology is is not wholly objective (original meaning is open to interpretation, and reasonable extrapolations must sometimes be made to accomodate new circumstances), but there is far, far less room for subjectivity and sophistry. And no, I don't really think such principles can be maintained otherwise; temporary majorities will always attempt to control temporary minorities and entrench their policies against rollbacks by future temporary majorities-Constitutional limitations are necessary to limit the extent and degree of such efforts, and originalism is the only means of guarding against attempts by Justices to come up with absurd reasons to remove such limitations to facilitate their own policy preferences. As an example, empowering the federal government to regulate the amount of wheat a farmer may grow strictly for family consumption is not something that can plausibly be justified through originalism (to put it mildly), and was plainly an absurd excuse to circumvent Constitutional limitations without going through the Amendment process.

    As for the nature of procedural democracy, its virtue lies in its accountability and representation over time, not the wisdom of short-term majorities (especially if their worst or most far-reaching excesses are limited by Constitutional parameters).

  3. #163
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    To the extent that Roberts was attempting to buttress the perceived legitimacy of the Supreme Court, as well as discourage sharp ideological divides, it seems to have backfired: http://www.cbsnews.com/2102-3460_162...in;contentBody

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/publ...e_court_update

    The Supreme Court is now a poisoned well, and the 'crisis of legitimacy' has only worsened. I don't expect either state of affairs to change anytime soon.

  4. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    To the extent that Roberts was attempting to buttress the perceived legitimacy of the Supreme Court, as well as discourage sharp ideological divides, it seems to have backfired: http://www.cbsnews.com/2102-3460_162...in;contentBody

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/publ...e_court_update

    The Supreme Court is now a poisoned well, and the 'crisis of legitimacy' has only worsened. I don't expect either state of affairs to change anytime soon.
    Yeah, there sure are a lot of stupid people in this country:

    The new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, conducted on Friday and Saturday following the court ruling, finds that 56% believe justices pursue their own political agenda rather than generally remain impartial. That’s up five points from a week ago. Just half as many -- 27% -- believe the justices remain impartial.

  5. #165
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm also kind of surprised at what you see by the alternative -- arbitrary? About as arbitrary as you or me, and probably less, as they actually have experience in making decisions like that. Usually the "worst case" scenario is not appropriate; if I went by your style of definition, I'd just label democracy as a bunch of ill-educated, ill-informed, self-centered people driven by their worst impulses to make decisions with regard for the welfare of others.
    There is a running joke going around. Governments are the biggest organized gang on Earth.
    They tell us what we can and cannot do.
    They "protect" us from others.
    They tell us to pay up or lose "X."
    People use the gang to exert influence. Some willing to rise up in status to exert their influence. (Lobbyist and Corporations.)

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    To the extent that Roberts was attempting to buttress the perceived legitimacy of the Supreme Court, as well as discourage sharp ideological divides, it seems to have backfired: http://www.cbsnews.com/2102-3460_162...in;contentBody

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/publ...e_court_update

    The Supreme Court is now a poisoned well, and the 'crisis of legitimacy' has only worsened. I don't expect either state of affairs to change anytime soon.
    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    Yeah, there sure are a lot of stupid people in this country:
    Damned if SCOTUS voted for it. Damned if the SCOTUS voted against it. That is how I saw this case.

    Damned by people who wanted it pass, damned by people who wanted it not to pass.

    Of course, the way we put our Justices on a sliding scale is part of that problem.

  6. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    There is a running joke going around. Governments are the biggest organized gang on Earth.
    They tell us what we can and cannot do.
    They "protect" us from others.
    They tell us to pay up or lose "X."
    People use the gang to exert influence. Some willing to rise up in status to exert their influence. (Lobbyist and Corporations.)
    This isn't a joke. It's a sociological truth that people form themselves into hierarchies and groups. Don't like government? Enjoy being potentially controlled by a violent gang or narcissistic despot of a ruler when the anarchy dissipates.

    I really hate that people are so blind to what human nature is, that they just don't think. "OH the world was perfect until there was government!"

    No, you fool, without government, the church or corporations or gangs or something else will take its place.

  7. #167
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    There is a running joke going around. Governments are the biggest organized gang on Earth.
    They tell us what we can and cannot do.
    They "protect" us from others.
    They tell us to pay up or lose "X."
    People use the gang to exert influence. Some willing to rise up in status to exert their influence. (Lobbyist and Corporations.)
    It's more like the biggest gang is the one that gets to be called "government." It'll stay this way as long as our resource distribution models remain as they do.

  8. #168
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    Yeah, there sure are a lot of stupid people in this country:
    Honestly, it's depressing. And it's frustrating, because I feel like it doesn't matter what anyone tries to do about it, people just get stupider and more lost in their own little mindsets.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Honestly, it's depressing. And it's frustrating, because I feel like it doesn't matter what anyone tries to do about it, people just get stupider and more lost in their own little mindsets.
    I mean, Roberts did exactly the opposite of pursuing a political agenda, and instead that increased people's perception that's what the court is doing.

    Bush v. Gore was high water mark of politics defeating jurisprudence, on both sides.

  10. #170
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    I mean, Roberts did exactly the opposite of pursuing a political agenda
    That depends on whether one considers making a decision on the basis of perceived political fallout (including concern over one's legacy or the percieved legitimacy of the Supreme Court), rather than the merits of the case, constitutes a political agenda. The perception is there because the legal merits of his justification have been widely scorned by most jurists and legal commentators (conservative, liberal, or otherwise), and there have been strong indicators from the very beginning that he changed his mind late in the game, after a sustained liberal offensive regarding Robert's legacy and the perceived legitimacy of the Supreme Court should he dare to rule Obamacare unconstitutional.

    Political agenda and partisan agenda are not always the same thing. The perception is that Roberts was looking for a specific outcome regardless of the Constitutional merits, not that he was trying to help Republicans.*

    *putting aside dubious theories of Roberts being an 'evil genuis' or a 'master chessplayer' who decided to set an election year trap for the Democrats.
    Last edited by lowtech redneck; 07-03-2012 at 09:09 AM. Reason: more to add

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