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Justices to lawyers: Don't make us read the law
Politico ^

Posted on 03/28/2012 12:09:24 PM PDT by Sub-Driver

Justices to lawyers: Don't make us read the law

By: Politico Staff March 28, 2012 02:22 PM EDT

So much for “read the bill.”

Three days into oral arguments over President Barack Obama’s health care law, Supreme Court justices made a plea to the lawyers Wednesday: Please don’t make us read it.

Justice Antonin Scalia cut in when Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler said the justices would need to look at “the structure and the text” of the 2,700-page law .

“Mr. Kneedler, what happened to the Eighth Amendment?” Scalia asked — a joking reference to the Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. “You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?

“And do you really expect the court to do that? Or do you expect us to — to give this function to our law clerks? Is this not totally unrealistic? That we are going to go through this enormous bill item by item and decide each one?"

Taking a swipe at the court’s textualists, Justice Elena Kagan said the court could dispense with the legislative history and “look at the text that’s actually given us.”

“For some people, we look only at the text,” she said. “It should be easy for Justice Scalia's clerks.”

“I don't care whether it's easy for my clerks,” Scalia said to laughs. “I care whether it's easy for me.”

Although “read the bill” was a rallying cry on the right during the congressional fight over the law, Chief Justice John Roberts seemed to acknowledge Wednesday that he hadn’t done so himself.

“Where is this line?” he asked Kneedler at one point. “I looked through the whole Act, I didn't read ... “

(Excerpt) Read more at politico.com ...


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
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snicker..........
1 posted on 03/28/2012 12:09:40 PM PDT by Sub-Driver
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To: Sub-Driver

Even mockery from the bench! I hope it is a train wreck, indeed.


2 posted on 03/28/2012 12:13:00 PM PDT by Lando Lincoln (But that's just me.)
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To: Sub-Driver

A vast majority of the House and the Senate didn’t read the entire law, our lazy President didn’t read the entire law and now the Justices are not reading the entire law. This suggests to me that unelected legislative staffers are running this country.


3 posted on 03/28/2012 12:18:33 PM PDT by monocle
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To: Sub-Driver
Sounds to me like they ought to just throw the whole law out, kit and caboodle due to it being lengthy unintelligible rubbish.

I have a hard time understanding anyone supporting a law that congress didn't read, the senate didn't read,the president didn't read, and the supreme court didn't read. Somebody read the blasted thing already!

4 posted on 03/28/2012 12:20:41 PM PDT by Idaho_Cowboy (In case of doubt: Attack! George S. Patton)
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To: monocle

The ‘Center For American Progress” is. My understanding is that they wrote much of it, along with Max Baucus. Anyone know who the REAL authors are? I can’t believe the Google searches.


5 posted on 03/28/2012 12:21:57 PM PDT by FedsRStealingOurCountryFromUs
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To: Sub-Driver

This is actually a sad admission that justices can’t be bothered to read and understand that which they are adjudicating. One would think that familiarizing themselves with the subject matter of their concern would be part of the job description, all 2700 pages worth. That’s why they get paid the big bucks.


6 posted on 03/28/2012 12:22:29 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Sub-Driver

If the Supreme court justices read it, they will be the first humans on the face of the earth to have done so.

I would wager that NO ONE has EVER read the thing cover to cover... So, if no one else ever has, why make the Justices read it!!


7 posted on 03/28/2012 12:23:09 PM PDT by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: Lando Lincoln
This will be a liberal talking point. "The right wing judges ruled on the law without even reading it."

It will be overlooked, however, that neither did Obama, Reid, Pelosi nor any one of the 535 Congress members who voted on it.

House Judiciary Committee ChairmanJohn Conyers even scoffed at the idea that anyone would read the bill.

Coming soon to a news medium near you.

8 posted on 03/28/2012 12:23:16 PM PDT by Maceman (Liberals' only problem with American slavery is that the slaves were privately owned.)
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To: Sub-Driver

Kagan knows that if she can persuade them to read the entire thing this ruling won’t be issued till 2017


9 posted on 03/28/2012 12:24:24 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: monocle
A vast majority NONE of the House and the Senate didn’t read the entire law
10 posted on 03/28/2012 12:24:44 PM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Sub-Driver

Remember it was San Fran Nan who said, “We have to pass the bill to see what’s in it.” This is the height of irresponsibility. I hate these people. They should all be forced to eat it, page by page.


11 posted on 03/28/2012 12:26:31 PM PDT by bopdowah ("Unlike King Midas, whatever the Gubmint touches sure don't turn to Gold!')
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To: Sub-Driver

The media is jealous of it’s greatest achievement:

A law that was passed without ever having been read by anyone.


12 posted on 03/28/2012 12:26:41 PM PDT by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat Party!)
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To: Idaho_Cowboy

This is one time when they need to throw out the baby and the bathwater. The whole bill is a POS.


13 posted on 03/28/2012 12:28:12 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Sub-Driver
The deputy Solicitor General called it "unrealistic" for him to say what could stay and what could go if parts are severable? Isn't that an admission that it isn't severable?
14 posted on 03/28/2012 12:28:12 PM PDT by newzjunkey (Newt says, "A nominee that depresses turnout won't beat Barack Obama.")
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To: Sub-Driver

I wish I could figure out how a major piece of legislation gets voted on and signed into legislation, and now challenged in multiple courts, and yet NO ONE HAS READ IT!


15 posted on 03/28/2012 12:28:38 PM PDT by cincinnati65 (Romney is not MY candidate for President in 2012.)
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To: SpaceBar
One would think that familiarizing themselves with the subject matter of their concern would be part of the job description, all 2700 pages worth.

Why read the whole thing? If I'm on the Court, as soon as I find anything unconstitutional, there's no reason to read any further. My job is done.

16 posted on 03/28/2012 12:29:27 PM PDT by newgeezer (It is [the people's] right and duty to be at all times armed. --Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Sub-Driver

i just hope America is watching this disaster. Obamacare and it’s namesake.


17 posted on 03/28/2012 12:30:00 PM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
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To: monocle
A vast majority of the House and the Senate didn’t read the entire law, our lazy President didn’t read the entire law and now the Justices are not reading the entire law.

I wish someone of high authority would read the dang bill just to point out how treasonous, unconstitutional and illegal it really is. I would like people to know what their progressive/communist/liberal lawmakers tried to pull on them.

18 posted on 03/28/2012 12:31:29 PM PDT by Bitsy
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To: SMARTY

Mark Levin claims to have read it. A person familiar with legaleze should be able to skim it in a week or two.


19 posted on 03/28/2012 12:31:42 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: monocle

Sounds like somebody suggested to Scalia that grokking this puppy’s alleged virtue would require an appreciation of the whole glorious mess.


20 posted on 03/28/2012 12:32:14 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: Sub-Driver

The court can rule on the major points of the legislation without reading all the minutia.


21 posted on 03/28/2012 12:32:28 PM PDT by SandyInSeattle (Smith & Wesson: The original point and click interface)
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To: cincinnati65

One of the libs on the bench, ginsberg I believe, said something to the effect they either have to strike it or see if parts can be salvaged. To me that says at a minimum part goes down 6 to 3. If it is not severable, in part because it is unintelligible, then the whole thing goes and there is morning in America again as the dark evening will have passed.


22 posted on 03/28/2012 12:32:53 PM PDT by Mouton (Voting is an opiate of the electorate. Nothing changes no matter who wins..)
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To: Sub-Driver
Thats right Kagan , just keep pizzing the other Justices off with gimmicky "strategies" like “It should be easy for Justice Scalia's clerks.”

I bet little bammy is regretting his SOTU smart-azz remarks to the court as well.

But this thing gets even BETTER...

Still, Breyer seemed to take a shot at Scalia for suggesting that reading the law would be too much of a burden for the court.

“We can't reject or accept an argument on severability because it's a lot of work for us,” Breyer said.

But then he asked Kneedler if maybe he and Clement could get together, go through the law and come up with a list of what should stay and what should go.

“I just don’t think that’s realistic,” Kneedler said.


So, the lawyers arguing FOR little bammys commie-care do not want the LIBERAL Justices reading the bill, even when it is being offered to salvage some parts of it?

Little bammy's commie care is a TOTAL disaster no matter who reads it?

Incredible...

.

23 posted on 03/28/2012 12:33:27 PM PDT by TLI ( ITINERIS IMPENDEO VALHALLA)
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To: newgeezer

Well, I guess they’re addressing a specific legal challenge. So it’s probably up to the lawyer arguing against the bill to point out the parts he’s objecting to. And it would be up to the defense to point to any other parts which might counter those claims. It’s not like they’re just handing the bill to the justices and asking them to read it and come back later to explain everything they did or didn’t like about it.


24 posted on 03/28/2012 12:35:25 PM PDT by JediJones (The Divided States of Obama's Declaration of Dependence: Death, Taxes and the Pursuit of Crappiness)
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To: Maceman
This will be a liberal talking point. "The right wing judges ruled on the law without even reading it."

If they rule incorrectly, then someone who has read all if it can appeal. The have to strike it down to find out what's in it.

25 posted on 03/28/2012 12:35:28 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: monocle

The House got the bill 3 hours before being forced to vote on it.


26 posted on 03/28/2012 12:36:40 PM PDT by mware (By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West)
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To: Bitsy

Shoot, we might even respect Barack Obama more if HE would do that.

This is legislation by hearsay, the way the laws have gotten so impossibly turgid (but even among those laws, Obamacare walks away with first prize).

The problem before the USSC seems simple enough however. It is alleged that this law is 1% “We will unconstitutionally screw you” and 99% “these are the impossibly grotty details about how.” Not even Scalia should have to suffer through trying to get a masterful understanding about the 99%.


27 posted on 03/28/2012 12:37:30 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: Sub-Driver

They have to overturn it to find out what’s in it.


28 posted on 03/28/2012 12:38:00 PM PDT by Jim Noble ("The Germans: At your feet, or at your throat" - Winston Churchill)
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To: monocle

How can anyone read the entire law when they are adding to it every day.


29 posted on 03/28/2012 12:39:30 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: SpaceBar
I do not have to read the specifications of a fire truck if it red, has lights and a siren and pumps water, to know it is a fire truck.

The justices don't have to read the legislation letter by letter if the premis is it's very existence is, or major elements of it are unconstitutional.

30 posted on 03/28/2012 12:39:59 PM PDT by pfflier
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To: pfflier

Courts normally don’t singlehandedly generate actions on cases before them, but choose between competing motions and arguments by the parties disputing these cases. What this means is that pro-Obamacare people can’t just blithely tell the justices to throw the whole mess against the wall and admire what might seem to stick. No those people have to argue for it, all 2700 pages or whatever, if they really think it’s such an admirable beast. The opponents only have to point out what’s wrong.


31 posted on 03/28/2012 12:44:32 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: SpaceBar

I do not think the founders ever envisioned that the entire U.S. Code would encompass 2,700 typed pages (or the equivalent in parchment.)

We would be better off if all Federal laws fit on no more than 500 pages. Every time a page is added, one must be removed.

It is totally unrealistic to expect anyone to completely absorb and comprehend 2,700 pages of law in a lifetime, let alone a session. The law is unenforceable on its face, as being completely incomprehensible.


32 posted on 03/28/2012 12:45:24 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets ("Jihad" is Arabic for "Helter-Skelter", "bin Laden" is Arabic for "Manson".)
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To: SpaceBar
This is actually a sad admission that justices can’t be bothered to read and understand that which they are adjudicating. One would think that familiarizing themselves with the subject matter of their concern would be part of the job description, all 2700 pages worth. That’s why they get paid the big bucks.

The members of Congress that passed this didn't read it themselves, nor did they actually write it.

If it's required the the SC justices comprehensively read what they're adjudicating, but not that Congress do the same for what they're voting on, Congress can pass anything they want and keep the SC from overturning it by paying people to write enough verbiage into it that it simply becomes impossible for someone to read it all.

33 posted on 03/28/2012 12:47:34 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: monocle
ists"A vast majority of the House and the Senate didn’t read the entire law, our lazy President didn’t read the entire law and now the Justices are not reading the entire law. This suggests to me that unelected legislative staffers are running this country."

The unelected legislative staffers just rotate employment and allegiance from election to election. K St. lobbyists and think tanks author the legislation and feed it to the staffers.

34 posted on 03/28/2012 12:48:32 PM PDT by shove_it (just undo it)
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To: SpaceBar

Actually they do NOT have to read the entire Act to determine whether it or any part of it is constitutional.

If the mandate is unconstitutional, the entire Act is unconstitutional because the Act does not make the mandate severable.


35 posted on 03/28/2012 12:53:12 PM PDT by Skepolitic
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To: Sub-Driver

I get it now, Obama’s plan all along was to get a couple of the conservative justices to retire early by sending 2,700 pages of liberal claptrap over to them and telling them they have to read it.


36 posted on 03/28/2012 12:54:16 PM PDT by JediJones (The Divided States of Obama's Declaration of Dependence: Death, Taxes and the Pursuit of Crappiness)
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To: SpaceBar

What is sad, no disgusting, no sinister, is that 1 law gets written that is 2700 pages long.


37 posted on 03/28/2012 12:56:19 PM PDT by houeto (Mitt Romney - A Whiter Shade of FAIL)
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To: Sub-Driver

so... congress won’t read the bill... the supreme court won’t read the bill...

yet I’M supposed to PAY for it and LIVE by it

bullsh*t


38 posted on 03/28/2012 12:58:08 PM PDT by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: monocle
A vast majority of the House and the Senate didn’t read the entire law, our lazy President didn’t read the entire law and now the Justices are not reading the entire law. This suggests to me that unelected legislative staffers are running this country.

The first two parties should be reading the bill, but the Justices only need to review the bits under question.

It's not like they have line item veto rights. I am not a lawyer, but I think it's up to both sides presenting to highlight the relevant bits to their arguments, not for the Judges to have to use telepathy to see what the argument is.

There are flaws in this system, that if the plaintiff doesn't get the argument right, the plaintiff might be in the right and still lose. There is no responsibility on the part of the Judges to correct either sides presentation of their case. That's not to say that Kagan and the other leftists won't do so when they start discussing this behind closed doors.

39 posted on 03/28/2012 1:00:31 PM PDT by slowhandluke (It's hard to be cynical enough in this age.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
It is totally unrealistic to expect anyone to completely absorb and comprehend 2,700 pages of law in a lifetime, let alone a session. The law is unenforceable on its face, as being completely incomprehensible.

It is actually much harder to understand than just reading 2700 pages. That is because much of the text of the law consists of making changes to OTHER laws that it merely references by statute number.

For example, it might say: "Subsection C, paragraph 5, hereby modifies USC 18 Section 3, subsection D, paragraph 8 by striking the word "and" and substituting the word "or"."

So unless you go read the other law that is being modified (which may consist of numerous pages in and of itself), you have absolutely no idea what this clause means or does. Now multiply that by the thousands of times this occurs in the bill, and you begin to get an idea of the complexity of the problem.

40 posted on 03/28/2012 1:00:36 PM PDT by CA Conservative (Texan by birth, Californian by circumstance)
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To: bopdowah

“We have to pass the bill to see what’s in it.”

As I’ve said before, “It’s just like a stool sample!”


41 posted on 03/28/2012 1:04:03 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Jim Noble
They have to overturn it to find out what’s in it.

POST OF THE DAY.

42 posted on 03/28/2012 1:06:34 PM PDT by Riley (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
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To: SMARTY
I would wager that NO ONE has EVER read the thing cover to cover... So, if no one else ever has, why make the Justices read it!!

So no one's noticed yet that pages 1350-2200 were written by an automatic internet spam text generator?

http://johno.jsmf.net/knowhow/ngrams/index.php?table=en-dickens-word-2gram&paragraphs=2&length=100

I don't do with the landing-place made uncomfortable by hand to him, staring drearily at nought -- all right. Wishing to Miss Havisham's to-morrow morning after slowly search- ing on his leg. A little world in his head over the dinner, consisting of me upside down, and using the marshes with Joe good-night, and a boy.' `With this bleak place overgrown with no doubt of the edge of the leg of reason, religion, and that door to look at his nose and at all, as if Joe looked at these things, seems to sleep I told manner in the instrument.

`Show us home at eight by hand. The sergeant and a frightful chotus; Biddy leading the mud and indeed it was busy apprenticed to me, and nob,' returned the top bar, `rendering unto all the river, still gasped, `He had a penknife from him not being sensible of the dog's way with his arms -- murder me,' returned Mr Wopale's great-aunt, who held a dozen soldiers opened the time I broke out on in the psalm -- and quite un- animously set expression -- clasping himself, as if they challenged, hears nothin' all on the motion with his grey jacket.

43 posted on 03/28/2012 1:06:56 PM PDT by JediJones (The Divided States of Obama's Declaration of Dependence: Death, Taxes and the Pursuit of Crappiness)
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To: tacticalogic
If it's required the the SC justices comprehensively read what they're adjudicating, but not that Congress do the same for what they're voting on, Congress can pass anything they want and keep the SC from overturning it by paying people to write enough verbiage into it that it simply becomes impossible for someone to read it all.

Don't look now, but that's exactly what's been happening with this law. Hopeless quantities of ridiculous verbiage is what this already is. I think that's Scalia's point.

44 posted on 03/28/2012 1:07:25 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (The only flaw is that America doesn't recognize Cyber's omniscience. -- sergeantdave)
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To: SMARTY

More to the point, if the people who VOTED for it didn’t read it, they can’t stand on the legislative history to argue that it’s constitutional!


45 posted on 03/28/2012 1:09:29 PM PDT by jagusafr ("Write in Palin and prepare for war...")
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To: Sub-Driver

severability implies modularity. lack of severability does not guarantee modularity. it tends to imply a lack of modularity, deliberate or otherwise.

the liberals who wrote the bill should have forseen the challenge to portions of the bill. they should not be permitted to heap the responsibility on the courts to modularize something for which there was no modularization requirement to begin with. that would require the justices to become (omygosh) legislators.


46 posted on 03/28/2012 1:09:54 PM PDT by SteveH (First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.)
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To: cincinnati65

And yet....I just heard Sen John F Kerry on the radio stating the standard talking point that we would love it once we understood it!

Apparently NO ONE wants to read it, and I’ll bet even if you did, it wouldn’t be understandable, let alone acceptable.


47 posted on 03/28/2012 1:10:24 PM PDT by kevslisababy
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To: Sub-Driver

Anyone else think that admitting they didn’t read it will make it a lot harder for them to uphold it? If they did, they’re in the same position as Congress. “We didn’t read it but we’re going to assume everything’s fine.” I would at least predict that any justice who implies they have or will read the whole thing is definitely going to uphold it.


48 posted on 03/28/2012 1:11:30 PM PDT by JediJones (The Divided States of Obama's Declaration of Dependence: Death, Taxes and the Pursuit of Crappiness)
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To: tacticalogic

Appeal to whom? It’s the SUPREME COURT.


49 posted on 03/28/2012 1:11:30 PM PDT by jagusafr ("Write in Palin and prepare for war...")
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To: TLI

assuming the law going down in total, this means kagan and sotomayor are exposed as unqualified.


50 posted on 03/28/2012 1:12:04 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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