Pro-life sidewalk counseling outside of abortion clinics is "bullying" and should not not accorded First Amendment's "free speech" guarantees agreed the panelists on Thursday's edition of Now with Alex Wagner.
The panel in question was addressing the Supreme Court's decision to hear oral arguments in McCullen v. Coakley, a case which challenges a Massachusetts law which bars anyone but abortion clinic staffers from "enter[ing] or remain[ing] on a public way or sidewalk” that is within thirty-five feet of an entrance, exit, or driveway of an abortion clinic. [Listen to the MP3 audio here; Watch the video and read the relevant transcript below the page break]
Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear arguments on a campaign-finance case that will "test the justices' willingness to buck public opinion," Wall Street Journal Supreme Court correspondent Jess Bravin noted in his page A4 article about the open of the high court's October 2013 term. Bravin devoted the first several paragraphs of his October 7 story, "Campaign Giving Tops High Court's Docket," to painting the Court as highly unpopular when it comes to campaign finance case law following Citizens United.
It wasn't until the 8th paragraph that Bravin actually explained to readers what the new case before the court, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, was all about:
NPR’s Legal Affairs / Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg loves to cast conservatives as fringy. In 2005, President George W. Bush nominated then-Circuit Court Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court. At the time, Totenberg seemed to be suffering from a fixation on the word “very,” calling Roberts “very, very conservative” and “very, very, very conservative.”
Even though Roberts voted for Obamacare last year, Totenberg insisted last week on the news magazine "Here and Now" (a new joint venture of NPR and Boston NPR station WBUR) that he was still “very, very conservative.” Maybe with more Roberts rulings that she likes, she'll whittle it down to “very conservative.” For now, "This is a very, very conservative justice who also believes in a certain level of , as he puts it, modesty, meaning don’t do it all at once if you can do it one step at a time."
Writing for the liberal Atlantic magazine today, CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen jumped off the proverbial deep end by comparing today's Supreme Court ruling invalidating section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 to two infamous Supreme Court decisions from the 19th century.
"[T]he Supreme Court's decision in Shelby County is one of the worst in the history of the institution. As a matter of fact, and of law, it is indefensible. It will be viewed by future scholars on a par with the Court's odious Dred Scott and Plessy decisions and other utterly lamentable expressions of judicial indifference to the ugly realities of racial life in America," Cohen righteously thundered deep with his 18-paragraph screed.
If the Supreme Court strikes down section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, it would be a "one of the most jaw-dropping acts of, you know, judicial activism activism that we've seen in probably a generation," MSNBC's Chris Hayes insisted on the March 1 edition of Now with Alex Wagner.
That line of argument is certainly debatable, but Hayes decided to go way off the deep end by then saying that the conservative jurists on the Court, particularly the chief justice and Antonin Scalia were devoted to an "adolescent" jurisprudence on issues of racial equality, because they, wait for it, believe that the law should be colorblind:
NewsBusters has been showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala tomorrow evening. (Click here for posts recounting the worst of 1988 through 2011.)
Today, the worst bias of 2012 (so far): Newsweek sees Barack Obama as “grotesquely underappreciated,” afflicted by critics who are simply “dumb;” Chief Justice John Roberts becomes a media hero by voting to save ObamaCare; and an ex-CNN correspondent charges Republicans are trying to take the country back “to the good old days of Jim Crow.” [Quotes and video below the jump.]
In her latest nytimes.com column, posted Wednesday night, "The Mystery of John Roberts," Linda Greenhouse, former Supreme Court reporter for the New York Times, retraced previous conservatives losses at the Supreme Court from the pre-Internet days of the early '90s and the relatively muted response of conservative activists.
That set the stage for Greenhouse to criticize the "torrent of right-wing leaks" and "invective" that poured over Roberts after his shock decision upholding Obama-Care. Greenhouse, whose strident liberal moralizing is obvious now that she is no longer a reporter, suggested Roberts may have "evolved" to his position partially due to "the breathtaking radicalism of the other four conservative justices," and quoted one of her favorite judges in suggesting Roberts may read the criticism and think to himself "What am I doing with this crowd of lunatics?"
I have a headache. I imagine you do too, if you have been trying to interpret the legalese employed by those legal sages who have pronounced on Thursday's Supreme Court decision on Obamacare. I would rather read the lyrics of a thousand rap composers than the anfractuous language of one legal sage.
Thanks, however, to Professor E. Donald Elliott of the Yale Law School, I had a translator at my side, and I shall now hand down my judgment of the Court's decision on Obamacare, which all sensible Americans have abstained from reading in its entirety, including B. H. Obama and the vast majority of denizens of Capitol Hill, including N. Pelosi. Some of these worthies even admitted as much. It fell to nine heroic souls garbed in black to actually read the law and to Chief Justice Roberts to write the decision for the exhausted majority.
When asked at the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 what the Founders had wrought, Benjamin Franklin famously said, "A Republic, if you can keep it."
That question might also be put to the five Supreme Court justices who voted last week to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, which mandates health insurance for most Americans, based on twisted logic that it is a tax and thus within the power of the Congress to impose on an already overtaxed people.
Let's call a spade a spade: the arrogance, hypocrisy and racism of Salon's Joan Walsh knows no bounds.
On PBS's Tavis Smiley Show Monday, this so-called "editor at large" had the nerve to depict some Republicans as "a white, older base that doesn’t quite understand the way healthcare works" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Is anyone surprised that the ink wasn’t dry on Chief Justice John Roberts’ incoherent switcheroo before Team Obama was again denying ObamaCare is a tax? Why did he do it?
There is no doubt that the Left waged a war on the court’s public image. Just as Obama lectured at the justices during his State of the Union address for the Citizens United decision, so Obama and his media minions prepared for this verdict with blatant mob pressure: Side with us, or your image is ruined.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer took a humorous poke at Barack Obama and Chief Justice John Roberts Monday.
During a Special Report discussion about the President recently begging for donations during a conference call aboard Air Force One, Krauthammer said, "If he is running low on money, what he ought to do is to call it a tax and send the IRS after it to go and get it, which I’m sure his lawyers will be able to find a way to do it, and then go find a Supreme Court justice who’ll uphold it."
After ignoring its own 2009 clip of Obama denying his health-care law was a tax increase, ABC finally played the snippet of the President on Sunday's This Week -- but bizarrely, they failed to mention that it was theirs. Host George Stephanopoulos highlighted an ad from Americans for Prosperity that included the clip, but omitted that he conducted the interview where the President made this denial.
Later in the program, Rep. Paul Ryan exposed what the ABC News host omitted, that "the President, on your show, said this is not a tax." [audio available here; video below the jump]
When is a tax not a tax? When President Obama says it isn't, or when the Supreme Court says it is?
Obamacare was sold on several fraudulent lines. The president knows the country doesn't want to pay higher taxes, given the deplorable way their government spends the money. And so the administration packaged it as something different.
CBS News broke a huge story on Sunday's Face the Nation concerning the Supreme Court's Thursday ruling on ObamaCare.
According to Jan Crawford, CBS legal and political correspondent, Chief Justice John Roberts was initially going to strike down the individual mandate requiring citizens to buy health insurance, but changed his mind over the objections of the conservatives on the Court (video follows with transcript):
One of the key parts of Thursday's Supreme Court ruling regarding the President's healthcare bill was that the fine for not complying with the individual mandate must be considered a tax in order for it to be constitutional.
On CNN's State of the Union Sunday, host Candy Crowley didn't think this was a very important distinction (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Bill Maher has gone after former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's children again.
Shortly after Thursday's Supreme Court ruling regarding ObamaTax, the vulgar comedian tweeted the former Republican vice presidential nominee, "[O]h cheer up, it just means when one of ur kids gets knocked up they'll be covered."
In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that ObamaCare is constitutional as a tax, a number of media outlets played the now-embarrassing clip of Barack Obama insisting the law isn't a tax. Despite the footage coming from a 2009 interview on This Week, ABC's journalists studiously avoided highlighting their own footage.
CBS, however, played it. Even The Daily Show on Comedy Central highlighted the September 20, 2009 interview. On CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford played the clip of Obama telling George Stephanopoulos: "For us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] On Friday's Good Morning America, Jake Tapper tried to remind Stephanopoulos of the moment.
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell brought on radical filmmaker Michael Moore to offer his “Last Word” of liberalism on Thursday night. Moore said “maybe Mr. Roberts is a man of conscience. And part of that conscience says that it would be immoral to upend this bill.” Moore still felt insurance companies should be surgically removed and single-payer statismshould be installed: “we’re 65 years behind the rest of the Western industrialized world.”
But online, in their “Very Last Word,” MSNBC wanted Moore to repeat his charge that the country is being led backward by religious idiots who believe in the Biblical account of Creation:
New York Times legal reporter Adam Liptak used his Friday lead (five other reporters contributed research) on Obama-care being upheld at the Supreme Court to take another crack at the argument by conservatives and libertarians, the so-called broccoli argument "as misguided, if not frivolous."
Conservatives took comfort from two parts of the decision: the new limits it placed on federal regulation of commerce and on the conditions the federal government may impose on money it gives the states.
Good Morning America's Terry Moran on Friday highlighted how Chief Justice John Roberts "saved" Obamacare, featuring voices that lauded the "statesman" and only one clip of Mitt Romney condemning the ruling. In comparison, CBS showcased an interview with Republican Congressman Eric Cantor.
Instead of allowing much conservative opposition, Moran delicately spun, "Roberts's opinion reframed the law to make it constitutional...And that's how Roberts saved it." He included a clip of Dahlia Lithwick of the liberal Slate website. She hyped, "I think [Roberts] made everybody a little bit angry and made many people very happy and looked like a statesman."
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted Chief Justice John Roberts joining the Supreme Court majority in upholding ObamaCare as an "almost Nixon-to-China alignment with liberals on the Court." Special correspondent Tom Brokaw applauded the move: "I do think that it lowered the temperature about the debate about the politicalization of the Court. And that's a good thing for the country, however you feel about the decisions that they're making." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Chief Justice John Roberts may have angered conservatives with his decisive vote in favor of ObamaCare today, but he was, in CBS anchor Scott Pelley’s words, the “man of the hour” on all three network evening newscasts Thursday night.
ABC’s Terry Moran complimented Roberts’ lurch to the left, saying it “did give heart to many Court watchers,” who were worried the Court “was at risk of becoming just another hyper-partisan place... By joining the liberals, Chief Justice Roberts seemed to have stopped that.”
During NBC's noon et hour special coverage of the ObamaCare Supreme Court ruling, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams declared that Chief Justice John Roberts sided with liberals on the Court in upholding the unpopular law in order"to be on the side of history." Legal analyst Savannah Guthrie praised Roberts for having the wisdom of King Solomon: "I guess you'd call it a Solomonic decision." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During special coverage on ABC, correspondent Terry Moran touted the ruling as "a clever piece of lawyering by the Chief Justice," explaining: "...the government can tax you if you don't buy insurance, it can't order you to buy insurance." World News anchor Diane Sawyer chimed in: "So you pay the fine if you, in essence, don't pay that tax." Moran laughably replied: "You still have a choice."
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is clearly beside herself over the possiblity the Supreme Court might strike down ObamaCare.
"This court," she wrote Wednesday, "is well on its way to becoming one of the most divisive in modern American history...It is run by hacks dressed up in black robes...[M]irrors the setup on Fox News":
Taking the Constitution's limits on federal power seriously is just, well, backwards to liberal journalists. Take Ari Melber of The Nation. Sitting on the panel on the March 26 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, the MSNBC contributor dismissed as "retrograde" the notion that the ObamaCare individual mandate -- the provision forcing Americans to buy private health insurance or else pay a fine to the federal government -- violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Melber, a former John Kerry presidential campaign staffer, made the remark in the midst of comments wherein he suggested the Obama administration could see a stunning victory before the high court, despite the conservative nature of the tribunal:
Intellectually, I understand the Supreme Court's 7-2 decision that the First Amendment protects the most violent of video games. Experientially, I don't.
It's fine for the majority to say parents have ultimate control over what their children see, but how many members of the Supreme Court have experienced "real" life? Chief Justice John Roberts spoke at the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference last Saturday and said, "I don't think any of us have a Facebook page or a tweet -- whatever that is. But technology is making inroads." It certainly is.
"If the majority [of the U.S. Supreme Court] agrees with [Judge Roger] Vinson, President Obama would find not only his health care bill undone, but also face the most significant scaling back of the government's power to use legislation to solve its problems in decades," Time's Michael Lindenberger warned in a February 2 post at the magazine's website.
To reach such a conclusion, however, Lindenberger must have misunderstood Vinson's ruling on Monday in State of Florida v. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, which sought not to "turn back the clock" on commerce clause interpretation but merely prevent its overextension into an unprecedented and dangerous arena: forcing Americans to buy private health insurance under the flimsy illogic that such economic inactivity actually amounts to commercial activity.
"I am required to interpret this law as the Supreme Court presently defines it. Only the Supreme Court can redefine or expand it further," Vinson noted on page 43 of his 78 page opinion. The Reagan appointee noted that no less legislative authorities than the Congressional Research Service and the Congressional Budget Office have found Congress requiring Americans to purchase private health insurance under penalty of law to be "novel" and "unprecedented"