June 30, 2009

The intellectually feeble left wing of the Supreme Cout

Half Sigma offers a lucid review of Justice Ginsburg's dissenting opinion in Ricci:

Instead of rejoicing over the outcome of the Ricci case, the fact that four justices signed on to GInsubrg’s dissenting opinion fills me with both anger at liberals and dread that the liberal viewpoint will eventually triumph over reason and sensibility. Ginsburg writes, “The Court’s order and opinion, I anticipate, will not have staying power.” I translate this as meaning that Obama is going to be president for another seven and a half years, so the liberals are only one heart attack away from reversing Ricci and imposing their will. It’s an unusually unsportsmanlike statement and demonstrates a disrespect for stare decisis that’s unbecoming of a Supreme Court justice. When something like that shows up in a dissent, it indicates that the decision created a great deal of ill will.

As I explained in my previous two posts analyzing the Ricci decision, the statutes passed by Congress are racially neutral and state that it’s unlawful “to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” 42 USC §2000e–2(a)(1). It doesn’t say that it’s only unlawful to discriminate against minority races. The Supreme Court has continuously paid at least lip service to the concept of race neutrality, and theoretically there are only a few limited circumstances in which it’s legal to discriminate against whites in order to favor minority races. One such circumstance is in education where the need for “diversity” is such a compelling interest that it allows colleges to consider race as a factor in admissions See Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978).

It seems clear to me that Ginsburg doesn’t agree with the idea of race neutrality. She believes that it’s always desirable to discriminate against whites, and presumably Asians as well, in order to benefit blacks and presumably Hispanics. But she dare not say this directly in her opinion, because such a direct statement of what the left really wants is unpopular with the majority of Americans, and it would also make her dissent irrelevant because it would be such an obvious misstatement of the current law, a misstatement of both the text of the statutes and judicial opinions interpreting the statutes. Her actual dissent is a lot more pernicious, because it undermines the holding of the majority by repeating and thus bolstering the standard liberal half-truths and lies.

If you don’t believe my view of Ginsburg’s true motives, then try to imagine how she might have decided this case if the facts were the same except the races were reversed. After the city gave the test, too many blacks did well on the test, and white groups in the city complained that too many blacks were being promoted, and then the city threw out the results under the pretext of disparate impact. Does anyone seriously think that Ginsburg would agree with the city? Hell no! It would be an obvious case of discrimination against blacks!

At the beginning of her dissent, Ginsburg mentions that the city is nearly 60% “African-American” and Hispanic. She thinks this bolsters the view that the fire department needs more black and Hispanic firefighters in command position. This is only because she judges fairness by outcomes. From my perspective, the fact that non-Hispanic whites are a minority in the city of New Haven makes it more likely that the city refused to certify the test results for the worst possible reason; to discriminate against a minority (non-Hispanic whites) in order to benefit the majority.

Read the whole thing.

That brings to mind the intellectual firepower imbalance currently on display in the Supreme Court:

The right wing:

Chief Justice Roberts is 54. He may have epilepsy, though.

Alito is 59.

Scalia is 73.

Thomas is 61.

Kennedy is 72.

Average age is 65.

The left wing:

Breyer is 70.

Ginsburg is 76 and was operated on in February for pancreatic cancer. It's really rather heroic that she (or her clerks) came up with the dissenting opinion at all, and its quality should be mercifully evaluated in light of that.

John Paul Stevens is 89. It's basically a scandal that somebody is on the Supreme Court at age 89. The press didn't complain about it during the Bush years for obvious reasons.

David Souter, the original Stealth Nominee, is only 69, but is apparently so out of it that he's packing it in.

Average age 77 (rounding down).

Basically, the liberal team on the Supreme Court consists of one very smart guy just entering his 70s and a very motley supporting crew. I wonder why Breyer didn't write the dissenting opinion. Perhaps he just couldn't bring himself to be as obtuse and mendacious as it took to get the job done.

Souter will be replaced by 55-year-old diabetic Sonia Sotomayor, who is hard working and will be a reliable vote for the left, but who isn't likely to be the second coming of William Brennan in terms of persuading the other Justices to move to the left through Machiavellian manipulation. Sotomayor got the nomination because Obama, in effect, drew a Venn Diagram consisting of circles labeled "Hispanic," "female," "not old," "liberal," and "credentialed enough to be plausible," and Sotomayor was the last one standing.

So, you can expect pressure to build on Stevens from the media and the Obama Administration (not that there's much distinction between the two these days) to get the hell out, no later than his 90th birthday next April.

Look for Obama not to draw a Venn diagram next time and waste another pick, but to find somebody who will be highly effective.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

20 comments:

Lucius Vorenus said...

You're just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

I honestly don't think that the demographics are there for another national GOP victory in our lifetimes.

It's [maybe] theoretically possible that Palin could win in 2012, but shortly thereafter, the demographic window will slam shut forever on the GOP and the idea of a constitutional republic in North America.

Point being that I doubt there will ever be another GOP president who could appoint any Supreme Court justices.

Anonymous said...

"John Paul Stevens is 89. It's basically a scandal that somebody is on the Supreme Court at age 89"

I agree. A few years ago a writer in Reason magazine proposed a constitutional amendment be passed mandating Supreme Court justices retire at 75. Until science makes more advances in reversing aging (where are you Aubrey de Grey?) I fully support such an amendment.

-Vanilla Thunder

Anonymous said...

I realize that the abolition of shame is the core of modern American liberalism, but if ever a liberal were to feel shame, s/he ought to feel ashamed of Justice Breyer, who is more of a Stalinist than anything else. He has never, ever, disapproved of an abuse of government power.* I can predict his vote in every case, though I cannot predict the other Justices' votes with any great precision.

Smart? Breyer is smart, and writes the most sophistic opinions of any current Justice. It is shameful that he puts his intellect to such public disservice.

(And before he was appointed to the Supreme Court, Breyer was a proper leader of such abuses; look up "Federal Sentencing Guidelines" someday.)

Anonymous said...

Steve, while I agree, 'intellect' or facts or logic or reason has NEVER been on the side of the neocon liberal alliance, from freud, to boaz, to gould to dershowitz to the neocons... and so on. Its always been about ethnic group cohesion and cheerleading often around a charasmatic idea or figure.

Science is on 'our' side.
facts about iraq prior to the war were on our side.
facts about israel are on our side.

does any of it matter when dominate, energetic in group has an agenda?

Anonymous said...

If the GOP has to die for a party to show up that is actually conservative, then so be it. If the GOP thinks it can out-pander the Democrats then they will continue to lose forever.

John Anello said...

After reading Justice Ginsburg’s opinion I am convinced that she has lost her battle with dementia, not that she ever gave authored a reasonable opinion anyway. Remember, this is a woman who thinks that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day should be abolished in an effort to minimize “traditional sex based differences in parental roles.”

You just can’t make it up.

Her opinion on Ricci is just the latest of her typical judicial vomit.

I do pity Justice Ginsburg, she is an old sick woman, but her health and age does not excuse the damage she has done to the country. With her Horatio in the White House, its time she hung up her spikes. Whoever he nominates cannot be much worse.

Anonymous said...

Until I read Ginsburg's words, I never realized how dumb she was.

How'd you like to go down in the history books having written something like that?

Jubilee said...

Reminder to all: judicial review is not Constitutional. Why is everyone counting judges and counting years, when the only real solution is to eliminate judicial review and return to the practice of goverment by The People.

Because judicial review is not a Constitutional power, it would only take a law to eliminate it.

Victoria said...

... the fact that four justices signed on to GInsubrg’s dissenting opinion fills me with both anger at liberals and dread that the liberal viewpoint will eventually triumph over reason and sensibility.

Who is this person who is not aware that the "liberal viewpoint" is now totally triumphant in every corner of every niche that matters? What does he/she mean, "eventually?" Considering the nature of that dating advertisement on the upper left side of the Half Sigma blog, I would think this person would be thrilled that the liberal viewpoint prevails.

When I first heard of the Decision, I was elated, until I learned it was only 5-4. I was hoping I just wasn't hearing quite right. How could as many as four people in the entire country take a stand against this Decision?

... what the left really wants is unpopular with the majority of Americans,

Really? What I see is a majority population eating up the stuff doled out by liberals. I witness: totally overturned sexual mores (which took about ten minutes to accomplish), white women now catching up with the coloreds in terms of breeding illegitimate babies (which took, oh, about an hour-and-a-half to accomplish), and an apparent total acquiescence by the majority to anything that flies the "civil rights" flag.

And this is long before a half-colored guy became President.

Her actual dissent is a lot more pernicious, because it undermines the holding of the majority by repeating and thus bolstering the standard liberal half-truths and lies.

What's horrifying is that Ginsburg knows the country and culture to which she is speaking. She knows that her words will find comfortable homes in the minds of vast numbers, if not the majority, of Americans.

Anonymous said...

Because judicial review is not a Constitutional power, it would only take a law to eliminate it.
Actually if it is not constituional it would take a ruling by a ...judge :)

Serious, as Sobran has quipped, politicians do not let the constitution get in the way of government.

Reactionary said...

Look for Obama not to draw a Venn diagram next time and waste another pick, but to find somebody who will be highly effective.

Well let's see now. Will it be somebody from the militantly outcome-determinative generation of Cass Sunstein? Or somebody from their vapid successors, like Emily Bazelon? What to do, what to do...

As Lucius Vorenus points out, in a few years it will not matter. Judge Judy will be as good a choice for SCOTUS as anybody else by then.

Mr. Anon said...

"At the beginning of her dissent, Ginsburg mentions that the city is nearly 60% “African-American” and Hispanic. She thinks this bolsters the view that the fire department needs more black and Hispanic firefighters in command position."

Someone should ask Justice Ginsburg the following question: Jews make up about 3-4% of the population of the US. They constitute a little over 20% of Supreme Court seats, and as such are vastly over-represented relative to their fraction of the population. Is that fair? Doesn't that constitute a "disparate impact" that ought to be remedied by judicial action? And if it is fair, how is it fair, in light of the opinion you wrote on Ricci?

Anonymous said...

---As Lucius Vorenus points out, in a few years it will not matter. Judge Judy will be as good a choice for SCOTUS as anybody else by then.---

I'm gonna ask L. Vorenus and you to look into your Magic 8 Balls and give me a prediction of what you and he think is going to go down and when.
Komment Kontrol, let those postings go through!

Mr. Venn said...

Eisenhower drew a Venn Diagram for Brennan:

State Supreme Court Justice
Catholic
Democrat
Northeastern
in his 50s

I heard a historian on book tv describe this and there was only one other candidate available besides Brennan who narrowly missed the age requirement.

Reactionary said...

I'm gonna ask L. Vorenus and you to look into your Magic 8 Balls and give me a prediction of what you and he think is going to go down and when.

Lawyers are members of the elite class hostile to bourgeois values to begin with. At this point they are mostly Baby Boomers, a group that has voted for huge expansions of government power and public spending. Obama is going to select a Democrat either from that group or from a group born around 1970, who were taught by that subset of law professors.

The larger point is that the country is trending leftward, as the past 40 years of cultural Marxism in public education bears fruit.

Demographically, Anglo-Europeans are in serious decline, and they are practically the only people on earth who've ever given the slightest thought to things like the rule of law and the invisible hand of markets.

Combine that with a HUGE influx of lower IQ Third Worlders with high fertility rates and you get:

Brazil.

Timeline? About ten to twenty years.

ben tillman said...

Reminder to all: judicial review is not Constitutional....

Because judicial review is not a Constitutional power, it would only take a law to eliminate it.


It can't be eliminated without eliminating the courts entirely or eliminating the Supremacy Clause. To reach a decision a court has to decide the law. If a purported law conflicts with the Constitution, it's not a law. How can anyone argue to the contrary?

What is objectionable is the notion that the "opinions" -- and that is all they are -- of the Supreme Court are the final word. How can you read Roe v. Wade ("we nine justices are gods") or Plyler v. Doe (a state may not discriminate between citizens and non-citizens) without channeling Andrew Jackson ("The Supreme court has made its decision. Now let them enforce it")?

Texas should have just said, "Screw you!"

Anonymous said...

Except Brazil with the best equipped police force the world has ever seen.

Mike said...

If whites were serious about taking on the left they would start by demanding affirmative actions at Ivy league universities.

Anonymous said...

Actually congress has the power to exclude from judicial review any issue it wants.

Not only that but the number of SCOTUS judges along with the jurisdiction and number of District and Appellate judges is totally at the discretion of congress.

Furthermore, the Congress could pass a law stating the salary for every judge over 75 was $1 a year and there ain't nothing the SCOTUS could do about it.

Read FDR's court packing bill to see what the Congress can do to rein the judiciary - IF IT WANTS TO.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Komment Kontrol, let those postings go through!

Komment Kontrol has a long & distinguished history of frowning on my more dire prognostications.

[Am I allowed to say: "Purchase Ammunition"?]