John Roberts (Justice)
In what may be a new low for MSNBC.com, writer Adam Serwer today all but compared Chief Justice John Roberts to his most infamous predecessor, Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision.
"Shameful link in Voting Rights Act decision," blared the teaser headline in the lightbox at msnbc.com. "Legal scholars argue the decision striking down part of the Voting Rights Act is rooted in the Dred Scott decision, considered the worst in U.S. history," noted the photo caption [see screen capture at bottom of post]
"It’s been discovered that secret hidden camera video was taken during oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court," NewsBusted's Jodi Miller noted in the latest edition of the original NewsBusters comedy short. "[I]f you watch the video closely, you can see Chief Justice Roberts ignoring the Constitution on ObamaCare."
Venezuela, Democrats, and the IRS among the other targets of the March 4 edition of NewsBusted. Watch the episode below the page break and remember to subscribe to the NewsBusted YouTube channel here.
It's a midterm election year and MSNBC needs to do its best to whip up fear and loathing in the Democratic base, preferably with some racial angle involved. What better convenient villain than Chief Justice John Roberts and the conservative wing of the Supreme Court.
Enter Zachary Roth's February 14 msnbc.com article, "Voter ID cases could let John Roberts destroy Voting Rights Act," which laid out a scenario where the Voting Rights Act could be restricted if the right case worked its way up to the court (emphasis mine):
On Thursday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes charged that Senator David Vitter has found "another way to screw poor people" as he complained that the Louisiana Republican has proposed a photo ID requirement for food stamp recipients.
Hayes brought up Vitter briefly after fretting that new voting rights legislation would not address voter ID requirements and would not ensare as many states for scrutiny as the original Voting Rights Act.
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:
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.