The Limits of Civility: How A Proposal On Reforming The Supreme Court Unleashed A Torrent Of Personal Attacks

As many on this blog know, I rarely respond to criticism of columns that I run in USA Today or other newspapers. As a columnist, I feel that I am given a rare opportunity to express my views and criticism comes with the territory. However, I was taken aback by many of the comments in response to my Sunday column in The Washington Post discussing my proposal for the expansion of the United States Supreme Court. Though the proposal was given serious and supportive reviews by some sites like Forbes, some conservatives immediately assumed that I was a liberal simply upset with the anticipated ruling striking down the individual mandate provision of the health care law. When another law professor and blogger (Ann Althouse) joined this ill-informed and uncivil chorus, I thought I would respond. This blog has always strived to maintain a strict civility rule — distinguishing it from many other blogs by discouraging and sometimes eliminating ad hominem and personal attacks. Yet, I am still surprised by the lack of civility and responsibility by many — particularly fellow lawyers and academics — in responding to such proposals. [Update: Professor Ann Althouse has responded to my call for greater civility with a new blog entitled “Jonathan Turley’s civility bullshit about my calling ‘bullshit’ on his Court-packing plan.” Notably, Professor Althouse does not address the fact that she was completely wrong in claiming that I was motivated by dislike for the anticipated ruling striking down the individual mandate in the health care case. (Apparently both civility and factual accuracy fall into the same “BS” category for Professor Althouse).]

I previously ran the original and longer version of my column to further explain the proposal to expand the Supreme Court to nineteen members. I also have a second column in the Guardian newspaper that further discusses some of these issues.

The column generated a torrent of comments (roughly 1100 on the Post site alone). Many of these comments came from conservatives who immediately assumed that I was a liberal law professor who was just proposing this reform because I expected to the Court to rule against the health care law. Others asked why I did not propose this in the past and just suddenly called for an expansion on the eve of the health care decision.

Just to set the record straight.

First, before the health care law was passed, I spoke on Capitol Hill and expressed my personal opposition to the individual mandate law on federalism grounds though I felt that the Administration would have the advantage in the lower courts due to the current precedent from the Supreme Court. I then wrote and spoke against the individual mandate provision in columns, blog entries, and speeches. I disagreed with academics like Charles Fried on the federalism problems associated with the law. My criticism of the health care law has been quoted by members of Congress and those challenging the law (here and here and here). Indeed, a search of any browser will find hundreds of such references, including criticism of my position from supporters of the law.

Second, I did not just come up with this proposal on the eve of the decision. See, e.g., “Unpacking the Court: The Case for the Expansion of the United States Supreme Court in the Twenty-First Century.” 33 Perspectives on Political Science, no. 3, p. 155 (June 22, 2004). I proposed the expansion of the Supreme Court over ten years ago. I have discussed the reform with members of Congress and it has been debated in prior years.

Third, I have often agreed with the conservatives on the Court in its most controversial decisions. For example, like many in the free speech community, I agreed with the holding in Citizen’s United even though I disagreed with parts of the decision’s analysis and language. I have also said that I felt Arizona has a strong case on the immigration matter in claiming the right to enforce federal laws on illegal status.

Finally, the criticism of these readers and Professor Althouse below appear based on an assumption that the expansion of the Supreme Court would predictably add liberals. There is no reason to make such an assumption since the expansion is spread over a decade. Moreover, the Senate is expected to either continue to be split roughly evenly between the parties or actually go Republican in the next election. There is certainly no reason to assume that the additions to the Supreme Court would include candidates to my liking. Indeed, I criticized Obama’s selections. I do believe that additional justices will add a diversity of experience and viewpoints regardless of philosophical leanings.

After a couple of decades writing as a columnist and doing legal commentary, I have no illusions about people writing anonymously about articles or positions. The Internet often seems to unleash the most vicious side of people who seem to believe that they are relieved of basic decency or civility by anonymity. However, I was surprised by lawyers who made these baseless claims, including claims that are directly contradicted in the article (like the notion that one president would appoint all ten justices or that the number was simply selected arbitrarily). A simple search on the Internet would have shown that I am in fact a critic of the health care law.

That brings us to University of Wisconsin Professor Ann Althouse who ran a blog blasting my column. Althouse makes the point in her headline: “Don’t like the Supreme Court’s decision? Propose a Court-packing plan!” She then states the column pushes for the packing of the court “in anticipation of the Obamacare decision.” She responds to the proposal with “Oh, spare me the bullshit. It’s the same reason. You don’t like the opinions. It was a bad idea then, and it’s a bad idea now.” I must confess that, when one of our regulars sent me this link, I was taken aback. I do not expect such ill-informed and uncivil attacks from a fellow academic. While Althouse writes a conservative blog and has been something of a lightning rod in the past, I would have thought that she would do a little research before going after another professor. In reality, I am calling for the expansion of the Court despite the fact that I would agree with the anticipated decision from the Court striking down the individual mandate. It is precisely the opposite of what is being suggested. Even though I expect to be on the winning side, I still do not believe it should be left to a single swing justice. I understand that some bloggers are given to hyperbole like Althouse asking “If the greatest good is in the greatest number, why not 100? Why not 1000?” — even though the column (and longer original article) addresses this question with reference to how en banc appellate courts work and more importantly the high courts of other countries. (I must confess that I find it odd to see the arbitrarily selected number of 9 defended by objecting that adopting the average size of other top courts is arbitrary). It is the allegation that I am just making this proposal due to my opposition to the expected decision that is beyond the pale in my view. I understand that we cannot always control comments on our blogs (and free speech allows for considerable room of expression), but such attacks from the academic hosts of these blog sites do not present a particularly good model for our students.

In her response to my call for greater civility and responsibility, Althouse responds by calling civility “bullshit” and says that she is “merely passionate and serious.” Rather than simply admit that she was wrong in suggesting that I was motivated by opposition to the expected ruling invalidating the individual mandate provision and a failure to simply confirm my position (which has been widely cited supporting the challengers), she again portrays the column as another example of how the Washington Post publishes columns “from law professors to launder its partisan politics into something with that looks scholarly and thoughtful.” It appears that “passionate and serious” includes falsely stating another professor’s positions on cases as the basis for a personal attack. Indeed, Professor Althouse has yet to inform her readers that she was wrong in suggesting that I disagreed with the conservatives in the health care litigation (and that my proposal was motivated by that opposition). She merely states that “In a later post, I’ll respond to more of Turley’s long, professorly post which denies that his Court-packing plan arises out of a distaste for the Supreme Court’s opinions.” Of course, the obvious suggestion was that the column was timed to anticipate the health care decision — a common theme in comments on her blog. I am not sure what “distaste for the Supreme Court’s opinions” means (though Professor Althouse’s original reference to my dislike for a “decision” is now a distaste for “opinions.”). We all disagree with some of the Court’s decisions — even though I have agreed with the majority of the decisions from this Court. I often side with conservatives on federalism and other areas while disagreeing on other areas like free speech and criminal cases. I disagree with the liberal justices on other cases, but I am not motivated by a desire to pack the Court with libertarians (which is widely cited as closer to my own views on many issues) rather than liberals. It would make no difference to me if this was the Warren Court. It is in my view demonstrably too small. While it may seem highly improbable in today’s rabidly political environment, it is possible to make such a proposal out of principle. Moreover, in a term with a series of 5-4 decisions on major cases and polls showing an increasingly unpopular Supreme Court, the proposal is obviously relevant to the current debate.

I have spent over ten years advocating for the expansion of the Court even though I often agree with the rulings of swing Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. Putting aside the possibility that my proposal is based on principle rather than partisanship, I have never encountered a law professor advocating for incivility as a type of personal signature (a reaction shared by other leading legal bloggers like Scott Greenfield). I was hoping that raising the issue would result is a bit of self-reflection and possible dialogue on the loss of civility in our national discourse. While I did not expect an apology from Professor Althouse, I did not expect an academic to affirm the value of name calling and incivility — even when the blog is shown to be wrong on critical allegations.

My only point is that the overall commentary following the column shows once again how we have lost the tradition of civil discourse in this country. The tendency today is to personally attack people with whom you disagree and suggest hidden agendas or conspiracies. I am always delighted to see spirited debate following a column, including those with whom I disagree. As in a classroom, I value the debate for its own sake — forcing people to consider alternative views and possibilities. The current tendency to shout down other voices with shrill or sophomoric attacks is degrading our politics and our society.

UPDATE: Professor Althouse has written a long line by line rebuttal to my objections. I encourage you to read it and, I may be missing a subtlety, but I do not expect an apology. You can judge for yourself if it is credible that she now insists that she was not in any way criticizing me personally or suggesting that I am advancing the proposal because of my disagreement with how the Court’s decision. For example, she insists that she was objecting to the Washington Post and not me in a blog where she quotes me in saying that “Roosevelt may have had the right idea for the wrong reason.” Her response to my statement is to say “Oh, spare me the bullshit. It’s the same reason. You don’t like the opinions.” [emphasis add] This follows the title of the blog: “Don’t like the Supreme Court’s decision? Propose a Court-packing plan!” Professor Althouse then goes on, after insisting that she was not questioning my motivations as opposed to the Post, to explore suspicions that I am motivated by my dislike for opinions of the Court — even though I have been advocating for an expansion of the Court for over ten years. In the end, our two statements offer strikingly different views of the need for civility, which Professor Althouse continues to call so much “bullshit.” I obviously do not take that view. We have had valuable exchanges with academics and others (including regulars on this blog) who disagree with my columns. I originally spoke out because of what I viewed to be the uncivil and unprofessional tenor of the blog by Professor Althouse as well as the suggestion of an unprincipled motivation for calling for the expansion of the Court. I confess that I do believe law professors have a higher burden in preserving civility in discourse. We do not always succeed and passions can overcome judgment on occasion. However, as both lawyers and academics, I do not believe that we should not add to the already stifling level of ad hominem attacks on the Internet. You can judge for yourself on the merits of the dispute and everyone can return to the site that most appeals to them.

Jonathan Turley

196 thoughts on “The Limits of Civility: How A Proposal On Reforming The Supreme Court Unleashed A Torrent Of Personal Attacks

  1. Everything is viewed through a tribalist partisan lens by tribalist partisans. They don’t really care about things like background or facts. They know what they believe and they will believe it pretty much no matter what.

    As far as Ann Althouse, if you “do not expect such ill-informed and uncivil attacks from a fellow academic”, you need to review Althouse’s blogging history. From her, that’s really all you should expect.

  2. I think the broader point is that it’s much easier for your collegue to argue with you when she gets to make up your side of the argument, too.

    You bring up a point that really bothers me. In order to get noticed, people just throw out half an idea then run with it. Bloggers and even some mroe notible journalists. I don’t know if it’s laziness or eagerness to make a point, but it is causing serious damage to our discourse as a society.

    I’m glad to se you took the time to defend your point. And there is some advice I’d like to pass along to this professor; debate is always a good thing, but debating with yourself can make you go blind. At least, thats what I’ve always heard.

  3. Attacks become personal when there is an emotional attachment to disagreement but there is no counter-argument on the issue. The personal attacks just tend to shut down dialog. This is too bad b/c if those doing the attacking have some valid points, they are either not expressed or they get lost in the nasty rhetoric. In this case it seems they are more interested in the personal attack than understanding the details of the proposal.

  4. “The Internet often seems to unleash the most vicious side of people who seem to believe that they are relieved of basic decency or civility by anonymity. ”
    ————————————————-
    I came to this blogsite to ‘toughen up’ after encountering the dark side in my real life. Whilst I have always known there was a mob and dark underbelly, the courts and law enforcement are where I encountered that disgusting brand of theft and non-civil behavior….motivated by $$$. And I’ll take a mob over a corrupt court anyday… Words can be lethal….when they are wielded by corrupted or over-zealous or half-blind authorities they bring more ugly than any mob could ever aspire to. They bring permission. This whole country has become increasingly in-civil because the next step away from our Constitutionally provided ground is probably not just words that sound ugly….they may be threats, they may be the pre-cursors to an ugly confrontation that in true cowardic form will see more innocent victims rather actual causative actors to hit the blood stained street. I have seen the first and second tier fall, the bad is spreading. f you, Mr. Turley, are just getting a taste of this now then I can only admit to my simple jealousy that my less than insulated life has been more at the front lines in some regards than your own. If you are affronted, please know that what affronts you has been going on for a very long time and it apparently has the SCOTUS seal of causative approval.

    When a splinter enters the body, the inflammation is designed to eject the offending invader that brings with it a potential infection that can kill the host. Our government has been protecting everyone except those they are designed and empowered to protect. What you hear is the loud and angry reddened body inflammed at the injustice of being so betrayed….

  5. 5 Signs of a Radical Change in U.S. Politics
    By James Fallows

    Jun 24 2012, 8:17 PM ET

    (Midnight update: This item went up three hours ago with a more blunt-instrument headline than it should ever have had: “5 Signs the United States is Undergoing a Coup.” I used the word “coup” in a particular way in the longer item this was drawn from. Using it in the headline implies things I don’t mean. Through the past decade, there has been a radical shift in the “by any means necessary” rules of political combat, as I describe. Previous conservative administrations have nominated previous conservative Justices — but not radical partisans, happy to overthrow precedent to get to the party-politics result they want. That is the case I mean to make. And I hope the upcoming health care ruling ends up being evidence on the other side.)

    This is distilled from a longer item earlier today, at the suggestion of my colleagues. It’s a simple game you can try at home. Pick a country and describe a sequence in which:

    First, a presidential election is decided by five people, who don’t even try to explain their choice in normal legal terms.
    Then the beneficiary of that decision appoints the next two members of the court, who present themselves for consideration as restrained, humble figures who care only about law rather than ideology.
    Once on the bench, for life, those two actively second-guess and re-do existing law, to advance the interests of the party that appointed them.
    Meanwhile their party’s representatives in the Senate abuse procedural rules to an extent never previously seen to block legislation — and appointments, especially to the courts.
    And, when a major piece of legislation gets through, the party’s majority on the Supreme Court prepares to negate it — even though the details of the plan were originally Republican proposals and even though the party’s presidential nominee endorsed these concepts only a few years ago.

    How would you describe a democracy where power was being shifted that way?

    ___

    Underscoring the point, a Bloomberg poll of 21 constitutional scholars found that 19 of them believe the individual mandate is constitutional, but only eight said they expected the Supreme Court to rule that way. The headline nicely conveys the reality of the current Court: “Obama Health Law Seen Valid, Scholars Expect Rejection.”

    How would you characterize a legal system that knowledgeable observers assume will not follow the law and instead will advance a particular party-faction agenda? That’s how we used to talk about the Chinese courts when I was living there. Now it’s how law professors are describing the Supreme Court of the John Roberts era.

  6. bettykath
    1, June 25, 2012 at 9:39 am
    ——————————————-
    yes and no bettykath. Lower abiltied/thinking persons employ ugliness to actually create emotional response in thier ‘opponent’…it shuts the amygdalic gate and prevents, by design, an appropriate to the ‘conversation’ response.

    [The real reason we have to re-argue for abortion rights, economic stability, righteous laws….because when emotion rules the opponent, then the argument, and rule, can also be won………….]
    …..for a short time…..and at the cost of way more than most rational, reasonable and intelligent, not to mention informed, people would ever agree to pay.

  7. You have to understand, the money for slop buckets like box-wine Annie comes from intentionally misunderstanding earnest thought. A blind adherence to the GOP and its socially retarded agenda is the key to staying on the wingnut welfare train. Those who do not toe the line find the checks stop coming in from the plethora of front groups funded by a small handful of crackpots. You could get a cut of that cash too since you are already on board with junk like citizens United but you’d have to become a lot more reliable on several other issues. I am surprised that you are surprised – have you not been paying attention to the debate going on in this country over the last 3 decades?

  8. I, too enjoy a spirited healthy debate, but, believe it should be civil in tone and fair about the topic. Perhaps we should be guided by the great orator, Thumper:

  9. I had previously read Althouse’s blog post and found it lacking in substance. I was considering it for a post next weekend.

  10. She sometimes, often times, have posts of substance, and often times have content-free posts. That was definitely a content-free post, and worse, clearly indicates she doesn’t follow you, but feels free to assume things about you.

    (On the other hand, what she assumes about you Professor Turley, are things some of your most frequent commenters also seem to assume about you.)

    I do have a question about “19”. Is the intent that all decisions would be decided by the 19, or that some/many/most would be decided by fewer than 19?

  11. Hmm, in the comments are her blog, someone suggests that with a larger Supreme Court, we could more easily kill the lawyers, and that the new members could be productive members of society instead: doctors, engineers, scientists, teachers, business men. (An idea apparently attributable to Glenn Reynolds).

    That’s a pretty compelling vision.

  12. I was pleased to see both a civil and an intelligent response to Professor Turley’s arguments on FDL, by Teddy Partridge, http://firedoglake.com/2012/06/24/sunday-late-night-turley-proposes-expanding-scotus-to-19/

    There is little historical precedent for civility, particularly among our esteemed elite in both politics and the judiciary, but I suppose in academia there has at least been a thin veneer of it – usually though, only insofar as the veneer can be used to make the veiled sarcasm all the more cutting.

  13. JT wrote:

    My only point is that the overall commentary following the column shows once again how we have lost the tradition of civil discourse in this country.

    Bingo professor.

    There are various hypotheses that both foreign policy (bully worship) and domestic policy (Ayn Rand type bully-worship) and warmonger propaganda incessantly infiltrating the media, contributes to the evaporation of civility.

    Until we get back to our traditions that honor the peaceful, civil, gentlemen and ladies, we are likely become more and more gruff in our daily discourse.

  14. Swarthmore mom 1, June 25, 2012 at 9:43 am

    5 Signs of a Radical Change in U.S. Politics
    By James Fallows

    Jun 24 2012, 8:17 PM ET

    … “5 Signs the United States is Undergoing a Coup.” …
    ===========================================
    That makes three well-known public figures who have stated that a coup d’etat has in fact taken place in the United States.

    One a general, one a cabinet secretary, and now Fallows.

  15. The sometimes violent Tea Party has moved public discourse to a level that many are not comfortable with.

  16. It’s not nice when people pick on another person for a belief held differently than their own……. Bet someone’s gonna cherry pick your next statement and call you a closeted republican…… For your support of citizens United…… I agree that something needs to be done with the Sct….. Expansion or FORCED retirement….. But that’s an Art III issue…… I get nervous when people talk about amending the damn thing…..

    As far a civility…..on this blog…… It’s becoming cherry picking time again….. I recently saw entire posted deleted because the author of the thread disagreed with them being guilty of plagiarism …….

  17. “As far a civility…..on this blog…… It’s becoming cherry picking time again….. I recently saw entire posted deleted because the author of the thread disagreed with them being guilty of plagiarism …….”

    My experience is that Professor Turley has always been exquisitely and precisely civil to bloggers and his commentariat.

    And similarly that he allows a very wide lenience in free speech in his comments.

    And I commend all of that.

    It is true, that most of his regulars, regularly engage in name calling, othering, ad hominem, illogical attacks on commenters, but also people in general they disagree with.

    It’s why I’ve often pointed out how at odds they seem to be at a civil liberties blog that they’ve mistaken for yet another partisan liberal circle jerk.

  18. It remains my view that the Affordable Health Care Act, including the individual mandate, is constitutional and that upholding it does not require an unreasonable construction of the Commerce Clause.

    As for Ann Althouse, I have thought for some time that she is Michelle Malkin with a law degree.

  19. The sad part of this is that everyone could have seen it coming. I am not surprised by the vitriol, but it is disheartening anyway. I know most folks here are lawyers and are used to heated and vigorous arguments, but it is hard to justify irrational anger with nothing to back it up other than political dogma.

    Sad.

  20. Anon sez: “It is true, that most of his regulars, regularly engage in name calling, othering, ad hominem, illogical attacks on commenters, but also people in general they disagree with.”

    *********************************

    Pot, meet kettle.

  21. “Anon sez: “It is true, that most of his regulars, regularly engage in name calling, othering, ad hominem, illogical attacks on commenters, but also people in general they disagree with.”

    *********************************

    Pot, meet kettle.”

    Oh hold on there.

    I’ll regularly point out what a fraud you are, OS, for defending Computer Automated Automatic Scream Identification (CAASI), or that Gene Howington is completely incompetent, or that Mark Esposito is an arrogant SOB that can’t admit his attack on Marcus Bachman was homophobic in nature, or that SwarthmoreMom proudly boasts of how she is a single issue Vagina Voter,

    But I have demonstrated ample times that these things are true and based on your own comments, which eliminates my noting your fraud as ad hominem or name calling or othering.

    I mean, come on man, you’re the forensic psychologist that defends CAASI, not me.

  22. Ha. I left a comment on the Althouse blog, but I didn’t put much effort into it. (It was before Mr. Turley posted this response.) So I misrepresented Mr. Turley myself. Sorry! I often mistake Mr. Turley’s posts for others (in my memory) and so I associate him as a liberal, rather than an independent thinker who promotes some liberal policies, and other conservative ones, and other libertarian ones. I also misspoke about his position on the individual mandate, again forgetting that the map is not the territory, and that the blog comments are not the man. Sorry again!

  23. Very good Woosty!

    Promoting violence and a gendered violence at that.

    I guess it’s okay because you’re a woman.

    Heh. And earlier today, SwarthmoreMom was complaining about violent Tea Partiers.

  24. Professor Turley. For what it’s worth you haven’t lost my faith in you nor my admiration. As for your observation that others blame you for being a liberal or blame you for being a conservative or selling out or whatever, I have greatly more respect for someone who can evaluate and opin based upon individual analysis of the issue rather than shilling for one particular side even if it is the side that I tend to most agree with.

    As for the anonimous issue with posters, I choose to use my real name and my picture here. It is seldom the case elsewhere with me because I value my privacy and don’t like being inundated with spam or people knowing about me in a Facebook sense. Its also a habit that extends from being a former LEO and having a concern of others who I arrested in the past returning to become unwelcome guests at my house. And, having as of November reached my five year mark in a civil rights and corruption whistleblower issue I have fought against a city government I know first hand how a government can attack people who disagree with it. So I understand the anon issue. Though it does have a dark side where people shield themselves behind it to lodge dishonorable personal attacks.

    I feel comfortable in using my identity here because I have nothing to lose by expressing myself. In the past I’ve been threatened, sued, (by the same city that I brought up the corruption issues with) wrongfully accused of crimes, my employment threatened, terminated, and my financial position put in jeopardy all because I spoke out elsewhere. So I am now of the belief “What more can you do to me that I haven’t already gotten past and prospered.” They can’t take my wife away from me, and they can’t take away my love of life and my virtue. So I say what I like because I don’t give a da.. any more.

    I don’t mean to be gruff Mr Turley but please recognize that eventually you will irk someone that will lay you out with their speech and accuse you of everything short of kidnapping the Lindberg baby. So be it. I don’t know how long this contention in the American arena is going to last, but you cannot just give up because there are those of lesser experience or empathy who will lob uninformed and baseless attacks. Don’t give them any more power by succumbing to their demands of silence.

    As for the increase in the number of justices, people think nothing of adding another district court or local judge to address the backlog of the criminal justice system, why should we have the same number of Justices we had since 1789? Seems a reasonable topic for discussion to me.

  25. anon, I don’t know what you are squawking about…..I’m actively utilizing MY (and thereby protecting YOUR) freedom of expression as protected by the BoR’s article….oh sumsuch thingy there……so shutup

  26. @Jonathan – When the oligarchs come out in force against you, you know your ideas are probably good. Keep up the great work, but 19 is in no way near enough. Still, way to much concentrated power. We have the technology now to organize 1,500 Supreme Court Judges on a rotating basis for each case from a pool of hundreds of thousands with everyone elected at the local level instead of being selected by the politicians representing our two headed snake. As one person noted, I would trust a mob over the Supreme Court, however, if the mob was made up of qualified representatives of the people, it would make me a bit more comfortable.

  27. anon – rule 1 of this blog NEVER click on a dredd link. they are always to some post on his blog & rarely relate in any meaningful way to the topic at hand. I assume he just is that desperate for traffic

  28. Woosty said:

    “Lower abiltied/thinking persons employ ugliness to actually create emotional response in thier ‘opponent’…it shuts the amygdalic gate and prevents, by design, an appropriate to the ‘conversation’ response.”

    So that’s what happens! Noticed the effect, we all have. But why? Nada. So how do we keep if from reacting or tell to shutup?

  29. Turley, you are one of my heroes: keep up your well-reasoned advocacy.

    As to uncivil lawyers, well, they are just taking their cue from the uncivil supreme court justices, especially Thomas, Alito, and Scalia. Just another reason why that “body” is held in such low esteem by the general public, as the majority of Americans still favor civility in all matters….

  30. The more enamored you are of your own position the less you will use an objective eye when reading someone else’s thesis.
    This country is so extreme in its positioning left and right that I fear there will never be a coming together for the whole.

  31. So how do we keep if from reacting or tell to shutup?~Id707
    —————————————————–

    We don’t.

    We understand, collectively, that when someone attacks someone else it may be a good idea to look at their motives as well as their argument.

    I don’t ascribe to the current thought that our ‘fight or flight’ response is as superfluous as an appendix. It is stil valid and exists for a reason.

    If we tell the thing that keeps us in tune with what is ‘going too far’ to shut up…..then we become the monster rather than simply surviving it….

  32. “This country is so extreme in its positioning left and right that I fear there will never be a coming together for the whole.”~leejcaroll
    —————————————————————
    I think 2 points of extremity are simply the beginning…but I agree there needs to be a more respectful atmosphere, starting with those ‘in power’ to set the tone. Personally I think when people stop thinking in terms of ‘either’ ‘or’ and realize it is an ‘our’ situation….things may improve….

  33. I tried to leave the following at Ms. Althouse’s blog, but ot so curiously I was permitted to do so.

    “Ms. Althouse presents a poor case for herself as both a Law Professor and as a competent researcher. Were she not so sloppy and actually done some research, rather than writing her personal pre-judgments, she would know that Professor Turley is hardly a “liberal” and actually has agreed with this particular SCOTUS on many issues, both in writing and in speech. My suspicion is that in the ABA vote for best legal opinion blog, her vote was in double digits and Professor Turley’s triple digit vote won. Thus she is jealous and quite probably unsupportedly arrogant. We will see if this blog actually allows free speech, or is censored to keep its author’s intemperate feelings from being ruffled”.

  34. This is not meant to be a critique on Professor Althouse, but if one read her in her early days, it was clear she is not all that enamored of law and would prefer to be a Critic of Popular Culture (in the best sense of the word critic). She finds herself, though, in a tenured position as a law professor and runs with it. So it goes.

    She sometimes explains the politics of courts and probably does that more often than explaining the law itself. I find that actually an interesting point of view.

    Her popular culture blogs are often insightful as well. Not all of them. Not all of them well written, or accurate, or free of bullshit. But some of them.

    In the past year or so, she’s been obsessed with find Saul Alinsky under every rock, because she knows that current liberals get extension credit by taking his online courses and communicating via alinksy.net

    Throughout all of this, she often does a good job of pointing out liberal hypocrisy, though rarely seeing it from conservatives. This is what I would expect from her since she is a youstabee that feels kicked out by modern Democrats. (To be honest, I feel sympathetic to this point of view more than I wish I was. Interactions with the regular and more dumbassed of this blog makes it clear that modern liberals ain’t the independent thinkers they boast of and are mainly swarm and pack animals)

    Anyway, that’s her oeuvre.

  35. anon 1, June 25, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Hey Dredd,
    —————————-
    Frankly 1, June 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    anon – rule 1 of this blog NEVER
    ===================
    There are no published rules on this blog.

    Dorks like you make “duh rules” up as you go.

    Like the North Carolina legislature making sea level rise discussions of an amount above 8″ illegal.

    You have outlawed HTML, backed by the law of the god of anal cavities.

    You are seriously in need of some counsel, so call Yo Momma, the patron saint of the hypocrites.

    WARNING: do not read such links unless you are smarter than a 5th grader.

  36. Woosty,

    Thanks. But I am already a monster, and am trying to teach it the limits—daily exercise actually.

    I DO agree that we need that “headsup” signal when we are atttacked.

    My hope was the one could learn to control that fear reflex (that I get when attacked or feel attacked), so as to maintain in civil situations the capability to think:
    “Keep cool. Look at the content. Attack that. Not the person.” But the brain freezes up anyway.

    Happened today in the grocery store queue and my raaction (suppresse) was to rip off some skin, verbally speaking.

    And you, how do you handle your toes being tranmpled?

    PS Does the heat and humidity and the doltery make it more difficult?

  37. “An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice,”Let me tell you a story: I have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.”

    He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

    But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will send him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing. Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”

    The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”

    The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.” ”
    ~ cherokee parable

  38. Dredd,

    Don’t kick the NC legislature. Thay can’t do any better. Both houses are repugnants.

    Besides, it practical this way. The bridges don’t have to be raised until the cars get wet inside passing.
    And the ferries in the sounds do just fine anyway.

  39. Gosh JT,

    Your commenters here call me a blogwhore because I link to my blog from time to time.

    That would mean you are a blogwhore if you tell people about your blog when posting articles or comments wouldn’t it?

    Here is what it looks like when commenter anon or Frankly use their blogwhore cognition to brainwash themselves while trying to figure out my links:

  40. Remember the Bible, Dredd. Remember the Bible.

    Seeing ones own failings, the very ones you abuse others for, is try near impossible.

    The sins one sees in that fashion here. No names, but they are prominent ones.

  41. Dredd, before you divide by zero again,

    You’re a blogwhore because all of your links go to your blog, and to nowhere else.

    You’re a blogwhore because you don’t tell people that your links are going to your blog.

    You’re a blogwhore because most of your commentary is terrible and revolves around sending people to your blog.

    This makes you a blogwhore.

    Since this this Professor Turley’s blog and he links to many other blogs and articles and images and videos and … he is not a blogwhore.

    Please don’t be a blogwhore.

    Okay, you may divide by zero again.

  42. ANON,

    Have you read some of the stuff Dredd links to?
    Did you understand it? Were you ever amazed by it?
    If not, keep on dividing by infinity.

    PS He does not wave it in your face, and if you mark it then you can see where it leads. What more do you want?

    He snares, but does not block progress.

    Come on, complain about my wordiness instead.
    You, who is perfect—–model of a a–hole.

    POT vs KETTLE, both black but different shapes.

  43. idealist707 1, June 25, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Dredd,

    Don’t kick the NC legislature. Thay can’t do any better. Both houses are repugnants.

    Besides, it practical this way. The bridges don’t have to be raised until the cars get wet inside passing.

    And the ferries in the sounds do just fine anyway.
    ========================================
    There are two repugnants bloggers here, anon and Frankly.

    They are those that do not want anyone to read another blog for any reason between their ears.

    That is why they post full articles rather than links to articles.

    What are links for except to share other knowlege?

    No one mentioned the NC legislature on this blog, so I did, as I do with a lot of subjects and issues they cannot fathom.

    I did it in a link.

    I use the blogwhore language HTML.

    That way one can skip the link or use the link.

    Their way is to post 5 or 6 screens of s h i t that torture folks’ eyes as they laboriously scroll down down down.

    They need to write Sir Berners-Lee and tell him to take the h.r.e.f. out of HTML.

    Then they won’t sweat and swear anytime text changes colors, inviting the pure saints into the red light district.

  44. anon 1, June 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Dredd, before you divide by zero again,

    You’re a blogwhore because all of your links go to your blog, and to nowhere else.

    You’re a blogwhore because you don’t tell people that your links are going to your blog.

    You’re a blogwhore because most of your commentary is terrible and revolves around sending people to your blog.

    This makes you a blogwhore.

    Since this this Professor Turley’s blog and he links to many other blogs and articles and images and videos and … he is not a blogwhore.

    Please don’t be a blogwhore.

    Okay, you may divide by zero again.
    ============================================
    A blogcunt is someone who can’t understand what they find when they go to an HTML link because iA blogcunt don’t like what they read because they can’t handle the truth, so they attack the messenger.
    t blows their mind.

    Anyone who invites people to their blog via legitimate HTML language is like someone who invites people to their homes by giving their address.

    A blogcunt is a wretch who has bad ideas they do not want exposed for what they really are.

    A blogcunt is someone who manages someone else’s blog without invitation.

    Please don’t be a blogcunt.

    JT invites people to his blog by listing it when he blogs or writes elsewhere, like thousands of other bloggers do.

    It is quite fashionable.

    The HTML link mechanism invented by Sir Berners-Lee is the business card and the yellow pages of the language of the Internet.

    I bet you see dirty things when you look at inkblots too.

  45. anon 1, June 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Dredd, before you divide by zero again,

    You’re a blogwhore because all of your links go to your blog, and to nowhere else.

    You’re a blogwhore because you don’t tell people that your links are going to your blog.

    You’re a blogwhore because most of your commentary is terrible and revolves around sending people to your blog.

    This makes you a blogwhore.

    Since this this Professor Turley’s blog and he links to many other blogs and articles and images and videos and … he is not a blogwhore.

    Please don’t be a blogwhore.

    Okay, you may divide by zero again.
    ============================================
    A blogcunt is someone who can’t understand what they find when they go to an HTML link because a blogcunt don’t like what they read because they can’t handle the truth, so they attack the messenger.

    It blows their mind.

    Anyone who invites people to their blog via legitimate HTML language is like someone who invites people to their homes by giving their address.

    A blogcunt is a wretch who has bad ideas they do not want exposed for what they really are.

    A blogcunt is someone who manages someone else’s blog without invitation.

    Please don’t be a blogcunt.

    JT invites people to his blog by listing it when he blogs or writes elsewhere, like thousands of other bloggers do.

    It is quite fashionable.

    The HTML link mechanism invented by Sir Berners-Lee is the business card and the yellow pages of the language of the Internet.

    I bet you see dirty things when you look at inkblots too.

  46. ID7,

    Dredd’s horribly terrible blog is already linked in his name. See that part of the form where WordPress says “Website”. That’s where his blog or a specific post is linked.

    The rest of the time should be about giving back. A series of high quality posts that are mostly self-contained, contained 90% of the content, with a nice link to external sources to support your content, or link to external sources otherwise not seen.

    To continually spam the blog by posting only links to his own blog is annoying. Furthermore, these are not marked, unless one specifically glances at the status bar of the browser which is not normal behavior, AND IS NOT EVEN POSSIBLE on iPhones, Android devices or many other devices.

    And worse, most of his comments are total crap not meant to add to the discussion here, but to drag people to a discussion at his waste of pixels.

    This is spam and blogwhoring.

    If he wanted to add to this blog AND still link to his manure pool he could make sure each of his posts were pithy, humorous, on target, and link mostly to external sources, and when linking to his own cesspool, clearly mark it like this:

    Well anyway, that’s how I feel about self-pleasuring, I’ve written more about this at my blog: Dredd’s pleasure hole here: and then link to it.

    Other people do it by saying something like,

    “Sorry for the treatise, but it’s something I feel strongly about. You can read more at my blog, link is in the signature above”.

  47. idealist707 1, June 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Remember the Bible, Dredd. Remember the Bible.

    Seeing ones own failings, the very ones you abuse others for, is try near impossible.

    The sins one sees in that fashion here. No names, but they are prominent ones.
    ======================================
    The bible?

  48. idealist707 1, June 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Remember the Bible, Dredd. Remember the Bible.

    Seeing ones own failings, the very ones you abuse others for, is try near impossible.

    The sins one sees in that fashion here. No names, but they are prominent ones.
    ====================================
    Ok, maybe I get it now. The blogcunt tried to get you to go to his blog while saying if other folks do that they are blogwhores.

    Hypocrisy?

    Is that what you meant by “Remember the Bible” … ??

  49. I wish anon would leave links to his/her blog, but in context, not to the whole blog.

    To a specific post.

    If s/he thinks that is blogwhoring, then change the handle to “prophylactic” so nothing sticky gets on ya.

    Ideas are dirty things ya know.

  50. Now that I think about it a bit more, if anon Frankly would just email Sir Berners-Lee and suggest that he change HTML by removing the link function as it is, adding the new command BLOGCUNT which, like anon suggests, just links to the blog, not a specific page on the blog.

    Then add the second command BLOGWHORE which links to a specific page.

    Then, after clicking on the command BLOGCUNT people could search like hell for the particular page on the blog, spending more time on the blog than if they had just clicked on the command BLOGWHORE which goes to a specific page.

    Damn, that anon has good reason for his/her handle.

    Noone knows who the dork really is.

  51. I agree with JT’s assessment here but I have to say that civility has not always been the rule on college campuses. Here’s one of wild exchange between an academic and angry student complete with a mooning by the prof. It happened– ironically — during the National Quarter Finals of the Cross Examination Debate Association:

    Warning: bad language/suggestion of nudity

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=0cf_1218542045

  52. Here I am playing around two angry men, but sharing each ones frustrations. One has my sympathy, the other does not.
    ANON,
    Pithy is not a virtue you’ve ever shown, nor is tolerance or love of mankind. If you don’t dare venture into to gaze at his work, you’re not qualified to testify of its

    worth. I won’t waste more time or words on you. You too often beat dead horses until only fragments remain ans still froth at the mouth. Amazing.
    ————————————–

    Dredd,

    Bible, yeah for the kick of citing fables written some thousands of years ago says MikeS.
    Don’t recall what it was, Probably not seeing the stock in your own eye while pointing at the mote in your neighbors. As you note, ANON accuses others of faults that he is guilty of, or of even greater ones. Well, he is not the only one here who heaps abuse, only to do the exact same thing, not once but repeatedly. One can wonder if it is not just a form of flipping the bird at me. “I can, but YOU can not!. Screw!”

    Thank god, we can still laugh at the antics of our fellows. And especially at my holy preachings.

  53. TalkinDog here. I got voted off the lead bark on this blog by the dogpack in favor of BarkinDog. Now I think BarkinDog is too critical of Turley sometimes. Like when Turley said Obama was an imperial President. Dogs keep discourse rather civil actually and a bark is not like a human rant.

    The Court Packing plan got the attention of the dog pack. Some of us were humanoids in the time of Roosevelt and are reincarnated as dogs. All of us chose this route. FDR’s plan was a mistake. He finally started getting his appointees and things changed. But most Presidents in recent years go for nominees who are Ivy League and from NY or NJ (six of the nine). The next few Presidents should balance the Court geographically. Enough of the Ivy League already. On all of this I agree with BarkinDog. But I would attempt to have one member from each Circuit to the full extent of the nines. After reading Scalia’s rant today I would like to see him get stopped at the airport when he goes out to Tucson to play golf witht he Koch Brothers and I would like to see the city cop from Tucson demand that “he show his papers”. I am sorry, he looks like a guy who just got off the boat.
    BarkinDog just barked in and said that he needs to be impeached. Civility should be the by word on this blog. Go after the ideas, not the barkers.

  54. “Interactions with the regular and more dumbassed of this blog makes it clear that modern liberals ain’t the independent thinkers they boast of and are mainly swarm and pack animals”

    I’ve heard that said sometimes of misogynists.

  55. anon:

    “Mark Esposito is an arrogant SOB that can’t admit his attack on Marcus Bachman was homophobic….”

    *********************

    Homophobic? I love Marcus Bachmann. He’s hilarious in whatever gender he’s into and by the way, he’s the guy attacking gays and trying to “cure” them.

    Is the enemy of my friends, my friend? Don’t think so.

    Tell the folks back home this is the promised land callin’
    And the poor boy’s on the line

    Ok, you pushed me, anon:

  56. mespo727272 1, June 25, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I agree with JT’s assessment here but I have to say that civility has not always been the rule on college campuses.
    ====================================== ;-)

  57. mespo727272 1, June 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    anon:

    “Mark Esposito is an arrogant SOB that can’t admit his attack on Marcus Bachman was homophobic….”

    ————————————————

    Homophobic? I love Marcus Bachmann…
    ===================================================
    On this civil blog, the only thing more intellectually stimulating than a “fist fight” is a gangmob bang.

    “Alas”, “Alak”, or “cool” though, the majority here are civil and they imbibe in discourse.

    Some of them also “link.”

    Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh …….

  58. Please everyone. I am at a swim meet for the kids and just saw the personal exchanges. Please drop the personal stuff and name calling. The Turley kids are setting new personal records. The Bears had a great draft. All is right with the world.

  59. It’s cool Mark, I realize that if you weren’t a lawyer, you’d be the first to admit that your attack on Bachmann way back when was homophobic in origin, and that a lawyers taught induced arrogance is a current tax that all society must bear. One day perhaps, we’ll get the lawyers we need, not the lawyers we deserve.

    I also wish I knew how to dance as well as Marcus, though I’d really like to dance as well as the doctor.

  60. I propose the following guidelines

    Imagine instead of being on this web forum, we are all at Professor Turley’s house for an evening of debate and discussion. In audience are us contributors as well as Professor Turley, his peers and other dignitaries he holds in high regard, and his wife and children.

    Our professor asks you for your analysis on a particular subject. All of the attendees turn to look at you and it is time for your response.

    How then would you convey your views?

  61. “The Turley kids are setting new personal records. The Bears had a great draft. All is right with the world.”

    *********************

    That sounds great for the kiddies but the Bears are always having a great draft (e.g., http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/story/11680126. They finished 7-9 the next year.) but about those neighborhood swim meets that go on to roughly midnight and your kids swim about 5 minutes: I wouldn’t list those in the “all’s right with the world” category. I used to call them penance.

    Ok, all tadpoles back in the pool!

  62. “I wouldn’t list those in the “all’s right with the world” category. I used to call them penance.”

    Mespo,

    He was really talking about Da Bears draft. :)

  63. Darren:

    I’d still tweak anon. You gotta have some fun at those endless cocktail parties while balancing those tiny plates on the rim of your highball glass.

    But as a tribute to friendliness I will add: Regardless of what he says, I think anon is a darn fine dancer. :D

  64. Mike S:

    You’re right, of course. I think that Bears team needs a fashion makeover. After all, the unies were designed by George Halas in 1935. Today he wouldn’t even make the first round of “Project Runway.”

  65. Did anybody read that Cherokee proverb I posted…

    Yeah, I thought it was very insightful, actually, thank you.

    Sadly at our potlatch, I must admit I mainly dine on goat, while serving others crow.

  66. Mespo:

    I see your point. Perhaps a happy medium would be to defer to the classic Battle of Wits to show supremacy over the opposition. I’m sure you are aware of the French movie “Ridicule” Without the arrogance it is truly a gold standard of teaching others the art.

  67. David,

    Your grandfather story was the best post on this topic. I guess the Turley post about his kids was pretty cool, too. Don’t know no bears.

    The rest pretty much ignored that this was a post about civil discourse. Sorry if I missed one that was actually on-topic.

  68. “That’s not witty — just nasty.”

    Yeah. I’ve found a lot of lawyer types, and we have to remember these were people not smart enough to become doctors, engineers, or scientists, are conceited, smug, disdainful asses, often they have a difficult time recognizing their own mistakes and publically taking responsibility for them, let alone atoning.

  69. “Oh hold on there. I’ll regularly point out what a fraud you are, OS, for defending Computer Automated Automatic Scream Identification (CAASI), or that Gene Howington is completely incompetent, or that Mark Esposito is an arrogant SOB that can’t admit his attack on Marcus Bachman was homophobic in nature, or that SwarthmoreMom proudly boasts of how she is a single issue Vagina Voter, … But I have demonstrated ample times that these things are true and based on your own comments, which eliminates my noting your fraud as ad hominem or name calling or othering….I mean, come on man, you’re the forensic psychologist that defends CAASI, not me.”

    IOW, “OK, I do name-calling but only when I’m right. Other people do name-calling when they’re wrong, and that’s not OK.”

  70. It’s actually not name calling if you’re right, accurate, and can back all that up with actual quotations from the people involved. That then is merely labeling and cataloging.

    Now saying things like “all Republicans are my enemy”, or identifying all men as rapists or wife batterers or calling people that disagree with you about speculation on criminal events we only know of by third hand accounts racists, or smearing a political movement as violent when there’s not a whole lot of evidence for that, well, those are some of the favored tactics of the regular commentariat here.

  71. “I feel the same way about the anonymous types. Fancy that!”

    I know, we traded this barb about a week ago. We need to do better. :)

  72. mespo, you know of course that, based on over a hundred years of research data, we have a good understanding of the “fight or flight” response. A snarling snapping dog does not act out of hate or anger, but out of fear. When you see someone snarling, snapping and trying to bite, you can bet that behind all that bluster is a fearful kid crying out for mommie. Look for the catecholamines when you see folks acting like that–you can’t see them but you know they are there.

  73. We all need to bring up our informed opinions to those who we disagree with in healthy exchanges. That’s the only way we can understand each others learned experiences. It would make it easier to come closer to a middle ground. Call it Doctrine Darwinism or whatever you like. I like to be a little acerbic here and there myself, but mostly to prove a point using sarcasm. So let’s clean it up, OK D-bags!

  74. OS,

    Beside fear it also is a deep need for the love of a good woman, but that is hard to obtain when you hate them all.

  75. “they are my people. I am their sovereign. I love them. PULL!”
    … Thanks to Mel Brooks in History of the World, Part 1

  76. Mike,
    Years ago, Dr. Leo Buscaglia said that one needed at least two hugs a day to remain sane. If you treat people badly and are habitually rude, it is really hard to get hugs. Hugs are so much more rewarding than insulting people.

  77. Darren above asked how we would talk if we were at a get together at JT’s house and in a civilized setting and all. Well, I would not have my Dogalogue machine so all you would understand out of me is bark, growl, ruff, grunts. and baaark. So, for me, this is a more civilized setting. I promise not to take shots at anyone else on the blog. Except that Scalia guy and he is not on the blog. And, as with the Turley blog, my Dogalogue machine moderates out cuss words and stuff like “itchinDog with a B in front” gets censored. So : Barrrk. it,

  78. Two ´points:

    BettyKath, Me! me! I did. I entered the scrap between two snarling dogs to try and instill a more rational tone to their discussion. Failed with ANON, but that’s OK too.

    Woosty brought up the amygdala effect which seems to corrspond to the catecholamines. What I especially noted was the fact that the brain stops working on a rational basis when the amydala cuts in under perceived threat/attack.

    I reported back to Woosty that I had experienced and noted such an effect in myself.
    Asked Wóosty for a remedy as to retaining rational control and resisting the snapping reflex.
    Don’t think we arrived at one.

    Does the revealer, Otteray Scribe, of catecholamines here at JT’s have more to tell us?

    I yield the rest of my time….

  79. Doesn’t it really wrinkle your shorts when someone attacks you for a view you have or attribute views to you you never knew you had?

  80. Prof. Turley, liberals like you are scared to death that the concentration of power in the country will be dispersed away from NYC and the Beltway.

  81. I’d ignore Althouse. Her blog is as obnoxious as her ability to teach–aka nonexistent. She may be extraordinarily smart, but as far as law professors go, she’s the worst one in the entire law school. And no, I don’t say that out of malice, but out of unfortunate experience–she’s consistently rated the lowest in the entire school.

    Her commenters’ intelligence varies from Sarah Palin-moronic to Glenn Beck-ignorant. Ignore everything.

  82. A commenter at Althouse’s blog points out that Althouse has frequently grown quite upset with bloggers that misrepresent her point of view.

    There was a pretty big blog spat between Althouse and feminists around 2007 concerning Jessica Valenti’s breasts, a photographic pose, and Bill Clinton.

    There was a blog spat last year, and this, regarding the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Justice Prosser’s alleged attack on the Chief Justice, and a Wisconsin paper/website known as the Isthmus.

    In all of these Althouse excoriates those who misinterpret her.

    Today she got into it again with a third post, by rationalizing her attack as just another day on the Internet and refusing to take any responsibility for that. And she promises a fourth post on this as well.

    Well, it’s really not earth shattering to discover that lawyers or professors are too arrogant to admit mistake and then take responsibility for that.

  83. Well, I’m glad I read that. I got the wrong impression from her and from Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit), who didn’t comment, I don’t think, but just linked.

    However, it probably should be noted that while your work is serious and considered, it’s entirely possible that The Post chose this moment as part of the general de-legitimization of the SC in anticipation of the ruling, as is happening in left-leaning circles.

    If you are independent and libertarian, you’re of course used to being popular when your opinions align with one side or the other, and reviled when they don’t. Your commentariat today supporting you and bashing the right-wingers they love to demonize will turn on you tomorrow when your opinion goes against their political interests.

    The near-irony being Althouse is an Obama-voting center-left type. (It’s only near irony because she’s mostly about her performance art, and that involves throwing bombs where it creates the most buzz.)

  84. The point made by Blake is the key to understanding the controversy. Your article did not appear in a vacuum, Prof. Turley, or in a scholarly journal. It was published in the midst of a recent torrent of articles that appear to be “preparing the battlefield” for attacks on the legitimacy of the Court’s decision on the PPACA should the act be struck down in whole or in part. You are perceptive enough to be able to see why this is not a time when your article would merely induce dispassionate, chin-stroking contemplation.

    This is not a moment in history when discussions about the optimal size of the Supreme Court are going to be engaged dispassionately. Surely you know that. So perhaps you can understand why people might question your timing.

  85. Jonathan Turley – you protest furiously that your are not a liberal and that you are not just writing becuase you dont like the current makeup of the court, but you give away these claims for the BS they are with lines like this one:

    >Moreover, in a term with a series of 5-4 decisions on major cases and polls showing an increasingly unpopular Supreme Court, the proposal is obviously relevant to the current debate.

    Oh really? The court is more unpopular than it ever was? You mean to say that when the court is more liberal, it was more popular? You’re projecting your own viewpoints. Arrant BS, and Althouse was right to call you out on it.

    Moreover, what’s with the multiple “anticiapted ruligtn striking down the individual mandate” language? Again, projecting what you want to see? Who says the cout wont strike down the whole thing?

  86. I remember when the dems confirmed Roberts. They acknowledged he was a conservative but thought he was a person who had integrity and would viote law, not politics.
    Dems are naive. Trust in the real world is fine, in politics, not so good.

  87. Just saw Prof. Turley’s post.
    Congrats to the kids and how ironic, on a post about civility we need to be reminded to be civil.

  88. Professor Turley,

    Chip S. at 1:04 makes the key point about the timing of the Post’s decision to print your article. It appears that your long held opinion about a larger court was presented by the Post in service of a greater agenda.

    Professor Althouse was rude and did not research your history on the size of the court. But I think you owe your readers a defense against the charge that you were used by the Post.

  89. “I reported back to Woosty that I had experienced and noted such an effect in myself.
    Asked Wóosty for a remedy as to retaining rational control and resisting the snapping reflex.
    Don’t think we arrived at one.”
    ———————————-
    right, and I said, we should acknowledge that point and be careful not to obliterate the intuition that leads to it’s triggering. That said, chances are that if you are experiencing an amydalic shut down that you may well be in unfamiliar territory and/or under attack and getting help is the thing to do. ie; give control over to those who are best capable with handling the attackers…unless you live in the kind of society that values ‘attack’ more than they value ‘society’….

  90. The ” civility bullshit” reference and tag on Althouse refers to the fact that the left always calls for civility from the right, but does not feel that they are bound by the same constraints. For example : Frankly
    1, June 25, 2012 at 9:49 am :”You have to understand, the money for slop buckets like box-wine Annie comes from intentionally misunderstanding earnest thought. A blind adherence to the GOP and its socially retarded agenda is the key to staying on the wingnut welfare train.” Is that what passes for civility on the left?

  91. “Oh really? The court is more unpopular than it ever was? You mean to say that when the court is more liberal, it was more popular? You’re projecting your own viewpoints. Arrant BS, and Althouse was right to call you out on it.”

    blllsmith,

    You’re an arrogant, ignorant, partisan ass and the entire comment this quote comes from proves it. One would think that a person should be judged by the body of their work, which in Professor Turley’s case is hardly “partisan liberal”. He has stated in writing here that he feels the health care law for instance should be overturned. He has also agreed with this court on many issues, in writing and if you had half a brain, rather than your rote FOXNews opinions you might actually research someone before making accusations. It appears, however, that you are too intellectually lazy and dim to actually find evidence to back up your parroting of others propaganda. This is by the way a strictly ad hominem, attack simply because you deserve little more of my time than to merely point out what a tool you are.

  92. It seems we have been invaded by a plethora of unfamiliar persona all using the same talking points. Coincidence? Perhaps, but I doubt it. If they’re being paid for this though, someone is being cheated out of their money.

  93. “the left always calls for civility from the right”

    People who use the word “always” in political discussion tend to be childish in perception.

  94. Mike, a number of liberal and progressive sites have had a massive influx of new users in the past few days. Daily Kos had about 4,000 new users register in one day–something that has never happened before. When many of them start making comments, they all seem to be parroting the same right wing talking points. You do not have to be paranoid to believe they are out to get you. One thing that occurs to me is that some of Althouse’s supporters (or students) are trolling sites that might be critical of her.

  95. “Mike, a number of liberal and progressive sites have had a massive influx of new users in the past few days. Daily Kos had about 4,000 new users register in one day–something that has never happened before.”

    OS,

    That is interesting news I wasn’t aware of but now makes sense of what I am observing here.

  96. Mike Spindell said…
    It seems we have been invaded by a plethora of unfamiliar persona all using the same talking points.

    Feel free to let me know what part of my comment @1:04 constitutes a “talking point”.

    Pending your reply, I’ll simply say that your thread-cop act doesn’t do much to advance the discourse here.

  97. “Feel free to let me know what part of my comment @1:04 constitutes a “talking point”.

    Pending your reply, I’ll simply say that your thread-cop act doesn’t do much to advance the discourse here.”

    Well, I’ve been here for a little while, and in fact it is Mike’s job to point out that if you aren’t using his preferred talking points, you’re most likely a troll.

    So though you may think his thread-cop act doesn’t do much to advance the discourse here, I assure you, it is no act.

  98. Mike Spindell
    1, June 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm
    It seems we have been invaded by a plethora of unfamiliar persona all using the same talking points. Coincidence? Perhaps, but I doubt it. If they’re being paid for this though, someone is being cheated out of their money.
    ———————————
    Mike,sssssshhhhhhhh…. ;)

  99. “Feel free to let me know what part of my comment @1:04 constitutes a “talking point”.”

    Chip,

    By the same token please let me know what part of my comment was directed at you? Also, the term “thread cop” would imply that somehow I’ve limited yours, or someone else’s right of free speech on this blog, just how have I done that? At Ms. Althouse’s blog as I posted well above I was allowed to make a comment. By the very act of my replying to your comment, it would seem that whatever you wish to say was permitted.

    “Well, I’ve been here for a little while, and in fact it is Mike’s job to point out that if you aren’t using his preferred talking points, you’re most likely a troll.”

    Anon,

    you have been here for awhile and guess what nobody has censored your speech. What you suffer from is a case of being able to dish it out but you can’t take it. By Chip’s seeming hurt feelings I would think he suffers from it too and he didn’t even have my comment directed at him.

    “This is not a moment in history when discussions about the optimal size of the Supreme Court are going to be engaged dispassionately. Surely you know that. So perhaps you can understand why people might question your timing.”

    Chip,

    Which people would that be exactly who would be questioning JT’s timing? This is especially the case since JT has expressed himself on this issue in the past and some of his current critics might be surprised where he’s stood:

    http://jonathanturley.org/2010/03/31/is-the-individual-mandate-constitutional/

    http://jonathanturley.org/2011/11/14/cert-granted-supreme-court-accepts-health-care-challenge/#more-41597

    Professor Turley is a Constitutional Law advocate, who continuously comments on the state of our legal system as he sees it. That some partisans
    might attack him should really not be his concern should it, as long has he is consistent in his views. Ms Althouse is a partisan and as indicated by her blog an intemperate one to boot.

    However, while I think your point is Not well taken and slightly specious, I thought your comment was a reasonable and civil one to make. That you think I was writing about you reflects your paranoia and little else.

  100. Is MikeS a real person? Did I get everybody’s attention?
    Good.

    Cuz here is old news and OS is reporting the latest “invasion”. There is a computer award, didn’t it get mentioned here (Dredd?) that is awarded the computer team whose computer program can imitate humans the best.

    Now some, at least, 6 months ago, I ran into one person on another site (before here) where I became convinced that it was a computer program. Not only that, it stopped trolling me with it’s stock phrases when I called it on this suspicion.

    Coincidently, there was revealed, about that time, that the US DOD had developed systems whereby one operator could control the dialogue being done by up to 25 “persons” on different sites on the net.

    To me “massive registrations” does not speak of massive Koch money paying for live people, but massive manipulation by simulated “public opinion”. Ie corruption of the internet’s basic strength. The viral effect, the word of mouth by whatever social site you use.

    The questions are how many agencies (public, private, corp, etc. are doing it, how saturated is the net becoming, and what effect is it having???

    Is this the ultimate attack on internet and social networking? And the Custer’s last stand for democracy. And we who thought that internet would save us.

  101. “Anon,

    you have been here for awhile and guess what nobody has censored your speech. What you suffer from is a case of being able to dish it out but you can’t take it. ”

    Oh Mike, you idiot putz. I’ve never accused anyone of censoring my speech, and even commended Professor Turley yesterday for his policies here.

    But your favorite trope is to out the Republican trolls. You’ve accused me of it many times, even as you protest you’re not a liberal but an iconoclast. You can’t believe I could disagree with you and still be a liberal. Heavens forfend!

    And here I’m clearly pulling your chain, and you get your panties so twisted about it you have to complain I can’t dish it out or take it myself. Very very insightful Mike, as always.

    I do admit I find it tragic that several of the examples that Althouse supporters use to demonstrate incivility here at the blog are posts (not comments) made by the guest bloggers.

    I am a big fan of Professor Turley, but he’s shown terrible taste and at times terrible judgment in his guest bloggers.

  102. Professor Althouse is right. I used to be a big civility buff. Then I realized that civility buffs generally, because of perfectly human tendencies, only attack those who disagree with them on civility grounds. I observed so many people who were not civil or who supported people who were not civil calling for civility. As Althouse correctly points out, Professor Turley is not as civil as he thinks he is.

    What we need is more truth. Civility is overrated. So, Professor Turley, did Bush v. Gore motivate you at all to come up with this plan? Even a little?

    Yours,
    Tom

  103. Civility in academia, the Professor asks for it, after the crude bashing he received at many hands.

    Well let us take note of what I’ve linked to several times, not again, ie a Chomsky article explaining why MSM is like it is. He begins by comparing it to academia. And compares the reward systems, the selections systems, etc. And the one thing missing in academia and by
    inference (he later demonstrated why) was integrity. Only
    ewards (and that includes promotions) are what counts.

    So, I am surprised that the professor is not aware of how the game is played there. Surely he knows how the selection is done at lower levels there. And the corruption there practiced. I refer only to Chomsky (and a certain quantum physicist) as my sources.

    If anybody wants the link, I’ll put it up again.

  104. Someone asked why are we so uncivil when the question of civility is raised.
    Simple.
    When else are you given the invitation to complain about all the incivility you have endured?

  105. Tom Degisi: “What we need is more truth. Civility is overrated. So, Professor Turley, did Bush v. Gore motivate you at all to come up with this plan? Even a little?”

    Hey Tom,

    As a conservative myself, I tend to think that ‘conserving’ the constitution, in lieu of using it like a urinal puck, is usually the wise course of action. Seems to me that when a cadre of 5 justices take it upon themselves to violate their oaths of loyalty to the document by wresting control over the franchise for the purpose of installing a president by violating the separation of powers doctrine, the doctrines of justiciability and repealing the 12th amendment for “just this one case” … well… at that point it really doesn’t matter what Pope they happen to appoint now does it?

  106. I am sure bob is pretty much middle of the road….. But dislikes what he considers intellectual dishonesty….. Regardless of the source…..

  107. @MikeSpindell–You should take the time to read your own comments more closely. I was responding to this:

    It seems we have been invaded by a plethora of unfamiliar persona…

    Since you gave no specifics, your problem seemed to have been with all “unfamiliar personae,” including me. If you don’t want to be misinterpreted, then write more clearly.

    The rest of your comment recycles stuff I’d already read here, so I don’t find anything in your comment that constitutes a coherent reply to me.

    I did not come here to defend Althouse. I think it was deplorable that your comment there was deleted, if it was. (There remains the possibility that you merely flubbed the word verification procedure.)

    That said, my criticism of Turley stands unaddressed by you or–more significantly–by him.

    BTW, I found out about this thread not at Althouse, but at another blog where Althouse was being criticized and Turley was being praised. I was expecting to find considerably more worthwhile posting here than I’ve encountered. Except for the “unfamiliar personae”, that is.

  108. >>I am sure bob is pretty much middle of the road….. But dislikes what he considers intellectual dishonesty….. Regardless of the source…..<>a cadre of 5 justices take it upon themselves to violate their oaths of loyalty to the document by wresting control over the franchise for the purpose of installing a president by violating the separation of powers doctrine, the doctrines of justiciability and repealing the 12th amendment for “just this one case”<<

    Or is Bob the only principled conservative in the world?

  109. Well, that comment got thrashed. Anyway, if you can find a conservative who thinks that not only did the court decide wrongly, it was a violation of their very oath to do so, I’d be interested in reading it.

    That’s the language of leftists. Just like with the health care issue. If the SC shoots it down it’s obvious hackery but if they pass it, they’re honest justices!

    (I think most of them violate their oaths all the time under the guise of stare decisis, but I’m not a conservative.)

  110. Blake,

    I tend to lean to the left on some issues and tend to lean to the right on some issues….. I too think the installation of Bush as president was wrongfully decided and that the Sct was political in its decision…… It was intellectual dishonesty from the get go……

  111. Blake: “That’s the language of leftists. Just like with the health care issue.”

    Blake,

    Are you talking about this?

    As a conservative myself, I tend to think that ‘conserving’ the constitution, in lieu of using it like a urinal puck, is usually the wise course of action. Seems to me that when a cadre of 5 justices take it upon themselves to violate their oaths of loyalty to the document by wresting control over the franchise for the purpose of installing a president by violating the separation of powers doctrine, the doctrines of justiciability and repealing the 12th amendment for “just this one case” … well… at that point it really doesn’t matter what Pope they happen to appoint now does it?

    Gee Blake, you don’t suppose I despise Obamacare and the individual mandate because it’s just as repugnant to the concepts of federalism and specifically enumerated powers as the actions of SCOTUS in Bush v. Gore do you?

    Bug wit.

  112. Bob,Esq.,

    > Seems to me that when a cadre of 5 justices take it upon themselves to violate their oaths of loyalty to the document by wresting control over the franchise for the purpose of installing a president by violating the separation of powers doctrine, the doctrines of justiciability and repealing the 12th amendment for “just this one case” … well… at that point it really doesn’t matter what Pope they happen to appoint now does it?

    Well, I don’t think that is in any way an accurate description of Bush v. Gore. The five justices in that case did a reasonable job of following the constitution. I could be wrong.

    In any case, they did not appoint a Pope. A Miami newspaper went through every variation of the recount. Bush won them all. So the only reasonable complaint you can make is that they illegally sped up the process.

    Yours,
    Tom

  113. Otteray Scribe:

    “When many of them start making comments, they all seem to be parroting the same right wing talking points.”

    Yeah, I see that here with left wing talking points. It doesnt take very long either. So I know how you feel.

  114. Idealist707 1, June 26, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Two ´points:

    BettyKath, Me! me! I did. I entered the scrap between two snarling dogs to try and instill a more rational tone to their discussion. Failed with ANON, but that’s OK too.
    ————————–

    You get between two snarling dogs you get bit.

  115. Excuse me my DOD computer program needed some downtime for an upgrade. Now I’m back with more liberal talking points so I can support that Libyan Communist Fascist who is running our country.

    Anon,
    Actually most of the guest bloggers are not real despite the names. We have been created by Professor Turley to make himself look better by comparison and only incidentally to really annoy you.

    Chris,

    Your assumption I was referring to you was wrong but you blame your mistake on my lack of clarity. My remark was facetious. As for my not addressing your comment, I did and with links to JT ‘s previous articles which you ignored. Let’s explore your premise further though. You say it is not a time when SCOTUS can be discussed without rancor and so assume JT should have expected to be attacked. I suspect he did expect attack, but was surprised at the method of attack used by Althouse, so what was the profundity of your point? I’m sorry that the content of the debate here disappointed someone with your erudition, or at least pretense of same.

    In a general sense (I’m not just directing this at you Chris) one of the things that seems to amaze those who drop in here is that just because they comment they are entitled to respectful replies. Sometimes comments are inane and ignored. Other times they are aggressively obnoxious and ridiculed, but we all think we deserve attention don’t we? Many also believe in the false meme of equivalency, best illustrated by those who think ID deserves equality with evolutionary theory. Not only are all ideas not equivalent, but some are so stupid that all they deserve is aspersion. Criticizing JT as a liberal dogmatist is stupid snd deserves derision.

  116. What? Ridiculous ideas get ridiculed? Who’d have thunk it, Mike! Aside from those paying attention.

    As for this: “Criticizing JT as a liberal dogmatist is stupid snd deserves derision.”

    Of course it does. Everyone knows JT is a critical thinking civil libertarian dog and catmatist who occasionally indulges in that most grisly of cannibalistic fare, Wife of Kit Carson Soup – usually and allegedly made with real wife of Kit Carson. Which in all fairness is a lot like beef jerky soup at this point. The old gal was past her prime freshness date before any of us were born.

  117. tomdegisi: “Well, I don’t think that is in any way an accurate description of Bush v. Gore. The five justices in that case did a reasonable job of following the constitution. I could be wrong.

    In any case, they did not appoint a Pope. A Miami newspaper went through every variation of the recount. Bush won them all. So the only reasonable complaint you can make is that they illegally sped up the process.”

    I see; so forget the constitution entirely because probable outcomes determine the validity of the Court’s actions.

    By your logic, a judge can pull out a gun and kill a defendant on day one of his trial for murder simply because the probable outcome of the case would be the death penalty.

    Oh, you have a nice day Tom.

  118. Bob,Esq.

    No, I’m afraid you mistake my logic. I said “the only reasonable complaint you can make is that they illegally sped up the process”. And then you made that complaint. So, therefore, I did NOT argue that one should, “forget the constitution entirely because probable outcomes determine the validity of the Court’s actions”. In fact you may properly conclude that you and I agree that justices should not “illegally” speed up the process. That’s why I used that word “illegally”. See also the word “reasonable”.

    Of course, I also said, “The five justices in that case did a reasonable job of following the constitution.”

    It’s getting late, so I hope you have enjoyable dreams.

  119. Mike Spindell,

    I haven’t yet made any assumptions here. I’ve made inferences based on the available evidence.

    You’ve written a long reply to “Chris,” but you seem to be addressing certain things written by me. Furthermore, there are no comments in this thread by anyone named Chris. I am prepared to use those observations as the basis for the inference that you intended to address me and got confused about my name.

    But because of my demonstrated inability to accurately read your intent, I will assume that your reply was a sincere attempt to make a point rather than a poor attempt at snark, even though there’s no evidence that it wasn’t meant to be snarky. I really do prefer civility to rancor, and offering a charitable reading of other people’s comments is an important part of internet civility.

    I’ve got to say, though, that there was a much broader range of opinion expressed in the Althouse thread on this topic than I’ve seen on this blog, either in this thread or the couple of others I’ve read. I think maybe your facetious comments in your apparent role as comments moderator may be unwittingly making the threads here more of an echo chamber than befits the blog of a distinguished academic.

  120. tomdegisi: “I said “the only reasonable complaint you can make is that they illegally sped up the process”.

    As I said via reductio ad absurdum, that’s not ‘reasonable.’

    tomdegisi: “Of course, I also said, “The five justices in that case did a reasonable job of following the constitution.”

    Tom, you obviously never gave this topic any thought because you were more concerned with the outcome than the procedures involved.

    First, Bush v. Gore was not justiciable (See Erwin Chemerinsky, Bush v. Gore Was Not Justiciable, 76 NOTRE DAME L. REV. 1093 (2001) That alone made it a separation of powers violation.

    Further, Article III did not give the Supreme Court the power to override Article II through injunctive relief or otherwise. That is to say, the 12th Amendment clearly states that Congress had the power to resolve the issue; not SCOTUS. Accordingly, Article III did not appoint the Supreme Court as the People’s proxy or attorney in fact, nor did it declare the People incapacitated and appoint the Court as their Guardian to select a President for them. The Court was textually powerless to do anything. Yet it did.

    And what do we call that kind of exercise of power?

    “AS usurpation is the exercise of power, which another hath a right to; so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which no body can have a right to.” – J. Locke

    That you’re satisfied with Bush v. Gore only shows that you’re happy with the outcome and completely ignorant as to how repulsive it is to our republican form of government.

  121. “I haven’t yet made any assumptions here. I’ve made inferences based on the available evidence”

    Chip,

    Yes I apologize for calling you Chris mistakenly, mis-associations with similar names beginning with the same letters are unfortunately a side effect of aging.

    Assumption by Chip: “”It was published in the midst of a recent torrent of articles that appear to be “preparing the battlefield” for attacks on the legitimacy of the Court’s decision on the PPACA should the act be struck down in whole or in part.”

    You assume that this is a time of “preparing the battlefield”, which connotes Liberals are ready to attack SCOTUS, which begs the question since people have been attacking SCOTUS continuously since the ridiculous overreach of Bush v. Gore.

    Assumption by Chip: “This is not a moment in history when discussions about the optimal size of the Supreme Court are going to be engaged dispassionately. Surely you know that. So perhaps you can understand why people might question your timing.”

    This was another assumption that is a historic. The court has never been viewed dispassionately since Marbury v. Madison. I can remember after the Brown v. Board of Ed. seeing bumper stickers with “Impeach Earl Warren” and also “Lynch Earl Warren”. Your comment:

    “That said, my criticism of Turley stands unaddressed by you or–more significantly–by him.”

    Your “criticism” was based on false assumptions which I did ask you to justify. Significantly you haven’t at all to any of my rebuttal of your assumptions, so spare me your civility, Chip you came to attack and frankly did a poor job of it.
    Which hardly merits much response.

    “I think maybe your facetious comments in your apparent role as comments moderator may be unwittingly making the threads here more of an echo chamber than befits the blog of a distinguished academic”

    I am a “guest blogger” here which means I write columns on weekends and when JT is on vacation. I have no editorial role, nor do I moderate anything.
    The only moderation done is automatic, set up by JT and basically limits links to two per comment and excises four words deemed obscene. JT almost never replies directly to commenters and he is only responsible for his own content. My comments and those of the other “guest bloggers” are our own and in many cases do not represent JT’s opinions and in others are opposing JT’s opinions. He has thus far never communicated with me or others to chasten us for our opinions. He is a true advocate of “free speech” which for some people, for some reason seems fantastical, but for me it is why I admire him.

  122. “That you’re satisfied with Bush v. Gore only shows that you’re happy with the outcome and completely ignorant as to how repulsive it is to our republican form of government.”

    Oh Bob,

    You flaming, partisan Liberal you, go get them and show them what a true Liberal believes. You and JT are two peas in a pod and I’m so glad you read our latest talking points. While you’re not a guest blogger you’ve been a big help to us leaders in managing our attack against “conservatives” who are trying to stop our Marxist agenda. :)

  123. Wow, this just gets more and more … something.

    The latest update on Ms. Althous’ blawg, written late last night, is a shout out to Instapundit for the shout-out Instapundit gave to Ms. Althouse’ posting. It ends with Instapundit linking to:

    “Meanwhile, Charlie Martin emails about an earlier Turley embarrassment.”

    If you follow that link it takes you to a posting that’s 18 or so months old on:

    “RIGHTNETWORK
    All That’s Right With The World”

    titled:

    “The Shame of Being Jonathan Turley Does he read his own writing? by Charlie Martin in ‘Politics’ | Charlie Martin”

    Wherein the case is made that the Professor is a racist, in essence.

    Two points:
    This is starting to look like a real fishbowl-feud; I haven’t seen postings that lead to a circle-jerk of conservative disinformation and self-reinforcing opinion since the last time I visited REDSTATE! It’s not exactly there yet but with time and cultivation….

    and:

    I have grossly underestimated the Professor’s stature and value as a conservative target. I’m impressed anew. You go JT!

    Wow :-)

    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2012/06/lefty-pundit-claim-that-invaidating.html

  124. Tom,
    Do you really believe anything newspaper print? How naive.
    Who pays the ads in that one? Who buys it for the familiar message? C’mon. Think says IBM, or did once.
    And even if the ACLU owned and managed it, they still need the money and the access to the WH and their “usual suspects” ie reliable sources. And you are allowed to vote.

  125. “Anon,
    Actually most of the guest bloggers are not real despite the names. We have been created by Professor Turley to make himself look better by comparison and only incidentally to really annoy you.” (Mike S.)

    I knew it, I knew it … it’s all one big Find The Kitteh conspiracy!

    Except for Mike Appleton … he’s real!!

  126. I hope that no one has noticed Jonathan Turley and I have never been seen in the same room together.

  127. Bob,Esq.,

    Beautifully said today @ 6:42am. “Bush v. Gore … how repulsive it is to our republican form of government.”

  128. Mike Spindelli said…

    You assume that this is a time of “preparing the battlefield”, which connotes Liberals are ready to attack SCOTUS, which begs the question since people have been attacking SCOTUS continuously since the ridiculous overreach of Bush v. Gore.

    So, I’m wrong that liberals are preparing to attack the Supreme Court furiously because they’ve been doing so for almost a dozen years already?

    I’m sure you’ll understand why I find this argument specious. I wrote that Turley was wrong to have published an ill-timed op ed piece that was almost guaranteed to reduce the level of civility in public discourse about the SC. Moreover, it seemed that he was being disingenuous in his expression of shock and horror at the incivility he provoked. Your rejoinder that “right wingers do it, too!” is not much of a defense.

    Can you comprehend how I can hold those views and still think that Ann Althouse was out of line?

    As far as this goes…spare me your civility, Chip you came to attack…, you don’t seem willing to recognize the difference between respectful criticism and an “attack.” I did not attack Turley; I raised a simple point. A point that you have responded to with illogical arguments (“everybody does it”) or off-point arguments (“Turley’s against the individual mandate”) or–frankly–incomprehensible statements like this:

    …one of the things that seems to amaze those who drop in here is that just because they comment they are entitled to respectful replies.

    I mean, I think I know what you’re getting at here, but I’d really be assuming a lot, and I know how much that rankles you.

    Since you’re clearly one of those people who’s determined to win the internet, I’m going to drop this now. I’m sorry that you think I’m putting on a pretense of erudition when I say that I’m disappointed that the initial response here to a couple of new people showing up with different views was immediately characterized as an invasion of your sacred space by talking-point-spouting bots.

    I’m aware that you describe yourself as being devoted to social justice. That’s an admirable motive, but I think that you would do well to leaven that self-appraisal with an admission that you, as well as those with whom you disagree, are fallible humans who are not always right. Otherwise, you’re in danger of seeming to be a sanctimonious ideologue, which I’m willing to assume you’re not.

    All the best,

    Chip

  129. OS,
    That is a stretch! But, as I think about it…I have never been in the same room as Prof. Turley either. Maybe Mike S. has something there!

  130. ” I wrote that Turley was wrong to have published an ill-timed op ed piece that was almost guaranteed to reduce the level of civility in public discourse about the SC. ”

    What better time to discuss the impact of the size of the court and the inherent factionalization on the over-politicization of society than now, when there are several factionalized decisions coming down in pretty much the same 5-4 order and few people are discussing the decisions themselves as opposed to screaming at each other over the politicization of the court and society?

    Seriously, we can’t all be like you and publish are analyses and calls to actions at 2am during the worst snowstorm and blackout in history just to make sure we don’t upset tum-tums.

    “Moreover, it seemed that he was being disingenuous in his expression of shock and horror at the incivility he provoked. ”

    There was nothing in his piece that should have resulted in any incivility, much less the creepy nonsense Althouse was shoveling.

  131. Otteray Scribe,

    WELL I HAVE BEEN SEEN IN THE SAME ROOM AS PROFESSOR TURLEY, SO THERE!

    (But I was dressed in dark clothing and I was acting squirrely.)

  132. Bob,Esq.

    > As I said via reductio ad absurdum, that’s not ‘reasonable.’

    That’s not reductio ad absurdum. That’s a miscommunication between you and me. Perhaps I was too terse, or unclear. Me, I think that complaining about the Court not following the legal process is reasonable, and I think you agree, based on what you wrote. Where we disagree is that I think the Court followed the process.

    > Tom, you obviously never gave this topic any thought because you were more concerned with the outcome than the procedures involved.

    Based merely on the fact that my comments were very brief, I don’t see how you can make any grand generalizations about my thought processes. However, I can say that if you were using a mind reading device on me, you paid too much! When I read judicial opinions, even ones I don’t like, I am impressed by the reasonableness and persuasiveness they embody. Sometimes they change my stance. Usually they just moderate it. If it is easy, it doesn’t make it to a judge.

    In addition, your machine failed to reveal that I voted for Gore. OTOH, iIt also failed to reveal that I was happy the Court made a decision which was promptly followed, because I was impatient and worried about an interminable process leading to something like the previous historical shenanegans. Every time the choice had made it to Congress before, the country was really unhappy.

    It’s nice that you refered to Chemerinsky. Upon reviewing his article I find it reasonable, but not persuasive enough. Unlike judicial opinions, which typically bring up and attempt to dispose the objections and counter arguments which occur to me as I read, his article leaves what I consider crucial counter arguments unanswered.

    I would also wonder if Erwin Chemerinsky didn’t like the result.

    > Further, Article III did not give the Supreme Court the power to override Article II through injunctive relief or otherwise. That is to say, the 12th Amendment clearly states that Congress had the power to resolve the issue; not SCOTUS.

    No it doesn’t. The Supreme was not deciding who would be President. They were deciding how the popular vote would be counted. That is not clearly governed by the 12th Amendment. If true, Gore clearly shouldn’t have brought suit, and his lawyers clearly should have refused to represent him. Did you skip over some key arguments necessary for that clarity?

    idealist707,

    > Do you really believe anything newspaper print?

    No. There were multiple reports. In addition, it would have been in the reporter’s interest to find that Gore should have won. Bigger headlines. Maybe a Pulitzer. Fame. Book deals. Maybe even groupies.

    Yours,
    Tom

  133. P.S. You are right that the ruling endangered our republic. But then, any ruling would have endangered our republic. Richard Nixon understood this in 1960 and conceded. Gore did not. It was Gore’s failure to concede that was the real threat to our republic. It is a sad thing that Gore was not as wise and ethical as NIxon.

  134. “Ah, but it gets worse rafflaw, Otteray_Scribe has never been on the same planet as Professor Turley.”

    Really. And you have the balls to complain when you are attacked in kind. That’s just really funny if you think hypocrisy is funny. There is this concept called “The Golden Rule”. You should really look into it.

  135. “Really. And you have the balls to complain when you are attacked in kind. ”

    I’ve never complained when I’ve been attacked in kind.

    Also humor, you should look it up. Your dad was famous for it.

  136. Waking from a dream, I return to the now vacated party place.
    Drink out of a stale highball, and then a saltnsour Margarita—alcohol is alcohol—

    I post a notice on the whiteboard: NB OS??? Is he the notorious flying Dutchman?

    And how did Malisha get so many squirrel skins for her costume? And how could Chip make a concession and expect one in return. Flying ideologues never make them.

    The rushing out of the village dogs to defend their territory was indeed amusing. New personae. What a laugh.

    Who would have thought anyone would come here and challenge our “peace”? The “disturbing the peace” attack on JT is of course ridiculous. But don’t kick sleeping dogs if you don’t want to get bitten in return.

    Does not take much to make a bully gang. Swaggering down the village main, they notice how eyes avoid theirs or hats nodded. They rule—just same way as the Taliban did in Iraq and in Afghanistan.

    Only it is drones who swagger with Obamas painted on their noses there. The missiles have the text; “Stick this up…”. Wonder if anything is left to collect as a souvenir and use as a laugheable paperweight?

    Do I hear a mariachi band in the offing. Somebody is celebrating “Fast and Furious”.

  137. Idealist, excuse ME but how do you know how many squirrel skins I might need? HUH?

    How one gets squirrel skins by the way: Defend oneself against attack squirrels after hunting them down and standing one’s ground.

  138. Malisha,

    LOL. As to number, if you are not a fictive personae, then you must need more than a squirrel does.
    How many is determined by your haut couture designer.
    You do use the ones a la mode?

    As for a truthful answer to squirrel skins. Squirrels were once in my childhood hunted for meat, just like as is done now by the idiots who are getting leprosy from armadillos shot in Louisiana. Only squirrels have worm eggs in their meat. My brother showed me one and then threw it away.

    They also shot rats at the dump, but did not eat them.

    And you could smell moonshine fermenting/cooking from his railway motorcar through the Carolina swamps.
    He was a lineman for WU then. Later maintenance and installation manager for the whole of NC.

    All true.

  139. skiprob,

    Why do you pull your punches now?

    Why do you not link to the essay you have espoused many times, in many places as a commentator on this blog in justifying your idea of 1,500 Supreme Court Justices? Here is the link, as given by you, to your “essay” in case you’ve forgotten:

    http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Letter-to-Editor.htm?EdNo=001&Info=0191108

    Such eloquence — begin with your wanted result, and without discussing details end up at your wanted result. Brilliant!!

  140. Finally got around to reading the Althouse stuff. It’s all personal attack and no substance. And all the comments by others follow her lead. Not a single sentence that addresses the actual proposal. I don’t see her as a credible source of information.

  141. Jonathan Turley,

    I agree with your idea of expanding the Supreme Court, however going from nine to nineteen jurists is, in my opinion, still not nearly enough to separate political power out of the equation. It still does not provide the Citizens with a good method or remedy to quell the various indiscretions and abrogations of the Constitution that have been perpetrated by the judiciary over our nations history.

    The problem though, is that in no way are those in power just going to lay down and let We The People change the system. We are going to have to do it without their approval. You’ll see what I mean when you read my proposal.

    A multitude of attorneys, working in collusion, have slowly created a stronghold of power and privilege through the BAR and UPL laws causing many attorneys to be literally afraid to challenge the system. Even if your idea would gain favor, I don’t see how it would not significantly curtain this monopolistic power the judiciary has today.

    I have proposed a very large Voluntary Association of Jurists composed of those appointed at the local level directly by Citizens. It is to long to explain in a post, so please take the time to read it at: http://rsjexperiment.wordpress.com/home/

    I have recently rewritten it in an attempt to better explain how it might work. I am surely not as well versed in the system and law as some, so if anyone wants to assist and can add value, please let me know. Appellate decisions are way to important to leave it up to such a small number of individuals. We than wonder how our rule of law has become a system of law by those who currently rule, as we watch our Constitution continue to disintegrate into another worthless social contract, just as the Magna Carta did.

    We have the technology to do something along these lines, and the freed back on your article is further evidence that those in power, wish to hold onto the status quo and that your idea has some merit. Obviously, nineteen people are better than nine, but I just don’t see how this would negate any of the significant problems within our system. I don’t think it would deter the oligarchs from their continued dangerous path.

    Everyone, please feel free to critique, question or provide improvements. I fear that if we do not come up with a better system of jurisprudence, our world will “forever” be enslaved by the ruling oligarchy and the judicial cronies they place in positions of such power.

  142. Lee – please read it first. The appointments would come directly from Registered Voters, not from the existing judiciary or political system. Each Jurist would be required to get a specific number of Citizens to appoint them. I was thinking in the range of 50 people but that number could be determined by dividing up the total number of registered electors and dividing by the number of jurists desired. For me the more the merrier, but you don’t want to bastardize the system either.

  143. I understand that but being from registered voters does not negate the pay to play. How will people learn about these candidates, it becomes no different then any election. Also people tend not to come out unless they have a very specific bias, look at the turnout of local elections and even primaries. (It reminds me of the petition system where you need so many signatures to get on a ballot, so the signatures are primarily made up of people who already support the particular person, it does not change the mix of runs (or is appointed”. Any ideas are worth considering esp because the SCOTUS is nothing more, for the most part, then an extension of the party from which the majority comes (or shares their beliefs)

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