Justice Alito Shown Shaking His Head and Mouthing “Not True” in Response to State of the Union Address

In a breach of protocol, Associate Justice Sam Alito was filmed during the State of the Union address last night shaking his head and mouthing “not true” in response to the President’s criticism of the Citizens United ruling on corporate campaign finance limits. Ironically, Rep. Joe Wilson promised to restrain himself during this speech and not scream “you lie” again during the President’s speech. For a justice, this breach (shown below) is no less remarkable. It is, in a word, injudicious.

Justices are expected not to express support or opposition to a president during the State of the Union — symbolizing the neutrality of the Court. This demonstration of Alito’s views undermines that principle and makes the Court look partisan and rather petty. Whether or not Obama overstated the holding is completely immaterial — just as immaterial as what Obama was referencing when Wilson screamed “You Lie!’

Justice are expected to speak through their opinions alone. Indeed, the relatively recent trend of justices speaking at conferences and associational meetings have troubled many of us. I have long favored the prior view that justices rarely speak in public — largely confined to graduations, funerals and the like. While Alito clearly experienced an uncontrolled moment, justices are expected to control themselves and act judiciously — particularly at major events like a State of the Union.

Alito should apologize to the President and to Congress (he and his colleagues are guests of the United States Congress) for the incident. Notably, if a president (or any citizen) goes to a court of law and mouths objections, they risk a contempt warning or sanction from the judge. No one requires a justice to come to the State of the Union. The price of this particular trick is to remain stoic and neutral. As with Wilson, there is limited audience participation. This is not Oprah, it is the State of the Union. When it comes to the justices, they should ideally not even applaud let alone express their views. They are present to show the unity of the tripartite system, but also to reaffirm the strict neutrality and apolitical role of the Court.

For commentary on the incident, click here (Glenn Greenwald) and here (Huff) and here (Politico) and here.

178 thoughts on “Justice Alito Shown Shaking His Head and Mouthing “Not True” in Response to State of the Union Address”

  1. Bdaman:

    where in the hell did you find that video? Holy shit Bdaman. Marx does say that the rich and upper middle classes need to be disposed of. And he meant killed, exterminated, terminated, whacked, 86, etc.

    When the state is supreme there is no I in individual.

  2. Bdaman,

    Come on take me on again. You are too rude. My Dad’s side is Jewish, so whats you beef with that?

    Hitler in his initial writing was simple he wanted a good Germany without restrictions. He surrounded himself with people that had a different agenda that he but the power made him absolutely mad. Or was that Stage III syphilis? Its hard to recall.

    I think it was either you or Duh that stated that Hitler stole the election. I think its funny as the election was stolen for W. Any similarities are purely coincidental.

    Right? Wrong, W grand daddy had significant financial dealing with Adolph. He was one of the few that Hitler did not steal from. Hmm, Only sitting US Senator in history that had all of his assets seized by the US Government for under something called trading with the enemy act.

    Coincidence in how W operated, I think not. Prescott Bush was an evil man. He initially set Dulles up as head of this thing called the CIA. Then not bad his son took over.

    Think about the election engineering that the CIA did on Jimmy Carter. Coincidence, that the hostages were released when RWR was sworn in? I think not. Another puppet.

    You tell lie long enough even you are foolish to start believing it too….

  3. No your right on Byron. Mr. Spindell just can’t accept the truth.
    His superiority on the subject refuses to let his common sense shine the light on the truth of the matter.

  4. Mike:

    I always thought Hitler was a socialist. He certainly wasn’t a democratic socialist. Fascism is control or intermixing of government and industry. Socialism does the same, I honestly don’t know what the difference is.

    Can you have democratic fascism?

    Hitler was a dictator who believed in nationalism, racism, redistribution and public works. Is the difference in degree and application?

  5. Blouise: “I’m deep, baby ………..”

    —Yes you are, I enjoy your postings and I’m glad you’re posting here. Keep it multi-layered baby! 🙂

  6. “Hitler, spoken to Otto Strasser, Berlin, May 21, 1930:
    I am a Socialist, and a very different kind of Socialist from your rich friend, Count Reventlow. . . . What you understand by Socialism is nothing more than Marxism.”

    What he was saying was that he wasn’t a socialist, but since the party was already there for his taking it over and because he needed to use deceit to gain power, he would call himself a (new kind) of Socialist.
    If you had any understanding of history you would understand that, but I’m tempted to think it because you secretly admire Hitler, who murdered those “Christ Killers.”

  7. Bdaman quoting Mein Kampf. How appropriate for someone who believes Jews are “Christ Killers.”

  8. We all have to be somebody, why not a Nazi.

    I have read with interests the Duh’ statements. I think he gets it and is almost as zealous as I, but he is a mere paperweight in a thunderstorm, in comparison as der father.

  9. Hitler’s Mein Kampf

    Chapter VII:

    In 1919-20 and also in 1921 I attended some of the bourgeois [capitalist] meetings. Invariably I had the same feeling towards these as towards the compulsory dose of castor oil in my boyhood days. . . . And so it is not surprising that the sane and unspoiled masses shun these ‘bourgeois mass meetings’ as the devil shuns holy water.

    Chapter 4:

    The folkish philosophy is fundamentally distinguished from the Marxist by reason of the fact that the former recognizes the significance of race and therefore also personal worth and has made these the pillars of its structure. These are the most important factors of its view of life. 

    If the National Socialist Movement should fail to understand the fundamental importance of this essential principle, if it should merely varnish the external appearance of the present State and adopt the majority principle, it would really do nothing more than compete with Marxism on its own ground. For that reason it would not have the right to call itself a philosophy of life. If the social programme of the movement consisted in eliminating personality and putting the multitude in its place, then National Socialism would be corrupted with the poison of Marxism, just as our national-bourgeois parties are.

    Chapter XII:

    The National Socialist Movement, which aims at establishing the National Socialist People’s State, must always bear steadfastly in mind the principle that every future institution under that State must be rooted in the movement itself.

    Hitler, spoken to Otto Strasser, Berlin, May 21, 1930:

    I am a Socialist, and a very different kind of Socialist from your rich friend, Count Reventlow. . . . What you understand by Socialism is nothing more than Marxism.

  10. Damn Badman,

    tehe tehe, neither was Bush. Good call and comparison. Thanks.

  11. Fascism, pronounced /ˈfæʃɪzəm/, is a political ideology that seeks to combine radical and authoritarian nationalism[1][2][3][4] with a corporatist economic system,[5] and which is usually considered to be on the far right of the traditional left-right political spectrum.[6][7][8][9][10]

    Fascists advocate the creation of a single-party state,[11] with the belief that the majority is unsuited to govern itself through democracy and by reaffirming the benefits of inequality.[12] Fascist governments forbid and suppress openness and opposition to the fascist state and the fascist movement.

    Social interventionism

    Generally, fascist movements endorsed social interventionism dedicated to influencing society to promote the state’s interests.[citation needed] According to G.V. Rimlinger, one cannot speak of “fascist social policy” as a single concept with logical and internally consistent ideas and common identifiable goals.[91]

    Fascists spoke of creating a “new man” and a “new civilization” as part of their intention to transform society.[92] Mussolini promised a “social revolution” for “remaking” the Italian people.[93] Adolf Hitler promised to purge Germany of non-Aryan influences on society and create a pure Aryan race through eugenics.

    Mike S.,

    I suppose you are correct in that socialism is a sub-state of fascism.

  12. Two prevailing historical myths that the left has propagated successfully is that Hitler was a far right wing conservative and was democratically elected in 1933. Actually, he was defeated twice in the national elections (he became chancellor in a smoke-filled-room appointment by those German politicians who thought they could control him — see “What? Hitler Was Not Elected?”) and as head of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, he considered himself a socialist, and was one by the evidence of his writings and the his economic policies.

    To be clear, National Socialism differs from Marxism in its nationalism, emphasis on folk history and culture, idolization of the leader, and its racism. But the Nazi and Marxist-Leninists shared a faith in government, an absolute ruler, totalitarian control over all significant economic and social matters for the good of the working man, concentration camps, and genocide/democide as an effective government policy (only in his last years did Stalin plan for his own Holocaust of the Jews).

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