quasi in rem

Thursday, March 25, 2004

I pledge my allegiance to the Blog....

The NEw York Times has a nice recount of some of the arguments from the court yesterday.

Here are some of the more telling questions. Let's play guess the Justice!

1. "Do you think that the pledge has the same meaning today as when it was enacted - when the words, under God, were inserted into the prayer, into the pledge? "

A sort of "living pledge" analysis. A real "so where's your God now Moses?" question. Has to be Justice Stevens. I would have answered "Obviously not Justice Stevens, God died the day you were confirmed to the Court."

2. "Well, why not have it like oath or affirmation? That is, give people a choice, don't say it's got to be all one way or all the other, but say children who want to say under God can say it and children who don't, don't have to say it. "

Mmmm. That's an interesting question. It is at the same completely uninformed and at the same time searching for a fake way to protect "the children" over other considerations.

Must be Justice Ginsburg.

It must be nice to be a Supreme Court Justice and not feel the need to read any of the briefs.

3. "So do you think God is so generic in this context that it could be that inclusive? ... And if it is, then does your objection disappear? "

Ah, searching for a middle ground that does not exist. I wonder if you can get a generic God at Walmart and if so, would it have been made in China. A white can on the shelf with just the word God(tm) on it.

That must be Breyer. Who knows where he is coming from in these cases.

4. "What do you make of the argument that in actual practice the affirmation in the midst of this civic exercise as a religious affirmation is so tepid, so diluted then so far, let's say, from a compulsory prayer that in fact it should be, in effect, beneath the constitutional radar."

Ahhh the practical argument. Civic exercises and logical discussions. Definitely Souter territory. The souless moderation on the Court. I do like the guy though. Frustratingly smart and entertaining to watch.

5"So it's not perfect, it's not perfect, but it serves a purpose of unification at the price of offending a small number of people like you. So tell me from ground one why -- why the country cannot do that? "

Ahh, the ultimate softball question. A question that on its face appears Conservative but is ultimately very liberal. Must be Breyer! Breyer is with Newdow on this case and this question shows it.

Newdow completely screwed up this answer by the way. He should have referenced the plethora of cases where it is the Constitution that prevents a majority from pushing it's views on the minority.

Read the whole thing.

I think Newdow looks to have done fairly well.

I just hope that they don't go Spielburg on the Declaration and Gettysburg address and remove all references to God in those.


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