Bryan Fischer Needs to Make Up His Mind

One of my guilty pleasures is listening to Focal Point, the AM talk-radio show of famed anger-bear Bryan Fischer, a man so far right that even the AFA tried to distance itself from him.

In yesterday’s episode (which you can find at the show archive under Feb. 15, 2016, Hour 1), he made several points about Antonin Scalia, the recently-deceased Supreme Court justice who was so far to the right that even Fischer approved of him.

That Scalia is an irreplaceable genius who interpreted the constitution as the founders would have wanted.

That since Obama is in a position to nominate his replacement, the very future of our republic hangs by a thread. (Update, Feb. 17: See this column for a text version of Fischer’s apocalyptic fears.)

That the Supreme Court does not make law: it writes opinions. And while everyone’s entitled to an opinion, and while this opinion may be binding on the parties named in the suit, the rest of us are under no obligation to listen to them.

SCOTUS-JustYourOpinionMan

That the Senate still has to confirm anyone Obama nominates, and Mitch McConnell is just too spineless to stand up to القاعدة‎ the Base, those loyal AFA listeners who will demand that the Senate turn down anyone Obama nominates.

That Congress could simply pass a law reducing the number of Supreme Court justices, so that there’s no vacancy to be filled.

So for one thing, I’m sure that Obama doesn’t see this Republican-controlled Congress as a thread, but rather as a major roadblock.

For another thing, somehow the Supreme Court is both trivial, a constitutional afterthought that no one needs to pay attention to, but also so vitally important that a single Justice’s absence can spell the ruin of the nation. Maybe someone can call Fischer up and ask him to explain.

Now, I know that I tend to be pretty snarky here, but in this case, I’ve tried to represent Fischer’s views fairly, in a way that he would agree with. It’s just that he’s a walking, talking Poe. If anyone doubts me, feel free to listen to the show and correct me.

After Scalia

You’ve probably heard that Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia passed away of natural causes a few days ago. I wish his friends and family solace in this difficult time.

But setting that aside, I’m glad he’s off the court. From Lawrence v. Texas to Obergefell v. Hodges to many others, he did more to fight the advance of civil rights in this country than anyone else on the court, or indeed anyone else I can think of.

And now, of course, there’s a storm of speculation in the opiniosphere: will Obama nominate a replacement? (Yes. That’s his job.) Should he leave it to the next president? (No, that would be not doing his job.)

Will the Senate block his nominee? Yes. That’s what this Congress does: block Obama. Isn’t there a tradition of not nominating SCOTUS replacements in an election year? No, that’s just something Republican senators made up so they wouldn’t have to do their job.

Will Obama nominate a liberal, or a moderate? Will Mitch McConnell refuse to let the issue come to the floor? Those are interesting questions, and the pundits are applying the full force of their three-dimensional-chess-playing brains to them, because there are so many interesting ways this could go, so many ways the actors could position themselves. Obama gets to pick a nominee. The Senate can drag its feet on the confirmation. But the longer the position isn’t filled, the more pressure there will be on the Senate to do so. And it could be a big issue in October, at the height of election season.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. But one thing I’m fairly certain of: Scalia’s replacement will be more liberal than him. He or she would pretty much have to be, unless Obama somehow nominates Bryan Fischer or the reanimated corpse of Atilla the Hun.

And that in turn means that some number of cases that would have been 5-4 decisions with Scalia’s vote will become 5-4 the other way. And maybe this country can move forward.

Marriage Is a Punishment, Imply Defenders of Marriage

Marriage should be limited to unions of a man and a woman because they alone can “produce unplanned and unintended offspring,” opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court.

By contrast, when same-sex couples decide to have children, “substantial advance planning is required,” said Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for House Republicans.

The LA Times calls this an “unusual defense” of marriage, which is a bit like calling the Pacific “moist”.

So the California Prop 8 trial has reached the Supreme Court, and apparently the anti-gay side’s lawyers have figured out that the “buttsecks is icky” and “Baby Jesus told me to hate you” lines of argument aren’t going to fly in a venue that has cross-examination (a legal term for “calling you on your bullshit”).

It is plainly reasonable for California to maintain a unique institution [referring to marriage] to address the unique challenges posed by the unique procreative potential of sexual relationships between men and women,” argued Washington attorney Charles J. Cooper, representing the defenders of Proposition 8. Same-sex couples need not be included in the definition of marriage, he said, because they “don’t present a threat of irresponsible procreation.

So what they’re saying is that the only reason the state has to have marriage in the first place is to provide unwanted and unplanned children with a stable environment. That if it weren’t for drunk guys shooting their cum up equally-drunk vaginas all over the place, no one would have to get married, shotgun or otherwise. So really, they’re doing the homos a favor by not imposing marriage on them, and all the nasty icky visitation rights and tax-filing status that come with it.

The first thing that jumped out at me was that this line of reasoning sophistry is so underpants-on-head retarded that it shows that the anti-gay-righs folks are running so low on arguments that they’ve scraped through the bottom of the barrel and are now serving up whatever they’ve found under the rocks below the barrel.

But the second thing was the stereotyping. They’re lumping me along with the irresponsible guys who get women pregnant and then refuse to take responsibility for their children. Me, and every guy who always carries a condom, just in case; every woman who makes sure she doesn’t get pregnant until she’s ready. Every mutually-infertile straight couple who use IVF or adopt children.

But even though I’m being insulted, I can’t even get that worked up about it. Because as Greta Christina points out, if they’re using this sort of argument, it’s because nothing else has worked, so they’re desperate. They’ve lost. But some of them haven’t realized that yet.

Just in Case…

Just in case Elena Kagan’s nomination falls through and I am asked to serve on the Supreme Court, I thought I should mention that I don’t play softball, and am therefore not a lesbian.

I would also like to assure the Senate Judicial Committee that I would not be an activist judge, and would almost certainly not repeal the 21st Amendment or any legislation favored by the people who support me. Not until an attractive lawyer from the other side offers me a blow job, or something of equal or greater value.

Basically, I would use Original Intent in my rulings, interpreting the Constitution strictly as I think the founders should have meant it, if I were around to tell them how to get it right.

Hovind’s Appeal Denied

Kent Hovind’s site gives word that

The Supreme Court has recently denied our petition for a rehearing of Dr. Hovind’s case. They gave no reason.

Personally, I like to think that a clerk got the brief about someone who didn’t bother defending himself at the original trial, yet wants to appeal to the Supreme Court, and assumed it was a joke by one of the interns.