Saturday, January 30, 2010

E-Mail of the Week

In response to Friday's column that mentioned President Obama's attack on the Supreme Court for its decision in Citizens United v. FEC during his SOTU speech, I received an e-mail from one Pat Barker. You will find it below with my response.

Gil,

When you write an article make sure you have all the facts. Scumbag Scalia wasn't in attendance. I guess he thinks he's above listening to colored people speak.

Pat

Pat,

I stand corrected on the number of Supreme Court justices who attended the SOTU. In fact, not only was Anton Scalia absent but so were Justices Thomas and Stevens.

In the TV coverage I saw that night I was fooled by the fact that there were 9 people, dressed in black, sitting in the seats reserved for the justices. That three of them were, on closer inspection, not justices but clerks, other guests or family members, led to my erroneous assumption that all nine justices were in attendence.

Of course, none of that changes the argument I made in the column that it was "astonishing" to hear the President of the United States attack the court in front of Congress, as well as a national TV audience and misrepresent its ruling.

Still, thank you for your excellent advice about having "all the facts" before I write a column. I hope you don't mind a bit of advice in return.

Calling an accomplished justice like Anton Scalia a "scumbag" just because you disagree with his interpretation of the Constitution says more about you than it does about him. You should refrain from using such language if you want to be taken seriously as a decent person and not a name-calling partisan ideologue.

As for your suggestion that Scalia refused to attend the speech because he is a racist, are you willing to impute the same motive to Justice Thomas and Stevens?

Hillary Clinton wasn't there either. Does that make her a racist "scumbag" too? I don't think so.

UPDATE: Georgetown Law Professor Randy Barnett believes Obama owes the court an apology.

16 Comments:

Blogger John said...

Gil:

I don't understand how Pat can call Scalia a racist, after all Obama is a light skinned black with no negro dialect. At least that is what the Democratic leadership has told us.

John

January 30, 2010 at 1:25 PM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Gil - I read your column, and I think you make a very convincing argument. Convincing enough that I have to agree with you. I do however think that strict guidelines should be in place that require full disclosure.

January 30, 2010 at 5:41 PM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

I'll agree to the strict disclosure, just let me get my jaw off the floor first. :)

January 30, 2010 at 6:40 PM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Sometimes we agree on things. For instance "Crazy Love". BTW, did you get a chance to watch "Fog of War"?

January 30, 2010 at 6:45 PM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Not yet.

January 31, 2010 at 8:56 AM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Gil - We may agree that this is the constitutionaly correct decission, but the question still remains about how to handle foreign interests taking advantage of this decission. Will this open the door for, lets say, Hugo Chavez and Citgo to influence elections?

Fog of War - I find it interesting that someone who enjoys documentaries as much as you do has avoided watching, arguably, one of the best ever made. It's been out since 2003! I'm thinking of a Jack Nicholson line from "A Few Good Men".

January 31, 2010 at 11:47 AM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

"Arguably" being the key word here.

And personally I have nothing against Hugo Chavez taking out an ad in support of the re-election of Barack Obama as long as it is clearly stated: "Paid for by Marxist Nutjob Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez."

January 31, 2010 at 12:57 PM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Gil - It's interesting that you would be OK with foreign concerns influencing our elections. But then, the U.S. government, and U.S. corporations have been doing this for decades. I guess the question is , where do we draw the line with constitutional rights. For example, lets take the second amendment. I think most of us, including me, would agree that we should all have the right to keep firearms in our home to protect our family and posessions, but would you want your neighbors to have the right to own fully automatic weapons? How about RPG's? Chemical weapons? Should the Supreme Court take modern technology into consideration when ruling on cases, or should they always stick with the literal interpretation?

Fog of War - Watch it. See if you can handle the truth.

January 31, 2010 at 1:36 PM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

Fog of War - Watch it. See if you can handle the truth.

Holly influencing you too much, Bob? I understand, I'm with you. For example, I'm expecting Nike to produce and sell Air McFlys with the cool Auto-Laces by 2015. (Know the reference?)

January 31, 2010 at 7:12 PM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Back to the Future?

January 31, 2010 at 7:54 PM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Bingo, Gil! Yea, it's Back to the Future. But Fog of War isn't Hollywood. It's Bob McNamara's mea culpa. When someone steps forward to admit mistakes of grand proportions, it's worth paying attention. It will give you a different take on the war in Nam. And maybe a different take on war in general.

January 31, 2010 at 9:07 PM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

GREAT SCOTT!


Well done Gil, although, it was a little easy.

January 31, 2010 at 10:08 PM 
Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

Bob:

Its been awhile, but now you have me irked (a little). Scalia, in the Heller decision, stated that you can's apply the technology standard to guns as your reason for banning semi-autos, lest that same reasoning being applied to the first amendment as the Founding Fathers never thought about the advent of the internet.

Full autos, rpg's and other "destrucive devices" have been regulated since the 30's.

February 1, 2010 at 3:59 PM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Scott - Welcome back. I don't know why this would irk you. I was just pointing out that limits are often necessary. Wouldn't you agree?

February 1, 2010 at 8:26 PM 
Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

I don't agree. If you are in favor of limits on semi-auto guns (where limits have been imposed for decades - think machineguns and destructive devices), then expect limits on the first amendment now that we have the internet. Justice Scalia said that a constitutional right that is subject to a future judges assessment of it's usefulness is not a constitutional right (this is not a verbatim quote).

Don't mess with the Constitution. You take our guns, your free speech rights will be next.

C. Scott Shields, Esquire
www.cscottshields.com

February 2, 2010 at 6:21 AM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Scott - Is it OK to shout fire in a crowded theatre? Is it OK for me to own an arsenal of RPG'? I don't believe the constitution and the Bill of Rights were created to allow a free for all. You're a lawyer. Would you use the first amendment as an argument to defend a child pornographer? You're starting to sound like a member of the ACLU.

February 2, 2010 at 8:54 AM 

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