Scientifically Correct Spiderman and Judge looks like a pundit…Posted: February 27, 2013
I was shocked earlier today, when I read the news reports of what was coming out of the mouths of SCOTUS.
Then, while reading some other articles quoting what Obama had previously said about the Voting Rights case currently going before the Supreme Court…I was shocked again.
Check this out…This is the first article/commentary I read this morning. Scalia: Voting Rights Act Is ‘Perpetuation Of Racial Entitlement’
There were audible gasps in the Supreme Court’s lawyers’ lounge, where audio of the oral argument is pumped in for members of the Supreme Court bar, when Justice Antonin Scalia offered his assessment of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. He called it a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”
The comment came as part of a larger riff on a comment Scalia made the last time the landmark voting law was before the justices. Noting the fact that the Voting Rights Act reauthorization passed 98-0 when it was before the Senate in 2006, Scalia claimed four years ago that this unopposed vote actually undermines the law: “The Israeli supreme court, the Sanhedrin, used to have a rule that if the death penalty was pronounced unanimously, it was invalid, because there must be something wrong there.”
That was an unusual comment when it was made, but Scalia’s expansion on it today raises concerns that his suspicion of the Act is rooted much more in racial resentment than in a general distrust of unanimous votes. Scalia noted when the Voting Rights Act was first enacted in 1965, it passed over 19 dissenters. In subsequent reauthorizations, the number of dissenters diminished, until it passed the Senate without dissent seven years ago. Scalia’s comments suggested that this occurred, not because of a growing national consensus that racial disenfranchisement is unacceptable, but because lawmakers are too afraid to be tarred as racists. His inflammatory claim that the Voting Rights Act is a “perpetuation of racial entitlement” came close to the end of a long statement on why he found a landmark law preventing race discrimination in voting to be suspicious.
It should be noted that even one of Scalia’s fellow justices felt the need to call out his remark. Justice Sotomayor asked the attorney challenging the Voting Right Act whether he thought voting rights are a racial entitlement as soon as he took the podium for rebuttal.
I knew Scalia was an ass…but what the hell is he doing making statements like this…statements that sound like something one of the talking heads at Fox News would say.
And when I saw that, I began to dig into the Voting Right Act, and what Obama had to say about the case. This was the second article/commentary I read about this subject: Supreme Court justices hint at striking Voting Rights Act provision
Even before Wednesday’s oral arguments, there were signs that Section 5 might be in trouble. The Supreme Court expressed “serious misgivings” about the provision in a 2009 case, saying the requirements intruded into an area that has traditionally belonged to state and local governments.
The court avoided a broad ruling on constitutional grounds in that case, but its decision to take up the issue again four years later was seen as a strong indication that those misgivings had grown.
President Obama also seemed to signal last week that a loss at the Supreme Court was possible, if not likely. Obama said in a local television interview last week that losing Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act would not cause people to lose their right to vote.
“People will still have the same rights not to be discriminated against when it comes to voting,” Obama said. “You just won’t have this mechanism, this tool, that allows you to kind of stay ahead of certain practices.”
Say…What the fuck? Obama, a black man, does not seem to be too concerned over the Supremes fucking with Section 5?
Here’s the SCOTUSblog’s take on today’s courtroom events:
You can read the court transcript here: 12-96.exe – 12-96.pdf
Newspapers and MSM news outlets had their usual reporting of the hearing today:
I could not find any mention on CNN, as I said…usual reporting.
I also could not find a comment from Fox News, again the usual reporting, since Scalia was pushing their usual talking points.
But the blogging world went nuts over Scalia…and the rest of the Courts comments today.
Charlie has a lot to say, he wrote a bunch of post during the day as events unfolded. But here is what he had to say about Scalia: A Little More From The Chambers – Esquire
It’s become clear that Antonin (Short Time) Scalia’s “racial entitlement” is going to be the primary noise-bite out of the Supreme Court today. It doesn’t matter that whatever point Scalia was making was completely incoherent. By what possible standard is Section V of the Voting Rights Act a “racial entitlement”? Who, precisely, is being entitled? And to what? The Voting Rights Act does not confer a government benefit to any one race or another. It merely makes sure that the rights guaranteed under the 15th Amendment are not finagled with out in certain parts of the country that have proven, through history, as being deft at said finagling. The reason that African Americans have been the primary beneficiaries of this law is the simple fact that they were its primary victims. The Voting Rights Act doesn’t privilege their votes over any others. It just guarantees that they can be cast, and that they will be counted. But Scalia doesn’t care at this point whether he makes sense. He’s just interested in throwing whatever rocks through whatever windows he can find. He called it a “racial entitlement” because putting those two words together in any context is bound to cause a reaction. He’s one step away from calling Rush from behind the bench.
Here goes the Republican Party’s latest serious attempt to get rid of that troublesome Voting Rights Act that they’ve hated with a special vitriol ever since it was enacted: Voting Rights Act Takes a Beating in the Supreme Court.
The right wing justices are sounding a lot like right wing bloggers.
From the Grio: Voting rights law gets Supreme Court challenge | theGrio
From American Prospect: Today in Magical Beliefs about Racism
Despite the wide flexibility of Section 5—and the extent to which some areas are more likely to violate voting rights than others—conservatives have attacked this provision as “onerous,” “unfair,” and tantamount to reverse discrimination. Conservative members of the Court also followed this line of thinking. Justice Antonin Scalia described the provision as a “perpetuation of racial entitlement”—as if it’s unreasonable to apply extra scrutiny to states that subjugated or disenfranchised their black populations for more than 180 years—and Chief Justice John Roberts asked whether it’s “the government’s submission that the citizens in the South are more racist than the citizens in the North?”Two things. First, I remain baffled by the view that racial discrimination—much less inequality—has dissolved in the nearly 50 years since Congress passed the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. Yes, we’ve largely overcome overt discrimination, but more subtle forms still exist. Beyond that, it’s important to note—as Ed Kilgore does at the Washington Monthly—that Jim Crow is still within living memory for millions of Americans. Indeed, the baby boomers—including the large majority of our lawmakers—were children when Emmett Till was murdered, and teenagers when George Wallace promised to defend segregation in perpetuity.
Please read the rest of this post, as well as all the ones I link to today. They are too good to pass up.
And from Shakesville, the best one of the lot: Shakesville: Reminder: Antonin Scalia is a Racist Asshole
Antonin Scalia argued today that a key provision of the Voting Rights Act is a “racial entitlement.”
He further argued that the increasing popularity of the Act (reauthorized by the Senate in 2006 by a vote of 98-0) reflected the rising fear of being called racist, not a rising general consensus that limiting voting rights by race is a proundly undemocratic and shitty thing to do.
One question: if the fear of being *called* a racist is so intimidating that people will stop *doing* racist things, then exactly how often do we need to call Antonin Scalia a HUGE fucking racist before he changes his ways?
(Answer: Cannot compute at this time. We’re going to have to invent some entirely new math, Isaac Newton style, because Scalia’s racist assholery is truly beyond the measurement of our current science.)
I find all this disturbing, especially when you think about the recent decision from the Census Bureau to stop using the word Negro.
After more than a century, the Census Bureau is dropping its use of the word “Negro” to describe black Americans in surveys.Instead of the term that came into use during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, census forms will use the more modern labels “black” or “African-American”.The change will take effect next year when the Census Bureau distributes its annual American Community Survey to more than 3.5 million U.S. households, Nicholas Jones, chief of the bureau’s racial statistics branch, said in an interview.He pointed to months of public feedback and census research that concluded few black Americans still identify with being Negro and many view the term as “offensive and outdated.”
“This is a reflection of changing times, changing vocabularies and changing understandings of what race means in this country,” said Matthew Snipp, a sociology professor at Stanford University, who writes frequently on race and ethnicity. “For younger African-Americans, the term ‘Negro’ harkens back to the era when African-Americans were second-class citizens in this country.”
First used in the census in 1900, “Negro” became the most common way of referring to black Americans through most of the early 20th century, during a time of racial inequality and segregation. “Negro” itself had taken the place of “colored.” Starting with the 1960s civil rights movement, black activists began to reject the “Negro” label and came to identify themselves as black or African-American.
What did Scalia call the Voting Rights Act again? A “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”
Let’s end this with a funny story.
Earlier this week we looked at a paper that examined the physics behind the train stop scene in Spider-Man 2 that put a little science before our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, but that clearly wasn’t enough for the people at Fox’s Animation Domination High Def. They went a few steps further to create Scientifically Accurate Spider-Man to give us a look a what a real man/spider hybrid would look like, and it isn’t pretty. It’s also not safe for work, unless your work is writing about weirdly graphic Spider-Man parody cartoons. Then you’re probably fine.
There’s a lot of things about Spider-Man that don’t make scientific sense that we just kind of accept because the alternative is too bizarre. One example is that spiders don’t shoot webs from their wrists, they shoot them from the general vicinity of their butts. Those little hairs Spidey uses to climb walls? They’d be all over his body, not just his hands and feet.
Basically, if your genes were mutated with spider DNA you would turn into a monster, not a superhero.
|Wall Street Journal||– 35 minutes ago||
|NBCNews.com (blog)||– 48 minutes ago||
|Houston Chronicle||– 22 minutes ago||
|San Francisco Chronicle||– 1 hour ago||
|Washington Post||– 2 hours ago||
|NorthJersey.com||– 2 hours ago||
|USA TODAY||– 22 hours ago||
|USA TODAY||– 22 hours ago||
|Washington Post||– Feb 26, 2013||