Thursday, March 25, 2010

All quiet in the District?

Talk to me people. Anyone in trial?

In the meantime, here's Breyer and Scalia squaring off again. From the BLT:

Breyer and Scalia challenged each other the most over statutory construction, with Scalia insisting that looking to the words of the law and nothing else is the best way to discern its meaning. That's because members of Congress actually vote for -- and can be held accountable for -- the actual text of the law, unlike committee reports and other documents drafted by "teenagers," to support their own views of the law, as Scalia put it with disdain. The legislators don't read those documents anyway, Scalia said. "Congress passes laws, not conference reports."
By that standard, Breyer replied, the words of the statute don't mean much either, because members of Congress don't read every word of the statute. A onetime Senate staffer, Breyer was far more willing to put his trust in a legislator and his or her staff to know a law's purpose as well as its words. Breyer seeks out evidence of a law's intent and context, he said, as the way to resolve disputes over its meaning. That approach, Breyer added, is more understandable to the public.
Scalia responded with exaggerated dismay. "I never heard that one before," he said. "Judging is best when it is most accessible to the public?" Scalia then launched into his oft-heard refrain about the public's lack of understanding of the work of courts, which he attributed to the news media's penchant for only reporting who won or lost, not the reasoning of a decision. "Was it the poor old widow, or the terrible insurance company?" Scalia said. "The stuff we have to decide is difficult, arcance ... not in the reach of everyone."
Breyer then suggested that Scalia had misinterpreted what he had said, though it was not entirely clear. If it was an argument Scalia had never heard before, Breyer said, "I wish you would think about it."
If one was listening to the debate for hints of the justices' views about current events, the pickings were slim. Scalia said, as he has before, that he will "never understand" how the text of the Contitution confers a right to an abortion.
And Scalia repeatedly spoke of the anti-democratic tendency of people nowadays to ask the courts, not legislators, to resolve issues. It's anti-democratic, he said, because "once something is declared unconstitutional, it is off the stage of democracy," whereas getting legislators to change laws or even amend the Constitution is the better way to go. "Once it is a right, we cannot vote about it."

In other out-of-district news, how funny is this lawsuit:

An official in the South Carolina House says Showtime Networks and HBO defamed him when they advertised the broadcast of an independent film he produced and co-starred in - "The Hills Have Thighs" - then showed a soft-core porn flick instead. James "Bubba" Cromer Jr. sued the media companies in Los Angeles Superior Court. Cromer, "elected Reading Clerk for the South Carolina House of Representatives," and a sometime filmmaker, said he was channel surfing on March 1, when, "to his delight," he saw that his second film, "The Hills have Thighs," was scheduled to debut on Showtime's The Movie Channel in the early morning on March 2. It would have been the first time one of Cromer's films had been shown on television. His first, "The Long Way Home: A Bigfoot Story," was shown at South Carolina's inaugural Indie Grits Film Festival in 2007, and was later named Best Narrative Feature at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. "The Hills Have Thighs" was completed the following year. Cromer, who wrote, directed and co-starred in the "Appalachian comedy," says the plot involves the mysterious disappearance of a "local hillbilly icon." Cromer claims he assumed the putative broadcast was the work of his newly hired talent agent. He says he tried to call the agent, but couldn't reach him. He claims his flick also was advertised for subsequent showing on HBO and pay per view. "Celebrating what they believed to be an exciting and wonderful event," Cromer says he and his father called family, friends, fellow lawmakers and members of the cast to make sure they watched or recorded the show. Cromer said he "also invited several thousand other friends and associates to watch via Twitter and Facebook."
To Cromer's horror, however, "the film which was announced to be his work, 'The Hills Have Thighs,' was in fact soft core pornography" that he had "nothing whatsoever to do with." Cromer said he had to spend a long, sleepless night, fielding emails, phone calls and text messages about the porn flick and its association with his name.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Isn't the new Mag Judge supposed to be announced today??