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State of the Hate

© Steve Sack

Even worse, the Republican members of the Supreme Court will likely boycott the state of the union address, because last year Obama criticized the court’s “Citizens United” decision.



  1. Dave TN wrote:

    Whatever happened to the GOP mentality of standing up for one’s self and being responsible for ones actions? I guess it died away in the Nixon era. What little respect for the right wing of the SCOTUS just got chunked out the window. It takes quite a wiener to blow off the state of the union address because he said mean things. Well if that were the mentality we would never get anything done these days, especially in congress. The subject referenced was a decision of the SCOTUS giving corporations right as individuals which was wrong and the president was well qualified on the subject and in my humble opinion most definitely correct. This opinion was and is shared by a majority of Americans as well. As most teenagers can tell ya’ “sticks and stones” so get over it SCOTUS.

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 1:17 am | Permalink
  2. ebdoug wrote:

    As far as I can see, the Republicans have no intention of getting anything done in Congress. The party of “no” has vowed to be obtructionists.

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 6:25 am | Permalink
  3. starluna wrote:

    In what is likely going to be my one and only defense of Scalia and Thomas, I’ve read that they stopped going to the State of the Union addresses when Bush was in office. Scalia and Thomas are the Court’s strongest legal formalists (even though I see their interpretation of formalism as rather convoluted). This means that they view their place in the system as non-political. I would guess that they view the State of the Union as a political venue and an inappropriate place for the judiciary to be involved in.

    With that said, if anyone comes up with information that shows that they attended the State of the Unions until Obama’s presidency, I would be more than happy to admit I am wrong and to accuse them of violating their own jurisprudential principles.

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 9:45 am | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    It is true that it is rare when all of the Supreme Court justices attend the state of the union address, but what got my attention is what a big deal Roberts has been making of not attending. Like it is a deliberate snub of Obama. That’s not good.

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink
  5. starluna wrote:

    Here’s where I’m not sure what is real. Roberts did make a big deal about how he felt marginalized with Obama’s comments on the Citizen’s United decision. And he seems to be really sensitive, maybe overly sensitive, about that decision. But I’m not sure if he’s make a big deal out of it or if the media is making a big deal out of it.
    I personally have no love lost for the current Roberts court, but I think this is much ado about nothing we have any evidence to be whipped up about. The AL law school talk he gave when he criticized the “pep rally” feel of the State of the Union happened last March. The newspapers that I read frame this as Scalia, Thomas, and Alito skipping this address “because” of concerns over the politicization of the court. There is no evidence for this for Thomas and Scalia, who stopped going to them 5 years ago. Alito, was clearly upset over the reaction to the Citizens United decision. If he’s not attending because of that, he needs to be reschooled in his own jurisprudential theory and can be roundly criticized. But I haven’t seen anything that indicates Roberts is actually thinking of not showing up; no press release, no interviews, not even unauthorized comments from his interns.

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink
  6. starluna wrote:

    Sorry for the typos. I was hoping to get this out before my battery died. Which is about to happen in 30 seconds. Time to go home.

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    I guess I should be flattered that Irony is important enough to be the thing you do when you only have 30 seconds of battery power left.

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Permalink
  8. starluna wrote:

    You all make me think, in a much more constructive way than a lot of other people I interact with do.

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink
  9. Iron Knee wrote:

    Justices Roberts and Kennedy did attend the speech last night, joined by all four of the Democratic appointees.

    Alito attended last year, and drew attention when he shook his head and mouthed “not true” during the address. He didn’t attend this year (but he did have a legitimate excuse). Scalia and Thomas didn’t attend either this year or last year — they rarely attend.

    In fairness, on more than one occasion, the only justice attending Bush’s state of the union address was Breyer.,0,2177480.story

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink
  10. starluna wrote:

    I do think that Robert’s and Alito’s reaction to Obama’s (and others) criticisms of the Citizens United decision is simply petty. These guys describe themselves as formalists, which means that they believe that law has its primary foundation in laws passed by Congress and that this is where the role of politics and values appropriately lie. Ths view of jurisprudence holds the belief that courts are not to make their decisions based on values but must accept the values inherent in the law as passed by Congress and signed by the President. The only value involved in evaluating a law passed by Congress is the principle that all laws must comport with the Constitution. The decision in Citizens United violates these principles and their reaction to the moral outrage following it is childish.

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink