I’m just stopping by . . . to add a little ‘context’

While my Republican brethren bray across the cablesphere about yesterday’s SCOTUS decision upholding Obamacare, I went a’reading to see what the long-time SCOTUS reporters had to say.

Writing about the majority opinion Linda Greenhouse wrote:

The chief justice’s masterful opinion showed that line of argument for the simplistic and agenda-driven construct that it was. Parsing the 1,000-plus-page statute in a succinct 21-page opinion, he deftly wove in quotations from recent Supreme Court opinions.

Who said that we “must do our best, bearing in mind the fundamental canon of statutory construction that the words of a statute must be read in their context and with a view to their place in the overall statutory scheme”? Why, it was Justice Scalia (actually quoting an earlier opinion by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor) in a decision just a year ago.

And who said that “a provision that may seem ambiguous in isolation is often clarified by the remainder of the statutory scheme” because “only one of the permissible meanings produces a substantive effect that is compatible with the rest of the law”? Why, Justice Scalia again.

The Court didn’t rewrite the law. They just read it, as is their job.

34 responses to “I’m just stopping by . . . to add a little ‘context’

  1. Such wailing an gnashing of teeth about a relatively straightforward decision.


    • Hey Donald – add this to the marriage decision and the exploding heads are going to be so widespread, we’d better wear raincoats for while.


  2. Exactly! Hope you are well!


  3. I’ve read the SCOTUS’ decision and am ambivalent about it.

    In general, the idea that the queers should be allowed to marry under the law doesn’t phase me; it even makes a modicum of sense to me. However, applying the 14th Amendment in this matter to the States when it has been long held – even by Obama’s words – that marriage is strictly within the purview of the States concerns me greatly. It sets what will likely be a bad precedence…especially once the Appellate Courts get their hands on it, e.g., Citizens United.


    • Hey jonolan – how’s Brooklyn faring this hot summer? Isn’t there a difference between ‘long been held to be’, which is a tad conditional, and upheld in law by the Constitutional body? Wasn’t it the 14th amendment used in Loving v Virginia?


      • So far, not really that hot. So far.

        As for history vs. Constitutional law – there’s a conflict due to the 10th Amendment which supports the States’ long-held autonomy on marriage.

        As for Loving v. Virginia and that use of the 14th Amendment – That’s legally immaterial since Loving involved actual crimes and criminal charges, whereas Obergefell v. Hodges doesn’t. Also the part of the 14th Amendment used in Loving was the portion that mirrored the 5th Amendment (also cited in Loving), “Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”


    • I agree with Jonolan to an extent. I am someone in a same-sex relationship and I am bothered that the State is in the marriage business. Where he and I would probably disagree is in the fact that I would have been just as bothered if the SCOTUS rejected gay marriage. I don’t think the State has the right to tell anyone whether they can or cannot get married. I think it should be civil unions for gays and straights alike, and then people can go to their respective churches and call it what they will.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No. We do not disagree, not in the least.


      • Sam! Wonderful to see you here. I think we all three – you, me, jonolan – agree that civil marriage and religious joinings are two separate things and should be treated as such by the State. I see civil marriage as a civil contract – sort of an incorporation. It puts people into a different category legally – re property, taxes, custody etc. I don’t think any government can say ‘you, but not you’ which is clearly based on religious precedent. Religions can do whatever they want as far as I’m concerned and should not face consequences for observing their own laws. For instance, Mormons should be allowed plural marriage so long as the other legalities are observed – consent, age etc.


        • Exactly, and for me it brings to mind just how dishonest conservatives can be. They argue that churches will be made to perform gay marriage, yet they know good and well that churches are not made to marry interracial couples, nor are they made to ordain female ministers. Churches are allowed to be as discriminatory as they want and no one has ever said a word about it.

          What they want is for religious business owners to have the right to discriminate. That’s the push.

          The thing that confuses me is how picky and choosy people can be. A Christian can work in convenient store and sell dirty magazines and booze all day long but you are telling me they can’t bake a freaking wedding cake.



  4. For whatever reason, neither decision surprised me. In terms of marriage, states still can set their parameters, as long as they aren’t discriminatory. Most importantly, I hope you are doing well.


    • Thanks Frank, hope you’re well too. At least you’ve still got the blog chugging along in good health! The only lthing that surprised me about the same sex marriage ruling was that Roberts wasn’t in the majority. I never dreamed he’d pass on the Court’s long history of expanding, not limiting, human and civil rights.


  5. Hey Moe, good to see you! And yeah, Scalia is a hypocrite.


  6. Hey, you’re back…at least briefly! Hope life is going well. Last week was a bright moment, what with the two good Supreme Court decisions, and Obama’s awesome Amazing Grace rendition. And while I disagree with Scalia, I have to appreciate him for his customary verbal flair…jiggery pokery, anyone?


    • Hi brat! Nice to be here – if only briefly, although replying to comments reminds me of how much I miss this. I subscribe to a weekly feed of most my blogfriends and have noticed that many are less active as well. But some come back all refreshed and rarin’ to go again. I’d like that to be me. We shall see.

      Life is good for me and I hope for you as well.


      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, applesauce!

        It’s nice to see you here when we get to see you–I do understand where you’re coming from. I’m becoming less frequent in my activity as well…I’ve gotten involved in some volunteering for local political causes, and between that and my day job I barely have time to breathe 🙂 Although it’s satisfying!


        • I think you know that I retired five years ago, which is when I started this blog. Shortly after I got involved as a volunteer in a few organizations, but in the last two years I’ve taken on too much . . . bit by bit and way too slowly, I’m now loosening some of the ties and finding other people to do certain parts of the jobs. I really do miss this and hope to get back regularly one of these days. Meanwhile I remaine subscribed to our blogfriends and do check in pretty often even if I’m not chatty!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. The republicans are finished Moe. The demographics have shifted far too much and just keep shifting. I predict a complete collapse of the GOP within the next 20 years.

    The GOP will still have plenty of representatives in congress from the white bread States, at least for a while, but the days of republican leadership in the oval office are gone for good.


    • Sam, I agree that they’re finished ideologically and should be done politically as well – but there’s a problem and that’s gerrymandering. The State legislatures are heavily Republican now and they’re the ones who usually draw the redistricting lines. As long as they get to do that, gerrymandering away, the GOP stays – Over-represented for sure, but still there.


  8. Not being tempted by the Trump show yet?!?!? We miss your voice!!!


    • Gotta admit mac, it’s tempting but what in the wide wide world can one say about him that his mere existence doesn’t already say – and so eloquently! Are you still ‘on the road’ my friend? And did you really just NOW start ‘following’ me???

      Liked by 1 person

      • ahah but will he be President..? I’ve gone from not in a million years to well it’s not impossible, to maybe not even unlikely if he keeps on going like this. And he is a very strange breed in terms of politics, kind of a conservative Democrat really.

        Yep, still in the road, I’ve just been enjoying life and relaxing a lot, and started writing a book (!) here in York in the north of England. I love it here! And my place expires Sept 1st, so probably going up to Scotland after that and then we’ll see 🙂


        • Ahhh . . . I’m a bit envious. Even though Florida was the very last place I expected to land or even hope to visit, I have managed to find much to like about this life. But my dark soul still years for grey skies, brisk winds and salt water in the air. Enjoy and wallow in it.

          And Trump – no matter how long he stays in and no matter early silly polls – remains a side show for the actual voters, although any damage he does to the GOP will be very real – and lasting.

          Liked by 1 person

      • And I’ve been following you for years, you know that!!! I just added an instant e-mail notification for your upcoming posts 🙂


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