Tag Archives: Linda Greenhouse

Maybe a Mexican flag patch would work better?

Linda Greenhouse at The New York Times’  Opinionator blog today writing about Arizona’s new  illegal immigrant legislation:

So what to do in the meantime [until it’s overturned]? Here’s a modest proposal. Everyone remembers the wartime Danish king who drove through Copenhagen wearing a Star of David in support of his Jewish subjects. It’s an apocryphal story, actually, but an inspiring one. Let the good people of Arizona — and anyone passing through — walk the streets of Tucson and Phoenix wearing buttons that say: I Could Be Illegal.

Which would then require – by the language of the new law – that police stop  that person and ask for papers. If that person can’t produce papers (leave that license them home guys), they’d be subject to arrest. Wouldn’t that be a lovely mess.

While media failures (as in ‘reporting this story’) no longer surprise me, sheer stupidity brings us reporting like: “this law ‘makes it illegal to be an illegal immigrant”. What part of already illegal don’t they understand?

Greenhouse knows her stuff:  Linda Greenhouse, the winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize, writes on alternate Fridays about the Supreme Court and the law. She reported on the Supreme Court for The New York Times from 1978 to 2008. She teaches at Yale Law School and is the author of a biography of Justice Harry A. Blackmun, “Becoming Justice Blackmun.”

More of this please

Any day now, the President will send a name to the Senate for Advice and Consent (don’t hear that archaic yet proper language used much anymore) to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice. In preparation, the GOP is practicing their harmonic ‘No!’

Two weeks ago, the NY Times carried an op-ed  by Linda Greenhouse on retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. In it she quotes Stevens from a 2005 forum at Fordham Law. Stevens said “Learning on the job is essential to the process of judging.” To his detractors that’s probably proof positive of constitutional crimes or something. To the rest of us, who live in a real world, those words are evidence of a wise and adult human.

She notes “John Paul Stevens never lost his willingness to test his instincts against his observations.” More common sense from Stevens. To the right however, who seem to think Justices can and should freeze their legal thinking in 1787  ignoring the intervening centuries, that’s more to say ‘No!’ about.

There is no such thing as constitutional originalism. The Founders would have had a good belly laugh at the idea that the broad language of the Constitution they constructed was being viewed in such a rigid fashion. They were an educated lot – like Stevens. And, like Stevens, they allowed for reality.