Joe’s Hands


Philip Klein has a post over at the Washington Examiner that takes a look at Joe Biden’s behavior during the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991. Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee overseeing the confirmation process of the nomination of Thomas to replace Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court. Klein’s uses Thomas’ 2007 autobiography, My Grandfather’s Son, as the basis of his post. From that point of view, Biden’s behavior might best be described as two-faced backstabbing.

Part of Biden’s quasi-defense of his groping has been that standards of behavior have evolved. What was acceptable during his early years is no longer permissible. In a half-hearted mea culpa, he says he should do better now.

The standard under which Thomas was challenged involved making remarks to Anita Hill that made her uncomfortable. There was no physical contact. Just words. Unproven words. He said/she said “evidence.” That seems to me to be a much stricter standard than the documented complaints against Biden which involve unwanted touching captured in images and video. IANAL, but isn’t that technically the crime of battery?

It may be that the real law Biden has violated is the Law of Karma, and he’s now experiencing his own high tech lynching (to borrow a phrase from Justice Thomas) at the hands of the feminists because he might get in the way of a women being nominated in 2020.

You reap what you sow, Joe.

UPDATE—My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has further thoughts on how Biden’s past is being used against him because he no longer serves The Narrative.

A “Narrow” Victory for the First Amendment


Pundits are referring to the Supreme Court’s reversal of Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruling punishing a baker for his refusal to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple as “narrow.” Well, the justice’s relied on the fact that the Commission was clearly biased against and hostile to the baker’s religious beliefs in ruling that such hostility ran afoul of the First Amendment’s free exercise clause. Every justice noted that states may protect homosexuals from discrimination in the marketplace, but the 7-2 majority ruled that that other persons’ sincere religious beliefs must be given due regard as well. Call that “narrow” if you wish, but it’s still a win for the First Amendment.

Because the record below was unclear on the baker’s free speech claims, the Court’s majority opinion didn’t address them in its decision. The justices didn’t need to in order to rule on the case. However, Justice Thomas did address that issue in his concurring opinion. He noted that public accommodation laws govern acts of discrimination, and that when they attempt to regulate speech, they run up against the full force of the First Amendment’s free speech clause. Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, 530 U. S. 640, 657–659 (2000). Justice Thomas noted that the Colorado Court of Appeals finding that the baker’s refusal to speak (i.e., create the wedding cake as Civil Rights Commission had ordered) amounted to illegal conduct was clearly wrong:

Even after describing his conduct this way, the Court of Appeals concluded that Phillips’ conduct was not expres­sive and was not protected speech. It reasoned that an outside observer would think that Phillips was merely complying with Colorado’s public-accommodations law, not expressing a message, and that Phillips could post a dis­claimer to that effect. This reasoning flouts bedrock prin­ciples of our free-speech jurisprudence and would justify virtually any law that compels individuals to speak.

Today was a good day for the First Amendment.

UPDATE—

#BrettKimberlin v. Clarence Thomas?


The panic over the possible demise of Obamacare following the Supreme Court’s rulings in the several cases next week is beginning to show. Big time. There’s a thread going around the left-half plane of the blogosphere that Justice Thomas should have recused himself from the Obamacare cases because his wife is a lawyer/lobbyist who has lobbied against the law. These same sites, BTW, don’t think that Justice Kagan should have recused herself even though she was a part of the Obama Administration while the laws were being drafted.

Elizabeth Flock has a somewhat straightforward report at U. S. News. Stranded Wind (aka, Neal Rauhauser) posted about Mrs. Thomas’ lobbying over at the Daily Kos about a year ago. He used the post to suggest than Justice Thomas’ vote in Citizens United was influenced by the possibility of his wife benefiting from the decision. He complains that mainline Democrats aren’t taking the fight seriously.

What does make sense is the work Velvet Revolution is doing. Fight the GOP on their own terms? Hell, no! How about their Protect Our Elections campaign? And look at what’s on the front page …

But you had all damn well better get over and donate to Velvet Revolution today.

Send $5 now and if they really can set the Department of Justice on Ginny Thomas it’ll save you $500 in donations in 2012.

The Velveeta Revolution hasn’t been too successful in its opposition to Justice Thomas. After Aaron Walker gets his days in court with Brett Kimberlin Lord Voldemort as the defendant, I wonder if there will be anything left of the Dark Lord’s enterprises.

Justice through blogging. And then the courts.