Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm worried about the Roberts Court

Apparently, they've fallen into a vortex in which the passage of time no longer moves uniformly from "before" to "after", because they no longer have the ability that you and I callously take for granted to distinguish between what political candidates do before an election and what they do after taking office:

The appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy. By definition, an independent expenditure is political speech presented to the electorate.... The fact that a corporation, or any other speaker, is willing to spend money to try to persuade voters presupposes that the people have the ultimate influence over elected officials.

I'm particularly afraid for Justice Anthony Kennedy, since this vortex has evidently caused him particular distress; I can only conclude that in this other universe it is possible for campaign contributions to both corrupt elected officials and be completely irrelevant to their conduct. Since it would be uncouth to criticize a ruling written by five old conservative Catholic men in weird robes under the trying circumstances of crossing over into an alternate universe, I urge readers to refrain from speculation on the question of whether policies popular with the public are generally enacted if wealthy interests are aligned against them, or whether these kinds of donations buy influence. Now is not the time for such bickering and arguing.

Rather, since apparently they are close enough to an interdimensional portal to render judicial opinions that obey the laws of grammar and matter that prevail in our universe (I think the logical fallacies and specious reasoning are fairly attributed to crossing the boundary between dimensions), let us hope that the justices can find a rope, throw it back through the portal, and let the remaining justices pull them back to safety. With two ladies on the other side, I don't know if it'll work. Maybe Alito's hired Tim Tebow as a clerk in case any feats of strength are required in chambers? I shudder to contemplate Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy vanishing from our universe without a trace.