Media in Trouble: All the news thats UNfit to print!: Find the Constuctionist

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Find the Constuctionist

ZAAAAAAAAAAAP!!! The blog is now back to life.
Sorry for the absence, but get used to it. The more I read other blogs hitting national issues, the less I feel like writing on those issues myself. Mainly because everytime I get an idea, someone else gets the same idea and posts it before I do. Anyway, enough chatter, check out this NYTimes article about the latest opinion from the SCOTUS. You know how all those folks were all about getting "strict constructionists who would not legislate from the bench" onto the court right? I mean if you are still reading this sorry excuse for a blog you know this talking point by heart. Or at least you probably heard it at some point.

So since then we supposedly had Justice John Roberts (presumeably a constructionist) and Sam Alito (also presumeably a constructionist). Alito didn't write or vote on this case about Police searching for evidence if one of the house's parties disagreed to the search. Now a strict constructionist would argue that every case should be decided on its own, with obvious precedents taken into account. However, where would a strict constructionist want his opinion to you know, not be solely based on the case at hand?

I dunno but does this sound like a constructionist to you?
"The fact is that a wide variety of differing social situations can readily be imagined, giving rise to quite different social expectations," Chief Justice Roberts said. For example, he continued, "a guest who came to celebrate an occupant's birthday, or one who had traveled some distance for a particular reason, might not readily turn away simply because of a roommate's objection."

Noting that "the possible scenarios are limitless," he said, "Such shifting expectations are not a promising foundation on which to ground a constitutional rule, particularly because the majority has no support for its basic assumption — that an invited guest encountering two disagreeing co-occupants would flee — beyond a hunch about how people would typically act in an atypical situation."

I don't think so.

Then Justice Souter and Breyer strike back with this:
Justice Souter said the law was clear on the right of the police, despite any objection, to enter a home to protect a crime victim. But that issue "has nothing to do with the question in this case," he said.

The discussion by Chief Justice Roberts of the implications for domestic violence cases might have been an effort to win, or a failed effort to hold, the vote of Justice Breyer.


In his concurring opinion on Wednesday, Justice Breyer noted that in this case, the police were searching "solely for evidence," and domestic abuse was not at issue. While he pronounced himself satisfied by "the case-specific nature of the court's holding," he said the outcome might well be different in the context of domestic abuse, in which police entry even over one spouse's objection could be reasonable.

So if the definition of a Constructionist is someone who for example, states in their Confirmation Hearing that they will "judge each case on its own merits", you just have to wonder what the hell the Chief was going for here?