Daily Archives: April 2, 2012

The reason I like E. J. Dionne:

Some excerpts on his commentary on the Supreme Court vs. the Health Care legislation:

Three days of Supreme Court arguments over the health-care law demonstrated for all to see that conservative justices are prepared to act as an alternative legislature, diving deeply into policy details as if they were members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Senator, excuse me, Justice Samuel Alito quoted Congressional Budget Office figures on Tuesday to talk about the insurance costs of the young. On Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts sounded like the House whip in discussing whether parts of the law could stand if other parts fell. He noted that without various provisions, Congress “wouldn’t have been able to put together, cobble together, the votes to get it through.” Tell me again, was this a courtroom or a lobbyist’s office?

It fell to the court’s liberals — the so-called “judicial activists,” remember? — to remind their conservative brethren that legislative power is supposed to rest in our government’s elected branches.

The irony is that if the court’s conservatives overthrow the mandate, they will hasten the arrival of a more government-heavy system. Justice Anthony Kennedy even hinted that it might be more “honest” if government simply used “the tax power to raise revenue and to just have a national health service, single-payer.” Remember those words.

…a court that gave us Bush vs. Gore and Citizens United will prove conclusively that it sees no limits on its power, no need to defer to those elected to make our laws. A Supreme Court that is supposed to give us justice will instead deliver ideology.

See what I mean. Clear and concise with an ability to combine seriousness with humor. After all, we have to live with this stuff.

Read the whole column HERE.

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Stanley Kunitz remembered…

I was the Director of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown (MA) in the late 70s, and one of the great men and women I worked for there was Center co-founder Stanley Kunitz.

The Pulitzer Prize winning poet, who died in 2006 at age 101, kept working as he got older. His last published poem was called “Touch Me”  and was written in 2005. As I was looking around the web, I found him doing a live reading at age 100 and felt so good hearing him again.

I used to visit with him as he worked on his beloved garden in P-Town. We’d talk about flowers and poets and just about anything. Stanley could always maintain a stimulating conversation.

Just imaging an artist of Kunitz’s stature maintaining his literary power right up to the end of his life gives me a great deal of optimism that we can all maintain our creativity in the face of an anti-creative world.

Here it is:

Thanks for the memory, Stanley.

Supreme Court Prediction from a former Scalia clerk:

“Scalia is a very likely vote against the mandate, and I’d say there is a 65% chance the five conservatives strike it down.”

-Brian Fitzpatrick, a professor at Vanderbilt University Law School

Not looking good for Obamacare. The Court seems to be getting politically active again.