Patterico's Pontifications


The “Eight Facts or Habits About Me” Viral Post

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:10 pm

Here’s a post that will no doubt strike you as the height of self-absorption. Well, its a blog. What do you expect?

What do you want to know about me that you don’t know? If there’s anything you’re curious about, just ask. Within reason, I will answer most questions.

There’s a specific reason I’m doing this, by the way. Xrlq purports to tag me with one of those viral posts where you answer a question and then force other people to do the same:

The rules are simple: list eight habits or facts about yourself, then tag eight more people.

Here’s the thing. I’m lazy, so I’ll point out that I have already done this before, in a post where I was asked to discuss five things you don’t know about me. I don’t feel like repeating myself. So I’ll complete the assignment in this way: consult my earlier post for the first five. For the last three, ask me anything else you’d like to know about me. I won’t even stop at three more — I’ll answer as many questions as people ask. Uh . . . again, within reason.

As far as tagging other people, I don’t like doing that either. What I prefer is to take volunteers in the comments. That’s what I did last time — and I held open the promise of linking the posts of the volunteers. Except that I never did — until now. Sorry, guys!

So, from the Better Late Than Never category, here are the four previous volunteers who bothered to complete a post:

(aphrael volunteered for the fifth spot, but as far as I can tell, never delivered.)

The same deal goes for this latest viral post. The first eight volunteers to post their habits or facts and e-mail me a link will get linked. It may take six months — but I’ll do it eventually!

The winners are the first eight who e-mail me the link, regardless of who leaves a comment volunteering. So write those posts and send me those e-mails!

P.S. Just to show you that this latest thing is not All About Me, I also invite the commenters to ask things about each other that they want to know. Commenters are (obviously) free to answer or not answer, as they see fit. Consider it a huge get-to-know-each-other thread.

Someone Who Failed the Bar for the Supreme Court?

Filed under: General,Judiciary,Law — Patterico @ 1:35 pm

In Jan Crawford Greenburg’s post about the usual posturing concerning the last Supreme Court term (which I discuss in this post), I found this offhand comment perhaps the most intriguing one in the piece:

Kathleen Sullivan, the former dean of Stanford Law School (who would be on any Democratic president’s shortlist for the Supreme Court), said the other day . . .

Someone who failed the bar would be on any Democrat president’s short list?

Put another way, as the Angry Clam did:

I never, ever want to see the day when a Supreme Court Justice did more poorly on the same exam than I did.

Now, look. I don’t really consider myself a snob about passing the bar exam. I have known plenty of smart people who have failed the bar exam, for whatever reason. As Greenburg notes, Sullivan was the dean of Stanford Law. She can’t be dumb. More than likely, she just didn’t take the test seriously enough.

But — call me an elitist if you want — but this is the Supreme Court. Nine people in the country can have that job. Why does one have to be someone who failed the bar?

If she didn’t take the test seriously enough, maybe there will be cases that she doesn’t take seriously enough. You know, like those cases about tax regulations, or dealing with Indian reservations.

Except that those are important, too.

Look at it this way: can you imagine John Roberts failing the bar? No, you can’t.

That’s the kind of person I want on the Supreme Court.

Not to mention all the other reasons that Sullivan — or any other nominee of a Democrat president — would be a disaster. But that’s a whole ‘nuther ball of wax.

JCG on Posturing by the Left and Right

Filed under: Court Decisions,General,Judiciary,Law — Patterico @ 1:03 pm

Jan Crawford Greenburg has a post that whacks the right and the left for their respective whining about the latest Supreme Court term. She starts by lecturing conservatives for understating the significance of the Court’s shift:

Let’s be clear here: There’s no question that the Court ended its term pointed in a more conservative direction with the addition of Justice Alito for O’Connor. Putting aside the overheated talk on the Left for a minute, it’s been outright baffling to listen to some conservatives try to argue the Court didn’t do all that much. Justice Scalia didn’t leave town depressed (like in years past) by end-of-term rulings, so why are conservatives downplaying what were significant rulings for them?

Personally, I don’t think I have downplayed the fact that conservatives won at the Supreme Court. I have just bemoaned the undeniable fact that the rulings could have (and should have) been more sweeping. As I said in this post:

The fact is that, while conservatives won a lot of decisions, they won them on narrow grounds.

Greenburg acknowledges this fact in the next paragraph:

Sure, the Court didn’t overturn Roe—but it upheld the first-ever ban on a specific abortion procedure and indicated a clear willingness to allow other regulations and restrictions down the line. Sure, it didn’t overturn McCain-Feingold, but it limited its scope with a decision that is certain to lead to more attacks down the road. And, no, the Court didn’t get five votes for a color-blind Constitution, but it so dramatically limited when schools can consider a student’s race for diversity purposes that most school officials—notoriously litigation adverse—are going to scrap those programs.

Just say it: The Court turned to the Right.

OK. The Court turned to the right. Just not as much as it could have — or should have.

If conservatives like me have spent time discussing the limited nature of our victories, it has been in reaction to the sweeping and dramatic language from people like drama queen David Savage:

In what may signal a generational shift in power, new Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. led a confident conservative majority at the Supreme Court this year and moved the law to the right on abortion, religion, campaign funding and racial diversity.

or his fellow Chicken Little Linda Greenhouse:

It was the Supreme Court that conservatives had long yearned for and that liberals feared.

And indeed, Greenburg acknowledges that the hand-wringing on the left is overwrought — and provides numerous examples, from Kathleen Sullivan to Geoff Stone to Adam Cohen, and many more.

It’s a good post, and you should read it all.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of her post, however, is an offhand comment she made about Kathleen Sullivan. It’s a different enough topic that I’ll discuss it in a separate post.

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