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Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy

Could Rep. Tom DeLay be any more irresponsible and ignorant at the same time? Today, he went after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy:

We've got Justice Kennedy writing decisions based upon international law, not the Constitution of the United States? That's just outrageous," DeLay told Fox News Radio. "And not only that, but he said in session that he does his own research on the Internet? That is just incredibly outrageous.

Words of advice for DeLay: Zip it. You've become a caricature and a laughing stock. You are making a mockery both of the office you hold and your party. You're on your last leg. Is it too much to ask that you go out with a little dignity?

Update: To understand the issue regarding international law, see this post regarding Justice Ginsberg's remarks on the subject in 2003. And in the comments, TChris's excellent analysis:

Our Constitution was meant to be an evolving document, one that is suited to changing times. It no longer takes months for a letter to reach France. We are part of a global economy and we play a leading role in the international community. Ginsburg did not say we should base interpretations of our own Constitution on international law, but she properly recognized that the opinions of other western democracies may inform our attempts to apply our Constitutional values to new and recurring legal problems.

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  • Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 08:19:08 PM EST
    yeah. we should internationalize the judiciary. if we try hard enough we can have our own gulag archipelago

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 08:19:28 PM EST
    Let the man talk and associate with as many Republicans as possible. Let his influence broaden to all the right. Then, when we tar the sh*t out of him in 2006, we can bring the whole party down with him.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 08:19:38 PM EST
    If things continue as badly and surreally as has been the case these last few years, I fully expect the new Pope to make a pronouncement ex cathedra denying Justice Kennedy the sacrament of Communion. At this point I'm willing to lay money on it and I have an instinctive aversion to gambling.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 08:24:01 PM EST
    The Hammer strikes the nail on the head with regards to Justice Kennedy's reliance on "International Opinions" for "US Constitutional Law" Tell me Libs: Should the US rely on "International Opinions" to interpet our Constitution?

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 08:34:15 PM EST
    DeLay is a lightning rod, but I think he's right on this issue. Since when do international opinion or other countries' laws override the Constitution?

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 08:38:24 PM EST
    Wasn't the international law part of his opinion dicta? And then you have a bunch of idiots running around saying that he's relying on International law to interpret the constitution. And you have idiots who should know better encouraging that because it fits their agenda.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 08:45:16 PM EST
    Funny quote(s) from a man who wants to establish a theocracy and wants to strip all authority from judges. Please, Tom Delay pisses on the Constitution every day - like he gives a rat's ass about the Constitution, must be why he and the Repubs are trying to subvert it all the time.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 08:46:41 PM EST
    et al - Freedom of speech should work for all of us. It was highly touted when Ward Churchill's comments were in play. Doesn't Delay have the same rights?

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 08:55:44 PM EST
    That's right. He's free to say things that are idiotic, and we are free to say that he's an idiot. It goes both ways, PPJ.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 09:02:40 PM EST
    When the question is whether a punishment is "cruel and unusual," the "unusual" part requires an intelligent person to consider what other legal systems are doing.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 09:10:09 PM EST
    Don't forget - this is a guy who thinks of Darwin as a radical left wing scientist "writing decisions" using deductive reasoning that trample on Genesis!

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 09:24:12 PM EST
    Well there is that bit about "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind." What's the old joke about the cracker politician accusing his opponent of encouraging students to MATRICULATE? DeLay is now accusing Kennedy of GOOGLING! My god, what will the children think?

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#13)
    by merlallen on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 09:27:24 PM EST
    I love how the party of personal responsibility always blames others for their mistakes, crimes, etc.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 09:32:50 PM EST
    When the question is whether a punishment is "cruel and unusual," the "unusual" part requires an intelligent person to consider what other legal systems are doing.
    I am opposed to the death penalty - but no, this is unusual by our values and customs and no one elses

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 09:43:26 PM EST
    Give this guy all the press and airtime he wants. I applaud his free speech. Just keep talking Mr. DeLay. Jim and Dr. Ace love to hear your voice.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#16)
    by Darryl Pearce on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 09:51:07 PM EST
    Tell me Libs: Should the US rely on "International Opinions" to interpet our Constitution? As our Declaration of Independence so eloquently states: "...a decent respect to the opinions of mankind..." Oh, and the United States was way behind the world on the whole slavery thing.. so my answer "Horse" is a yes.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 10:14:27 PM EST
    "...a decent respect to the opinions of mankind..."
    Just a teeny bit out of context - the decent respect required them to state why they were separating from England

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#18)
    by Darryl Pearce on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 10:22:51 PM EST
    Just a teeny bit out of context... Oh, that's rich. Y'know, a Declaration of Independence may be compelled by a decent respect to the opinions of mankind, but a decent respect to the opinions of mankind does not necessarily require a declaration of independence. reductio ad absurdum, eh?

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 10:44:28 PM EST
    DP Nice to see you're willing to cede our society and laws over to some nebulous "international opinion". Funny, I thought we had a military to explicitly prevent that... Oh, and the United States was way behind the world on the whole slavery thing.. speaking of reductio ad absurdum, eh?

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 11:12:17 PM EST
    Are you serious? There was no democracy of any real sort anywhere in Europe at this time - or anywhere else for that matter. The American colonies were trailblazers - not followers after some international opinion. This was an official announcement - why a declaration perhaps. They were not looking for permission - or consulting world opinion. They were revolutionaries - not politicians

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 11:28:40 PM EST
    an arguement could be made if he was using internationl opinion as his only reason for making the decision. since this is not the case, why make it an issue? did someone say distraction?

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 11:38:01 PM EST
    expecting dignity from the bug man? (what are you smoking j?)

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#24)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 01:13:54 AM EST
    By all means, let Tom speak, give the man all the rope he wants, and then hand him some more. And be ready to toss the anchor.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 04:39:13 AM EST
    How is what he said wrong? You like the "evolution" towards "international standards" right now, because it comports with your views. How well would you have agreed with such a move circa 1935, had the court looked to Germany, Italy, and the USSR as the vanguard of history? If the Constitution is not meaningful, then we have rule by an unelected judiciary. Let's see how happy TL is with that if the Supreme Court ends up with a majority that thinks like Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. What you are asking for is rule by men rather than rule by law. That way lies tyranny, and it doesn't matter a lot whether that tyranny comes from the right or the left.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#26)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 04:58:57 AM EST
    Jeez, I only recently had a court refer to a BRITISH decision (Hadley v Baxendale) in decideing a countract dispute. Should I be shocked? I have to admit I AM somewhat shocked at the notion of a judge doing his own legal research (and on the internet, yet)!

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#27)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 06:47:29 AM EST
    PPJ: I hadn't realized that Churchill was a lawmaker and a federal employee. Churchill can comment to provoke debate irrespective of the lucidity of his comments. DeLay can comment to provoke debate but I would think that out of respect for the court he would do so in an exchange with Mr. Kennedy personally. "Activist" judges belong to both parties, I only wish we had many more libertarian activist judges......

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#28)
    by Pete Guither on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 07:10:00 AM EST
    Since when is paying attention to what the rest of the world is doing as a side portion of a legal definition, the same as ceding our society and laws over to a nebulous international opinion? If you're really worried about us losing our independence to foreigners, maybe you should take a closer look at those junkets of Tom Delay's.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#29)
    by txpublicdefender on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 07:13:53 AM EST
    If Kennedy were solely relying on international opinion or regarding international opinion as binding precedent, that would be a problem. But, he's not. In fact he specifically states that it does not control. So, what's the problem? Also, I love that Tom DeLay finds the idea of Kennedy using Lexis or WestLaw to be outrageous. He probably hears, "internet research," and immediately thinks, "porn."

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#30)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 07:28:06 AM EST
    Just so you know . . . In State court (Texas btw for me), if they have a unique situation, one they have never addressed before, they will look to how other states have handled the situation (usually they will find two different applications and compare), and evaluate it and apply to how Texas law should be. Same with all states. On the Federal level, it works the same way . . . if a unique situation arises that they never have addressed before, they will look at other countries, see their logic behind how they handle it, and get both ways, and then apply US law to the situation. Where do you think common law came from? The Indians? What about Statutory law? It all came from Europe, and we've been comparing our laws to their laws from the beginning, and forming our own unique law. The fact that some of you guys were asleep in your government classes when they taught this, and now you are SHOCKED, just shows how ignorant you are of US government history.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#31)
    by Darryl Pearce on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 07:52:31 AM EST
    Nice to see you're willing to cede our society and laws over to some nebulous "international opinion". Funny, I thought we had a military to explicitly prevent that Funny, Horse. I wrote one thing and you read something entirely quite different. Lemme see, what did I write? Your question: Should the US rely on "International Opinions" to interpet our Constitution? My answer: yes. How you got from there to "ceding our society and laws" is beyond me.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#33)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 10:16:18 AM EST
    Please keep your comments to Tom DeLay, international law and Justice Kennedy. Off topic comments have been deleted.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#34)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 10:50:53 AM EST
    Sen. Larry Craig (news, bio, voting record), R-Idaho, retorted: "Doesn't the other side have anything to talk about nowadays?"


    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#35)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 12:49:33 PM EST
    Of course, Intl opinion DOES count when you are Llying about non existent weapons. "The germans said it, the French said it, the russians said it, so it MUST be true" Ring a bell? As the Church Lady would say: How Conveeeeeenient.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#36)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 01:49:14 PM EST
    Even the use of the word "rely" is a diversion. To rely is to essentially mean to be dependent on. In no way does Kennedy or any other Justice "rely" on international law, either as a constant crutch or a sole doctrinary direction. Do they consult? Refer to? Ruminate over? Consider? Debate? Review? Analyze? Yes. Rely? Nope.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#37)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 02:35:57 PM EST
    Posted by JCHFleetguy: "Are you serious? There was no democracy of any real sort anywhere in Europe at this time - or anywhere else for that matter." Wow, somebody race out and tell MADISON, the Father of the Constitution, that he's wasting his time with his catalogue of DEMOCRACY in the Swiss Cantons and elsewhere in Europe, which formed the BASIS of his argument that we should have two Houses, instead of just the Lords, like the (future) Federalists wanted. International law is not just the human context of our other societies and how they decide and rule -- it's INTERNATIONAL TREATIES, which are NOT international law, only, but actually US law as well. Bush violated international treaties, which are US law. He violated the UN charter; he violated Geneva Conventions; he violated the Genocide Convention which this country SIGNED under Reagan. You lot blather on with the xenophobia, but this is about the law, not about your bigotry. International law is otherwise known as CIVILIZATION. The smokey fires of your bigotry is what is known (and demonstrated) as BARBARISM. Shave that Tom DeLay, and there ain't nothing under the beard of his ignorance and hatred. He's a TOOL.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#38)
    by Adept Havelock on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 06:08:49 PM EST
    A bit from Delay's latest ranting that I fell off my chair laughing at:
    he said in session that he does his own research on the Internet?
    Why does Lexis-Nexus hate America?

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#39)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 06:46:05 PM EST
    JL - Yes, you would think so, I would think so, but he is not compelled to do so. The SC is just one of the three, and from my view, they have no special rights as compared to the other two. PIL writes - "International law is otherwise known as CIVILIZATION." I think it was Mark Antony, upon his arrival to calm Egypt down, who was asked what his legal basis was. "I am here to enforce the law, and I have ten legions to make it legal."

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#41)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 06:08:01 AM EST
    DA - Real simple. If the law doesn't have the ability to be enforced it is neither legal, nor the law.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#42)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 07:52:22 AM EST
    I actually agree that the Constitution shouldn't be interpreted with reference to foreign legal opinions (with the technical exception of English common law decisions, upon which much of the Constitution's language was based) but someone responsible for the Terry Schiavo Act has no business complaining about anyone else's fidelity to the Constitution. Delay doesn't care about the Constitution at all, he just cares about getting the result he wants.

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#43)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 07:56:08 AM EST
    PPJ writes:
    I think it was Mark Antony, upon his arrival to calm Egypt down, who was asked what his legal basis was. "I am here to enforce the law, and I have ten legions to make it legal."
    LOL - How did that work out for him Jim?

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#44)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 07:59:26 AM EST
    God forbid Kennedy is looking for an international standard of humanity and morality within which to define "cruel and unusual" among the legal codes of countries with similar cultures. NOW IF DELAY HAD ONLY CAUGHT HIM CONSULTING THE BIBLE WE'D BE GIVING KENNEDY A TESTAMONIAL DINNER AT JIM JONES U. (Does DeLay know you can access the Bible on line?)

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#46)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 06:43:18 PM EST
    mfox - God forbid that we forsake our own constitution, which has a built in method of correction and change, called amendments, for the transit joy of being politically correct and in tune with the rest of the world. Who can argue that Hitler didn't improve the infrastructure? As for Antony, well, he got the girl: "Other women cloy the appetites they feed, But she makes hungry where most she satisfies. Antony, Antony and Cleopatra" In todays world that becomes: "We got married in a fever, Hotter than a pepper sprout..." In the end, his legalities bowed to the legal remedies of Rome. Which proves my point, again. (You should learn to adopt a longer view.)

    Re: Tom DeLay Bashes Justice Kennedy (none / 0) (#47)
    by Richard Aubrey on Thu Apr 21, 2005 at 08:09:45 PM EST
    As to Antony, I guess somebody had more legions. This is all dan and finedy until the SC picks a law to look to that you don't like. Then we'll hear some screaming.