Another Supreme Court Nominee, Another Political Spectrum Debate

With Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court we have to live though a plethora of opinion pieces trying to define this nominee on the political spectrum. The same questions come up each time, are they liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, left or right.

MoneyAs a libertarian, I’m all too very familiar with the annoyance of having others summing up my views as either left or right. Watching Supreme Court nominees go through the process always brings out empathy for the nominee because labeling is something libertarians constantly deal with.

There is no absolute mutually agreed upon scale to sum up political views. Labeling the political philosophy of others is relative to the philosophy of the one offering the opinion.

Bill Ayers sees President Obama as a moderate and Ann Coulter sees John McCain as left-wing. Europeans see most of American politicians as being conservative and the reverse is true that Americans see European politicians as liberals.

Summing up all a person’s views as either being left or right isn’t very informative. From what’s floating around the blogs, Elena Kagan is not liberal enough for endorsing the Bush administration’s category of ‘enemy combatant’ and too liberal for kicking military recruiters off a college campus.

Not that my opinion of the next person on the Supreme Court matters, but instead of applying a label to their views, please list the view in question and then explain the view relative to well known politicians views and spare me the labels.

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HealthCare Debate has Just Begun

After viewing these videos, I see no end in sight on health care quarrels. I’m starting to believe if the health care bill passes, it will become as contentious as abortion with decades of court cases to follow.

The first video has Stanford Law Professor Michael W. McConnell arguing the health care bill is unconstitutional, because it violates article one section seven. McConnell said it violates the rule that before the President can sign the bill, it has to have been voted on separately by the House of Representatives and the Senate. McConnell also points to article one section five, that the votes have to be recorded in a journal if one fifth of the members present request a vote.

Stanford Law Professor Michael W. McConnell

But then you have Andrew Napolitano arguing the Supreme Court would not rule deeming the health care bill as ‘passed’ unconstitutional, because the Constitution states the houses write their own rules for how bills are passed. The Constitution states a bill that has ‘passed’ the House of Representatives and the Senate can go to the President, the key word is ‘passed.’ The house can define how it chooses to pass a bill.

Judge Andrew Napolitano

Someone probably will contest to the Supreme Court asking them to define what ‘passed’ means. If the votes were there, they would just vote on it and be done with it and not have to declare it as passed. If the houses can define what ‘passed’ means through rule changes to mean hypothetically voting on a bill, it should be taken to the Supreme Court.

Throw in states challenging the health care bill by means of the 10th amendment along with how the bill passed the house, and there will be no end in sight to Supreme Court challenges over this issue.

I was foolishly starting to believe that someday the health care debate would be over, but it looks like it’s really just begun.

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Manners Should not be an Issue of Law

Supreme Court Considers Westboro Baptist Church Protest Of Military Funerals

Some people try to make a distinction between free speech and hurtful speech. It’s still a matter of popular speech vs. unpopular speech, because the majority are the ones deciding if speech is hateful or not. This is clearly what happened in states where the Westboro Baptist Church was banned from protesting at funerals, while the majority was free to say hurtful things about the Westboro Church.

Unpopular speech is what the first amendment is there to protect, because popular speech is self-protecting. Imagine if DC ever tried to ban something as popular as the Bible, there would be a heavily armed group of millions on their steps the next day.

The less popular a view is, the more likely it is someone will try (and succeed) in having it banned. The core moral value of free speech protection is in protecting speech the majority finds repugnant. For free speech to have any real value, it has to include unpopular speech.

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