Saturday, March 03, 2007

Stop It, Already

Ann Coulter's now well publicized reference to Democrat presidential hopeful John Edwards as a "faggot" at the Conservative Political Action Conference was unkind and uncalled for, but those prominent conservative bloggers who are rightly criticizing Coulter need to stop characterizing the insult as being on par with using the "N" word. Doing so only lends credence to the false assertion that sexual orientation is the equivalent of and indistinguishable from race and ethnicity. Regardless of whether or not one is born with same sex attraction, the fact of the matter is that gay sex is biologically unnatural, and every person with homosexual tendencies has the innate capacity to stop themselves from acting upon their desires.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Uh Huh...

In the spirit of the Lenten season, professional Catholic Apologist and BDS sufferer Mark Shea confesses his occasional sin of, get this, telling the truth in a mocking, flippant and snotty manner.

What an eye roller.

Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades Mark. How about confessing and repenting of the sin that you not only frequently commit in a mocking, flippant and snotty manner (a double sin) but which rhymes with the word "flying"?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Gay "Marriage"

Went to another Federalist Society sponsored event today, this time in downtown Los Angeles. The topic was gay "marriage", and there was a panel of four speakers that included the dean of Pepperdine Law School and former special independent counsel in the Whitewater matter, Ken Starr.

Two of the panelists were lawyers who are involved in challenging the constitutionality of Prop. 22, i.e., the California Defense of Marriage Act. The basis of their argument is somewhat technical, and disingenuous IMHO, but their position basically amounts to a contention that Prop. 22 invidiously discriminates against homosexuals and serves no legitimate government purpose.

The other two panelists, including Ken Starr, were presumptively against the legal recognition of gay "marriage". I say "presumptively," because the crux of their comments today pretty much focused on why the dispute over gay "marriage" should stay out of the courts and be resolved by the people through their duly elected representatives. One sensed the opposition these panelists had to gay "marriage" by the examples they provided as to how Prop. 22 could withstand constitutional scrutiny. (By "examples", I mean kinds of legitimate government purposes for which Prop. 22 serve. It is interesting to note that the government doesn't even have to be right about a particular purpose, e.g., traditional marriage results in less maladjusted children, in order for it to be legitimate.)

Since the event was co-sponsored by the left-liberal American Constitution Society, there were a significant number gay "marriage" proponents in the audience. I'm happy to report that no fisticuffs occurred, and I got 1.5 Mandatory Continuing Legal Education credits for basically $20.

Follow Up: I just remembered that one of the pro-gay "marriage" panelists attempted to argue that gay "marriage" was not an ideological issue that fell along liberal-conservative lines because noted stalwart conservatives like Andrew Sullivan are in favor of making gay "marriage" legal. Talk about self-undermining your argument.

Monday, February 26, 2007

John Yoo

I went to a Federalist Society speaking engagement today that featured John Yoo, a law professor at UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) and former law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas. From 2001 to 2003, Professor Yoo served as a deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice.

As you might well be able to guess, the main topic of Professor Yoo's talk was the war on terror, and in particular, the national security policies of the Bush Administration (e.g., NSA wiretapping, coercive interrogation of terrorists, the Patriot Act). For all the handwringing that "civil libertarians" have been engaging in over these policies, Professor Yoo persuasively illustrated that not only does the administration have precedence on its side, none of what is going on now is nearly as "drastic" as what past presidents have done in previous wars. Roosevelt, for example, had ordered the monitoring of all forms of domestic communications a full year and a half before the U.S.'s formal entry into World War II. The Republic not only survived this seemingly imperial act, civil liberties would actually be expanded after the war concluded.

What I really found interesting about Professor Yoo is his willingness to publicly defend the Bush Administration's national security and war policies even when the administration itself does not seem all that interested in doing so. Indeed, this is the one major criticism that Professor Yoo has of the administration (he was especially critical of former Sec. of State Colin Powell and current Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice).

As a side note, I got to speak with Professor Yoo a little bit before he gave his lecture, and he informed that his old boss, Justice Thomas, will be releasing a book of his memoirs sometime this summer. In case you're wondering, the book is expected to address the whole Anita Hill affair.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Bizarre, Yes; But Not That Uncommon

Rob Vischer over at Mirror of Justice quips that Judge Larry Seidlin's handling of the Anna Nicole Smith case makes a compelling case for a return to jurisprudential formalism.

Here's a sampling of the reported behavior by Judge Seidlin:

The flamboyant Seidlin, rumored to be coveting his own reality TV show, let the proceedings spin out of control. The judge interjected himself into testimony, talked about his daily routine and wardrobe, and chatted nostalgically about his roots in New York, where he was once a cab driver. He freely gave nicknames such as "Texas," "California" and "Mama" to the people involved in the trial.

As crazy as this stuff is, Judge Seidlin's behavior isn't all that uncommon as far as judges are concerned. Fact of the matter is that a lot of judges, not all of them, are big time ego-manics who treat the courtroom as their little kingdoms where they can do almost anything they want. So when Vischer rhetorically asks if we can agree on the need to return to formalism, my answer would be an enthusiastic "yes!" Problem is, this kind of stuff has been going on for so long there's really nothing to return to.