Archive for January 9th, 2008

Voter fraud (or suppression, whichever) in the Supreme Court

January 9, 2008

Lyle Denniston’s commentary on today’s oral argument in the Indiana voter ID case reminds me of Dahlia Lithwick’s take on yesterday’s lethal injection argument: neither the lawyers nor the Justices are willing to admit what the cases are really about. This sort of thing makes me cynical of the Supreme Court (and of our justice system in general): what sounds like high-minded legal theory is really a thin mask for a political brawl.

I expect the voter-suppressing Indianans to win 5-4, probably with Justice Kennedy writing a lofty and condescending opinion (à la Gonzales v. Carhart) in which he concludes that the “minor inconvenience to a small percentage of voters” is as nothing compared to the magisterial necessity of mercilessly rooting out poor urban Democratic fraudulent votes. Bah. I miss Sandra Day O’Connor.

[And just as I was about to hit “Publish,” I see Dahlia Lithwick’s witty analysis, full of her customary snark and bile. I ♥ you, Dahlia!]

UPDATE: My gal Dahlia and Emily Bazelon talk about this at Slate V. Sandy Levinson comments here.

After the NH primary

January 9, 2008

What pleases me most about yesterday’s NH Democratic primary is how wrong the polls were, and how confused the pundits are now.  I don’t think one can safely ignore borderline-offensive (and over-the-borderline-silly) theories of what went wrong; polls and pundits just suck is all the explanation I really need.

I am also pleased that there are real races in both parties, for pure entertainment value.  Politics is a lot easier to take if you look at it as entertainment.

For the record: I will happily vote for either Hillary or Obama, with a mild preference for Hillary (which could change).  I despise McCain less than I despise Romney (and the rest of the Republicans), so I guess I’m glad he won his primary.  OTOH, I think McCain would probably be the strongest Republican in the general election, so maybe I don’t want him to get the nomination.  OTOOH, that’s an “electability” argument, a sort of contrapositive to what got us Kerry last election (what were we thinking?), so I’ll settle on “glad McCain won.”