White House tells Supreme Court what cases it should take?

March 15, 2011

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised; this is, after all, the same administration whose leader famously dressed down the Court live on national television during his State of the Union speech. No wonder his flunkies feel free to tell the court what cases it may take and when:

The Obama administration told the Supreme Court on Monday night it should stay away from a high-profile challenge to the 2010 health care law until after a lower court has had a chance to review the case.

Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal wrote, “there is no basis for short-circuiting the normal course of appellate review.” Katyal also says Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s case is problematic because he may lack sufficient standing to challenge the health care law.

The Supreme Court normally takes cases only after they’ve been reviewed at least once by appellate judges. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says that’s not appropriate in this instance.

In his filing last month, Cuccinelli said there’s a “palpable consensus” that the high court will ultimately have to pass judgment on the merits of President Obama’s health care law and should do so without delay. Furthermore, Cuccinelli argues that his case involves “pure issues of constitutional law” that appellate judges on the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will be unable to definitively resolve.

Maybe I’m just a stuffy old conservative, but it seems to me that the Court itself is competent to decide what cases it will take in which order, and when procedure will be followed and when it will be deviated from. Last I checked, it is a co-equal branch of the government and doesn’t need advice from another branch about how to handle its own affairs.

The subtext of this seems to me to be that Katyal and his bosses are worried that the initiative is against them since Judge Vinson’s devastating ruling against ObamaCare last April, even though that’s separate from Virginia’s case. Judge Vinson’s reasoning will surely be used in any number of amicus briefs filed when (not if) Virginia’s case goes to the SCOTUS, so perhaps the administration is hoping appellate review of Cuccinelli’s suit will give them some ammunition for later. Or maybe they’re playing a delaying game, hoping that, the longer ObamaCare is in force, the less likely the courts will be to overturn it.

To be honest, I’m not sure why they need to act arrogantly toward the court in this instance; it’s not as if they’ve shown any inclination to obey court orders so far.

via Doug Powers

UPDATE: I’ve been told by several lawyers on Twitter that this is a fairly standard filing, so, objection withdrawn. But the snark about obeying court orders stands.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Japan earthquake: before and after photos

March 15, 2011

Want to see something impressive, in that “so shocking my brain almost can’t process this” kind of way?

Australia’s ABC News has before and after photos of areas in Japan devastated by the Sendai quake and tidal wave. Roll you mouse over the photos to see the difference, and then go donate some money to relief efforts.

By the way, the US Geological Survey has “upgraded” the quake from magnitude 8.9 to 9.0. To give you an idea of the force generated, the 6.7 Northridge earthquake that trashed Los Angeles in 1994 equaled the force released by the explosion of a 168-kiloton nuclear bomb. What was the equivalent for last Friday’s 9.0 temblor?

474 megatons. The largest warhead we ever deployed was the 9-megaton W53, and it would take 52 of those to match the power of last week’s quake.

Like I said, the mind almost can’t process it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)