July 25, 2006
BLOG: Quick Links 7/25/06
*Justice Stevens' opinion in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld took Senators John Kyl and Lindsay Graham to task for inserting a colloquy in the Congressional Record that didn't actually take place on the Senate floor, instead relying on statements by Harry Reid and Carl Levin; lots of bad press followed, and left-wing blogs tore into Kyl and Graham (see here and here for examples). Well, well, well, Ramesh Ponnuru points out that Levin's and Reid's statements were also inserted into the record and didn't take place on the floor. Which supports both the view that the Republican Senators did nothing unusual and - as Ponnuru notes - the common-sense position of Justice Scalia that legislative history can't be trusted. Kyl and Graham are owed an apology, big-time.
*Catallarchy uses a useful analogy to demonstrate how badly rate-regulated monopoly energy companies handle demand for their product.
*Megan McArdle meets the moonbat sense of humor.
*The picture on the second page of this article suggests a distracted photographer.
*NY GOP Senate candidate John Spencer's campaign blog rounds up some of the evidence against Hillary Clinton's national security credentials.
*IMAO T-Shirt Bride Sarah K. reads the tea leaves from the casting of the fifth Harry Potter film to guess at what storylines will and won't be pursued (with an 850+ page book to trim into a 2-3 hour movie, a lot will undoubtedly be left behind).
*Tom Maguire notes Duke Law Professor Edwin Chemerinsky's unfamiliarity with the basic facts of the Wilson/Plame civil suit despite having put his name behind their complaint.
*I'm not sure what's more characteristically French - that they instituted paid vacations by force of law, or that the Vichy government sent the architect of that law to Buchenwald.
*Allahpundit on Jake Tapper's interview with Kos: "It's like the chickenhawk Creation Myth."
*They found 50? The good news is, apparently our Majority Leader is prettier than theirs.
*Yummy. You just don't see enough sun dials at baseball stadiums these days. Then there's the Bleacher Bar.
I see nothing wrong with taking every !@#$% congressman and woman to task over the trash they put in after the fact in the Congressional Record. The idea that it is to record what actually happned, as opposed to the lies they say they said when they didn't say it (did I really say what I said I said?), well, it says a lot. This has nothing to do with what party, they all do it. So does that make it ever right (or is that right and left, no red and blue).
Anyway, I want to come back to this paragraph tomorrow, and insert my actual comments, made after everyone comments, to sound really good.
I think that's the point that Crank is making. Legislative history should not be a source for statutory interpretation because it's subject to manipulation.
The problem with Hamdan is that Stevens takes Kyl and Graham to task for "inserting" statements into the CR and then Stevens cites statements by Reid and Levin that were inserted into the record in the same way. If Stevens thinks what Kyl and Graham did was wrong, then he really ought not to be citing comments by Reid and Levin that share the same provenance.
I should add that I don't think legislative history is 100% useless, just that its proper use is very limited. For example, if used with appropriate cautions, legislative history is useful at least to frame the general contours of what the purpose of a statute is - i.e., what was Congress thinking about. It's much more tenuous when used to determine what Congress actually intended to do, for all the reasons Justice Scalia has so frequently noted.
If Hillary is not fit to be commander in chief, then John Spencer is not fit to be a guardian of the Constitution. He was found liable for violating the First Amendment in firing a City employee for her political association. See, 424 F3d 285 (2d Cir.).
Kyl and Graham are owed an apology, big-time.
No they aren't. the practice of basicaly falsifying transcripts is shameful and that doesn't change because somebody else did it too.
I don't know about the Levin, Reid and other's statements, but I remember reading the Kyl and Graham alterations and they took great pains to disguise the statements as part of the debate as opposed to post hoc additions.