A Slippery Slope

Monday 17 May 2010 - Filed under Legislation + SCOTUS

Not So Blind JusticeJustice Clarence Thomas via his scathing dissenting opinion of today’s United States v Comstock decision:

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it.1

Well said.

Too bad even those Justices who clearly see where this decision leads, a place where Congress has the power to define the next group of witches and make them Bitches for Life™, did not have the gumption to vote this fucking travesty of a decision down by upholding the lower court’s decision.  In his concurring statement, Justice Alito clearly sees that the majority opinion travels a dangerous path, writing,

I am concerned about the breadth of the Court’s language, see ante, at 2–4 (KENNEDY, J., concurring in judgment), and the ambiguity of the standard that the Court applies, see post, at 9 (THOMAS, J., dissenting), but I am persuaded, on narrow grounds, that it was “necessary and proper” for Congress to enact the statute at issue in this case, 18 U. S. C. §4248, in order to “carr[y] into Execution” powers specifically conferred on Congress by the Constitution, see Art. I, §8, cl. 18.

“Concerned about the breadth” indeed.  I guess not concerned enough to actually act upon said concern.  It’s one thing to say “It seems to me this decision could be used badly in the future and that worries me,” and yet completely another to say “There’s no fucking way I’m going to make a ruling which even remotely allows Congress the opportunity to make the kinds of bad determinations that I already acknowledge exist if we don’t kick this law to the goddamn curb.”

It seems that we can all agree that sexual predators are cockwads who deserve whatever punishment they are doled by the presiding judge in his criminal trial (and if you can’t, you’re a cockwad too).  But what this ruling provides Congress is the power to force anyone who has already served his sentence in to indefinite civil commitment, and that the standard for making such a determination is based on a fucking ridiculously low standard.  The answer for dealing with the particular issue in the case, handling sexual predators who have been determined very unlikely to have been rehabilitated in any meaningful sense, is to appreciably raise the prison sentences for fucktard sexual predators, not give Congresscreatures the power to relegate anyone they deem “dangerous” enough to an indefinite period of Federal dick suckitude, because, as Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute writes after having listened to the oral arguments for US v Comstock,

We don’t operate on the premise that the government has full plenary power to do whatever it thinks is best, for the “general welfare,” for “the children,” for “society,” or for any particular group, checked only by specific prohibitions.  Instead, our system of government — our constitutional rule of law — provides for islands of government involvement in a sea of liberty.  It is individual people who can do whatever they want that isn’t prohibited by law, not the government.

It’s a sad day when even the high court, the last bastion of defense the people have from bad government determination, rubber stamps shitty laws For the Children™.
1. See Thomas’ dissent, page 8.

2. A statement issued along with the decision by one or more justice used to clarify a point of contention or display general apprehension of using the ruling in a particular decision beyond the very narrow scope of the case in question.

2010-05-17  »  madlibertarianguy