Archive for the ‘Supreme Court’ Category

Supreme Surprise (Limerick)

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Supreme Surprise (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The SCOTUS has caused quite a din
Over gay marriage rights. Is it sin
Or just fine for the states
To say gays can be mates?
Its response is “We shouldn’t mix in.”

Happy Birthday To The Supremes (Limerick)

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Happy 225th birthday to the U.S. Supreme Court! (On Sept. 24, 1789 President George Washington signed the
Judiciary Act of 1789, which created a Supreme Court with six justices.)

Happy Birthday To The Supremes (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Seems today marks the birth of a court,
The court of supreme last resort.
Chief Justice John Jay
Ran it back in the day.
I just wish it would do what it ort.

Limerick Ode To Antonin Scalia

Monday, April 21st, 2014

I can’t help wondering whether Supreme Court Justice Scalia says weird things like this just for attention:

Speaking at the University of Tennessee College of Law on Tuesday, the longest-serving justice currently on the bench was asked by a student about the constitutionality of the income tax, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.

Scalia responded that the government has the right to implement the tax, “but if it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt.”

Limerick Ode To Antonin Scalia
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Suggesting that students revolt
Over taxes ain’t very adult.
It seems doltish Scalia
Has mouth diarrhea.
I surmise that his brain’s short a bolt.

Weep For The Wealthy (Limerick)

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Weep For The Wealthy (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Though the wealthy will publicly cheer
As campaign regs get knocked on their rear,
Some privately groan:
“No limits?” they moan.
“Buying pols is becoming too dear!”

Note from Mad Kane: Although I concocted that quote, it may be closer to the truth than you think. Here’s The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, who argued on ABC’s This Week “that not every wealthy donor will embrace the outcome of the McCutcheon case, because they may now be obliged to give more:”

“All the donors I know hate this decision, of course,” he said. “This used to be a very good excuse to say to a candidate, ooh, I’m maxing out, I just can’t help your campaign.”

Free Speech Gets Pricey (Limerick)

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Free Speech Gets Pricey (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Remember “one person, one vote?”
Now “one dollar, one vote’s” what they wrote;
Yes, the U.S. Supremes
Favor money — in reams,
As the rich grab free speech by the throat.

Thanks to the New Yorker’s John Cassidy, for inspiring this limerick with his acerbic comment about McCutcheon v. FEC:

But Wednesday’s decision, once again a five-to-four ruling, represented another significant step away from the antiquated principle of “one person, one vote” toward the more modern, and utilitarian, notion of “one dollar, one vote.”

Supreme Priorities (Limerick)

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

If you thought the Citizens United ruling undermined democracy, brace yourself: The Roberts court has made things even worse with yet another controversial 5-4 decision in McCutcheon v. FEC. Assaulting campaign finance reform once again, the Supreme Court struck down the aggregate limits on how much an individual can contribute to candidates, parties and political action committees.

As Ari Berman astutely observes:

The Court’s conservative majority believes that the First Amendment gives wealthy donors and powerful corporations the carte blanche right to buy an election but that the Fifteenth Amendment does not give Americans the right to vote free of racial discrimination.

Supreme Priorities
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The Supremes freed the wealthy to buy
Politicians — an endless supply.
Seems “free speech” means “free spending,”
While “voting rights rending”
Isn’t something they care to decry.

The Supreme Court Preclears Voter Suppression (Limerick)

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court’s hypocritical demolishment of the Voting Rights Act, followed by a rush by certain states to impose discriminatory voting restrictions, inspired this three-verse limerick:

The Supreme Court Preclears Voter Suppression (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Sev’ral states who once had to preclear
Any voting law change, gave a cheer:
The Supremes set them free
To restrict votes with glee,
Which they’re doing with plans in high gear.

In its holding, both sneaky and bold,
The Sup Court said the formula’s old,
And so need not be heeded–
A new one is needed:
It freed states to fair-voting withhold.

Some are doing just that with great speed,
Which proves that old formula’s need–
That it wasn’t outdated:
Bad intent’s unabated,
And there’s nothing to stop its stampede.

Limerick Ode To DOMA’s Demise

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Most experts seem to think the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down DOMA, thereby ending the federal ban on benefits to gay spouses. The question is: Will they do it based upon equal protection, or states’ rights? The former (seemingly supported by the four liberal Supremes) is vastly preferable, but the later appears more likely; the perennial swing judge, Justice Anthony Kennedy, is more of a states’ rights kinda guy.

Limerick Ode To DOMA’s Demise
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I’m GLAD to hear DOMA’s in trouble.
But will Justices safe in their bubble
Concede that it’s wrong,
Beat the gong, say so long
To treating gay couples like rubble?

Limerick Ode To Antonin Scalia

Monday, March 4th, 2013

I’ve been meaning to write about Antonin Scalia’s obnoxious Voting Rights Act comments. Something tells me he’d be a bit more enthused about the law, if the people it protected tended to vote Republican.

Limerick Ode To Antonin Scalia
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Scalia gave quite the recital
With that “racial entitlement” title
He “bestowed” on the vote,
Fearing Dem voter bloat:
To Scalia, such voters ain’t vital.

A Driving Attack On Corporate Personhood (Limerick)

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

I can’t help admiring the audacity and creativity of this fellow’s Citizens United-inspired legal argument:

A driver in San Rafael, California is attempting to appeal a traffic citation for driving alone in a High Occupancy Vehicle lane. Jonathan Frieman and his attorney, Ford Greene, argue that since Frieman had corporate incorporation papers in his car when he was stopped by an officer, he was actually carpooling at the time…

He’s sworn to chase the case all the way to the Supreme Court should the first trial not go his way in an attempt to “expose the impracticality of corporate personhood.”

A Driving Attack On Corporate Personhood (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I’m not driving alone, said the guy
In the HOV lane, and here’s why:
Corp’rate personhood rules,
And my corp files, you fools,
Are right here. My defense — you must buy!

Batty Birthers Are Gunning For … Justice Roberts??? (Limerick)

Monday, January 7th, 2013

The Birthers are making trouble once again:

The reliably unhinged crazies over at WorldNetDaily have a new axe to grind when it comes to their tiresome obsession with proving that President Obama is not legally entitled to serve in the office he’s held for four years and counting. Their latest gambit involves insisting that Chief Justice John Roberts is violating the Constitution by administering the oath of office to the president for the second time on January 21, and warning that he will be subject to “impeachment and eternal dishonor” if he does so.

Batty Birthers Are Gunning For … Justice Roberts??? (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The birthers are at it again:
Stop Barack’s Oval swear-in, their yen.
Oath of office — abort,
They John Roberts exhort.
Seems impeachment’s their wet dream — both men.

Alpha-Political Verse (Election 2012)

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Alpha-Political Verse (Election 2012)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A is for abortions, which Mitt Romney vows to ban.
B is for the Birthers. Gov’nor Romney’s quite the fan.

C’s for the contempt Mitt feels for folks who aren’t rich.
D is for a sham debate — Mitt’s pseudo-moderate switch.

E’s evolving policies Mitt seem to change each day.
F is for those pesky facts. For Mitt they don’t hold sway.

G’s for global warming. Mitt no longer thinks it’s real.
H is homophobia. Gay marriage he’d repeal.

I’s for immigration. Self-deporting! What a plan!
J’s for rightwing judges. Justice Roberts is Mitt’s man.

K is for the Koch Bros. Mr. Romney’s in their debt.
L’s for all the lies Mitt tells. The truth to Mitt’s a threat.

M’s Medicare and Medicaid. Mitt screws the old and poor.
N’s for Romney’s negative campaign, fact-challenged to its core.

O’s for Mitt’s Olympics and the bailout Mitt secured.
P is for Paul Ryan’s plan. Mitt’s keeping it obscured.

Q’s for follow-up questions. Journos find them such a bore.
R’s for regulations. Mitt is anti … also for.

S is Social Security — Mitt pretends he wants to save.
T is tax cuts for the rich, which Romney donors crave.

U’s the unemployment that Mitt Romney helped create.
V is all those varmints Romney killed … and maybe ate.

W’s for lots of foreign wars. Mitt’s spoiling for a fight.
X is for your ballot mark. Be sure to do it right.

Y’s for “Yes, we can” make sure the President prevails.
And Z’s for right-wing zealots. I look forward to their wails.

(You can find my previous alpha-political verse here,
here, here, and here.)

Limerick Ode To Scott Brown

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Dear Scott Brown: When trying to sell yourself in Massachusetts as a moderate independent, it’s best not to name Antonin Scalia as your favorite U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Methinks you made Elizabeth Warren’s day.

Limerick Ode To Scott Brown
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear Scott Brown, seems your cover’s been blown:
Your favorite Justice is known
As Extremist Supreme.
You named Nino! Your scheme
To sound moderate’s naught but a drone.

Courting Votes (Limerick)

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Today is the First Monday in October, which means the U.S. Supreme Court is back in session. A court, I might add, that’s packed with aging Justices, who could very well retire in the next four years.

Courting Votes (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The Supreme Court is back in DC—
A reminder that voting is key.
Just imagine the blight:
A court swing further right—
Forty-seven percenter debris.

UPDATE: In a Facebook discussion of my limerick, someone suggested that smoking weed might improve the Justices’ ability to render good decisions. So naturally, I had to write this:

The Justices need to be stoned –
Not with rocks, of course. Cannabis-zoned.
They’d make better decisions
And fewer provisions
Wherein stare decisis is boned.

Open Limerick To Chief Justice John Roberts

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Open Limerick To Chief Justice John Roberts
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Justice Roberts, your allies are mean,
And their attitude’s often obscene.
When they hate one decision,
Their answer’s derision:
Your meds fried your brain. No more sheen!

With people like that in your camp,
Perhaps it is time to revamp
Your views and opinions.
Dump low-lives as minions.
Convert! Be a working man’s champ.

GOP Falls Out Of Love With Roberts (Limerick)

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Republicans are in shock over the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Obamacare” decision. They’d been so sure they had Justice John Roberts in their pockets, that they’re behaving like betrayed lovers: How dare he side with the liberal wing of the court on the constitutionality question!

Many of them are enraged to the point of irrationality. In fact, even Justice Roberts seems to have noticed the GOP’s “what have you done for me lately” nastiness. He actually joked about going into hiding.

GOP Falls Out Of Love With Roberts (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The decision John Roberts just penned
Has sent ACA foes round the bend.
Up till now he’d promote
All their views with his vote.
Has their Roberts’ romance reached an end?

SCOTUS-Scolding Scandal? (Limerick)

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Wow! When I wasn’t looking, President Obama apparently mugged the U.S. Supreme Court:

To the fainting couch! Obama attacked the Supreme Court and threatened it with a backlash, should it strike down his tyrannical scheme to impose a government takeover of health care on the nation!

That’s what many conservative writers and even some centrist ones are arguing. They are saying that Obama’s words about the Court yesterday were “unsettling” and a “witch-hunt,” and they’re likening them to F.D.R.’s efforts to pack the Court in retaliation for decisions striking down New Deal initiatives.

Please. If what Obama said yesterday is an “attack,” it’s pretty timid stuff indeed.

SCOTUS-Scolding Scandal? (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The very same wingnuts who blast
So-called “activist courts” are aghast
And are faulting Obama
With petulant drama:
“He’s attacking the Court,” they lambaste.

Seems those wingnut Supremes need a hug,
Cuz Obama’s a meanie and “thug.”
His complaint, although mild,
Is driving them wild.
Those guys are sure easy to bug.

Supreme Indecency (Limerick)

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Chances are, you’ve heard about the latest Supreme Court travesty:

In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled against a New Jersey man erroneously arrested during a 2005 traffic stop for a fine he had already paid. Today’s ruling holds that even people arrested for minor offenses can be subjected to strip searches.

Supreme Indecency (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Thanks to Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia,
And their pals, cops can strip ya and see ya.
They don’t need any reason:
It’s strip searching season.
Our privacy’s gone! Mama mia!

Limerick Ode To Clarence Thomas

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is under scrutiny these days for conflicts of interest related to the Koch Brothers, the Federalist Society, and the Citizens United case.

But today’s limerick and haiku will focus, instead, on the fact that Thomas hasn’t asked a single appellate hearing question in five years.

For the record, I did quite a bit of litigation work during my lawyering years. And believe me, his failure to speak throughout five years of hearings is peculiar and reflects very poorly on his judicial skills.

That brings me to my Clarence Thomas limerick:

Limerick Ode To Clarence Thomas
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I’m mindful that Thomas can talk,
But at queries for hearings he’ll balk.
He’s been silent for years–
Five in all. I’m all ears.
If he asks one sharp question, I’ll gawk.

And here’s my Clarence Thomas haiku:

The Sup Court’s Thomas–
Too ill-informed for queries?
Or just too lazy?

UPDATE: It’s been nearly two years since I wrote this limerick and haiku. So in fairness, I must announce that Justice Thomas has finally broken his silence.

Now mind you, he didn’t ask a sharp question … or, indeed, any question: He merely made a mildly amusing four-word (or so) remark about lawyers who went to Yale.

Still … it’s a start.

Supreme Story

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Way back in 1999, President Bill Clinton nominated a brilliant lawyer for a seat on the federal appeals court based in the District of Columbia.

Alas, that lawyer never got to the D.C. bench. Indeed, the brilliant nominee never even got to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

You see, the lawyer suffered from a fatal flaw — she’d been named by a Democratic President, and her appointment would shift the balance of a very important court. So Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, blocked her nomination, refusing to schedule a hearing.

Disappointed but undaunted, the brilliant lawyer pursued other legal opportunities over the years and achieved great success.

More than a decade after this ill-fated nomination, the federal bench beckoned once again. But this time it was a nomination to the highest court of the land.

Getting a hearing wasn’t a problem this time. A hearing where Senator Hatch and his fellow Republicans would look askance at the brilliant lawyer, complaining she lacked the very judicial experience they had denied her.

Who was that brilliant lawyer? Elena Kagan.

And now you know… the rest of the story.

Related Posts: Robin Ghivan Makes Me Cross, Why I’ll Never Be A Supreme Court Justice, Leery About Elena, and Obama’s What???