Comments 3

  1. As a professional programmer, I need to point out that computer programs can sometimes be ambiguous. For example, this bit of inartful C programming:

    #include
    int main() {
    int a[3] = {2,3,5};
    int b = 0;
    printf(“%dn”,a[++b] – a[++b]);
    return 0;
    }

    Whether this program gives us “2” or “-2” is undefined in the C standard; it’s up to the compiler to resolve the ambiguity.

  2. I’m surprised you didn’t mention how hard Roberts cracked down on those who wanted Obamacare shot down — he said they were trying to legislate through the courts.

    Given an ambiguity in the text — especially one whose ink is barely dry — resolving it by reference to the clear intention of its authors is the only sensible thing to do. To do otherwise would be to make the text say something it does not intend, and Roberts is very clear that this is not a principle he will ever apply. That was his best argument against finding a right to gay marriage in the constitution, and he would make the same point about Roe. The textbook case of judicial activism is Lochner, which Roberts cites repeatedly as the model of judicial overreach. Has this lesson been lost on conservatives?

    Partisanship has devolved into a kind of might-makes-right thinking. If whatever we want is OK to achieve by any means necessary, then we will be judicial activists when it suits us and decry the practice when we perceive it being used against our agenda. Such unprincipled behavior means we have lost faith in the system and are now slaves to our personal will to power. Nothing good will follow from that.

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