April 06, 2012

Court Is In Session

This week, President Obama stepped in front of his favorite audience, cameras, and asserted confidently that the Supreme Court would rule in favor of the Affordable Care Act and the individual mandate on which the law financially hinges.

Setting aside the President's prescience on how the nine judges may be pondering on a ruling set more than two months in the future, he also uttered something most peculiar:

"Ultimately I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress."

Somewhere, probably about six feet or so underground, former Chief Justice John Marshall rolled over in his grave and groaned "Arruray Ersus Adison." He said this because his lips have long since decayed away, but I'm assuming a small army of worms have teamed together to act as his tongue. What he meant to say was "Marbury Versus Madison," the 1803 Supreme Court case that set the precedent of judicial review, which the Court has invoked countless times since then when ruling on a wide spectrum of cases.

Of course, President Obama--who is widely regarded to have once been a professor of Constitutional law--simply had to have known this elementary aspect of American judicial history. Right?

For the sake of this blog post, I'm going to say "no, he didn't," because it's so much more hilarious to think in such terms.

Now, I can in no way profess to be a Constitutional law professor. At most, I can say I slept through a semester of mass media law classes en route to an eventual mass communications/journalism degree. Still, I think I was able to pick up on enough notable Supreme Court case precedents to put me in a position that's apparently at the same level of understanding as our sitting Commander in Chief.

Take, for example, Mayberry Versus Madison, the 1960 Supreme Court ruling that decreed the fictional town of Mayberry, N.C. would host the iconic "Andy Griffith Show" instead of Madison, Wis. Writing the majority 7-2 ruling, then Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote:

"While Madison may be an actual community and even a state capitol, it's our belief that the fictional community of Mayberry simply came up with a far more infectious, jauntier tune that also happens to be ridiculously easy to whistle."

The following year, in 1961, the Supreme Court heard the civil rights case known as Spy Versus Spy. In this Mad case, it was argued that a white spy racially targeted a black spy when he detonated a spherical black pipe bomb directly below the black spy's genitals. Ultimately, the Court ruled 8-1 that the assault was not racially motivated, and was instead the white spy's revenge for previously having had the black spy drop an anvil on the white spy's head from atop a high rise apartment complex. Wrote Chief Justice Warren for the majority:

"It can be easy to let prejudices obscure justice in these racially charged times, and to let preconceptions lead to hasty conclusions. At first glance, and taken as a single act, the white spy clearly seemed to target an innocent black spy. However, once we took a longer view, it became clear this was but one incident in an ongoing string of back-and-forth assaults perpetrated between the white spy and the black spy. While we don't condone the wanton use of explosives and other assorted weaponry utilized by the white spy and the black spy in their perplexing vendetta against one another, we see no reason to ascribe racial motivations to their malicious actions."

Of course, as President Obama could easily tell you, there was the landmark 1994 ruling Ali Versus Frasier, wherein a Pakistani American, Choudhry Ali, claimed to have suffered considerable emotional and psychological distress after receiving on-air psychiatric advice from a popular Seattle, Wash., radio personality. In that ruling, then Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote for the 9-0 unanimous majority:

"While we agree the radio personality in question is undeniably a pompous douchebag with an incredible narcissistic disorder, Mr. Ali nevertheless called into the radio show of his own accord seeking advice. That he undertook this action and subsequently accepted the advice of the radio personality and approached and was rejected by the female object of his desire in a local coffee shop, was not, in our opinion, the fault of the radio host."

Most recently--again, as I'm sure President Obama is intimately aware--there was the 2008 ruling, Man Versus Food, which declared a disgusting man with no discernible sense of humor, yet with an excess of misplaced personality, was free to damage his body in unspeakable ways by ingesting a disturbingly copious amount of food for the amusement of a television audience. While the man won his case in a closely contested 5-4 ruling, justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the minority:

"In this case, food desperately needs an advocate. There is no earthly reason that perfectly good food should be subjected to such a pointless fate as to be ingested by a man who is clearly only a handful of heartbeats away from a major and disastrous coronary event. In one episode alone, the food this human garbage disposal packed away could have easily fed a small African nation for a week or more. Several times while watching his show, I threw up a little in my mouth and had to swallow it back down for the sake of Court proceeding decorum."

I fully expect President Obama knows all about these and other Supreme Court cases and understands the ramifications they hold for the future of his signature healthcare reform legislation. Man Versus Food, particularly, should be weighing heavily on his mind.

I know it sure weighs heavily on my mind. That man is a pig.

Posted by Ryan at April 6, 2012 09:46 AM | TrackBack
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