Depressingly Hypocritical Quotes from One of Today's Supreme Court Decisions:
These come from the quite sane 5-4 decision that declares that life without parole for people under 18 who commit murder is cruel and unusual punishment and is banned by the 8th Amendment:
1. Clarence Thomas, in his dissent, quoting himself in a previous decision: "[T]he Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause was originally understood as prohibiting torturous methods of punishment—specifically methods akin to those that had been considered cruel and unusual at the time the Bill of Rights was adopted." Thomas asserts this a couple of times in his dissent (joined, of course, by Scalia). It's what conservatives like to call "originalism." You got it, right? It's only for shit that was done "at the time." Which means that when it comes to other decisions, you should only consider what was available at the time. Unless, you know, it's the 2nd Amendment. Then the Bill o' Rights scribblers were totally talking about guns that can shoot a bazillion bullets in a couple of seconds and not just the single shot muskets available then.
2. Samuel Alito, in his dissent, responding to the majority's belief that society is getting more humane, "Is it true that our society is inexorably evolving in the direction of greater and greater decency? Who says so, and how did this particular philosophy of history find its way into our fundamental law? And in any event, aren’t elected representatives more likely than unaccountable judges to reflect changing societal standards?" Let's put aside for a moment the Fox "news"-approved phrase "unaccountable judges." Instead, let's quote Alito, in his sole dissent on the case upholding the Westboro Baptist Church's right to be motherfuckers at funerals: "A plaintiff must also establish that the defendant’s conduct was 'so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency,'" which Alito believed the "God Hates Fags" gang had. Whose decency? Which unaccountable judge's? Alito never asked that in 2011.
3. John Roberts, in his dissent, says that "we display our usual respect for elected officials" in most decisions. Of course, that didn't prevent the overturning of Montana's ban on corporate funding of elections (or portions of Arizona's illegal immigrant law). And let's see how that respect goes on Thursday, when the health care law decision is made. Mostly, it's just a ridiculous, completely worthless statement of deference where none really exists.