Mitchell’s laws: The more budgets are cut and taxes inceased, the weaker an economy becomes. Until the 99% understand the need for deficits, the 1% will rule. To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments. Austerity = poverty and leads to civil disorder. Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
Sometimes things are better understood, or at least better respected, if they have a name. I always have been troubled by the right wing of the Supreme Court – most notably Justices Anton Scalia and Clarence Thomas – and their insistence on “originalism.”
My belief has been that any judge who prefers adhering to what he considers to be the letter of the law, is just a lazy thinker. He doesn’t need to go through the agony of considering the many ramifications of reality. He isn’t a thinker; he is just a translator.
Originalism is the belief that the original intent of an author should be adhered to in later interpretations of a work.
Several reasons are given for “originalism” in the Supreme Court:
1. Originalism reduces the likelihood the judiciary will create law, a duty of the legislative branch. [History shows that originalist judges can be as activist as non-originalist judges]
2. Non-originalism leads to judges using their own personal values as opposed to the law. [Yet, originalist judges apply their personal opinions about the intent of the framers.]
3. Originalism allows voters to amend their Constitution when necessary to change the law. [An extremely difficult, time consuming task, that forces the population to suffer bad law for an extended time]
4. Originalism strengthens the Constitution as a binding contract. [Circular thinking. It’s a binding contract only if the citizens agree on the original intent.]
5. Originalism forces lawmakers to avoid creating bad laws, rather than leaving them to the courts to amend. [Good hypothesis; bad reality. It has done no such thing.]
The correct name for originalism is ”The Historian’s Fallacy” – “a logical fallacy that occurs when one assumes decision makers of the past viewed events from the same perspective and having the same information as those subsequently analyzing the decision.” (Wikipedia)
Justices Scalia and Thomas assume:
– They know what the framers of the Constitution were thinking.
– The framers were able to anticipate all relevant events occurring in the two-plus centuries after the Constitution was written
– These events do not affect the law or the way the law is administered
– In writing the Constitution, the framers were not subject to political pressures, facts, beliefs and contingencies of the time
– Changing the Constitution is an appropriate and easily accomplished alternative to bad law
They are wrong on all counts. Scalia and Thomas are no different from the religious fundamentalists, who think the bible should be interpreted literally (Exodus 21:17 Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Exodus 31:15 Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death.) Like religious fundamentalists, they believe nothing relevant has happened since pen was put to paper.
I suggest that the right wing, originalist branch of the Supreme Court has what we, as kids, called “stupid brains” – academically intelligent people, who when faced with the real world, make foolish decisions.
Sadly, most of the right-wing justices are young, which means we will live under the lash of 16th century justice for a long time.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption + Net exports
One thought on “–Lazy Thinking, Originalists, the Historians Fallacy, Stupid Brains and the Supreme Court”
What would be the name of the judicial philosophy which gave primary importance to the words of the law and the Constitution themselves, and when insight as to intent was required, referred to contemporary texts such as the Federalist Papers, and eschewed activism, and abstained from rulings based on their personal values rather than on the words of the law and the Constitution. I would want judges like that.