Monday, June 25, 2012

It may be cruel, but it's not unusual in the USA.

The real news out of the Supreme Court today is not that the Justices decided children shouldn't be sentenced to die in prison, but that four members of the court -- John Roberts, Sam Alito, Tony Scalia, and Clarence "The Silent" Thomas -- voted to uphold the right of states to impose life in prison without chance of parole for children 14 and under.
"Determining the appropriate sentence for a teenager convicted of murder presents grave and challenging questions of morality and social policy... Our role, however, is to apply the law, not to answer such questions. The pertinent law here is the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits 'cruel and unusual punishments.' Today, the court [majority] invokes that amendment to ban a punishment that the court does not itself characterize as unusual, and that could not plausibly be described as such."            -- John Roberts
He didn't say that life in prison without the chance of parole for a 12-year-old wasn't cruel. Therefore a punishment that is both Cruel AND Usual -- ie, enforced by 29 of our most backward states -- is not unconstitutional in the minds of the four dissenters.  This sort of judicial logic would have upheld slavery.

A liberal watching SCOTUS, even on days when the decisions go the right way by a thin margin, has to be a masochist akin to those on the left who watch Fox or listen to Rush, hence today's anagram: Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas = To Roast a Liberal Masochist. 

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