March 12, 2010

Legalities Aside, with your host P. McIlheran

Just in time for his Teabag Pulitzer, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's incisive political columnist Patrick McIlheran reviews a decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and ponders how the court's unanimous reasoning would have applied to other cases:
Vermont, presumably, would be perfectly free to draw and quarter anyone not properly recycling, since cruel and unusual punishments would be available to states without hindrance.*
The Bill of Rights contains many separate provisions (MA's was a Second Amendment ruling), but it's funny because the Massachusetts court on Wednesday gave precisely that example, as if to anticipate McIlheran's award winning cluelessness:
See, e.g., Louisiana ex rel. Francis v. Resweber,** 329 U.S. 459, 463 (1947) (humane tradition of Anglo-American law requires incorporation of Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment under Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause) . . .
Sometimes you just want to feel sorry for the poor sod.

* Despite McIlheran's comical incredulity, this is consistent with the view of Chief Justice John Marshall, who was actually around in 1791.

** A better e.g.

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