The Bloom Is Off the Robe
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 100 16:03:22 -0800
Subject: The Bloom Is Off the Robe
X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649 -=[ Fun_People ]=-
From: NYT 12/13/00
December 13, 2000
The Bloom Is Off the Robe
by MAUREEN DOWD
CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST. We'll hear argument now on No. 00- 949,
President-Elect Bush and Vice President-Elect Cheney v. Albert Gore Jr. et
JUSTICE SCALIA. Mr. Olson, the legal predicate that seems to have slipped
your muddled mind is that recounts are only triggered if there's a problem
with the machinery, not in the case of voter error. Come on, Ted, do I
have to plead your case for Bush as well as hear it?
JUSTICE O'CONNOR. Well, Mr. Boies, why can't those ninnies down in Florida
simply follow the instructions for voting, for goodness' sakes? At the
Chevy Chase Club, my friends have been asking me why people too stupid or
slack to punch a hole through a piece of paper even deserve a vote.
JUSTICE SCALIA. That's it, Sandy, baby. Suffrage, shmuffrage.
CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST. Mr. Boies, you fail to grasp the concept of equal
protection for the conservative justices who want to retire. I'm 76. Sandy
is 70. We started out long ago, working our hearts out for Barry Goldwater,
and we're pooped. My back is killing me! But we can't leave until we install
a Republican president. Al Gore would replace us with that hippy-dippy
Mario Cuomo or that flower child Larry Tribe, or some minority who actually
cares about the rights of the dispossessed.
JUSTICE GINSBURG. Mr. Boies - may I call you David? - I love you.
JUSTICE SCALIA. Ruthie, zip it. Mr. Boies, as you surely have noticed by
now, I am the Big Brain here. So I will explain what should be res ipsa
loquitor, not to mention a priori. We stopped the vote-counting because if
we did not, Al Gore might have won. Then I would never have had a chance
to be chief justice.
I have put up with so much hokum. When they upheld Roe v. Wade. When they
made all-male military academies admit women. I became bitter and
marginalized. Never mind Al Gore's due process. What am I due in this
MR. KLOCK. If I may, Justice Brandeis -
JUSTICE SCALIA. I'm Scalia, dimwit. To continue, it may look hypocritical
if the court's conservatives suppress the will of the people and install
a states'-rights president by federal fiat. I know I have spent my career
fighting against muscular assertions of judicial power. But now I see that
judicial tyranny, judiciously used, can be a good thing. I don't believe
in making laws from the bench. But making presidents? That's different.
Hey, who ever said the Constitution is engraved in stone, anyhow? Text is
important, but so is subtext. Why should I prop up a pathetic pol who
vilified Clarence and me during his campaign?
This court is riddled with conflicts of interest. Clarence's wife, Ginny,
is over at the Heritage Foundation gathering conservatives' resumes for
possible appointments in the new administration. My son is a partner at
Ted Olson's law firm. Another son just got hired by another law firm working
for Bush. But if I had recused myself, there would have been a tie. And
then those radicals on the Florida Supreme Court could have been affirmed.
And President Gore might have made Ruthie the chief.
JUSTICE THOMAS (to himself). If this thing runs long, I'm going to miss
"Trailer Park Nurses" and "Room Servicing" on the Spice channel.
JUSTICE STEVENS. De novo, de- lightful, de-lovely. Why don't we just devise
a standard to count all the votes?
JUSTICE SOUTER. I know the Bushes are furious at me. That'll teach 'em to
assume that a guy living like a monk in an isolated New Hampshire farmhouse
is some kind of Live Free or Die nut.
JUSTICE O'CONNOR. Mr. Boies, while we are on the subject of irreparable
harm, are you aware that if I side with you, it could put in jeopardy the
membership of my husband, John, in the Bohemian Grove? He does so enjoy
his week of stag frolicking and drag shows in the California redwoods with
President Bush, Cap Weinberger, Bill Buckley, David Rockefeller and Henry
CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST. We're dropping in the polls on the question of
our fairness, but we still need to anoint Bush president. It's best for
us. We'll just have to work harder to hide the truth: that we are driven
by all the same petty human emotions as everybody else in this town -
ambition, partisanship, political debts and revenge.
MR. KLOCK. How true, Chief Justice Holmes.
(c)2000, NY Times
© 2000 Peter Langston