The conservatives are all in a huff because Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, once said that the courts make policy. But the judge was simply stating a fact. No, the courts do not write laws - the Senate and House of Representatives do that - but the courts are charged with making sure those laws are consistent with the Constitution. So, Supreme Court decisions can have the effect of establishing new policies by nullifying laws that are non-Constitutional. Brown vs. Board of Education is one commonly-known and admired example of this.
So, when Judge Sotomayor spoke about the courts making policy she wasn't practicing judicial activism, she was accurately describing the role of the Judicial Branch in the brilliantly-designed system of checks and balances that defines our government.
I think most conservatives know this, but their political playbook instructs them to act like they don't.
One final note on Judge Sotomayor's right-wing opponents... I'm appalled, though not the least bit surprised, that some of them have misinterpreted her comments about race and are now trying to say she's a racist. First of all, it is ludicrous for the lily white Republican Party to ever, ever accuse anyone else of racism. Secondly, Judge Sotomayor was correct when she talked about the likelihood that a Latin woman might reach a different opinion on a legal matter than a white man. That's actually good thing. The law is not totally objective like mathematics. It is filled with complicated nuances that are open to subjective interpretation - even among our most highly-educated legal minds. That's why the Supreme Court is a panel of justices who debate and vote and not a single judge who issues rulings. So, the more diverse that panel is - in terms of race, gender, socio-economic status, geographical origin, age, etc. - the more points of view will be shared in those debates. That can only help in the Court arriving at wise decisions.
See, this is why defense attorneys tell their clients to keep their mouths shut outside of the courtroom. If they start talking unchecked they can easily say something stupid that makes them sound guilty as sin. That's exactly what Chris Brown did last week. This fool, who has been vilified for his lack of remorse after his alleged beat-down of girlfriend Rihanna, went on YouTube to talk smack to the so-called "haters" and to claim that he "ain't no monster."
Arrogantly astride his high horse, Brown declared, "I ain't going nowhere. Everybody that's haters, they just been haters. All my real friends, I love ya'll. I ain't a monster."
Well, Chris, if the charges turn out to be true (and they certainly seem to be since you and Ri Ri were the only ones in that car when she got her face smashed) then yes, you actually are a monster.
I'll bet that Brown's attorney, Mark Geragos, went off on him for making that YouTube video. If he ever hopes to be found guilty in criminal court and, perhaps more importantly, in the court of public opinion Chris needs to go above and beyond to make himself look like Mr. Nice Guy. Getting defensive on the Internet doesn't help. That's the sort of thing we'd expect from a guilty man. Kinda like riding on a jet ski when you're supposed to be reconciling with the woman you allegedly assaulted.
Some guys never learn. Well, jail can be a very effective classroom. And make no mistake, Chris Brown could definitely end up behind bars. Even his lawyer seems to think so at this point.
Chris suffered two huge setbacks last week: Rihanna agreed to testify and the judge rejected Geragos' motion to examine police records related to that evidence photo of Rihanna that was leaked to TMZ. When a reporter asked Geragos if he was sure he could keep Chris out of prison, Geragos dodged the question saying, "I'm not going to address any of that."
LAMBERT MANS UP!
I'm not much of an American Idol fan so I haven't been caught up in the whole Kris Allen vs. Allen Lambert "controversy." But I really admire the way Lambert carries himself. While the general consensus is that Lambert is gay, he has steadfastly refused to discuss his sexual orientation. When the question was put to him the umpteenth time a few days ago, Lambert said, "Calm down (and) keep speculating."
See, that's cool. Everybody's entitled to their personal business and no one should have to put their private lives on front street just because they've achieved fame as an entertainer. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with Adam Lambert - or any other performer, for that matter - being able to touch audiences with a heartfelt performance. So, if you like an artist's singing, rapping, acting, etc. just dig on the performance and don't trip off of which consenting adults they may or may not be kickin' it with when they're out of the spotlight.
It's like the old joke that Richard Pryor used to tell about heavyweight boxer Leon Spinks. Pryor said that mocking Spinks for his supposed lack of intelligence was unfair because, as a boxer, Spinks' job was to knock guys out, not to perform brain surgery.
Lambert said something else recently that was extremely cool. He said he was proud of being different and he urged young people who are having a hard time fitting in with other kids to stop worrying about trends and the crowd. Lambert said, "It's a really, really cool thing to be able to show people that you can be yourself, and you should be proud of yourself, and you should own who you are and what you're about, and never make apologies for it."
Right on, right on, right on!
We give a lot of lip service in this society about individuality, but the fact is that our culture really values and enforces conformity. Everywhere we turn there are socio-economic, political, ethnic, religious and - worst of all - commercial forces pressuring us to think, speak and behave according to certain pre-determined limits. If we go outside of those we risk ridicule, isolation and even attack. That leads to a lot of us hiding or suppressing parts of ourselves out of the realistic fear that we will be punished for being different.
That's grossly unfair and it frequently leads to tragic consequences.
So, when Adam Lambert says he wants to help people be proud and unapologetic about their uniqueness I have to give him a one-man standing ovation!
Thanks for listening. I'm Cameron Turner and that's my Two Cents! THINK! IT AIN'T ILLEGAL YET!