Monty python and originalism

Aardvark86

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Jan 23, 2018
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Good morning on what may be our last scotus opinion day of the term. Let me begin this post by saying that I am an avowed original meaning (properly interpreted) guy when it comes to jurisprudential approaches to interpretation of statutes and constitutions. But if there’s one thing I love even more, it’s intelligent comedy - probably the most efficient and powerful way to communicate important ideas.

so on to our story. Last week, for my birthday, my son gave me a “Blessed are the Cheesemakesers” hat, an homage of course to the sermon on the mount scene from life of Brian. Naturally, I had to rewatch the scene.


Now think about what you just saw. In about twenty seconds, the pythons launched the two most compelling arguments against originalism. First, the telephone tag problem of those distant from the speaker simply not hearing him right. Second, the problem of how to derive and define broader meaning from original texts, as hilariously illustrated by the “dairy products” line (and it’s pompous delivery).

For an added bonus, recall how the scene ultimately resolves itself in name calling and threats of violence.

god I wish we had more comedians these days who were this smart in their comedy.
 

Aardvark86

Well-Known Member
Jan 23, 2018
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Sadly, today was not the final opinion day for Scotus. (Tomorrow will be - and we'll get the WV major questions case, which I predict will be very fragmented, and the remain in mexico case, which i have no idea what will happen).

Today we got Torres, which says Congress can use its war power authority to authorize suits against states for veteran discrimination, which is probably Justice Breyer's final opinion (joined by CJ and Kav). I think this is worth a closer read, because it could be read as a bit of a smackdown to what i'll call hyper-federalism arguments.

And we also got Castro Nueva, the Indian crimes case. Court holds oklahoma state courts do have criminal jurisdiction over crimes committed by non indians against indians in indian country. Really outstanding and passionate dissent by Gorsuch.
 

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