Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Palin V. American Intelligence

Sources say that in an interview segment yet to be released by Couric and CBS (as part of their Presidential Questions leading up to the VP debate this week), Governor Sarah Palin could not name one high-profile Supreme Court case besides Roe v. Wade. Apparently not one before nor one after. So, I thought it would be a good exercise to count how many SC cases I could rattle off, just in case either one of the Parties wanted to pick me up in the off chance that a loose-lipped VP candidate bows out. Here's my list and what they signified for the American people:

  1. Brown v. Board of Ed. - The wrongness of the 'Separate but Equal' argument
  2. The People v. Larry Flynt - Free speech (and costly pix) even for moralless creeps like him
  3. Kramer v. Kramer - The right for emotional sappy movies even about divorce
  4. Spy v. Spy - The right to copy Tom and Jerry and Wil. E. Coyote gags
  5. Alien v. Predator - That was just about who could kick who's butt in no-holds-barred terror throw-down


  1. Ha!

    Y'know, I don't know if I could give you the names of certain cases, but I am at least vaguely aware of a few.

    Naturally, the first ones that come to my mind are the ones that affected the movie industry -- like the one in 1915 which ruled that movies were a business and not an art, and therefore they did not enjoy protection under the First Amendment; or the one in 1952 which ruled that movies did enjoy First Amendment rights; or the one in 1948 that, in effect, forced the movie studios to give up control of the theatrical exhibition business. It was the combination of the 1948 and 1952 rulings that allowed foreign and independent films to be made and distributed in the United States, circumventing the studio system and its censorious Production Code.

    Yes, yes, I had to look up the dates just now. But I was at least vaguely aware of those three rulings.

    And I vaguely recall that there was a Supreme Court ruling on a gun ban or some such thing just this year which got a fair bit of attention, partly because of Obama's reaction to it, which was seen by some to be one of his flip-flops. You would think the people running against Obama's ticket would want to be aware of such things.

    And I don't even live in your country! If you want to know about Canadian Supreme Court rulings, I can think of one or two of those, too. :)

  2. to be fair, palin's such an EASY target. but then again, she wasn't properly vetted, the mccain strategists cynically exploited her to get the conservative christians and disgruntled female votes, and, well, even conservatives and republicans think that this selection was a slap in the face (george will, for example).

    i would think that many people with some sort of base interest in US politics or history would have at least some understanding of supreme court rulings (and i - w/o looking up - know a lot less than i should), but if you're in a spot to become president of the US soon, you should at least have a working understanding of the three top branches of the federal government.

    i would think...


Be kind. Rewind.