The Constitutional Anchor Baby Crisis, Revisited

American History, Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

On the Right the Shiny Object de la semaine, if not du jour, is birthright citizenship. This is the legal right to citizenship of all babies born in the U.S. regardless of the status of their parents. From time to time conservatives get whipped up into a Nativist frenzy and demand that birthright citizenship be ended, and now is one of those times.

It’s widely believed that birthright citizenship is established by the 14th Amendment, and that it would take a constitutional amendment to change it. But many on the Right deny this. They don’t think the 14th says what it says, and they think birthright citizenship could be ended through an act of Congress. For example, Edward J. Erler wrote in National Review,

A correct understanding of the intent of the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment and legislation passed by Congress in the late 19th century and in 1923 extending citizenship to American Indians provide ample proof that Congress has constitutional power to define who is within the “jurisdiction of the United States” and therefore eligible for citizenship. Simple legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president would be constitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment.

I don’t have time to write a long post explaining why Erler is wrong. Fortunately, I already wrote that post, more than five years ago. In the earlier post (The Constitutional Anchor Baby Crisis) I respond to a George Will column that made nearly identical arguments to Erler’s. And those arguments are taken pretty much wholesale from the minority opinion in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) . The detail that Will and Erler both hope nobody notices is that the majority opinion in Wong Kim Ark disagreed.

Erler also tries to argue that Wong Kim Ark only applies to children born of legal aliens, but I read the Wong Kim Ark opinion, and that’s not apparent to me. For one thing, I’m not sure “illegal aliens” was conceptualized then as we conceptualize it now. In any event, Wong Kim Ark was a man born in the U.S. to Chinese laborer parents who were considered “subjects of the Emperor,” at a time when Chinese laborers were strictly excluded from the U.S.  But Wong Kim Ark claimed citizenship by right of birth, and the Court agreed with him.

So here’s most of the earlier Anchor Baby post, and you can substitute “Erler” for “Will” if you like.

Now, most legal experts say that because of the 14th Amendment, Congress does not have the power to deny citizenship to so-called “anchor babies.” Doing this would require a constitutional amendment. But righties are arguing no, because the 14th Amendment doesn’t say what it says. This argument was presented by none other than George Will a few days ago, and it is a tortured argument, indeed. But when I read Will’s column I didn’t have the time to research what he was saying to see if it could hold mayonnaise, never mind water.

But lo, yesterday, while researching something else entirely, I ran into a discussion of United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) (see also Wikipedia discussion of Wong). Wong Kim Ark was a man born in the United States of ethnic Chinese parents. At the time, the Chinese Exclusion Act was in effect. You probably remember that this barred anyone of the Chinese “race” from entering the U.S., and it denied citizenship to ethnic Chinese people already in the U.S. Wong challenged this law, and in a 6-2 decision the Supreme Court agreed with Wong, and said he was a citizen of the United States by virtue of being born here. And it seems to me there’s a made-for-television movie script in there somewhere.

Anyway, as I read about the Wong decision I realized that the dissenting argument in the Wong case is exactly the same argument being made today by Will and the Republican lawmakers.

The dissent was based on an interpretation of the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Will and the two SCOTUS dissenters (John Harlan and Melville Fuller) say this phrase means “and not subject to any foreign power.” In their dissent of Wong, Harlan and Fuller point out that native Americans were (at the time) not citizens of the U.S. because the Civil Rights Act of 1866 had given citizenship to “all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed.”

This act became law just two months before the 14th Amendment was proposed. So, the argument is, this wording gives us insight into where lawmakers’ heads were at the time. And thus, if the parents are subjects of a foreign power, then their baby born in the U.S. is not eligible for citizenship. This was the dissenting opinion in Wong in 1898, and Will repeated this same argument in his Washington Post column. Will doesn’t bother discussing that pesky Wong majority opinion, however.

Will argues further,

What was this [the jurisdiction phrase] intended or understood to mean by those who wrote it in 1866 and ratified it in 1868? The authors and ratifiers could not have intended birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants because in 1868 there were and never had been any illegal immigrants because no law ever had restricted immigration.

As far as I know, the Chinese Exclusion Act was the first attempt to render any sort of immigration illegal, and it didn’t become law until 1882. Congress had passed an earlier version of the exclusion act in 1878, but this was vetoed by President Hayes. But the Wong majority decision says plainly that an act of Congress making Chinese immigration illegal, and denying citizenship status to ethnic Chinese, did not override the clear language of the 14th Amendment.

So, whether Will and the Republican lawmakers like it or not, SCOTUS already nixed their argument.

The majority opinion in Wong is based partly on English common law, which said that babies born in England are English, with the exception of the children of diplomats and children born to hostile forces occupying English territory.

In addition, at the time native American tribes were not considered subject to U.S. jurisdiction and were therefore not citizens. Another case decided in 1884 (Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94) had declared that a native American who left his tribe and went to live in a white community didn’t automatically get citizenship, although he could be considered a citizen if he went through whatever naturalization process existed at the time and paid taxes.

Will leans heavily on the example of non-citizen native Americans to argue that the 14th Amendment was not intended to confer citizenship to babies of foreigners who happened to be in the U.S. at the time. But the Elk decision (which Will doesn’t mention, either) did not consider Indian tribes to be foreign states. A tribe was an alien political entity which Congress dealt with through treaties, but not the same thing as a foreign nation.

So, it seems to me the Wong decision — the majority opinion, anyway — more closely speaks to the circumstance of babies born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants than does the Elk decision. And I think I just blew by nerd blogging quotient for the day.

Update: Read more about Wong Kim Ark in “The Progeny of Citizen Wong.”

And thank goodness for archives.

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  1. c u n d gulag  •  Aug 20, 2015 @10:40 am

    As usual, Will and the right, are Wong!

    Ok, so shoot me!
    I know that sucked, but I couldn’t help myself.

    What did you want me to say?
    That we need another Wong decision, and that two Wong’s WILL make it right?
    “Right” as in correct, not “rignt” like in wing.

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Aug 20, 2015 @10:49 am

    Also too – I wonder how Booby J., The Cruz-ader, and Marco, feel about this, since, to some degree or other, they may also very well qualify as “Anchor Babies?”

    I have a deal for our bigoted Reich-Wingers:
    Yes, ok, let’s discuss the 14th Amendment.
    But at the same time, let’s discuss the 2nd Amendment as well.
    Maybe we can find a meaningful compromise on both.

    These conservative morons should be thankful that the Native Americans didn’t have strict immigration policies!
    Or early white Americans, who, if they didn’t want to, or couldn’t, own slaves, still like cheap immigrant labor.
    Most of us are here, because the rich white dudes wanted cheap labor.

    How do you feel about that, Rep. Steve King, you bigoted jackass?

  3. Ed  •  Aug 20, 2015 @11:16 am

    Original intent is a great principle! Let’s see, the original Second Amendment gives us the right to keep and bear single shot flintlock muskets, right?

  4. joanr16  •  Aug 20, 2015 @11:41 am

    Well let’s just see:

    Amendment XIV
    Section 1.
    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Seems pretty clear to me. No mention of specific ethnicities included or excluded by the amendment (which wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny over time, anyway).

    This issue is really flushing the racists out from under their rocks, imo.

  5. uncledad  •  Aug 20, 2015 @11:43 am

    “They don’t think the 14th says what it says”

    Well you could substitute “the 14th” with just about anything in the constitution or supreme court decisions or any document more than one page long. GOP 2015 long on hysteria short on reality!

  6. uncledad  •  Aug 20, 2015 @11:46 am

    “No mention of specific ethnicities included or excluded by the amendment”

    Joanr, you need to use the special GOP x-ray goggles, then you will see: “All WHITE persons born or naturalized……………

  7. joanr16  •  Aug 20, 2015 @12:18 pm

    special GOP x-ray goggles

    Ohhh right, they come as a freebie in the Shredded Wheat! Silly me, I bought the Honey Nut Cheerios instead, for the free toy “Minion.”

  8. Ed  •  Aug 20, 2015 @12:39 pm

    Also: only a “natural born” citizen can become President. Let’s look at all the candidates’ birth records in detail. If the delivery involved forceps or pitocin or a C-section, no Oval Office for them! Seems pretty clear to me.

  9. c u n d gulag  •  Aug 20, 2015 @12:40 pm

    “Shredded wheat?”
    Too Socialist!
    “Shredding,” is an equalizer!

    They want “Whole Wheat” and “Whole Grain” cereals, which only go to wholesome young white families.
    After all, what “Blah” family can afford to shop at “(Ass)Whole Foods?

  10. zoomar  •  Aug 20, 2015 @12:43 pm

    For the sake of argument, what if birthright citizenship were abolished? Wouldn’t this open a Pandora’s Box of political, economical, or vendetta based contested status cases? If your immigrating ancestors never naturalized or even started your ancestry in the U.S. before naturalizing, Your citizenship status could be questioned by anyone who decides to run your name through Of course, no wingnut would dare include a generational limit on their amendment or bill because that would be “Amnesty!!” That’s assuming any such person had the ability to think this idiocy through to begin with.

  11. zoomar  •  Aug 20, 2015 @12:50 pm

    I forgot to add that I wouldn’t predict a lot of mass deportations of Scandanavian, Irish or Italian American Baby Boomers and X’ers in the above scenario. Unless they happen to be liberals.

  12. JDM  •  Aug 20, 2015 @1:15 pm

    The problem with countering this stuff with facts (although admirable and helpful to your allies) is that these phrases and concepts have become meaningless catch phrases to rightwingers. The actual meaning is absent, so facts concerning that actual meaning will be met with confused looks. They don’t see the connection.

    That the praise “anchor baby” has detached from its meaning can be seen in the fact that at least one of the GOP anchor babies running for president has called for the practice to be stopped.

  13. Swami  •  Aug 20, 2015 @1:23 pm

    This issue is really flushing the racists out from under their rocks, imo.

    That’s my sentiment also, except you use the word flushing, which to me implies a sense that these racists are being moved out from under their rocks by a force beyond their control and that they are resistant to it.
    I see it more as them being drawn out by the offering of a life sustaining nutrient for their bigotry. It’s oxygen to their blood. Their hatred and xenophobia has to be fed, and those politicians who have taken up the cause of citizenship purification are providing that sustenance.
    It’s more of a leaching process than a flushing process in a technical sense.

  14. Swami  •  Aug 20, 2015 @2:17 pm

    If the politicians were really concerned about issues of citizenship why don’t they address the issue of dual citizenship. For the life of me, I can’t understand the concept of dual citizenship in a way that makes sense of my logic. I assume it has something to do with my idea that citizenship and allegiance to country are somehow inseparable.
    I know that Teddy Cruz had to bail on his option of dual citizenship for reasons of political expedience, but had he been in a position where military conscription into wartime service was placed before him, would he also be so eager to relinquish his dual citizenship? I think so. Teddy’s allegiance is to Teddy.

  15. uncledad  •  Aug 20, 2015 @2:46 pm

    “why don’t they address the issue of dual citizenship”

    Well then what would we do with all the Israel/US citizens, those folks are mostly white many of them are in government now or held positions of power in the past? Are we really gonna deport all the neo-cons?

  16. Bruce Kaplan  •  Aug 20, 2015 @6:57 pm

    I for one appreciate that at least one lefty blogger (you!) made the effort to understand and present the legal argument (bogus as it may be), instead of ignoring it and screaming “they’re crazy!”…which of course they are anyway. The fact that it was the LOSING argument in a previous relevant Court case says most of what needs to be said.

  17. Swami  •  Aug 20, 2015 @10:25 pm

    OT… but it seems Josh is having a come to Jesus moment. I know it’s a personal failing on my part, but I love watching morally upstanding Christian warriors getting humbled.
    That which is done in the dark shall be brought to the light… 🙂

  18. maha  •  Aug 21, 2015 @9:22 am

    Swami — and today I read that Josh has admitted he is addicted to porn.

    And I’m not in the least bit surprised.

  19. c u n d gulag  •  Aug 21, 2015 @9:51 am

    I guess Josh outgrew jerkin’ his little gherkin over Sears and Monty Ward catalogues – a favorite of teenage boys for decades before Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, etc. – and started to obsess over 2-dimensional internet images.

    I’m not surprised either.
    The more sexually repressive the childhood and teenage years are, the bigger the backlash.
    Maybe not always, but often…

  20. Coarsehair  •  Aug 21, 2015 @10:18 am

    On the Left the Shiny Object de la semaine, if not du jour, is the glories and wonderfulness of Planned Parenthood.

    Oh Death. Where is thy sting?

    Or does it sting if you’re a “Product of Conception”?

  21. maha  •  Aug 21, 2015 @10:47 am

    Coarsehair: I’m sure Planned Parenthood prevents more abortions every year than the entire anti-abortion movement has ever. Studies show that increasing Planned Parenthood’s coverage and service areas reduce abortion rates in those areas. And the deceptively edited propaganda videos you obviously were taken in by haven’t changed that.

    BTW, since if you allegedly care about babies, why don’t you care about America’s shamefully high infant mortality rates? Or do you lose interest in them once they’re born?

  22. Coarsehair  •  Aug 21, 2015 @10:59 am

    And the deceptively unedited videos, took me in also. Have you seen them?

    Fascinating, Sickening but fascinating.

  23. maha  •  Aug 21, 2015 @11:07 am

    Coarsehair — If you watched the unedited videos, you should have noticed the Planned Parenthood executive made it clear they don’t “sell” tissue, but only facilitate legal donations and ask to be reimbursed for expenses. Maybe you slept through that part.

    Childbirth is pretty bloody and messy, too. I’ve had two babies and well remember that. Lots of medical procedures are sickening to watch. If that’s true for you, I hope you aren’t a physician. (See The Big Secret of Abortion: Women Already Know How It Works.)

    The bottom line is that states have been investigating Planned Parenthood tissue donation services, and so far not one has been found in violation of the law. And that donated tissue used in medical research saves a lot of lives. Wake me up when there’s real evidence of wrongdoing. In the meantime, I hope you are washing the blood off you own hands. You want there to be more abortions, more maternal mortality, and you want to cut off potentially lifesaving research because you think abortion is icky. You’re a creep. Get lost.

  24. Coarsehair  •  Aug 21, 2015 @11:12 am

    “You’re a Creep. Get lost”

    Shades of The Donald.

    Cant’t you do better than that?

  25. maha  •  Aug 21, 2015 @11:38 am

    //Cant’t you do better than that?//

    I already did do better than that. Obviously, you missed this part of my comment:

    “If you watched the unedited videos, you should have noticed the Planned Parenthood executive made it clear they don’t “sell” tissue, but only facilitate legal donations and ask to be reimbursed for expenses. Maybe you slept through that part.

    “Childbirth is pretty bloody and messy, too. I’ve had two babies and well remember that. Lots of medical procedures are sickening to watch. If that’s true for you, I hope you aren’t a physician. (See The Big Secret of Abortion: Women Already Know How It Works.)

    “The bottom line is that states have been investigating Planned Parenthood tissue donation services, and so far not one has been found in violation of the law. And that donated tissue used in medical research saves a lot of lives. Wake me up when there’s real evidence of wrongdoing. In the meantime, I hope you are washing the blood off you own hands. You want there to be more abortions, more maternal mortality, and you want to cut off potentially lifesaving research because you think abortion is icky.”

    Since you clearly have reading comprehension problems, you probably wouldn’t be happy commenting here further.

  26. Swami  •  Aug 21, 2015 @1:09 pm

    The more sexually repressive the childhood and teenage years are, the bigger the backlash.

    That’s the dilemma of the ages.. How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm after they’ve seen Pa-reé?

  27. grannyeagle  •  Aug 21, 2015 @1:16 pm

    Coarsehair looks very vicious. Maybe it has something to do with his personality
    Yes, childbirth is very bloody and messy. My daughter worked in housekeeping in a hospital for awhile and she really hated cleaning the birthing rooms. As she said, there was blood everywhere.

  28. maha  •  Aug 21, 2015 @3:13 pm

    Grannyeagle: My mother was an obstetric nurse for many years and subscribed to a professional magazine about obstetric nursing. So I grew up looking at pictures of “high risk neonates,” usually deceased and posed next to a ruler, and reading about all the things that could go wrong with pregnancy and labor. Nature can do some pretty horrible stuff. And of course even a “good” delivery is messy as all get out. Umbilical cords and placentas look like something out of a Tim Burton movie. And it doesn’t stop with the delivery, since you’re passing chunks of afterbirth for the next several days. So these jokers — usually men — who think they can score points by showing us photos of dead babies or highlighting the grosser aspects of second-trimester abortion have lived sheltered lives, imo.

  29. Mike G  •  Aug 21, 2015 @4:37 pm

    Had he been in a position where military conscription into wartime service was placed before him, would he also be so eager to relinquish his dual citizenship? I think so. Teddy’s allegiance is to Teddy.

    If a 20-year-old Ted Cruz faced wartime conscription, he’d be in a car packed with his possessions, clutching his birth certificate for dear life, headed for Toronto so fast it would break land speed records.

  30. goatherd  •  Aug 21, 2015 @4:58 pm

    I had written a comment that contrasted the revelations about Josh Duggar with Jimmie Carter’s appearance at the press conference yesterday. It was on the emotional side and no longer appropriate to the thread.

    I wanted to say how your posts on issues like abortion, child/infant mortality and related topics have always beens exceptionally good. I am speaking as a sheltered male, I admit, but my wife has been a Certified Nurse Midwife for many years. She’s approaching the 4000 birth milestone, which always seems to be the number that people draw out of the hat. (As I recall, Ron Paul claimed 4000 births.) — But, a lot of the time, a doctor just catches the baby or performs a Caesarian. Midwives and L&D nurses manage the pregnancies and care for the mothers. As our care gets better there’s more pre-natal and post-natal care too. It’s a different experience, and nurses like your mother are always on the front line. So, I can understand a bit of how you came by your insights.

    I worked with people post traumatic injury back before my farm days. I’ve seen a lot of blood, scars and bodily fluids, and doing field work, I got to see the train wrecks that a traumatic injury can bring about. So, I’d like to think I can imagine some of the hardships that can occur from an unwanted pregnancy. Family planning is essential.

    My wife has been really busy lately, they’re a midwife down on their staff, which means longer hours and more stress. I told her about your post on “other lives that matter,” and I hope she will read it when she gets a chance. I know she will appreciate it.

    She’s delivering babies as I write this. In a few hours, she’ll come home and we’ll have our “how was your day” discussion. In all the years that we’ve been doing that, I’ve never once had the winner in the “worst day at the office” comparison. Medical procedures are messy, as you describe, and it takes a very strong person to deal with them, especially on a 24 hour shift. But, that’s another story.

  31. Swami  •  Aug 22, 2015 @1:55 am

    I’ve attended the birth of 3 of my 4 children. When my first child was born men weren’t allowed to witness the delivery. The blood and the mess never really bothered me. I had one doctor that tried to gross me out by hold up the placenta so I could get a good view. It was unpleasant to look at, but it didn’t rattle me.
    The only time I was shaken and felt my stomach drop was watching the doctor give my wife an episiotomy. That experience almost buckled my knees..It was an “Oh my God” experience. A nasty procedure to be exact..It kinda reminded me of the saying of when you were a kid..Imagine sliding down a bannister and having it turn into a razor blade.
    Through every one of my 3 children’s births that I attended I was emotionally overwhelmed to tears, not by the blood and messiness, but by witnessing the process of childbirth and the pain that a women goes through to complete that process. It gives an appreciation for what women go through.
    I took Lamaze classes with my wife for one of her births, but when it came down to the delivery all that Lamaze controlled breathing nonsense went out the window. She reverted to a raw natural panting and didn’t want anything to do with me or my coaching techniques. It was like..Get your hands off of me! Just leave me alone.

  32. maha  •  Aug 22, 2015 @11:17 am

    Oh, yes, episiotomies. My first baby popped out so fast the doctor didn’t have time to give me an anesthetic for it. And then after, in the maternity ward, I noticed you could tell which moms had had a C-section and which didn’t. The C-moms were talking around attached to an IV and a pole, but they could walk normally. The other moms didn’t have the IV, but they were all doing the “episiotomy shuffle.”

    I also remember when I was in labor with the first baby, I tried to get out of bed to strangle a nurse. If that baby had taken much longer they would have had to call in a SWAT team, if not the National Guard.

  33. c u n d gulag  •  Aug 22, 2015 @9:10 am

    I’m 57, and never fathered a child, so good for you Swami, and every other male who was there to assist your wife/-significant-other to help her give birth!

    I’d probably have passed-out at the first sight of blood…

  34. goatherd  •  Aug 22, 2015 @9:24 am

    You’re a better man than I am, Swami.

    At the other end of the spectrum, the story that stands out for me was a birth in Tampa. A few members of the family were gathered for the birth. Because, this is America, there was a television in the room. It was blaring and the “supporters” were watching a wrestling match with rapt attention, with their backs turned to the mother. My wife turned the volume down and the crew erupted with outrage, telling her that she didn’t appreciate how important the wrestling match was.


    I guess one of the consistent ironies that I find in “conservative” talking points is the one where maternal leave, family planning, contraception and other pregnancy related women’s health issues are viewed as unfair perks that women get and men don’t. The juxtaposition of this with the “sanctity of marriage” and the concomitant bellyaching astonishes me. Women bear the pain of childbirth. They have to summon up a heroic nature to accomplish giving birth. Men, as often as not can disappear and leave them facing all the responsibility. But, of course, for every pregnant woman, there is a man somewhere who helped to bring the situation about. Health services that are received by his birth partner, his unborn child and his child are benefits to him as much as they are to him. If marriage or the bond that comes from making a child is as valued among conservatives as they claim, how can they object to the provision of healthcare to women and children?

    Sorry, I know this is painfully obvious, but, sometimes it helps to vent.

  35. maha  •  Aug 22, 2015 @11:23 am

    goatherd — Re the story about the family in Tampa — labor is bad enough without having a bunch of noise in the background. If that had happened in one of my labors I very likely would have climbed out of bed and thrown the fetal monitor through the TV screen. (The fetal monitor annoyed me, too. Two birds with one stone.)

  36. goatherd  •  Aug 22, 2015 @3:52 pm

    I think the mom was indisposed. My wife actually turned the set off. In working with disadvantaged populations there are always new stories to top the old ones. Some women and babies have to deal with such heart rending situations that it makes a liberal soul like me willing to do insane things, like pay more in taxes or support universal healthcare. It’s crazy, I know.

    I’m kind of busy at the moment, but the fetal monitors are an interesting case. Summarizing as briefly as possible. They are very expensive, but only necessary in a fairly small percentage of cases. Outside of these cases, there is no demonstrable gain in terms of better outcomes. But, hospitals had to buy them, so they had to pay for them. The way to pay for them was to use them, and bill for them. This led to them being incorporated in the standard of care. So the cost of having a child is increased, in most cases, without a verifiable advantage.

    I should probably shut up for now. I don’t have a professional license and I may be “misrememberizing.” But, it is a phenomenon that is part of the defensive medicine model.

    There is an interesting story about another sort of monitor that analyzed blood gases, if I recall correctly. But, i better check my facts before I display my ignorance.

  37. maha  •  Aug 22, 2015 @4:23 pm

    goatherd — As I remember — the baby in question is 35 years old now, so it’s been a while — the monitor apparatus attached to me kept slipping, and then of course it would stop generating baby vital signs. Eventually a nurse would check and re-arrange everything, and then I’d move and it would slip again. And at some point, as the day wore on and I became increasingly bad tempered and hostile to anything that moved, I unstrapped the thing and probably threatened to bite anyone that tried to put it back on. But they didn’t seem to be monitoring it, anyway, so I didn’t see the point.

  38. goatherd  •  Aug 22, 2015 @5:03 pm

    Gosh, Maha, it’s very difficult for me to imagine you having a temper, even under the worst of conditions. But, I’ll take your word for it.

    I guess one of the things that keeps medical providers going is that there is a special kind of light at the extremities. Reality seems enhanced and it’s a reality that matters. I had to handle occasional, life threatening emergencies at work. On rare occasions, two at a time. Events seemed to be happening in slow motion and there was a clarity of thought that was like the effects of a drug. But, really for every stressful, draining rattling experience, there always seems to be just enough good to keep you going.

  39. Procopius  •  Aug 23, 2015 @5:06 am

    Yeah, the law is clear, the precedent goes back 117 years, what do you bet Alito can’t draft an opinion, in a 5-4 decision, that explains how we’ve moved on and Wong is no longer controlling because bargle bargle. Or should it be Roberts who writes it, similar to his Civil Rights Act opinion? Listen, you can’t relax for a minute. These really are the mole people.