Thursday, March 03, 2005

God Bless This Useful Idiot

Yesterday's oral arguments at the Supreme Court on the display of the Ten Commandments had a few noteworthy displays of self-unawareness. Chief among them probably being this from Duke Law School Professor Erwin Chemerinsky:

...under the Constitution, government cannot make its citizens into "insiders" and "outsiders" based on religion.

Since Chemerinsky was there arguing exactly that the Court should do so. It's just that he wants his side to be the "insiders", and religious believers to be the "outsiders". Which even seemed to dawn on one of the usually comatose Justices:

Justice Kennedy also appeared critical of Mr. Chemerinsky's arguments, stating at one point that the "obsessive concern with any mention of religion" seemed "hostile to religion." He suggested at one point that the removal of the monument might be "asking religious people to surrender their beliefs."

Which would be in conflict with the First Amendment's ban on "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion. Hence, Mr. Chemerinsky being hoist by his own petard.

Other delicious ironies, not entirely lost on the court, being the session opening to: "God save the United States and this honorable court", and the arguments taking place in sight of a display (one of three at the building) of the very same Ten Commandments.

No comments: