Is this the real life? Is it just fantasy?
April 23, 2015 3:09 PM   Subscribe

Congressman Steve King of Iowa has introduced an innovative way of settling any marriage-related court cases that may crop up in the United States. Not all analysts agree with the approach, though.
posted by Evilspork (67 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
this innovation better be steve king caught in a landslide
posted by poffin boffin at 3:12 PM on April 23, 2015 [21 favorites]


As an Iowan, I believe we are a state of generally good people who elect the absolute worst people. Steve King is a fucktwit.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:13 PM on April 23, 2015 [12 favorites]


How does this possibly work? The federal government cares about the validity of marriages because of tax law, eligibility for federal benefits, and all sorts of other reasons. Under King's plan, if a kooky state court somewhere rules that a man, a goat, and a bowling ball are married (and I'm not trying to mock the validity of gay marriage here by any means), the feds will just have to accept that because they've given up all jurisdiction?
posted by zachlipton at 3:15 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


So he's basically a desperate fascist who wants to legislate away the Constitutional role of the judicial branch to interpret the law of the land. Got it.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:15 PM on April 23, 2015 [15 favorites]


From WIkipedia:

King attended Northwest Missouri State University from 1967 to 1970, and was a member of the Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity, majoring in math. He did not graduate. Instead, he left before earning a degree to work in construction. In 1975, he founded King Construction, an earth moving company. King founded the Kiron Business Association in the 1980s. His involvement with the Iowa Land Improvement Contractors' Association led to regional and national offices in that organization and a growing interest in public policy.

So, not a lawyer.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:16 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Steve King is a fucktwit.

Steve King is a ________.
posted by Ratio at 3:17 PM on April 23, 2015 [24 favorites]


I don't know whether or not King thinks this will fly, in the sense that it could put a definitive end to marriage between same-sex couples. However, the more challenges Republicans make to same-sex marriage, the more they can campaign on those, raise money on them, fight with Democrats over them, get their base all angry and frothy over, etc. Basically, the whole of the opposition to same-sex marriage, at this point, is one huge campaign and money-raising tool, so they have every incentive to drag it out more or less indefinitely.
posted by clockzero at 3:21 PM on April 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


I got "dongbeaver."
posted by RakDaddy at 3:21 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I stopped reading at " leaving the issue to the States where it properly belongs." I agree, Congressman Steve King of Iowa is a fuckwit and given the past track record of politicians bending over to attack the rights of gays, I would be willing to be there is something in his closet that he doesn't wish to be known.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 3:23 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I believe that marriage should be left to the states.

Who of course are bound by the constitution to A. Recognize marriages from other states and B. Unable to violate equal protections on who can marry who.

Mr. King, like all conservatives do not believe in Freedom or The Constitution. It is too bad, really. They seem like such nice folks.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:25 PM on April 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


The Iowa state congress is on a roll this week; over in the Senate, somebody actually has a bill that would subject tenured college faculty to a system where the five professors with the lowest student evaluations would be placed in a Survivor-style contest where students would vote on who to fire.

So somehow this kind of ridiculous, extra-Constitutional nonsense that King is proposing isn't so surprising.
posted by koeselitz at 3:26 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, not a lawyer.

Hi. This idea is plenty stupid on its own merits, without this elitist argument-from-authority nonsense.
posted by indubitable at 3:26 PM on April 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


These unenumerated, so-called constitutionally-protected rights were not envisioned by our Founding Fathers.

The Founding Fathers also did not envision an Internet, so why is he using it to spread his primitivism on it?
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 3:28 PM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


These unenumerated, so-called constitutionally-protected rights were not envisioned by our Founding Fathers

Has he not read the Ninth Amendment?
(Of course he hasn't.)
posted by entropicamericana at 3:32 PM on April 23, 2015 [14 favorites]


So, not a lawyer.

Hi. This idea is plenty stupid on its own merits, without this elitist argument-from-authority nonsense.


What argument from authority? (I'm not a lawyer.) I'd just like to think that someone who is a lawyer wouldn't even conceive of something as out there as this.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:34 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hi. This idea is plenty stupid on its own merits, without this elitist argument-from-authority nonsense.

I don't think it's particularly elitist to assert that legislators should know about law.
posted by schmod at 3:40 PM on April 23, 2015 [40 favorites]


From the first link: “Rather, federal courts have perverted the Constitution to make law and create constitutional rights to things such as privacy, birth control, and abortion.

Oh those pesky judges, trying to make sure that Americans get to live like human beings rather than zoo animals. Surely yes this must be stopped, people can't be allowed to go around thinking they're entitled to privacy and medical treatment, how absurd.

(not gonna cry not gonna cry not gonna cry...)
posted by angeline at 3:40 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Steve King is a fuckwit.
. . .
[Steve King is] not a lawyer.


In conclusion, Steve King is a land of contrasts.
posted by The Bellman at 3:41 PM on April 23, 2015 [45 favorites]


I'd just like to think that someone who is a lawyer wouldn't even conceive of something as out there as this.

Yes, we would.

Serious question: are there ever mechanisms by which the federal court system has to deal with just plain marriages? Not questions of constitutional analysis on equal rights grounds, or tax cases, but just...weird situations where divorces need to run through the federal court system or something? For that matter, are the courts in places like DC, PR, Guam, etc, not considered courts created by an Act of Congress? Does that mean you couldn't get married in DC?
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:41 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


So I looked at the actual text of the bill, which purports to apply to currently pending cases. So, let's assume the unlikely (really, impossible) scenario where this makes it out of committee, gets brought to a vote on the House floor, passes, and then makes it through the Senate and then there are enough votes to override a veto, all before SCOTUS rules on Obergefell this summer. (While we're at it, let's also assume rainbows will fly out my butt when I poop -- that's far more likely -- but I digress.)

Ok, so in that scenario, King's bill purports to strip SCOTUS of jurisdiction to hear and decide Obergefell. But if that happened, wouldn't that mean that we have no same-sex marriage in the 6th Circuit (since Judge Sutton's opinion in Obergefell would stand), but all of the other decisions affirming same-sex marriage would also stand as the law of the land.

And how does stripping Article III courts of jurisdiction interact with a state supreme court's ability to "overturn" a (federal, now jurisdiction-stripped) opinion? Could the Virginia Supreme Court "overturn" the 4th Circuit's decision in Bostic v. Schaefer, which said there's a fundamental right to same-sex marriage in Virginia.

Also, in a scenario where SCOTUS decides Obergefell in favor of marriage equality, then wouldn't King's bill enshrine that result permanently? Maybe I'm thinking about it too simplistically.

The jurisdiction-stripping stuff that I'm actually aware of -- Congress stripping Article III courts of jurisdiction to hear labor disputes -- created an alternative federal forum in the form of an Article I tribunal (the National Labor Relations Board).
posted by QuantumMeruit at 3:42 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Serious question: are there ever mechanisms by which the federal court system has to deal with just plain marriages?

Federal courts were involved in laws dealing with mixed race marriages. The linked book chapter has a nice history.
posted by zachlipton at 3:45 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't know whether or not King thinks this will fly, in the sense that it could put a definitive end to marriage between same-sex couples.
Steve King is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I don't think he has any illusions that this will fly. He's pandering to his base, which is what Steve King does best.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:47 PM on April 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


So he's basically a desperate fascist who wants to legislate away the Constitutional role of the judicial branch to interpret the law of the land.

To be fair, probably only when it disagrees with him.
posted by straight at 3:55 PM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Basically, the whole of the opposition to same-sex marriage, at this point, is one huge campaign and money-raising tool, so they have every incentive to drag it out more or less indefinitely.

I somewhat agree, however they used to say the same thing about the anti-abortion crusade—and we've seen recently that there are plenty of establishment Republicans who are all too willing to act right this second to tear away every little piece of a woman's right to choose they can get their hands on until eventually, they hope, the whole damn thing will come crashing down.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:58 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've heard it said that Steve King is America's dumbest politician. I've yet to see any evidence to the contrary.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:00 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


People don't believe me when I tell them the hard-core conservatives have their eyes on birth control. "Oh no, they'd never seriously try for that."

Trust me; these cats will come after birth control the moment they think they have any traction. Gay marriage is a soft target opener to them
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 4:02 PM on April 23, 2015 [16 favorites]


he and Louie Gohmert should face off in a cage match
posted by indubitable at 4:02 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


As an Iowan, I believe we are a state of generally good people who elect the absolute worst people. Steve King is a fucktwit.

As a former Iowan who went to a couple of his supporter's rallies, I can tell you that you aren't.

Those shitbags in his district know exactly what they're doing.
posted by clarknova at 4:04 PM on April 23, 2015


i say we should have a constitutional amendment requiring all congresscritters to dress up in clown suits and deliver bills by throwing cream pies at a statue of george washington

they will also be required to vote by bicycle horn - one toot for yes, two for no
posted by pyramid termite at 4:06 PM on April 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


These unenumerated, so-called constitutionally-protected rights were not envisioned by our Founding Fathers

Has he not read the Ninth Amendment?
(Of course he hasn't.)


Came here to say the same, and also mention the last four words of the Tenth.

Serious question: are there ever mechanisms by which the federal court system has to deal with just plain marriages?

I think when people get married in one state and divorced in another the federal system occasionally has to get involved.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:06 PM on April 23, 2015


I somewhat agree, however they used to say the same thing about the anti-abortion crusade—and we've seen recently that there are plenty of establishment Republicans who are all too willing to act right this second to tear away every little piece of a woman's right to choose they can get their hands on until eventually, they hope, the whole damn thing will come crashing down.
It's not an issue of will with King: it's an issue of capacity. He definitely would reverse the trend on marriage equality if he could, but he can't. He can't even reverse it in Iowa. In the latest polling, 38% of registered voters in Iowa said that a candidate who opposed same-sex marriage would be totally or mostly acceptable to them. Only 50% of registered Republicans said that opposition to gay marriage is mostly or totally acceptable to them, and registered Republicans tend to be pretty far out on the right wing here. (A plurality of Iowa voters are registered no-party, and that includes many less-extreme conservatives who mostly vote Republican.) It's a settled issue here, unlike abortion. We've got marriage equality, and it's not going anywhere. He's just throwing some red meat to the wackos out in rural western Iowa.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:10 PM on April 23, 2015


Lemurrhea, "Article III" courts are, pretty much, Federal courts of limited jurisdiction created by Article III of the constitution.

King's bill purports to apply to "No court created by an Act of
Congress", so I guess the intention is to target federal district courts. (Remember, Federal distirct courts and the Circuit Courts of appeal were first created by the Judiciary Act of 1789.)

The problem is, as Lemurrhea's question gets to, there are other courts of general jurisdiction also created by Congress. So here in DC, there's the DC Superior Court (a court of general jurisdiction), which has a family court division. And appeals from there are heard by the DC Court of Appeals. Those courts were created by an act of Congress in 1970. Oops.

Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands have what are technically "Article IV" courts. They have general jurisdiction and are separate from Article III courts, and those "Territorial Courts" were also created by Congressional acts pursuant to Article IV. Oops.

I'm sure people could come up with some fun Article I examples -- think tax court and Social Security and immigration stuff. For instance, think of immigration issues where the ALJ needs to rule on whether someone seeking asylum has a valid marriage. But then again, Rep. King thinks all of those people just have arms like cantaloupes...

So, yeah. There are some issues here.
posted by QuantumMeruit at 4:12 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Steve King is actually implementing sharia law.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:23 PM on April 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


Steve King is actually implementing sharia law.

Where do you stand?
posted by Evilspork at 4:35 PM on April 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


Anyone who can, in one breath, claim to love and respect the Constitution, and , in the next breath, propose something like this is a fucking crazy person.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:36 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Unaware of Mr. King until today. I kind of like him. Very entertaining.
posted by notreally at 4:38 PM on April 23, 2015


"They all float poorly thought out legislation down here, Georgie"
posted by Renoroc at 4:57 PM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


This bill is on its face unconstitutional in trying to take away powers from the Supreme Court as Article III, Section 2 of the US Constitution states specifically that the Supreme Court shall have power to hear all cases arising under both the Constitution (which has been interpreted to have various civil rights components) and the laws of the United States (meaning federal laws, which this law is, which gives specific jurisdiction to hear the cases involving the statute to the Supreme Court). Marriage inequality, taken as a civil rights matter arising under the US Constitution is therefore reviewable and, even if the district and appellate courts do not have jurisdiction, that same Section 2 provides the Supreme Court original (versus appellate) jurisdiction to hear directly cases against states (which marriage inequality laws enacted and enforced by states might be). Did King advise on the Motion to Fuck This Court and Everything It Stands For? They seem to apply some of the same legal logic.

It is hilarious as this law actually tries to say that the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to apply the Constitution against the bill to see if it is Constitutional, which is in and of itself unconstitutional above and beyond all the attempts to strip the Supreme Court from hearing laws involving marriages even if they implicate Constitutional rights.

It's so stupidly written it is a legal idiot's ouroboros.
posted by Muddler at 5:02 PM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Steve King is just about the frothiest little driblet of santorum I've read about all day.
posted by busted_crayons at 5:09 PM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hi Going to Maine,

"What argument from authority? (I'm not a lawyer.) I'd just like to think that someone who is a lawyer wouldn't even conceive of something as out there as this."

This made me laugh heartily because I am a lawyer and I've seen lawyers -- and judges! -- make worse arguments than this. Sometimes even earnestly.
posted by JKevinKing at 5:44 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Anyone who can, in one breath, claim to love and respect the Constitution, and , in the next breath, propose something like this is a fucking crazy person.


Or a cynical asshole.
posted by JKevinKing at 5:56 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


" Unaware of Mr. King until today. I kind of like him. Very entertaining"

If he were a fictional character I would agree.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:57 PM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


A fun party game: Review Steve King's Wikipedia page. Find a single stance on ANY issue that is either laudable, reasonable or should result in anything other than him spending sleepless nights fearful of torches and pitchforks on his lawn.
posted by delfin at 6:31 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, in a scenario where SCOTUS decides Obergefell in favor of marriage equality, then wouldn't King's bill enshrine that result permanently?

No because any decision that favors gay marriage is wrong & hence invalid, negating itself. So everyone can safely just ignore it.
posted by scalefree at 6:36 PM on April 23, 2015


Trust me; these cats will come after birth control the moment they think they have any traction. Gay marriage is a soft target opener to them

As Hobby Lobby shows, they already are.
posted by emjaybee at 6:50 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


"Don't fuckwits need representation too?"

Now that Michele Bachmann has ascended to the higher fruitlooposphere, the workload for Steve KKKing and Louis Gohmert in the Congressional Fuckwit Caucus has increased.

To be clear: this bill has a grand total of seven cosponsors right now, all of whom are fuckwits representing districts with lots of fuckwits; it will not get many more, even from the dimmer lights of the GOP House caucus. It may get perhaps half a hearing in a subcommittee and the leadership will assign precisely no time to it on the floor. King is a man of parts: part base-panderer, part dimwit, part unabashed bigot, part troll.
posted by holgate at 7:22 PM on April 23, 2015


Trust me; these cats will come after birth control the moment they think they have any traction. Gay marriage is a soft target opener to them


I enjoy Fred Clark's take on this:

Write: “It is March, 2014, and most American evangelicals do not believe that using contraception is a sin.” Then write today’s date and sign it.

Now fold this neatly, put it in an envelope and seal the envelope. Write your own address on the front and then, on the back, write “To Be Opened and Read on March 18, 2024.”...

This time capsule will make for strange reading in 2024.... “It is March, 2014, and most American evangelicals do not believe that using contraception is a sin.”

That claim will seem unbelievable. Your future self will have a hard time accepting those words. Everyone knows that evangelical Christians are anti-contraception, your future self will think. Everyone knows that evangelical Christians have always been anti-contraception.

posted by damayanti at 7:27 PM on April 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


indubitable: "without this elitist argument-from-authority nonsense."

well now i dont know about no fancy lawyerin, but when a woman wants to leave her man, or maybe scrape out a rape-miracle from her she-uterus, or possibly some kinda i dunno Adam-and-Steve sitchation, well that I have to take an objecting to and keep judges and law-saying-men and suchlike out of the law.

two, an argument-from-authority would assert that we have no reason to expect lawyers to have any understanding of law, which is frankly idiotic
posted by boo_radley at 7:30 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Frootloopisphere-we have a winner!

And the concept-Connect with Steve, I can't imagine what kind of implement to choose.
posted by Oyéah at 7:50 PM on April 23, 2015


‘‘(b) FUNDING.—No Federal funds may be used for any litigation in, or the enforcement of any order or judgment by, any court created by an Act of Congress, on any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, any type of marriage, section 1738C, or this section.’’

There's no way that this has any unintended consequences at all.
posted by enjoymoreradio at 8:01 PM on April 23, 2015


For that matter, are the courts in places like DC, PR, Guam, etc, not considered courts created by an Act of Congress? Does that mean you couldn't get married in DC?

Given way that the current Congress is treating DC, they'd probably consider this to be acceptable collateral-damage.
posted by schmod at 9:26 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Odd how no one (so far) brought up DOMA which President Clinton signed into law in 1996. (He, of course has disavowed it and now regrets it.) The distinctions here should be perhaps be considered between Sections 2 and 3.

Section 2. Powers reserved to the states
No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.

Section 3. Definition of marriage
In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.


According to wikipedia, the Obama administration, of course has decided that Section 3 is unconstitutional but has stated it will enforce it(?), while still extant, but no longer defend it in court. In 2013, the Supreme Court agreed it was unconstitutional based on the due process clause in the Fifth Amendment. But this aspect of the issue ought to bear on this discussion somewhere, though I could be wrong. But instead of just bashing Steve King, which accomplishes nothing, in my view, perhaps the ongoing legalities of these issues between the states and the Federal government need more enlightened scrutiny. Chief Justice John Marshall (1801–1835) would likely be appalled back in those days, though not the Jeffersonians.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 10:42 PM on April 23, 2015


Let me get this right if I can. Assbag who claims to be defending the Constitution wants to write a law that is blatantly unconstitutional? Is that what's happening here?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:11 PM on April 23, 2015


Seekerofsplendor, I'm not sure what you're getting at with DOMA. What exactly about s.2 of DOMA has a bearing on this Bill? What does Marshall have to do with it? I'm assuming you're talking about marshall v madison, but I'm not an American lawyer - mind giving a more detailed explanation?
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:19 AM on April 24, 2015


"What argument from authority? (I'm not a lawyer.) I'd just like to think that someone who is a lawyer wouldn't even conceive of something as out there as this."

Michele Bachmann and many other people with horrifying ideas are lawyers. When I took the LSAT I somehow got recruitment propaganda from some barely-accredited right wing school whose goal was to train people up to fight the lavender menace. I guess they didn't look at my diversity information... My point is, they're out there.
posted by bile and syntax at 8:39 AM on April 24, 2015


But then again, Rep. King thinks all of those people just have arms like cantaloupes...

arms like cantaloupes? like they're bulbous? or squishy? i don't get it.
is this a pejorative? a compliment?
posted by sio42 at 10:22 AM on April 24, 2015


Lemurrhea, I am certainly not a lawyer or legal expert whatsoever. I was simply thinking back o the Defense of Marriage Act, signed by Clinton in 1996, and since rejected mostly, which is likely what kicked off this issue (not the gay rights issue itself, mind you) in terms of the legalities between what the Federal government advocates and the rights of states for self determinism. It's an age-old issue, obviously, which is why I mentioned ol' Chief Justice John Marshall from the 1800s, who spent thirty tears on the bench, arguing for more federal control over states.But it's just another lens to look through that I think needs some attention in this discourse, whether it's Steve King of Iowa or anyone else in power, because it surely it not going to go away by itself.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 11:30 AM on April 24, 2015


The last embarrassing controversy with Steve King had to do with him saying something ridiculous about most undocumented immigrants being drug smugglers who had calf muscles like cantaloupes. Nobody could quite figure out what he meant by that, but he did manage to convey that he was trying to make an ignorant, offensive point, whatever that point may have been.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:30 AM on April 24, 2015


This is just to say
We have elected Steve King
to Congress
to limit his time in
Iowa

While we are sorry, we are sure
you can understand where
we are coming from
posted by epj at 1:16 PM on April 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Rep. Jared Polis has a better idea.

On the heels of Rep. Steve King’s outrageous announcement Wednesday of his “Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act,” Rep. Jared Polis (CO-02) today proposed the “Restrain Steve King from Legislating Act.” The bill would prevent Steve King from abusing taxpayer dollars by substituting the judgments of the nation’s duly serving judicial branch of government with his own beliefs.

“For too long, Steve King has overstepped his constitutionally nonexistent judicial authority,” Polis said. “Mr. King has perverted the Constitution to create rights to things such as discrimination, bullying, and disparate treatment. These efforts to enshrine these appalling values as constitutional rights were not envisioned by the voters, or by King’s colleagues who must currently try to restrain his attempts to single-handedly rewrite the nation’s founding principles on a bill-by-bill basis.

“I urge the House to bring this bill to the floor. If passed, my bill would preserve the right of millions of voters in all 50 states who would prefer that Steve King refrain from legislating a role for himself in their marriage decisions.”

posted by Snerd at 7:31 PM on April 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


>Rep. Jared Polis has a better idea.

On the heels of Rep. Steve King’s outrageous announcement Wednesday of his “Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act,” Rep. Jared Polis (CO-02) today proposed the “Restrain Steve King from Legislating Act.” The bill would prevent Steve King from abusing taxpayer dollars by substituting the judgments of the nation’s duly serving judicial branch of government with his own beliefs.


US Constitution, Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3:

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:16 PM on April 24, 2015


I suspect that's rather part of the point. Not that said law would in fact be a bill of attainder ( no civil rights would be stripped; there is no constitutionally-granted right to introduce legislation AIUI), nor would it be ex post facto.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:24 PM on April 24, 2015


That's exactly what it is:

Within the U.S. Constitution, the clauses forbidding attainder laws serve two purposes. First, they reinforced the separation of powers, by forbidding the legislature to perform judicial or executive functions—since the outcome of any such acts of legislature would of necessity take the form of a bill of attainder. Second, they embody the concept of due process, which was partially reinforced by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

In fact, King's proposed law is also a Bill of Attainder. It criminalizes the performance of constitutionally mandated duties of specific Federal judges.

Unfortunately, it does not seem that Rep Jared Polis is aware of these subtleties, much as I would wish his satyrical intent was to describe an anti-Bill of Attainder Bill of Attainder.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:50 PM on April 24, 2015


King's is. Polis' isn't, as it's making no judicial findings.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:30 AM on April 25, 2015


Well we just have different interpretations of the Attainder Clause, which would probably matter if we were Supreme Court Judges. But there's no point in lawyering Steve King, it's a waste of everyone's brainpower.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:06 PM on April 25, 2015


The Iowa state congress is on a roll this week; over in the Senate, somebody actually has a bill that would subject tenured college faculty to a system where the five professors with the lowest student evaluations would be placed in a Survivor-style contest where students would vote on who to fire.

I'm actually for this. Many European universities have a similar system. Student surveys of professor satisfaction carry weight, and sufficiently negative reviews will have lousy profs seeking other employment.

Of course this doesn't apply to tenured academics the way the Iowa bill does, but then after being under this sort of scrutiny the truly awful ones never last long enough for tenure in the first place.

Every institution of higher education has its professional barnacles, and the wisdom that purportedly comes of age has not revised this insight. If you went to uni think back to your own education. You had at least one professor whom you knew didn't belong there. Has time changed your opinion?
posted by clarknova at 12:23 PM on April 26, 2015


It drives me nuts when people say things like what's next people will marry their dog, their goat, their car etc. Marriage is a legal contract. Nothing more people want to make it a religious thing, the ceremony can be religious, but the marriage license is a legal contract. Therefore you can't marry a dog or a car unless you change the meaning and laws of a contract. Marriage needs to be the same in every state. It sucks that I can be married to a man in one state and take a promotion in another state and my marriage isn't recognized in that state. So I (and others like me) am not afforded the same opportunities as our straight counterparts. I guess going to another country it could happen, but within the United States it should be the same.
posted by shadowgwm at 10:37 PM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


« Older A Plasma Cutter as a Delicate Sculpting Tool   |   "...it has been enormously fun being two people." Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments