Monday, October 25, 2004

Rehnquist out with thyroid cancer

I hope the Chief is ok.

The Reuters article is a ludicrous blend of over-simplification and non sequitur. You should read it as a how-not-to piece.

Oversimplification:

The current court is generally split by a 5-4 vote along conservative and liberal lines.


Except when the court splits along formalist-pragmatist lines instead of right-left, as in Padilla, Hamdi, and Rasul.

Or when Kennedy crosses over and O'Connor doesn't, or when Breyer or Souter occasionally join a center majority or plurality.

And non sequitur:

REHNQUIST: NO POLITICS IN BUSH V. GORE RULING

The day after the historic ruling, Rehnquist maintained that politics played no role in the court's decision-making.


We could debate the veracity of Rehnquist's assertion, but the man has 30 years on the Court. If the reporter is aiming to tie the story in politically, she would do better to tie it in to Supreme Court appointments than to particular cases, as indeed she does earlier in the article. And why is an article in the "Health" section talking about judicial appointments or Bush v. Gore at all?

Am I wrong that this little bit seems as if it were jammed into an article without smooth or logical transition?

"Rehnquist has not avoided controversy in his term, overseeing shifts in blah blah blah areas of black letter law. He also didn't shy from political controversy..." (lead back to reporter's quote).

Was that so hard?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for making me look up non sequitur, and thus finding that I couldn't do it backwards by looking up sequitur. And that seemed so logical a place to start..

12:42 PM  
Blogger Jen(nifer) said...

I thought you were the anti-constitutional law man? ; )

8:52 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I fear you are misrepresenting me. I love Con Law. I find it fascinating.

I'm just not very good at it.

8:55 PM  

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