The Senator from Massachusetts is outraged about a Commerce Clause case called Rancho Viejo v. Norton, which, in the Kennedy legal interpretation, threatens "Social Security, Medicare, the minimum wage" and the environment. Is that all?Ah-ha! I knew the Commerce Clause would rear it ugly little head before long! But's what's the deal here? The Commerce Clause is going to wreck Social Security and Medicare? How?
In Rancho Viejo, a real-estate company challenged the Interior Department's application of the Endangered Species Act to halt a project that might disturb an endangered species known as the arroyo Southwestern toad.... At issue was Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce -- in this case, the movement of the toad, which, as Judge Roberts pointed out, is entirely intrastate. The toad is a homebody; it does not travel out of California.Okay, then. The Judge says the toad isn't interstate commerce. Got that. But how do we get from Pepe the Stay-at-home Toad to tossing Grandma out into the gutter?
He said what??? Settled my keister. It's about as unsettled as teh Palestinian question. What a maroon.
It's a long hop from the arroyo toad to Social Security or the minimum wage, and we confess to some difficulty in following Senator Kennedy's line of reasoning. [No kidding? Ed.] Nor do we agree that the interpretation of the Commerce Clause is "settled," as he asserts. If anything, the Supreme Court confused matters in the past term.
Judge Roberts said that federal regulation of the toad appeared to be "inconsistent" with Lopez, the 1995 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that gun possession near a school did not constitute economic activity. But he was writing in 2003 -- before last term's controversial Raich decision, in which a 6-3 Court seemed to retreat from Lopez in saying that federal law can trump state laws permitting the possession of marijuana for medical use.Yeah, well that's all well and good, but how do we arrive at Judge Roberts trashing Social Security and Medicare?
Dishonest? Ted? Nah! It must be that you can't figure out what the "sweeping implications" are about the toad story. I have a feeling Ted might have been refering to "The Toad Factor" so prevalent in national Democratic Party politics these days. But Ted is sticking to his guns:
Also worth noting is that Judge Roberts's four-paragraph dissent was not a full-fledged opinion on the merits of Rancho Viejo; he was merely disagreeing with the majority's decision to deny a review of the case by the full court. This makes Mr. Kennedy's denunciation of the "sweeping implications" of Judge Roberts's words even more dishonest.
"I can imagine few things worse for our seniors, for the disabled, for workers and for families than to place someone on the highest court in the land who would put these protections at risk."
Which is a bigger threat to families:
Need a hint?