January 28, 2010

LINDA GREENHOUSE: Alito was right, Obama was wrong. When you’ve lost Linda Greenhouse . . . .

UPDATE: Tunku Varadarajan says that hectoring the Supreme Court was wrong, but has some positive things to say about other parts of the speech. Meanwhile, Pejman Yousefzadeh writes: “It is difficult to catalog just how many contradictions there were in the President’s State of the Union address. A President calling for bipartisanship and an end to the permanent campaign gave a speech that was–in tone and in substance–a campaign speech. A President calling for unity gave a speech that practically cried out ‘all the bad stuff that happened was George W. Bush’s fault!’. A President calling for a renewal of national purpose spent large amounts of time playing class warfare games, and seeking to turn Americans against Wall Street.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Ann Althouse: “One expects such rigid decorum from the Justices on these occasions that it’s really striking when a Justice is anything other than a statue of a Justice. I think that if they knew they were going to have to listen to that kind of in-your-face disrespect, they wouldn’t have done the President the honor of sitting there, providing the scenery. But they were there, and I’m not going to criticize Alito for moving his lips and letting us see a silent defense of the judicial branch of government.”

It’ll be interesting to see if they show up next year. And whether Alito does, or doesn’t, this whole story will come up again, stepping on Obama’s delivery a second time.

MORE: Orin Kerr: “I tend to think the episode shows the wisdom of Justice Harlan’s view that the Justices shouldn’t attend the State of the Union address at all. It will be interesting to see how many Justices attend next year. (As I re-watch the clip, I image a collective bubble over the Justices at about the 25-second mark, representing their thoughts, with the text, ‘We are so not coming to this next year.’)”

Plus, more thoughts from Ira Stoll.

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