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Oh, Those Clueless Voters

America's political left shows its ugliest facet when it declares that the people must be stupid for not agreeing with lefty positions.  See, e.g., this Sept. 25 article by Hilary Chabot in the Boston Herald on remarks by John Kerry.

Well folks, here they go again.  Yesterday, Gallup announced this poll showing that only 19% of the people think the Supreme Court is too conservative, while 32% think it is too liberal and  43% think it is about right. Of course, it is perfectly obvious to persons who are themselves 2 standard deviations to the left of the median that the current Supreme Court is actually hard right.

Therefore, the people must be stupid and easily tricked.  Roberts and Alito are actually Penn and Teller, you see. That is the essence of this article by Barry Friedman and Dahlia Lithwick in Slate.  Trickery can't be that difficult when the audience is made up of those bitter, ignorant people who cling to guns and religion.

Friedman and Lithwick describe Maryland v. Shatzer as a case of stacking the deck via cert. grants.  Their theory is that the Roberts Court grants certiorari in cases with "facts so extreme that only one outcome seems possible." But the facts of Shatzer aren't that extreme, not when you compare it to, e.g., Brewer v. Williams, 430 U.S. 387 (1977). 

In addition, Friedman and Lithwick's claim that there was a clear Miranda violation under prior law is just wrong. The Supreme Court had not squarely addressed whether the Edwards rule prohibited police from asking for a Miranda waiver a second time after a break in custody or an extended lapse of time. (See Part I of CJLF's brief.) The Shatzer decision actually extended the Edwards rule somewhat, making the "don't ask again" prohibition effective for an additional two weeks after release from police custody.

Friedman and Lithwick are the ones engaged in prestidigitation here, trying to create the illusion of a court much further to the right than it really is. But the people aren't buying it. They are not, in fact, that easily tricked.

Curt Levey at Committee for Justice has this post on the article. He professes to be surprised at how over the top the article is, but I doubt he is really surprised. I'll put that down to rhetorical flourish.

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