We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

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Samizdata quote of the day

This case is about whether Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services regulations can abolish representative government in the creation of public health laws, and whether it can authorize closure of a school or assembly based on the unfettered opinion of an unelected official. This Court finds it cannot.

– via Bad Cattitude. Read the whole thing.

4 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Great judgment. Seriously great.

    If only SCOTUS had testicles.

  • when a judge starts quoting Montesquieu, you know you’re in for a treat

    You also have reason to believe the judge knows something of how constitutional government actually works – how alone it can actually work.

    Abuse of power is greatest where the laws do not anticipate it.

    In 2020, the laws anticipating vote fraud were shredded and, guess what – there was (much!) greater abuse.

    Only power arrests power. (From memory, ‘Seulement la puissance arrête la puissance’.)

    I like that the French ‘arrête’ naturally translates to the (arresting 🙂 ) English word ‘arrests’ rather than a defensible but less thought-provoking word like ‘stops’, ‘limits’, or ‘resists’. One could translate it as ‘Only power can defy power’, but I like ‘arrests’ better.

    I also like quoting it with Hannah Arendt’s addition:

    Only power arrests power – without putting impotence in its place.

    or that clarifying gloss on Montesquieu’s original can be (better?) expressed as:

    Only power can arrest power without putting impotence in its place.

    Meanwhile I’m delighted to learn of an honest, able and forthright judge in Missouri. (Reports of the family court judges in St Louis give a sadly different impression of them.)

  • Paul Marks

    Niall – the “Family Courts” everywhere were deliberately created in mockery of the basic rules of the Common Law. Their rejection of Common Law principles is not a bug it is a feature – at least in the minds of their creators.

    As for this judgment against Covid restrictions in Missouri – it is indeed excellent.

    If the magic word “pandemic” can end all restrictions on government power – then there are no restrictions on government power.

    The same is true of the magic words “Climate Change Emergency”.

  • Paul Marks

    The distinction between the legislative and executive branches of government was how the Supreme Court struck down the FASCIST (and it was FASCIST) New Deal “National Industrial Recovery Act” and “National Recovery Administration” (the Blue Eagle thugs) in 1935 (nine justices to zero) – sadly the 1935 judgement was undermined by World War II judgements which, de facto, found that officials could (not could not) make up rules with the force of law – i.e. members of the Executive branch exercising Legislative power.

    My criticism of even the good side of these judicial decisions is that they do not clearly set out the limits on the LEGISLATURE.

    For example, the 1935 Supreme Court upheld the Franklin Roosevelt Administration stealing privately owned gold and voiding the gold clauses private and public contracts – it did this (five justices to four) because the New Dealers could point to an old Act of Congress that, they claimed, gave them the right to do these things in an Emergency – of course we are still in the 1933 “Emergency” some 88 years later.

    What five of the four Supreme Court justices failed to address (and still fail to address) is that the Congress itself HAS NO RIGHT TO DO THIS – that the Legislative power (not just the Executive power) is LIMITED.

    Otherwise we are in the nightmare world of Sir William Blackstone where, if it feels like it, the Legislature can pass a law ordering all brown eyed people to be burned alive. And such things as the Bill of Rights are without real meaning.

    Of course after the 2020 elections the Supreme Court refused to even hear cases alleging massive election fraud (cases supported by many State Attorney Generals – this fact has been brushed under the rug).

    So the present position of the United States Supreme Court appears to be “the United States government can do anything it likes – and we do not care if that government is produced by rigged elections”.

    That is not a good situation – and the man most responsible for it is Chief Justice John Roberts.

    I remember Chief Justice John Roberts during the Obama Administration – essentially saying that YES Obamacare was unconstitutional, BUT that the Supreme Court would do nothing about it as defending limits on government was too political for them.

    Such a Chief Justice is as much use as a chocolate teapot.