Monday, April 18, 2016

Cheap shots and hot pursuits

Update 4/22: Welcome Mike's Round-Up Readers! Thanks, Batocchio!

Via Wikimedia Commons, attributed to M.Z.D. Schmid.

The worst thing about Donald Trump, per David French at National Review: He encourages feminism.
The masculinity of Trump is exactly the caricatured, counterfeit masculinity of the feminist fever dream. It takes the full energy of manhood and devotes it to sex, money, and power. It’s posturing masquerading as toughness and anger drained of bravery.... he breathes new life into a feminism that is so extreme, so hysterical, that even a majority of women reject it.
That must be pretty darn extreme and hysterical, if even the wimminz are against it.

Francis Lederer and Joan Bennett in Alexander Hall's The Pursuit of Happiness, 1934.
Unearthed by Roy Edroso, some hopefully snarky commentary from Alex Griswold at Mediaite in favor of Senator Cruz's position on dildos ("Senator, what is your position on dildos?" "Undoyant fesswise dexter, or coiled erect"):
"You’re perfectly free to believe your 'pursuit of happiness' entitles you to all sorts of things," said Griswold, "but there’s no end to the list of generally enjoyable behaviors that [the] state has the right to proscribe." Perhaps Griswold sensed at this point a rising tide of reader laughter, because he immediately added, "There are real constitutional concerns about a ban on sex toys, but the 'pursuit of happiness' is only invoked by those who lack a sophisticated understanding of the law and liberal journalists (but I repeat myself)."
Oh no you dih unt! Snap!

What he's referring to, I guess, is the surprising fact that the "pursuit of happiness" is not mentioned in the Constitution, but only in the Declaration of Independence. Something probably only those with a sophisticated understanding of the law and liberal journalists would be aware of. I must have a very sophisticated understanding of liberal journalists, because everybody I know learned about that in eighth grade.

But there's more! You know who else invokes the "pursuit of happiness"? Lawyers, for one thing, as indicated by Black's Law Dictionary (2nd ed., 1910):

Or perhaps you'd like to check it out with Catherine Pellerin at Columbia Undergraduate Law Review, who notes that the "pursuit of happiness" is written into the constitutions of Virginia, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin; and invoked as a constitutional principle at the federal level for the first time in 1923,  in Justice McReynold's 7-2 majority opinion in Meyer v. Nebraska:
 In the case Meyer v. Nebraska, Robert Meyer, a schoolteacher, challenged the constitutionality of Nebraska’s Siman Act, which forbade education administered in a foreign language. In a 7-2 ruling, the Court found in favor of Meyer. Justice McReynolds, writing for the majority, found that the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause protects not only one’s freedom from restraint, but also one’s freedom to engage in contracts, to hold an occupation, to learn and gain knowledge, to marry and raise children, and to demonstrate faith and participate in religion.[5] He found that, in sum, these freedoms entitled one “generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”[6] When teaching a foreign language, Meyer was exercising his occupational and intellectual freedoms as defined by Justice McReynold’s decision, and in doing so, pursuing his happiness.
And very signally later in the famous case of Loving v. Virginia (1967), in which Chief Justice Warren referred to it in the same terms in defense of interracial couples to marry in spite of the restrictions of Virginia law as it then stood in his 9-0 ruling:
 restating that right of freedom of marriage was “essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”
Of course Senator Cruz presumably thinks Loving was decided wrongly, since, as Steve M is pointing out today, he believes all questions of marriage should be left to the states:
"I am a constitutionalist and under the Constitution, marriage is a question for the states. That has been the case from the very beginning of this country -- that it’s been up to the states. And so if someone wants to change the marriage laws, I don’t think it should be five unelected lawyers down in Washington dictating that."
Take that, you unelected Chief Justice Warren! And take that, Mr. and "Mrs." Loving! Senator Cruz thinks you blew it, and he's the smartest guy in the Republican party!

Finally, in other humorous news, the allegedly humorous Sherman Oaks Review of Books, a major new publication from the West Coast with which I am possibly somewhat associated, has unleashed its debut issue on the world, WITHOUT A PIECE BY ME FUCKING THANKS ELLIS but I'm sure that will be remedied in coming weeks. Speaking of Edroso, it does have a great number by him, and lots of other delightsome material, so you should read it.

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