Amicus briefs are intended to be a way for interested parties to point out relevant aspects of the law to the judges or justices hearing a case. In the Second Amendment realm, the pro-2A amicus briefs come from the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation, GOA, or other groups or individuals interested in securing the right to keep and bear arms. Conversely, the amicus briefs from those who take a more restrictive view would come from the Brady Campaign, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and others of their ilk. All of these briefs tend to cite relevant law pro or con to support their arguments. Even the best written of them tend to be, to put it politely, boring.
But what about in other constitutional realms? They, too, tend to be boring. Thus, the brief submitted by the Cato Institute and P. J. O’Rourke in support of the petitioners in the case of Susan B. Anthony List, et al v. Steven Driehaus, et al stands out. It is, frankly, a hoot to read. While ostensibly written by Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute, one gets the feeling that it was heavily edited by P. J. O’Rourke. How else could you explain the first footnote?
Pursuant to this Court’s Rule 37.3(a), letters of consent
from all parties to the filing of this brief have been submitted to
the Clerk. Pursuant to this Court’s Rule 37.6,
this brief was not authored in whole or in part by counsel for
any party, and that no person or entity other than
monetary contribution its preparation or submission. Also,
and their counsel, family members, and pets have all won
the Congressional Medal of Honor.
That sets the tone for the rest of the brief which speaks to such things as truthiness. Included are such gems as the following:
- After all, where would we be without the
knowledge that Democrats are pinko-communist
flag-burners who want to tax churches and use the
money to fund abortions so they can use the fetal
stem cells to create pot-smoking lesbian ATF agents
who will steal all the guns and invite the UN to take
Driehaus voted for Obamacare, which the Susan B.
Anthony List said was the equivalent of voting for taxpayer-
are unsure how true the allegation is given that the healthcare law seems to change daily, but it
certainly isn’t as truthy as calling a mandate a tax.
It is thus apparently illegal in
Ohio for an outraged member of the public to call a
politician a Nazi or a Communist—or a Communist
Nazi, for that matter. That is no exaggeration: the
law criminalizes a misstatement made in “campaign
materials,” which includes “public speeches.”
Even in the absence of the First Amendment, no
government agency could do a better job policing
political honesty than the myriad personalities and
entities who expose charlatans, mock liars, lambaste
arrogance, and unmask truthiness for a living.
Politicians who are caught lying about
themselves or others regularly attract more attention
from the press than the subject of the original lie.
The typical outcome is that the lie or cover up
becomes more important than the original accusation
or offense. And that dynamic predates smartphones
and their latest “apps.” The impeachment of
President Clinton was not based on any sexual
activities he might have engaged in with Monica
Lewinsky, but over the attempt to cover it up.
Similarly, President Nixon’s resignation was
prompted by his obfuscations rather than his
orchestration of a third-rate burglary. And if this
Court isn’t yet convinced of this point, amici have
but two words more on the subject: Anthony Weiner.
Read the whole thing and make sure you read the footnootes. You just have to wonder who is laughing harder – the law clerks or the justices of the Supreme Court.