Thursday, June 29, 2006

Lying Republican scum

I'll summarize this but it's worth reading the whole story in Slate today.

It's a bit of a small point from today's Supreme Court decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. It hinges on a standard tool for determining legislative intent. In interpreting a statute, if the court finds that the language of the statute is clear, the clear language of the statute controls. The question, though, is what to do if the language is ambiguous. One of the standard tools is legislative history, which encompasses a range of information, including statements made during debate on the legislation. It makes sense, right? If we want to know what Congress meant when they passed a law, see what they were saying about it when they passed it.

In this case, a big issue was the correct interpretation of the Detainee Treatment Act, which was passed last December. Late in December, after the bill was passed, when nobody else was around, John Kyl (R-Tex.) and Lindsey Graham (R- S.C.) inserted a phony dialogue in the Congressional Record, making it look as though it was a colloquy they held during floor debate on the bill. Then, they used the language they inserted into the record as the basis for an amicus curiae brief they filed in the Supreme Court to argue for their preferred interpretation.

Too bad for them, though. Either Justice Stevens or his clerk was too smart for them, discovered this, and actually called them out on it. Here's what he said in a footnote of his opinion: "While statements attributed to the final bill's two other sponsors, Senators Graham and Kyl, arguably contradict Senator Levin's contention that the final version of the Act preserved jurisdiction over pending habeas cases … those statements appear to have been inserted in the Congressional Record after the Senate debate."

You certainly wouldn't expect anything better than this from Kyl, but Graham likes to put on a show of being more moderate, presumably grooming himself for an eventual presidential run. What this shows, though, is that he is devoid of integrity and cannot be trusted.


Anonymous Loevy-Reyes said...

The lengths that the Republicans will go to in order to implement outrageous policies should not surprise us, but I continue to be amazed by their utter indifference to ethical standards. The hypocrisy is infuriating. Thank you for continuing to highlight their most egregious conduct.

July 03, 2006 11:35 AM  

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