No easy dunk: sports analogies simplify Supreme Court argument
December 10th, 2013
03:46 PM ET
11 months ago

No easy dunk: sports analogies simplify Supreme Court argument

(CNN) - It is a familiar tactical strategy at the Supreme Court: when an oral argument gets too dense over regulatory interpretation– turn it into a sports analogy.

An Obama administration lawyer did that Tuesday in closely watched environmental appeal, comparing federal efforts aimed at curbing air pollution to basketball scores.

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Filed under: Supreme Court
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. tom l

    @Sniffit
    "Justify it. Seriously. You people are ridiculous. What you find tasteless and disrespectful is that a black man is our POTUS. Admit it. Nothing he could possibly do would ever be ok in your mind. Ever. No matter what the man does, you're going to invent some reason for complaining about it. And you wonder why the rest of us have essentially stopped listening to you people? GROW. UP."

    ======

    The one that needs to grow up and mature is you. I wish I was around here and the ticker was running back when Bush was president. I can imagine he would complain about everything that he did. Probably kvetched about the type of tie he wore, his annoying smirk, the food he ate, etc, etc etc. Has it ever occurred that people don't like him in the exact same way as how people from your side didn't like Bush? Why do you always go to the race? It's so tiring and absurd. When you don't like someone, it doesn't matter what they do, you still will not like it. I don't think the selfie comments have much merit as I don't see what the big deal is, but why do you have to bring it down to race? Why are you such a small man?

    I love how DMFO was responding to someone who wished that Obama was more like Mandela. Her response was that Obama had a greater challenge in dealing with the repubs than Mandela did in dealing with the opposition in South Africa where there was Apartheid! So she thinks that repubs are more difficult to deal with then the white people of South Africa back when Mandela became president!!! Priceless.

    December 10, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    "At issue is whether an "upwind" state that is polluting a "downwind" state is free of any obligations under the so-called Good Neighbor provision, unless and until federal regulators have quantified the upwind state's contribution to downwind state's air pollution problems.

    Leaders in some mostly conservative states say lost jobs and higher energy costs are at stake from what they see as arbitrary and ambiguous regulations."
    -------------------------
    What a marvelously classic argument for the "Greed Over People" party to make. Profit first. People don't matter.

    December 10, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. truth hurts but reality bites

    This is all a bunch of nonsense whose sole purpose is to provide armies of lawyers with a royal lifestyle. And meanwhile the tax payers foot the bill and the EPA destroys jobs.

    December 10, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. Peppy

    @ tom nice, wait till the libs and dems are all informed about their doctors offices closing, due to oblunder care. Maybe they will realize what an inept leader we have>Our family doc is closing due to bammycare, I guess someone should of read it b-4 Pelosi sidestepped the house.

    December 10, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Once upon a time, there used to be a federal regulation that required opacity monitors on all industrial smoke stacks. These devices monitored the turbidity of the effluent smoke rising out of the stack. In other words, the instruments measured are dark and sooty the smoke was, but did not measure the actual components of the soot, just how much.

    These instruments were connected to chart recorders that recorded the daily output of a given smoke stack for prosperity. These instruments also used to be connected to special phone communicators, similar to what a burglar alarm uses, that would dial up the EPA to alert them to an excess condition for an extended period of time. All of that stuff is gone. Tossed out during the first few months of the Bush administration.

    December 10, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I wish I was around here and the ticker was running back when Bush was president..."

    Rather childish to wish that any U.S. President ... regardless of party affiliation ... should be hounded in the news media (well, what was once news media but is now simply entertainment media) comment sections 24/7 for his every nuance.

    Just my opinion, mind you.

    December 10, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "but why do you have to bring it down to race?"

    Because that's where the RWNJ start it. I don't really give a crap what you have to say Tom. Give it up. We just watched you RWNJs throw a complete hissy fit over a harmless photo being taken with the Danish and British PMs during a massive, joyous and loud celebration of Mandela's life and accomplishments. We watch the same crap day in, day out, all day, all the time over and over and over and over and over again from you guys and the fact that it comes down to race is not at all hidden, particularly in light of the GOP/Teatrolls' behavior around the country (shall we start the list with voter their suppression attempts and racist redistricting and go from there?). I calls 'em like I sees 'em. At root, it's all very very much about the race of the man in the oval office, just like the RWNJ attempt to crap all over Mandela, calling him a terrorist and communist etc., is similarly about race at its core. What's tiring is having to listen to your constant vitriolic petulance and non-stop fabrication of reasons to hate even something as simple as a taking a photo with fellow world leaders.

    Nobody did to Bush what's been done to Obama, NOBODY, so you can cut that crap before you get started. Nobody attacked his birthplace, his birth certificate, his religion, his family, his wife, etc. All you do by trying to go back to "the way people treated Bush" is show that this is very much about RWNJ butthurt over Bush having to deal with being criticized FOR THINGS HE WAS ACTUALLY DOING AND NOT DOING. Lying about WMDs, outing Plame, starting unfunded wars, expanding Medicare without funding, cutting taxes in a massively inequitable manner and causing budget deficits that continue to this day because the GOP/Teatrolls protect the continued existence of those policies and the lack of funding for them. If the RWNJs hadn't started off with the birtherism, the attacks on Obama's religion, etc., then perhaps some of the screams of "wolf" that they level at actual policies, legislation and executive actions wouldn't fall on deaf ears, but they poisoned their own credibility by revealing that a major underlying motivator for the entire temper tantrum was Obama's race and the changing racial makeup of this country, which presents a major existential threat to the GOP/Teatrolls. And yet, instead of ending that crap and stopping it altogether, they encouraged it, abetted it, tried to use it for political advantage, spread it, enabled it, and not only continued it but helped it branch out into other areas (like the aforementioned voter suppression). So no, I'm not going to stop blaming it on the obvious racism in the hearts of the GOP/Teatrolls. EVER. If you don't like it, then stop giving me evidence upon which to base the claim. Maybe have some seminars about "how to talk to darky" now that you've had your "how to talk to women" lessons. Until then, the shoe fits.

    December 10, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l

    @Sniffit
    "Justify it. Seriously. You people are ridiculous. What you find tasteless and disrespectful is that a black man is our POTUS. Admit it. Nothing he could possibly do would ever be ok in your mind. Ever. No matter what the man does, you're going to invent some reason for complaining about it. And you wonder why the rest of us have essentially stopped listening to you people? GROW. UP."

    ======

    The one that needs to grow up and mature is you. I wish I was around here and the ticker was running back when Bush was president. I can imagine he would complain about everything that he did. Probably kvetched about the type of tie he wore, his annoying smirk, the food he ate, etc, etc etc. Has it ever occurred that people don't like him in the exact same way as how people from your side didn't like Bush? Why do you always go to the race? It's so tiring and absurd. When you don't like someone, it doesn't matter what they do, you still will not like it. I don't think the selfie comments have much merit as I don't see what the big deal is, but why do you have to bring it down to race? Why are you such a small man?

    I love how DMFO was responding to someone who wished that Obama was more like Mandela. Her response was that Obama had a greater challenge in dealing with the repubs than Mandela did in dealing with the opposition in South Africa where there was Apartheid! So she thinks that repubs are more difficult to deal with then the white people of South Africa back when Mandela became president!!! Priceless.
    ****************
    Once again, reams of silly, immature arguments, and you decide that only Sniffit is worth your time. I guess you really find liberals who have strong feelings truly offensive, since you've made it abundantly clear that you prefer the well-honed, knee-jerk rabid arguments of Donna, Just Saying and the rest of the brownshirts, even when its clear they are reacting in the same manner you insist is so absurd. Perhaps race is important to Sniffit, and it would be nice if you tried to appreciate his point of view instead of dismissing it as something inconvenient. Your arrogant dismissal of his point of view does nothing to make your case.

    December 10, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    -Peppy

    @ tom nice, wait till the libs and dems are all informed about their doctors offices closing, due to oblunder care. Maybe they will realize what an inept leader we have>Our family doc is closing due to bammycare, I guess someone should of read it b-4 Pelosi sidestepped the house.
    ************************************************
    My brother-in-law, niece, and nephew are all doctors. My wife has been an office manager and a medical assistant in my brother-in-law's practice for over 25 years. If a doctor has made the decision to close their practice, its unlikely the ACA is the cause, but if thats the conclusion you want to draw, be my guest. Please tell us exactly how the ACA forced your doctor to go out of business, Peppy. Details, if they exist.

    December 10, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. sonny chapman

    I hope the Supremes apply that same logic to "upriver states" whose agricultural practices create huge Dead Zones in the Gulf of Mexico.

    December 10, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    " Her response was that Obama had a greater challenge in dealing with the repubs than Mandela did in dealing with the opposition in South Africa where there was Apartheid! "

    In some ways he does. Violent upheaval isn't an option on the table for Obama. Unless you'd like us to consider it? Guess whose going to win in terms of sheer numbers in that event. Guess. And before you cry about it, I just said it's not an option, so unwed the panties and be a big boy. The only way we're reaching that point is if the GOP/Teatrolls are allowed to shift the entire nation's wealth upwards for another 50 years, planting us straight in the path of a revolution. And no, no matter the Teatrolls' delusions, they are not the prescient vanguard of revolt against liberalism and "creeping socialism" etc. That's just the tinfoil hats talking.

    December 10, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Silence DoGood

    @Rudy NYC
    "At issue is whether an "upwind" state that is polluting a "downwind" state is free of any obligations under the so-called Good Neighbor provision, unless and until federal regulators have quantified the upwind state's contribution to downwind state's air pollution problems.

    Leaders in some mostly conservative states say lost jobs and higher energy costs are at stake from what they see as arbitrary and ambiguous regulations."
    ---------
    What a marvelously classic argument for the "Greed Over People" party to make. Profit first. People don't matter.
    ---------
    Thank you for pointing that out. It is like if it seems to makes business sense (and I am not convinced about doom and gloom job loss) then full speed ahead!
    (sarcasm alert) By this reasoning, if you step out in front of my car, I might calculate that it will take more fuel to slow down and swerve to avoid you and then speed back up again. So I should just run you over.

    Of course it will cost something to lessen pollution but it is money that should MORALLY to have spent at the outset to protect people. Yes the left can use "morally" too, and quite frankly we do it better.

    December 10, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. tom l

    @The Real TP,
    "Once again, reams of silly, immature arguments, and you decide that only Sniffit is worth your time. I guess you really find liberals who have strong feelings truly offensive, since you've made it abundantly clear that you prefer the well-honed, knee-jerk rabid arguments of Donna, Just Saying and the rest of the brownshirts, even when its clear they are reacting in the same manner you insist is so absurd. Perhaps race is important to Sniffit, and it would be nice if you tried to appreciate his point of view instead of dismissing it as something inconvenient. Your arrogant dismissal of his point of view does nothing to make your case."

    ======

    What a shocker. You choose to discuss what I didn't discuss (and what YOU would like to discuss) rather than address my point. Not to mention the fact that I agreed that it was something they shouldn't get upset over. My point was very clear so let me try again.

    My point is that Sniffit brings up race where there has been no evidence whatsoever of race being a factor. My point was that, much like the dems called Bush every name in the book (loser, liar, traitor, he played on our fears!, etc) and no matter what he did it would agitate the dems. No matter what. If Bush laughed, it bothered them due to his smirk. No matter what the issue, they opposed it. So why can dems complain about all-things-Bush and that's ok but when repubs complain about all-things-Obama it comes down to only one thing...race? Why is that?

    Now, as far as his comment : "Nobody did to Bush what's been done to Obama"

    That is insane. There are people on this board to this day that will still say that he stole the election and never won (I'm willing to bet Sniffit is one of those people). So, basically they have completely invalidated his entire presidency, or his right to be president by winning the election, and that's not the same????? It's the exact same thing.

    Bottom line is this, while some might not like Obama due to the color of his skin, not one of these people on the boards (like just sayin, donna, a true conservative or any other consistent conservative poster here) has ever said anything that would make me feel like they oppose Obama for any other reason other than his politics. Period.

    Are there lame things that people complain about with Obama? Of course. But they are no different than those on the left that complained about Bush. It's just that simple.

    December 10, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. tom l

    @The Real TP,
    Oh, and where were you to defend me when Rudy was lying about things I said and my age? Where were you when he tried to attack my character by saying that I was just a few years out of high school and when I called him on it, he wouldn't apologize but actually increased his baseless attacks?

    Why didn't you defend me when it is obvious that I'm older? Why did you stay silent while someone on your side was making terrible and vicious accusations????

    December 10, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "My point is that Sniffit brings up race where there has been no evidence whatsoever of race being a factor."

    Yawn. The evidence is all around you, ubiquitous, pervasive, widespread and the GOP/Teatrolls never seem to be able to control themselves long enough to stop adding to it, even when they're (supposedly) making an effort at "outreach." You just choose to ignore it because it's inconvenient.

    December 10, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. tom l

    @Sniffit
    "" Her response was that Obama had a greater challenge in dealing with the repubs than Mandela did in dealing with the opposition in South Africa where there was Apartheid! "

    In some ways he does...."

    ======

    Honestly, that statement is just offensive I don't know where to go with it.

    December 10, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    @ tom l,

    No, just making an observation about the pattern of your conversations. If you cannot handle a very gentle critique about how you seem to gloss or skip over outrageous statements every day by your fellow brownshirt travelers iin favor of picking fights with Sniffit , so be it. And if Donna, et al, have not made them overtly, others certainly have and you have never said a word to them. it is up to you to police the conservatives, if you want to have any integrity at all. Fair is Fair will, so why don't you?

    December 10, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "There are people on this board to this day that will still say that he stole the election and never won "

    That's not a personal attack on Bush in the same vein as attacking Obama's birthplace. Get real dude. There was an extremely close election, the tide was turning during a recount and a conservative-leaning SCOTUS told FL to stop counting, essentially declaring Bush the winner from the bench. Those are all FACTS. Believing that they indicate someone managed to win who shouldn't have is an interpretation of FACTS and it's not an attack on Bush's humanity. Conversely, refusing to believe that Obama was born in Hawaii and inventing all sorts of whacked out conspiracy theories to justify disbelieving the overwhelming evidence that he was indeed born in Hawaii actually IS an attack on Obama personally and it was given wings and chosen as a line of attack precisely because his blackness made it "believable" in the minds of those who went into epic denial when he won the election in 2008 and those who were so desperate to prevent him from having the WH that they would fabricate anything to try to oust him, even if it meant appealing to latent racism and race resentment among southern and rural Midwestern whites, playing up the idea that Obama was born in Kenya and not a citizen and "not one of us" and "doesn't understand our values" etc. The coat peg on which all of that was hung was Obama's race. Plain and simple.
    i

    December 10, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "basically they have completely invalidated his entire presidency, or his right to be president by winning the election, and that's not the same????? It's the exact same thing. "

    Quite clearly it's not. The Dems did not spend Bush's entire presidency engaged in routine, blanket obstruction of every single things Bush and the GOP/Teatrolls tried to do, shutting down the gov't, threatening to default on the nation's debts, causing a record number of vacancies on judicial benches, setting unheard of records for abuse of the filibuster and other procedural obstruction, voting symbolically 45+ times to repeal one particular piece of legislation to the exclusion of most other legislative business, causing record time delays in allowing confirmation hearings to proceed for nominees, obstructing Bush's cabinet picks with "first time in history' shenanigans, etc. etc. Bush was POTUS and nobody denied it and Dems in Congress, in typical spineless fashion, were widely cowed by the "if yer not with us yer against us" and "don't criticize the POTUS during wartime" rhetoric. The GOP/Teatrolls during Obama's presidency have made it crystal clear that they simply do not want to live in a reality in which Obama is POTUS and that they are more than willing to carry out the delusion that they actually don't live in such a reality.

    December 10, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. tom l

    @The Real TP,
    "And if Donna, et al, have not made them overtly, others certainly have and you have never said a word to them. it is up to you to police the conservatives"

    ======

    Give me one example where she has ever made a racist statement or ever referred to Obama's race. One.

    And, wow! What a fantastic honor you have bestowed upon me. It's my job to police conservatives? I had no idea. Are you being serious with that one? Honestly? I am not here to police anyone. I make comments with regards to Sniffit because there's some sick part of me that actually enjoys interacting with him. And, quite honestly, I typically don't even really look at the conservatives posts too closely. They certainly say some outlandish things but the ones who really make incredible statements (you know, like Obama has a more difficult opposition than Mandela) then I absolutely have to respond. Now when are you going to say something about Rudy's attempt to attack my character? Where's that post from you?

    December 10, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "Honestly, that statement is just offensive I don't know where to go with it."

    How about "away"? You think the rapid rise in racist nonsense in response to Obama becoming POTUS hasn't been noticed? That voter ID and racist redistricting (yes, they've been caught in places like TX) and all the elections rules and procedures changes the GOP/Teatrolls have been enacting all over the country in hopes of blunting the consequences of demographic shifts and 60+ years of alienating every minority group in the country...you think all that has gone unnoticed or has no analog to apartheid/segregation/institutionalized racism? It's a whole rebirth of trying to institutionalize racism in this country...a racism renaissance. A desperate last salvo before demographic shifts really and truly finally kick in and start to destroy the GOP/Teatrolls' ability to exert control over everything in the country. A desperate final attempt to hang onto power by any means necessary for fear that there will be vengeance, reprisals, retaliation and a complete role reversal for white people if the brown people "take over"...and shoe on the other foot situation, so to speak. The attempts to speed the redistribution of wealth upwards are entirely tied to that whole issue, because guess what race is disproportionately benefitting from the GOP/Teatrolls' plutocratic policies? You can find offense all you want with me speaking the truth that people would rather go unspoken, not talked about, whitewashed and swept under the rug...but I'm still going to speak it, because it's the fact that it's true that has me outraged, not that it couldn't be hidden and ignored.

    December 10, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. tom l

    That's not a personal attack on Bush in the same vein as attacking Obama's birthplace. Get real dude. There was an extremely close election, the tide was turning during a recount and a conservative-leaning SCOTUS told FL to stop counting, essentially declaring Bush the winner from the bench. Those are all FACTS. Believing that they indicate someone managed to win who shouldn't have is an interpretation of FACTS and it's not an attack on Bush's humanity. Conversely, refusing to believe that Obama was born in Hawaii and inventing all sorts of whacked out conspiracy theories to justify disbelieving the overwhelming evidence that he was indeed born in Hawaii actually IS an attack on Obama personally and it was given wings and chosen as a line of attack precisely because his blackness made it "believable" in the minds of those who went into epic denial when he won the election in 2008 and those who were so desperate to prevent him from having the WH that they would fabricate anything to try to oust him, even if it meant appealing to latent racism and race resentment among southern and rural Midwestern whites, playing up the idea that Obama was born in Kenya and not a citizen and "not one of us" and "doesn't understand our values" etc. The coat peg on which all of that was hung was Obama's race. Plain and simple.

    =====

    Sorry dude, you're just wrong. Are there some people that took that line? Sure. If you don't think that Obama played off that so race baiters such as yourself can make posts like the above one, then you are truly naïve. You don't think that he held back his birth certificate just so people like you could then have an excuse and throw out the race card? Of course he did. I didn't need to see the birth certificate and nor did probably over 90% of repubs (unfortunately the loud ones get heard); his mom is an American, he's an American. Period. Now why don't you call out the posters on here that make the very serious and same statements (and sometimes worse) about Mr. Cruz? Have you seen the vile comments about him and his heritage? You focus on the fringe. I can guarantee to you that Donna, just sayin, hector slagg and the other conservative posters here don't feel that way. They dislike the man in the exact same way as you disliked Bush. I think it's sad that in 2013 your knee jerk reaction is to assume racism. That is why I say you are the racist. You are the one that looks at race first.

    December 10, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "Give me one example where she has ever made a racist statement or ever referred to Obama's race."

    Sigh. Don't make us quote Lee Atwater. If you think GOP/Teatroll code-speak is effective at hiding what they really mean, then think again.

    December 10, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "Sorry dude, you're just wrong. Are there some people that took that line? Sure. If you don't think that Obama played off that so race baiters such as yourself can make posts like the above one, then you are truly naïve. "

    So instead of going with a cogent argument based on facts, you decided on "nuh uh, [insert conspiracy theory]."???
    Mmmmkay.

    December 10, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "You don't think that he held back his birth certificate just so people like you could then have an excuse and throw out the race card? "

    No, I don't. I think he didn't produce it because to do so lends legitimacy to that line of complete crap and he was trying to avoid giving credence to their ridiculous, racist, rabid idiocy. Caving into their absurd demands from the get-go would have encouraged them...it would have constituted positive reinforcement, and indicated that the birtherism line of attack was an arrow to put in their quiver for use whenever they think they can play off a man's or woman's skin color to raise questions of their eligibility, citizenship and "American-ness." I honestly wish he never did give in and show it. Let them stew in their own filth. But at least he waited long enough that they did themselves horrible damage and the country grew horribly sick of their nonsense, which ultimately damages their ability to re-use the slimy, racist tactic.

    December 10, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |