I generally support Tom DeLay. I think that most of his so-called ethics problems are hot air created by Democrats engaged in politics by prosecution, just one more method of using courts as a proxy for ballots when the ballots don’t go their way. But then he makes comments that just make me wonder whether he is trying to lose his job. Like his latest on Anthony Kennedy,
The statement is just plain goofy. Completely off the wall. One might say, “incredibly outrageous.”
The sad thing is that DeLay is right on many issues and does an excellent job in a lot of ways, but he has a real credibility problem and it doesn’t all stem from the ethics issues.
Sidenote – Words Matter:
He also complained about Kennedy’s writing opinions based on “international law, not the Constitution of the United States.” I expect a Congressman who has decided to attack a particular issue to be prepared to deal with it intelligently. Part of that is portraying an understanding of the issue by being careful with his words. International law, in its usual meaning of treaty law, is part of the Constitution of the United States. Treaty law is, per the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the land. A Supreme Court Justice making reference to that part of “international law” is necessarily making reference to “the Constitution of the United States.” Of course, that isn’t what Justice Kennedy did and it’s not what Mr. DeLay is actually complaining about. Kennedy based his opinions not on “international law” but on “foreign law”, the laws of other nations. A minor detail for the usual political discourse, but not for the House Majority Leader when he has embarked on a crusade on the very subject.
The danger in blurring the distinction between the Law of Nations and the laws of nations is that the Supreme Court has recognized for a long time and explicitly at least since the Paquete Habana case that “International law is part of our law, and must be ascertained and administered by the courts of justice of appropriate jurisdiction as often as questions of right depending upon it are duly presented for their determination.” The international law referred to in that case included not only treaty law but also the framework in which treaty law operates, “customs and useages of civilized nations” in their international dealings. It was still distinctly the Law of Nations and not the laws of nations. DeLay, unintentionally no doubt, accords the laws of nations (foreign law) the same status as the Law of Nations (international law). The irony is that his useage of “international law” accords foreign law exactly the status he doesn’t want it to have.
Orin Kerr expects “DeLay to introduce H.R. 8615, The Stop Anthony Kennedy From Using the Internet Act of 2005”