rs at robertsheridan.com
Thu Apr 23 09:21:01 PDT 2009
At first glance, I thought, what a clever statement, fitting of Scalia.
But then I thought, Wait a minute, how dumb is this? We perform similar
comparisons all the time, but not the way Scalia suggests. Shall I
major in this or that? Take this course or that? This professor or
that? This job or that? Marry this person or not? Vote for Honest
John or Tricky Dick? And on and on. We never, ever, think in terms of
rocks and strings, which is probably why I've never heard of this pithy
but mindless quote before. I have heard of apples and oranges, as we
all have, and know to try to avoid comparing them. But Scalia doesn't
say that a balancing test is like apples and oranges; he has to make up
his own rubric, not only to be clever, but to avoid coming to terms with
the notion that we typically line up arguments just as in a Chinese
menu, Column A you get this, Column B you get that.
Take your time.
Want tea with that?
Scalia for Chinese waiter! You want string or rock today?
Rick Duncan wrote:
> A few years ago, Justice Scalia criticized balancing tests by saying
> that it is like trying to decide if "a rock is heavier than a string
> is long."
> But I can't remember where he said this. I just did a West Law search
> and nothing came up.
> Does anyone remember the citation for this Scalia gem?
> Rick Duncan
> Welpton Professor of Law
> University of Nebraska College of Law
> Lincoln, NE 68583-0902
> "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
> Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting
> the vote."--Ben Franklin (perhaps misattributed, but still worthy of
> "It's a funny thing about us human beings: not many of us doubt God's
> existence and then start sinning. Most of us sin and then start
> doubting His existence." --J. Budziszewski (The Revenge of Conscience)
> "Once again the ancient maxim is vindicated, that the perversion of
> the best is the worst." -- /Id./
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