Supreme Court dick moves

In the transcripts for the Supreme Court hearings on the health care issue, there was a lot of mumbling about not wanting to have to read the enormous tome to weed out what could survive without the mandate. There seems to be a possibility that they may make some sort of highly technical ruling that merely passes the buck back to Congress but doesn’t settle any of the larger questions.

Which is understandable, and maybe even warranted, but still, kind of a dick move.

Have there been any previous examples of the High Court pulling a dick move? In your humble opinion?

Plenty of dick moves.

Dred Scott v. Sandford holding persons of African descent were not citizens and not entitled to Constitutional protection. The dicks.

Plessy v. Ferguson upholding Separate but Equal. The dicks.

Wickard v. Filburn held Congress can prevent you from growing wheat on your own farm to feed to your own animals. The dicks.

Denial of cert
U.S. Steel Corp. v. Milward The Court refused to take a look at a judgement fromt he First Circuit that arguably opens the door for expert testimony based on little or no scientific testing and evidence. The dicks.

Korematsu. Upholding Japanese-American internment during WWII.

I was sure “dick move” was going to be taken literally somehow :slight_smile:

Feel free to create an animated GIF Shade.

As long as you brought up Obamacare as an example and characterized the Court’s move as semi-dickish … is it really dickish at all? I thought the Court got involved after precise legal issues had been identified and ruled on by lower courts.

How so? I keep hearing voices on the left saying that if the SC strikes it down it’ll be a political decision and a horrible crime, and voices on the right saying much the opposite.

If there’s some sort of way to give it back to congress with a note saying “edit and resubmit before final grade,” that doesn’t seem to be the worst possible outcome.

Not THE Supreme Court but A Supreme Court move.

Remember that whole “hanging chad” crap down in Florida with Bush vs Gore?

Some elections officials weren’t sure what to do. They WANTED to do the right thing.

The whole mess quickly gets to the Florida Supreme Court. Now remember this whole thing is really about what procedure is fair. Do out of state votes sent in count if there is no postmark? Does a hanging chad count or not? What do we do about the badly written/designed ballots? Besides the two politicians and their armies, most people were looking for what was right and fair.

My recollection is the Florida Supreme Courts ruling was basically “you guys have to do what is fair but we aren’t going to tell you what is or isnt fair”.

No shit Sherlocks and thanks for that helpful advice!

United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind Thind wasn’t white in the “popular sense” therefore he could not become a citizen.

Takao Ozawa v. the United States Japanese is an unassimilatable race, therefore he could not become a citizen.

I’m not sure what the OP is really looking for, but I’ll point out that one way the S.Ct. can rule upon a case is to declare it “dismissed as improvidently granted.” In other words, “now that we’ve read your merits briefs, we think it was a mistake for us to have agreed to hear this case in the first place.” Well, thanks – now I just spent $25,000 on a merits brief for nothing.

The attitude displayed was definitely dickish (I don’t want to read this thing! What ruling will be the least effort?), but whether it will actually lead to a dickish ruling I cannot say.

I said it might be warranted :smiley:

I guess it depends on the intent and nature of the ruling. You could conceivably have two rulings which are effectively the same legally, but still send a different message. For example one says “we are narrowly ruling out of prudence” and the other says “not our problem dudes, clean up your own mess”.

And while I understand the benefits of a narrow ruling, and avoiding the appearance of an activist court, some cases were brought to court not just to determine the particular matter at hand, but also to serve as a guideline to future legislation. If the court just rules on some nitpicky technical thing that is only relevant to that case, and say nothing at all about the larger issue, then it wastes the time of the nation guessing at how to properly legislate the issue, and then dragging the new version all the way up to court again.

It’s fine if they throw it back to congress, but it should be with some clear useful notes.

For those confused about what the thread is about, I intended it to be more about rulings with attitude, or passive aggressiveness, than about rulings that we don’t like because they violate our modern ideas of humanity, but the thread is small enough that I welcome any justifications of dickishness you care to share.

I’d say the US Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v Gore was itself a dick decision, as was discussed extensively on this board at the time. YMMV.

Agreed, zamboniracer, agreed.

Well maybe. I don’t recall the details of that decision. But I suspect that decision is like most of the ones other here are calling dick moves. They are calling them dick moves because they disagree with the decision. There is a difference.

A dick move IMO really doesn’t depend on whether you agree with it or not. Its the move itself that is “dickish”. If that makes any sense.

Like back to my Florida Supreme court example. Some might consider it pro Bush and the pro Gore people think it was a dick move. Or pro Gore and the pro Bush think it was a dick move.

I think it was a dick move because they are supposed to be you know, be like judges and shit and didn’t do anything useful.

Of course I could be badly misremembering this stuff. In which case take it as a fictional example of a judicial dick move.

Hirabayashi v. United States

and decided on the same day:

Yasui v. United States

Although Korematsu was arguably more dickish, and some justices switched “sides” to say so.
Not a decision, but I’m sure many would add “Let [justice that I hate] into the Court.”

I said at the time that Bush v. Gore was a dick move. The Court had said previously that these electoral matters are for the states themselves to sort out, not us. This time, they said, we have 5 R votes and 4 D votes so we’re going to sort this one out in favor of the Rs, and we are also saying that this case may not be used as precedent. Abandoning their previous principle out of expediency for their favored candidate is a dick move to me. I also disagree with your description of the FlaSC’s decision as a dick move, but it was all 12 years ago and I’m done arguing about it. YMMV.

Citizens United was supremely dickish - the justices who claims that any non-Originalist is an Activist Judge™ turn around and take a small-scope case and re-scope it to suit their needs to overturn campaign finance reform and encouraging anonymous money to assert massive influence on campaigns.

This one will be considered historically hypocritical and dickish over time.


I think that’s the general idea.

There’s no reason to think they’d make no effort to make any kind of ruling at all. I’ve never heard anyone even raise the possibility.

In 1916, the National Child Labor Committee and the National Consumers League successfully pressured the US Congress to pass the Keating-Owen Act, the first federal child labor law.

However, the US Supreme Court struck down the law two years later in Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918), declaring that the law violated a child’s right to contract his or her own labor.