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An Interview with Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin has been a senior analyst for CNN since 2002. He is also currently a staff writer at The New Yorker. Mr. Toobin is perhaps best known for his books including Too Close to Call, The Oath, and his award-winning book The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court.

 

Cody Pomeranz is a sophomore in Branford College.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003417762157 Ainiezz

    Listen, here’s my devil’s advocate augrment about all this. No justice since Rehnquist has wanted to revisit the basic premise of the new deal revolution, which is essentially that Congress can do anything, but only four justices are willing to embrace that outcome, and so every time a case challenging congressional authority arrives, liberals can’t believe it’s serious (because they don’t believe there are limits other than individual rights), and the conservative justices desperately search for a limiting principle that preserves the fiction that the new deal settlement doesn’t make congress omnipotent (because they don’t want to revisit the new deal settlement).Now, I’m not sure that it’s true that the new deal settlement essentially makes Congress omnipotent; certainly that is the proposition that Lopez denies. But in the absence of a limiting principle, it’s hard to see how that isn’t the upshot, so we are backed into the corner of accepting one of three outcomes: Accept Congressional omnipotence, impose (sometimes slightly artificial) limiting principles to reign in that power, or overrule Wickard et al. Everything in Verilli wants to scream “listen, you fucking idiots, Congress can do anything it wants. Anything. Anything at all. Unless you’re willing to sack up and overrule Wickard, which we all know you won’t, it’s a done deal, so stop wasting my time and yours with this cooked up Randy Barnett crap, stop looking for a contrived limiting principle that preserves limits on Congressional power, stop worrying, and learn to love Congressional omnipotence.” That’s what Verilli wants to say, because that’s what he believes. That’s what liberals really believe. That’s why they just can’t believe that this case is really happening (they couldn’t believe Lopez, either), it’s why the pundit class is absolutely stunned, and is now reacting with such stunned horror to three days of augrments that seem to imply that Obamacare might have fewer than five votes. And the reason Verilli’s having such difficulty at the podium, to the point that his body is physically rebelling, is because he’s being asked to oppose a proposition that must seem to him as natural as “breathing is good” or “water is wet.” He doesn’t believe a word he’s saying, and he can barely bring himself to condescend to try. It’s not his fault. Any good lawyer can argue that the sky isn’t blue. But even the best lawyer can’t argue that water isn’t wet.

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