Lithwick on Coulter on Kennedy:

I think Orin's take on Slate's Dahlia Lithwick is quite right, both on the positive and on the negative. One other item from her column I noticed:

And an excerpt from the new book by Ann Coulter's breasts suggests that he is somehow responsible for the ban on prayer in public schools.

Now I've disagreed with a great deal of what Ann Coulter has said (though I generally try not to bring up her breasts in the process). But I don't quite see the aptness of Lithwick's criticism. Here's the linked-to paragraph from Ann Coulter's column, which is also the only mention of Justice Kennedy in that column:

Among the things the Supreme Court has held "unconstitutional" are prayer in public schools, moments of silence in public schools (which the Court cleverly recognized as an invidious invitation to engage in "silent prayer"), and displays of the Ten Commandments in public schools. In 1992, the Court ruled it "unconstitutional" for a Reform rabbi to give a nonsectarian invocation at a high school graduation ceremony on the perfectly plausible grounds that Rhode Island was trying to establish Reform Judaism as the official state religion. (Opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy.)

Ann Coulter starts out by talking about the school prayer cases and some other cases. Then she moves on to talk about the graduation prayer case, and correctly notes that this case was written by Justice Kennedy. Coulter is certainly faulting Justice Kennedy's position on graduation prayer, but for the life of me I can't see how she's "suggest[ing] that [Justice Kennedy] is somehow responsible for the ban on prayer in public schools."

Lithwick's work is always very readable, and sometimes quite incisive. But at times she seems to write with less care than the subject deserves, and with not enough attention to possible weaknesses in her argument.

Justice Fuller:
Volokh writes: "But at times she seems to write with less care than the subject deserves, and with not enough attention to possible weaknesses in her argument."

Yes, like whenever she writes about any view expressed by any conservative.
6.9.2006 1:42am
t e (mail):
But don't you understand that Coulter's views are an elaborate put-on?

I mean: saying that we need to kill Muslims or convert them to Christianity. Or saying that the widows of men killed on 9/11 are "media whores" who had better pose for playboy while they still can.

Don't you get it. It is all a joke.

No rational person could possibly mean the things that Coulter says. She is just having fun being outrageous and cashing in the sweaty palmed conservative guys who buy her absurd books.
6.9.2006 2:35am
Fern R (www):
I don't understand the reference to Coulter's breasts. Are they prominently displayed on the cover of her new book or something?
6.9.2006 5:44am
Fern R, gratuitous sexual slurs are a tool that the left uses in an attempt to drive right-of-center women out of public discourse. See, e.g., how Wonkette or the commentators at Kevin Drum's website on Michelle Malkin or the commentators at Crooked Timber on Ann Althouse etc. The message is, "She's just a dumb crack, we don't have to take her seriously."
6.9.2006 7:27am
Jam (mail):
Coulter is one of those gals that tries to be on of the guys. Yuk..
6.9.2006 9:39am
Fern R.,

Yes, that is exactly what Lithwick is referring to. If you click the link under "new book by Ann Coulter's breasts", the page there contains an image of the cover of Coulter's book, and you'll see what Lithwick is referring to.

Incidentally, in my opinion Lithwick's best commentary involving breasts remains "Rack and Ruin", which is about the Supreme Court's hearing of Anna Nicole Smith's case. In general, I think her Supreme Court argument reviews tend to be Lithwick's best work.
6.9.2006 11:15am
Anderson (mail) (www):
Fern R, my wife saw Coulter's book last night &her immediate reaction was, "Eww, she thinks she's so hot."

One might indeed be forgiven for thinking that Coulter's breasts are the seat of whatever intelligence she possesses.

For that matter, Mrs. A. also noted that "Godless" appears from the cover to be a description of the author. Which, again, seems correct.
6.9.2006 12:00pm
New handle:
"But at times she seems to write with less care than the subject deserves, and with not enough attention to possible weaknesses in her argument."

Indeed. I would also add that:

The federal government at times spends somewhat more money than it collects in taxes.

The Iraqi insurgency has been a bit troublesome to the administration.


September 11 was, on balance, not an entirely good day.
6.9.2006 12:08pm
James Fulford (mail):
The link is not to Coulter's regular column, but a book excerpt from Godless, and the decision she's talking about is Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 (1992).

My layman's opinion is that anytime Kennedy writes the opinion, and Scalia writes the dissent, the Supreme Court has probably got it wrong.
6.9.2006 9:39pm
biu (mail):
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6.10.2006 3:55am