The Right Coast
October 07, 2005
Justice designate Barney asked which Justice he admires the most
By Tom Smith
Washington (AP) Justice-nominee Barney continues to make the rounds at Capitol Hill, introducing himself to important Senators. Asked which Justice he admired most by Senator Leahy (D : ( -V), Barney replied "Woof!"
Debate continues as to what this meant. "Woof!" could be taken as an evasion, suggesting that Barney is a stealth candidate. The White House, however, has issued a statement, clarifying that by "Woof!" Barney meant to say he admired the late Chief Justice Warren Burger, for his really nice hair.
"Nice hair is an important trait in a Supreme Court Justice. Many of us were alarmed by the state of Chief Justice Rehnquist's hair in his last days, I know, though of course it was not his fault. All these critics who are saying hair is not important in a Justice are just fancy-pants, Ivy League, effeminate snobs." The White House later clarified its clarification, saying that by "effeminate," it meant no offense to women or to men who just happen to be somewhat girly.
Reaction from the Ivy League was swift. The President of Princeton University promised to issue a statement as soon as he stopped crying. Larry Summers, President of Harvard, said he was girly and proud of it, and asked if anyone he had offended wanted any money.
Conservative columnists continued to pillory the Barney nomination. The White House responded by accusing their erstwhile supporters of speciesist animus. Ed Gillespie, a spokesman for the White House, stated "I know a lot of these critics, and a lot of them are, frankly, cat people, if you know what I mean." Asked to name a critic who was in fact a cat person on Fox News Live, however, Mr. Gillespie demurred, saying "they know who they are, and a lot of the rest of us do as well."
Representing what increasingly appears to be the minority position in the conservative "blogosphere," YankeeDoodleDandy at It'sAGrandOldFlag.com remarked "This is a time to be loyal to our President. He knows this dog, and he's a fine dog, and if our President thinks he is the right dog for the Supreme Court, well, by gum, that's good enough for me. He's a cute dog, and a sweet dog, and knows a lot of law for a dog. And I've had just about enough from all these smarty pants, elitist, top of their la dee dah class at oh pardon me while I play my grahhhnd piahhhno law school, saying Barney is not good enough for the high court. Dogs are really smart. You try finding a rat hiding in a giant barn, which terriers can do, you know. They're smart. Trust me. Or better, trust our President. When has he let us down before? Now let's all sing. Oh, by the way, Jesus appeared to me yesterday, and he said he supported the Barney nomination too, and if he's good enough for Jesus, he's good enough for me. And for the President, which obviously, he was."
In the meantime, scholars are pouring over Barney's previous legal writings for clues of what his jurisprudence would be like. These writings are quite sparse, though unusually copious, considering he is a dog. The most substantial piece is reprinted in its entirety below.
I am glad we have law. Without law, we would be in trouble. The law says dogs can't bite people. I think I get one free bite. I am saving it. Humans make law, but dogs have to obey it, sort of. Is this fair? I don't know.
Most scholars admit it is difficult to say what Barney's position would be on such questions as the relationship of state and federal authority in (so-called) dormant commerce clause contexts, or the accommodation of religious exercise in public settings, let alone whether Barney would admit of a robust substantive due process clause jurisprudence. However, others note that Barney says he likes law, and that that is a positive thing in a Justice. Some bloggers are claiming Barney did not actually write the brief piece, but that it is a hoax. The White House has issued a statement saying that that is ridiculous, and merely more "anti-dog snobbery by snippy professors just trying to become famous at the expense of the most decent dog you could ever hope to know."
In a surprising development, Senator Sam Brownback (NRLC-Kan) stated that he was not satisfied with Barney's answers to his questions about privacy rights in the Constitution. "I could not get him to shed any light on his view of the line of cases following Griswold. I was also disturbed that when I used the phrase 'reproductive freedom,' Barney wagged his tail."