THE DAILY BLADE: Scalia On The 2000 Election: Get Over It!

Over the past few days three Supreme Court justices defended their 2000 decision to overturn a ruling of the Florida Supreme Court to halt the recount of Florida's disputed election results, thus allowing George W. Bush to claim the state’s 25 electoral votes and victory in the presidential race, The Associated Press reports.

"A no-brainer! A state court deciding a federal constitutional issue about the presidential election? Of course you take the case," Justice Anthony Kennedy said in an interview published in the just-published book "Supreme Conflict," by ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg.

Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor told Greenburg that the Florida court was "off on a trip of its own," by which she meant that the recount violated the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because the counties involved in the recount were not following the same set of standards to determine whether to count a vote.

In a Q&A session following a speech at Iona College in NY, Justice Antonin Scalia said, "It's water over the deck - get over it."

Justice Clarence Thomas and the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist joined Justices Scalia, Kennedy and O'Connor in voting to stop the recount.

The Stiletto agrees with Justice Scalia that it’s high time people put the 2000 election behind them. To move on, as it were. Maybe she’ll start a Web site to help people get past the rancor and divisiveness of that long-ago contest. It would need a pithy name to generate traffic. What about, oh,

Editorial Note:
Notice AP’s lede (emphasis, The Stiletto’s): "Three of the five Supreme Court justices who handed the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000 …" But AP wasn’t done editorializing in its "news" story: "Rather than by a direct vote of the people, the U.S. president is elected under an arcane two-centuries-old system of electors."

And Then There Were Nine …

Now that John Kerry is free to ask "You rang?" every time Theresa summons him, as of this writing there are nine Dems who’ve either declared their candidacies or formed exploratory committees. For reasons she cannot divulge at the moment, The Stiletto is hoping Al Gore gets into the race.

Why It’s Hard For Single Healthcare Providers In Washington State To Get A Date

In a commentary OpinionJournal reprinted from The Volokh Conspiracy, UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh takes a Washington State regulation circumscribing romantic relationships between people defined as "patients" and people defined as "healthcare" providers to the most absurd lengths. Here’s a snippet:

[Y]ou find yourself getting to know and becoming attracted to your dental hygienist … You're interested in a romantic relationship, a sexual relationship, perhaps even marriage. You're both consenting adults, you think, right? You have a right to marry, and even a right to have sex (given Lawrence v. Texas).

[U]nder Washington Administrative Code 246-16-100, [healthcare providers] "shall not engage, or attempt to engage, in sexual misconduct with a current patient." Sexual misconduct "includes but is not limited to" sex, kissing, "hugging … of a romantic … nature," "suggesting or discussing the possibility of a dating, sexual or romantic relationship after the professional relationship ends," "terminating a professional relationship for the purpose of dating or pursuing a romantic or sexual relationship," or "making statements regarding the patient['s] … body, appearance, sexual history, or sexual orientation other than for legitimate health care purposes," among many other things. …

Subsection (3) of the provision states that "a health care provider shall not engage, or attempt to engage" in any of these activities "with a former patient, client or key party within two years after the provider-patient/client relationship ends." …

Actually, can she start a relationship with you, even two years later? Well, not if "(a) There is a significant likelihood that the patient … will seek or require additional services from the health care provider; or (b) There is an imbalance of power, influence, opportunity and/or special knowledge of the professional relationship."

Editorial Note: This article got The Stiletto wondering whether it’s illegal, immoral or unethical for an editor of an influential publication to dole out bylines to a neophyte with whom he is sexually involved. What about failing to disclose the special relationship between himself and the "independent journalist" whose resume is thinner than Nicole Ritchie – AKA "conflict of interest" - to readers? If there isn’t a law against trading sex for bylines, there oughta be. But not being an expert in ethical and legal matters, The Stiletto put the question to someone who is, and will report back on the answer to her query in a future edition.


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