Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Jason Rapert: Still Not A Constitutional Scholar

Yesterday, as was widely expected, the United States Supreme Court denied Arkansas’s petition for writ of certiorari regarding a lower federal court’s striking down the state’s 12-week abortion ban.

Sen. Stanley Jason Rapert took time out from his busy schedule of making unwatchably stupid YouTube videos to author a logorrheic response, in which he decried “social revolutionaries,” activist judges, and pretty much anyone who disagrees with his assessment about “innocent little babies.” On the Big List of Utterly Predictable Things, Stanley Jason Rapert’s response ranks somewhere between the sun rising in the east and the Avogadro constant; this kind of asinine screed is part-and-parcel of who he is.

Of course, it would be somewhat easier to take his critique of the American judiciary seriously if he appeared to actually understand what he was talking about, rather than saying things like this:

I am disappointed that at least five of nine individual Supreme Court justices find it so easy to take up cases that destroy the traditions and values of Americans when it is politically expedient, but they hide themselves from true justice when they have within their power the ability to stop our nation from killing 1 million innocent babies every year.

Actually, Stanley, it only takes four justices to grant certiorari. That’s what is known as the “Rule of Four,” and has been in place by custom and practice of the Court since the Judiciary Act of 1891 was passed. The logic behind the rule, as explained by Justice Felix Frankfurter, is “that if four Justices find that a legal question of general importance is raised, that is ample proof that the question has such importance.” 1 Which means, of course, that at least six of the justices on the current Supreme Court found that Arkansas’s appeal raised no legal question of general importance.

Not that I actually expected Stanley Jason Rapert to know this, mind you. He’s shown, time and again, that he has little to no understanding of how the Constitution or the courts work.

Nevertheless, it seemed worth pointing out Rapert’s ignorance in this instance since he segued quickly from his ill-informed critique of the court to a reference to an Article V constitutional convention. Because, obviously, when you don’t understand something, the best, most sane route is to call for its complete overhaul.

As long as we’re discussing Utterly Predictable Things from the mind of Stanley, I’ll throw in one more: if he deigns to respond to this post, he’ll claim that he inadvertently said “five” when he meant “four,” which he TOTALLY knew was the right number. More likely, however, he won’t even bother to respond.

  1. Rogers v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., 352 U.S. 521, 529 (1957) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting).

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