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View Full Version : Take the NYT Supreme Court Lib/Conserv test and post your score.


Wonderment
07-24-2010, 10:28 PM
Take the 2-minute test (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/07/25/us/scotus-quiz.html?hp) and see how liberal you are compared to the Court and public opinion.

I am a perfect 6 liberal (big surprise).

bjkeefe
07-24-2010, 10:41 PM
Take the 2-minute test (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/07/25/us/scotus-quiz.html?hp) and see how liberal you are compared to the Court and public opinion.

I am a perfect 6 liberal (big surprise).

I scored 4 Ls, 2 Cs on that test. I got my Cs for agreeing* with this:

In general, do you agree or disagree that an individual should have a right to have a registered handgun at home?

and this:

Do you agree that corporations should be able to spend their profits on TV ads urging voters to vote for or against candidates in a coming election?

In conclusion:

In these six cases, your opinions were most closely aligned with the center of the court.

Justice John Paul Stevens
Generally votes with the liberal half of the court.
Agreed with you in 4 of 6 cases.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
The courtís swing voter.
Agreed with you in 5 of 6 cases.

Justice Clarence Thomas
Generally votes with the conservative half of the court.
Agreed with you in 2 of 6 cases.

Nice to see the NYT sees it as SC Justices agreeing with me. Who knew my views were so important?

==========

* In reality, of course, I am not at all happy to have to answer the two questions I got Cs on with a simple Agree or Disagree. The four I got Ls on were a lot easier, though.

Wonderment
07-24-2010, 10:58 PM
* In reality, of course, I am not at all happy to have to answer the two questions I got Cs on with a simple Agree or Disagree. The four I got Ls on were a lot easier, though.

Yes, I also felt that way and hesitated before pulling the trigger on right to have a registered handgun at home. I decided based on the use of "right." If it had been phrased as "should it be permitted?" I would have said yes.

The corporations campaigning one was also a bit vague, since it said nothing about how much disclosure would be required. (I would oppose anyway, but I'd be a lot happier with a message flashing on the screen constantly saying who paid for the ad).

I would have figured you for a 5 though :)

bjkeefe
07-24-2010, 11:12 PM
Yes, I also felt that way and hesitated before pulling the trigger on right to have a registered handgun at home. I decided based on the use of "right." If it had been phrased as "should it be permitted?" I would have said yes.

I'd say it's a right under the Second Amendment. (Something which I'd like clarified, but that ain't gonna happen.)

The corporations campaigning one was also a bit vague, since it said nothing about how much disclosure would be required. (I would oppose anyway, but I'd be a lot happier with a message flashing on the screen constantly saying who paid for the ad).

Agreed. Well, "constantly" "flashing" seems a bit much.

More importantly, I'd like disclosure requirements in the form of public, easily accessible databases, not just tag lines on the TV ads themselves. I think it would be fair, and good for our republic/democracy, for people to be able to find out with a minimum of fuss that XYZ Corp. has spent this much on TV ads supporting those candidates, for example, along with how much they've given in other ways.

Also, I have to wonder, at some point, about a company being able to spend its profits on political efforts and how much say the shareholders in the companies would have. Especially in this age of highly complex ownership arrangements, not to mention creative accounting practices.

I would have figured you for a 5 though :)

Huh. Which one did you think I'd get the C on?

Wonderment
07-24-2010, 11:17 PM
Huh. Which one did you think I'd get the C on?

Guns.

But I thought you'd go with POTUS on corporate political ads.

It's good though that you stuck to your convictions despite Alito's you-lie moment at the State of the Union.

bjkeefe
07-24-2010, 11:23 PM
Guns.

Thanks for letting me know. That was a good bet.

But I thought you'd go with POTUS on corporate political ads.

That's a tough one. I will be the first to say the amount of money required to sit down at the table of the political game in this country is horribly corrosive. However, I am persuaded, at least to some degree, by free speech arguments, and also the related notion of fairness -- why shouldn't people who happen to have a lot of money be able to spend it how they want? Perhaps even stronger in my mind is the sullenly accepted point that, so far, every cure seems worse than the disease. I'm now inclined to think it's better to accept our money/political culture for what it is (for what we let it become over the past 50 years or more), and go for as much transparency as we can get.

It's good though that you stuck to your convictions despite Alito's you-lie moment at the State of the Union.

Hee hee! My tribalism gene must be on the blink.

Don Zeko
07-24-2010, 11:38 PM
I'm a "moderate," with 4 liberal responses out of 6. My "Conservative" responses were on this:


Abortion
Would you favor or oppose a ban in your state on abortions performed late in the term of a pregnancy, also called partial-birth abortions?

and this:


Guns
In general, do you agree or disagree that an individual should have a right to have a registered handgun at home?

As usual with Supreme Court media coverage, I wish they had more questions dealing with things like regulatory authority and the balance of power between branches of government, but I guess that's a bit much to ask for. At least they alluded to the various big civil liberties questions they've been dealing with lately.

chiwhisoxx
07-24-2010, 11:55 PM
I got a 3/6. The question about non citizens challenging detentions was pretty hard for me to crystallize into yes or no, although I should probably get a grip on that since it's a yes or no question. I'm just on the fence on that one. I'd feel more comfortable answering yes if the question ended up " at some point".

Regardless, this was interesting, thanks for the link Wonderment. Although assessing ideology relative to the court by only asking about specific cases seems a bit odd. Just my two cents, but I think you learn a lot more about someones judicial philosophy by asking them what they think about Griswold than the answer to all 6 of these questions combined.

Don Zeko
07-25-2010, 12:06 AM
Regardless, this was interesting, thanks for the link Wonderment. Although assessing ideology relative to the court by only asking about specific cases seems a bit odd. Just my two cents, but I think you learn a lot more about someones judicial philosophy by asking them what they think about Griswold than the answer to all 6 of these questions combined.

Absolutely. But if it's not a easily-scored online quiz, how will we be able to compare our largely meaningless results?

chiwhisoxx
07-25-2010, 12:27 AM
Absolutely. But if it's not a easily-scored online quiz, how will we be able to compare our largely meaningless results?

Haha :D

AemJeff
07-25-2010, 01:40 AM
...

I am a perfect 6 liberal (big surprise).

You and me both, Wonderment.

rfrobison
07-25-2010, 01:49 AM
I was 3 of 6 and according to the NYT my favorite judge was Kennedy. There goes my gig with "National Review."

For the record, I was conservative on gun rights (though I personally think handguns should be banned outright), abortion, campaign spending and liberal on terrorism detention and criminal sentencing.

listener
07-25-2010, 02:05 AM
Oh, okay, resistance is futile! I took the quiz. Here are my meaningless (as Don Zeko put it) results:

5 of 6 (yes on the right to have an AK-47, er, handgun in the house)

Justice John Paul Stevens

Generally votes with the liberal half of the court.
Agreed with you in 5 of 6 cases.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy

The courtís swing voter.
Agreed with you in 4 of 6 cases.

Justice Clarence Thomas

Generally votes with the conservative half of the court.
Agreed with you in 1 of 6 cases.

I did find the exercise interesting in terms of the Court/poll numbers angle. And it was very well designed in terms of graphics.

And I heartily agree with those who have expressed qualms about the yes/no nature of some of the questions.

Wonderment
07-25-2010, 02:10 AM
I was 3 of 6 and according to the NYT my favorite judge was Kennedy. There goes my gig with "National Review."

That, my friend, is predictable. You are a total Kennedy.

For the record, I was conservative on gun rights (though I personally think handguns should be banned outright)

I don't think you can ban them and simultaneously give people the right to have them. I'm raising your grade from a 50 to a 67. :)

rfrobison
07-25-2010, 02:31 AM
That, my friend, is predictable. You are a total Kennedy.



I don't think you can ban them and simultaneously give people the right to have them. I'm raising your grade from a 50 to a 67. :)

Thanks...I guess. To the extent that I have a judicial philosophy at all, I'd guess you could say I'm a pragmatist. I love reading Scalia's opinions--but were I a justice, I might not vote with him as much as my Republican appointer would like.

On the gun question I guess it just comes down to how I think the Second Amendment should be read. I'd like the amendment to be amended, but like Mr. Keefe, I don't think that very likely.

rcocean
07-25-2010, 11:34 AM
The test is more liberal stupidity and shows why we need to reign in or severely restrict Judicial power in this country. We don't need a SCOTUS acting as a "super-legislature" which how the NYT and liberals in general view it.

There's a difference between what is constitutional and what I personally want. There's nothing in the constitution that gives the SCOTUS the power to strike down an abortion law nor does it address whether corporations (as opposed to people) have free speech.

I personally oppose life sentences for burglary and executing rapists, however I would uphold any of these laws as constitutional.

kezboard
07-25-2010, 01:48 PM
I was liberal on five out of six. My only conservative point was the guns one. I don't really have a problem with the interpretation that the second amendment provides an individual right to keep a gun at home, although I think the interpretation that the reason we have this right is so we can violently overthrow the government if it gets tyrannical is wrong. In any case, I don't really think it's something worth fighting too much about.

look
07-29-2010, 10:37 PM
Take the 2-minute test (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/07/25/us/scotus-quiz.html?hp) and see how liberal you are compared to the Court and public opinion.

I am a perfect 6 liberal (big surprise).

3/6

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-30-2010, 02:04 AM
Yes, I also felt that way and hesitated before pulling the trigger on right to have a registered handgun at home. I decided based on the use of "right." If it had been phrased as "should it be permitted?" I would have said yes.

The corporations campaigning one was also a bit vague, since it said nothing about how much disclosure would be required. (I would oppose anyway, but I'd be a lot happier with a message flashing on the screen constantly saying who paid for the ad).

I would have figured you for a 5 though :)

Hmm, apparently I am more liberal than BJ. Hilarious. Stevens 'agrees with me' on 5, Kennedy on 4.

Wonderment
07-30-2010, 02:10 AM
Stevens 'agrees with me' on 5, Kennedy on 4.

Which one did you vote conservative on?

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-30-2010, 02:13 AM
Which one did you vote conservative on?

The right to gun ownership.

Wonderment
07-30-2010, 02:16 AM
The right to gun ownership.


It took you like 10 seconds to answer. You are very fast on the draw!

listener
07-30-2010, 02:33 AM
It took you like 10 seconds to answer. You are very fast on the draw!

LOL!

Florian
07-30-2010, 05:24 AM
Take the 2-minute test (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/07/25/us/scotus-quiz.html?hp) and see how liberal you are compared to the Court and public opinion.

I am a perfect 6 liberal (big surprise).

I am one with wonderment.

I did hesitate on the abortion question, however. Nowhere in the entire world, as far as I know, are late-term abortions, even when the mother's life is in danger, defined as a "right." But outlawing them would involve an unacceptable interference in medical deontology. The doctor's first obligation is to preserve the life of the mother even if that means sacrificing the life of an unborn child.

The right to bear arms, so that citizens can participate in a "militia," is an archaic relic of British common law. There is no reason why the possession of handguns should be defined as a political right, although it should certainly be allowed. And regulated, as it is in European countries, to reduce the incidence of murder and other violent crimes.

Lyle
07-30-2010, 01:21 PM
2/6 ... I align with the center.

The two "liberal" votes were on the execution for rape of a child and the 18 year old sentenced to life for burglary.

Stevens (2 of 6)
Kennedy (5 of 6)
Thomas (4 of 6)

Lyle
07-30-2010, 01:38 PM
I tend to agree, but precedence in the reading of the "living" constitution allows for this. Challenges to such a reading haven't been successful or sustained. Congress or the States haven't had the strength to prevent the Scotus from becoming a "super-legislature", in fact they've allowed for the Scotus to become such. Seeing the constitution as "living", and therefore malleable in what it means at any given moment time, is an (arguably the) excepted way of reading it. Otherwise, the Supreme Court could have never made anything but capital punishment for murder unconstitutional... and my guess is that in due course the Scotus will make capital punishment unconstitutional as a "cruel and unusual punishment".

It is perhaps odd. For over 200 years States could legally execute an individual for raping an adult or child. And now they can't. And not through an act by the people, but by the re-reading of the law by 9 appointed judges.

popcorn_karate
07-30-2010, 03:07 PM
The right to gun ownership.

same for me.

also i'm a 38 - "loyal friend"

I never considered myself a preppie before, but...

uncle ebeneezer
07-30-2010, 04:28 PM
4/6. About what I would have expected.

popcorn_karate
07-30-2010, 05:13 PM
4/6. About what I would have expected.

guns i assume. what was the other? support for citizens united?

Starwatcher162536
07-30-2010, 05:42 PM
4-Conservative, 2-Liberal. I was liberal on;


Should noncitizens suspected of terrorism and detained in U.S. military prisons be able to challenge their detentions in the U.S. civilian court system?


Should a state be allowed to sentence to life in prison a person under age 18 for armed burglary?

I agreed 5/6 with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. Kind of surprising. I figured I'd be more liberal.

uncle ebeneezer
07-30-2010, 07:09 PM
No. It was the death penalty for child rapists (though it would really depend on the details of the law, and I'm not quite 100% on where I stand on something like that.)

popcorn_karate
08-02-2010, 05:52 PM
No. It was the death penalty for child rapists (though it would really depend on the details of the law, and I'm not quite 100% on where I stand on something like that.)

yeah, once you start thinking about individual crimes it is REALLY easy to think up times when death as a punishment is perfectly appropriate.

the problem is that i don't trust the government with that power. I don't trust them to be even handed. i don't trust them to be accurate. there have been too many exonerations due to DNA evidence. So, the real question is are you willing to execute the innocent in your quest for justice.

I am not.

nikkibong
08-02-2010, 06:17 PM
yeah, once you start thinking about individual crimes it is REALLY easy to think up times when death as a punishment is perfectly appropriate.

the problem is that i don't trust the government with that power. I don't trust them to be even handed. i don't trust them to be accurate. there have been too many exonerations due to DNA evidence. So, the real question is are you willing to execute the innocent in your quest for justice.

I am not.

Agree with all that. But the deeper (and far more difficult) question, I think, is whether the state should take the life of someone when there is no doubt of their guilt. I (generally) come down against that, as well.

uncle ebeneezer
08-02-2010, 06:20 PM
Yup. No disagreement there. That's why these t/f questions really don't do justice to the complex nature of the issue (and the broad spectrum of possibilities and scenarios that spawn from that complexity.) And I answered quickly (which I hope would not be the case if I was on the Supreme Court :))

listener
08-02-2010, 06:24 PM
Agree with all that. But the deeper (and far more difficult) question, I think, is whether the state should take the life of someone when there is no doubt of their guilt. I (generally) come down against that, as well.

Yes, that is the deeper question. In this regard, I'm reminded of this verse from the Tao Te Ching:

If men are not afraid to die,
It is of no avail to threaten them with death.

If men live in constant fear of dying,
And if breaking the law means that a man will be killed,
Who will dare to break the law?

There is always an official executioner.
If you try to take his place,
It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood.
If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter,
you will only hurt your hand.

cragger
08-02-2010, 06:57 PM
Problems with something as final and irrevocable as the death penalty re worse than just a case of trusting (please seek help) or not trusting the state and all of its many agents. Ever served on a jury? The judgement of jurors is subject to every irrational impulse known to man. Evidence is often trumped by whether a juror likes or dislikes the defendant or one of the lawyers, or considers the defendant to be someone like them, or someone like a group they dislike or oppose. And many people, having once started to form an opinion, cannot or will not consider any further evidence or discussion of evidence except through the prism of their conclusion.

Wonderment
08-02-2010, 08:42 PM
There are many good reasons for opposing the death penalty:

1) It is inherently barbaric and morally indefensible.

2) Mistakes are made (and they are irrevocable when you're dead).

3) It is not an ineffective deterrent to murder.

4) It is very costly in an already highly constrained (triaged) justice system.

5) If it were less costly the mistakes in #2 would increase.

6) It brutalizes the people who administer it (prison personnel, police, prosecutors.

7) It is immensely cruel to the perpetrator's family (yes, even murderers have moms, lovers grandparents and siblings).

8) It is viewed as outrageous and unconscionable by a growing number of the world's civilized nations. The USA was the only country in the Americas to execute people in 2009, and the leading nations in executions are almost all non-democracies 1) China, 2) Iran, 3) Iraq (oops, that's a democracy) 4) Saudi Arabia; The USA is in 5th place with 52, followed by Yemen with 30.

9) There are safe alternatives which serve justice and protect society. These include life imprisonment.

Wonderment
08-02-2010, 09:03 PM
If you are concerned about the death penalty, here is a pending case that needs urgent attention. From Death Penalty Focus:

Ohio may execute an innocent man unless you take action. (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-kevin-keith)

Kevin Keith is scheduled to be executed on September 15th, despite a wide range of new evidence that suggests he is innocent. Kevin, who has been on Ohio's death row for 16 years, was convicted on the basis of faulty eyewitness identification.

Thirteen years after he was convicted, Kevin discovered that one of the State's supposed "witnesses" -- a hospital nurse who was critical to corroborating the legitimacy of the surviving victim's eyewitness identification -- does not actually exist. He has an alibi affirmed by four people and new evidence has emerged implicating another suspect.

No court has heard the full array of new evidence pointing to Kevin's innocence. Take action today to stop Ohio from executing a man who very well may be innocent.

bjkeefe
08-03-2010, 02:03 PM
There are many good reasons for opposing the death penalty: [...]

Good post.