Bluff or Blunt?

South Dakota’s Attorney General (Marty Jackley) has joined with his counterparts from a dozen other states to send a letter to Congress regarding the health care bill which was just passed by the Senate with particular regard to Senator Nelson’s piece of the pie. Here’s the article:

“We believe this provision is constitutionally flawed,” South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster and the 12 other attorneys general wrote in the letter to be sent Wednesday night to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“As chief legal officers of our states we are contemplating a legal challenge to this provision and we ask you to take action to render this challenge unnecessary by striking that provision,” they wrote.

Since the article is from the AP, we must find an opposing point of view. Ahh, here it is:

“I do think that it is some combination of the losers just complaining about the officiating, or complaining about how the game was played, in combination with trying to make the bill look as seedy and inappropriate as possible, for political purposes,” says Andy Siegel, a former University of South Carolina School of Law professor now teaching at Seattle University School of Law.

“It is smart politics to try to tarnish it and make it look less like an achievement and more like some sort of corrupted bargain,” he said.

The chap who said that also wrote about Justice Alito as follows:

If you are a fan of the justices who fought throughout the Rehnquist years to pull the Supreme Court to the right, Alito is a home run–a strong and consistent conservative with the skill to craft opinions that make radical results appear inevitable and the ability to build trusting professional relationships across ideological lines. If, on the other hand, you are a committed opponent of the Scalia-Thomas-Rehnquist agenda who has been carefully evaluating O’Connor’s potential replacements with concern for the Court’s future direction, Alito might be the most dangerous possible nominee.

Outside of knowing that Siegel thinks Alito is smart and dangerous, what does this tell us? Well, Professor Siegal is hardly a fan of thinking that the constitution still means what the words say–despite all of his years teaching about the law. The name of the article from which the above was taken was “Nice Disguise: Alito’s Frightening Geniality.” (I could not locate the full source of for it.)

Sorry, bit of an aside there. But is not getting special treatment for one section of the population over another in order to secure a vote qualify for status as “some sort of corrupted bargain”? I do not know if the actions of our Attorney General and his colleagues is classified as an unprecedented move or not, however, I do confess to hoping that it is more than a bluff. Further, in my limited understanding of the matter, I believe they do have the legal standing from which to work.

Of course, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi probably don’t care a whit about a legal challenge, since that would only come after the fait accompli.