In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_sea_of_trees_ver5

The Sea of Trees

The Sea of Trees uses depression, cancer and suicide as manipulative devices to tug at heartstrings instead of offering even the slightest insight into the…

Thumb_dont_breathe

Don't Breathe

Don’t Breathe gets a little less interesting as it proceeds to its inevitable conclusion, but it works so well up to that point that your…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives
Primary_eb20080930commentary809309995ar

Talking points on the Supremes

By Roger Ebert

Dear Boss:

As you know, after they discussed Roe v. Wade, Katie Couric asked Gov. Palin to discuss any other Supreme Court decisions. Put on the spot like that, of course she couldn't think of any. It was a typical "Gotcha!" question.

In the rehearsals for Thursday's debate, we'll be drilling Gov. Palin on talking points of other historic Court decisions.

1. Brown v. Board of Education (1954). "This is the coolest decision ever. The Supremes said we couldn't have racial segregation anymore in our schools. It's really sad that it took all the way until modern times for the Court to catch up with Christianity."

2. "Miranda v. Arizona" (1966). "This is one everyone knows, 'cause we see it all the time on 'Cops.' It says when our law enforcement heroes catch a guilty perpetrator they've gotta stop and read him--or her!--a piece of paper before haulin' him off to jail."

3. United States v. Nixon (1974). "It says the president can't keep his communications secret unless they would help terrorists. Dick Cheney says it doesn't apply to vice presidents, so I won't be comin' up against that. I'll use private e-mails. Since evildoers hacked my Yahoo account, I'll be gettin' a free account on Hotmail, which sounds really cool."

4. Texas v. Johnson (1984). "The Court said that no matter how offensive or disagreeable your opinions are, you have a perfect right to express them. I guess in their mind that explains Roe v. Wade."

5. Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (1988). "It says educators can't prevent, quote, 'school-sponsored expressive activities, so long as their actions are reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns.' In other words, they're cool with Creationist Club."

6. Bush v. Gore (2000). "The court decided that President (*cough*) won the Florida election, even though Al Gore said a lot of Jewish grandmothers made a mistake and voted for Pat Buchanan, which is silly, because we've all heard about how smart those Jewish people are. This was a decision that just plain reflected the will of God."

7. New York Times v. Sullivan (1964). "This one was about freedom of the press, and made it harder to sue the kinds of places that claimed that during my interview with Katie I couldn't think of the name of a single newspaper I read. That was another one of those what John calls 'Gotcha!' questions. For those people, I have three words: Field and Stream."

8. Gideon v. Wainwright (1963). "This one says we have to pay to hire a lawyer for a perpetrator who can't afford one. It might look to some people like all those lawyers in the court were just tryin' to make themselves more work, but I'm sure they meant well. This is why all the terrorists in Guantanamo have free lawyers."

9. Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857). "This one said that if a slave made it to free territory, he didn't have the right to freedom, but had to be returned right away to his owner. The Court just can't always be right. You can see right away that this one was overthrown by 'Brown v. the Board of Education'."

10. Marbury vs. Madison. "This one is a real landmark. It said the Supreme Court has the right to overthrow laws passed by Congress if they're unconstitutional. You can bet the court will be overthrowin' a lot of those laws after the Palin-McCain administration gets the chance to pick some of those judges."

Popular Blog Posts

Hollywood Gave Up on You: The Summer Movies of 2016

A look back at how this summer's best offering, Netflix's "Stranger Things," makes the failure of this season's block...

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Dirty Politics May Ruin Distribution, Oscar Chances of Phenomenal "Aquarius"

Pablo Villaça reports on the sad status of Brazil's government and its possible effect on a phenomenal new film from ...

The Top 11 Female Film Characters of All Time

All month, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists has been counting down the top 55 female film characters of all tim...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus