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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

September 13, 2005

Roberts Disappoints Bainbridge (and Benedict)

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:59 pm

In today’s nomination hearing, Judge John Roberts adopted JFK’s statement

about his Catholicism and his role as a public servant: “I do not speak for my

church on public matters–and the church does not speak for me.”  He went

further, when later pressed by Sen. Feinstein, asserting:

JohnRobertsPix  “My faith and my religious beliefs do not play a role in my  

judging. In judging, I look to the law, I do not look to the Bible,

or other religious source.”

Based on much that I have written this month, I’m betting that Roberts has

disappointed Pope Benedict XVI and a lot of conservative (“serious“) Catholics.

“As those who followed my extended debate with David Giacalone

know, I believe that Kennedy’s famous Houston speech was a cop-out

and inconsistent with clear Catholic teaching on the civic responsibilities

of Catholics. This is not to say, of course, that a Catholic judge inevitably

must vote to strike down Roe. As I have emphasized repeatedly, this issue

presents complex moral and judicial ethical issues. I’m just disappointed

(but not especially surprised, I guess, given the politicization of the confir-

mation process) that Roberts so blithely opted for the easy way out.”

Being an advocate of conserving (my) energy whenever possible, I’m disappointed

that I spent so much time (and took such grief) writing on a topic that Judge Roberts

so effortlessly made moot.  afterthought (Sept. 14, 2005):  I wrote a bit too soon and

too flippantly yesterday.   I have not been seeking any particular answer from Judge

Roberts, but have instead been writing to show why the Senate and the public deserve 

to know what Roberts sees as the relationship of his devout Catholicism to his judging.

He told us, and although I might have asked the question differently or followed-up, the

issue appears to have be adequately addressed.  

tiny check I agree with those who say that Roberts has left himself a little wiggle

room on whether stare decisis conclusively precludes the Court deciding

to overturn or significantly limit Roe v. Wade.  Every lawyer knows that

giving a rule consideration and deference is far different than giving it the

final say.


Benedict16   update (7PM):  Prof. Bainbridge has a good post this

evening at Mirror of Justice explaining why he believes the JFK Houston

Speech conflicts with Church teaching. 


If, like myself, you spent a lot of the day listening to the Roberts’ hearing,

you definitely deserve this change of pace (although perhaps not of topic). 

Here are four senryu for Lee Gurga:



parading the stallion–

all eyes on

his dangling member


maleSym  femaleSym




his side of it

her side of it

winter silence





my dream

awakens me . . .

I wake you


femaleSym femaleSym


class reunion–

with my old girlfriend

her girlfriend 


  from Fresh Scent




antitrusters question NCAA purchase of NIT

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:49 pm

In a letter, yesterday, to the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice,

and New York Attorney General Spitzer, the American Antitrust Institute called for

investigation of the private antitrust settlement in which the NCAA and the NIT agreed

to merge their tournaments. In its settlement with Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball

Association, NCAA agrees to purchase the National Invitational Tournament for $40.5

million, plus $16 million to settle the suit, which is pending in the the SDNY federal

district court., “NCAA buys tournaments, ends NIT litigation,” by Andy

Katz, Aug. 17, 2005; Sports Law Blog has a case summary and an analysis of

the settlement; Skip Sauer at Sports Economist has also looked at the case and


bballGuys  In calling for an antitrust merger investigation by one or more of the agencies,

the AAI letter, signed by its Vice President Diana Moss, explains, in part:

Even a cursory look into the proposed settlement raises serious questions

about the health of competition in post-merger markets. For example, the

NCAA would be in a position, post-merger, to impose its “mandatory participation”

rule for both the NIT and its own tournaments. This would erect an insurmountable

barrier to entry into post-season play.  In enhancing their market power in acquiring

tournament teams, the NCAA would in turn enjoy significantly more market power

in sales of broadcast rights, sponsorships, concessions, and event tickets. The

proposed deal thus packs a double punch for consumers. Schools would have fewer

options and face potentially non-competitive terms for post-season tournament play.

And sponsors and consumers of the tournament games would potentially face higher



Based on information that is publicly available, AAI believes that there is a significant

probability that the effect of the proposed merger may be to significantly lessen (or

eliminate entirely) competition between organizers in acquiring men’s Division I basketball

teams for participation in post-season tournaments. NCAA President Myles Brand could

not have said it more succinctly when he noted in regard to the August 16th settlement:

“We’ve now unified post-season basketball.” 




The merger would spell an end to the NIT which, once upon a time, was an equally-matched

and vigorous competitor to the NCAA. But a series of actions by the NCAA has diminished

that competition, to the detriment of consumers. The proposed consolidation would further

hurt consumers and preclude the emergence of a stronger rivalry between the NCAA and NIT

(and with respect to new upstarts). An antitrust investigation of the merger could focus on

such key issues as market definition (which was controversial in the MIBA v. NCAA litigation);

the significant potential for unilateral exercise of market power; and the entry barriers created

by the merger. Moreover, the inquiry should extend to the likely effects of the merger on pre

season tournaments by giving the NCAA the “green light” to enact a pending rule that

would replace independent tournaments with events the NCAA can control.


(Sept. 13, 2005)


Of course, few readers of this weblog are old enough to remember the time when the NIT “was

an equally-matched and vigorous competitor to the NCAA.”


update (Sept. 14, 2005):  See our follow-up, not just NIT-picking.




the bounce
of raindrops
on the basketball 

      w.f. owen 

         Frogpond XXIII:3 (2000)






boy shooting baskets–

deep snow piled

all around him


       lee gurga 

          from Fresh Scent



  • by dagosan                                         


the ten-year-old

lets dad win


                          [Sept. 13, 2005]


p.s. Hey, haijin, how about some basketball

haiku and senryu?    

update (7 PM):  Our Haiku Hotdog Ed Markowski has

already provided us with a benchful of haiku and senryu.

See this Comment.  Here are three of ’em:


city moon

my basketball flattened

by a shard of glass





stiff march wind

the sound

of an airball





game winning shot

the big man

palms my head






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