Monday, May 17, 2010

I Didn't Know So Many People Cared About Beauty Pageants

I thought beauty pageants were an outmoded relic. Apparently, they still spark passions. Rightwing bloggers have become unhinged because the Miss USA crown went to Rima Fakih, an Arab-American from Detroit. For the record, I was seriously baffled in 2008 when liberals had a meltdown over Miss California's conservative views regarding same-sex marriage.


brendan said...

I think there is a difference between the outrage over anti-gay rhetoric made by Carrie Prejean and the overtly racist remarks that have surfaced since Ms. Fakih won last night. The first was sparked by comments made by a contestant while the latter were comments sparked just by a non-white person winning and not an all a reaction to any stance she has openly taken.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Brendan: there is a distinction, but not enough to warrant to massive attention paid to the issue. That's my point. Why are people concerned with beauty contests anyway?

no1kstate said...

My apologies - I came across this blog googling "the impact of judicial dissents." About 20 mins ago, I finished reading Theodore McKee's essay, "Judges as Umpires." In it, he quotes passages from dissents of Justice Blackmun. Not being a law student, I'm terribly confused - why does he quote dissents? What impact do dissents have on future decisions? Didn't the dissenting side lose?

I agree with the essay, I'm just ignorant as to the efficacy of siting dissents.

As far beauty pageants, I'm not surprised that the right would be outraged that an Arab-American won. They probably think she's a mole, that even though she was born in the US and her parents were citizens and there's a birth announcement in the paper and everything, she doesn't love America enough to wear the crown.

When it comes to Prejean - I, too, am not sure why the left was so upset. It's not like she made that statement just before signing a gay-marriage ban into law. My problem with her statement was that she was inaccurate, and her subjects and verbs disagreed. Also, that she was so ignorant as to not think that could cost her the crown. I mean, I actually don't have a problem with gay marriage (until white LGBT start siting Loving vs VA as though not being able to legally marry a same-sex partner and being lynched for winking at a white woman are the same); but I got enough sense to be delicate in articulating my opinion to, say, fellow members of my Black baptist church!

But I digress. Any explanation about the whole dissent thing will be appreciaed. I'll email Hofstra Law Review tomorrow; I ask here because I believe in casting a wide net. (And it was easier because I'd have to open fewer new browser tabs.)

Anyway, THNX,

liberal dissent said...

While I am sure Professor Hutchinson could give a lot more nuanced presentation of the role of dissents in the evolution of law, as a practitioner I can say dissents are occasionally cited, but rarely. The dissenting judge may have raised an issue that wasn't present in the majority opinion, or suggest a hypothetical interpretation of facts not present in the case. The essay you cite sounds more like a judicial philosophy/law and culture kind of article, in which case the judges would be cited for their views on their own roles, rather than whatever the legal issue is before the court.

As for Carrie Prejean, I think she was railroaded, and I think it was completely unfair to vilify a kid like that. So she's intolerant, big deal, she wasn't being considered for SCOTUS, she just won an idiotic beauty pageant.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Kstate: LD gave a great answer. I would also add that sometimes dissents become the governing standard later, as in Harlan's dissent in Plessy v Ferguson and Stevens' dissenting in Bowers v Hardwick. Because I do not know the specific dissents to which you refer, I cannot explain why the author believed they were relevant.

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