Senator Tom Cotton's response to the Black Lives Matter protests




"Iraq War veteran Cotton, however, appears to get a thrill out of envisioning combat soldiers like him beating up civilians. Following up on Twitter, he called for 'No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters.' Or as Trump himself has put it, 'When the looting starts, the shooting starts.' In military parlance, 'no quarter' means killing. On Twitter, fellow Iraq War veteran David French cites the U.S. Army’s 'Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Land Warfare,' to the effect that such orders constitute a war crime. Cotton may have used the phrase purely for its political shock value. Also, however, maybe not. Times staffers also objected to his assertion that 'cadres of left-wing radicals like antifa [were] infiltrating protest marches ... for their own anarchic purposes.'  The newspaper’s [New York Times'] own reporting, citing FBI and police sources, says there’s no evidence of that."                        [Gene Lyons in today's Chicago Sun-Times]


The protesters, he says, too violent have gotten.

They threaten our nation like once did bin Laden.

To deal with these groups

He would send in the troops

And call for "no quarter" says Senator Tom Cotton.



Leave a comment
  • Maybe his name indicates something. And, unlike Cotton and some victim of dementia in the right pane, most of the evidence is that the anarchists were not antifa, but as white as those 2 are.

  • Cotton tried to explain that his tweet was not meant to suggest "no quarter" in the war crimes sense. “Definition of ‘no quarter’: If you say that someone was given no quarter, you mean that they were not treated kindly by someone who had power or control over them.” But he was an army officer, albeit of the OCS variety not West Point, and he has a law degree from Harvard. It is hard to believe that he could not foresee that his words would be taken as advocating war crimes under both American and international laws.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Here's 3 things on the legal front, the first 2 of which I don't think anyone saw coming, and the 3rd unlikely:
    1. Supreme Court rules that Title VII protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation, with Gorsuch and Roberts in the majority (Bostock v. Clayton County). I bet Mitch just did a doody in his shorts.
    2. Supreme Court denies cert in a whole bunch of cases challenging gun laws.
    3. There is an antitrust investigation into the meat packers, although this is explained as the farmers being screwed by them.

  • In reply to jack:

    Interesting alignments here. As you point out in Bostock two conservatives crossed over. Your second point is even more puzzling. The Court denied cert. on ten gun cases. It only takes four votes to grant cert. Justice Thomas filed a dissent to the denial but got only Kavanaugh to join him. No word from the other seven.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    I wasn't able to download Bostock until now (I guess too much load on the SCOTUS server), but as Alito points out, it is a debate over who is the claiming to be Scalia. The core of Gorsuch's argument is that dismissal based on homosexuality is also on account of sex because men and women who have the hots for men are treated differently, getting into a mixed causation case, and it doesn't matter if this result was not envisioned in 1964 if that is the result.

    As you implied, the result is probably not based on an argument among Ivy Leaguers over legal semantics, but some split over the result, just like the decision on sane sex marriage appeared contrary to the rationale for striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

    The gun case (ROGERS v. GREWAL) only has Thomas's dissent, which implies that the other justices wrongly believed that the lower courts were properly interpreting the Heller decision. On alignment, he raises a point unique to his perspective that the rights of freedmen to pack heat was intended to be protected.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    In Bostock it is important to remember that both Gorsuch and his dissenting soulmates are "Textualists," as was Scalia and all members of the Federalist Society. In their eyes all words, such as "sex" have a single meaning at any point in time. The judicial task in interpreting constitutions and statutes is to find the precise dictionary or word definition (or to adopt the most favorable definition) at the time the constitution or statute was written. Gorsuch and the dissenters could not agree on which dictionary to use to find what "sex" meant in 1964.

    In the Rodgers series of cases, Kavanaugh joined Thomas in all but part II of his dissent.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    That's some of it, but it seems like Gorsuch's mixed cause argument was the main distinction. He claimed there wasn't any dispute over what "sex" meant and that the rules of construction in the case of ambiguity didn't apply.

    I did a bit of poking around the SCOTUS site, and it appears that where there is a dissenting opinion to denial of cert, it is always Thomas, sometimes with Kavanaugh and sometimes with Gorsuch, but never with enough to command a coalition.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    I think the heart of the dispute between Gorsuch, speaking for the majority, and the dissenters is stated in Alito's dissent:

    "The Court attempts to pass off its decision as the inevitable product of the textualist school of statutory interpretation championed by our late colleague Justice Scalia, but no one should be fooled. The Court’s opinion is like a pirate ship. It sails under a textualist flag, but what it actually represents is a theory of statutory interpretation that Justice Scalia excoriated––the theory that courts should “update” old statutes so that they better reflect the current values of society."

  • I notice that Tom Cotton sees all sorts of threats in the gas clouds of protest. He even sees threats to the Washington Monument. "Are we going to rename it 'the obelisk of wokeness?'" he said. He is even worried about the future names of the Washington National Cathedral and the capital city itself.

Leave a comment