Justice Souter is retiring. You probably already know that. It is said that he grew to hate his job, but more so he hated Washington. He is a 19th century man trapped in the 21st century.
It is reputed that in his cabin in New Hampshire, there are stacks upon stacks of books, but nary a TV. He writes his opinions longhand with a pen.
So Obama will be looking for a replacement. Let’s hope he can ferret out closet conservatives. Souter was a closet liberal if you were to ask George H. W. Bush, the President who appointed him. I guess he often said it was one of his worst decisions as President.
When I was at MSU, I took a course on the federal judiciary. I had a professor there who had worked out a computer program wherein he could plug in the important aspects of a case going up, and predict how the SCOTUS would vote, and who would vote which way. He could do it with an accuracy of about 97%.
It all came down to understanding the belief system of a justice on certain key issues. For instance on search and seizure. A justice might be more than willing to allow police all kinds of latitude in intruding on an individual as long as they saw the scope pretty limited to criminal types. Once the latitude might slip over to “honest” citizens, it became too intrusive for his taste. You could thus analyze a case based on the concept of “could this happen to me” and figure out how this justice would likely vote.
By the way, there is really no such thing as “judicial activism” versus “strict construction. ” Well, there is, but most of the people who yammer about it haven’t a clue about what it means. THEY mean that when a judge does something they don’t like, he’s an impermissible activist, and when he does which they do like, he’s a strict constructionist.
Plenty of people in and out of Iowa are trying to suggest that the recent case of Varnum v. O’Brien was a case of judicial activism. It was the very antithesis of that. It was nothing but plain old judicial review, which was established by Marbury v. Madison back in the Jefferson Administration.
The Contrarian is right. We need to put term limits on our SCOTUS. It was fine when people served 10-15 years and then died or retired. Now it’s 30-40 years and a couple of bad choices can literally reshape the world to their image. It’s not right.
Oh, here’s my pic in the dark: A Hispanic woman.
The Contrarian came a running around the corner of the door and said, “Did you hear? Arlen Spector has left the GOP and is joining the Democrats!”
I hadn’t, but I refreshed my reader and on that page of about 20, 18 were “News flash! Spector defects to Dems!” I figured I didn’t need to make any announcement myself.
I don’t have much to add to what you already know. He’s a moderate, won’t vote with his new party on everything by a long shot, but I can understand his disgust at what has happened to the Republicans. They have gone off the trolley line and are barreling down the hill.
Rush suggested that it was “good riddance and you can take McCain with you!” Nice of Rush. But gosh, I don’t know as we want him. He’s still doing his best to be relevant but all he sounds like is a whiner.
Did ya hear that the Rethugs are gathering again in a small summit with the hope that they can re-market themselves? I’m not sure they invited Boehner, and I know they didn’t invite Steele. The party of NO hopes to find a theme. They explain the idiocy of Michelle Bachmann by suggesting that they are a “big tent.” More like a pup tent if you ask me. Nothing left but right wing crazies.
This next one saddens me beyond measure but unfortunately doesn’t surprise me.
I’ve been frequenting a forum fairly regularly lately. Most of you know which one. I’ve been shocked to see forum threads “Is waterboarding really torture?” As if there was something to actually argue about here.
One has to look at the anomalous situation of the “compassionate born again” President, George W. Bush, being the instigator of such a practice. And not just one, there were others. It is the “sanctity of life” dude who thinks it’s okay to do this kind of thing.
Well, statistics reinforce the image. A Pew poll finds that it is frequent (once a week) church goers that are more in favor of torture than those that don’t go much.
A full 54% of regular church goers said torture was often or sometimes okay. Only 42% of less regular goers agreed with this. This is truly scary stuff.
Now those that attend faithfully like to think of themselves as more religiously minded, and better Christians. They constantly rail at those who are less frequent as being not serious about their faith, living too secularly, and giving but a passing glance to God.
Again, the statistics bear this out, with Evangelicals more likely to support torture, by a margin of 6 out of 10. Those who have no affiliation and probably seldom attend church only supported torture at a rate of 4 in 10.
Mainline Protestants, Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians were least likely to approve of “enhanced” techniques, with only 3 in 10 approving.
So it turns out that the more ‘traditional” you are in your faith, the more faithful, the more you are churched along the most conservative lines, the more you approve of torture.
It tends to go pretty much in hand with what I see. These types are quick to point out what is wrong with everyone else, to the degree that they seldom if ever it seems bother to read the bible and discover just what Jesus taught. At least that is how it appears. Shameful isn’t it?
So what do you think?