Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

SCOTUS Handing Down Decisions; Speculation Of A Retiring Justice Pops Up again

With only a couple days left before the end of the Supreme Court's term this year, they handed down a couple of big ones today. SCOTUS Blog as a round up of the decisions. The highlight of the day being the loosening of some of McCain-Feingold's speech restrictions. While not an overall victory in doing away with the unconstitutional piece of legislation, it is a foot in the door. Both Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito agreed that the case was too narrow to force them to reexamine McConnell from 2003.

But as with the term approaching its end, there is always speculation about whether or not there will be a justice stepping down. Today is no exception:

If a U.S. Supreme Court justice steps down in the coming months, the Bush administration may have an easier time filling the seat with a conservative nominee than is generally expected, some political analysts argue.

The first full term in which Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., and Associate Justice Samuel Alito have served together is drawing to a close, and the country is again bracing for the possibility of another justice retiring from the bench.Retirement speculation focuses on Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, both liberals. Stevens is 87 years old; and although Ginsburg is 13 years younger, her frail appearance has often prompted conjecture of poor health.

These justices have also taken to reading their dissents from the bench in recent months, a practice that Curt Levey, general counsel for the Judicial Confirmation Network, believes may signify their displeasure with being in the minority on several important cases.Justice David Souter, 67, who was appointed by President George H. W. Bush, also is rumored to be considering retirement.

Jan Crawford Greenburg, author of the recent book, "Supreme Conflict: The Inside Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court," has written that the Bush administration has prepared a "short list" of possible nominees should a justice step down.According to Greenburg, possible nominees include Janice Rogers Brown of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; Priscilla Owen and Edith Brown Clement, both of the Fifth Circuit; Diane Sykes of the Seventh Circuit; Loretta Preska, a New York Federal District judge; and Raoul Cantero of the Florida State Supreme Court.

While all six are considered conservatives who would fit the president's judicial restraint criterion, Preska and Cantero are more junior than nominees over the past 20 years. All justices since Scalia's nomination in 1986 have been elevated from the Federal Court of Appeals.

We have given our opinions numerous times regarding USSC appointees. The only thing that disappoints us about the above list -- a list that was leaked early last month -- is that they are all women. This sends a message to the nation that this appointment, if gained, will be more political than anything else. While all of these women are qualified, and we would certainly stand behind Judge Brown, Judge Clement, Judge Owen, and Judge Sykes it is disappointing to see him clearly looking towards a political statement with his choice rather than being open to ALL potential nominees. It almost seems as if he is saying "men need not apply" despite the great amount of solid male jurists out there.

But leave it to the Left to engage in the histronics of the issue. Typical, typical, typical:

Should a vacancy occur, confirmation of a replacement is widely expected to be difficult. If a conservative replaces an outgoing liberal, the court would be dominated by the right for the first time since President Franklin Roosevelt's administration.

Representatives for People for the American Way could not be reached by press time, but PFAW President Ralph Neas has expressed concern over such a scenario.

"Confirming one or more additional right-wing justices in order to entrench a far-right majority on the court for decades to come is an extremely high priority for radical right leaders," he wrote in a recent article posted on the group's website. "They are on the verge of a generations-long victory."

I guess Mr. Neas does not mind engaging is such high-volume, shrill misnomers as a part of his political agenda, which is apparently more judicial activists on the bench to tear down the Constitution further than it has been. Right wing justices? If he thinks a constructionist or a textualist is "right-wing" then yes, by all means, we do want those justices up there. We would much rather have justices who understand that the Constitution says what it means, and means what it says rather than having a justice issue personal beliefs and/or preferences from the bench.

Jurists interpret the law, as per what the law says. They do not make it up. They do not listen to polls or special advocacy groups. Judges who do opt to rule based on politics are not, in my humble opinion, abiding by the Article III stipulations of "good Behaviour," and in our continued opinion, those people should be removed if they cannot do their job properly. Some might say that this opinion is unwarranted, and that we are speaking from a purely emotional point-of-view.

That could not be further from the truth. The fact remains that jurists in this nation for the last fifty-plus years have been doing their best to tear down the commonly held beliefs of what the Constitution says. We can go back to Griswold to witness the damage one misinterpretation has led to. The fourth Amendment is explicit. There is no "blanket" right to privacy in the amendment at all. Yet the Court saw things differently back then, and the decision there led us to Roe in 1973. Justice Scalia has had a fine time of predicting spectres drifting from poor jurisprudence rendered by the Court since his arrival on the court in 1986. He connects the dots long before anyone else realizes it.

While it is folly to hold our breath to see if a justice will step down, we can only hope one does either now, or when the next Republican is sworn in as president. Not so much for the security in knowing they will pick a decent judge to ascend, but in knowing that Ralph Neas and the ninnies on the Left will cry their eyes out at the prospect of the court shifting even more int he direction of proper Constitutional jurisprudence.



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