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.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On Kennedy v. Louisiana

First thing this morning, Marcie posted her initial reaction to the decision (before reading the actual decision), and it was, in my opinion lackluster. (No, I'm not bagging on my wife, so don't even go there.) But without having read the decision she couldn't thoroughly speak on it. We have now read it, and we are unimpressed with Justice Kennedy's view of this case. In fact, we are quite underwhelmed by his jurisprudential thought, and we are not surprised at the decision from the liberal wing of the court.

For years, the court has attempted to do away with the death penalty because, in their view, the practice is barbaric, or as the five justices today decided, it's "cruel and unusual." OK. Fine. Play that game you dolts. Ed Whelan can make no sense of the decision, but he offers this thought regarding the case:

Given previous rulings like Roper v. Simmons (see This Week for March 1, 2005), Justice Kennedy’s opinion in Kennedy v. Louisiana was entirely predictable, but that doesn’t make it any less appalling as a matter of supposed constitutional law.

Kennedy’s 36 pages of insufferable blather amount to little more than a declaration that the majority doesn’t think that capital punishment is ever a fair penalty for the rape of a child—“no matter,” as Justice Alito puts it in his dissent, “how young the child, no matter how many times the child is raped, no matter how many children the perpetrator rapes, no matter how sadistic the crime, no matter how much physical or psychological trauma is inflicted, and no matter how heinous the perpetrator’s prior criminal record may be.” And, Alito might have added, no matter even whether the rape victim died, so long as the rapist did not intend the death.

If I find time, I may focus more attention on Kennedy’s string of assertions. For now, I’ll just call attention to the facts that occasioned Kennedy’s pronouncement that “[e]volving standards of decency must embrace and express respect for the dignity of the person”—the person whose dignity is the object of his concern being the rapist, not the victim and not other future victims.

We congratulate Justice Alito for handing down a particularly succinct rebuttal of his colleague. As Marcie explained this morning we have long supported an actual extension of the death penalty. It should not just be held for murderers, but extended to those perpetrators who do victimize the weakest among our society; namely women and children. Child molesters, child rapists, pedophiles, etc., in addition to those who sexually assault women. These are the basest members of our society -- the literal dregs -- that get their pleasure off the pain and victimization of those who are unable to protect themselves.

Now we'll admit that many women out there have attended self-defense courses, carry tazers or stun guns, and even firearms. (Marcie carries every time she leaves our home, no matter if it's going to school, or shooting up the road for some groceries.) But the simple fact remains that unless that female is fully prepared to defend herself, she can easily be taken by a man. If that man has the intent to rape her, there is little she can do once he subdues her. Granted, she will fight.

A child doesn't have the ability to truly fight. Kicking and punching will do little to stop an adult. And even if, by some miracle, the child knows how to handle a firearm (the likelihood of them getting to where the firearm is is nil), or can grab an instrument such as a knife, it'll only anger the adult trying to have their way with the child. This is where Justice Kennedy's “[e]volving standards of decency must embrace and express respect for the dignity of the person” doesn't make sense. What of the respect for the victims of a crime like this?

Oh, and what of the case itself? What are the details? Ed gives a brief synopsis. Be warned, this is really sick:

The facts are graphic and awful. Kennedy (not the justice) was charged with the aggravated rape of L.H., his then-8-year-old stepdaughter. When police found L.H. some two hours after the attack, she was bleeding profusely from the vaginal area. She was transported to the hospital, where she was discovered to have a laceration to the left wall of the vagina that “separated her cervix from the back of her vagina, causing her rectum to protrude into the vaginal structure. Her entire perineum was torn from the posterior fourchette to the anus. The injuries required emergency surgery.” Shortly after he committed the rape, Kennedy called a colleague to ask “how to get blood out of a white carpet because his daughter had ‘just become a lady.’”

OK, Justice Kennedy, care to explain how you and your "nuanced" colleagues can come to the conclusion that lethal injection (which you did uphold as not being cruel) is cruel and unusual punishment for this piece of vermin? How you and your colleagues believe that life in prison for this scum is equal to the pain -- both physical and emotional -- that this child will have to live with the rest of their lives? For crying out loud, sir, have you no decency? He called a friend and LIED about how the blood got on the carpet!

This decision is one of the worst ones we have seen in the last couple of years. We thought the court reached the epitome of stupidity in Kelo v. New London when it trumped our rights as property owners; usurping a fundamental right enumerated in the Constitution, and one deemed incredibly important by the Framers. I won't go into the four cases where the court continually chips away at the president's inherent and enumerated powers in this war. (For those keeping score, those would be Hamdi, Hamdan, Rasul, and Boumediene.) But to see a travesty like this handed down from the Supreme Court is sickening.

We're sick of hearing prattle from the high court, such as “[e]volving standards of decency must embrace and express respect for the dignity of the person," or “specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.” (The latter comes from Griswold, which is another mockery of Constitutional Law.) The flowery rhetoric means little, as does Justice Kennedy's 36 page meanderings into areas that bear no relevance on the case in question.

It's time the Supreme Court returned to its proper purview in this nation's government. Ladies and gentlemen, you are supposed to render decisions on the law, not play Indiana Jones, and make it up as you go along. The nation is sick of watching nine unelected judges decide to rewrite the Constitution based on whims, "personal intuition, gut feelings, hairs on the back of your neck, little devils or angels sitting on their shoulders." (Yeah, the quote is from Crimson Tide, but it's worth repeating for this endeavor.)

Now, these people are hardly unaccountable. There are provisions within the Constitution that would allow the House to begin impeachment proceedings of the justices that constantly go outside their prescribed boundaries. Article II specifically states that "The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their offices during good Behaviour ..." As we can see from recent decisions, these jurists are hardly acting in "good Behaviour." They are rewriting a fundamental foundation of law without going through the enumerated process; and a process in which they have no say.

Publius II


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