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Today, Justice Sandra O'Connor has asked the President to appoint someone else in her place, as she wishes to retire.

Any good candidates out there: someone who would rule against eminent domain and would rule for a woman's right to have an abortion too?

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She might be the best, and still there may be precious little to like. The "lesser evil" theme again.

Till today, everyone thought that Rehnquist would leave first (yesterday bookies were offering 9 to 1 odds that it would be him).

Since it is now O'Connor, Bush might feel obliged to nominate a woman.

Edited to add: The ScotusBlog listed the following as cases where Justice O'Connor's vote was critical to the (5-4) outcome:

McCreary County v. ACLU (2005) -- Ten Commandments displays

Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Educ. (2005) -- Title IX Liability for Retaliation

Rompilla v. Beard (2005) -- standard of reasonable competence required on the part of defense counsel by the Sixth Amendment

Johanns v. Livestock Marketing (2005) -- assessments for government speech

Smith v. Massachusetts (2005) -- double jeopardy

Small v. United States (2005) - felon firearm possession ban doesn't cover foreign convictions

Tennessee v. Lane (2004) -- Congress's Section 5 power

McConnell v. FEC (2003) -- campaign finance

Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) -- affirmative action

Mitchell v. Helms -- direct aid to religious schools

Stenberg v. Carhart (2000) -- "partial-birth abortion" ban

Davis v. Monroe County Board of Educ. (1999) -- recognizing school district liability under Title IX for student-on-student sexual harrassment

Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network (1997) -- injunctions against abortion-clinic protestors

Morse v. Republican Party (1996)

Zadvydas v. Davis

Brentwood -- state action

Easley v. Cromartie (2001) -- race-based redistricting

Rogers v. Tennessee -- "judicial" ex post facto

Edited by softwareNerd
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She might be the best, and still there may be precious little to like. The "lesser evil" theme again.

Till today, everyone thought that Rehnquist would leave first (yesterday bookies were offering 9 to 1 odds that it would be him). 

Since it is now O'Connor, Bush might feel obliged to nominate a woman.

I doubt that he'll nominate a woman. I was under the impression that he would rather have some sort of legacy or "first" to SCOTUS (like Felipe indicated with a possible nomination of the AG), but we won't know until Bush returns from Europe on July 8th.

I was also suprised that it was O'Connor and not Rehnquist. That man does not have too much time left (by choice or not).

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And we no longer find slavery abhorrent. We embrace it. We demand more. Big government is not just the opiate of the masses. It is the opiate. The drug of choice for multinational corporations and single moms; for regulated industries and rugged Midwestern farmers and militant senior citizens.

Well blow me down. I have never heard of her before. Thanks. :confused:

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Today the Court abandons this long-held, basic limitation on government power. Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded—i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public—in the process. To reason, as the Court does, that the incidental public benefits resulting from the subsequent ordinary use of private property render economic development takings “for public use” is to wash out any distinction between private and public use of property—and thereby effectively to delete the words “for public use” from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Accordingly I respectfully dissent.

I have just recently begun to read disents and rulings by SCOTUS. Before I focused more on local and state politics. Since she is now retiring (I am one of those who believe the recent rewriting of the constitution by the SC is the reason) I thought it would be appropriate to mention some of her rulings. Several of you have mentioned court cases, but what was her reason behind her decesions and what were the cases about.

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Janice Rogers Brown. She will defend property rights to the death. I am hardly concerned with abortion rights, "gay" rights, "prisoner" rights and the demands of all these balkanized groups. If the individual has no right to property, what does he have a right to?

This is a collection of quotes from Brown amassed from a liberal activist group, People For the American Way: http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=12751

You can see why liberals/socialists did not want her confirmed to the appellate court and why those who support property rights should. Pay close attention to her statements on guns rights, property rights, and the connection between socialism and FDR's New Deal.

If I didn't know she was a Christian I would have thought an Objectivist said some of these things.

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  • 3 weeks later...


Bush nominates D.C. Circuit judge John Roberts. The article describes him as a "rock-solid conservative."

Fortunately, there's this, for whatever it's worth:

"In his defense, Roberts told senators during his 2003 confirmation hearing that he would be guided by legal precedent. 'Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land. ... There is nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent.'"

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Well, he's notoriously anti-abortion otherwise.

What evidence do you base this on? From the analysis I've read the only direct piece of evidence of his views on Roe are from a brief he wrote while working as an advocate for the first Bush administration -- which can't really be used as proof of his own views, since it's an advocate's job to argue for the position taken by his client.

I expect Judge Roberts to be pro-life, simply based on the political considerations surrounding his nomination, but I'd like to see some evidence from his own earlier rulings and/or writings.

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The conservatives seem to be downplaying this fellow's anti-abortion views. Personally, I hope the nomination fails. The clear message I'd like to see is this: even a small but real risk of appointing an anti-abortion SCOTUS justice is something that will kill a candidate. Sometimes, I have to say: thank God for activist Democrats.

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I've been weighing the pros and cons of various leftist and rightist judges recently, and I've come to conclude that Scalia or someone like him would be the worst possible choice. I now realise that Scalia is nothing more than a damn legal positivist whose position boils down to saying "It's the law, so it's right". A decent judicial activist would be willing to say "I know you guys passed this law, but it's a bad law, so I'm gonna strike it down". The Scalia-like position basically gives deference to the legislature, and in the current climate, that is not a good thing. The most important issues of how the Constitution relates to individual rights have already been pretty much irrevocably decided (generally for the worst) -- the government is allowed to tax and regulate. The best choice for good court decisions is therefore one that takes the protection of individual rights to be the primary, and uses appeal to constitutional or statutory language as necessary to justify the ruling.

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[stance on abotion]  isn't even what concerns me most.  I'm more concerned with property rights.
If the president were a Democrat, I'd be worried about Kelo and property rights. To me, the stance on abortion is extremely important: almost (but not quite) to the point of being a "litmus test".
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Here's a piece from Drudge discussing Ann Coulter's response to be printed soon. Since Drudge's stuff tends to disappear, I've copy pasted the piece below:


"We don’t know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever... Oh, yeah...we know he's argued cases before the supreme court. big deal; so has Larry Flynt's attorney."

So declares conservative columnist Ann Coulter in a new dispatch set for release.

Coulter declares: It means nothing that Roberts wrote briefs arguing for the repeal of Roe v. Wade when he worked for Republican administrations. He was arguing on behalf of his client, the United States of America. Roberts has specifically disassociated himself from those cases, dropping a footnote to a 1994 law review article that said:

“In the interest of full disclosure, the author would like to point out that as Deputy Solicitor General for a portion of the 1992-93 Term, he was involved in many of the cases discussed below. In the interest of even fuller disclosure, he would also like to point out that his views as a commentator on those cases do not necessarily reflect his views as an advocate for his former client, the United States.”

This would have been the legal equivalent, after O.J.'s acquittal, of Johnnie Cochran saying, "hey, I never said the guy was innocent. I was just doing my job."

And it makes no difference that conservatives in the White House are assuring us Roberts can be trusted. We got the exact same assurances from officials working for the last president Bush about David Hackett Souter. I believe their exact words were, "Read our lips; Souter's a reliable conservative."

From the theater of the absurd category, the Republican National Committee’s “talking points” on Roberts provide this little tidbit:

“In the 1995 case of Barry v. Little, Judge Roberts argued—free of charge—before the D.C. Court of Appeals on behalf of a class of the neediest welfare recipients, challenging a termination of benefits under the District’s Public Assistance Act of 1982.”

I'm glad to hear the man has a steady work record, but how did this make it to the top of his resume?

Finally, lets ponder the fact that Roberts has gone through 50 years on this planet without ever saying anything controversial. That’s just unnatural.

If a smart and accomplished person goes this long without expressing an opinion, they'd better be pursuing the Miss America title.

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Um, I don't know about a brief during the first Bush admin., but he is widely quoted based on a brief he wrote for the Reagan admin., where he comments on Roe v. Wade:

  See this for example.

I think this is the brief I was referring to; apparently I got the administration wrong. My bad.

Still, this isn't really compelling evidence for his personal views on Roe; it's evidence for the Reagan administration's views on Roe (which we already knew were bad).

What concerns me more about Roberts is that we know *nothing* about his judicial philosophy. He could be a Scalia clone, or an O'Conner-style pragmatist, or something worse. We just don't know. Hopefully the confirmation hearings will shed some light on this in between the grandstanding and showboating for the cameras and activist groups.

Given the predilections of the Bush administration, I expect the result to be bad. I just don't know how bad.

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