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Unpacking a Conservative Supreme Court

This is Supreme Court analysis day for the dreaded East Coast MSM. Both the Post and the Times have front-page assessments that credit Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. with taking the court to the right in its just concluded session.

Our Readers Who Comment think that's either terrific or awful. They either support or oppose the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace retiring Justice David H. Souter. They debate recent decisions. Both sides predict evil outcomes for the country, but for different reasons.

One writer even suggested that it might be necessary to try the FDR solution and figure out a way to pack the court with right-thinking justices. FDR failed in that 1937 attempt. But my favorite comment came from a reader who wondered why we were worrying about this instead of Michael Jackson, which led all four network morning news shows today.

We'll start with ad9inaz, who said, "With 7 of the 9 justices appointed by Republican Presidents, it is no surprise that the court is conservative. The only hope for the other side is that Ginsburg and Stevens get off the court during Obama's first term, to ensure they are not replaced with more conservatives."

But dsrobins wrote, "Yep, the Supreme Court did move much further right this year because the conservatives realize they are the last remnants of the corrupt Bush administrations. They will continue to do so until we ensure that Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed and a couple of the right wingers decide to retire or are eliminated...."

csforst had a different view: "Let's hope that the Supreme Court works in the direction of interpreting the US Constitution and stops taking its cues from the current rampage toward socialism which is anti-Constitutional. Also, let's hope that the Supreme Court does not become a haven for affirmative action appointments as is being done in the case of the highly unqualified and incapable Sotomayor."

htimothyjones was one of several to comment on the recent New Haven, Conn., firefighters decision in writing, "These decisions were based in political maturity, not political conservatism. If you need clarification on that, you should consult a fired white firefighter."

And ORNOT corrected him in responding, "Do you know what a Freudian slip is? There were no white firefighters fired! Shows your mind set."

mrtimmaulden wrote, "I love the decision to exclude a right to DNA testing for those who claim it would acquit them. The last thing we want to do in the justice system is embrace justice... We certainly don't want to embarrass local prosecutors by seeking justice."

chrojo01 said, "I do disagree with the DNA evidence decision, but otherwise see the Court as doing a fine job. As for Justice Roberts being an "authoritarian" or supporting "plutocracy". These allegations are nonsensical. Any scheme to pack the Court is an assult on the Court as an institution by the political branches that it shares equal power with. I would be opposed to Bush or Obama or whoever if they made such an attempt..."

John1263 said, "...This court is without question an activist court, and in the worst way possible. The Warren court used it's power to force state and fdederal officials to follow the Cosntitution and obey their primary function of protecting the fundamental human rights of the citizens. This court seeks to do the opposite., they are trying to open the door to the worst abuses of bygone eras. Abuses most of thought were 'gone with the wind.' "

John1263 predicted that "Stevens and Ginsburg will open seats for President Obama to fill, prbably after next eterm. The best case for the country is for Kennedy to decide Souter is right, and go join him for some fishing..."

danroth777 wrote, "With a liberal president and (with Franken now) an undeniably liberal congress, a (somewhat) conservative court is the only remaining counterbalance to a trifecta of Fed govt liberal agenda run amok. Thank God for Roberts."

fenoy said, "...currently most [of] the intellectual firepower appears to be in the hands of the conservatives with Scalia, Roberts and Alito. The Justices on the liberal side of the bench (Ginsburg, Souter, et al, simply don't have the legal arguments that can match those of the conservative brain trust so less often are they able to convince Kennedy to tilt in their direction."

genbarlow wrote, "The party is over for lazy societal parasites, ntitlement seekers and their "lawyers"... Now get a honest job, work hard and shut up."

msmithnv said, "...With a Marxist school boy, meaning no experience what so ever in business or any other CEO position, in the White House we need at least one branch of government in the hands of reasonable men and women with who have taken the time to study history as it was not a fictional class warfare revisionist view of the world like Obama holds."

But muslit predicted, "As the country moves one way, the Supreme Court moves another. As society moves forward, the Supreme Court moves backwards. One day, in the not so distant future, the the poor will be completely disenfranchised, the government will control what women do with their bodies, and minorities will be regulated to increasingly meanial jobs - the way it was circa 1950. The good ole' days. Sad."

thebobbob wrote, "The Robert's court sees itself as the protector of the Powerful. The law is an instrument of the Privileged and must never be used to challenge them. I hope Stevens understands that 'Justice" is the furthest thing from the minds of TSAR (Thomas, Scalia, Ailito and Roberts)."

To which theduke89 replied, "bubububububububut Bob: Barack Obama is now the most powerful person in the history of the United States. I doubt very much the Supreme Court will be inclined to protect his and the Congress's audacious seizure of power."

And markandbeth strode the same path in writing, "Thank God. We still have one check left on the out of control Marxist President and Congress. Obama and the new soviet socialist democrat congress are doing their best to dismantle our republic... We need to court to hold them in check till we can fire them in 2010 and 2012..."

FergusonFoont wrote, "...The conservative majority on the court consistently places ideology above the law and has moved inexorably in the direction of a creeping diminution of individual rights and the equality of justice in favor of state and corporate power. We have GOT to stop this in whatever way we can."

hz9604 said, "The approval process (a simple Senate majority) for Supreme Court nominees has and will continue to ensure that the court is political. Just wait until a single President through the randomness of death and retirement has the power to slant the court either liberal or conservative for decades."

tryreason said, "...I am in favor of [President Franklin D.] Roosevelts solution. If conservative justices won't accurately represent the constitution and the will of the people then remove them or expand the courts numbers to nullify their impact on its decision making. They are extremists!" [Roosevelt's attempt to pack the court in 1937 never made it out of committee.]

We'll close with mitt1968, who wrote, "And what, pray tell, does this have to do with Michael Jackson? Get with the times, Post!"

By Doug Feaver  |  July 1, 2009; 7:59 AM ET
Categories:  Sotomayor , Supreme Court  | Tags: Supreme Court  
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Next: Fear of Nukes and Neocons


The narrow majority in the New Haven case, and ensuing protests, show a number people in this country want racial discrimination to continue, and in some cases (cf Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton) their livelihoods depend on the continuance of racial resentments, real and imagined.

As the President noted during his election campaign, penalising people who have done nothing wrong is not a decent thing to do, nor is it Constitutional, either.

It is possible to continue affirmative action without giving only one or two groups such a boost. It would be ultimately much better for this country to help all those who are disadvantaged.

As has been pointed out, the majority of people drawing on welfare and unemployment checks and living in poverty are white. And they, and people of all races, deserve an equal shot at opportunity. Affirmative action, if rightly applied, can do that. Affirmative action, as currently applied, penalises many who are in greater need than some of those who benefit from affirmative action. Shutting out one group, categorically, is inhumane.

It is also a violation of Martin Luther King's dream, and it is also constitutional. Many people in this country have given their lives so that no one is punished for being born in the wrong group. Only those who profit from racial division want that to continue.

Posted by: hyood | July 2, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Discrimination, for any reason, is still discrimination. How can you justify punishing hard work and ability of someone completely innocent of the past discrimination? You can not, unless your aim is mediocrity.

The only way to fix discrimination is to stop discriminating.

Posted by: MikeN3 | July 1, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

So I guess equality for ALL = right wing to the MSM? Gee why am I not surprised.

Posted by: Cryos | July 1, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

When common sense hits the legal community, it is shaken to the roots. How could this happen?

Posted by: fbros | July 1, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Did any one bother to read the Ricci case? Does anyone think that the DNA case was fair? I am not a lawyer but I can predict how the TSAR faction will vote 97% of the time. The right wing is so upset about Sotomayor but she is more qualified and smarter than Thomas yet they love him.
Hey you rightists - how did you like Thomas's dissent in the strip search case? So full of the legalese that the court favors and so empty of any objective thought. As for Alito and Roberts,they are like Scalia.
The Federalist society picked them well and they simply made themselves vassals of the right(no pun?) people. Did any of you read what the losers in Garner v Tennessee wrote about that case? Or did you read the memo that Alito wrote?
The TSAR cohort hates the left with a passion and will stop at nothing to reverse Roe, Miranda, Brown and many other so called left wing decisions. So much for stare decisis and originalism.The TSARs grew up in the sixties and were appalled at the hippies, drugs,and SEX! Just think of the great POTUS who appointed them. They were also involved in the worst decision since Dred Scott-Bush v Gore.They were so proud of this decsion that they did not have the guts to sign it.And Scalia, when asked about the decision said "You lost-get over it." Is this the "famed intellect" at work? As Jon Stewart famously said to the Republicans "you lost. Now eat the s*** taco and get over it.
Viva Sotomayor!!!!

Posted by: bebop999 | July 1, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

It is amazing how many cold war paranoids are still out there ranting about Marxism. The biggest threat to our country is our own government, willing to break any rules to save us from our runaway fears. The last thing you want is a supreme court that genuflects to the constitution like it is religious dogma. Otherwise women would not be able to vote or slavery and segragation would never have been outlawed. The conservatives were opposed then as well. The beauty of the constitution is a flexibility that allows for progress. Change is inevitable and necessary even for 222 yr old documents.

Posted by: ireverent | July 1, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

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