strict constructionism, liberal style
The Washington Post, offering its ever-so-friendly editorial advice about appointments to the US Supreme Court, informs President Bush that "a nominee who strongly believes in the stability of precedent-- the legal principle of stare decisis-- is far more likely to garner broad support than a nominee who generally regards past decisions as ripe for overturning."
But while they must support prior Supreme Court rulings (read: Roe v. Wade), qualified Supreme Court nominees need not worry too much about the text of the Constitution:
Moreover, insisting on constitutional rulings supported by the document's text, history and structure need not mean insisting on cramped or anachronistic treatment of law that was written in general terms to remain relevant to a changing society.
Do you see the elegant beauty of the liberal position? The meaning of the Constitution can be stretched, bent, supplemented, or ignored by jurists seeking change. But once the Supreme Court has discerned, discovered, or invented a new meaning in the Constitution, the Court's ruling must be upheld.
Thus the Court, not the Constitution, is the real ultimate law of the land. Now you know why liberals will fight to the finish to maintain control of the Supreme Court-- and why a "compromise" candidate, who signals his willingness to accept established precedents (read: Roe v. Wade), would be a catastrophic loss for anyone interested in preserving American constitutional rule.
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Posted by: Gil125 -
Jul. 11, 2005 7:11 PM ET USA
Patriot, hope for a female of color: Justice Janice Rogers Brown, late of the California Supreme Court, lately confirmed to the Federal Circuit, might be the best supreme court justice you and I could hope for. She is only slightly right of Scalia and Thomas but perceptibly so.
Posted by: patriot6908 -
Jul. 11, 2005 12:00 PM ET USA
I do not have my hopes high for another Bork, Thomas or Scalia. I have a feeling that we'll get the required female (perhaps of "color') who will have fine credentials in every respect except the one that counts. Even the the Party of Asses will start braying along with their echoes in the media over the potential return of those dark days before we started taking our legal cues from the polite but insidious socialists in Europe.