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The Future of the US Supreme Court

 
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Myste
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:15 pm    Post subject: The Future of the US Supreme Court Reply with quote

Now that Bush has been re-elected, it's time to consider the next four years. Laying aside the likelihood of future terror attacks, the difficulties of extricating oursselves from Iraq, and repairing the damage done to the economy by the post 9/11 recession, it seems to me that the issue with the most significance is the makeup of the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Rehnquist has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer; he's on multiple treatments, and it seems to be very fast-moving, which is an indication that it's the worst form of the disease. Justice Stevens, the next senior member of the Court, is 84 years old. Sandra Day O'Connor, next up, is 74.

So here's my question: Assuming that Bush will have the opportunity to replace at least one, if not more, seats on the bench (and at the same time hoping Chief Justice Rehnquist can beat his cancer), what do you think he'll do? Will he go ultra-conservative, since he has a healthy majority in Congress to back him up? Will he attempt to appeal to more moderate voters by picking a person who's more middle-of-the-road? What will the effect on decisions like Roe v. Wade be? On equal marriage rights for GLBTs? And, should Rehnquist's health force him to retire, who will the new Chief Justice be?

Lots of questions here--basically, it comes down to this: What's gonna happen to the Supreme Court over the next four years?

(Disclaimer: I'm a liberal suffering severe disappointment right now, but I've tried to keep this question as unbiased as possible. I'm sorry if any creeped in, apart from the fact that were I a Bush supporter, I might not have asked it. )
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:23 pm    Post subject: Re: The Future of the US Supreme Court Reply with quote

Myste wrote:
Now that Bush has been re-elected, it's time to consider the next four years. Laying aside the likelihood of future terror attacks, the difficulties of extricating oursselves from Iraq, and repairing the damage done to the economy by the post 9/11 recession, it seems to me that the issue with the most significance is the makeup of the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Rehnquist has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer; he's on multiple treatments, and it seems to be very fast-moving, which is an indication that it's the worst form of the disease. Justice Stevens, the next senior member of the Court, is 84 years old. Sandra Day O'Connor, next up, is 74.

So here's my question: Assuming that Bush will have the opportunity to replace at least one, if not more, seats on the bench (and at the same time hoping Chief Justice Rehnquist can beat his cancer), what do you think he'll do? Will he go ultra-conservative, since he has a healthy majority in Congress to back him up? Will he attempt to appeal to more moderate voters by picking a person who's more middle-of-the-road? What will the effect on decisions like Roe v. Wade be? On equal marriage rights for GLBTs? And, should Rehnquist's health force him to retire, who will the new Chief Justice be?

Lots of questions here--basically, it comes down to this: What's gonna happen to the Supreme Court over the next four years?

(Disclaimer: I'm a liberal suffering severe disappointment right now, but I've tried to keep this question as unbiased as possible. I'm sorry if any creeped in, apart from the fact that were I a Bush supporter, I might not have asked it. )


I am a card carrying Republican (moderate) - and you have NOTHING to apologize about. Your question was very well asked and very fair.

And - sincerely - I feel for your political pain. Group Hug
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Myste, an excellent question that bubbles at the top of my fears. I voted against Bush, but, would've been OK with him winning, if at least one house in Congress had changed to being Democratically controlled. On the other side of the coin, if Kerry won, I wouldn't be especially comfortable with both houses of Congress flipping to Democrat Controlled (Although that wouldn't have been so bad for the first couple years, to balance out some of the things that have been happening over the last four years)

But we still have Bush, we still have a Republican House (with at least 4 more seats gained) and a Republican Senate with I believe 3 or 4 seats gained. Additionally, the pickups have been pretty extreme candidates. I do not hold much hope that Bush's appointees to the Supreme Court will be very moderate.

Today, I believe the balance of power tipped in a way that makes me very nervous.

Rumors were before the election that the Hawks of the Administration (Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, et al) may not stay for a second term, I think with the results of the election have made it less likely they will leave, and if they do, I believe it is less likely they will be replaced by more moderate candidates.

The extreme Right Wing, has got an awful lot of power in the government, and the appointing of Justices, is likely to grow that power even further.

In my personal opinion, the War environment we are currently in, is not a time, to allow the Government to be slanted this far Right, (nor obviously is it a good time to be slanted left to the same degree) with no balance of power, anywhere. I sincerely hope my fears are unfounded, but, we can't change a thing, for at least two years now.

I'm not a "Dyed in the Wool" Democrat, but I am not comfortable with any party having this much control, and no balance for any length of time, and rather than balancing it out today, we have increased the tilt.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terror. Absolute Terror.
If the supreme court goes more conservative than it already is... well... We'll have an executive branch deciding policy, a legislature to back the policy with law, and a supreme court to defend the law.

Look out world. We're in for a crazy 4 years.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Myste wrote:
(Disclaimer: I'm a liberal suffering severe disappointment right now, but I've tried to keep this question as unbiased as possible. I'm sorry if any creeped in, apart from the fact that were I a Bush supporter, I might not have asked it. )


I'm of the opinion that anyone who isn't disappointed needs to have their head examined.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UrLord wrote:
Myste wrote:
(Disclaimer: I'm a liberal suffering severe disappointment right now, but I've tried to keep this question as unbiased as possible. I'm sorry if any creeped in, apart from the fact that were I a Bush supporter, I might not have asked it. )


I'm of the opinion that anyone who isn't disappointed needs to have their head examined.


*back from having his head examined* - OK Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Myste does very well here in raising a valid concern, and one which I've recently often seen echoed by other Americans.

JemCheeta wrote:
well... We'll have an executive branch deciding policy, a legislature to back the policy with law, and a supreme court to defend the law.

Look out world. We're in for a crazy 4 years.


There seems to have been a serious reduction in that system of checks and balances which we all mention so frequently. JemCheeta is right. The next four years may be going to re-shape the face of the world as we know it. For good or ill, only time can tell.

--A
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're not disappointed that the best man America could come up with for president is Bush?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But the thing is, it isn't the best man america could have come up with. It's the best man that the mud slinging campaign tactics, the huge funds, and the religious politicking ended up with.
People talk about McCain.. *I* wouldn't have voted for him, but I guarantee he would have gotten more votes in the end than Bush.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He was *apparently* the best man the Republicans could find to run for them in 2000.
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It's the best man that the mud slinging campaign tactics, the huge funds, and the religious politicking ended up with.
Are you implying that there wasn't just as much mud slinging and huge funds on the other side? As far as religious politicking...I'm not sure how to respond to that because I'm not quite sure what you're saying. Sure, religion doesn't belong in government (according to my thinking, anyway), but other people seem to want it there, so to them it was another item in Bush's favor. I don't see it as particularly underhanded or dirty, even if I don't like it.

He was the man that the members of the Republican party lifted up on their shoulders and carried to the presidency. I'm disappointed that they couldn't seem to find a better man (even if a better man was right in front of their noses the entire time), and I'm disappointed that the democrats couldn't find a better man either. With any luck, the Democrats will say "Well, crap. A very large portion of the country was dissatisfied with the way the nation was heading, and we still couldn't win. Clearly we must be doing something wrong," and come up with someone decent in four years.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, first of all, I apologize for letting my feelings get ahead of my logic. I'm sorry, I'm just really bitter and dissapointed about this election. My first undertaking in the voting process was totally a let down and everything that I voted for failed.
Its a democracy, if they want religion in the white house, that's the nature of democracy and I guess there's not a lot to be done.
Of course money was spent on both sides to sick degrees....

Ok, so I guess the only two complaints I have as far as this little bit of conversation goes is that a constitutional ammendment was doomed to fail, and obviously was going to fail on a national level, and it seemed evident that this was a strategy to win the voters without being a serious attempt at legislation.

Also, Bush is notorius for mud slinging campaigns from both his primaries, the last election, and this one. They found a direct connection between those "swift boat veterans for truth" guys and the republican party, and the guy who was responsible resigned (can't remember his name now, I'll look it up).

Anyway, I'm sure that the democrats will come up with someone that can be elected in 2008, someone that I primarily disagree with, and I'll be left with either a vote for the party I think is going to win, or a wasted vote on a third party candidate I agree with. I'm starting to side with Avatar.. unless you are a moderate, democracy has very little to offer you in terms of representation.

Of course, not much else does either.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm starting to side with Avatar.. unless you are a moderate, democracy has very little to offer you in terms of representation.


That's one reason more state and local control is beneficial; so that people who have wildly different views (as they will tend to in a free society) can be somewere where their views can make a difference even if they aren't in the national majority.

Regaurding the courts, judging by how judicial confermations have been giong, I very much doubt that any radically conservitive judges could get on the Supreme Court; those in opposition don't need a majority, they just need more than a third (as I recall, could be a different ratio), because it isn't nessicary to actually keep talking in order to filibuster, and so can be used quite effectivly to block any extreamist judges.
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