Thursday, June 28, 2007



Evil is as Evil does

This morning's NY Times makes a great deal about reading between the lines of supposed dischord between a sour old fascist who fears his own mortality will overtake him before he overturns the last vestiges of all the social justice that came from, and flowed after, the New Deal and a much younger, but no less fascist Chief Justice who feels he has plenty of time to work the poison they both plan to administer to our nation through the packed judicial system. "Openly overturning numerous precedents early in his tenure would invite criticism that the Roberts court has an agenda to 'radically shift American law,' said Thomas C. Goldstein, a student of the court who argues there often. The conservative alliance at the court may be fractious but not fragile, strong enough to withstand Justice Scalia’s 'tweaking and needling,' as Prof. Richard W. Garnett of Notre Dame Law School describes it."

In light of this I look with trepedation at what is likely to come out of the Court today. This isn't something anyone should blame on anyone but the cowardly and purile Democrats who voted to confirm Alito and, especially, Roberts. As we explained yesterday, there are six Democrats who saddled us with this Supreme Court who are up for re-election next year: hideously reactionary Max Baucus (MT), Tim Johnson (SD), Mary Landrieu (LA), Carl Levin (MI), Mark Pryor (AR) and Jay Rockefeller (WV). I wouldn't vote for any of them. And on the Republican side... well they all enthusiastically supported the confirmations of Roberts and Alito. But there are 5 who are in electoral trouble and have been making the case in their home states that they are moderates and independents. None of them are; voting for these two radical right extremists should prove that. The 5 vulnerable Republicans who can be made to pay for the outrages of the Court are
John Sununu (NH)
Joe Lieberman's Susan Collins (ME)
Norm Coleman (MN)
Gordon Smith (OR)
Chuck Hagel (NE)

Now, about that trepedation I mentioned above. SCOTUSBlog has what to watch for. There is some talk about the conservative majority overturning the anti-segregation decision, at least partially, made in Brown v Board of Education. That would put a smile on Scalia's sour face. I wonder how Carl Levin will think about it. It would never have happened without him. Mary Landrieu is hoping African-American absentee voters displaced by Katrina will save her ass next year in the Senate race most likely to see a switch from Democrat (of sorts) to Republican. Any African-American who votes for Mary Landrieu deserves exactly what they get.


No one ever imagined Alito was going to be anything other than what he always was: a right wing thug with an agenda. He fits right in with Scalia, Thomas and Roberts. "Alito's vote will be key today if the court announces what could be a landmark decision about whether public school districts may consider an individual student's race when making assignments to achieve diverse school populations. 'There's no question that Justice Alito is more conservative than Justice O'Connor; there's no question that his replacement of Justice O'Connor moves the court to the right,' Washington lawyer Roy T. Englert, a frequent Supreme Court practitioner, said yesterday during a forum at the Washington Legal Foundation."


I know I have been saying for the last week that we had to expect it but I'm still in shock. My friend Adam put up a piece at Daily Kos that starts dealing with the ramifications of the hateful, racist 5-4 decision. I expect we'll be hearing from all the Democrats running for president. I would also like to hear from all the Democrats who voted to confirm Alitio and Roberts. Here's what Hillary, who voted against both of these catastrophic nominations, had to say today:
Today, the Court turned its back on the promise of Brown vs. Board of Education that students of different racial backgrounds deserve an opportunity to attend school together. At a time when our nation's schools are increasingly resegregating, we should be championing local efforts to pursue integration and reduce racial inequities in schools.

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the valiant struggle to integrate Little Rock Central High School, let us remember the millions who marched, fought and even paid the ultimate price to help ensure every child in America has an opportunity to attend diverse, high-quality schools.

These decisions take away the right of local communities to ensure that all students benefit from racially diverse classrooms. Recent evidence shows that integrated schools promote minority academic achievement, and can help close the achievement gap.

Once again, the Roberts Court has shown its willingness to erode core constitutional guarantees. It is a set back for all of us who are on the long march toward racial equality and the building of a stronger more unified America. As President, I will fight to restore Brown's promise and create an education system where all children have an equal chance to learn and excel together.


Tomorrow's NY Times decries the hideous Republican 5-4 ruling in an editorial called Resegregation Now. "The Supreme Court ruled 53 years ago in Brown v. Board of Education that segregated education is inherently unequal, and it ordered the nation’s schools to integrate. Today, the court switched sides and told two cities that they cannot take modest steps to bring public school students of different races together. It was a sad day for the court and for the ideal of racial equality."
Today, the court’s radical new majority turned its back on that proud tradition in a 5-4 ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts. It has been some time since the court, which has grown more conservative by the year, did much to compel local governments to promote racial integration. But now it is moving in reverse, broadly ordering the public schools to become more segregated.

...In an eloquent dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer explained just how sharp a break the decision is with history. The Supreme Court has often ordered schools to use race-conscious remedies, and it has unanimously held that deciding to make assignments based on race “to prepare students to live in a pluralistic society” is “within the broad discretionary powers of school authorities.”

Chief Justice Roberts, who assured the Senate at his confirmation hearings that he respected precedent, and Brown in particular, eagerly set these precedents aside. The right wing of the court also tossed aside two other principles they claim to hold dear. Their campaign for “federalism,” or scaling back federal power so states and localities have more authority, argued for upholding the Seattle and Louisville programs. So did their supposed opposition to “judicial activism.” This decision is the height of activism: federal judges relying on the Constitution to tell elected local officials what to do.

So Roberts lied to get the job. Is there any way to remove him?

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