Sunday, September 04, 2005

Kiss Women's Rights Goodbye

I cannot believe this -- Bush gets two Supreme Court nominations?!? Forget women's rights, forget civil liberties for people of colour and people in general, and wave environmentalism goodbye. Rehnquist couldn't've have held on for three short years?

Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON (AP) -- Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died Saturday evening at his home in suburban Virginia, said Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg. A statement from the spokeswoman said he was surrounded by his three children when he died in Arlington. "The Chief Justice battled thyroid cancer since being diagnosed last October and continued to perform his dues on the court until a precipitous decline in his health the last couple of days," she said. Rehnquist was appointed to the Supreme Court as an associate justice in 1971 by President Nixon and took his seat on Jan. 7, 1982. He was elevated to chief justice by President Reagan in 1986. His death ends a remarkable 33-year Supreme Court career during which Rehnquist oversaw the court's conservative shift, presided over an impeachment trial and helped decide a presidential election. The death President Bush his second court opening within pour months and sets up what's expected to be an even more bruising Senate confirmation battle than that of John Roberts. Rehnquist, 80 and ill with cancer, presided over President Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999, helped settle the 2000 presidential election in Bush's favor, and fashioned decisions over the years that diluted the powers of the federal government while strengthening those of the states.
Don't get me wrong, it's sad when an old man dies, but I really thought karmic justice would've finally caught up with Bush. Why's he getting this political freebie?


Blogger jose said...

Well, kiss a lot of rights goodbye. We'll see an extremist judge given the timing with Roberts.

And before anyone mentions it, yes, Clinton did get two, but with a Republican-controlled Congress. Bush has a freebie here.

R.I.P. Rehnquist.

9/04/2005 02:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Rtother said...

The sky isn't falling. Just because Bush gets two spots to fill doesn't mean that civil liberties, the environment, and other things will be going to hell.

"Republicans have put seven of the nine current justices on the Supreme Court—and they still have only one more anti-abortion vote than they had in 1973, when the decision came down 7 to 2. Where reproductive rights are concerned, the bark of a conservative nominee is frequently worse than his bite—as three justices nominated by Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush proved in 1992, when, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, they voted that 'the essential holding of Roe v. Wade should be retained and once again reaffirmed.'"

9/04/2005 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Loren Javier said...

Yeah, unfortunately this was the moment that we've been fearing -- Bush actually getting to nominate not only one, but TWO U.S. Supreme Court Justices.

And, to the list of right that will disappear as a result of a conservative heavy High Court -- gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights. Not that we have many now...but, jeez.

9/04/2005 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger jose said...

RTOTHER, the conditions under which those nominees were confirmed is much different from the situation we have now. Each of those Presidents had worked with Congress -- Clinton pre-clearing Ginsberg and Breyer even before Republicans took control of Congress. Ginbserg was confirmed 96-3 and Breyer at 87-9.

Bush has shown a blatant disregard for Congress and the people's will, repeatedly re-nominating rejected nominees. Also, the timing of having two vacant seats at the same time, which allows him to nominate one moderate and one extremist with less political danger.

As to what effect these new Associate Justices will not be apparent for some time, but the Court was already in a very careful balance. Tilting in any direction over lifetime terms, given Roberts' age and the potential age of the other nominee, will have a great effect. This just isn't about abortion -- we've already seen a particular leaning in how the Commerce Clause is interpreted, and not everything else is in balance.

But you're right. We won't know what will happen until after Bush's nominees get confirmed.

9/04/2005 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger nykol said...

I think Bush does have a freebie - up to a point. But I'm w/Rthother on this one - I don't think civil liberties, the enviornment, and so forth will be going by way of the dodo any time soon. I think we need to remember that Bush is losing some serious political capital with the Katrina imbroglio and some soon-to-be-presidential candidates might be thinking about their voting/appointment track records as well.

Let's wait and see....

9/06/2005 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...


My concern is that the Katrina outrage will blow over. Already, the Republicans are spinning Bush into a saint for making the rounds, and are blaming the victims for not wanting to leave.

Besides, whatever political capital might've had to be spent to get Roberts through will be spent, and whomever Bush nominates next could easily be much more right-wing, conservative, and willing to overturn established interpretations of the Constitution -- and because the capital is spent, be confirmed more readily.

I actually think the environment and the civil liberties denied by the Patriot Act are more threatened than abortion at the moment -- in both cases we're talking about issues that have seen less press, and have more "impetus" for write-off: too many Americans are still willing to sacrifice rights to get the terrorists and with soaring gas prices, I'm sure a lot of Americans would rather anything be done than be bankrupt by the price of oil.

But you're right... a this point, we can only wait and see. At this point, I'm concerned that Roberts is being nominated as Chief Justice to goad the Dems to burn themselves up in a good fight early on, because otherwise, the prudent thing would've been to wait until the second nominee is announced.

9/07/2005 04:24:00 PM  

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