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March 03, 2005

The wake of Tuesday's idiocy

From The Christian Post:

United Methodist leaders joined pro-life advocates in praising Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision outlawing the execution of juvenile criminals, on statements released on Wednesday, March 2, 2005.

Okay, lets explain some things here. The United Methodists are one of the more Liberal denominations, and can hardly be said to be representative of “Christians.” There are quite a variety of groups that call themselves “pro-life”, which include those who also oppose the death penalty, so “applauding” this ruling would hardly be surprising. This also does not reflect most people who consider themselves pro-life.

Dana Mulhauser in her piece in the New Republic notes that consistency would mean that the same ruling could be used to restrict abortions for those under 18. An interesting observation, although I get the feeling that Dana is for abortion and but would otherwise be in full support of Tuesday decision.

Paul Mirengoff has an excellent analysis of justice Kennedy at Powerline:

President Reagan nominated Kennedy. In those days, the pool of strong candidates in Kennedy's age bracket who were ideologically-grounded conservatives was not nearly as large as it is today. President Reagan's first choice for the Court was Robert Bork, the leading such conservative of that day. Because hard-edged conservatives of Bork's generation were rare, it was possible to view him as outside the perceived mainstream. Plausible or not, this argument prevailed and led to Bork's defeat. Reagan's second choice was a member of the then-emerging new breed of intellectual conservatives, Douglas Ginsburg, now the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals here in Washington, D.C. He failed because he had smoked marijuana.

Reagan then turned to a more conventional breed of Republican nominee, what I call the "sound" man. Such individuals recommend themselves not through rigorous conservatism, but through the sense (or the hope) that they are "sound." I consider nearly all of the confirmed Republican nominees since Nixon's day -- from Burger and Powell through Thomas and Souter -- to fit this description. The two exceptions are Rehnquist and Scalia.

Some of these Justices turn out to be soundly conservative (Burger and Thomas); at least one (Souter) never was. Most of them fall somewhere in between, often starting out soundly but, because their conservatism lacks firm roots, later drifting the center or the left (O'Connor and Kennedy).

By contrast, Democratic presidents always have had a deep pool of talented ideological liberals to tap into -- traditional New Deal types like Abe Fortas and Arthur Goldberg (a union lawyer); feminists like Ruth Ginsburg: academic liberals like Stephen Breyer. The only "sound" appointee was Byron White. He drifted to the center, but I doubt that John Kennedy would have minded.

Read the rest, it's really good.

I also like his comment in an earlier article when he pointed out:

The law is what a handful of self-aggrandizing old men and women think it should be, without regard to text and without meaningful deference to the democratic processes.

Posted by Jack Lewis at March 3, 2005 09:10 AM

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