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Thread: Too scary

  1. #1
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    This is even more scary than the Dowd article

    Imagining America if George Bush Chose the Supreme Court
    By ADAM COHEN


    Abortion might be a crime in most states. Gay people could be thrown in prison for having sex in their homes. States might be free to become mini-theocracies, endorsing Christianity and using tax money to help spread the gospel. The Constitution might no longer protect inmates from being brutalized by prison guards. Family and medical leave and environmental protections could disappear.

    It hardly sounds like a winning platform, and of course President Bush isn't openly espousing these positions. But he did say in his last campaign that his favorite Supreme Court justices were Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, and the nominations he has made to the lower courts bear that out. Justices Scalia and Thomas are often called "conservative," but that does not begin to capture their philosophies. Both vehemently reject many of the core tenets of modern constitutional law.

    For years, Justices Scalia and Thomas have been lobbing their judicial Molotov cocktails from the sidelines, while the court proceeded on its moderate-conservative path. But given the ages and inclinations of the current justices, it is quite possible that if Mr. Bush is re-elected, he will get three appointments, enough to forge a new majority that would turn the extreme Scalia-Thomas worldview into the law of the land.

    There is every reason to believe Roe v. Wade would quickly be overturned. Mr. Bush ducked a question about his views on Roe in the third debate. But he sent his base a coded message in the second debate, with an odd reference to the Dred Scott case. Dred Scott, an 1857 decision upholding slavery, is rarely mentioned today, except in right-wing legal circles, where it is often likened to Roe. (Anti-abortion theorists say that the court refused to see blacks as human in Dred Scott and that the same thing happened to fetuses in Roe.) For more than a decade, Justices Scalia and Thomas have urged their colleagues to reverse Roe and "get out of this area, where we have no right to be."

    If Roe is lost, the Center for Reproductive Rights warns, there's a good chance that 30 states, home to more than 70 million women, will outlaw abortions within a year; some states may take only weeks. Criminalization will sweep well beyond the Bible Belt: Ohio could be among the first to drive young women to back-alley abortions and prosecute doctors.

    If Justices Scalia and Thomas become the Constitution's final arbiters, the rights of racial minorities, gay people and the poor will be rolled back considerably. Both men dissented from the Supreme Court's narrow ruling upholding the University of Michigan's affirmative-action program, and appear eager to dismantle a wide array of diversity programs. When the court struck down Texas' "Homosexual Conduct" law last year, holding that the police violated John Lawrence's right to liberty when they raided his home and arrested him for having sex there, Justices Scalia and Thomas sided with the police.

    They were just as indifferent to the plight of "M.L.B.," a poor mother of two from Mississippi. When her parental rights were terminated, she wanted to appeal, but Mississippi would not let her because she could not afford a court fee of $2,352.36. The Supreme Court held that she had a constitutional right to appeal. But Justices Scalia and Thomas dissented, arguing that if M.L.B. didn't have the money, her children would have to be put up for adoption.

    That sort of cruelty is a theme running through many Scalia-Thomas opinions. A Louisiana inmate sued after he was shackled and then punched and kicked by two prison guards while a supervisor looked on. The court ruled that the beating, which left the inmate with a swollen face, loosened teeth and a cracked dental plate, violated the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. But Justices Scalia and Thomas insisted that the Eighth Amendment was not violated by the "insignificant" harm the inmate suffered.

    This year, the court heard the case of a man with a court appearance in rural Tennessee who was forced to either crawl out of his wheelchair and up to the second floor or be carried up by court officers he worried would drop him. The man crawled up once, but when he refused to do it again, he was arrested. The court ruled that Tennessee violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by not providing an accessible courtroom, but Justices Scalia and Thomas said it didn't have to.

    A Scalia-Thomas court would dismantle the wall between church and state. Justice Thomas gave an indication of just how much in his opinion in a case upholding Ohio's school voucher program. He suggested, despite many Supreme Court rulings to the contrary, that the First Amendment prohibition on establishing a religion may not apply to the states. If it doesn't, the states could adopt particular religions, and use tax money to proselytize for them. Justices Scalia and Thomas have also argued against basic rights of criminal suspects, like the Miranda warning about the right to remain silent.

    President Bush claims to want judges who will apply law, not make it. But Justices Scalia and Thomas are judicial activists, eager to use the fast-expanding federalism doctrine to strike down laws that protect people's rights. Last year, they dissented from a decision upholding the Family and Medical Leave Act, which guarantees most workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a loved one. They said Congress did not have that power. They have expressed a desire to strike down air pollution and campaign finance laws for similar reasons.

    Neither President Bush nor John Kerry has said much about Supreme Court nominations, wary of any issue whose impact on undecided voters cannot be readily predicted. But voters have to think about the Supreme Court. If President Bush gets the chance to name three young justices who share the views of Justices Scalia and Thomas, it could fundamentally change America for decades.

  2. #2
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    Scalia and Thomas are BY FAR the best judges on the bench. I would be VERY, VERY happy if we get judges that are even close to their caliber. I sincerely hope Thomas is the next Chief Justice.


    This article is absurd. I am sure their summaries of each case are fair, balanced, complete and objective. Yes, Thomas and Scalia support pollution and hate handicapped people...what a joke.

    4th - have you ever actually read some of these dissenting opinions? I urge you to read Thomas' dissent for the Michigan Law affirmative action case...it's a great read.

    BTW - what's wrong with opposing affirmative action and wanting to outlaw abortion? Racism, discrmination and murder are bad things, no? Only a racist wants people to be treated differently depending on the color of their skin and only criminals support premeditated murder.

  3. #3
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    Guess I am a racist criminal then. Another 4 more years of this...

  4. #4
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by 4th&Long[/i]@Oct 18 2004, 11:15 AM
    [b] Guess I am a racist criminal then. Another 4 more years of this... [/b][/quote]
    Kidding around about the racist criminal line, but similar charges are made at people like me all the time...I hate poor people, women, minorities, etc since I am a fiscal conservative who opposes abortion and affirmative action, and I think hate crime legislation is atrocious and unconstitutional. No one ever seems to challenege me on the substance of each issue...I am merely a hateful bigot. I gets tiresome reading articles about how hateful and evil and awful conservatives are. I am being truthful when I say that Scalia and Thomas are awesome. Clarence Thomas is a brilliant, brilliant man. We'd be LUCKY to get more like him and Scalia.....

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    As usual, someone who apparently doesn't understand how government works again trots out this impending disaster if [i]Roe[/i] were overturned. Look, no state is going to criminlize abortion. What will happen is that the abortion issue will be fought out in state legislatures,as was being done until the Court, by judicial fiat,decided to find a right to abortion in "emanations and penumbras" of a prior privacy case called [u]Griswold v. Connecticut[/u]. Griswold involved a pharmacy trying to sell condoms in Connecticut when it was technically illegal( but never enforced). Justice Brennan and others out of thin air found a "right to privacy" which is no where to be found in the Constitution. As the dissent in [i]Griswold[/i] said, the Connecticut law is silly, and should be changed by the legislature. But there is no such "privacy" right in the Constituion. ANd if courts are going to make things like that up, what's the point of having legislatures anyway?

    It can rightfully be stated that, were [i]Roe [/i]overturned, different states would employ different laws regarding abortion-as they do for speed limits, building codes, meat inspections, fuel standards, gun laws, etc. The state representatives would slug this out in the legislative process, which is the whole idea of representive government-interests working through the legisaltive process. But in 21st Century America, some people would rather just have judges do it all, and let legislatures waste time and money renaming streets and passing meaningless proclamations.

    Again, call us all bigots. It's easier than addressing the issue. And a great deal easier to get some judge to change things when you don't like them than to actually change laws the way the Founding Fathers intended. And because Scalia and Thomas respect those intentions, they're demonized, bu the substance of their positions is never refuted.

  6. #6
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Bugg[/i]@Oct 18 2004, 12:32 PM
    [b] As usual, someone who apparently doesn't understand how government works again trots out this impending disaster if [i]Roe[/i] were overturned. Look, no state is going to criminlize abortion. What will happen is that the abortion issue will be fought out in state legislatures,as was being done until the Court, by judicial fiat,decided to find a right to abortion in "emanations and penumbras" of a prior privacy case called [u]Griswold v. Connecticut[/u]. Griswold involved a pharmacy trying to sell condoms in Connecticut when it was technically illegal( but never enforced). Justice Brennan and others out of thin air found a "right to privacy" which is no where to be found in the Constitution. As the dissent in [i]Griswold[/i] said, the Connecticut law is silly, and should be changed by the legislature. But there is no such "privacy" right in the Constituion. ANd if courts are going to make things like that up, what's the point of having legislatures anyway?

    It can rightfully be stated that, were [i]Roe [/i]overturned, different states would employ different laws regarding abortion-as they do for speed limits, building codes, meat inspections, fuel standards, gun laws, etc. The state representatives would slug this out in the legislative process, which is the whole idea of representive government-interests working through the legisaltive process. But in 21st Century America, some people would rather just have judges do it all, and let legislatures waste time and money renaming streets and passing meaningless proclamations.

    Again, call us all bigots. It's easier than addressing the issue. And a great deal easier to get some judge to change things when you don't like them than to actually change laws the way the Founding Fathers intended. And because Scalia and Thomas respect those intentions, they're demonized, bu the substance of their positions is never refuted. [/b][/quote]
    Great post, as usual, Bugg.

  7. #7
    [quote][b]But there is no such "privacy" right in the Constituion.[/b][/quote]

    [color=red]Amendment IV

    The right of the people to [u]be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated[/u], and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.[/color]

    That sure sounds like a "Right to Privacy from Government" to me, but like all of these articles, it all comes down to interpritation. And I am sure, in this case, your interpritation will mirror your beliefs on this issue (as is common, just ask someone about the "Seperation of Chucrh and State" issues related to the various interpritations of Article 1).

    Don't get me wrong Bugg, I do not believe in Abortion personally, and I have no issue with it being made illegal by legislative means as an "extention of the definition of murder" and an "extention of the definintion of life", both of which would be required (i.e., the Congress or the States would have to legally define life as starting at some early developmental point (or even at conception) and would also have to legally define murder as the willful taking of life, either born or unborn).

    My issue is with your reading of the 4th amendment, not your stance against Abortion.

  8. #8
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    Fair point. But,in fact, the [i]Griswold[/i] dissent pointed that out-while the Founding Fathers made the point that people should be secure from unwarranted search and seizure in their possessions and effects in the 4th Amendment, they expressly did not lay out a specific right to personal privacy. And Brennan knew as much, which is why out of whole cloth he literally used the phrase "emanations and penumbras" in [i]Griswold[/i] to divine this invented right to personal privacy. And from that flowed the basis of [i]Roe[/i]. And once you start divining things that aren't there when it suits you, where do you stop?

    Again, I don't like abortion. But what should take place is a battle in state legislatures where our representaoive hash it out. And it's likely that my views in NY state would lose.

  9. #9
    [quote][b]Again, I don't like abortion. But what should take place is a battle in state legislatures where our representaoive hash it out. And it's likely that my views in NY state would lose. [/b][/quote]

    Good post Bugg. My only fear is a hodge-podge of differing state laws, with border crossings and midnight abortions becoming the norm.

    I prefer this one stay a National law, and set some logical and reasonable time-point during the pregnancy process to delineate as the "Drop-dead" point. All abortions before it are legal. All after it are murder. In all states in the Nation.

  10. #10
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Warfish[/i]@Oct 18 2004, 01:12 PM
    [b] [quote][b]Again, I don't like abortion. But what should take place is a battle in state legislatures where our representaoive hash it out. And it's likely that my views in NY state would lose. [/b][/quote]

    Good post Bugg. My only fear is a hodge-podge of differing state laws, with border crossings and midnight abortions becoming the norm.

    I prefer this one stay a National law, and set some logical and reasonable time-point during the pregnancy process to delineate as the "Drop-dead" point. All abortions before it are legal. All after it are murder. In all states in the Nation. [/b][/quote]
    Fisher, I'd go one further. I'd even pay higher taxes (!!!!!) in order to fund free pregnancy tests and abortions for every woman that wanted them, provided these abortions take place within the first 10 weeks of the pregnancy. (Truly, I'd like to say first 4weeks, but I am realistic, and know that would never pass). After 10 weeks, abortions are illegal.

    This way, no bleeding heart tool can complain about Betty Punchclock's inability to pay for her abortion or whining about not knowing she was pregnant until the deadline passed. Woman can have preggo tests whenever they want, free of charge. A positive would take 2 weeks to show up after conception, giving the woman almost two months afterwards during which she can arrange a free procedure. After 10 weeks, the window of opportunity has passed.

    This is preferrable to what we have now, but less preferrable to making it illegal outright, which is what I would prefer in a perfect world. Truthfully, I'd like for abortions to be limited to about 4 weeks. Aborting even at 10 weeks is atrocious, IMHO.

  11. #11
    5ever that's a logical plan however too liberal for your favorite justices Scalia and Thomas - they would argue that all abortion is wrong and it should be illegal.

    So much for your "favorite justices"

    if bush wins it will set the judicial branch of the gov't back 100 years. Thats how ignorant his nominees would be.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Oct 18 2004, 02:22 PM
    [b] 5ever that's a logical plan however too liberal for your favorite justices Scalia and Thomas - they would argue that all abortion is wrong and it should be illegal.

    So much for your "favorite justices"

    if bush wins it will set the judicial branch of the gov't back 100 years. Thats how ignorant his nominees would be. [/b][/quote]
    Bitonti, you misunderstand...I'd cheer loudly if abortion were made illegal outright. I simply offered what seems to me to be a rational compromise....


    Ignorant is a bizarre word to use to describe Scalia and Thomas. Why are they ignorant?

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by jets5ever[/i]@Oct 18 2004, 03:28 PM
    [b] Ignorant is a bizarre word to use to describe Scalia and Thomas. Why are they ignorant? [/b][/quote]
    Because Bitonti doesn't agree with them.

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