Is the War for the Court Lost?

Tom Goldstein writes at the indispensible SCOTUSblog that the war for control of the Supreme Court is over, and the right has prevailed.

The fact that Justices' Ginsburg and Stevens dissented from the bench in three cases - twice in late-May and early-June after all the votes had been cast - strongly suggests an exceptionally high level of frustration on the left. (Neither does such a thing lightly.) It seems entirely possible that the remaining cases involving, for example, challenges to public funding of programs with religious components (Hein), search and seizure (Brendlin), and the environment (Defenders of Wildlife) all will be decided five-to-four, with Justice Kennedy siding with the conservatives.

If that happens -- and I think it is likely that it (or something close to it) will -- the President will have gotten with his appointments precisely the Court he sought and that liberals feared. We can already count on conservative rulings on race, abortion, campaign finance, and the death penalty, and may be able to add to that religion, the Fourth Amendment, and the environment. It would be a memorable Term indeed.

Tags: Conservatives, law, SCOTUS, Supreme Court (all tags)


1 Comment

Re: Is the War for the Court Lost?

After working at inner city polling precincts in Orlando on election day in 2004, I remember riding home on a bus in tears while listening to results.  I was so hurt and bitterly angry that so many people in this country would be stupid enough to re-elect Bush.  

I wrote in my diary that I hoped this country would get exactly what it paid for that night: the appointment of enough Scalia clones to pitch the Court so far to the right that this country would feel the pain of its reckless decision for decades to come.  The War in Iraq has certainly marred our young people and our treasury, but the Roberts Court will fundamentally change the political and social structure of this country.  Imagine: very narrow access to the federal courts, very limited protection of civil rights vis a vis the states, an executive authority mushroomed into a tyranny.  Barring an opening among the conservatives on the Court, these things are a fait accompli.  Pray to dear heaven for Justice Steven's health.

But there is hope.  The conservatives built their unnatural strength among vast swathes of uneducated and lower income Americans because of their opposition to the Warren Court and its remnants.  Now it is our turn.  The Roberts Court will be a rather cruel reminder to the people of this country that "elections have consequences" (McCain), and in a rather perverse way, the conservative desire to leave more issues to the democratic process could be the key to our electoral success.  

by Lassallean 2007-06-14 06:33AM | 0 recs


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