Saturday, November 13, 2004


One of the big issues that most Republican types hammered leading up to the election was the necessity of re-electing Bush in order to secure a "conservative" Supreme Court that will perform such duties as overturning Roe v. Wade. Not wishing to spoil the party, but how many Supreme Court Justices currently on the court were appointed by Republican Presidents? And somehow another couple of appointments is going to fix it? At any rate, Jeffrey Rosen raises the question of whether Bush can deliver a conservative Supreme Court?:
Mr. Bush repeated the pledge he made in the presidential debates: "I would pick people who would be strict constructionists."

Liberals fear that "strict constructionists" - those who believe the Constitution should be read literally - would ban affirmative action, resurrect school prayer, dismantle the regulatory state and overturn Roe v. Wade.

Now I suppose if a "strict constructionist" reads the Constitution "literally" the liberal would read it figuratively? It raises the interesting question of exactly what the framers or modern legislators need to do in order to get courts to recognize their intent. Of course, "intent" simply is a fallacious "strict constructionist" assumption, now isn't it?

But Rosen exposes the dirty secret that has was alluded to above (and on theosebes in the past):
By promising to appoint strict constructionists, Mr. Bush has embraced the mantra of every Republican president since Richard Nixon, who first made that promise in his 1968 campaign. Yet Republican presidents have largely failed in their efforts.

In the last 36 years, four Republican presidents have appointed all but two of the current nine justices.

But on the most contested social issues - abortion, affirmative action, school prayer and gay rights - the court has sided with liberals, while only modestly advancing the deregulatory agenda of the Republicans.

"If the goal of Republican presidents was to build a court that exercised its own power with greater restraint or adhered strictly to the original constitutional text, then they have clearly failed," said Thomas Keck, a political science professor at Syracuse University and author of "The Most Activist Supreme Court in History."

I think we have a winner.

Why do we think that Bush II is going to succeed where others have failed (assuming they legitimately had the goals we ascribe to them)? I think we need to recognize the courts hold little promise for those seeking to preserve Biblical and Constitutional principles in our society.

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