A Progressive Theo-Political Blog Bringing You The Best and Worst of Baptist Life.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

O'Connor Shocks The World - Well, Kinda

Check out the breaking news! Justice O'Connor resigns!

Jeez. What does this mean for the court? Will Bush consult both Democratic and Republican Senators before picking a nominee? Will he replace O'Connor with another female Justice? Wishful thinking I guess. Divisive George consulting with Democrats? Ha.

People For The American Way (PFAW) lays out what's exactly at stake below:

What’s At Stake? Because the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of the meaning of the U.S. Constitution, it possesses tremendous power. The current Supreme Court is closely divided on fundamental constitutional issues, with many of the most important cases in recent years being decided by one or two votes. If President Bush were permitted to create a far-right majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, many of the legal and social justice gains of the past seven decades would be overturned and rolled back. Rights and legal protections that Americans fought hard to secure would be dismantled, and a return to a pre-New Deal approach to the Constitution could prevent future Congresses and Presidents from enacting progressive legislation for decades to come.

A Scalia-Thomas majority could cement a disastrous far-right judicial philosophy for decades to come.President Bush has suggested that his models for future appointments are Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who are eager to overturn Roe v. Wade and its recognition of a constitutional right to privacy. But this is not just about privacy and reproductive choice. This is also about radically restricting the Voting Rights Act. It is about stripping Congress of the constitutional authority to protect Americans’ drinking water and other environmental resources. It is about dismantling protections against religious coercion by government officials. It is about eliminating remedies for Americans victimized by abusive employers, corporations, or government agencies. It is about rolling back basic legal equality for gay and lesbian Americans.

This is not merely political rhetoric – it is straightforward analysis of the written opinions of Justices Scalia and Thomas. It reflects the legal philosophy and goals of the so-called “federalist” movement – the right-wing legal movement that is pushing to bring back a pre-New Deal interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. The goals of the far right are within reach with just one or two more justices in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. A Scalia-Thomas majority could cement a disastrous far-right judicial philosophy for decades to come.

According to PFAW, another Scalia on the court would be disasterous for Church-State issues. I want to hear from the Baptist Joint Committee and Americans United soon!

Click Here for an overview on what's at stake - issue by issue.

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