October 10, 2008
Closing the First Week of the SCOTUS Term
Opening week of the SCOTUS term isn't as interesting and as the final week when the Court issues its last batch of decisions just before taking the summer off. So it took awhile to find something to close the first week of this term.
President Bush discussed his judicial accomplishments and philosophy this week, lamenting about the failure of the Supreme Court to deny human beings due process and to subscribe to his concept of the Rule of Law,
Not By Men in these words:
We saw the power of judges in Boumediene v. Bush. There, a 5-4 majority rejected the carefully crafted procedures Congress established for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay in response to a prior Supreme Court decision. And for the first time, the Court awarded foreign terrorists held overseas legal rights previously reserved for American citizens.
Looking to the future this week, the Wall Street Journal published articles trying to discern what sort of candidates presidential contenders Barack Obama and John McCain will nominate to the Bench. Unfortunately neither article is based on interviews with the candidates and relies solely on insider comments and quotes from old speeches.
"I appreciate the temptation on the part of Justice Scalia...to assume" that if the 18th century text is followed "without question or deviation...all good will flow," Sen. Obama writes in his book, "The Audacity of Hope." "Ultimately, though, I have to side with Justice Breyer's view of the Constitution -- that it is not a static but rather a living document."
In judicial nominations, Sen. McCain is likely to rely on advice from the Republican legal establishment, which has helped pull the court firmly to the right in recent years. Backers say that as president, Sen. McCain would use his "gut instinct" to make the final cut among qualified candidates.
In response to conservative criticism, Sen. McCain pledged to appoint only judges with demonstrated fealty to conservative doctrine.
Sen. McCain pledged he would "restore humility" to the judiciary with nominees like Justices Roberts and Alito and the late chief justice William Rehnquist.
October 10, 2008 | Permalink
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