Thursday, January 12, 2006

Sounds about right

From SCOTUSblog's liveblogging:
12:37 Schumer sums up: he remains disturbed by Alitos record and judicial philosphy. The record seems to show a tendancy to side with executive power, those with economic power instead of the little guy, etc. And his answers were unilluminating and, therefore, he has to assume that Alito maintains these views. Makes it very hard to vote for him. But thanks for coming and answering the questions.
This is what I've been saying, what his colleagues say, and what surveys of the totality of his work indicate.

On a tangent, I want to say something about the politicization of the Supreme Court.

The idea that it started with Roe v. Wade is absurd. There were a host of establishment clause cases preceding that ruling (prayer in school, banning evolution, etc.). There was Roosevelt's famous attempt to pack the court. The Supreme Court was a battleground in the pre-Civil War slavery detente. Battles over a national bank reached the Court within decades of the Nation's founding, and that same issue created the first parties.

In that 1819 case, McCulloch v. Maryland, invoked "implied powers," a term with some semantic similarities to "emanations" and "penumbras" around rights.

The political aspect of the Court originated not in Roe v. Wade, but in Marbury v. Madison, a case which established the power of the Court to overturn duly passed legislation. That was 1803, a mere 14 years after the Constitution took effect.

Maybe the Senate's oversight has always been a meaningless bout of shadow-boxing, but I'm inclined to doubt it.

For god's sake, does an innocent person have a constitutional right not to be executed or not?

I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself” by The White Stripes from the album Elephant (2003, 2:46).