Letters to the Editor

Court support

May 1, 2012

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To the editor:

During a heated discussion last week with friends who worried about future U.S. Supreme Court decisions that may favor support or harm to Obama-promoted laws, I was disturbed by the vitriolic criticism of the court itself.

“They favored Bush in the Florida election fiasco,” said one. “Some are too old to be on the bench,” said another. “The judges should have limited terms of seven to 10 years,” said yet another. “Poppycock,” said I.

Those persons selected by the president as his choice to sit on the court must undergo a rigorous examination of their character, past decisions and comments to a congressional panel. None of the congresspeople had their character or ability so closely checked before they were elected.

Supreme Court justices are free from outside pressure. They cannot be fired or voted out of office. Even their law clerks were selected as outstanding law school graduates. So that court building is filled with experts on the Constitution and U.S. laws. Let’s support it.

Comments

Katara 2 years, 12 months ago

"Balderdash," said I.

"Absolute horsefeathers," said I.

"Unmitigated hogwash," said I.

"What a bunch of hooey," said I.

"Tommyrot," said I.

"What a load of old cobblers," said I.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 12 months ago

After 50+ years of rulings from a Supreme Court dominated by liberals, some appointed by Republican presidents, the Court occasionally began to take a different turn during the 1990s. Having grown quite used to a Supreme Court that had become expected to do their bidding, the American Left cannot now abide that shift. The petty, uneducated complaints about the Court that one hears today are made by selfish leftists who never complained at all when the Court consistently "interpreted" the Constitution to favor positions taken by the liberal establishment for over half a century of our Country's history.

grammaddy 2 years, 12 months ago

No tcompletely true. The problem I have with the SCOTUS has to do with Justice ClarenceThomas. A former attorney for Monsanto who is now using his influence to find in favor for all Monsanto does or his extremely close ties to Citizens United and the idea that he could forget to include his wife's income on his taxes for years..

cato_the_elder 2 years, 12 months ago

Not completely true. You don't like Clarence Thomas because he's a principled conservative who has dared to throw away his chains and step off of the liberal Democrat plantation.

grammaddy 2 years, 12 months ago

Not even close.Principled conservative? Oxymoron.

jonas_opines 2 years, 12 months ago

If you think only the left is capable of idiotic, knee-jerk responses, then I think you're not reading carefully enough.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 12 months ago

Grammaddy I am not familiar with a case that Thomas ruled in Monsantos favor while on the Supreme Court. Can you provide more info?

JayhawksandHerd 2 years, 12 months ago

From Wikipedia:

“Justice Clarence Thomas worked as an attorney for Monsanto in the 1970s. Thomas wrote the majority opinion in the 2001 Supreme Court decision J. E. M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. which found that "newly developed plant breeds are patentable under the general utility patent laws of the United States." This case benefitted (sic) all companies which profit from genetically modified crops, of which Monsanto is the largest”

Really, a quick Google search should yield plenty of info. Also, I would recommend watching "Food, Inc." as well as reading the books by Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 12 months ago

The Consumer of Canines in Chief thinks the separation of powers is a total waste of time.

jafs 2 years, 12 months ago

Unfortunately, it's not that hard for SC nominees to be confirmed.

All they have to do is say a lot of vague, uncommitted things like "I'll review each case on it's merits", "I can't comment on anything that might come before the Court", "I have great respect for the Constitution, and for precedent".

Then, once confirmed, since they can't be "fired", they can act in ways contrary to what they've said during the confirmation hearings.

The independence has a downside, which is the lack of any sort of mechanism to ensure that they will in fact act according to what they've said to get confirmed, which made folks vote to confirm them.

And, even granting that they are well educated intelligent people, when we often have 5-4 decisions, that says to me that there are serious differences of views on these issues, even among such people.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 12 months ago

" So that court building is filled with experts on the Constitution and U.S. laws."

You mean like Clarence Thomas, who has never asked a single question in his entire tenure?

nativeson 2 years, 12 months ago

It is always tempting to point to the SCOTUS and isolate individuals and their perceived political bias. The fact is that they have been and will always be unpredictable. The Warren court has been touted as the most active for "progressive" causes. Ironcially, Earl Warren was Attorney General of California during the time of the Japanese interment camps. He was also Governor of California prior to his service on the court. You don't think he had any political influences going into the job?

The court will always ebb and flow based on political appointment and the general mood of the country regardless of their so-called freedom from outside pressure. It would appear the the Affordable Care Act will be modified by the SCOTUS. The general mood of the country is that it is not in favor of a mandate, and I imagive the court will reflect that opinion in one way or another.

Eileen Jones 2 years, 12 months ago

The Supreme Court justices should not be accepting influence from the likes of the Koch brothers, who entertained several of them in Palm Springs.

Politically neutral? I don't think so. The only problem is, only the top tenth of the top 1% have access to the Supreme Court.

And what about some of their wives who are hugely involved in ultra-right-wing causes? Working for Dick Armey and the like? They don't even pretend to be politically neutral.

The reason the cushy and well-paid position is for life, is so they won't feel it necessary to accept influence. I guess the Founding Fathers did not anticipate the unmitigated greed some of them harbor.

appleaday 2 years, 12 months ago

Soros is about the only name you can come up with. The facts show that Repulican campaigns are financed more by large money donors (57%), while Democrat campaigns depend on donors giving less than $200 (53%). That means more people, which, in the voting booth, means more actual votes.

http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/campaign-finance

Matthew Herbert 2 years, 12 months ago

the state of Kansas Supreme Court, with their mandated retirement at 70, offers perhaps a different perspective in the way things COULD be done at the national level.

George_Braziller 2 years, 12 months ago

I lost all respect for Art when he attempted to "poppycock" me once when we were supposedly just meeting to have lunch.

JayhawksandHerd 2 years, 12 months ago

"...our justices should be exempt from political pandering..."

Justice Thomas's wife would do well to heed that advice:

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/14/nation/la-na-thomas14-2010mar14

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