Day: June 29, 2010

Republican Senators Attack Thurgood Marshall’s Judicial Philosophy! :(

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has handled herself well today, her first full day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee!

But it is obvious that Republican Senators are out to condemn the judicial philosophy and reputation of the first African American to serve on the Court, Thurgood Marshall, appointed by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967, and serving until his retirement in 1991! ๐Ÿ™

Kagan served as a law clerk under Marshall, and reveres him in an appropriate way! But, of course, conservatives hate him, as he was the lawyer in the Brown V. Board of Education case in 1954, and was an unabashed liberal on the Supreme Court! His goal was to care about the average American, not just the rich and powerful, which unfortunately is who the Republicans care about when it comes to the law! ๐Ÿ™

To Republicans, “activist” conservatives such as the four on the Court now, are just fine and, of course, are NOT “activist”! ๐Ÿ™

But god forbid to have “activist” liberals such as Marshall, or William Brennan, or Earl Warren, or Harry Blackmun, or Louis Brandeis on the Court, because they might actually shape the Court to do what is best for the people, rather than the corporations that this conservative Court so adores! ๐Ÿ™

As the New Republic declared today, the Supreme Court desperately needs a Louis Brandeis to shape the future of constitutional law!

The question is whether Elena Kagan has the potential to do that, and how the future of the Court might be affected by an activist in the mold of Thurgood Marshall or Louis Brandeis! It seems possible that she could, indeed, fill that role! But of course, there is no way to forecast the future, but we can hope for the best!

Rapid Rail System Needed For Economic Growth And To Get Off Oil Obsession!

America is in deep trouble economically, and the unemployment rate is not expected to improve anytime soon! ๐Ÿ™

America is in desperate need of creation of employment producing something, and the ideal thing to do is develop a nationwide rapid rail system to promote economic growth and get the country off its oil obsession!

During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln continued to promote the development of the Transcontinental Railroad, which changed the whole economy of the country for the long run!

Dwight D. Eisenhower became the promoter of the greatest public works project in history, when he advocated the Interstate Highway system, which led to the greatest economic expansion in American history, in the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s!

An updated transportation system that could move people rapidly and with convenience and less cost than automobile driving would revolutionize the country’s economy long run, and make the country less dependent on foreign oil and domestic oil drilling!

President Obama needs to promote this rail system as part and parcel of the economic growth that would revive the American economy sooner, rather than later!

The Supreme Court And Gun Rights: An Activist Conservative Court! :(

The Supreme Court yesterday, in its final day of decisions before the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens, dealt a blow to sanity by extending gun rights beyond the Washington DC case of two years ago to Chicago, and by implication, to other big cities where gun violence is widespread and frequent!

The National Rifle Association hailed the ruling as a winner for gun owners, but it is actually a victory for more extensive death by gun fire than it is a victory for individual rights to own a gun! ๐Ÿ™

This activist conservative Supreme Court has distorted the meaning of the Second Amendment which was meant to cover militias in the states, not the right of citizens to own an unlimited number of handguns, leading now to over 275 million handguns in private hands!

With the growing diversity of our population, and the tensions that grow between people based on race, ethnicity and religion, gun violence will grow! ๐Ÿ™

One of the biggest groups that will suffer from this are the youth of America in the cities, with Chicago an excellent example of the dangers of being minority youth in that city, with 258 shot last year, and 32 dying! ๐Ÿ™

Chief Justice John Roberts led the traditional 5-4 majority, including Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Anthony Kennedy. It is ironic that Roberts, in his confirmation hearings five years ago, talked about a Justice being an “umpire” calling balls and strikes, rather than hitting or pitching, and yet this Court has become the most activist in a conservative direction since the 1920s and early 1930s! They are doing extremist things, of the kind that if activist liberals did so, the Republicans in the Senate would condemn them!

Conservatives love to talk against activism on the Court, but it is conservative activism that is harming democracy and stability in this nation!

This is important to consider as the Republicans set out to attack nominee Elena Kagan as too activist! If Kagan’s record is called activist, then we need more of that to balance off the extremists in charge of the Supreme Court in a very difficult economic time, too reminiscent of the Great Depression! ๐Ÿ™