Judicial Activism

Supreme Court Bitterly Divided Over Possible Curbing Of Voting Rights Act: A Repeat Of The Compromise Of 1877 Abandonment Of African Americans!

It is clear that the Supreme Court is bitterly divided over the Voting Rights Act, which is hanging in the balance after the oral arguments this week, with Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan strongly challenging Justice Antonin Scalia, who said the act was a “racial entitlement”, which demonstrates that Scalia has no understanding of the history of the denial of voting rights, and the need to continue to monitor what those states that have discriminated are now doing.

The Republican Party abandoned African Americans on this day in 1877, when they agreed to the Compromise of 1877, making their candidate for President, Rutherford B. Hayes President, despite the clear cut lead of Democrat Samuel Tilden in popular votes. Part of the deal was for the GOP to stop being the party that had advanced civil rights through two laws during Reconstruction, the creation of the Freedmen’s Bureau, and the passage of three amendments to the Constitution.

The southern states went ahead and continued a policy of discrimination for the next ninety years on voting, and imposing Jim Crow segregation, and the GOP, the majority party until 1932, did nothing about it, due to the deal set up in the Compromise of 1877.

After ninety years, finally, voting rights, supposedly guaranteed under the 15th Amendment, but not enforced, were restored under the Voting Rights Act, but not before civil rights marchers were beaten up, such as Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, and others slaughtered in the name of promoting civil rights in the South.

But along comes Antonin Scalia, who conveniently forgets that even Jews, and also Italians such as himself, were lynched in the South in the near century in which African Americans were denied their basic rights, including voting.

And he wants the Court to become “activist”, when that is precisely what conservatives claim they hate about the Supreme Court. And so therefore, to hell with the overwhelming vote of the Congress to extend the Voting Rights act in 2006, and let’s wipe out all progress and return us to the states “deciding” if any group can vote, instead of “guaranteeing” the right to vote, the basic element of democracy!

So just as the Compromise of 1877 brought us a President who had NOT won the popular vote, and followed through on taking the GOP out of its civil rights activism, so now, two appointments of another President, George W. Bush, not elected by popular vote, and instead put in by a partisan Republican Court including Scalia, shall repeat history and deny Africans Americans the guarantee of the right to vote granted in the 15th Amendment in 1870!

Newt Gingrich’s Attack On Activist Judges: Hypocrisy, Since Only Against Progressive “Activists” But NOT Conservative “Activists”!

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is already showing signs of decline from his “surge” two weeks ago!

Not soon enough, as Gingrich is declaring “war” on “activist” judges, but is totally hypocritical in that he is only attacking “progressive” activists, and not “conservative” activists!

He would wish for a court system which was one sided, only promoting conservative advocacy, and setting America back to the 19th century Gilded Age!

He claims to know history, since he has a History Ph.D. from Tulane University in European History, but he boasts too much of his knowledge about American History and the American Constitution!

If it was up to Gingrich, he would wipe out Warren and Burger Court decisions that have transformed this country politically and socially, and really would wish to wipe out the “judicial review” established by the Supreme Court under John Marshall in the early 19th century!

To claim that only “progressives” are activists is totally ridiculous, as ALL Justices are “activist” in different ways, as they are INTERPRETING the Constitution, which is meant to be a “living” document, adaptable to changing times!

Just one example of conservative “activism” on the Supreme Court is Bush V Gore, where the conservative majority Court in 2000 decided to intervene, stop the ballot recount in Florida, and decided the Presidential Election Of 2000. What gave them the right to do that? And look at what it led to, eight years of foreign and domestic disasters that will reverberate for many generations on our nation!

So Gingrich, as usual, is acting as a demagogue, also demonstrated by his demand that lower federal court judges be required to explain their decisions to the Congress in committees, or be arrested! What a revolutionary, radical grab of power such a requirement would be!

Senator Arlen Specter’s Farewell Speech: Condemnation Of Chief Justice John Roberts And Associate Justice Samuel Alito On Judicial Activism, And Of Right Wing Republicans! :(

Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania is retiring after a distinguished 30 year career, plus having served in local government, and on the staff of the Warren Commission investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy almost a half century ago.

Specter, often seen as a difficult man to work with, and possessing a large ego, lost his Senate nomination race to Joe Sestak after switching back to the Democratic Party that he had long ago been a member of, until he converted for a long time to the Republican Party.

Specter was head of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the hearings for the nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito, and today he denounced both Justices for violating their testimony during the hearings, which indicated they believed in precedent (stare decisis), but then proceeding to use judicial activism and violating the separation of powers doctrine, particularly in the Citizens United Case in January of this year, allowing unlimited spending by corporations after nearly a century of strict regulation by Congress of such actions.

So Specter joined the criticism of President Obama, enunciated by the President in his State of the Union Address, which annoyed both Roberts and Alito, with Roberts making a clearcut statement of dissent, amid hints that neither Justice might attend future State of the Union Addresses, which if actually done, would be highly inappropriate.

Specter also condemned right wing Republicans such as Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who worked against moderate Republicans in a number of states, causing the loss of seats for the party.

One thing about Specter–he does not worry what others think of him, and his leaving Congress will make it a less interesting and principled place for sure!