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Slightly OT: Rehnquist dead at 80.


Nic Martin
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Unfortunately the shrubya et al will probably try and force Scalia on America as the new Chief. After all, he's Cheney's pal. At such time the Supreme Court will officially be the anti-Warren Court, and try to overturn every ruling of the last 50 years. Ironically, long after Dubya has been flushed back home, Scalia (George) and Thomas (Lenny) will be wandering the back roads of American justice. (A reference to Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. I like the image of Thomas playing Lenny, trying to pet them rabbits.)

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Pat wrote:

At such time the Supreme Court will officially be the anti-Warren Court, and try to overturn every ruling of the last 50 years.

Methinks he exaggerates.

There are certainly some decisions that are more than worthy of reconsideration however.

Query how many members have heard of the concept of stare decisis? It essentially means "the thing has been decided" and it means that a court is inclined to preserve a decision which has been "on the books" for a fairly long period of time even if the court thinks it would have decided the matter differently if receiving the case "fresh". Part of the rationale for the rule is that people or companies have been relying on the previous decision. A second rationale is that respect for the court will be diminished if it is constantly reversing itself.

So, Pat, do not expect that the Roberts court will necessarily rush to reverse every wrongly-decided case in the last fifty years.

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I guess I haven't followed this is as closely as I should. (Too busy reading Dershowitz's thrashing of Rehnquist, I guess.) Have they announced that Roberts will be chief once confirmed? If so, then I think they oughta make available every bit of his work for previous administrations. To do anything less would be to engage in deliberate deception.

Edited by Pat Speer
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I guess I haven't followed this is as closely as I should. (Too busy reading Dershowitz's thrashing of Rehnquist, I guess.) Have they announced that Roberts will be chief once confirmed?  If so, then I think they oughta make available every bit of his work for previous administrations.  To do anything less would be to engage in deliberate deceptive.

Bush has nominated him, but it hasn't been announced that it's officially "approved." Several Democrats in the Senate now plan to fight harder for the release of documents, including Ted Kennedy.

Edited by Nic Martin
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Nic wrote:

Bush has nominated him, but it hasn't been announced that it's officially "approved."

No idea what this means. "Approved"? Bush has now nominated Roberts for Chief Justice. It is my understanding (and I could be wrong) that the title goes with the seat so Roberts is now nominated as Rehnquist's successor.

That means he will now have to nominate someone for O'Connor's seat.

Since O'Connor's vote was considered a "swing" vote and Roberts was adjudged to be more consistently conservative, if he had replaced O'Connor it would have been a shift in the right direction for the court. Now, of course, a solid conservative vote is being replaced with a vote predicted anyway to be as consistently conservative so there would be no change in the court's politics.

It will then depend on who POTUS designates to be O'Connor's successor. But my money is on someone who is also reliably conservative.

Nixon, Ford, and Bush I all appointed justices some of whom anyway participated in some pretty flaky opinions. And Eisenhower, of course, nominated Earl Warren. So if Bush selects two reliably conservative justices who will have accomplished what no other Republican has been able to do in over fifty years.

The Democrats can forget the document search. Maybe they can make some political "hay" over some document or another but unless they discover a signed confession by Roberts that he shot at JFK from the grassy knoll, there is no way they will be able to block his confirmation. And I think he was not old enough to have been in Dealey Plaza anyway.

But Pat need not fear. The Roberts court will not reverse all the decisions of the Warren and Burger courts. Two-thirds, maybe . . .

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Nic wrote:

Bush has nominated him, but it hasn't been announced that it's officially "approved."

No idea what this means.  "Approved"?

As I'm sure you know, nothing the President says automatically becomes so with a nose wiggle. The Senate is there for a reason. As the Senate hadn't yet confirmed Roberts as a replacement for O'Connor, there's no reason to think they'd be any less eager for details about Roberts' history when appointing him as the highest judge in the land.

You'll have to wait until the Confirmation hearings, like everyone else, before you can say he made it.

Edited by Nic Martin
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