Friday, July 01, 2005

BBC NEWS | Americas | US Supreme Court justice resigns

*Fuel to the fire*

Sandra Day O'Connor is to retire, paving the way for Bush to appoint (subject to Senate approval) a (presumable Conservative) US Supreme Court Judge.

Can anyone say Culture War? I wonder how the bipartisan bill on judicial nomination and filibuster will hold up. If you thought that the recent judicial nomination battles were bad, then consider the fact that they were mostly Circuit Court judges, important in the sense that they handle 90% of the case work but regardless, the important battles will always be in the Supreme Court.

I've got to admit though, that a Conservative (in terms of interpretating the Constitution) may not ALWAYS be so bad a thing. In the recent US Supreme Court battle on medial marijuanna, it was the two of the most Conservative members (plus Justice Day) who dissented in favour of allowing medical marijuanne. The majority were of the opinion that it affected inter-state commerce.

However, the real fear still exists that they might overturn things like Roe v. Wade (again not bad thing IF it becomes legalised via legislation) or AA (also not necessary bad, considering that it can be used to cap the number of Asians in University or in certain cases, privillage those in power demanding 'equality'). What would be really bad I think is if the separation between Church and State is relaxed thereby advantaging fundamentalist (rightist) protestants over the other religions.

But more fundamental to that is if the court starts follow 'strict Constitutionalist' like Justice Scalia and decline to see the Constitution as a set of guiding principles rather than a document set in stone and resistant to interpretation. The roll back could be tremendous and further polarise the nation.



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