Casualty of Capitalism

Exiled into Wilmington, Delaware by virtue of corporate layoffs. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2005, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

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Location: Wilmington, Delaware, United States

Graduate of University of Maryland School of Law; University of Maryland, College Park (Economics/Political Science).

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Liberals' Last Stand

We have a two term Republican president. We've had a long run of elected Republican majorities in the House and Senate (I say "elected" because the most recent Democratically controlled Senate was accomplished by virtue of Republican Jim Jeffords switching to Independent during a 50-50 Senate...tie breaking vote to the Republican Vice President...at the behest of Democratic leaders shortly after the voters of his state voted him into office as a Republican).

Now, take a look at this diagram and see how out of step the Supreme Court is with popular opinion, as demonstrated by voters nationwide. Don't see the connection? On the far right of the graph are the court's two most liberal members: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer. Out of the most important twelve opinions issued by the court this term, Ginsburg was in the majority eleven times, and Breyer 10. Contrast that to Justice Clarence Thomas, perhaps the court's most conservative member, who joined the majority only six times. Excluding the unamimous opinions, you have RBG and SB at 9/10 and 8/10, respectively, and CT at 4/10. The court's other champions of conservativism, Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Antonin Scalia, clock in at 4/10 and 6/10 in majority opinions.

How is that in today's more conservative society, the court's most liberal members, including a former official of the ACLU (RBG), are the final word on the Constitutional issues of the day? Want to know why the Democrats compromised on the filibuster and reserved the right to filibuster any Supreme Court nominee President Bush offers for their consideration? Well here it is. The last bastion of liberalism is the body that has the last word on our laws (and increasingly our "consensus" on social values).

Rumor has it that the Chief Justice and/or moderate conservative Justice Sandra Day O'Connor may announce their retirement(s) at any time. For those conservative and conservative leaning voters who put our legislative and executive branches into power, the upcoming confirmation battles promise to be an important step in consolidating that power throughout government. Expect the Democrats to defend a left-leaning, unelected court like the Alamo.

The fireworks this year could actually begin after the 4th of July.

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