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View Diary: SCOTUS: Actually, We've Already Won (350 comments)

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  •  Until further review (4.00)
     I'm calling this one a pure blunder by the White House.

     He's exactly the sort of judge Reagan would have selected - conservative and 'mildly' pro-religion. (Which means to me having a religious slant, but not to the detriment of his legal rulings.) Despite all the Kool-Aid buzz over there, this is NOT what the Dobsonites wanted. They are working themselves into believing it's what they wanted, but this isn't Roy Moore in a clown suit.

     Once again, the religious right has worked itself into denying what the reality-based community should be admitting: This is a win for us. Remember, they could have nominated anyone - the mere fact that Bush went as centrist as he dared shows that the emperor has no clothes and no political capital, and that Frist has no way to hold the Senate together.

    I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

    by Anderson Republican on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:44:31 AM PDT

    •  I think you're right (4.00)
      With Bush's poll numbers sliding, and moderate Republicans probably starting to do the distance dance from him in preparation for 2006, Frist may have already seen that he didn't have the numbers to get one of the more nutbar judges confirmed.

      I'm no Pollyanna, but 2005 has so far turned out better than I had hoped: Schiavo debacle, Social Security privatization dead in the water, possible looming indictments (over a national security issue, no less), approval numbers near 40.

    •  i don't know. Religious ceremonies (none)
      in High Schools is a bit much when it comes to Church and State. I have nothing against prayers and invocations, but a ceremony?

      "If cows and horses had hands, they would depict their gods as cows and horses." Xenophanes

      by upstate NY on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:02:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Believe it or not, (none)
         I read the brief, if I'm pointing to the correct case.

         

        Moreover, we agree that Establishment Clause concerns are triggered
        not only by coercion in the form of direct, legal compulsion, but also
        in the form of more indirect social coercion.  For instance, we
        recognize that the special character of the public school setting has
        heightened this Court's sensitivity to subtle forms of coercion.  See,
        e.g., Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 430-431 (1962).  We do not
        believe, however, that graduation ceremonies pose a risk of coercion.
        Such ceremonies typically occur but once a year.  They are addressed
        not to children alone but to families as a whole which are, as the
        Stein court noted, a natural bulwark against any coercion.  Indeed,
        children in the family setting may hear similar invocations and
        benedictions at inaugurals and other public ceremonies.  In short,
        whatever special concerns about subtle coercion may be present in the
        classroom setting -- where inculcation is the name of the game -- they
        do not carry over into the commencement setting, which is more
        properly understood as a civic ceremony than part of the educational
        mission.

           We also recognize that modern government, for better or worse, has
        a far more substantial presence in the daily lives of its citizens
        than did the government of 1789, and thus may be capable of creating a
        pervasive atmosphere of conformity without resort to direct legal
        compulsion.  Accordingly, Establishment Clause jurisprudence must
        remain sensitive to the manner in which new forms of governmental
        power could lead to indirect coercion.

           Viewed in the framework we would urge this Court to adopt, the
        practice at issue here clearly does not violate the Establishment
        Clause, because it does not coerce religious exercise or bring to bear
        other forms of compulsion to conform.  Indeed, Rabbi Gutterman's
        invocation and benediction, with their reference to God, do not
        directly or indirectly compel nonadherents to change their beliefs,
        but merely respect the religious heritage of the community.

           We do not mean to suggest that the foregoing approach to
        Establishment Clause cases will necessarily make the requisite inquiry
        less difficult;  what we do believe is that it will better ensure that
        the "complicated process of constitutional adjudication" is not
        reduced to "a deceptive formula." Kovacs v. Cooper, 336 U.S. 77, 96
        (1949) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).

         That is not the message of a Thomas, to me. (Bolded parts are mine)

         Link, I think

        I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

        by Anderson Republican on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:21:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am still very squeamish about the defense (none)
          of religious ceremonies at a graduation. How long is the graduation going to go if we have a Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Shinto, Christian ceremony?

          "If cows and horses had hands, they would depict their gods as cows and horses." Xenophanes

          by upstate NY on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:32:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You could make it more nondenominational (none)
             And most school boards would probably do that.

             To my mind, it's much the same as saying, 'So help me God' at the end of an oath like an oath of office. Does that disbar Muslims or Buddhists from holding office? No. More than likely they'd do what most folks of other religions would do: Say "God" but substitute "(insert god here)" in their minds.

            I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

            by Anderson Republican on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:36:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "So help me God" (none)
              is not in the oath of office.  It is merely a tradition for the oath-taker to say it after the oath.  Completely unaffected by the Establishment Clause.

              "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

              by Shygetz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:43:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I wrote above that I wouldn't be (none)
              against a religious invocation, even if it were a singular priest or reverend from a single religion. I object to the use of the word "ceremony." That implies something a lot more involved than an invocation.

              "If cows and horses had hands, they would depict their gods as cows and horses." Xenophanes

              by upstate NY on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:05:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  'When I use a word,' (none)
                'it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'

                 A word's a word. And sometimes they're used incorrectly. But looking at this case and his ruling, I'm not seeing a Dobsonite judge. Which is why I call this a mistake for Bush - once people get the briefs digested, he will be confirmed fairly easily (assuming he doesn't choke at the grilling), and the focus will be right back on the scandals - which have more time to develop now that there is the pause in the nomination process.

                 Bush bought a few days off of Rove with a subpar (for his base) nominee. That's a bad deal for him, a great deal for us.

                I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

                by Anderson Republican on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:16:23 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  And this is what keeps me positive... (none)
          this guy is smart as hell, and he is NO Thomas. When the Democrats are in so many ways outgunned, "it coulda been worse" is good news indeed.

          I'd like the Democrats to keep their powder dry for Rove, Cheney and the next SCOTUS round.

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