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View Diary: SCOTUS: Roberts Helped Pro-Gay Rights Coalition in Key Case (167 comments)

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  •  Roberts is another Anthony Kennedy? (none)
    I wouldn't go that far yet.  Let's see what happens at the hearings, and then we can get a better picture of what kind of Justice John Roberts may be.

    In addition, while a Supreme Court Justice who shares Justice Kennedy's ideology is considered an acceptable Republican nominee for Democrats to vote for, Justice Kennedy is a conservative, and no Democratic President would ever nominate him.  Justice Kennedy just has way too many conservative rulings -- for abortion access requirements making it nearly impossible for women to obtain abortions, against affirmative action, for three-strikes you're out even when the third strike is stealing three golf clubs (Ewing v. California), for a mandatory life sentence of a person whose first time offense was possession of more than 650 grams of cocaine (Harmelin v. Michigan), against allowing rape victims to sue their attackers in federal court (U.S. v. Morrison), against federal laws requiring states to make their courthouses disability accessible (Tennessee v. Lane), and for allowing the Ten Commandments to be displayed in courthouses and state governments.  These are just a handful of poor rulings Justice Kennedy has made.  They stick out in my mind, particularly the Lane case because George Lane was a severely disabled man who was required to crawl up two flights of stairs in order to see a court case.

    •  Well Said (none)
      The current "left" on the Supreme Court consists of centrists (Breyer, Souter, Stevens, and Ginsburg), the center consists of conservatives (Kennedy and the departing O'Connor), and the right consists of, well, the very far right (Rehnquist, and especially Thomas and Scalia).

      I think a lot of Democrats would be delighted with another Anthony Kennedy, and this speaks volumes not just about the reduced power of the Democrats in DC these days, but about what Dems are willing to demand from the federal judiciary.

      But this is very old news.  In 1993 and 1994, when White and Blackmun retired, there was very little  pressure on Clinton from his own party to nominate an actual progressive  (Justice Tribe, anyone?) to the Court. At least by his account, then ranking member Orrin Hatch had much to say about these selections, despite the fact that Democrats had a majority in the Senate when Clinton made his two SCOTUS appointments.

      Of course, this is all indicative of larger truths about the contemporary Democratic Party: a centrist party is going to be satisfied with centrists when they have the power to nominate, and will settle for less nutty conservatives when they don't.

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      by GreenSooner on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 01:33:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wouldn't call ... (none)
        Breyer, Souter, Stevens, or Ginsburg centrists -- just not liberal like Justice Brennan or Justice Marshall.  No Republican president would ever nominate Justice Breyer or Justice Ginsburg, but both would be within the range of presidential deference for Supreme Court Justices for Republicans.  The four "centrist" justices you mentioned are slightly left-of-center, although much, much closer to the center than to Justice Brennan or Justice Marshall.
        •  I concur (none)
          I would say that Ginsburg and Stevens are a bit to the left of Breyer and Souter (Breyer being perhaps the most centrist-leaning of the "liberal" bunch).

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