Saturday, April 10, 2010

Justice JP Stevens retires


"""Historically, Stevens may well be best remembered for his passionate dissent to the Supreme Court’s December 2000 ruling which blocked the counting of Florida votes and stole the presidential election for George W. Bush. After lambasting the majority for siding with Bush’s “assault on the Florida election procedures,” Stevens wrote, “Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.”

On January 21 this year, a clearly agitated Stevens read from the bench long excerpts of his 90-page dissent in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, excoriating the majority for invalidating laws on campaign finance reform. Echoing his dissent in Bush v. Gore, Stevens wrote, “The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution.”

Despite the rightward shift on the high court, however, Stevens was able to obtain high court majorities in notable decisions limiting the Bush administration’s “war on terror,” writing the majority opinions in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), invalidating military tribunals at the Guantánamo Bay detention camps, and Rasul v. Bush (2004), affirming the right of detainees to file for habeas corpus.

Stevens became increasingly opposed to the death penalty, frequently dissenting from court orders denying review of petitions filed by condemned prisoners. He wrote for a six-justice majority in Atkins v. Virginia (2002), that the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment prohibited the execution of the mentally retarded.

Not all Stevens’s notable opinions have been of a socially liberal character. In a ruling which opened the door to the right-wing’s destabilization campaign against the Clinton presidency, Stevens wrote the opinion in Clinton v. Jones (1997), forcing the president to submit to a deposition and respond to accusations related to extra-marital sex. Bill Clinton’s less than candid testimony about his interactions with White House intern Monica Lewinsky provided the basis for Special Prosecutor Kenneth W. Starr’s witch hunt, and Clinton’s eventual impeachment by the House of Representatives.""""

The GOP, FoxCo, TeabaggerCo will need a new script for the confirmation hearings of the incoming member--most likely a lib-rawl-- of the Black Robe Posse! Imagine something like this: We deem Judge X unfit to sit on the US supreme court because...he doesn't follow orders from...A)corporate oligarchies B)catholic church C)US Military D)AIPAC E)DEA

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