For Legitimate Government
is a multi-partisan
activist group established to expose the Bush
coup d'etat, and to oppose the Bush
occupation in all of its manifestations.
The Supreme Court's
What is the best
way to get the Rehnquist 5 off of our Supreme Court as soon as
How can we get the partisan Republican
Rehnquist 5 OFF of our Supreme Court as soon as possible and restore
Democracy, decency, law, justice, respect for the judiciary, respect
for our legal system, credibility for our legal system, credibility
for the USA and all the other good things that existed in the USA
prior to the partisan Republican Supreme Court decisions in the
Florida 2000 Presidential election?
Do you think the Rehnquist 5 should
be prosecuted or pardoned?
Justice Scalia! "...the Supreme Court's radical move
to block the recount last December has to go down in history
as the most shameful moment of the Florida debacle. Almost a
third of Americans polled after the decision said it weaken
ed their trust in the Supreme Court; certainly it worsened relations
among its nine members. Even Scalia's ideological allies had
to acknowledge the thin legal undergirding for the decision,
but in their heart of hearts t hey could defend it as doing
the right thing for the wrong reason, perhaps, a good decision
justified badly.... Now it seems Scalia argued for the wrong
thing for the wrong reason, tarnishing the Supreme Court and
the presidency with one rash move. The president gets another
shot at electoral redemption every four years, but it's not
clear what it will take to redeem the court
badly flawed election,
by Ronald Dworkin - "The 2000 election has finally ended,
but in the worst possible waynot with a national affirmation
of democratic principle but by... fiat... ."
between Charles Fried and Dworkin on this - "Bushs
cabinet appointments (which include, as attorney general, John
Ashcroft, the candidate of the religious right) have already
refuted the optimistic assumption that he will try to govern
from the middle, and there is ample reason to worry that his
future Supreme Court appointments will be equally aimed at pleasing
the extreme right of his party."
court packs itself -
I fear that Bush v. Gore will provoke another great renaissance
of legal nihilism in our nation's law schools, a cynicism that
will slowly erode general confidence in the system. Which leads
to my question: If the Court has betrayed the nation's trust
in the rule of law, how should the nation respond?
Truth: Bush Didn't Want All The Votes Counted - Helen Thomas,
Dean of the White House Press Corps, tells it like it is: "Now
that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, the American people will
have one clear view of the presidential 2000 election contest:
Texas Gov. George W. Bush did not want all the Florida votes
counted. That's the bottom line. That's the story that will
go down in the history books."
Speaks - "The Constitution is to protect us against
the will of the people.
Scalia, the Constitution died with the Bill of Rights -
"If the thinking of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
in laying out his "originalist" theory of the Constitution,
which he declared a dead rather than a living document, is followed
to the end he is espousing, all amendments other than the original
first 10 would be negated and the South's "peculiar institution"
of slavery would be back in business.
lacking consistency - "Justice Scalia has shown a remarkable
inability to adhere to the doctrines he embraces, particularly
when adherence will lead to results in conflict with the agenda
of the far right.
vapid Justice Scalia - "People can agree to disagree
regarding Scalias politics. But even legal conservatives
who share his dim worldview would have trouble making a case
for him as a lecturer.... Its too bad that the biggest
joke of the day was the argument he attempted to make for his
approach to the law.
Scalia: the fixer - "When a political operative can
say he successfully stole the presidency for the candidate of
his choice, then he can also say that he is the best at what
he does. And, after last fall, theres not much question
that, as political fixers go, Tony Scalias the champion.
Bush won. But at what cost to the law? The Supreme Court Shot
Itself in the Foot While Shooting Down Al Gore - "For
any constitutionalist, the proper reaction to the U.S. Supreme
Courts majority opinion in Bush v. Gore is dismay. In
dispensing with the Florida high courts efforts to resolve
a confusing election-code tangle, derailing the election-contest
process in Florida, and sidestepping the constitutionally established
mechanisms for deciding disputed elections, the U.S. Supreme
Court has done more than exceed the bounds of limited judicial
power -- it also confirmed the most cynical view of how the
nations top court operates."
on Scalia Speech - "When you enshrine new rights in
the Constitution, you are impoverishing democracy."
take on Bush v. Gore - "... the Supreme Court, at considerable
cost to itself, saved us, at least momentarily, from a further
precipitous decline in our public morality."
Thomas Speaks at Last: "The Founders warned us that
freedom requires constant vigilance, and repeated action."
- Hey, he's right: look what happened when we depended on the
Supreme Hacks to do their sworn duty and uphold the Constitution.
(Oops, how uncivil of us...)
-- Political Puppeteer - "When William Rehnquist swore
in George W. Bush as president on Jan. 20, the U.S. Supreme
Court chief justice completed a near-decade-long struggle by
conservative jurists to put their political allies in control
of the U.S. government a victory that marks a radical
shift in American democracy."
Supreme Court Commits Suicide. Disgrace, by Jeffrey Rosen.
"Surely, we agreed, the five conservatives would step back
from the abyss. ... They didn't. Instead, they played us all
for dupes once more. And, by not even bothering to cloak their
willfulness in legal arguments intelligible to people of good
faith who do not share their views, these four vain men and
one vain woman have not only cast a cloud over the presidency
of George W. Bush. They have, far more importantly, made it
impossible for citizens of the United States to sustain any
kind of faith in the rule of law as something larger than the
self-interested political preferences of William Rehnquist,
Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy, and Sandra
Court Packs Itself According to Bruce Ackerman, Justice
Stevens said "the majority's decision to halt the Florida
recount is a blatantly partisan act, without any legal basis
whatsoever" about which "the silence of leading conservative
academics is deafening."
Board of Trustees of the University
of Alabama v. Garrett
Supreme Court v. Balance of Powers - Larry Kramer, March
3 NYT: "The conservative justices seem to have grown comfortable
reading the Constitution in ways that ignore precedent, past
practice and the considered judgment of other government institutions.
This must be resisted. We need to hear from our political leaders."
You may find the following links
highly pertinent to the continued states' rights / federal civil
rights debate that was pivotal in the Garrett decision and may
prove even more critical in future judicial nominations and
civil rights legislation.
From this hearing, it would
appear that Senator Jeffords, like many of us, is disturbed
by the current trend of states' rights Supreme Court jurisprudence.
Professor Hamilton, who clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor is
the only person to testify in support of the current line
of jurisprudence. Professor Kimel from the Kimel age discrimination
case also testified, but as of yet his testimony has not been
linked to the Senate's website.
Professor Strauss asserts that
this Supreme Court is extremely reactionary, comparing it
to the Lochner and early-New Deal Courts. He suggests several
congressional remedies for the Supreme Court's expansion of
its own power at the expense of anti-discrimination civil
rights protections under federal law. I have not read these
fully, but believe that they will be pivotal to successful
advocacy for federal judicial appointments and congressional
legislation that will be needed to reverse the erosion of
disability and other civil rights that should be protected
under the 14th Amendment.
VP Disabled Students Union
NDSU Leadership Team Member
Please note the testimony
is all in Adobe Acrobat format, which requires the Acrobat
reader plugin. If you don't already have this plug-in, you
can download it free
Decision on Civil Rights - The Supreme Court in recent years
has changed the ground rules that determine when citizens can
sue to enforce the law. In the past it was often assumed that
a right to sue existed unless Congress expressly forbade it.
The justices, seeking to reduce the role of the courts in national
life, reversed the presumption: No right exists unless Congress
explicitly confers it. But the Civil Rights Act was written
under the old assumption. The majority said that it was merely
being faithful to the text of the law. But in effect it rewrote
the measure, went out of its way to do so and weakened an important
guarantee in the process.
Unreasonable View of the 4th Amendment - One of the Rehnquist
court's trademark mistakes has been to inflate its own role
at the expense of other, more democratic institutions empowered
by the Constitution. Article II gives key roles in deciding
presidential elections to Congress and state officials, but
the court snatched power to itself in Bush v. Gore last December.
The Reconstruction amendments explicitly empower "Congress"
to enforce them, yet the Rehnquist court has struck down a slew
of congressional civil-rights laws in recent years--every one
of these invalidations an unjustified assault on a coequal branch.
In its latest decision, the court similarly gave insufficient
thought to the possibility that someone other than itself--in
this case, a jury of ordinary Americans--might be trusted to
do the right thing.
Latest Supreme Court ruling paves the way for the DNA testing
of us all - "It makes perfect sense in states that
compel all arrestees to provide DNA samples for the growing
DNA databases. And therein lies the horror of this ruling....And
you thought you lived in a free society, where individual rights
and privacy were protected, eh? Wake up! You are staring into
the face of "friendly" fascism that turns uglier by
the day. We no longer have government of, by and for the people.
It is now government of, by and for the corporations. Corporation
that have installed their puppet in the White House and are
now eyeing the rest of the world. Consent of the governed? You
must be joking, the governed don't get the chance to consent
to anything in a police state."
Offense: Our Discriminating Court, by Jeffrey Rosen - "But
the Circuit City ruling wasn't an anomaly. It was the latest--and
clearest--evidence that the Supreme Court's so-called federalism
revolution isn't really about states' rights at all. Instead,
it's about the determination of the five conservative justices
to claim exclusive authority to decide what counts as illegal
discrimination in America."
Judicial Ideologues - By virtue of his office, Mr. Bush
has the undisputed power to nominate judges, but moderates and
liberals do not have to move aside passively for confirmation
of ideological jurists whose agendas call for diminishing women's
reproductive freedom and eviscerating the powers of the federal
government and the courts in protecting civil rights and the
environment....senators have a right to make sure that he does
not use the appointive power to distort the balance of the federal
judiciary for decades to come.
Bush's Maneuvers for Packing the Court - The right-wing
bloc on the court should not be permitted to extend its control
for a decade or more simply because it made rulings that cleared
the way for Bush to take the White House.
the Supremes - "You and I need to be prepared to oppose
George W. Bush's nominees to the Supreme Court," declares
the group's president, Kate Michelman. "It could happen
next week. It could happen next month." But when it does,
she argues, it could "strangle reproductive freedom for
many years to come."
and the Court - To protect the role of Congress as an independent
branch of government, to help repair the damage the Supreme
Court has done to itself, and to restore a balance to the government
that will inspire the people's confidence, the Senate must give
the deepest and most independent scrutiny to whatever Supreme
Court nominees, if any, it considers. And it must without hesitation
reject any nominee who might in any way deepen the blight of
politics that now infects the court.
New Judges May Take a While - Sen. Leahy: "I did not
want to see Democrats doing what the Republicans did for six
years, the way they held up people ... for no reason, not allowing
votes. And the first response we get is a step from the White
House which has guaranteed to slow down the process.''
Bar disbarred - "This notion that politicizing the
judicial selection process will lead to a more professional
judiciary is pure farce, of course. This is a raw power grab
of outlandish proportions."
Come the Judges - "If ever there was a time for mobilizing
a counteroffensive, this is it. Bush has no mandate to add more
weight to an already rightward-tilting federal bench. The Supreme
Court's patently political ruling in Bush v. Gore has shaken
its credibility. There is a growing constituency for judicial
integrity and against a rollback of individual rights.... Fight
early, fight often and fight to win."
ABA out, move likely to right - "It was Republican
Dwight D. Eisenhower who first asked the ABA to supply a panel
of 15 lawyers to screen nominees before their names were announced
to the public, a method that invites more frank and helpful
comment about judicial qualities such as temperament, intellect
and, yes, ideology."
Be Fooled. They're Activists, Too - If their theory of federalism
were fully implemented, the results would startle liberals,
centrists and a good many conservatives as well. Venerable laws
and regulations in vital sectors such as health, environmental
protection, telecommunications and welfare would be struck down
or rendered unworkable. Major current proposals -- including
Bush's national education standards or social conservatives'
national ban on partial-birth abortion -- would not survive
Majority of One: The O'Connor Court - ...although decisiveness
and self-confidence are admirable traits in a legislator, a
president or a supreme allied commander, they are not always
the pre-eminent virtues in an unelected judge. If Justice O'Connor
were a little less willing to resolve our political battles,
perhaps we could rediscover the experience of resolving them
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION WARS: The Clash Between Conservatives
Positions Last Year And This Year On Whether The Executive Branch
Should Defend A Federal Statute - Something tells me, though,
that we wont be hearing many conservatives talking about
DOJs duty to defend federal statutes, even if DOJ doesnt
agree with them, this time around. Suddenly, they will discover
that DOJ has a powerful duty to independently assess the constitutionality
of federal laws -- and that such an independent assessment has
led DOJ rightly and properly to repudiate the federal affirmative
action program before the Court.... No one can expect perfect
intellectual consistency all the time. But we live in a legal
world where avowed principles are jettisoned pretty much every
time they lead to politically undesirable results. In this,
Bush v. Gore was merely a stark example. After this week, the
affirmative action debate is sure to provide yet another discouraging
example that it is foolish to expect consistency.
Olson's anti-Clinton past - Bush's solicitor general-designate
can't hide his connection to the notorious "Arkansas Project"
-- "...any senator who ventured to ask the hard questions
would quickly discover that the Arkansas Project was no joke."