December 9, 2010

With no window in sight, nothings right
But color television as a reading light



Christa Parravani, Kiss, 2003

* Jeffrey Toobin on the 10 year anniversary of Bush v. Gore:

Momentous Supreme Court cases tend to move quickly into the slipstream of the Court’s history. In the first ten years after Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 decision that ended the doctrine of separate but equal in public education, the Justices cited the case more than twenty-five times. In the ten years after Roe v. Wade, the abortion-rights decision of 1973, there were more than sixty-five references to that landmark. This month marks ten years since the Court, by a vote of five-to-four, terminated the election of 2000 and delivered the Presidency to George W. Bush. Over that decade, the Justices have provided a verdict of sorts on Bush v. Gore by the number of times they have cited it: zero
...
What made the decision in Bush v. Gore so startling was that it was the work of Justices who were considered, to greater or lesser extents, judicial conservatives. On many occasions, these Justices had said that they believed in the preëminence of states’ rights, in a narrow conception of the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and, above all, in judicial restraint. Bush v. Gore violated those principles. The Supreme Court stepped into the case even though the Florida Supreme Court had been interpreting Florida law; the majority found a violation of the rights of George W. Bush, a white man, to equal protection when these same Justices were becoming ever more stingy in finding violations of the rights of African-Americans; and the Court stopped the recount even before it was completed, and before the Florida courts had a chance to iron out any problems—a classic example of judicial activism, not judicial restraint, by the majority.

Bush v. Gore would resonate, in any case, because the Court prevented Florida from determining, as best it could, whether Gore or Bush really won. (Recounts of the ballots by media organizations produced ambiguous results; they suggest that Gore would have won a full statewide recount and Bush would have won the limited recount initially sought by the Gore forces.) But the case also represents a revealing prologue to what the Supreme Court has since become. As in Bush v. Gore, nominally conservative Justices no longer operate by the rules of traditional judicial conservatism.

* The Caribbean's upcoming album, Discontinued Perfume, finally gets an official release date: February 22, 2011. Until then listen to Mr. Let's Find Out.

* "It is difficult in life to be good, and difficult in art to portray goodness. Perhaps we don't know much about goodness." -- Iris Murdoch

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home