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Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court’

Three of the four national daily news papers have touched on a subject I wrote about a few weeks ago. The New York Times and USA Today discuss in two editorials the importance of the Presidential election on the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the Washington Post clearly dissects the Court demographics to help explain exactly what is at stake. Details on the flip side.
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Last Sunday (the 14th) I attended a panel at the Brooklyn Book Festival, where a number authors, ranging from Johnathan Lethem, to Johnathan Franzen, to Joan Didion spoke about new works, celebrated works, and the unfortunate state of frenzied hysteria we find ourselves in every four years or so. I sat in on a panel dubbed “The Consequences to Come” moderated by Robert Silvers, editor of The New York Review, which was to discuss the looming 2008 Presidential Election. The panel was decidedly pro-Obama, with Mark Danner, Ronald Dworkin, Darryl Pinckney and Joan Didion rounding things out. Each had their own assessment of how close Barack Obama would come to the White House, each voicing an understandably cynical prediction – it was, after all, one week after the Republican Convention and the unveiling of America’s newest sweetheart, Sarah Palin.

One speaker, in particular, was admittedly “depressed” by the GOP’s recent bounce. Ronald Dworkin – American legal philosopher, current professor at University College London and the New York University School of Law – had pleaded for previous speaker Mark Danner to “cheer him up with some favorable numbers.” After summarily disregarding Obama’s current poll position with regards to the “symbol-based community,” Danner left Dworkin to dwell on the rank possibilities of the Supreme Court under John McCain’s stewardship.

Dworkin said the Constitution stands to be left far worse than “more of the same” if McCain wins the White House. He argued that given the current makeup of the Supreme Court, in terms of age and ideology, many long-standing precedents regarding women’s rights, free speech and Affirmative Action would be completely overhauled given another four years of a GOP-led presidency.He stressed the key role Justice Kennedy has played, citing Kennedy’s record as a lynch pin.

In a Sunday Editorial, the New York Times concurred. “Under Mr. McCain, if a liberal justice or two or three steps down, we may see a very different America.” The veracity with which Dworkin spoke, left the assembled crowd just as depressed as he was. But, on the bright side, Gallup currently has Obama at +4…

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While the punditry at large is still digesting how wrong they were on the exit polling, internal polling and reading their tea leaves the Supreme Court is taking up Voter Identification. This and other election process issues will be something to watch as we have the potential to head into our third highly controversial election. Nearly eight years later, the issues surrounding e-voting and updating state election systems. (more…)

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As we and the rest of the world have been covering this week, the US National Intelliegence Estimate has caused quite a splash. Prompting non-sensical spin from the Bush Administration and it’s posse. John Bolton former UN Ambassador, and current American Enterprise Institute lackey previewed his absurd Washington Post editorial yesterday on the Thom Hartmann radio program. (Listen to yesterday’s interview here.) Including the implications that the writers of the NIE should be fired for being politically biased, liberal, foreign service officers posing as intelligence officals who forget they work for the President. The apparent implication, we gather, is that in that instance, regardless of the facts, the intelligence community should surrender to the Bush doctrine. That is so Iraq war, Mr. Bolton geez.

Two other terrorism related stories are going on this week, however that haven’t got as much press. The first, in the UK where conservative Home Minister Jacqui Smith is pushing through new powers to detain suspected terrorists for 42 days without charging them. We suppose 42 days is shorter than 6 years but we’re still uneasy. The second being, the US Supreme Court again taking up the issues surrounding the Guantanamo Bay penal colony (more…)

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