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The candidates and SCOTUS appointments

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
There's been far too little discussion of issues here. For instance, the subject of Supreme Court nominees has barely been mentioned. The Candidates and the Court
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
There's been far too little discussion of issues here. For instance, the subject of Supreme Court nominees has barely been mentioned. The Candidates and the Court
Wow, there's no anti-McCain bias in that piece is there?

You should start another thread about that. People might miss this under the title of "Randi Rhodes".

I don't completely trust either candidate as far as Supreme Court nominees go but I don't want a President who thinks that Supreme Court Justices need to have "the empathy to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom — as well as to be gay, poor or black". I don't want a touchy-feely SCOTUS.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecanopener View Post
Wow, there's no anti-McCain bias in that piece is there?

You should start another thread about that. People might miss this under the title of "Randi Rhodes".

I don't completely trust either candidate as far as Supreme Court nominees go but I don't want a President who thinks that Supreme Court Justices need to have "the empathy to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom — as well as to be gay, poor or black". I don't want a touchy-feely SCOTUS.
I do want some members to have empathy, which is one of the reasons I've decided to vote for Obama. I probably will start a thread, once I find time to get some other links together.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
I do want some members to have empathy, which is one of the reasons I've decided to vote for Obama. I probably will start a thread, once I find time to get some other links together.
Their job isn't to be empathetic.


I agree with McCain.
http://www2.statesville.com/content/...-supreme-cour/
Quote:
McCain believes that judges should strictly interpret laws as written and not impose their own views or experiences when making decisions.

McCain said judges should not indulge in "judicial activism," particularly in controversial cases that deal with politically charged issues like abortion or gay rights. Decisions on those subjects should rest on the shoulders of state legislatures and voters - not courts, McCain said.

McCain has said federal judges have been guilty of "systematic abuse" of the federal court system.

"My nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power and clear limits to the scope of federal power," he said.
post #5 of 25
I agree with John McCain, these activist judges have got to go.

No, their job is not to be empathetic, their job is to interpret the law of the land as written.
post #6 of 25
A Supreme Court justice should be upholding the Constitution the way it was written, not interpreting it whichever way benefits their own political leanings.

It's not the job of any court in the US to make laws, it's their job to uphold the law as it is written. Lawmaking is the job of the legislative branches of state and federal governments.
post #7 of 25
Guess I will go with Obama on this one. Since he is a constitutional Lawyer I tend to agree with his sense that Judeges should be human beings. If you think they aren't then I think you are naive. Of course their lives play a role in their decisions.
"Activist Judges" is a right wing catch phrase to dismiss any ruling they don't like.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CC12 View Post
"Activist Judges" is a right wing catch phrase to dismiss any ruling they don't like.
And, of course, the left has their own term for strict-constructionist judges, don't they?

This is why we have at least two parties.
post #9 of 25
This blogger says it pretty well IMO. http://constitutionallyright.com/200...-constitution/
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Essayons89 View Post
A Supreme Court justice should be upholding the Constitution the way it was written, not interpreting it whichever way benefits their own political leanings.

It's not the job of any court in the US to make laws, it's their job to uphold the law as it is written. Lawmaking is the job of the legislative branches of state and federal governments.
I completely agree. The Supreme Court should uphold the Constitution the way it was written. They should not give any consideration to how it has "traditionally" been "interpreted", or place any emphasis on "the way it's always been". They should not give any consideration to the current ideas of what it "should" mean, with no actual basis in law. They should instead look at it exactly, and uphold it as it was meant to be.
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
I have to disagree, to an extent. The Constitution was written in 1787, and the world has changed so much in the meantime that a great many issues simply aren't covered by it. Just look at emancipation, voting rights, Prohibition, etc.. It's a great document, but it has had to be amended, so isn't absolute.

Congress is given the right to determine the number of SCOTUS justices - do you think it's an accident that there's an odd number of them?

Folks, we're off topic here, and should talk about this in another thread. Mea culpa.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
I have to disagree, to an extent. The Constitution was written in 1787, and the world has changed so much in the meantime that a great many issues simply aren't covered by it. Just look at emancipation, voting rights, Prohibition, etc.. It's a great document, but it has had to be amended, so isn't absolute.

Congress is given the right to determine the number of SCOTUS justices - do you think it's an accident that there's an odd number of them?

Folks, we're off topic here, and should talk about this in another thread. Mea culpa.
The Constitution has been amended a number of times since it was first written, in many ways it's not the same document that was created back in 1787. That said, amending the Constitution doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of the courts, that is a job of the legislature.

I jumped in late, I have no idea what this thread is about. How about splitting these parts off about the courts and the Constitution and giving them their own thread?
post #13 of 25
With respect to potential Supreme Court nominees by the candidates, I think history has shown that any speculation at this point is extremely unreliable. In the first place, who knows when a vacancy might come up? In the second place, look at the appointees by Democratic Presidents and by Republican Presidents. In many cases they turn out to be quite different than what was expected. I think that once a jurist gets into that seat, they begin to think very independently of political parties and even of personal political philosophies. It's fun to speculate but as far as having any significant bearing on a voter's choice, I don't think it does or it should.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecanopener View Post
Wow, there's no anti-McCain bias in that piece is there?

I don't want a touchy-feely SCOTUS.

its from the obama add agency, what did you expect.
but i have to agree keep feeling out of the court.

i dont ever see the court over turning a women right to choose, or the right to guns(unless they want a full scale revolt on there hands)
post #15 of 25
I agree with Bryan, and I want SCOTUS who will strictly interpret the law and the Constitution. I think it's fine to look outside of the US to see what other countries are doing, however I do not think it is ever fine to base interpretation of the US Constitution on the laws of other nations. I think it's fine, even good, for Justices to have empathy with the common Joe and Jane, but court rulings should not be based on feelings but on the word and spirit of the law based on empirical and historical records that document the spirit of the law.

In that respect, McCain's Judicial philosophy is much closer to how I believe. He has said that he wants strict interpretation of the law, and frankly he's not one of the religious right that will appoint people who will base rulings on their feelings or faith. I don't want the other end of the spectrum from Obama either, but I certainly don't want his idea of SCOTUS Justices which will be someone who will change the Constitution without due process of legislature.

The Constitution is a living document, and it has been amended. Slavery was abolished. Federal taxes were established. Voting rights were granted for all races and both sexes. Term limits were put on the President. Set the voting age at 18. Limited Congressional pay raises. None of those were in the original Constitution, but they are now. There are procedures in place so it can be amended and so that stupid things can't just be added willy-nilly (i.e. Flag burning not being free speech, defining marriage, etc.).
post #16 of 25
Well stated, Heidi. I was thinking about that myself doing the dishes this evening, but you said it. The Supremes are to leave their feelings out of it (and the way other countries do it) and judge based on the law and on the Constitution. It's good for the Prez and the Congress to have empathy; they should -- but not the Supreme Court.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
I agree with Bryan, and I want SCOTUS who will strictly interpret the law and the Constitution. I think it's fine to look outside of the US to see what other countries are doing, however I do not think it is ever fine to base interpretation of the US Constitution on the laws of other nations. I think it's fine, even good, for Justices to have empathy with the common Joe and Jane, but court rulings should not be based on feelings but on the word and spirit of the law based on empirical and historical records that document the spirit of the law.

In that respect, McCain's Judicial philosophy is much closer to how I believe. He has said that he wants strict interpretation of the law, and frankly he's not one of the religious right that will appoint people who will base rulings on their feelings or faith. I don't want the other end of the spectrum from Obama either, but I certainly don't want his idea of SCOTUS Justices which will be someone who will change the Constitution without due process of legislature.

The Constitution is a living document, and it has been amended. Slavery was abolished. Federal taxes were established. Voting rights were granted for all races and both sexes. Term limits were put on the President. Set the voting age at 18. Limited Congressional pay raises. None of those were in the original Constitution, but they are now. There are procedures in place so it can be amended and so that stupid things can't just be added willy-nilly (i.e. Flag burning not being free speech, defining marriage, etc.).
excellently stated! i really dislike what seems to be the 'current trend' towards our courts system 'creating' laws that supposedly reflect national trends. i prefer having the legislative bodies & the voting public enact/vote changes in laws, instead. that's the way the government was founded - if the nation, as a whole, feels that the set-up need alteration, enabling the courts to establish laws, then the courts system needs checks & balances designed, as well, so that their power has limitations.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
I agree with Bryan, and I want SCOTUS who will strictly interpret the law and the Constitution. I think it's fine to look outside of the US to see what other countries are doing, however I do not think it is ever fine to base interpretation of the US Constitution on the laws of other nations. I think it's fine, even good, for Justices to have empathy with the common Joe and Jane, but court rulings should not be based on feelings but on the word and spirit of the law based on empirical and historical records that document the spirit of the law.

In that respect, McCain's Judicial philosophy is much closer to how I believe. He has said that he wants strict interpretation of the law, and frankly he's not one of the religious right that will appoint people who will base rulings on their feelings or faith. I don't want the other end of the spectrum from Obama either, but I certainly don't want his idea of SCOTUS Justices which will be someone who will change the Constitution without due process of legislature.

The Constitution is a living document, and it has been amended. Slavery was abolished. Federal taxes were established. Voting rights were granted for all races and both sexes. Term limits were put on the President. Set the voting age at 18. Limited Congressional pay raises. None of those were in the original Constitution, but they are now. There are procedures in place so it can be amended and so that stupid things can't just be added willy-nilly (i.e. Flag burning not being free speech, defining marriage, etc.).
Excellent post, Heidi. I agree 100%.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
I agree with Bryan, and I want SCOTUS who will strictly interpret the law and the Constitution. I think it's fine to look outside of the US to see what other countries are doing, however I do not think it is ever fine to base interpretation of the US Constitution on the laws of other nations. I think it's fine, even good, for Justices to have empathy with the common Joe and Jane, but court rulings should not be based on feelings but on the word and spirit of the law based on empirical and historical records that document the spirit of the law.

In that respect, McCain's Judicial philosophy is much closer to how I believe. He has said that he wants strict interpretation of the law, and frankly he's not one of the religious right that will appoint people who will base rulings on their feelings or faith. I don't want the other end of the spectrum from Obama either, but I certainly don't want his idea of SCOTUS Justices which will be someone who will change the Constitution without due process of legislature.

The Constitution is a living document, and it has been amended. Slavery was abolished. Federal taxes were established. Voting rights were granted for all races and both sexes. Term limits were put on the President. Set the voting age at 18. Limited Congressional pay raises. None of those were in the original Constitution, but they are now. There are procedures in place so it can be amended and so that stupid things can't just be added willy-nilly (i.e. Flag burning not being free speech, defining marriage, etc.).
Very well put except for the McCain part.
I saw 60 Minutes with Antonin Scalia profiled. It showed how he and Ruth Bader Ginsberg are best friends which I thought was cute.
But something he said made sense. Although he has feelings about some things he has to follow the constitution. He cited flag burning as an instance.

I agree with the empathy part. You don't want someone unable to see how their rulings could affect human beings. I don't expect them to all agree with their interpretations. I don't want idealogues on the bench.
post #20 of 25
unless they are liberal ones?
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
unless they are liberal ones?
Heck no. I don't want judges with an agenda on the bench.
What defines a liberal justice to you?
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Here's a (warning, very long) good article on what the Supreme Court should be in the eyes of conservatives and liberals, which also discusses the role international treaties play. When Judges Make Foreign Policy

Quote:
Should John McCain become president, there is good reason to believe he would be more committed than President Bush to the international rule of law. Influenced by his experience of being tortured in Vietnam, McCain has sponsored legislation requiring that U.S. government personnel comply with the Geneva requirement of humane treatment of prisoners. Yet McCain has also snubbed Justice Kennedy, promising to nominate justices like Roberts and Alito in their ideological orientation; justices of this persuasion are likely to see the Constitution in largely inward-looking terms.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama, with his globalized upbringing and insistence on multilateralism, could be expected, as president, to nominate justices more sympathetic to an outward-looking Constitution. But if, as seems likely, the first retirees from the court are liberals, the best Obama could hope for would be to maintain the status quo — not to institutionalize a liberal majority for the future.
post #23 of 25
Thanks.....it's printing for late-night reading tonight. But already the title has raised my blood pressure.

Judges are not to MAKE anything. It's like the artist who creates a work of art, and the art critic who decides whether it's a great piece or junk. The Congress creates the law (though the analogy to a work of art is pretty disgusting) and the Supreme Court decides if it's a great law in accord with the US Constitution or a piece of junk and gets struck down.

OK, off soapbox and we'll see if that had any relevance to the article on not.

You guys have got to be careful about pushing my hot buttons -- you might get something totally unexpected to come out of the machine.

But just one comment with respect to international rule of law. If the U.S. signs and ratifies a treaty, I expect them to abide by it. If they agree to be bound by certain rules upon pain of certain penalties, then I expect them to pay the penalties if they violate the rules. And I expect the same from other countries. BUT - THERE IS NO COURT IN THIS NATION HIGHER THAN THE US SUPREME COURT. Whatever any "international court" decides holds no power within the borders of this country. The US, as a sovereign nation, can choose to abide by an international court's decision, or it can choose to ignore it. As with treaties, I would expect them to abide by it because of the negative impact upon future treaties and agreements. However, there is no entity that can enforce the decision of an internatinal court upon the US (or any other country, for that matter -- each is sovereign within its own borders -- and in international space it's international treaties that govern.)
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Thanks.....it's printing for late-night reading tonight. But already the title has raised my blood pressure.

Judges are not to MAKE anything. It's like the artist who creates a work of art, and the art critic who decides whether it's a great piece or junk. The Congress creates the law (though the analogy to a work of art is pretty disgusting) and the Supreme Court decides if it's a great law in accord with the US Constitution or a piece of junk and gets struck down.

OK, off soapbox and we'll see if that had any relevance to the article on not.

You guys have got to be careful about pushing my hot buttons -- you might get something totally unexpected to come out of the machine.

But just one comment with respect to international rule of law. If the U.S. signs and ratifies a treaty, I expect them to abide by it. If they agree to be bound by certain rules upon pain of certain penalties, then I expect them to pay the penalties if they violate the rules. And I expect the same from other countries. BUT - THERE IS NO COURT IN THIS NATION HIGHER THAN THE US SUPREME COURT. Whatever any "international court" decides holds no power within the borders of this country. The US, as a sovereign nation, can choose to abide by an international court's decision, or it can choose to ignore it. As with treaties, I would expect them to abide by it because of the negative impact upon future treaties and agreements. However, there is no entity that can enforce the decision of an internatinal court upon the US (or any other country, for that matter -- each is sovereign within its own borders -- and in international space it's international treaties that govern.)
Jein (=yes and no, in German). The U.S. government can't expect to be able to seek the approval of the UN Security Council, for instance, for some of its actions, in order to plead for financial and manpower support for military actions, and then ignore the decisions reached by that very same Council that don't condone its actions. That simply makes us look like a bunch of hypocrites.
post #25 of 25
Looking like a bunch of hypocrites has never been a very big factor in the foreign policy of this country.

From the article, I think this is where I fit in, with some exceptions to the narrow definition:
Quote:
...law ... derives its legitimacy from being enacted by elected representatives of the people. ... the Constitution is seen as facing inward, toward the Americans who made it, toward their rights ... the rights the Constitution provides are for citizens and provided only within the borders of the country.
I'd add that the Consitution also protects legal resident aliens. And I'd go so far as to say that it covers US citizens abroad insofar as their relationship with their government and their country is concerned. For example, the IRS has to follow due process to seize your Cayman Island bank account, containing the unpaid taxes on your US earnings. But those US citizens who commit a crime in a foreign country are bound by the laws and the punishments of that country. Unless they managed to get back here before they were found out. It's getting confusing......

I'd go even further to say that the Constitution covers the U.S. government in its dealings with foreign nations, citizens and entities, outside of the jurisdiction of US courts. That has to do more with protections than with rights, because our Constitution can't grant rights to people not under the Constitution. But they can benefit from equal protection and so forth, not because they're bound by it, but because the US is bound by it. Now it's getting really confusing......
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