For all those who have ever questioned the importance of the Senate’s bipartisan rejection of Robert Bork’s Supreme Court nomination in 1987, this week’s Supreme Court decisions on civil rights and privacy should be a resounding answer.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch has repeatedly charged that senators and activists are opposing confirmation of Bush nominees because of their religious beliefs. These charges poison an already divisive judicial nominations atmosphere, especially in advance of a possible Supreme Court vacancy and nomination.
With a Supreme Court retirement possible in a matter of days, PFAW Foundation has updated Courting Disaster to get the word out about what is at stake should the High Court tilt any further to the right.
What would the actual impact be on Americans' rights and freedoms if the views of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas become the majority views on the Supreme Court? This report examines Scalia's and Thomas's opinions to answer that question, focusing on cases in which Scalia and Thomas have been in the minority on the Court, and the answer is nothing short of chilling.
Hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights Subcommittee and the Senate Rules Committee were both attempts to grant legitimacy to the absurd notion that filibusters against judicial nominees are unconstitutional and that the Senate should change its very nature as the more deliberative house of Congress so that the narrow GOP majority could ensure approval of even the most extreme Bush administration judicial nominees.
1 Jonathan Ringel, “Conservative AG Would Be Controversial 11th Cir. Pick,” Fulton County Daily Report (Jan. 8, 2003).
2 See Law Professors’ Letter of July 13, 2001. A full copy of the letter, which elaborates further on these criteria, is available from People For the American Way.