Supreme Court: Scalia vs. Kennedy

10 December 2012 |permalink | email article

THE defining battles within the Supreme Court for more than two decades over social and moral controversies have been fought between two devout Catholics appointed by President Reagan. Justice Antonin Scalia believes the law can and should enforce moral standards, including criminal bans on abortion and on “homosexual conduct” that man “believe to be immoral and destructive.” Justice Anthony Kennedy is a libertarian conservative who believes the Constitution protects the freedom of individuals to “make personal decisions relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, and child rearing the education.” Both have much in common. Born in 1930, they graduate from high school and excelled at Harvard Law School and as Republicans rose through the legal ranks. Both voted to strike down President Obama’s health care law and Scalia joined the Citizens United case that freed corporate and union spending on political ads. In 1992 Kennedy, while opposed to abortion, switched sides and upheld a woman’s right to choose. The battle for gay rights is now set for another round. The California case on Proposition 8 is far more critical because it involves the right to marry as a fundamental right and excluding them from marriage denies them equal protection of law.

Making History 

With right-wing conservative Republican Sen. Jim DeMint resigning from the Senate to run the Heritage Foundation Republican Indian American Gov. Nikki Haley has a chance to make history. Rep Tim Scott, an African-American Rep. from Charleston, is said to be the frontrunner. Young, charismatic and a Tea Party warrior himself, Scott would be just the fifth black Senator since Reconstruction, He would have to face voters in 2014.   

High-Speed Rail

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), the third-highest ranking Republican in Congress, has suggested that the federal government should cut its losses and not provide any more money for the state’s high-speed rail system. He said the revised high-speed rail plan calls for the $38 billion more federal spending. He suggested an estimate about the train’s ridership is overblown and that Congress would still have to subsidize the operation of the train if ever built.

What They Said

If the Republicans don’t want to see their party go the way of the dinosaurs, they have to step out of the past.—New York Times columnist Charles Blow, suggesting that Republican anti-intellectualism is antediluvian.

If you believe in a vast, right-wing conspiracy this is its clubhouse.—An NPR reporter told listeners in 2001 about Americans for Tax Reform and the weekly confabs that founder Grover Norquist has with various conservative operatives in Washington, D,C,

But history will no doubt record that withering Republicans were finally wiped from the face of the earth in 2016 when the relentless (and rested) Conquistadora Hillary marched in, General Bill on a horse before her, and finally finished them off—New .York Times’ Maureen Dowd musing about Hillary Clinton’s possible run for president in four years.

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