Presidential Intention

Now that President Bush has gained public acceptance at a level that he didn’t have before, we are faced with four more years of his, ahem, leadership. I can’t pretend to like or respect the man, and frankly, I find his inability to prove his thinking to be unnerving. I can honestly say I’m only slightly more angry than Dunstan but apparently not by much.

Bush does, however, have some pretty amazing opportunities to change the U.S. and the Supreme Court is where everyone is focused, as you can tell by the articles that have been springing forth. If you are going to read about the Supreme Court, read Dahlia Lithwick’s columns on Slate – read all of them. Her insight and skill are key to understanding both the strength and power on the bench, as well as the foolishness and stupidity.

There is a point, and while I’m not able to find it in Dahlia’s writing, I’m positive that it was her point, so I’m going to credit her now, and remember to take better notes in the future. The point is Bush doesn’t really have any idea that he’ll be able to remake the court. And thankfully, from what I’ve seen of all the justices on, there is only one constant amongst them – they are strong-willed and unlikely to give up power. In many ways, they are more extreme than Bush in their personal self-righteousness. So it’s very unlikely that those justices that are politically opposed to Bush – and these would be the four who voted, quite publicly, for Gore in the 2000 election/debacle – are going to willingly step down and let a man they don’t like pick their replacement. So those four seats are pretty safe, barring the random unforeseen issues of life.

Stop! In the name of the Bush!

Sing it with me! Actually, don’t. Given that Bush wants to take us back to the legal landscape of 1956, the songs of the 60’s aren’t really appropriate. Besides, the Supreme’s (also Lithwickism, in case you wondered) tend to sing off-key.

Do we have to worry about the justices aging? Not really. Yes, they are all older, but they aren’t centenaries yet, and frankly, from the way they dispatch piles of verbiage as they review cases, it’s unlikely that they are going to slow down, let alone stop. In fact, given the recent health issues that Chief Justice Rehnquist is facing and fighting, without stopping or halting the court calendar, it’s quite clear that this group, which has been together for a decade, is not likely to break up willingly. After all, having a comfortable work environment is something we all want, and you don’t have to like people to be able to work with them, perhaps most especially in law.

As for the other five, well, Bush can replace them all he wants, because they already agree with him. Again, this is a generalization, but given that the Democrats have no issue with making it amazingly painful for the appointment of people they don’t approve, the Supreme Court is most likely stable in it’s view, if not in it’s complement.

Regardless of Bush, the current justices will continue to review cases and rule based on their interpretation of the constitution.

Of course, Bush seems to realize that he can’t be guaranteed a chance to change the court, so he’s going after the constitution.

And that’s a fight I’ll fight.

On a personal note, I’d like to wish my father a happy birthday, although I’m almost positive that this article will cause him to have a conniption fit. Ah well, I love him anyway!

–KevinMichael Hamm

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