Skip to comments.Supreme Court Justice Says He's Worried About Political Criticism
Posted on 08/09/2005 1:38:59 PM PDT by Crackingham
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said Tuesday that rulings on difficult subjects like gay rights and the death penalty have left courts vulnerable to political attacks that are threatening judicial independence. Breyer urged lawyers to help educate people about court responsibility to be an independent decision-maker.
"If you say seven or eight or nine members of the Supreme Court feel there's a problem ... you're right," he told the American Bar Association. "It's this edge on a lot of issues."
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who was speaking with Breyer, said: "The politics of judges is getting to be red hot." He said Supreme Court rulings on the Pledge of Allegiance and Ten Commandments have captured the public's interest and polarized Democrats and Republicans.
"There's nothing that's not on the table," former Solicitor General Theodore Olson said of the court's work, which this fall includes issues like abortion, capital punishment and assisted suicide.
Breyer said the nine-member court is focused on constitutional limits on major fights of the day. "We're sort of at the outer bounds. And we can't control politics of it, and I don't think you want us to try to control politics of it," he said.
Congressional leaders including House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, have criticized justices in recent months. DeLay was particularly critical of the court's refusal to stop Terri Schiavo's death and at a death penalty decision that cited international cases.
Breyer defended using overseas legal opinions as a guide only, adding, "It has hit a political nerve."
Breyer, Olson and Graham were discussing the future of courts on the final day of the ABA's annual meeting in Chicago. Also Tuesday, the group was debating whether to endorse federal protection for journalists who refuse to reveal their sources to prosecutors. Passage of such a measure would authorize the organization to lobby Congress, where "shield law" proposals are pending.
Judicial independence has been a major theme at the meeting of the ABA, a 400,000-member group. The group's policymaking board passed a resolution urging elected officials and others to support and defend judges. New group President Michael Greco of Boston said judges have faced physical threats, and threats of impeachment from Washington political leaders unhappy with court decisions.
"If we do not protect our courts, our courts cannot protect us," Greco said.
Everything would be just peachy if the bastards would stick to original intent.
Sorry judgey-poo, but you don't get to rule the world and be above criticism too. Not yet anyway. Stop usurping power and you will stop being criticized.
He isn't a decision maker. It is his job to interpret the Constitution, not to divine new meanings out of what he presumes is the spirit of its text.
And why do I know this and he doesn't...
when will they get a clue that they are supposed to be 'judging' according to the law and not whomever just gave them or their party the largest chunk of change!
bttt...this should be interesting!
Need to read later (printed it out).
Breyer can go straight to h**l. No one in this entire country is above criticism. NO ONE!
"threatening judicial independence"
#####Everything would be just peachy if the bastards would stick to original intent.#####
Exactly! These guys act more like hack politicians than judges, and then they get mad when people treat them like hack politicians.
SOLUTION: Interpret the constitution. Don't set policy, make law, or be guided by emotion.
Well let's just delcare criticism of the Supreme Court unconstitutional.
This is crap. If the people can see that judges reach a reasonable conclusion from case law, legislation, or the Constitution, they will not object and will accept it.
However, if they see a political ruling from a judge, there will be protests. We are a free people and will not be ruled by oligarchs.
I think he does know it, but whenever his mind goes there, he just covers his ears and says, "la la la la la la la la la...." 'till those "bad" thoughts go away.
Justice Breyer is quite correct that judges need to make independent, unbiased decisions. But then again he hardly can ask that the public just not give a damn no matter what the court decides. If it's the applicability of a certain statute to hog slapping in Alabama, maybe no big deal. But when the judges start deciding the Constitution outlaws the death penalty, guarantees legal abortions, permits cities to take private property for developers, and should be interpreted via the foreign law of other countries - watch out. Independent is one thing, addle brained is another.
If the creeping creeps would read the constitution and apply the principles therein, they wouldn't be attacked politically.
If certain Supremes want to act like politicians (or, still worse, use foreign law to interpret the US constitution) then they should lose their lifetime appointments and get elected like every other political hack in black robes.
Just a friendly word. Go fornicate yourself, you lying hypocrite, deceitful, grandiose, Constitution defiling, judicial tyrant.
"Pay no attention to the man behind the gavel!!"
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