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Court Justice Worried About Criticism
Yahoo! News ^ | August 9, 2005 | GINA HOLLAND

Posted on 08/09/2005 8:57:47 PM PDT by mrobison

CHICAGO - 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.

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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 (news, bio, voting record), 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.

On another subject, Greco defended the ABA's role in checking the background of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts and other federal judicial nominees. The committee has spent the past two weeks reviewing Roberts' work on an appeals court and interviewing people who have worked with him.

"The ABA does not, and we will not, protect the interests of any political party or faction, nor the interests of any ideological or interest group," said Greco, who previously oversaw the judge review committee.

Breyer told the group that the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor is a personal loss and loss for the nation.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism
KEYWORDS: scotus; stephenbreyer
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Justice Breyer says you can't disagree with him or it damages the Constitution. What a dolt!
1 posted on 08/09/2005 8:57:48 PM PDT by mrobison
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To: mrobison

Just as soon as one of these black robed emporers can point out where in the Constitution it says Americans have the God given right to murder the unborn, I will stop criticizing.


2 posted on 08/09/2005 9:04:53 PM PDT by trubluolyguy (If you think that's tough, try losing a testicle in a knife fight with your mother!)
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To: mrobison
Where did this whole concept of "judicial independence" come from? My basic reading of the constitution, and civics that you learn in 1st grade, is that there are three branches of the government, each with checks and balances on each other. The checks and balances on the Supreme Court are that 1. The President appoints them. 2. Congress can impeach them. 3. Constitutional amendments can be passed overruling them.

The supreme court, however, seems to think that it is somehow above checks and balances, and that any talk that they might have made a bad decision is somehow threatening the structure of the republic. BS. If they make up the law, congress can impeach them.

3 posted on 08/09/2005 9:06:41 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: mrobison
"If we do not protect our courts, our courts cannot protect us," Greco said.

That is a message to the baby shredders and fudge packers.

To the Body of Christ, I urge the mounting of an uncompromising defense of the pre-born.

The slaughter must stop.

4 posted on 08/09/2005 9:07:37 PM PDT by Lester Moore (islam's allah is Satan and is NOT the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.)
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To: Rodney King

I'm wondering if we can't just get a 2-for-1 deal and send Breyer packing with O'Connor...


5 posted on 08/09/2005 9:08:24 PM PDT by mrobison (We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.)
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To: mrobison
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.

Translation:

"We are getting very irritated when you...the Great Unwashed... have the temerity to question decisions that come down from Mount Olympus. We do not answer to You."

6 posted on 08/09/2005 9:08:30 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts ("It's a 'dog eat dog' world out there and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear.")
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To: mrobison

bttt


7 posted on 08/09/2005 9:08:54 PM PDT by austinmark (Torture? Koran abuse? ... I'd Rather Be A Koran In Gitmo THAN A Bible in Saudi Arabia !!!)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Yup. Spoken like a true Elitist.


8 posted on 08/09/2005 9:09:06 PM PDT by alancarp (When does it cease to be "Freedom of the Press" and become outright SEDITION?)
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To: mrobison

If he'd just stop making stupid decisions, then the criticism would stop.


9 posted on 08/09/2005 9:10:36 PM PDT by Blogger
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To: Blogger

There you go again... You conservatives... You aren't allowed to say that kind of stuff...


10 posted on 08/09/2005 9:12:22 PM PDT by mrobison (We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.)
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To: mrobison
Breyer only seems to think that DeLay and the GOP are causing this..........the real NOISE is from the LEFTISTS like Chuck Schumer, Biden and Kennedy.

OF course Breyer would NEVER admit that. In his mind only Conservatives are worthy of criticism.

11 posted on 08/09/2005 9:13:45 PM PDT by PISANO (We will not tire......We will not falter.......We will NOT FAIL!!! .........GW Bush [Oct 2001])
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To: mrobison

Note to SCOTUS: Unconstitutional judicial activism SHOULD invite "criticism". If that doesn't work, more severe remedies COULD be in order.


12 posted on 08/09/2005 9:15:38 PM PDT by Mad_Tom_Rackham (Crush! Kill! Destroy the heathen!)
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To: mrobison

Note to SCOTUS: Unconstitutional judicial activism SHOULD invite "criticism". If that doesn't work, more severe remedies COULD be in order.


13 posted on 08/09/2005 9:16:33 PM PDT by Mad_Tom_Rackham (Crush! Kill! Destroy the heathen!)
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To: mrobison

"Breyer defended using overseas legal opinions as a guide only, adding, "It has hit a political nerve."

Duh.....the founders created the US Constitution and not to defer to foreign governments from which they fled.
So Stevie B. gets a little offended when we catch the black-robed tyrants doing their own thing and lording it over us all? Too bad. We have just as much voice as he. Time to eminent domain his property and use his own ruling against him. Schmuck!


14 posted on 08/09/2005 9:17:59 PM PDT by tflabo (Take authority that's ours)
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To: Rodney King; mrobison; trubluolyguy

Judicial Independence has become code for, or a euphemism for Judicial Supremacy.

And you're right that this is an arrogant attitude held by Breyer. He's basically saying that the Courts' reckless and outrageous usurpation of power from the people and the states must be accepted w/o question or we are guilty of questioning the independence of the Courts. Who are we to dare question the invention out of thin air new rights to abortion and gay marriage? Who are we to dare disagree that the First Amendment stricture against Congress establishing a national religion also forbids the placing of nativity scenes on public grounds? Who are we to insist on deciding for ourselves those issues that the Framers of the Constitution clearly didn't see fit to elevate above the normal democratic process? Who are we to insist on self governance?

This is a very convenient attitude for people like Breyer, who shares part of the blame for turning the Sup Court into a political body, and for those who turn to the Courts to have imposed what they can't implement through the proper channels.


15 posted on 08/09/2005 9:18:26 PM PDT by Aetius
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To: mrobison
If Breyer can't take some heat, he should resign and let someone who is far more capable take his place.
16 posted on 08/09/2005 9:19:36 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (Tom Tancredo- The Republican Party's Very Own Cynthia McKinney.)
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To: trubluolyguy
Just as soon as one of these black robed emporers can point out where in the Constitution it says Americans have the God given right to murder the unborn, I will stop criticizing.

Not me. That's just the beginning. Remember the eminent domain debacle? Etc!

17 posted on 08/09/2005 9:23:33 PM PDT by RobinOfKingston (Mein Koran-the Islamic manifesto)
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To: mrobison
EVERY-TIME the liberal-side of the SCOTUS "actively" wander past the edges of our U.S. Constitution to search-n-find "new" meaning, especially on social & religious issues, they will get & deserve a Ration from the conservative side of our country !

Make NO mistake, WE ( originalist/conservatives ) defend a DEAD Constitution !

18 posted on 08/09/2005 9:31:38 PM PDT by austinmark (Torture? Koran abuse? ... I'd Rather Be A Koran In Gitmo THAN A Bible in Saudi Arabia !!!)
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To: mrobison

That's right. The American people and their elected representatives have had the temerity to criticize their philosopher kings (and queen). While some people (such as Justice Antonin Scalia) say that this is the natural result of the Court anointing itself a super legislature whose rulings need be only marginally grounded in the Constitution, Breyer sees an uppity populace as a dire threat.

I might be crazy but I think criticism of our leaders, even those who don't attain power through anything so gauche as elections, is a good thing. Now I'm not crazy. I'm not going to say that such political speech is as important as, say, topless dancing or virtual child pornography. But, all in all, I think that the Republic can survive criticisms of Justices.


19 posted on 08/09/2005 9:33:38 PM PDT by U.H. Conservative (http://unhyphenatedconservative.blogspot.com/)
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To: mrobison; Congressman Billybob

"Lawgiver in Black"; it's not just a sarcastic phrase anymore.


20 posted on 08/09/2005 9:34:07 PM PDT by steveegg (Real torture is taking a ride with Sen Ted "Swimmer" Kennedy in a 1968 Oldsmobile off a short bridge)
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To: alancarp
Yup. Spoken like a true Elitist.

Agreed. They truly act like they want to play God with our lives. Breyer is lower than pond scum. He knows less about the US Constitution than Mark Levin.

21 posted on 08/09/2005 9:35:55 PM PDT by liberty2004
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To: alancarp
Yup. Spoken like a true Elitist.

I saw the video with Breyer. He is like many males on the left -- total sissy's. They are truly girlie men. The other type of males on the left are loud mouth idiots (Dean, Moore, etc.)

22 posted on 08/09/2005 9:38:59 PM PDT by liberty2004
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To: mrobison
If he thinks citing to foreign precedent hits a nerve, he's got some more nerve hits coming. Stealing private property doesn;t sit well across the politcal spectrum.

I'll tell ya, the more I listen to these guys the more I'm convinced that the constitution needs amending to set term limits for federal judges. These clowns think they are above criticism. There's a word for that, it's called NUTS!

23 posted on 08/09/2005 9:39:10 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: mrobison

Hey Stevie! Here's a rule of thumb for you to go by. If it's not in the Constitution, DON'T SAY IT IS. You can't go wrong. Jerk.


24 posted on 08/09/2005 9:40:50 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (We did not lose in Vietnam. We left.)
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To: mrobison
But wait! There's more...

Here's some previous stupidity from the good Justice Breyer:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/941589/posts

25 posted on 08/09/2005 9:45:01 PM PDT by mrobison (We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.)
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To: mrobison

"Protect our judges"??? From whom, THE PEOPLE???

How about PROTECTING the CONSTITUTION?


26 posted on 08/09/2005 9:45:31 PM PDT by nightowl
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To: mrobison
"Breyer urged lawyers to help educate people about...responsibility..."

You have to be kidding me.

27 posted on 08/09/2005 9:48:39 PM PDT by mrobison (We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.)
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To: mrobison
May I sympathetically suggest Justice Breyer relieve himself of this awful stress and strain by submitting his immediate resignation?
28 posted on 08/09/2005 9:55:23 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are REALLY stupid.)
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To: mrobison
Coming after the political fights over the 20 failed judicial nominees and especially with the Roberts nomination, this scolding by the liberal Breyer doesn't exactly help Roberts' case with conservatives.

But then, that might be his objective.

Does anyone else think that these kinds of comments are themselves a kind of judicial activism? This guy's acting like a politician.
29 posted on 08/09/2005 9:57:48 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: mrobison
The court system, without writing a 5000 word essay - in a single word: Sucks.

If the did what they were supposed to do, instead of playing politics with their rulings, people wouldn't be as PO'd at them as they are now.

Really, judge, don't blame the people for thinking you're an idiot. You had a large role in that, yourself.
30 posted on 08/09/2005 9:58:37 PM PDT by Fido969 ("Character, character, character" - J.F. Kerry)
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: mrobison
"If we do not protect our courts, our courts cannot protect us," Greco said.

Just let me protect myself, and leave me the hell alone.
32 posted on 08/09/2005 10:01:27 PM PDT by Husker24
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To: Rodney King

You forgot one very important check on the Supreme Court. According to Article 3, Section 2, Clause 2: "In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make." Therefore, Congress can remove entire classes of cases from the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.


33 posted on 08/09/2005 10:22:47 PM PDT by MarcusTulliusCicero
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To: MarcusTulliusCicero

Wow. I never noticed that before.


34 posted on 08/09/2005 10:39:56 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: mrobison

Hey Breyer, you're a lousy judge, it's as simple as that!


35 posted on 08/09/2005 10:44:02 PM PDT by puroresu (Conservatism is an observation; Liberalism is an ideology)
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To: Congressman Billybob; upchuck


36 posted on 08/09/2005 11:05:31 PM PDT by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem!)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Nice. Well put.

It's this part that gets me:

"...judicial independence..."

What IS that?


37 posted on 08/09/2005 11:12:05 PM PDT by cgk (I'm back, but... slowly. Malkin/North/Pro-life ping lists will be back ASAP. GOD BLESS!)
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To: liberty2004
He knows less about the US Constitution than Mark Levin
I don't think anyone knows more about it than Mr. Levin. :)
38 posted on 08/09/2005 11:19:53 PM PDT by cgk (I'm back, but... slowly. Malkin/North/Pro-life ping lists will be back ASAP. GOD BLESS!)
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To: mrobison; Peach; Justanobody; MACVSOG68
Hey Lindsey! What in Hell are you doing in Chicago kissing Breyer's butt?

You're on recess. Supposed to be out sampling your constituent's opinions on the important matters of the day.

Get yer ass back down here to South Carolina where you belong! Do yer job.

39 posted on 08/09/2005 11:22:04 PM PDT by upchuck ("If our nation be destroyed, it would be from the judiciary." ~ Thomas Jefferson)
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To: mrobison
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.

Quit whining about legal activity.

40 posted on 08/09/2005 11:25:21 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (No wonder the Southern Baptist Church threw Greer out: Only one god per church! [Ann Coulter])
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To: MarcusTulliusCicero

Yeah, an if Congress tries it, expect a goodly segment of SCOTUS to say this violates the all-malleable Equal Protection amendment.


41 posted on 08/09/2005 11:28:44 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (No wonder the Southern Baptist Church threw Greer out: Only one god per church! [Ann Coulter])
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To: mrobison
"If we do not protect our courts, our courts cannot protect us," Greco said.

I think this is what he meant to say:

"If we do not protect our courts, our courts cannot protect tyrannize us," Greco said.

Normally, such a fear of criticism would mean the person is having a twinge of conscience, but in this case--highly unlikely.

42 posted on 08/09/2005 11:29:24 PM PDT by Auntie Dem (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Terrorist lovers gotta go!)
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To: mrobison

Could he possibly be worried about that little niggly eminent domain issue and how it may pertain to his own family homestead? Maybe that's the reason he has his shorts in a wad.

These elitists think it's fine to make rules for all of us slobs out here, but when someone tries to turn the tables on him/them, THAT'S UNFAIR!

Oh Stevie, "CRY ME A RIVER."


43 posted on 08/09/2005 11:50:49 PM PDT by Humidston (No Racial Profiles = Proof liberalism is a mental disorder)
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To: mrobison
Breyer seems to be waking up, but he is all too late and has little awareness of the peril for the Court and the entire American judicial system. Breyer is much like the comic relief in a disaster movie: the clueless sleeping passenger who, as the train is about to go off the rails and careen down the mountainside, vaguely senses a bump or two, yawns, opens his eyes, creases his brow -- and warns his fellow passengers that the train seems to be running late.

The Supreme Court and other American courts are justly suffering a decline in respect and deference, with far more to come. Many courts are compromised by routine favoritism, corruption, and institutional weaknesses; and the Supreme Court and other appellate courts long ago arrogated to themselves vast antidemocratic lawmaking powers in the guise of interpretation and adjudication.

The peril for the courts is that the rubes without black robes are catching on to the extent of the judiciary's cons and abuses. The courts now have but a diminishing constituency of blindly faithful to call upon. Even most lawyers and more than a few judges, among themselves, are given these days to complaints about the judiciary with little sense of hope of obtaining improvements and remedies. The wiser course is to get a friend or partner appointed or elected to the bench for some inside help of your own.

At the trial level, good judges are a treasure, but they are ever more surrounded by the dross of stupid, weak, and too often bad judges. At the appellate level, traditional judicial concepts like "strict construction" and "original intent" are now seen as not just quaint or outmoded but as sinister restraints to judicial lawmaking. When the highest courts are inclined to make the law up as they go along for the sake of preferred results, why should trial courts or anyone else respect the law and courts except for their power to punish and reward?

The Left's view of the judiciary and their attacks on Roberts and other Bush judicial nominees all carry the implicit assumption that judges are inherent partisans with little fidelity to traditional conceptions of the rule of law. Is it any wonder that the public now increasingly regards judges as political partisans in their decision-making? That being so, why should the American people accept the loss of self-government in favor of rule by unelected judges?

The Left always assumed that it could use the courts as their political weapon indefinitely. Now, as respect for judges and courts diminishes, the Left is increasingly fearful that their value as a political asset is also diminishing. But they are too far along in their approach to turn back, and the Left's increasingly frantic attacks on Roberts and other Bush judicial nominees all carry the implicit assumption that judges are inherent partisans with little fidelity to traditional conceptions of the rule of law.

The American judiciary, courts, and legal system are now like old buildings that will require vast effort and years of restoration work, with difficult questions as to how much to restore and how much should be torn down. And why not tear down?

If Roberts is unfit to serve because he was in the Federalist Society, served in the Reagan and Bush administrations, and has conservative views, then why shouldn't former Teddy Kenedy aide Breyer and ACLU lawyer Ginzberg be called to account for their far more extensive ties to the Left and corresponding political views?

One need not endorse the removal of Breyer and Ginzberg, only that they be impeached so that, as with Judge Roberts, they can be questioned in detail. As extreme as that is politically and constitutionally, there would be a logic to such demands, as there was with the Jeffersonian era impeachment effort against Salmon Chase for federalist views and decisions. Or perhaps such an effort will be instigated against Scalia and Thomas if Hillary Clinton is elected and the Democrats gain control of Congress.

If a bare 5-4 majority in the Supreme Court suffices again and again for radical changes in American law and life by antidemocratic means, then shouldn't a resolute political majority make radical changes in the Supreme Court in ways that the Constitution permits and the public approves of? If Justice Breyer were a wiser man, he would regularly wake up in a cold sweat at the damage that he and his ideological confreres have done the Supreme Court and the American judicial system.
44 posted on 08/10/2005 12:21:31 AM PDT by Rockingham
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To: mrobison
Breyer urged lawyers to help educate people about court responsibility to be an independent decision-maker.

No matter who is the educator is, 2+2 will never =5.

45 posted on 08/10/2005 12:22:11 AM PDT by EGPWS
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To: cgk
"...judicial independence..."

What IS that?

A term used by the elite when common sense has already left the building.

46 posted on 08/10/2005 12:25:59 AM PDT by EGPWS
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To: All

It's Judicial *Imperialism* that Breyer, Kennedy,
Ginsburg, and the ACLU plague rats, want to keep
in thier control.


47 posted on 08/10/2005 1:05:22 AM PDT by NickatNite2003
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To: mrobison; Rodney King; Lester Moore; Bloody Sam Roberts; austinmark; alancarp; Blogger; PISANO; ...
"Breyer urged lawyers to help educate people about court responsibility to be an independent decision-maker."

The "Court" is NOT "independent". It is "fed" by its "minions" that it adjudicates for and against. It is also restricted by the constitution of the U.S. of A. with its attendent amendments. Or, at least used to and should be. Nowhere in the constitution is the "Court" given "independence". Impeach the politically appointed bureaucratic bums in black dresses who say, "The court is independent." Peace and love, George.

48 posted on 08/10/2005 3:02:56 AM PDT by George Frm Br00klyn Park (FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: mrobison

It's a good thing. Pour on the pressure... then we'll see what this SCOTUS really looks like... We'll be hearing quite a bit of crying from the liberal members as accountability looms...


49 posted on 08/10/2005 3:21:00 AM PDT by Barney59 (I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.)
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To: mrobison

Boo-freakin'-hoo! If we wanted to have a dictatorship by 5 unelected judges, we could have written that in the Constitution and saved a lot of tax money not paying for the Congress and Senate.
I think he's just worried that a group of angry citizens might make an offer to build a mall where Breyer's house now stands. Every one of the justices who voted to take the people's private property rights away should have their homes bulldozed "for the common good."


50 posted on 08/10/2005 3:28:44 AM PDT by kittymyrib
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