Saturday, April 10, 2010

Court Spark

A week and a half short of his 90th birthday, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, as expected, is retiring. Nominated by Gerald Ford in 1975, he's part of a history that goes back to Eisenhower of Republican nominees who veered left once they got on the Court.

Right or left, I've never thought much of him as a Justice. He's fine with penalizing political messages during elections under campaign finance laws, and is willing to throw people in jail for flag-burning. At one time he had trouble with colleges judging candidates on the basis of their skin color, but now thinks it's perfectly acceptable. As far as he's concerned, there's no business that isn't federal business under the Commerce Clause. He's willing to give the government a lot of leeway in Fourth Amendment searches.

And he seems to believe Shakespeare didn't write his own plays.

So let's say goodbye to Justice Stevens. At least he wasn't entirely predictable. Here's hoping the new nominee surprises his President a little, too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

His supporters claim he didn't move left, the court moved right, but this is refuted by the record, which he can't hide. Opposed affirmative action then supported it. Supported the death penalty then opposed it. His lurch leftward on a number of issues can't be denied.

11:29 AM, April 10, 2010  

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