#1 Has a liberal Supreme Court Justice ever turned conservative?04-03-2012, 12:59 AM
You can find several instances of Justices that were deemed conservative at their conformation turning into liberals later,but I'm not finding any liberals that have turned conservative.
I'm sure that it is somewhat relative and that both sides of the court in the distant past would have seemed conservative in modern times, but lets just say have there been any in the last 100 years?
This blog got me thinking.
Professor Byron L. Warnken's Blog
The Teaching, The Writing, The Clients
The Supreme Court is Even More Politicized than You Think
by Professor Byron L. Warnken on April 2, 2012
THE SUPREME COURT HAS BECOME MORE POLITICIZED
When Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens retired from the Supreme Court in 2010, at age 90, there were no longer any justices on the Court from the pre-Reagan era. Justice Stevens was a liberal justice appointed to the Court by President Ford, a Republican. Two of the most liberal justices in history – Justice Earl Warren and Justice William Brennan – were appointed to the Court by President Eisenhower, a Republican. Appointments like those appointments do not happen today.
Beginning with President Reagan, and followed by President Bush (the elder), President Clinton, President Bush (the younger), and President Obama, all appointments to the Supreme Court have been (1) a member of the President’s party, (2) someone who thinks a lot like the President, (3) someone who is on the President’s side of the line, but not so far down that line so as to preclude confirmation, and (4) a young person, so as to get the longest tenure out of each appointment. I knew that I was getting old when I realized that the Chief Justice of the United States was in his second year of law school when I became a law professor.
Historically, the Supreme Court was viewed as the one branch of government that stood above the political fray. The Court is still considered to be more neutral than the legislative branch and more neutral than the executive branch, but, in the last three decades, any notion that the Court is completely neutral is gone.
A century ago, only about 3% of the Court’s decisions were 5-to-4 decisions. During the last three decades, that number has increased more than seven fold to 22%. In fact, it is speculated that the reason that Justice David Souter resigned from the Court was his disgust over how political the Court acted in Bush v. Gore.
The current Court breakdown is as follows:
Justice Antonin Scalia – appointed by President Reagan – conservative
Justice Anthony Kennedy – appointed by President Reagan – conservative, but balanced
Justice Clarence Thomas – appointed by President Bush (the elder) – conservative
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – appointed by President Clinton – liberal
Justice Stephen Breyer – appointed by President Clinton – liberal
Chief Justice John Roberts – appointed by President Bush (the younger) – conservative
Justice Samuel Alito – appointed by President Bush (the younger) – conservative
Justice Sonya Sotomayor – appointed by President Obama – liberal
Justice Elana Kagan – appointed by President Obama – liberal
Justice Kennedy has become the Court. On many issues, when the other eight Justices are marching in lock step with the party that appointed them, Justice Kennedy can go be persuaded to go either way. Since 2005, Justice Kennedy has been in the majority in almost all 5-to-4 decisions. As goes Justice Kennedy, so goes the Court. That is why Supreme Court observer Jeffrey Toobin, Esq., predicted that the “individual mandate” in the Health Care Reform Act was in “grave danger,” after he heard the questions that Justice Kennedy asked of the advocates, as Justice Kennedy struggled with the confrontation between the Commerce Clause and the Tenth Amendment.The difference between pigs and people is that when they tell you you're cured it isn't a good thing.
04-03-2012, 03:02 AM
To the "elite" (on our side of the aisle) if your a "moderate" or a "centrist" your considered conservative. That is how they view it. This is how liberal republicans like those in the Bush family are labeled "conservative" (in public while privately being labeled "moderate").
Conversely the "elite" on the other side of the aisle consider you a conservative if you arent as far left as they are. Thats why when they have panels on the talk shows with 3 libs and a "moderate", they think its "balanced" because the moderate is "conservative" in their view.
So its little surprise when "conservatives" are appointed only later to learn they really werent.
Liberalism is just communism sold by the drink.
04-03-2012, 07:41 AM
I got into an argument over the 4 liberal justices of the supreme court on whether or not they are liberal, they all to a man thought they were centrists. lol I almost pissed myself laughing.
04-03-2012, 09:25 AM
The issue becomes what is considered "conservative" and what is considered "liberal." For instance, the latest 5-4 decision to come out of the Court OK's the State to strip search people for minor offenses when they are arrested. I would think the "conservative" approach would be to limit the actions of the State when it comes to the 4th Amendment, forcing the authorities to climb a higher bar on what is reasonable.
To me, the Court has become more partisan, not ideological.
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04-03-2012, 10:33 AM
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Now, perhaps the bar for arrest may be too low, but that's a different argument. At least in this case, the police had a warrant issued by a judge. The warrant was issued improperly, but that's not the fault of the police. They are duty-bound to act on that warrant if the person named on the warrant presents himself, as he did in this case. As such, the arrest in question was not illegal in itself, though it was precipitated by an action by a judge that may be deemed illegal.Olde-style, states' rights conservative. Ask if this concept confuses you.
04-03-2012, 10:49 AM
Now, perhaps the bar for arrest may be too low, but that's a different argument.
On a side note, that decision was during that time after Bush v Gore where the Court mixed things up a bit to get rid of the partisan taint. Souter actually wrote that one.
At least in this case, the police had a warrant issued by a judge. The warrant was issued improperly, but that's not the fault of the police. They are duty-bound to act on that warrant if the person named on the warrant presents himself, as he did in this case. As such, the arrest in question was not illegal in itself, though it was precipitated by an action by a judge that may be deemed illegal.
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