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The Next Supreme Court Justices

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by bumm, Aug 1, 2008.

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  1. bumm

    bumm Member

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  2. bumm

    bumm Member

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    BY AMY DOMINELLO
    Media General News Service
    Published: July 31, 2008

    WASHINGTON - A president stays in office four or eight years, but his appointments to the Supreme Court can extend his impact for decades.

    It’s likely that Republican John McCain or Democrat Barack Obama will be able to appoint one - and possibly three - justices to the court during his time in the White House.

    ON THE ISSUES

    Abortion
    The candidates are polar opposites on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion. Both say said they will nominate judges who follow their views.
    John McCain: The Republican believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that should be overturned. Each state would then decide whether abortion is legal.
    Barack Obama: The Democrat says he will preserve the right to abortion and opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade.

    Gay marriage
    Both candidates oppose a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, but the two differ substantially on whether gay couples should marry or be allowed to enter into civil unions.
    John McCain: Believes same-sex couples should be able to enter into legal agreements for insurance and other purposes. Opposes gay marriage and believes in “the unique status of marriage” between a man and a woman.
    Barack Obama: Supports civil unions for same-sex couples that give them equal rights and privileges as married couples. Believes marriage is between a man and a woman but states should decide who can marry.

    Guns
    Although both candidates support closing the “gun-show loophole” by requiring background checks at the shows, there’s little consensus on Second Amendment rights.
    John McCain: Believes the right to bear arms should be protected and does not support additional restrictions on the Second Amendment.
    Barack Obama: Says he respects the rights of hunters and law-abiding Americans to bear arms but believes that right is subject to “commonsense” regulation to reduce gun violence. He supports making guns childproof and making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.

    The Supreme Court

    Members of the Supreme Court are appointed for life by the president and approved by the Senate.

    Republican John McCain has had been a senator since 1987 and voted for seven of the nine justices currently on the court. Justices John Paul Stevens and Antonin Scalia were appointed before his arrival.

    Democrat Barack Obama, in the Senate since 2005, voted against the nominations of both Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito

    Here’s a look at the justices, their ages, the presidents who nominated them and when the justices joined the court:

    Chief Justice John Roberts, 53. President George W. Bush. 2005.

    Justice Samuel Alito, 58. President George W. Bush. 2006.

    Justice Stephen Breyer, 69. President Clinton. 1994.

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75. President Clinton. 1993.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy, 72. President Reagan. 1988.

    Justice Antonin Scalia, 72. President Reagan. 1986.

    Justice David Souter, 68. President George H.W. Bush. 1990.

    Justice John Paul Stevens, 88. President Ford. 1975.

    Justice Clarence Thomas, 60. President George H.W. Bush. 1991.

    The ideological makeup of the court today is split very narrowly. Even one appointment could dramatically affect its direction.

    “It only takes one because the court is very, very closely divided,” said Kathryn Kolbert, president of People for the American Way, a liberal advocacy group that focuses on constitutional liberties.

    And it’s not just the Supreme Court. The next president will exert his influence through the nomination of hundreds of judges to lower federal courts.

    Observers of the Supreme Court say several divisive issues will likely come before the court in the next five years: gay rights, abortion, gun control, privacy and civil liberties in the age of terrorism.

    But who becomes the next justice could vary widely, depending on who sits in the Oval Office.

    Here’s a look at what each candidate has said.

    John McCain
    McCain said in May that the courts have become “one of the defining issues of this presidential election” because “the choices we make will reach far into the future.”

    He and Obama differ, McCain said, in their views on the limits of judicial power.
    .
    McCain believes that judges should strictly interpret laws as written and not impose their own views or experiences when making decisions.

    McCain said judges should not indulge in “judicial activism,” particularly in controversial cases that deal with politically charged issues like abortion or gay rights. Decisions on those subjects should rest on the shoulders of state legislatures and voters - not courts, McCain said.

    McCain has said federal judges have been guilty of “systematic abuse” of the federal court system.

    “My nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power and clear limits to the scope of federal power,” he said.

    McCain has formed a justice advisory committee filled with conservative legal minds to provide input on his court appointments. He has said his role models for judicial nominees are Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito and the late Justice William Rehnquist. Those justices have practiced narrow interpretations of the law.

    As did many Republicans, McCain voted to confirm President Clinton’s appointees that are now on the bench - Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. McCain said he did so because the judges were competent and he did not want to play politics with the nominations.

    But conservatives are hopeful that McCain Supreme Court nominees would move the nation’s highest court to the right.

    “If John McCain were elected, it would help further the transformation of the court into one that practices judicial restraint,” said Ed Whelan, a former law clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia. Whelan is president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative think tank.

    McCain would, however, face trouble getting his nominees through what likely will continue to be a Democratic Senate.

    “[The Senate] is not going to let a Republican president move the court any further to the right than it is,” said Michael Gerhardt, a constitutional law professor at the University of North Carolina.

    But a change of even one justice would encourage those seeking a new direction on controversial issues.

    “They’ll be looking for a new court to change course,” said Kolbert, who argued a 1992 case for Planned Parenthood before the Supreme Court that upheld abortion rights.

    Barack Obama
    Obama has not been as outspoken as McCain about judicial nominees, but it’s clear the two have quite different views.

    During Senate confirmation hearings, Obama voted against confirming two of McCain’s judicial role models - Roberts and Alito.

    In May, Obama told CNN that he considered Justices Breyer, Ginsburg and David Souter to be sensible judges. Obama has also spoken highly of Chief Justice Earl Warren, who led the court in the 1950s and 1960s.

    “I want people on the bench who have enough empathy, enough feeling, for what ordinary people are going through,” he told reporters, responding to McCain’s May speech on the courts.

    Obama has said judicial decisions should be based on evidence and fact—but sometimes legal process alone cannot lead a judge to a decision.

    After he voted against Roberts’ confirmation in 2005, Obama said some court cases “can only be determined on the basis of one’s deepest values, one’s core concerns, one’s broader perspectives on how the world works and the depth and breadth of one’s empathy.”

    Obama, a lawyer who has taught constitutional law, said that while he felt Roberts was highly qualified, his record gave no indication that he viewed the law the same way as Obama.

    Kolbert said an Obama nominee would realize that the Constitution is not “frozen in time.”

    “His justices would be committed to the viewpoint of opportunity for all,” she said.

    But McCain and other conservatives view that as judicial activism.

    “Judges don’t have willy-nilly authority to make things up,” Whelan said. “They need to have a clear warrant in the Constitution.”

    Contact Amy Dominello at 202-662-7671 or [email protected]
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  3. Drgong

    Drgong Member

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    It is why this election is so important, if the wrong person is elected and one of the heller 5 passes on or retires, we could be looking at it being pushed back :cuss:

    It is why I joined the NRA yesterday, but that does not meet the level of being a actvist it seems :p
     
  4. kevindsingleton

    kevindsingleton Member

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    I never thought I'd agree with B. Hussein Obama, but I, too, support making the expired assault weapons ban permanent!

    Heck, while we're at it, let's make all expired gun control laws permanent!
     
  5. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    Even with a "conversvative" court, we are losing rights any time those folks decide a case.
     
  6. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    I hope you mean permanently expired.
     
  7. jrfoxx

    jrfoxx Member

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    I TRULY hope thats sarcasm and you just didnt add the sarcasm emoticom thinking it should be painfully obvious a member of this forum, and a gun owner, would not support such nonsense. You still may want to add it in for the skeptical, to save yourself some flaming and/or heated PM's. Just a little friendly advice.:D

    edit to add:
    Or, I could be dense and it wasnt sacrasm, but a play on words, and its the "expired" you want made permanant, not the "ban".:eek:

    I can be a little slow sometimes I guess. Apparently the wit was a little to sharp for me today on that one.:D
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  8. camslam

    camslam Member

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    This article mirrors my concerns for the future of our country and gun rights.

    We discussed this at length in this thread:

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=381706

    I believe the future outlook for our gun rights is very dim. It won't be the focus of a Obama presidency, but it will be a side show, especially with a Democratic House and Senate.

    The real damage is going to come from the replacements for Stevens and Ginsberg.

    Not good at all.:barf:
     
  9. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    The most likely to retire are the liberal side of the court.
     
  10. bumm

    bumm Member

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    The most likely to retire are the liberal side of the court.

    True. But we can't count on that, and we don't need to seed the court with YOUNG activist liberals that will be there for another 30 years. There's also no guarantee that there won't be another liberal president in the future.
    Marty
     
  11. JohnL2

    JohnL2 Member

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    You know I like Obama the person, but some of his past stances on issues just makes me have grave concerns. I think he was just caught up in the emotion of the time and puffing up to look like he was taking a hard stance. And now he is moving to the center to get votes. But there is that nagging doubt that is irrefutable.
     
  12. wacki

    wacki Member

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    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpa...4A15757C0A96F958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all

    Given the amount of gun owners in Pennsylvania and Florida, I think there's a real possibility we can influence the election enough to make sure the right Justices enter the Supreme Court. That is if we get the message out....

    Now that black rifles are in the mainstream, gun owners should have more power than ever before.
     
  13. wacki

    wacki Member

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    If you would like to go over to armedpolitesociety.com I would be happy to discuss Obama's very long and intense anti-gun history with you.
     
  14. camslam

    camslam Member

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    Yep. If you are a gun owner and you are voting a certain way in this coming election, you either don't read, don't listen, don't value the 2nd amendment, or just don't care.

    Most of us know that where there is BILLOWING SMOKE, there usually ends up being a BIG OLD BONFIRE. :mad:
     
  15. res1b3uq

    res1b3uq Member

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    Obama is a Chicago politico--he scares H-ll out of me.
     
  16. misANTHrope

    misANTHrope Member

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    Ding ding!

    If Obama wins, the most likely thing to change in the court is for Stevens and/or Ginsburg to retire, and then be replaced by folks with similar leanings. Essentially, a continuation of the status quo.

    Now, that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be nice to instead have those two retire and be replaced by a couple of Scalias, persay, but I do think that some of the hand-wringing over SCOTUS appointments is overwrought. Personal opinion.
     
  17. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

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    Obama is a socialist and McCain is a liberal. (Forget what they say now to get elected, check their past voting record.) Neither will appoint a conservative judge.
     
  18. bobbarker

    bobbarker Member

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    Well, all we gotta do is elect a good, Republican candidate, to help take care of our gun laws. So, this year, excercise choice. And Choose to vote for whatever Republican, War Hero, 2nd amendment supporting candidate you want. I Certainly won't tell you how to vote. :)
     
  19. MinnMooney

    MinnMooney Member

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    This year's election, more than any other election that i've voted in, scares the hell out of me due to the issues that may be decided over the next 4-8 years.

    Our gun rights is but one. Welfare and immigration rank up there also. I don't want to see this country go under through over-taxation of the rich - the very people who pay our salaries and build the factories.
     
  20. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Member

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    I'm pretty sure Scalia has made noises about wanting to retire.
     
  21. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    The judges most likely to retire in the next 4-years tend to have a liberal tilt. If McCain wins, a liberal moderate will be appointed to replace. McCain is no Conservative and he likely will not nominate a very conservative judge and expect to have their nomination approved by Congress. If Obama wins, only liberal judges will be considered as he will be pushed by his party to stay left once he is president no matter what he claims in his campaign.

    When the Republicans had the majority in Congress, they didn't know how to use their power and tried to appease the Democrats at that time. Now the Democrats are in power and they definitely know how to use their power.
     
  22. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    If you realized this wasn't the place for political threads...and you are right, it's not....Why did you post it here?
    :banghead:
     
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