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  Topic: Intelligent Design Creationism, And The Supreme Court - Speculation< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 16 2006,13:13   

If you believe what Dembscott has been yapping about at uncoomon dissent, as soon as Alito gets the nod intelligent design creationism is going to bury evolution in the public schools.  Yeah and monkeys are waiting to fly out of my, um, monkey cage as soon as that happens!

Dembscotts mental illness aside, obviously the intelligent design creationists want to see a court case go to the Supreme Court.  What court case? What the heck would such a case look like and where would it come from?

As long as what they preach does not fall within the definition of what constitutes science, and it implies a supernatural creator, and they use obvious creationist garbage like of Pandas and Naive People,  how the heck do they think they will win a court case?

Alito or no Alito, I am looking forward to another court case, hopefully one that will go to the Supreme Court.  Perhaps someone like Chris "Divine Design" Buttars will give the Disco that opportunity.

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 16 2006,13:45   

Last I had heard, Judge Ed Carnes, hearing the appeal of the Cobb Co. sticker case, was asking very discouraging questions. The theory of evolution really IS only a theory, right? And critical thinking IS what we want to teach, right? and shouldn't schoolchildren be exposed to more than a single side of an issue anyway? And just what's wrong with keeping an open mind?

So there was/is a very real danger that the 3-judge circuit appeals court will overturn and put those stickers right back on, pending yet another appeal.

Nor is there any doubt in anyone's mind that Judge Scalia would rule in favor of the stickers, nor that Thomas wouldn't rubber stamp anything Scalia wrote. Remember that Scalia dissented in the Edwards case, on much these same grounds. And I have little doubt that Roberts and Alito can't find ample legal grounds to encourage as many such stickers as they can find legal reason to bless.

Getting creationist-friendly judges appointed by creationist-friendly politicians is the proximate goal of the entire creationist movement. I personally think it's outright INSANE to expect a creationist judge to rule against the creationist agenda simply because it's explicitly prohibited by the law. That's not how creationists work, now or ever. In the creationist "mind", results are all that matter. Rationalizations can be fabricated as required, so long as the Good Guys win. Home cooking all the way.

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 17 2006,03:05   

Having only been an American for part of my life, I tend to look on the Supreme Court with an outsider's eye.  And to me, the decisions it makes have always been political decisions, not legal ones.  Why else would everyone talk about getting a President to puck judges who agree with him?

So if it goes to the court, there will be a political choice made, and what the law says will be irrelevant.

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 17 2006,04:08   

MidnightVoice:

As someone who has been watching much longer (and studied some constitutional law), I think you are partly correct. The Supreme Court exists to hear questions of law and not questions of fact. Presumably, they specialize in taking cases where the law is ambiguous, or where two (or more) laws are in direct conflict, or where laws as written and practiced conflict with the US Constitution. My opinion is that this process necessarily has a political component, since what must be examined is the *intent* of the laws, and intent is political. Legal decisions (in the sense I think you mean) are made at the lowest levels, where the fact situations are considered, the law being applied is unambiguous, and most of the concern is with discovering the facts, not with interpreting the law.

Quote
Why else would everyone talk about getting a President to pick judges who agree with him?

Judges have to come from somewhere. Either they are elected directly (a political process), or they are appointed by those who are elected (another political process), with the consent of yet *other* people who are elected. There's no way to avoid this. However, there is some genuine concern that the nominee be competent, whatever his political leanings. This is why the Harriet Miers nomination fell through - she simply lacked the substance that comes from widespread respect in the legal community. By and large, that respect for legal acumen is (at least somewhat) independent of political orientation.

Quote
So if it goes to the court, there will be a political choice made, and what the law says will be irrelevant.

You have exaggerated the situation beyond reason. What the law says is always directly relevant. What the law means is at this level also relevant. WHICH law should be considered most closely applicable is relevant. There will also typically be a dozen or more precedents that overlap the given case in important (but different) respects; which of these precedents is most useful?

I might, in the interests of both Panda's Thumb and current events, point you to the Dover decision. This decision was made by a conservative, Lutheran judge appointed by the current Bush, with the approval of the Republican Senator from his state. Now, was the law irrelevant to his decision?

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 17 2006,05:02   

As to point #3, I agree.  I did exaggerate when I said the law was irrelevant.  But the constitution was written by fallible humans, and can be interpreted in many ways.  Slavery is probably the most obvious example.  We have the same constitution as we did before the emancipation proclamation, and yet it now means something quite different.  And look at the second amendment:

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person."

To

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

· And look at all the questions raised by that amendment - Who does the Amendment mean by the "militia"?
· Who does the Amendment mean by "the People"?
· What "arms" does the Amendment protect?
· What does "shall not be infringed" mean?

The answers to those questions are political, as we can no longer ask the Founders what they would do about the AK 47 or the Uzi.

And more on intent - well I am sorry, but the framers could not possibly have predicted some of the changes that have occurred in the last two hundred or so years, so in some cases they could not have had an intent on something they could not know about.

This is what I really mean - if a judges political views are in one direction, that is how he will interpret the constitution.  His or her interpretation trumps the will of the people, if the two differ.

One of the biggest indicators of politics in the SC is the fact that so many decisions are 5 to 4.  Clear and obvious the answer is not  :)

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 17 2006,05:32   

MidnightVoice:

Yes, I know what you're saying. So your task, should you choose to accept it, is to construct a document describing and defining a stable government, which will remain useful and relevant for centuries to come, without being too vague to mean anything. And while you're at it, you had better not antagonize very powerful State interests, which often conflict with one another. And of course, your document must be approved by a majority of the eligible voters. And a couple of centuries hence, when conditions and technologies are beyond any possibility of prediction, judges must be able to use your document to guide LEGAL, as opposed to political, decisions. Go for it.

Quote
His or her interpretation trumps the will of the people, if the two differ.

This statement assumes there IS a will of the people. In reality, there is an enormous constellation of conflicting self-interests, which overlap with other self-interests in some ways but not others. Ordinary citizens have not uncommonly found themselves on both sides of legal cases with essentially similar fact situations, but different vested interests. "Justice" in the minds of the average litigator is indistinguishable from "me winning the case."

Quote
One of the biggest indicators of politics in the SC is the fact that so many decisions are 5 to 4.  Clear and obvious the answer is not

Of course, we realize that if the answer WERE clear and obvious, it wouldn't have got past a plea bargain at the trial court level.

Ironically, at the time it was first enacted, the 2nd Amendment WAS clear and obvious. The States were worried about losing their sovereignty through Federal military adventures. Neither the federal nor state governments could afford to arm a milita; these were gathered from among ordinary citizens and trained to military needs as required. Every eligible citizen had his own arms; these were necessary for survival in most of the country. 'Military arms' wasn't a meaningful notion. So the states made sure that the federales lacked the constitutional authority to disarm their citizens.

So the questions you ask only became meaningful as times changed, military technology far exceeded household requirements, antagonism between federal and state governmental levels became a dead letter (at least at the military level), defense became a national and never a state concern, and the national preference moved toward standing military forces. Gradually, the conditions had changed to the point where the initial concerns were entirely moot.

I'm willing to agree that of necessity Supreme Court decisions are largely political, and that political orientation matters a great deal. But it still serves as a check on other branches of government. If they are WAY out of line, Congress sometimes passes laws to overrule them (which they can do), or even pass entire constitutional amendments to correct misguided Court decisions (the 16th Amendment is just such a case). It's a constant juggling act, and seems to work pretty well most of the time.

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 17 2006,06:55   

I think we are in pretty good agreement here  :D

The Constitution is one of the most important documents of the Western World, and one of the most amazing.  It was waaaaaay ahead of its time.  But it needs to be remembered that it was written by a bunch of rebellious Brits  :D  And times change.

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 17 2006,07:13   

Quote (MidnightVoice @ Jan. 17 2006,12:55)
I think we are in pretty good agreement here  :D

The Constitution is one of the most important documents of the Western World, and one of the most amazing.  It was waaaaaay ahead of its time.  But it needs to be remembered that it was written by a bunch of rebellious Brits  :D  And times change.

You are aware that the constitution* was based on the magna carta (1215)?

http://www.royal-windsor.com/runnymede.htm

When was the constitution* written?
:D


*edited for accuracy. I first wrote "declaration of independence"     *blushes*   Knee jerk reaction is my only excuse. You pesky, rebelious colonists. :D

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2006,19:27   

Kennedy on the nomination of "scalito"

Quote
Judge Alito's consistent advocacy of what he called "the gospel" of the "unitary executive" is just as troubling. Professor Steven Calabresi, one of the originators of the unitary executive theory and a co-founder of the Federalist Society, has acknowledged that if the concept is implemented, it would produce a radical change in how the government operates.

As he wrote in the Harvard Law Review in 1992, "The practical consequences of this theory is dramatic: It renders unconstitutional independent agencies and counsels to the extent that they exercise discretionary executive power."



goodbye republic, hello empire...

I for one welcome our new overlords.

*gulp*

(pssst: hey, buddy, is there a back door to this place?)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn....15.html

  
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