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Jul 3, 2004 9:30 pm


Court Year in Review



Linda Greenhouse has her annual end-of-term summary of the Supreme Court in the Times.

The basic thesis: that 2003-2004 may be remembered as the term in which William Rehnquist"lost" his Court, with O'Connor, Breyer, and Stevens emerging as the key justices--O'Connor and Breyer as the alliance of pragmatists, Stevens for his tactical successes.

On the Court's right, this week's New Republic has the latest, not terribly successful, attempt to imply that Clarence Thomas is anything more than a Scalia clone. I wonder sometimes what former Missouri senator John Danforth, who repeatedly stated in public and private during the confirmation hearings that Thomas would be a moderate justice, thinks of the performance of his protege.

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Oscar Chamberlain - 7/5/2004

Thanks for the link to Greenhouse's article. it will be interesting to see if next year;'s decision's validate her interpretation.

What I find most surprising is this Court's cementing the right to privacy into the Constitution. Many conservatives had been loath to admit to a right to privacy, in large measure because its recognition by the Court gives more life to the Ninth amendment. As with the recent access to Court cases, the majority's actions may represent a desire to counter the loss of rights due to security reasons with new paths to appeal govermental excess.

That's a good thing, in my humble opinion, but it will have consequences for a long time to come.

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