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Souter Retiring from Supreme Court - Lawrence vs Texas Concerns
05-01-2009, 03:35 AM
Post: #1
Souter Retiring from Supreme Court - Lawrence vs Texas Concerns
Souter Retiring from Supreme Court

He was on "our side" in the Lawrence vs. Texas 5-4 Supreme Court decision that held that the law has no business in private bedrooms and laws can not be based on morality.

It will be a fight but hopefully Obama gets through a liberal judge that respects individual freedoms unlike the more recent Bush anti individual freedom conservative judges.

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05-01-2009, 04:49 PM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2009 04:52 PM by davephx.)
Post: #2
RE: Souter Retiring from Supreme Court - Lawrence vs Texas Concerns
In an interview with Wolff Blitzer on CNN in 2008 Obama was asked if he had to choose a Supreme Court Justice who would they be modeled after. He replied he wanted someone for civil liberties such as Breyer, Souter and Ginsburg are sensible judges.

A concern is most of the pro liberty judges are also the oldest (Stevens 88, Ginsburg 75, Kennedy 71 and Breyer 70) all of which plus Souter made up the 5-4 majority in the Lawrence vs Texas landmark case for civil liberties and individual rights vs the other 4 judges.

In Lawrence vs. Texas it was Justice Stevens who argued, morality - even a longstanding view that a practice is immoral -- is not a sufficient justification to uphold a law prohibiting particular conduct. Second, he argued, individual decisions by married and unmarried persons about "intimacies of their physical relationship, even when not intended to produce offspring" are a form of "liberty" under the Due Process Clause. His retirement would be a loss for sexual freedoms.

Ginsburg's wrote in her 1974 report "The Legal Status of Women Under Federal Law" that "Prostitution as a consensual act between adults is arguably within the zone of privacy protected by recent constitutional decisions." In Lawrence vs. Texas she was part of the majority opinion. Her retirement would also be a loss for sexual freedom.

Obama has also said when asked at the Saddleback forum by Pastor Rick Warren who he would not have nominated he included the 2 of the 4 anti freedom judges, Thomas and Scalia. And Obama not only voted against the confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito, but he was among the 25 liberal senators who tried to filibuster Alito’s nomination

A majority of the pre-Bush Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence vs. Texas that we do have sexual freedoms, laws can not be based on morality and private consenting adult sexuality (at least anal sex in this specific case) is a Constitutional right, even though it is not specifically addressed in the Constitution. The conservatives call this "judicial activism" as if it were something bad. They want a dead Constitution with the only the rights that were laid out 200 years ago vs a "living" Constitution which lays out the fundamental principals but that takes into account modern issues that were ever addressed over 200 years ago.

Other countries (my favorite example Canada) have more individual freedoms or their similar Constitutions are widely accepted as covering them. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (their bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada) doesn't talk about prostitution of gay issues. But it has been interrupted that private consenting outcall adult prostitution is a legitimate individual right in Canada as it is in most other countries. The gay marriage issue is still being debated as to whether it is a right or not.

In general, Canadian courts have embraced a purposive interpretation of Charter rights. This means they have concentrated not on the traditional, limited understanding of what each right meant when the Charter was adopted in 1982, but rather on changing the scope of rights as appropriate to fit their broader purpose. This is tied to the generous interpretation of rights, as the purpose of the Charter provisions is assumed to be to increase rights and freedoms of people in a variety of circumstances, at the expense of the government powers.

In the U.S. most Republicans/Bush/McCain types attack this as bad judicial activism - our Constitution should only be based on the specific rights granted in 1787 and not be applied to more modern issues.

"Conservative" usually means anti-women's choice in issues of reproductive rights and private sexual rights. Conservatives want to reverse Rowe v. Wade and of course would reverse the important Lawrence vs. Texas decision for sexual rights. Conservatives know what is best for you, not your choice based on your beliefs. "Right" is usually pro business and anti individual rights, seeking to impose the Christian Right morality regardless of logic or will of the people. These are generalizations but generally hold true.

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