Dizzy Spells: Strict Constriction I
I mentioned above the problem with ‘strict construction’ as it's currently used. Contemporary right wing radicals give ‘strict construction’ a bad name. Look at the record of the Burger court--packed by President Nixon with strict constructionists, including Chief Justice Burger. If Warren Burger is a strict constructionist, then I’m not sure what the term means. It certainly doesn't mean overturning Roe v. Wade, since Burger voted for Roe.
From the Burger Court we got: Roe v. Wade (right of privacy), the Pentagon Papers (free press), a moratorium on arbitrary death penalty (cruel & unusual), U.S. vs. Nixon (executive privilege). In her speech to La Raza, Sotomayor said, "Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case." 1972 -- that's the Burger court. (I have to wiki the case cite.)
I was watching an old biopic of heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali; at one point, Ali celebrates a Supreme Court ruling reinstating his boxing license. I wiki’d and found the case. The Burger Court reversed Ali’s conviction for draft evasion, recognizing the champ’s religious exemption as a Muslim minister. Unanimously.
Just what am I supposed to complain about in the record of this conservative Supreme Court?
Liberal activist judges. What are these people talking about? Richard Nixon appointed liberal activist judges to the Supreme Court? Warren Burger was a liberal activist judge? What are these people talking about?
Roe v. Wade, the bane of the Religious Right for 40 years, was in fact a decision by Republican judges. 5 of the 7 judge majority in Roe were Republican appointees (3 Nixon, 2 Ike). Just like John McCain, Nixon promised to appoint ‘strict constructionists’ to the court. Roe v. Wade was the result. What are these people talking about?