From The Politico, yesterday:
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) plans to review the Senate testimony of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel A. Alito to determine if their reversal of several long-standing opinions conflicts with promises they made to senators to win confirmation....
The idea for a review came to Specter when he said he ran into Justice Stephen G. Breyer at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado.
Breyer, an appointee of President Bill Clinton, drew attention last month for suggesting that Roberts and the conservative majority were flouting stare decisis, the legal doctrine that, for the sake of stability, courts should generally leave past decisions undisturbed....
"I only noticed it in a couple of cases," Specter said of the court overturning or undermining precedents. But Breyer, in their Aspen conversation, said "there were eight."
The liberal concern for stare decisis is code for wanting Roe v. Wade left alone, which is pathetic. They know the ruling can't stand on its own.
Most disturbing is Breyer's overt attempt to undermine Roberts and also influence the political process in judicial selections, altogether compromising the separation of powers.
There was also this:
The Specter inquiry poses a potential political problem for the GOP and future nominees because Democrats are increasingly complaining that the Supreme Court moved quicker and more dramatically than advertised to overturn or chip away at prior decisions.
I didn't see before how a Bush nominee who was strict constructionist could make it out of the Democrat-controlled Senate alive. Now it seems impossible. On the bright side, Bush's legacy is already clear.
I recently heard the next Supreme nomination will be fought like the Battle of Armageddon, since the next justice could provide the Roe v. Wade tipping vote. Well, the Battle has just begun, even before there is a nominee to draw and quarter. Unable to get Supreme nominees to show their Roe hand, Democrats relied on their answers re: stare decisis. Now they'll say they can't count on that.
And stare decisis? Good thing it's not a rule written in stone. If so, Dred Scott would still be the ruling of the land, and we wouldn't have Brown v. Board of Education, which overturned Plessy v. Ferguson.
Interestingly, Roberts was asked during his confirmation hearings if he supported the Brown v. Board of Education decision.
Liberals should be asked the same question.
[Specter photo and caption are courtesy of The Politico.]