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Old 06-01-2009, 05:44 AM
 
Location: In a house
5,230 posts, read 7,323,340 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redisca View Post
Any time a court interprets a statute, someone who doesn't like the interpretation can accuse the court of "legislating from the bench". Moreover, the court is empowered to strike down laws that are unconstitutional -- thus frustrating the will of "other gov't bodies" and the "population at large". Finally, the reason that courts are independent from other branches of the government is so that they are free to make unpopular decisions. Pandering to the public is the province of the legislature and the executive -- not the courts, at least not federal courts. The populace isn't as in love with the Constitution as you seem to believe. Hell, most people don't even give themselves the trouble to find out what it says. Sometimes following the Constitution can be really unpopular -- as when a killer is caught as a result of an unconstitutional search, and thus must be let go. The job of the court in that situation is to follow the Constitution, even if the mob demands otherwise.
I tend to agree. But the fact is they do not follow the Constitution but instead push policy. Otherwise the Heller case in DC would have been a clean sweep seeing as DC is unquestionably "Infringing" on the second amendment.

Quote:
So you want to add another court, basically? And who will review its decisions?
I think I made it clear that it was a nice thought but not likely possible.
The thing is, lacking any kind of accountability, such as it now stands, they can find based on emotion & confuse the issues in order to push their personal agenda or feelings instead of the law.

Quote:
It's more like, America is infested with folks who disagree on what those principles are -- and that's the way it's been from the beginning.
Those principles are preserved in the bill of rights for all to see. There really is no room for disagreement IF the Constitution is considered law.
If something is preserved as a right by the constitution it is simply beyond the scope of the legislature to infringe upon. Anytime that happens it is the job of the court to strike those laws down, as you said. Yet they do not & often dont even bother with hearing a case if its too controversial or it would not be possible to find in a manner that coincides with current public opinion AND the constitution, in such cases public opinion should carry no weight, the deciding factor must be the constitution. If people do not like a constitutional provision their recourse is thru the legislature, not in the form of an unconstitutional law, but thru amending the constitution.

I base most of my statements on the SCOTUS refusing to do the right thing in regards to the second amendment, because it effects me directly & is something I care about, but it is not isolated to laws pertaining to gun rights. Across the board there exists legislation, both state & Federal, which is in conflict with the constitution & nothing is done by this body tasked with insureing above all else that the rights of Americans are not being abused or denied by the gov't.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:19 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 31,066,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAZER PROPHET View Post

Currently, we have 3 justices (Ginsberg, Scalia & Alito) that view their job as more of a political activism position whereby they push their personal agendas more than straight forward ajudication of the law.
Well you have just foreclosed the possibility of meaningful debate (once again I find this "Great Debate" folder a total failure) since you've decided who and what is activistic adjudication and what isn't, wrongly I might add.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:34 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 31,066,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Knocker View Post
I base most of my statements on the SCOTUS refusing to do the right thing in regards to the second amendment, because it effects me directly & is something I care about, but it is not isolated to laws pertaining to gun rights. Across the board there exists legislation, both state & Federal, which is in conflict with the constitution & nothing is done by this body tasked with insureing above all else that the rights of Americans are not being abused or denied by the gov't.
Doing the right thing? You accuse the Courts of bias when you state that your disagreement (rightly or wrongly) because previous decisions or lack their of have affected something at affects you and which you personally care about?

What sort of objective impartiality can those holding a conflicting view of what you deem to be the "right" thing when you haven't even heard the facts at trial?
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 43,578,099 times
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I think there is so much political and public pressure on these judges, until the common sense and reasoning skills they are gifted with.....can rarely be used to it's full capacity. It's not their fault....it's our fault. Finding the middle ground of grace doesn't seem to be a sought after American skill any longer.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:24 PM
 
Location: In a house
5,230 posts, read 7,323,340 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
Doing the right thing? You accuse the Courts of bias when you state that your disagreement (rightly or wrongly) because previous decisions or lack their of have affected something at affects you and which you personally care about?

What sort of objective impartiality can those holding a conflicting view of what you deem to be the "right" thing when you haven't even heard the facts at trial?

What are you talking about? I watched the entire proceedings of the Heller case but thats besides the point. You dont need to watch a trial or hearing to know the people were not impartial if the opinions at the end are not based on the constitution but instead on personal bias.
Since there is nothing in the second amendment to suggest that restricting firearms is not unconstitutional & there is a definite statement that says it cannot be infringed, then how can an opinion that a gun ban is constitutional be anything but wrong?

We all pay attention to the things that matter to us. I'd feel the same way if they had opinions regarding freedom of speech that required permits & other prior restraints simply to talk in public, or they found it constitutional to restrict freedom of expression on school property. If they found it constitutional to ban Mosques near schools or registered members of religion I'd fight that as well. I believe in the entire constitution & I believe it means exactly what it says. "Shall not be infringed" leaves very little wiggle room just as it was intended.

You can hold whatever view you wish. Your view may be that the constitution is wrong. But those justices are not charged with deciding if the constitution is right or wrong. They are charged with decideing if legislation conflicts with it or not. Gun control unquestionably conflicts with it.

For the SCOTUS "The right thing" is abiding by the constitution regardlrss of their feelings.

Last edited by Tin Knocker; 06-02-2009 at 03:36 PM..
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,590,043 times
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I don't often agree with Tin, but he is right about this:

"Across the board there exists legislation, both state & Federal, which is in conflict with the constitution"

I'm not going to get into his 2nd Amendment, because I know where that would go. But it is easy to find an example in almost every amendment of the Bill of Rights. Like this:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to be confronted with the witnesses against him

This right is regularly violated in child abuse or molestation cases, when the defendant is routinely denied the right to be confronted by his accuser in court. I don't know if the Supreme Court has ever ruled on this.

I also thank Tin for standing up against the police, who arbitrarily declare where liberals may peaceably assemble and freely speak their wish for the government to redress their grievances, (violating three rights simultaneously). while criminalizing peaceable assembly.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:31 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 31,066,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post

This right is regularly violated in child abuse or molestation cases, when the defendant is routinely denied the right to be confronted by his accuser in court.

A former defendant, jtur88?

All of this talk about courts making policies is so ridiculous on face value because, judges have to confront real life circumstances in trials that don't neatly fit into individual's definitions of the law.

If the law were so clear cut, why do we need judges in the first place?

As for the alleged violation of the 6th Amendment right to confront witnesses, here are a few examples of what judges have had to contend with in child molestation cases, read a couple and tell me how you would apply the law.

Child Abuse and the Law - The Confrontation Clause
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,590,043 times
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Thank you for those references to the two Supreme Court rulings on the issue.

In Coy, the SC ruled that the confrontation clause is literal. In Craig, there was a narrow 5-4 ruling against confrontation clause, with OConnor writing the amazing statement that the clause "does not guarantee absolute right". I wonder if all her decisions were predicated on the principle that the Constitution "does not guarantee an absolute right".

Is every defendant to be denied confrontation, merely because a withess is so fragile, that a confrontation would be too unnerving to continue to lie? I suspect the Founders thought that a witness would be less likely to lie in a confrontation with the accused, and inserted the clause for exactly that reason. I agree, however, that in Lomprey, the witness "made a statement" and satisfied the confrontation clause.

I recall another OConnor zinger. I can't cite the specific case, but it involved a single mom's effort to recover her old beater of a car, which had been impounded because her estranged husband used it to pick up a hooker. OConnor wrote that she had no right to recover the car, in part because it was of "trivial value". Yes, no doubt compared to OConnor's new BMW parked next to her Escalade, it was of trivial value. But the woman lost her job because she could not commute to work in her car of trivial value, and had no Escalade parked next to it. A perfect example of the SC's blind elitism.

Last edited by jtur88; 06-02-2009 at 11:02 PM..
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:41 AM
 
Location: In a house
5,230 posts, read 7,323,340 times
Reputation: 2558
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I don't often agree with Tin, but he is right about this:

"Across the board there exists legislation, both state & Federal, which is in conflict with the constitution"
Had to happen eventually.

Quote:
I'm not going to get into his 2nd Amendment, because I know where that would go. But it is easy to find an example in almost every amendment of the Bill of Rights. Like this:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to be confronted with the witnesses against him

This right is regularly violated in child abuse or molestation cases, when the defendant is routinely denied the right to be confronted by his accuser in court. I don't know if the Supreme Court has ever ruled on this.
I speak out more on second amendment issues jt for many reasons, but mostly because not enough others do. Many folks who speak out in a heartbeat over other civil rights violations ignore it. I cant find a single reason its less meaningful or important than the rest I its obviously under attack so its where I expend efforts. True I shoot & enjoy it, but I also excercise all my other rights & they mean no less to me.

Quote:
I also thank Tin for standing up against the police, who arbitrarily declare where liberals may peaceably assemble and freely speak their wish for the government to redress their grievances, (violating three rights simultaneously). while criminalizing peaceable assembly.
All violations of civil rights disgust me. Your right to protest or speak your mind carries great weight. I might not like what you say but I wont try & stop you from saying it. Its funny you feel that the authorities single out liberals but I digress.

Last edited by Tin Knocker; 06-03-2009 at 06:07 AM..
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:06 AM
 
Location: In a house
5,230 posts, read 7,323,340 times
Reputation: 2558
Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
A former defendant, jtur88?

All of this talk about courts making policies is so ridiculous on face value because, judges have to confront real life circumstances in trials that don't neatly fit into individual's definitions of the law.

If the law were so clear cut, why do we need judges in the first place?

As for the alleged violation of the 6th Amendment right to confront witnesses, here are a few examples of what judges have had to contend with in child molestation cases, read a couple and tell me how you would apply the law.

Child Abuse and the Law - The Confrontation Clause
We are not talking trial Judges.
We need the SCOTUS judges because without them the constitution & its provisions get twisted beyond comprehension. Its not all clear cut, but the intentions usually are. The cases you cited are compelling but should not be construed as the norm & do not apply to many other areas of the constitution that these judges are tasked with interpreting.
The thing about SC judgments is they do set policy & are used as case law almost without exception. Because of that they need to excercise extreme caution & base their findings not on what they personally may or may not like, but on the letter of the law.
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