Barry, the big news, of course, is the reported retirement of Supreme Court Justice David Souter. The news comes just 102 days into the Obama Administration and sets the stage for President Obama to move to put his liberal stamp on the federal judiciary in a big way.
More about that in a moment, but wanted to answer your question from your last post about our graduation case out of California about the student we’re representing who was told she could not perform a tap dance number because the song mentions “God.” The song, in fact, is My One Thing by Rich Mullins – and the song simply reflects the student’s personal religious experience. The fact is that the song is not proselytizing and reflects the student’s relationship with God and its importance to her. And, Barry, that is protected by the First Amendment.
Speaking of the Constitution, President Obama is certainly going to select a Supreme Court nominee to replace the retiring Justice Souter who will be liberal by all accounts. The question is – does this really shift the balance on the high court? With Souter often siding with the liberal wing of the Court, some would argue that President Obama is merely replacing a liberal-leaning Justice with another.
In an interview this morning I indicated my belief that there’s much more at stake here and that President Obama can certainly set the tone for future appointments (including additional Supreme Court opportunities) with who he selects to replace Justice Souter. And, it’s no surprise that many of the top candidates are extremely liberal – and have a judicial philosophy that’s much more to the Left than Justice Souter.
Let’s not forget what President Obama has said in the past.
In explaining his vote against [the confirmation of Chief Justice] Roberts, Obama opined that deciding the “truly difficult” cases requires resort to “one’s deepest values, one’s core concerns, one’s broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one’s empathy.” In short, “the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in the judge’s heart.”
How about what’s in the Constitution? If that isn’t judicial activism, I don’t know what is.
I suspect we’ll learn more soon about who President Obama wants to nominate to the nation’s highest court. But there’s one thing we already know – the replacement of Justice Souter marks the beginning of President Obama’s legal legacy – a legacy that will move this country dramatically to the Left.
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