Thoughts from a Yellow Dog Democrat living in Olympia, in the great BLUE state of Washington

I am a liberal because it is the political philosophy of freedom and equality. And I am a progressive because it is the political path to a better future. And I am a Democrat because it is the political party that believes in freedom, equality and progress. -- Digby

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Justice Thomas is No Model Justice

Bush has sited Justice Thomas as a model of the kind of judges he would appoint. This scares the shit out of me. Yesterday was a great example.

As you may have heard the Supremes unanimously rejected an Establishment Clause challenge to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLUIPA"), which applies to individuals in institutions. You probably read something in the mainstream press like witches and satan worshipers win court case. But in my opinion that wasn't the big story. Justice Thomas joined the opinion of the Court, but wrote separately to express his view that the Establishment Clause does not apply to states and that RLUIPA likely exceeds Congress's power under the Spending and Commerce Clauses. WTF!!?? WOW!!

What he is saying is that the states can establish religion and Congress cannot preclude them from doing so.

He also cited in his concurrence in last year's decision in Sabri v. United States that Spending Clause legislation must be reviewed under a higher standard than mere rationality to ensure that there is an obvious, direct condition between spending conditions and the spending itself. Such an approach would doom many of the thousands of measures that Congress has adopted to require recipients of federal spending to comply with Consititutional protections like discriminating against the elderly, disabled and other groups, as well as possibly rights under the Nursing Home Reform Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Housing, Occupational Safety, Truth in Lending, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave, the Freedom of Access to Clinics Act, as wells as minimum wage and maximum hour laws and labor and environmental laws.

And Bush wants to find more judges just like him to appoint to the Court. GAWD let's home they're too scarce to find!



  • At 5:03 PM , Blogger Shakespeare's Sister said...

    OT – I don’t seem to have an email address for you re: Big Brass Alliance. Can you email me at your convenience so I can add you to the list? Thanks!

  • At 1:59 PM , Blogger carla said...

    Welcome to the Progressive Women Bloggers webring.


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