Saturday, March 8, 2008

"Activist" Right-Wing Courts?

Leftists love to complain about our "right-wing" Supreme Court, and how it threatens individual liberties. But look at this: a California court says that 166,000 families may be subject to prosecution if they continue to home-school their children. Has there ever been a right-wing court decision on any level that has ever told that number of people they must stop doing something they've long done?

Or find me a Roberts-Rehnquist "right wing activist" court decision that was as sweeping as the 1964 Warren Court One Man - One Vote decision. It nullified all 50 state legislatures and forced their reapportionment.


DBB said...

One thing I thought I'd point out: The California courts are not exactly left wing - I don't know for sure about the appeals courts there, but the Supreme Court in California has a 4-3 right-wing majority - a rather rabid right-wing majority, when you consider that a recent 4-3 decision that was so far to the right that I could hardly believe ANY judge would go along with it, much less four, was then overturned by either 8-1 or 9-0 by the US Supreme Court.

Michigan is similar, in that it is a blue state (though not as blue as California) with a Supreme Court that is 5-2 right wing, and not just right wing, but to-the-right-of-Scalia right wing. (Though there is some breakdown within that).

I think both states are artifacts of the fact that most people know nothing at all about judges, even when they get to elect them directly. (And also in Michigan, the governor can appoint a judge mid-term if one leaves office without any oversight or confirmation required - Engler appointed our current Supreme Court.

Sweating Through fog said...


I'm no lawyer, so I'll accept your characterization of the California court as more accurate than mine.

Regarding most people knowing nothing of judges: It always puzzled why contested elections for judges are so rare. I know when I go to the voting booth, it seems that the two parties have arranged the ballot as some sort of a deal. I've never see a TV ad saying: "don't elect this guy because he's really a commie!" Some judges have endorsements for all parties. While when conservatives ad liberals both complain about how high the stakes are with judges, there never seems to be a real election battle.