Thursday, March 03, 2005


The SCOTUS Opens Can Of Worms

I have to head out of town today so I just wanted to leave an update on the latest SCOTUS ruling From Iowahawk for you to read, and I will see you all tomorrow:
Court Backs 3-Oxen Dowries
WASHINGTON, DC - In a far-reaching decision that will likely create complicated consequences for the American livestock and wedding-planning industries, the Supreme Court this morning ruled 5-4 that all US marriage dowries "must include three non-diseased oxen."

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy cited "the weight of the expansive penumbra surrounding the historically emerging and prevailing opinions of tribal shamans from Lesotho to Myanamar" in issuing the historic ruling in American Cattleman Association vs. Modern Bride, Helverson, et al.

In a scathing and sometimes caustic dissent, Judge Antonin Scalia wrote "Holy. Freakin'. S**t."

The American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed an amicus brief in the case, praised the decision as "an important first step in insuring that American grooms will eventually share the same access to bovine property rights as the rest of the international community."

You can read more about it here.
This is a funny article, but it distorts the power of the court in its effort to be humorous.
The Supreme Court cannot dictate actions or pass laws. It can only void laws that are unconstitutional.

Here is the scenario that I envision:

The Texas Legislature - dominated by radical right fundamentalists - passes legislation requiring strict observation of Puritan codes of conduct including the burning of witches and heretics.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says that is perfectly OK by him and refuses to strike down any of the new laws because he doesn't want to impose his morality on anyone else.
Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike! The problem with your example is that Scalia would stike it down as unconstitutional; as it clearly is. The decision about juvenile executions was even written in terms of the constitution, but was based on the morality of 5 people.
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