Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Liberal Supreme Court. In an essay, still not on-line (except to subscribers), WaPo editorialist Benjamin Wittes observes,
In the past few years alone the Court has upheld affirmative action at the University of Michigan Law School, struck down state laws banning partial-birth abortion, upheld the sweeping new McCain-Feingold campaign-finance-reform law, affirmed federal power to prohibit the medical use of marijuana, and struck down the death penalty for the mentally retarded and for those who committed their crimes as juveniles. It has dealt two body blows to the so-called property-rights movement - last term holding that localities could seize private property for economic- development purposes if they paid appropriate compensation, and a few years ago rejecting an attack on the power of state governments to restrict development around Lake Tahoe. It has curtailed it earlier experiment with carving out broad immunity for state governments from lawsuits seeking money damages. It has asserted jurisdiction over military detentions at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, in Cuba. And it has entirely rewritten federal law relating to criminal sentencing, requiring that juries, not judges, make the key factual findings that determine how much prison time a convict may receive.
Benjamin Wittes, The Atlantic Monthly (January/February 2006) at 48.

It sounds like something I've mentioned before...

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