delawareonline | The News Journal, Wilmington, Del. | This Supreme Court leaves bad precedent
Harry F. Themal, wrote an editorial this morning that is essentially nothing more than a diatribe against Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. Rather than being well-thought out and rational, it is self-contradictory and many arguments fly in the face of common sense.
Let’s deal with the contradiction first: he criticizes the Supreme Court’s ruling against racially-based plans to promote “diversity” in schools. But he closes his editorial saying:
Yet no matter who is sworn in in 2009, this country will suffer for decades under the mean-spirited, anti-individual philosophy of this Supreme Court.
He claims that this Court is anti-individual rights, but supports a program that would discriminate against individuals because of their skin color in pursuit of the amorphous idea of “diversity.” (Hube at The Colossus of Rhodey has done a yeoman’s job over the years pointing out the flaws in the diversity concept. Check his Education Archive for samples.)
He then criticizes Alito in the following case:
Alito was also part of the 5-4 majority in an even more egregious case of the court’s stepping on individual rights. An Ohio prisoner convicted of murder filed an appeal by the deadline set by a federal judge, who had misstated the date. The appeal came a few days after the deadline in federal statutes. The judge was wrong, but Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, in effect, that’s just too bad and the inmate is out of luck as the court reversed previous allowances for “unique circumstances.”
Essentially in this case, Alito and the majority were arguing that an apparently innocent mistake by a judge cannot excuse violating a federal law. Had this been a mere judicial guideline or internal deadline, perhaps it could easily have been waived, but this is the law, and court systems are supposed to follow the law. They really don’t have the luxury of ignoring the law, even in a case like this. The blame really lies with the judge who screwed up, not with the Supreme Court.
He also issues a brief list of decisions that offend his sensibilities; “school desegregation, late-term abortion and campaign financing”.
Let’s take each of them in turn:
School Desegregation: As noted above, this decision stated that school districts can not discriminate on the basis of race in school assignments when no previous history of racial discrimination existed. (It can still be allowed when there was a judicial finding of past discrimination that must be rectified.) Liberals have portrayed this as a turning away from Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas which held that school districts can not discriminate on the basis of race in school assignments. Rather that overturning Brown, this court is attempting to abide by it.
Late-term abortion: In this case, the Court simply held that having a doctor stick a knife in to head of a mostly born child, sucking the brains out with a vacuum cleaner, and then crushing the skull in order to kill said child is not a constitutional right.
Campaign Financing: Again contradicting his supposed concern for individual rights, Themal is upset that the Supreme Court ruled that Congress improperly restricted the rights of political groups (who by definition are associations of individuals) to broadcast issue related advertisements in a period of time leading up to an election.
So, Themal is upset that the court upheld free speech, the right of a child not have his head crushed and brains sucked out, and ruled against racial discrimination. I find it hard to understand why anyone would disagree with the Court’s decision in these cases.