Monday, December 04, 2006

Would McCain Support Another Justice Breyer?

Check out this AP report AP REPORT on Justice Stephen G. Breyer:

---Justice Stephen G. Breyer says the Supreme Court must promote the political rights of minorities and look beyond the Constitution's text when necessary to ensure that "no one gets too powerful." Breyer, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, has brokered many of the high court's 5-to-4 rulings. He said judges must consider the practical impact of a decision to ensure democratic participation.

"We're the boundary patrol," Breyer said... It's a Constitution that protects a democratic system, basic liberties, a rule of law, a degree of equality, a division of powers, state, federal, so that no one gets too powerful," said Breyer, who often votes with a four-member liberal bloc of justices. Breyer said that in some cases it would not make sense to strictly follow the Constitution, because phrases such as "freedom of speech" are vague. He said judges must look at the real-world context -- not focus solely on framers' intent,'" ---

(Not Framer, the blogger's intent, I'm sure)

Considering that a post-Bush president will likely have the opportunity to appoint at least one supreme court justice, it might be interesting to consider how the various candidates look at the role. Breyer clearly plays an activist role using the constitution where it suits him such as in the case of McCain-Feingold. Unfortunately, Breyer's intent to ensure that "no one get's too powerful" seems to have backfired as the campaign finance reform law has become known as the incumbent security law. Perhaps the Constitution wasn't such a bad thing to follow after all.

Now that McCain has claimed the problems of his campaign finance reform law were the result of misguided congressmen who messed up his bill, does he think Breyer was right in upholding the law? Or would he look for a replacement that would strike it down?

Don't expect to hear anything about this in one of McCain's speeches anytime soon, but it might make for an interesting town hall question...provided he doesn't get too upset over it.

2 comments:

sirocco said...

I would argue gerrymandering has a bigger effect on incumbant retention than campaign finance laws.

The only way you'll ever get an even playing field financially is full public financing. A set amount for the race, and no outside funding permitted. This can't happen until the concept of donating money is a form of "free speech" is changed.

AZAce said...

Still, one citizen equals one vote. Note Pederson, Forbes, Perot, etc. defeats.

There is no question that gerrymandering has a huge impact on incumbant retention. But gerrymandering does not affect primaries, only generals.