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Friday, November 11, 2005 

Federalist Society Meets in DC

The heavy hitters in originalism swapped stories and quips in Washington DC. This is a cool article, mostly because of the quotes. Here are a few of my favorites...

Here's Judge McConnell (my pick for the Supreme Court) making fun of Justice Kennedy...
Later, in his address, McConnell got in a thinly veiled slam at Justice Anthony Kennedy, for citing in his 2004 Lawrence v Texas sodomy decision the court's 1992 phrase about liberty being "the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."”

McConnell said when defining liberty judges must look to rights “firmly established by long-standing custom and practice... One finds such rights... not deep within ourselves or within the mysteries of the universe.
Wouldn't it be great if McConnell was named to the Court in the next year or two? That would be a nice, awkward working environment. "Hi, Anthony. Sorry about making fun of your 'mysteries of life' thing. Really, it's good legal reasoning... really..."

Here's Massachuttes Governor Mitt Romney ripping his state's Supreme Court for "finding" a right to gay marriage in their 225 year old constitution.
"“John Adams would be surprised,"” Romney quipped. (Adams wrote the 1780 constitution.)

"It'’s a mistake for a decision of this magnitude to be made by a judicial body as opposed to a legislative body,"” Romney declared. He accused the judges of "a blatant disrespect for the processes of democracy itself. The court is basically saying what the majority of the citizens of this state feel on this issue is not relevant here. In other words, on this issue 'your vote does not count.'"
Romney is running for president. There's no doubt. He can easily run on this issue and on being a Republican governor in a very Democratic state. The point that he makes is an important one: why are we the people ceding our big decisions to courts? Why does every controversial issue get automatic Constitutional protection, taking it out of the democratic process? This is probably the biggest issue in Constitutional law.

Prof. Carter Snead sums up the Miers issue nicely...
"It wasn't so much that Miers didn't meet a litmus test for any particular issue. It was hard to surmise what her views were on any issue," said Carter Snead, a professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School. "The problem was she didn'’t come from the pool of stellar judicial nominees that people in the forefront of the conservative legal movement think of as the models for federal judges,"
Prof. Snead was at Marquette this Tuesday for a discussion about stem cell research. He's incredibly knowledgeable and persuasive when speaking on the topic. He was also on the committee that formed the Bush Administration's stem cell policy.

I'm not a member of Fed Soc (I'm not big on groups and organizations), but I'd join if I got to go to an event like this. Maybe next year...

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