Sunday, September 04, 2005

Chief Justice Rehnquist, 1924-2005 

Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist died yesterday of thyroid cancer, after having been diagnosed with the disease last fall. Already the United States is preparing for the confirmation hearings for Judge John Roberts, nominee to replace the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor. Judge Roberts' nomination has been decried by many progressive groups, including Human Rights Campaign.

Now with the Chief Justice position vacant, Pres. Bush will have the opportunity to exert even stronger and longer-lasting influence on the high court. The president has frequently stated his admiration for sitting Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, and it will not be a surprise to see Justice Scalia heading for nomination hearings for the center chair. The president will then select a nominee for Justice Scalia's vacant position. Justice Scalia is no friend of the gay and lesbian community, nor of most progressives in general. He holds the constitution out as a stagnant document that must be applied in terms of 18th century thought and understandings of society, rather than as a series of guiding principles designed to evolve and grow as does society. His most recent controversial remarks came just last week at Chapman University in California.

Fasten your seatbelts, we're in for a bumpy ride.


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