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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Souter vs Rehnquist

--posted by Tony Garcia on 9/07/2005

(H/T: Gerry Daly)
Gerry Daly always has such interesting and reasonable thought that when he has speculation it is worth taking note.

Question: Why is Justice Souter the only one to not have "a perfunctory gracious post-mortem statement" about Chief Justice Rehnquist?

Question: How could a justice with such seemingly strong conservative qualifications prior to his appointment be so doggedly liberal on the Court?

Gerry, please help us out.
In early August, Ann Coulter looked back at Souter’s positions, writings, and decisions prior to his nomination to the Supreme Court, and asked “Wait, seriously — who is that guy on the Supreme Court and what has he done with the real David Souter?”
Souter vowed in a newspaper interview to “do everything we can to uphold the law” allowing public school children to recite the Lord’s Prayer every day.

As a justice on the New Hampshire Supreme Court, Souter dismissively referred to abortion as something “necessarily permitted under Roe v. Wade” — not exactly the “fundamental right” he seems to think it is now.

In a private speech — not a brief on behalf of a client — Souter attacked affirmative action, calling it “affirmative discrimination.”

Souter openly proclaimed his support for the “original intent” in interpreting the Constitution.

Could Souter’s swing to the left on the high court be partly attributable to some antipathy that either developed or had always existed between him and Rehnquist? While we may never know for sure, it seems fair to ask. The small group dynamics within the court will be markedly different in the coming terms, with two new justices. Everyone will be looking to see how the newcomers come down on various cases. I will be looking to see how Justice Souter responds, now that the man who he could not even move himself to deliver a perfunctory gracious post-mortem statement about is gone.

First, is Souter THAT petty? He has some personal issues with the Chief and thus votes differently?

Second, if that does account for his 180 degree switch in philosophy, will he be switching back now? Is that why Kennedy and O'Connor also flipped from moderate right to moderate left? Will Kennedy (and O'Connor until replaced) also be flipping back?


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