Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Decisions Begging Reversal

The recent ending of the Supreme Court's session was the best part of the whole thing. In a series of decisions that destroyed rights, the Roberts' court showed that it is dead set on ending public protections of the law.

While it's hard to beat the decision in Ledbetter that a woman had no right to a lifetime's earned income, freeing a mining company to save on costs that it incurs in its business by dumping poisons into a lake may be worse.

The five decisions featured in Mother Jones, which includes the mine dump finding, merit some attention. They are highlights in judicial decline, a decline that President Obama likely, hopefully, will have the opportunity to end.

Chief among those decisions is the one concerning use of DNA, a use denied to wrongfully convicted criminals. In effect, that decision contradicts a concept basic to our laws, that it should be impossible to jail those who are innocent.

* District Attorney's Office v. William Osborne (pdf)

The Upshot: In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that death row inmate William Osborne could not challenge his conviction with DNA technology invented after he was jailed. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said he was disappointed by the "narrow Supreme Court ruling denied access to post-conviction DNA testing for a defendant who wanted to prove his innocence."

Prove no evil: In his dissent, Justice Stevens criticized Roberts' ruling: "for reasons the State has been unable or unwilling to articulate, it refuses to allow Osborne to test the evidence at his own expense and to thereby ascertain the truth once and for all."

This court has shown no respect for the public, and decisions have gone to the benefit of business overwhelmingly. While we don't stoop to such nastiness as the Pat Robertson prayer for justices to die, we are ready for turnover which will improve the composition of the Supreme Court.

The country has this remaining legacy of the maladministration to rid itself of, so that our Rule of Law can be returned. Until the winger leanings of this third branch of government are healed, the law will do no good that it can offset.

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Anonymous PeasantParty said...


WOW! You have posted two articles today and both of them are burning arrows. (In a good sense)
I think we all should keep reminding the politicians we are watching and they do have a majority now. No more excuses. America spoke and we have not forgotten a DAMN THING!

1:45 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Thanks, Peasantparty, I'm just sick that we have a court showing such bad attitude and it's got so much time to do damage to public interest.

3:49 AM  

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