Holy crap — what news to wake up to.
As if the horror in the south isn’t bad enough, now Chief Justice Rehnquist has died, leaving yet another opportunity for the Bush Administration to consolidate power and push this country into the dark ages for decades to come.
I can’t say that I will miss Rehnquist. Among his chief accomplishments: making it easier to execute prisoners, allowing government funding of religious schools, and appointing George Bush president. He has tried to overturn Roe v. Wade, and generally behaved like an “activist judge” — of course, this is fine with the right wing as long as he’s activist in their direction.
As the court weighed Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark case that banned segregation in the public schools, Rehnquist wrote a memo defending Plessy v. Ferguson , the 1896 ruling that had established the now-discredited doctrine of “separate but equal.” That decision, Rehnquist wrote, “was right and should be reaffirmed.”
…Rehnquist opposed the court’s short-lived 1972 opinion overturning state death penalty laws. He was one of only two justices to vote against Roe v. Wade in 1973. He opposed affirmative action in higher education. Alone among the justices, Rehnquist said in 1983 that Bob Jones University had a legal right to exclude black students from its campus.
…The Federalist Five, as Rehnquist, O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas came to be known, issued a series of rulings that struck down efforts by Congress to subject state governments to laws protecting women against domestic violence, banning guns near school property and prohibiting discrimination against disabled workers.
What’s really scary is that Bush may just decide to put someone in his place who is even more backward and fundamentalist. I think I’m going to be sick.