IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH!! The Bulldog Manifesto The Country Goes Right: Sandra Day Appears Left - The Bulldog Manifesto

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Friday, July 01, 2005

The Country Goes Right: Sandra Day Appears Left


Its funny how Sandra Day O'Connor was considered a conservative when she was selected by Ronald Reagan to serve on the Supreme Court in 1981. Here we are, 24 years later, and her resignation from the court exemplifies just how far to the Right this country has shifted. By today's standards, she is considered a moderate, typically casting the swing-vote.



Take the Yaser Hamdi case (in PDF). Yaser Hamdi was a United States citizen who was captured in 2001 by the US military as he allegedly fought for the Taliban in Afghanistan. After being captured, Hamdi was detained on a US military base, and was denied access to an attorney. The government labeled Hamdi an "enemy combatant" and therefore argued that Hamdi could be held in custody until the Afghan War ended, regardless of Hamdi's citizenship and regardless of Hamdi's right to argue against his classification as an "enemy combatant".

Hamdi brought suit against the government in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, challenging the validity of the government's classification and his detention. The case made its way to the Supreme Court where Sandra Day O'Connor penned the majority opinion.



In her opinion, she stated:

"It is during our most challenging and uncertain moments that our Nations's commitment to due process is most severely tested, and it is in those times that we must preserve our commitment at home to the principles for which we fight abroad."


She also stated: "We have long since made clear that a state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens." (By today's standard, such a position can be termed as "liberal" or "progressive", can it not?)


Inevitably, Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Souter, Ginsburg, and even Chief Justice Rehnquist(!!) held that Hamdi's detention was unconstitutional. Many legal scholars claimed this decision to be the most important civil rights decision in the past 50 years!



Looking back on O'Connor's tenure, one could say that the Honorable Judge aged like fine wine, moving toward the left. But I disagree with that view. I believe the country has moved so far to the right that it only appears, from our new perspective, that O'Connor has moved left toward center. The truth is, the party of Ronald Reagan has gone so far to the right, that they have casted judges like O'Connor, and even Rehnquist, into moderate light.



And yet, when you listen to today's "average" Conservative speak.....

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I've always thought of O'Connor as a conservative judge so I was suprised to hear her described as a moderate when her retiremant was announced. I think you are right...the country has moved so far to the right it baths Reagan conservatives in a moderate light.

I pray that Bush will appoint someone who will put the Baby killers out of business permanently and shut the liberal commies down for the good of America and freedom.

You have to be standing on the left of Stalin to think that America has gone too far to the right. I'm with you Ottmann.

Ottman and xtreme,

Thanks for posting your views. But how can you possibly think this country has not gone to the right since the Reagan days? Even Clinton was a moderate. There hasn't been a liberal in office for decades.

And Ottmann, I must assume you are speaking tongue in cheek when you call liberals "commies". I thought that sort of demagoguery died with Joe McCarthy. Or perhaps your post merely exemplifies my point perfectly?

Believe it or not guys, but Liberals are actually the ones fighting for fredom and liberty. Not right wingers. If you truly supported liberty, you couldn't possibly support an administration that brought us the Patriot Act.

If you truly supported freedom, you couldn't possibly support the bastardization of habeus corpus. If you truly supported freedom, you couldn't possibly support an administration that sanctions secret jails and torture.

True freedom lovers want freedom for all. True freedom lovers question authority and presuppose the tyranny of power.

Freedom isn't merely supporting the symbols of freedom (flags and patriotic emblems). It sounds like perhaps you guys may have been drinking too much of the right wing punch. ;-)

I've always thought of O'Connor as a conservative judge so I was suprised to hear her described as a moderate when her retiremant was announced. I think you are right...the country has moved so far to the right it baths Reagan conservatives in a moderate light.

I pray that Bush will appoint someone who will put the Baby killers out of business permanently and shut the liberal commies down for the good of America and freedom.

You have to be standing on the left of Stalin to think that America has gone too far to the right. I'm with you Ottmann.

Ottman and xtreme,

Thanks for posting your views. But how can you possibly think this country has not gone to the right since the Reagan days? Even Clinton was a moderate. There hasn't been a liberal in office for decades.

And Ottmann, I must assume you are speaking tongue in cheek when you call liberals "commies". I thought that sort of demagoguery died with Joe McCarthy. Or perhaps your post merely exemplifies my point perfectly?

Believe it or not guys, but Liberals are actually the ones fighting for fredom and liberty. Not right wingers. If you truly supported liberty, you couldn't possibly support an administration that brought us the Patriot Act.

If you truly supported freedom, you couldn't possibly support the bastardization of habeus corpus. If you truly supported freedom, you couldn't possibly support an administration that sanctions secret jails and torture.

True freedom lovers want freedom for all. True freedom lovers question authority and presuppose the tyranny of power.

Freedom isn't merely supporting the symbols of freedom (flags and patriotic emblems). It sounds like perhaps you guys may have been drinking too much of the right wing punch. ;-)

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