Carol Platt Liebau: Two Pieces Worth Reading in The LA Times!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Two Pieces Worth Reading in The LA Times!

No -- don't even think it. I am NOT a shill for the LA Times Sunday Op/Ed section simply because I have occasionally been able to write for it. Objectively, the section today has two pieces worth reading.

(1) The Supreme Court

First, check this out -- about the supposedly inordinate power of Supreme Court clerks. The piece's author has just read a book by Linda Greenhouse (NY Times Supreme Court reporter) about Justice Blackmun -- he of "Roe v. Wade" fame -- and is shocked, shocked! to find out that clerks do a lot of drafting of opinions, and occasionally, it appears, some of the deciding of them.

Some of what the piece says, however, deserves a response. There are justices who do let their clerks do far more than any freshly-minted young lawyers should be allowed to. Anyone who knew anyone who had clerked for the Supremes in the last days of Thurgood Marshall's tenure had heard that Justice Marshall did little, in his final days on the Court, besides sit and watch television in his chambers. His clerks did the rest.

And from the LA Times piece, it sounds like Justice Blackmun may fall within that less-than-admirable tradition.

That being said, not all justices are that way. I have two very good friends who clerked for Justice Scalia, and two dear friends who clerked for Justice Thomas. They fully respected the confidence reposed in them by the justices for whom they worked, and no inappropriate information ever leaked out of them. That being said, it was clear that Justice Thomas and Scalia -- not their clerks -- were in full control of their own opinions.

The piece ends advocating a reduction in the number of Supreme Court clerks provided for each Supreme Court justice. Hard to know where to come down on that one -- my friends (all very smart, quick guys) worked very hard the year they clerked, even with three other clerks in chambers. On the other hand, for the justices who (unlike Justices Scalia and Thomas) leave all their work to their clerks -- well, perhaps they would retire sooner if there weren't enough clerks available for delegation of the entire workload.

(2) Dennis Prager Piece

Dennis Prager has a very interesting piece on the differences in religious faith between liberals and conservatives.

Read the entire thing. But one very pithy point is this: Dennis noted that when he disagrees with the Torah, he assumes that he is wrong. When Alan Dershowitz disagrees with the Torah, Dershowitz admittedly believes that the Torah is wrong.

Kind of says it all right there, doesn't it?


Blogger solburger said...

I didn't actually read the article but your synopsis left me with questions and ideas:

First, let me get this straight:
I'll lose my drivers liscence because I'm getting senile, but a person sitting in judgeship of the highest court in the land can be propped up and even possibly drugged and kept going by cronies? This is such an easy thing to do, and the Left is in love with this kind of crime.

OK, how do we get rid of senile or incompetent judges?

My suggestion is this:
I suggest an amendment that states:
If three or more judges on the Supreme Court percieve any one member to be mentally incompetent, then they shall file a motion for testing. The judge in question will be tested by top psychiatrists and pronounced normal or in the state of lost capabilites. If the latter, said judge shall be removed from the court and replaced as in the normal selection process.

2:19 PM  

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