Keeping It Real

Beware of the out-of-control justices

By: pardoned Illinois death row prisoner Stanley Howard

The conservative bloc of the U.S. Supreme Court is on an all-out, out-of-control rampage.

Making up this far-right bloc are Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. On the other side are Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

The conservative bloc went on a tear during their 2006-07 term, ruling in favor of big business against workers, consumers and women in cases involving laws aimed at protecting them. In one of these cases, Justice Ginsburg voiced her outrage in an unusual move from the bench by stating, “The Court does not comprehend, or is indifferent to, and the insidious ways women can be victims of pay discrimination.”

They even decided to put their stamp of approval on yet another federal law designed to chip away at Roe v. Wade--a woman’s right to choose.

Giving us a peep into the future and just how unfair and unjust they’re going to be, they took the court to another all-time low in the case of Keith Bowles. An Ohio judge gave Bowles’ attorneys 17 days to file an appeal challenging his 15-years-to-life sentence.

But the out-of-control bloc ruled that the federal judge mistakenly gave Bowles’ attorneys three extra days to file an appeal--because federal rules say the judge should have only given him 14 days.

“A defendant should not be penalized because of a federal judge’s mistake, which could unintentionally ‘bait’ him into missing a deadline, “ Souter said in his scathing rebuke. “It is intolerable for the judicial system to treat people this way.” Nevertheless, they unmercifully slammed the courthouse door in Bowles’ face.

They didn’t stop there. The term ended with a mind-blowing decision eradicating 50 years of efforts to bring racial balance in public schools.

In 1954, the court ruled unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education that “separate public schools for black and white students were inherently unequal and violated the right to equal protection.” This ruling led to the abolition of state-sponsored segregation, overturning the 1896 racist Plessy v. Ferguson “separate but equal doctrine.

“The last half-century has witnessed great strides toward racial equality, but we have not yet realized the promise of Brown,” wrote Breyer. “This is a decision that the court and the nation will come to regret.”

President Bush’s nominees, Roberts and Alito, assured the Senate that they respected and had no desire to overturn longstanding court rulings.

Apparently, they lied. And neither would have been confirmed if there was even a slight hint they disagreed with, would tinker with, or would overturn the landmark ruling and precedent that Brown set.

Something must be done. Because we’re not going to cower in a corner for the decades this bloc is expected to be in control while they run rampant over our lives.

Keeping It Real, we should all be calling to impeach the enemies of the People--President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

You can contact Stanley by writing to: Stanley Howard #71620, R.R. 4 Box 196, Mount Sterling, IL 62353.