Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kennedy v. Louisiana

An eight-year-old girl woke suddenly in the early hours of March 8, 1998. Five years later, a jury convicted her step-father, Patrick Kennedy, of her rape. According to state of Louisiana prosecutors, she awoke to the sensation of the 300-pound man atop her small body, one hand undressing her, the other covering her mouth. The bleeding and internal injuries the child sustained from the ensuing rape were so great that she required surgery. Afterwards, according to testimony, Mr. Kennedy called his workplace to say that he would not be in because the child had "become a lady"; he then ordered a cleaning service to remove blood from his carpets before calling 911 to report his step-daughter's attack and request an ambulance.

For this crime, the Louisiana jury found that Mr. Kennedy deserved to die.

But today, Republican-appointed U.S. Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, and John Paul Stevens sided with Clinton nominees Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer against that little girl, the people of Louisiana, and the Founders of the United States of America.

The Supreme Court has imagined that the U.S. Constitution prohibits a state from executing a person convicted of raping a child if he does not also kill the child.

The Court bases this fabrication upon the Eighth Amendment. Drafted at a time when child rape was almost unheard-of, but horse theft was a capital crime, the Amendment prohibits punishment that is "cruel and unusual". But according to Justice Kennedy's opinion, original intent does not apply. Interpretation is based, he claims, upon "evolving standards of decency".

Such relativistic thinking is anathema, not simply to the principles that used to undergird the Republican Party, but even to the very idea that principles matter. And for a nation founded on a bedrock of ideas and principles, such judicial activism is truly dangerous.


Crystal Clear Conservative said...

This makes me sick! It is time some Supreme Court retirements take place before the end of the Bush administration.

Steve said...

Unfortunately Crystal, there is no telling if President Bush would appoint any candidates better than those appointed by his Republican predecessors.

Let us not forget that even though one of the few successes George W. Bush has clung to and probably will speak on concerning his legacy, is his Supreme Court nominees... he almost screwed it up with Harriett Miers, before conservatives chewed him out over it.

If anything, I think Leslie's post reinforces a major hole in the argument of the Republican establishment. One of the reasons they list as why conservatives should support John McCain is his willingness to nominate solid judges.

Unfortunately there is nothing to indicate that other than a campaign promise.

Anonymous said...

"The Court bases this fabrication upon the Eighth Amendment. Drafted at a time when child rape was almost unheard-of" Where is your source for this information. Child rape was unheard of in the 18th century. Slavery was legal, therefore child rape of a slave was legal. In addition, child rape was probably unheard of because no one reported it. It's this type of "backwards" thinking that "in the good old days things were so much better in America." Any student of history would tell you that times were far worse. this type of arguement is often used by conservative christians in their defense of The US as a christian nation and that the founding fathers never intended to use the "seperation of church and state clause" to deny things like prayer in school. Do you honestly think that the founding fathers in all their wisdom would have allowed the government to be handed over to a bunch of religious nut jobs? North America was colonized by religious extremist that were kicked out of Europe!! Less than one hundred years before the First Continental Congress, there were open public witch burnings!

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