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Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies at 80

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the breaking-news-that-isn't-tech-related dept.

The Courts 730

After 33 years at the bench, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist has passed away at the age of 80 due to thyroid cancer. This comes after the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor from the court over the summer. Rehnquist's passing gives President Bush the opportunity to replace the second justice of his term, this time perhaps to assume the highest role in the judicial system.

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730 comments

Rest in peace my friend (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474377)

fuck all the politics , lets remember the man..

Re:Rest in peace my friend (3, Insightful)

JMZorko (150414) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474416)

Agreed. Be thee liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between, this justice performed his duties to the best of his ability, to the very, very end. That shows a certain passion, a certain true belief in what you're doing.

Regards,

John

Re:Rest in peace my friend (-1, Troll)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474547)

Or just that he wouldn't let go of the power trip. </cynic>

Re:Rest in peace my friend (1, Insightful)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474434)

Indeed. He did his best to try to keep to the consitution.

Rest In Peace Sir.

Re:Rest in peace my friend (2, Interesting)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474528)

We always need a hero. When there are none, we create them. We forget that Colin Powell wanted to invade Iraq, that Pope John Paul II's peaceful words toppled no governments, that Che Guevara executed more political prisoners than anyone he opposed [wikipedia.org] . Without heroes, life is just too boring.

greate guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474378)

Reinquest was a great guy.

slashdot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474380)

how does this deserve on slashdot, can someone explain

Re:slashdot (5, Insightful)

FunkSoulBrother (140893) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474393)

Considering the sweeping implications, I'd say it falls squarely under "stuff that matters".

Re:slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474438)

Which implications?

Re:slashdot (0, Troll)

Megamote (688718) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474457)

It falls squarely under: shit happens

Re:slashdot (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474488)

We get to watch all the news channels overheat.

Re:slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474495)

Ask the question in proper English and you might get a proper response.

It's not that we don't like our foreign friends, but just because it doesn't affect you doesn't mean that it doesn't fucking matter!

YRO? (0)

Bob Wehadababyitsabo (629809) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474381)

Obviously important, but your rights online??!?

Re:YRO? (1)

doxology (636469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474401)

Oh Noes! A strict constructionist!

Re:YRO? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474511)

May he rest in peace in H311!

Re:YRO? (-1, Troll)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474402)

Considering the track record of Redneck Nero and his appointments, one doesn't have to go 6 degrees to Kevin Bacon to see how our rights, both online and off, are probably going to take it in the unpleasant place as a result of this.

Re:YRO? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474464)

What, like the back of a volkswagen?

Re:YRO? (-1, Troll)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474517)

Considering the kind of loons Bush will nominate, the Senate will be reluctant to confirm them. Will he ramrod through two recess appointments even though they would only be temporary? Maybe. If the court does convene with only seven justices, that is better than eight. A decision will be reached. There will be no ties leaving important legal questions in limbo. John Paul Stevens is 85. I wonder if he will make it until the end of Bush's reign.

Re:YRO? (2, Funny)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474420)

You DO realize what the Supreme court rules on right ?

Things like.. oh.. say.. the DMCA.

About the DMCA, Gandhi Says..... (1)

Slashdot_Gandhi (912342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474552)


We must become the change we want to see.

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fail -- think of it, ALWAYS.

Mahatma Gandhi

Re:YRO? (4, Informative)

grungebox (578982) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474425)

Obviously important, but your rights online??!?

Did Grokster matter to you? Guess who decided that? It rhymes with "Mupreme Mort". The people who comprise that court have a very important influence on your rights, even online. Child Online Protection Act, Grokster, inevitable decisions on the Patriot Act and the DMCA, to name a few. So, yes, his death is important to your rights online. Sorry for the condescending rant. Well, not really.

Re:YRO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474473)

Guess who decided that? It rhymes with "Mupreme Mort".

Was it the Fupreme Fort?

Re:YRO? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474518)

Did Grokster matter to you? Guess who decided that? It rhymes with "Mupreme Mort"

What does Grokster have to do with an "Ice Cream Quart?"

Re:YRO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474533)

Supreme Supreme Subo Bapreme banana fana fo Fupreme...me my moe Ma-preme...Suuuuuh-preme!

Court Court, bo Bort, banana fana fo Fort...me my moe Mort...Cooooo-ort.

Re:YRO? (5, Insightful)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474461)

Obviously important, but your rights online??!?

Are you stupid. The court has more power than the president. They are the only institution that can VETO both the president and congress. They are a staple of humainty.

Back when the court was something, they are the ones who told the police they must read rights to people. Back then, the courts said that people could not be taken by government for no reason. That government could not look at your reading list and label you as a terrorist because you read Carol Marx. Do you know how many Joe McCarthy's there are in government, and how the courts have stopped them?

Times are changing.

Why did Rehnquist not retire? Why did he stay when he was sick? Was he this sick? Why did Vincent Foster kill himself in a public park?

Re:YRO? (2, Insightful)

ChairmanMeow (787164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474500)

Why did Rehnquist not retire? Why did he stay when he was sick? Was he this sick?

My guess is that the reason he didn't retire was that he knew he was going to die, and he didn't want the President and Senate fighting over his position while he was still alive.

Re:YRO? (3, Insightful)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474560)

My guess is that the reason he didn't retire was that he knew he was going to die, and he didn't want the President and Senate fighting over his position while he was still alive.

If he was alive, he would have had power.

Imagine the following exchange.

Rehnquist : Mr President, I am ready to retire, but I want a replacement who is not too whack.

President:: No!

Rehnquist: Okay, I'll stay in office. Maybe I will live longer than the 4 years you were elected for. Maybe a democrat will win, and replace me with someone who you could never fathom. Or you could compromise.

President: No! Now where is my cake. I was promised cake. With sprinkles.

What sick person would cling to a job? The only reason is the job was so important that if he left, everything would get fucked up. What is going on? Think about it?

If you had cancer, would you tell your boss at Microsoft- "Well, I got bone cancer and the doc gives me 6 months to live, but GOD DAMN IT, I WANT LONGHORN DONE RIGHT!!".

What was Rehnquist sticking around for? What is easier? To die like he did. Or to die at home, in comfort? What was he so worried about?

Re:YRO? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474468)

Your rights, period.

gives President Bush the opportunity to replace the second justice of his term

O'Connor was a swing vote. With two vacancies, you can count on Bush getting a good say on who goes in (especially with a congress dominiated by pseudo-Republicans). This means the man who wants schools to teach intelligent design and ban abortion will pick the judges who will be deciding the major law cases of the next 5-10 years.

You can forget about legal abortions and a good many of your rights now.

Re:YRO? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474514)

They're Your Rights Online because there they go!

Re:YRO? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474526)

As in, say goodbye to your rights online and off.

It wasn't enough that Roberts, one of the judges who ruled people accused of terrorism don't deserve trials [bloomberg.com] , was nominated. Now we'll have another who is probably far worse than Roberts.

This means the idiocy of the USA PATRIOT Act, and the disposal of most of America's due process rights, will live far past the current President and Congress.

I vote for Judge Judy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474383)

She will kick ass.

Re:I vote for Judge Judy (1)

toddbu (748790) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474527)

I now have this mental image of Byrd standing to the left of the Court, arms crossed, waiting for one of the Justices to say "Isn't that right, Byrd?" She can also teach the Court marvelous phrases like, "I'm speaking!", "Do I look stupid?", and "Umm is not an answer!"

RIP (-1)

boola-boola (586978) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474384)

R.I.P. Chief Justice Rehnquist. You shall be missed.

Re:RIP (1, Troll)

eobanb (823187) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474522)

You shall be missed

Or not. Rehnquist might have just died, but guess what, he also thought segregation was constitutional.

Good riddance.

Long time justice (1)

phamNewan (689644) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474386)

Wiki has a great writeup on him as well. This will make for an interesting Roberts nomination as well.

Re:Long time justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474398)

Doesn't Roberts look very photo-genic? He looks very charismatic. He has this Bill Clinton feel to him.

Re:Long time justice (1)

Sanksa Wott (680705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474411)

from the wiki:

Rehnquist wrote the decision Diamond v. Diehr [slashdot.org] , which made a hole in the dike against software patents in the United States erected by Justice Stevens [slashdot.org] in Parker v. Flook [slashdot.org] ; the dike collapsed within a few years and software patenting is now virtually unlimited. In the Betamax [slashdot.org] case, again Justice Stevens authored the opinion upholding individual rights while Rehnquist joined the dissent who wished to strengthen copyright controls. In Eldred v. Ashcroft [slashdot.org] , Rehnquist was in the majority favoring the copyright holders, with Justice Stevens dissenting in favor of individuals.

Re:Long time justice (1, Informative)

telstar (236404) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474424)

phamNewan ... meet hyperlink [wikipedia.org] .

And actually since Rehnquist was already conservative, Bush's nomination probably won't have a tremendous impact from how Rehnquist had sided on most issues.

Re:Long time justice (1)

Decker-Mage (782424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474465)

Actually I agree. I expect the radical left to come out frothing at the mouth given that the actual balance of the court may change with these two appointments. Too many decisions of late have been 5-4 and 6-3. It's going to be lively, that's for sure.

Strange, since I'm radical left, just not the radical left of the so-called Democratic party.

Sweet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474390)

Now we're fucked, indeed.

Armageddon is upon us! (4, Funny)

NtroP (649992) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474391)

I hear cries of woe and lamentations from the liberals all over the world tonight!

Re:Armageddon is upon us! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474417)

...because a conservative is going to be replaced, presumably by another conservative? I'd be more worried about the whole Roberts thing, or if another liberal justice were to resign before 2009, but this isn't quite as major as the shift in the court after O'Connor left.

Re:Armageddon is upon us! (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474441)

It's doubtful that any of them would resign; however, it's well known that John Paul Stevens is trying *very hard* to outlast Bush and (hopefully) resign during a liberal president's term in office.

Re:Armageddon is upon us! (1)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474489)

I've always wondered why people have this thing for assassinating Presidents -- who will be followed by the Vice President (who, at least these days, is of the same party as the President). In any event, the longest a President can last is eight years, anyway, and if he's really doing a bad job, only four (well, at least in the ideal).

It seems that if you were out to produce political change by killing someone, a Supreme Court Justice, who can hold the position until they die or step down, would be vastly more effective. Also, justices have less public awareness, so there would be less of a martyr factor.

Re:Armageddon is upon us! (2, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474516)

I reckon the Dems will nominate Hillary as their candidate and F**k up the next election, just like they did with Pinnochio-boy in the last one. Honestly I'd hoped they could find someone who wasn't made of wood. Shrub and his cyborg VP so completely outplayed the dems it wasn't even funny.

If the dems want to continue to have a voice in the future of this country they're going to have to get some leadership that can put out a coherent statement of what the party stands for and which has more charisma than a common flatworm. The party is adrift and in disarray right now and they seem to be at a loss as to how to fix things.

The dems have some golden opportunities with a quagmirey war in iraq, energy prices hitting levels that many Americans will find painful and a less-than-satisfactory federal response to the destruction of New Orleans. If they could put forth a coherent plan to deal with all that crap instead of the usual set of talking points that don't mean anything, they could clean up in the next couple of elections. My money is that they won't, though. *sigh*

All over the world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474422)

why would those of us outside the US care .... it's not like the SP decides law for the rest of us (yet) - in fact any US domestic political side show that stops Bush from invading somewhere is probably a GOOD thing

Re:All over the world? (2, Funny)

doxology (636469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474479)

Why would those of us who are Amish care...we don't have rights online.

2 words for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474451)

Can you guess them?

Re:Armageddon is upon us! (-1, Troll)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474530)

I hear cries of woe and lamentations from the liberals all over the world tonight!

Compared to the future, he was a liberal.

A liberal wants an equal playing field. A nazi nutcase wants to steal from whites and give to blacks. A right wing nutcase wants to kill all.

A liberal wants to have libraries. A nazi nutcase wants to burn all libraries. A right wing nutcase wants to keep track of what you are reading.

A liberal wants to have healthcare for all. A nazi nutcase does not care, his people have doctors. A right wing nutcase wants to have insurance companies teach doctors to treat paitents like customers-- get them out the door as quick as possible and with the least liability.

GOD bless the USA of 50 years ago. She was magnificent. Today, she is a bitch fighting wars in places we don't want to be, and while she fights there, she is sticking her claws in us too. Video cameras everywhere, libraries with finger print machines. God damn the young for letting this happen.

What will Gandhi Say? (0, Offtopic)

Slashdot_Gandhi (912342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474394)

I think it would be a good idea.

Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization

And after the next one... (2, Funny)

Mister Impressive (875697) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474405)

... after the next Supreme Court Chief Justice dies, make way for Bart Simpson.

Let's get this over with (4, Funny)

xactuary (746078) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474409)

I, for one, welcome our new Chief Justice Ballmer to lead us!

Re:Let's get this over with (1)

ScaryFroMan (901163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474487)

How about Chief Justice Steve Jobs?

He could redefine our judicial system in a freindly and colorful way.

Only good thing... (-1, Troll)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474494)

We can get another Justice to put an end to homosexuals. Lets face it, they are what caused the hurricane. We all KNOW it. They are bloody murderes. We better get someone good or we all might die.

Think about it, under christian rule the USA prospered. It is the God's honest truth. We became something. And now that we let fags fuck each other, what happens? Natural disaster after disaster.

I hope the next Chief Justice is a TRUE chirstain. Someone who will honor GOD. Why are we living like this, with homeless people on the street? Why are we living in a world where gangs can rape white women. In New Orleans, a brutal gang of blacks raped a white nurse, and shot a police officer in the head. WHY? Why, what did they do to you? They were only trying to help.

I hope this country gets back on track. I AM THANKFUL TO GOD THAT CLINTON IS NOT PRESIDENT TO APPOINT A PIECE OF CRAP TO THE BENCH.

Re:Only good thing... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474523)

Wow. Now THAT is what a troll SHOULD be! It's got style, it's got flair! It made me look twice and stop and think "is this guy trolling or is he really that wacked out of his skull?"

Bravo, sir.

Or, should I say:

"Cut it out, Ritzman!"

sdfsf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474410)

sfd

lasting power (1)

dimmak (850893) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474414)

the presidential term is so brief that not many things can be effectively accomplished in the short term to garner or relinquish support. i am very interested in who the replacements will be. we will have to endure their decisions as long as they want us to... or at least as long as god wants us to endure them, as in Rehnquist's case.

Re:lasting power (1)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474538)

>> the presidential term is so brief that not many things can be effectively accomplished in the short term to garner or relinquish support. Let's hope so. If our government gets any more conservative, we might give radical Islamics a run for their money.

Oh yeah! (3, Insightful)

mcgroarty (633843) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474418)

It's time for Chief Justice Pat Robertson!

Seriously though. When can we get someone who wasn't in line to buy grandkids Pong when it first came out? I'm not concerned about the political leanings so much as I am about getting someone who doesn't think "The Internet" is a feature of premium adult diapers.

Re:Oh yeah! (2, Insightful)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474450)

I'm not sure you give our judicial enough credit...

I think as part of their duty to be informed on the issues that these people know what the internet is. Hell, they probably even use E-MAIL.

Not all old people are intrinsically tech-unsavvy. In particular, I dont think that SC justices can afford to be unsavvy; Their posistion is so important that it demands savvy as part of the job. And I DO think these people take their job seriously.

Re:Oh yeah! (2, Insightful)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474474)

I'm not concerned about the political leanings so much as I am about getting someone who doesn't think "The Internet" is a feature of premium adult diapers.

Even if the next guy were 25, you'd still have a 1-in-50 chance of getting someone that has a clue how to run Windows Update, and then you'd be stuck with him for 60 years.

I'd rather have someone who knew the ins and outs of what huge corporations are allowed to do than someone who knows FORTRAN, and that kind of stuff usually takes a few decades to learn and to demonstrate that knowledge.

Of course, the next guy will be picked based on who his golfing buddies are, but still, oldness isn't a problem for most issues. Provided they're in good health, of course.

Re:Oh yeah! (2, Insightful)

toddbu (748790) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474480)

When can we get someone who wasn't in line to buy grandkids Pong when it first came out?

I was just having a conversation with a friend about technology when this news came out. I was asking him whether technology was really making our lives better, or whether it was making them different. While I'd like to have someone on the court who understands how to boot a machine (or better yet, what mkinitrd does), in some ways I wonder whether that would really be better. After all, we owe our whole existence as a nation to documents that are more than 200 years old (even older than that if you include the Magna Carta), so why should we think that the technological revolution that we're currently undergoing is making that much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. While I think that Rehnquist was wrong with siding so strongly with copyright holders as he did in the Grokster case, I think that it was good to have someone considering the case who didn't have a copy of BitTorrent running in his office.

I, for one, would welcome another appointment like Rehnquist. Whether you agreed with his decisions or not, he was a man who was dedicated to his work.

Re:Oh yeah! (1)

mcgroarty (633843) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474498)

Whether you agreed with his decisions or not, he was a man who was dedicated to his work.
What I liked most was that he was a true federalist. Even if I didn't always like his decisions, he understood that the US government is a limited government. Many things simply don't belong any higher than the state courts, but many justices never saw a single case they didn't want their hands in.

Here comes the future ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474427)

Edelweiss, Edelweiss Every morning you greet me Small and white, clean and bright You look happy to meet me

Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow Bloom and grow forever

Edelweiss, Edelweiss Bless my homeland forever

Correct me if I'm wrong... (3, Informative)

SynapseLapse (644398) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474428)

But wasn't Televangelist Pat Robertson praying for the death of a supreme court judge? If so.... @_@

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

ThatsNotFunny (775189) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474549)

Well, technically he was praying for "vacancies"... but unless you're hoping God will intervene by making them very bored with being on the SCOTUS and divinely making them want to retire, yeah, he was praying for deaths. Real Christian-like... As for the @_@, eh, I can't see a connection. It's like saying Pat Robertson had anything to do with it if he was praying for William Hung not to be given a Source Award. It was likely going to end up that way, anyway.

Obvious issues... (4, Interesting)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474431)

Clinton got his two nominees, looks like Bush will get his two also.

Just hope this won't immediatly swing the issues of legal abortion and religious coersion too far to the right when all is said and done. Right wing judges aren't insane, but they are at least as activist on their core issues.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Obvious issues... (3, Insightful)

Decker-Mage (782424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474525)

Pardon me, but how is it activist to actually discuss the law in terms that the founding fathers intended? I'm not a Christian, never have been, but it's part and parcel of the Declaration of Independence (Creator anyone?) and the Constitution (God anyone?). As for abortion, although it existed as did drug abuse in the eighteenth century, neither was addressed as they shouldn't be addressed except in terms of the 10th Amendment which was put in the Bill of Rights for exactly that reason. These are state issues or personal issues. It is no concern of the federal government as are a lot of things that the federal government has decided to become concerned with lately (since the '60's).

Sorry, but Jefferson and Madison knew what the frag they were doing when they set up our structure of government as anyone would know from their writings if they bothered to read, which sad to say is no longer part of the curricula of education today. No surprise that as it would torpedo the so-called liberal agenda today.

I'm still ticked that the left today has stolen our good "liberal" name, so much so that we have to call ourselves "classical liberals". Jefferson, and to a lesser extent Madison, are my mentors.

Re:Obvious issues... (5, Interesting)

thoolie (442789) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474545)

The difference is when Clinton got his 2, the senate was run by republicans. Now, both houses and the executive branch are run by the same (centerally controlled) party. Once the USSC is weighted towards the same party with Roberts and the replacement for Reinquist, we will see the US with all three branches of government ran by the same party (the same small group of people, if you will). I can remember only two ofther nation as large as ours that were run by a single, centerally controlled party (yes, the RNC is centerally controlled). I think most of you can too. It is scary to think that, if the next elections continue the trend of the last 4 (including midterms)that so few people will have so much control.

I really do fear for our rights, as we have seen in the past, that when this much control is given to so few, that the rights of the many are quick to be called into question.

I pray that we will once again see a balance of power within our governemtn, for without that balance, there ARE NO checks and balances.

It was once said (and maybe you people can help me out) that once the government stops fighting with itself, it turns it's rath on the people.

he knew the danger (0)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474432)

that is why he would not retire.

america the beautiful is now america the corporate glutton. what else is left?

Pat Robertson prophecy confirmed (2, Funny)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474436)

Here he was just a few weeks ago calling down "additional vacancies occur within the Supreme Court," and Shazzam!

Re:Pat Robertson prophecy confirmed (1)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474469)

Yea, but he was gunning for the more liberal of judges.. Having one of the most conservative judges, one of 2 that dissented in Roe Vs Wade die, was NOT his intention I dont think.

In particular he called for the 3 predicted vacancies to come from the liberal judge pool.

Re:Pat Robertson prophecy confirmed (3, Funny)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474519)

So essentially God has a sense of humour?

20 years from now, GWB's acts will still echo (1)

HishamMuhammad (553916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474437)

With 2 justices appointed by him, GWB's impact on American politics is sure to last way beyond his 2 terms.

And I somehow doubt he will appoint a moderate this time.

Say the words: (2, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474443)

"Chief Justice Scalia"

Now, go change your soggy trousers.

Re:Say the words: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474476)

Fuck Scalia.

Thomas is a libertarian in Republican clothing. Go Thomas!

Re:20 years from now, GWB's acts will still echo (1)

seriesrover (867969) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474456)

didn't Clinton appoint 2 as well?

This time? Why hadn't you heard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474532)

And I somehow doubt he will appoint a moderate this time.

Well don't you read the papers man? Roberts is a baby-eating right-wing neanderthal!

What you must have meant to say was "doubt he will appoint a neanderthal that eats fewer babies". More with the grain of things.

You have to wonder if the people crying wolf on Roberts will make it easier to appoint a more extreme justice as people will think they are full of hot air after Roberts.

Posting anon because it's Slashdot and I have mildly conservative views.

Well fuck. (2, Insightful)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474439)

Bush gets two appointments now? How screwed are we.

Though I was not a big fan of Rhenquist -- many of his positions on the Court, his work in the Nixon administration, his fashion sense -- he surely will be better than whoever we get next.

Re:Well fuck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474512)

I am glad to see that you have a crystal ball. Lead us oh wise one.

Re:Well fuck. (4, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474551)

It's a pretty common number. Clinton got two, the elder Bush got two, Reagan got two. Even Ford got one. Nixon got three, and Johnson and Kennedy each got two. Ike got four.

Carter seems to have been the only president in the last century that hasn't appointed anyone to the Supreme Court.

Our last sane institution (5, Insightful)

thoolie (442789) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474455)

It is my humble belief that the USSC was our last sane branch of government. Call Reinquist what you will, but he was an honest man of a different generation. I truely believe that with his loss, we will be forced to face a USSC with another younger and less principled justice. I really feel that we are going from a court dedicated to interpitation of the constitution to one that just may be another political tool to enforce a given ideology.

This is a scary time in the US. We have never had ALL of our branches of government run by a political party with control centered in the hands of so very few. Truly a scary time.

No cross-posting from the Democratic Underground (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474548)

While I know Slashdot got co-opted by the DU some time ago, please remember the new posting rules.

1) No cross-posting from the DemocraticUnderground.com [democratic...ground.com]
2) Any cross-posts will be marked as Redundant or Incite-ful.
3) Try to keep some sense of reality. While demagoguery and hyperbole will increase your karma, too much of it just makes you look like a nutjob.

Re:Our last sane institution (1)

capillary tube (861062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474561)

Supreme Court justices are appointed for life and thus are not beholden to political parties. If you don't agree with that, then there were several points in history when all branches were controlled by a single party (e.g. the democratic republicans and Democrats or Republicans at several times).

There were and are scary points in the US, and this isn't one of them. Repeating the old-fart "the country's going to hell" line and making up history to support it is really irresponsible and dishonest.

Re:Our last sane institution (1)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474563)

The SCOTUS has always been a tool for political control. We've just lucked out that at least as often as not, judges picked for their apparent political leanings proved to be (or at least matured into) responsible jurists, more concerned with justice and the principles of law than forwarding their own pet agendas.

I'm nervous about the appointment, but I'm crossing my fingers that it'll work out in the end.

Rehnquist dead, at 54 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474459)

I just heard on talk radio that Chief Justice Rehnquist has just died in his Maine home. Whatever your views on his helping Bush steal the 2000 election, there's no denying his contribution to politics. Truly a Republican icon.

I predict... (3, Funny)

Deacon_Yermouf (900678) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474460)

... that this sesssion of Congress will be filled with love, cooperation, friendship, and togetherness.

those of us who aren't... (0, Troll)

blackcoot (124938) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474462)

... white and male and heterosexual and well off are all going to have to get used to the idea that for the next several years, we are all going to collectively be sodomized with large cacti.

people tell me why i lament rehnquist's passing. the answer is simple: 1) he is a human being, 2) while he was conservative, his likely replacements make him look like a hippy by comparison, 3) not only has bush's tax cuts and utterly irresponsible fiscal policy ensured that we will be feeling the sting of his tax cuts for many, /many/ years to come, his judicial appointments will last even longer. prepare to be raped from both ends.

while I'm glad he died (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474478)

I really wish he'd survived dubyas administration. in excruciating pane th whole time of course.

Possibly More then 2 (2, Interesting)

thebdj (768618) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474481)

This is truly a sad day. It should be noted that anyone picked to replace Rehnquist though probably won't be too ideologically different. Check his history and you'll see a man who supported VERY CONSERVATIVE views. If GWB is smart, he cut a deal with the senate to appoint a more "moderate" individual in exchange for no fighting on the nominations, not likely but possible.
It should be noted that it is possible he will get more then just the two nominations. John Paul Stevens is 85, and could possibly retire or die before the end of GWB's term. The youngest justice at present is Clarence Thomas at 57. So anything can happen in two years.

ding dong the dick is dead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474501)

the wicked dick
the asshole dick
ding dong the wicked dick is dead

god (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474508)

I just wish that all of the US's court systems would say "There is no God". Atleast to balance out the bible being used to swear in witnesses.

One more time. (1, Interesting)

TheDracle (836105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474513)

I wonder if George W. Bush will be able to find as perfect of an antithesis of a model candidate, as John Bolton is as a U.N ambassador, to fill the position left by Rehnquist's absence. It seems unfortunate that a president, with an approval rating lower than that of Richard Nixon at the height of Watergate, will be charged with appointing judges, that will be around to perversely interpret our constitution and law, decades into the future. It's times like this that the fallacies of our republic become painfully apparent, especially the claim that it is a true democracy. The Executive branch is sometimes elected, not by the people, but through a Judicial decision that suspiciously adheres completely to party lines. And now the Judicial system is elected, not by the people, but by the Executive branch it originally implanted.

A scary thought (3, Informative)

daspriest (904701) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474534)

From TFA:
Possible replacements include Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales

Based on his past memos, that would be one of the scariest things for human rights as a whole.

Re:A scary thought (3, Insightful)

cnerd2025 (903423) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474539)

"The Geneva convention is quaint and irrelevant..."

A Rehnquist Story (4, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474535)

Way back in 1972, when he was first appointed to the court, Rehnquist was one of its most conservative Justices. He quickly became close friends with William O. Douglas [wikipedia.org] , who was far and away the most liberal Justice. The friendship was obviously motivated in part by a mutual need to bridge their ideological gap so they could work together to make law that people on both sides could live with.

Nowadays, Washington is dominated by a self-righteous Us-And-Them mentality that makes such friendships impossible. The Supreme Court is sort of resistant to this, but is still pretty bad. And we're all suffering for it.

Bush may actually have to pick somebody good (1, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474536)

Bush is now under heavy fire for picking heads of Homeland Security and FEMA who, when the crunch came, turned out to unequal to the job. Congress will be more critical of his appointments from now on. Being a Friend of Bush isn't going to be enough next time.

Interesting. (1)

Stu L Tissimus (873928) | more than 8 years ago | (#13474537)

I was watching the Daily Show w/ Jon Stewart about two weeks ago, and I seem to remember that Pat Robertson (the crazy televangelist) was praying to god that there would be yet another open slot on the Supreme Justice...

Well, despite his conservativeness (Me = die-hard liberal), RIP Rehnquist...

Shaniqua Jackson passed away due to bureaucracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474540)

Oh wait, slashdot is too cool to care.

HOLY SHIT! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13474546)

WE ARE FUCKED NOW!

omg chief justice! *jumps to death*
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