Republicans can only shake their head in disbelief, as a Clinton-appointed justice (Breyer) was better than three Republican-appointed justices (Stevens, O'Connor and Souter) on this fundamental issue. Adding insult to injury, Souter (appointed by the first Bush) reaffirmed the much-discredited "Lemon test" that those intolerant of religion have used for three decades to argue their cases.
We are told that federal judges are overworked and underpaid, and that more resources are needed to fight the war on terror. Congress can address this problem by removing jurisdiction from all federal courts over the continuing attempt by the secularists to purge religious symbols.
Not only religion but also private property was the target of the Supreme Court's disdain. A 5-4 Court rewrote the Fifth Amendment phrase "public use" to be "public purpose," and defined it to include enabling government to take anyone's property to give to a large corporation if taxes can thereby be increased.
The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, "Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." The original meaning of "public use" is still its plain meaning today: a use for basic needs of the public such as government services or transportation.
But five justices rewrote this constitutional clause, taking Wilhelmina Dery's home, which she has lived in since her birth in 1918, and giving it to a corporate development featuring Pfizer Inc. Always reliable Justice Clarence Thomas wrote: "Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's interpretation of the Constitution."
This Term disproves the perception that we have a five-bloc conservative court. There were many 5-4 decisions, but most of those decisions were not rendered by five supposedly conservative justices.
An unacceptable decision by Congress or the president can be corrected in the next election cycle. Yet a bad decision by the Supreme Court can burden us for decades.
Republican presidents are elected by promising to appoint good Supreme Court justices, but have abysmally failed to deliver on their campaign pledges. Congress has promised to pass laws curbing judicial abuse, so when will it honor its pledge?
The only good news is that the Supreme Court rendered only 76 full decisions in the past year, far fewer than its average of a decade ago. Just imagine the damage that could have been done had it worked harder!
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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