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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:11 AM
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New Leader, Tough Issues for Court in Transition
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/30/politics/politicsspec...

New Leader, Tough Issues for Court in Transition
By LINDA GREENHOUSE

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 - <snip>At his Senate confirmation hearing this month, he suggested that he saw room for the court to hear and decide more cases. If that comes to pass, reversing a 15-year trend, it could be an indication that Chief Justice Roberts is exerting influence on his colleagues just as Chief Justice Rehnquist, who thought the court was taking too many cases, managed to do in the opposite direction.<snip>

For as long as she (O'Conner)remains on the court, she will hear arguments and vote on cases. But if a decision has not been issued by the time her retirement takes effect, her vote will not count. Her successor cannot vote retrospectively. Some important cases are therefore likely to result in 4-to-4 ties, giving the court the choice of rehearing the case or simply affirming the lower court opinion by the tie vote, an action that carries no precedential weight.

The court has already granted review in 48 cases, enough to fill the new term's argument calendar into February. The list includes cases likely to produce vigorous debates among the justices, leading to decisions that may help to define the Roberts Court. Abortion, religion, free speech, the death penalty and federalism are among the subjects at hand. The court's announcement on Tuesday that it was adding two campaign finance issues to the calendar raised the temperature of the new term considerably. <snip>

The abortion case, Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, No. 04-1144, with the argument scheduled for Nov. 30, raises substantive and procedural issues in the context of a New Hampshire law that requires girls younger than 18 to notify their parents or receive a judge's permission before obtaining abortions.

A federal appeals court invalidated the law because it lacked an exception for emergency situations. The Supreme Court has insisted that despite state-imposed restrictions, women must be able to terminate pregnancies that threaten their health. The case therefore poses a question about the breadth of the required "health exception." It also raises the procedural question of the circumstances under which an abortion law that has not yet gone into effect can be challenged in court.<snip>

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:00 PM
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1. Making Rulings Like Sausage?
Why, what is so vital that Roberts feels a need to interpret? How much more graft and corruption can the system support?
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