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An independent judiciary if we can keep it: Souter issues warning

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usregimechange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 07:07 PM
Original message
An independent judiciary if we can keep it: Souter issues warning
Edited on Sun Aug-02-09 07:08 PM by usregimechange
Retired Justice David Souter implored lawyers attending the ABA annual meeting to revive effective civics education or face the danger of a nation that doesnt value judicial independence because it doesnt understand it.

In one of his first speeches since leaving the Supreme Court this year, Souter told those gathered in downtown Chicago this evening that he and his schoolmates understood the three branches of government by the time they were in the ninth grade and lamented that survey results today suggest that two-thirds of Americans cant even name those three branches.

Im here to speak this evening because civic education in the United States is not good enough, and we have to do something about it, Souter said in a somber tone. I want to speak about the risk to constitutional government when a substantial portion of the American populace simply fails to gain that understanding. In particular, Ill ask you to consider the danger to judicial independence when people have no conception of how the judiciary fits within the constitutional scheme.

Souter recalled how he came to learn the structure of government, including some sense of the different functions of legislative, judicial and executive authorities, as a New Hampshire youngster sitting through annual town meetings. He also learned the difference between the towns power and the states power, and observed how the moderator of the meeting allowed anyone in town to have his or her say.

http://legaltimes.typepad.com/abameetingblog/2009/08/an...


Video of his remarks here:
http://www.abanow.org/2009/08/souter-tells-aba-annual-m...
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maglatinavi Donating Member (614 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. souter
Edited on Sun Aug-02-09 07:16 PM by maglatinavi
It is essential to understand the three branches of power and keep them separate. It is elemental ...
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. k&r for exposure. n/t
:dem:

-Laelth
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crickets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:18 AM
Response to Original message
3. K&R
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:48 AM
Response to Original message
4. What he says is so true. I'm the one who taught my son Civics
His school glossed over civics in his American History class. I was appalled to learn that, so I held my own Civics classes for him and some of his friends.

When I was in high school back in the sixties, we had a semester of participatory Civics, a semester of Sociology, and a semester of Economics. Learning how to be a productive citizen was a part of all my schooling.

I've long believed that high school students could man the polling places during elections, and do an excellent job.
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Voice for Peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. now the way to learn to be productive citizens is to watch tv, buy lots of shiny stuff,
gadgets, anything to keep distracted from what's going on.
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troubledamerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Jiffy Lube, free checking, breast implants, Count Chocula,
What does civics have to do with steroids, sex scandals, Toby Keith, Superbowl XXVII, Michael Jackson, car chases, cheeseburgers, Home Depot, NASCAR, liposuction, TMZ, buffalo wings, Snoop Dogg, Miley Cyrus, pilates, Guns N Roses, KFC, Disney slut factory, botox, CMT, VH1, spray tans, Marlboro Lights, Cap'n Crunch, Blu-Ray, Scientology, nose jobs, refinancing, Valtrex, or Diet Coke?
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Voice for Peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. exactly, well said. nt
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. When I was in school in the 70's
We had to pass a COMPREHENSIVE test on the Constitution before we could go to High School. It was mandatory and it was not easy.
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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:34 AM
Response to Original message
5. This is a serious and frightening issue.
I've heard about that statistic awhile back, and it frightened me then. When I heard about former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's work I became glad, but I know it is not enough.

In order for a democracy to work the public needs to be educated. If the public is not educated, they cannot make informed decisions. A lack of basic understanding of how our government works, or even why it functions in the manner that it does, can only lead to disaster - there is no good outcome.
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Which makes it easier to enable the likes of a Bush*/Cheney (coup) administration
to weaken our nation.

Politicizing the DOJ, rendering the Congress impotent, ignoring Constitutional law, creation of a shadow government, declaring an illegal war on a sovereign nation, developing rules and regulations against the populace for the benefit of the few ... on and on and on.

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Klukie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
6. K&R
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
8. K&R
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troubledamerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
11. "Souter's face turned white as a ghost, as he drove
out of the underground parking garage" in the hours after Bush V. Gore, it was reported on December 12, 2000.

A few days late, a few dollars short, Dave?
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
12. Sad thing is...they have dumbed them down by design
so that people like rush,oreilly,et al could indoctrinate them to hate and partisanship to ENSURE that the scale WAS tipped in their favor.
The dumbing down of America wasn't done by accident. The virtually complete control of the media by the fascists wasn't by accident either.
We have a few shreds of our republic left. If we let them go, we can kiss the whole thing goodbye.
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