Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

In your opinion is there any past Supreme Court Justices worse than Scalia and Thomas?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU
 
boston bean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 06:40 PM
Original message
In your opinion is there any past Supreme Court Justices worse than Scalia and Thomas?
I know what a bunch of smarmy POS these two are, but in history who is their equal on that scale?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. Rehnquist?
Remember when he donned that comic opera robe with the colored strips during the Clinton impeachment?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
boston bean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. this one?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
EV_Ares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 06:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. Can't think of anyone who can surpass these two guys as far as corrupt, slimy and a total
disregard for keeping the supreme court free of politics.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
northoftheborder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
4. Can't think of any worse than them.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
5. Yeah. Alito and Roberts..........
They're just more covert. Barely.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
boston bean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. how the hell did we get 4 of these assholes in our lifetime?? nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Just lucky I guess..........
Do I really need the sarcasm thingy? God, I hope it's not karma. Although it might be the NATION'S karma I guess.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
19. reagan - bush 1 - bu$h*2
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NYC Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
7. What about Roger B.Taney?
"They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far unfit that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
boston bean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. yep, looks like he fits the mold...
Roger Brooke Taney (pronounced /ˈtɔːni/ TAW-nee; March 17, 1777 October 12, 1864) was the fifth Chief Justice of the United States, holding that office from 1836 until his death in 1864, and was the first Roman Catholic to hold that office or sit on the Supreme Court of the United States. He was also the eleventh United States Attorney General. He is most remembered for delivering the majority opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), that ruled, among other things, that African Americans, being considered "of an inferior order and altogether unfit to associate with the white race" at the time the Constitution was drafted, could not be considered citizens of the United States.

Described by his and President Andrew Jackson's critics as " supple, cringing tool of Jacksonian power,"<1> Taney was a believer in states' rights but also the Union; a slaveholder who regretted the institution and manumitted his slaves.<2> From Prince Frederick, Maryland, he had practiced law and politics simultaneously and succeeded in both. After abandoning Federalism as a losing cause, he rose to the top of the state's Jacksonian machine. As U.S. Attorney General (18311833) and then Secretary of the Treasury (18331834), he became one of Andrew Jackson's closest advisers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_B._Taney
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. But would any of today's Justice do what Taney did in the Ex Parte Merryman??
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_parte_Merryman

In a nutshell, ruled that the President, using the power of the executive, could NOT suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus, only Congress, under the US Constitution, suspend the "Great Writ".

Taney made the ruling, and found himself separated from his former wealth, with a Congress refusing to raise his salary even as inflation ate it away. By the time Merryman came along, they were people who still remember Dred Scott, but as one of the dissenters in Dred Scott remarked, whatever harm Taney did in Dred Scott in his misguided effort to save the union, he more then compensated with Merryman where Taney looked at Lincoln and said only Congress can Suspend Habeas Corpus.

Which of our Judges are willing to say that it is illegal to hold someone in prison without having a Trial? No Judge has ruled we have to close down Guantanamo, but Taney would have.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
boston bean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. So I guess your saying there are no redeeming qualities for Scalia and Thomas...
I would have to say I agree...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sharesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #12
27. Ask those DU'ers who love guns and ammo. They think those guys are GREAT jurists.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
boston bean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I don't think i've ever posted in the gungeon..
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
9. Whoever supported that Dred Scott thing or that Plessy v. Ferguson thing. (nt)
Edited on Wed Feb-09-11 07:03 PM by Skinner
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. The Four Horsemen of the Supreme Court?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kennah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. Dred Scott v Sandford
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dred_Scott_v._Sandford
http://laws.findlaw.com/us/60/393.html

7 to 2 decision.

Concurring
Roger B. Taney
James M. Wayne
John Catron
Peter V. Daniel
Samuel Nelson
Robert C. Grier
John A. Campbell

Dissenting
John McLean
Benjamin R. Curtis
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Scruffy1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
13. Hughes and Pierce Butler come to mind.
Generally the Supremes have always been appointed to protect the Big Money and the status quo.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
boston bean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. can you give some more background?
I really don't have my SCOTUS history down...

If there are others as bad, that means there might be some hope...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #13
22. Even Bulter and Hughes had some good Qualities.
As to Butler, while anti New Deal and Anti-progressive in general, he did hold that a man convicted of Murder in the Second Degree could NOT be retried for the same crime, even if a State Appellant Court reversed the Conviction and remanded the case for a second trial when the Appeal was done by the prosecution. The other Eight Supreme Court Justices of that time period, Cardozo, McReynolds, Brandeis, Sutherland, Stone, Roberts, and even Hugo Black, all voted to uphold the right of the State to re-try the Defendant again.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierce_Butler_%28justice%2...


As to Hughes expanded the power of the Interstate Commerce Commission to protect consumers, he wrote the opinion holding that prior constraints to publication was unconstitutional, supported most of the New Deal.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Evans_Hughes

Please note, both of the above judges voted to strike down the FDR's National Recovery Act, but so did every other Judge on the Court, even the one's picked by FDR (and even FDR wanted to end the National Recovery Act for it had proved to be a useless boondoggle, but the Conservative court took the case on just to get everyone to strike it down).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Arkana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:13 PM
Response to Original message
14. Rehnquist.
Roger Taney wrote the majority opinion in Dred Scott--he was pretty bad too.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kennah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
18. Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad
This was the case credited with the start of corporate personhood. It was a unanimous decision.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Clara_County_v._Sout...
http://laws.findlaw.com/us/118/394.html

Chief Justice
Morrison Waite

Associate Justices
Samuel F. Miller
Stephen J. Field
Joseph P. Bradley
John M. Harlan
William B. Woods
T. Stanley Matthews
Horace Gray
Samuel Blatchford
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
boston bean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. this gives me less hope. it's pernicious and pervasive and has been going on a long time! nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. That is Justice Field's Baby.
Edited on Wed Feb-09-11 08:36 PM by happyslug
First, the decision does NOT actually hold that Corporations are persons, that statement is in a head-note which was written by the Clerk of the Supreme Court NOT any of the Justices.

Second, the real decision was Justice Fields ruling on the appellant court level. At that time, Supreme Court Justices were also Judges on the various Court of Appeals in the US. One Supreme Court Justice per Federal Circuit. Fields was the Justice attached to the Federal Circuit Court that covered California and thus had the opportunity to write the opinion that was appealed to the US Supreme Court. That decision held that Corporations were Persons under the 14th Amendment. At the Supreme Court level it was decided that no such ruling was needed to rule on the issue actually in front of the Court (i.e. Could the State require Fencing by Railroads, and the Court ruled no, as far as that ruling is concerned no longer valid law).

The Key Paragraph is the ninth from the last paragraph in the US Supreme Court case is as follows:
If these positions are tenable, there will be no occasion to consider the grave questions of constitutional law upon which the case was determined below; for, in that event, the judgment can be affirmed upon the ground that the assessment cannot properly be the basis of a judgment against the defendant.

In the find law "printing" of Santa Clara County vs Southern Pacific Railroad the following is missing (This is the headnote to that decision):

"One of the points made and discussed at length in the brief of counsel for defendants in error was that "Corporations are persons within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States." Before argument

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE said: The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of opinion that it does."


118 US 394

In 2004 I did copy Justice Fields Original Opinion that was appealed from down on to a DU Site:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
20. No.
And the DEMs were criminally negligent when they confirmed these two dangerous extremists.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kaleva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
24. One could make an arguement for John McKinley
His 14 years of doing almost nothing on the Supreme Court earned him a one line obit in the New York Times when he finally worked up the energy to die in 1852.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
25. In my opinion I am having a hard time parsing that sentence.
However, pushing past that mess, the shitheads who decided Dred Scott are certainly up there. So let's just call that abomination Chief Justice Taney et al.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
boston bean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. you seemed to parse it just fine. thank goodness for that...
yes that was a horrible decision, but how many know which supreme court justices were in the majority on that?

I know now, thanks to some in this thread..
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. But Taney's opinion was NOT the Majority Opinion
Edited on Wed Feb-09-11 10:23 PM by happyslug
It was a 3-2-1-1-1 decision, every Justice wrote his own opinion with only two of the other Justices agreeing with Taney. Thus you ended up with NINE opinions and this in the days of HAND WRITING THE OPINION (The Typewriter would not be invented for another 12 years). Taney's opinion as Chief Justice is considered the "Opinion" for he was Supreme Court Chief Justice and his opinion was supported by two other Justices. Justice Nelson wrote an concurring opinion, supported by one other Justice. A Sixth Justice wrote another concurring opinion, and you had two dissents. It is the longest set of opinions in US Supreme Court History.

To read the opinions see:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-10-11 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. I made a mistake, Dred Scott is only the Third Longest,
Edited on Thu Feb-10-11 09:36 PM by happyslug
From what I can tell on the net the following is the top five rulings in term of number of pages:

Through the Bell Telephone cases took up a whole Volume of US Supreme Court Reports in 1888) for a total of 556 pages. This case is NOT general counted, for it was several cases the court tied together, thus the length:
http://supreme.justia.com/us/126/1/index.html

Buckley v. Valeo (1975) run 294 Pages
http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR...

McCONNELL, UNITED STATES SENATOR, et al. v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION et al - 540 U.S. 93 (2003), runs at 272 pages.

Dred Scott v Sanford (1857) run only 241 pages
http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR...

Furman vs Georgia (1972) run 233 pages.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR...

Now, lets be honest, modern Printers tend to print a lot less words per page for example see the following for a PDF version of US Reports Volume 540. McConnell vs Federal Election Commission is a 540 volume case:
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/boundvolumes/540bv...

Now compared that to this PDF version of Dred Scott, this is NOT from volume 60 of US Supreme Court Reports Volume 60 but someone who either typed it in or scanned it in. The print is about the same but notice the Margins are more "Normal" then in the Volume 540 PDF version of the actual US Supreme Court Decision, it also runs 267 pages NOT the 241 in the actual volume it was printed in:
http://www.sdpb.org/EducationalServicesGuide/etvprogram...

What is really needed is someone to do a word count on the above opinions to find out which is truly the longest, maybe someone has done it but I can NOT find it on the net.


Number of words in opinions have doubled since the 1950s:
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/u.s._supreme_cou...


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-09-11 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. But would any of today's Justice do what Terry did in ex parte Merryman?
As I pointed out above, Taney ruled that Lincoln could NOT suspend Habeas Corpus, only congress could.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_parte_Merryman

For upholding the Constitution in Merryman, Taney saw his income be eaten by inflation (which was drastic during the Civil War) so he could barely keep himself and his disabled daughter in housing in Washington.

Justice Benjamin Robbins Curtis, author of the dissent on Dred Scott, held his former colleague in high esteem despite their differences in that case. Writing in his own memoirs, Curtis described Taney:

He was indeed a great magistrate, and a man of singular purity of life and character. That there should have been one mistake in a judicial career so long, so exalted, and so useful is only proof of the imperfection of our nature. The reputation of Chief Justice Taney can afford to have anything known that he ever did and still leave a great fund of honor and praise to illustrate his name. If he had never done anything else that was high, heroic, and important, his noble vindication of the writ of habeas corpus, and of the dignity and authority of his office, against a rash minister of state, who, in the pride of a fancied executive power, came near to the commission of a great crime, will command the admiration and gratitude of every lover of constitutional liberty, so long as our institutions shall endure.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_B._Taney#Final_years
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Sep 18th 2014, 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC