Thursday, May 22, 2008

Activist Justices Now Rule U.S.

Much has been written about judicial activism and the deliberate attempts by unelected judges to legislate from the bench. Conservatives have created another phony issue and methodically “framed” the liberals with this powerful brand. It’s not that judges don’t make biased decisions, they do, it’s just that such activism is only coming from the Democratic side.

Not every Republican feels this deceptive scheme should go unnoticed. In the New York Times story, “At Supreme Court, 5-4 Rulings Fade-but Why?” federal appeals court judge and now author points out what should be obvious, there is a problem.

“Indeed, much of the commentary on the court’s performance during the last
term was harsh, and it came not only from liberals. Judge
A. Posner
, the conservative icon who sits on the federal appeals
court in Chicago, offers some pointed and unusually personal criticism of Chief
Justice Roberts in his new book, ‘How Judges Think,’ published this year by
Harvard University Press. The chief justice’s self-description during his
confirmation hearing as a simple baseball umpire might have been a ‘tactical
error’ for one who evidently ‘aspires to remake significant areas of
constitutional law,’ Judge Posner writes, adding: ‘The tension between what he said at his confirmation hearing and what he is doing as a justice is a blow to Roberts’s reputation for candor and a further debasement of the already debased currency of the testimony of nominees at judicial confirmation hearings.”

“Such words from Richard Posner would cause any member of the court, let alone a relatively new and young chief justice who undoubtedly admires him, to swallow hard.”

It was a tough, but welcome acknowledgment, from someone with street cred. One outrageous decision is rarely brought up, and I’m mentioning it here after a recently shopping trip for a handheld gaming devise like the DS or PSP. They were all the same price. NO SALES?

I have a sneaking suspicion that it might have been the following ruling that caused this quirk in competition;

The Supreme Court overturned a 96-year-old rule of antitrust law that prohibited retail price fixing. Manufacturers can set a fixed price and forbid stores from offering discounts. For nearly 100 years, “the nation has had an unusually competitive retail market, in part because antitrust laws made it illegal for sellers or manufacturers to agree on fixed prices. Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that retailers that offer displays and service for customers can be undercut by discounters.”

To combat fixed prices, stores have implemented price point cards that can be used to get a specific dollar amount or a percentage off. But since it was just another hoop for consumer to jump through, many would just as soon skip the hassle and buy at retail.

For me though, one thing was clear; this was not that free market capitalist utopia I was told worked so well. I’ve been gamed.

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