Monday, June 25, 2007

Summer Nights

My partner, Garden Girl, says that I work too-o-o-o much, but really, what else would I want to do on a summer evening but read today's opinions from the U.S. Supreme Court? (I definitely don't want to repeat last night's adventure, which you can read about here. Scroll down past the cute baby birds if you want to know how I ended up covered in copious amounts of goose poop. Garden Girl and I have different ideas of how we'd choose to spend a summer evening. But I digress.)
Reading the Court's opinions this term has been like visiting the Mad Hatter's tea party with Ruth Bader Ginsburg playing the part of Alice. So far this term the Supremes have ruled that --

*a law outlawing a late-term abortion procedure is constitutional, even if it might be unconstitutional in some circumstances -- but this OK because a woman in a life-threatening situation can still get a court order to have a procedure to save her life

*a nonsensical sign that says "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" is not protected free speech because there is an exception to the First Amendment for oblique drug references by students who want to get the attention of CNN reporters

* an inmate's appeal of a life sentence may not be heard by any court because it was filed a day or so after the deadline for appeals because of a judge's error in calculating the deadline

* a woman cannot sue for pay discrimination unless she files her claim within 180 days of the initial pay decision, even if she doesn't know about the pay inequity until much later, and even if the initial pay discrimination continues and compounds over the years

This is just a sample, and the justices writing for the losing side in these cases are visibly frustrated. The usually mild Justice Souter wrote of the decision throwing out the inmate's suit: "It is intolerable for the judicial system to treat people this way." Amen.

6 comments:

Songbird said...

That's the kind of list that makes me very, very sad and oddly grateful that my father isn't here to know about it.

Mrs. M said...

I know. I've been watching these and silently screaming.

Jan said...

It is very distressing--possibly a "worse" legacy of Bush's presidency than the war. . .

BTW, I'm new to blogging and seem to be gravitating to RevGalBlogPals, because of my friendship with Katherine E. She's the one who got me started blogging a few weeks ago.

Your blog looks very interesting. Thank you.

Diane said...

Ruby -- I wish I knew more about law. I must say that, as much as I have been troubled by recent decisions on abortion, I am far more troubled by what I see as a basic disrespect for and erosion of workers' rights. This as corporations become larger and more powrerful. This scares me most of all.

What can we do?

Lorna (see through faith) said...

* an inmate's appeal of a life sentence may not be heard by any court because it was filed a day or so after the deadline for appeals because of a judge's error in calculating the deadline

awful

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