The Real Legacy of Bush-Cheney
We'll be marveling for 20 years about what a cruel, anti-citizen, pro-corporate Supreme Court we have.
EPA’s responsibility to protect endangered species weakened:
In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the federal government can avoid its responsibility to protect species under the Endangered Species Act by handing off authority to the states. The EPA routinely delegates administration of the Clean Water Act to states. The Court’s decision means the EPA does not have to ensure that states abide by the federal Endangered Species Act when they issue Clean Water Act permits. [National Association of Home Builders v. Defenders of Wildlife and a companion case]
Ordinary taxpayers cannot challenge Faith-Based Initiative:
In a 5-4 decision, the Court “barred ordinary taxpayers from challenging a White House initiative helping religious charities get a share of federal money.” A taypayers’ group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation sued eight Bush administration officials, including the head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, objecting to “government conferences in which administration officials encourage religious charities to apply for federal grants.” [Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation]
Campaign finance restrictions weakened for corporate- and union-funded ads:
In a 5-4 decision, the Court loosened restrictions on corporate- and union-funded television ads that air close to elections, “weakening a key provision of a landmark campaign finance law.” The court “upheld an appeals court ruling that an anti-abortion group should have been allowed to air ads during the final two months before the 2004 elections.” [Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right-to-Life]
You'll notice that every one of them was a 5-4 decision. In an O'Connor court, the decisions may have been reversed.
This is why elections matter, particularly Presidential elections, but also for the Senators that vote to confirm Supreme Court Justices. Anthony Kennedy is seemingly growing more conservative as his influence on the Court grows, and we're going to see routine 5-4 decisions on the side of business and conservative causes, regardless of the facts of the case. John Roberts and Samuel Alito are reliable rubber stamps for the conservative agenda.
It's very depressing.
UPDATE: I missed that they voted against the Bong Hits for Jesus kid. So much for free speech in America. Again, it was a 5-4 decision. And all four of these opinions were written by Roberts and Alito.