Friday, September 10, 2010

Constitutional protections under attack

National Law Journal
Constitutional protections under attack
It is a mistake to see the Roberts Court in isolation from a larger conservative movement that has sought to alter basic precepts of constitutional law.
Erwin Chemerinsky
September 13, 2010

Conservatives — in the executive branch and on the courts — have sought to create unprecedented, unchecked executive power, including the power to torture and detain individuals indefinitely without a trial or even due process. They have sought to obliterate the long-standing wall separating church and state, allowing the government almost unlimited authority to support religion and to make religion a part of government activities. They have sought to abolish any constitutional protection for privacy and, most of all, to eliminate constitutional protections for abortions. They have sought to greatly reduce constitutional protections for criminal defendants, including their ability to ask a federal court for protection from unconstitutional state procedures or results. They have worked to eliminate all affirmative action and to institute a vision of the Constitution that will perpetuate deep racial inequalities in American society. Most successfully, they have closed the courthouse doors, especially to people bringing civil rights claims.

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