You simply can't judge Supreme Court justices solely on the "political result" of an opinion. Liberals accuse conservatives and conservatives accuse liberals of being activist judges that only decide based on their political opinions, but the law isn't supposed to, and in my opinion doesn't, work that way.
There's just way too many complicating factors in that regard.
Edit: And this is not in the least mentioning that the date range silver picks is carefully cherry picked.
What most people don't know is that when Roosevelt was elected in 1932 and passed most of the new deal in his first 100 days, virtually all of it was struck down as being unconstitutional. Panama Refining Co v Ryan struck down portions of the National Industrial Recovery Act, the railroad retirement act was struck down in Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad, Humphrey's executor v United States ruled that Roosevelt didn't have authority to fire the head of the federal trade comission, Loisville Joint Stock Bank vs Radford struck down the farm bankruptcy act, Schechter Poultry Corp v United States struck down the entirety of the National recovery act.
All of these decisions at the time were in accordance with what people understood "the law" to be at the time. During the first part of Roosevelt's term, the huge majority of judges and the majority of the supreme court were republican appointed but quite elderly.
Roosevelt started the "court packing" plan to appoint more supreme court justices to fight thsi trend, but at the same time Justice Potter Stewart changed his vote on a few key cases in 1936 and 1937.
But then, in 1938, justices started retiring. Between 1938 and 1945, Roosevelt appointed 9 judges total and had appointed judges to 8 out of the 9 members of the US SUpreme Court. Those appointments started a famously liberal supreme court that lasted for upwards of 40 years and reached its height in the 1950's and 60's under chief justice Earl Warren. Saying that the court is the most conservative it's been since roosevelt is a bit disingenous.
Didn't he do something very similar several months ago? I distinctly remember reading a series of ass-covering statements about how that wasn't what he said, it was taken out of context, etc etc. Or did another GOP nominee say that?
People really are trying to say he wasn't going to say "nigger", but seriously? I just can't think of anything else, within that context, that he would have been trying to say. And if it was a different word, then why wouldn't he still say it after supposedly getting tongue tied? So stupid, but people will continue to defend him.
I have a hard time believing Santorum says that word regularly, as vile as I think he is, but I also have a hard time believing what we heard was going to be anything but that. There were claims that he was trying to say "nik" as in peacenik or beatnik, but I don't think I've ever heard "nik" used as shortened versions of those.
We won't get a statement from the Santorum camp on this given what has already been said by them. Essentially: Of course he wasn't going to say that and you're all stupid for thinking it. I just don't think it's that far out of the realm of possibility, given how terribly racist we've seen some of the more extremem right behave recently.
There's a difference between that (the welfare one is still questionable, I honestly didn't hear him say "black") and this very straightforward sort of slur. There are a lot of racist people out there who still wouldn't use that word amongst their friends, let alone in a public forum.
You'd really be surprised how casually it gets thrown around at times. Maybe it's because of where I live, but I hear that word a lot more than I would like to. And of course they don't like to use it in public, but the fact that he would almost let it slip isn't really that surprising, just generally appalling.
He's not exactly a Southern redneck. Even when I lived in GA and TN, I didn't hear people just tossing it about like it's an everyday thing. And Santorum's image, so far, doesn't really go along with the idea that he would use racial slurs or the like in such a casual manner.
That being said, I still think that's what he was going to say.
I'm really not quite sure what to make of it. Part of me thinks it was just a brain fart cominghalf-way out before he said the whole word in wha twould have been the worst Freudian slip of any political career ever, but part of me wonders if he's just clever enough to have been talking directly to the insane racist vote that's still not 100% sure about him and giving himself plausible (stretching the hell out of that term in the process) deniability when then "Mainstream Media Elites" start howling about how he called the President a nigger in public. The second way, he gets to have his cake and eat it too, because he can bang on the old tried and true, "The Liberal Media Establishment is out to get me!!!" drum and draw even more support.
I know people that drop the N-word in casual conversation, but most of them are in their 70's. Actually not that long ago I was at an event where I ended up making small talk with a guy who is pretty well known, he's in his 80's and is very wealthy. (sufficiently so that he has buildings named after him) who rather casually mentioned the "n boy" that had run into his car the other day.
That's not an apology for their behavior, but most younger people, even the overtly racist ones, have enough social conditioning from dropping a word like that in anything but close company.
They do it in the midwest still too. And it's usually older people, though that includes some in their 50's. And if my wife's relatives are any guide, they like to do it to test the waters with people to see if they can get a rise out of them.
I'd call it cityfolk baiting, but that's probably too complex a name or strategy for them to really have thought that far. They just want to know if you're a commie.
My grandmother, well into her 80s at the point of saying this, called one of the local farm owners the "nice n-word man down the road" a few years back. My mom had to explain to her that the word wasn't acceptable anymore. She was legitimately unaware of how racist it was.
I shy away from even trying to make that argument. Sometime In college I had one of those drunken, sitting outside until 3am arguing about politics, type of conversations with some friends of mine from the track team (african american kids in a student body that was 90% or more white). At some point the conversation turned to "the appropriate way to refer to minority people," part of the conversation went something like this.
Me: My grandmother says that (being from Georgia, the grandmother I was talking about tended to use the word "colored") but I don't think she's really racist, it's just what she grew up with. I've never seen her treat anyone differently from anyone else.
My friend: She's just "old fashioned?"
Me: yeah, kind of
My Friend: That doesn't mean she's not racist, it just means she's not mean. Some people are racist and mean, you can be the nicest person in the world and still have an attitude about black people, it doesn't make you not racist.
I shy away from even trying to make that argument.
I guess I phrased it wrong. I definitely meant in it in the sense that she harbored no ill-will, not trying to make an argument that she wasn't racist.. Using the word is inherently racist, and I know for sure she had some very racist ideas of racial identity and racial-norms. She just didn't hate people because of their race, it doesn't nullify all of her other opinions and feelings on the matter.
this is seriously interesting and I think deserves a thread of its own, or maybe if there was an occupy thread it can go there. I don't have time to create one just at this second, I'll try to get to it later but someone feel free to pick it up.