Tuesday July 5, 2005
A PREEMPTIVE STRIKE ON THE 5TH CIRCUIT:
Any hunches on why this article would be running in today's Houston Chronicle:

5th Circuit Court rules in its own way
Its decisions have a history of defying the Supreme Court
By HARVEY RICE
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

Even with its reputation for being unfriendly to death penalty appeals, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was expected to follow directions last year when they came from the U.S. Supreme Court.....

Could it be that the 5th Circuit is home to four judges on President Bush's Supreme Court shortlist, including three women (Edith Jones, Edith Brown Clement, and Priscilla Owen) and a Hispanic (Emilio Garza) who are among those most often mentioned as possible successors to Sandra Day O'Connor?

Interestingly, while the Chronicle plays up the 5th Circuit's reputation on death penalty cases as "aggressive," "defiant," and "out of step," Joan Biskupic wrote earlier this year that beyond the issue of the death penalty the 5th Circuit is well within the mainstream and mirrors the Supreme Court on most other issues - including the issue the left cares most about:

Overall, the 5th Circuit has a conservative reputation, but it is not conspicuous among the 12 regional appeals courts.

"It's a conservative court, but it's a court that mirrors the conservatism of the (Supreme) Court," says Thomas Baker, a law professor at Florida International University who taught at Texas Tech University law school for nearly two decades and studied the 5th.

The 5th Circuit in recent years has followed U.S. Supreme Court precedent on abortion rights. In 2000, it struck down a Louisiana law that banned a procedure known by its critics as "partial birth" abortion after the Supreme Court had invalidated a similar Nebraska law that had no exception for women who might need the procedure for health reasons.

As always, for more good stuff check out our Supreme Court Nomination resource page.

GIVING AID: Apropos Mark Steyn's blistering column this morning, the question is why activists who believe so deeply in the virtuousness of African debt relief don't pony up their own money instead of insisting the G-8 governments do it with the average working person's.

Consider a glance at the net worth of just a few of the A-List entertainers from Live 8:

Person/Group
Estimated Net Worth (U.S.)
Paul McCartney
U2
Elton John
Pink Floyd
Madonna
Sting

That's over three billion in accrued net worth, which would go a long way to erasing Zimbabwe's $4 billion external debt. Yet somehow I don't think Sir Paul & Co. will be eagerly lining up to transfer their hard-earned assets over to Robert Mugabe. - T. Bevan 10:35 am Link | Email | Send To A Friend

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