Maybe. After experience chest pains, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy had to have a second surgery to keep an artery open.
Wouldn’t it be great if President Bush could appoint a new, truly conservative Supreme Court Justice between now and November? The Democrats would become apoplectic! And it would be lots of fun to watch, and to cover in this blog.
Now regarding Justice Kennedy, I’m not a fan of any Supreme Court Justice who has the audacity to cite foreign laws, and I don’t like that he voted with the liberal bloc on Roper vs. Simmons Here are the gory details of that case:
This case, which originated in Missouri, involved Christopher Simmons, who in 1993 at the age of 17, concocted a plan to murder Shirley Crook, bringing two younger friends, Charles Benjamin and John Tessmer, into the plot. The plan was to commit burglary and murder by breaking and entering, tying up a victim, and tossing the victim off a bridge. The three met in the middle of the night; however, Tessmer then dropped out of the plot. Simmons and Benjamin broke into Mrs. Crook’s home, bound her hands and covered her eyes. They drove her to a state park and threw her off a bridge.
Once this case was brought to trial, the evidence against Simmons was overwhelming. He had confessed to the murder, performed a videotaped reenactment at the crime scene, and there was testimony from Tessmer against Simmons that showed premeditation (he discussed the plot in advance and later bragged about the crime). The jury returned a guilty verdict. Even considering mitigating factors (no prior criminal history, sympathy from Simmons’ family, and most significantly for the later appeal, his age), the jury nonetheless recommended a death sentence, which the trial court imposed. Simmons first moved for the trial court to set aside the conviction and sentence, citing, in part, ineffective assistance of counsel. His age, and thus impulsiveness, along with a troubled background were brought up as issues that Simmon’s claimed should have been raised at the sentencing phase. The trial court rejected the motion, and Simmons appealed.
When the case came before the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy, along with the liberal bloc decided to void the laws enacted by 20 states by ruling that minors cannot receive the death penalty.
Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy cited a body of scientific and sociological research  that found that juveniles have a lack of maturity and sense of responsibility compared to adults. Adolescents were found to be overrepresented statistically in virtually every category of reckless behavior. The Court noted that in recognition of the comparative immaturity and irresponsibility of juveniles, almost every State prohibited those under age 18 from voting, serving on juries, or marrying without parental consent. The studies also found that juveniles are also more vulnerable to negative influences and outside pressures, including peer pressure. They have less control, or experience with control, over their own environment. They also lack the freedom that adults have, in escaping a criminogenic setting.
In support of the “national consensus” position, the Court noted the increasing infrequency with which states were applying capital punishment for juvenile offenders. At the time of the decision, 20 states had the juvenile death penalty on the books, but only six states had executed prisoners for crimes committed as juveniles since 1989. Only three states had done so in the past 10 years: Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. Furthermore, five of the states that allowed the juvenile death penalty at the time of the 1989 case had since abolished it.
The Court also looked to international law to support the holding. Since 1990, only seven other countries ? Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and China ? have executed defendants who were juveniles at the time of their crime. Justice Kennedy noted that since 1990 each of those countries had either abolished the death penalty for juveniles or made public disavowal of the practice, and that the United States stood alone in allowing execution of juvenile offenders. The Court also noted that only the United States and Somalia had not ratified Article 37 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (September 2, 1990), which expressly prohibits capital punishment for crimes committed by juveniles.
Frankly, idiots like this, who base their rulings on what goes on in Third World rogue states, and on what the U.N. says, should be kept as far away from the Supreme Court as possible. They conveniently forget that their job is to judge cases based on the U.S. Constitution.
But there’s more! Kennedy pretty much negated our concept of property rights with the infamous Kelo vs. New London ruling. He needs to go!