Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Firing a warning shot?

Arlen Specter confounds his critics (and supporters) again by writing a letter to Supreme Court nominee Roberts suggesting that he should expect pointed questions about specific cases and the boundaries of the rights of the legislature. The Commerce Clause is not as sexy as Roe, but perhaps more pressing to Senators, at least, and a recent source of wider concern.
In a three-page letter to Judge Roberts, Mr. Specter raises pointed questions about two recent court decisions invalidating legislation Congress passed under its authority to regulate interstate commerce. That power has for decades been used to produce expansive legislation, including environmental protections, civil rights laws and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The current court has been trimming back the authority, however, and Democrats have vowed to make interstate commerce a big issue in the Roberts hearings. Now Mr. Specter, a Republican who is widely regarded as the panel's sharpest constitutional lawyer, is suggesting that he shares the Democrats' concerns.
scales of justiceApparently some lawmakers have taken offense at Rehnquist's, in particular, dismissiveness of their deliberations.

(via Armando at dailyKos)

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