Monday, April 12, 2010

Linda Greenhouse on Justice Stevens

Can justices still learn on the job, or are they confined to strict party lines? Linda Greenhouse examines how Justice Stevens began his career with a somewhat conservative lean, even voting against government funding for abortions. Now, as liberals lament his retirement, his initial views on affirmative action and the death penalty seem to be disregarded.

Greenhouse ends her op-ed implying that we've exited the era in which a Supreme Court Justice can afford to change his mind. People want to know exactly how a potential justice will decide major issues, and I can't say I'm an exception. Maybe it's because the role of the Supreme Court is far too powerful to leave up to chance or indecision. Then again, maybe it's just a further reflection of our exceedingly binary political system.

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