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img076 - 1 154 Politic by Otber M,1 liberal judges to these...

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Unformatted text preview: 1: 154 Politic: by Otber M ,1' liberal judges to these courts. He named a number of women . | minorities to the district and circuit benches. However, the p ‘ dent moved so slowly to fill vacancies that his impact on the 10' federal courts has been less than liberals had hoped.29 Clinton’s I forts of course were hindered by the fact that Republicans have CI 9 i trolled the Senate Judiciary Committee during most of presidency. This fact forced Clinton to be cautious in his nomina. tions. The White House canceled plans to nominate several li als after determining that they had no chance of winning Senat confirmation. Still other Clinton nominees, such as liberal Pe l sylvania Judge Messiah Jackson, were bottled up in committee .’ Republicans who feared their ideology and activism. Bill. Clinton's election in 1992 and reelection in 1996 seem to reduce the possibility of much further rightward movement a» the part of the Court. During Clinton’s first year in office, Justi Byron White, the conservative bloc‘s lone Democrat, announc. . his desire to retire from the bench. After a long search the president nominated a federal appeals court judge, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, moderate liberal, to succeed White. She had a long record of su port for abortion rights and women’s rights. However, as a federal appeals court judge she often sided with the government in crim inal cases and did not hesitate to vote against affirmative action- plans she deemed to be too broad. During her first term on the Court, Ginsburg was most fre quently aligned with Souter and generally strengthened the Court’s moderate center?0 especially cases dealing with the issues of reli gious exercise and abortion. ; In 1994 President Clinton had another opportunity to alter the .. balance of the Court when he named Federal Appeals Court Judge . Stephen Breyer to succeed retiring Justice Harry Blackmun. But 7 Breyer was generally viewed as another judicial moderate, unlikely to change the Court’s direction. . Since 1994, led by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Scalia and Thomas, who were often joined by Justices O’Connor and M Kennedy, the Court continued on a conservative course in most Institutional Cmbar 155 areas, issuing rulings that placed limits on affirmative action, school desegregation, voting rights, the separation of church and State, and the power of the national government. In Adamnd C rm— ;rmrtarr u Pena the Court ruled that federal programs that award Preferences to people on the basis of race are presumed to be un- constitutional unless they are “narrowly tailored” to achieve a “compelling national interest.” This decision cast doubt on the constitutionality of all federal programs that classify people on the basis of race. In the case of Mimuri 1/. Jenkim the Court rescinded a school desegregation plan that it had earlier approved, indicating that it would no longer support ambitious efforts by lower courts to integrate public schools forcibly. The Court has continued to place limits upon efforts to use the Voting Rights Act to increase minority representation. In the case of jolmmn 1/. DeGrana’y it held that states were not required to create as many black or minority districts as might be theoretically possible. They were required only to ensure that minority representation was “roughly propor— tional" to the state’s minority population. In Holder 11. Hall the Court ruled that the Voting Rights Act could not be used to chal- lenge the size of a governing body—in this case, a single-member county commission—to accommodate minority representation.51 In the case of Miller a Jalmmn the Court struck down yet another redistricting plan that had purposely created minority-dominated election districts in the state of Georgia. In invalidating the Geor- gia plan, the Court ruled that the use of race as a “predominant fac— tor" in drawing district lines was presumptively unconstitutional. Although the Court left open the possibility that race could be one of the factors taken into account in a redistricting plan, its ruling opened the way for challenges to recently created “majority- minority” districts in at least twelve states.32 Similarly, in Burl; 1/. Vera the Court ruled that three Texas congressional districts with black or Hispanic majorities were unconstitutional because state of- ficials put too much emphasis on race in drawing boundaries. “Vot- ers,” said the Court, “are more than mere racial statistics.” In Shaw 1/. Hunt the Court struck down a North Carolina black majority ...
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