Special: The Supreme Court on Trial
Regions: North America
Topics: Political Institutions / Systems
There is a battle taking place in the US Supreme Court between the originalists and the evolutionists, and the verdict is in: the originalists have it, five to four. Adhering to a belief that the Constitution is doctrine, the Originalists take a seemingly fundamentalist approach to interpreting this document as the last word on American laws and values. Those who disagree with this strict point-of-view could be called Evolutionists, as they believe our founding charter was crafted in broad, open-ended language, and evolves to reflect our changing society.
Does this combination of beliefs make for a politically motivated Supreme Court? And how has that balance controlled decisions that have affected us all? In this Link TV special we are joined by famed author and prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi to talk about his experiences and to present the documentary Original Intent: The Battle for America.
About the film: Original Intent
Original Intent is the judicial philosophy promoted by President George W. Bush and Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Originalists believe the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted in the way the Founding Fathers understood it in 1789 - an era when only white men were allowed to vote and slavery was legal. Others believe the Constitution was crafted in broad, open-ended language and that its meaning evolves over time. Originial Intent: The Battle for America argues that the far right is using originalism as a cover to advance a radically conservative political agenda.
With the appointments of Justices Roberts and Alito, the balance of the Supreme Court shifted dramatically to the right. Many laws that are considered fundamental rights can be overturned, particularly laws that protect civil rights, voting rights, affirmative action, reproductive rights, privacy, and sexual freedom. The film contains interviews with: Robert Bork, Supreme Court nominee; Prof. Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, UC Irvine Law School; Prof. Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School; Edwin Meese, Attorney General, Reagan Administration; Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY); Prof. Nadine Strassen, NY Law School and President, ACLU; and Nina Totenberg, Legal Affairs Correspondent, National Public Radio. An essential film for courses in Political Science, Government, Constitutional Law and American Studies.
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Jul 29, 2009, 18:31:55
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