Courts: political or a separate branch?

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Yurt, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    Answer however you like, that is my title. What I point out in this article, is key:



    Court decision favors native Hawaiians

    SAN FRANCISCO - A divided federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that a private school in Hawaii can favor Hawaiian natives for admission as a means of helping a downtrodden indigenous population

    The 8-7 decision by a 15-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an earlier ruling by three of the same judges that the Kamehameha Schools policy amounted to unlawful discrimination.

    In Tuesday's decision, the majority noted that the case was unique because Congress has singled out the plight of native Hawaiians for improvement, just as lawmakers have done with Alaskan natives and American Indians.

    The admissions policy "furthers the urgent need for better education of Native Hawaiians, which Congress has repeatedly identified as necessary," the court said.

    The case was brought by a white student excluded because of his race.

    Admission to the elite school is first granted to qualified Hawaiian students, and non-Hawaiians may be admitted if there are openings available. Only one in eight eligible applicants is admitted to the school, which serves about 5,400 students at three campuses.

    Seven Republican judges opposed the policy; eight Democrats on the court supported it. Three dissenting judges wrote separately that civil rights law prohibits a private school from denying admission because of race.

    Eric Grant, the plaintiff's attorney, said he would appeal to the Supreme Court. "Discrimination in favor of native Hawaiians and against other persons is racial discrimination," he said.

    Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett urged the court to uphold the policy, citing Congress' decision in 1991 to provide grants to the Kamehameha Schools and offer preferential loans to native Hawaiians.

    Congress "could not intend to bar an admission policy that it was supporting," he said.

    The Kamehameha School was established under the 1883 will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop as part of a trust now worth $6.8 billion. The trust subsidizes tuition and is designed to help remedy some of the wrongs done during the U.S.-backed overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893.

    The decision came a day after the Supreme Court suggested during arguments in a different case that it might ban the practice of race-based admissions in public schools, even if the policy was intended to create racial harmony.

    The last time the Supreme Court ruled on a similar issue was in 2003, when justices banned the use of rigid formulas that award points based on race for admission to the University of Michigan and its law school.

    But the court that same year also permitted colleges to consider race as part of a "holistic review" of every application.


    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061205/ap_on_re_us/hawaiian_school



    I see more and more politics in the legal world, not law.
     
  2. William Joyce
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    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

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    Indeed.

    Law pretends to be this apolitical system, but the truth is that the prevailing power winds determine much about how legal situations turn out. The problem is that the more this happens, the more cynical we become about lawyers and the law --- and especially judges. We know it's basically a kangaroo court system for liberal values.

    I think that in America, free speech is about the only thing not affected by this.
     
  3. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    Courts have always been political. When you have judges who are either elected (by virtue of having received a party's nomination) or appointed, based on affiliation with politicians and political parties, that is going to be a necessary bi-product. The best judges are scholars who understand the law and try to arrive at what they believe are the most just decisions. But don't kid yourself that politics hasn't always had something to do with it. Decisions have reflected political circumstances since Marbury v Madison, through Dred Scott to Brown v Board of Ed, to the decisions being written by Bush's right wing appointees.

    Just how it is.
     
  4. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Quite similar to how religious concepts enter goverment, actually. It's just how it is.
     

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