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The Supremes

Monday, 30 June 2003 12:00 AM

What a tough week it was for the oft-divided justices of the United States Supreme Court. Two paramount decisions handed down last week ticked off great numbers of Americans. And another ruling had both sides of the same issue declaring total victory.

The dizzying amount of feedback, political rhetoric and media attention given to each of their cases makes it entirely plausible that one or more of these "robed ones" may indeed wish to step down and call it quits sooner rather than later.

As far as affirmative action went, no one in America was at all satisfied with the convoluted parsing of legalese that the court is now putting American educational institutions through.

"A school may take race into account."

"A school may not use heavily weighted formulas to come to the decision of how race is taken into account."

What is that? How do these two rulings make any sense or provide any greater comfort that truly objective measures will be used for entry into an educational community?

My take on it? Throw out all the extras. Force entry qualifications to be narrowed to academic performance. Place some sort of value on a SAT score and who knows – you might actually get kids trying to pass it.

But the decisions that I found most fascinating had to do with the protection of the public and issues related to sexual expression.

On the issue of allowing libraries to filter out Internet material that is highly provocative and dangerous to the lives and welfare of children and librarians, I'm all in favor of it. If you do the research on public libraries and their association with sexual predators, it will lead you to places you do not wish to go. And certainly after reading up on it, you would never want your children there.

The research is easy to find. The testimonies are impossible to dispute. Sexual predators stimulate their interests in public libraries looking at taxpayer-provided Internet porn. Thousands of stories have surfaced on what these predators have done after arousal.

It has been an extremely sad statement to the community that people like Mayor Richard Daley in Chicago and his head of the Chicago Public Libraries, Ms. Dempsey, have been too thickheaded to acknowledge the truth. At least now the Supreme Court has, and, with its ruling, kids will be safer in our heart of public learning – the libraries.

But while the court seemed to be looking out for our kids, it apparently cares little for the public health of homosexuals. In its multifaceted rulings handed down last Thursday, the court took on – again – the face of an activist court (just as in Roe v. Wade), telling a state to strike down a law. It did this not because the said law violated any part of the federal Constitution, but simply because the justices did not like it.

"The law [banning sodomy in the state of Texas] demeans the lives of homosexual persons," Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority. "The men are entitled to respect for their private lives," Kennedy wrote. "The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime."

What?

How does it demean someone to simply encourage that person to practice good health? And how does it demean a person to point them toward living a moral life? And if the state says that one cannot make consensual sexual activity a crime, are we really ready for the totality of what that means – pedophilia, adultery, incest?

Where does the Constitution say anything about whether or not a person has a right to do such things?

It doesn't, and at least Justice Thomas recognized it: "If I were a member of the Texas legislature, I would vote to repeal it," Thomas wrote in dissent. "Punishing someone for expressing his sexual preference through noncommercial consensual conduct with another adult does not appear to be a worthy way to expend valuable law enforcement resources. Notwithstanding this, I recognize that as a member of this court I am not empowered to help petitioners and others similarly situated. My duty, rather, is to decide cases agreeably to the Constitution and laws of the United States."

The sad aspect of last week's range of rulings by the Supremes is that our Congress, more specifically the Senate, wishes not to move on the issue of preparing the Supreme Court for the cases of tomorrow.

Who knows ... if they wait long enough, maybe the Supremes will rule the Senate out of existence, leaving only the little man in the White House standing in their way.

Kevin McCullough is heard 3 to 5 p.m. CDT, Monday-Friday, on AM 1160 in Chicago, and worldwide on WYLL. Beginning July 1, Kevin will also be heard on WMCA AM 570 from 2-4 p.m. EDT in New York City. Additionally, you can read his daily postings at The KMC Blog. Kevin is a past recipient of the Marconi and Tesla broadcasting awards, an internationally syndicated columnist, and the author of the upcoming book "Men That Every Man Should Be!"

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What a tough week it was for the oft-divided justices of the United States Supreme Court. Two paramount decisions handed down last week ticked off great numbers of Americans. And another ruling had both sides of the same issue declaring total victory. The dizzying amount...
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2003-00-30
Monday, 30 June 2003 12:00 AM
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