Supreme Court

Washington DC: United States Supreme Court

Washington DC: United States Supreme Court (Photo credit: wallyg)

I was thinking about the US Supreme Court, one of our three co-equal branches of government. With the retirement of John Paul Stevens in 2010, the Court no longer has any outstanding members. I do not know the complete history of the Court; however, the two members of the Court I hold in highest esteem are John Marshall and Louis Brandeis.

John Marshall was Chief Justice from 1801 to 1835. His decisions and policies set the precedents that still guide the Supreme Court. During the Revolutionary war, Marshall served with Washington and later wrote a multi-volume biography of his friend. He served as Secretary of State under John Adams and functioned as president when Adams was out of the capital. That was the custom then before the vice-president took over that responsibility.

Louis Brandeis served as an Associate Justice from 1916 to 1939. After he resigned from the Court, he devoted his full-time energies to the cause of establishing Israel. Before Brandeis joined the Court, he was America’s highest paid lawyer. However, he devoted only 50% of his time to earning money. The other 50% was devoted to social causes where he did significant good for no charge. He was a pioneer in using economic data to promote his legal cases before the courts. He changed how cases were argued before the Supreme Court, and after joining the Court, he  helped change how the Supreme Court decided cases. In my estimation, two admirable Justices.

Please see Freedom


Governor Mitt Romney of MA

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Why does Mitt Romney want to be President? He has been running for the office more than six years and might even continue running for the office until 2016 if he is not nominated in 2012? Why? His father, George Romney, tried for the GOP nomination in 1968 and was defeated by Richard Nixon. Is he running due to a rivalry with his father like George W. Bush’s with his father? Or is he running because of a belief in public service like John Quincy Adams’s following his father’s, John Adams, example?

Before the GOP nominates Mitt Romney, I should like him to give his reasons for running, honestly and from the heart. I do not want to hear a speech laced with the usual campaign slogans and political platitudes, designed to win as many votes as possible. The 2012 election will overshadow the 2008 election in importance. Too many of the nation’s problems have been allowed to fester and grow, and now it is time to face the music and make some key decisions. If Mitt Romney cannot win the nomination, it may be time to serve the nation in other ways. John Q. Adams served in the House of Representatives for seventeen years after his term as president ended. He probably accomplished more as a Congressman than he did as Secretary of State, Senator and President combined.

Please see Let Romney run | Mitt Romney, compassionate conservative | 10 little Republicans


Robert R. Livingston

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John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, our second and third presidents, were fast friends, Founding Fathers, both died on July 4, 1826, and had similar ideas on the need for free public education. The following is from The Pro-growth Progressive, an Economic Strategy for Shared Prosperity by Gene Sperling. Gene was a member of the Clinton administration for 8 years.

“In his Thoughts on Government in 1776, John Adams was emphatic that the government should literally spare no expense to provide equal educational opportunities for all children. He explained that ‘laws for the liberal education of youth, especially for the lower classes of people, are so extremely wise and useful that to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.’ It was of no small consequence that in 1779 Adams wrote into the Massachusetts Constitution, ‘it shall be the duty of legislatures and magistrates, in all future periods of this commonwealth, to cherish…public schools and grammar schools in the towns.’ Thomas Jefferson also made an outspoken commitment to fair starts through equal education, calling for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing free public education in 1806.” Jefferson was President at the time.

As a Founding Father, Jefferson has fallen out of favor in Texas. Adams is still a Founding Father in good standing in Massachusetts. At a future GOP presidential debate, let us ask Romney and Perry their views on Adams and Jefferson and free public education through college as advocated by Jefferson.

Please see Jefferson to miss the cut | Love thy neighbor