March 3, 2005
Once again, a Supreme Court Justice named by a republican president has imposed a philosophy that could have come from any justice named by a democrat president.
In writing for the narrow 5-4 majority outlawing the death penalty for anyone under 18, Justice Anthony Kennedy (who holds the seat Robert Bork should have) sites "evolving standards" and "world opinion" as justifications for his vote -- not the constitution, or laws enacted by elected representatives in several states, but evolving social standards and world opinion.
This issue was decided the other way only six years ago.
So much for precedent.
The inconsistency of this ruling is revealed in the majority's acceptance of an American Psychological Association claim that 18-year-olds are incapable of making appropriate moral judgments.
This is the same group that told the court in the past that teenage girls are mature enough to decide whether to have an abortion without parental knowledge.
This ruling, among others, makes the battle for the Supreme Court even more important.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Watch his television show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, on the Fox News Channel, Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.