George h.w. bush’s single worst decision is also his most lasting legacy – countable circle k gas station locations

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To be sure, contentious issues such as affirmative action and abortion remained, but these issues were relatively marginal compared to the nation-defining questions that dominated much of the twentieth century. No one outside of a small lunatic fringe still argued, in 1991, that the federal ban on whites-only lunch counters is unconstitutional. ag gaston birmingham 120 There was no serious risk that the Supreme Court would dismantle the Voting Rights Act. Or that the Court would strike down basic labor protections such as the minimum wage.

His plans to dismantle the federal administrative state now dominate both the Federalist Society and the Trump administration. gas prices going up june 2016 His opinions suggesting that much of the New Deal and the Great Society are unconstitutional taught a generation of conservative law students to dream of a world where every law they disagree with is struck down by the Supreme Court. At least six of Trump’s federal appellate nominees are former Thomas clerks.

Beginning in the Gilded Age, moneyed interests invented a bevy of legal doctrines intended to protect their vast fortunes — and for many decades, the Supreme Court embraced these doctrines enthusiastically. At the peak of their influence, these rich man’s doctrines produced Supreme Court opinions striking down federal income taxes, attacking the right to unionize, nixing the minimum wage, and even killing federal child labor laws.

At the height of the Great Depression, however, these rich man’s doctrines became untenable. The nation cried out for an active government that could reinvigorate the economy, and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt won reelection in a landslide after campaigning against this narrow vision of the Constitution. electricity 1 7 pdf Beginning in 1937, the Court announced that it would no longer tinker with America’s economic policy. The United States should be a democracy, and, with rare exception, the courts should respect Congress’ power to govern.

Since then, a handful of reactionary politicians have tried to revive these rich man’s doctrines. Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-AZ), for example, campaigned for president on his opposition to civil rights laws targeting private companies — citing constitutional doctrines similar to the ones used by opponents of the New Deal. He lost in an historic landslide.

Similarly, in 2010, several very conservative Senate candidates — Joe Miller (R-AK), Sharron Angle (R-NV), John Raese (R-WV) — ran on “ tentherism,” the belief that Gilded Age doctrines should be revived to eliminate much of the federal government and its laws. electricity facts for 4th graders It did not end well for them. v gas station With the notable exception of Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who hails from one of the reddest states in the country, tentherism was unpopular and most of its most outspoken evangelists lost their races in a year that was otherwise a bonanza for Republicans. The most anti-democratic branch

Yet, even as these rich man’s doctrines were banished to political Gehenna, one man fought a quiet war to revive many of them. Concurring in United States v. electric zap sound effect free Lopez, Thomas wrote the first of several decisions suggesting that the Court was right to strike down child labor laws in 1918. Thomas’ understanding of congressional power closely resembles the views Barry Goldwater expressed in the 1960s, when Goldwater argued that private companies should be immune from federal civil rights laws.

No one could win a presidential election running on these policies — and few parts of the country would elect a senator or representative who openly campaigned on Thomas’ views. gas nozzle icon But what Clarence Thomas taught the conservative movement is that it doesn’t need to campaign openly on its most radical ideas. Presidents can run on much more popular ideas and even govern with relative moderation, and allow their judicial nominees to do the heavy lifting for them. They may even be remembered as moderates despite the actions of their nominees. Just look at George H.W. Bush.