Just in case you don’t think the Presidency matters much, look at what G. Bush did to the American way of life: 


The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices’ first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.

Exxon Valdez 

The Supreme Court cut punitive damages for Alaskans harmed by the Exxon Valdez oil spill by 80 percent Wednesday in a ruling that may signal new limits on damage awards for victims of corporate wrongdoing.

Even an off year for business at the U.S. Supreme Court is still a good year.

The court yesterday ruled in favor of Exxon Mobil Corp., cutting $2 billion from the punitive damages it owes for the 1989 Valdez oil spill in Alaska. The 5-3 decision, which leaves the oil company to pay $507.5 million, ended a 19-year legal fight.

Device Ruling

The medical-device case, stemming from a burst heart catheter made by Medtronic Inc., extended a high court trend toward “pre-empting” state regulations and lawsuits when a federal statute covers the same territory. Businesses typically champion pre-emption because it means a single, national set of rules.

The 8-1 device ruling said patients generally can’t sue over products cleared for sale under the most intensive federal review process. The court similarly concluded that federal law displaced California’s restrictions on employer speech against unionization and Maine’s attempt to stop shippers from delivering tobacco to children.

Death Penalty

Justice Kennedy for the majority.

“The constitutional prohibition against excessive or cruel and unusual punishments mandates that the State’s power to punish be exercised within the limits of civilized standards.”  

This wonderful logic, with which I agree, the court used to deny the death penalty for child rape.  It leaves intact, however, all the other so-called capital offenses.

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