Interesting story about the impending public release of Justice Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court papers. The article focuses on the fact that Roe v. Wade came perilously close to being overturned in 1992, saved only by a last-minute switch from Justice Kennedy. Apparently Kennedy was the "switch in time that saved a woman's right to choose." Heh. This should also come as particularly irksome news to pro-lifers since Kennedy was appointed only after the Senate rejected Robert H. "Bork Bork Bork" Bork. Bork, of course, makes Antonin Scalia look like Thurgood Marshall and would have been chomping at the bit to overturn Roe.
In addition to the always exciting abortion stuff, this passage caught my eye:
It's been more than a decade since intimate details of the court's inner workings were revealed in Justice Thurgood Marshall's papers, which elicited bitter criticism within the court because the papers include secret memos and unpublished draft opinions in controversial cases.
I've discussed the reclusiveness of the Supreme Court before. I still don't understand what they're so afraid of. Do they think we don't know that each case is heavily debated within the Court, and each opinion goes through multiple revisions? Are we supposed to think that each opinion emerges perfectly formed, like a solid gold turd? The release of things like Marshall's and Blackmun's papers, and the resulting glimpse inside the inner workings of the Court, can only help advocates craft their approaches to legal issues and arguments in a more effective way.
In any case, the article goes on to say that most of the other justices will take care to see that none of their business is made available after their deaths. And given the fact that Justice Rehnquist is a fucking undead zombie already he seems to be doing a good job.