Monday, June 27, 2005

Brace Yourself

The Supreme Court will end its term this week, and chances are they won’t go quietly.

The Supreme Court ends its work Monday with the highest of drama: an anticipated retirement, a ruling on the constitutionality of government Ten Commandments displays and decisions in other major cases.

Traditionally there is an air of suspense as the justices meet for the final time before breaking for three months. Justices usually wait until then to resolve blockbuster cases.

Added to that is the expectation that Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist is presiding over the court for the last time. Rehnquist has thyroid cancer and many court experts believe his retirement is imminent.


“One or two justices may announce their retirement on Monday. Or none may,” said Suzanna Sherry, a law professor at Vanderbilt University who specializes in the Supreme Court. “In the past there has not been this kind of anticipation.”

Rehnquist could announce his decision at the Monday morning session. He could wait until later in the day after justices hold their last private meeting of the term. He could wait until later in the week, after the crowds have left the court.

On a seemingly unrelated note, wildlife seems to be on the attack. From CNN Headlines:

• Girl killed by shark in Florida Panhandle | Watch
• Grizzly kills couple at Alaska campsite

I really don’t think the folks at CNN mean you can watch a girl get killed by a shark…but who knows? It’s another story about a pretty white girl disappearing, and they’re all the rage now.

Anyway, is it just me or are we moving into another one of those phases where nature seems to be getting a little ticked off? Daily earthquakes in California, a heat wave in northern Michigan, drought in Texas again and way too much rain in South Florida. To some it’s a sign of God’s wrath and that we’re reaping the whirlwind for all the sinnin’ that we’re doing. Trust me, if a god that can create the entire universe in six days gets pissed off and wanted to show wrath, a heat wave and an earthquake wouldn’t even register on the to-do list. Only human arrogance would think that we’re so important as to attract the attention of a deity that has an entire universe to look out for, and we would probably do well to remember that we humans are barely visible specks on this planet. While we think we can control the world and its destiny — and do a pretty good job of making a mess of it in the process — things like the Ten Commandments carved into a block of marble on the lawn of a courthouse in East Jesus, Alabama, really don’t make a huge dent in the overall scheme of things. Or, to quote the immortal Grace Slick, “it don’t mean shit to a tree.”