Michael: Ask John RobertsGot a zinger for Roberts? Now you have a way to submit your question for the confirmation hearing, courtesy your Democratic Women's Sentorial Caucus.
Democracy: it can be a cool thing in the right hands.
Here's my question (or question and follow-ups, more accurately...):
What is the extent of state soveriegn immunity in your view? Are states immune to suit by their citizens for violations of their constitutional civil rights and statutory rights granted by Congress? What limitations, if any, are there on Congressional power to abrograte States' immunity? In the line of cases from City of Boerne, to College Savings Bank, and Kimmel do you agree with the reasoning of the majority of the Court or the minority, and why?
One major area of Supreme Court activism has to been knit a shelter for States to avoid liability for violation of civil rights from the tatters of that odd chimera 'sovereign immunity'. The views of the next Supreme Court Justice on this doctrine are critical matter for his confirmation, in my view.
For more details, I recommend 'Narrowing the Nation's Power' by 9th Circuit Justice John T. Noonan. The New York Times said of Noonan's book in an August 21, 2002 editorial:
"The Supreme Court's conservative justices say they practice judicial restraint and accuse their liberal colleagues of activism. But a conservative federal judge has just written a blistering book arguing that the court's conservatives are actually engaged in a huge power grab, under the banner of respect for the states, that seriously erodes the rights of ordinary Americans."