Americans seem as interested in the Supreme Court's approach to the rights of detained terrorists as they are in abortion, according to polling released yesterday. Both are considered very important issues facing the high court.
The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that almost two-thirds of those surveyed (63 percent), said Supreme Court decisions on abortion are very important, and 62 percent said the court's decisions about detained terrorists' rights are very important. Fifty-five percent cited the issue of whether to allow religious displays on government property as very important for the court.
The polling was conducted just before President Bush's nomination of John G. Roberts Jr. to serve on the Supreme Court.
The results show that the public's concerns about the Supreme Court extend far beyond abortion. Much of the early media coverage of Roberts has focused on his possible views of the court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which recognized a constitutional right to abortion.
"This important question of the trade-off of civil liberties and protection is one the public takes very seriously," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. "The public has been reminded recently of the ongoing threat of terrorism and what we should or should not have to sacrifice for our safety." He did note that, until now, the question of detainees' rights "has not been one of the issues at the forefront of debate about the Supreme Court."
A case about parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion is on the court's agenda for the term beginning in October, but cases regarding such issues as the rights of foreign terrorist suspects at the Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are working their way through the lower courts.
Roberts recently joined a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholding the administration's approach to military trials for Guantanamo detainees.
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) told law enforcement officers that the justice system holds illegal immigrants to lower standards than Americans.
"An illegal alien actually has a different system of justice here," he said Tuesday in a speech to about 30 law enforcement officers in Hanahan, S.C. "If you're here illegally, you can get a pass."
Tancredo has been criticized by some Hispanic groups for his calls for tougher immigration enforcement and a proposal to tax some of the money immigrants send outside U.S. borders. Hispanic and Islamic groups called for his resignation in a Denver protest recently, citing Tancredo's suggestion to target Islamic holy sites if terrorists launch a nuclear attack on the United States.
Not only do former presidents get a library, their libraries also get their own postage stamp -- and each library gets a dedication ceremony.
A stamp commemorating the nation's presidential libraries will be issued today. Official ceremonies marking the release will be held at 10:30 a.m. local time at:
* The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, College Station, Tex.
* The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, Atlanta.
* The William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, Little Rock.
* The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Abilene, Kan.
* The Gerald R. Ford Library, Ann Arbor, Mich.
* The Gerald R. Ford Museum, Grand Rapids, Mich.
* The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, West Branch, Iowa.
* The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, Austin.
* The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Boston.
* The Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace, Yorba Linda, Calif.
* The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Simi Valley, Calif.
* The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Hyde Park, N.Y.
* The Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum and Library, Independence, Mo.
The 37-cent stamps will go on sale nationwide tomorrow.
-- Charles Lane