Monday, April 12, 2010

Conservative bias

Should President Obama nominate a liberal to succeed John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court?

Why is there even a question that the answer is yes? The only question for a Republican President is whether he should nominate a strong conservative or an extreme conservative. He may screw up the choice - Souter - but a Republican's intent is always to get another ideologue onto the court, and preferably a youngish one.

For some obscure reason - couldn't be the self-forgiven hypocrisy of an overweening will to power - the Republican caucus in the Senate never holds itself to its own stated principle of an up-or-down vote if a liberal is shackled in the dock, I mean, giving testimony.

Instead, they shout, "Bork, bork, bork," like a bunch of capons with too much gravel in their gizzards. They claim that the borking of Robert Bork was the original sin of politicizing the court, never mind the Bork's subsequent role as a culture warrior on the extreme right has proven the Democrats were correct to bork him.

Last, take a look at the people CNN asked to comment on the question of a liberal on the court (oh, my, Mildred, such a scary prospect):

  • Ed Rollins, a well-known Republican operative
  • Douglas Kmiec, a Reagan appointee to the Justice Department (who by the way uses his paragraphs to nominate a friend of Samuel Alito's, someone who defended Alito's dishonest question-dodging to hide his extremism during his confirmation)
  • Ilya Shapiro, from the libertarian but mostly conservative Cato Institute
  • Ed Whelan, former law clerk to Antonin Scalia, the most open extreme conservative on the court
That leaves two slots that could have been filled with someone willing to answer yes. Instead, we get two prominent but not public figures who speak in platitudes and analyze the politics:
  • Patricia Millett, who practices before the court and is therefore not going to say anything controversial
  • Julian Zelizer, who declines to take any advocacy role at all
Liberal media? Where?


Alex P. said...

This is why people need to read alternative news sources, and there are many if people are willing to search for them. However, the typical person comes home from work, turns on the T.V. and watches a cable news network. That is part of the reason we have the government we have now; even when a candidate appears to be liberal, today's political climate does not allow them to carry out any liberal legislation once they have been elected. Government today looks out to protect businesses instead of the average citizen; news networks such as Fox News can be called propaganda machines.

lovable liberal said...

I agree mostly, but the truth is that not many people actually watch cable news. The traditional broadcast networks still hugely outweight the viewership of cable. Yet cable news and especially the propaganda operation of Fox drive coverage of all big media.

Mark said...

A Supreme court judge should not try and interpret the law the way they see it. This is what liberal judges do.

lovable liberal said...

Mark, you think it's all just codified, huh? So why have judges at all? Wouldn't a computer program be cheaper and better able to deal with more cases?

The truth is you have no idea how complex law is. You want it to be simple. It isn't. Interpretation is required. You just get put out when the result goes against what you've prejudged.

Anyway, these days, it's the ultraconservatives who throw precedent overboard whenever they like.