Monday, October 31, 2005

Supreme Injustice - And the Need to Push Back

Let me write the Generic Conservative Op-Ed on the nomination of Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court.

Hypocritical liberals, who previously decried the use of ideology in selecting nominees to the Supreme Court, are aghast that President Bush has - gasp - chosen a conservative. Judge Alito is a solid, well-respected legal scholar and liberals have shown their true selves by opposing him solely for his conservative views.


Translation: It’s okay for conservatives to torpedo the Miers nomination for not being conservative enough and for Bush to choose his nominee based on ideology, but liberals are required to only use “competence” to evaluate the President’s nominee.

Other lessons we’ve learned from conservatives lately include: conservatives don’t need to respect the President’s choice when that choice is not ideologically acceptable, but liberals do. Conservatives are entitled to use the courts to overturn laws they don’t like (as Alito has said he would favor) but liberals cannot.

Conservatives have shown in this whole process that their goal for the courts is to transform them into a bastion of conservative ideology, changing the laws and redacting the Constitution where necessary. They understand that the make-up of the courts, specifically the Supreme Court, has a profound and long lasting impact on the lives of people. It is in the courts that laws touch the lives of real people. And part of their strategy is claim for themselves an entitlement to push for more conservative judges while accusing liberals pushing for more liberal judges of departing from a neutral (i.e. conservative) interpretation of the Constitution.

None of us should be surprised, although it’s still disappointing to see, both Bush and his conservative base have acted as if the slightly less than 50% the public that did not vote for Bush do not count. Rather than finding a nominee for all of America, they view the Supreme Court as a sort of prize for the political victor, regardless of how that victory was achieved or how narrow it was. And it’s not just a prize, it is the prize based on the reaction to the Miers nomination by the hard right conservatives. The prize here, make no mistake, is to gain control over our reproductive freedoms and reproductive organs. Not wanting to rely on the changeable legislatures alone, conservatives are seeking to etch as deeply as they can into our legal institutions their political ideology.

Bush caved to that pressure - again no surprise there. Liberals should push back - hard. Prepare to be called hypocrites and sore losers, etc. Keep pushing. Prepare to be told that we are not entitled to be speak or be heard or demand that our point of view be considered when selecting the nominee. Keep pushing. Prepare for pundits to say that we’re “alienating” the “mainstream”, as if we weren’t a part of that, as if slightly less than 50% of the American public are “out of the mainstream.” Keep pushing.

And prepare to lose this fight. Just keep pushing anyway.

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At 3:15 PM, Blogger GreenSmile said...

Good work. You soundly dispatched the asymetrical politicking of the right in one paragraph. Now lets get you syndicated!


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