I am disturbed, but not surprised by some of the comments made by Barrack Obama as regards the role of a Justice of the Supreme Court and thereby, what we will get in the replacement for Justice David Souter, who is retiring, next month. Those comments give us a frightening view of what we have in store from anyone Obama might nominate.
Alas, the once-dominant species of liberal proponents of judicial restraint has relatively few surviving members. Obama should find them – why not Jose Cabranes, the excellent judge whom President Clinton appointed to the 2nd Circuit? – and help revive the species.
It appears that Obama will be moving in the opposite direction, making that restraint even more of a rarity. Comments made while Obama was still just a candidate, as early as 2001, in an WBEZ interview, are exemplary:
But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.
Well, anyone who thinks the Warren court wasn’t radical, as Obama apparently does, has no sense of American history, first of all, and certainly no idea what the court is supposed to be doing. It seems reasonably safe to assume that any nominee Obama comes up with now is going to be ‘restraint challenged’ the way a hungry Black Labrador puppy would be inside a 25 bag of Kibble.
It is troublesome that Obama still pursues the socialistic goal of the redistribution of wealth. That is particularly troublesome in a recession, when demonstrably, forced wealth redistribution is counter productive to overall economic recovery.
There are other markers of Obama’s train of thought that are equally disturbing, and are of a piece with his redistributionist efforts:
“…we need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.”
Notice, please, that Obama has said nothing whatever about the Constitution, here. Isn’t upholding the Constitution as such the first duty of a jurist? For that matter, doesn’t the President swear also, to uphold the Constitution? Where then, in the Constitution is the redistribution of wealth stated as a power, or a responsibility of government?
As Doctor Charles Krauthammer said the other night on the “Special Report” panel:
But I thought what Obama said today was really remarkable when he said I want someone on the court who understands that justice isn’t about abstract legal theory. It’s about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives.
Now that is not only wrong, it’s deeply corrupting. The idea that you ought to be thinking about how the law affects the reality of someone’s life is something that you do when you are passing a law or create a law. That’s what you do if you are a member of Congress who represents people and their needs.
But once the law is passed, the only job a judge has is to interpret the law without consideration of a person’s standing in life. Otherwise you could never have, say, a bank foreclosing on a home, because who, after all, is more affected, a bank that might lose a few dollars, or a family that’s going to lose its home and future livelihood, et cetera?
The whole idea blinds a justice and the statutes that we have outside our courthouses of a blindfold over justice is that you do not look at a person’s station in life, their needs in life, requirements in life. It’s entirely about the law.
What the Doctor misses, of course is the leftist view that the Surpeme Court is the legislature of last resort… and that the Warren Court only partially filled that role to Obama’s satisfaction speaks volumes to the problems freedom loving Americans now face.
The bottom line here is that Obama can, and likely will, nominate someone so far out of the mainstream, that it will end up making Lani Guinier look like a reasonable choice.
Consider, also, the emphasis Obama is placing on getting another woman on the court. This is not an Guinier -like attempt to get particular Democrat sub-group represented. The simple fact is that statistically, females live longer. Thereby, Obama is trying to extend the redistributionist hold on our government, further into the future, and nobody can stop him from doing so… and a far left-Senate seems unlikely to appreciably restrict him.
About the Author
Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.