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.
There are many, including the Washington Postâ€¦ hardly a bastion of liberal thoughtâ€¦ who have counseled Obama to look for judicial restraint:
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 wasnâ€™t that radical. It didnâ€™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 canâ€™t do to you. Says what the [...]