Saturday, July 02, 2005

Another Court Fight to Lose

The not-so-sudden retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor brings back to the front burner those gnawing doubts about the Bush Supreme Court nominee -- and about the Democrats' ability to stop the court's inexorable drift to the right. Now that drift seems more like an out-of-control careen. So many of the 5-4 decisions over the last few years have been decided by O'Connor's swing vote. Each of those decisions can be easily overturned if the issue comes back before the court. Which it will. The right wing is determined to roll back every human rights decision of the last sixty years and is willing to spend billions to do it.

The court-packing compromise worked out so recently among the 14 turncoats -- 7 Dems, 7 Repugs -- all of a sudden seems quaint and naive.

While the Democrats promised not to filibuster future Supreme Court nominees "except under extraordinary circumstances", there are those of us who felt and said at the time if Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owens, and William Pryor did not represent "extraordinary circumstances" we didn't know what would.

It's hard to say, really, what would qualify as "extraordinary circumstance", given what we know about these three. Here are some examples, just to give you an idea:

· Brown called The New Deal the triumph of Socialism, among other things, and wants to turn the clock back to some time before 1930.
· Owens was so right-wing even for Texas that her colleague on the court, Alberto Gonzalez (now attorney-general) said that she was out of the mainstream and described one of her opinions an "unconscionable act of judicial activism".
· Pryor defended Alabama's practice of handcuffing prisoners to a hitching post under the hot sun if they refused to work on chain gangs.

So what, in the Democrats' eyes, should prohibit someone from being confirmed? Murder? Rape? Child pornography? Sex with a dog? Sex with a chicken?

Now I guess we'll get to find out. All Bush has to do is to nominate one of these legal eagles to the court and the Democrats will be left looking like idiots, having caved in on these nominees before and now suddenly claiming they are not qualified. Once again the Repugs will have out-maneuvered the Dems, and our party will be left with egg on its face, holding the door to the Supreme Court wide open to the most radical of the out-of-the-mainstream judicial activist judges on the face of the planet.

The least we can do is to sign the Democrats' petition calling on Bush to nominate a concesus candidate who will unite and not divide our country. Go to and take a small step toward preserving what we have left of our freedom and our democracy.


Anonymous said...

OK, I understand that very few people realy want to talk about the big issue of abortion. Let me give everyone some insight. Democrats want to get rid of the NEED for any abortion by promoting sex education, birth control, condoms, abstinance, etc. We want to elimiate abortion by making it NO LONGER NEEDED. Repubicans want to make abortion ILLEGAL, but have cut all funding for sex ed, planned parenthood, birth control and even the abstinace program. They live in a la-la land that some how if it is against the law it will go away...(ha, look at the meth epidemic!). OK, so enough is enough, give me a judge that will help PREVENT abortion. To paraphrase Hillary, abortion should be safe, legal and RARE. To paraphrase Bush jr.s Mother, abortion is a decision between a woman, her doctor and God.

Farnsworth68 said...

I highly recommend seeing the documentary movie, The Education of Shelby Knox, a PBS television presentation of their POV series.
It tells the story of one HS girl's drive to put real sex education back into the curriculum of the high schools in Lubbock TX.
Read about it at