Monday, July 11, 2005

Meet The SCOTUS Opposition!

While the President has apparently decided to wait until the end of July to name a replacement for Sandra Day O'Connor on the Court, and while he's asked both sides not to go overly partisan on the whole thing, neither side seems to be listening. Before O'Connor had even announced her resignation, the conservative group "Move America Forward" had online ads running that showed, rather effectively, that Dems will accept almost no one the President might select, save Ted Kennedy.

While I felt that "Move America Forward" was setting up a combative tone far too early, I was proven wrong just a week later when Teddy himself wrote a hysterical op-ed calling for the President essentially to get the approval of Democrats for a "fair" process. Or else. Kennedy completely distorts the Senate's role in the process, moving it from mere confirmation to full-on equal choosing footing with the President. The unindicted murderer and Senior Senator from Massachusettes misreads the Constitution so badly that one wonders if it's an honest mistake, or really a plan to muddy the process to get what he wants. Call me a cynic, but I think it's the latter.

This is all preamble though. The real battle will not be fought in the Senate. It will be fought by such groups as Nan Aron's ironically named "Alliance for Justice", the misguided moonbats at People for the American "Way", and, of course, the organization that refuses to do what its name implies, MoveOn.org.

MoveOn will be the most visible attack dog of the Left in the coming Court battle. Groups like PFAW and the Alliance for Justice are far too wonky to make a lasting impression on the public at large, and neither has the sheer numbers and resources of MoveOn. They had been drifting for a while since they failed to elect Kerry in November, but they're back with a vengeance. Today's Washington Post has an interesting look at MoveOn's organizing tactics as late summer approaches. The tone of the article and of the organizers indicate that they will not give up easily in this fight. Take the reaction of Charles Fazio to O'Connor's announcement: "Gee, this is the worst freakin' news I could ever imagine." Yes, the President having the power to appoint a justice is the worst thing ever. Forget Al Qaida, somone who understands the intricacies of the Constitution more than I ever could must be stopped! This past weekend, Mr. Fazio hosted a MoveOn party at his home in Virginia, along with 1,000 other such parties to promote the idea of what they call an "inclusive" selection process, ie, one that includes their views being given the same weight as, say, the American Bar Association. Because that's SO what the founders intended! Only not. Expressing a common misconsception among members of the left when it comes to the selection of a new Justice, Vijaya Thakur, a 20-year old MoveOn activist said "The country belongs to all of us." True enough. But not when it comes to the nominations to the Court. The founders did not take the nomination process lightly. Indeed, there was much debate over whether the Senate should have much of a role at all. The "advice and consent" clause was included simply so the President would not have Carte Blanche over the judiciary(a wise descision). The will of the "people", especially the loudest, most vocally emotional and angry people, was not seen as being a positive for a Court where the rule of law was the only thing that mattered. Emotion was not supposed to be part of the process. Outcome based judgements were frowned upon. Only the law mattered.

So this is what the Left has decided. Unable to elect a Congress or a President, they are left with a Court with which they wish to legislate. Faced with the prospect of the President appointing someone who is not explicatly pro Roe vs. Wade (not a litmus test though!), they have decided to smear whomever is selected. It used to be that being appointed to the Supreme Court was the ultimate achievement for a jurist, a selection that reflected years of hard, honest work. While there have always been contentious debates over nominees, usually lack of credibility and fitness for the office was the only thing that might block them. With the rise of liberal interest groups that are tied directly into the Democratic Senators on the Judiciary Committee, intellegence and integrity are no longer what is required of a nominee. Adherence to party doctrine is. MoveOn initially rose out of a desire to end what could convincingly be called a partisan attack on President Clinton (this is obviously a debatable point). However, 6 years on, they have become what they claimed they despised, and are sickeningly content that they have done right. I hope the GOP has some backbone. Thomas for Chief Justice!

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