Let's not tilt to the right to please a few.
Here We Go Again
So Stevens has made it official. Obama gets another pick. The Republicans are taking the field in an effort to
1.Scuttle any nomination because as the Party of No that's their job;
2.Encourage Obama to appoint John Yoo thereby completing his transition into a kindler, gentler George W. Bush;
3.Rally the American people behind the idea that the court's job is to return to the Original Intent of the Framers of the Constitution: Economic Liberty and Freedom from British Tyranny for Rich White Guys and Oppression for Everyone Else;
4.Convince the American people that their only hope for the future is to ensure that no Democrat ever again holds elective office except maybe in San Francisco;
5.Prevent Obama from appointing a communist baby killer who favors requiring public school children to be taught exclusively by homosexual teachers who refuse to recite the pledge of allegiance and who is secretly in league with Al Qaeda to ensure the overthrow of the United States and the introduction of Sharia law here - you know, someone like Obama himself; or
6.Get Obama to appoint someone they like and then demonstrate their bipartisan spirit by (choose one):
•Voting for the person
•Voting against the person
Norm Pattis has begun beating the drum for Obama to appoint a trial lawyer. His plaintive cry:
Is it too much to ask for one lawyer who wakes up every morning, looks a frightened client in the eye, and says, simply, "I'll do my best"?
He's right, of course. One wishes for such a person. Someone who's defended real people against the power of the state, who's stood up to powerful corporations, who has devoted her life actually to fighting for individuals.
Equally, he's wrong, of course. It is, almost certainly, too much to ask. With Sotomayor, whose experience as an actual lawyer was in enforcing the power of the state against individuals, we came as close as we're likely to come to such a Justice.
Of Brian Tannebaum's fantasy of Greenfield for SCOTUS? Sure. As soon as Eric Turkewitz actually gets appointed legal blogger for the White House.
I've never met Obama. I have no inside information. But the guy's not a radical no matter what Newt Gingrich says. He's shown no inclination to appoint to much of anything anyone who looks controversial. That means a safe pick.
•It means someone the Republicans won't hate however much they claim they do and even if they won't vote for confirmation.
•It means someone who's most radical mantra is likely to be "with all deliberate speed."
•It means someone who believes in the American Dream because "it darned well worked for me and everyone I hang out with."
•It means someone who can look at the Senate Judiciary Committee and say with a straight face:
I have no ideas that are relevant to being a judge and never have had any; I understand that the job of being a Justice is like any other job that requires some arcane knowledge but no insight; I recognize that the mainstream of constitutional interpretation involves not actually interpreting it but understanding that the Constitution means what it says. Except for parts of the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments and all of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, except maybe not the Tenth all the time, and I'm actually on both sides of the question when it comes to the First and Second.
The Democrats will praise that person with the adopted persona for its wisdom. The Republicans will say they don't believe the person is telling the whole truth. There will be lots of posturing.
Let the Games Begin.
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