Monday, July 04, 2005

All the Wrong Nominees

The list of Supreme Court nominees to replace Justice O'Connor has a typical look to it. There are no Natives or Asians. Adding insult to injury is Justice Scalia, a man desperate to become Chief Justice, & the most wrong person for the job. The Court also has Justice Thomas. One man no one should have never nominated.

The Supreme Court’s next term is loaded with huge cases: abortion, assisted suicide, gay rights, & the death penalty: Justices already have a full lineup of cases for the nine-month term that begins the first Monday in October. The court has agreed to hear about 40 appeals, including four death penalty cases and two abortion-related cases. About 40 more appeals will be added later. During the new term in Fall 2005, the Supreme Court will face some of the country's toughest issues.

The selection of people for the Court is important because the decisions of nine people in black robes affect everyone not a select few. Important? Yes. Difficult? It shouldn't be. The National Review correctly states the following:

Both Ginsburg and Breyer were nominated and confirmed at a time (1993-1994) in which the president's party -– Democrats –- also controlled the Senate. And both were given relatively easy passage through the Senate because the minority party -- Republicans -- cooperated with Democrats to ensure a quick confirmation. Ginsburg was nominated on June 14, 1993 and confirmed by the Senate on August 3, 1993. Breyer was nominated on May 13, 1994 and confirmed on July 29, 1994.

They moved with such speed because Republicans, in particular Sen. Orrin Hatch, the ranking GOP member on the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time, declined to challenge their records. Ginsburg, in particular, received something of a bye from Republicans despite her former position as general counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union; had they chosen to, Republicans could have hung every extreme ACLU position around Ginsburg's neck. Instead, "Sen. Hatch put an orderly and fair process above scoring political points," says one high-ranking staffer involved at the time. "It ensured that the Senate's conduct of the hearings was constructive rather than divisive."

The current divisiveness is due to the current Administration. Pres. Bush lords over the country with an attitude that requires everyone to agree with him because disagreeing is "anti-American" & "unpatriotic" (although the right to disagree is in everyone's "job description"). Consequently, the Bush Administration has been nothing short of a despotic autocracy especially when he needs to make a decision, refuses to tell the Senate about it until after the fact, & expects everyone to agree with him.

Sycophants aren't the answer. Sycophancy isn't grace in any situation. It's nothing more than harmful obsequiousness - on a national scale.

Here's an out-of-the-box alternative: The Senate hearings on the short list of nominees need more egalitarianism, less totalitarianism, & better nominees.


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