Friday, October 07, 2005

Miers, Schumer, and Biden

I received the following e-mail from a longtime friend:

you gotta address this mier thing on your blog. It’s ok… swallow your pride. Repeat after me: “Bush is not a good Republican.” After three or four days, the pain fades away to the tune of “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac.

I do what I am told. I also smirk at the mention of the worst non-original campaign song since "Teach Your Children Well" reminded voters of the sixties during the 1984 presidential campaign. Yes they won, but not because of the song. The worst original song was for former Congressman Gerry Sikorski. Local radio station KQRS still plays the sappy ballad to "Ger-ry Si-kor-SKEE." "Happy Days Are Here Again" and "God Bless The USA" are the best campaign songs. "High Hopes" just doesn't do it for me.

Anyway, the problem with liberals is that they seek to achieve through the courts what they could not achieve at the ballot box. The solution to a bad law is to repeal it, not to run to the courts. This is not to say that the courts should be meaningless. I am sure that readers can come up with examples of court decisions overturning statutes that I would agree with. But in general, the most divisive issues should be resolved through the political process among democratically elected legislators. A more detailed discussion of the doctrine of judicial restraint will have to come in a later post.

A related problem with Senators Schumer, Biden, and others is that the "advise and consent" role is being abused. They want to find out how a nominee would vote on the four or five hot-button issues existing today. Rather than asking how a judicial nominee how s/he would vote on abortion, affirmative action, gay marriage, etc., they use code words like privacy. When the nominee refuses to take the bait, they feign outrage that the would-be judge can't even talk about a bedrock principle like privacy. I have explained elsewhere that federal judges, who are not elected, should not reveal how they would vote on specific cases. This is true no matter how cleverly the question is worded.

When William Rehnquist was nominated to be a Supreme Court justice, who knew that he would decide on the issue of enemy combatants? The four or five hot-button issues will be different 20 years from now. If you vote on specific cases instead of an underlying judicial philosophy, you may pick a judge who goofs up on the big case in 2025.

Conservatives should not be the mirror image of Senator Schumer. I am confident that Justice Miers will surprise us on certain cases. The confirmation process should determine broad themes about the nominee. Short of a stealth candidate whose stealthiness hides liberalism, the worst thing a judge can do is to "grow" on the bench, like Justice Kennedy. The growth is always in one direction, and it's not to the right.

Let's see what she says in the confirmation hearings.


Blogger lloydletta said...

Kennedy is an excellent justice. An irony - the National Lesbian and Gay Task Force opposed his nomination.

October 16, 2005 9:55 AM  

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