Last Friday, President Obama made an unscheduled appearance during the daily White House press briefing to say that he had spoken with David Souter and announced to those assembled that the Supreme Court justice would retire this year. Reporters interrupted their presidential swoon to feign surprise. What a spontaneous moment! The president quickly whipped out a carefully crafted speech designed to fool us, again, and read it word for word. After praising Souter, Obama indicated that he would seek a Souter-like replacement: “ I will seek somebody with a sharp and independent mind.” Yes Souter was an independent all right. Trying to figure out where he would come down on an issue was a little like trying to decide if a roulette wheel would land on the red or the black. One got the feeling that Souter’s judicial philosophy was looking to see which color was soaking up the smart money and going the other way.
In 1990, he fooled President George H.W. Bush who thought he had nominated a conservative to the high court. Did he also fool Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry who voted against him saying he was to the right of constructionist Robert Bork? Ah, the senators did protest too much, methinks.
Souter began his Supreme Court career voting with conservatives but it wasn’t long before he began aligning himself with ultra liberals John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who believe the constitution is little more than their personal blob of silly putty that can be molded and shaped for their own amusement. Souter was so inconsistent that he voted to override restrictions on abortion that earlier he had voted to uphold.
Saying Souther had a sharp mind was tantamount to calling an elephant who dips his trunk in paint and then sprays it on canvas, an artist. So what kind of person is Obama likely to nominate to the high court? Here is what he said at that appearance last Friday:
“I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes. I will seek somebody who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our constitutional traditions, who respects the integrity of the judicial process and the appropriate limits of the judicial role.”
Did you get that? The second sentence is completely incompatible with the first. They are polar opposites! So what kind of person is Obama really likely to nominate? When pressed during the campaign, Obama issued this statement through spokesman Tommy Vietor:
“Barack Obama has always believed that our courts should stand up for social and economic justice, and what’s truly elitist is to appoint judges who will protect the powerful and leave ordinary Americans to fend for themselves.”
On Sunday, Orrin Hatch, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, appeared on “This Week.” He had this to say about Obama’s most recent remarks.
“It’s a matter of great concern. If he’s saying that he wants to pick people who will take sides — he’s also said that a judge has to be a person of empathy. What does that mean? Usually that’s a code word for an activist judge. But he also said that he’s going to select judges on the basis of their personal politics, their personal feelings, their personal preferences. Now, you know, those are all code words for an activist judge, who is going to, you know, be partisan on the bench.”
Let’s go down that road. Currently, one of the hottest legal battles involves the Minnesota U.S. Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken. Should that case ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court dominated by activist judges applying the Obama principles, here’s how it likely would come down. Coleman is an attorney. Franken is a comedian. Attorneys are over-represented in Congress. Comedians are under represented. Advantage Franken.
Coleman was a mayor and the former senator. He had political power. Franken has never held political office. Advantage Franken.
Coleman is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, favors the Iraq war, believes in holding the line against spending and the growth of government and has often clashed with unions, a group strongly aligned with Obama. Franken is pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage and against the Iraq war so he is more closely aligned with Obama. Advantage Franken
Forget the 4800 absentee ballots that have not been counted. They are irrelevant. Franken prevails! Take the blindfold off of Lady Justice. Obama rules!