Affirmative Action Supremes
Charmaine Yoest gets it right. Amen, sister -- I'm with you. I'm shocked how otherwise sensible conservatives have fallen into the affirmative action mindset when it comes to this Supreme Court nomination and all the speculation it has engendered (no pun intended).
Since when did conservatives start figuring out which candidate would be more likely to get through vs. another based not on qualifications, but on sex (not gender -- sorry Charmaine), or ethnicity or race, etc. etc. Whatever happened to nominating the best qualified person -- even if -- gasp -- it turned out to be a white male. Personally, I'm quite fond of white males -- for a variety of reasons.
The president will be announcing his nomination to Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court Tuesday evening. Court watchers have been discussing the female jurists who might replace her, and waiting for the President to announce someone with the right chromosome mix for the newly minted "women's chair" on the Supreme Court. This discussion gained momentum when the First Lady commented that she wanted her husband to nominate a woman for the vacancy. Conservatives Hadley Arkes and Bill Kristol have jumped on the woman bandwagon � both before and after Mrs. Bush's comments, respectively.
But as a woman, with a vested interest in the advancement of women writ large, my counsel for the President is somewhat different: Mr. President, please nominate a man for the seat Justice O'Connor is vacating."
I understand the political realities behind the make-it-a-qualified-woman recommendations. The theory is that a woman would be easier to get through the coming confirmation-cum-political Armageddon we now face. That might be true. Or, it might not.
But that way lies an underappreciated constitutional danger and a hidden hypocrisy: While the Right justly decries the Court's recent transformation into a quasi-legislative body, they have conceded too easily as identity politics turns the Court into another vehicle for "representation" instead of constitutional interpretation.
How much further do we want to solidify the idea in the popular consciousness that the Supreme Court is some sort of super legislature? Once while appearing as a panelist on Politically Incorrect, we got into a debate about a legal issue, and one of the Hollywood guests blurted out angrily: "But the Supreme Court is supposed to represent us!"
Well, no, actually, that would be Congress. This is the problem; we seem to have a fundamental confusion about what it is the various branches of government are supposed to do.