Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Affirmative Action Supremes

By Aussiegirl

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.


At 7:46 PM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

Well, Charmaine and Aussiegirl, GW may have been playing a good hand of poker all day. There is late talk today that it may not be a woman after all. There are a number of men's names that are being mentioned now.

There is a story that LBJ changed his nominee at the very last minute, after Ben Bradlee published the name of the person that he had intended to nominate.

LBJ got the last laugh, when he said, "Take that Ben Bradlee!"

At 8:13 PM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

Judge John Roberts

Confirmed 5/8/2003 to the Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
The Senate Judiciary voted Roberts out 16-3

Born 1955, Buffalo, NY

B.A., 1976, summa cum laude & J.D., 1979, magna cum laude, Harvard University

1979-80, Clerk for Judge Friendly, Second Circuit

1980-81, Clerk, Associate Justice Rehnquist, Supreme Court

U.S. Department of Justice

• 1981-81, Special Assistant to U.S. Attorney General William French Smith

• 1989-93, Principal Deputy Solicitor General

1982-86, White House Counsel's Office, Associate Counsel to the President Hogan & Hartson, LLP, Washington, DC

• 1986-89, Associate

• 1993-2003, Partner

President George H.W. Bush nominated Mr. Roberts to the D.C. Circuit, but he was considered by some on the Senate Judiciary Committee to be too extreme in his views, and his nomination lapsed. He was nominated by President George W. Bush to the same seat in May 2001.

As Deputy Solicitor General, Mr. Roberts co-wrote a Supreme Court brief in Rust v. Sullivan,1 for the first Bush administration, which argued that the government could prohibit doctors in federally-funded family planning programs from discussing abortions with their patients. The brief not only argued that the regulations were constitutional, notwithstanding the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade, but it also made the broader argument that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided - an argument unnecessary to defend the regulation. The Supreme Court sided with the government on the narrower grounds that the regulation was constitutional.

As a student, Mr. Roberts wrote two law review articles arguing for an expansive reading of the Contracts and Takings clauses of the Constitution, taking positions that would restrict Congress' ability to protect the environment. As a member of the Solicitor General's office, Mr. Roberts was the lead counsel for the United States in the Supreme Court case Lujan v. National Wildlife Federation, in which the government argued that private citizens could not sue the federal government for violations of environmental regulations.

The above information was taken from "Independent Judiciary."
Additional background and information is also available at this site.

Personally, I think it is a great nomination. Dear God, thank you for hearing our prayers.


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