Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Principled Opposition

As it seems terribly unlikely that Republicans will block President’s Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court, would it make more sense for Republicans to focus on their principles, rather than the nominee?

Might it be wise to articulate and defend the conviction that the Senate ought, as a rule, to approve the President’s pick. Following up such comments, they could note the relatie confirmation numbers of Republican and Democratic nominees, and perhaps stress how terrible it was how Democrats treated Miguel Estrada, among others, and point to the extremism of Democratic tactics in recent years.

Beyond that, they could say, more in sorrow than anger, that they regret that President Obama seems to have nominated someone who will do nothing to overturn Kelo, or to protect the right of the people to make law on such important issues as marriage and abortion, etc. Kelo is not popular, even with liberals. Similarly, the vast majority of Americans would like to be able to regulate abortion much more than the Court now allows. There are many such cases that would be worth highlighting. In short, focus upon what the Court does, and how it should do it, rather than on the person involved.

Discussions - 3 Comments

I think all of what you offer here is excellent advice. Republicans ought not to be so down in the mouth that this confirmation process appears "only" to be a teaching moment. A teaching moment is long overdue. It would be a good time, also, to remind people to stop talking about the "votes" on the Court. Judges don't vote, of course, and loose talk about "which way a Justice will vote" is actually very revealing of a massive and near immovable ignorance about the Court and this ought to be more instructive than it has been on our side up till now. When we try to frame arguments in a way that will be clear to the public at large, we should remember that even relatively informed and conservative Americans talk about a judges' "vote." So trotting out the old arguments from the Bork fights of 20 odd years ago won't do. They haven't been compelling for the simple reason that a good number of people open to persuasion on these points cannot understand the argument when it starts with a question of "originalism" v. activist judges. It just looks like another partisan fight to them. And that really is beneath the argument. The whole question of consent, the origins and rule of law, and the nature of the court ought to be open for public examination in these hearings. It can't exactly be a kind of college seminar in civics . . . but it can be the closest thing to it. The questions should be directed away from Sotomayor as much as possible and focus, instead, on what a good Justice ought to be. Trust that the contrast will speak for itself and, though it won't change anything in this instance, it sets the stage for the future. It is time to take a breath and start from the beginning. And in all of this they ought to emphasize, again and again, how sacred and ABOVE partisanship is the Constitution. The high road is the road to follow.

the interesting thing is how can someone for spanish catholic background not be pro life. I find her thesis: “Deadly Obsession: American Gun Culture” to be particulary troubling but I doubt many on the telivision right will protest. Her arguments in the thesis are that the Second Amendment does not actually afford individual citizens the right to bear arms. She believes only the military has this right. According to Sotomayor, it has been illegal for individuals to own firearms since the passing of the Bill of Rights. This is troubling to gun owners, but also to people who cling to the idea of logic considering how cut and dried the wording actually is.

former ashbrook speaker Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council believes her nomination amounts to “a declaration of war against America’s gun owners.”

Earlier this year, Sotomayor ruled that states do not have to obey the Second Amendment’s commandment that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, according to CNSNews. In Maloney v. Cuomo, Sotomayor signed an opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that said the Second Amendment does not protect individuals from having their right to keep and bear arms restricted by state governments. I think it is time for "conservatives" to either stand for principle or admit they don't believe in it.

The anti spam at it again: "Bauer Earmarked"

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