October 28, 2008

The real worry about an Obama presidency

It's not his economics, it's not his foreign policy. It's the courts:

But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasnít that radical. It didnít break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states canít do to you. Says what the Federal government canít do to you, but doesnít say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasnít shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.

If someone doesn't think that the Warren Court was radical enough, we're in for some really out-there Supreme Court nominations, folks. And although Obama appears to look beyond the courts -- that, in this case, the civil rights movement relied too much on the courts and not enough on aspects tailored to the legislatures -- don't be fooled. After all, if Obama becomes president, and the Democrats have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, The Messiah can nominate the most radical of radical judges imaginable for the SCOTUS ... and nothing can stop him.

I must say, it is disturbing to hear a man who will probably be our next president discussing as recently as seven years ago how the Supreme Court did not address "redistribution of wealth" and the concepts of "economic and social justice." The first topic is pretty clear; the latter two are worrisome for their nebulousness. What precisely does "economic and social justice" actually mean? To leftists, it's pretty much what Obama has let slip in recent weeks, and it's synonymous with that first topic -- "spreading the wealth" around. How would newly installed far-left justices rule on such matters? How would they twist amendments and constitutional principals beyond all recognition to grant what they (and Obama) desire?

Keep in mind, too, that Obama has already stated he wants judges who "feel" for the "little guy":

"[W]e need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges." (Source.)

That's the criteria by which he's going to select judges? Not the Constitution? Not following ... the law? Then there's this from a couple weeks ago:

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D. Toledo) whipped the crowd up before Mr. Obama took the stage yesterday telling them that America needed a Second Bill of Rights guaranteeing all Americans a job, health care, homes, an education, and a fair playing field for business and farmers.

If we start guaranteeing all of the above, we're really in deep do-do. I mean, what else do you need, people?

The last imbroglio of this sort that I remember of such magnitude was that involving Lani Guinier. Eventually, then-President Bill Clinton ended up ditching her as his nominee for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in 1993 because of the controversy surrounding her unorthodox legal views, specifically that of proportionate representation in government. This idea actually isn't as radical as it sounds; many Western-style governments already make use of such a system. What was most controversial about Guinier's views about this type of government is that she advocated it (in part) based on race and racial group voting power. Voting based on race is supposed to be anathema in the US.

Or, at least I thought it was.

Posted by Hube at October 28, 2008 04:30 PM | TrackBack

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