Friday, October 28, 2005

MSNBC: A Partisan Perfect Storm

In the day since the Miers nomination was withdrawn, many have already begun to speculate on the next nominee and what impact that nomination may have on recent developments in the Senate. In this article, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) is essentially calling on the president to provoke a conflict on that body between the parties. Having looked at the pool of likely nominees, I think that there are several options, such as Michael McConnell, Michael Luttig, and Maureen Mahoney, that would be responsible and in the interest of national unity. By nominating an exreme conservative, as Sen. Brownback would seem to support, the President would only further contradict his old claim of being a "uniter" and imperil the compromise that senators of conscience reached recently. The national debate on abortion, for which Brownback advocates, has already been going on in this nation for years. His preference is to try to end the debate by confirming a nominee whose pro-life stance would serve as a proxy for the actual votes that Brownback hopes to win in a few years. Just as conseratives argue, correctly, that the Supreme Court has a duty to decide what is lawful, so too does the Senate have a duty. Their duty is not to use confirmation hearings as a platform for political benefit, but to confirm nominees whose legal expertise and ability to remain unbiased will ensure the continued stability and effectiveness of the Supreme Court. I would be most agrieved if the vision of Senator Brownback came to pass and personal politics took the place of justice.


At 9:53 AM, Blogger RFTR said...

Wow, do you ever conflate a whole lot of issues in this post.

First: a conservative judge and a judge of conservative judicial philosophy are two different things. And a conservative judicial philosophy could imply anything on a whole range of issues. We should talk about that sometime, because this post doesn't seem to allow for the posibility that an judge with an extremely conservative judicial philosophy might vote to uphold Roe, when, depending upon the type of judicial conservative we're talking about, it could be almost guaranteed.

Second, you're wrong and Brownback is right on one fine point. There has not been a national debate on abortion in this country, because in the 1970s the Supreme Court precluded one. What Brownback wants is for Roe to be overturned so that we as the people can determine how we want to control abortion.

You want abortion to be legal—that's fine, and that's your prerogative. But Roe was a thorough bastardization of the process by which abortion should have been universally legalized, if it was to be. I generally think abortion is a blight on society—but if Congress voted to authorize it, then I would stand by that determination. And a Congressional decision in that direction would make it significantly easier for us to modify the law if we decided to change course at some point in the future.

Instead, we had 9 individuals make that determination for us, theoretically for all time. It is probably the hardest thing to do in the American system to reverse a Supreme Court decision (either by future Supreme Court decision or by constitutional amendment), and because of that there has been no reasoned debate.

There has been a shouting match, but one that can't really affect anything because of Roe. It's almost like saying there's been a debate over whether or not the sky should be blue. Well, yeah, some people might prefer it to be green, and they argue for it with all their hearts. And the pro-blue side argues back. But in the end, the sky is going to remain blue no matter who wins the argument.

So there you go. End Rant.


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