At least they’re honest about their goals

I spotted this image on Pandagon:

It’s part of an article written by our good friend Amanda Marcotte, who spends some time inveighing against Mr Halperin’s article:


Way to go, Mark Halperin!

I’m sure y’all have seen this at this point, but who cares? It’s an insta-classic in the art of acting like a super-entitled prick.

This is an official Time.com blog. It’s hard not to boggle at the nerve that it takes to declare white men an oppressed group because they’ve only claimed 96.4% of the seats on the Supreme Court, and only 97.7% of the Presidential terms. We don’t need to get essentialist here—of course you have your Sarah Palins and Clarence Thomases out there—but the odds of Obama appointing someone like that are shockingly close to nil.

So, setting aside the sellout factor, the recent years for Ruth Bader Ginsburg alone show why we need more diversity on the court. Ginsburg has been the sole voice against encroaching Dude Nation antics on the court, after the more conservative appointments and the loss of Sandra Day O’Connor started to move the court in that direction. Ginsburg often sounds like she’s howling at the winds in despair, as she should, because she’s sitting on a court that now thinks that women’s right to get paid the same as men for the same work is debatable, as is the notion that women are adult human beings who can make decisions about their own health without paternalistic male strangers telling them they’re too stupid to know what they’re doing. Told by your doctor that this pregnancy will kill you? Justice Kennedy knows better than you—you want to die in a fiery sacrifice to show how much you worship the patriarchy. Don’t like suffering a strip search that comes dangerously close to school-sanctioned sexual assault excused on the weakest of grounds? Well, you should have thought of that before you grew breasts. Perhaps even one more woman on the court would help tilt the club towards remembering what they’ve been trying to forget, which is that women are people who can be assumed to have feelings and thoughts within the people range.

Then I did something really radical: I actually followed the embedded links. and found Mr Halperin’s eleven “questions,” none of which have anything remotely to do with the headline “White Men Need Not Apply.” There isn’t the first thing mentioned about race, sex, or quotas.

Normally, headlines are written by editors, not the article writers; whether that’s the case at time.com, I do not know. But this seems like a hugely leading title to get people to read the (short) article, even though the article has nothing to do with the title. Maybe Mr Halperin has said that previously, but this almost looks like a sandbagging-the-writer job.

Miss Marcotte continued:

Much of what the Supreme Court does is protect the rights of its citizens against being encroached on by others, and that means that they’ll often be looking at protecting people who are under attack for being non-white, female, or gay. The notion that it’s acceptable to have a group of mostly straight white men examine these cases smacks too much of, “We have evaluated ourselves and found that we’ve done nothing wrong.” Indeed, while we have some strong liberal voices from straight white men on the court, the trend has been exactly what you’d guess when you don’t have much in the way of voices of people who personally know the sting of racism or sexism. The decision in Ledbetter and especially in Carhart shows how bad an idea it is to run things this way.

Which brings me to an article by Sharon, concerning statements by Ed Schultz:

But more importantly, Ed Schultz makes clear that being a judge isn’t about rule of law, jurisprudence, or any of that mumbo jumbo we learn in law school. It’s about coming up with results liberals agree with.

You put a brilliant legal mind with a strong liberal convictions (sic)in there and it could change some minds. Someone who will fight for the little guy against big corporations. Someone who will fight for fairness, not just for people in power. Someone who can go toe to toe with the conservative Chief Justice.

This isn’t about legal interpretation. It’s about results, which, quite honestly, is what liberals think the court is about. That’s why they don’t like what words say; they like what they want them to mean. So, if the Constitution says nothing about privacy, it’s permissible to discover a privacy right 200 years after its writing.

As Sharon noted, our friends on the left are at least being honest enough to say what they mean.

John Roberts famously said, during his confirmation hearings:

If the Constitution says that the little guy should win, then the little guy’s going to win in the court before me. But if the Constitution says that the big guy should win, well then the big guy’s going to win because my obligation is to the Constitution.

Ed Schultz, and many like him, don’t think that way: they think that the Supreme Court should be about their ideas of what constitutes justice, not what the law actually says. In the silicosis cases Art mentioned here, why the little guys should have won because, well, because they are the little guys, and need help and justice. It doesn’t matter that the company did nothing wrong, nor that the “expert” physicians never examined them, nor that they had their secretaries fill out forms dictated by lawyers, it’s only about the evil ol’ corporation paying the little guy.

In our system of checks and balances, the judiciary ought to be the equal of the other branches of government, but it has metastasized into something different: it has become a super-legislature of philosopher-kings — a concept from Plato’s Republic — where the wisest (or those who believe they are wisest) create new laws out of whole cloth, laws that could not be passed by things like, oh, actually elected legislatures and signed into law by elected governors or presidents. Our friends on the left have discovered that it is far easier to get their agenda enacted into “law” by persuading a few judges to go along with their cockamamie ideas than actually go through the arduous process of convincing our elected representatives to do so.

I have no idea whether Miss Marcotte bothered to actually read Mr Halperin’s article, because she didn’t respond to the article itself. Rather, she was responding to the hugely (mis)leading title, to trying to make a point that we just need someone other than a white male on the Supreme Court. That makes sense if and only if she believes — and she does — that the job of the justices on the Supreme Court is to be creative with the Constitution rather than apply the laws actually written and passed by our elected representatives.

2 Comments

  1. Given the efforts of Leftist Democrats to thwart any effort to restore sanity to the Federal Judiciary, I would hope than any Obama nominees are subjected to the closest possible scrutiny.

    There seems to be a double standard in which nominees of a Republican president are subjected to a form of inquisition that makes waterboarding seem to be a lark in the park while when a Democrat is in the White House, few tough questions are asked.

    There were some rare exceptions and the old memory is strained to come up with examples. There was the opposition to ‘mobbed up’ former LBJ mouthpiece Abe Fortas and some felt that a few really nutty judges did not deserve ‘promotions’.

    If anyone questions the term nutty, consier the following performance:

    An angry urban judge who pointed out undercover agents to the assembled crowd. How thug friendly can you get?

    Another urban judge who overturned every death penalty that came before him simply on a matter of whim.

    A judge who found in favor of a local vagrant who spent his days in the library stinking out the people who came to learn and read. I suppose soiled underpants are a variant of free speech in his bleary eyes. The decision was overturned.

  2. Perhaps even one more woman on the court would help tilt the club towards remembering what they’ve been trying to forget, which is that women are people who can be assumed to have feelings and thoughts within the people range.

    Don’t make me read Marcotte. Her insidious bashing of men, her intolerance and sexism is so painfully obvious that I again am embarrassed for her while simultaneously gritting my teeth that she presumes to speak for women.

    However, reading through her piece one assumes she believes that a woman, any woman (well, any woman who agrees with her) appointed to the court would be better than any white male – no matter how much he might adhere to the Constitution and law. Just another quota to met.

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