What Smart Republicans Are Thinking: Judges

Behind the battles over party unity, Republicans are keeping their eyes firmly on the Supreme Court.  Stinerman over at Swords Crossed has a post that should be required reading for anyone who supports a woman’s right to choose, separation of church and state, and workers rights:

Translation:  Issues aside, the question of who sits on the supreme court by itself is a strong reason to vote one way or the other.  Stinerman then goes on to discuss the likelihood of a changed supreme court under McCain:

I disagree here.  Case in point, Alito:

Debate on the nomination began in the full Senate on January 25. After a failed filibuster attempt by Senator John Kerry, on January 31, the Senate confirmed Alito to the Supreme Court by a vote of 58-42[24], with four Democratic senators voting for confirmation and one Republican and an Independent voting against. Alito’s confirmation vote was the second lowest on the current court, where he is surpassed only by Clarence Thomas who was confirmed 52-48.

Taking into account called blue-dog Democrats, Lieberman Democrats, and other flavors of Senator who cave by reflex in the face of the Republican PR machine, I’d say there is a fair chance a Republican President would indeed be able to push through a conservative judge.  If liberal judges are the most likely to retire, then I think the only way to truly safeguard against a conservative replacement is to ensure as much public pressure as possible is built up in opposition.  That means a decisive Democratic majority (one where Lieberman is irrelevant and powerless), and a Democratic President.

A close Senate where Lieberman still holds power matched with a Republican Senator who is fiercely anti-choice is not a recipe for an unchanging Supreme Court.

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5 Responses

  1. Absolutely on the mark. This is where the true signs of personal religion and the demographics will come into play. The older folks obviously pro-life/anti-abortion. The group that votes from their death beds. I think Obama will be quixotic in choices like that and will get a lot of insight from Biden on those issues. I wonder if McCain can remember how many judges are supposed to be on the SC?

  2. The rights of average consumers and workers are already melting away faster than a continental ice shelf. We simply cannot afford to have McCain in office. Here’s a prime example: the current supreme court has ruled that if the FDA approves a medical device and it is later found that the medical device injures or kills people, those who are injured have no legal rights against the medical device manufacturer. The manufacturer is completely immunized by the FDA’s approval. I, for one, do not want the FDA to be the insurer of my health. This unconscionable decision will be extended to drugs and anything else that is regulated by Republican-run agencies if McCain is elected.

    I could write a whole essay about how Bush has protected industries through agency regulation. It’s amazing how Republicans claim they hate government, but don’t hesitate to use government to shield their corporate paymasters.

  3. peacefulwhispers,
    I think Obama might actually bring a lot more to the table than Biden on SC picks.
    Heh, I doubt in a few years he’ll even care how many are on the SC.

    supercynic,
    That is pretty damn frightening. Lobbyists in official positions funded by the corporations that put these devices out can approve said devices, and ensure the corporations are never sued. That is so criminal it makes my blood boil.

    I’d like to read that essay. Extra credit for linking each instance to John McCain (I think that would be a very powerful piece to write).

  4. Dan, I may yet write that essay. McCain used to be moderate on these issues. Years ago he said something to the effect that he doesn’t like trial lawyers, but they’re the only ones who hold corporations accountable b/c Congress sure won’t. Now that he’s morphed into Bush III, he’s changed his position and some of his commercials mention “lawsuit reform.” That’s Chamber of Commerce code for “insulate corporations from wrongdoing.”

  5. Its amazing how many important positions he’s flipped on.
    Torture, corporate power, lobbyists and ethics, separation of church and state….

    Obama should have initially said his VP pick was John McCain before 2000. That would have really driven the point home (and been hilarious).

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