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And Now, The Dog and Pony Show

I have two problems with the hearings for Supreme Court nominees. Three if you count the fact that the nominee doesn't have to actually answer any questions and they give just about everybody who makes it as far as the hearings to get a pass. But why beat that dead horse again?

1) Why is it that abortion is the only major issue they bring up? Constantly. It's all talk about Roe vs. Wade. Granted, it's important. And it's the hot button issue the evangelicals used to convince the Catholics to join forces (this despite the fact that Catholics are against the death penalty and evangelicals love nothing more than a good execution, with or without due process). But, really, it's not the only case that's going to come before the Supreme Court. We need to know the nominee's opinions on race, separation of church and state, socio-economic issues, corporate power versus an individual's rights. We need them to explain any dubious actions they've made in the past or court rulings or opinions that are questionable or exhibit a pattern of thinking that may be undesirable in a Supreme Court Justice. In light of recent discoveries, the Senate Judiciary Committee ought to have questioned Alito very carefully about his opinions on presidential power, not to mention Alito's membership in CAP. Roe vs. Wade should be a part of that, but it shouldn't be the one and only thing on which we base his suitability. Ofc, this nominee's non-answer to every question posed to him pretty much negates the hearing in general. In a society that claims to be so democratic and fair and free, how is it possible that a member of an organization against allowing minorities and women into a college is even a viable candidate for the Supreme Court?

2) Why does every new Justice have to be the same as the one who just left? Society is ever changing. The Supreme Court needs to change and adapt, as well. The new candidate is always compared to the one they're replacing as if they're not just filling an open position, but are actually being casted for a role that's already been written. It's extremely annoying. And it's only the democrats who are playing by these rules. The neo-cons are constantly trying to push the Court further right. In their attempt to appease everyone and maintain the status quo, the democrats are actually allowing the center to inch further and further right. Just look at the make-up of the court now. Clarence Thomas. Antonin Scalia. John Roberts. O'Connor was supposed to be the center, the tie-breaker, and if her venomous hate of the democrats is anything to go by, she's no centrist. You can't even hope that when one of the "liberal" Justices retires, they have the courtesy to do it when there's a democratic administration. Knowing the democrats, they'd just muck it up anyhow and nominate some neo-con in democrats clothing which the Right will fuss about but take since it works to their advantage. At this rate, the status quo will be kept so well, segragation will be legal again.

By min | January 13, 2006, 9:46 AM | Liberal Outrage


just get rid of the testimony to the judiciary committee. It's completely pointless. Debate the nominee on the Senate floor based on his/her record. If he/she doesn't have enough of a paper trail to allow for a thorough debate, too bad, next applicant!