Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Samuel Alito- The Right Judge at the Right Time

I wonder how many people outside the US understand the process that is occurring in the Senate? For that matter I wonder how many US citizens understand? For me this is a critical juncture in the task of reining in the court and returning power to the people’s representatives. The US is fairly evenly divided in political thought with slightly more leaning libertarian to conservative. This is very frustrating for the intellectuals, or least the self styled ones, who feel that they know what is best for the American people. These are the same people who actually hate the United States even though they are protected by its laws and prosper in its freedom. They want to go back to the womb; the mother country. The contempt in which the rest of the world seems to hold the United States is frustrating to them because when they go to Europe or Asia they are tarred with the same brush. More than anything else the American liberal brain trust wants to be considered first class citizens of the world. This of course will never happen.

Back to Judge Alito, he is important because he might actually be the vote that overturns Roe v. Wade. The opponents of Judge Alito rightly suppose this to be the case and insist on blocking him for that reason, no matter what else they say. ( If the Democrats fail to block this nominee their base of support will be enraged and might try to get rid of the present batch and put in a new bunch.)This is important because during the last fifty years the courts have actually made the law because they perceived the legislators as moving too slowly. The most recent example of this is the decision to alter the protection of private property from expropriation by the government; local, state, or national. In this case eminent domain was used to take property from the rightful owners and re-sell the property to private developers so that a profit on the real estate could be made. The irony of the situation is that the original decision was made by the Democrat city council to take this action. (This will be the topic of another rant)

What the United States needs more than ever is a congress that will act in the best interests of the nation, instead of for their personal gain either in reputation or monetary, and a court that decides cases based on the written law. The law clerks who do the research for the judges should also be scrutinized as I think they are far more influential than anyone supposes. At any rate the Supreme Court of the US should be far more humble it is approach to taking issues out of the hands of voters and out of the public discourse. Resolution may take longer if this occurs, but perhaps that is better. For example, abortion is really a moot question because there are so many ways to obviate it.

The most interesting component of the current hearings is the possibility of a filibuster, which should trigger the constitutional or nuclear option. That is changing the senate rules to prohibit a filibuster against judicial nominees. If wars are won in the will, this test of wills between Republican and Democrat senators should prove which side is the most committed to its ideals. My guess is that the Republican rank and file doesn’t have the stomach for such a fight and will remain cowardly in their behavior.

I hope Judge Alito is confirmed. It will be a turning point in the political life of the United States, and will without question be the most enduring act of George Bush’s presidency.

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