Go ahead and judge those who never think about judges. Anyone who can’t get motivated this fall to vote for a Republican or at least against Obama should ponder the effect this coming Presidential election will have on that least-democratic of branches.
The Supreme Court’s composition is the ultimate reason to get off the couch and punch a ballot. One guy gets to nominate probably a couple guys or gals to work in a neighboring governmental branch, which is as big of a perk of the Presidency as are the pension and the free helicopter rides.
Age is always an issue: trainees don’t typically end up on the bench, although they sadly do sometimes end up behind a desk in the Oval Office. Of course, the need for some previous lawyerly experience leads to geezers occupying seats, since college-age kids don’t make good judges despite how they know everything.
If you need a reason to vote for a miserably inadequate Republican nominee, ponder the case of a few guys who have seen a lot of birthdays. Specifically, the good justices are on average 64 years old.
Nearly all the admirable ones are at an age such that Old Country Buffets magically gain a certain appeal. Antonin Scalia turned 76 yesterday, in case you want to send him a belated Starbucks gift card. Meanwhile, Anthony Kennedy is 75, and still hasn’t got the hang of his job. Clarence Thomas is 63, and Samuel Alito is two years younger. John Roberts is the natural rights whippersnapper, at 57. My research indicates they’re getting older, not the other way around.
Anyone who wants to kill the inane concept of a “living Constitution” ought not to rest until there are nine immortal judges who respect our rule book, and until Republican scientists gather enough unicorn tears to make immortality feasible, we’ll have to settle for the goal of seating a straight row of regular humans who recognize that it’s most artificial to restrict natural rights.
It may take a while, since the upper chamber refuses to confront blatant numbskull nominees who qualify their respect for our remarkable system of government. Sonia Sotomayor has proven herself to be most unwise, and critical race theory article editor Elena Kagan may as well still be working for the President, although at least she won’t be as bad as would a Justice David Axelrod.
Meanwhile, Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn’t care for the document around which her life’s work should revolve, which means Senators now have to ask obvious questions they thought they could skip. “Do you in believe any of this?” will now have to be their standard opening query of prospective Justices.
Literal America-hater Ginsburg is participating in the not-so-fine tradition of making up rules—which is not necessarily in the spirit of the position; a desire to invent Federal powers should automatically disqualify one’s nomination. For nearly half of this court, the dungeon master impulse didn’t prevent them from landing a lifetime gig in the highest court in the land.
The present makeup means we need to fret about whether they’ll reject the idea that the Constitution authorizes the government to force the acquisition of horrid health insurance. In an ideal world, the verdict would be returned in the time it takes nine sensible people to each write “No” on a Post-it note.
Instead, we have to sweat out the vote, even though most non-robed people realize that having to buy a product for merely existing is as grossly unconstitutional as it is dumb. The present apprehensive sweating should motivate limited-government fans to create a majority where principles of limited government triumph by comfortable margins. It would be superior to the present system, where a desirable result hinges upon how cranky Kennedy is on any given day.
A Republican executive would be slightly more likely to nominate a good replacement for, say, the 78-year-old Ginsburg or Stephen Breyer, age 73. In a worst-case scenario, Obama would be able to maintain the balance through his second term, just in case your nightmares weren’t vivid enough.
Even the squishiest Republican Presidents are capable of delivering when it comes to appointments: George W. Bush gave us Roberts and Alito, after all, although he did have to be dissuaded from inflicting Harriet Miers upon us first. By their nature, squishy moderates always cave to pressure. So, get on their cases.
Of course, Republicans do have a way of fumbling during the kneel-down. For one, George’s dad ruined about 11 percent of the court via one David Souter. And Richard Nixon gave us justices as varied as the honorable William Rehnquist and the abominable Harry Blackmun, the latter of which is hopefully roasting in his permanent post-life appointment for authoring Roe v. Wade.
But—as with wagering that a GOP President will occasionally act like a conservative when it comes to spending—voters have a marginally better shot of getting respectable judicial nominations with a Republican’s feet on the Oval Office’s desk. The alternative is to hope Obama will nominate judges who dislike Obamacare.
We’re not fighting over whether we’re going to spend slightly less over inflation than we have been. The court’s composition is a bigger issue than conservatives versus liberals: it’s one of a properly limited government, versus thinking that rights descend from Kathleen Sebelius.
Another damned Obama victory will mean that he gets to install his preferred justices, and the Senate is too immersed in decorum to do its job and reject prospective justices who put the arbitrary into arbiter. So we must start with decent nominees: a vote for the weak Republican is also one for a potentially decent Supreme Court, if anyone’s looking for a reason to go outside on a particular Tuesday in November.
A majority of electoral votes equals a majority when it comes to deciding whether the government will have to stop doing whatever it pleases. Specifically, it would do what Obama pleases, if he’s permitted more appointees. Carpool to your polling place.
Anthony Bialy is a writer and Red Eye conservative in New York City. He tweets at http://twitter.com/AnthonyBialy.