Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Stop Roberts, in the Name of Love

I was away for Labor Day, so as much as I'd love to post a tribute to organized labor, I'm going to need to jump straight into a post about the Supremes. Diana Ross' angelic voice, the harmonies, the classic songs... Oh wait, wrong Supremes. While the classic girl group would be much more pleasant to discuss, it's that black robed gang in Washington with 2 vacancies for Bush to fill that needs discussion right now. The idea that Bush got to replace one justice was bad enough. Replacing a moderate with a far right ideologue who as one blogger said wrote memos that "read like Little Green Footballs comments." But now we've got a chief justice to replace. While the mainstream media will line up to kiss William Rehnquist's dead ass, here's a more accurate portrait of the man...
The young Rehnquist began his legal career as a Republican functionary by obstructing African-American and Hispanic voting at Phoenix polling locations (“Operation Eagle Eye”). As Richard Cohen of The Washington Post wrote, “[H]e helped challenge the voting qualifications of Arizona blacks and Hispanics. He was entitled to do so. But even if he did not personally harass potential voters, as witnesses allege, he clearly was a brass-knuckle partisan, someone who would deny the ballot to fellow citizens for trivial political reasons -- and who made his selection on the basis of race or ethnicity.” In a word, he started out his political career as a Republican thug.

Rehnquist later bought a home in Vermont with a restrictive covenant that barred sale of the property to ''any member of the Hebrew race.”

Rehnquist’s judicial philosophy was result-oriented, activist, and authoritarian. He sometimes moderated his views for prudential or pragmatic reasons, but his vote could almost always be predicted based on who the parties were, not what the legal issues happened to be. He generally opposed the rights of gays, women, blacks, aliens, and religious minorities. He was a friend of corporations, polluters, right wing Republicans, religious fundamentalists, homophobes, and other bigots.

When Bush announced John Roberts' nomination to replace Sandra Day O'Connor, the reaction was not great because the guy is clearly a conservative activist, but there are far worse conservative activists that could have been chosen. And blocking a nominee is going to be pretty damn tough, so if they're going to do it, it's got to be for a really bad nominee. But now Bush has decided to nominate him as chief justice which raises a few more red flags. Sure, it's a bit of a relief since my original assumption would be that Bush would have tapped Scalia to rise to the chief seat, but is this really that much better? This guy has a total of 2 years of experience as a judge, the bulk of his career working behind the scenes for republican administrations. And the Chief Justice has far more powers than just a single vote. They have to run the entire judicial branch. At least you could say that putting somebody with so little relevant experience to head a major government entitiy is at least consistant Bush behavior. It goes without saying that progressive organizations such as People for the American Way are opposing this nomination, but the smart money will be betting on how quickly this nomination will fly through the senate rather than if it will pass.

And lastly, could this have come at a better time for Bush as his poll numbers are in the shitter over his handling of the destruction of New Orleans? At this rate, Karl Rove won't even have to continue trying to shift the blame away from his vacationing boss and to Louisiana democrats. And have any of you heard a peep about that war that we're in for the last week or so?


Blogger Chandira said...

And the cup with the ball under has been switched yet again.. :-)

GO Kanye! That's great. WIsh I'd seen it, thanks for posting.

9/06/2005 09:02:00 AM  

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