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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Washington Post Admits It's Bias

The Sunday Opinion section of the Washington Post can be tedious to read, but every once in a while you pick up something worthwhile, like the editorial board dropping their charade of independence.

In today's "Confirm Samuel Alito" editorial, the board admits that there is no reason not to confirm him, but that they don't like him. Why don't they like him, well that was laid out pretty well by the board.

"His replacement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor could alter -- for the worse, from our point of view -- the Supreme Court's delicate balance in important areas of constitutional law"
I guess reading the Constitution for what it is, and not what you wish it was, is a bad thing to them.

There is no requirement for a balanced court, in any direction. Warren proved that, as have others on both sides. In fact the court moving from left to right and back is one of the beauties of it. It's why bad decisions sometimes get overturned years later.

"Judge Alito's record is troubling in areas. His generally laudable tendency to defer to elected representatives at the state and federal levels sometimes goes too far -- giving rise to concerns that he will prove too tolerant of claims of executive power in the war on terror."
Again, they miss the point of the court, it's not to set policy, it's not to decide how to wage war. It's job is to decide if what elected officials are doing is Constitutional and legal, that's it. The only time they shouldn't defer to elected officials is when the laws/policies are clearly unconstitutional.

"There is reason to worry that he would curtail abortion rights. And his approach to the balance of power between the federal government and the states, while murky, seems unpromising."
As was presented at his hearings, there is also ample evidence that he respects Roe as precidence in case law. His uncompromising views on balance of power between states and the federal government are actually pretty simple. If it's not in the Constitution or settled law as a federal issue, the states should handle it. Maybe I'll e-mail the editors a copy of that Constitution thingy, I think they need to re-read it.

Here's the money line from the editors:

"Yet he is undeniably a conservative whose presence on the Supreme Court is likely to produce more conservative results than we would like to see."
They could have said that at the beginning, and saved some space for advertisers. As I said above, there is no rules that say we have to have a court that is "balanced".

I will give them credit, though, in that they are endorsing his confirmation, though with some asterisks. The last paragraph of the editorial is probably the most important, and true one as far as court nominations go.
"Supreme Court confirmations have never been free of politics, but neither has their history generally been one of party-line votes or of ideology as the determinative factor. To go down that road is to believe that there exists a Democratic law and a Republican law -- which is repugnant to the ideal of the rule of law. However one reasonably defines the "mainstream" of contemporary jurisprudence, Judge Alito's work lies within it. While we harbor some anxiety about the direction he may push the court, we would be more alarmed at the long-term implications of denying him a seat. No president should be denied the prerogative of putting a person as qualified as Judge Alito on the Supreme Court."
That is an important point we all need to remember. We only have one set of laws. The interpretation may change on some over time, based on many factors. But the idealogical squabble we've witnessed over the last 5 years is doing no good.

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1Comments:

Blogger rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

now you are talking. the framers really screwed up here, almost as bad as slavery. they wanted it to not be political, but did a lousy job of setting up safeguards. instead of getting the best jurists, for a long time now we get those who pass the litmus test of roe. we had abortions before roe. morality laws stink, look how good prohibition worked, look how good drug laws work, look how much money we lose chasing ghosts. abortion needs to stop, and it needs to stop being a litmus test too. our whole process is snarled up in the round and round of these issues which can only be solved by the cooperation of both sides who now fight each other. even if the new court tosses roe which is doubtful, the abortions will continue illegally. do people want to stop them, or just continue to argue about it forever? i guess words like prevention and responsibilty just do not mean anything anymore. like a bunch of lemmings, we keep going after the symptoms, not the disease. prediction: more deaths, more abortions, more drugs, more tax dollars being wasted. aren't we smugly brilliant? the whole mess makes me want to puke.

8:37 AM  

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