Friday, July 08, 2005

Judicial Nominations ... From the CSMonitor:
The ads are up, the grass-roots have been activated, and money is flooding pressure-group coffers. Talk radio and cable TV are alive with sound and fury at a turning point in American history.

In many ways, the battle over who will replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court has the look and feel of an election campaign - and, to further the analogy, right now it's the primaries. But there's a big difference: the audience. Ultimately, voters have no direct say in whom President Bush nominates or whether the Senate will confirm him or her.

Perhaps I'll change my mind when Bush actually does nominate someone. But for now it's hard for me to look at the activism on this as anything other than a marketing tool for Political Action Committees. What, exactly, is MoveOn or Focus on the Family or any other interested party going to do with the funds they raise for this? Blow it all on lobbyists who can target the fifteen moderate Senators who are actually going to matter?

For once, I think Bush is actually on the right track by telling everyone to calm down. This isn't a matter for us. We had a say last November and, prior to that, during the previous two senatorial elections. So feel free to write a letter to your Senator or call his office to let him know what you think. But that is all you can do. Get over it and move on. And where the PACs are concerned, have the integrity to raise funds only when you know you can put them to use.

The other final comment: this is not a problem of the left's creation. Seven of the nine justices, I believe, were appointed by Republican presidents. That is where the vast majority of the fury and activism is coming from -- the extraordinary frustration that comes with winning politically but still losing judicially. To the extent that this activism is an internecine dispute the left would be wise to steer clear of it.


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