George Weigel on extremism


I read this in my diocese's newspaper and found it online here.

During the recent, raucous debate in the U.S. Senate over what's procedurally kosher in considering a president's judicial selections, opponents of several Bush nominees persistently dismissed the prospective judges in question as "extremists." My colleague at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Ed Whelan, thereupon proposed a thought-experiment:

Imagine that a Democratic president nominated for the federal bench a judge who had suggested that there was a constitutional right to prostitution and a constitutional right to polygamy; who had blasted the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for promoting gender stereotypes; who had proposed abolishing Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day, substituting an androgynous "Parents' Day;" who had advocated abolishing same-sex prisons, on the grounds that male prisoners returning to a work environment in which men and women are equal could learn to deal respectfully with women in co-ed jails; and who, while arguing that "manifest" racial imbalance in a company's work force was de facto evidence of deliberate racial discrimination, had never, while working in the private sector, employed a single African-American (in a majority-black city!) in over 50 hires.

It seems almost too absurd. Would any Democratic president nominate to the federal bench a jurist with views like this --- views that are, by most understandings of the term, "extreme"? Or, if a Democratic president would attempt such a nomination, surely some Senate Democrats would object --- not to mention Senate Republicans, who would certainly use the filibuster and every other legitimate legislative tactic to stop such a nomination. Wouldn't they?

Well, not quite.

For the not-so-fictional nominee in question here is none other than Ruth Bader Ginsburg, current Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on a 96-3 vote, having taken every one of the positions noted in Ed Whelan's thought-experiment.

Why isn't this a talking point in every Republican response to judicial filibusters?

Bookmark and Share


Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on June 19, 2005 9:19 AM.

AP: Orthodox leader reaches out to Vatican was the previous entry in this blog.

Pius XII is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.