Where is Sandra Day O’Connor When You Need Her?
April 4, 2012
For years, the scolds that define the “merit” selection campaign have taken to the soapbox to decry “politics” in the courtroom. So earlier this week when President Obama launched a “pre-emptive strike,” as Politico put it, and “inject[ed] a high-level dose of politics” into the U.S. Supreme Court’s deliberations over the fate of the Obama health care law, you’d expect Sandra Day O’Connor and the Soros-machine to be cranking out condemnations, right? After all, what could be a greater threat to judicial independence than having the Supreme Court threatened before a ruling has even been issued by the most powerful man in the world?
Instead, radio silence.
In fact, some “merit” selection cheerleaders joined in the unprecedented attack on the Supreme Court. As usual, the New York Times set the bar for hysteria, warning Chief Justice Roberts that a decision to strike down Obamacare would be equivalent to the Court “declaring itself virtually unfettered by the law” and hyperventilating that no court has shown itself “less restrained in signaling its willingness to replace law made by Congress with law made by justices.” With her characteristic charm and wit, Times columnist Maureen Dowd dismissed the Roberts’ Court as a bunch of “hacks dressed up in black robes.” Roberts himself is labeled a “crimson partisan”; Justice Scalia is branded as “venomous”; Justice Alito mocked as “insufferable”; and Justice Thomas accused of having “lied his way onto the court.”
But wait a minute. Isn’t this the same paper that applauded the Iowa’s Supreme Court decision to “replace law made by Congress [in this case, the Iowa legislature] with law made by justices” when it overturned the state’s defense of marriage act? Didn’t the Gray Lady admonish Iowa voters just weeks before election day that exercising their constitutional right not to retain three of those justices would amount to “a chilling message to judges beyond Iowa’s borders to beware of rendering opinions that some voter blocks might dislike”?
For her part, former Justice O’Connor rushed to the defense of the Iowa Supremes, stumping on their behalf in a failed attempt to prevent them from being unceremoniously dumped by the state’s voters. But if she roused herself to defend the integrity of her former colleagues, I haven’t heard about it.
Of course, it’s her right to sit on the sidelines when the President of the United States and the “paper of record” launch political attacks on the nation’s highest court. But her deafening silence – along with the rest of the Soros crowd – gives the lie for all time to the nauseatingly self-righteous pretense that “merit” selection has anything to do with keeping “politics” out of the courtroom.