Friday, July 01, 2005

O'Connor Steps Down, Dems MUST Step Up

B and B had my first and second response down perfectly, but for different reasons.

The Democrats are already playing this correctly. They are calling Sandra Day O'Connor a moderate and a insightful Republican Justice. She was. They are saying that she was the vote who voted on constitutional fact over party affiliation. She did (for the most part). They are saying the Bush has the ability to unite the Supreme Court with a strong leader, and he does.

Sandra Day O'Connor was a good justice and her legacy will show that. She upheld Roe and the rights to privacy. She supported women's rights and free speech. And she argued for and against constitutional items, even when she disagreed personally. I can't say that I agreed with her on ever ruling, but I can say with out hesitation that I respect the job she did.

That all being said... Bush better not be stupid with this. CNN has the most commonly named possibilities and these are some radical people. If Rehnquist had step down I would have little argument replacing a conservative with a conservative, but O'Connor was not any where close to Emilio Garza, Janice Rogers Brown, or Harvie Wilkinson. These are not the right people.

Do I have the right ideas on this one? Probably not. I do have to say that It better not be Hinojosa, Garza, or Cornyn from Texas. If it is, then the Democrats better use the filibuster, and they have polling numbers for it. 65% said they oppose a justice that will overturn Roe and 41% say they approve of a conservative justice. These numbers from Gallup/USA Today, fly in the face of what Bush wants, and he will have to temper these wants in order to win.

If Bush fights hard for a conservative justice in the mold of Rehnquist, Thomas, or Scalia... he will be a lame duck the day the hearing start, the senate will run the country, the house will be up for grabs in 2006, and most importantly he won't have his top choice if Rehnquist decides to retire before 2008.

There is a lot on the table, and it can no longer be said that Supreme Court is not a political branch of government. In the era of 24 hour news cycles and 2 year campaign cycles, there is no such thing as a non-political hearing or appointment process. For progressives out there, be glad O'Connor stepped down and not Rehnquist, and for conservatives, realize O'Connor stepped down and not Rehnquist.

UPDATE 3:18 PM:
Just when you thought it was safe to BBQ for the July 4th weekend, reports are coming in that Rehnquist will be announcing retirement after the July weekend. Sen John Cornyn is saying that Bush will then announce his choices for Chief Justice and Associate Justice on July 8th after he returns from the G8 summit.

2 Comments:

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Michael Wright said...

Hi Matt,

I really like your take on the up-coming judicial battle. I always like someone who sees a challenge as an opportunity rather than a reason for despair.

I think that you have a good point that much of Bush's remaining presidency rests on the O'Connor replacement. Perhaps his hubris will induce him to nominate a ultra-conservative wacko that will go down in flames in the Senate. That really would lame duck this administration and bring the Republican advances of the past decade to a screeching halt.

I feel it in the air that the tide is turning on the Republicans. They've overstretched themselves, and this is the time for is to rise up and overtake them.

2006 is going to be exciting!

 
At 6:21 PM, Blogger Matt Glazer said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce to you all the future chair of the democratic party in San Antonio. Hope you don't mind me outing you Mike. What is your website so these good people can send you some money and volunteer?

 

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