I never in my life thought I could possibly see a Supreme Court pick as bad as Sonia Sotomayor. Barack Obama is quite clearly trying to upend all the underpinnings of American society in order to create his own version of a Brave New World. Government takeovers of banks and car companies, firings of executives, politically based decisions on which individual car dealerships remain open, world tours apologizing for supposed American sins, mollycoddling our enemies while insulting our friends, broken promises about transparency combined with selective release of classifed documents to serve political purposes…. and so much more, and now…. THIS. He nominates the most radical possible choice for the Supreme Court, a woman whose speeches and writings are so obscenely racialist that no white male could possible get away with saying anything like those things and live, professionally, for even a single additional day. Obama’s emphasis today, in introducing Sotomayor, on biography over all else was absolutely sickening. And despicable. To which all decent Americans ought to respond: No, it does NOT make a difference whether she grew up rich or poor, black or white or Hispanic, left-handed or right-handed, ill or healthy, Jew or gentile. All that matters is whether or not she will uphold her oath to serve the Constitution and laws as written, including the explicit and tacit restrictions therein on judicial authority. In America, judges are not supposed to be fonts of wisdom, not supposed to “feel” the right things and not supposed to be demigods purveying some sort of cosmic notion of fairness. Instead, they are supposed to apply the laws as provided to them by the political branches within these United States. Period. As Justice Potter wrote in a famous dissent, later echoed by Clarence Thomas, a judge’s duty is not to decide whether or not a law is wise or fair or even whether it is “uncommonly silly.” His duty is just to do what the law says, and let the political branches change it if its silliness or unfairness is manifest.
Obama has invited a war over the very meaning of being an American, a war over whether government still is legitimate only if and when it is based on the duly determined consent of the governed. This is a war for our civic souls. We dare not lose it.