Monday, July 11, 2005

Specter Speculates: O'Connor for Chief?

I'm wondering if Hugh Hewit still thinks that it is worth it to have Arlen Specter as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Not to Hugh bash, he is a righteous conservative, but sometimes it seems that he puts too much emphasis on short-term political gain rather than long term substantive gain. I agree that fighting over Specter could cause some "moderates" to think that the GOP has gone too far right and the GOP would be better off. On the other hand, a more conservative judiciary will reap rewards for at least a generation.

As to the substance of what Specter said. (A) I think he has it backwards. I believe that O'Connor figured out that she wouldn't get elevated to the chief spot upon a Rehnquist retirement, and thus there was no reason to hold on any longer. Anyway, while O'Connor has not been a complete disaster, elevating her to the chief spot would be one because she is NOT a conservative originalist as we were promised by GWB.

(B). Pay careful attention to what Specter says:
"I think it would be very tempting if the president said to Justice O'Connor, 'You could help the country now,' " Specter said. "She has received so much adulation that a confirmation proceeding would be more like a coronation, and she might be willing to stay on for a year or so."
The problem with O'Connor was that she acted as if she was ruling from the throne, not the bench. Elevating her to the top spot would only make things worse. Also, Specter again shows his true colors as a worshiper of the philosopher kings that comprise the SCOTUS. The court is to be an arbiter of disputes and announce what the law IS and not what they think it ought to be. The SCOTUS does not exist to relieve the elected branches of their elective policy-setting functions. Bush nominees should restore this function of the court by returning to the people the policy setting functions that righfully belong to us, not the unelected federal judges and the justices of the SCOTUS.