We Write Letters
With the 24/7 Rovian field day we’ve all been having, the upcoming Supreme Court battle has taken a bit of a back seat, but it has not diminished in importance. Cheers to those who wrote LTEs and posted them in the comments from last week’s post! They were brilliant, and much appreciated. Everyone who entered (okay, both of you) will receive a copy of James Wolcott’s Attack Poodles and Other Media Mutants. Well done and very inspirational.
Sent to Bayh and Luger:
306 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1401
Justice O’Connor has long been one of my more admired figures in the body politic. Her willingness to consider an issue and all of its faces, not just left or right, is truly the making of a wonderful person; the kind of person we need more of in our decision-making process.
I admire you both as well, Senators Lugar and Bayh, for the same reasons. Despite the fact that you wear the labels Republican and Democrat, respectively, I know you are also willing to take a stand for what you believe is best, and not just tow a given party line.
Senator Lugar, I ask you to not be a yes-man to the President, but to consider, advise, and only if the next nominee to the Supreme Court passes muster at the level of Sandra Day O’Connor, consent to the appointment.
Senator Bayh, I implore you, as well, to not be swayed by party politics, but to use the same metric for approval I requested of Senator Lugar. Please don’t unnecessarily deny a potential candidate just because of his or her appointment by the President — but please fight vigorously should the candidate’s decisions appear to be guided more by politics than by the best interests of all people of the United States.
It is my opinion that the only and best metric for appointing future justices to the supreme court is, in fact, to judge them in their ability to fill the gap left by the retirement of Justice O’Connor. The issue in the nomination and approval process leading to the Supreme Court is not within the politics, but the fact that politics is involved in the first place. We must have a nominee that understands this.
Sent to: The Oracle
To the Editor:
During his election campaigns, President Bush made promises to be a â€œuniter, not a dividerâ€ and if the opportunity arose, to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court with a â€œstrict constructionist,â€ a jurist who relies solely on the original words of the Constitution and no other source to determine the intent of the framers. Now, with the retirement of Justice Sandra Day Oâ€™Conner, the President faces what should be the difficult decision of which of these promises to keep.
If the President nominates a strict constructionist – a term that has become synonymous with conservative – in order to please the more vocal segment of his base, there is no hope of keeping his promise to be a uniter. Partisans on both ideological extremes are poised to wage a contentious battle of rhetoric. If he proposes someone less conservative, the lines are still drawn. However, neither ideological extreme truly represents the majority of Americans. The majority of Americans are somewhere in between, near the center. Moderate Americans stand trapped between the battle lines.
Before President Bush selects a nominee, he should visit the Jefferson Memorial where these words of one of the original strict constructionists are immortalized:
â€œI am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.â€ – Thomas Jefferson
If President Bush still holds any pretext of being a â€œuniterâ€, he should nominate a jurist who will deliberate on the merits of a case, and not solely on personal beliefs. He should nominate a jurist who has a keen perception of the present and a clear eye to the future, not just a narrow view to the past. He should nominate a jurist who will seek consensus and not simply vote partisan opinion. He should nominate a jurist who represents the real majority of Americans and neither ideological extreme.
Really great work, guys. I applaud you.
Don’t know what I’m going to give away when the time comes for LTE action for Treason-gate, but I’ll think of something. Right now I’m reading Michael Klare’s Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict, which isn’t directly applicable but does tie in with a bunch of thugs who just want to steal as much as they can without any thought for the future. We’ll see.