>OBSERVATION:Supreme Court — balance schmalance

>With the ascension of John Roberts to the tallest of the tall-back chairs of the Supreme Court, all attention is now focused on President Bush’s nomination to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. If he sends the the Senate a person even slightly to the right of Justice O’Connor, the Court will likely course to the starbord for a generation to come.

In response to this potential, the liberal legions have lockstepped to the cadence of the “preserve the balance” drumbeat. It is their claim that somehow the court is currently in balance — perhaps a bit of a conservative lean. For the sake of public debate and their own credibility, however, they will proffer a currently balanced Supreme Court that serves the public best by remaining without a teeter.

Of course, when President Clinton held authority over Supreme Court appointments, the word “balance” could not be found in their vocabulary. The liberal mission was to correct the “imbalance” by securing seats for only leftist jurists — and that is exactly what they did.

The left wing’s balance argument is no more valid than their argument that the person nominated must support certain icon planks of the liberal agenda. They argue against a “litmus test” so long as they can be provided with up front assurances of fixed philosophic postions on self-selected issues — and they see no inherent hipocriscy in the illogic of it all.

Of course the liberal’s view of balance would put the Court even further to the left of the national philosophic fulcrum. Since they see themselves as the natural ruling class, however, the norms of a less enlightend populace are not to be favorably considered in conjucntion with liberal superiority … the arrogance of that notion buffered by their claim of noblis oblige.

Of course, we all want a balanced Supreme Court. The problem is our philosophic definition of IMbalance. Liberals assert that the old Court was in some sort of balance, or at least as far right as is tolerable. To appoint a jurist to the right of anyone would creat an imbalance.

On the other hand, I personally think the Supreme Court has been effectively imbalanced for almost my entire life. To appoint a strict constructionist conservative would go a long way to finally correct much of the imbalance.

It my impression, and hope, that the President will appoint to the right without consideration to the languashing liberal voices that demand adherence to their own self-defined version of balance. This is his among Bush’s greatest potential legacies. I trust he will seize the opportunity.

Despite the fickle popularity polls, it is clear from the 2000 election that Bush was given a mandate to move the Court to the right. Democrats campaigned hard, using the next President’s likelihood of naming several justices as a centerpiece issue. The public clearly took notice of that potential and overwhelmingly endorsed Bush in person, and conservative principles in general. The only way Bush can keep faith with the public, is to use that mandate to send the Senate another conservative — maybe even more like Scalia or Thomas. Contemporary popularity polls, and the threatening barks of the left, should not trump the manifest will of the people. Bush has no re-election to compromise principle with political practicality.

Of couse, since this is the seminal moment for the left, we can expect their most brutal partisan attacks on the nominee. They are not looking to advise and consent. The Senate liberals want nothing more than to appoint by default. There only hope is to make the President believe that only a candidate acceptable to them will avoid a political donnybrook that will further sink his political fortunes.

In his next appointment, Bush will affirm his legacy with a philosophic nomination, and will fight to the mat to achieve confirmation, or he will succumb to the illusionary benefit of acquesence to the wilting assault of the left. I am betting on Bush to do what is right — in every sense of the word.

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