Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One Less Fantasy

In the increasingly desparate race to figure out if there's any reason left for progressives to support Barack Obama, one of the few ideas that occur to most people is that he will undoubtedly nominate several Supreme Court justices. Surely, Obama would nominate progressives to replace the progressives who will soon retire. For a long time, I've wondered just what it was they thought they were seeing that I wasn't in this regard. Today, Glenn Greenwald wrote something that should puncture this last fantasy:

The prospect that [Supreme Court Justice John Paul] Stevens will be replaced by Elena Kagan has led to the growing perception that Barack Obama will actually take a Supreme Court dominated by Justices Scalia (Reagan), Thomas (Bush 41), Roberts (Bush 43), Alito (Bush 43) and Kennedy (Reagan) and move it further to the Right. Joe Lieberman went on Fox News this weekend to celebrate the prospect that "President Obama may nominate someone in fact who makes the Court slightly less liberal," while The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus predicted: "The court that convenes on the first Monday in October is apt to be more conservative than the one we have now." Last Friday, I made the same argument: that replacing Stevens with Kagan risks moving the Court to the Right, perhaps substantially to the Right (by "the Right," I mean: closer to the Bush/Cheney vision of Government and the Thomas/Scalia approach to executive power and law).

The case against Elena Kagan

Sonia Sotomayor has generally voted with the conservatives. She will continue to do so, at least on anything having to do with workers' rights and other issues where corporations are involved. She was happy to ignore decades of precedent to vote with the Bushies in the Citizens United case. (see UPDATE) I'm pretty sure she hasn't missed any opportunity to screw the little guy since she took office.

Kagan has been Obama's Solicitor General. That's the person at the Department of Justice who is responsible for representing the government's case in lawsuits, etc., before the courts. In that capacity, Kagan has been responsible for supporting the lawless behavior of the Obama Administration regarding wiretaps, indefinite detention, and excusing torture.

Why anyone who thought an Adminstration that would do something like this would ever nominate a progressive, or even someone who takes the Constitution seriously to the Supreme Court is beyond me. These guys have been about excusing the transgressions of the affluent and powerful from the moment they assumed office. They weren't going to nominate any Justices who would fail to support such behavior.

Is there anything left? Are Obama supporters, the ones who aren't on his payroll at least, tired of being played yet? Anyone? Bueller?

UPDATE: Oops. As Boukman70 pointed out in comments, Sotomayor voted with the minority in the Citizens United case. Don't know how I got that wrong, but I did. Thanks for the correction.


boukman70 said...

Uh, Sotomayor voted against Citizens United.


Cujo359 said...

The first indication of how wrong I was was that Kennedy wrote the majority decision. Yipes.

Thanks for the correction.

lawguy said...

Well I've been drifiting around sites that are Obama intensive to see if there is anything that he might do that would cause them to lose faith. No comment on killing American citizens extra judicially. Nothing about Johnsen.

You got some specifics wrong, but when I hear Ken Starr praising the three most likely candidates for SC, aw hell.

Cujo359 said...

The silence on the assassinations, in particular, has been deafening.

Any particulars wrong besides the one we covered? Sotomayor's record is certainly less one-sided in light of how she really voted on Citizens United, but beyond that ...