Friday, July 01, 2005

Supreme Court 

Matthew Yglesias writes this:
MORE THAN ABORTION. Having seen some talking points emailed around, I slightly despair of this happening, but I hope liberals will keep in mind the full range of issues facing the Supreme Court. There's more at stake here than your "hot-button" topics of abortion and gay rights, and more in play than the possibility that the Court will underenforce Americans' basic rights and liberties.

The Republican Party has done an excellent job of obscuring this fact, but a huge element of the conservative judicial agenda concerns economics. Near as I can tell there's absolutely no public outcry demanding that the courts prevent Congress or state legislatures from enacting popular regulatory measures pertaining to labor, the environment, product safety, etc. Nevertheless, various rightwingers to various extents want to do just that. Sandra Day O'Connor's always had some sympathy for that agenda, but hasn't pushed it nearly as far as she could have, or as far as many conservatives (and, perhaps more to the point, the wealthy businessmen who finance them) would have liked. These questions need to be put on the table. I don't think the American people are looking for any dramatic departures from the constitutional status quo or efforts to undo the past 100 years of jurisprudence.
This can't be emphasized enough. Many of Justice Thomas's dissents are sort of interesting right now as a bit of legal trivia, and certainly make for interesting law school discussion. But their logical conclusion compels the undoing of popular and important federal legislation, including economic regulation, labor regulations and environmental laws. I'm not sure Thomas's supporters would deny this.

If you think things like fighting global warming, having a minimum wage, the Americans With Disabilities Act, workplace safety standards, Social Security, welfare, Medicare and the like are important, then it is vitally important that we work, now, to fight any radical conservative that Bush appoints.

But to be honest, that battle is likely already lost. John Paul Stevens is 85 years old. We must, must, pick up Senate seats in 2006. We must win in 2008. We must tell people that the judges they think they like will undo government programs that are important to their lives.

Please don't fuck this one up, Democrats, the way you've fucked so much up in the last 25 years.
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