Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hand-wringers do what hand-wringers do

The Supremes have always been partisans and the parties have always appointed persons expected - sometimes wrongly - to protect or advance their values and agendas in their rulings.

Everybody with an ounce of sense has known this forever.

The Times claims to deplore either or both of two things, that the Supremes are becoming partisans or that Americans increasingly see them that way.

But what they actually deplore is the growing unwillingness of the parties - and that means mostly the Republicans - to allow nominees of the other party to assume office without bitter opposition.

A sort of bait and switch to be seen in this excerpt from The Times, in which the increasingly oppositional behavior of senators is cited as alleged evidence of increased politicization of the judges.

With rare exceptions, nominees to the court have been largely insulated from the escalating political warfare over the judiciary, and have been approved.

Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative standard-bearer, was confirmed with 98 votes. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon, got 96. 

Even Clarence Thomas, whose confirmation hearings marked a flash point in sexual and racial politics, drew no filibuster.

Now, however, partly as a result of its own actions, but more important as a result of increasing polarization in Washington and the nation as a whole, the court is devolving into a nakedly partisan tool.

Still, the parties behavior, and especially the behavior of Republicans, has steadily become more bitter over the decades.

No comments:

Post a Comment