Hope, benefit of the doubt and Krauthammer's error

Withdraw This Nominee

But constitutional jurisprudence is different. It is, by definition, an exercise of intellect steeped in scholarship. Otherwise it is nothing but raw politics. And is it not the conservative complaint that liberals have abused the courts by having them exercise raw super-legislative power, the most egregious example of which is the court’s most intellectually bankrupt ruling, Roe v. Wade ?

Actually, constitutional jurisprudence ought to be about interpreting a contract. “Intellect steeped in scholarship” is what has given us penumbras, activism and rights not in the text of the thing. An attorney less inclined to intellectualizing decisions and more inclined to looking at the Constitution as a contract between the nation and its people (or even, God forbid, a contract among the states), with reasonable deference to two centuries of precedent, will not be prone to exercising “raw super-legislative power”. On the other hand, ivory tower, Ivy League intellectuals have certainly shown that tendency.

I’m as irritated as anyone at the political weakness this nomination reflects (though inclined to agree with Thomas Sowell that it’s a weakness of the GOP Senate). I’m concerned that with no record, we have to take this nominee on blind faith and trust. That she is an “evangelical” does not comfort me, as repealing Roe v. Wade regardless of the law is just judicial activism of a different stripe.

That she does not come from an academic background is a plus as the nations law schools are bastions of liberalism, if not outright socialism. That she has not been a judge, but has spent years dealing with the effects of judges pronouncements is another plus, as she probably understands better than the judges how far reaching the consequences of their decisions can be. That she comes from a business background is a plus, not because I’m a big fan of large corporations like her clients, but because I think she will be inclined by that background to treat cases as an exercise in interpreting text rather than reading the political tea leaves.

Like they say…have the hearings. I’m just holding out the hope that she’ll articulate the idea that she’ll treat the Constitution as what it is, a contract, and make decisions on that basis.

I don’t read Charles Krauthammer much, but I do read Betsy ‘s Page or I wouldn’t have seen this.

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