Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 12 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/11/10

Obama Can Now Pick a Judge with a Heart

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   2 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message earl ofari hutchinson
Become a Fan
  (10 fans)

In 2005, then Illinois Senator Barack Obama was unequivocal. He said he wanted a Supreme Court justice with a heart. By that he meant someone who was not just a top legal scholar and rendered flawless legal opinions rulings, but who had real compassion for the needs and suffering of people. In a fiery senate floor speech on September 22 that year Obama hammered Bush's high court pick John G. Roberts as being dismissive and insensitive to race and gender discrimination.

Four months later Obama went on the attack again. He lambasted Bush's next high court pick Samuel A. Alito as a shill for the powerful and uncaring about the rights and protections of the powerless, poor and minorities. He slammed Alito for backing prosecutors over the rights of defendants. He felt so strongly that Alito was not the right sort for the court that he joined in a futile and short lived filibuster against him.

He didn't stop there. At a presidential campaign appearance in 2007 he said: "We need somebody who's got the heart to recognize, the empathy to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom; the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old." There was that reference to heart again.

Obama wanted and expected a Supreme Court justice to be a guardian of the people's interests, to be cut squarely in the proud tradition of Hugo Black, Thurgood Marshall, Earl Warren, and yes, on his best days John Paul Stevens. Obama saw absolutely nothing wrong with a justice being a legal scholar, judicial expert and an activist. He firmly rejected the GOP's and conservative judicial watchdog group's phony, politically self-serving strict constitutional constructionist litmus test for judges. Court ultra conservatives Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and William Rehnquist were unabashed judicial activists and ideologues, and conservatives heap praise on them, and abuse on any jurist that doesn't agree with them.

Four years later and a second Supreme Court judge pick in the waiting, nothing has changed. And since it hasn't, Obama has the enviable chance of a president's lifetime to do what he proclaimed in his attacks on and senate votes against confirming Alito and Roberts. That's the chance to follow his heart and pick the kind of judge he made clear that both Bush picks weren't and pick a judge who will protect the rights of the powerless, minorities, and women. He has absolutely nothing to lose. GOP senators, Tea Party leaders, Rush Limbaugh, the pack of shrill rightwing radio talk jocks, Fox News Network, and the hodge-podge of conservative judicial watchdog groups will stick to their hit plan on him no matter who he picks to replace Stevens.

His pick will be too liberal, too activist, too pro victim's rights, affirmative action, civil liberties, and for the more rabid, a closet identity politics baiter. The GOP tactics in pounding Obama's pick is unchanged. They will scream, shout, bully, cow, and badger the court pick on the same tired hit points. The goal is unchanged and that's to insure that she or he toes the conservative legal constructionist line not solely before the Senate Judiciary panel, but more importantly on the bench.

A slip or a too confrontational pose by the pick during the hearings will instantly be pounced on and held up by conservative attackers as proof that he or she doesn't have the right stuff to be a fair and impartial judge.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Supported 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Earl Ofari Hutchinson Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The House is duty-bound to Bring Articles of Impeachment against Clarence Thomas

Think of the Two Decade Embarrassment of Thomas We Would Have Been Spared If We had known about Thomas's Porn Alleged Ob

Tea Party Now a Huge GOP Liability

The Awful Transformation of Bernie Sanders

Clarence Thomas Can Breathe a Sigh of Relief with Weiner Downfall

Did Race Explain Penn State's Blind Eye to Sex Scandal?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend