by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The Obama “legacy” will likely include the appointment of a U.S. Supreme Court justice that Republicans would welcome – if only Obama hadn’t been the appointer. Federal judge Merrick Garland is a former prosecuctor whose politics suits Obama’s core conservative instincts. The president is leaving office just like he came in, pulling a “bait and switch” on his Democratic base and blaming the Republicans for making him do it.
Freedom Rider: Democrats and the SCOTUS Scam
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
“Republican obstruction is once again giving Obama cover to be the conservative he has always been.”
One of the most potent mantras of every Democratic propagandist or fearful rank and file member goes something like this: “I don’t really like Clinton/Gore/Kerry/Obama/Clinton either but what about the Supreme Court? Don’t risk letting Republicans choose the federal judiciary.” It is true that the lifetime appointments of federal judges are among the most enduring contributions or punishments that a president can bestow on the country. But as with other issues the Democratic Party conveniently uses the Supreme Court of the United States as a club to beat their own supporters into submission while simultaneously doing the opposite of what those people want.
The sudden death of right wing justice Antonin Scalia is the latest example of Democratic bait and switch. Scalia was one of the most conservative justices in history. Along with four other justices, he said that the will of Florida voters didn’t count and thus gave the presidency to the loser George W. Bush. He didn’t stop at electoral malfeasance. He also said in a death penalty case that the Constitution allowed for the execution of innocent people. Scalia’s death during a Democratic presidency was an opportunity for a victory. But Republican obstruction is once again giving Obama cover to be the conservative he has always been.
True to form, Senate Republicans announced they won’t consider anyone for nomination in Obama’s last year in office. If Obama paid the Republicans money they couldn’t have helped him out more. He can now choose a conservative and get brain washed Democrats to help him by appealing to their sense of outrage.
“He ruled against criminal defendants more often than not.”
His would be nominee, federal judge Merrick Garland, has a very troubling judicial record. Like 41% of Obama judicial nominees he is a former prosecutor. This is not a qualification that progressives ought to find attractive. Prosecutors are among the worst criminals in American society. When they aren’t making a name for themselves by wringing false confessions, they threaten harsh sentences and get the innocent to plead guilty. They work hand in hand with the police to put black people behind bars. Prosecutors have the upper hand in getting indictments and convictions. The lack of convictions for killer cops is an indication that they place their thumb on the scale of justice and never in the interests of black people.
As a federal jurist Garland lived up to all the worst fears of prosecutorial judgment. Simply put, he ruled against criminal defendants more often than not. In fourteen different cases in which he dissented from other judges, Garland sided with law enforcement ten times.
Garland saw prisoners locked away in Guantanamo in the same vein. In 2003 he was part of a three judge panel who ruled that they had no rights to challenge their imprisonment in federal court.
The Obamaphiles have their usual excuses memorized in defending the Garland nomination: The Republicans give Obama no choice. Garland can be used as a campaign issue to help Democratic candidates. He isn’t so bad. He’ll move to the left after he is on the Supreme Court bench. Etc., etc., etc.
While the same tired rationales are trotted out for consumption by the gullible, the black misleaders go through their own version of pretense. According to press reports, members of the Congressional Black Caucus were “irked” that their opinions weren’t sought out for the appointment. Obama has little regard for the House of Representatives in general and even less for the CBC in particular. They back him up without question or protest and say little on those rare occasions when they might be unhappy with his administration. Their phony temper tantrum just doesn’t count.
“Justices are chosen because they are safe.”
There will never be another Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court, even when Democratic presidents are making the choices. Marshall famously described his legal philosophy with this phrase. “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up.” The absence of his ilk is yet another indication that American politics have moved ever rightward in the last fifty years.
There is no room for anyone like Marshall, who as an attorney argued more than 20 cases before the court he would later join. Justices are chosen because they are safe, because they have never acted on behalf of the oppressed as Marshall did. Like Garland, every SCOTUS justice serving now attended either Yale or Harvard law school. Not even other highly ranked schools are given any consideration.
Garland is a terrible choice who makes a mockery of progressives’ desperate ties to the Democratic Party. He is the embodiment of the discredited doctrine of Lesser Evilism which does nothing but allow otherwise intelligent people to suddenly act against their own interests and defend people and policies they otherwise would not.
Hopefully the Republicans will continue to deny Garland his seat on the court. Of course, if progressives keep operating from a prone position Scalia’s replacement will be a conservative, just less so than he was. The Supreme Court is just another scam perpetrated by Democrats on their hapless followers. It is one more reason to work for the end of the Democratic Party once and for all.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.