Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Public Beginning To Show Concern for Court Nominee's Views

Here’s a sign of possible trouble for Bush should he attempt to appoint two conservative Supreme Court justices with views which are out of the mainstream of public opinion:

In a shift from July, the public now thinks the Senate should consider a Supreme Court nominee’s positions on issues in addition to his or her legal background. According to last week’s poll, 57 percent said a nominee’s opinions on issues should be considered, while 33 percent thought the Senate should consider only a nominee’s legal qualifications and background. Even more Americans said a nominee’s position on the issues should be considered than did so during the nomination processes of Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork. (CBS News)

Another interesting aspect of the article is the comparison of public opinion on Supreme Court nominees prior to the start of hearings for Bork and Thomas. Prior to the hearings, only 13% thought Bork should not have been confirmed. Polls regarding public support for Roberts’ nomination may mean little prior to the start of his nomination hearings.

With control over the Senate, Bush might succeed in appointing two right wing justices, but if he does it could backfire against the Republicans. The message which the Democrats have to get out is that the party in control of the White House and the Senate can choose virtually anyone for the Supreme Court. Elect the party of increased government intrusion in individual’s lives and hostility towards individual liberty, and suffer the consequences for years to come.

We’ve already seen the consequences of Republican control of government from the failures to respond to warnings prior before 9/11 to failures to respond to advanced warnings of floods following Katrina. We’ve seen the United States get involved in a foolish war which has undermined our national security and strengthened al Qaeda. We’ve seen increases in the number of uninsured, and huge increases in energy costs while failing to make any advances in alternative energy sources. Win or lose in the current nomination battles, the American public must also be shown that electing Republicans also means further restrictions on our liberties for years to come if they are allowed to choose who sits on the Supreme Court.


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