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Polling the constitution

By Lisa Fabrizio
web posted July 20, 2009

Sonia SotomayorOnce again all those who pay attention to national politics turned their eyes to Washington to witness the Senate confirmation hearings of a U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee last week. Now, it is to be assumed that Judge Sonia Sotomayor will be confirmed easily, with or without Republican support. Still, the hearings are always interesting, if not sadly predictable.

We heard terms like "empathy" and "super precedents" and ultimately, when a woman or minority is involved, we were once again treated to a dissertation that theirs is a "great American story." This is a template that is a well-worn part of these proceedings; but no more so than when applied to liberals. As if Justices Alito, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas did not work hard, did not burn the midnight oil, or did not prosper as the result of the love, support, suffering and sacrifices of their families.

Yet it is ironic that those on the left who celebrate this "great American story" are proponents of a political philosophy that would deny its fairy-tale ending to a great majority of their fellow citizens. And although her confirmation is all but guaranteed, it will be interesting to see if the minority members of the Judiciary Committee will have the perspicacity to point this out. And it wouldn't be that hard.

The application of only a dab of common sense would show that it is not the empathy, accomplishments or even the character of judges or lawmakers that make the American dream possible: it is supremely and solely the enumeration of our rights as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution. And it is only a nominee's fitness to uphold those rights as written, that should be at consideration at these hearings.

Sadly, as has become uncomfortably common in these confirmation hearings, the most glaring revelation is the high level of senatorial ignoranceof the plain words of the U. S. Constitution. Last Monday, Herb Kohl spoke of the Constitutional guarantees of "personal privacy," then droned on about the "separation of church and state," an issue that might better be understood if the word church was capitalized.

And that great legal scholar, Diane Feinstein, in bewailing the SCOTUS decision that stripped a "fundamental Constitutional protection" from women who want to kill their unborn children up to the day of birth, said that judges should be more than "umpires calling balls and strikes." Maybe, but senators should have a greater knowledge of the law of our land than so many bleacher bums.

Lindsay Graham has said that elections matter; and he is right, they do. But that should have no effect on the law. Unfortunately, the opinion that we should or shouldn't faithfully adhere to the Constitution has now become a political issue. My opinion is that, of all of the depredations visited upon this land by liberals, this is the most dangerous to the future of this country. If the nation wants to hold a poll on the U.S. Constitution, it should be done as so wonderfully laid out in Article V of that document, and not every four years on the first Tuesday of November.

That Sonia Sotomayor has famously said that appeals courts are where "policy is made," and that a "wise Latina" might be a better judge than a white male are, of course disturbing, but not surprising. These are just liberal beliefs spoken out loud. And we can expect more of the same from future Obama judicial nominations. But so far as the SCOTUS is concerned, unless he serves two terms or one of the Constitutionalist judges dies or retires soon, what we have is a liberal replacing a liberal. But, the bar is further lowered as new and more disturbing paradigms are established.

People say they experience a profound sense of satisfaction and pride that a woman/Latina will sit on the high court. It's time for the general populace to stop experiencing these feelings vicariously and start living them out as American citizens using that perfect instrument of personal and national freedom: the U.S. Constitution.

Are we a government of laws or of men? Or of wise Latinas? ESR

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut. You may write her at mailbox@lisafab.com.

 

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