Notes on the Atrocities
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Thursday, October 23, 2003  

The newest Bush judicial appointee is a real sweetheart:

"[W]here the government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."

People for the American Way describe her as "right of Scalia and Thomas." All of this has the usual level of shock and awe (for any of us who still have nerves to be shocked), but her nomination is especially timely given the whole Boykin affair: she thinks the Bill of Rights does not apply to the states. Particularly, she thinks First Amendment "establishment clause" ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion") doesn't apply, and one of her personal campaigns is to open state houses to Christianity. In 1999, she gave a speech titled "Beyond the Abyss: Restoring Religion on the Public Square." From the LA Times article:

The historical evidence supporting what the Supreme Court did here is pretty sketchy," Brown said in her Pepperdine speech. "The argument on the other side is pretty overwhelming'' that the 14th Amendment failed to apply the Bill of Rights to the states.

Of course, Orrin Hatch immediately started singing that old familiar tune: "There is a real difference between giving speeches and doing what is right on the bench. You have followed the law, and that's the important thing." In other words: please don't judge this political appointment on politics.

But that's exactly what Democrats should start doing. It seems that with each new nominee, Bush becomes more agressive with his pro-Christian agenda. Already the GOP is dominated fundamentalist and conservative Christians who see the First Amendment as an impediment toward establishing their faith as a state religion. The judiciary, as interpreters of the Constitution, stand between them and this goal. The founders saw fit to make process of judicial appointment a political one--and Democrats should no longer be cowed by the full reality of where this political process is leading.

Oh, and by the way, Janice Rogers Brown is black. Because I'm cynical, I expect Republicans to play the race card. Which is, of course, enormously cynical and itself racist (the only reason to oppose a black woman is because she's black). But I'll save that tirade for when the card is actually played.

posted by Jeff | 8:29 AM |
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