Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

People for the American Way, protecting our liberties

Jerry Stratton, September 22, 2005

Today I received a second Supreme Court-related mailing from People for the American Way. They seem to have a knack for sending a flyer out several days after a Justice leaves. The previous letter came a few days after O’Connor retired—but didn’t mention O’Connor’s retirement. Today’s letter does not mention Rehnquist’s death.

It does raise the specter of right-wing groups flooding my mailbox with letters, however.

As you can see in the enclosed flyer, right-wing groups are already in action on Supreme Court nominees. Their computers are busy pumping out letters.

Since Justice O’Connor announced her retirement, I have received all of two Supreme Court-related letters: both of them from People for the American Way. The only “flood” I’ve received has been from them. And while there are a lot of flyers or other pieces of paper in their mailing, I don’t see any enclosed flyer that shows how right-wing groups are “already in action” pumping out letters.

Their first letter included a Supreme Court Justice chart with three partisan-related columns, but instead of liberal, moderate, and conservative, they labeled their columns moderate, conservative, and extreme right! This is the chart I satirized for Democrats fear liberal Bush court.

This latest chart isn’t quite so egregious. It labels the columns “Protecting our rights and freedoms” and “Rolling back our rights and freedoms”. Under the “Protectors” column, every justice listed was in the home-taking majority in Kelo v. New London and the anti-patient majority in Gonzales v. Raich. Of the remaining five who are not protecting our rights and liberties, three of them—O’Connor, Thomas, and Rehnquist—voted to protect our rights and liberties in Raich.

All of the justices in the “protector” column voted to give governments wide latitude to take our houses. Four out of the five remaining justices-O’Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas—voted to protect our rights to own a home.

Of Bush’s favorites, the ones we’re supposed to be especially afraid of, one (Thomas) voted to protect our rights in both cases.

President Bush has nominated John Roberts to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Roberts spent much of his legal career in the Reagan and Bush administrations trying to weaken civil rights enforcement and limit the court’s role in protecting individuals. Radical right leaders are overjoyed! They believe that President Bush has given them exactly what they want—an extremist nominee in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

If Roberts turns out to be an “extremist” in the mold of Clarence Thomas, I don’t think I or Raich or Kelo are going to mind.

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