What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been....
Edmund Burke (1729–1797)
Judge Samuel Alito was confirmed as the 110th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court today a little after 12:30 p.m., without any fanfare, so that he could take his seat with Justices at the State of the Union Speech this evening. The days of a serene and considered confirmation like that afforded to Justice Ginsburg are over, and the Senate vote was a partisan 58 – 42. The vote marks the end of the courtesy usually extended by the Senate to the Chief Executive in respecting their choice. It is a vote that will come back to haunt liberals when there is once again a Democrat in the White House who wants to appoint a Justice in line with their beliefs.
“The vote on this nomination is the vote of a generation and a test of conscience.” said Sen. Kennedy. He is absolutely correct. Alito is 55 and Chief Justice Roberts is 51 years old, younger then the President who nominated them, and much younger than the Senator who led his lonely, impassioned charge against them. While Porcupine find his ideas dreadful, he respects Kennedy’s passion and commitment, especially as contrasted with the junior Senator. “The critical question here is why are we so compelled to accept, in such a rush, a nominee who has so clearly been chosen for political and ideological reasons," said Kerry. Perhaps losing the 2004 presidential election to Bush was a factor? "This was the first time ever that a senator has called for a filibuster from the slopes of Davos, Switzerland," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "I think even for a senator, it takes some pretty serious yodeling to call for a filibuster from a five-star ski resort in the Swiss Alps."
“This nation has experienced a march of progress during the time that I have been in the Senate”, said Kennedy. It is important for leaders like Sen. Kennedy to look over their shoulder from time to time, to see if anybody is still following them. Kennedy’s March towards Progress began about 40 years ago and Porcupine remembers the ‘Impeach Earl Warren!’ bumper stickers at the time. The liberal March bears a certain resemblance to runner Rosie Ruiz, the discredited Boston Marathon winner, who hopped in a car and rode out the route, to pop out and cross the finish line. This March has not been accomplished through votes, legislation, or any of the usual measures of law in a democracy. Rather, Kennedy’s March hopped into the waiting car of the liberal Judiciary, and has not deigned to try to change pubic opinion when it can be successfully adjudicated instead. Consensus isn’t important when you have five Justices. Porcupine expects we will hear a great deal more about it soon.
What is more at issue is the direction of the progress that the March has been taking us. Like many a piper before him, the Senator from Massachusetts has been playing the same tune for decades, but the followers are no longer there. With Alito joining Roberts, Thomas and Scalia on the bench, we will have a Court which will decide legal issues, and perhaps a Legislature that will make laws, going on the record in order to do so.
Liberals will have to build consensus and win elections in order to advance their agenda, instead of filing a docket. After forty years, it’s time.