I put the title in quotes because it’s not me saying it. It’s a fine retired federal judge, Shira Scheindlin (Southern District of New York), writing in the Times.
Every presidential election, I irritate myself and probably everyone around me by repeating, “The Supreme Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme–”
Many bad election choices can be rectified by future good election choices. An act of Congress can be mitigated or repealed.What can’t be changed is the Supreme Court, and federal court judgeships–because it isn’t just a Supreme Court justice who is on that bench for life. All federal judges are, too.
I used to believe federal judges (and Supremes, of course) were selected from the best and smartest lawyers and judges in the country.
Yeah, so. This is why I have nightmares.
I’m going to excerpt Judge Scheindlin’s comments on some people nominated for federal judgeships by Trump. Brace yourselves. I’ve reddened the names (think of it as blood) and bolded (the bloated black mark) the essence of their, um,”positions”:
Leonard Steven Grasz...received a rare “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association because his “temperament issues, particularly bias and lack of open-mindedness, were problematic.” He serves on the board of an organization that has supported the closing of clinics offering women reproductive care, has condemned Supreme Court decisions that protect women’s rights, and has asserted that abortions put women’s lives at risk.
Mr. Grasz…has supported “conversion therapy” for gay youth and legislation that would allow employers to discriminate against gay employees under the guise of religious liberty. To Mr. Grasz, marriage equality is a “threat” and evolution should be taught as a theory, not as a fact.
Thomas A. Farr.…longstanding ties to racist politicians, and because of his opposition to voting rights, workers’ rights and economic equality… instrumental in creating and defending North Carolina’s notorious 2013 voter suppression law, which the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found had targeted black voters with “almost surgical precision.”
Damien Schiff, a lawyer for the libertarian Pacific Legal Foundation…has called the Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy a “judicial prostitute” because of his role as a swing voter. He also attacked the Supreme Court’s opinion…permitting race to be a consideration in college admissions to further diversity; he said it was akin to the court’s rulings in the Dred Scott decision (upholding fugitive slave laws), Plessy v. Ferguson (upholding states’ rights to require racially segregated public accommodations) and Korematsu v. United States (approving the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II).
…Jeff Mateer described transgender children as part of “Satan’s plan.”
….Mark Norris…suggested that being Muslim is synonymous with being a terrorist. He also led efforts to prohibit communities from removing Confederate monuments in public places.
…[C]onfirmed:…John Bush...compared the Dred Scott decision to Roe v. Wade, saying that both “relied on similar reasoning and activist justices” and that “slavery and abortion” are the “two greatest tragedies in our country.” On his Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire he failed to disclose that he belonged to a social club that, for years, had excluded African-Americans, women and Jews.
Amy Coney Barrett... criticized the Supreme Court justice William Brennan for saying that his oath to uphold the law trumped any obligation to his Roman Catholic faith.
…also stated that judges need not adhere to precedent if they believe a case was wrongly decided. But our courts have always accepted the rule of “stare decisis,” which requires that judges respect and are bound by precedent unless and until revised by the Supreme Court. A Notre Dame law professor, Ms. Barrett opposes abortion rights. She is also against the idea that an employer should be required to provide contraception coverage, signing a letter that called it “a grave violation of religious freedom.”
A cast of villains that could have come right out of Dickens’s pages. Instead, they’re going to sit on our federal courts for life.