Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Litmus Tests for Supreme Court Nominees

One wonders how politicians are able to say, with conviction and solemnity, the most absurd things, which no one listening takes seriously. Obama has let loose with some doozies. He told us he didn’t want to take over the car companies. And he told us he didn’t like spending so much money on government. But when he says there is “no litmus test” for abortion when selecting his Supreme Court nominee, one is tempted to holler, “Enough!” Puhleez.

There is no issue more dearly embraced by the Democratic party than legalized abortion on demand and no greater fear — contrived or sincere — than of losing the judicial monopoly on the issue and — heavens! — be left to the mercy of voters to decide this issue of public policy. There is no Democratic president who won’t make absolutely certain that his nominee will doggedly defend the current abortion jurisprudence. Indeed, Obama couldn’t help but give away the game:

Obama said his nominee would be someone who interprets “our Constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights, and that includes women’s rights.”

“And that’s going to be something that’s very important to me,” Obama said. …

On abortion, Obama said that he is “somebody who believes that women should have the ability to make often very difficult decisions about their own bodies and issues of reproduction.”

But no “litmus test,” he hastened to add. We are not supposed to ask judges to predetermine matters. Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg took this to absurd lengths and set a tradition of saying nothing much of interest during her confirmation hearings (“no hints, no forecasts, no previews”). So no president will ask and no judge should answer whether she’d uphold Roe v. Wade. The president doesn’t need to. The era of stealth Supreme Court candidates is over, and each potential Obama nominee certainly will be one inclined to roam through the constitutional terrain spotting rights and finding penumbras that neatly fit the political agenda of the Left. It is “living Constitution” time once again. There’s not a single judge with that jurisprudential inclination who isn’t going to find a constitutional right to abortion and consider the matter “settled.”

So feel free to laugh when the president says “no litmus test.” When the cameras leave, I am sure he does too.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.