Friday, June 29, 2007

The Court

The current conventional wisdom is that George Bush’s Iraq fiasco is his greatest blunder and has been America’s all-time foreign policy catastrophe. That may be true, but I think he has done even more damage to the United States by changing the composition of the Supreme Court. Through the Court he will leave a powerful legacy of reactionary thought that will thwart justice and common sense for decades to come.

Yesterday’s decision that rolls back school desegregation is the most public but certainly not the only example of how the Court has changed. For me, it is not so much the substance of what these justices say (I don’t support many of the methods used to promote desegregation, like busing, either) but where they’re coming from in making their decisions.

They are determined to stick a poker in the eye of what they consider to be misguided liberal thinking. And they do it in a mean-spirited way, seemingly to get even for what they feel has been an era of bad rulings. It is a blunt, sledgehammer approach that lacks subtlety and wisdom, even conservative wisdom.

It is doubly frustrating because there isn’t much that can be done short of overthrowing our form of government. We do, after all, have an independent judiciary, there is this thing called checks and balances, and those of us who are complaining now had it our way not all that long ago. True. But it doesn’t help.


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