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July 9, 2005
Reid To Bush: Pick An Activist, Any Activist

Senator Harry Reid proved himself completely tone deaf when it comes to the issue of nominations to the Supreme Court. While his fellow Democrats plan on going to war over the opening created by Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement, Reid offers a way to avoid partisan battle -- by having the White House completely capitulate:

Contending that President Bush's far-right allies are pushing him to appoint an extreme conservative to the Supreme Court, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid pointed to liberal icon Earl Warren as a model.

Earl Warren? The Godfather of judicial activism?

In his party's weekly radio address, Reid, D-Nev., noted that Saturday marked the anniversary of the 1974 death of Warren, a Republican whose court established a liberal tradition with its 1954 school desegregation ruling and other decisions. Reid said Warren had been able to forge a consensus on the court that would become the national consensus.

"Mr. President, that's the kind of justice we hope you'll nominate," Reid said in Saturday's broadcast. "Someone who will bring us together. A mainstream justice who won't use their judicial robe as a cloak to impose their political ideology on the country."

At least Brown v. Board of Education rested on true Constitutional grounds, unlike some of the rest of the excesses of the Warren court. Even during his time, when the idea of a politicized judiciary had much less broad acknowledgement, an "Impeach Earl Warren" movement erupted during his tenure. Writers who remain sympathetic to Warren have to acknowledge that he turned the Supreme Court into a force for legislative change, arrogating power unto itself unlike any court before it:

Many people, during the tenure of Earl Warren, viewed the Court as being so radically liberal that signs to Impeach Earl Warren showed up everywhere. There are those that believe the policies and doctrines the Warren Court made were not theirs to make. The judicial revolution that took place during those fifteen years, to this day, gets people fired up for a counter-revolution. The progressiveness of the Warren court seems to fuel anger in our partisan society. Some still view the courts precedents and doctrines as unconstitutional and believe they will one day be over-ruled. There are people, today in 2003, fifty years after Warrens Court, that believe the separate but equal doctrine of race relations laid down in 1896 is all right as long as equal facilities are given to each race. There are those that believe the restraintist approach to judicial ruling will one day dismantle what Warren and the Supreme Court Justices of 1953-1969 laid down.

Whether Court justices are from the left or from the right, the evolution of its doctrines seems to be in constant change. Republican Earl Warren came to his senses, used some good reasoning, and shifted over to the left after becoming Chief Justice which paved the way for many civil rights to be granted to the people. Earl Warren helped move the evolution of the Court doctrines along a bit faster than others would have in his position. He used his own opinions, his morals, and his values and his own interpretations of the Constitution when offering opinions of the court. Some say this is not what the framers intended the Court Justices to do. However by doing this, Warren helped motivate America to become more like what the framers intended in terms of privacy and civil rights Americans hold priceless. The Warren Judicial Revolution made our country better than it was before his tenure.

That's what Harry Reid wants Republicans and the majority of Americans that voted them into office to do -- come to their senses and become Leftists, content to have their laws dictated to them by nine robed and unaccountable justices. Obviously, Reid and the Democrats have suffered a hearing loss during the last three election cycles.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 9, 2005 2:23 PM

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