Just like Specter “changing” sides the retirement of David Souter has little impact on America’s political landscape. Specter had been siding and voting with the DNC party line as consistently and often as the Democrats across the isle, good riddance. Justice David Souter will retire at the end of June. President Obama will get to exercise the power of the Executive branch by appointing a replacement Justice who will serve for life or they decide to retire. Souter was appointed by the first President Bush and turned out to be one of the staunchest liberal leaning justices. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The Supreme Court needs to be fair and balanced because of the following legal principle, justice is blind. Unfortunately in this day and age of political polarization and crystallization we have people in power who want to extend the reach of their power and influence as well as repay political favors and debts.
Ever since my first draw of attention to Supreme Court appointments, Clarence Thomas, in 1991 and the circus of confirmations surround it I have been exposed to the term litmus test. The litmus test is a list of criteria used to select a person to ensure they will do what you want them to do. As Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life the influence is long lasting and people in the opposition party are always eager to do what they can to block a candidate they feel does not fit their litmus test. Over the past few presidential campaigns the litmus test issue has become a large on. The funny thing is Republican candidates and confirmers were forced to state they would not use or submit a nominee to a litmus test. For the last 8 years the Democrats were edgy of the thought that the highest court of the land would become activist, able to overturn Roe vs Wade which legalized abortion. Since then the term has been flung far and wide as something that has to be avoided and guarded against at all costs to keep only highly qualified and truly impartial justices on the bench. Well, this is now a piece of partisan history.
President Obama will live up to his campaign pledge of July 17th 2007 when he pledged in a planned parenthood clinic “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.” From this we can see the President is clearly looking for an advocate judge, one who is sympathetic toward upholding abortion, entitlements for the poor, affirmative action, same sex marriage, and nationalized health care policies. Of course you have to read between the lines but seeing Illinois State Senator Obama’s only record of legislation was to sponsor a bill that would mandate late term abortion survivors be terminated by any means necessary, babies who can breathe independently and are touted by hospital premature maternity wards nation wide are to be left and neglected until death in Illinois is quite telling towards his pro-choice stance. His statements during the Saddleback Church debates were vague and telling on his answer dodging and political side stepping.
According to the Justice oath: 28 U.S.C. § 453 "I, my name, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as Supreme Court Justice under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God." the President’s earlier statement is contrary to the exact oath of the Supreme Court. According to the oath empathy and understanding are contrary to the “without respect to persons” and “do equal right to all” portion of the pledge. Thus ANY litmus test is contrary to selecting a justice, for either party or any administration. The qualifications are simple. The Supreme Court applies the policies and laws of the Executive and Legislative branches against the Constitution to ensure they do not violate any section, amendment, or intent of the Constitution. Applying a litmus test removes the blindfold of justice and places weights on the scales of justice leaning them left or right.
Souter was a leftist leaning Justice. Obama has already signaled he will select an activist and partial nominee whom will adhere to a DNC ideology and philosophy and not intimate and in-depth knowledge of the Constitution. This means we will change our an apple for an apple. As the toxic rhetoric of the left has only been amped up since the election victory in November last year we in the center and right have no illusions of following the rules and expectations. Of course to be fair it has been just over a century since this has happened as partisan politics has become a game of back and forth and both majority parties have been consumed by a perpetual cycle of one-ups-manships of tit for tat. So in the grand scale of balance and fairness Souter being replaced by a liberally slanted or even liberal activist justice will be of minimal or no impact on the court as a whole. Those of us in the 44% who did not vote for Obama and those who did not vote do not expect any different, hopefully we can keep growing and expanding our message from the TEA parties that the government works for us all, not just the intellectual elite who believe socialism, nationalizing private sector banking and large scale manufacturing, entitlement expansion, expanding government, burdensome taxation, irresponsible spending, and other liberal ideas that are too detrimental to the freedoms and pursuit of happiness.