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Agin 'em

"Conservatives Map Strategies on Court Fight" in a Sunday New York Times article by Charlie Savage about a Republican plan to to fight President Obama's Supreme Court choice. No, these senators do not know who the nominee will be. They apparently think, however, that she is more than likely to be a woman because their research focuses on ten females while dealing lugubriously with about 20 male contenders.

Nominees to the federal judiciary require the "advice and consent of the Senate." But this is not what motivates the G.O.P. They are intending to campaign against any Obama nominee whoever he or she is. Why? Savage writes, "they say they hope to mount a fight that could refill depleted coffers and galvanize a movement demoralized by Republican electoral defeats." Here's how Richard Viguerie puts it, "It's an immense opportunity to build the conservative movement and identify the troops out there...It's a massive teaching moment for America. We've got the packages written. We're waiting right now to put a name in."

Now, presumably, these Republicans are partisans of the "original intent" school of constitutionalism. How does this nutsy behavior comport with the concept of "advice and consent" in the constitution?

An adjoining piece by Eric Lichtblau, "Potential Justice's Appeal May Be Too Bipartisan," shows that nuttiness also flourishes on the left.  Apparently there is a campaign being waged within Democratic ranks against Elena Kagan, the present solicitor general, former dean of the Harvard Law School and an immensely brilliant and persuasive thinker. And talker. I knew her a little bit in Cambridge.

Kagan actually appears on the right-wing list of ten which should reassure the left-wing. But it doesn't. Why not? She received a standing ovation from the Federalist Society. Heavens!  As it happens, the sheer idea of her being one of the Supremes angers Michael Ratner, the executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has a distinctive ideological history all its own. Yes, I am afraid so. Its roots are in the Communist Party. It was first called the Law Center for Constitutional Rights and dropped the word "Law" from its name when it merged with the Emergency Civil Liberties Union. You might term both of them "fellow-traveling." But that would be fudging. In any case, these two organizations shared founders and patrons who include Corliss Lamont, Morton Stavis, Arthur Kinoy, Leonard Boudin and William Kunstler. Look them up...anywhere.  One thing they were not were civil liberterians. They were for civil liberties only in America and the West while  defending among the most vicious regimes in human history, including Soviet Russia and People's China and their emulators. They defended these tyrannies without irony and without shame.

They have pulled the wool over America's eyes. But maybe not quite.They are left-wing sectarians actually with blood on their--no, not hands, but souls. They should not determine who is designated for the Supreme and also who is not.