P. 15, AMERICAN
FREE PRESS * July 18 & 25, 2005...
Behind the Scenes
with Michael Collins Piper
GOP Court Justices
Have Liberal Record
By Michael Collins Piper
you think Republican justices on the Supreme Court are going to
“save America and preserve the Constitution,” then think
again. Here are some uncomfortable facts you need to know about.
Since at least 1968 — when George C. Wallace offered up a
populist challenge that threatened to pull the plug on Richard Nixon’s
Republican presidential candidacy, drawing away votes from those
fed up with liberal Democratic Party policies — Republican
Party advocates argued against conservative and populist-minded
voters supporting “third party” and “independent”
Republican campaigners said that voting for a third party candidate
would deny Republicans the presidency and thereby make it possible
for Democratic presidents to “stack” the Supreme Court
with “liberal” justices who would take away American
The argument sounded good to a lot of voters and also helped make
the Reagan and Bush presidencies possible. That same argument undermined
what appeared to be the
legitimate populist challenges at various times, both as a Republican
and as an independent candidate, by syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan.
However, the ultimate result — the real truth of the matter
— is somewhat different in fact.
The National Journal, an “insider”
publication that is much read in Washington, recently let the cat
out of the bag about the rather “liberal” orientation
of the Supreme Court justices appointed by successive Republican
presidents. The Journal’s columnist,
Stuart Taylor Jr. pointed out that retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
— a Reagan appointee — actually voted to order the removal
of a Ten Commandments monument in Texas that, in contrast, to her
supposedly more liberal colleague, Justice Stephen Bryer —
a Bill Clinton appointee — voted to preserve.
Here’s Taylor’s remarkable on-the-mark assessment of
the situation — one that will shock Republican stalwarts who
have no idea how “liberal” the Republican presidential
appointees to the high court have been:
[It] has become increasingly common over the
past two decades to see the woman who was once routinely (if misleadingly)
labeled a member of the court’s conservative bloc siding
with its four most liberal members. She has tipped many a 5-4
decision in their direction, including three big ones this year:
the other Ten Commandments case; a decision expanding educational
institutions’ liability for sex discrimination; and one
overturning a death sentence because of blunders by the defense
conservatives getting liberal.
What's going on here?
O’Connor’s leftward drift helps
account for the supposedly conservative Rehnquist court’s
surprisingly liberal trend in recent years. So do the similar
evolutions of Anthony Kennedy, another Reagan appointee, and John
Paul Stevens, a once-moderate Ford appointee who is now the leader
of the court’s liberal bloc. Not to mention the emergence
of David Souter as a liberal soon after his appointment by the
first President Bush.
The bottom line, according to the Journal
columnist, is that “Republican-appointed justices without
ideological anchors tend to become more liberal over time.”
Essentially — although the Journal
doesn’t say it — the fight over Supreme Court nominees,
which captures the focus of the media monopoly in America, is hardly
more than another device to distract the average American and make
him think that there are substantive differences between the two
major political parties in America. Such phony battles — carried
out as almost a form of public entertainment — help provide
a continuing foundation for the archaic and divisive labels of “right”
and “left” that are used by the political elite in America
to stir conflict among the masses and consolidate their own control
behind the scenes.
The brewing “conflict” that will be
focused on by the media in the events surrounding the replacement
of Justice O’Connor (and then that of Rehnquist, who is ailing
and expected to retire), can be compared to the manner in which
there was a major public fuss over the nomination of John Ashcroft,
a so-called “Christian conservative,” as attorney general
by President George W. Bush.
While “left wing” interest groups
raised a furor against Ashcroft and “right wing” interest
groups raised a banner in his support — both raising big bucks
in the process — key behind-the-scenes players with lots of
political clout, such as Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League,
sent out word that Ashcroft was really “okay” and that
his nomination was to be approved, and it was.
In his first major action as attorney general,
Ashcroft then launched one of the worst raids by the Justice Department
on a Christian church, the Indianapolis Baptist Temple. And then
he presided, in no short time, in the crafting of the Patriot Act,
the worst-ever assault on the American Constitution.
( #29/30.... July 18 & 25, 2005
American Free Press)