September 22, 2004


Missing - A Media Focus on the Supreme Court (Norman Solomon, Media Beat )

Already, Bush's impacts on the judiciary have been appreciable. Like the members of the Supreme Court, the federal judges on appeals and district court benches are appointed for life -- and in less than four years, Bush has chosen almost a quarter of all those judges nationwide.

Dahlia Lithwick, a legal analyst with Slate, notes that "Bush has already had a chance to massively reshape the lower federal bench. He's now filled 200 seats" -- with judges who'll have far-reaching effects. "He has certainly put a lot of people onto the federal bench who have sort of litmus tests on issues like abortion, on issues like civil rights. And I think we are going to see -- in the far future, but not today -- the fallout of a massive, massive influx of quite conservative jurists who've been put on the bench in the last four years."

As opponents of abortion rights, civil liberties, gay rights and other such causes work to gain a second term for George W. Bush, they try not to stir up a mass-media ruckus that might light a fire under progressives about the future of the Supreme Court and the rest of the federal judiciary. Likewise, those on the left who don't want to back Kerry even in swing states are inclined to dodge, or fog over, what hangs in the balance. Kerry is hardly a champion of a progressive legal system, but the contrast between his centrist orientation and the right-wing extremism of the Bush-Cheney regime should be obvious. It's too easy to opt for imagined purity while others will predictably have to deal with very dire consequences.

"The popular constituency of the Bush people, a large part of it, is the extremist fundamentalist religious sector in the country, which is huge," Noam Chomsky said in a recent interview with David Barsamian. "There is nothing like it in any other industrial country."

Note the disconnect here--as Mr. Chomsky says, there's a huge popular constituency for the conservative position on social issues, effectively undercutting Mr. Solomon's argument that the two candidates have an equal interest in keeping court picks off the public radar.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 22, 2004 12:19 PM

Quoting Noam Chomsky? He's the most debunked, disproven, and hysterical of the radical, fascist, leftist, pseudo-intellectual elites. ?? Nihlism at its best - Keep looking in the mirror and getting yourself sick....

Posted by: Jerry at September 22, 2004 3:15 PM

Noam Chomsky considers Hanoi John a centrist. Imagine what that makes Noam Chomsky.

Posted by: Lou Gots at September 22, 2004 3:30 PM


He's far more interesting than that. He's generally right as to facts just wrong as to the conclusions that should be drawn.

Posted by: oj at September 22, 2004 3:57 PM

Chomsky, Rall and Gore 2.0 all are tighly wrapped in the Left's grapevine. They honestly reveal widespread ideas and attitudes more careful partisans like the old Gore keep hidden.

Posted by: Ripper at September 23, 2004 12:03 AM