Liberal fringe groups, politicians and editorial writers have been coming out of the woodwork urging the Senate to reject the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court because, they say, he is outside the mainstream.
The New York Times characterizes Judge Alito's views as "radical." In assessing its claim, we should know whether the paper is talking about his judicial or political philosophy. If the Times accepted the court's role as an interpreter, not maker, of laws, Alito's political views would be irrelevant.
But they matter enormously to liberals. They want judges who are political and judicial liberals -- that is, judges who will bastardize the Constitution to impose the liberal policy agenda. Judge Alito fails both tests.
Though presumably a political conservative, he would not legislate a conservative policy agenda from the bench. But this provides little comfort to liberals because if Alito, in dispassionately interpreting the Constitution, would roll back any of the court's liberal, activist decisions, he is a menace.
The possibility that he could vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade makes liberals apoplectic. Since he won't promise to misread the Constitution to contain a federal right to privacy, he is an extremist.
Isn't it interesting that liberals don't even bother any longer to defend Roe as good law? Even they know the Supreme Court manufactured out of whole cloth the constitutional right to privacy.
Instead, they have developed a latter-day affinity for stare decisis, or "established" precedent. But isn't it odd to hear zealous proponents of a living, breathing Constitution demanding that we rigidly adhere to bad law because it is now institutionally enshrined?
The truth is, they couldn't care less about precedent unless it conveniently supports the result they prefer. Someday, their loyalty to Roe may be put to an interesting test if one of the major bases upon which it legitimizes abortion -- the unviability of the "fetus" -- is rendered obsolete, as some argue it is already, by medical and technological advancements.