For as long as we can remember, the U.S. Supreme Court has included at least one military veteran. Recent examples include Republican-appointed Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who died in 2005, and Justice John Paul Stevens, who is expected to resign this year.
The Democrats have not placed a veteran on the Supreme Court in nearly half a century. When President Obama fills Stevens' seat, will the High Court be left without anyone who has military experience?
Veterans in the U.S. Senate should make sure that such an embarrassment does not occur. Cases concerning the military appear every year before the Supreme Court, and our nation will not be well-served by a court lacking in military experience.
"Somebody was saying that there ought to be at least one person on the court who had military experience," Stevens himself declared in a recent interview. "I sort of feel that it is important. I have to confess that."
Stevens is a liberal, but he loves our nation as veterans do. In 1989 in Texas v. Johnson, Stevens dissented when the Supreme Court by 5-to-4 OK-ed a so-called free-speech right to burn the American flag.
Stevens wrote: "The case has nothing to do with 'disagreeable ideas.' It involves disagreeable conduct that, in my opinion, diminishes the value of an important national asset."
Obama's disdain for the military is no secret, and the leading names on his short list for possible Supreme Court appointment are as anti-military as he is. The number of veterans in Congress has declined to about 21 percent, but that's enough for them to make a public demand that high court diversity include a veteran.
Elena Kagan, who tops Obama's short list, banned military recruiters from the Harvard Law School campus where she was the dean. She defied the Solomon Amendment, passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton, which requires withholding federal funds from any schools that exclude the military from their campuses.
Kagan even signed a legal brief claiming that the Solomon Amendment was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court rejected that argument by an 8-to-0 vote.
Next on Obama's list of nominees is Diane Wood, perhaps better known as the "Ghost of Harry Blackmun." She had clerked for Justice Blackmun and now sides with the abortion industry, as her mentor Blackmun did.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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