Rich Lowry

The logic of the Democratic position entails a kind of inverse Leninism ? better is worse. The more attractive a nominee's personal story, the more imperative it is to oppose him or (especially) her. Democrats might have filibustered California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown anyway, but her fate was surely and truly sealed by the fact that she is black, was raised by sharecroppers in segregationist Alabama, and worked her way through law school as a single mother after her first husband died. This background screams "attractive U.S. Supreme Court nominee." So for the left, Brown is "a dangerous black woman."

Because Democrats have used unprecedented judicial filibusters to block the nominees, they have had to apply red-hot rhetoric to justify themselves. Priscilla Owen might have been a garden-variety conservative if she had a Y chromosome, but as a woman she is deemed an "extremist" undeserving of an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. The evidence adduced to support this charge is primarily her decisions on the Texas supreme court in cases involving the state's parental-notification statute. She ruled with the majority in nine out of 12 such cases, hardly a sign of runaway judicial extremism.

When it comes to Owen, Brown, or presumably other compelling conservative women appellate nominees, Democrats have a simple message: "You've come a long way, baby. Go no further."

Rich Lowry

Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years .
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