Thomas Sowell

 Another Anthony Kennedy might fool enough conservatives and appease enough liberals to get confirmed without a big political fight but our children and our children's children would end up paying the price in decisions as weak, vacillating -- and dangerous -- as those which Justice Kennedy has rendered.

 President Bush has taken the long view on many issues that he could easily have avoided and saved himself political trouble, including Social Security and drilling for oil in Alaska. So there is hope that he will be prepared to spend some political capital in a tough Senate confirmation fight by nominating someone with both dedication to the Constitution and the strength of character to ignore the pressures and temptations to go along with fashionable "mainstream" judicial activism.

 Whether Senate Republicans will have the fortitude and unity to make their majority mean something is another question. The McCain mutiny and sellout against the Republican attempt to stop Senate filibusters by Democrats is a sign that this may be the weak link in any attempt to restore the rule of law in our courts.

 Another weak link are those people who think that the Senate should not "waste" so much time over judicial nominees but instead devote its efforts to other things that are considered to be the "real" issues of the day.

 Recent Supreme Court decisions, of which the one destroying homeowners' property rights was only the most outrageous, should be enough to make clear that the real issue is preserving the Constitution.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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