Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Calculus Of Despotism

Weak-minded public servants become despots because once appointed for life they can do whatever they want without retribution. Their strong-minded fellows stay true to their values.

Based on history, what's the chance that Roberts will stay conservative when he's installed on SCOTUS? Sadly, it's only a bit better than evens. So Republicans need a Congressional super-majority to impose the long-suppressed will of the American people.

Consider these quotes from Ann Coulter:

"He's a scholarly man; he has a good education; he has been recommended by legal authorities; he has a good record in lower courts." — President Bush

"This decision had the advantage of being acceptable to conservatives, plus Democrats won't be able to attack him. There is nothing to grab a hold of, to whack him on." — An administration official

"Virtually every conservative who knows him trusts him and thinks he's a competent guy." —Newt Gingrich

"This guy is a complete S.O.B. of a conservative and you can't prove it." — P.J. O'Rourke

They're talking about Souter, who was appointed by Bush senior and went on to become a classic despot.

I've run the trusty spreadsheet over the rest of the crew, using the cornerstone of Anglo-Saxon democracy - the right to hold property. Last month SCOTUS overturned this in Kelo v. New London, voting as follows:

Abridge property rights: Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsberg, Breyer
Protect property rights: O'Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas

The color-coding shows if they were appointed by a Democrat or Republican President.

Of the 7 Republican-appointed members of SCOTUS, 3 (Stevens, Souter, Kennedy) have abandoned their core values. Which means Roberts is almost evens to end up voting the left's agenda - against marriage, for pedophile rights, against the US military, etc..

a) SCOTUS has grown too powerful and Congress must limit it.
b) Republicans must get super-majorities in both houses of Congress to do this.