Carol Platt Liebau: Deliberately Ignorant?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Deliberately Ignorant?

Obviously mindful of the political blowback potential in following their hearts and opposing Judge Alito, W.Va. Senator Robert Byrd and S.D. Senator Tim Johnson, both Democrats, will support him, according to this piece.

But it be worth asking them whether they agree with what seems like a wilfully ignorant and misleading comment from their colleague Dianne Feinstein, who characterizes Judge Alito as an "originalist" and then adds:

If an originalist analysis was applied to the Fourteenth Amendment, women would not be provided equal protection under the Constitution, interracial marriages could be outlawed, schools could still be segregated and the principle of one man, one vote would not govern the way we elect our representatives.

She is wrong on many levels. For one, she's confusing "originalism" with "strict construction" as even a bit of cursory research would reveal. For another, originalist analysis doesn't compel particular outcomes, as she suggests. For yet another, the constitutional amendments that have passed in the intervening years since the Constitution's drafting inform justices' interpretations of what "equal protection" means in both the sexual and racial context, and no one in the American mainstream holds the views she attributes to originalists, as she well knows.

Finally, the statement just shameless demagoguery. It's similar to the quality of analysis that would argue that justices who believe in a "living Constitution" can find entitlements to free housing, healthcare and Chevrolets -- with a right to bigamy thrown in for good measure -- in the Constitution. Not credibly. Not at all.

So much for Feinstein's insistence that she's an independent voice. Sounds to me like she's lifted talking points from the hard left.


Blogger Roy Lofquist said...

Dear Carol,

I have been listening to politicians for more than 50 years. It is often difficult to tell the difference between a thoughtful statement and a staff generated boilerplate.

On balance I'll take GWB anytime. At least his responses address the question posed.


12:59 PM  

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