Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Both Sides Do It

Recently I sent this Thomas Sowell article to my nephew, who is a sophomore at UCI.

I've decided to share our subsequent correspondence.

I guess turnabout isn't fair play after all?


Hey Scott, I realize I send a lot of stuff and also realize most people don't read everything. I do appreciate that you do read some and hope you find it thought provoking if not the most fascinating material you've ever laid eyes on(!) Black conservatives, like Thomas Sowell, Ward Connerly and especially Clarence Thomas are reviled in the press and academia, so you probably don't get to hear their opinions very often.

I am interpreting your response to Thomas Sowell's article on judges as "both sides do it" when they have the power. This is what your grandmother thinks ("the pendulum swings back and forth") and it drives me crazy. Hopefully my lengthy response won't make this the last question you ask.

I personally don't subscribe to the theory that the two parties are basically mirror images of each other regarding politics and power. However, the differences in the two philosophies is most clear when it comes to the law.

Regardless of your or my personal thoughts on abortion, racial preference, death penalty or same-sex marriage the question is: in a free society who gets to decide such issues; the people or unelected judges?


With the agenda of the political left increasingly rejected by voters at the polls, the only way to get the items on that agenda enacted into law is to have judges who will decree the liberal agenda from the bench.

Think abortion, racial preference, death penalty and same sex-marriage for examples.

Here's Andrew McCarthy:

In a democracy, it is to be presumed that great social conflicts will be resolved democratically. That presumption is not beyond rebuttal, but for it to be overcome there must be unmistakable proof that the dispute at issue was removed from democratic consideration by the Constitution.

President Bush campaigned on the promise of judges who acknowledge and respect objective limits to their awesome powers, rooted in the Constitution as written and in tradition.

The bottom line is liberal judges legislate from the bench. Conservative judges do not. Both sides don't "do it".

Democrats (and even more liberal Republicans like Arlen Spector) and their choice for judges believe in a "living constitution" and get around the constraints of the constitution by cleverly "reinterpreting" the words. Most amazingly they do so openly. The media doesn't care because they subscribe to the same philosophy and support the same issues. Conservative judges believe their power is constrained by the constitution and believe in "original intent". Judge Bork framed this well in his response to a question during his unsuccessful confirmation hearing; "its not my opinion, its the law".

Republicans have been slow figuring this out as evidenced by the horrific Supreme Court appointments of David Souter (Bush Sr.) and Sandra Day O'Connor (Reagan). Democrats meanwhile have long understood the power of the courts and have been staging an unprecedented filibuster of FEDERAL court judges . This is a first in our nation's history and is more evidence why "turnabout isn't fair play after all" is not an accurate depiction of the two parties.

Best regards,

Your uncle Rick


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