Commentary

Reisman: No justice, no peace

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In a shameless act of cultural appropriation, this week’s column title takes the Black Lives Matter / Antifa / “mostly peaceful protesters” mantra of “No Justice, No Peace” and applies it to the current contretemps roiling the nation, the likely replacement of the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) with the notoriously “dogmatic” (at least according to California Sen. Diane Feinstein) Catholic mother of seven, Amy Coney Barrett (ACB).  

According to the left, if Judge Barrett (or any Trump nominee) is confirmed and seated, there will be no justice and no peace because the Supreme Court will be indelibly stained as illegitimate and a violation of democracy. According to the “deplorables,” if Judge Barrett is not confirmed and seated in time to break a 4-4 SCOTUS tie on whether or not we can keep counting ballots until the left has bought, manufactured, found and/or unsuppressed enough votes to defeat President Trump, the consequences of no justice will be no peace.

The role reversals of hypocritical politicians plaintively whining about precedent, fairness, President Obama’s thwarted nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016, the Biden rule, the McConnell rule, Kavanaugh, believe all women, Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, Abe Fortas and constitutional duty brings to mind the famous scene from Casablanca where Captain Renault closes down Rick’s with the following exchange:

Renault: “I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.”
Croupier: “Your winnings, sir.”
Renault: “Oh, thank you very much.”

Replace “gambling” with “politics and the pursuit of power” and you have all you need to know. The increasing power of SCOTUS to make law and policy, coupled with congressional inability or unwillingness to do the same, has led to this point. The unelected and unaccountable Court, not Congress, decides policy on abortion, marriage, immigration, climate change, election process, speech, religion and more.

Further, there is a judicial activism leftist ratchet effect. Liberal appointees may use judicial activism and a “living” Constitution to create new law and precedent, but conservative appointees may not reverse precedents…ever. Thus, the Court steadily ratchets the country leftward.

The ugliness of the Kavanaugh hearings and the end of any bipartisan support for qualified nominees if they are conservative will be repeated this time around. In the future, I expect conservatives, who have now woken to the fact that the left will not vote for a qualified conservative, will start to return the favor.

Perhaps future liberal clones of Obama appointees Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor will not garner Republican support to ratchet America leftwards. I wish Sen. Susan Collins had asked Speaker Gideon in the debates if she would have voted (as Collins did) for Justices Kagan and Sotomayor.

Senator Collins did get a non-answer from Speaker Gideon on the question of Chief Justice Roberts, who was qualified, has been a big disappointment to conservatives, but is probably not liberal enough to garner any Democratic support were he to be nominated today.

Reprinted with permission from the September 29 edition of The Machias Valley News Observer.

About Jonathan Reisman

Jon Reisman is an associate professor of economics and public policy at the University of Maine at Machias. He speaks for himself.

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