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Jewish World Review August 6, 2003 / 8 Menachem-Av, 5763

Laura Ingraham

Laura Ingraham
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Hillary, courtside | What's the problem with a Supreme Court that embraces affirmative action, expands federal power, and declares sodomy to be a Constitutional right? It's "radically conservative," charges Senator Hillary Clinton.

In a speech last week to a liberal lawyers' group she warned that the Court's recent decisions "should not lull us into complacency about the overall direction of American law," which she claims is far-right and (cliché alert!) "out of the mainstream." As part of her dossier of evidence to support this laughable allegation, she trotted out an old standby, the Court's decision in Bush v. Gore, which she claimed made "a mockery of the right to vote."

How does she explain how a "radically conservative" Court could vote 6 to 3 to uphold race-based affirmative action? Easy. She says "it would have been exceptional for this court or any court to contradict the shared views of the nation's most highly respected public and private universities, Fortune 500 companies, even highly decorated military leaders all at once." In other words, in Hillary's world, justices should forget the Constitution and instead just take a poll of ivory tower and business elites (the military example is absurd) in order to arrive at the right result.

But wait--how does Hillary account for how the Rehnquist-controlled right wing Supreme Court could have produced Lawrence v. Texas, where a right to homosexual sodomy was magically culled from our 216 year-old Constitution? Simple. She says the ruling was "hardly surprising" since it is based on "widely held notions of personal freedom and human dignity." Widely held notions? Has this women been outside Manhattan or Washington lately? The Court for Hillary is not an impartial arbiter, it should track elite opinion.

Hillary had the crowd mesmerized when she said that "the power to criminalize private conduct occurring within the confines of own home is not a power consistent with our understanding of what it is to be an American or our legal tradition." What legal tradition? The Court in Lawrence overturned its own 1986 decision in Bowers v. Hardwick! Tradition quickly goes out the window when it stands in the way of elites' social engineering. And Hillary seems to place all conduct beyond the reach of the law as long as it's behind closed doors. She doesn't bother to limit the principle to sexual matters--but seemingly would call into question laws prohibiting everything from using drugs to fixing prices.

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So big deal. Hillary is as left-wing as ever. But don't stop there, because in casting the Court as the great political battleground, Hillary shows how cunning she is as a political strategist. She knows that even if the American voters don't approve of things like gay marriage or bilingual education, courts that are sufficiently liberal might.

Hillary hammers on solid federal appellate nominees like Miguel Estrada and William Pryor because she knows they will not act as super-legislators by treating the Constitution like a piece of Silly Putty. Confirmation gridlock isn't a game. It's political life or death for left-wing Democrats. If they lose the Court, all they're left with are the universities, the media, and the UN.

The danger here for conservatives is that they hear Hillary's complaints about "extreme elements" on the Rehnquist Court and conclude that things can't be so bad. I mean if Hillary thinks the Court is too conservative, that means the Court must be overall on a reasonable course, right? Wrong. That's just what Hillary is hoping for--an unconcerned, uninspired, unmotivated Republican base. If Republicans and moderates are actually led to believe that fighting for the Court and these nominees isn't critical, they'll have fallen into yet another Hillary trap.

President Bush must regularly talk about the importance of the Court--about why the judicial branch matters and why Democrat filibusters against his nominees are so pernicious. If he cedes this territory to Hillary and the Democrats, they will continue to have free reign to whip up the electorate about phantom right-wing extremist judges who want to "turn back the clock" on all of us.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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JWR contributor Laura Ingraham is the host of a radio show syndicated nationally by Westwood One Radio Network and the author of "The Hillary Trap: Looking for Power in All the Wrong Places". Comment by clicking here.

07/30/03: Gray skies just got darker
07/23/03: Sticking it to the Children
07/08/03: He's not invincible
07/01/03: It's time to take back the Constitution
04/01/03: Peter Arnett's MOAB
03/25/03: The Dems' Michael Moore Problem
03/18/03: Dixie Chicken out
03/11/03: The real predator drones
03/04/03: The French PR machine crashes
02/25/03: Keep us safe --- let's be more like Europe!
02/11/03: Hollywood loves dictators
02/05/03: First Amendment frauds in Cincinnati
01/28/03: The elites versus the voters
01/22/03: Playing (and losing) Homeland Security politics
01/14/03: What have you done for the free world lately?
12/17/02: Who is the better leader: Gore or Lott?
12/10/02: Who, more than anyone else, is actively advancing the cause of civil liberties around the world?
12/04/02: 'Tis the season to hope for the worst
11/27/02: The Federal P.C. Police Versus Small Business Owners (Cont'd)
11/19/02: Bipartisan moves to reward illegals
11/13/02: Eminem, a rebel? You gotta be kidding!
11/05/02: In defense of low turnout
10/30/02: Hell, no they won't go!
10/22/02: Where are the moderate Muslims?
10/15/02: California dreaming, cont'd
10/08/02: Slick Willie's running
10/01/02: Euro-worries about wall flower status
09/26/02: How lucky we are that the Straight Talk Express drove off the cliff!
09/18/02: What Jackson and Sharpton know about conservatives
09/12/02: The Today Show v. guns
08/27/02: Bush not attending the UN-sponsored "bash Amerika" conference!?
08/20/02: The NEA: Let the anti-American indoctrination begin!
08/13/02: Bubba's revenge
08/07/02: Bilingual bust continues its drag on our schools
07/30/02: Dems love for big lawyers=big opportunity
07/23/02: No time for vacation
07/16/02: Is Homeland Security all wet?
06/25/02: The firing season has arrived
06/18/02: Picking the next chief
06/11/02: Intelligence coup, with much more to do
06/07/02: The Bush administration's foul ball
05/30/02: Post-feminism in the aftermath of 9-11
05/23/02: The press gunning for Ashcroft
05/19/02: El Jefe basks in Carter's Light
05/15/02: Former presidents who don't understand the word "former"
05/07/02: Ozzy deified, many mortified, drugs glorified?
05/01/02: Bush: "California here I come ... sort of"
04/27/02: The good news about conservatives versus Bush
04/17/02: While the cat's away....
04/09/02: Preview of 2004: See how Dick runs!
01/29/02: A kinder, gentler human-rights violator?
11/27/01: Military tribunals provide streamlined justice
09/07/01: Scariest animal wears pants
08/17/01: Depressed after seeing uncut version of Apocalypse Now --- and for good reason
07/20/01: The other, maybe more important, news
06/22/01: Washington's pro-Bono worship is unnerving
06/01/01: Burying conservatism
05/17/01: Ashcroft's abuse of power

© 2002, Laura Ingraham