Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The last line of defence?

I've avoided weighing in on the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court because unlike Harriet Miers he appears to at least have the basic qualifications required i.e. a demonstrated capacity for jurisprudence and / or legal scholarship. Beyond that I don't believe the confirmation process should be about trying to "stack" the bench with activist judges who will distort the law to favour policies they approve of (I'm not naive enough to believe that's what will happen - I'm talking about how it ought to be).

What concerns me a great deal more is that both Roberts and Alito are simply the latest installment in a long line of judges that fail to appreciate that the US Constitution creates a Federal government of limited and enumerated powers and that Supreme Court is the only real defence the individual citizen has against the inevitable tendency of all governments to want to accumulate a much power as possible to themselves. What we really need are justices who err in favour of the liberties and rights of citizens. What we are getting are justices who have a history of finding in favour of the power of government, something that the current Supreme Court really doesn't need more of.

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