Monday, October 27, 2008
The Mask Slips
If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.How, after reading this, can any self-described conservative or libertarian vote for Obama? Can you imagine the damage that will be done if he appoints Supreme Court justices that follow this judicial philosophy?
While I agree it does not say what the government must do on your behalf, did he entertain the notion that this was on purpose?!
Do you think he's saying the Court should have ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth? Because he didn't say that or imply it.
He says that the courts stayed away from saying what the govt must do on your behalf.
That those things should have, and alas were not, taken up by communities and local organizations.
As i understand his statements I gotta side with JA here (not that we're keeping score or anything, just sayin)
Also, his comments on the Warren Court spook me.
You're a lawyer. You should be able to parse a sentence without reading all kinds of nonsense between the lines. He said approximately the opposite of what you think he said, and it's right there in black and white.
If you want to be spooked by his defense of the Warren Court, fine, but the idea that he is "lamenting" anything is coming from your head and not the text.
Obama: “Maybe i am showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but you know, I am not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts,” he said. “You know the institution just isn’t structured that way. Just look at very rare examples where during he desegregation era the court was willing to, for example, order … changes that cost money to local school district[s], and the court was very uncomfortable with it. It was hard to manage, it was hard to figure out, you start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that is essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time. The court is not very good at it, and politically it is hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So I think that although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally, I think any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts, I think that as a practical matter that our institutions are just poorly equipped to do it.”
So he's against the courts redistributing wealth. Can you admit you were duped by the right-wing media now?
I'd be a whole lot happier if he was against redistribute wealth, period.
I wasn't duped, I tried adding my own commentary.
It didn't work.