Friday, April 9, 2010

Justice Stevens And Citizens United

With the announcement today that Jusice John Paul Stevens will be retiring this summer there is rampant speculation about who President Obama will select to replace him. Of course the other speculation is about how, not if but how, Senate Republicans will oppose whomever he nominates. But I will say this much and I hope Senate Democrats get this, they have the upper hand now. Last year all throughout Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation process the Republicans kept trying to paint her as an "activist" judge who would rewrite law to fit her world view. It didn't stop her nomination, but I think it did do some damage to her in terms of public perception and also to President Obama as well for nominating her.

Well now the tides have turned in my opinion with the Citizens United decision handed down by the conservative, read Republican, majority on the Supreme Court. By over turning basically 100 years of case law not only did these judges serve as "activists", but they also pissed off the majority of the American people who don't want Congressional and Presidential races to turn into a situation where the corporations by all or most of the elections. Democrats should have a "wish a muthafucka would" mentality right now, hoping and praying that the Republicans are stupid enough to try to use that talking point again. Every time it comes up they should hammer them mercilessly about the Citizens United decision which not only will serve to protect whomever President Obama nominates, but will also serve to permanently connect the GOP to that decision. Basically they could kill two birds with one stone by helping the nominee and by making it a campaign issue.

Now there is a small chance that Republicans won't actually use that tact this go around, but I highly doubt it. These are not smart people for the most part and so their playbook isn't very large. You take away the "activist judges" talking point and what do they have left? Not much.

It will be interesting to see if Democrats finally take the opportunity to go on the offense instead of sitting on the sidelines or strictly playing defense.

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