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Buis’ Bits: Quit playin’ games with my court

August 1, 2005

President Bush picked his new nominee for the Supreme Court last Monday.

Before I even get to his name, I might as well mention that I’m insulted by Bush’s choice. I’m not just talking about the nominee, I’m talking more about the timing.

This choice came the Monday after Vice President Dick Cheney’s assistant, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, had been indicted for playing a role in the leak of a CIA operative’s name. This operative’s husband happened to mention that pre-Iraq war claims were trumped up and even wrong.

On the surface, this looks like an attempt to brush the indictment under the rug and away from the 24-hour news cycle. If that’s the case, then I am appalled.

First off, this was a smack to Rosa Parks. She had just laid in state at the U.S. Capitol for six hours and there was a large service being scheduled in Washington D.C. that Tuesday. Sure, it’s important for this country to keep on moving along, especially with issues like the SCOTUS.

However, the fact that something as pivotal as a nominee for a lifetime position on the highest court in the nation happened as a woman who helped turn the tide on legalized bigotry was being honored after her death was a smack on everything she had done.

As if upstaging the mother of the civil rights movement wasn’t bad enough, he nominated a man to the court. This man will replace Sandra Day O’Connor, leaving only one woman on the Supreme Court.

This wouldn’t be nearly that offensive if Harriet Miers hadn’t been thrown up as a half-assed attempt to look like there was actually going to be a woman replacing a woman on the Supreme Court.

After all, a tough job like deciding pivotal cases from all across the country is a man’s job. At least that’s what Miers’ nomination looked like to me.

Why else would you nominate someone with no judicial experience, with no paper trail to give an idea of where this person would vote on key issues and who happens to be a lifetime crony for the president?

As if I wasn’t insulted enough by the fact the president wanted to nominate someone at the time a civil rights icon was being honored and after a lame attempt to look like he wanted a woman on the supreme court, the name finally came down.

Samuel Alito. I had no idea who this man was, so I had to do some digging as to what other people were saying about his positions.

Televangelist Pat Robertson declared Alito’s nomination “a grand-slam home run.” First off, a grand slam is a home run. What he said is just like saying “a home run home run.”

Second, this rave review is coming from the same man who offered this prayer about the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez:

“”We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability…I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it.”

In other words, he’s a burger, fries and a small drink short of a Happy Meal.

Eventually, once Bill “Semi-Blind Trust” Frist and company stopped talking about college yearbooks, Alito’s previous decisions jumped to the forefront and people had a chance just to see where this man sat on the political spectrum.

The big find was Alito’s dissenting opinion in a Pennsylvania case in which he stated that a spouse needed to be notified of an abortion.

It’s a sad day when the idea of a woman’s right to choose to end a pregnancy is the main qualification for a justice on the Supreme Court, especially when so much effort is put into revoking that right and not enough is put into preventing the pregnancies in the first place.

Sex makes babies, not the stork.

In the case of Marbury v. Madison, the duty of the Supreme Court was established:

“It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.”

In other words, the Supreme Court isn’t a place to hold ideological wars. Its nominees and justices are not political tools. Their nominations should not be used as political bishops in the partisan game of chess.