Activist Judges

July 1st, 2010

A follow-up to my piece yesterday and other posts about the Supreme Court, inspired by Senator Sessions’ comment during the first day of hearings (quoted below), Kagan’s Conservative Friends Support Nomination ( 5/14/10), Kagan and Graham Debate: What is an “Activist Judge”? ( 6/30/10), Supreme Court ‘activism’ is in the eye of the beholder ( 7/01/10), and this Huffington Post article.

“Throughout her career, Ms. Kagan has associated herself with well-known activist judges who have used their power to redefine the meaning of the words of our Constitution and laws in ways that, not surprisingly, have the result of advancing that judge’s preferred social policies and agenda.” – Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Republican Jeff Sessions (R-AL) during the first day of hearings (Washington Post 6/29/10)

“An activist judge is something none of us like, apparently. Nobody on that side likes it, and nobody on our side likes it.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) yesterday

“She has had a remarkable and truly unusual record of reaching out across ideological divides.” — former federal appeals court judge (nominated by GB2) Michael McConnell praising Kagan (

I agree completely with what Senator Sessions

Said the other day during the confirmation sessions.

In fact, it has recently been revealed

That Kagan is friends with a judge whose activism is unconcealed.

In stunning testimony before Congress that Kagan’s doom clearly portends,

Justice Antonin Scalia revealed that he and Comrade Kagan are friends.

Surely this association with that most activist of judges

Proves Kagan one of those activists the Right begrudges.

That alone should be reason to tell her “goodbye, we’ll see ya”

(And while we’re at it, impeach Justice Scalia).

And something almost as damning, from the right-wing perspective,

A clear violation of the most important GOP directive:

Kagan is known for “reaching out across ideological divides,”

Trying to step across the gulf which the country divides.

That kind of thing tempts Republicans to fraternization,

Which opens them up to the “RINO” allegation.

In the GOP view, Dems and true Repubs can’t co-exist:

Cooperation is political death (just ask Charlie Crist).

Sessions also said Kagan “barely practiced law and not with the intensity and duration from which I think real legal understanding occurs,”

As opposed to the long-term practice of law that his own understanding confers.

As far as I can tell from his Wikipedia page, Sessions practiced law for all of two years,

Which was more than enough “real legal understanding” for him, it appears.

I think the real reason for the Senator’s hostility

Is his own ego’s fragility.

He’s still angry from when Reagan nominated him for the US District Court in 1986

And the Senate Judiciary Committee proceeded, his nomination to nix.

That happened in spite of the committee’s Republican majority,

Just the second time in 48 years that a nomination was killed in committee.

The ABA, after heated debating

Had given Sessions a “qualified” (as in barely) rating.

Some members rated him “not qualified,”

But that’s not the reason his nomination was denied.

Four DOJ lawyers Sesions worked with heard him make racist observations,

Not a good tactic for facilitating judicial confirmations.

(A black Assistant US Attorney testified Sessions called him “boy” and said ‘be careful what you say to white folks,”

And that Sessions said he thought the KKK was great, until he found out that the average KKKer pot smokes.)

So Senator Sessions, please don’t hold a grudge.

You’re happier as a Senator than you would have been

…As an activist judge.

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