With conservatives like these on the Court, who needs a liberal?
By Marianne M. Jennings
One can only hope alleged conservative justice Sandra Day O'Connor retires while Mr. Bush is president. Mr. Bush could then appoint a liberal and get better decisions than O'Connor, a Reagan appointee, cobbles together. Bucking for her place in history as the
great compromiser, O'Connor has been lured by the adulation of the left.
Her recent majority opinion in the case on racial preferences in University of Michigan admissions programs offers classic liberal dogma: convoluted, confusing, condescending, complicated, and clearly in defiance of the Framers' notions about equality.
This decision and its dicta explain why so many liberals are in therapy. They cannot make decisions because absolutes offend their secular, but environmentally conscientious, souls. Ask a liberal, "If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there, does it still make a sound?" and he/she/it will be gripped by all manner of neurosis, including effervescent guilt. The ecolibernetsia will fret over your simple question, "Did the BLM authorize the felling of trees? Did an SUV do this? No urban urchins enjoying the forest primeval through our government programs were harmed were they? Why is the forest vacant? Did an all-terrain vehicle make too much noise? We should litigate."
Ask a conservative the same and the response is simple, "Bully! Thank the heavens that a tree fell because it's the only forest management we'll ever see."
O'Connor's opinion reeks of liberal hand-wringing and intellectual-mess-writing. Unable to state without equivocation that racial preferences are wrong, O'Connor meanders about the fields of logic with back-flips, allemande and a dosido. It's logic from the Iraq war family of liberal thought, "Of course Saddam must go, but war is wrong." Just how does one remove a despot with WMD? Via a panty raid?
O'Connor concedes that relying on racial preferences is "potentially so dangerous." But, the legally blond O'Connor spouts, "Let's so do it anyway." O'Connor does assign a due date for achieving "cross-racial diversity" in law schools, "We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary." All will be well at the quarter of the century mark after the 50-year mark of Brown v. Bd. Of Education. Voila!
Free at last, free at last, free from racial preferences, after a 75-year stint with quotas.
The timeline was just the warm-up for O'Connor's Constitutional bulldozer. She moves on to defy gravity with ratios, proportions, and diversity percentages in law school admissions. A 16-seat quota is malum prohibitum, but the Michigan admissions officers keeping a daily tally on the race make-up of their incoming class is hunky dory. O'Connor wants law schools to achieve "critical mass." Critical mass must be what happens when liberals shift all their paradigms into one huge ball of guilt.
O'Connor defers to university officials' judgment for achieving "critical mass," which seems to require an appropriate percentage of minorities. How many minorities does it take to sensitize a law school class of white future accident lawyers who aspire to billboards on the freeways (WFALBs)? University administrators seem less clear than O'Connor on critical mass.
In Michigan's 2000 applicant pool, 12 Hispanics were considered from the under-the-159-LSAT-category-special-admissions-program, but only 2 were admitted. All 12 of the black applicants in 2000 in the 159-LSAT category were admitted. In the 151-153-LSAT category, one of 16 Hispanics and 14 of 23 blacks gained admission. Native Americans were shorted with only 5 admits in 2000. Reservation blight is not as critically amassing as ghetto deprivation.
Liberals land us in this and other legal quagmires because they shun absolutes.
Preferences are wrong, period. Thanks to O'Connor's swing vote and so-called "voice of reason," we face with 25 years of confusion and litigation over the number of admits who are 8-Milers from Detroit vs. Navajo from Arizona.
O'Connor's compromises hand us legal nightmares. Her labors, as it were, on abortion place the court in the ludicrous position of debating the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and soon, the medical complexities of partial-birth abortion. Abortion is wrong, period. Easy decision, Trot down the path of lesser rules and you create confusion and ongoing litigation. Relativism has no ending. Twenty-five years from now and beyond, we will still be litigating both abortion and critical mass racial preferences.
Merit in admissions is the great equalizer, period. Such absolute simplicity paralyzes the liberal mind. So, upper class white guys and gals, O'Connor, Ginsberg, Souter, et al., raised in privilege and on Martha's Vineyard vacations, impose confusion. Clarence Thomas, the Court's one black, from rural Georgia, issued a scathing dissent in the Michigan case with a simple absolute: racial preferences are wrong, period. Not bad for a cum laude from Holy Cross.
O'Connor now has her place in history. Liberals chortle all the way to abortion clinics and racial quotas because they have their useful idiot in tow. With conservatives like O'Connor, who needs a liberal on the court?
Jewish World Review contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University.
Source: Jewish World Review