Monday, February 02, 2009

Supremely out of balance

The New York Times had a good article yesterday illustrating just how far to the right the Supreme Court is skewed today. A recent study shows that four of the five most conservative justices since 1937 are currently on the Court - No. 1 Clarence Thomas, No. 3 Antonin Scalia, No. 4. John Roberts Jr. and No. 5 Samuel Alito. Anthony Kennedy comes in at No. 10.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the top liberals on the Supreme Court since 1937, we currently have just one in the Top 10 - Ruth Bader Ginsburg at No. 9.
And when you consider that the people most likely to step down from the Supreme Court in the next few years - John Paul Stevens, David Souter and Ginsberg - are all from the liberal wing, that means Obama won’t have much of a chance to correct that conservative imbalance unless he appoints someone who is very, very liberal.
And so that is just what Obama needs to do when the time comes. Appoint a liberal lion in the mold of Thurgood Marshall or William Brennan. Someone who will be as far to the left as Clarence Thomas, Scalia, Roberts and Alito are to the right.
Don’t worry whether the person is “too liberal”. They need to be “too liberal” just to begin to bring back some semblance of balance to the Court.

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