Friday, September 16, 2005

Liberals and the Rule of Law

Liberals never quit. They defended Clinton because his "heart was in the right place" when it came to women, even though he was blatantly guilty of the anti-feminist sin of sexual predation. Republicans cried "rule of law," but Democrats weren't buying it, because Clinton -- the sexual predator -- was their man. In other words, liberals believe in neither the rule of law nor in any principle that can't be sacrificed to their agenda of the moment, whether it's keeping a law-breaking president in the White House or stealing an election by interpreting hanging chads.

Now comes Dahlia Lithwick of Slate to tell us why Judge John Roberts isn't fit to be Chief Justice:

All afternoon, witnesses have been testifying back and forth about John Roberts. His supporters call him brilliant and kind and diligent and principled. His detractors mostly say he doesn't get it. . . .

Back and forth the witnesses go—Roberts is great/Roberts doesn't get it—never really acknowledging that they are not disagreeing; that it's possible to be kind and smart and to believe in the rule of law and also not to get it.

Because the "it" in question has nothing to do with the rule of law. It's about something I might call "law-plus"—the idea that the rule of law, in and of itself, has not always made this country fair. . . .

John Roberts isn't a fan of law-plus. In fact, the unbounded nature of judicial power under law-plus is probably what drove him into the boiler room of the Reagan administration in the first place. Time and again he scolds the senators: If you want your statute to provide money damages, write it that way; if you want your legislation to implicate interstate commerce, write it that way. For Roberts, it is not the courts' responsibility to make statutes effective. It is not even the courts' responsibility to make the world fair. . . .

The problem isn't whether John Roberts can be principled and fair on a thoroughly passive court. I'm sold on that. It's whether a thoroughly passive court can ever truly be principled and fair.

In sum, the law be damned, just give us what we want and call it "fair."

Rejection of the rule of law, which is what Lithwick and her ilk openly propound, means that no one knows what the rules are and that government can do anything it wants. If a judge says it's right to take property away from homeowners and give it to developers, that's "fair." If a judge says that it's right to discriminate against white persons because they aren't black, that's "fair." Fair to whom? Fair to whomever liberals want to favor on any given day: Bill Clinton, developers, blacks upon whose votes they count, and on and on.

In the end, the liberal schema leaves all of us adrift, except for those in the inner circle, who are clued in from day to day as to what's considered fair. The rest of us -- black and white, rich and poor, rural and urban, religious and irreligious -- must muddle along wondering what twist the law is going to take today. Will it follow the Constitution and laws made pursuant to the Constitution, or will it veer off in a new direction, favoring the liberal community's cause du jour and leaving the rest of us in the lurch -- without the education for which we are qualified, without the job for which we are qualified, and without the home in which we had hoped to spend our remaining years.

If you don't like the law, get the legislature to change it, or get the legislature and the people to amend the constitutional meta-law. That's too hard for liberals, who prefer a "fair" judge who will simply change the law without the bother of legislating and amending. And why is that? Because liberals know that in many instances they wouldn't get what they want. And, guess what, that wouldn't be "fair."

You see, "fairness" is a shell game. And the owner of the game always wins. That's the liberal agenda. To win, and screw anyone who gets in the way. "Fairness" is fair only to liberals, and that's the way they want it.

So the next time a liberal tells you "it's only fair," ask "fair to whom?"