Monday, April 11, 2005

The Nuclear Option: Mickey Kaus Weighs In

One of my favorite liberal bloggers is Mickey Kaus of kausfiles. He's got some interesting thoughts up on the 'nuclear option' debate. This is a subject I haven't mentioned at all, up to now, as both sides have seemed to be pretty well exhaustively covered. Kaus's post is an exception, though, raising some intriguing points I haven't heard before.

For the record, I would like to see the impasse resolved without going nuclear, but, as with the conservatives in academia debate, the best way to avoid extreme measures from one side is to restrain from them on the other. The criteria for rejecting judges seems to have far more to do with ideology than ability, knowledge, and competence; and that's a reflection of just how activist the judiciary has become. In the perfect world (unattainable, but why not reach for it?), ideology wouldn't enter the courtroom; decisions would rest solely upon solid legal foundations.

This is the problem I have with Roe v. Wade; legal abortions are probably inevitable, and maybe that's a good thing, considering the alternative (though I could never support them with the fervor of those on the Left who seem to feel that any common sense restriction, such as parental notification, is equivalent to the enslavement of womankind). Regardless, Roe was the worst kind of judicial overreach, inventing a constitutional right to privacy out of whole cloth, and, I suspect, forever injecting extreme partisanship into the judiciary. Even if you support the outcome, bad law makes a bad precedent by definition.

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