A NEW SYSTEM FOR PICKING
SUPREME COURT JUSTICES
So…the Democrats have dug up another Anita Hill — a politically motivated woman who suddenly remembers some dastardly act on the part of a Supreme Court nominee years after the time it’s alleged to have happened.
Goes to show how powerful are the psychological forces that can suppress traumatic memories until just the moment when their reemergence hinders the plans of a Republican President.
History does repeat itself.
I, for one, think this is for the best, because it lends support to an idea I’ve been mulling over about a better system for staffing the Supreme Court.
Forget about finding Harvard- or Yale-trained lawyers who’ve worked their way up through the ranks of the Federal judiciary. I propose that we select Justices more in the manner of how the Dalai Lama is chosen: by signs and portents.
We establish a bipartisan commission whose only task is to track down and examine newborn babies. A constant search is maintained for those rare children — male or female, any race, ethnicity or religious background; doesn’t matter — who are born with a mark resembling the scales of justice on their little bottoms.
The infants are immediately removed from their parents’ care to be raised in a special, monastery-like facility isolated from contact with the outside world.
Oh, their parents can visit them on Christmas, Rash Hashanah, and other selected holidays. But the rest of the time, they’re immersed in study of Blackstone’s Commentaries on English Common Law, the history of the American Revolution, and other such arcane subjects.
When they’ve grown to maturity (designated as 55 or older) and a vacancy occurs on the Court, one of these candidates is appointed, and the system goes on.
But, you object, anyone raised like that would be ignorant of ordinary life and the challenges we all face. They couldn’t possibly be representative of the American people.
Which is precisely my point. They wouldn’t be representative of the people, because Supreme Court justices aren’t supposed to represent the people.
Supreme Court justices represent The Constitution.
But, but, you sputter, how could a new law or program ever be introduced into our system of government? How could the nation ever make any progress?
By structuring those laws or programs in ways that are consistent with Constitutional precepts as the Constitution’s framers would have understood them. That’s called the doctrine of Original Intent.
But, but, but, you stammer, conditions change over time. Language changes over time. We can’t allow the nation’s forward march to be hobbled by the expectations of the 18th Century. The Constitution has to reflect change. It must be elastic.
The Constitution must be unmoving. We have to accept what its words meant at the time they were written. Otherwise there’s no reliable standard by which to understand what The Constitution means. Our system of government can thus be distorted and corrupted by the most powerful or influential faction.
Which is pretty much the situation we’re in right now.
Why is this — the most basic precept of our nation — so hard to understand?
Yet we lost our understanding of it a long time ago. Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the Court. Subsequent Presidents, of either party, have tried to select justices that reflect their own ideological predilections.
Today Constitutionalism is considered some kind of intellectual relic. A bit of historical naiveté. Even quaint.
And so the Supreme Court hangs on unsubstantiated allegations about Brett Kavanaugh’s high-school-age libidinal excesses. Just as it hung on lurid fancies about Coke cans decorated with pubic hairs when Clarence Thomas was running the confirmation gauntlet.
History does repeat itself, and we’re caught in the loop — rather like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day.”
Enough with confirmation hearings!
It’s time for a change. A diaper change.
Those of you with newborns, check your baby’s bottom.
The future of the nation depends on it.