This sounds like an actual progressive stand Obama might be taking. Who’d a thunk it?
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, preparing to make his second nominee to the Supreme Court, warned Wednesday of a “conservative” brand of judicial activism in which the courts are often not showing appropriate deference to the decision of lawmakers.
Obama made clear that his views on judicial restraint are not the only basis he will use in choosing his next nominee for the high court, a decision expected over the next few weeks.
But his comments underscore just how much he thinks courts are being vested with too much power and are overruling legislative will, a factor that will influence his nominee choice.
Obama already has openly criticized the Supreme Court for a January ruling – one led by the court’s conservative members – that allowed corporations and unions to spend freely to influence elections. Obama has vowed to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens with a like-minded justice who will not let powerful interests crowd out voices of ordinary people.
I was heartened the other day to read that Arlen Specter was encouraging him to pick a fighter:
Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, who switched parties last year and is now in a tight Democratic primary race for his seat, said Obama shouldn’t shy away from a political fight.
“There has to be a recognition that the Supreme Court conference room is an ideological battleground,” Specter said. The president should pick justices “who can carry forward the ideological battle on his terms.”