Take Your Pick
Anyway, I really wanted to highlight the portion of the debate about Supreme Court Justices (editorial comments in bold)...
MODERATOR: And, Governor Richardson, we're going to start with you. The question is your model Supreme Court justice?I was a little shocked when Richardson picked White. Justice White was a Kennedy appointee, but he was hardly a liberal. While he was a supporter of certain Democrat-favored policies like affirmative action, he railed against substantive due process. He dissented in Roe and wrote the majority opinion in Bowers v Hardwick. He would hardly be the poster boy for the judicial philosophy of the modern Democratic Party.
RICHARDSON: It would be Justice "Whizzer" White. White hated that nickname. Zombie Justice White is rising from the grave to seek vengeance on Richardson as I type this.
MODERATOR: How about someone who is among the living?
RICHARDSON: It would be -- in this particular case, Judge Ginsburg, who said that this was an erosion of a woman's right to chose and degraded the ability of a woman to protect herself health wise.
Again, name or pass, Senator Dodd?
DODD: Well, I would mention Justice Brennan, but you've excluded him...
DODD: ... because of obvious reasons.
And I would agree with the choice made by -- Justice Ginsburg. I think she was eloquent in her dissent in this opinion, and certainly someone that I would -- I would respect.
MODERATOR: And, Senator Edwards?
EDWARDS: I missed it. No past justices? "I missed it?" What was he doing, playing with his iPod? Pay attention.
MODERATOR: A model Supreme Court justice alive today?
MODERATOR: And I've just been informed, this is taking so long, you'll be the final person to handle this question.
EDWARDS: Ginsburg or Breyer.
MODERATOR: All right. Justice Ginsburg or Justice Breyer, both of them sitting on the current court.
When restricted by the moderator, Richardson switched his pick to Justice Ginsburg. She was White's replacement on the Court, but they are far from philosophical clones. It's especially interesting that Richardson went on to praise Ginsburg for her dissent in Carhart II. Justice White surely would have been voting the opposite way in that case. I wonder if anyone will ask him to explain this.
Dood and Edwards took the safe road by picking Ginsburg and/or Breyer. They are the only two Democratic appointees currently on the Court. If they really wanted to stick it to the Republicans, one of them should've said that Souter was their model Justice. That would've been a big thumb to the eye to the GOP. Souter is still a very, very sore subject.
Before this exchange, there was a lengthy discussion about the Carhart II decision. If I didn't have to get back to my studying, I'd discuss that a little... maybe later. I hope that the Court is a more prominent topic in these debates.