By Scott Tibbs, May 11, 2010
President Barack Obama nominated Elena Kagan, prompting the National Organization for Women to send a press release to their e-mail list gushing with praise for this "historic" achievement. NOW's president whined that "women have been under-represented on the Supreme Court for far too long" and pointed out that NOW had previously "called on President Obama to nominate a woman" to fill the vacancy.
Once again, this demonstrates how many on the Left are obsessed with identity politics.
We're talking about one of nine seats to the highest court in the land, and this is a lifetime appointment. Because of the authority these justices have, it is important to select the most qualified candidate to the seat. Whether the nominee has the "correct" genitalia should not matter at all. After all, are we not supposed to be an egalitarian society where people are judged on the content of their character? NOW and Obama are clearly not treating this nomination with the seriousness it deserves.
NOW's position is filled with sexism and hypocrisy. Is NOW to have us believe that only a woman can represent women? Why does someone need female genitalia to intellectually understand how the law affects women? Does anyone doubt that NOW would howl in protest if someone dared say that what we need is another white male? Does anyone believe that NOW would prefer Phyllis Schlafly over a man with Leftist views?
Why is this even an issue? The SCOTUS is not supposed to be about shaping public policy. The SCOTUS is supposed to ensure that laws are in compliance with higher law, primarily with the Constitution and secondarily with other law. We are not talking about a Senator or a President, we are talking about a judge who is supposed to judge a case on its merits. The foundational requirement for a judge is literacy, so that the judge can read the literal, word-for-word text of the Constitution.
Richard Lugar should realize that his vote on the Kagan nomination will affect is political future. Scott Fluhr raised the interesting prospect of a primary challenge to Lugar in 2012. If Lugar supports Kagan, this will provide conservatives with motivation to take him out in two years. The question is whether a credible candidate is willing to step up and challenge Lugar. The rest of the Republicans in the Senate should also be on notice that a vote for Kagan is a vote for a revolt by the Republican base.