Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Kerry Announces He Wants to Lose in 2004

John Kerry announced that he'll have a litmus test for High Court nominees that somehow isn't a litmus test:

The potential retirement of Supreme Court justices makes the 2004 presidential election especially important for women, Senator John F. Kerry told a group of female Democrats yesterday, and he pledged that if elected president he would nominate to the high court only supporters of abortion rights under its Roe v. Wade decision. [...]

In making his pledge about Supreme Court nominees, Kerry denied he was establishing his own litmus test, an accusation that congressional Democrats routinely level against Republicans who say they favor appointing only judges who oppose abortion. The difference, Kerry said, is that the Roe v. Wade has become settled law since the court rendered the decision in 1973 and now defines a constitutional right.

''Let me just say to you: That is not a litmus test,'' Kerry told about 85 women who turned out to listen to him over a continental breakfast in Des Moines. ''Any president ought to appoint people to the Supreme Court who understand the Constitution and its interpretation by the Supreme Court. In my judgment, it is and has been settled law that women, Americans, have a defined right of privacy and that the government does not make the decision with respect to choice. Individuals do.''

In an interview after the speech, Kerry added: ''Litmus tests are politically motivated tests; this is a constitutional right. I think people who go to the Supreme Court ought to interpret the Constitution as it is interpreted, and if they have another point of view, then they're not supporting the Constitution, which is what a judge does.''
Let me see if I understand his reasoning correctly:

Litmus tests are tests imposed on judicial nominess by the political office holders who nominate them, on whether or not the political appointment of a judge will affect the interpretation of the Constitution, which they should do the same way it's done, and if they don't interpret it the way it's interpreted, then they're committing treason. And my test isn't a litmus test because it revolves around making sure that my interpretation of the Constitution remains the official interpretation; theirs is a litmus test because it seeks to produce a different outcome.

Literally, that's what his words mean. Don't blame me for the circularity, blame him.

This raises a number of Carroll-like questions, the answers to which I'll leave to you:

What profiteth it a man to gain the world Democrat nomination, only to lose his soul the Presidency in return?

I know he has to make nice noises for the Dem primaries, but in a right-of-center country with an increasingly rightward tilt, where those GE commercials show babies quite clearly on ultrasound, where the mood of the populace is trending steadily rightward on this issue, is this really a good way to make a firm bid on the Presidency?

Is John Kerry insane?

Are his advisors?

How much longer are media organizations gonna call this apostate "Catholic"?

Why hasn't someone officially excommunicated him yet?

Has anyone even told him he's excommicate latae sententiae?

Can we just burn him at the stake and get it over with?

UPDATE: Ramesh Ponnuru, of course, says better what I was trying to say -- and remembers what I forgot to add, to-wit: If "settled" is the last word (I suppose "settled" means over thirty years old?), then we should just toss that Brown v. Topeka Board of Education case right out the window, right, John?


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