Saturday, May 21, 2005

The fight over judges

In "The Hapless Toad" Atlantic Monthly (May, 2005), Benjamin Wittes writes: "Amid all the liberal hysteria about the threats posed by a conservative Supreme Court, one threat tends to be ignored -- and it happens to be the biggest one."

No, not repeal of Roe v Wade, actually the biggest red herring. Were it repealed, how many states would outlaw abortion? Very few.

Wittes worries about conservative interpretations of the commerce clause. Last week's ruling re interstate wine sales pitted states-rights advocates vs commerce-clause champions. Many of us like it when protectionist measures are voided -- but we also know that a wide-open commerce clause was used to accommodate the worst New Deal legislation. There are good reasons for last week's court split -- and for the readers of the Atlantic to worry.