Politics & Policy

Bench Brawl

The courts are the one thing the Left agrees on.

Ralph Neas is at it again. Armed with an overflowing treasure chest of donations from the Hollywood Left, union bosses, and trial lawyers, People for the American Way president Ralph Neas is orchestrating the activities of more than 10,000 Democratic attorneys in battleground states. Using the coalition of leftist organizations brought together through years of trench warfare over judicial nominations and a database of attorneys, Neas is working to successfully accuse Republicans of suppressing voters.

#ad#The lawsuits in Florida have already begun. With 2,000 lawyers dispatched to that state alone, this was certainly bound to happen. Nine lawsuits have been filed so far with claims ranging from minority-voter disenfranchisement to provisional-ballot-count issues.

The PFAW program is charmingly named “Election Protection,” and encompasses a strategy far beyond legal battles. But clearly the legal fight is the primary focus. In typical Ralph Neas fashion, he has sent out a missive to the media describing the lofty and noble goals of the program. By sending out these lengthy tomes, Neas not only satisfies his own ego-reward need, but also positions himself as the go-to guy for all reporters to get their obligatory quotes for the avalanche of election-fraud stories to come.

Lest you believe that this is yet another dismissible leftist, bear in mind that Neas is responsible for the strategy behind the defeat of Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court and the subsequent battle against Clarence Thomas. He has continued to ply his trade in the nominations battle by pulling the trigger on the use of the filibuster against judicial nominees–which had never been deployed against a judicial nominee until quite recently, despite leftist claims to the contrary.

If the protection of civil rights was truly the goal of this flurry of PFAW activity, there would be little reason for concern. But this is a well-funded, fully staffed thumb on the scales to tilt the election results in favor of John Kerry. They are pulling out the stops for one reason: the courts.

The Left doesn’t agree on much. They are fractured between pro-war and anti-war activists, school-choice liberators and teachers unions, gay-marriage advocates and civil-union supporters, and on. But the one thing they do agree on is the courts. The courts are the one place they can get their agenda through if judicial activists are in place to enable them.

With the stroke of a pen, the awesome coercive power of the federal bench can undo whatever legislative or electoral results the Left doesn’t agree with, so long as they have federal judges on the bench who believe in a “living Constitution.” Look at any issue and it becomes pretty clear that it will start or end up in the courts. From gay marriage to property rights, abortion to national security, the federal courts pretty much have the final say for good or evil.

The ideological litmus test imposed on judicial nominees by Senators Charles Schumer, Ted Kennedy, Pat Leahy, Hillary Clinton, Tom Daschle, and others is nothing more than an instrument with which to create an alternative legislative body via the federal bench. If the judge doesn’t agree with their extreme leftist philosophy and they can make the public-relations case with a straight face, then that poor nominee will be stuck in a process akin to purgatory with a one-way ticket to a filibuster.

The election of John Kerry is critical to Ralph Neas and his ilk so that they can stack the bench and remake the culture. And it is the worst-kept secret in Washington that the next administration could pick anywhere from two to four U.S. Supreme Court Justices. The hospitalization of Chief Justice Rehnquist this past weekend was a clear reminder that a Supreme Court battle could occur at any time.

When Neas isn’t litigating to block minority children from participating in school-choice voucher programs, he is in the courtroom trying to make the Internet a safe haven for pornographers and pedophiles. But in the past few months, his organization’s considerable resources have been focused on nothing less than executing a legal coup d’etat if the opportunity presents itself.

Whether the election is close on Tuesday or not, there can be no doubt that these lawyers will litigate–how much of a frenzy depends on the point spread. Make no mistake, though, that even if there is a landslide for President Bush, the PFAW crowd will not slink away to lick their wounds. They will immediately turn to Plan B, which, depending upon the circumstances, may consist of railing against the electoral college, continuing to question the legitimacy of the Bush administration, or launching a series of impeachment charges.

And they will continue to be well funded even in these efforts. Just in time for the mother of all political battles: a Supreme Court nomination.

Kay R. Daly is president of the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary.

Most Popular

PC Culture

Hate-Crime Hoaxes Reflect America’s Sickness

On January 29, tabloid news site TMZ broke the shocking story that Jussie Smollett, a gay black entertainer and progressive activist, had been viciously attacked in Chicago. Two racist white men had fractured his rib, poured bleach on him, and tied a noose around his neck. As they were leaving, they shouted ... Read More
U.S.

White Progressives Are Polarizing America

To understand how far left (and how quickly) the Democratic party has moved, let’s cycle back a very short 20 years. If 1998 Bill Clinton ran in the Democratic primary today, he’d be instantaneously labeled a far-right bigot. His support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Defense of Marriage Act, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Strange Paradoxes of Our Age

Modern prophets often say one thing and do another. Worse, they often advocate in the abstract as a way of justifying their doing the opposite in the concrete. The result is that contemporary culture abounds with the inexplicable — mostly because modern progressivism makes all sorts of race, class, and ... Read More
Elections

One Last Grift for Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, the antique Brooklyn socialist who represents Vermont in the Senate, is not quite ready to retire to his lakeside dacha and so once again is running for the presidential nomination of a party to which he does not belong with an agenda about which he cannot be quite entirely ... Read More
PC Culture

Fake Newspeople

This week, the story of the Jussie Smollett hoax gripped the national media. The story, for those who missed it, went something like this: The Empire actor, who is both black and gay, stated that on a freezing January night in Chicago, in the middle of the polar vortex, he went to a local Subway store to buy a ... Read More
Film & TV

A Sublime Christian Masterpiece of a Film

‘There are two ways through life -- the way of nature and the way of grace,” remarks the saintly mother at the outset of The Tree of Life, one of the most awe-inspiring films of the 21st century. She continues: Grace doesn’t try please itself. It accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked, accepts insults ... Read More