Bench Memos

Supreme Cheerleading Squad

The Obama administration’s Chicago-machine-politics way of thinking has crept into the process for its appointment of a new comptroller general (the office in charge of the Government Accountability Office), according to Rowan Scarborough in today’s Washington Times. As the government’s auditor, the GAO post has traditionally gone to nonpartisan nominees, but all that is about to change — Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scuttled the bipartisan process in favor of sending President Obama a one-sided recommendation. Their goal is to put in place another rubber stamp for their own partisan political agenda.

Sadly, we see the same type of Chicago-machine plotting in the Obama administration’s rhetorical approach to the next Supreme Court appointment. They don’t want an independent third branch but instead a rubber stamp, as Obama’s comments about Justice Stevens’s retirement make clear.

Obama has harped on the old meme that the Supremes’ job is to look out for the little guy. He wants a court that will side with his politically favored litigants — he made that quite clear with his “empathy standard” — a court that will favor “young teenage moms” and the poor, African-American, gay, or disabled. Now his favored future litigants have names like “Obamacare” and “Big Government”.

The Democrats’ idea of “helping” the little guy is to take away all his freedom — have Washington make all important decisions for him and pack the Supreme Court so that it’s a rubber stamp for a radical liberal agenda. We should not be surprised when Chicago-style thinking leads to Obamacare, government takeover of private industries, and other liberal economic and social policies. The Chicago way is really just another way above and around the Constitution. Now they want a Supreme Court that will serve as its cheerleading section.

Gary Marx is executive director of the Judicial Crisis Network.