Monday, May 10, 2010

A Bad Notion and a Bad Nominee

Many of us who voted for him expected more from the one-time teacher of Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago.

But Barack Obama, expert on the Constitution, is the back story.  President Obama is the here and now.  For all of his expertise, his positions on important Constitutional matters are indistinguishable from those of the addle-pated fool who held the office before him.

Some Constitutional scholars, such as Glenn Greenwald, say he's even worse than Bush II.  The conjunction of two recent events tends to support the Greenwald view.

Sunday, his Attorney General, Eric Holder, outlined the administration's view that the Miranda law should be loosened to allow more time for authorities to, er, question a terrorism suspect before the Miranda rights are read to him or her.

Today, the President disclosed that his nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice John Paul Stevens's retirement is Solicitor General Elena Kagan.

Holder's view is one only John Ashbrook -- or Torquemada -- could applaud.  The Kagan nomination is more analogous to Bush II's nomination of Harriet Miers than to, say, Dwight Eisenhower's of Earl Warren.

Administration apologists have spent the two days preceding the Kagan announcement assuring the American public that her opposition "on the left" --it's made to sound like a foreign country -- is 100 per cent wrong.

Never mind the transcripts of her arguments as Solicitor General before the Supreme Court, particularly in the infamous Citizens United case, which depicted an inept lawyer who merited only scorn from the questioning Justices.

Never mind her support for the Obama administration's attempts to further broaden the unconstitutional arrogations of power to the presidency that the Bush crowd asserted.

Never mind her lack of a written record of strong views on the Constitution, other than that, well, it's there.

As for Holder's attack on Miranda, it's just another step in the process begun with the passage of the despicable U.S.A. Patriot Act, a process of dismantling the Bill of Rights.  Miranda simply spelled out the procedures law enforcement must follow to assure that all citizens, even those accused of the most serious crimes, will have the protection of the rights enshrined in the first ten Amendments.  To weaken the procedures is to weaken the amendments.

The Obamans have already enshrined as legal precedent the Bush crowd's unconstitutional stance that a "terrorist" is anyone the President calls one.  Now they want to put the Bill of Rights off limits to anyone subjected to such a whim.

Little by little, the rule of law in America is fading away.  Soon all that will be left of the Bill of Rights will be a Cheshire cat's smile.

* * *

With this post, your Pianist shambles off into the wings to meet the surgeon who will replace what's left of his natural hip with a fine piece of titanium hardware. He will return to the bench when he is able to play again.  He has been practicing the final movement to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and hopes to be able to play it again some day.

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