Can they get any sillier?
Liberty Institute, the Texas affiliate of the far-right group Focus on the Family, just sent out a statement claiming that today’s Senate confirmation of Elena Kagan as a U.S. Supreme Court justice “will most likely move the Court even further to the left.”
“Even further to the left”? That kind of silly statement shows you how out of touch the lawyers and lobbyists at Liberty Institute really are.
Just two weeks ago the New York Times published an analysis of the Supreme Court’s first five years under Chief Justice John Roberts:
“In those five years, the court not only moved to the right but also became the most conservative one in living memory, based on an analysis of four sets of political science data.
And for all the public debate about the confirmation of Elena Kagan or the addition last year of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, there is no reason to think they will make a difference in the court’s ideological balance. Indeed, the data show that only one recent replacement altered its direction, that of Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2006, pulling the court to the right.”
That’s right — the nation’s highest court has been moving steadily to the right for years now. The results? Corporations can now flood political campaigns with cash, drowning out the voices of individual Americans. Privacy and reproductive rights are under assault. The list goes on. Whether one agrees or not with court decisions in recent years, it’s absurd to suggest — as Liberty Institute does — that the court has been moving to the left.
But the extremists at Liberty Institute see any court decisions they don’t like as “leftist.” Plus, claiming the court is “leftist” is an effective fund-raising gimmick for the religious right. In any case, if the current Supreme Court is too liberal for them, then one wonders just how bad things would be if they got the kind of court they really want.