Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thurgood Marshall on trial by Senate overdogs

FOR A BRIEF MOMENT, may we consider the work of those overdogs on the Senate Judiciary Committee who are looking for various desperate ways to embarrass Elena Kagan? Overdogs? Well, what other antonym is there for committee member Sen. Jon Kyl, the Republican whip from Arizona, who linked Kagan to former Justice Thurgood Marshall's sympathy for "underdogs".

I had fully expected the confirmation hearings to be another fruitless witch hunt - but the minority overdogs have actually turned it into a warlock hunt. They have not hesitated to attack Marshall, the nation's first African-American justice, as a "well-known liberal activist judge", to quote Alabama's Sen. Jeff Sessions, who is always around to add southern-style scholarly charm for any debate.

Kyl, an ascendent masculine overdog, complained that Kagan was much too friendly to underdogs because she was a disciple of Marshall, complaining that she "wrote a tribute to Justice Marshall in which she said in his view it was the role of the courts and interpreting the Constitution to protect the people who went unprotected by every other organ of government".

Marshall, a civil rights icon, died more than 17 years ago but there are some things that overdogs, like their symbolic elephants, are inclined never to forget.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're too kind to them. Sessions is a rabid, old-school Southern racist. He showed that vividly during the Sotomayor confirmation hearing, and his (and his colleagues') racism dog-whistle references are back in action again.

As the old saying goes: It's not that all Republicans are racist; it's that most racists are Republican.