Monday, January 25, 2016

Hillary on Supreme Court Nominees

Here is the transcript of an NPR interview of Hillary Clinton I happened upon last week.  She was asked about whether--like Bernie--she would require a litmus test  for Supreme Court nominees and more generally what she would be looking for [my emphasis in bold below].

Well, I believe strongly that we need Supreme Court justices who truly understand the impact of their decisions, and I think some of the recent decisions — Citizens United being one, voting rights being others, the extension of more and more rights to corporations vis-a-vis real people — I think has created some unintended consequences. So I would want somebody who understands when you blow open the door and say money is speech and you have a, in my view, somewhat misguided hope that all of the money that would then be pouring into our political system would be disclosed in real time — which, of course, it is not and in some instances never is — that you would have someone who has ... experience as a lawyer, as a judge in the real world who would say, hey wait a minute, that really undermines and corrupts our political system.
[Ari Shapiro]: "So is that "yes" to a Citizens United litmus test ... ?"
[Clinton again] Absolutely, but it's broader than that. It's not just Citizens United, Ari. Let's take voting rights. I was in the Senate when we voted 98 to nothing to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act. President George W. Bush signed it. And we did that because there was substantial evidence that a lot of the discrimination that, unfortunately, was part of our voting system that we addressed with the Voting Rights Act in the '60s was still a problem in some parts of our country.
The folks who didn't agree with that appealed it, took a challenge to it to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court really gutted the Voting Rights Act. And their argument, again, in my view, was fundamentally naive.
And that's the best I can say about it, which was, "You know, we really don't need all of this now. Everybody can kind of stand up for themselves." And look at what has happened. We have had a rash of efforts in states to try to suppress and undermine the vote.
So, I'm looking for people who understand the way the real world works, our political system when it comes to money, like Citizens United; our voting rights system; our economics system where, if you keep enhancing the powers of corporation vis-a-vis unions, vis-a-vis, you know, individuals, you're not going to have the kind of balanced economy that produced the middle class.
Notice that conspicuous by its absence is any mention at all that Hillary will be looking for someone skilled at interpreting the Constitution. I have long said that the left has no love for the Constitution and that only the right is concerned that it be interpreted.  It is the sentiment of old, dead, white men which, when properly interpreted, sometimes put the brakes on "progress."  The Democratic nominees will have a litmus test, alright, for the one job justices are there to do: vote.

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