Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Pitts Trashes Eight Supremes

Leonard Pitts loves Sanda Day O'Connor, but can't stand the other eight. In today's Chicago Tribune, Pitts opines that the retiring O'Connor is "the one justice on the U.S. Supreme Court who did not belong body and soul to either the liberal or conservative wings, who could not be considered in the pocket of either extreme." A nice thing to say about O'Connor, but awfully harsh about the other eight. What evidence does Pitts provide to back up his charge against all the Supremes but one? None, zip, zero. It hardly seems fair to brand Souter, Ginsberg and Anthony Kennedy with the extremist label. Hell, without providing evidence, it isn't fair to call Scalia an extremist.

But surely Pitts provides evidence of O'Connor's admirable jurisprudence? Only this-- on the one hand, she "had it right when she sided with the majority this year in ruling that it's unconstitutional to put a framed copy of the 10 Commandments on a courthouse wall." On the other hand, "she could hardly have been more wrong when she joined the majority in rejecting a 1987 challenge to the death penalty on grounds of racial discrimination." You see, the great thing about O'Connor is how balanced she was--sometimes she was right, and sometimes she was wrong. A different definition of balance. The kind a liberal columnist would love.