Not much to add to what Black Agenda Report’s Bruce A. Dixon says Elena Kagan shows us about Obama and his party.
The damage that Republican Supreme Court judges like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, to name only a couple, have done is truly incalculable. If appointing a justice who could be counted on to undo and clear away some of that right wing wreckage is too much to ask, what does it say for the main reason, the clinching reason given for supporting Democratic presidential candidates?
This is a crucial and defining moment for the presidency of Barack Obama, the instant at which he leaves his mark on the high court for perhaps twenty or thirty years to come. Retiring justice John Paul Stevens is indisputably the most “liberal” voice on the court, a man with a clear record of opposing many racist practices and authoritarian tendencies. Stevens is the liberal anchor of the court. To replace that liberal anchor with anyone less committed to upholding the rights of the poor and powerless is to unleash and further empower the likes of Roberts, Scalia and Thomas. That’s precisely what President Obama accomplishes with the appointment of Elena Kagan.
Except maybe to mention that other putative trump card for partisan Dems, abortion rights. But the party is not doing such a great job defending the Right to Choose, it seems. This sad, and entirely predictable, state of affairs leads a Firedoglake diarist to lament that “history will show that Obama threw away over 35 years of pro-choice blood, sweat, and tears to give health insurers $474 billion over 6 years… and set us down the path to a country where most women will live in the pre-Roe world.”