Hearings begin today. The smear has already started:
This is comfortable terrain for Republicans because they know that dressing up policy preferences in a phony “philosophy” is a game only they usually play; liberals tend not to bother. Jackson herself was asked about this during her confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; she replied, “I do not have a judicial philosophy per se, other than to apply the same method of thorough analysis to every case, regardless of the parties.”
While liberals sometimes talk about the “living Constitution” — the idea that as society evolves, our understanding of the Constitution changes — they don’t pretend that it’s some kind of guidebook that tells you the “right” ruling in any given case.
But that’s what conservatives claim to possess in their favored “philosophy,” originalism. They say that the original intent of the Framers should be paramount when deciding constitutional questions, and once that intent has been located, the answers to legal questions will reveal themselves, lit from within with the glowing light of divine wisdom.
The truth is that the overwhelming majority of the time, the Framers’ intent is either impossible to discern or utterly irrelevant to the question before us, for the simple reason that they wrote the Constitution almost two and a half centuries ago. What would the Framers think of voter file purges, or regulations on carbon emissions, or the use of facial recognition by police? To even ask is preposterous. Yet conservatives claim to know what Madison and Jefferson would say — and by fortuitous coincidence, their seances with the Framers’ spirits always lead right to their preferred policy outcomes. Funny how that works.
There are other variants of conservative judicial philosophy that are just as likely to demand conservative rulings. “Textualism” requires close readings of the Constitution and legislative texts — unless conservatives don’t like what the text says, at which point the text is discarded. They passionately oppose “judicial activism” and “legislating from the bench,” until the court considers laws they don’t like.
The alternative to all this hogwash would be a little candor. If they wanted to be honest, Republicans could just say that they oppose Jackson because they’re hoping for Supreme Court rulings that advance conservative policy goals — striking down Roe v. Wade, limiting the federal government’s power to regulate, weakening voting rights, diminishing the ability of unions to organize workers — and she is unlikely to provide them.
getting real tired of seeing (Rs) beating the same drum
Graham: “I want to know about your judicial philosophy because people on the left, the far extreme part of the left, believe that you were the best bet," Graham said. "And I want to know why they reached that conclusion.”