Jay, I am looking for change in the Supreme Court. At least, I am looking for change away from the ideological beliefs of members like Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. These men seem to think their function is to be cheerleaders for Presidential policies which have been challenged and are now before the Court. Just watch them during oral arguments, trying to salvage the arguments of the Bush administration’s advocates. Moreover, they seem to believe that protecting the rights of the individual to challenge unconstitutional efforts, to speak out on vital issues, to be free from government support for the religious groups others do not agree with–all are secondary, nearly peripheral, duties of the nine justices who sit on the high court.
We don’t know how many justices will be appointed by the next President, but it could be as many as three. We also don’t know what role a President Obama would have his Vice President play in judicial appointments. However, Senator Biden has a long and thoughtful record on issues like the separation of church and state and reproductive choice. He has opposed school vouchers, prayer amendments to the Constitution, discriminatory hiring in the faith based initiative, removing jurisdiction of the federal judiciary over religion cases, and many other affronts to real religious liberty. He opposed Roberts and Alito based on a cogent understanding that they rejected not just the idea of a “living Constitution” but any document which seemed to have even a breath of life in it.
Frankly, if I have any criticism of Senator Biden it was that he didn’t bring more witnesses to the table during the confirmation process for Justice Clarence Thomas. I’m sure you read the excellent book about the process, Strange Justice, by Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson from the Wall Street Journal. The authors recorded not just the truth of Anita Hill’s testimony but the presence of unused testimony of other women who would have buttressed her case with their own sad stories.