Friday, July 08, 2005

Michael McConnell Attacked for "Souterism"

Read this article at the Minnesota Progressive about comments made by Andy Schlafly, son of conservative activist Phylis Schlafly, about Judge Michael McConnell, who is one of the top prospects for the O'Connor seat on the Supreme Court.

The Minnesotans are hostile to Schalfy's comments, but after reading the column one should understand why conservatives should be worried about McConnell.

Andy Schlafly apparently warned the president that potential Supreme Court nominee, Michael McConnell, of the 10th circuit court of appeals in Salt Lake City, is reminiscent of David Souter, the conservative justice who has become a consistent liberal on the court. However, unlike Souter, McConnell has proclaimed himself "staunchly pro-life" and he is sure to go through a much more intensive screening process by the Bush administration as well as congressional Republicans, who would like nothing more than to see a judge who is willing to overturn Roe vs. Wade. However, this is where the problem starts for conservatives: in a law review article in 1997, McConnell wrote that "Roe vs. Wade was an "established precedent" in constitutional law, and should not be overturned.

McConnell also takes "originalist" interpretation of the constitution one step further than self proclaimed "strict constructionists", Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Scalia and Thomas, who are both extremely religious, do not support complete separation of church and state on issues such as school prayer, whereas McConnell believes in the power of one to censor the hundreds, reports Schalfly. McConnell also believes in broader boundaries for freedom of expression or religion, such as the right to do drugs or engage in polygamy.

To be quite honest, McConnell is impressive. Although his devotion to Mormanism probably influences some of his decisions on the issue of religion, his libertarian philosophy would guarantee a court that is ready to protect the Bill of Rights, whereas a Scalia-type would selectively decide what is protected by "freedom of expression" such as prayer in school, and what is not, such as homosexuality.


At 5:36 PM, Blogger wfoley said...

Jack, from what I hear, he's not a Morman.

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have a great blog. David Brooks wrote his column in the NYT yesterday about McConnell. Some have said he is too much of a pure intellectual for Bush.


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