The Self Made Pundit
Thursday, October 03, 2002
CHUTZPAH OR CLUELESS?: While I expected the Republicans to run whining to the U.S. Supreme Court at the prospect of having to face competition in the New Jersey Senate race, I was surprised to see them citing Bush v. Gore as authority. As political weblogger MyDD reports, Bill Baroni, the attorney for the Republican Senatorial candidate Douglas Forrester, actually thinks that rancid decision will be Forrester's trump card:
"It is the case of Bush vs. Gore where the United States Supreme Court first told the country, first told New Jersey, that our legislatures make the decisions about our elections, not state supreme courts," Baroni told reporters late on Wednesday.
"The fact that two years later we're going to have the same discussion again, we're going to make the same point again, is outrageous," he added.
Yes, it is outrageous, only not in the sense intended by Baroni. The Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore ranks among the most shameful decisions the Court has ever rendered. Even its defenders sound apologetic and embarrassed when they discuss it. I strongly doubt the Court will want to resurrect criticism that it is a partisan Republican court, especially when ruling for Forrester will merely give the Republicans a chance to win the Senate -- as opposed to guaranteeing a Presidential win in Bush v. Gore. The stakes are simply not high enough for the Court to disgrace itself again so soon.
Moreover, since Justices O'Connor and Kennedy reportedly harbor hopes of replacing Rehnquist as Chief Justice, they are less likely to join Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas in a partisan decision that would be guaranteed to enrage Senate Democrats -- who may well retain control of the confirmation process even if the Supremes effectively cancel the New Jersey election. By citing Bush v. Gore, the Republicans are likely making the Justices even more gun shy about pulling this Republican trigger. While the Republicans did show some chutzpah in citing that embarrassing decision, they primarily showed that they are clueless.