Berkeley Law School professor (and former Department of Justice attorney) John Yoo published his inaugural column in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday. He argues that Obama should nominate somebody FDR would have liked to the Supreme Court:
Franklin Roosevelt faced exactly this dilemma. With large majorities at his back, FDR pushed through sweeping legislative efforts to end the Great Depression (which never really worked). His only obstacle became the Supreme Court, which held several basic New Deal laws to violate the Constitution’s limits on federal powers and the economic rights of the individual. Only after FDR waged a campaign to increase the size of the court and give himself more appointments did the justices surrender. The New Deal could not have survived without judges that deferred to the legislature on economic regulation.
Obama could make a pick based solely on race or sex – though it’s not clear why the most empathetic judges are minorities or women – to please parts of his coalition. But if the president wants to secure the success of his economic, political, and national-security objectives, he should remember FDR’s example and choose a judge who believes in the right of the president and Congress, not the courts, to make the nation’s policies. If Obama shoots for empathy instead, he will give Senate Republicans yet another opportunity to rally around a unifying issue where they better represent the majority of Americans.
Wait, so now FDR’s court-packing scheme was a good idea? Because it hobbled SCOTUS and forced them to defer to Roosevelt’s amazing enhancement of federal power? A conservative believes this?
Before we get too bogged down in Yoo’s argument, can somebody remind me why we care about what John Yoo has to say?
The left (over) reacts, after the jump.