August 12, 2007

Tarred with the Brush

by PG

The only statements I've been able to find from the Obama campaign regarding Judge Southwick's nomination to the 5th Circuit are this and the following from Obama's press secretary: "Senator Obama shares the concerns of his fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus that Judge Southwick would not adequately defend the rights of workers and enforce civil rights laws, and he opposes his lifetime appointment to the federal appeals court. Given the rocky history of appointments to this important seat on the court, Senator Obama believes the president should nominate a consensus candidate who will fairly interpret and uphold the laws of the nation."

George F. Will's editorial in today's Washington Post doesn't cite any further statement than the one linked above. Yet somehow he concludes that Obama thinks Southwick should have come to a different decision in two specific cases:

Why does Obama think Southwick should have ruled differently in the two Mississippi cases? Because he thinks Southwick applied the law inappropriately? Or because he does not like the result? Obama is seeking the office from which federal judges are nominated. Southwick has explained himself, in writings and in testimony to the Senate. Now Obama has explaining to do.
Will also evidences a peculiar notion of what's interesting in saying that when the Obama statement referred to Southwick's "7,000 opinions," this figure was "interestingly imprecise." Personally, I never find it that interesting when someone muddles Judge A's vote joining an opinion written by Judge B, with Judge A's writing an opinion herself (even the prolific Posner has not pumped out 7000 opinions), but I guess a Cubs fan must find his thrills where he can.

INCIDENTALLY: Posner quote of the day, from U.S. v. Gammicchia (Aug. 9, 2007) -- "The imprisonment of a very sick person can make the disutility imposed by prison greater than it would be for a healthy person even if, as can be assumed (certainly in the federal prison system), the sick inmate receives adequate medical care... Anxiety about one's sick wife could also increase the disutility of imprisonment." According to a Lexis search, the Seventh appears to be by far the leader among the federal courts of appeals in use of the word "disutility."

Dumbfounding quote of the day, from the S.B. v. L.W. decision that Will defends: "The mother agreed that the lesbian lifestyle was not generally accepted in today's society and stated that she did not believe that her daughter should be raised as a lesbian." Is there a way to raise one's daughter as a lesbian? if so, does it involve giving her G.I. Joes instead of Barbies? Because if that's all it takes, I will overcome my aversion to war toys. Also, judging by Weigand v. Houghton, 730 So. 2d 581 (Miss. 1999), Mississippi prefers to give physical custory of a child to a heterosexual woman married to an abusive felon who threatens to kills that child rather than to a gay father. Or as the dissent put it: "The chancellor and majority believe a minor is best served by living in an explosive environment in which the unemployed stepfather is a convicted felon, drinker, drug-taker, adulterer, wife-beater, and child-threatener, and in which the mother has been transitory, works two jobs, and has limited time with the child. The chancellor makes such a decision despite the fact that Paul's father has a good job, a stable home, and does all within his power to care for his son."

August 12, 2007 12:39 AM | TrackBack
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