Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

WHAT IS BOB NOVAK SMOKING? In his most recent column, national-security endangerer Robert Novak frets about the possibility that Sandra Day O'Connor might use the redistricting case currently before the Supreme Court as an opportunity to once again betray the conservatives that put her on the bench, and show her true allegiance to Sauron, The Enemy, keeper of Barad-Dur, Lord of the Earth, or the Democrats, or whomever. After all, she sided with the liberal judges on gay rights! and campaign-finance reform!

There's only one problem with Novak's analysis: it's totally crazy! We are, I assume, talking about the same Sandra Day O'Connor who said in her concurring opinion in Davis v. Bandemer expressed the opinion that political gerrymandering questions were non-justiciable political questions? And the same Sandra Day O'Connor who, in the oral arguments for this case (which, by the way, I attended), all but said she intended to stick with the non-justiciability. (Her words, as quoted here: "Maybe the way to go is to just stay hands off these things.") We're supposed to believe that she's going to abandon these apparently deeply held beliefs because the three-judge panel in Texas that recently ruled on that state's recent gerrymandering warned of "excessive partisanship"?

Perhaps Novak should stick with his core competencies, like revealing the names of covert CIA agents, and leave Supreme Court panic-mongering to the professionals.