Are you wondering what an Obama court will look like? You don’t need to look very far. If you haven’t yet read Christina Hoff Sommers’ wonderful 1995 book, Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women, run out right now and get a copy.
Generally speaking, the book is about the difference between equity feminists (a view held by most Americans who believe that women should get equal treatment under the law and equal work for equal pay) and gender feminists (who have embraced victimhood and who hate men). Hoff Sommers makes compelling arguments about the insanity of the latter approach, and the death of the former.
While every chapter is well worth reading, the one chapter that’s stuck with me almost 15 years later is the one that predicts a Sotomayor/Obama court. In this chapter (and I don’t have a copy in front of me), Hoff Sommers describes her attendance at a conference for feminist academics — or, more accurately, gender feminist academics. Before these academics could even get to the business of the conference, they had to get to the even more serious business of putting in proper heirarchical order the various degrees of victimhood represented at the conference.
Even without the book to guide me, I have vivid memories of black feminists duking it out with lesbian feminists who are outraged by the demands made by handicapped hispanic feminists. Each of these little feminist academic subsets was absolutely certain that its handicap (sex, race, sexual orientation, physical disability, etc.) entitled it to some special regard within the confines of the seminar — and, most certainly, out in the wide world.
You can see the parallels between a viewpoint that claims all attendees are not equal at a conference and all citizens are not all equal under the law. Inevitability, once such a regime is enshrined, the special interest groups start duking it out over who is the most special. The end result is people groveling before judges to assert their special victim status, while the judges, certain that they are founts of special wisdom because they have cast off the shackles of the traditional patriarchal legal system, opine from the bench about who is the most pathetic of all.
Nor is this scenario hypothetical or confined merely to the groves of academe. I’ve worked a long time in the San Francisco Bay Area legal system and can tell you that, once all the white men and corporations have been cast into the dirt (which is already par for the course in many Bay Area courts), the fight is on to determine which group or person is sufficiently pathetic to become the recipient of the court’s identity politics beneficence. The concept of equality at the law has no place here. It’s anarchy.
This system is also insanely unreliable. Although Sotomayor testified before the Senate back in 1998 that the law is meant to be unreliable (a statement I heard her make on the radio, but can’t find now), the fact is that the only good legal system is one that is reliable.
It is impossible for a business or an individual to plan ahead if it or he cannot predict with reasonable certainty what it’s rights are. How can a bank make a loan if it cannot rely on the loan papers and the law to enforce that debt, but must instead rely on the court’s goodwill? In a fight between a bank and a business, there’s a 50-50 chance the lender will win, unless of course the debtor business is women or minority (or gay or lesbian) owned. In a fight between a bank and an individual, since banks are categorically evil, the bank will always lose.
It’s clearly a short term pleasure for the tyrannical activist justice to reach this ruling, but a long term disaster as banks refuse to grant loans and fail. (Although, with the US owning banks now, I guess that was a lousy hypothetical. The banks will continue to grant loans and they won’t fail because we, the taxpayers, are clearly stuck with paying for all the bad loans.) California’s business exodus isn’t simply a result of high taxes; it’s also a result of grossly unfair judicial rulings. Here are just two examples (and please pardon the poor formatting on the second example, which is a very old post I wrote while still at my Blogger site).
This way lies madness.