The preview of an Obama court

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.

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  • SGT Dave

    There is good news in the Sotomayor nomination (no, I’m not in the whiskey yet this morning).
    First – even the liberal justices are wary of replacements that do not set store in precedent and tradition. We are not seeing retirements en masse of the left side of the court. The reason for this is simple; if you start overturning precedents, they can then be changed the next time the court shifts right. It upsets the ability to make lasting changes – and more importantly makes the court wait for proper cases to make those changes. The left side of the court does not want Roe going by the wayside because suddenly the right has a majority and a case to use. The long-term dangers are too great for an activist justice acting too precipitously.
    Second – and I treat it seriously since two of my family members suffer – is the diabetes. Even with treatment, a sufferer can expect a shorter lifespan and active career. At 54, Sotomayor is young for a Justice. With diabetes and the related health issues, however, she may only have 10-15 years on the bench (if even that long). Ultimately, this appointment will probably shorten her life by a considerable amount – stress is a key issue in diabetic irregularities.
    I don’t want to be flip, but we all knew that there would be a far-left crazy appointed during this administration. The good news appears to be that Obama frightens even the remaining leftist Justices with his lack of insight and he has chosen a person physically ill-suited for the job.

    SSG Dave
    “Remember, silver is a conductor. So that silver lining will bring the lightning right down on you from that dark cloud.”

  • Ymarsakar

    This way lies madness.

    When the Gods first wish to punish mortal pride and overweening hubris, they first shall make insane the individuals in question.

    I am restricted by common societal niceties and personal and external legalities from doing what I truly wish to do to those that talk about the “rule of law” being violated, when they are the ones helping to rape the rule of law for their own personal benefit.

    And if they should ever destroy the rule of law entirely, then the shackles on people like me…. go away. And I promise you, that will not be a good thing all in all.

  • Danny Lemieux

    OK, I’ve got to pose the question, SGT. Dave…where, when and how do you dream up these quotes? I hope that you are compiling them for posterity.

  • SGT Dave

    The quotes come from a variety of sources – some historical, some hysterical, and some right out of my head. That particular one came from an old sergeant-major of mine; we’d (finally!) gotten a break from thunderstorms during a field problem. The downside, however, was that the temperature went from the mid 60s up to 95 and we had four people go down from heat stroke.
    As to collecting them – no, I’ve not been doing so. I leave them here at BW and some over at Ace of Spades. My kids (now 4 & 6) already think their Dad is too full of hot air for me to write a book of quotes.

    SSG Dave
    “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God almighty that such men lived.” – Gen. George S. Patton

  • Wolf Howling

    I recall the generalities of a quote from Supreme Court Justice Rhenquist when asked why he was so willing to depart from stare decisis in criminal cases while not in others. His response, and I can’t find the quote, was to assert that respect for prior decisions was critical in the business sphere because people needed to know and be able to rely upon their rights for business to work. He felt no such responsibility towards the criminal class.