The Dartmouth Observer

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Monday, December 05, 2005
So You Want Oversight on the War on Terror...

Slate makes an excellent case that the merit of Bush's judicial nominees have less to do with whether they will overturn Roe or not--Slate believes they won't--but whether they are capable and willing to oversee the administration's war on terror.
Pretend, for a minute, that I am not completely paranoid and that there is truth behind my sense that we are all missing the real story of the new Supreme Court nominations. My fear is that we are all snoozing through an elaborate plan to pack the court for the Bush administration's war on terror. What if all the obsessive talk about whether candidates are for or against overturning Roe v. Wade is a strategic head feint? What if I am right, and Samuel Alito is confirmed to the Supreme Court without ever substantively answering a question about torture, enemy detentions, the rights of foreigners, or civil liberties during wartime?

I think we will, all of us, be very sorry. Not just the edgy civil libertarians or the ACLU types, and not just Jose Padilla, or his attorneys, but everyone who believes there is a place for the rule of law even in the midst of a war, especially when that war threatens to go on forever.

This president—for reasons that hardly warrant repeating here—doesn't really want to be remembered as the guy responsible for the court that overturned Roe. (Although he certainly wants us to think he wants to be remembered as that guy.) No, Roe is not what keeps George W. Bush awake nights. What he wants to be remembered for is winning the war on terror. He wants to be seen as the president who carried the great torch of democracy into the world's darkest corners. And he believes—of this I am certain—that the courts are standing in his way.

Read the entire article and write your senator. Let's make sure we're not going to drop the ball on this one.