Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Intellecutal Dishonesty, Indeed The Mendacity, of George Will-Style Econ-Conservatism, in a Nutshell

It is always a tough call deciding which piece of the ballyhooed Republican troica is worse. Is it the "social conservatives," the "fiscal conservatives," or the "national security hawks"? Harrogate puts these terms in quotation marks because they do not at all describe what it is they purport to. But, never mind that for now.

The following snippet from George Will's recent column,"More Judicial Activism, Please". Not so well buried within the "look how reasonable I am and how much constitutional understanding I possess" blather is at least one giant piece of hypocrisy.

Controversy about the judiciary's proper role is again at a boil because of a Supreme Court vacancy, and conservatives are warning against "judicial activism." But the Chrysler and GM bailouts and bankruptcies are reasons for conservatives to rethink the usefulness of that phrase and to make some distinctions.

Of course courts should not make policy or invent rights not stipulated or implied by statutes or the Constitution's text. But courts have no nobler function than that of actively defending property, contracts and other bulwarks of freedom against depredations by government, including by popularly elected, and popular, officials. Regarding Chrysler and GM, the executive branch is exercising powers it does not have under any statute or constitutional provision. At moments such as this, deference to the political branches constitutes dereliction of judicial duty.

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