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Thursday, November 13, 2008
Kessler Smears Obama on Judges
Topic: Newsmax

A Nov. 12 Newsmax column by Ronald Kessler is one long hit piece on Barack Obama, an attempt to play scare tactics by making a big deal about "how quickly" Obama could change courts to "a liberal judicial outlook."

kessler writes that Obama has said that, in selecting judges, he would look for candidates who show "empathy" for the weak and underprivileged, then bizarrely twists Obama's words: "Obama wants judges to have a bias in favor of an entire class of individuals. Imagine the outcry if Bush had said he wants courts to side with the privileged."

Does Kessler really think that empathy is the same thing as bias? Kessler adds:

But what really sends chills up conservatives’ spines is the president-elect’s statement on a Chicago radio station that he is “not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts,” implying that he would like to change the courts so that they construct their own laws. 

In fact, Obama made no such implication. As the full context of Obama's statement demonstrates, he said the courts were not the ideal venue to bring about "redistributive change," but that it should come up on the political side instead:

I think the tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movements became so court-focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing, and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. And, in some ways, we still suffer from that. 


You know, maybe I'm showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but, you know, I'm not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn't structured that way.

Kessler is just handing red meat to the Obama-haters at Newsmax (of which he is one). Too bad he isn't terribly interested in relating facts.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 PM EST

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