Tuesday, June 29, 2010

GOP Tries to Make Elena Kagan Black with Focus on Thurgood Marshall

So far in Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings, it seems the GOP knows it won't block her appointment to the Supreme Court, but it will still put on a good show. According to the Huffington Post, Republican leaders surmise Kagan will be an activist judge because she admired her mentor, Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American appointed to the high court.

Republican Senators are emphasizing Marhsall as "activist" judge" or "results oriented" because it implies the justice placed the law beneath him and ruled according to ideology. What actually is going on is that many white and status-quo-minded conservatives don't like court rulings that fall within the spirit of freedom and equality for all because those rulings usually diminish their power, which in many instances is the power of white male privilege. As Obama appoints SCOTUS justices, he chips away at what conservative presidents have done in the last 30 years to tip the court in favor of conservative ideology.



As I wrote during Justice Sonia Sotomayor's hearings, Thurgood Marshall was accused during his confirmation hearings of being "anti-white." Salon has a piece on Marshall's confirmation in historical context, concluding opposition to his appointment was mostly about race. It seems Senator Orin Hatch's reluctance to say he would vote for Marshall if his confirmation were in this century prompted the Salon piece, and so its article reminds readers of the kind of men who voted against Marshall and highlights their reasons for not doing so.
Here's a quick look at the 11 white southerners who voted against Marshall in 1967. Most of them were signatories of the notorious "Southern Manifesto," the 1956 document drafted by Strom Thurmond and Richard Russell that blasted the Brown v. Board Education decision as a "clear abuse of judicial power."
Kagan clerked under Marshall, but I feel that the GOP opposition harping on Marshall is just more of Republicans reaching out to their Limbaugh-loving base to say, "Under Obama the niggras and niggra lovers will take over." The undercurrent is "Dear conservative white people: think of all you've lost to progressives kowtowing to people of color. Remember Thurgood Marshall."

I hope they keep up this nonsense. Republicans consistently tapping the Southern Strategy gives credence to my first post about Michael Steele and his grand plan to draw black people to the GOP. It's smoke and mirrors, not to be taken seriously by anyone who knows the GOP's history.

Below, is a documentary about Marshall's life. The man died in 1993, but you'd think he was going to rise up and whisper treason in Kagan's ears the way the GOP went on about him. HuffPo says his name came up 35 times.

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