CBS fails to note political basis for GOP Supreme Court opposition

››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

The Early Show reported that Republicans think President Obama's Supreme Court nominee will "be a Robin Hood ... who's going to steal from the rich and give to the poor" and a proponent of "liberal judicial activism," but did not note that Republicans and conservatives reportedly plan to oppose any Obama nominee for political purposes.

Discussing President Obama's possible nominees to the Supreme Court on the May 26 edition of CBS' The Early Show, CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante said of Diane Wood, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan: "Legal experts say these choices would likely meet resistance from Republicans." He then played a clip of CBS legal analyst Andrew Cohen saying, "They think that there's going to be a Robin Hood placed on the court who's going to steal from the rich to give to the poor. They hear liberal judicial activism, someone who's going to roll back the gains the right has made on the court for the past 20 years." However, neither Plante nor Cohen noted that conservatives and Republicans have reportedly acknowledged that they plan to oppose Obama's nominee for political gain, regardless of whom Obama chooses.

As Media Matters for America has noted, according to reports in The New York Times and Politico, conservatives and Republicans have said they intend to use the confirmation process to "help refill depleted coffers and galvanize a movement demoralized by Republican electoral defeats"; "build the conservative movement"; provide "a massive teaching moment for America"; "prepare the great debate with a view toward Senate elections in 2010 and the presidency"; and "hurt conservative Democrats" -- all motivations that have nothing to do with criteria senators should consider in exercising their constitutional responsibility to provide "advice and consent" on judicial nominations. Indeed, conservative activist and law professor Robert George reportedly acknowledged, "For [the conservative base], this is about the future of the Republican Party, not who is going to sit on the Supreme Court," and conservative activist Manuel Miranda reportedly said of the confirmation process: "It isn't just about the nominee."

From the May 26 edition of CBS' The Early Show:

PLANTE: It looks like it could be today. We just got a note saying that the president will have a special announcement to make at 10:15 Eastern time. We think that's the Supreme Court nominee. He's already made it clear that he wants somebody with a lot of experience as well as intellectual heft, so here is a look at some of the leading candidates.

[begin video clip]

PLANTE: Diane Wood is a federal appeals judge in Illinois, a former professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and a strong supporter of abortion rights. New York federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor would be the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice if confirmed. She was appointed to the federal bench in 1997 by President Clinton. And Elena Kagan currently serves as the nation's solicitor general and was the former dean at Harvard Law School. Legal experts say these choices would likely meet resistance from Republicans.

COHEN: They think that there's going to be a Robin Hood placed on the court who's going to steal from the rich to give to the poor. They hear liberal judicial activism, someone who's going to roll back the gains the right has made on the court for the past 20 years.

[end video clip]

PLANTE: Again, looks like we're going to get that Supreme nomination -- Supreme Court nomination today about 10:15 Eastern time. That would mean that hearings could be scheduled in July, and that the nominee, if confirmed, could be ready to take his, her place on the court when the new term opens in October -- Jeff.

Posted In
Government, Nominations & Appointments, The Judiciary
Network/Outlet
CBS
Person
Bill Plante
Show/Publication
The Early Show
Stories/Interests
Supreme Court Nominations, Sotomayor Nomination
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