By Dave Andrusko
It is my habit each and every day to take a quick peek at what appeared in NRL News Today exactly one year before. Talk about a perfect fit.
One of the stories I wrote on March 5, 2018, was headlined, “Angry that President Trump is keeping his promise.” I focused on a story veteran pro-abortion reporter Joan Biskupic wrote for CNN lamenting that President Trump was keeping his promises to the pro-life community, particularly in his choices for the Supreme Court, although it could equally well be said about nominees for the lower courts.
Just this morning I read a story in the Washington Post (owned by Jeff Bezos) which hates Mr. Trump with an almost irrational intensity. But even by WaPo standards, Robert Costa seethes with anger, snark, and ridicule.
How dare President Trump’s supporters hang with him, including 88% of Republicans? Hadn’t the Washington Post posted approximately four billion articles criticizing him? Don’t Trump’s supporters know their betters—the Media Elite—and that they should take their marching orders from the Post and the New York Times, etc?
It’s one thing for attendees to the Conservative Political Action Conference to be “exuberant,” but it was clearly quite another thing for Republicans on Capitol Hill to exhibit an “unflinching loyalty to Trump.”
Let’s revisit what I wrote last year to help Mr. Costa understand why President Trump’s supporters refused to be browbeaten, shamed, or ridiculed into abandoning him. What was true then is only more true today.
Joan Biskupic has been writing articles and books about the Supreme Court for decades, most prominently for the Washington Post, Reuters, USA Today, and, currently, for CNN.
Among other books, Biskupic wrote a highly sympathetic biography of former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor [Sandra Day O’Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice], another volume about pro-abortion Justice Sonia Sotomayor [Breaking In: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice], and is an unabashed fan of pro-abortion fanatic Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
She also wrote, American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, which I have not read but which according to reviews was even-handed in its treatment of the late pro-life justice.
Which brings us to today and a curious story Biskupic wrote for CNN, “How Donald Trump is remaking the law in his own image.”
It’s written as if Barack Obama had never been President. Or, put more accurately, the clear suggestion is that whatever policies Mr. Obama promoted and advanced must and should stand forever.
Biskupic either never heard of or discounts the adage that “elections have consequences.”
She begins by accurately observing, “No president has been doing so much so fast to transform the law in America,” before adding this editorial tidbit, “Just as no president has shown such little regard for its norms and traditions.”
The next paragraph is key not only to her analysis but to so much over-the-top, end-of-the-world criticism of the whirl-wind pace at which the President is transforming the federal judiciary.
“The chaos in President Donald Trump’s White House and his unconventional public statements have sometimes obscured his administration’s agenda for the law. But it is concerted, consistent and could have an impact for decades” (my emphasis).
In other words, darn.
In other policy areas (according to Biskupic, et al.), President Trump may often change positions. But when it comes to the judiciary, Mr. Trump has a laser-line focus.
She tries to disguise her unhappiness with the emphasis on nominating Originalists in the mold of Justice Scalia with a feint towards on the one hand and on the other hand.
Biskupic first tells us, ”It is not unusual for a new administration to shift legal positions as part of an overall political agenda.” Fine.
No, it’s not fine to Biskupic.
“But stability in the law is valued, and top government lawyers are apt to move incrementally, rather than with the speed and audacity defining the Trump administration.”
Indeed, warming to the task, three paragraphs later, Biskupic can’t contain her disapproval. She all but compares the President to some Latin America despot before half-heartedly conceding that there is nothing wrong, improper, or out of the ordinary about a conservative Republican administration taking a very different position than a liberal Democratic administration of a wide range of issues.
Lawyers on the conservative side say the administration’s moves in court cases simply reflect how democracy works. A new administration is entitled to fresh legal choices.
Yes, that is how democracies work. She may have forgotten, for example, that was how it worked when Barack Obama replaced George W. Bush!
Biskupic also manages to miss that President Trump, as candidate Trump, was very, very specific about the kind of men and women he would nominate to the bench.
He is keeping his promises—and that makes Biskupic and her ilk very unhappy.