Bedsworth for the Supreme Court

Monday, July 18, 2005

Bedsworth for the Supreme Court

I think President Bush could get the drop on his adversaries by nominating someone no one expects for the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice O'Connor. They'll still be scrambling to figure out who the hell this guy is while the nominee enjoys news cycle after news cycle of happy stories fed by the White House to the obliging press corpse.

I think Justice William Bedsworth of the California Court of Appeal would be a terrific choice. I've linked to his hilarious A Criminal Waste of Space columns regularly. Check out the latest one, and ask yourself if the country wouldn't be better off with a Supreme Court justice who could write this:

"This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer."

Will Rogers said it, and we've all felt that way on occasion. No matter which side of the Schiavo fiasco or the filibuster/nuclear option debacle you were on, you must, at some point, have found yourself wondering if there wasn't a provision somewhere in the Constitution entrusting somebody with the responsibility of taking the hammer away from the baby.

In fact, there is not. The Framers did not provide for a constitutional au pair who would monitor the congresskinder while the rest of us were busy handling non-governmental functions. All we have is the dysfunctional nanny cam provided by CNN and Fox News and the three major networks and Time and Newsweek — all of whom have been so anxious to sacrifice their credibility on the altar of the great god "I Reported It First" that a lot of us just don't much believe any of them anymore.

The result is that it's becoming increasingly difficult to tell what's straight news and what's not anymore. The stuff Jon Stewart reports on The Daily Show and the stuff Jim Lehrer reports on PBS are pretty much indistinguishable. Let me try to illustrate this point, and also prove the truth of Will Rogers' boast that, "There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you."

I recommend Bedsworth without having the slightest notion of his "judicial philosophy," a term I suspect we will all be quite sick of in a couple of months. Republicans must like him: Pete Wilson appointed him to the appellate court in one of the most rock-solid Republican parts of the state. He was once named Judge of the Year by the Hispanic Bar Association, and we know Dubya would like to make history by naming a Hispanic to the Supreme Court. His service on the board of the National Conference of Christians and Jews is a big strike against him, as that organization's anti-racist mission puts it on the wrong side of the War on Terror, but nobody's perfect.

And how can you not love a judge like this:
He works for the National Hockey League as a goal judge at all Mighty Ducks games and selected road playoff games, a job which made him the subject of a story in "ESPN The Magazine" entitled Justice of the Crease.

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