Terrific news out of Arizona today, where Governor Doug Ducey has announced his appointment of Clint Bolick to the state’s Supreme Court. How great an appointment is this? Well, the folks at the Center for American Progress are having a cow:
Unless you’re unusually familiar with libertarian legal activists (or you are a Republican presidential candidate) you probably have never heard the name “Clint Bolick.” But Mr. Bolick has spent the last quarter century working — at times quite successfully — to make the law more friendly to anti-government conservatives. Thanks to an appointment, announced Wednesday by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R), Bolick will now bring this agenda to his state’s supreme court.
For people who care about the rights of workers in the workplace, this should be a chilling development, not just because of what incoming Justice Bolick is likely to say in his opinions, but because of what his appointment portends if Republicans have the opportunity to make appointments to the federal bench and, ultimately, the Supreme Court of the United States.
In 1991, Bolick co-founded the Institute for Justice (IJ), possibly the most savvy anti-government litigation shop in the country. One of IJ’s core strategies is to find genuinely sympathetic plaintiffswho are harmed by economic regulations that sound ridiculous on their face, and then use them as vehicles to push sweeping changes to legal doctrine that mirror limits on state power repudiated during the New Deal. As Bolick notes in his not-so-subtly named book Death Grip: Loosening the Law’s Stranglehold over Economic Liberty, one of his early cases involved a businessman who tried to start a cab company that served a low-income neighborhood, but then got tripped up by licensing regulations that are hard to defend as good policy.
Yet these sympathetic plaintiffs are often cat’s paws for a much more sweeping agenda seeking to invalidate much of American law.
There’s much more to this CAP bovine primal scream, but this is enough. And if this isn’t the best endorsement for Bolick you can possibly think of, well it’s only because Bernie Sanders hasn’t received his talking points yet.
Remember that Sandra Day O’Connor came from the AZ Supreme Court, so let’t not wait: Bolick for SCOTUS! I’m told that George Will wrote to Gov. Ducey the following on behalf of Clint: “If you put Mr Bolick on the bench, he will serve all Arizonans with distinction. That is, he will serve until a Republican president, matching your wisdom, nominates him to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.” Clearly this is on the mind of CAP, which warns:
So the closest thing this Republican field has to a moderate thinks that Bolick is a “fantastic” appointment — and as many as four justices could retire in the next president’s term due to their advanced age. If a Republican wins the race for the White House, men like Bolick could soon fill the U.S. Supreme Court.
Again, hard to get a better endorsement. Thanks, CAP.
P.S. Among other great deeds, Bolick was instrumental in sinking the Justice Department civil right division nomination of the egregious Lani Guinier back in the Clinton years.