Fickle angst over activist judges

Like a recent letter writer, I think it was imprudent of President Obama to talk about the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on the Affordable Care Act. On the other hand, it accomplished two good things. First, it gave us a couple of days without letters about fluoride. Thought I was in a time warp for a while there. What’s next? A Republican congressman claiming there are 80 communists among Democratic legislators?

Second, in case anyone had any illusions, it pointed out the facility with which the opinions of politicians (and the rest of us, too) change like Everett weather in the fall, depending on who’s in charge. Suddenly Republicans, who for decades have railed against unelected activist judges, who were apoplectic when California’s marriage law was declared unconstitutional, are praising judges to the heavens. It’s almost like they just discovered the Constitution. This from the party of Newt Gingrich, briefly a leading presidential contender, who called for defunding the Ninth Circuit and the arrest of judges with whom he disagrees; the party whose darling Ann Coulter has called for the death of a Supreme Court justice and has blamed the court for all future terrorist attacks. Whose loudest voice, Rush Limbaugh, has said even worse about liberal justices.

Compared to that, what Barack Obama said seems almost sweet. But to those on the right side of the aisle, it’s as if they’ve never criticized courts at all.

Funny how that works, isn’t it? Wonder if we’ll ever get past it.

Sid Schwab