- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Not the Norm

The Senate still has only 99 members because the razor-thin race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken is now in Minnesota courts, and so neither man can be seated.

Now that recounts and found votes have put Mr. Franken in the lead, liberals say “enough is enough.”

Mark Kleiman of Reality-Based Community says that “if I were a Minnesotan, I think I’d be pretty angry about the way that Norm Coleman and his friends in the national Republican Party have deprived the state of half its representation in the Senate.

“It’s now clear that Coleman can’t win, but the Republicans are happy to spend a few million bucks to make Obama find two Republican votes, rather than only one to break filibusters and do other things for which Senate rules impose a super-majority.”

Color Megan McArdle of the Atlantic unimpressed, starting with “the obvious He’d have voted for Franken.”

But then she goes on to cite the “even more obvious.”

“The reason that this is in litigation is that half of Minnesotans did not vote for Franken — indeed, the measurement error being what it is, there is a decent chance that more Minnesotan voters desired Norm Coleman in the senatorial seat. Given that, it is not good politics to get snippy at people because they’re not giving up soon enough to suit you. Moreover, I seem to recall that the Gore campaign’s endless new plans for lengthy recounts polled pretty well.”

Daily dose

At National Review’s legal blog Bench Memos, Ed Whelan has been posting a recurring “outrage of the day”-type series called “This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism.”

The intermittent series has averaged out to about every other day — 15 in January, 14 in February. Here are two recent favorites:

Feb. 23, 1993 — When is a quota not a quota? The St. Petersburg Times reports that Florida chief justice Rosemary Barkett, a member of the Florida Commission on the Status of Women, defends a commission report that recommends passage of legislation requiring that all of Florida’s decision-making boards and commissions be half male and half female by 1998. Barkett explains: ‘It is not in the context of a quota system. It is simply an acknowledgment that women make up one-half of the population of this state.’ Oh. Impressed by her willingness and ability to deny the obvious, President Clinton months later nominates Barkett to an Eleventh Circuit seat, where she serves with distinction (of a sort) to this day.”

Feb. 18, 1972 — In a Brennanesque opinion in People v. Anderson, the California supreme court, by a 6-1 vote, misconstrues the state constitution’s prohibition on cruel or unusual punishment to reflect ‘contemporary standards of decency’ and rules that the death penalty violates what it imagines contemporary standards to be. All pending death sentences, including those of Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan, are voided. Nine months later, the people of California, expressing actual contemporary standards, override the ruling by voting overwhelmingly to amend the state constitution to authorize the death penalty.”

Yellow nation I

It’s probably an understatement to say Michelle Malkin is not a fan of The Washington Post. But in this case at least, she was more a fan of the Post than the Post’s own bosses, whom she ridiculed for a “comical pre-emptive apology.”

Story Continues →