Justice O'Connor Resigned

Questions for the Nominee

Let's get a little creative this time. Let's appoint a Supreme Court justice who can do more than evade the question. Let's appoint a justice who cares about the Constitution and its consequences. Herewith questions I would ask were I a Senator.

1.  Do you think it really matters that the word "privacy" does not appear in the Constitution? How could a government of limited powers ever be presumed to impinge on the right to privacy?

2. On the question of constitutional interpretation, the term "sovereign immunity" is nowhere present in the text of the Constitution and runs counter to the Preamble. Would you agree that declaring government sovereign inverts the constitutional order?

3.  Do you believe in the Seventh Amendment right to a jury in civil trials? If so, would you agree that such judicial remedies as remittitur and limitations on punitive damages deprive the people of their voice?

4.  How do you weight the respective claims of liberty and property? If liberty is as important or more important than property rights, how do you reconcile the fact that insurance companies have more rights in civil litigation than do defendants in criminal cases in so far as discovery is concerned?

5.  Do you believe that the commerce clause should be read in such a way as to create what amounts to a federal police power?  If not, then what doctrinal limitations are you willing to place on the definition of activities deemed substantially to affect interestate commerce?

6.  How would you have voted on Kelo? In particular, does the Bill of Rights have any ability to trump a local conception of the general welfare?

7. What principled reason can you give for distinguishing civil union from marriage, and how do you respond to the criticism that the distinction in its current form deprives gay and lesbian couples of the equal protection of the law?

8.  And, finally, are you willing to bitch-slap Antontin Scalia from time to time just for kicks?