Via Stop the ACLU, here is Obama in his own words in 2001, giving up on the courts as a mechanism for radical change and suggesting a political approach instead:
If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.
This man thought the Warren Court wasn’t radical enough. Wow.
It was, and remains, intellectual fashion in much of academic America to dress hard-core radicalism in verbiage.
The erudition of the opinions Obama expressed do not make them any less radical.
Just remember, if he wins, Obama will be appointing some Supreme Court justices…
…and pushing for “fairness” as not just a political goal, but as the primary substantive basis for constitutional jurisprudence.
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