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Before the old and new media begin humming about the body blow several justices of the United States Supreme Court have apparently delivered to this nation’s very existence in today’s Hamdan decision (which I will comment on after reading the lengthy opinion), I want to lay the blame on those responsible.


On Gerald R. Ford, for appointing Justice John Paul Stevens.


On Ronald W. Reagan, for appointing Justice Anthony Kennedy.


On George H.W. Bush, for appointing Justice David H. Souter.


On the Republicans in the United States Senate, whose committee approved and whose entire body then confirmed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, each appointed by William Jefferson Clinton.


Worse than the appointments themselves was the way they were made.


Does anyone believe that President Ford (a lawyer!) knew a damn thing about Stevens?  That President Reagan knew anything at all about Kennedy? That President Bush had ever heard of Souter?  Hardly.


Twice upon a time, I went through the Justice Department screening process for a seat on a United States Court of Appeals (and each time lost out to powerfully-connected political figures), so I know how the system works. Candidates have sponsors: senators, congressmen, contributors, friends, seconds, ideologues.  In the case of Kennedy it is reputed to have been a former law clerk; in the case of Souter it was a home-state senator and a presidential chief-of-staff from the same state; and in the case of Ginsburg and Breyer it was some of the most powerful leftists and liberals in the country.


It is these kinds of people who make the recommendations—who push, pull, lobby, cajole, lie, beg, and cash in favors to get their candidates nominated.  (Ask Eisenhower about Earl Warren.)  And the presidents then choose from the short list.


And so through this entirely personal-political process we get the likes of Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer—and, thanks to them, not a mere nail in the coffin of America’s war on Islamic jihad, but a stake through its heart.  (That the system, thankfully, occasionally produces a Scalia or Thomas does not detract from my point: that for the most part, it is politics not merit that rules.)


So when the Hamdan decision is sliced and diced, and it becomes apparent how much damage these five justices have done to our present national security and to the future of the United States, let us remember who is responsible.


Paraphrasing the late Supreme Court justice, Robert Jackson: in the hands of the left and its fellow travelers, the Constitution is, indeed, a suicide pact.