Democrats Begin to Focus on the 3rd Branch of Government

More good news…
After capturing the White House and Congress in a landslide on Tuesday, Democrats are already talking about reshaping the top courts.
The Hill reported:

Democrats and allied advocacy groups expect President-elect Barack Obama to put a progressive stamp on the federal judiciary, saying it has veered too far right under President Bush.

After capturing the White House and strengthening their grip on Congress, Democrats will turn to the third branch of government — and the only one firmly under strong conservative influence.

They claim that Obama, who discussed the role of the courts during his campaign, has received a strong mandate from voters to reshape the judiciary.

“He will have a major impact on the federal judiciary,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who urged Obama to appoint judges who respect the Constitution and its values.

Cardin and other senators believe that Bush’s court appointments shifted too much power away from Congress.

“Bush’s appointments have sided on giving the executive branch more power,” said Cardin. “We should make sure that we have a balance on the federal bench that will show respect to the Constitution, including to its separation of powers.”

Kathryn Kolbert, president of People for the American Way, a group that has played a central role in past battles over court appointments, said: “The right wing has been very successful in stacking the courts with ideological appointments, people who vote their politics rather than the law.”

Kolbert and other advocates allied with the Democratic Party say it is time to begin reversing the rightward trend of the courts.

…Many activists are looking ahead to as many as three Supreme Court justices possibly retiring during Obama’s first term.

Justice John Paul Stevens, who is 88 years old, is viewed as a likely candidate, as are Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has battled health problems in recent years, and David Souter, who is rumored to want to return to his home state of New Hampshire.

“I think this election is a clear mandate for Obama to appoint judges who are committed to core constitutional values: justice, equality and opportunity for all,” said Kolbert, who wants Obama to appoint jurists in the mold of liberal visionaries such as the late Justices Thurgood Marshall and William Brennan Jr.

Hang on for the ride.

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