Conservative judicial activist Kenneth Blackwell takes to takes to the New York Sun today to argue that conservatives should not rest on their laurels after their recent string of 5-4 victories in the Supreme Court. I'm always impressed by how right-wing writers are able to strike such a consistently victimized, even apocalyptic, tone when they discuss the courts -- as though they are always, even when they win, just holding out on some judicial Masada, waiting for the activist liberal judges to overrun the last bastions of God-fearing, "originalist" jurisprudence.
Conservatives should consider Hein both a victory and a missed opportunity. The fact that Flast was not expanded means what would have been a whole new line of attack by the Left against churches and ministries has been stopped. But the fact that Flast was not overturned means that all the current attacks will continue until such a time when one more conservative justice is confirmed to the Supreme Court.Blackwell warns that liberals will be politically energized by the latest string of decisions, while conservatives might be tempted to let down their guard. Given the immense investments of time, resources, and spin that right-wing judicial activists like Blackwell have made in taking control of the courts, it's hardly surprising that he should insist on keeping up the fight. Is his op-ed a sign of the conservative rhetoric to come during the 2008 electoral cycle?
Hein shows that conservatives have gotten halfway to the Court they desire, but are most definitely not there yet. Conservatives can celebrate, but they need to double their efforts in the 2008 elections.