Suddenly, Conservatives Are the Judicial Activists

Health reform challenge a political maneuver to rally base
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2010 12:40 PM CDT
Opponents of the health care reform bill.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – For a group that has long derided liberals’ use of “activist judges,” conservatives seem to have no problem calling for a little bit of judicial activism when it comes to health care reform legislation, writes Gabriel Winant. Except now, instead of your “chardonnay-swilling Manhattanites” calling up “their activist judge friends,” it’s Republican attorneys general taking the will of the people to court. And for some pretty selfish reasons.

“The lawsuits aren’t really about overturning health care," writes Winant at Salon. "If you’re a red-state attorney general, you have your eye on the governorship or the US Senate.” This isn't so much a matter of principle as a way for these candidates to curry favor with the base. In reality, "it would probably be a fiasco for the GOP if the lawsuit actually went anywhere, which it almost certainly won’t."

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