“Judicial activism” isn’t just a conservative buzzword anymore. Democrats intend to use the upcoming confirmation battle over John Paul Stevens’ successor to argue that it’s the conservatives on John Roberts’ court who are litigating from the bench, high-ranking Democrats tell Politico. Exhibit A: The wildly unpopular Citizens United v. FEC ruling, which eliminated virtually every check on corporate political spending.
Expect the nominee to hear questions like, “Do you share our concern that the court always seems to side with the big corporate interests against the average American?” says Patrick Leahy. But Republicans evinced indifference about the frantic strategizing. “Are you telling me they want to use the Supreme Court confirmation for political purposes?” said a Mitch McConnell spokesman. “They told us we weren’t supposed to do that.”