by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
George Leef’s latest Forbes column explains the potential benefits of Clint Bolick’s addition to the Arizona Supreme Court.
What I find so wonderful about Bolick’s appointment is that it puts on the bench a legal practitioner who has for many years fought in the trenches against the omnipotent state and understands far better than most judges that courts must stop rubber stamping government actions that should get strict scrutiny. Many Republican judicial nominees have turned out to be lukewarm at best when it comes to challenging the vast regulatory state and upholding individual property rights and freedom to peacefully engage in business. Bolick is not cut from the same cloth as, oh, Chief Justice Roberts.
For the statist left, however, the Bolick appointment is frightening. On ThinkProgress, Ian Millhiser calls it The Most Chilling Political Appointment That You’ve Never Heard Of.
What disturbs Millhiser is that, he writes, “Bolick has spent the last quarter century working to make the law more friendly to anti-government conservatives.”
No, what Bolick has been doing is working to make the law less debilitating for individuals (many of them minority, and not uniformly conservative in their politics, which are entirely irrelevant) who want more freedom. Millhiser admits that the Institute for Justice has litigated on behalf of “genuine sympathetic plaintiffs” and fought against needless licensing regulations “that are hard to defend as good policy.”
So, why is Bolick a bad guy to have on the Arizona Supreme Court? He favors limits on state power, that’s why. And even though it is clear beyond dispute that many of the poor in America have been harmed by that power, progressives like Millhiser are frightened that people will come to question their entire project of subjecting the nation to an ever-growing maze of laws and regulations.