Ignoring Men in Black won't stop its rise on the bestseller charts, Lithwick rightly observes -- particularly not when it's being pimped by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Fox News.
The book was ranked eighth on the New York Times list last week, its sixth week on the list, and like much of the "political analysis" pitched at the Fox News crowd, it's gone virtually unchallenged. Until Ms. Lithwick leapt in last Friday and trounced it, that is.
The book is silly. But the maddening question here is why Levin, Limbaugh, and--as of yesterday, Tom DeLay--have stopped threatening just "liberal activist" judges and have started threatening the judiciary as a whole. Levin, recall, is excoriating a court composed of seven Republican appointees. He's trashing the body that's done more to restore the primacy of states' rights, re-inject religion into public life, and limit the rights of criminal defendants than any court in decades. He seems not to have noticed that the Rehnquist court is a pretty reliably conservative entity. Reading his hysterical attacks on Justices O'Connor and Kennedy, you'd forget they are largely on his side and substantially different creatures from the court's true liberals. But Levin seems as incapable of distinguishing between jurists as he is incapable of differentiating between cases or doctrine. He's happy to decimate the court as a whole....
[Levin's] fixes for the problem of judicial overreaching go further than manipulating the appointments process. He wants to cut all judges off at the knees: He'd like to give force to the impeachment rules, put legislative limits on the kinds of constitutional questions courts may review, and institute judicial term limits. He'd also amend the Constitution to give congress a veto over the court's decisions. Each of which imperils the notion of an independent judiciary and of three separate, co-equal branches of government. But the Levins of the world are not interested in a co-equal judiciary. They seem to want to see it burn.