This is going to be an obnoxious few months of politics from the Republicans.
In its first memo to reporters since Kagan’s nomination to the high court became public, the Republican National Committee highlighted Kagan’s tribute to Marshall in a 1993 law review article published shortly after his death.
Kagan quoted from a speech Marshall gave in 1987 in which he said the Constitution as originally conceived and drafted was “defective.” She quoted him as saying the Supreme Court’s mission was to “show a special solicitude for the despised and the disadvantaged.”
“Does Kagan Still View Constitution ‘As Originally Drafted And Conceived’ As ‘Defective’?” the RNC asked in its research document. “And Does Kagan Still Believe That The Supreme Court's Primary Mission Is To ‘Show A Special Solicitude For The Despised And Disadvantaged’?”
John Aravosis boils it down:
[T]he specific Marshall quote that the GOP is so upset about - that the Constitution was defective as originally drafted. Thurgood Marshall was talking about, among things, slavery. So, the Republicans don't think approving slavery was a defect of the Constitution? That's really their argument, defending three-fifths a man and slavery?
I get the desire to win over the Beauregard Sessions vote, but seriously, they're going to build a national majority on racism?
It certainly wouldn't be a new tactic from Republicans. Don't forget Ronald Reagan's first speech after the 1980 GOP convention was on the topic of states rights, and was delievered in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964. The GOP hasn't changed an iota in the intervening thirty years, except perhaps they're even less subtle in their racism in 2010.