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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not that it Matters...

...but Obama wasn't talking about redistribution of wealth in his 2001 radio interview as FOX News, Drudge, and the McCain campaign complain. He was part of a panel that was discussing the role of the Supreme Court in implementing civil rights changes, school desegregation, and particularly the Warren Court and its ground-breaking desegregation rulings.

I had flashbacks to law school as I read the entire transcript. I realized, that while I may understand the nuances and the arguments that were being made, it may not make a lot of sense to Joe the Plumber. Therefore, it's easy for McCain to cherry pick some key phrases like "redistributive change" and "redistribution of wealth" and make it sound like Obama was talking about socialism.

The explanation of what Obama was really talking about entails explaining the 14th Amendment, the separation of powers, and the influence of stare decisis on the current Supreme Court. Now, when your candidate for VP doesn't even know what the Constitution says about the role of the Vice President, I don't think you're going to take the time to understand what a Constitutional law scholar is saying about desegregation.

The bottom line is this: Obama didn't think the Warren Court was as radical as people say it was when it ordered school desegregation. He thought they stayed within the confines of the Constitution and followed the social norms of the day. He said it would've been really radical if the Warren Court had started getting into economic social injustices. He says one of the fallouts of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling (that desegregated the schools) was that the Court was placed in a position to try and order school districts and states how to distribute their money so that the schools were equal. He says this is not a role that the Court is very good at and that it is an administrative function best left to the legislatures.

Now, if you're still with me, can somebody tell me what any of that has to do with socialism? The real question is, does McCain oppose school desegregation?

Update:

Not that it matters, but the AP reads the interview the same way I did, calling the McCain attacks false.

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