Memo To: Senate Democrats
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: The Supreme Court
History will record the most important decision of the U.S. Supreme Court this year was its 7-to-2 vote to change the rules of golf, requiring the Professional Golfers Association to allow a pro who has troubling walking, because of a degenerative disease, to ride a golf cart in competition. I’d practically talked myself into the idea that it would make little difference whether President George W. Bush appoints strict constructionists or flexible jurists to the High Court in the next four years. Not any more. This single decision persuaded me that the struggle over the judicial branch of government between the Daddy Party and the Mommy Party is as serious as ever, and we cannot trust you Democrats with the appointment power. I don’t think there are many golfers in America, or golfing fans, who are pleased with this decision and many must be very dismayed. To me, it is a ruling that contributes to the continuing emasculation of the American male, by the government in general and the Supreme Court in particular.
Court Justices: You Senate Democrats have indicated, at every opportunity, that you plan to oppose any nominee that does not fit the specifications of the Mommy organizations that are at the core of your ideological agenda. You should think twice, I believe, by holding up Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas as examples of what you do not want on the Supreme Court. They were the only two who voted against the decision. Yes, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 and at the time I thought it a good thing. I’ve not been so sure in the years since, as it becomes clear the uniform one-size-fits-all federal standards being applied by the Justice Department are making it more difficult for small towns and school districts to comply. Regulations are like poll taxes, where rich and poor, large and small, bear the same costs. Perhaps it is time to amend the basic law to allow more flexibility to take this into account.
That, though, is another matter, with which the disability lobbyists may have to contend when it becomes clear this High Court ruling on golf carts has taken the basic law to a new and ridiculous length. If a law were proposed requiring the PGA to allow golfers to ride golf carts in professional tournaments, it would never get to a vote in the House or Senate and probably never make it out of a committee. Surely it was never the intent of the government in 1990 that the law would be interpreted in this manner. But when you have a Supreme Court that feels sorry for athletes who cannot compete within the rules of the tournament, there really is a need for the President to appoint more Justices who follow the Constitution, not their hearts. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and while the path set out in this golf-cart decision may not “fundamentally alter” the game of golf, it does open up a whole new can of worms.