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Obama's ill-advised quip to Joe the Plumber wasn't an accident, It was the real Obama and if that incident hurt Obama, this youtube may likely be ten times worse. There's no getting around it.
...But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.
And to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn't shifted. And one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movement became so court-focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which to bring about redistributive change. And in some ways we still suffer from that.
...Obama: Maybe I'm showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but I'm not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. Y'know, the institution just isn't structured that way.
...The court's just not very good at it, and politically it's very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So, I mean, I think that although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally, y'know I think any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts. .....
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