Vox Populi: The O'Shaughnessy Files

By William O’Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

INTERVIEW WITH GOVERNOR
MARIO M. CUOMO RE: THE SUPREME
COURT, SENATOR ROBERT BYRD,
LARRY KING, ANDREW CUOMO,
AND THE BP OIL SPILL

July 2, 2010

WILLIAM O’SHAUGHNESSY (W.O.): Before we all go off to see the rockets’ red glare and fireworks on the Fourth of July, let’s switch to Willkie, Farr & Gallagher, the prestigious New York law firm, and its most illustrious partner, the fifty-second governor of New York, Mario Matthew Cuomo. Governor Cuomo, there’s much we want to seek your wisdom on this Fourth of July weekend. First of all, the people in Washington are wrestling with the question of another Supreme Court justice: Elena Kagan. Will she be a good justice?

GOVERNOR MARIO CUOMO (M.C.): That’s a really complicated question, Bill, because you have to define a lot of things. The first is, what is a good justice? What is a good justice supposed to do? And believe it or not, that simple-sounding question is a very difficult one to answer because people have different views of the Constitution. People have different views of the role of the Supreme Court. For me, the Supreme Court is supposed to be—or at least was intended to be by the Founding Fathers—totally free of politics. The way the government was established there would be a political branch—meaning the people selected their leaders, with remote authority at least. You pick congresspeople, you pick a president, etc. And you have an expectation that that person will do what you selected them to do. That’s the political side of our government. But the judicial side, the Supreme Court, has nothing to do—or should have nothing to do—with the politics. Except it’s the politicians who grill them and the politicians who nominate them to begin with. The president nominates them and

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