When “conservatives” and “liberals” unite

Community activists battling plans for a hideous Chicago shrine to Barack Obama have been dealt a series of blows in recent months.  Perhaps most notable was a rebuff from none other than Amy Coney Barrett, whose decision in favor of Obama bore all the hallmarks of ruling class solidarity.

How Amy Coney Barrett and Barack Obama Transcended Petty Partisanship to Crush Community Activists in Chicago by Liza Featherstone for Jacobin. 


UpdateI was over-hasty in posting this link.  On sober second thought, it is unfair to attribute a bad motive to Judge Barrett.

In principle, the elected municipal government and its officials have better standing to determine what is in the public interest than do self-appointed community activists or un-elected judges. 

The former have to answer to the public at the polls; the latter do not.  Judge Barrett was acting according to the well-established legal philosophy of judicial restraint.

In practice, the Obama project seems like a horrible idea, and nobody who is responsible for it will ever face any kind of accountability. 

As the saying goes, hard cases make bad law.

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3 Responses to “When “conservatives” and “liberals” unite”

  1. Vincent Says:

    At first your title sounded hopeful: people ignoring an ideological divide to unite for the common good, such as a community project to help victims of poverty or pandemic.

    Instead, you pose a difficult conundrum. From this distance I can’t understand how it could come to this.Here in UK we have a system of Planning Permission, under which plans are published and discussed, with full note taken of any objections. Once permission is granted, the project designers are not allowed to change the plan they submitted in the first place.


  2. philebersole Says:

    I made a mistake in posting the link without thinking things through. Most of the people in my circle of friends mistakenly think that Obama and the Democrats are on their side and that there is a fundamental difference between them and the Republicans. I delight when I come across evidence that shows this is wrong.

    Spoiling a beautiful public park in order to build a museum to gratify the ego of former President Obama seems on the face of it to be an abuse of power.

    Local governments in the U.S. also have regulations as to adoption of land use plans, and also for making exceptions to land use plans. They must give prior notice and hold public hearings before making decisions. When they fail to follow their own procedures, they can be and often are sued.

    I don’t know what Chicago’s regulations are and whether they were followed.

    Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who seems like a fine person in her private life, has a record of making rulings that benefit the rich and powerful. That’s why right-wing Republicans support her.

    I have not looked at her decisions specifically, nor have I looked at this decision, to consider its legal merits.

    It might be that an objective lawyer would conclude the city of Chicago was acting within its legal authority, deplorable as the result might seem to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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