Palin Bucks Right, Appoints Former Planned Parenthood Board Member to Supreme Court

Last week we noted that Sarah Palin was facing a dilemma rooted in her state’s “Missouri Plan”-like  structure for appointing state Supreme Court justices because the list of candidates she was required to choose from did not necessarily reflect her views.

This issue didn’t seem to be generating all that much coverage but it did generate interest from the state’s Alaska Family Council, which urged its activists to contact Palin and pressure her to choose Eric Smith over Morgan Christen, saying that Smith was “more conservative” than Christen, who was, among other things, on the board of Planned Parenthood in the mid-1990s. 

But Palin was apparently not swayed by the AFC’s efforts and went ahead and appointed Christen:

Governor Sarah Palin selected Anchorage Superior Court Judge Morgan Christen to the Alaska Supreme Court. Christen is the 20th justice appointed to the Court.

“Alaska’s Supreme Court bears the awesome responsibility of ensuring that our court system administers justice in firm accordance with the principles laid down in our state Constitution,” said Governor Palin. “I have every confidence that Judge Christen has the experience, intellect, wisdom and character to be an outstanding Supreme Court justice.”

The Alaska Daily News reports that AFC president Jim Minnery is not happy and says that Palin will be getting a good talking to when they see each other at an upcoming benefit:

The head of the Alaska Family Council — a Christian pro-family, anti-abortion group — on Wednesday sent an e-mail to thousands of people asking them to urge Palin to pick Smith, not Christen.

The governor’s office received about 100 letters, e-mails and faxes from the public about the Supreme Court appointment, including some from the family council, Palin’s spokeswoman, Sharon Leighow, said in an e-mail. That was not an unusual number, Leighow said.

The family council plea, from group president Jim Minnery, said Smith was “more conservative” and that Christen would be “another activist on the Court.” In an interview, Minnery said that was the “general consensus” but he had no specifics.

“I’ll be seeing the governor tomorrow. We’ll have a good chat,” Minnery said after Christen’s appointment was announced. He said that Palin is introducing the speaker Thursday evening at a benefit lecture in Anchorage for the family council.

As we noted last time, when Missouri’s Republican Governor Matt Blunt faced this sort of situation back in 2007, right-wing groups savaged him, saying “too many politicians have suffered the fate of trying to have issues both ways, and this may be the final strike for Gov. Blunt.”

Will Palin face the same sort of outrage?