If you are a lawyer with a case at the court, pitch your arguments to her. If your issue is affirmative action, or religion, or federalism, or redistricting, or abortion, or constitutional due process in any of its many manifestations, you can assume that the fate of that issue is in her hands. Don't bother with doctrinaire assertions and bright-line rules. Be meticulously prepared on the facts, and be ready to show how the law relates to those facts and how, together, they make sense.
And it is because Justice O'Connor has played such a pivotal role on the court for much of her 24-year tenure that her unexpected retirement is such a galvanizing event. Much more than the widely anticipated retirement of the predictably conservative Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, her departure creates an opportunity for President Bush to shape the court.
This is a huge opportunity for Bush to change the makeup of the Court in a signifigant way to throw out all of the New Deal and overturn the basic rights of equal protection of laws, and due process that have developed so much over the past 50 years.
Here's my theory, and my thoughts on how Democrats should react to the nomination battle:
The Shrub will appoint Abu Gonzalez to fill the vacancy. Gonzalez will be the choice because Bush clearly trusts him, and with hispanics being a rapidly growing demographic in the United States it will be seen as correct to put a Hispanic on the Supreme Court. Democrats should then scream and yell bringing up Abu Graib and the torture memos constantly. The Republicans will then bring his nomination to the floor and Democrats should NOT filibuster knowing that Gonzalez is far more moderate than anyone else Bush is likely to appoint. While Gonzalez will have a detrimental effect on the Court's interpretations of procedural due process and foreign policy related cases, he will not vote to dismantle the New Deal or do away with substantive due process as any other Bush nominee undoubtedly would vote to do. If this is what happens then the general direction of the Court today will stand. When Rehnquist either resigns or dies, Bush will appoint a right wing nutjob. Democrats should not fight it either, as Rehnquist already fits that description. They should again oppose the nomination without a filibuster. The filibuster must be put aside for a better day, the day when we lose Ginsberg or Stevens.
The alternate scenario I like much less. Bush appoints some bible thumbing wingnut who seeks to completely reshape due process, equal protection, and the commerce clause. Democrats must filibuster this nominee, they must stand firm to force a reasonable nomination from the Shrub, this is the time to make Republicans decide for all the marbles whether to pursue the nuclear option, a major showdown could ensue in a truly bitter battle. Should Democrats win that battle they should not fight any right wing Rehnquist replacement and as I said above prepare for a showdown over Ginsberg or Stevens should either of them retire.
From the comments at DailyKos:
The Conservatives' ad blitz (4.00 / 3)
Found this out via CBS Evening News tonight:
The conservative ad blitz will feature the phrase "THE DEMOCRATS WILL ATTACK ANY NOMINEE BUSH CHOOSES!!!!"
Our response: "Most Americans stand with the Democrats in not liking Bush's policies, or his politics. We stand with the American people in wanting George W. Bush to select nominees that are within the American mainstream, not extremist activists."
This could be used in a variety of situations.
by Phoenix Woman on Fri Jul 1st, 2005 at 17:29:16 PDT
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conservatives (4.00 / 5)
should prove it. appoint a hardcore liberal. I promise we'll attack him/her. i swear. appoint a hardcore liberal. c'mon...
Fight Bush! Support Allegheny Wilderness!
by seamus on Fri Jul 1st, 2005 at 17:40:34 PDT
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Good idea, please do prove that we'll oppose any nominee Bush chooses by appointing a hardcore liberal.