Monday, October 31, 2005

Fighting Alito

Think Progress has a fantastic summary of Alito's previous opinions and what they tell us about his vision of America.
ALITO WOULD ALLOW RACE-BASED DISCRIMINATION: Alito dissented from a decision in favor of a Marriott Hotel manager who said she had been discriminated against on the basis of race. The majority explained that Alito would have protected racist employers by “immuniz[ing] an employer from the reach of Title VII if the employer’s belief that it had selected the ‘best’ candidate was the result of conscious racial bias.” [Bray v. Marriott Hotels, 1997]

ALITO WOULD ALLOW DISABILITY-BASED DISCRIMINATION: In Nathanson v. Medical College of Pennsylvania, the majority said the standard for proving disability-based discrimination articulated in Alito’s dissent was so restrictive that “few if any…cases would survive summary judgment.” [Nathanson v. Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1991]

ALITO WOULD STRIKE DOWN THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) “guarantees most workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a loved one.” The 2003 Supreme Court ruling upholding FMLA [Nevada v. Hibbs, 2003] essentially reversed a 2000 decision by Alito which found that Congress exceeded its power in passing the law. [Chittister v. Department of Community and Economic Development, 2000]

ALITO SUPPORTS UNAUTHORIZED STRIP SEARCHES: In Doe v. Groody, Alito agued that police officers had not violated constitutional rights when they strip searched a mother and her ten-year-old daughter while carrying out a search warrant that authorized only the search of a man and his home. [Doe v. Groody, 2004]

Not a pretty picture at all. LiberalOasis has found the correct frame however. Every Democratic comment about Alito should derive from this one essential point, this one central value. Equality, Alito is hostile to the value of equality.
The opinion that people will focus on the most was his desire
to uphold a spousal notification provision in a PA abortion law that
severely restricted reproductive freedom.

Most will look at his opinion to indicate opposition to Roe, and they should.

But fundamentally, it was an opinion that was dismissive of women's independence.


He tried to make it easier for employers accused of sex discrimination to get the cases thrown out, saying that cases don't automatically deserve to go to trial when employers make excuses for discrimination and plaintiffs cast doubt on them.


The majority said
Alito's "position would immunize an employer ... if the employer's
belief that it had selected the 'best' candidate, was the result of
conscious racial bias."

He sought to deny our democratically elected Congress the authority to have the Family Medical Leave Act apply to state government employees, arguing that there was no discrimination in employers' sick leave policies.

(That's a view that was overruled by the Supreme Court in an opinion written by Rehnquist. Yes, he's to the Right of Rehnquist.)

Perhaps what's most disturbing is his view that girls sexually abused at school by other students cannot take legal action against the school for failing to protect them.

For Sandra Day O'Connor to be replaced by a man who has been defined as "an activist conservatist judge [who] has looked to be creative in his conservatism" will be a huge step backwards.

For the sake of the American ideal of equal protection under the law, bring out the filibuster.

Don't make this complicated Democrats, come out swinging and constantly be repeating "Samuel Alito is hostile to equality".


I was really hoping the rumors were wrong, but it's Alito. Jonathan Turley of Georgetown Law School tells Katie Couric:
There will be no one to the right of Sam Alito on this Court

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Rumor Mill: Alito or Luttig

Word on the street is that Bush is about to nominate either Alito or Luttig to replace O'Connor in a move that would dramatically shift the Court to the right.
President Bush will announce another Supreme Court nominee within days, and he appears to have narrowed the field to conservative federal appeals court judges Samuel A. Alito Jr. and J. Michael Luttig, sources close to the selection process said late Saturday.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions, said several other conservative jurists remained on the president's short list, but that Alito and Luttig had moved to the head of the line. One source said Alito was the top contender and Luttig a close second.

Bush and his aides were huddling this weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat to make a final decision. An announcement was expected as soon as today, although one source said Monday appeared more likely.

White House spokeswoman Maria Tamburri declined to comment on the status of the selection process. "I can't confirm anything," she said. "No announcement has been made."

Although the sources said Alito and Luttig were the clear favorites, Bush has surprised some of his closest allies in the past by allowing word to circulate that he was about to nominate one person, then choosing someone else instead.

I've already talked a lot about Luttig here, so I'll talk a little about Alito before moving on. Alito was involved in a signifigant way in the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which he voted in the minority on the lower Court before it reached the SCOTUS.
Judge Alito is a favorite of conservatives and a likely target of liberal attacks because, among other things, he wrote a dissenting opinion to the appeals court decision of Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania v. Casey, an abortion case. He argued that the state could require married women to notify their husbands before obtaining an abortion, and his dissenting opinion was cited by former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist in his own dissent when the case reached the Supreme Court.

Whoa, women need their husband's permission to get an abortion? They aren't their own legal guardians? What about unmarried women? Do they have no right to an abortion? This is one of the screwiest ideas I've ever heard, far screwier than the opinion that there is no right to abortion as much as I disagree with that position. They must get their husband's permission!? Is Alito still living in 1900? Because I know most of us have moved on from then.

Moving on now, President Bush is incredibly sexist. Apparently there is not a single conservative woman in the entire country who is more qualified to be a Supreme Court nominee than Harriet Miers. I find that hard to believe.
One lawyer close to the president said that when Mr. Bush chose Ms. Miers he did so after concluding there was not a long roster of female candidates with whom he felt comfortable.

"When he chose her," said the lawyer, "she was one of three finalists and the other two were men."

Ok, let's argue this from President Bush's perspective, since I hate everyone I'm about to mention. Is he seriously arguing that Edith Brown Clement, Edith Jones, or Priscilla Owen among the hoardes of other candidates would not be more qualified for the highest Court in the land than Miss Crony Harriet Miers? Men are just inherently superior jurists to women? Surely there is a well qualified conservative woman out there that Bush could nominate. The choice should not be between an unqualified woman and a qualified man, but a qualified woman and a qualified man. A standard that I'm sure if Mr. Bush looks even a little he can find. I hope he's just covering his ass with that comment, or else it says some very disturbing things about his own process for determining nominees.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Libby Indictment in Perspective

While this has been played as a point of relief for the WH that Rove was not indicted, it is important to look to the indictment itself, to put this into a little bit of perspective. It is obvious from the indictment that Fitzgerald knows who the leaker/leakers are. They are Libby and Official A (probably Rove). What Fitzgerald lacks is the evidence to implicate Libby in the violation of any law in having leaked that information. That does not exonerate the administration or anyone in it of the crime against the American people that has been committed here. Leaking a covert CIA operative's name to the press as an act of political retribution against her husband in an effort to stifle dissent against the war. The Administration knew the Niger information was wrong, and yet insisted on doing everything they could to prevent the public from knowing that. In the process they threatened United States national security interests, the lives of anyone Plame has made contact with in past missions, and rendered obsolete any information she has acquired and made it impossible to gain further information from any of her sources. While Fitzgerald was unable at this time to pin a legal charge directly regarding the leak on anyone, he has put forth very relevent public information that we know who the leakers are, and that it was a purposeful act of political retribution. This is not about legalisms, this is quite simply about the war in Iraq. From the Indictment:
21. On or about July 10 or July 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke to a senior official in the White House (“Official A”) who advised LIBBY of a conversation Official A had earlier that week with columnist Robert Novak in which Wilson’s wife was discussed as a CIA employee involved in Wilson’s trip. LIBBY was advised by Official A that Novak would be writing a story about Wilson’s wife.
24. On or about July 12, 2003, in the late afternoon, LIBBY spoke by telephone with Judith Miller of the New York Times and discussed Wilson’s wife, and that she worked at the CIA.

Much of the media has been spinning this as a major victory for the Bush Administration that Rove was not indicted. Many conservatives are claiming that this charge against Libby is merely a "technicality". To take either of those views is an amoral position that ignores the essential ideas of what is right and what is wrong for the WH to do. They are doing nothing but spinning, Fitzgerald has found the leakers, and that leak is a crime against the American public, whether it violates any law or not.

Libby on 5 Counts

Talking Points Memo is reporting that Libby has been indicted on 5 counts.
1 count of obstruction of Justice
2 counts of perjury
2 counts of false statement.

I guess we'll see at 11:00 if this is right, and if there's anything else.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Miers withdraws

Harriet Miers has withdrawn her nomination to the Supreme Court. I now have a major problem, I have no one obvious to make fun of. And the hillarious Harriet Miers blog will have to be taken down.
Harriet Miers withdrew this morning as a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.

In announcing the decision, Miers and President Bush cited their concern with the requests from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for documents dealing with her work as White House counsel, papers that the administration has chosen to withhold as privileged.

Nope, can't have that, we can't actually tell the public what we do when we govern them. Good heavens no! So, I stand by my original prediction. Edith Jones nominated to the high Court, which will be greated with a filibuster showdown.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Finally I Can Blog Again!

Whew, instead of having to study for 2 tests and write a paper I now just have to study for 1 test. So, I can make a much needed entry here.

Steve Clemens of The Washington Note reports that there are 1-5 indictments coming in tomorrow of top WH staff.
An uber-insider source has just reported the following to TWN (since confirmed by another independent source):

1. 1-5 indictments are being issued. The source feels that it will be towards the higher end.

2. The targets of indictment have already received their letters.

3. The indictments will be sealed indictments and "filed" tomorrow.

4. A press conference is being scheduled for Thursday.

The shoe is dropping.

More soon.

-- Steve Clemons

I hope the source knows what he's talking about here. Call me a dreamer, but I'm thinking Rove, Libby, and Cheney.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Yeah, Harriet's a Liar...

...not that there was ever any doubt. There was simply no way that she had never indicated a position towards Roe to anyone, it was rediculous for Thomas to say, and it was equally rediculous for Miers to say.

Anyway, moving on, I think that it is not just total lunatics like Sam Brownback who are opposing Miers from the right. I am increasingly convinced that Specter really dislikes Harriet Miers, and is very angry at the White House over this nomination.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, and senior Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont agreed Wednesday to begin Miers' hearings on Nov. 7, but also jointly sent a letter to the White House counsel asking her to more fully answer a questionnaire she turned in Tuesday.
Specter and Leahy said both Republicans and Democrats on the committee felt she did not tell them enough.

"The comments I have heard range from incomplete to insulting," Leahy said.

"Senator Leahy and I took a look at it and agreed that it was insufficient," Specter said.
The two committee leaders want the answers from Miers before Wednesday, Oct. 26, another bump in the road for the 60-year-old White House counsel. "I think it's been a chaotic process, very candidly," Specter said.

Further, I stated before that the most important question about this nomination will be its effect on how the Court handles Presidential Power issues, and questioned whether Bush's choice of Miers comes down to just that. I continue to believe that Harriet Miers on the Court would be a direct threat to judicial independence. Sens Specter and Leahy appear to share this exact same concern, asking on the questionaire precisely what I said should be asked of her (are Specter and Leahy reading my blog?).
Specter and Leahy also want her to explain specifically how she would handle cases dealing with the Bush administration, where she now serves in the important legal post of White House counsel. In her questionnaire response, Miers said she would comply with the "spirit and letter of the law ... the Code of Conduct for United States Judges and other applicable requirements."

Specter and Leahy responded: "We are aware of the statutes and codes that generally govern these matters, but recusal decisions of Supreme Court justices are more complicated because they are not subject to further review. The committee would like you to address the issues specific to your situation."

On that note, I stop, and apologize for my inability to address the most important issue of the day, Fitzmas. Unfortunately, as a college student running my blog solo it is very difficult to keep up with these things, and while I would love to join the fray of people beating up on Rove and Libby lately, I simply have neither the time nor manpower to do so on this blog (and Camus is useless, can't even remember his username to post).

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Colbert Report Opener

Watched the opening segment of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central tonight. He is blatantly making fun of Fox News, and more specifically Bill O'Reilly. Most clearly when he called out the deceased James Brady to come onto his show. The jabs at Fox News were littered throughout the show. In particular I loved the talk of "elitists".

Monday, October 17, 2005

This is odd

Pew Research Center asks the public's opinion on Republican leaders in Congress and Democratic Leaders in Congress. The crazy thing is, they have nearly identical numbers. Lets review why this is odd.

House Majority Leader: Indicted for violation of campaign finance laws (I know, DeLay's technically not the Majority Leader anymore, but come on, we all know where the power lies)
Senate Majority Leader: Under investigation for insider trading.
Other Things to Note: One House member sold his house to a contributor for way below market value, the contributor proceeded to sell it for way over market value.
Many members of the caucus have been linked to Abramoff and his illegal tactics.

In Both Houses: Have been a horribly innefective opposition Party and are totally without any power.

Is the public unable to distinguish between the level of the Democrat's crime (being typical Democrats) and the Republican's crimes of corruption? Or do they lump all scandals into one big pile and say "they're all corrupt"? This poll doesn't bode well for the midterm elections, but if Democrats are able to exploit Republican scandals against their own opposition, the public's inability to distinguish may not matter.

Justice Thomas and Harriet Miers

Harriet Miers sounds like Justice Thomas when she says she's never talked to anyone about Roe v. Wade. The claim of never having discussed the case was absurd coming from Clarence Thomas, and is absurd coming from Harriet Miers. How exactly does one go through their life a lawyer or a judge without ever talking about what is arguably the most signifigant case of the last 30 years? If its true that Miers has never discussed Roe with anyone she should be rejected for never having thought about and discussed important cases, if its not true than she should be rejected for being a lier.
Emerging from a closed-door meeting with Miers, Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record) of New York told reporters that Miers told him she had not shared her views on the court's landmark 1973
Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

"She said, 'Nobody knows my views on Roe v. Wade," Schumer said. "She said, 'No one can speak for me on Roe v. Wade."

The Wall Street Journal says she's lying by the way.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Ah Harriet

Tom Toles appears to agree with my "tool for the Bush Administration" thesis.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Regarding Hamdan

The American Prospect online has a good artical about the Hamdan case.
The Hamdan case could not be more important, as it poses fundamental questions along three constitutional fronts: the division of power between the president and Congress; the rights of individuals to have their liberties protected by the courts; and the relationship between international human rights norms such as the Geneva Convention and United States domestic law.

Hamdan, who the government claims was Osama bin Laden’s personal driver and bodyguard, lost on all of these questions before the appeals court, but his arguments remain strong and directly relevant to the most pressing issues of national security and human rights.


The appeals court also rested its decision on an alternative theory that the 1949 Geneva Convention is not directly enforceable in U.S. courts. That aspect of the ruling, together with its acceptance of presidential “findings” that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to whole categories of detainees, prompted a friend-of-the-court brief from six retired Generals and Admirals, urging the Supreme Court to accept review. The brief states bluntly that “denying Geneva Convention protections to individuals seized in armed conflicts endangers American soldiers” in current and future armed conflicts.

So why does the Supreme Court keep forestalling a decision on whether to hear the Hamdan case? One disturbing possibility is that the justices have already voted to deny review, and are just giving one or more of their colleagues an opportunity to complete work on a dissent from that decision.

Or perhaps they are trying to figure out a way to resolve the underlying issues with a close to full bench. Chief Justice Roberts will likely recuse himself given his involvement in the case at the appeals court, and while Justice O’Connor can vote on petitions for review, by the time the decision comes down, she will likely have been replaced. It is not clear that the Senate will have confirmed her successor (whether it is Harriet Miers or someone else) in time for the new justice to participate.

Whatever the source of the delay, it would be a great shame for the court to deny review. In their public statements over the last five years, the justices in the majority in Bush v. Gore have dismissed the criticism that they unnecessarily reached out to decide that case. Given the stakes, they say, they could not leave the matter to a state court.

A monumentally bad Roberts decision that the Supreme Court must hear and overturn. Further I feel it is important for me to say the following, "Justice Roberts, your jurisprudence is wacky."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

President Bush Applies Religion Test to SCOTUS

A nice catch by diarist Pounder over at DailyKos, pointing out Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution, but first, why Bush says he chose Miers:
President Bush sought again today to reassure conservatives about his Supreme Court nominee, Harriet E. Miers, and he said that Ms. Miers's religion was pertinent to the overall discussion about her.

"People are interested to know why I picked Harriet Miers," Mr. Bush said. "They want to know Harriet Miers's background. They want to know as much as they possibly can before they form opinions.

"Part of Harriet Miers's life is her religion," Mr. Bush went on, in remarks that may be revived during Ms. Miers's confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee several weeks from now. "Part of it has to do with the fact that she was a pioneer woman and a trailblazer in the law in Texas."

The president went on to say, in a brief question-answer session with reporters at the White House, that Ms. Miers was "eminently qualified" to sit on the court, and that she would be a justice who "will not legislate from the bench but strictly interpret the Constitution."

Mr. Bush's allusion to Ms. Miers came shortly after the conservative James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, was quoted as saying on a radio program that he had discussed the nominee's religious views with the president's chief political adviser, Karl Rove.

Mr. Dobson said he talked to Mr. Rove on Oct. 1, two days before Mr. Bush announced his choice, and had been told that "Harriet Miers is an Evangelical Christian, that she is from a very conservative church, which is almost universally pro-life, that she has taken on the American Bar Association on the issue of abortion and fought for a policy that would not be supportive of abortion, that she had been a member of the Texas Right to Life."

Mr. Dobson went on to say that he and Mr. Rove had not discussed cases that might come before the court and that "we did not discuss Roe v. Wade in any context." The Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade established a woman's right to have an abortion.

So there is a religious test in this White House where you must be a Christian to be nominated to the Supreme Court by this President? How interesting, let's now take a look at Article VI Section 3 of the United States Constitution.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Blatant flaunting of the Constitution here? Or are they just oblivious? I'm guessing the latter, which may be even scarier than the former.

Monday, October 10, 2005

See? I'm Not the Only One...

Who thinks Harriet Miers looks/looked like Darth Sidious. From Wonkette:
Harriet has a new look, and it doesn't remind anyone of a Star Wars villan.

TPM On the Bankruptcy Law

The Justice Department has decided not to enforce provisions of the bankruptcy bill, great analysis at Talking Points Memo.
Representative Sensenbrenner may have been feeling some political heat over his flat-out refusal to consider any changes, especially after leading Republicans said that perhaps some changes would be in order. He needed some good press for the bankruptcy bill, something showing how "flexible" it is. In response to his letter, the Justice Department quickly proclaimed itself a vegetarian shark--at least where some Hurricane Katrina victims are concerned. Good move, except that the Justice Department didn't cover all the bad parts of the law nor did the Justice Department bind anyone but themselves.

Is this just a big public relations game designed to reduce the pressure to amend the bankruptcy laws to give people real relief? Heaven forbid that Chairman Sensenbrenner be forced to admit that the bankruptcy laws written by the credit card industry are a bit harsh for people who are in trouble through no fault of their own.

Defending Family Values

The Christian Coalition of Oregon defends good old fashion family values like child molestation.
NEW YORK After news broke that local law enforcement officials were investigating complaints that Louis Beres, longtime chairman of the Christian Coalition of Oregon, had molested three female family members when they were pre-teens, The Oregonian in Portland went out and interviewed Beres' family members.

Two told reporters that Beres, indeed, had molested them. All three said they have been interviewed for several hours by detectives.

"I was molested," said one of the women, now in her early 50s. "I was victimized, and I've suffered all my life for it. I'm still afraid to be in the same room with [Beres]."

The coalition led by Beres, 70, champions socially conservative candidates and causes. Its Web site describes the group as "Oregon's leading grassroots organization defending our Godly heritage." The group opposes abortion, gay rights, and stem cell research. It is affiliated with the national Christian Coalition, which was founded in 1989 by television evangelist Pat Robertson.

UPDATE: 11:11
They don't pay their bills either.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Miers is in Deep Trouble

The Miers confirmation seems under threat from more than just the right wing of the Republican Party, as I said before in this space, the cronyism that lies behind this choice is very disturbing, and that cronyism could pose a great threat to judicial indipendence. As Luckovich puts it so excellently:

But on a more serious note, the problem with this nomination seem to grow every minute. Bush's only problem is not just criticism from Senators like Roberts and Allen who think she's not conservative enough, but now Arlen Specter says she doesn't understand the Constitution.
Senator Arlen Specter, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who presides over confirmation hearings, offered a blunt assessment that was yet another sign that the nominee faced an uphill battle on Capitol Hill. Though Mr. Specter called Ms. Miers "intellectually able," he said she had a "fair-sized job to do" to become fluent in the language of constitutional law, which will be essential for senators who want to examine her judicial philosophy in deciding whether to confirm her.

"She needs more than murder boards," Mr. Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, said in an interview, referring to the mock question-and-answer sessions most nominees use to prepare for their confirmation hearings. "She needs a crash course in constitutional law."

So, Mr. Specter essentially come out and says that Bush nominated someone who doesn't know enough about the Constitution to be a Supreme Court Justice. If the President knows what's best for him he'll withdraw her nomination and he'll look weak, but not as weak as if the Senate were to reject Miers.

I have mixed emotions about the nomination. Miers is a crony, Specter doesn't think she knows the Constitution, and she threatens the indipendence of the federal judiciary. However, Bush is likely to draw a clear lesson from a rejection here, that he needs to nominate someone more like Rehnquist, Scalia, or Thomas. He'll draw the lesson that he cannot nominate someone who might be percieved (rightly or wrongly) as a moderate. So, what would I prefer to see on the Court? Someone who will is likely to increase executive power, is not sufficiently indipendent from the President, and seems to not know anything about the Constitution? Or someone who is indipendent, knows the Constitution, and rejects every Constitutional principle I beleive in? It is a definate pickle, and I am not sure how this should come out, nor am I convinced of any action that Democrats should take. She may be the lesser of two evils, but is there any real justification to vote for someone who is unqualified for the job?

On the Plame Affair

Hunter at DailyKos has an excellent post about the most recent events in the Valerie Plame investigation.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

McCain Amendment Passes Senate

The McCain Amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill to impose restrictions on the treatment of prisoners by US troops has overwhelmingly passed the Senate in a 90-9 vote. The President has threatened to veto the bill if the amendment was added to it.
The White House has said Bush advisers would recommend the president veto the entire bill over the legislation. But a veto is considered highly unlikely given that Bush has never used that power.

He won't veto the bill, and it will present the incredible weakness of this Administration right now. Even if it were vetoed I would wager that we see a Congressional Override making him look still weaker. Add his early struggles on the Miers confirmation and this Administration looks incapable of accomplishing much of anything right now, they're just lucky to have a 10 vote margin in the Senate. So, now it is time to ask the question. Who are the pro torture Senators? Looks like:
Allard (CO)
Stevens (AK)
Bond (MO)
Coburn (OK)
Cochrane (MS)
Cornyn (TX)
Inhoffe (OK)
Roberts (KS)
Sessions (AL)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Puzzling Choice

Why did the President choose someone who seems horribly under qualified and has really bothered his base supporters to be on the Supreme Court. Ken Mehlman may have the answer.
Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, yesterday held a conference call with conservative leaders to address their concerns about Miers. He stressed Bush's close relationship with Miers and the need to confirm a justice who will not interfere with the administration's management of the war on terrorism, according to a person who attended the teleconference.

National Journal outlines this week's RNC Talking Points.
Working With Her Staff Of 13 Lawyers, And In Cooperation With The Justice Department, Miers' Office Provides Guidance On Issues From The Legal Parameters For The War On Terrorism To Presidential Speeches.

It doesn't matter what the hearings reveal about her judicial philosophy, it seems to me as though her nomination is an affront to judicial independence. Hugh Hewitt predicts that if Bush gets a 3rd SCOTUS nomination it will be Alberto Gonzalez. Bush is not trying to pack the Court with right wing ideologues who will overturn Roe and the New Deal, though I'm sure he considers them to be a nice bonus. Bush wants a Court that will allow him to exercise previously unheard of power as the executive. Even looking down the list, who seems to be at the top of the list for who Bush has been considering outside of the White House? Seems to be Michael Luttig who recently ruled that an American citizen has no due process rights if he's detained as a "enemy combatant." I think Bush saw that the Rehnquist Court would not allow him to exercise the kinds of authority he wants texerciseze, thus his choices for the Supreme Court have been very short sighted. It's all about Presidential Power people.

I have one question for Ms. Miers, if nothing else is asked of her in the judiciary committee I want an answer to this one. "Ms. Miers, when a case involving the Bush Administration comes before the Court will you recuse yourself?"

Cross posted @ Kos

Monday, October 03, 2005

This is Getting Interesting

Lol, this is hilarious, I hope they do this. It would be simply lovely.
Just spoke with a staffer for a conservative member of the Judiciary Committee whose boss is extremely unhappy about the nomination of Harriet Miers.

"We heard her name. We made it clear that she was unacceptable as a nominee on the basis of qualifications and her views, which we simply don't know anything about," says the staffer. "We worked with her on policy issues, though, before she was elevated to White House counsel and let's just say we were underwhelmed."

There is now talk of among some conservatives about a filibuster of the Miers nomination. Never mind the Al Gore donations or the money that was floated to the DNC when Miers was a managing partner in a law firm, those can be explained away as "good for the business of the firm."

Unfortunately, given the level of support Miers appears to be generating among Democrats, such a move appears impossible, though admirable.

An explanation

Atrios has a good explanation for why the right wingnuts are so angry about the Miers nomination.
Wingnuttia is rather angry at the choice. I don't think this is because they're really concerned that she's not conservative enough for their tastes, although that's part of it. They're angry because this was supposed to be their nomination. This is was their moment. They didn't just want a stealth victory, they wanted parades and fireworks. They wanted Bush to find the wingnuttiest wingnut on the planet, fully clothed and accessorized in all the latest wingnut fashions, not just to give them their desired Court rulings, but also to publicly validate their influence and power. They didn't just want substantive results, what they wanted even more were symbolic ones. They wanted Bush to extend a giant middle finger to everyone to the left of John Ashcroft. They wanted to watch Democrats howl and scream and then ultimately lose a nasty confirmation battle. They wanted this to be their "WE RUN THE COUNTRY AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT" moment.

Whatever kind of judge she would be, she doesn't provide them with that.

lol, it's Sidious

Bush nominates Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. When I posted my last entry I had no idea whatsoever that Bush would nominate her, so my apologies, but she does kind of look like Darth Sidious. So, a bit of cronyism here, but such a limited nonexistant record here that there may be no predicting what kind of a Justice she will be. The nomination seems to be tearing apart the Republican base see here and here. Nice to see the Republican base split themselves apart for once. Meanwhile, praise from Harry Reid.
“I like Harriet Miers. As White House Counsel, she has worked with me in a courteous and professional manner. I am also impressed with the fact that she was a trailblazer for women as managing partner of a major Dallas law firm and as the first woman president of the Texas Bar Association. “In my view, the Supreme Court would benefit from the addition of a justice who has real experience as a practicing lawyer. The current justices have all been chosen from the lower federal courts. A nominee with relevant non-judicial experience would bring a different and useful perspective to the Court. “I look forward to the Judiciary Committee process which will help the American people learn more about Harriet Miers, and help the Senate determine whether she deserves a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court.”

Even this early, this one is looking very interesting, should be fun to watch it play out. So interesting in fact, that SCOTUSBlog predicts that she will be rejected by the Senate.
the President's nomination creates a very interesting political dynamic - one that places the nomination in peril. The nomination obviously will be vigorously supported by groups created for the purpose of pressing the President's nominees, and vigorously opposed by groups on the other side. But within the conservative wing of the Republican party, there is thus far (very early in the process) only great disappointment, not enthusiasm. They would prefer Miers to be rejected in the hope - misguided, I think - that the President would then nominate, for example, Janice Rogers Brown. Moderate Republicans have no substantial incentive to support Miers, and the President seems to have somewhat less capital to invest here. On the Democratic side, there will be inevitable - perhaps knee-jerk - opposition. Nor does Miers have a built in "fan base" of people in Washington, in contrast to the people (Democratic and Republican) who knew and respected John Roberts. Even if Democrats aren't truly gravely concerned, they will see this as an opportunity to damage the President. The themes of the opposition will be cronyism and inexperience. Democratic questioning at the hearings will be an onslaught of questions about federal constitutional law that Miers in all likelihood won't want to, or won't be able to (because her jobs haven't called on her to study the issues), answer. I have no view on whether she should be confirmed (it's simply too early to say), but will go out on a limb and predict that she will be rejected by the Senate.