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Looks like Bush has nominated a religious leftist (Miers) to the court.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/05_10_09_...hive.asp#079311

The worst pick there could be. I think even Kerry or even Hilary would have made a better pick. We would have had a liberal but atleast it would have been a liberal on both social and conservative issues.

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So, Specter says Miers told him that she thought Griswold was rightly decided, but later, after Miers calls him, he says he "accept Miers' contention 'that he misunderstood what she said,'" and that she has taken no position? How in the hell do you misunderstand someone not taking a position on a specific case to say she thinks it is "rightly decided"??
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My roommate made an interesting point. He noted that much of what he has seen of the reaction to Miers has been negative. Not many seem to like her. He wondered if she wasn't something of a red herring. Basically, it goes like this:

1. Bush nominated her knowing he was going to get resistance on the second nominee (due to the relative ease with which Roberts went through)

2. so he nominated someone he knew would lose (or knew he could make lose)

3. the next one would be the one he really wanted

4. and s/he would pass, due in part to the resulting public pressure to finally get someone through.

I should note that my roommate is a very sane individual, and that he was not claiming this as some definitive conspiracy crackpot theory. It was just an offhand remark. I posted it because I thought it was interesting and it got me to think about political strategy and nominations.

A note from SN's op-ed two posts above: Hearings are tentatively planned to begin on November 7.

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"Miers revealed in documents given to the Senate tuesday that in 1989, she supported a constitutional amendment that would ban all abortions except those necessary to save the life of the mother."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,172560,00.html

2 things:

1. This makes me like her less for obvious reasons.

2. The administration had to know that these documents would get out. Whether that's more consistent a red herring theory or a usual nomination theory I have not yet decided.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Miers withdraws. So who's next?

"Among the names floated to replace Miers have been appeals court judges Michael Luttig, Edith Jones, Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown, all prized by conservatives but who could face significant opposition by Democratic senators who appeared willing to give Miers a shot."

Moose, maybe your horse has a shot after all. :)

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Moose, maybe your horse has a shot after all. :)

I decided to look up Janice Rogers Brown. One of the first links described her as the femal Clarence Thomas and condemmed her for saying "She said that what she called the 'Revolution of 1937' when the Supreme Court began to consistantly sustain New Deal legislation was a 'disaster' that marked 'the triumph of our Socialist Revolution." Geez, add that to the other complaint that "Brown's theory that regulations are not allowed unless property owners agreed they would benefit them economically would proclude much economic or environmental regulation."

The article is supposed to be a hatchet piece but every time they argue something is wrong I'm hearing alot of correct.

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Turns out Alito's record on abortion rights is mixed.

He wrote an opinion trying to defend Pennsylvania's law regarding a woman requiring the consent of her husband prior to getting an abortion- the Supreme Court rightfully ruled this law unconstitutional.

That's a big minus- shows a basic disrespect for an individual's rights.

Then he supports an opinion which rids New Jersey of its "partial-birth abortion" law as being unconstitutional.

Hmmmmm.

Pragmatism vs. principle? :)

I don't trust Bush to nominate a qualified candidate for the Supreme Court at this juncture.

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As I understand it, the "partial birth" ban had already been knocked down by the SCOTUS. So, as a judge below the SCOTUS he decided not to change that. If the details of the particular case he was considering were not very different from the case where the SCOTUS had already ruled, he would be risking being overturned on appeal. However, once he is part of the SCOTUS, he would not have that compunction. Finally, it's difficult to say how he will rule once he feels the added responsibility of being on the SCOTUS -- it could bring out the best or the worst.

The politics surrounding abortion are such that every SCOTUS candidate's record needs to be pretty ambiguous on the issue.

Edited by softwareNerd
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The politics surrounding abortion are such that every SCOTUS candidate's record needs to be pretty ambiguous on the issue.

I don't agree.

It needs to be clear!

Each candidate has to be of the view that individual rights are what are protected by the law of the land and defend it! This includes a woman's right to an abortion. Any laws restricting abortion which are passed on the State level or elsewhere should be stricken as unconstitutional.

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I agree. What I meant to say was: a candidate who has a clear stand has much less chance of being approved. I did not mean that I would like to see such a candidate on the court. If a candidate is clearly and unambiguously for a woman's rights, a Republican president wouldn't nominate him today. If it is clear that a candidate will deny a woman's rights, there will likely be enough opposition to turn him down. So, we can assume that this President will consider an ambiguous record on abortion to be a major advantage in a candidate.

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I agree. What I meant to say was: a candidate who has a clear stand has much less chance of being approved. I did not mean that I would like to see such a candidate on the court. If a candidate is clearly and unambiguously for a woman's rights, a Republican president wouldn't nominate him today. If it is clear that a candidate will deny a woman's rights, there will likely be enough opposition to turn him down. So, we can assume that this President will consider an ambiguous record on abortion to be a major advantage in a candidate.

And therein lies a very serious problem, in my opinion.

We can count on uneasy allies in the Senate among Democrat-liberals to pave the way to challenge Alito on his agenda here. Whatever one thinks of them, someone has to step up and assert such challenges. If need be, I would be strongly inclined to write my senators here in CT (Lieberman and Dodd) in the hope of drumming up support to defeat Alito.

So what do I think will happen if Alito falls by the wayside?

I think Bush will simply nominate someone else with a record that includes 1) votes against efforts to strike down anti-abortion laws AND 2) decisions which are based upon religious beliefs, not the Law.

This is a concern I don't take lightly.

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I think if a candidate is defeated for a particular reason and that reason is abundantly clear, then the president is likely to nominate a candidate who is less likely to be defeated for that particular reason. If he can make the case -- to his religious supporters -- that he tried his best with the nomination, he'll go for it.

However, even if Alito is defeated, that merely buys time. The long-term trend does not look good. The religious guys are winning the intellectual battle. The Democrats might concede this fight over the longer term. Meanwhile, the law will continue to change incrementally: parental consent, spousal consent, late-term, third-term...etc.

The trend is not irreversible. Also, if I had to guess, I'd say that Alito is already better on abortion than Miers.

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I'm probably going to find some disagreement here, but I don't necessarilly accept a person's right to an abortion unless health risks are posed to the mother. I know standard Objectivist thought is that a fetus is not a human being yet, but I don't really think that's right. However, I'm not interested in arguing the merits of abortion. Plus, abortion is not a huge issue for me, I am somewhat ambivalant towards it. When it comes to liberty in our country, I think there are bigger issues and you're doing a disservice to Alito and his importance in being appointed by focusing too strongly on it.

Now, as for Alito, I think some of your fears are misplaced. I don't think he will overturn Roe V. Waid. It has been law for over 30 years now, and polling shows about 60% of Americans accept it as the law. The court has no interest in overturning it. Yes, a conservative court might impose restrictions, but I think a lot of those restrictions -- even if you support the right to choose to have an abortion -- are reasonable. Most pro-choice Americans probably find those restrictions acceptable as well.

I like Alito because I get a few good impressions from him: 1) I don't think he will expand the power of the federal government. 2) I don't think he will stretch the Constitution to allow evil-doers to go free, but I think he's deliberative and reasonable enough to know when an abuse of liberty has taken place and strike it down.

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Now, as for Alito, I think some of your fears are misplaced. I don't think he will overturn Roe V. Waid.
For the record, I do not think he will overturn Wade either and I don't think anyone else has expressed that opinion in this thread.

In fact, a conservative who simply holds the line on abortion and furthers individual rights in other areas will almost definitely (indirectly) further the pro-choice side. This is because governments will often use economic control to force people to act a certain way. As an example, a government that has managed to outlaw abortion from most hospitals, may seek to control clinics via a law that seems to apply to safety. For example, a law might say: "Clinics that want to perform an abortion must have 12 foot wide hallways (which a hospital would have) for the safety of the patient." So, giving people economic freedom gives them freedom of action, and this might also apply to some freedoms of action that relates to abortion.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm watching the hearings now, and I wish to share with you one thing of many that disturb me. Sen. Durbin (D-IL) went on about how Alito interpreted statutes narrowly against the little man and in favor of the big institutions and corporations. Alito then cited cases in which he had done otherwise. What I wish he would have said following his citations of those examples:

"So, Senator, you have your facts horribly wrong, and are clearly distorting them in what I can only guess is some feeble attempt at a hatchet job. But beyond that, your results-driven mentality is way off the mark. Does it matter to you only that you didn't like who won? Do you consider the reasoning for my decisions, or do you consider only the likely reactions of your constituency? Do you even consider the possibility that who is going to win does not enter into my decision? Do you even consider the possibility that I based my decisions on legal principles rather than which party I happened to like?"

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What gets to me the most are those Senators who keep pulling pocket-sized Constitutions from their pockets and wave them around for the television cameras. Talk about grandstanding. I bet the reason they carry those things around is they don't even know what the Constitution even does and need to look it up -- which they probably don't find time to do, anyway.

Edited by Captain Nate
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