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Beware Bush and Stealth Supreme Court Nominees

This very ominous article by Yale Law Professor Bruce Ackerman in next week's issue of the London Review of Books on Bush's potential stealth Supreme Court nominees is one all progressives should read. Once it happens, there's very little anyone can do--perhaps for the next 40 years. [hat tip Balkanization]

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    If it's such an important article, what's it doing in England in a Book Review supplement? Was the local Car Shopper out of space? -C

    I can't help but agree with the general premise of this article; we don't want nominees to the Supreme Court to be blank slates to such an extent that we have no idea what their judicial temperament is. But at the same time, we should not be selecting nominees based on their positions on specific legal issues (such as the death penalty or abortion) and we should not subject nominees to "litmus tests" or antagonistic questioning designed to ensure a singular interpretation on our pet issues should they ever come before the court.

    But at the same time, we should not be selecting nominees based on their positions on specific legal issues Like when Hillary said she will never nominate a pro-life justice? In other news, CNN CEO Eason Jordan is history. A sad victim of friendly fire, no doubt.

    This will be a-lot-of-fun, to watch, god help the U.S.A., Remember its not about right or wrong its about now much bush and business can get, and watch what will happen to the poor in the coming year, his Nominees will be real business guys, just like in old mother russia.

    They'll never go after MY civil rights. Right?

    So now we know: neo-con means 19th Century robber barons and imperialism, plus 1930's fascism.

    We must demand qualified, seasoned jurists with known rulings and skills. The alternative is that we end up with more unqualified supremes like Clarence Thomas. The neocons are playing the race card very skillfully when they put up these poorly qualified candidates of color. It's hard for progressives to mount opposition because the neocons will use the opposition to split the voters of color. It's not like the dems have done enough on racial equality, but they have the impulse. I think the necons elevation of people like Rice, Thomas, Powell, and Alberto is cynical and calculated. It's easy to accuse these folks of being like the slaves who got to work in the Big House and I believe there is something to that, but these appointment also reflect the success of the civil rights movement and affirmative action in education. As people of color have moved up the socio-economic scale, some of them have proven to be as ambitious, opportunistic, and unprincipled as Ken Lay. Complex matter.

    CA, Could you perhaps provide your reasoning for why Clarence Thomas is unqualified? What exactly does he lack in the way of knowledge, experience, or jurisprudence that makes him unfit for a seat on the court? Could do the same with regard to Ms. Rice? What skills, experience, or knowledge does she lack that is required in a Secretary of State or in a National Security Advisor? We see these claims of insuitability often, but rarely does anyone offer any actual reasoning (Harry Reid tried with respect to Thomas but his reasoning was found wanting, to say the least). Any explanation you can offer would be much appreciated.

    Justpaul: "Could do the same with regard to Ms. Rice? What skills, experience, or knowledge does she lack that is required in a Secretary of State or in a National Security Advisor?" I would argue that she is lacking in almost all of these areas. Look at her record - she proved to be a pretty appalling NSA, either by incompetence, stupidity or cynicism. I can't see her being much better as SoS.

    CA - A neocon is an ex-left winger. Do you also have a special name for someone who has always been a conservative? How about a liberal who is still liberal, but not a radical left winger? I use the term "social liberal." Perhaps "ex-Democrat now Independent?" justpaul - Please don't hold your breath. Asking questions like that can be hazardous to your health.

    "I would argue that she is lacking in almost all of these areas. Look at her record - she proved to be a pretty appalling NSA, either by incompetence, stupidity or cynicism." Ian, That's very easy to say, but can you back it up? Give me an example of her "incompetence, stupidity, or cycnism" when she was acting as NSA. Better yet, give me one of each. You must have something specific in mind, so it shouldn't be very difficult. Jim, Yes, I know, but it's worth asking.

    Re: Beware Bush and Stealth Supreme Court Nominees (none / 0) (#13)
    by marty on Sat Feb 12, 2005 at 02:51:15 PM EST
    Bush has a recurring habit of placing his cronies in key power positions regardless of qualifications. Buy yourself a seat on the suprememe court, only $200,000

    -justpaul Well, I'd say that Condi's lie that Clarke never asked for a "principals" meeting in regards to terrorism (Clarke proven recently with the FAA warnings bit)is a good start. I gather you believe that going into Iraq without people on the ground who were trained for the occupation (as we did with German and Japan specialists at the end of WW2) had nothing to do with Rice either. After all, what could the National Security Advisor have to do with issues regarding Security? It's simple. You like her and her supporters, and will ignore anything negative about her tenure in office. Others here dislike her and are unable to see any of the good things she has done. I look for both, and leave wingnuttery to the others.

    Adept, You assume too much. I merely asked for an example from those claiming that Thomas and Rice were unqualified. Is it really so much to ask that those who make accusations at least attempt to validate them? (From the silence of CA and Ian, it is, but I'll give you a few brownie points for trying.) As for Clark, he's had his own problems, like claiming that Condi had apparently never heard of Al Queda and his general untrustworthiness on most issues, but again, at least it's an argument. If you accept Clark's word verbatim, you might have a point, So far CA and Ian have neither, so hey, you are ahead in the game! As for going into Iraq without trained people on the ground: I doubt very much that this falls under the job description of NSA, but (AGAIN) at least you've offered an example of what you consider to be bad judgement. As to whether it was, I don't know. ( We invaded German and Japanese held territory well before the end of WWII, did we have trained insurgents in each case?) It seems more like you disagree with the plan, and, assuming Condi was responsible for the plan, you find fault in her performance. But until you can prove that this was a bad thing AND that Condi was responsible, what you have is a difference of opinion about how we should have gone about invading Iraq, not proof that Condi has exhibited incompetence, stupidity, or cynicism, which was what was alleged and which has still not been proven. As to my "liking" Condi: She's a talented pianist and has far more impressive credientials than I in regard to national security issues. I'm willing to bet her credentials are better than yours as well, and that she is better able to make national security decisions than either of us. But this doesn't mean I "like" her; I don't even know her. Don't assume that because I ask someone to explain their complaints that I am necessarily opposed to them. Again, is it so much to ask that people justify their opposition, or is hatred all that the Left has left anymore?

    Adept - From the Clarke interview by Jim Angle: About meetings and passing information: "And in January 2001, the incoming Bush administration was briefed on the existing strategy. They were also briefed on these series of issues that had not been decided on in a couple of years." About continuation and follow through on the existing strategy: "QUESTION: What is your response to the suggestion in the [Aug. 12, 2002] Time [magazine] article that the Bush administration was unwilling to take on board the suggestions made in the Clinton administration because of animus against the general animus against the foreign policy? CLARKE: I think if there was a general animus that clouded their vision, they might not have kept the same guy dealing with terrorism issue. This is the one issue where the National Security Council leadership decided continuity was important and kept the same guy around, the same team in place. That doesn't sound like animus against uh the previous team to me. JIM ANGLE: You're saying that the Bush administration did not stop anything that the Clinton administration was doing while it was making these decisions, and by the end of the summer had increased money for covert action five-fold. Is that correct? CLARKE: All of that's correct. Link