Biden: Filibuster Possible

by TChris

In his application to join the Justice Department during the Reagan administration, Judge Alito emphasized his pride in working against abortion rights and “racial and ethnic quotas,” and pointed to his “disagreement with Warren Court decisions, particularly in the areas of criminal procedure, the Establishment Clause and reapportionment.” Alito’s apparent zeal to retrench the progress that the law has made in each of those areas is cause for alarm. Today, Sen. Biden singled out the least contentious of those issues -- reapportionment -- to question whether Alito has embraced a view of the law that is well outside the mainstream.

"The part that jeopardizes it (Alito's nomination) more is his quote in there saying that he had strong disagreement with the Warren Court particularly on reapportionment - one man, one vote," Biden told "Fox News Sunday." "The fact that he questioned abortion and the idea of quotas is one thing. The fact that he questioned the idea of the legitimacy of the reapportionment decisions of the Warren Court is even something well beyond that," Biden said.

Biden dropped the F-word -- filibuster -- as a remedy if Alito seems primed to reshape the law to suit an extreme agenda.

"If he really believes that reapportionment is a questionable decision - that is, the idea of Baker v. Carr, one man, one vote - then clearly, clearly, you'll find a lot of people, including me, willing to do whatever they can to keep him off the court. ... That would include a filibuster, if need be," Biden said.

A compelling reason to resist Alito's confirmation, but one less likely to gain traction in the Senate, is his "strong disagreement" with Warren Court decisions that promoted separation of church and state as well as fairness in criminal trials and police procedures.

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    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:18 PM EST
    It's obvious that Bush's picks have the same agenda as the Federalist Society—to overturn New Deal legislation, and even go further back to overturn wages and hours laws from earlier in the 20th Century. Bush's business friends especially want all federal environmental laws thrown out. Many of these radicals believe Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are unconstitutional. Maybe they are even ready to overturn the Federal Reserve and paper money—there's nothing in the Constitution about them. The Constitution only grants Congress the power to "coin" money and to these narrow minded originalists, coins are not made of paper. These extremists would reduce our national government to a weak shell so business could run down wages and benefits and turn us into a third world power selling cheap goods to Europeans, Australians, Japanese, South Koreans and Chinese. How else will they pay for their military adventures then? I'd be glad to see Biden and other Dems ask real questions in the Judiciary Committee hearings and not go on and on making egocentric speeches. Any good lawyer should know how to question Alito, but I saw precious little of that in the last hearings (hard to find even on CSPAN). Alito and Roberts would not have been chosen if they weren't extremists in the mold of a Thomas or Scalia—Bush promised us that and that is one promise we can believe.

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:18 PM EST
    Biden's all talk. Does he have the guts to filibuster Alito? It would only take him to do it. Does MBNA approve?

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#3)
    by The Heretik on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:18 PM EST
    Biden (D-MBNA) has plenty of reasons to oppose Alito. While the hearings are still more than a month away, Biden boldy steps up on what he "may" do. Oy.

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#4)
    by ras on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:18 PM EST
    As with the recent vote on withdrawing from Iraq, Dems only talk tough when it's safe to do so. They'll fold in the clutch, yet again, when the time comes to back it up. And their supporters will let them, yet again, cuz the leadership reflects the grassroots. Leaders and followers alike will then claim another moral victory to add to their pantheon.

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:18 PM EST
    Ras: I do believe you are correct. I think there has been - and remains - a great deal of heat but no light from the Dems. One really has to wonder WTF they are waiting for. If this is all just esoteric stage-managing for the proto-Hillary campaign, then here's another disaffected Dem who will be voting for a third-party candidate (ANY third-party candidate) for the third time in as many presidential elections. While it looks like the Dems might FINALLY be getting it, I remain quite skeptical. Pelosi has been most unimpressive of late and Reid looks like he's ready for his role as Potemkin, assuring Dean that everything is so much better than it seems. And Kerry would do well to just go the hell away already. Perhaps they all merely need to be reminded: "In war, Resolution; in defeat, Defiance; in victory, Magnanimity". Or, a little less talk, a little more action.

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:18 PM EST
    If the Senate buys this guy just because he's "better" than Harriet Miers, I will be so disgusted. This guy is out there on the fringe with Bork and Thomas. We do not need another one like this on the Supreme Court. Everyone should contact their Senators and urge them to use the filibuster and any other mechanism available to stop this nomination from becoming reality.

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#7)
    by soccerdad on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:18 PM EST
    Paul in LA must be relatively young to be able to maintain his rage on one hand and belief in the system and the Democratic Party on the other. I on the other hand am neither young or naive. All that he says about the rethugs is, of course true, but his view that the dems are being surpressed by the evil Rethugs and their media partners does not explain everything. Although most Dems would rather not have invaded Iraq most are supporting the war, or at least refuse to call for a pull out, because they understand the reasons for the war, i.e. the maintence of the flow of oil from the ME. Let's remember that it was Carter who was first prez to publically state that the US should use military force to maintain the flow of oil. So the Dems will, as a group, not publically abondon the Iraq debacle until they are sure that all is lost and its time to make some political hay. The leadership of the Dem party, eg Biden, Reid, Clinton, Clinton are really repub lite, i.e. corporate whores without the extreme foreign policy theories. The fact that there are a few Dems with traditional Democratic values making some noise does not mean that that those who control the party and its purse strings agree. Look at the vote on the bankruptcy Bill, the abandonment of labor, minorities etc by the leadership of the Dem party tells you all you need to know. If you think someone like Obama is going to be president you really are delusional as someone like him will never make it out of the primaries as the corporate media to which many Dems are beholding will never let it happen. The real fight is against the corporate oligarchy of which Biden is a charter member. Nothing will change until thigs get worse, and of course it will get worse. But we have many years left of blaming the Repubs, the Chineese, muslim fanatics, illegals etc before the light goes on in a sufficiently large enough group that true change occurs. In the mean time we will trade one set of corporate whores for another. I mean come on. Do you really think the leadership of either party cares about poverty, the poor, the disabled, etc.? Stop believing all the propaganda they taught you in HS government and history classes.

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:18 PM EST
    Soccerdad: Bingo. Besides, troll or not, I am often informed/entertained by Ras and I find him to be a welcome addition to this site (just like Jimaka - who I LOVE to disagree with). Also, haven't seen your posts in a while, Soccerdad; where you been? What I find most stunning - and indicative of the abyssmal state of affairs in the Dem Party, if not the nation at large - is that NO ONE is stepping up to the plate in the Dem Party. NO ONE. At a time that literally screams out for leadership and leaders, where the hell is the Dem Party? Are they waiting for an invitation to show some spine? The Dems need a dozen more like Murtha to shake them out of their bizarre hibernation (stupor?) and to go on the attack. If they are pinning all of their hopes, on Try Number Three, to Hillary, then the Dem Party needs to undergo a good old-fashioned purging of its elitist ranks. Cuz, from where I stand, the Dems merely look like the liberal wing of the Repub party. What the hell happened to FDR's Dem Party!!??

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:20 PM EST
    off topic deleted

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:20 PM EST
    Soc, here, here. On all counts. Lavocat, can't agree with you about Ras. He is lost in a dream that ideas leftward of Joe Lieberman's ideology are hopelessly marginalised and dead, yet still tries to maintain that Lieberman is some sort of "leftist", doomed to never connect with America. As for the filibuster, there is a pretty good NY Times article about Scalito's love of the "establishment clause" and his religious right judicial credentials. Despite the Corporatist/Social Conservative divide in the Executive, the Senate and House are a mix of Social and Corporate Conservatives. If the Democrats (spineless DLC minions that they are) were to choose a filibuster, I'm not sure that the Republicans would dare pull the stupidly-named Nukulur (Bush SIC) Option, given their enduring Post-Katrina black eye. In the end, the question is whether the Corporate interests that pull the strings of the Democrats will support opposition of the Social Conservative judicial agenda. My guess is, the Dems don't filibuster and we get another Scalia. Then, 20 years from now, our children will be compelled to sit in classrooms listening to Pentecostal prayer and being taught Creationism as if it were a Science. That is, the Children that can afford to attend school anyway. Nice to see Soc return...

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimcee on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:20 PM EST
    Don't get between Joe Biden and a TV camera as you might get hurt! Filibuster? phsst. Ain't going to happen. Reason #1, the Dems have no cojones, #2, If they do there will be a heavy price to pay because the public is tiring of partisan politics on both sides (a 30% approval rating for Congress is a bad sign for both sides), #3, The Republicans will change the rules to avoid the filibuster and Alito will be on the court. The Left is working itself up into a lather over Alito and that hasn't worked out well in the recent past but we'll see. My prediction? Alito will be on the court come Spring, many on the Left will vote third party in 2006 and the Republicans we keep control because of it. It also might effect the Dems chance in 2008 if enough people go third party. As I sad, we'll see.

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#12)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:20 PM EST
    jimcee I agree with you that the Repubs will retain control in 2006 but that the gap will narrow somewhat, particularly in the Senate, but also to a lesser extent in the House. As for Alito there's really no point in filibustering him or any other Bush nominee. What do they think is going to happen: Bush wakes up one morning in love with civil liberties and changes his nomination criteria? No, Dems, here's what you do: interrogate him closely during confirmation. Make his anti-abortion stance as public as possible, same with his anti-Miranda stance. Then when the vote is tallied, take your case to the people in 2006. Talk about the Shiavo fiasco, talk about women's rights and gay rights and the rights, really, of all Americans, because that is what is at stake. In sum: Fillibustering is the cowardly way out, not an expression of cohones.

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#13)
    by jimcee on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:20 PM EST
    Glanton, Miranda is a silly construct but has become a part of policing tradition so it should stay but not to the point that if an officer forgets to Mirandize someone after a struggle that should be enough to toss a case. As far as Shiavo I'm not sure Alito has ruled on that case. I think women's rights are covered Constitutionally. Has he ruled extra-judicially on Gay-Rights? He may personally be against abortion and he may believe that there isn't Constitutional right to one as was discovered by the previous Court. But he has also expressed a belief in past rulings. I think he will rule honestly but then again I thought the same of Justice Breyer! Fool me once.... Personally I believe abortion should be legal but it should be a legislative matter and not some prenumbric construction of the Supreme Court. This is one reason that it is as controversial as it is. Alito will be confirmed and you are right that the Repubs will lose some seats but maintain control. Right now the Dems need to come off as reasonable and level headed but if they listen to thier paying base and squawk irrationally then things won't improve for them.

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#14)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:20 PM EST
    Miranda is a silly construct
    It is a construct but it is far, far from silly. It, like so much of our criminal justice system, is symbolic--it represents that we are a nation of laws, and that all will receive due process. Better education, more money, etc--these are supposed to pale before the great transcendent concept of equal protection under the law. And with that being said, I always chuckle when I'm watching something like Law and Order, and some surly archetypal cop spews what you are saying, about people "getting off over technicalities." Well, you know what, the whole damned Constitution is nothing but a set of very important technicalities! If the police cannot operate within the bounds of the law then they do not under any circumstances deserve the collar. Period. It aint hard to do--read the citizen his rights, grant him or her access to a lawyer before grilling, don't plant evidence to pad your case, etcetera etcetera etcetera. Sheesh.

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#15)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:20 PM EST
    Hey TL, since PinLA was banned for personal attacks, I was just wondering wht you think of jimcee saying:
    You are a feeble person and would have ended up in a padded room if you had to lead my life. In other words; you are a poof, witless, feeble and other wise a chump for the Left. Gosh, I hope life life doesn't give you a slap or a pink belly because you'll just give up and whine more than you do now.

    What a whimpering child.

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimcee on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:21 PM EST
    Sailor, Paul in LA was banned? I'm saddened. As far as a personal attack? My comments were a generalisation and not personal but I stand by my comments. TL, Please don't censor me but do what you will. But if you do, hey it is your site.... Sailor if you had lead my life you would more than likely understand my opinions. Life isn't always kind but it is full of opportunities and some of us have used adversity to our advantage. If you haven't , well you should. Other than that let PinLA have his say (bandwidth bearing) but please let Paul and Sailor avail themselves of all invective towards me as possible. Afterall invective is all that is left to them. Sincerly, Jim.

    Re: Biden: Filibuster Possible (none / 0) (#17)
    by BigTex on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:22 PM EST
    A filibuster does the dems no good in the end. The last thing the dems need is for the President to have his base energized and to come out with a win. This is a set piece battle, and the GOP holds all the pieces. Besides, one man one vote isn't the place to wage the ideological battle over Alito. In principle one man one vote is an ideal we should all strive for. In reality, one man one vote is absloutly unworkable, it is a euphamism for dilution of white vote so minorities can have gerrymandered districts. All the GOP needs to do is to trot out people who live in small white towns that have been separated into multiple districts so that minority majority districts can be maintained. If virtual disenfranchisement based on race is the standard, then it's an equal ill to do so to regardless of race. In the end one man one vote is not possible because some will be disenfranchised because of race. The better rule is a no dilution of voting strength. That way the spirit of one man one vote is kept, and no one has to be virtually disenfranchized because of race. If the dems choose this as their battle line they will suffer in 06.