Ceding Control of the Courts to the Radical Right

Today I remembered this blogger conference call with Sen. Charles Schumer in 2005 over President Bush's judicial nominees.

Sen. Schumer was emphatic in his remarks to us. He said the hard right, both economic and religious, has decided that the only way to push their agenda through is to control the courts. If they win and gain control of the courts, both economically and socially, they will roll back America to the 1930's or the 1890's.

He said that the hard right made a deal with George Bush during the election. It would support him and "not hound him", but he had to cede control of his judicial nominations to the Federalist Society.

That's the reward (in addition to enthusiastically supporting his election) I would bet the radical right is offering John McCain. When you see reports of his campaign coffers growing due to Gov. Palin, the picture comes into closer focus. [More...]

The radical right dumped Bush over the Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court (which I supported.) She wasn't sufficiently anti-choice.

They believe it will be different with McCain/Palin. If they win him the election, he will owe them their desired judicial picks. And having been burned by Bush over Harriet Miers, they will be smarter about extracting their quid pro quo this time.

Gov. Palin is but a pawn. But she's a dangerous one for our constitutional democracy, as I wrote here.

Regardless of who you supported in the Democratic primaries, or whether you are independent and stayed out of it, if you don't want James Dobson, Focus on the Family and other extremist evangelical groups dictating the replacement of retiring Supreme Court justices and jeopardizing your freedom and constitutional rights and those of your children for the next 30 years, do your part. Support the Democratic ticket.

Any Republican would be bad for health insurance, jobs, social security, war, the economy, the environment and criminal justice reform. But John McCain's sell-out to the extremist fundamentalists he once distanced himself from -- the same groups who opposed his candidacy prior to his Palin pick -- threatens the core of our constitutional democracy.

McCain likely won't be around in 10 years to witness the lasting damage his deal with the devil brought to our country. But many of us and our children will be.

< Friday Afternoon Open Thread: | Palin Didn't Sell Alaska Plane on EBay >
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    And what is there to preclude... (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by EL seattle on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 01:53:13 PM EST
    ...folks from painting McCain into a corner by forcing him to make public promises for a clearly defined and completely transparent selection process?

    he can't be trusted not to make a side deal (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 01:57:45 PM EST
    he sure isn't going to run for a second term.

    He can't get elected without the radical right. And they won't support him without a promise.


    But if he won't make a public promise.. (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by EL seattle on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:14:17 PM EST
    ..to the voters, isn't that a huge flip-flop on the transparency thang?

    I will ask Democrats and independents to serve with me. And my administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability.

    That sounds good. But may the Democrats chould make him prove he means it by showing just how he'll handle transparency and accountability for his judicial appointments.  If he refuses, brand him as a corrupt hypocrite in every ad until November.

    That's just a thought, anyway...


    And, remember, that one of Bush and Cheney's (3.00 / 0) (#30)
    by scribe on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:31:02 PM EST
    arguments why torture was OK was that the American people had seen the Abu Ghraib pictures prior to the 2004 election and voted for him anyway, and that they had no reason to account to Congress for anything they'd done, on any topic, because the accountability comes through the ballot box.

    The Republican position, summarized, is that the President is not accountable to anyone for anything, other than through the ballot box.  That, they argued, made Bush and Cheney (somewhat less-so) unaccountable during their second terms because they were not running for re-election.

    McSame, by pretty expressly coming out and declaring he'd be a one-termer, is also seeking to avoid any - repeat any - accountability to anyone.  If he's not facing re-election, he can do whatever he damn well pleases, f*ck you very much.


    Because by the time he's called on the fact (none / 0) (#48)
    by litigatormom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:00:16 PM EST
    that he's breaking his promises, it will be too late.  At best, he can only be blocked from having a bad pick confirmed. He can't be forced to nominate a GOOD candidate.  "Compromise" is inevitable, even if the Dems in the Senate find their spines.

    As I understand it... (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:19:47 PM EST
    ...this would apply not only to SCOTUS, but the lower level judges as well.  Are there not a large number of US Distric Court vacancies as well?  

    The effect of a McCain administration could have very far reaching consequenses.

    Just as Reagan's and the two Bushs' picks (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by litigatormom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:04:33 PM EST
    have already dramatically altered the judicial landscape.

    Ironically, as someone who often represents corporations, you would think that I would like the current make-up of the federal bench, at least in the context of my own legal practice.  But no.  The Bushies have preferred not just conservative judges, but also ill-tempered and autocratic ones as well.  And they're not always smart enough or hard-working enough to really understand the factual record and the law, which can be a problem even when you're representing a corporation.  


    This seems like the real danger to me (none / 0) (#73)
    by shoephone on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:45:56 PM EST
    The lower court appointments and the U.S. attorney appointments. I have my doubts about Obama on judges (see: Cass Sunstein) and I still get rankled just thinking about Biden's game of footsie with Alito, but McCain would set out to pack all the courts with the worst possible judges. I really fear zealots like Janice Rogers Brown and Roy Moore with a McCain presidency, precisely because I don't think the majority of Senate Democrats have the intestinal fortitude to oppose, oppose, oppose, as they should.

    Stevens and Ginsburg are chomping at the bit to retire. Kennedy seems disillusioned with SCOTUS life and Souter often waxes romantic about going back to New Hampshire fulltime.

    D*mn those Senate Democrats for giving us Roberts and Alito! But this is where we are now. Not a comfortable place at all.


    Commenters (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by glanton on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:29:28 PM EST
    Suggesting that there is not much difference between who Obama and even Biden would put on the Courts (and remember everyone, its a lot of federal judges, not just Supremes) and those who McCain and Palin would select, are either lying on purpose or are woefully ignorant.  Normally that is a false binary in political discourse, but this particular assertion that some are making, there aint a whiff of truth to it.


    What is to preclude the congress from (4.00 / 3) (#1)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 01:48:30 PM EST
    stonewalling a truly terrible pick, especially if the dems are in control?

    and if they aren't in control? (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 01:52:51 PM EST
    read through our Alito and Roberts archives for your  answer. Review articles about the filibuster fight and the gang of 14.

    I thought we were sure (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by demchick on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 01:54:44 PM EST
    that with Obama as our nominee we would achieve a filibuster proof majority in congress?

    I find it odd that we cannot expect our congress to do their jobs. And saying congress is weak, or the dems in congress are weak, is not really a good way to get indys to vote democratic.


    That seems to be the feeling go around (3.33 / 3) (#7)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 01:57:34 PM EST
    on the dem side; that we are going to be veto-proof and pick up lots of seats...if that is true, not sure we have a problem, or seems like it shouldn't be if they do their job.

    Vote Democrat! (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by hookfan on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:09:28 PM EST
    'Cause we all know they won't do their job! Yeah that's a winning meme!!! Actually it may (sadly) be true. . .

    And perhaps (none / 0) (#61)
    by cal1942 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:39:06 PM EST
    you'd like to acknowledge that Obama voted FOR cloture on the Roberts nomination.

    The Senate will likely remain in Democratic hands and can reject any presidential nomination to the federal court or any other position requiring Senate confirmation.

    Please read article 2, section 2, clause 2 of the Constitution.


    They will not (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 01:57:10 PM EST
    And people who work from the assumption that they will are simply fools.

    It takes a President.


    Sorry...no sale (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by demchick on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:02:45 PM EST
    Our government was designed to be divided. Congress needs to step up to the plate. If the democratic congress is too weak to stand up to a president McCain then they won't stand up to a President Obama either. They can't be trusted and that means they also can't be trusted with a president of the same party.

    If we are fools for believing in our party and in wanting them to actually do that job we elect them for then why are we supposed to continue voting for them?


    That's not (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Cairo Faulkner on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:02:51 PM EST
    what the Constitution says.

    ...he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint...Judges of the supreme Court

    The power is there.


    And Republicans (none / 0) (#42)
    by IndiDemGirl on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:50:32 PM EST
    follow the Constitution?  Maybe you missed the last 8 years.

    Constitution (none / 0) (#63)
    by cal1942 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:48:47 PM EST
    is followed for procedures spelled out in the Constitution.

    Recent example: When the Democratically controlled Senate stayed in session Bush couldn't make recess appointments.


    Huh? (none / 0) (#82)
    by Cairo Faulkner on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 06:31:32 PM EST
    What are you suggesting? That the Republicans are going to sneak someone onto the Supreme Court while nobody's looking? Or creep into the Senate wearing funny hats and pretend they've got enough senators?

    Not even the Republicans can get around this one. They'll only get their way if the Dems capitulate.


    Can I add that assumption (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by hookfan on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:19:10 PM EST
    to my "Idiot's guide to being a Democratic fool"? You know actually expect democrats to do their job?

    Specious argument (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Politalkix on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:12:42 PM EST
    When Reagan won the Presidency, the democrats controlled the Senate and the House. But Reagan the President could still move the country so much to the right that 20 years after Reagan's term ended, the left has not been able to recapture the political space it ceded. Justices Scalia and Thomas were appointed when Democrats controlled the Congress during a Republican Presidency.

    Factually incorrect Politalkix (none / 0) (#64)
    by cal1942 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:50:44 PM EST
    Republicans controlled the Senate for the first six of Reagan's eight years in office.

    Democrats controlled the House but, the House doesn't pass on nominations, only the Senate.


    Thanks cal1942 (none / 0) (#76)
    by Politalkix on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:54:56 PM EST
    Yes, you are correct. The Republicans controlled the Senate between 1980-86 (in 1978 the Democrats controlled the Senate 58-41, they won back the Senated 55-45 in 1986) while the Democrats controlled the House during the entire period of Reagan and GWH Bush Presidencies. Justice Scalia was confirmed by a 98-0 vote in the Senate just a couple of months before Democrats regained control of the Senate in 1986 Every Democrat in the Senate voted to confirm Justice Scalia in 1986. Clarence Thomas was sworn in when the Democrats controlled the Senate 55-45.
    There is little doubt in my mind that a Democrat Party controlled Senate will be unable to stop nominations like Justice Roberts, Scalia and Thomas from getting confirmed. I won't rule out the possibility that for his first SC appointment, President McCain will nominate an extremely conservative woman or Hispanic candidate. Enough Democrat senators will vote to confirm such candidates while seeking political cover.

    They reality is they won't (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:32:06 PM EST
    McCain will send up another Roberts type. Academically acceptable conservative justice without a specific objectionable characteristic other than being conservative- and that will be insufficient. Even if it were, how many Roberts clones can be rejected? I don't see it happening.

    The best defense to this is to not allow it to happen by making sure the Democrats control both ends of the Supreme Court nominee process - the nomination as well as the advise and consent.


    Ok a problem with this (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by hookfan on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:54:59 PM EST
    Those in the Senate who played a kabuki dance in pretending to oppose Alito, but then voted for him, are still there. If they wanted Alito types before,there is nothing that prevents them from performing the same theater act again.
       Second, Many of those now support Obama. In fact have gone to bat for Obama and he owes them. The leadership, who now support Obama allowed this to happen. What makes you think Obama would not put up another Justice nominee similar to Alito? I've heard Sunstein batted around, got a problem with that? Couple that with obama's tepid views on choice and what do you get? Why a little Alito-Sunstein!!! yeah!!!! But he will have a D after his name!!!

    Sunsteen is not material. (none / 0) (#47)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:59:21 PM EST
    Sunsteen is on record as opposing overturning Roe v. Wade. That is a fact. You may not like his views on all subjects (I don't) he isn't a rightwinger.

    If you can't figure out the difference between a moderate who does not owe the extreme right anything and an alleged moderate who is a prisoner of the extreme right and suffers from  Stockholm Syndrome as well....

    Nothing I can write will help you.


    Sunstein iirc (none / 0) (#51)
    by hookfan on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:07:24 PM EST
    doesn't oppose the continuous restricting of R vsW either does he? Oh yeah! Death by a thousand cuts, whoo-hoo!!!
      And answer the question: How do you know Obama wont please those who voted for Alito with presenting the same type? For that matter, why won't Biden? He did, I believe, vote for Scalia, and stiffed anita Hill for who was it? Oh, yes that moderate Judge we all love, clarence thomas!!! Whoo-hooo!! Yeah another moderate pick!!!

    Sunstein said we were all whiners about FISA (none / 0) (#74)
    by shoephone on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:50:28 PM EST
    Greenwald tore his arguments apart, both on his blog and on the radio (PRI). It was a pleasure to witness that. Sunstein is not acceptable at all.

    you missed the point (none / 0) (#77)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:56:35 PM EST
    I did not say all of Sunsteen's views are acceptable- In fact I said just the opposite. However, he is not a right winger and that is the point. McCain will appoint more rightwingers. He has promised to do so at every opportunity, I do not understand the refusal to take McCain at his word.

    Read my other comment regarding McCain (none / 0) (#79)
    by shoephone on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:08:31 PM EST
    and the lower court appointments. We agree: McCain's picks would be uniformly awful. But I don't operate in a world where Obama's picks would all be acceptable simply because McCain's aren't. Yep -- it's a matter of degrees of unacceptability. A Janice Rogers Brown in sheep's clothing would be infinitely worse than a Cass Sunstein. But Sunstein made a fool of himself on FISA and I prefer judges who have sort of a penchant for upholding the constitution. I rather like my 4th amendment.

    Let's face it. Considering the behavior of the Senate Democrats the past eight years, and Obama's shout-outs to the "faith" community during this campaign, there is not a lot of confidence to be had. But I'm a realist, MollyBloom. Even if Obama's picks will only be slightly better than McCain's, they are still better.

    I don't pretend to understand Democrats who say they will vote for McCain/Palin. As far as I'm concerned, those people are utterly non-sensical. But it points to very real, very painful divisions within the Dem party that never should have been created this election year.


    My bad (none / 0) (#80)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:12:24 PM EST
    It does appear we agree, though you may have mistaken my post as an endorsement of Sunsteen. It was not.

    I understand now. n/t (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by shoephone on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:37:41 PM EST
    That assumes a fact not in evidence: (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by scribe on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:37:40 PM EST
    i.e., the presence of a spine.

    Remember, the one thing the Dems running the Senate have been good at has been caving:  On Alito, Roberts, FISA, Torture, Mukasey, investigations, Iraq, etc.

    The one thing they have excelled at has been slapping down members of their own party - Feingold and Dodd (particularly his holds on FISA) - when it threatened their spinelessness.


    What is to prevent a filibuster against (none / 0) (#55)
    by litigatormom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:16:00 PM EST
    a truly horrific nominee?

    Well, there is the evidence of history.

    And there is the fact it is unlikely the Dems are going to add enough seats to get to 60 seats or more in November.  They seem to be lacking the filibuster gene. They are so damn afraid of being "obstructionist."

    And even if they did grow spines, I don't want to bet my daughters' lives, and the survival of the Constitution (along with the ability to check executive power, my right to privacy, my right to habeas corpusand the separation of church and state) on the ability of the Democrats in the Senate to consistently block horrific nominees.  Sooner or later, they will compromise on someone who lies enough to get through the process.  


    litigatormom (none / 0) (#65)
    by cal1942 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:07:41 PM EST
    what does a veto proof majority have to do with the capability to filibuster.

    And why would you trust Obama regarding your right to privacy?  Have you forgotten FISA?

    As you said: there is the evidence of history.

    The rollovers in the Senate are the same people who backed Obama.

    The stark truth is that we are in a bad place with either candidate.  

    It's going to be up to us, all of us, to put pressure on Congress to steer an independent course no matter who wins the White House. In fact the only evidence of a spine we've seen in Congress is the Democratic solidarity against Bush regarding Social Security in 2005.

    I'm deeply suspicious of Obama regarding Social Security and deeply fearful that a Democratic Congress will do nothing to resist poor policy from a Democratic president but may stiffen against a Republican president when they believe that the Republican has stepped on a third rail issue.

    I'm not terribly optimistic about our future and that's an understatement.


    You're assuming, of course, (none / 0) (#70)
    by hookfan on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:26:38 PM EST
    that Democratic senators do this because they lack spine. How do you know that they are not getting exactly what they want? After all a little kabuki, shift blame to repubs, and voila! they are off the responsibility hook.
       No, I think they are doing exactly what they want and are placing supreme court justices there that support corporate interests over individual rights while blaming republicans. Spinelessness would come in if they were afraid of the electorate. But the electorate wants the protections, which the Senate capitulates on oh so easily. It's not spinelessness-- follow the money that's why.
      And Obama, exactly where is he on the issue of corporate versus individual rights? I know where McCain is (bleh). But where really is Obama and will he stand up to his senate cronies? I wish I knew. . .

    based on his past actions, (3.00 / 1) (#5)
    by cpinva on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 01:56:33 PM EST
    what makes you think a pres. obama would be any better?

    sorry, i remain unconvinced.

    I will assume that the judicial nominees (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by litigatormom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:08:54 PM EST
    of President Obama might not be as progressive as those of a President Hillary Clinton.  But there is no reason to believe that Obama would start nominating more Scalias and Alitos and Robertses. Let's not forget that even Bill Clinton was somewhat constrained in his judicial selections by the Republican majorities in the Senate when he was in the White House.  On the whole, his nominations were excellent, but he could not have successfully nominated judges as far to the left as the Bushies and Reagan have gone to the right.

    I am not one of Obama's true believers.  I have come only lately and somewhat reluctantly to the party. But there is no way, zero, that I could be persuaded that Obama's nominations to the bench would be any worse than slight more centrist than I would like, whereas there is complete and utter certainty about McCain appointing fundies and wingnuts to the bench.  

    He's sold his soul.  It's gone. Satan won't give it back after the election.


    What (3.50 / 2) (#67)
    by cal1942 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:11:36 PM EST
    there is no reason to believe that Obama would start nominating more Scalias and Alitos and Robertses

    There is every reason to believe that Obama just might make such a nomination.  This is the guy who wanted to confirm Roberts. This is the guy who voted FOR cloture.  This is the guy who wants to bring Republicans to the table.

    What was that thing about history again?


    You forgot to read the memo (none / 0) (#72)
    by hookfan on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:38:37 PM EST
    History is apparently only useful when it supports your preference, otherwise it's faith based baby!

    What's all this about the earth being round? (4.20 / 5) (#9)
    by Faust on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 01:59:37 PM EST
    I don't see the evidence.

    Sorry I'm just not convinced.


    So with Biden (3.00 / 2) (#50)
    by lizpolaris on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:04:56 PM EST
    making the SCOTUS recommendations, we look forward to more of Clarence Thomas, Scalia, Roberts.  Yup, really big difference between the two parties on this issue.

    Oh, come on. (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Pegasus on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:43:51 PM EST
    Biden kept Bork off the court, remember?  He's got as much credibility as anybody in the party right now on judicial nominees.  Voted against Roberts, and against Alito.

    You don't get to make up your own set of facts.


    When it comes to Obama on this site, (1.00 / 1) (#66)
    by caseynm on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:07:57 PM EST
    for many there apparently ARE no facts, just the factiness of "Obama stole the nomination" conspiracy theorists who seem to think that he isn't a closet muslim, but rather a closet Gingrich or Lieberman or some such.  Asked to adduce evidence, they resort to "prove he isn't".

    For that clatch of folks on here, their factiness overrides any actual facts about Obama, hence no need to be rational about it.


    As for the votes (1.00 / 1) (#84)
    by lizpolaris on Sat Sep 06, 2008 at 06:44:37 AM EST
    I looked up Biden's votes in the Senate record - he voted for Thomas, Scalia, and Roberts.  True that he voted against Alito - notice I didn't put Alito in the list.

    You're the one making up the facts here.


    No, he voted against Roberts. (none / 0) (#85)
    by Pegasus on Sat Sep 06, 2008 at 11:12:41 AM EST
    Scalia was unanimous, but Biden voted against Thomas and against Roberts.

    You seem to be lying now.


    Linkies (1.00 / 1) (#86)
    by lizpolaris on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:57:59 AM EST
    While Biden entered a Nay vote for Thomas, his treatment of Anita Hill during the hearings ensured Thomas' confirmation.

    His YEA vote on Roberts is here:
    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&vote=0 0237&session=2


    Jesus... (none / 0) (#87)
    by Pegasus on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 11:02:02 AM EST
    I'm not contesting that Biden behaved badly toward Anita Hill, but he voted against Thomas, and you claimed he voted yea.  And that's a link to the AUMF, not to the Roberts vote.  Biden voted against Roberts.

    I repeat: you're just lying now.


    I notice you skipped Clarence (none / 0) (#78)
    by hookfan on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:58:57 PM EST
    Ted Kennedy (none / 0) (#83)
    by lizpolaris on Sat Sep 06, 2008 at 06:42:29 AM EST
    kept Bork off the court.  Maybe YOU don't remember.

    Oh, good grief (2.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Strick on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:22:48 PM EST
    All I thought conservatives wanted was an end to the judiciary re-writing existing laws.

    I agree with the sentiment above.  I doubt any serious conservative is going to get past the Senate.  Heck, if McCain's elected, I wonder if any candidate will get past the Senate.

    Not that it matters given the main reason the Right has been distrustful of McCain all these years.  He tends to do what he thinks is right, not what ideology is supposed to demand.  Don't expect another Scalia.


    Can't chill. (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:28:02 PM EST
    There's a base to motivate.

    how did Alito get through? (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:29:20 PM EST
    Dems didn't do their (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by kredwyn on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:34:19 PM EST
    filibuster job.

    And what makes you assume (2.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Pegasus on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:36:30 PM EST
    they'd do it right this time?  Nothing, right?  So if McCain wins, there's no obstacle to another Alito.  If Obama wins, he wouldn't appoint another Alito.

    The argument you're making is nonsensical.


    Nothing... (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by kredwyn on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:40:09 PM EST
    That's pretty much why I left the party when they allowed FISA through.

    Interestingly, we don't know what kind of judges Obama would nominate. You can assume, but give the fact that he liked Roberts and said that he woulda voted for him...I'm not sure an asumption is the bestest of ideas.


    Not exactly accurate in your description. (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:54:45 PM EST
    It is possible to admire someone's achievements and ability without coming to the conclusion that person is wrong for the court. Arguably the fact that Obama was willing to let the case be made, before making up his mind is a good thing. Moreover if he is elected, he would not want to have his own example of rejection without some consideration to be used against him.  

    I don't believe your description is either accurate or fair.

    Obama's positions are far from perfect, but he is still better than McCain IMO.

    Explanation on why he was voting against Roberts

    I was impressed with that statement because I view the law in much the same way. The problem I had is that when I examined Judge Roberts' record and history of public service, it is my personal estimation that he has far more often used his formidable skills on behalf of the strong in opposition to the weak. In his work in the White House and the Solicitor General's Office, he seemed to have consistently sided with those who were dismissive of efforts to eradicate the remnants of racial discrimination in our political process. In these same positions, he seemed dismissive of the concerns that it is harder to make it in this world and in this economy when you are a woman rather than a man.

    and at Saddleback

    OBAMA: John Roberts, I have to say was a tougher question only because I find him to be a very compelling person, you know, in conversation individually. He's clearly smart, very thoughtful. I will tell you that how I've seen him operate since he went to the bench confirms the suspicions that I had and the reason that I voted against him, and I'll give you one very specific instance and this is not a stump speech.

    Okay... (none / 0) (#46)
    by kredwyn on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:57:52 PM EST
    Then this is wrong, eh?

    It was the fall of 2005, and the celebrated young senator -- still new to Capitol Hill but aware of his prospects for higher office -- was thinking about voting to confirm John G. Roberts Jr. as chief justice. Talking with his aides, the Illinois Democrat expressed admiration for Roberts's intellect. Besides, Obama said, if he were president he wouldn't want his judicial nominees opposed simply on ideological grounds.

    And then Rouse, his chief of staff, spoke up. This was no Harvard moot-court exercise, he said. If Obama voted for Roberts, Rouse told him, people would remind him of that every time the Supreme Court issued another conservative ruling, something that could cripple a future presidential run. Obama took it in. And when the roll was called, he voted no.

    I don't see how that conflicts (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:07:28 PM EST
    with anything I wrote. I gave you two quotes directly from Obama. Read them.

    In the first, it is clear he gave consideration to voting for Roberts, but did not because.... (you can read for yourself).

    The 2nd says, he feels vindicated in his decision. What you appear to want is for Obama to have been summarily opposed. I submit that is not a position any sensible candidate wants to take, unless he wants his own example used against him.

    Putting it another way, Obama doesn't shoot from the hip. We have had a recent example of a Decider who shoots from the hip, do you like those decisions?


    No... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kredwyn on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:10:41 PM EST
    I don't want anything.

    I just don't assume that he's going to nominate a specific type of judge.

    What I am saying is that there's no way to know for sure...


    Wow Molly (none / 0) (#68)
    by cal1942 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:20:08 PM EST
    I gave you two quotes directly from Obama

    Revisionist history.  

    I was 99% sure I wouldn't support Obama.  Now I'm 100% sure I won't support Obama.


    Because he said he couldn't support Roberts (none / 0) (#71)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:36:01 PM EST
    and then felt vindicated.

    You must be searching hard for a reason.


    That being said... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kredwyn on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:41:19 PM EST
    I didn't make an argument.

    I answered a question.


    Fair enough. (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Pegasus on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:36:46 PM EST
    I just find the implicit idea that Obama would nominate somebody out of the Federalist Society to be, frankly, uninformed nonsense.

    Yes and yours (none / 0) (#75)
    by hookfan on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:54:15 PM EST
    that he won't seems to be only faith based non-sense supported by insults. Let me ask you, who is on the supreme court that biden was instrumental in getting there? secondly, which Party was allegedly in control when alito and Roberts were allowed through? third, who is Obama dependent on to get any legislation through? Show me through their history, not their Kabuki statements, who they will support and I'll gladly listen to you.

    You're mistaken. (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Pegasus on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:35:13 PM EST
    Conservative legal thinkers want to roll back the legal structures that were built around the New Deal, in addition to interpreting statutes they don't like out of practical existence.  They're engaged in judicial activism every bit as much, and probably more, than the left right now.

    Pegasus' (none / 0) (#69)
    by cal1942 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:25:17 PM EST
    statement concerning right-wing judicial intentions is spot on. The Federalist Society was created with that very goal in mind.

    McCain does what he thinks is best for McCain (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:38:02 PM EST
    First Last and in between.

    McCain thought that offshore drilling wasn't right until he decided he needed to be for it.

    It was necessary for McCain to be for the confederate flag in in SC in 2000, so he was for it.

    He opposed the Bush tax cuts, before he was informed he had to be for it.

    He was for invading Iraq, before he was against it and bravely decided to stick out the surge.

    Putting McCain first is the name of the game.  


    So McCain thinks it's right... (none / 0) (#56)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:19:13 PM EST
    ...to normalize relations with Vietnam, while still toeing the absurd party line on Cuba?

    McCain is largely illogical in his decision-making and his notion of what is right.  


    And with the new Russian bear... (none / 0) (#57)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:24:12 PM EST
    ...doesn't it seem logical AND right to start bringing Cuba into the fold?

    Have we found out that the judge (none / 0) (#13)
    by kredwyn on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:05:33 PM EST
    she did nominate was actually a closeted fundamentalist?

    Alaska is not the country (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:09:20 PM EST
    she won't be appointing judges to the supreme court, McCain will.

    It's what he owes them for their reward of supporting him  for the presidency.

    Perhaps you missed that James Dobson refused to support McCain under any circumstances until he picked Palin.


    I knew that Dobson was headed... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kredwyn on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:14:06 PM EST
    in McCain's general direction before Palin was tapped.

    But you've made the "heartbeat away" argument regularly. An extension of your argument would be that she'd be picking the SCOUTS nominees should McCain pass on.


    you are right (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:16:34 PM EST
    she would be. Add that to the reasons to oppose their ticket. Thanks for reminding me.

    Thus the point of my initial question (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by kredwyn on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:19:22 PM EST
    Her past record of judge and school board nominations suggests that she does not nominate people based on some sort of religious siboleth.

    unless, of course... (none / 0) (#27)
    by kredwyn on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 02:23:32 PM EST
    someone has discovered that those people are closeted radical fundamental types...

    The Worst Thing About It (none / 0) (#59)
    by glanton on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:35:55 PM EST
    The worst thing is, that neither McCain nor Palin are being remotely truthful about their designs on the Courts.  

    If they are so proud of their positions on social issues, why completely cover it up during their acceptance speeches?  Not a mention of social issues by either one of them.  I love how some accuse Obama of not being clear enough about his social positions while looking the other way at the GOP Snowjob on the American voter.  

    To snow independent voters that they so desperately need in order to win.  This time the base just aint gonna do it for them, as too many middle class people have been screwed by the economics of the last eight years, and too many distrust the GOP on foreign policy.  

    The hard right social cons know McCain and Palin's wish to roll things back to the 1930s  and are excited about it.  Fair to say that a lot of undecideds either do not know about their designs, or if they have encountered the issue on a blog like this one, think that the whole thing is being exaggerated.

    The less informed the electorate, the better for the GOP.  Same old story.

    Debate moderators must make them discuss these issues!!!  Reporters with cameras and microphones must make them discuss these issues!!!