Friday, January 13, 2006

Alito likely to be confirmed

"I think there may well be a strict party-line vote," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters.
Confident Republicans and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said a filibuster is unlikely.

"The point is the key to this was whether or not there was enough critical mass established during these hearings to trigger not only a filibuster but ... that so-called nuclear option," Toobin said, referring to a move to prohibit filibusters of judicial nominees.

"I'm pretty sure -- I could always call for one order of crow -- but I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen."

So, it's looking like most Democrats in the Senate are going to vote against this guy. If that's the case, why in the world would they not use the filibuster? I can only think of two reasons - either they don't have the votes for a filibuster, or they're just spineless dogs.

First possibility, enough Dems are voting yes that they don't have enough votes for a filibuster. If that's the case, what the hell is wrong with these people? Although these hearings do little to provide any real information(I blame the Senators themselves for much of that, since they ask the same type of questions over and over knowing they're not going to get an answer), it's clear to me that there's no reason to believe that Alito's changed his position on abortion, rights for workers and minorities, or presidential powers. If any Democrats believe that putting a man like this on the Supreme Court is a good thing, they should just go ahead and switch parties right now.

Second possibility, they have the votes to support a filibuster, but they're afraid to rock the boat and possibly invoke the so-called nuclear option. In this case they're just gutless cowards, more afraid of looking too partisan than in doing what's right. As John has said, there's no reason to be afraid of Republican threats, if you're afraid to use it on vitally important issues, then the filibuster is useless. And what's more important than the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice? Do the right thing and let the Republicans do whatever they're going to do. They won't be the majority party forever.

The bottom line for me is it's clear that Alito trusts authority, whether it's the executive branch, or large corporations, and he's willing to err on their side. He's shown this in his previous rulings and legal papers. I think there's an idea among Democrats that it's more difficult to justify denying him the position because he's obviously qualified technically to do the job. He's certainly no Harriet Myers. But it's wrong to think that because he's got the resume that you have to rubber stamp his nomination. The responsibility of the Senate is to consent. To my mind that doesn't mean a 51-49 ramming down our throat of a right-wing judge. It implies consensus, as much as possible. There have been plenty of nominees from both parties who have been able to gain consensus. Look at Sandra Day O'Connor, the woman he's replacing. She was confirmed 99-0, and is generally considered a centrist. For the Democrats to cave on this nomination and vote yes or avoid the filibuster is an abdication of their constitutional responsibility.

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Robert Bayn said...

I have not heard one thing about Alito to make me think he should not be on the supreme court, to me the only thing that matters is would he be a activist judge? So far i have seen proof of that from what i have read on him, should i switch parties because democrats are asking him stupid questions, or that republicans are kissing his ass, not at all, unless someone can provide real proof, i see no reason why he should not be on the supreme court.

maurinsky said...

Robert, I can't imagine a more activist thing for a judge to do then to disregard our Constitution. Alito, in his deference to authority, would side with the Executive branch, which eliminates the checks and balances that the founding fathers built into our system of government.

Chris Howard said...

There's no such thing as an "activist judge", that's what people call a judge who hands down opinions they don't agree with. Same thing with the label "strict constructionist" or "constitutionalist". All justices representing any ideology interpret the law and the constitution.

I don't think Alito's a bad guy like Bush. From what I've read it seems like he fulfills his obligations to the law, he is thoughtful and intelligent, and probably rules according to his conscience, within the boundaries of the law. But I don't believe those things should be the deciding factor on his confirmation. Looking at his history in whole, inclduing legal opinions, society memberships, things he's written in memos and things he's said in speeches, it's clear that he is not a progressive. He should be denied on ideological grounds, and Senate Democrats shouldn't have any qualms about trying to do that. I think they're far too worried about playing the game and fearful of looking like obstructionists.

Storm said...

"He should be denied on ideological grounds,"

Are you serious? You think he should be denied this post because of what he believes? Talk about thought police.

Name me one time on the bench when he used his own opinions to rule instead of the law. You can not.

Storm said...


option 3

It is not legal to fillibuster a Judge.

As for your definition of consensus, I find that humorous as mostly your liberals what the miniority to rule.

This is just more sour grapes. Face it the public gave Bush the Majority in Senate so he could pick Judges that were not like the ones in Florida or this retard in Vermont who just decided that he would not put a convicted child molestar in jail.

Chris Howard said...

Are you serious? You think he should be denied this post because of what he believes? Talk about thought police.

Thought police? Are YOU serious? If we don't consider a justice's ideology, then why don't we just put a fucking robot on the bench? A justice's personal opinions are always valid considerations in a confirmation hearing. This is exactly what I'm talking about in my post - many people semm to believe that the only consideration for a justice is if he's a technically qualified judge. In that case, why didn't Bush pick one of the liberal judges off the 9th circuit court of appeals? Of course he wouldn't, because of ideology.

The law is not black or white. If it was, we wouldn't have so many overturned appeals or 5-4 Supreme Court decisions. So in these cases, what is it that separates the differing opinions? I think we can assume that the justices are all well-versed in the law. The difference is in their ideology, their philosophy, the way they look at the world. Using these as a barometer for confirmation is a necessity.

Chris Howard said...

It is not legal to fillibuster a Judge.

Not true. It can be done, and has been done by both parties.

John Howard said...

He should be denied on ideological grounds,"

I don't think Chris is saying that he shouldn't be allowed on the court based on his ideology, but that Democrats should oppose him because of it, and I agree. That nonesense about using the law to rule instead of his opinions is crap, any judge uses their own interpretation of the law based partly on their own opinions. Activist judge is a completely made up term that has no real definition.

As for your assertion that is is not legal to filibuster a judge, that's just patently ridiculous. you've been listening to Sean Hannity too much. And anyway, if you're right, then it should be a simple matter of Bill Frist interrupting things when a filibuster begins, and showing why it's illegal. Of course that wouldn't happen, since it isn't.

beakerkin said...


The ball game is over and it is a matter of time. The ACLU and the far left missed again. Do not that Senator Clintoooon has been nearly invisible. She did find time to party with noted political scholar Harry Belafonte.

"Dumbo Dumbo Daylight come and Hillary want to go"

John Howard said...

Do you ever make any comment that is actually relevant to the post you're commenting on?

beakerkin said...

Sorry there John but read Hillary as she is smarter then the rest. She was hardly seen and that should
tell you something. The game is over and Alito will be on the Supreme Court. Alito is closer to the views of the people then the ACLU.

The ball game is over and even Hillary knows it. Maybe you can spoof where is Waldo with where was Her Royal Majesty HRC. She was fraternizing with Commie Calypso singer Belafonte right after he met with Chavez.

Robert Bayn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Robert Bayn said...

It's the democrats choice weather to deny him based on Ideoligy, but if that is true, how come guys like Scalia and Thomas pretty much got free passes, and these guys are pretty much nuts in my opinion, it's because it's not about what they believe, it's how they view the role of the court, and are they fair and a honest judge, that rules according to the law, and not according to personal views and party views, that's what is most important.

Chris Howard said...

but if that is true, how come guys like Scalia and Thomas pretty much got free passes

I think it's really all politics. Scalia was confirmed 98-0 back in 1986. I don't remember if there was any controversy at the time. I'm sure there were people opposed to him, but they probably didn't feel it was in their best interests to vote against him. But I don't know why you think Thomas got a free pass. He was confirmed 52-48 after much controversy over his ideology and the whole Anita Hill thing.

And it's always about ideology. Conservatives are trying to get conservatives on the bench and liberals are trying to get liberals. I wish they would just be open and unapologetic about it.

Storm said...

You both are confusing preference and qualification.

Conservatives and in general the nation given the elections since 1994 prefer conservative judges however Reps will vote for a quailified judge regardless of political leaning whereas liberals what ideology to be a qualification instead of a preference and they will vote against a conservative just because he/she is a conservative.

As for the filibuster it is never been used for Supreme Court nominees.

Storm said...

shocker all the Demos in the committee voted against him and all the Reps for him.