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Why the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is momentous news. Why it is bigger news than if Rehnquist had retired. The right to choose:

JUSTICE O'CONNOR, JUSTICE KENNEDY, and JUSTICE SOUTER delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II, and III, concluding that consideration of the fundamental constitutional question resolved by Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 , principles of institutional integrity, and the rule of stare decisis require that Roe's essential holding be retained [505 U.S. 833, 834]    and reaffirmed as to each of its three parts: (1) a recognition of a woman's right to choose to have an abortion before fetal viability and to obtain it without undue interference from the State, whose pre-viability interests are not strong enough to support an abortion prohibition or the imposition of substantial obstacles to the woman's effective right to elect the procedure; (2) a confirmation of the State's power to restrict abortions after viability, if the law contains exceptions for pregnancies endangering a woman's life or health; and (3) the principle that the State has legitimate interests from the outset of the pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of the fetus that may become a child. Pp. 844-869.

. . . THE CHIEF JUSTICE, joined by JUSTICE WHITE, JUSTICE SCALIA, and JUSTICE THOMAS, concluded that:

      1. Although Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 , is not directly implicated by the Pennsylvania statute, which simply regulates, and does not prohibit, abortion, a reexamination of the "fundamental right" Roe accorded to a woman's decision to abort a fetus, with the concomitant requirement that any state regulation of abortion survive "strict scrutiny," id., at 154-156, is warranted by the confusing and uncertain state of this Court's post-Roe decisional law.

From the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. 5-4. O'Connor in the majority upholding Roe. That's why this is hugely important.

That's why the Supreme Court of the United States is Extraordinary.

Update [2005-7-1 12:1:55 by Armando]: This is perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT reason why the SCOTUS is extraordinary. But there are many others. Affirmative action. Church-state separation. Environmental laws. We'll be exploring those as well.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:52 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I was so looking forward (none)
    to a nice, relaxing long weekend, too.
  •  Abortion (4.00)
    Abortion is not the issue.  Even without her, there are five votes to uphold Roe.  Church-state, affirmative action and several other areas is where O'Connor's vote makes a difference.

    Democrats must confront the cultural populism of the wedge issues with genuine economic populism. Thomas Frank.

    by Paleo on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:41:12 AM PDT

    •  Maybe yes, maybe no (none)
      But it does help bolster the case that this is extraordinary.  Yes, we have Breyer and Ginsburg now (for the time being) but O'Connor is a loss nonetheless.

      "False language, evil in itself, infects the soul with evil." ----Socrates

      by Mimikatz on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:49:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Republicans don't want a debate.... (4.00)
      .... on abortion. I agree this isn't going to be about abortion. Republicans read polls as well as anyone else. The abortion debate has been used to mobilize the bases on both sides. Mainstream America hasn't put too much thought into the issue since 1973. If abortion moves front and center, here's what the fuzzy end of the lolipop looks like:

      "In 1973 the Roe versus Wade decision established a woman's constitutional right to an abortion, at least in the first three months of pregnancy. Would you like to see the Supreme Court completely overturn its Roe versus Wade decision, or not?"

      6/8-12/05      
      30 - Yes
      63 - No
      07 - Unsure    

      01/03  
      31 - Yes
      62 - No
      07 - Unsure

      "Which of the following best represents your views about abortion? The choice on abortion should be left up to the woman and her doctor. Abortion should be legal only in cases in which pregnancy results from rape or incest or when the life of the woman is at risk. OR, Abortion should be illegal in all circumstances."

      5/12-16/05
      55 - Woman and Doctor
      29 - Rape, Incest, Life of Woman
      14 - Always Illegal
      02 - Unsure  

      11/03
      53 - Woman and Doctor
      29 - Rape, Incest, Life of Woman
      15 - Always Illegal
      03 - Unsure

      Polling Report has a nice collection of data.

      Republicans are politicians first, ideologues second and human beings dead last. THEY DON'T WANT THIS. This vacancy is about civil liberties (Gonzales), church/state issues (Brown, Pryor), affirmative action and the NEW DEAL(<insert conservative here>)!

      Worry about the New Deal!

      •  sorry, no (none)
        abortion is the number one issue that will determine who bush picks.  it doesn't matter what the majority of americans think.  the fundies are pissed that they haven't gotten enough anti-gay and anti-woman legislation from this president.  they will demand a reliably anti-choice nominee or they will walk from the republican party.  

        "Rick Santorum is Latin for Asshole."

        by tmendoza on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:30:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And go where? (none)
          They know there is no room for them in the Democratic party.  Are we going to see some new wingnut party?  Will they give up & become a-political?  I don't think the Dobson crowd has anywhere else to go & they know it.

          Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it. -- Mark Twain

          by GTPinNJ on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:35:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Vote (none)
            The alternative is that instead of voting at a very high rate they will default to the average voting rate.

            The republican majority is predicated largely on conservative Christians voting in higher than average concentrations.

          •  wingnut party? (none)
            The Constitution Party fills that role, I think.

            Flag burnings occur on average 8 times a year. Is the time/$ cost of a constitutional amendment really worth anyone's tax dollars - even if they support it?

            by deep6 on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:00:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely (none)
          This administration sold its soul to the theocratic right to retain power.  The fundies' issue is the Court.  They will forgive Bush anything but a failure to put up a reliably anti-choice conservative.

          It's the RULE OF LAW, stupid!

          by Rick Oliver on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:22:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  What makes the current..... (none)
          ... Christian Right so much more powerful than it was 10 years ago, is their political pragmatism. Yes, they are driven crazy fanatics. The leadership is NOT. They spew the rhetoric, but so far they have settled for 'nibbling' at abortion rights and moving no where federally on gay marriage. The leadership is been very effective at wielding their political clout.

          10 years ago, they would have been outraged that the candidate they backed was stumping for an unpopular issue like SS privatization instead of an issue like banning gay marriage which has greater support among the public. Put simply, these people understand politics. They aren't going to bite the hand that feeds them. They have a vested interest in the status quo. Do they really want to burst the bubble their lemmings are in? Abortion rights are overwhelmingly supported in America. Dobson can't eat if his followers realize this.

      •  Agree (none)
        About the New Deal, which along with church-state and affirmative action may be the biggest casualty of O'Connor leaving.  And I agree that abortion is a good political issue to use in opposing the nominee.  All I indicated was that, substantively, Roe will not be overturned because of O'Connor's replacement.

        Democrats must confront the cultural populism of the wedge issues with genuine economic populism. Thomas Frank.

        by Paleo on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:42:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I completely agree. (none)
        This is what the Repubs in office constantly do.  They chat up the abortion issue to play to their base, but when it comes right down to it, the Repubs are terrified that the court will overturn Roe...if that happens, voter motiviation shifts incredibly towards the Dems.  I suspect there are a lot of pro-choice voters out there that don't use this issue as a deciding factor since abortion is already legal.  If it becomes illegal, you will see a vast number of those voters coming back & turning on the Repubs.  They can't afford to let that happen.

        Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it. -- Mark Twain

        by GTPinNJ on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:44:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Woe is Roe (none)
          Frankly overturning Roe and turning the issue back to the states and making the American people in each state have a real discussion and make some real decisions and vote about abortion might be the best thing that ever happened to this country.

          The facts are that huge numbers of people, though not a majority, feel that abortion (they would say murder) is legal only because the Courts (they would say judicial activists) have made it so.  This is so distorting our political landscape that I believe it is the number one obstacle to rational governance in this country.  People who are frankly appalled by much of what Bushco does just can't get over Roe, it is their litmus test for voting.  If abortion were legal, not because of judicial activism by politically appointed judges, but because a majority of their fellow state citizens have made it so  - they wouldn't keep casting their congressional and presidential votes based on this one issue and the R's know it.  They are terrified of that happening. That's why they are trying to create the "homosexual agenda" as a back up issue, but it's not nearly as potent and they know it.

          OTOH, if Roe is ever overturned, state's rights becomes a whole lot more important.

          I once thought that preserving Roe was very important.  Now I am so concerned that none of us, and certainly not our children, are going to have any kind of a future if Bush continues to aid and abet multinational corporations in committing global ecocide, that Roe pales.  

          What a measure of how bad things have gotten.

          If you want something other than the obvious to happen, you've got to do something other than the obvious...

          by trillian on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:19:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree to some extent.... (none)
            But some states, Texas among them, have passed state constitutional amendments banning abortion for just such a circumstance.  The fight wouldn't be able to be fought, because conservative state legislatures have the bans already in place and ready to go.

            Good site for legal breakdowns: Center for Reproductive Rights

            "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life." Frank Zappa

            by cclough on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 11:47:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fuck 'em..... (4.00)
              .... I'm all about moral capitalism. On the contrary, I believe you'd be surprised by what Texans really believe if this issue is brought to light. Public discourse is a wonderful anti-septic.

              On moral capitalism...... Kansas and Ohio should ban evolution. Alabama and Missippi should ban abortion. All these 'moral' judgements carry harsh economic consequences. Industries that need young, smart professionals won't be able to attract any in these states. Universities will have a tough time recruiting top faculty. New economy jobs that are vital to balance the effect of outsourcing will be lost. These states will see the economic depression they deserve. They can choose to see the light. Or I say - Fuck'em.

              I'm from Ohio and it pains me to see the creationsim debate there. I'm a Clevelander completely ashamed of the rest my home state. We need a wake up call, not a preservation to the staus quo!

        •  I wish I could believe that (none)
          This is what the Repubs in office constantly do.  They chat up the abortion issue to play to their base, but when it comes right down to it, the Repubs are terrified that the court will overturn Roe...if that happens, voter motiviation shifts incredibly towards the Dems.

          Actually, I honestly believe they don't give a shit. They have a very "Well, I've got mine" mentality on abortion - meaning they figure they can always get an abortion somewhere if they need one, but as far as they're concerned their personal tax cuts outweigh anyone else's right to privacy.

      •  O'Connor (none)
        has NEVER been a fan of the New Deal. I'll see if I can find the link, but I remember reading an article where she is specifically characterized as being against New Deal policies just like her father was, back in the days when she was growing up on a ranch in Arizona.

        The situation once she leaves becomes the possible nomination and confirmation of a justice who's even more against New Deal policies than she is, and depending on the scope of the cases before the court that may not bode well.

        But it's silly to argue over what her greatest significance to the court is (was) assuming another nominee is confirmed before the next SCOTUS session begins.  O'Connor's out.  Done.  Big things a'comin.  We need to move on and determine who Bush wants to see confirmed and then work against his extremist nominees from there.

        Flag burnings occur on average 8 times a year. Is the time/$ cost of a constitutional amendment really worth anyone's tax dollars - even if they support it?

        by deep6 on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:08:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Is there an issue (none)
      that isn't going to be affected by this?

      I'm with you that abortion isn't the only issue to be discussed here, but it's a place to start, because O'Connor is a prime example of a moderate conservative who saw this issue through the prism of choice.

      She is an example of a nominee who stood the test of time. Why? She wasn't bound by ideological stricture. Abortion is a good example of this, for her.

      Ugh. So much for a stress-free holiday weekend.

  •  Total War (4.00)
    I can only assume that this will spark the total war that was so narrowly avoided a few months ago. Altogether, I welcome the battle.

    If Gonzales is nominated, let's call it 'The Fillibuster Against Torture.' This is a great opportunity to demonstrate Democratic party values.

    •  we'd be lucky (4.00)
      we aren't going to do any better than gonzalez.  his nomination would be a best case scenario.  he is the least conservative of all the people bush is considering; he's said that he would not overturn roe.

      in the end, i doubt bush will nominate him.  he wants a mini-scalia.

      "Rick Santorum is Latin for Asshole."

      by tmendoza on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:47:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Time for Janice Brown.... (none)
        I think the Bush administration will try and appoint Brown or Owen. It's brash, it's disgusting and it is completely in character for Bush.
        •  Repubs blow themselves up if this is true, (none)
          and Bush does nominate Brown or Owen, and the Dems filibuster (which they had BETTER do) and then the gang of 14 breaks up, and the Republicans go nuclear - it is somewhat a win for us.  Yes, we will have a nut on the SCOTUS, but, most Americans were against going nuclear, and most Americans do not like an abuse of power.  The Dems can yell long and hard about what a wacko Bush nominated and what a wacko the republican senate confirmed, taking apart 214 years of tradition to put this wingnut onto the Court.

          If you think Bush and the Republicans are losing the independent vote now, wait until after this scenario plays out.  That is why it is so perfect for this adminstration - it is the absolutely most arrogant, hubristic move they can make - which is why they will make it.

          It kind of warms my heart.

          "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

          by adigal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:13:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And he'll combine the announcement... (none)
          ...with a recess appointment for Boulton.

          F-you is what he does best.

          "Salvation is by way of the truth, not by way of the fatherland" -- Chaadaev

          by sagesource on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:15:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Gonzales is the best we can hope for (4.00)
      Sorry to say, but true.
    •  This is going to be a game of.... (none)
      .... pick your poison. Gonzales hasn't stated a position on Roe and we all know why. I'll bet we get a pro-choice judge who strikes down every bit of progressive legislation for the next thirty years. Sure abortion will be legal. When sell out on EVERYTHING else, its a small price for Republicans to pay.
    •  Bush's poll numbers are down (none)
      That may be The only sliver of light in this resignation. The Democrats may now be emboldened to act like an opposition party. If this had happened at any other time the Democrats would have just bent over.  
      •  what can they do? (none)
        polls aren't going to matter.  we only have 45 votes.  we can filibuster a nutty judge, and frist will just go nuclear.  the only question is whether they have the votes to acheive the rules change.  whoever bush nominates, i think it is somewhat naive to think that democrats can block him/her.

        "Rick Santorum is Latin for Asshole."

        by tmendoza on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:34:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They could go nuclear (none)
          If the Republicans illegally "eliminate" the filibuster the Democrats can retaliate as promised, they could introduce amendments directly, require bills be read, etc.  Some of the tactics are detailed in the black letter of the constitution making whatever rationalization the Republicans use to abolish the filibuster inapplicable if they attempt to obstruct the Democrats retaliation.

          But the Democrats would have to mean it; it should be done all the way or not at all.

  •  Yes, this is important... (4.00)
    But Armando, Justice White (who was one of the 4 justices voting against Roe in Casey) was replaced by Ginsburg.  So the real balance right now (pre-O'Connor replacement) is 6-3, not 5-4.  Her replacement could make it at worst 5-4 in favor of Roe.

    Not saying I like that, but the death of Roe is not imminent here.

    •  You are... (none)
      correct.  The court's split 4-2-3 on Roe right now, with the liberals (Souter, Breyer, Kennedy, Ginsberg) saying Roe is correctly decided and should be retained, the conservatives (Rehnquist, Thomas, Scalia) saying Roe is wrongly decided and should be overturned, and the middle (O'Connor, Kennedy) saying that while Roe may not have been correct, it is settled law, not worthy of reversal.  Hence, replacing O'Connor with a conservative changes it to 4-1-4, in favor of retaining Roe, not 5-4 to reverse it, and, if anything, Kennedy has gotten more liberal while on the bench.  Admittedly, Stenberg likely gets reversed.
    •  True (none)
      But the shift makes a difference on closer cases where restrictions on choice are at issue.  A precedential trend towards restricting choice would not bode well for Roe v. Wade.

      It's the RULE OF LAW, stupid!

      by Rick Oliver on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:27:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Words to live by (none)
    "WHEN in the Course of human Events,
    it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

    WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security."

    Remember where you came from, remember your duty.

    Remember who you are.  You are an American, and your duty is resistance to tyranny.

    This is the fight of our lifetime.  This is the time where we decide whether America the Republic soars or whether America the Empire falls.

    This is a fight to the end.

    •  Bad News About That Quotation (none)
      It was written by the political and economic leaders of the region.

      Today's revolution is also being fought by our region's political and economic leaders, and they feel equally passionate about throwing off the shackles they feel bound by. It's a nonviolent revolution this time and slower--they started in earnest in 1981.

      And it will be every bit as historic and important for the rest of the world as the previous one.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:35:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are absolutely correct, Sir (none)
      That's why Harry Reid's "suggestion" earlier this week is so incredibly important.

      Lindsey Graham, Mel Martinez, Mike DeWine or Mike Crapo.

      No one else is acceptable. Use our choices, or face the Filibuster-To-End-All-Fillibusters.

      Those are the names to keep repeating. Whenever anyone else's name is mentioned.

      Graham, Martinez, DeWine or Crapo.

      The FTEAF is the only tool we have right now in the toolbox until after the '06 elections. Senate Democrats MUST be ready, willing and able to wield it without hesitation.

      Graham, Martinez, DeWine or Crapo.

      Can I hear an "amen," brother?

      Support our terrific open source media project! Donate to ePluribus Media today!

      by Timroff on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:42:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  there you are armando (none)
    I wondered how long it would take you to front page something.

    Can you post a little explanation on why nearly all of the environmental laws could be in trouble if we end up with two wingnuts?

  •  Curious choice of words (4.00)
    Extraordinary...that rings a bell...can't quite place it...something to do with filibustering radical nominees?...nah...
  •  I'm trying to recover from being (none)
    ill over this.

    Is it possible that we get a "swing" vote, or a moderate in disguise to replace O'Connor's role when he inevitably has to replace Rehnquist?

    Maybe?

    I think he'll use his first one to please Dobson.  Then he'll have to give us a Kennedy or a Souter.

    Here's to blind hope.

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine

    by Cathy on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:45:11 AM PDT

    •  There's a chance... (none)
      Sometimes when people get on the court and aren't under political pressure anymore, their opinions change.
    •  Bush will hold a litmus test.... (none)
      Bush will make sure that the nominees that he appoints in O'Connor's and Rehnquist's place will be pro-life and against roe v wade. Frist will then use the nuclear option to get them both confirmed. There is no way Bush will appoint a moderate, let's get abck to reality here!
    •  This one really hurts... (none)
      "I'm trying to recover from being ill over this."

      Yeah, I watched the MSNBC "special report" in stunned silence.  Then when the President's official response came on, I felt my eyes watering up, so I had to turn away.  Not out of mourning for the loss of Sandra Day-O (you did a good job, babe), but out of a stab of despair for the enormity of the consequences of this event, and of what we are now facing.   (Haven't felt like this since the evening of election Nov. 2004...)

      Fortunately, I knew best to come to where I knew the "troops" would rally.  Excellent commentary here at the Kos.  When I get my balance again, maybe a bit later today, I'll be able to read and digest all the every sane, stablizing, energizing, actionable calls-to-arms posted here.  

      (Damn...just when I breathed a deep (tentative) sigh of relief when Rehnquist didn't retire this week, and muttered a fervent prayer, "it's YOU, Sandra, darlin', we need to hold on for at least 5 more years, please, please..."    Alas, to no avail after all...)

  •  Framing the issue... Abortion? (4.00)
    If we frame the nomination issue around the right to choose an abortion we can probably win a nomination battle.

    However, if our message is about freedom and choice and privacy I think we'll gather a larger groundswell of support for our cause and against any radical conservative activist that Bush nominates.

    Oh and that's another thing, anyone that Bush nominates should be labeled a radical conservative activist. We must pound that message home.

    Not an activist judge. We liberals like judges, we just don't like radical conservative activists.

    If secular government offends you then move to Iran!

    by Dmitri in San Diego on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:45:47 AM PDT

    •  This fight is much more than just abortion... (none)
      Sandra Day O'Connor, and even Reihnquist to a lesser extent, have been loathe to overturn previous Supreme Court decisions that deal with a host of issues the wingnuts would like to see dispensed with.

      Her views on abortion were obviously where the vast majority of Americans hold their views.  But beyond that she was the swing vote that 1) stopped forced prayer before high school football games 2) upheld diversity policies at universities 3) upheld the government's duty to protect the environment, and 4) recognized that gay relationships are not felonies.

      If and when Reihnquist goes, we will be in a world of hurt.  But, on the upside, we can start using the "activist" label to motivate millions of Americans to become energized Democratic voters.  

  •  Time for Bush to stop talking and LISTEN... (none)

    LISTEN to the American people instead of feeding them talking points and recycled speeches.

    LISTEN to his own rhetoric about uniting the country and act as a uniter.

    LISTEN to Republican senators who outright pleaded with him (remember the "deal") to consult the senate before making a nomination.

    LISTEN to the lower and middle classes of this country, instead of pre-picked audiences and wealthy donors.

    LISTEN to the voice of America and then make his pick.  America is watching and waiting for a leader who takes the country in the direction it wants to go, and not the direction he wants to go.

    •  hello !?!? Bush Listen ?? (none)
      I think there are better strategies than counting on or waiting for that elitist to listen, and I think the strategies require work in the trenches.

      rmm.

    •  Why should he start now? (none)
      ...and who cares what you think?

      "Hit a man with a fish, and he'll have a headache for a day. Teach him to hit himself with a fish, and he'll have headaches all his life!"--Karl Rove

      by AdmiralNaismith on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:15:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's the Time Designated NOT to Listen (none)
      by the framers of our system.

      Our system is built so that leaders are the most influenced by the people around election time, and most free to follow their own judgement immediately afterwards.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:38:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, right (none)
      But don't you remember?  He's a strong, resolute leader who doesn't listen to polls.  /sarcasm

      I may retch.

      "The worst sin - perhaps the only sin - passion can commit is to be joyless." - Dorothy L. Sayers

      by JesterDel on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:09:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Still 5 Votes for Roe/Casey (none)
    Armando:

    There are still 5 votes for Roe and Casey:

    Kennedy
    Souter
    Stevens
    Breyer
    Ginsburg

    Although Casey was a 5-4 decision, Justice White (who dissented in Casey) was replaced by Breyer.  

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by johnny rotten on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:48:43 AM PDT

  •  Don't settle (4.00)
    I want my party's members in the Senate to understand that under no circumstances should they let themselves be bullied into settling for an unacceptable candidate. The Constitution does not mandate the size of the Supreme Court. We can function with eight if that's what it takes to block a heinous nominee. Granted, O'Connor is one of the more moderating influences on the court (sad as that is), but I'd rather live with the devil we know than let in some unqualified, activist wingnut.
  •  RedState.org rumor is Garza for O'Connor (none)
    I don't know anything about this person but Erick at Redstate.org considers this a pretty solid inside rumor.

    "Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will." MLK

    by jmaier on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:49:42 AM PDT

    •  Garza (none)
      is anti-choice. Don't know about his other positions but he was a Reagan and Bush I appointee.
      •  Garza is a moderate who is (none)
        rabid anti-abortion.
        •  how can he be a moderate... (none)
          and be rabidly anti-abortion? Those two stances are in opposition.
          •  Could Be Moderate About (none)
            leaving intact most of the ability of society to enact liberal legislation, apart from abortion rights.

            An extremist would be a Constitution-in-Exile type who believes that a fundamental premise of liberalism--that government has a role in social matters and various economic protections for the people--is invalid, leading to striking down the social safety net, environmentalism, worker rights, consumer rights, tort rights, etc.

            Such a person might support abortion rights on a libertarian basis for example, leaving us with our abortion rights pining for the good old days of Dickens' industrial England.

            We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

            by Gooserock on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:45:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  There are a lot more issues (none)
            •  of course there are other issues... (none)
              but the description "rabid anti-abortion" suggests a   radical ideology that lies far outside of the mainstream in terms of privacy and the right to choose. Outside of mainstream = radical conservative = not a moderate.

              I think it is likely that someone who is rabidly anti-abortion would also be rabidly conservative on other social issues.

              •  But ... (none)
                Someone who is pro-choice might not be mainstream.  As someone above pointed out, one could argue for the constitutionality of abortion from a strict libertarian perspective - the same perspective from which one would strenuously limit the government's ability to enact social-economic legislation (a la New Deal).

                Abortion is an undeniably crucial issue, and I'm not sure I'm qualified to rank order priorities, but maybe making sure we don't get a Justice whose legal philosophy demands a laissez-faire gov't is as important as one who is (certainly) personally or (maybe) philosophically anti-choice.

              •  Rabidly anti-abortion = rabid social conservative (none)
                Not necessarily.  A year or two there was a fascinating thread right here on dkos where a bunch of regulars "came out" and talked about how they were pro-life, and how that was the one issue they parted ways from the Dems on and how uncomfortable they felt.

                People can be anti-abortion and still be socially progressive in other areas. I don't know whether Garza is or is not.  I'm just saying abortion is a very special issue from which you can't always extrapolate.  

                After having seen the ultrasounds of my boys in utero, seeing their hearts beat, feeling them kick,  I have to be truly honest and say I don't know when life begins.  At some point during the pregnancy it does become "the baby."  

                I will always be pro-choice, but I am far from sure that is the morally correct position.  

                If you want something other than the obvious to happen, you've got to do something other than the obvious...

                by trillian on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:40:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  I read up on him (none)
      after going to Redstate.

      The guy's a loon. He wrote a lengthy concurring opinion on a parental notification law out of Louisiana, wherein he basically announced his opposition to all substantive due process. He's itching to overturn Roe, and the rest of substantive due process won't survive the man, either.

    •  Isn't Erick (none)
      completely wrong so far on his "inside" rumors? (he said Rehnquist would be first, etc)
      •  Nope. (none)
        I think Erick has been more accurate.  When everyone was saying the CJ, he actually raised the possibility that O'Connor was going to go first or at least sometime this summer.  He was still betting Rehnquist but he did seem to have some serious discussion of O'Connor as a possible.

        I have no way of knowing what he might know or not know, but he has had the best information that I've seen so far in the blogosphere.

        "Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will." MLK

        by jmaier on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:05:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  redstate.... (none)
      ... Erick did in fact accurately report that O'Connor would be first to retire, he further says that Rehnquist may wait until September.

      This is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.

      by socal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:16:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is Ted Olson a possibility? nt (none)
  •  "Don't mourn. Organize." (none)
    The President and his cohort have already chosen the nominee for this seat.  They haven't announced it because the long weekend would give us too much time to dig up all the dirt on the nominee.  

    But you can just bet that the right will spend the weekend designing its spin for the announcement next week.

    We need to be prepared to oppose whichever appalling choice Bush announces.  That's why we can't rest this weekend.    

    •  Box him in now (none)
      I agree thatthe decision has been made and the delay is to organize talking points.  

      Step 1: EVERY Dem should be pointing out that this should be an open discussion and by not giving his nominee's name out today, GWB is just proving once again that he has no interest in discussions of any kind.  

      Step 2: The White House and the Mighty Wurlitzer deny, deny, deny.  "This matter is very grave and deserves long thought.  No decision has been made until we discuss with the Senate.  Blah Blah Blah."

      Step 3: When it comes out that the list is 5 years old, hammer on their lies and coverups.

  •  How solid is Kennedy? (none)
    Way I see it, replacing OConnor just gave Justice Kennedy a big time promotion to the role of the swing vote.

    Basically, when Bush appoints an idealogue (you know he will), it's gonna be 4-4 for everything and Kennedy will always be the tie breaker.

    So this puts enormous pressure on Kennedy, and won't that be an incentive for him to craft deals saying if I vote with you guys on X, can I vote with the other guys on Y?  Which means he'll have to pick and choose his battles.

    Of course the right to choose probably will be one of the most important battles, but what if we have other test cases regarding free speech or corporate accountability or other privacy rights?  Are those any less important?

    It must be exciting and dreadful at the same time for him.  I don't know if I'd want to be in his shoes.

    •  This explains the (none)
      on-going campaign against Kennedy. Doesn't it?
    •  Not strong enough on undue burden. (none)
      In 2000, he was part of the dissent in STENBERG V. CARHART, and specifically found that Nebraska's prohibiting "partial birth" abortions did not place an undue burden on a woman's right to choose.

      Stenberg is an ugly decision both on its facts and in its jurisprudence.  (Only Justice Souter didn't write his own opinion....)  But a reading of Kennedy's dissent discloses a few problems, especially re: state's rights.

  •  Gonzales Is Our Best Shot (none)
    I choke those words out, but it is true.  We should expose the torture memos to the world, let him say he made a mistake and then we say--OK we understand.  The right hates Gonzales.  Bush will be looking to play the race card.  The less we make Gonzales an issue, the better.
    •  Fight like crazy for Reid's picks: (none)
      Lindsey Graham, Mel Martinez, Mike DeWine or Mike Crapo

      I'm going to keep saying it.

      Lindsey Graham, Mel Martinez, Mike DeWine or Mike Crapo

      We cannot keep this defeatist "OMFG we're gonna die" attitude going here, folks.

      Support our terrific open source media project! Donate to ePluribus Media today!

      by Timroff on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:50:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This will PromptAnother Call to Arms (none)
    If the Repugs are allowed to frame this as an oppurtunity to end abortion, which it is not, then it will really motivate the base.  Why Sandra? why?
  •  Again, to cite redstate.org (none)
    I know, I know ... not a good thing to do but they probably have better Rethuglican contacts/insight than we do, Bush isn't going to nominate Gonzales, even though he'd like to, because of conservative opposition.

    Of course, I have no idea.

    "Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will." MLK

    by jmaier on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:55:22 AM PDT

  •  OPPORTUNITY for Dems ? (none)
    1. to frame the choice issue so it has the importance and the influence it should have?
    2. to expose the wingnuts as NOT just anti-choice, BUT anti everything about personal freedom and personal responsibility?  
    3. to LEAD by tapping into the moderate middle, a middle which really doesn't want the Donsonittes in their doctor's offices?

    OR - Will the Vichy / DLC Wing, The Loser Wing of the LOser Party, will these Dems prevail?

    Will Dems be, once again, hiding under their beds and forgetting any beliefs cuz, IF they stand for anything, THEN they'll scare the middle, THEN they'll lose ??

    I read this headline 10 minutes ago, my heart SANK !!  and NOW

    I am so psyched !!!  The Dem party sucks, and we suck cuz of the Vichy Loser Wing of the Loser Party, and this will be a great opportunity to finally flush the Vichy !!

    rmm.  

    •  Uhh.. (none)
      Listen

      If you flush the so-called "Vichy" wing from the Democratic party then quite frankly the Democrats will be a permanent minority party.



      You can't ignore the southern states, go 50/50 in the west, desperately cling to the New England states (while letting moderate Republicans like Chaffe, Snowe, and Collins pickup valuable Senate seats) and be a national party.



      Get it?  Without the so called "DLC Wing" of the party - the "loser Wing" Democrats are doomed to be a 20 state (or less!) party.  



      The fact is and remains that for many Democrats abortion is a major issue.  Republicans will trot out the partial birth abortion ban as evidence that Democrats support for abortion is inhuman and cruel.  



      If Democrats push hard on this issue they are going to be left holding the bag, in my opinion.  

      The image of the Democrats as the party of fighting everything tooth and nail just to be difficult is not a sure fire winner.

      O'Connor is a conservative voice for the Court.  Replacing her with a conservative voice is not a loss for Democrats.

      •  I'd be that over 80% of the public (none)
        supports freedom from Dobson with their doctor,
        supports good education,
        supports efficient public services,
        supports MOST or all progressive values,

        those values do not win cuz we don't win elections, and we don't win elections cuz our "leaders" are NOT leaders, they are losers in charge, and they excel at staying in charge.

        Real Leaders wouldn't have a problem attracting southerners, or people from Kansas, or any of the 50+ million less than rich bushco voters who vote against their own self interest.  

        I assumed that "Vichy Dems" implied only the loser "leaders", the Bidens & Froms etc etc, not the great mass of us underlings with varying philosophies.  

        Without this loser minority which is in charge, the Dems will have a chance to stand for something, will ahve a chance to win something, and will have a chance to implement some community investment policies which actually increase personal freedom.

        Get It?

        rmm.

  •  RNC's Statement: (none)

    WASHINGTON - RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman issued the following statement on the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor:

    "As the first woman ever to serve on the United States Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor shattered the glass ceiling that existed in American jurisprudence. Over the past twenty-four years, her contributions to the nation's highest court will be remembered for her thoughtful, well-reasoned rulings on the difficult issues of the day. Her presence on the Court will never be replaced, but her seat must be filled and President Bush will work to put forth a nominee worthy of succeeding Sandra Day O'Connor. I urge Senate Democrats to look beyond the inevitable protest from far-left special interest groups and approach any nominee with the unbiased evaluation they deserve."  link

    ...You're Nobody Till Somebody Calls You A Nazi....

    by PhillyGal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:59:39 AM PDT

    •  far left special interest groups - DLC (none)
      Loser Wing of our Loser Party will glom onto that, and they will start negotiating against themselves instead of against bushco, and we'll end up with some right winger,

      AND opposition to the right winger will be labeled as "far left ..."

      AND will Dems have any message machine ? Or, will we wilt & Lose & the DLC crowd will blame Naral ...

      I think this is a great practice run for '06, hence '08 candidates, policies, and strategies.

      rmm.    

  •  We will LOSE (4.00)
    ...if we make this solely about abortion.  At best we gain nothing.

    Make this about the anti-consumer/anti-worker/anti-union philosophy of the nominee.

    DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

    by DWCG on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:01:59 AM PDT

    •  We were thinking the same exact thing (none)
      I posted at the same time - great minds think alike!

      "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

      by adigal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:04:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Um (none)
      This is not a vote for President or Senator.

      I am not at all sure how you plan to prove someone is anti-consumer, anti-union, etc.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:05:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Opinions (none)
        C'mon man.

        Take Priscilla Owen.  

        Would it really be that hard to show that she was a lackey for Enron/big business and anti-consumer/anti-working man?

        DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

        by DWCG on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:10:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It won't be Owen or Brown or Gonzales (none)
          It's gonna be some unknown.

          My dark horse? John Cornyn.

          Which, actually, gives your approach a chance.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:16:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree - it will be a dark horse. (none)
            The White House already knows we have an extensive playbook for all of the likely nominees.

            DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

            by DWCG on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:26:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Good idea (none)
            I had just come to the conclusion that Bush would probably not appoint any of the mentioned women, but would wait until Rehnquist is forced by health to retire next term and then pick Janice Brown, after she has some time to learn a little federal law and procedure.  And couple it with his elevation of Scalia.

            This one is more of a dress rehersal since, remember, they didn't have a Supreme Court pick the first term.  So a dark horse, politician rather than a judge, known conservative but not a total loon, makes some sense.  

            Don't know if Cornyn fits the bill, but this is probably the right track.

            "False language, evil in itself, infects the soul with evil." ----Socrates

            by Mimikatz on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:58:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Cornyn? (none)
            Thanks Armando, you just made me physically ill.

            It's the RULE OF LAW, stupid!

            by Rick Oliver on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:35:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  That's making a big assumption (none)
          What ever happened to the law?  

          Right now the law is pro-big business, anti-consumer, anti-working man.

          Priscilla Owens et all are judges.  

          If you want to simply destroy, that's fine.

          But I think a key step in making change and progress is to stop relying on the courts to undo damage done by legitimately passed Congressional acts.

          Widening the net and asking the courts to simply act as another voice of veto is not going to solve the problem long term!

          •  Umm what's your point? (none)
            And how does it relate to maximizing on this opportunity to expose the anti-Joe Citizen policies of this administration and Congress so as to provide Democrats ammunition to take back the legislative branch in '06 so if there is a vacancy in '07 we ensure it's a moderate (among other things)?

            DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

            by DWCG on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:48:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because... (none)
              ...because destryoing a persons career so you can score political points to win back some seats is petty, and Un-American.  If the person is judicially unacceptable, untenable to you for some specific reason, fine.  But holding some random judge accountable for CONGRESS'S failures, and destroying that persons career is bankrupt.

              It's not right, and on top of all that, it's probably not a good strategy.

              •  Awww well thats nice (none)
                Lets all book our trips to Never-Neverland, where everything is merit-based, battles are fair, and people do things in goodwill.

                Sorry, I live in the REAL WORLD with REAL PEOPLE who are REALLY AFFECTED by the legislation coming out of Congress - people that lose their jobs, home, children, marriages, healthcare and lives.  So I'm NOT going to apologize for CORRECTLY exposing and exploiting differences between the two parties IN DEFENSE of the working class of this country.

                DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

                by DWCG on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 11:15:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Snark aside (none)
                  So I'm NOT going to apologize for CORRECTLY exposing and exploiting differences between the two parties IN DEFENSE of the working class of this country.

                  Great.  But if you subvert the system by turning the courts into another version of Congress - which is what is happening by your actions and similiar actions of people around the country - then be bitching when the Democrats are a permanent minority party.



                  Judges have to act based on the legal merits of the case.  If not, they aren't good judges.  Congress is doing a piss-poor job, and if you are pissed about that, take it up with them.  Trying to stack the courts with people who you think will carry out "our" agenda is going to destroy the last credible branch of government.  



                  The job of the judiciary is not to defend the working class of this country.  Don't forget that.
                  •  I'm blaming them both! (none)
                    Trying to stack the courts with people who you think will carry out "our" agenda is going to destroy the last credible branch of government.

                    You should get on your knees and pray that a great Democrat - Franklin D. Roosevelt stacked the court with people who shared his ideological views.

                    DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

                    by DWCG on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 05:46:03 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, actually (none)
                      No, actually, I curse him for that.  And not because I hate the New Deal, but because starting a little bit before him and ever since the court has been far more politicized than it was in the first half of this countries history.



                      Popular laws that are unconstitutional should be struck.  Unpopular laws that are constitutional should be upheld.



                      The proper way to circumvent a SCOTUS ruling you don't like is to pass an amendment.  The proper was is not to rehash the case again and again and pass various skirting laws attempting to get around the ruling.



                      Unfortunately now we are very far from that.
              •  And let's not fool ourselves (none)
                Supreme Court Justice are as much legislators as the Senators who confirm them.

                DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

                by DWCG on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 11:17:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Only because (none)
                  Only because you and your ilk make them so.



                  Unpopular laws that get to the courts deserve to be upheld.  Even if bad for individuals, or freedom, or you or me or blacks or some other group.  



                  Your beef is with Congress.  
                  •  LOL - Me and my ilk! (none)
                    I didn't start the fight, but I'm damn sure not going to back away from it, and I intend on winning it.  You're fine getting your ass kicked and that's noble.  But take the argument to your closest Ivy League campus political science class.  Meanwhile, I'll be on the street looking at the people affected by these corporate whores on the court and in our legislature.

                    And don't pretend like these nine people are just saints with their hands being forced.  No one made them end the recount of presidential ballots.  And don't even get me started with preposterous statements like this:

                    Unpopular laws that get to the courts deserve to be upheld.  Even if bad for individuals, or freedom, or you or me or blacks or some other group.

                    You sound ridiculous equating Brown v. Board to the ruling that corporations are people.

                    DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

                    by DWCG on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 05:42:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Wrong. (none)
                      You're fine getting your ass kicked and that's noble.

                      Who says I am getting my ass kicked?



                      Meanwhile, I'll be on the street looking at the people affected by these corporate whores on the court and in our legislature

                      Let's see how your "fight every battle like it was the last, whether or not its the appropriate venue for the fight" attitude has gotten your side.  Let's see.. a big pile of nothing.  Loss after loss.  On every issue.  Everytime.  

                      You sound ridiculous equating Brown v. Board to the ruling that corporations are people.

                      What's silly and assine is pretending the court is there to fix your little problems.  It's not.  That's the job of CONGRESS.  CONGRESS.



                      Making the courts a political battle is what got us here in the first place.  

    •  not to disagree... (none)
      ...but i just saw a poll on cnn that 65% of americans want bush to appoint a judge who will uphold roe.  only 29% wants some nut who will overturn roe.  i wish i had i link, but i saw it on the tv.

      "Rick Santorum is Latin for Asshole."

      by tmendoza on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:05:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We have to capitalize on this opportunity for 06 (none)
        We've been holding on to our healthy majority in Congress using the abortion issue, have we?

        Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome.  It doesn't work - its not even an issue with this nomination - so I don't know why we'd expect it to work now.

        Additionally, we've got a lot of Democratic Senators up for re-election and some weak Republican incumbents in states that don't have such clear support of Roe v. Wade.  Montana, North Dakota, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Missouri.  We have to think: what would filibustering a nominee because of their position on choice do to Robert Byrd, Kent Conrad or Ben Nelson?

        Making this solely about abortion leaves the three of them with ABSOLUTELY NO cover.  So, they'll cross the aisle - they'll be forced to.

        We need to paint these bastards as anti-Joe Citizen - WHICH THEY ARE - to find some new ground to stand on in this fight, gain some populist support, and give 40 Senators cover.

        ...gotta go...Kennedy is speaking.

        DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

        by DWCG on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:25:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If this is all about abortion, then we lose (4.00)
    the PR wars.  I think Americans are so divided on this issue, that if the dems fight against someone simply because he/she is against Roe vs. Wade, then we will never get those pro-life Catholics and Evangelicals 1n 2006 who might have otherwise have come "home" to the Democratic party, where they really do belong.  

    Now, if this nomimee is fought over something other than Roe vs. Wade, like if Bush does what many freepers are saying he is going to do and he nominates Janice Rogers Brown, we have a chance to make him look like the nut he is.  Even though she is a black woman, she has turned her back on the programs that helped her get where she is, and the liberals in her life.  She can be framed to be against the New Deal.  The senate did just vote for her, but this is more serious.  I think he is going to nominate a wingnut, and I think it will put more people into the dems' camp IF the war is not made to be over the right to choose. It might be over that, but no one should say that.  

    "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

    by adigal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:04:17 AM PDT

    •  This is not about 2006 (3.80)
      This is about THIS nomination in 2005 to the SCOTUS.

      I completely reject the idea that we can play politics on THIS nomination.

      Rehnquist would have been different.

      This one leaves no room for politics.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:06:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ASDF (none)
        THis is way more important than any midterm election will be in the in long run.  Abortion is important yes, but there are so many more issues.

        After all, you need only look back to the beginning of the week, when it was clear that she was a STRONG church/state seperation vote.  Now we are going to lose that, and there's no kennedy buffer there.

        Abortion will dominate the 24 hour channels, but we need to keep up the visibility of other issues as well.

        blog Here's GOP compassion for you...Mountjoy said. "I'm here to tell you it's [homosexuality] not OK, it's not natural"

        by UTBriancl on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:18:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If we alienate the pro-life Catholic and pro-life (none)
        Evangelists by making this about abortion, then we may even lose our ability to filibuster any more wingnuts by going below 40 Dem senators in 2006 and we may not see another democratic president for many years.

        But, hey, what do I know?  I just have an anti-choice family and many, many anti-choice friends and acquaintances.  

        I think we must keep 2006 and 2008 in mind, like a chess game.  You may win this move and lost the whole game.

        "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

        by adigal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:20:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We are never going to get (none)
          the evangelical anti-abortion rights crowd or the conservative Catholic.

          Christoneacrutch.  

        •  40 in '06?? (none)
          We need 40 Senators NOW if we're to have any bargaining power in this process.

          As I say above, we need to provide cover to various Democrats in really-red red states and the abortion issue alone doesn't provide it.

          Just ask yourself, which you would rather have as the headline in those particular states:

          "DEMOCRATS FILIBUSTER 'ANTI-CHOICE' NOMINEE"

          "DEMOCRATS FILIBUSTER 'ANTI-WORKER' NOMINEE"

          DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

          by DWCG on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:34:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry (none)
            "Democrats save Roe Versus Wade" will have a far greater resonance. People DON'T want abortion to be illegal and it is a winning issue IF it is in danger. Why is this so hard to understand for the anti-abortion Democratic wing? Don't you want to win?
            •  That's proven effective the last 10 yrs has it? (none)
              We've got loads of representatives and Senators from those anti-choice states do we?

              Let's do this: have a popular politician run on the abortion issue in a red state and see how well they do.

              Hey, I'm not saying we shouldn't use this to kill Republicans in blue states, and as a rallying cry for endangered Democrats in blue states, but our immediate concern has to be giving the Democrats in red states enough cover to credibly threaten to filibuster.

              If I were Karl Rove, I'd laugh in the face of Kent Conrad if he was threatening to join the 37 other liberal Democrats in a filibuster of a nominee that's being attacked solely for being anti-choice.

              DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

              by DWCG on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:49:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  One more time (none)
                Roe is a winning issue if abortions are made illegal or are on the verge of being made illegal. People in this country don't want it to be illegal. And frankly your reading of politics leaves a lot to be desired. Karl Rove won in 2004 to impose his agenda, ie. His agenda takes precedence over what happens to Republican party hopes in 2006 or 2008. Hence their insistence on Bolton, hence their SS platform, hence their religious agenda. Bush didn't won re-election so that anothe republican wins in 2008. He won to impose his agenda. Democrats will win by pointing out and fighting this agenda. Republicans have maxed out their support in red state on this issue. Do you really think they can run on abortion year after yera without doing something about it? Nope, they'll impose their agenda in this term and Democrats will win by fighting this agenda supported by no more than 30% of the country. Perspective.
                •  I think you're missing the point (none)
                  There are 6 votes in favor of upholding Roe on the court.  Regardless of who Bush nominates there will be 5.  It is not on the table and more importantly, IT DOESN'T HELP US WIN ANY SEATS IN CONGRESS.  This fight is about giving 40 Democratic Senators cover to filibuster a wing-nut AND getting to 51 Senators and a majority in the House so the next nominee is rejected or is a true moderate.

                  You may think we get to 51 by running on abortion.  I think we get to 51 by running on an economic populist platform and reform.

                  DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

                  by DWCG on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:44:08 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Kennedy (none)
                    is not a reliable vote on abortion. And you can run on a populist platform and in favor of choice.Ever heard of Bill Clinton? THERE is NO CHOICE IF ROE IS OVERTURNED. Why is this so hard to understand? Problem arises when purists try to force party in one direction only. You can't sell out abortion rights, a significant voting base(pro-choice) and still hope to win anything. You are simply wrong and as I pointed out your reading of issues is very superficial.
        •  It's all about women's right to live (none)
          Why don't you try to win elections without the pro-choice women's votes.   You will never get the pro-life vote but you can surely lose wmen's votes if you continue to show us how little you support and protect us in our rights of choice.

          I've said this until I'm blue in the face, but women are prepared to leave this party if this party refuses to hear we have had enough, our rights have been compromised enough, we have decided our lives are more important that your flimsy attempts to attract votes from people who will never be loyal to you, Hell, if you're willing to suck up to pro-lifers and turn your backs on women we have absoluttely no reason to stay.

          Let's talk about all your freinds and family who are anti-choice, they're standing in line to vote for Democratic candidates?  You can count on them to show up and do phone banking, GOTV, voter registration drives, fundraising, precinct walking, canvassing, writing letters to the edotors?  Because if you can't then you have pushed women out of this party for no reason at all.

          How does all this make women feel?  Mad as Hell and not willing to take it anymore.

          Losing O'Connors vote is all about choice.   It's time to worry about alienating pro-choice women.  The next question, where will we go?  If need be we'll stay home before we continue to support a party that is willing to see us go into backalleys for abortions we have every right to have.  We will sit home before we support a party that is willing to see us die instead of standing up to the pro-lifers they tried so hard to appease.  

          Tell me I'm taking a stand on principle and I'll tell you, damned right I am, the principle that every woman and giirl deserves to live a life without the fear of dying under the knife of a quack abortionist.

          Why don't you keep worrying about 2006 and 2008 and play that chess game you're so fond of.  Women are tired of your games, we'd prefer to work on staying alive.

          We're only capable of doing on the outside what we're capable of being on the inside.

          by caliberal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 01:04:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Please - give me a break (none)
            Where are women who are activists on abortion going to go if we do not make this nomination about abortion?? They know we all still support choice - but it is you and the previous poster who are being purists.  Abortion or die!!! Forget everything else the United States is dealing with, populist issues, there is a part of the Democratic party that only cares about abortion.

            That is fine, that is your right, but know this: I have a LOT of family and friends who don't vote Democratic ONLY because they see the Democratic party as murderers of babies.  When I mention Harry Reid to them, they get confused.  You mean...a Democrat is pro-life, they say.  Yes, I tell them, we welcome all people in the Democratic party. The purists in this party do not.  And you discount peoples' real moral objections to abortion, which makes us as extremist on this issue as the repubs are on school prayer or abortion themselves.  We NEED to be open to different viewpoints, then we can win elections.  Then we can safely filibuster or just vote down those who try to get rid of Roe vs. Wade. I do NOT want to see Roe vs. Wade overturned.  But I think we have to disguise our true motives a bit.

            If you had a candidate for the Supreme Court who fiercely protected individual rights, supported affirmative action, was against abuses by corporations, and was pro-environment, but they were pro-life, EVEN IF IT DID NOT MEAN THE OVERTHROW OF ROE VS WADE, would you support that candidate??? I think not.  This is where we part ways.

            "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

            by adigal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 03:18:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Pardon me but what the hell? (none)
      At what point to you feel the need to stand up for anything? We disagree on a lot of things. But this isn't one of them. A moderate conservative to the court is what we need to be fighting to accomplish- not just for abortion but for a lot of other issues as well.
      •  Did you read what I said? (none)
        I agree that we need a moderate on the Court.  But for chrissakes, do we need to scream that this nominee is all about Roe vs. Wade??  It alienates people to make this the number one Democratic priority. There are lots of other issues that we can bring us as well - corporate vs individual, environmental, how about the right to habeas corpus, which seems to be in danger right now.  That is what I said.

        "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

        by adigal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:23:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who is screaming this all about Roe v Wade (none)
          except the conservatives? They already out villifying OConnor as a liberal of all things (She as a moderate conservative so in their minds that makes her liberal). Already seen them on MSNBC CNN etc. And, have said that Roe v Wade is their litmus test. If you want to put you head in the sand, because you think this is something that will turn off voters- you may want to tell the Republicans that because they are proceeding along the lines that they are going to attack, attack attack. While you are proceeding a long the lines- okay let's be careful. Careful is something I normally agree with. But, here's a mistake.
    •  Bigger Picture (none)
      We are looking at 2-4 vacancies in Bush's term with Stevens being one of them. They (the Republican machinery) is planning to fight a 4 year battle and Roe versus wade is what brings in their foot soldiers. You have to understand what is at stake here. Roe V. Wade is not a losing issue if we can convince people, most of whom are against overturning RvW., that it is an endangered law.
    •  Americans are not divided on Roe. (none)
      Your comments betray an ignorance of fact.  The vast majority of Americans, close to 80 percent, believe abortion should remain legal and do not favor overturning Roe.  

      This is the time to talk about Roe because it has never been more vulnerable.  

      And by the way, how dare you suggest that Roe [read:  reproductive rights] take a backseat?  Should we also get to the back of the bus?  

      Half of this nation is female.  Fully one-third of a female's life is reproductive.  Roe is going to be the topic of conversation for a long time.  Better get used to it.  

      •  I give up - there is no talking reason on this (none)
        site any time abortion is brought up.

        I may not have habeas corpus, govts may be able to take my home away, the FBI may be able to spy on me and get my bank and library records, credit card companies may own me, but by God, I can get an abortion so all is right with America. There are other issues, and we need to fight for them as well, NOT just the right to choose.  

        Why is it so hard to fight for more than one issue?

         

        "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

        by adigal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:29:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nobody is saying (none)
          not to fight for other issues--that's your strawman.

          All of the issues you raise are important and not a single person here is saying otherwise.  Jesus.

          What we are saying, though, is that this issue is critical at the moment.  If you are unable to figure out why that is, well, I feel sorry for you.  

          •  Then I guess I will have to live with your (none)
            deep felt sympathy - because I do NOT think that even if you think abortion is the #1 issue right now, that you should shout that out.

            As said above by someone else, we have really done well holding onto our majorities in the House and Senate being pro-choice, haven't we?? The Americans have really supported us on this, yup, can't you tell as we lose more representatives every single election? Our chess game has been at the top of its form, hasn't it. So y'all keep yelling about the same issue, over and over, and Americans will support you as they have the last 10 years.

            If I were a republican, I would be licking my chops at the screams over abortion from the democrats.  Because then I could get away with an individual who hates individuals' rights and the environment.

            "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

            by adigal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:38:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Jeez (none)
              They haven't supported us because they don't think abortion will be made illegal. They will support us if the spectre of illegal abortion is there. Besides, abortion debate is 30 years old and how many pro-choice Democrats have won around the country in this period? Quite a few including last POTUS.
            •  Here's the thing (none)
              We disagree with you and say so, and say why.

              Why do you object to that? People explained why and you act as if there is some attack on you.

              If they were shouting you down with no facts that would be one thing. But they aren't.

              I think your complaints are unseemly.

              The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

              by Armando on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:45:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am arguing for my point of view (none)
                I think making this about abortion is going to alienate a lot of voters who would perhaps be leaning towards the Dems right now. How is that being personally sensitive towards any attacks on me?? Where did I mention one time that I felt personally attacked? I said it is a waste discussing abortion on this site, because people start screaming right away, things like,

                "Pardon me but what the hell?

                At what point to you feel the need to stand up for anything? We disagree on a lot of things. But this isn't one of them. A moderate conservative to the court is what we need to be fighting to accomplish- not just for abortion but for a lot of other issues as well."

                 I never even responded on a personal level to this, so what are you talking about? I think you need to go back and look at some responses to my statements.

                You can try to make my disagreement with you over this just because I am just some "overly sensitive female," but this is about ideas and strategy in my book.  Sorry - I admire a lot of what you write but I think you are way off base here.

                "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

                by adigal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:04:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're wrong (none)
                  It will, however wake up many pro-choice libertarians and moderate Republicans who haven't voted on this issue because they assumed the battle was over and done.

                  Why do you think Bush ran around calling Roe V. Wade "the law of the land" during the last election?  Why do you think he spoke to his anti-abortion base in code words?

                  This is dangerous territory for Republicans and they know it.  It's one thing to go after teenage girls and made up procedures,  it's a far different thing to go wholly after the right to choose.

                  Having said all of this, I agree with you in one sense.  I don't think we should stress Roe alone.  I think we should stress Griswald and the right to privacy in general, which are surely under threat.

                  And I think we should bring up the Schiavo debacle as many times as humanly possible during the course of this battle.  

                  •  I think you're wrong (none)
                    I think BushCo have no intention of overturning Roe vs. Wade.  How, then, would they ever get any Christian Evangelical voters out?? They tend to stay home unless all fired up.  

                    "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

                    by adigal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 03:20:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Adigal (none)
          It's not, but everything you listed is about one issue -- habeas corpus, Patriot Act, informational privacy -- all part of the larger issue of the right to privacy, of which the abortion fight is the primary battleground.  It's really all about one issue in the end -- Liberty.

          It's the RULE OF LAW, stupid!

          by Rick Oliver on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:41:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree, Rick, 100% (none)
            So let's call it what it is - the right to privacy!! I bet you 80% of Americans do NOT want the govt in any of their private decisions.  I am not disagreeing with the issue - I am disagreeing with the framing.

            "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

            by adigal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:55:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Taking a Deep Breath and Holding It (none)
    I certainly hope that when a SC nominee is announced, there is a well thought out Progressive response that speaks to his/her qualifications, background, and previous decisions.  Not knee-jerk name calling, not "litmus tests", and not comparisons to Nazis, unless it's Alberto "VTI" Gonzalez (Vlad the Impaler).

    We have an opportunity here, thanks to the Bush's low poll numbers and his need to have a win on something, to force the nomination of a moderate.  That will require a great deal of resolve and patience in the light of a neo-con media blitz.

    One tactic that I do think will work is comparing a nominee said to be "highly qualified" by the right wing to a previously "highly qualified" person:  John Bolton.  People tend to judge character by comparison to others, so hammering home such similarities will go a long way to neutralize a radical.

  •  Yup (4.00)
    I fully expect Bush to nominate the most forthy-mouthed thick-necked cud-chewing snarling ranting raving neanderthal ogre he can get his hands on, and throw the whole noise machine into rage against all who dare oppose him.  The waters of the Potomac will run brown with bullshit.

    Assuming the Democrats can find it in them to defeat the monster, Bush will then generously offer the hand of conciliation in the form of a second nominee who is merely a far-fringe wingnut.

    "Hit a man with a fish, and he'll have a headache for a day. Teach him to hit himself with a fish, and he'll have headaches all his life!"--Karl Rove

    by AdmiralNaismith on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:12:36 AM PDT

  •  O'Connor - A Lesson for Dems; Why We Must Start Wi (none)
    Rethugs learned in the early 80's that the desire to win should always trump the desire for ideological purity.  Ideological concerns will be addressed secondarily if political victory is achieved.  Without victory, ideological concerns are completely lost.
    The O'Connor retirement represents the perfect validation of the philosophy of winning.  This is self evident - no analysis needed here.  We are about to pay a huge price for not winning the political fight over the past 25 years.
    Dems need to learn that political parties are about winning... at any cost.  We need to stop whining and complaining about the less than ethical political practices used by the Rethugs.  We need to stop sabotaging our own candidates.  We need to embrace and welcome into the party as many people from as many different political and cultural backgrounds as possible.
    For Christ sakes, we need to start winning
  •  They've already laid the groundwork (none)
    for the Nukular Option, constantly haranguing about up or down votes.  Don't be surprised to see them push this for a SCOTUS nominee, no matter how repugnant their choice.

    In all the discussions I've read, nobody has mentioned the recent eminent domain decision, easily the biggest defeat of individual rights in recent memory.  Abortion is a much more emotional, hot button issue, but should not be the benchmark for nominees.  

    Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else. --Will Rogers

    by groggy on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:14:09 AM PDT

  •  Say good bye to abortion rights (none)
    We lost this one. It is only a matter of time before Roe v. Wade gets overturned.

    Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind. Albert Einstein

    by DrSpike on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:15:36 AM PDT

    •  not so fast (none)
      maybe rehnquist/stevens can hold out until 2007 (kossaks should stop by stevens' house to cook him healthy organic meals).  maybe the dems can win back the senate in 2006.  there is still hope (at least for now).  

      "Rick Santorum is Latin for Asshole."

      by tmendoza on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:26:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It would go back to the states, (none)
      meaning good-bye to abortion rights for the poor.
      •  Worse (none)
        The Party of Dobson would outlaw it through federal law.

        The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

        by Armando on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:36:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's possible; it could (none)
          also be that the Republicans don't have the courage to change federal law. The reason they want fanatics on all courts is to accomplish their agenda without accountability. There may be some Republicans who couldn't survive a vote making abortion illegal, but then the rules don't apply anymore so you're probably right.
          •  oh they will try (none)
            the day after roe is overturned the house republicans will introduce a bill to ban abortion in every state.  i doubt it will get past a filibuster in the senate, but if the dems lose 5 more senate seats over the next couple cycle, who knows.

            "Rick Santorum is Latin for Asshole."

            by tmendoza on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 02:22:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Am I the only one (none)
    who thinks that, if this had to happen, it has happened at a good time (relatively speaking)?  The President's numbers continue to fall... He received no bounce from his "major speech" on Tuesday night... although he's not running for re-election, Republicans are and the negative numbers hurt across the party.  Is it not logical that the Administration will seek a much more moderate appointment?  Am I drinking too much of my own Kool Aid??  ;-)

    Also - any ideas on potential nominees?  I have heard Alberto Gonzalez' name bandied about, along with former Solicitor General Ted Olsen.  Thoughts on these and any others?

    The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

    by RenaRF on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:17:07 AM PDT

    •  yes.. (none)
      If it had to happen, this was the time for it, when support for Bush is so low.  Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll pick someone reasonably moderate to avoid a nasty battle, rather than a hard-core social communist.
      •  GOP fissures help, too (none)
        I was talking about this with a friend earlier today--the scene now is much different than it was the day before we heard of the Gang of 14--Iraq is finally becoming a shitstorm in the popular presentation, and GOP members are having fewer and fewer qualms about standing up to the President.

        Bad poll #s for the pres = possiblity of the nuclear option not even passing in the Senate.

        I don't want to be Polyannish--but we've been able to stifle Bolton, along with some high-profile GOP defectors. It's conceivable that nearly anyone Bush presents now could meet the same level of opposition.

        As such, since Bush "needs a win," as mentioned above, it's very possible that he'll name a moderate. But I'm not holding my breath--just a little hope.

        •  I'm telling you (none)
          I'm counting on that and on the Democrats playing it correctly.  It will be a tricky tightrope-walk - a more moderate nomination will need embracing while at the same time concerns around the nominee will have to be addressed so that we don't fall into "there's no difference between the parties" schtick.

          If the nominee is seriously wingnut and therefore one which has to be opposed, the Democrats need to be really prepared to frame this issue ala Lakoff.  If the filibuster winds up the only recourse, the question of "breaking rules to change them" will have to be carefully and meticulously framed in a way that those moderates who are migrating away from the Republicans can embrace.

          If nothing else, this will be interesting.

          The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

          by RenaRF on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 11:07:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  No, It's the Absolute Worst Time (none)
      Right after an election when under our system our leaders are most free to vote their own wills.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:51:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here are possible nominees (none)
      a link to Slate's review of their more controversial decisions.  Right now, if I had to pick, I'd go with Edith.

      nominees

      Flag burnings occur on average 8 times a year. Is the time/$ cost of a constitutional amendment really worth anyone's tax dollars - even if they support it?

      by deep6 on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:22:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Prediction (none)
    I'll go by process of elimination.

    Bush won't replace O'Connor with a white guy.

    He won't nominate Gonzales even though he really wants to put him on the Court because the wingnut "base" demands that the first nominee be one of their favorites.

    Some Republican senators will tell Bush (maybe already have told him) not to make the first nominee any of the newly-confirmed judges in the recent filibuster controversy.

    Thus the nominee will be an ultrareliable conservative, a woman and/or Hispanic, and not Owen or Brown.

    Garza is a reasonable guess, as are either of the two Fifth Circuit Ediths.

    This is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.

    by socal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:22:08 AM PDT

    •  Here's a good question, though. (none)
      The wingnut "base" has been consistent in their support of this President.  Yet his numbers continue to fall as more moderate traditional Republicans move away from his ideological leanings.  I have seen a subtle move away from the wingnut branch by this Administration in an effort to shore up the President's numbers.  I think it's just as likely that the President nominates a moderate to help his sagging numbers as he is to put up a hard-liner to appease the "base".  Remember - his poll numbers prevent him from doing anything on the domestic front and resonates negatively across the party.

      The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

      by RenaRF on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:42:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except that.... (none)
        ... a lot of times in politics, people who care rabidly get more of what they want than people who don't care so much.

        It always appears that, on the subject of judges, a lot of the wingnuts care rabidly and the more moderate Republicans don't care so much.

        I doubt Republican moderates would be especially alienated by any of the potential nominees whose names have been floated.

        This is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.

        by socal on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:58:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Two Fronts... (none)
    there is the nomination battle and there is the collective DS Memos, Plame, etc. that is heating up that has now at least launched the "I" word into some discussion.  We should not forsake the latter for the former, losing momentum and focus.

    "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis D. Brandeis

    by VA6thDem on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:32:57 AM PDT

  •  Kennedy (none)
    I've researched Kennedy's tenure extensively; there is no way he will do anything even remotely close to overturning Roe.  He initially was going to vote the other way in the Casey case, but changed his mind to swing the decision of the court.  Kennedy is, without a doubt, the most pragmatic member of the court.  We have nothing to fear from this man.

    Campaignation: A Strategic Look Ahead to 2006 and 2008

    by malkori on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:37:50 AM PDT

  •  I remember O'Connor's nomination (none)
    For what it's worth, I remember the persistent doom-and-gloom from the left.  Much speculation was made about the fact that O'Connor was Catholic and would therefore, in poste and in haste, strike down Roe v. Wade.  There was fear in the liberal community across the country.

    I'm not suggesting that we don't monitor potential nominees and advocate for the most moderate replacement - I'm only musing on the fact that that lifetime appointment really does seem to free some of these folks from politics-as-usual.

    The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

    by RenaRF on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:38:39 AM PDT

  •  Extraordinary and the filibuster (none)
    My take on the 'extraordinary' language is, it was implicitly tied to the little lecture the Gang of 14 gave on the value of discussing potential nominees with the Senate beforehand. That suggests that the 7 Republicans would view a nominee who was publicly announced before any consultation, or who was nominated despite private warnings of misgivings by Senators on both sides (e.g. Biden and Specter) as an extraordinary circumstance.

    Under Armando's definition, ANY nomination by Bush to the Supreme Court, arrived at even by a process of full consultation, is 'extraordinary' and subject to filibuster. I don't think the 7 GOP Senators in the coalition would stay on board for that.

    Since Bush is incapable of consulting the Senate, a definition based on process rather than the stakes seems more useful to us.

    I've got blisters on my fingers!

    by Elwood Dowd on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:40:22 AM PDT

  •  The extraordinaryness of life terms... (none)
    I want to add something else.

    The life term of a Justice is important, but it is something else... It is liberating.  A Justice for life can look around and go, "I really don't need to listen to these political partisans any more".  That was the intent of the job when it was placed into the Constitution.

    We can look at our history and see it littered with Justices who had been appointed by people expecting a particular outcome, only to have been disappointed.

    Thus it is key when looking at these nominations, to look in at the heart of the person.  Yes, perhaps in their past life they ahve been reliabily partisan, placating to the special interests to gain approval.  But will that still be true when they have reached the pinnacle and have nowhere else to look but their legacy?

    What we want is the kind of person who will look at their grandchildren and wonder what kind of world they will be leaving them.  We don't want someone who just gives the right answers to the questions even if they have to lie or deceive to do it.

    Think about that, ponder that.  Consider it in your opposition.

  •  Let's Get our Facts Straight (none)
    I'm on your team on this one, but Casey is not the case we want to use as ammunition.  That was before Ginsberg or Breyer joined the Court, replacing Blackmun and White.  Along with the two Clinton appointees, Souter, O'Connor, Stevens, and sometimes Kennedy vote in favor of the right to chose.

    A better example than Casey is Steinberg, the D&X ("partial birth abortion") case.  There, five justices, including O'Connor, voted to retain core Roe values.  Kennedy, Rhenquist, Scalia, and Thomas all dissented.  If O'Connor is replaces by a Scalia clone, Steinberg goes the other way, and Roe starts to crumble.

    •  Well (none)
      I think Casey is in play.

      So we disagree.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:42:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We're disagreeing on strategy not substance (none)
        I agree with your point that Roe is in jeopardy.  I'm just suggesting that Casey is not the best example to use, because there are still five judges post-O'Connor on record as supporting Casey.  That's  why I pointed to Steinberg and said that's where Roe starts to crumble.  The argument that Casey was 5-4 and losing O'Connor makes it 4-5 the other direction is too easily deflected because of other changes to the Court.  Steinberg, however, was exactly 5-4, with the current members of the Court.  That's why I believe it's a better example to point to.
        •  Stenberg v. Carhart (none)
          could have done more than just 'crumble' Roe; if decided differently, it would have destroyed it.

          Stenberg and the three current "PBA" bans working their way up the judicial appeals ladder are not -- repeat, not -- about banning D&X procedures.

          The pervasive but mistaken notion that these bans apply only to late term abortions is just right-wing spin, a commercial to make them acceptable to the public at large. If you take the trouble to read the laws in question, you will search in vain for even one word about any specific stage of pregnancy to which they might apply.

          This is no accident. As far back as the first version of the "PBA" ban in 1996, Henry Hyde, James Sensebrenner and others openly admitted that the language of their bill permitted the criminalization of all abortion.

          The term "partial birth" abortion cannot be found in any medical dictionary because it is a political term that anti-choice zealots made up as part of their public relations campaign to stigmatize all abortion. When talking about the bans, advocates use graphic language about late-term abortion that is different from anything found in the legislation itself. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which represents most ob-gyn specialists, has rejected these bans, which fail "to use recognized medical terminology and fail to define explicitly the prohibited medical techniques it criminalizes."

          [snip]

          Since the term "partial birth" abortion has no legitimate medical meaning, some in the media have begun an uninformed, dangerous trend by saying that "partial birth" abortion is medically known as dialation and extraction abortion (D&X). Assigning a legitimate medical term to this legislation is something that anti-choice legislators strategically avoided. They want a broad ban on abortion.

          Six staunchly anti-choice U.S. Congressmen including Henry Hyde, Charles Canady and James Sensenbrenner said in a letter dated March 18, 1996 on an earlier version of the bill: "H.R. 1833 does not ban 'D&X' or 'Brain Suction' abortions...the ban would have the effect of prohibiting any abortion [that meets our definition]...no matter what the abortionist decides to call his particular technique."

          If George Bush appoints one more anti-abortion Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, this interpretation could well become the law of the land, in effect overturning Roe v. Wade.

          The major pro-choice advocacy groups are perfectly aware that this is the case, but lack the will to face and overcome the right-wing accusations of hysterically crying "wolf" that are sure to ensue if they make an issue of it. Instead, they continue to engage these extremists on their own terms -- and continue to lose.

          The text of the Stenberg v. Carhart decision clearly reveals that the courts get it, too, and they have been willing to say so . . . up until now.

          That is why I say, as I have before, that "our" advocacy groups forgot about us a long time ago.

  •  To be honest, I'm more concerned about (4.00)
    our basic civil liberties than the right to choose, which I think despite possible setbacks in the next court will eventually return because it is ensconced in our mores.  What is more dangerous is erosion of what little is left of our civil liberties, in particular, the ability of the courts to oversee the actions of the Federal Government with respect to preventive detention, freedom of speech, right to vote (yes, that is endangered as well), and in general the preservation of our Englightenment heritage.  We can live with a temporary loss of abortion rights, we can't survive as a free nation if we are taken by Scalia and Thomas back to the Middle Ages, where they live and breathe.

    If we are to have a litmus test, it should be whether persons like John Yu who made the case for torture (not limited to non-citizens by the way) should be on the Court.  This is the real danger.  The Court could open up the mouth of the Memory Hole so wide we could all fall into it and never come out.

    •  Civil Liberties, Church/State, and (none)
      the Constitution-in-Exile assault on the very Constitutionality of government to continue liberal programs.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:52:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  William Kristol got it right last week, (none)
    when he reported sources were telling him it was O'Connor who would announce retirement, not Rehnquist.

    O'Connor, Not Rehnquist?

    In the same 6/22 article, Kristol also credited such sources with saying that Bush wanted to -- and would -- appoint Gonzales.

    The political justification to those conservatives (like Kristol) unhappy with a Gonzales nomination?

    "Gonzales is as conservative a nominee to replace O'Connor as one could find who could overcome a threatened Democratic filibuster."

    I'd predict that argument is right, too -- Democratic leadership won't filibuster Gonzales -- torture memos notwithstanding.

  •  I understand each individual WORD (none)
    ... but what does "The SCOTUS is Extraordinary" really MEAN?  Isn't it missing something?  Shouldn't it say "The SCOTUS is Extraordinarily Important", or sumthin' like that???

    Come, my friends -- 'tis not too late to seek a newer world .....

    by shurley on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:04:29 AM PDT

    •  it is a reference to (none)
      the filibuster compromise.

      those who signed on to the compromise agreed they would not filibuster any judicial nominees except in "extraordinary circumstances".

      Armando is saying that this SCt nomination counts under those "extraordinary" circumstances because of O'Connor's status as a swing vote on so many issues of significance to progressives.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:17:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. (none)
        I like your signature line, too.  Any plans for a bumper sticker?

        Come, my friends -- 'tis not too late to seek a newer world .....

        by shurley on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 08:26:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  bumper sticker is a fun idea (none)
          it's not my original line and i haven't been able to find out who said it first, but I bet if I put it to commercial use someone will step forward and try to prove himself to be the author!

          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 11:26:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  A question about the language (none)
    of her retirement letter:

    I'm assuming that O'Connor specifically said her retirement would take effect upon the nomination and confirmation of a new SCJ so as to avoid a potential recess appointment?  

    Am I reading her letter correctly?

  •  Now we really find out who runs the ReThugs (none)
    This is it.  The moment we've all been waiting for.

    The moment when the country-club Republicans who say 'we're not the party of Dobson' are put to the test.

    Is the Rethuglican party the party of Dobson - the foot soldiers - OR is it the party of K-Street/Wall Street and the big $$$ donors.

    Yes - we ought to make this issue about Roe v. Wade.

    How many Joe Q. Publix got upset over Kelo?  Over the Patriot Act?

    Many on here and Redstate did, but face the facts, we're political junkies.

    There is virtually no reason why we shouldn't make this issue to be Roe v. Wade.  If you honestly think we could 'peel away a few pro-life Evangelicals or pro-life Catholics' because we don't 'want to appear obstructionist', consider this:

    1.  We are already overwhelmingly seen as pro-choice amongst the general (read: non-DKos, non-Redstate.org crowd).

    2. Close to 80% think overturning Roe v. Wade is a bad idea.

    3.  Many in the generally public say 'the Democrats don't stand for anythinkg'.  

    We might as well make a stand on this.
  •  Not really concerned (none)
    I'm not really concerned with the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade.  It would be temporary, and it would be the death knell of the Republican party.
  •  Abortion makes SCOTUS extraordinary? (none)
    That is tremendously narrow minded isn't it?  If it is extraordinary for another reason I missed it because it isn't mentioned.  We are looking at a tremendously long fight if we choose to marshall out abortion as our primary reason for blocking a nomination.  I think it is fair to say that Americans are against abortion and we, as liberals, Democrats, or whatever we want to call ourselves, are going to lose the war and the battle if we agree with Armando.  We should be coming out swinging with our version of what makes a justice a good justice.  We can't be vague like Shrub and say we want someone who will defend the Constitution.  We need to say what we believe defending it means, such as securing privacy and thereby defending abortion and the right to choose as well as the right to die; such as enforcing treaty obligations that have been given the stamp of the US Senate; such as properly limiting the overreach of the Executive Branch in allowing them to keep secret the corporate minions making our energy policies.  For once in this party's recent history we can't simply disagree but must rather push forward an agenda that has goals beyond obstructing the well defined, albeit evil, agenda of the other guy.

    "The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country." -RFK

    by apmiller on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 11:30:01 AM PDT

    •  why would it be "fair to say" Americans (none)
      are "against abortion" when it's not true?

      do some research -- you'll see all the polls show a majority still favors abortion rights.

      According to a March 2005 Harris poll, "Only one-fifth of U.S. adults oppose abortion in all circumstances," and "A 60 to 38 percent majority favors legal abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy."

      You can find other figures depending on how the poll questions are asked, but no polls show a majority of Americans wanting to make abortion illegal again.

      If American are "against abortion," most of them are against it in the same way they're against emergency heart surgery -- they hope they don't have to have it, most give at least a token try to healthy heart practices, but most everybody wants a hospital and an operating room to be available if they or their daughter needs it....

      •  Congrats! (none)
        You were able to find a variety of polls that really say nothing.  You admitted it yourself: "You can find other figures depending on how the poll questions are asked."  We can mince the issue in a million ways and each side can point to evidence accurately supporting their own side.  You have also failed completely to comment on the central point of my post, yes, abortion is a very, very important issue, but I am suggesting we move away from the grip of interest groups and single issues and start creating a real agenda.

        "The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country." -RFK

        by apmiller on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 07:02:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  please don't flame me.... (none)
    ....but can we now stop thinking about abortion and women's issues as special interests on dailykos? we're going to be under direct attack. we need to band together. there are a lot of women who are very afraid right now.

    There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are terrorists of the mind. -- A. Bartlett Giamatti

    by FemiNazi on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 12:20:34 PM PDT

  •  Thank you! (none)
    A voice of reason in this time of alarm. While the men I know are upset about a wide range of issues, the women alternate between tearful outrage and paralyzing terror. This is personal. This is not about what's etched on the courthouse or what they're saying on the school board or what they're not reporting in the MSM (all very important things, yes), but wha can happen to 53% of the population, directly, physically. No abstractions. Sorry, this is at the heart of the important [stuff].

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