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Update [2005-10-31 9:33:18 by Armando]: Law Professor Jonathan Turley:
TURLEY: There will be no one to the right of Sam Alito on this Court. This is a pretty hardcore fellow on abortion issues.

They don't call him "SCALITO" for nothing.


Senator Harry Reid on the nomination of Samuel "Scalito" Alito to the Supreme Court:

The nomination of Judge Alito requires an especially long hard look by the Senate because of what happened last week to Harriet Miers. Conservative activists forced Miers to withdraw from consideration for this same Supreme Court seat because she was not radical enough for them.  Now the Senate needs to find out if the man replacing Miers is too radical for the American people.

I am disappointed in this choice for several reasons. First, unlike previous nominations, this one was not the product of consultation with Senate Democrats.  Last Friday, Senator Leahy and I wrote to President Bush urging him to work with us to find a consensus nominee. The President has rejected that approach.

Second, this appointment ignores the value of diverse backgrounds and perspectives on the Supreme Court.  The President has chosen a man to replace Sandra Day O'Connor, one of only two women on the Court.  For the third time, he has declined to make history by nominating the first Hispanic to the Court.  And he has chosen yet another federal appellate judge to join a court that already has eight justices with that narrow background.  President Bush would leave the Supreme Court looking less like America and more like an old boys club.    
Justice O'Connor has been the deciding vote in key cases protecting individual rights and freedoms on a narrowly divided Court. The stakes in selecting her replacement are high.

I look forward to meeting Judge Alito and learning why those who want to pack the Court with judicial activists are so much more enthusiastic about him than they were about Harriet Miers.

Here's one reason:

But soon after President Ronald Reagan was elected, Alito joined the Office of the Solicitor General, staying for four years and helping to decide what position the administration would take in cases up for review by the Supreme Court.

Will we see Scalito's documents? Another stonewall?

Another reason the Wingnuts love him on the flip.

From Scalito's dissent to the 3rd Circuit's majority opinion in Casey:

My disagreement with the majority regarding a single provision of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act, 18 Pa.Cons.Stat.Ann. § 3201 et seq. (1983 & Supp.1991), results from disagreement about the portion of Justice O'Connor's two-part test that must be applied to this provision. Under that test, as the majority explains, a law that imposes an "undue burden" must serve a "compelling" state interest. By contrast, a law that does not impose an "undue burden" must simply be "rationally" or "reasonably" related to a "legitimate" state interest. The majority holds that Section 3209 constitutes an undue burden. The majority therefore applies the first prong of the two-part test and strikes down Section 3209 on the ground that it does not serve a "compelling" interest. I do not believe that Section 3209 has been shown to impose an undue burden as that term is used in the relevant Supreme Court opinions; I therefore apply the second prong of the two-part test; and I conclude that Section 3209 is constitutional because it is "rationally related" to a "legitimate" state interest.
Although the majority and I apply different prongs of this two-part test, I see no indication that we disagree concerning the conclusion produced when either prong is applied to Section 3209. If the majority is correct that Section 3209 must satisfy heightened scrutiny, I agree that its constitutionality is doubtful. Similarly, I do not interpret the majority opinion to mean that Section 3209 cannot satisfy the rational relationship test. Indeed, the majority acknowledges that Section 3209 serves a "legitimate" interest. See majority opin. at 715, 716. Thus, my major disagreement with the majority concerns the question whether Section 3209 imposes an "undue burden," and I will therefore turn to that question.
A. Justice O'Connor has explained the meaning of the term "undue burden" in several abortion opinions. In Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. at 464, 103 S.Ct. at 2510 (O'Connor, J., dissenting), she wrote that "an 'undue burden' has been found for the most part in situations involving absolute obstacles or severe limitations on the abortion decision." She noted that laws held unconstitutional in prior cases involved statutes that "criminalized all abortions except those necessary to save the life of the mother," inhibited " 'the vast majority of abortions after the first 12 weeks,' " or gave the parents of a pregnant minor an absolute veto power over the abortion decision. Id. (emphasis in original; citations omitted). She suggested that an "undue burden" would not be created by "a state regulation [that] may 'inhibit' abortions to some degree." Id. She also suggested that there is no undue burden unless a measure has the effect of "substantially limiting access." Id. at 463, 103 S.Ct. at 2509, quoting Carey v. Population Services International, 431 U.S. 678, 688, 97 S.Ct. 2010, 2017, 52 L.Ed.2d 675 (1977) (emphasis added in Justice O'Connor's opinion).
Justice O'Connor reiterated the same analysis in Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 476 U.S. 747, 106 S.Ct. 2169 (1986). She wrote (id. at 828, 106 S.Ct. at 2214 (O'Connor, J., dissenting), quoting Akron, 462 U.S. at 464, 103 S.Ct. at 2510 (O'Connor, J., dissenting)):
An undue burden would generally be found "in situations involving absolute obstacles or severe limitations on the abortion decision," not wherever a state regulation "may 'inhibit' abortions to some degree."
*721 She also criticized the majority for taking an approach under which "the mere possibility that some women will be less likely to choose to have an abortion by virtue of the presence of a particular state regulation suffices to invalidate it." Id. 476 U.S. at 829, 106 S.Ct. at 2214 (emphasis added).
Justice O'Connor's application of the undue burden test in several cases further illustrates the meaning of this test. In Hodgson, 110 S.Ct. at 2950-51, Justice O'Connor found that no undue burden was imposed by a law requiring notice to both parents or judicial authorization before a minor could obtain an abortion. Justice O'Connor reached this conclusion despite statistics adduced by Justice Marshall to show that mandatory parental notice may inhibit a significant percentage of minors from obtaining abortions (id. at 2953-54) (Marshall, J., dissenting) and despite the district court's finding, noted in Justice Marshall's dissent, that the judicial bypass option "so daunted" some minors that they felt compelled to carry to term (id. at 2959, quoting 648 F.Supp. at 763).
Justice O'Connor has also suggested on more than one occasion that no undue burden was created by the statute upheld in H.L. v. Matheson, 450 U.S. 398, 101 S.Ct. 1164, 67 L.Ed.2d 388 (1981), which required parental notice prior to any abortion on an unemancipated minor. Instead, she has stated that this statute merely inhibited abortions to "some degree." Thornburgh, 476 U.S. at 828, 106 S.Ct. at 2214 (O'Connor, J., dissenting); Akron, 462 U.S. at 464, 103 S.Ct. at 2510 (O'Connor, J., dissenting). In dissent in Matheson, Justice Marshall argued that the statute would result in substantial interference with abortions sought by minors. He wrote (450 U.S. at 398, 101 S.Ct. at 1164) (Marshall, J., dissenting) that "the minor may confront physical or emotional abuse, withdrawal of financial support or actual obstruction of the abortion decision." These harms are almost identical to those that the majority in this case attributes to Section 3209. See majority opin. at 711-12. See also Planned Parenthood Association v. Ashcroft, 462 U.S. 476, 505, 103 S.Ct. 2517, 2532, 76 L.Ed.2d 733 (1983) (O'Connor concurring and dissenting) (statute requiring parental consent or judicial authorization "imposes no undue burden").
Finally, Justice O'Connor has concluded that regulations that simply increase the cost of abortions, including regulations that may double the cost, do not create an "undue burden." See Akron, 462 U.S. at 434-35, 103 S.Ct. at 2494-95 (maj. op.); at 466-67, 103 S.Ct. at 2511-12 (O'Connor, J., dissenting). Justice O'Connor reached this conclusion even though it seems clear that such increased costs may well deter some women.
Taken together, Justice O'Connor's opinions reveal that an undue burden does not exist unless a law (a) prohibits abortion or gives another person the authority to veto an abortion or (b) has the practical effect of imposing "severe limitations," rather than simply inhibiting abortions " 'to some degree' " or inhibiting "some women." Thornburgh, 476 U.S. at 828, 829, 106 S.Ct. at 2213, 2214 (O'Connor, J., dissenting), quoting Akron, 462 U.S. at 464, 103 S.Ct. at 2510 (O'Connor, J., dissenting). Furthermore, Justice O'Connor's opinions disclose that the practical effect of a law will not amount to an undue burden unless the effect is greater than the burden imposed on minors seeking abortions in Hodgson or Matheson or the burden created by the regulations in Akron that appreciably increased costs. Since the laws at issue in those cases had inhibiting effects that almost certainly were substantial enough to dissuade some women from obtaining abortions, it appears clear that an undue burden may not be established simply by showing that a law will have a heavy impact on a few women but that instead a broader inhibiting effect must be shown.

Senate is gonna have to ask him about "super stare decisis."

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:14 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This guy has to be framed (4.00)
    From right now...the message from Democrats should be that he is an activist conservative and Americans' personal and civil rights will not be safe under this Scalia clone.

    He needs to be tied to Scalia.

    •  So call him Scalito please (none)

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:16:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No (4.00)
        Calling him Scalito names compares him to a sitting confirmed Supreme Court Justice.  Being Scalia-lite does not disqualify Alito from being confirmed.  That just says why liberals dont like him, not why he should not be confirmed.
        •  That's a good point (none)
          His abilities shouldn't be given any positive confirmation by this comparision.

          Anyhow, the underlying point remains: can this nominee be trusted to protect the rights of the weak and the wronged?

        •  Radic-Alito? Extremity Sam? :-) (nt) (4.00)

          Support The Troops, Demand The Truth

          by MamaBear on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:32:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Liberal..... Hmmmmm (4.00)
          Well I have a minute here at the office to play a little liberal vs conservative game with y'all.

          1.  Your granny owns a farm in East Podunk that she has lived on for the last 80 years.  Wal Mart, decides that granny's farm would be the best spot for their latest Supercenter.  They make granny a generous offer for the farm.  Granny, who does not like Wal Mart due to their overseas labor practices, says she doesn't want to sell.  Wal Mart then goes to granny's town, and asks them to Condemn granny's farm, take the land, and then sell the land to them.  The town complies, citing "community development" as a justification.  Granny gets pissed and sues.  The case goes to the Supreme Court, where Your Iconic Liberal Justices say, Toss Granny Out On Her Ear!  (A real case from last term, BTW.)  The Hated and Vilified Conservative Justices say, let Granny stay.

          How do you feel about the Liberal/Conservative divide Now?

          2.  Your friend Mary is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.  She is wasting away to nothing.  The only way she can eat Anything, is if she fires up a big ol' bone once a day.  She doesn't buy the stuff, or sell it.  She grows her own.  (She doesn't even share any with you, which disappoints you because she has good shit.)  Mary's doctor says it is OK.  Mary's state legislature passes (and governor signs into law) a bill specifically allowing Mary to grow and smoke her own.  The US Congress says, oooh, Drugs, Bad.  This conflict of the laws makes its way to the Supreme Court, where Your Iconic Liberal Justices say, Throw That Druggie In The Slammer!  (Another real case from last term.)  The Hated and Vilified Conservatives say, Let Mary Burn.

          How do you feel about the Liberal/Conservative divide Now?

          My point is simply that a simple liberal/conservative assessment is not always the best approach to take.

          Edwards/Lincoln '08

          by jimsaco on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:18:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Interesting. (none)
            I would certainly be interested in how Alito feels about these two issues, because I agree with you on both.  Imminent Domain should not be used for private purposes, and the states should be perfectly able to decide for themselves how to enforce drug laws, especially when it's clear that the drug being used is serving a valid medical purpose.  (I'd qualify that by saying states should have this power within certain limits - can you imagine a the national security problem posed by a state taking a lackadasical attitude toward, say, cocaine, thus allowing the Colombian drug lords to gain an actual beachhead in the United States?)
          •  "conservatives" (none)
            believe that your right to own property is more important than my right to control my own uterus.   An in protecting your right, they are willing to restrict the democratice process by relying on words in the constitution that are not even there.  

            And of course, this is not the first time they have been activist in the name of protecting private property.  They fought laws restricting child labor and food labeling at the turn of the twentieth century in the name of a completely absurd notion of "substantive due process."  Their rulings in favor of private property interests almost prevented the new deal.  

            These boys are no different than the activist conservatives of the last century.  Why can't grandma fight for change through the electoral process -- I mean, isn't that where conservatives think all decisions should be made.    OOOps!  I guess not when there's money involved.

            Talk doesn't cook rice.

            by sophiebrown on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:26:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Activist judges are teh EEEEEvil... (none)
            except when they're the right kind of activist, eh?

            In both of those cases, the liberal judges followed the law.  If you don't like a law, write to your congressional representatives and ask them to change it.

            •  hmmm. (none)
              And I assume you believe that where the law is Silent, it is permissible for the Court to come up with its Own viewpoint, and that, once it does so, even though said viewpoint has no legal foundation, it can't ever ever ever Ever be changed, as long as it conforms to our way of thinking.

              Edwards/Lincoln '08

              by jimsaco on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:40:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Right! (none)

                Of course we do. We just love it when that happens. It makes our tummies flutter.

                Naturally, I'd be interested in where you think it happened, though.

                If Congress passes a law outlawing something that I do not think should be outlawed, and that law is apparently constitutional, then I don't want the courts throwing it out because they don't like it. That's the worst kind of judicial activism. I'd much rather spend some time, you know, getting the law changed.

                We are a nation of laws. If you don't like that, then perhaps you'd be more comfortable living in a monarchy, or a religious state. But personally, I want my judges impartially weighing the law. That's the whole point of a judge.


          •  Be careful what you wish for... (none)
            In theory I agree with you that Raich (the drug case) was not a good decision.  If that case existed in a bubble, I would have found that the state can allow medicinal marijuana.

            However, the law does not exist in a bubble.  They based that decision upon older precedents, which uphold federal programs that we like.  Such as parts of the New Deal which rested on Wickard, saying the Fed. Gov't had a great deal of power to regulate intrastate commerce.  This case, at its essence, is not about medicinal marijuana.  Rather, it is about what rights do states have as compared to the Federal government.  

            Lopez and Morrison (cases dealing with a federal law banning handguns near schools and Violence Against Women Act) basically set limits on what the federal government could do.  this case, however, may vastly increase the power of the federal government to regulate economic activities.

            Some have argued that this case signals an end to Rehnquist's "new federalism", which I think might be a good thing.

        •  Hmm, good point (none)
          Any way we can tie him to Robert Bork instead? Borkito? (That sounds like a new Taco Hell product!)
        •  Thomalito? (none)
          Just thought I'd throw it out there. ;->

          "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

          by Timbuk3 on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:38:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The talking point already is (none)
          Scalia was confirmed 98-0 by a Dem controlled Senate. Why shouldn't Alito be confirmed as well?
      •  You got me! (none)
        Right after I hit submit, I kicked myself for missing that... :-)

        During the Roberts thing, I wasn't too sure of where you were going with it.

        But if this guy is anything like Scalia, I don't need you to tell me that he should be stopped.

        Scalito won't protect American interests, he'll be a representative for the discompassionate wing of the conservative movement.

      •  RE: "Scalito" (none)
        Check out Drudge. He's floating that "Scalitio" is ethnically insensitive and is a sign of racial discrimination against Alito.

        Very funny, but then I realized unless we jump on this they'll be talking about it on CNN by noon.

        Sent Drudge an email and told him, in the words of Pat Fitzgerald, "That talking point won't fly".

        Also told him to tell Rove that he was losing his edge.

        •  How assinine is that?? (none)
          They're BOTH Italian!!!  How can comparing one italian guy to another logically have ANY ethnic connotation??!!
        •  "Desperate Republicans play race card" (none)
          The Democratic meme should be that this contrived concern displays the desperation of the right to conceal the political character of the nominee.  

          Really, someone ought to let Sludge know That there hasn't been prejudice against Italians in America for around a century. Most Americans won't even realize that they both have Italian surnames until the right starts screaming "outrage" about this new "high-tech lynching."

          Has there been a nominee that they haven't used this ploy? It was a winner with Thomas so they use it every time the extremest nominee is also a minority. Let's hope someone has told the Democrats how to react by now.

          •  Sorry, not true (none)
            There are a lot of stereotypes against Italians. Just ask Mario Cuomo.

            From a personal perspective, when I was in high school 20 years ago, everyone assumed my father was in the mob. He was Italian and he had a business that made money.

            "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservative." -- John Stuart Mill

            by Auntie Mame on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:19:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure I agree. (4.00)
        Alito is likely to vote similar or to the right of Scalia.

        However, do you think it really is goint to help the cause by "framing" Alito as having the same views as someone who was overwhelmingly confirmed?  Someone who was the model for the type of Justice that GW promised he would appoint?

        No doubt that plays well to this site.  But will that play well to the Gang of 14?  

        To give the "moderates" comfort, the meme is going to have to be that Alito is worse than Scalia and Thomas.  

        •  Moreover (none)
          Calling "Scalito" assumes that Americans whom we need to persuade (a) know who Scalia is already and (b) don't like him.
          •  The majority of Americans (4.00)
            Don't want Roe overturned. They may be fine with the existance of one Scalia, but they do not want Scalia's dissents to become majority opinions.

            I will say one thing, I've been wishy-washy on the past two nominees, because I didn't think Roberts was worth expending capital on and I frankly didn't know what to think of Miers other than she was incompetant but probably better than whomever would replace her. I don't have to be wishy-washy on this. This is the war we were holding out for.

            Where's Ted Kennedy? I want his speech on this.

            •  this is the war (none)
              I'm just saying that relying on the "Scalito" nickname isn't enough -- we have to focus on what it means.
            •  Another tack. (4.00)
              Is he likely to be the sort of ideologue that would declare something like Social Security or Medicare unconstitutional? I heard something on NPR about him believing that a Federal law allowing leave to care for a sick relative was unconstitutional. That sounds like an extremist. The problem with pushing Roe is that I don't think most Americans seriously feel like it's under threat (even though it is). We've just had a fight on Social Security - one that we won - so we could just push that. Americans already feel like it's under threat, after all. Run the two fights into each other.
              •  Ask these questions of him (none)
                and let the Repugs feel awash with fear.

                inspire change...don't back down

                by missliberties on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:01:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Ex Pat (none)
                That is brilliant! I totally agree!
                Democrats need to go after him on other things besides Roe. Excellent post!What you mention will surely get peoples' attention and they will call their Republican Senator to complain about this if he is after Family Leave Laws, Social Security, Medicare, etc. As we know how SS reform ala Bush went a 2 ton balloon.

                America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

                by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:12:09 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  What about (3.50)

                The EPA and environmental regulation?  How about the Endangered Species Act?  Where does he fall on those two?  If it is all focused on Roe v Wade then some other potentially disastrous opinions will be ignored and the GOP will still manage to push him through.  Get ALL his laundry into the air so we can check it for unsightly stains.

                "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." --9th Amendment

                by praedor on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:38:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  What the majority of Americans want (none)
              Is not always what we get. For instance, since millions do not vote, I often wonder if everyone in this country voted who was eligible to vote, would Bush be President?
              I doubt the Majority of Americans favor this new Bankruptcy Law. I doubt the Majority of Americans
              are in Favor of the War in Iraq.
              I doubt the Majority of Americans want Mandatory Prayer in Schools. I doubt the Majority of Americans are against stem cell research.
              And the list goes on. It is WHO we elect that determines what will happen and the Judges in the Courts. I may be looking at this the wrong way so feel free to debate this. But all polls have shown for 2 years now, Americans think this country is going in the wrong direction. But due to other factors, they do not see that we need to boot the Republican bums out.

              America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

              by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:09:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, but there's a relation to the two (none)
                Pro-life candidates have been elected largely due to the complacency of the pro-choice majority. You ought remember that a fight like this strips away said complacency.

                Plus, here's a list of who really matters in all of this;

                1. Arlen Specter
                2. Lincoln Chafee
                3. John Warner
                4. Gordon Smith
                5. Olympia Snowe
                6. Susan Collins
                7. Lisa Murkowski

                Also watch:
                1. John McCain
                2. Ted Stevens
              •  A war of choice (none)
                I doubt the Majority of Americans
                are in Favor of the War in Iraq.

                On this one, I think you're wrong. In the run up to the war, the lowest polls I recall were something like 60/40 FOR the war, whereas it was the opposite in the UK.

                IMHO, it's this war, more than any of the other issues at hand that kept Bush in the WH.

                •  I apologize (none)
                  I should have been more clear..on the War.
                  You are right about the Run up to the War and the early months of the war. I do think the Majority of Americans were in favor of it. That has changed, however and I should have specified that.

                  America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

                  by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:11:15 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  The "Scalito" frame (none)
          You are right. This frame runs the level of giving him a left handed acknowledgement of his legal abilities and I think the polls show that the public wants a legally qualified person on the SC.

          But it also has to be demonstrated that this person is out of the mainstream of America, that he cannot be trusted to protect us from corporate wrongs a la Scalia.

          This webpage from the People for the American Way should serve as a template:

          •  The problem is that Scalia's number one rep (none)
            is that he is brilliant.  

            It's not that he is a crazy right winger -- it's that he's a brilliant conservative.  

            We need to paint Alito as a wacko.

            •  Scalia is not brilliant. (none)
              Anyone who uses "strict construcionist" or "original intent" as a serious philosophy is not brilliant. Scalia's "brilliance" is just a conservative meme repated over and over by the compliant media, like "Bush is resolute," or "Reagan is the Great Communicator," or "Nixon was a foreign policy expert."

              America: It's a good IDEA for a country ...

              by Tony Seybert on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:52:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  We have to Remember (none)
        He's replacing O'Conner.....not Scalia....I don't know if we would be able to scream as loud if that was the case.
        •  Why scream at all? (4.00)
          There is no mandate that the replacement judge must conform to the judicial standards of his/her successor.

          Ginsberg replaced White, who was significantly more conservative.  

          So those ranting about how O'Connor's replacement must be moderate would do well to remember history.

      •  How many of the public know (none)
        who Scalia is? We're all political junkies, we know. But do enough of the voters know?
      •  Family and Medical Leave Act (4.00)
        The family and medical leave act should be the frame in which to attack Alito.  Alito voted against it.  Although >65% of Americans do not want Roe vs Wade over turned, people in general are squeamish about abortion.

        People are NOT squeamish about the family and medical leave act.  People appreciate this act especially women after they have their babies.

      •  Where did you get the second quote? (none)
        Armando, you left the link out of the second quote. Can you update that? Thanks!
      •  Sloppy Seconds (none)
        If Alito is so great, why didn't Bush-lite nominate him the first time?
      •  No, more like Borkito (none)
        We have to compare him to the guy that was NOT confirmed because he was so unabashedly a wingnut.

        Scalia is sitting, so unless the country wants to impeach him, we can't argue that his standard of ideological fervor sets the bar for Alito.

        Alito is a right wing judicial activist.  Bush is going back on his pledge to avoid jurists who would legislate from the bench.  That's the only meme that would give us a credible attack on him that is consistent with our decision to give John Stare Decisis Roberts a pass.

        Also, I'd like to hear Senators ask Alito how he compares himself to O'Connor.  Say Sandra's name over and over and over so it's clear that the standard is to fill her (high-heeled) shoes.  Alito looks good if we compare him to Scalia, bad if we compare him to O'Connor, who's universally recognized as the center of the Court, not to mention her GENDER.

    •  You, me and everyone here have (4.00)
      a visceral hatred of Scalia, yes.  But do you really think most of the public have the slightest idea who he is or what he stands for?  This needs to be about issues, not about personalities.  Alito significance isn't that he's another Scalia, he's the death-knell for dearly held and dearly fought fundamental rights that the plurality in this country don't want to lose.
      •  The talking point (none)
        is that Bush is kissing the collective ass of the "moral majority"(which is neither). Pandering to mouth-foaming fundimentalists because they yell the loudest is not democracy.

        "I ain't no physicist, but I knows what matters"-Popeye

        by keefer55 on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:48:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  a nomination (none)
          that comes out of weakness.

          If Bush wasn't in such a weakened position he wouldn't have to kow tow to his base.

          What a shame that Bush will not let the country heal by appointing a moderate conservative.

          Of course if you want to rule with chaos, then Alito is perfect.

          inspire change...don't back down

          by missliberties on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:03:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bush (none)
            Is and Has always been a Divider not a Uniter.
            He was probably advised by Rove to pander to his religious right base. And he did that to change the subject of the Fitzgerald investigation and indictments. I think most of us saw this coming. I am not surprised. It seems Bush would rather divide the country than for Republicans to take shit from the Dobsonites.

            America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

            by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:16:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It is a Sad Day (none)
              for our country when the President of the United State (ie Rove) would prefer politics over governing! Just to appease his rabid right wing supports who are licking their chops for a fight. I find this disgusting!

              Is this what Bill Clinton meant....if you are a dem be ready to fight or go find something else to do?

              inspire change...don't back down

              by missliberties on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:09:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  ahhhhhhh pooh.... (none)
      you want to frame him...get code pink to dress up as hester prine and form a conga line march around the white house singing 'back into chattel again"

      and put up billboards that say   "my husband is my lord and master, i shall make no decision, take no action, i wont even breath without first asking for and receiving HIS permission"  according to alito.

      and put those billboard up in suburbia..where the 'security moms' live.

      "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

      by KnotIookin on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:28:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  ...and removed from ideological wars (none)
      We will lose the public if the argument against Judge Alito is fought on pure ideological grounds. Then, it becomes politics as usual.

      The pundits and legal scholars on NPR have done a terrible job of positioning this pick as anything less than Bush's elevation of a judicial activist who does not respect well-established legal precedents.

      BOP News: Unbossed... is why blogs are a threat to top-down media.

      by em dash on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:28:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not true (4.00)
        Here's my frame:

        This guy is ideological, and a kowtow to interest groups who bludgeoned his first nominee. He is obviously too beholden to the far-right interests. And he gave them everything they wanted at the expense of what Americans wanted.

      •  activist judge (4.00)
        keep pounding it over and over again. Remember all those Republicans that bitched about the activist judges that were ruling on gay marriage cases? Activist judges are baaaaad! Remind the Republicans that they said that over and over again. Activist judges bad. Judges that try to make laws from the bench that a majority of the public doesn't support is bad.

        Activist judges are bad! And while we're at it, remind them that lying is lying is lying -- if you support the impeachment of a president for lying about a blowjob, then you have to support the indictment of the VP's aide for lying.

        Activist judges. Lying to a grand jury is bad. Activist judges. Lying to a grand jury is bad.
        Activist judges. Lying to a grand jury is bad. Activist judges. Lying to a grand jury is bad.

    •  Here's the Frame (4.00)
      The withdrawal of Harriet Miers, an accomplished woman from the broader world of legal practice, coupled with the nomination of Alito demonstrates beyond any doubt that the Bush Administration is now fully owned by the extreme right wing of our nation, a faction so out of touch with the positions of most Americans on critical issues like abortion that we can and must rest assured that Roe v Wade will be history within the next couple of years.

      This seems to be what Reid is saying.

      I don't like the "Scalito" framing. Equating him to someone who's on the court but who we hate may be funny, but your average American will see it as a reason why this guy should be confirmed, i.e.: If he's like others up there how can you say he's not a qualified applicant?

    •  Here's some framing: (4.00)
      • Bush is a captive of the radical right; they are forcing a radical on a gutless president.

      • [Sc]alito has NO FAMILY VALUES; he wants to take away a mother's time from her newborn (FMLA).

      • Bush is making the SCOTUS into an all boys club.

      "Too many Democrats voted for this war." - Russ Feingold

      by Republic Not Empire on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:05:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  ok here's a quick frame.... (none)
      president Bush does NOT think alito is the best person for the job...he made that quite clear to America in his statement about Miers nomination.

      he called Miers the BEST person for the job...alito was available when he nominated Miers but he didnt pick alito because Bush was convinced he wasnt the best person for the job

      "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

      by KnotIookin on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:22:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  One ruling (none)
      Is this why he is unqualified to be on the SC?  Seems like rather slim pickings to me.  I don't know whether characterising his entire judicial philosophy based on this ruling will be enough to persuade the public, much less senators, that he is not qualified to be on the SC bench.  What else is there?

      "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

      by fishhead on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:35:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope all the Miers bashers are happy. (none)
    Scalito is close to worst case.
    •  Erm (4.00)
      Do you think this is Red State? Do you think anyone's bashing here made a difference?

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:17:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope. (none)
        But in the interest of remaining "reality based," I think it's worth noting what has happened here:  We lost a nominee who might have been a moderate, and now we've got Atilla the Hun.  

        I read a lot of posts from people thinking that GW wouldn't nominate an extremist if Miers went down.  I disagreed with that view.  I think we now know the reality.  Alito is very very bad.

        •  Sorta agree, sorta don't (none)
          I agree with you in the sense that I thought anyone to come after Miers would be our worst nightmare: in otherwords, this. On the other hand, I just couldn't bring myself to support a clearly incompetant nominee just for the sake of cynical partisan juggling.
          •  Competence was never the issue. (none)
            That was a conservative meme that far too many people on this site bought into.  This was a BIG BIG VICTORY for the conservatives and that may make GW much stronger than he was before -- certainly stronger than if Miers had made it to committee or been confirmed.
          •  /bYour worse nightmare was a woman (none)
            who shares his judical temperment.  There are several out there.  You got someone you should be able to block.  However, I never put it past a bunch of dems to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Your target should be Republican members of the judiciary committee, not other Senators.  Your arguements need to be reasoned and defensible.  Republicans can vote against this guy if you can paint him as anti-personal liberty and pro-life.  You need to raise doubt in two peoples minds.  Try not to screw this up.
        •  Well duh (none)
          Of course he was going to do this.

          I had no doubt.

          I had not doubt yesterday it would be Alito over Luttig.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:44:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then why (none)
            did the Democrats not do a single thing to try to prevent it? I don't see how we can anymore dispute the claim that Democrats are opposed to any Bush nominee, period. If we didn't support a single woman with basically zero conservative credentials, who will we support? Bush easily asserted that Miers would not be confirmed, based on the support of 0 Democrats to offset any far-right Senate opposition. Bush is also saying, "Why bother with another moderate nominee when the Democrats won't support him/her anyways." We blew it. We had the moderate (and I think closet liberal) nominee placed in our lap, and we sat idly (check that--we trashed her background and intelligence) while the far right hijacked the confirmation process.

            Out of rabid desire to say embarrass Bush with a rejected nominee (dumb, since he was already humiliated by the far-right rebellion), Democrats did nothing and we all now pay the price of someone further right than Scalia.

            •  An interesting viewpoint (none)
              Then why did the Democrats not do a single thing to try to prevent it? I don't see how we can anymore dispute the claim that Democrats are opposed to any Bush nominee, period. If we didn't support a single woman with basically zero conservative credentials, who will we support?

              You're making a pretty basic mistake: you're assume that there's only ever one reason to oppose a candidate.

              I would not support the nomination of, say, FDR, to the Supreme Court, if Bush were to nominate him. Not because he's a whacko conservative, and not because Bush nominated him... I would oppose it because he's dead.

              If Bush nominated someone who was:

              • Not a whacko conservative.
              • Actually competent.
              • Not, in fact, dead.

              Then I suspect he would have a pretty good chance of getting the Democrats on board.


        •  I don't think that "we (4.00)
          lost a nominee." Very few, if any dems came out against Miers. They all expressed interest in observing  her performance in the hearings.

          It was the wingers who brought Miers down. Now did any of the lefty blogs help by exposing some of her writings? Don't know. The wingers may have found them as well.

          Miers sank because the wingers didn't trust her, didn't trust W. picking her and really wanted a red meat fight. THAT'S HOW THEY RAISE MONEY!

          We kind of sat on the sidelines and watched. At least that's what I was doing.

          No sitting on the sidelines for this one! They want a fight, they've got one. Now both sides will be raising money and ire.

          HomeFromIraqNow Trying to stop the war one signature at a time.

          by RevDeb on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:44:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  "might " have been a moderate (none)
          or she might have been a third vote for Scalia, which makes her no worse than Alito.  Since she didn't have the qualifications or an interest in constitutional law, similar to  Thomas, to avoid embarrassment to herself she would have attached herself to another justice, like Thomas did in the same circumstance. We know to a certainty that she wasn't an independent thinker.

          It's all moot anyway since we had nothing to do with her fate.

          •  "might" have actually been a liberal (none)
            Single, supportive of affirmative action, supportive of abortion rights. Miers was a dream nominee, and Democrats did nothing to support her. That Democrats trashed Miers indicates to me that the Republicans were actually right when they said Democrats won't accept anyone Bush puts up there. We lost a closet liberal, and now we've gained someone apparently to the right of Scalia.
            •  We had noting to do with the failure of the nomine (none)
              You may think she was a closeted liberal, but that's quite doubtful in light of her conversion to fundamentalism and her fanatical adoration for Bush.  No liberals, and not too many conservatives believe Bush is the most brilliant leader ever.
              •  i am going to try this one more time (none)
                she was NOT a fundamentalist. she was an evangelical, maybe eve a conservative one, but not a fundamentalist. the word you are using as a very specific meaning, and if she was fundamentalist would single very specific things. please, if you are going to form an opinion base it on what she was not what you have labeled her without understanding the differences- and yes there are major differences between a fundamentalist and an evangelical. i have friends who are evangelicals who are liberal. there are no liberal fundamentalist
                •  Yes, but: (none)
                  The thing about Miers is that she would say one thing to one set of people and one thing to another set of people. That is what she did with the Roe issue. She answered that she was hard-cord anti-abortion when she ran for office in 1989, but then, she accepted Stare Decisis this year. But then, she backtracked and said she was misunderstood.

                  For such reasons, I did not trust her.

                  •  she also had speeches since then (none)
                    that weren't has clearly hardcore. i am not asking you to trust her- i am asking you to consider the choices in context. of the list bush has- the 20 candidates- was she the better choice or worst choice. one of the reasons i keep calling people here the perfect case scenario is that they start from what they want if we had a democratic president rather what arre they willing to compromise on. for me for example alito is a clear fillabuster whereas she may not have been.
                    •  That's exactly the point. (none)
                      I do not trust a person who says one thing to one group and another thing to another group. What we need to do is send a message to Bush that we need a nominee who is at least neutral towards human rights issues in the mold of Kennedy and O'Connor, who will respect settled law, including Roe and the Right to Privacy, and who is well-qualified.

                      As for Miers, she did some good things for human rights, but the fact that she was so willing to tell people what they wanted to hear on Roe means only she really knew. And she displayed a complete lack of respect for the senate by her lack of engagement with the process.

            •  Before she was 'born again' (none)

              I thought her support of abortion rights was before she'd become a born-again Christian?


          •  Blinky knew her heart and liked what he saw. (none)
            That was enough to scare the shit out of me.

            On the tax cut, it's a big decision. I did the right decision.

            by tinfoilhat on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:40:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Alito the Hun, you mean (n/c) (none)

          I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
          This is the dawning of the rest of our lives

          by Malacandra on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:19:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I never heard much bashing here (none)
      about Miers. And I'm sure the conservatives who bashed her the most are very happy this morning.
    •  Nominees should prove they're SCOTUS-worthy (none)
      It shouldn't hinge on accepting one piece of crap because another piece of crap might be worst. Your admonishment is ridiculous.

      CRAP IS UNACCEPTABLE. PERIOD. should be the starting point for any nominee to any position. Each one should prove s/he's qualified and worthy.


      Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

      by Peanut on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:26:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you are engaged in the perfect world (none)
        scenario ruse that hurts us. i would take a moderate average thinker or a genious far right wing nut- those were the choices.
        •  Ridiculous -- and who's this 'US' you speak of? (none)
          Which of your civil rights are on the block, and which are you willing to sacrifice for the Big D?
          Or are you speaking purely as an armchair wonk who expects a huge chunk of the population to accept second-class citizenship so Dems won't have to stand up and be an opposition party?

          Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

          by Peanut on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:40:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  what are you talking about? (none)
            this thread started off as a discussion about whether it was her qualifications or her views that nixed her nomination by the right. i don't think her qualifications mattered to right wing nut cases.  and i added that her qualification didn't matter to me. like them- i cared about her views-  hence my point that i would rather have a moderate than a right wing nutcase.  so again- what are you going off about when you are talking about the views side of the deal since that's not even the conversation that started this thread. please learn how to not be so reactive without first figuring out if there is an actual disagreement with the person you are talking. if you are disagreeing that because she was a conservative that means that we should fillabuster all choices- then we have an argument because thats not going to happen. i want someone who will up hold precedent even if they personally disagree with it- which would result in a stalemate on these nominees, versus someone like alito who is more than willing to overturn the rights you have.
            •  I don't work from a crystal ball (none)
              Judicial temperament and qualifications are a matter for confirmation hearings.
              In the absence of that, any assumptions (and implication) about Miers' potential performance on the SCOTUS are being pulled out of thin air.
              No one knows whether she'd be better or worse than Scalito. Let's see how he does at his confirmation hearings.

              Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

              by Peanut on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:12:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  LOL! (none)
                Miers nomination was pulled because she was insufficiently conservative.  She was seen as a potential Souter.  She was pro-AA, had feminist leanings, and had given a speech on abortion that caused the right to flip.

                Altito's extreme right wing views are well established, well documented, and unlikely to change.

                The flap over Miers was never about qualifications.  She was as qualified as some relatively recent Justices.  

                What happened with Miers is that the Right trotted out the "qualifications" card to mask their fear she was too liberal, and the left became a bit of an echo chamber because of the knee jerk tendency to want to bash Bush.

                Harry Reid played this pretty well.  A number of other Democratic Senators didn't.  When all is said and done, I suspect that we're all going to be questioning the basic competence of our party's strategic thinking.  If Alito makes it on the Court, we're all going to be wishing the Dems had lined up behind Miers and defended her nomination.

                •  And this should be done by HEARINGS -- (none)
                  -- not who gets the loudest and most soundbytes in the SCLM.

                  Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

                  by Peanut on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:55:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  choose your battles (none)
                    of course it's done in sound bites. that's the world you live in. god, some of you honestly scare me on my team. you can fight the battles that you can win- such as affecting which nominees are on the court, or you can fight against the way the american people do politics- by fighing the idea of soundbites- you choose because on is a wasted effort (fighting sound bites) whereas one is not. i am personally going place my bets on doing whatever people ask me to fight alito rather than arguing over meaningless things like how we fight alito
                    •  A hearing isn't a 'battle' but a Senatorial duty (none)
                      It's not voluntary or done on whim or permission. It's supposed to be carried out for every nominee requiring Senatorial advice and consent.
                      It's called government with checks and balances, regardless of who's in power.
                      Shake off the koolaid. Just because Mad King George and his merry band act like one-party government is the only way to go doesn't mean we never had a constitution.

                      Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

                      by Peanut on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:18:36 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  look i dont care about who the stuff you are (none)
                        talking about. this isn't intellectual masturbation for me. i am worried a nutcase is about to be put on the court. so keep talking about the non important stuff- i am going to focus my efforts on helping in my own small way to defeat this guy by whatever means necessary. i will simply leave you to benefit from our efforts as you argue with us about how we aren't doing it your way.
                        •  Having the Senate do its duty isn't 'my' (none)
                          -- way nor any partisan or ideological choice. It's a constitutional requirement of the Senatorial body to vet nominees.
                          That's not masturbating or an intellectual exercise.

                          Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

                          by Peanut on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 10:09:51 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                •  how could they? (none)
                  anyone defending her nomination could only embarrass themself

                  she was obviously a joke

                  why go down with the sinking ship

                  I believe in saving money. I believe in having a house. I believe in keeping things clean. I believe in exercising.

                  by The Exalted on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:01:28 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Miers deserved bashing... (none)
      My opinion is that it is nonsense to think that we could have saved Harriet to save us from something worse.

      I also think it's nonsense that this was part of an elaborate plan.

      Things are what they are sometimes, and what they are is a weakened president who never, ever wanted to fight the abortion issue in public in the open even in headier poll days; he wanted get it on the cheap, ala the Miers appointment.

      I didn't work so he caved because he's a weakened president at the mercy of his wild and crazy base.

      "For the Mardi Gras
      Neo-con domestic shock and awe.."--Rep. Major Owens

      by Cathy on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:08:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  not everything is about abortion (none)
        and she was not anti Roe based on a lot of indicators in terms of what she had said. you have went from a may no (again based on prior record) to a define no based on his present record. more than this, you now have someone who is so hard core that if a poster above is correct- he's against the family medical leave act among other things
        •  to the people that stopped her... (none)
          everything is about abortion.  That's what my comment was about.

          And I'm certainly not saying that Miers was more distressing than Alito, by far she was less so, but the comment I responded to had "us" as central to driving Miers withdrawal.  Not so.

          "For the Mardi Gras
          Neo-con domestic shock and awe.."--Rep. Major Owens

          by Cathy on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:39:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  cityduck right on (none)
      Miers was trashed so badly by Democrats for being a crony and unqualified that we blew the dream nominee and now face the potential of civil rights disappearing.
      •  When a complete cipher (none)
        is a "dream nominee," then one's standards of satisfaction have sunk very low indeed.

        "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

        by fishhead on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:40:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wake up! (none)
          We've got a Republican President, a Republican Senate, and a Republican House.

          Back when the Dems controlled the Senate, we got both Scalia and Thomas.  How could our standards not sink?  Anything else would no longer be reality based.

          •  If that is the case (none)
            Then I don't know how one nominee could be preferred over the other.  I'd rather deal with the devil I know (Alito) than the devil I don't (Miers).  And so far all I've heard about Alito is the ruling on informing one's spouse about getting an abortion.  I may have a completely tin ear, but that still seems like pretty slim pickings on which to say that this nominee is unqualified to sit on the SC.

            I realise that the broader issue implicit here is one of privacy, and that therefore it may speak to how Alito will rule on issues concerning privacy, especially as they relate to a woman's right to access abortion.  I just don't think that the case has been made that this is a reasonable supposition.  And by a case being made, I don't mean to me - but rather to the American people, and hence the people who will be voting on it.  I think the case will be hard to make, if this is all there is to go on.

            Please tell me I'm missing something.

            "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

            by fishhead on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:50:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are missing a lot. (none)
              >>>Then I don't know how one nominee could be preferred over the other.  I'd rather deal with the devil I know (Alito) than the devil I don't (Miers).<<<

              Your comment is inexplicable.  Because what you are really saying is that you'd rather have a confirmed die in the wool devil (Alito) than a possible moderate with liberal leanings (Miers).  

              >>>And so far all I've heard about Alito is the ruling on informing one's spouse about getting an abortion.  I may have a completely tin ear, but that still seems like pretty slim pickings on which to say that this nominee is unqualified to sit on the SC.<<<

              You either have a very tin ear or are a wing nut.  Alito thinks that a married woman should not be allowed to make health care decisions without her husband's approval.  That is the very definition of radical.  Alito is MORE conservative than Scalia.

              •  remains to be seen (none)
                I don't agree with the idea that anyone should have to inform other people about upcoming medical procedures - that is bad enough, so please don't misconstrue it as "approval."  I didn't say it wasn't bad - I just said that a single ruling seems like a pretty thin coin on which to derail a nomination, or even allow one to conclude how he'll rule on case x, y, or z.

                By the way, gratuitous insults (calling me a "wingnut") are really rude.  Have you some intimate knowledge of my posting history these past two years?

                "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

                by fishhead on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:07:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I really don't care if you choose tin ear or (none)
                  wing nut.  But those are the only two options for someone who thinks that Alito is NOT the worst possible case.  

                  His record is pretty well established.  You clearly are not familiar with Alito.  You will read more than enough over the coming weeks to wish Miers had got the job.

              •  since posting (none)
                Soonergrunt posted a good, comprehensive response outlining other rulings that suggest that Alito is, indeed, a menance to privacy rights.  So, yes, I now think he can be credibly opposed.

                "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

                by fishhead on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:11:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Uh (none)
      The religious right and the radical Republicans killed and bashed the Meirs nomination, not liberals.

      America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

      by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:18:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  True, but... (none)
        Because Democrats did not support her, there was a legimate concern that she wouldn't have been confirmed. If we had 45 Democrats on record saying we plan to vote for her, instead of 0, it would have been impossible to make the argument that she wouldn't be confirmed. Sure it would've been bold to come out and support a nominee before hearings, but when you get a complete shock in a closet liberal nominee, you have to jump at it, be proactive. Do not let the far right destroy her. Why is it okay to sit back and watch the far right take over the country?
      •  DINOs will blame liberals for their ills (none)
        ... regardless what happened. IMO, instead of waiting timorously by the wayside as they did, Dems should have been setting a bar for the kind of nominee they'd LIKE to see apart from Miers.
        As long as right-leaning Dems pander to that elusive RW voter who will never support them anyway, the Bush administration will continue rigging the judicial branch to enforce the Republican National Faith's version of Sharia Law.

        Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

        by Peanut on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:49:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you're implying I'm a DINO (none)
          you are sadly mistaken.

          Miers was far far far better than Alito and it was very easy to predict that we'd be getting an Alito, Luttig or Brown.  I and many others did predict it.

          So ... welcome to the reality based community!  We're a minority party.  GW pandered to the Dems with Miers (who was blessed by Reid), and his base smacked him down.  Your notion that the Dems could have any influence at all on the nominee to replace Miers is a pipe dream.  Miers was the nominee we had influence on.  

          •  Your assumption that any Sen should accept (none)
            ... whatever Bush throws out because the next POS might be worse is plain wrong.
            Senators have an interest in maintaining the powers of their body in government for now and the future.
            To redraw the traditional separation of powers simply because BushCo's flying monkeys are out in force is unacceptable to ANYONE who doesn't want one-party rule by Executive Fiat.
            Major constitutional changes shouldn't be based on an extremist, elitist minority exploiting a timorous media the reluctance of even more spineless Dems to call them on the carpet.

            Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

            by Peanut on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 10:18:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Do you have insight (none)
      Into what Miers would have been like?  She could have been as bad or even worse - it's not like there was any information to suggest anything.

      "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

      by fishhead on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:38:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not true. (none)
        She was covered at length in many diaries (some by me so click through my name) and front page posts.  She was pro-AA, pro-minority empowerment, concerned about the lack of progress in effectuating racial equality (complained Dallas was a segregated city), was feminist friendly, and was ultimately shot down when her 1993 pro-choice speech was discovered.  

        Alito is a nightmare.  

        There is a lesson to be learned from the past, but the real focus must be on the future.

        Miers is history.  What is important is salvaging whatever we can from the Alito nomination.

    •  she was a bush crony, and her views unknown (none)

      If she had made it on, it would have been good for us. We CAN'T vote for her, or we look like we're endorsing a bush crony. How do we ridicule bush for putting his incompetent cronies everywhere if we vote for them?

      The republicans had to put her on on their own, they decided not to, end of story. This will make us look better in a few years, not worse. Have some actual principles and fight. This is the best fight we could have hoped for. A weakened president nominating an uber extreme judge. If we can't win this one, then we are truly lost.

  •  The powder has been dry long enough... (none)
    Now is the time for a full court press. Now is the time for Harry Reid to demonstrate his alleged leadership prowess. Bush wants a fight. Let's give it to him.

    Let your madness run with mine

    by Paul Moeller on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:17:40 AM PST

    •  Its now or Whig time (none)
      This is the Democrats "finish battle"

      If they shirk it, they are done

      It's the Dishonesty, Stupid!

      by dabize on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:27:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  we fight or become a fringe Party (none)

        Let's stop feeding greed. In fact, propose we make it a commandment: The greedy shall not be fed.

        by idredit on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:30:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  if the Gang of 14 (none)
          Does not screw things up.
          Idiot McCain was just on MSNBC saying that this all revolves around what the Gang of 14 decide.
          So he is grabbing for power over Frist and elevating himself and the gang over the rest of the Senate. Fasten your seatbeats to see what the gang of 7 do within that Gang of 14.

          America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

          by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:20:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But (none)
            I hate Frist with a passion so if McCain decides to go after him on the Nuclear Option, so be it.
            I want to see the Repubs fighting among themselves as they were doing just last week.
            Our hope to see them fighting again is if Frist starts going for broke and hollering about Nuclear Option again. As that pisses off Specter, MCCain and all Democrats. Maybe the debate can also go back to this as most Americans say they want an Up or Down vote but they do not want to see the Fiibusters forever gone.

            America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

            by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:24:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  we'll see how (none)
              the up or down vote hyprocrisy plays this time. Meirs didn't need one. We'll remind them on that.

              Also, hope dems pull out all the stops, not sit back and watch GOPs eating their own.

              Let's stop feeding greed. In fact, propose we make it a commandment: The greedy shall not be fed.

              by idredit on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:58:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  In Times article (none)
            Graham was quoted as saying he would support the nominee. So one of the Gang of 14 is off the ranch.

            "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, who am I? And if not now, when?" (Hillel was a liberal)

            by 4jkb4ia on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:32:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not so (none)
              It was always expected that many Republicans in the Gang of 14 would vote for the judicial nominations. The key question is, will they decide that Dems have no 'extraordinary circumstance' that could justify a filibuster, and vote for the nuclear option?

              I've got blisters on my fingers!

              by Elwood Dowd on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:48:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  The forget where they where keeping it. (none)
      Right now there are 20 staffers running through the catacombs looking for the sigal marking our long lost store of Balls.

      eating popcorn at the end of days

      by Fernando Poo on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:40:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is there a link for Reid? (none)

    Cheney died a natural death - on the phone with Halliburton.

    by annefrank on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:18:06 AM PST

  •  GREAT Diversion from KIAs, from Katrina and (none)
    FEMA, from hand-cuffed Libbys and from under a cloud Roves, from soaring budget fiascos, from ... who is Haliburton ??

    for the next ... 2 months? 3 months? the news is going to be focused on the HUGE fight this crappy appointment is going to cause

    and by then the diversions they are considering now will be ready to come out of the oven and be delivered to the banquet of boobs known as the public.

    at least the Dems have a well run message machine to keep the focus where it belongs ...


    Grassroots Organizing Should Be for The Community, By The Community - NOT for "Leaders"

    by rmdSeaBos on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:19:04 AM PST

    •  Exactly (none)
      They win everytime, don't they? This will overshadow everything else...

      We can't let that happen. The blogs need to make sure Plamegate stays front page news, along with the Democrats. I can imagine, already, that the short-attention span MSN is already shifting big-time over this.

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

      by Dunbar on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:23:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This will be difficult (none)
        Fitzgerald is going to go back into hibernation, and the media is not going to engage in wild speculation about what will happen.

        "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, who am I? And if not now, when?" (Hillel was a liberal)

        by 4jkb4ia on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:34:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Alito = CYA on Plame (none)
        Bush may need SCOTUS support of executive privilege to keep Fitzgerald from getting closer to the truth about the Plame outing & the Niger forgery.

        This quote is taken from an article by Murray Waas and Paul Singer that appeared in the National Journal yesterday:

        Bruce Fein, a deputy attorney general during the Reagan administration who is now in private practice, argues that the White House has pressed the issue of presidential powers and executive privilege farther than any previous administration, and far beyond what the democratic process warrants.

        Miers would have voted the way Bush wanted on presidential powers and executive privilege.  But the extreme right doesn't just want a nominee who is conservative and pro-life, they want a nominee who is an activist conservative with a strong anti-affirmative action, anti-equal rights slant.  They want a nomination that will provoke a fight.  Bush needs the the far right to help with the spinning and stonewalling on the Plame outing, the Niger forgeries, and the subsequent Iraq failures.  This is why he had to jettison Miers and choose another nominee who will not only give Bush his pound of flesh on executive privilege, but will also give the extreme right the blood they so obviously crave.

        I used to live in the United States of America. Now I live in a homeland.

        by homeland observer on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:06:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not with a "Another Failed Decision" (none)
      We can connect ALL of these things by pointing to a President adrift, looking only to his "good old boys and crony network", making failed decision after failed decision, void of any moral footing after praising an indicted staffer accused of compromising national security with lies and obstruction of justice.

      There IS a thread through all of this. Reid and the others need to find it and trumpet it.

      George Bush: The Most Catastrophic Presidency Ever

      by TX Unmuzzled on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:27:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I HOPE they do (none)
        and if I HAD to bet my $550 net worth on

        the Dems getting stomped, or

        the Dems finding the thread and using the thread and winning with the thread ...

        I'd have to bet on the pros from Ailes, Atewater & Rove.


        Grassroots Organizing Should Be for The Community, By The Community - NOT for "Leaders"

        by rmdSeaBos on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:31:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes! (none)
        You are so right about that. The Sunday Talk shows were the first I watched in ages. And there was some tough talk by the media and even Tweety suggested reporters in the mold of Bernstein and Woodward go after this story and look at Cheney and dig deeper. I was pleased even though their wingnut guests were given too much time to say No Crime, let's move along. Now in less than 24 hours, MSM is back to gushing over Bush's brilliance in bringing his religious right base back. And the MSM is now saying, one every channel, that the Democrats are Imploding and are Incoherent.

        America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

        by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:27:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  this (none)
      is what they planned at Camp David the previous weekend.  remember Card cancelling trip for meetings at Camp David.  They put together plans to sandwich indictments between Miers withdrawal and nomination of scAlito (i.e. Scalia x 2)
    •  Isn't it today Scooter gets arraigned? (none)

      Let's stop feeding greed. In fact, propose we make it a commandment: The greedy shall not be fed.

      by idredit on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:59:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bring it on! (none)
    If we can label him, "Scalito" and cast him as a far right-wing activist, we could win this thing.
    •  Labels instead of intelligent debate? (none)
      Why not confront the nomination with actual commentary on his positions and decisions? Who do you think will be persuaded by a cheap stunt such as that, mind numbed robots? Call out the issues and debate them! How do you think he will address issues such as privacy (Roe), Miranda, Intelligent Design and campaign finance/speech? Why are those positions unacceptable for America? Make you case if you have one.
      •  Oy (none)

        The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

        by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:02:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Were you paying attention last month? (none)
        The number of questions that Roberts refused to answer "because I might have to rule on them" was only exceeded by the number of questions.

        We're not going to have a debate because the nominee won't engage and the right wing won't allow it anyway.

        Nothing at all will be lost by getting out ahead of this thing and painting this man as the radical conservative activist, out of step with the his peers on his own court and with american society and jurisprudence.  That is to say that we paint him as that which he is.
        We can't win this without a few Republicans turning, so we need to convince the consituencies of vulnerable Republicans that opposing this man is the proper course for their Senators.

        In prison, Tom Delay will no doubt be called 'the Hummer' by his fellow convicts.

        by soonergrunt on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:20:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Specter (none)
          Seems skeptical and a bit upset..will he cave the eternal question..Arlen can be a strange bird.

          America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

          by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:36:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We need him (none)
            Specter is the man we need. Like you said, he's quite strange. If he supports Alito, he will be going against pretty much all of his social positions. If the head of the judiciary committee comes out against it, I don't see how the nuclear option could fly.
            •  And Specter (none)
              Has built his career from Democrats voting for him as well as Republicans. A lot of Democrats support him and Labor here has even Endorsed him.
              He is where he is because Independents and Democrats and not just Republicans voted for him. I never voted for him but I understand why some do. It does bother me that all these Democrats on the county level defend and like Specter and endorse him. But Specter does not get a lot of pressure here in PA to be moderate and not to go the dark side. But the thing is, at his age, I doubt Specter runs again as he still has 5 years to go and he is 75 and dealing with cancer.

              America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

              by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 10:30:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Taking a stand (none)
          Do you think it's appropriate for a nominee to take a stand on issues such as abortion? If she did, and you didn't like the position, would you be screaming for the now justice to recuse herself if a related issue came to the SCOTUS? How many justices you like would have been able to rule on the issues you now hold in reverence if they had been held to the same standard? Of course it is inappropriate for a nominee to refuse to address an issue that may come before the court. That's true in any court. Additionally, issues per se are not presented, cases are, and they come loaded with facts and prior opinions and are viewed in terms of not only those characteristics, but also stare decisis. It is those facts and prior opinions that get argued. Roe is not going to come before the court again, and it wasn't an abortion issue anyway, it was privacy. No nominee is going to come out as opposed to stare decisis, and no nominee in their right mind will comment on anything but commitment to the Constitution and the position of SCOTUS as adjudicator and not legislator, regardless of what side of the aisle they would sit on.
          •  Oy (none)

            The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

            by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:01:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Judges ARE legislators (none)
            To deny otherwise is to deny that the sun will set tonight and rise tomorrow.  Every time a judge issues a ruling, he's either supporting or opposing the current state of legislation on the topic under controversy.
            We already know how this judge will vote.  If he can find a way around Stare Decisis, he will.  His own contemporaries on the third circuit have questioned his dissents time and again on things that were considered settled law, according to NPR and others, notably on this site.

            The average person doesn't understand when we say that "Roe was a privacy case."  They see it as an abortion case.  The average person isn't like us.  They haven't read the constitution since Junior High School, and they don't obsess over the minutiae of the personalities on the court and their beliefs and motivations.  It doesn't occur to them that there is no black-letter declaration in the Bill of Rights for a right to personal privacy, and that the lack of same is the very justification for people like Alito to declare that Roe has no basis in consititutional law.
            When I say that we need to be engaged with the public on this, I am saying that we need to educate them as to the implications of putting such a man in the pivotal position on the most powerful court in the nation.  I'm saying that we need to inform them about the fact that a decision overturning Roe, which WILL come in short order if Alito is confirmed will open the door to increased surveillance by government agents.  Alito will, given the chance, overturn critical portions of Title VIII, Title IX, and other portions of federal law.
            People for the American Way describes Alito as an Originalist--one who believes that the Constitution has been in exile for the last 70 years.  Think about that for a minute.  This guy believes that everything that the federal government has done for 70 years, every SCOTUS ruling and every ruling of a subordinate court is illegitimate.  The Voting Rights Act, Gideon v. Wainright, Miranda v. Arizona, and every single ruling of the court and action of Congress that expanded or protected personal freedoms in that time will be under the gun.
            So yeah, I'd say that now is the time to work the public, especially those people who are gettable in swing states up in 2006.  The fundies won't wait if they get Alito on the court.  They've been preparing for this day for thirty years.  They'll attack immediately.
            If Democrats are to stand for anything, if we are to have relevance and more importantly, to deserve relevance, the time is now.

            In prison, Tom Delay will no doubt be called 'the Hummer' by his fellow convicts.

            by soonergrunt on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:46:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Busing (none)
              When the court decided that to address the issue of segregation in Oklahoma City schools it had the power to order federal management of of the school district, they destroyed downtown OKC through white flight. We are just now recovering. The problem with judges as legislators is that there is no recourse for the public. The public should decide public policy through election of law makers and the introduction, debate, and enaction of laws through the legislative process. Judges and for that matter executive agency wonks via regulation should not. Unless you think that the public has no place in deciding public policy, you have to be against judges as legislators.
              •  Let us get rid of the judiciary, then (none)
                for there is nothing but legislating from the bench for them.  One cannot be a judge and not make decisions that affect the meaning and application of the law and the constitution.
                So let us destroy the judiciary and return to those glorious days when disagreements were settled with pistols at ten paces, because there is no way for a judge to judge without interpreting the meaning, and therefore the application of the law.
                Without judges doing their jobs, Jim Crow would be the order of the day in Oklahoma City and elsewhere.  African Americans would still be sending their children to schools of squalor and disrepair if there even were schools to which to send their kids.

                Those who state that judges have no business legislating from the bench have no understanding of what judges do.

                In prison, Tom Delay will no doubt be called 'the Hummer' by his fellow convicts.

                by soonergrunt on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:31:30 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Clarifying the role of the people in all this (none)
                  I'm having a hard time seeing the line between the public getting all upset about this jurist, and the public having a role in the public policy debate. Should the public have an opinion on the nomination and confirmation of the judge, but not on the policies and laws the judges enforce and manipulate?

                  Why bother to vote for legislators if the judges can use Alice in Wonderland dictionaries to redefine what the law means? Seems kind of moot. The judges should decide based on the facts if the law has been broken, and/or whether the law itself was unconstitutional. If it was, strike it and send it back to the legislators for rework.

                  •  Just suppose for a moment (none)
                    that the founding fathers had some inkling of what they were doing when they made the federal judiciary lifelong appointments, after advice and consent of the Senate.
                    No, the people do NOT get any input on a judge's decision after that judge has been nominated by the elected president and confirmed by the elected senators.  Whatever input they desire is to be achieved by voting for those offices.  That's the system.

                    Congress proposes and the president disposes.  In those cases where the congress has proposed imprecisely, or in contravention of the Constitution, or the president has similarly disposed, it falls to the judiciary to clarify or repair.  They are to do this free of the cacauphony of the masses and the passions of the moment, and free of interference by those in the legislative and executive branches who should've done their damn jobs correctly in the first place.

                    In an earlier posting, you blamed forced bussing for white flight from downtown OKC.  I blame the school districts and local governments who refused to properly enact and execute policies that actually lived up to the promise of all men being equal.

                    In prison, Tom Delay will no doubt be called 'the Hummer' by his fellow convicts.

                    by soonergrunt on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 11:04:06 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Founder's Intent (none)
                      It is not clear that the founders intended on judicial review, it's certainly not explicitly stated. I think the life long appointment was intended to keep public opinion from impacting decisions for or against a party, not to keep the public from having a say in policy making. Your position (if I understand correctly) is that the court should fix badly written law, with no review excepting their own. I liken that to a Presidential line item veto, allowing the president to fix badly written law. Do you also accept that premise?

                      As to OKC and bussing. I wasn't here in the 70's so I don't know what it was like. I just know that whatever the court did, it created Edmond and the like as an unintended consequence. And that exacerbated the situation. It is because they caused that kind of unintended consequence, and there was no ability to unhook the ruling based on the bad outcome, that judges should not make policy decisions.

                      •  Well, (none)
                        I wasn't here in the 70s either.  White flight isn't just a problem of forced-bussing communities.
                        As far as courts and judicial review, most of the founding fathers were around for Marbury v. Madison.  If they didn't like it then, one figures they would've done something about it.  The problems of courts setting policy, as in forced-bussing, occurs when governmental bodies fail through action or inaction to adhere to court rulings generally.  I do agree that certain actions do step over the line, but I don't see any way out without ammending the constitution, and in any event I don't know what would be better.

                        In prison, Tom Delay will no doubt be called 'the Hummer' by his fellow convicts.

                        by soonergrunt on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 04:27:51 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Equality, Rights and the Courts (none)
                          You raise a foundational issue. One of the brilliant balances in the Constitution is the establishment of a representative democracy, juxtaposed against a protection of the minority. One of the primary concepts is that the majority decides to protect the minority against certain pressures to conform to the majority position. The majority does this explicitly, as called out in the Constitution via the Bill of Rights and other Amendments. It is not a natural condition for the majority to give up this power. In the US there are not some undefined set of human rights that we set out to expand every day in the courts. There are explicitly described civil rights that the public chooses through the amendment process which constrain the actions of the majority as expressed in the laws we elect representatives to propose for enactment. When the court takes it upon itself to further constrain the majority, they subvert the process. In our system, the government does not have the power to give additional civil rights to minorities, only the people do, because the majority alone holds the power to restrain the majority. When the court found in Roe implied rights where no explicit rights exist, they undertook to redefine the relationship between the people and their governments, and we have suffered ever since. We should have amended the Constitution to define additional rights such as to privacy. If the public does not support that concept, then the rights should not exist. The Roe decision is in fundamental conflict with many laws, such as those regarding drug use, prostitution, indentured servitude (as distinguished from slavery), suicide, organ donation, birthing for hire, contract rights and limitations of all sorts, etc. It is poor policy, and everyone knows it. It may be the end point to which the Constitutional process would have arrived, but the process by which we arrived there has left much carnage to our people and our laws.

                          Bussing is a legislative end point reached by the courts without popular consensus of the governed. As such it has not only had unintended consequences, it has been difficult to fix, and has not attained the goals for which it was intended. The wrong decision, reach in the wrong way, by the wrong institution, creating the wrong result. Could it be worse?

                          •  Very well put (none)
                            As I said, I don't know how to fix it.  The problem is that the majority, while recognising that the minority should have rights, and that those rights should be protected, is made up of individuals who do not want the enforcement of those rights to be made against themselves.

                            I'd like to thank you for your work here.  It's given me much to think about.  I'm not sure that I agree with everything you've written, or even that I can agree, but you've done a great job of presenting your side.

                            In prison, Tom Delay will no doubt be called 'the Hummer' by his fellow convicts.

                            by soonergrunt on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 07:51:41 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Radical conservative activist (none)
          Don't you have to know things before you can make judgements?  I think that's all that was being suggested.  All I've heard about is the Casey case.  I haven't done any research yet so I don't know what else can be said about the guy.

          "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

          by fishhead on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:42:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not just Casey (none)
            In Doe v. Groody, Alito agued that police officers had not violated constitutional rights when they strip searched a mother and her ten-year-old daughter while carrying out a search warrant that authorized only the search of a man and his home. [Doe v. Groody, 2004]
            In Bray v. Marriot Hotels, the Majority, responding to Alito's lone dissent:
            The dissent's position would immunize an employer from the reach of Title VII if the employer's belief that it had selected the "best" candidate, was the result of conscious racial bias. Thus, the issue here, is not merely whether Marriott was seeking the "best" candidate but whether a reasonable factfinder could conclude that Bray was not deemed the best because she is Black. Indeed, Title VII would be eviscerated if our analysis were to halt where the dissent suggests.

            Also, I refer you to this discussion of Alito's position on the Family and Medical Leave Act.  You know he's out there when Rehnquist says it.
            These are but a few of the rulings he's made that are, to put it politely, nuttier than squirrel shit.  Others will be found in short order.

            In prison, Tom Delay will no doubt be called 'the Hummer' by his fellow convicts.

            by soonergrunt on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:02:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for this (none)
              Yeah, the guy sounds like a menance and - more importantly - it sounds like there is plenty of stuff out there to mount a successful campaign of opposition.

              "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

              by fishhead on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:09:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Worth a shutdown (4.00)
    I think this guy is worth a government shutdown and all the potential political consequences that may have for democrats. We must convey by every means possible that this guy is will be extreme on every conceivable position. Destructive to environmental protections, reporoductive right protections, worker's rights protections, minorities rights protections. He is dangerous and I think that is the word we need to use for him.
    •  Couldn't agree more (none)
      Shut the whole miserable government down . . . hell, I could easily make the case for that given the daily disasters emanating from the Bush Family Crime Ring.

      There comes a time when you need to stand for the common good no matter how hard that might be. This is that time.

    •  But do we have 41 votes ? (none)
      •  If we don't (none)
        I am staying home next election.
        •  Please reconsider staying home (none)
          Or otherwise you risk Bush achieving his dream of having a Permanent Republican Majority.
          I heard a roundtable discussion about this and Bush could care less about history, legacy but he does care about creating and maintaining a Permanent Republican Majority. We want Republicans to stay home, not Democrats who are displeased. WE can go after those Democrats who cave individually but not as a my thought. Otherwise, we are all are punished if we stay home and blame ALL Democrats for the Sins of a Few.

          America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

          by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:41:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Democrats, a majority, are self marginalizing (none)
            Democrats should not look to Republicans to be blamed for the marginalization of the progressive movement. It is self induced, and comments about "screwing" folks who disagree and staying home and shutting down the gov't make it even more likely to continue in the future.
            •  Democrats (none)
              Have indeed marginalized themselves. But it's for lack of fighting for what they believe in, not for positions they take. My vote for Debby Stabenow gets me exactly the same result as a vote cast for the wingnut who is running against her. Zero, zilch, nada. Democrats in the Senate are so weak that they may as well not be there. This is the final test for the democrats. If they don't fight here, I am done with them.
              •  Then what, Green? (none)
                Move to Canada or Finland? They (Senators) don't fight because they want to be re-elected. The party (such as it can be called a "party") is full of single issue wingnuts that fight passionately for their cause but stay home for anyone elses.  There is no consensus issue except hatred of Republicans that gets them involved. There is no central theme or platform. I'm still waiting (since 8/22) for Kos to announce the DLC killer stratefy that will unite the factions and cast out the appeasers and backroom soul sellers.

                As long as Democrats continue to fight single issue arguments, and ignore the need to fashion a central unifying theme set the cause is lost. What do pro labor and pro international human rights activists have in common? How does that relate to helping the disadvantaged?  How do those groups come togther to form a consensus with the reproductive rights crowd?

                Defense against Republicans isn't enough. Offense requires coordination and thematic action.

                •  Kos has said nothing (none)
                  But other posters have been very consistent about where the Democratic message needs to be. Each party-defining post has mentioned health care, education, the environment, real homeland security,  fighting religious bigotry, financial responsibility, and ethics in government.
                  Economic posts also draw a great deal of interest. These issues are about restoring the common good, and there is a large balance that wants to see them addressed. Politicians who can convince the public they can address these themes will control the center. I think that they will appeal to social liberals if they can show that they will not pander to the minority of Americans who actively want to take people's rights away.

                  "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, who am I? And if not now, when?" (Hillel was a liberal)

                  by 4jkb4ia on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:49:43 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, but I'm at that point too -- (none)
            After 11/03 I switched my reg to an 'I' pending some sign that I had a party that represented a vision for equality, workers' rights, and sound economic practices and foreign policy.
            I haven't seen that. Apparently, my only choices are between an untrammeled right wing juggernaut and one that isn't meaningfully opposed by Democrats.
            If it works out the same in the wash, seven years of actively supporting the Dems (beyond voting) to see them not give a heroic morning crap about my interests was a waste of my time. I'm still giving them the benefit of the doubt, but time's running out.
            My life is half over. I no longer expect Democrats to say outright that my inalienable right to equality IS NOT A RADICAL CONCEPT.

            Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

            by Peanut on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:07:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  okay (none)
      I thought the complete incompetence and recklessness of our current government already justified a shutdown.

      I'm not that opposed to Alito, but I'm still in favor of a shutdown.

  •  It's time to put our heart on our sleeve. (4.00)
    CNN have a poll:
    Sixteen percent said it is essential that the nominee would vote to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, and another 16 percent said it is a good idea.

    But 42 percent said a nominee who opposes Roe v. Wade would be a bad idea.

    Fuck that 32%, we know who they vote for.  Make this fight absolutely and totally about Roe v. Wade.  If Alito won't guarantee not to compromise (in any way) a woman's existing right to choose, filibuster him.  Let's be the Choice party.

    •  we should (4.00)
      not be a choice party but a rights party.  if we can cull pithy quotes from his dissent on casey and manage to disseminate it to the public, senate democrats will have a viable argument.  we need to underscore the retardataire and specious nature of this logic.  we also need to make this an issue about the rights of underrepresented and marginalized groups.  if this specious logic can be applied to roe, will it also be applied to laws affecting african-americans and other oppressed peoples?  these are the questions to be asked.  i also advise a large showing during the senate floor debate.  
      •  I agree with you, (none)
        but abortion and contraception are the touchstone issues simply because they affect all women (and a sizeable number of men).  Absolutely we should be trying to protect all rights for all people, but the more we broaden the focus here, the more we offer the opportunity to fragment consensus.  There are plenty of people out there who want to keep control over their (or their partner's) uterus, but who'd find other of our cause-celebres just a little too 'affirmative action' and 'liberal'.  If we lose focus, we risk losing them.
        •  But on the reverse (none)
          There are people who are unsure how they feel about abortion, but sure as hell don't think racial profiling is acceptable, or that detainees should be tortured.
          •  Or that contraception should be legislated (none)
            by legislators or judges, or controlled by wingnut pharmacists.

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

            by adigal on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:14:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  or that.... (none)
              ...a family member should get time off to care for a sick relative.

              ...a mother should have the right to spend time with her newborn child before going back to work. Hell, if you're anti-abortion, you're pro-child right? And what's more pro-child than letting mom stay at home a little longer?

            •  good point (none)
              Talk to some anti choice who are not rabid but they are highly in favor of contraception being readily available. They do not want to see the birth control pill hard to get. This is especially true for people who are in those child rearing, childbearing years. I have even met some religious right people who say they favor contraception and use it regularly as unwanted pregnancies are not something they want to even think about or deal with. But they are against abortion should they get pregant.  But when I tell those who are not hardcore wingers that contraception could be in danger, I get a response that is Unexpected! They say,
              NO Contraception must be legal and Available..appeal to these types is a good idea for Democrats !!!!!!

              America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

              by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:49:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely ... (none)
            ... and I don't get it: Why are all the several hundred comments about the nomination only analyzing Scalito's view on Roe vs. Wade? How about, like, people being sent to prison for years without any kind of due process? Or fighting a war without a declaration of war by Congress? Why does everyone so readily accept the right wing's frame that abortion is the only matter at stake here?
      •  WEST WING...... (none)
        does larry odonnell have a mole in roves office?  every sunday night's west wing episode this season has mirrored exactly what is going on in our political process the following monday morning...

        fer instance, last night was all about ABORTION rights and quite an interesting episode it was and this mornin we get ALITO.

        odonnell laid out a new frame for the democrats to use...concerning a womans right to choose (if they pick it up) and vinnick was caught between a rock and the hard right.

        the episode (for those that missed it) ended with a face to face between the two candidates where they both bemoaned that they were reduced to fighting over abortion instead of debating the BIG issues our nation faces and in the end, without spin doctors and political advisors to stop them, they shake hands and agree to a REAL DEBATE (wow whatta concept)

        this morning our nation was once again thrown into the abortion arguement patch by the herd right and chicken bush.

        which makes next sundays West Wing episode all the more intriguing..its going to be a LIVE hour long debate about serious national issues between vinnick and santos...and its going to make the monday morning bs from the real politicans sound extremely wanting in comparison.

        does west wing have an audience? are people watching it besides the left wing of the democratic party?  what is the market share of west wing?  anyone know the numbers?

        "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

        by KnotIookin on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:34:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (none)
        It is about Human Rights, Privacy, and Making our own choices about Medical Care. Make the discussion about Human Rights, Freedom, Medical Care, some people I talk to are opposed to abortion but do cave when someone says..." Do you want the government in your bedroom or in the doctors office with you making your decisions?". Then they back down more easily and say..." you have a point, that makes me squeamish that the government has a say in my medical decisions..that is wrong".

        Extend it beyong abortion to setting precedents for other Private decisions and Medical decisions.  As it could someday affect other medical decisions we all have to make regarding treatments.

        America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

        by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:44:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Democracy in action! (none)
      What % do you think would support that which seems to be your opinion? Abortion any time, any place, for anybody, paid for by taxpayers, some of whom object? Do you support abortion on the basis of genetic composition? Eugenics? As casual birth control? Post viabilty?
      These positions create the polarizing argument. They are wedge positions. And they are every bit as extreme as the no-abortion position. And these unreasoned positions cause Democrats to lose elections. While you're at it, you may as well stipulate that all Democrat politicians must support abdication of control over the US military to the UN, and 100% taxation on income and capital gains.
      It is a recipe for not only losing, but also eliminatoin of any chance for intelligent debate on the issues. If the issues are important, and the positions are demonstrably correct, then public debate is the path to control over decision making. Make you case!
      •  Oy (none)

        The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

        by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:03:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (none)
        I object to war, and my tax dollars pay for that.  I object to abstinence-only sex ed, and my tax dollars pay for that.  There's simply no validity to the argument that reproductive choice should be limited for all because some people don't like it.
      •  Leaving aside my personal beliefs (none)
        on abortion, which are that it should be freely available for all, no questions asked via a taxpayer funded national health service, the point I was actually making wasn't about extending it beyond where it is currently is in this country.  I know my views aren't the consensus.

        I said that if Alito doesn't guarantee not to compromise the status quo on reproductive rights, there should be a filibuster.  Remember, the plurality in this country are happy with the way things are.  Very few of them think abortion is a wonderful thing (I certainly don't), many are downright squeamish about it.  But they believe it's a fundamental right that should not be denied.  And that's the position the Democrats should go to the mat to defend.

        It's not about extending anything (and I certainly don't know where your Eugenics extremis came from) - it's about maintaining what so many have fought so long to achieve.

        •  Leaving aside my personal beliefs... (none)
          The average pro-lifer believes that the current position supported by the pro-choicers is any one, any time, any body for any reason, paid for by taxpayers, including eugenics.  Without limitation means "for any reason" and includes abortion on the basis of the sex of the baby, or IQ potential, or hair color. I don't believe a neutral survey would show that a plurality agrees with that position.
    •  here's the problem (none)
      Pro-lifers' (or anti-choicers') power in the Senate is disproportionate to their numbers in the general population.

      A candidate that states an intent to overturn Roe would be killed by the Dems. A candidate that states an intent to maintain Roe would be killed by the GOP.

      Every candidate, regardless of position on Roe, must remain silent on the issue to get confirmed. Don't take silence on the issue as a sign of intent to overturn.

      I think that Republican strategists like Rove want to keep Roe. Overturning it would piss off a majority of Americans and keeping it makes for a great campaign issue.

      Furthermore, I don't think Bush personally wants to overturn Roe. So, I doubt he'd nominate a guy he privately knows intends to overturn Roe.

    •  now 50% say NO (none)
      27% undecided, 24% yes (75K votes)
      Noon EST
  •  Damn! (4.00)
    I can't say enough about Harry Reid.

    Ah, well. Third time's a charm, chimpy! And Sam, how's it feel to back up the worst back-up in history?

  •  Ha! (none)
    What happened to the claim that nominees were refusing to be chosen because the confirmation process was too nasty? LOL...
  •  This is Reid's Homerun - Not Bush's (4.00)
    This release from Reid is a home run -- connecting Miers to the extremists that have hijacked Republicans and the Executive Branch. "Why does the radical right embrace THIS nominee over the last one?" Brilliant frame for investigation. Why no diversity?

    "Old boys club." Cronyism. Male chauvinism. Fucking brilliant.

    Bravo Senator - now get the rest to fall in line for a momentous fight that mainstream progressives have every right and chance to win.

    George Bush: The Most Catastrophic Presidency Ever

    by TX Unmuzzled on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:24:15 AM PST

  •  Strike One Swinging...I Hope Y'all Get More Swings (none)

    This nomination doesn't deserve "an especially long hard look."

    The message has to be: Alito is out of the mainstream. Period. This nomination deserves to be stopped.

    Instead, the Democratic message is, once again, "we're considering acting as an opposition party...get back to us in a few days to see what our decision is."  Of course, by then, it will be too late. Nobody awards gold stars in politics for appearing sober and sensible.

    Enjoy your reproductive rights and the separation of church and state while they last!

    GreenSooner is the Rufus T. Firefly Chair in Freedonian Studies at the Poorman Institute for Freedom and Democracy and All the Ponies You Can Eat

    by GreenSooner on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:25:09 AM PST

    •  Absurd (none)
      Reid has to frame it like that.

      PFAW doesn't.

      Don't be ridiculous.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:26:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kennedy and Biden Came Out Against Bork (none)
        ...long before hearings began.  Indeed, Kennedy did so in a matter of hours.

        Why can't Dems do that this time?

        GreenSooner is the Rufus T. Firefly Chair in Freedonian Studies at the Poorman Institute for Freedom and Democracy and All the Ponies You Can Eat

        by GreenSooner on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:29:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  because . . . (none)
          . . . we had a majority in the Senate when Bork was nominated.  Biden chaired Judiciary.
          •  So How Is This Different? (none)
            The task is still the same: rally the maximum number of votes against the nominee, whether to filibuster or to defeat him, while winning the battle for public opinion.

            Being in the minority certainly makes the job more difficult, but I simply do not understand why it dictates fundamentally different tactics.

            Please explain how, tactically speaking, being in a minority means that the best way to rally votes to one's side is to sound as if one is carefully considering a nomination, rather than coming out swinging against it?

            GreenSooner is the Rufus T. Firefly Chair in Freedonian Studies at the Poorman Institute for Freedom and Democracy and All the Ponies You Can Eat

            by GreenSooner on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:36:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's Stagecraft (none)
              We're more likely to get Americans to turn around to our side on this if we look like we're being thoughtful and reasonable rather than looking like we're reflexively opposing this guy because Those Damned Feminists Made Us (or something).

              Judicial filibuster wasn't on the table back then.  If it was, you think Thomas gets confirmed 52-48?

              •  In Fact, Dems Ultimately Blew the Thomas Fight (4.00)
                In part because they put all their money on the sexual harrassment issue (which should have been disqualifying, I'll grant) rather than also emphasizing his out-of-the-mainstream constitutional views. Remember: before Anita Hill appeared, that nomination was going to sail through the Senate.

                GreenSooner is the Rufus T. Firefly Chair in Freedonian Studies at the Poorman Institute for Freedom and Democracy and All the Ponies You Can Eat

                by GreenSooner on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:49:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I've been thinking lately (none)
                that stagecraft is over-rated.

                It's probably good for Reid to be calm and collected because that's who he actually is . . .

                . . . but beyond that . . . fuck a bunch of stagecraft. This guy is fundamentally unacceptable, and no amount of questionning is going to change that.

                Everyone knows the lines are 95% drawn. I say let the battle begin.

        •  Which one of those two... (none)
          was the Senate Democratic Leader at the time?
        •  and also because... (none)
          ...Bork was notorious to a lot of the public as the man who fired Archibald Cox. Saying "we already know enough about Bork to oppose him" was credible.

          I've got blisters on my fingers!

          by Elwood Dowd on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:40:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'll see your absurd (none)
        and raise you a 'nonsense.'

        Reid may have to play it cool so he looks like the reasonable person he is, but there's no reason for any other Dem to be equivocating at this point.

        Soonergrunt makes the case. This nominee believes that it is useful to think of women as property of their husbands . . . responsible and accountable to them on matters of personal health and choice. I say come out fast and hard and clear.

        Do. Not. Blink.

        •  Two things (none)
          This is Senator REID's statement.

          That was GREENSooner, not SoonerGRUNT.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:42:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  All those sooners (none)
            look alike to me.


            Hey man. We're on the same side here . . . and our differences with regards to tactics are miniscule if they exist at all.

            (That's probably true for 75% of those here at Kos - though I have noticed a fair number of troll-suspects sliding in this morning.)


            •  Trolling... (none)
              Is this guy the one to lose the filibuster capability on? Once gone SCOTUS and every other nomination will be pure party line. In that situation, any inclination of the majority party to consider the minority position will be gone.
              •  I think he is. (none)
                There comes a time when you have to take a stand for integrity and the common good. This looks like that time to me.

                Reid has said he would shut down the government if the wingers go nucular. I'd support that.

              •  refusing to use a fillibuster (none)
                out of fear of losing it meas that for all intensive purposes, you've lost it already. bush ad the rep[ublicans are weak, and have shown themselves to the american public to be power-hungry and unreasonable. if they try to nix the fillibuster, we can still slow the senate down to a crawl procedurally, and then make the case to the american people during the subsequent fight that the right doesn't care about democracy, only their own power.

                you guys are holding a bad hand of cards, and are about to get one hell of a payback for being so contemptuous of the constitution and so hostile to the idea of a loyal opposition having a say in the consensus-driven senate.

                i say call 'em on their goonish threats.

                crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

                by wu ming on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:41:39 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Okay, I'll buy that (none)
                  Let's ask Reid to announce that this guy will be fillibustered due to his stand on abortion. No pussyfootin' around. Let's not bother with wasted debate on a guy that won't pass. Let's give the President a list of folks that won't be fillibustered and stick to it. At that rate, O'Connor will be on the court till she dies. What will the 2006 results be after Congress grinds to a halt? What can Roberts do as CJ if he sees the SCOTUS appointment processes being manipulated by the Democrat minority. Can he refuse to hear cases? Can he reschedule cases to wait for the logjam to break? Will this politicize the SCOTUS in fact? Is this hard stance good for anything but satisfying egos?

                  Is there a rational middle ground on abortion somewhere between never and anyone anytime for any reason?

                  •  yes. (none)
                    roe v. wade and casey v. planned parenthood do just that. but you knew that.

                    and spare us your crocodile tears about the politicization of the judiciary and fillibustering of judges that don't meet a litmus test. i remember the 90s.

                    crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

                    by wu ming on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 10:29:04 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  R J B Ginsburg (none)
                      96-3 confirmation on a former ACLU lawyer. Virtually no politics. Far more extreme than any recent nominee (and even past nominees such as Bork).

                      My question on politics referred to SCOTUS procedures, and is an actual question, not a statement disguised as a question. I don't know how it works, and I wondered if the CJ has the authority to select and schedule cases based on content and in response to the actions of Congress.

                      It doesn't seem as though any public discussion on abortion refers to the limits as though they were acceptable. It is unfortunate, as it colors the pro-choice side as extreme, a coloration that inhibits rational discussion. As has been said here before, even the most vocal pro-lifers agree that there are some cases where abortion is acceptible (not all pro-lifers, assuredly), but I don't hear the same give and take (that perhaps there are cases where abortion should not be an option) accepted by the pro-choicers here.

                      Sometimes it feels like the pro-choice argument is a strawman for republican bashing in lieu of real debate.

            •  All Sooners (none)
              Look alike to me..had me laughing. Thanks, I needed that laugh after this morning and that nomination. ..LOL!

              America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

              by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:54:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Reaction like this... (none)
      is why you're not a Senator.

      But you're also not a Democrat, and not naturally inclined to consider the interests of the party.

      So I guess you bring an interesting perspective. Just not one Harry Reid is going to have good reason to consider.

      •  Right You Are (none)
        I'm much more concerned about what's good for the country than what's good for the Democratic Party.

        Perhaps I'm naive for hoping that Harry Reid might occasional share those priorities (though, to be honest, I'm not really clear on why dillydallying over this nomination is good for the Democratic Party).

        GreenSooner is the Rufus T. Firefly Chair in Freedonian Studies at the Poorman Institute for Freedom and Democracy and All the Ponies You Can Eat

        by GreenSooner on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:30:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're not naive. (none)
          Just closed-minded about whether or not there are more ways to be concerned about what's good for the country.
          •  Let's Leave Me and the Dem Party Out of This (none)
            Why is it tactically a good idea to sound as if one is carefully considering this nomination, rather than to come out swinging against it?

            GreenSooner is the Rufus T. Firefly Chair in Freedonian Studies at the Poorman Institute for Freedom and Democracy and All the Ponies You Can Eat

            by GreenSooner on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:39:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because it freezes everyone in place. (none)
              Except those who are predisposed to criticizing Democrats no matter what they say, and those who owe responsibility to no one for how they criticize them.

              Witness... well, you.

            •  because carefully considering (none)
              and rejecting is better than rejecting without carefully considering.

              "I don't think Feingold and Clinton are really that far apart on Iraq." -- Howard Dean, 10/23/05

              by BiminiCat on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:45:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Political Evidence for This? (none)
                Look at the histories of Bork and Miers.

                It's not as if we haven't had plenty of time to consider Alito, whose name has been floated for years.

                GreenSooner is the Rufus T. Firefly Chair in Freedonian Studies at the Poorman Institute for Freedom and Democracy and All the Ponies You Can Eat

                by GreenSooner on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:47:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Miers (none)
                  they said she should get consideration, and look what happened.

                  just saying if you consider and then reject you have a stronger case than if you just reject.

                  "I don't think Feingold and Clinton are really that far apart on Iraq." -- Howard Dean, 10/23/05

                  by BiminiCat on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:53:26 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  A Fair Process (none)
              It is important to have a fair process.  

              While you may have made up your mind, this is the first time the vast majority of Americans have heard about Judge Alito.  

              I don't intend to make up my mind until I have an opportunity to read some of his decisions and do a more thoughtful analysis of his jurisprudence.  

              •  Have you lost your mind? (none)
                The special interests have already chosen the Democratic position! No dissent will be tolerated, and no careful consideration is necessary. Fall in line like the "Mind Numbed Robot" card in your wallet says you will!

                Oh wait! Democrats are supposed to be smarter than that. Perhaps actual reading for comprehension (instead of key word search in the Clif Notes) will be required.

                •  Oy (none)

                  The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

                  by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:00:11 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  The Special Interests (none)
                  In the Republican Party derailed the nomination of Harriet Miers to be an Associate Justice without waiting for her Senate Judiciary Committee testimony.

                  And, no, I have not lost my mind.  I am wary of Judge Alito, who Professor Turley describes as being rather right than Justices Scalia and Thomas, and do not recall reading his opinions.  Since I am a lawyer, I think it's appropriate to do that.

                  •  Please help me (none)
                    to understand the fault in his analysis of the special considerations of the warrant in the drug search case. Everybody is talking about the end point, nobody has expressed a good argument against the deliberative process.
              •  Exactly (none)
                The American public hasn't made up its mind about Alito. I hope that the Democratic Party has. He's not a surprise pick; he's been one of the most rumored likely nominees for years.

                The Republicans will be actively working to "help" the public make up their mind in favor of Alito. The Democrats need to decide if they want to play nice and pretend to be on the same journey -- thus, presumably, earning brownie points with the tiny percentage of the public that cares first and foremost about process -- or whether they want to play an active role in educating the public against this nominee. (I will acknowledge that a carefully coordinated campaign might do both these things simultaneously. Let's hope that's what's going on.)

                GreenSooner is the Rufus T. Firefly Chair in Freedonian Studies at the Poorman Institute for Freedom and Democracy and All the Ponies You Can Eat

                by GreenSooner on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:01:53 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  To Be Fair, This Time Glass Only Half Empty (none)
      I will give one cheer to Reid for sounding the rhetorical notes that could have underwritten a successful, steadfast opposition to this nomination. But I continue to feel that his failure to mount such an opposition from the get-go is a terrible tactical mistake.

      GreenSooner is the Rufus T. Firefly Chair in Freedonian Studies at the Poorman Institute for Freedom and Democracy and All the Ponies You Can Eat

      by GreenSooner on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:28:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who says he isn't mounting such an opposition? (none)
        What Senators say in public and what they do behind closed doors are often quite different.  For the consumption of the general public he may profess to not having made up his mind, but in the background he may be putting on a full court press to get his caucus into line in opposition to Alito.

        The real test is whether Reid will permit Red State senators to "vote their conscience".  If he does, then he will deserve all the abuse I am sure you'll heap upon him.

    •  awe poopy pants (none)
      we're doomed.

      "I don't think Feingold and Clinton are really that far apart on Iraq." -- Howard Dean, 10/23/05

      by BiminiCat on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:38:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Keeping MY Powder Dry (none)
      Sorry, y'all, for going off on Reid this way.

      While I continue to feel that this was the wrong way to start this battle, I know that he's not the only Democratic voice out there, and there are certainly possibilities for his playing good cop to a lot of other Dems' playing bad cop on this nomination.

      So let me ramp down my criticism, express disappointment, and hope that other Democratic voices more clearly and quickly oppose this nomination.

      As I've already said in this discussion -- and as I frequently say about the Democratic Party -- I sincerely hope that I'm wrong in my concerns

      GreenSooner is the Rufus T. Firefly Chair in Freedonian Studies at the Poorman Institute for Freedom and Democracy and All the Ponies You Can Eat

      by GreenSooner on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:52:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Much more than Roe V. Wade at stake (4.00)

    Samuel Alito's America


  •  Now (none)
    here's the reason we made a deal on the nuclear option a few months back - so we could keep our powder dry for this fight. It's time to have at these crazies.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:25:18 AM PST

  •  Armando (none)
    On this I agree with you 100% and, frankly, I can't wait to see how he squirms around with his Planned Parenthood dissent, being expressly rejected by SCOTUS.  Just a question, since I'm running around the office and don't have time to look at all websites.  Is the first graf in you post on Reid part of his statement.  I noticed you didn't put it in quotes and didn't cite the site.  Just a question.
  •  Scalita thinks federal machine gun ban unconst. (4.00)
    In a dissent to a ruling that upheld the constitutionality of a federal law banning the possession of machine guns, Alito argued for greater state rights in reasoning that Congress had no authority to regulate private gun possession.

    I'm sure Al Queda will love that one.

    •  But ... but ... Scalia and Cheney need them (none)
      ... to mow down penned duckies during the annual Cronies'R'Us Duck Hunt.

      How else are those two sportsmen going to get their Canard a L'Orange for 1,823 to the table in time for dinner?

      Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

      by Peanut on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:30:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the Court Decision (none)

      The above is the majority opinion and Alito's dissenting opinion in a Federal court case in 1996.  A man was charged with the illegal possession of 2 sub-machine guns.  Alito said that it was unconstitutional for the Federal government to regulate this matter, and therefore the charges should be dismissed.  Fortunately, he was in the minority.  (Among the judges in the majority was the wife of PA. Governor Ed Rendell.)

      The case is sometimes referred to as Rybar.

  •  He's perfectly acceptable on Abortion (none)
    if you think that America should be more like Saudi Arabia

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:26:46 AM PST

  •  All in now (none)
    Give em hell Harry!

    A champion we didn't even see on the horizon. Lesson there, Dems?

  •  sorry (none)
    The question should read, Is the first graf of your post on Reid's statement part of it?  I noticed that it wasn't in quotes.
  •  old boys club (none)
    i think this is a great frame.

    to have yet another white conservative male .. just reeks of backwards thinking.

    it is time for democrats to fight on this

  •  Reid got it right today! (4.00)
    He called Alito a "judicial activist".  We've been letting them call liberals activists while conservatives are "strict constructionists".

    It's time we use their language against them.

  •  OK NARAL (none)
    where is your endorsed candidates for Senate in R.I. now.

    If Chafee ain't screaming from the senate floor by noon today will you admit you were duped?

    by ctkeith on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:30:38 AM PST

  •  Framing Should Focus on FMLA (4.00)
    No matter how many Americans agree with Alito's stances on abortion, public-funded Xmas displays, etc., when it comes to FMLA, most turn into liberals.

    Let's make sure everyone in this country knows that if were up to Alito, you wouldn't have gotten that 6 weeks off to care for you mother while she was dying.  Or to take care of your child when he was sick.  Or to tend to your spouse after her major surgery.

    On FMLA, Alito is too radical for most Americans.

    •  I agree (none)
      We've got to broaden the argument beyond abortion rights - how does this guy rule in cases dealing with Federal programs generally, particularly popular programs like Social Security and Medicare?  FMLA is the beginning - we need to connect his right-wing activism to programs that affect most Americans' economic security, not just their right to choose, since most of them won't ever exercise that right.  We've got to connect to pocketbooks and security - I don't know enough about this guy to say how that can be done, but that's what we have to figure out.
    •  Definitely (none)
      Focus on the far out-of-the mainstream decisions.  Opposition to FMLA jumped right out at me as something nutty.  (Didn't GHWB oppose it as well?) Democrats must be something more than the party of abortion rights, and even though a majority of Americans favor upholding Roe v. Wade, I am uncomfortable with the constant framing of Democrats as (seemingly) only concerned with abortion.

      What is useful with regard to abortion is to play around the fringes of the debate--this is what the Republicans have done.  The make the battle over partial-birth abortion or parental notification:  even though most people would probably agree with the Democrats nuanced version, all they get is the Republicans unnuanced version.  And the unnuanced version is what sells.  ("Sure, I should know if my 16 year old daughter wants to get an abortion"--without the average Joe even giving thought of judicial bypass for cases of incest, etc.)  

    •  doesn't FMLA (none)
      also cover women to give birth -- in other words, general family leave? That would be a perfect counter to someone who says they support his position on abortion. How can you be pro-child if you support forcing a mother back to work so soon after giving birth?
  •  scalito is ethnically insensitive? please. (none)
    The RNC is already trying to stamp out our use of "Scalito," claiming that it's an "ethnically insensitive" nickname that's come from our "anti-Italian American wing."

    I didn't think we had an "anti-Italian American wing." Especially since I AM Italian American!

    Don't buy it, though - if you ask Repubs to explain what makes it ethnically insensitive, they won't be able to. First because they don't understand ethnic insensitivity, and second because nothing about it is related to his ethnicity.

    The real problem is that they don't want people to hear that he's a clone of Antonin Scalia - that way they can paint him as somebody more moderate.

    Go all-out to frame this guy as an extremist right-wing tool. And don't be afraid to call him Scalito!

  •  Also please note... (none)
    which "base" got "appeased" this time.

    Harriet Miers, evangelical, endorsed (until it was too late) by Dobson, Robertson and Falwell, but opposed by a coalition of business interest Republicans and Catholic conservatives.

    Replaced by... Alito. The Catholic. Would be the fifth on the Court.

    •  I'm wary of the Catholic thing... (none)
      But I am intrigued to know (as someone who's not been in a Church for other than sight-seeing reasons for quite some time), how this Catholic hegemony goes down with the Fundie base.

      How does the Megachurcher/Baptist base feel about Catholics?  Fellow-travellers, or lickspittle Papists?

      •  Why Be Wary? (none)
        As a non-Jewish, non-Christian, non-Muslim citizen of the United States, I see no one on the court who can comprehend my concerns.

        Catholics make up less than 25% of the US population; opposition to abortion is a matter of Church Law and Papal Encyclical.

        Making the Supreme Court 5/9 Roman Catholic is an affront to fairness, an affront to justice, an affront to the First Amendment, and clear evidence of the historic and continuing application of a religiously-based litmus test for nomination to the Court.

        •  I completely agree with you, (none)
          I just think it's a dangerous path to walk to complain publicly about Alito being one Catholic too many.  The attack dogs of the right, aided by their complicit media buddies would have a field day.
          My question was, I guess, were Catholics 'God' enough to appease the non-Catholic Republican base...
        •  not to be the dissenter (none)
          but as a Catholic liberal myself, I can assure you that the Pope has no control over my decisions. The guy may be Catholic, but frankly, a remark like that sounds alot like people who opposed Kennedy in the 60's. We need to get over this Italian-American or Catholic or whatever stereotypical peg you want to put on this guy. We can easily sink him on policy alone without going after his heritage.

          We're Democrats, remember? We base our judgement of people on their character, not their race or gender or religion or sexual orientation.

          •  You've Been Gamed by your Own Point: (none)
            From any reasonable "diversity" perspective, if we start with the fact that Catholic Men constitute less than 12% of US Citizens, that White Catholic Men constitute an even smaller percentage of the total US population, perhaps even less than 10%, and that approximately 44% of the Supreme Court Membership is already made up of White Catholic Men, we already have such a vast disproportion in the current make-up of the Supreme Court that appointment of ANOTHER White Catholic Male to the Supreme Court can only be seen as the cynical abuse of "no anti-Catholic bias" card in order to produce a particular judicial outcome on the issue of abortion.

            It's outrageous enough that the Court is entirely packed with Abrahamists. But to bend over this far to a narrow and unrepresentative faction of  somewhat broader Christian faction of Abrahamism is quite beyond the pale in any ostensibly secular society which professes to oppose as a matter of constitutional law ANY establishment of religion.

            Sure, hand the people who brought us the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Witchhunts, and the genocide of they native peoples of South and Central America and California the right to interpret the First Amendment. Right......

            •  what? (none)
              This is one of the most bigoted things I have ever read on DailyKos and probably the reason why most conservatives come over here to laugh at us. As a Catholic woman who is happily married to a Jewish man, I can assure that despite what some Catholics have done in the past, we're not all bad. I did not support the Inquisition, the Crusades or the Holocaust, thanks. Geez, while you're at it why don't you attack my accountant husband since he's the one that controls all the money and media in this country, ya know, because he's Jewish and all.
              •  There's no comparison (none)

                Judaism is a matter of birth, w/o regard to religious practice, in which respect it is impossible to become "not-Jewish," as many moral European secularists learned the hard way.

                Adults of good conscience can walk away from the Constantinian Church.

                Of course, if you want to continue to identify yourself with an institution that is trying to canonize Pius the Nazi apologist while living with a Jewish man, you've got much deeper problems than my attitude about Catholicism.

      •  Hm... interesting. (none)
        Where I grew up, it was definitely "lickspittle papists."  My local Baptist church once prepared a flyer titled "Is the Pope a Child Molester?" and put it on car winsheilds in the mall parking lot, which indicates that they didn't feel such a sentiment was too radical to use as a recruitment tool.  

        Also, Chick Tracts, which fundies love, has at least two titles focused on the premise that Catholicism is an abomination and all practioners are going to roast in hell.  I think I brought the first one home to amuse my roommates at Georgetown.

        However, that doesn't seem to have stopped the Roberts nomination at all... I think the desire to be able to impose their personal religious views on all of America through "values" votes far exceeds disklike of old Benedict.

      •  good point (none)
        That is a good point to consider. Of course, not all Evangelicals are anti Catholic. There is a rift among Evangelicals on this subject. I am just not sure which faction holds the most sway on this issue. But while the  right wing Evangelicals may have their doubts about a Catholic President for instance, I have serious doubts if they extends to SCOTUS>
        Chances are by statements released by the far right religious nuts and those remain to be seen....that as long as He is enough of a Wingnut who will agree them on some issues, they will be pleased as punch.

        America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

        by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:05:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  So he's a failed mind reader (none)
    His whole arguement was that he knew how Justice O'Connor was going to rule on this case. Well she didn't rule his way. So his judgement of what constitutes "obstacles" and "undue burdens" was wrong in the end. Will he admit he was wrong?

    A consultation requirement is an absolute obstacle. By simply refusing to sign off that he has been consulted a husband gets veto power over a wife's abortion.

  •  Pass the Ammunition (none)
    It's still early, but it doesn't look to me like this is a drill, folks.  Get ready for filibuster.

    P.S. How clear is it that Bush picked Alito to show that he's "not weak?"  And how obvious does that make it that he's WEAK!

  •  If the Dems don't Filibuster this asshole (none)
    I am looking for a new party, period.

    (And I am saying this as someone who glady gave the Dems the benefit of the doubt with Roberts and Meiers)

  •  the casey dissent. (none)
    i believe we need a more rigorous definition of undue burden as well as a more sustained analysis of the effects of Casey.  Because he does not cite any statistical evidence in his dissent, although he notes Marshall did in the latter's dissent in Akron, his claim that this does not produce an insurmountable pediment to women is somewhat unfounded.  indeed, it is an empty opinion.  and his citation of o'connor's definition of "undue burden" seems somewhat flimsy.  i am also not sure he fully explicated his dissent from the application of the first prong of the majority opinion; he simply dismisses it as not "compelling," and then he tries to buttress this claim with his elliptical definition of "undue burden."  And then he assumes married women are a minority of women, just as O'Connor assumed unliberated minors are just a minority of women.  because each law only addresses a specific cohort of women, he applying one flimsy sociological definition of minority into his dissent.  

    i cannot believe this ruling qualifies as a rigorous argument.  to me it seems very tendentious and flawed, and i am wondering if anyone else has an opinion.

  •  Photo op of Alito with Rosa Park's body (none)
    Will that photo op of Alito going past Rosa Park's body is an opportunity for a great which is...

    The day we as a nation honor the life of Rosa Parks, Bush has nominated an extreme right wing justice who is against civil rights and decreases the diversity upon the supreme court.  Is this going to be Bush's American?

  •  Now we'll find out... (none)
    ...whether our powder is dry.

    Or whether we're about to take a powder.

    I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
    This is the dawning of the rest of our lives

    by Malacandra on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:46:48 AM PST

  •  AP Quotes Roundup on Scalia's Mini-Me (none)

    Here are statements that various members of Congress and other figures made in reaction to President Bush's selection of federal appellate court Judge Samuel Alito Monday to be a member of the U.S. Supreme Court:
    "Judge Alito's reputation has only grown over the span of his service. He has participated in thousands of appeals and authored hundreds of opinions. This record reveals a thoughtful judge who considers the legal matter -- marriage carefully and applies the law in a principled fashion. He has a deep understanding of the proper role of judges in our society. He understands that judges are to interpret the laws, not to impose their preferences or priorities on the people." - President Bush. [HAH! Sounds like it's Opposite Day / Say Anything Day again.]
    "The Supreme Court is an institution that I have long held in reverence. During my 29 years as a public servant, I've had the opportunity to view the Supreme Court from a variety of perspectives -- as an attorney in the Solicitor General's Office, arguing and briefing cases before the Supreme Court, as a federal prosecutor, and most recently for the last 15 years as a judge of the Court of Appeals." - Judge Samuel Alito.
    "The nomination of Judge Alito requires an especially long, hard look by the Senate because of what happened last week to Harriet Miers. Conservative activists forced Miers to withdraw from consideration for this same Supreme Court seat because she was not radical enough for them. Now the Senate needs to find out if the man replacing Miers is too radical for the American people." - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
    "Rather than selecting a nominee for the good of the nation and the court, President Bush has picked a nominee whom he hopes will stop the massive hemorrhaging of support on his right wing. This is a nomination based on weakness, not strength." - Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.
    "President Bush put the demands of his far-right political base above Americans' constitutional rights and legal protections by nominating federal appeals court Judge Samuel Alito to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor." - Ralph Neas, president of the liberal People For the American Way.
    "The president has made an excellent choice today which reflects his commitment to appoint judges in the mold of (Antonin) Scalia and (Clarence) Thomas. Sam Alito, a 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals judge, has consistently embraced the original intent of the Constitution." - Kay Daly, president of the conservative Coalition for a Fair Judiciary.
    "It is sad that the president felt he had to pick a nominee likely to divide America instead of choosing a nominee in the mold of Sandra Day O'Connor, who would unify us. This controversial nominee, who would make the court less diverse and far more conservative, will get very careful scrutiny from the Senate and from the American people." - Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
    "The nomination of Harriet Miers has split conservatives unlike anything I can remember. The debate will not end, in fact it will become more intense." - Gary Bauer, a onetime Republican presidential candidate who now heads the conservative group American Values Coalition.
    "Now the gauntlet has been, I think, thrown down. It was humiliating, it was degrading and it's a profound and distributing view of Judge Alito that he would uphold spousal notification as he did in the Pennsylvania case, and it raises concerns about his views of women." - Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL-Pro Choice America. (10/31/05 AP / Seattle PI)

    Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

    by Peanut on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:48:16 AM PST

  •  FINALLY (none)
    the Dems are using the frame of "judicial activist" against Alito/Scalia/Thomas type judges. This is critical, because it hasn't been done before on any consistent basis with lower court nominees, etc.

    Reid's statement is excellent. We must emphasize that Alito is an activist who will radically change life in America. He's no "conservative". He's a radical.

    Luckily, Alito has a fairly long paper trail that points to his right-wing activism, so he's no "stealth" nominee.

    In any case, great job by Harry Reid.

    Dems will fight for a Renewed Deal with the American people.

    by Hoyapaul on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:51:06 AM PST

  •  Roe v Wade and why you are losing the argument.... (none)
    the numbers are clear.  The country wants Roe v Wade.  But somehow the far right has lured you into this argument.  I equate this to my extreme right brother in law that tried to tell me that Native Americans were worse to the environment than the average american now a days.....  If I had engaged him I would lose because there is no rational discourse on that subject.  

    I think abortions are a pretty disgusting thing and as a person that believes that there is some bigger energy than myself in this world and that your energy is what you are I would hope that women would set themselves up to not be in that situation.  I do realize that modern day life is not in their favor.  We make them feel like shit by the way they look, we have religions that pacify them and we debase them at every chance we get.... so they learn at a young age where the little remaining power they have is left between their legs.  

    However I will join the argument for a paragraph.  So Roe v Wade falls.... is it a bad thing?  That issue would be off the table.  What do they stand for now?  Taking care of those kids that are born?  

    I hate Bush and I am too far to the left for most people on here.... but I am not sure if I am down with saying that anyone who is against abortion shouldnt serve on the Supreme Court.  The President gets to appoint the people, although I disagree with this, and so it makes sense that he would pick someone that had certain beliefs he shared.  The abortion issue is a very complex issue especially when you start thinking about late term and things of that nature.  

    Again I am not saying I like this guy but instead of fighting everything everywhere why not frame our own argument.  Why not say "yea yea whatever.... so what are we doing about health care and our deficit?  Why are our kids getting a shitty education?  Why are you wearing a shirt made in a sweat shop by some 9 year old kid while standing there with a sign that says its a child not a choice?"

    "Global deaths due to hunger in one year= 8,760,000"

    by Sausalito on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:51:09 AM PST

    •  SCALITO (none)
      is my frame.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:59:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  but this is america... (none)
        if someone wants to have the view that abortion is wrong I think they are entitled to that view point.  I dont think that they are dumb for thinking that abortion is wrong.

        Their inconsistency with the life argument is the only way to win this if you want to win it....  every time someone says abortion should be made illegal the conversation should quickly turn to "then what....".  We need reporters in hospitals (I work in one...) showing how horrible the care is for poor people.  We need cameras in the homes of poor single mothers exposing the conditions that children are living in.  We need the numbers of abortions in countries like England and France to be sprayed everywhere and we need the sex-education in those counties to be discussed-- they suggest oral sex to prevent getting pregnant.  We need questions about the death penalty to be raised....

        I am just saying to simply say he doesnt like abortion so he should not serve on the Supreme Court is a pretty lame argument.  I am not for abortion.... few people other than radical population growth nut cases are...  But the argument must be quality of life, education and so on.  I have seen an aborted fetus.  It is pretty heartbreaking and it is a total mind fuck...

        "Global deaths due to hunger in one year= 8,760,000"

        by Sausalito on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:07:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i know of no one who is pro-choice (none)
          who thinks believing abortion is wrong is not OK.

          roe vs. wade doesn't tell you how to feel on abortion.

          it actually protects your inaliable right to choose for yourself how you feel on abortion.

          "I don't think Feingold and Clinton are really that far apart on Iraq." -- Howard Dean, 10/23/05

          by BiminiCat on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:15:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Your last graf (none)
          is not the argument and wh you choose to distort the argument requires an explanation in my opinion.

          If you do not understand the privacy line of cases, then ask a question.  

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:37:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The slippery slope, birth control is next. (none)
      The FDA has ignored the science and refused to allow the sale of the morning after pill over the counter.  Then there are "conscience clause" laws that allow pharmacists to not only refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control but to steal the prescriptions from patients.  The imposition of the religious views on everyone's reproductive choices is a broader agenda.  

      It's the truth so it should be made a sound byte. The Republicans have framed the abortion issue to make it sound like most abortions are preformed on women who are 40 weeks pregnant (and carrying adorable white babies) who are too lazy to care for a baby.

      Accordingly, we need to reframe the debate to make it about birth control and whether the pill, the moning after pill or IUD cause early abortions as those who are assuming power believe.

  •  Wouldn't it be nice... (none)
    ...If O'Connor changed her mind about her resignation, publicly stating she'll stay on until The Next President is in office. She can do that, can't she?
  •  Another term to use for Alito's abortion stance (none)
    "Permission Slip"

    In other words

    "Sam Alito wants women to get permission slips from their husband before they could have an abortion"

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:55:47 AM PST

    •  and for some of my clients in the past (4.00)
      This would have meant they would get a beating.
      There are many women who are victims of Domestic Violence who become pregnant. They were able to have the choice to terminate the pregnancy and separate from their husbands. Some said if they chose to stay pregnant and have the baby; that would tie them to the abuser even more so. The abuser would have rights and sometimes abusive husbands are also child abusers. That is not always the case but it happens. Some of my clients made the heartbreaking decision to quietly seek an abortion so the abusive spouse from whom they were separated would not find out.
      Under Scalito's rules, some of these women would face a lifetime of abuse and horrors. As MOST abusive spouses refuse to sign divorce papers so thus, the women cannot get a divorce and the man is her husband.

      Not only do all Americans lose with Scalito views imposed on them but most especially Abused Women!
      Most talk about single women but in my practice, I deal with a number of married, abused women trying to get out without being killed. And MANY abused women become pregnant through rape by their spouses or boyfriends.

      America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

      by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:03:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  or... (none)
      Alito wants women to get permissions slips from their husbands before making a decision about their reproductive health, period.

      Scalito isn't going to distinguish--if he's really to the right of Scalia, we have to assume he believes the Constitution includes no right to privacy as held in Griswold.  

    •  Not a fan of Alito but . . (none)
      as I understand it, Alito supports notification of  the husband, not  permission from the husband.  There is a big difference.  There is nothing in  his Casey dissent that sugggests he would overrule Roe v. Wade entirely.  He accepts that women  have a right  to chooose.  The debate is over exactly what would constitute an undue burden on that right.  He may well take  a more radical view once he is on the Supreme Court, and this can be explored in the confirmation hearings.  I  also think that  practically speaking, if relations are so  bad between a husband and wife that she wouldn't discuss such a major decision with him, there is not much  point in discussion, and she  may well get beat up for complying  with the law.   But if the issue is framed simply as whether a woman ought to tell her husband if she is  going to abort their child, then the Alito supporters win.

      We should get our facts straight  and then frame the issue as whether we want the govenment to be involved in intimate discussions between a husband  and wife and between a woman and  her doctor.  Who will be listening at the  bedroom door to find out if the wife really notified the  husband?  Do women really want police officers going through their  medical records to see if the doctor verified that the  notice requirment was complied with?  

      The issue is NOT about abortion per se, but more generally whether we want Big Brother Bush poking into our lives.  It is part of the same attitude that gave us  the Patriot Act and the  federalization of marriage and of Terri Sciavo's situation.  

      Your flag decal won't get you into Heaven any more - John Prine

      by Kerry Conservative on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:41:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Notification, Permission, same thing (none)
        He knows that if someone has to notify an abusive spouse about that sort of thing, they won't even dare have an abortion.

        I think it would be naive to say that based off of that anti-choice decision that he is actually pro-choice.

        He's one of the people who would rather smother abortion rights in a bathtub and kill it that way.

        And if Matt Drudge doesn't like Scalito, we'll use Borkito (Little Bork)

        "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

        by RBH on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:46:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of course Alito is probably anti-choice - (none)
          Were you expecting Bush to nominate a moderate?  

          But Alito has not expressed that view publicly and moreover, he would say he addressed  your point  about abusive spouses in his Casey dissent:

          "As previously noted, Section 3209 contains four significant exceptions. These exceptions apply if a woman certifies that she has not notified her husband because she believes that (1) he is not the father of the child, (2) he cannot be found after diligent effort, (3) the pregnancy is the result of a spousal sexual assault that has been reported to the authorities, or (4) she has reason to believe that notification is likely to result in the infliction of bodily injury upon her."

          So if he is correct, notification would not be required if a woman certified that her husband was likely to beat her up.  

          I certainly think the notification requirement is stupid  and intrusive and designed to discourage abortions, but it is not the same as a permission requirement.

          I don't disagree with you fundamentally, but excerpts from the Casey opinion are quoted all the  way down the  thread, so there is not really any excuse for all the mischaracterizations about what it actually says.  Getting the facts straight is important for those of us who want  to live in the reality-based community.  Getting the facts wrong makes us look just as clueless/dishonest as the White House crowd, just spinning from the other side.  

          Your flag decal won't get you into Heaven any more - John Prine

          by Kerry Conservative on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:17:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Choice (none)
            I certainly think the notification requirement is stupid  and intrusive and designed to discourage abortions, but it is not the same as a permission requirement.

            The things which are deemed stupid and intrusive vary with the viewpoint of the believer. For example, I think that it's stupid and intrusive that cigarette and alcohol packages must include warnings against the use of the products they enclose.

            I suspect that most Americans believe that discouraging abortions isn't a bad idea (as opposed to banning them). That "safe, legal, and rare" theme is popular. The proper way to deal with abortion is to focus on contraception and education. Since conservatives hate both of those things as well, it makes liberals look reasonable and conservatives look out of touch and hypocritical. On the other hand, a stance which supports a situation where you have to encounter more warnings in order to format a disk than to abort a fetus just looks too doctrinaire to many. Notification requirements just inject an "Are you sure(Y/N)?" into the process to allow some time for second thoughts.

      •  Why? (none)
        When a married person needs to have any kind of surgery, whether it's for an ingrown toenail or to remove a brain tumor, he/she isn't required to notify or get permission from the spouse.  When I had to have a D&C for what they call a "missed abortion" (that's when the fetus dies, as evidenced by lack of fetal heartbeat, sonographic evidence that the gestational sac is not getting bigger, and/or pregnancy hormone levels are decreasing), it was MY signature on the consent for surgery document, not my husband's.  The only document he signed was an acknowledgement that he was taking responsibility for my well being when the outpatient surgery center released me.

        Sure, one would hope that when a wife becomes pregnant, it's a matter to share with her husband, including all decision making.  However, because of some difficult circumstances, doing so could be dangerous for the wife.

      •  Parental notification/Judicial review for minors (none)
        which Alito references as not causing undue burden reflects a reasonable view that minors do not have the same rights and responsibilities as adults. This work against them with rights such as the right to independently chose abortion but it works for them in juvenile criminal law when they cannot automatically be charged as an adult.

        But the danger with "spousal notification" is that it sets up an inevitable conflict between the rights of two adults deemed equal before the law. We already see it in numerous fertility cases where multiple embryos have been engineered for a couple using their biological egg and sperm and when the marriage dissolves, the fate of those embryos enters a lengthy legal battle. In the fertility cases I do believe both parents should have equal rights but take a firm view that no one should be forced to be a biological parent in those cases (i.e.leave the embryos frozen until the matter can be resolved or until they are no longer viable).

        What the Pennsylvania law attempted to do was to coyly set up another intervention point for pro-life activists by establishment of "equal parental rights" by requiring spousal notification before an abortion could be obtained. While I support fathers, I cannot support a father's rights, before birth, as equal to a woman's right over her body. The inequality rooted in nature, that women alone can carry a fetus to term, should not be ignored in the face of the law.

        I find it dangerously irresponsible for Alito to entertain any notion of "equal parenting rights" before birth and not to recognize the legal nightmare that would result if his views had prevailed in this case.


  •  It's sad that he's a guy (none)
    Honestly, I think the idea that the idea Alito is a caveman is sad but sort of predictable. The idea that Roberts and Miers were both reasonably moderate is what was surprising.

    But I do think that it's sad that Bush couldn't find another female nominee. Having only one on the Supreme Court, no Hispanics and only one African-American is really a shame. Even though we are angry at the wingnuts, the center on many women's rights issues really has moved to the left over the years, and I have to think that's partly because the Republicans see that women's rights issues are often their members' issues as much as they are the Democrats' issues.

    •  Affirmative action on the SCOTUS (3.50)
      As a country, we need to get away from Affirmative Action on the SCOTUS. We need the best jurist, not the best woman or hispanic jurist. As has been shown with Thomas, there are conservative minority candidates, and Janice Rogers Brown is a classic example. That cannot be a consideration. It is meaningless in relation to qualifications and inclinations.
      •  Oy (none)

        The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

        by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:25:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Affirmative Action Must ALWAYS be a Consideration (none)
        It's quite simple for those in the majority to say that we need to "get away from affirmative action" and only choose "the best" because those in the majority always have their interests cared for.  Fact of the matter is that I know of no profession outside of professional sports in which candidates are hired for high paying and/or prestigious positions on a purely objective standard to determine "the best."  It is a white male myth that "the best" are chosen in the absence of affirmative action.  Actuality is that white men, and an incrasing number of women, always assume that they are "the best" when chosen, even when there is clear evidence to the contrary.  Minorities are too often assumed to have been given "a break" when hired even if credentials are stellar.

        JRB and Clarence Thomas were chosen for their positions the same reasons that many unqualified white men are chosen in that they function to prop up the interests of white men with power.  Throughout history, there have always been sell outs and those who can be co-opted to act against the interests of their own minority communities, and JRB and Clarence are classic examples.  

        There are SCORES of BRILLIANT men and women of ALL RACES who are WELL QUALIFIED for the Supreme Court.  There is no single person who can be objectively pointed out as "the best."  Affirmative action is NEEDED so that ALL AMERICANS can feel that their interests are represented on the Court and the ethnic and gender makeup of the Court should be taken into consideration when examining qualifications of a nominee.  

        •  I'm not sure I understand (none)
          Does the choice of Clarence Thomas or Colin Powell or Condi Rice satisfy the need for black people to see that their interests are being represented because they are black, or are blacks better off if an affirmative action advocate is confirmed, even if HE is WHITE (presuming that black interests and affirmative action advocacy are the same thing for the purpose of this discussion)? I have always assumed that to the extent that you limit your choices, you shrink the pool of qualified candidates, and potentially lower the quality of the pool. This is just as true when a white male chooses not to consider a black accountant as it is when a black man will not consider a Jewish doctor. Isn't choosing an Hispanic jurist pandering to the race? And what of Estrada? Would he be acceptible simply because he is Hispanic? That's about as silly as expecting all the conservatives to line up behind Miers because she exhibited evangelical tendencies.
          •  Re: I'm Not Sure... (none)
            Affirmative action is not about placing anybody of a specific ethnic group in a position simply because that person is a minority.  Maybe you didn't take note that I said above that there are scores of people across ethnic and gender lines who are WELL-QUALIFIED.  What makes one "the best" is wholly subjective.

            Clarence Thomas was not qualified so he shouldn't have even been in the pool.  It would have been better for African-Americans to have a white Justice who was more amenable to African-American interests, affirmative action being one of those iterests.  However, there were black jurists in 1990, even Republican black jurists, who had excellent qualifications and should have been considered for the seat before Thomas.  And race should have played a role in assessing their candidacies given the way race is still an issue in cases that come before the Court.  Clarence Thomas was chosen for the reasons I stated above.  The right wing cynically used the Thomas nomination as a showcase to have a black man represent conservative white interests, and that was never the intention of affirmative action.

            I have always assumed that to the extent that you limit your choices, you shrink the pool of qualified candidates, and potentially lower the quality of the pool.

            My understanding is the limitation of choices has been the status quo for as long as anyone can remember.  It's just been that the limitation of choices for the highest ranking jobs in government and business has been to choose from among a pool of white males, with the quality of that pool ranging across the board.  It's affirmative action that broadens the pool, increases the quality and allows for consideration of qualified candidates who have traditionally been passed over in favor of white males.  

          •  Diversity of opinions (none)
            In this specific case: Clarence Thomas may not say what liberals what would want an African-American to say, but just the fact that he's on the bench with the other justices affects what the other justices do and think and say. Just the fact that women judges are on the bench affects what the other judges do and think and say.

            In general: I don't necessarily believe in general affirmative action at the expense of majority folks who are clearly more qualified than the affirmed folks. But I think that even a token is better than nothing at some institutions that have a clear role in shaping public policy decisions that involve ethnicity or other demographic considerations.

            Everybody makes fun of the Republicans doing everything possible to put some people of color on their podiums, but the fact that they had an Alan Keyes running on the right is a big deal. At least the Republicans are trying in their own heavy-handed way to support the general concept of diversity.

            Think about it: There are probably some white Republicans who worked for Keyes who had never really personally been physically close to an educated African-American before on a daily basis. Just that exposure means something.

            Similarly, newspapers, magazines, TV stations, major charities, lobbying groups, think tanks, etc. simply ought to practice affirmative action, if only to make sure the white folks on the staff have actually really met an African-American who wasn't a janitor, an Asian who wasn't a doctor or a restaurant employee, etc.

            Also: think about all of the hidden types of non-demographic affirmative action that are so institutionalized that we don't even notice them.

            Examples: At many colleges, children of professors who get in can be dumber than general applicants who get in. At Harvard, Boston kids who get in can be dumber than non-Boston kids. In South Dakota, because each state gets the same number of Truman scholarships, a Truman scholar and (I think) a Rhodes Scholar can be dumber than a Truman scholar or a Rhodes Scholar from New York state. At most competitive schools, and especially in the Northeast, non-New York metro-area kids who get in can be dumber than New York kids who get in. And, of course, alumni kids who get into any college can usually be dumber than other kids who get in.

            In the working world, of course, many more factors that have little to do with general competence or aptitude come into play.

            So, we're never going to have a perfect meritocracy, anyway. Better to have a world where we combine efforts to be meritocratic with some efforts to let people with fresh perspectives on various demographic groups get a crack at the good jobs.

  •  Casey dissent (none)
    I would like to see more on his abortion stance than this case.  I think we need to be careful not to point at this case and use it to jump to the conclusion that look, he'll kill R v. W.  

    I'm suspecting that's why that part of his record is being pointed to - to reassure the extremist religious right, and also to stir up a nice distracting fight.

    But, that he was in favor of restrictions on abortion in this case, doesn't mean it logically follows that he'd vote to overturn R v. W.  Many Americans support some restrictions on later term abortions (after the first trimester), though they are also in favor of keeping R v. W.

    This is what crossed my mind reading his profile this morning, just before someone on NPR said the exact same thing.  So I think it's an angle that needs to be addressed.  

    We need more information on his stance.  It seems that this administration has been applying this as a litmus test, do we have more evidence?

    "Virginia Woolf's idea of a room of one's own has never been the place for middle- and working-class women. We work with interruptions." - Ananya Chatterjea

    by sarac on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 06:56:47 AM PST

    •  You have a good point (none)
      But with the religious right positively ecstatic and salivating...I have my doubts. I think he is far right winger...just a hunch.

      America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

      by wishingwell on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:04:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The point is, it's not my point... (none)
        what I'm saying, is that this is a reasonable argument that is already being made in the media, that also occurred to me just while I was reading the profile we've all been reading and hearing this morning.

        Which instantly set off my 'who wants me to think this?' alarms.

        I think this argument may be a tactic on their parts, and we need to be better prepared to confront or evade it.

        "Virginia Woolf's idea of a room of one's own has never been the place for middle- and working-class women. We work with interruptions." - Ananya Chatterjea

        by sarac on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:14:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This Guy Doesn't Want to Legislate (4.00)
    from the bench, he wants to PROSECUTE from the bench.
    •  If that weren't so true it would be funny! (none)
      I say put up a photo of a baby with a machine gun with Alito's name under it..........<only half kidding>

      He doesn't even look moderate. His jaw is braced for a fight.

      inspire change...don't back down

      by missliberties on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:08:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  nyt headline (none)
    Nomination Likely to Please G.O.P., but Not Some Democrats"

    SOME democrats?  this is the hole in the dam that needs to be plugged.  if we can't unite here we won't unite anywhere.

  •  3 Questions on (Sc)Alito): (none)
       1. Assuming he get out of Committee, will   there be a filibuster?

       2. Followed by the Nuclear Option?

       3.. If yes, who wins?

    "Go in peace, errant sisters." -Horace Greeley, April, 1861

    by faithnomore on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:03:55 AM PST

    •  Answers... (4.00)
      1.  Maybe.
      2.  If so, yes.
      3.  Assuming that nothing has changed from the prior vote counts on the subject, and that nothing nasty and unexpected comes out at the hearings, I'm almost certain the Republicans would win a "nuclear option" vote.
      •  Filibuster unlikely I think (none)
        But if there is one, there will certainly be nuclear option with Warner, DeWine, graham and possibly McCain all voting in favor (for various reasons).
        •  why unlikely? (just asking) (none)
          Also, in favor of the filibuster, or in favior of the nuke? Or something else?

          "Go in peace, errant sisters." -Horace Greeley, April, 1861

          by faithnomore on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:47:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Unlikely (none)
            Because Alito will come across as accomplished and reasonable.  He doesn't look like Bork, and he won't say things that are as inflammatorry as what Bork has said.  He will be very much like Roberts, which will make him hard to oppose for many Red State Dems.

            As for McCain/DeWine/Warner/Graham in favor of the nuke.  McCain and DeWine to get back into conservative's good graces (former for Prez run, latter to win reelction in Ohio), Graham because he is actually a true conservative and only signed on to the 14 to get the best deal out of it possible.  And Warner because he will likely be incensed that someone who appears quite reasonable on the surface would be deemed "extraordinary" by other signatories.

  •  Moment of Truth (none)
    This guy gets confirmed and my hope for America ends.

    Fairness is a liberal value

    by diplomatic on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:03:57 AM PST

  •  What kind of videos does Mr. Scalito.... (none)

    that's what I want to know...

    "For the Mardi Gras
    Neo-con domestic shock and awe.."--Rep. Major Owens

    by Cathy on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:11:07 AM PST

  •  We have been placated by the appeasers (none)
    in our party that we cannot filibuster appellate judges, we cannot filibuster Roberts, we need to save it for a real wingnut.

    Well, enter wingnut, Judge Alito.

    If this man is not filibustered, I will cancel my monthly donation to the Democratic party, I will run against the democrat running against Sweeney in my district, even if I have to run as a third, populist, sane party.  This is the fight they have been telling us to wait for.  They had better have the cojones to go for it now, or the Democratic party is a dead party.

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

    by adigal on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:12:36 AM PST

  •  The Democrats Should Use This Nomination (none)
    to discuss Bush's deference to a radical minority.

    Bush is out of touch, he's uninformed, he's lost control.

    There's a frame for you.

    I don't think Democrats should jump on the Roe v. Wade train.  I think the American people have become deaf to that scream.

    I think the Democrats should also really insist that Alito wants to prosecute from the bench.

    From his brief bio posted earlier on Page's thread -

    Alito's conservative stripes are equally evident in criminal law. Lawrence Lustberg, a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer who has known Alito since 1981 and tried cases before him on the Third Circuit, describes him as "an activist conservatist judge" who is tough on crime and narrowly construes prisoners' and criminals' rights. "He's very prosecutorial from the bench. He has looked to be creative in his conservatism, which is, I think, as much a Rehnquist as a Scalia trait," Lustberg says.
  •  Alito Trivia (none)
    His sister is a management-side employment lawyer in New Jersey.

    Oh when the frogs. . Come marching in. . Oh when the FROGS COME MARCH-ING IN!

    by pontificator on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:14:31 AM PST

  •  Every sperm is sacred... (none)
    Let's turn this debate around and make it about men's bodies and where they are "depositing" their sacred seed--it's potential life, after all!    
  •  Once again, they are trying to survive (none)
    So we have Plamegate and Bush's Brain. The POTUS made the Meirs decision while Rove was in the middle of a crisis. Rove has more breathing room this week. So, the Wingnuts were screaming because of Miers and now that Bush has put this guy up, it will be the Dems screaming and getting us off of Plamegate trying to save the SCOTUS and the country. He put us back on the defense for the court. We are fighting on two fronts now. Fitzmas and Scalito. We had a year to rest ourselves and we should be ready to dig in our heels. The next year is our chance to change the DC landscape. Take a deep breathe and let's go!

    Barn Babe Parking Only... All others will be towed....

    by BarnBabe on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:18:15 AM PST

  •  More Biographical Material (none)
    from the NY Times today -

    His career included serving as deputy assistant to the attorney general from 1985 to 1987. From 1987 to 1989, Judge Alito served as United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, where he prosecuted white collar and environmental crimes, drug trafficking, organized crime, and violations of civil rights, the White House said.

    And we ALL know how clean and criminal free New Jersey is now, right?


    I'd go look at what when down in New Jersey when Alito was U.S. Attorney in New Jersey in terms of drug trafficking, organized crime and environmental crimes if I wanted to oppose Alito's nomination.

    •  Because any NJ Italian has to be mobbed up? (none)
      As a half-Italian w/a very Italian name I have to constantly fight that stereotype--sometimes it's amusing, and other times...not so much.  
      •  I Don't Operate on Stereotypes, actually, (none)
        being Irish American myself.

        I am actually not liking the Scalito tag myself.  It is vaguely anti-Italian, anti-Hispanic tag.

        What I thought I was CLEARLY saying was that people should look at Alito's record and the state of the state of New Jersey during and after his tenure as U.S. Attorney in the late 80's.

        Actually, what I'm scanning so far is that the mob-related organized crime organization fell apart a bit during the mid and late 80's in New Jersey.  I don't know if it has anything to do with Alito.

        On the other hand, it's not like mafia activity and drug crimes were shut down and New Jersey is once again, well, a garden state!

        Also, there were EGREGIOUS environmental crimes perpetrated, as well as white collar crimes and a lot of governmental graft during that time in New Jersey.  If Alito is so tough and so conservative, why did this activity stand while he was U.S. Attorney?

        I lived in Brooklyn for fourteen years, during the 80's and 90's.  Not all mafia activity is by Italian families.  The Russian mafia is very active, as well.

        Looking at Alito's record not only as a judge but as a prosecutor will give people a clearer idea of just what kind of idealogue this man is, who he hangs out with, and whether he's fit to serve as a judge.

        •  Perhaps I was reading btw the lines then (none)
          But there have been way too many posts this morning with more than a hint Italian stereotyping. And, I think understanably, the words "New Jersey," "criminal activity" and an Italian last name puts me in mind of that.

          But you're right: The mob is much more diverse these days. As Tony Soprano warned his sister: "Don't f*ck with the Russians. That's all I'm sayin'"

        •  Well (none)
          My concerns over the "Scalito" tag have less to do with ethnic sensitivity, and more to do with the facts that:

          1. As of 2003, only 9% of the country knew who Scalia was

          2. Those who do know who he is would be just as likely to be happy that he's like Scalia

          3. Scalia is a sitting Supreme Court justice, and the more we say he's "just like" Scalia, we completely lose the argument that he's "disqualified" or that there are "extraordinary circumstances" to oppose him.  Scalia was confirmed unanimously 98-0, after all -- refusing to confirm someone "just like" Scalia would basically say "we don't care about the Supreme Court or qualifications or precedent, we just hate Bush."

          If we want to stop Alito, we better find things in his record that show he's more RADICAL than Scalia.  If such evidence exists, I say we fight.  If it doesn't, and at best he's "just like" Scalia, then opposing him for reasons of ideology alone makes us look weak, not strong.
          •  I agree with everything you've said. (none)
            I think it is a bad idea to compare a nominee to a sitting judge for the same reason you stated.

            The representatives who need to vote against this nomination are representatives who may approve of Scalia, as well.

            Any time you compare a nominee to someone already on the bench, you allow people to envision that nominee ON the bench, also.

            Why do that?

        •  I don't understand. (none)
          As a Polish American, I'm not fond of ethnic stereotypes.  However, I don't understand how the term "Scalito" is some kind of ethnic slur against Italian Americans.  Scalia is Italian, and so is Alito.  The term "Scalito" seems to be more of a commentary on Alito's ideological similarity to Scalia's.
          •  The word "Scalito" (none)
            is evocative to me of a spanish dimutive of Scalia -
            ito meaning "little" in the masculine form.

            It is also familiar.

            It's calling him "Little Scalia" in a familiar way.

            I don't like it.  It is demeaning to the speaker to do this.

  •  I hope Alito is confirmed! (none)
    This will be the final nail in the coffin of the conservative movement. This guy will push the court farther to the right, and the end results will be intolerable to the vast majority of people in the U.S.
    The right-wing is getting what they want, and I can't wait until middle America realizes what they've brought on themselves.
    The backlash that is going to ripple out through the country is going to be massive and oh, so sweet.

    by worker on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:24:46 AM PST

    •  right-wing come uppance (none)
      I do think that is the only positive in this battle, but we must use this opportunity to get the 60% of the country that doesn't want this outcome to pay attention this time.  See my down thread comment.
    •  It won't be intolerable to majority of Americans (none)
      Everyone seems to forget that overruling Roe does not result in balnket prohibition on abx.  It leaves it up to the states.  If people find abortion band "intolerable" they will enact laws permitting abortion.  And so on down the line.
  •  How many women . . . (4.00)
    He writes . . .

    Since 1973, abortions on unmarried women have consistently exceeded 70% of the national total and at times have surpassed 80%. The plaintiffs (Planned Parenthood) failed to show even roughly how many of the women in this small group would actually be adversely affected by Section 3209. As previously noted, Section 3209 contains four significant exceptions. These exceptions apply if a woman certifies that she has not notified her husband because she believes that (1) he is not the father of the child, (2) he cannot be found after diligent effort, (3) the pregnancy is the result of a spousal sexual assault that has been reported to the authorities, or (4) she has reason to believe that notification is likely to result in the infliction of bodily injury upon her. If Section 3209 were allowed to take effect, it seems safe to assume that some percentage of the married women seeking abortions without notifying their husbands would qualify for and invoke these exceptions. The record, however, is devoid of evidence showing how many women could or could not invoke an exception.
    Of the potentially affected women who could not invoke an exception, it seems safe to assume that some percentage, despite an initial inclination not to tell their husbands, would notify their husbands without suffering substantial ill effects. Again, however, the record lacks evidence showing how many women would or would not fall into this category. Thus, the plaintiffs did not even roughly substantiate how many women might be inhibited from obtaining an abortion or otherwise harmed by Section 3209. At best, the record shows that Section 3209 would inhibit abortions " `to some degree' " or that "some women [would] be less likely to choose to have an abortion by virtue of the presence" of Section 3209.




  •  Alito's assailability (none)
    He can't be assailed on his credentials like Miers could be.  "It's his ideology, stupid" has to be the slogan.  Let 39% of the Senators whose all important base Bush is prisoner of vote for this guy, but the Democrats and moderate Republicans must do everything to stop his confirmation and in the process educate the American voters (who utterly failed to pay attention to this in '04)the implications of this court-packing.  61% of the country do not want this guy.  He will take us back to the fifties & more so. We must find 6 or seven Senators to join a united 45 to deliver a defeat to Bush and his hard-core right-wing.
  •  There will be no SG documents (none)

    There will be plenty of documents from his time on the bench and/or his time as Assistant AG.  It's a Roberts strategy.

    •  A Roberts Strategy? (none)
      Roberts had less than 2 years on the bench.

      Alito has 15.

      The Winguts, meaning you included, have forced Bush to yel it loud and PROUD, I am an extremist radical right wing Dobsonite!!

      Yell it with me!!!

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:32:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Roberts strategy in a sense (none)
        that you make reams of documents available, but not SG papers.  I thought my previous post was easy enough to understand
        •  It was (none)
          That's why it is easy to say it was wrong.

          As is this comment of yours.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:51:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How exactly was it wrong? (none)
            Do you think they will provide SG docs?  If so I have a nice bridge in NY to sell you.  You think that docs other than SG office won't be available?!  If so I can throw in another bridge at a low low price.  And if I am correct on document availability, how exactly is it different from the production they undertook for the Chief?
            •  It was wrong because (none)
              The is no similarity between Alito's well demosntrated Wingnut credentials and Roberts' Stealth nomination.

              It is completely wrong. It is as if you missed the whole brouhaha ver Miers, or believed the qualifications BS.

              The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

              by Armando on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:06:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I wasn't talking about credentials (none)
                I specifically confined my comments to the issue of the SG documents production.  If you notice that was one of teh questions in the original diary.  I answered it by saying that a) SG documents will not be produced; b) other documents will be and c) that this method of document production will replicate the method of the Roberts nomination.  

                I so far have not opined on Alito's conservative credentials and how his resume is longer than Roberts'.

                And yes, I followed Miers' nomination and opposed her for lack of credentials.  You should know that.

  •  How about his views on affirmative action, (none)
    disability laws, and the family leave act?? All things the average American feels are good and reasonable.  

    We need to bang on these too.

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

    by adigal on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:29:36 AM PST

  •  He thinks Married Women needs Man's Okay... (none) have an abortion.

    "I do not believe that Section 3209 has been shown to impose an undue burden"

    This provision said that a married woman needs permission from her husband before having an abortion.  O'Connor said that would be an undue burden for the woman and at times could lead to domestic violence.  That was O'Connor's concern, the health and safety of a woman who may be in an already strained marriage.

    This guy does not think getting the shit kicked out of you by your husband who would then perhaps tie you to the bed to prevent you from having an abortion is an undue burden.


    Its not easy being a Floridian.

    by lawstudent922 on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:33:50 AM PST

    •  Wait, wait... (none)
      ...but section 3209 gives a woman 4 exceptions, right - if her hubby's not the spouse, if he's abusive, etc...right?

      If I'm right in my interpretation, then section 3209 doesn't seem unreasonable. You may disagree with it, but it's not like he wants women to get permission from a drunkard and wife-beater.

      Russ Feingold for President!

      by Basil on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:42:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why should women (none)
        have to get [i]permission[/i] from their husbands in the first place? Are they not capable of thinking/deciding for themselves?

        The Lord is a shoving leopard. - William A. Spooner

        by lirtydies on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:53:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We really need to be careful on this (none)
          Alito made he clear that he absolutely does NOT believe a woman needs "permission".  Notification is NOT the same as permission.  (I disagree with requirements for either, but the country supports spousal notification laws by nearly 4-to-1 margins, so that is really the wrong thing to fight him on.)
        •  Umm (none)
          because it is his child too?!  Because he may not want to stay married to a woman who (in his view) kills his child?  Because family decisions are ideally made by the family?!
          •  So women are incubators (none)
            at the whim of the man she marries, and who may not even be the man who impregnates her, etc. etc.

            Your argument is nonsense.


            Mitch Gore

            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

            by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:23:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  geez (none)
              Would also seem to me that a husband has a right to know if some other man impregnated his wife, don't you think?

              And like I said, husbands need not have a veto over the decision, but I would imagine that they should know, especially if they are morally opposed to abortion and would prefer to no longer be married to a woman who undergoes that route.  Where exactly in the marriage contract/family law does it say that it is OK to deceive one's spouse?!

              •  A right? (none)
                No, he doesn't have "the right" form a legal rights standpoint.

                Do I think he should know, of course I do. But don't confuse legal rights with what we would hope would be the fair and honest thing.

                Does the wife have a legal "right" to know if the husband knocks up another woman?

                What if he doesn't knock up the other woman?

                What if the paternity of the other woman's pregnancy is unknown?

                You can go through permutation after permutation.

                The bottom line is that women are not legal incubators without rights over the own bodies without the permission of a spouse. Period.

                If you can't get that simple concept, you need to do some more serious thinking on the matter.


                Mitch Gore

                Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:23:27 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I can get the concept (none)
                  And speaking of not confusing "legal rights" with "what's the right thing to do," let's apply that to the abx debate in the 1st incstance.  I am of the view that there is no legal right to abortion, but allowing it up to a certain point is a right thing to do.

                  Insofar as you are arguing that TODAY husbands do not have that legal right to know you are right.  But PA legislature tried to give them that right, and for no apparent reason that right was taken away by SCOTUS.

                  •  Really? (none)
                    You have no rights over your own body if you are a woman?

                    That is what you are saying when you say that you have no legal right to abortion (which is not the law of the land BTW).

                    So you have no right to decline mandatory kidney donation for example?


                    Mitch Gore

                    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                    by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 10:34:18 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Oh geez (none)
                      Thanks for informing me that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land.  Where would I be without your illuminating information.

                      No, a person does not have the right to do with his body as he pleases.  Witness laws agains drug use, prostitution, organ selling, etc.

                      •  Well aparenlty you forgot (none)
                        in your idiot diatribe that somehow a woman has no rights over her own body.

                        I would also posit that the laws you cite, are at their core, illegitimate laws for exactly the same reason. The only mitigate argument on laws against drug use is that of reduced capacity of control over ones actions coupled with possible imminent harm (i.e. what and why we have laws against DUI for example).

                        BUt glad to know that you are ok with being told what you can't do with your own body. Will be great when I can have the state force you to donate a kidney should my son ever need it, regardless of whether you want to or not. After all, you have no rights to your own body according to you.


                        Mitch Gore

                        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                        by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 10:51:46 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

            •  NO! (none)
              Women aren't forced into marriage. If you choose to get married, you choose to involve someone else in your family-planning decisions. Sorry.

              The law Alito ruled upon provided reasonable exceptions including the situation where the woman was impregnated by another man. And all the woman had to do was sign an unnotarized document saying she either fit an exception or notified.

              •  Bullshit (none)
                Entering into marriage does not mean you forfeit rights over your own body, nor do you cede that "family-planing" issue to anyone.


                Mitch Gore

                Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:24:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Entering into a marriage (none)
                  means that important decisions are to be made jointly.  Otherwise its not marriage but just cohabitation.  Again, its the guy's child too.  So at least he ought to know.
                  •  Again, what the hell does government have (none)
                    to do with making personal or joint decisions within marriage?

                    That is a personal relationship.  Would you like the govt. to okay your new house, the color of your new car, the sex of your child, the size of your lawn, and what job you take before you go ahead with these things too, or would that be too intrusive for you?  Why isn't letting you yourself within the context of your own life as personal as these things.  Why isn't it even more personal. Why is it okay for the government to stay out of these decisions, but not ones having to do with your reproductive life and your own body?  Why is it intrusive for the government to pick your job, but not for the government to tell you what to do with your body?

                    •  The government doesn't tell you (none)
                      how to run your marriage.

                      But for example by law one spouse cannot waste joint family assets.  One spouse cannot get or close a joint account without the consent of another spouse.  There are multidues of regulation on how you run a FAMILY.  Which is why marriage is a government sanctioned institution with certain government imposed obligations (and corresponding benefits).

                      If you don't like, don't get married.

                  •  Marrige is irrlevant to this discussion (none)
                    HE has no right to say what she does with her body. Period.

                    That you can't get that concept means you have your head firmly lodged in your ass.


                    Mitch Gore

                    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                    by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 10:31:51 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sheesh (none)
                      It not JUST her body.  Its HIS child.  If you can't wrap your head around THAT concept perhaps you should take it out of YOUR posterior.
                      •  Bullshit (none)
                        A zygote is not a person and has no rights, anymore than saying she has no rights over her body because he has some of his cells inside her.

                        It is horse-shit.

                        A fucking zygote is not a child, but a fucking cell.

                        My head is not in my ass thank you, but yours seems to be firm lodged in yours.


                        Mitch Gore

                        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                        by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 10:40:27 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  So says YOU (none)
                          And what makes your view of the personhood of a zygote (and it is more than a zygote btw by the time abortion is performed)?  I can just as passionatelly argue that life begins at conception.  Prove me wrong.  You can't, much like I can't prove you wrong.  So we can't settle this logically.  Thus teh best solution is to put it to a vote.

                          And even if it is just a cell, it is at best a jointly created and therefore jointly owned cell.  

                          •  Emergancy corntrception (none)
                            often aborts before cellular division, and according the wing-nuts who believe form the moment of conception it is person with rights as well.

                            I posit that a living person must have brain function (i.e. coordinated synaptic firing) or it is no longer a living human being (i.e. brain dead).

                            Since that is the legal definition of when someone is no longer  a living person, the same criterion (and I will even spot you a few weeks gestation to be on the safe side) is the proper, and provable, beginning of what constitutes a living human being (i.e. person).

                            But that is again not even salient to the point.

                            Marriage does not equal paternity, nor does conception make it a child. Prove me wrong.


                            Mitch Gore

                            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                            by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 12:02:16 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  corntrception ... not corntrception (ugh) (none)


                            Mitch Gore

                            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                            by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 12:02:49 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Again it is a purely philosophical (none)
                            argument that neither you nor I can win.  Which is precisley why I do not think that courts should get involved.

                            Your definition also runs into other problems.  People in coma (or even after severe concussion) do not have "coordinated synaptic firing") yet they are certainly not dead.

                          •  Brain dead legalyl means you can pull the plug (none)
                            You can legally terminate feeding and/or life sustaining intervention on a brain dead person. And most people with less than irreparable severe brain damage (i.e. brain death) do have coordinated synaptic firing.

                            I don't believe you understand what that term means.


                            Mitch Gore

                            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                            by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 12:44:35 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I understand it quite well (none)
                            I am a doctor (and a lawyer), thank you, so I know what brain dead means both from legal and medical standpoints.  But that is not the definition you gave.  You said alck of coordinated synaptic function.  I merely pointed out that people in a coma have uncoordinated synaptic function as do post-concussion people.  The difference is that their condition is transitory (not obviously for all coma patients, but for some).  The thing is, for embryos/fetuses that condition is also transitory.  So they are not exactly brain dead.
                          •  Then you really don;t know what the temr means (none)
                            <blckquoteI merely pointed out that people in a coma have uncoordinated synaptic function as do post-concussion people.</blcoqkuote>

                            No they don't. Coordinated synaptic firing mean synchronous firing of the synapses, as opposed to simple electrical readings across the poles of the living cells.

                            In other words, readings that the synapses are actually firing from synaptic function, not the random uncoordinated electrical readings you get from muscle cells for example, which prove that the cells are "alive", which is the equivalent of taking "bioryhtym" readings of an actual potted plant.

                            In short, you do not know what the term means in this case.


                            Mitch Gore

                            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                            by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 04:56:24 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Coordinated means that it is not random (none)
                            that it has some purpose.  Coma patients do not qualify.
                          •  Wrong again (none)
                            You really do not understand the term as it is applied.


                            Mitch Gore

                            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                            by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:14:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If you make up terms as you like (none)
                            I can't be expected to understand them.
                          •  Bilaterally synchronous = cordinated (none)
                            Researchers have found "electrical activity" in fetal brainstem cells from 10 weeks of pregnancy (56 days after fertilization) on, but that doesn't mean much. An EEG involves measuring varying electrical potentials across a dipole, or separated positive and negative charges. Any living cell has an electrical potential across its membrane, and any living structure is a dipole, which explains why people have been able to put electrodes on plants, hook them up to EEG machines, and get "evidence" that plants have feelings. But this has nothing to do with brain function or "brain waves," which are a nontechnical term for a particular kind of varying potentials produced by certain brain structures that don't even exist in an embryo and associated with consciousness and dreaming as well as the regulation of bodily functions. 

                            The researcher do not find electrical activity of a kind that had anything to do with "brain function" until 84 days (12 weeks) of gestation, or 70 days after conception. The activity then recorded was not in any way similar to what is seen on a normal EEG, which includes what people call "brain waves." Rather, some researchers have been able to stimulate the fetal brain stem and are able to record random bursts of electrical activity which looked exactly like the bursts they got from the fetal leg muscles when they were stimulated. 
                            At 17 weeks of pregnancy (119 days after fertilization) some researchers also reported finding "primitive wave patterns of irregular frequency or intermittent complexes from the oral portion of the brain stem and from the hippocampus" in the midbrain, according to Electroencephalography. Even the oldest fetuses that were studied, however, had no "brain waves" or other kind of signal from the cortex up to 150 or so days.

                            So all that this research showed, and reported, about the brain development of 56-to-70-day embryos and fetuses is that they have live nerve cells present in their brainstems. This is not the same as "brain waves" (Willke), or "electrical waves as measured by the EEG, indicating brain functioning" ("The Pro-Life Advocate"), or "coordinating and individuating brain function" (Goldenring). 

                            In fact, of all the personal essays cite by abortion-criminalists, only Hellegers got it right when he said that "readable electrical actitivity" is present at 56 days, but even he was wrong in saying that "The meaning of the activity cannot be interpreted." It can be interpreted: it means that fetal brain-stem cells are alive, interconnected, and react to stimulation, just the way fetal leg-muscle cells do.

                            Why has this subject not been researched since the 1960s? Apart from the fact that live aborted embryos and fetuses are no longer available, researchers now know more about the structure and development of the cortex, the highest part of the brain and the part that makes us who we are. 

                            When people, including physicians, talk about "brain waves" and "brain activity" they are referring to organized activity in the cortex. While no embryo or fetus has ever been found to have "brain waves," extensive EEG studies have been done on premature babies. A very good summary of their findings can be found in Pain and its effects in the human neonate and fetus," a review article (often cited by "pro-lifers" writing about fetal pain, but not about brain development) by K.J.S. Anand, a leading researcher on pain in newborns, and P.R. Hickey, published in NEJM:

                            Functional maturity of the cerebral cortex is suggested by fetal and neonatal electroencephalographic patterns...First, intermittent electroencephalograpic bursts in both cerebral hemispheres are first seen at 20 weeks gestation; they become sustained at 22 weeks and bilaterally synchronous at 26 to 27 weeks.

                            There are reasons, based on the physics of the EEG, why this has to be so. Remember, an EEG involves measuring varying electrical potential across a dipole, or separated charges. To get scalp or surface potentials from the cortex requires three things: neurons, dendrites, and axons, with synapses between them. Since these requirements are not present in the human cortex before 20-24 weeks of gestation, it is not possible to record "brain waves" prior to 20-24 weeks. Period. End of story


                            Mitch Gore

                            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                            by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:04:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  And (none)
          as correctly pointed out before hand, its notification, not permission.
          •  Give me a break. (none)
            NOtification is permission.  Do you think once "notified" a person is going to not stand in the way who otherwise would demand permission?
            •  Give ME a break (none)
              Notification is not permission.  The husband can vociferously protest, he may even seek a divorce from the woman for going through with abortion, but most men are not going to tie their wife to the bedpost for 9 months until she gives birth.

              Don't you think that men deserve to know what exactly his wife is doing with his offspring?  And don't you think they deserve to make an informed choice about whetehr to stay married to a woman who chooses abortion (or who slept with someone else?)

                •  And why not?! (none)
                  Why is it that a husband cannot know exactly who he is married to and make an informed choice as to whether to stay married to that person.

                  I frankly am not sure that I would be able to remain married to someone  who cheated on me, gotten pregnant by that guy, and then gotten an abx all w/o telling me.  Call me old-fashioned, but that is not what I call a "rock-solid marriage."

                  •  That is all a matter for you to work out in your (none)
                    marriage and personal relationship, not in the courts,  Oh Ye of small government until it has to do with sex and the bedroom, and controling another person's body.

                    Typical Republican hypocrit.  The government should stay as far away from people's personal lives as possible unless it benefits me, me, me, me, and only me.(me=you in this instance in case you didn't realize I was quoting you)

                    •  Ok then (none)
                      Then the government shouldn't tell me that I have to support kids that I don't want.  you can't have it both ways.  Either the govt will protect interests of both parties to the marriage or neither.

                      (And yes, it's not for the courts... It's for the legislatures).

                      •  If reproductive rights is not for the courts, (none)
                        why is the right wing so obsessed with getting someone who they are assured will not support it?

                        Support or non support, I don't recall that being a supreme court concern recently.

                        Nor do I see an obsession about it from the right.  The right is primarily obsessed with control of a womans life and body. Support is a tool that they will use if all else fails.  Let's stay on topic here.  If I had a choice, I'd choose control of my body, to hell with measly child support, a good part of which never reaches it's destiny anyway.  Give up my rights for child support that I'll never receive.  Pfffttt.

                        •  Because the left wing (none)
                          interjected the courts into the reprodctive rights debate.

                          Scalia & Co. simply want the courts out of this business and let the people decide what they may.

                          Whatever arguments you make about what's more important, make them to the legislature, not the courts.

                          •  Go find some other suckers to tell your troubles (none)
                            to.   "Scalia &CO. simply want the courts out of this busness and let the people decide what they may."   Yeah, them and Dobson his minions, and the rest of you right wing wackos.  That's all you want.  LoL  LoL LoL.

                            Please.  Stop entertaining us.  I've got to get back to work.

                          •  I don't care about or for Dobson (none)
                            I support legalized abortion.  But I refuse to get there by trickery and deceit of inventing constitutional rights out of thin air.  Put the question to the people or the legislatures and I am with you.  present it to the courts and you can't count on my support.
        •  When you get married... (none)
 are agreeing to involve your spouse in those matters. It's thats simple.

          I'm not saying a spouse should neccessarily have veto power, but he should most definitely be notified before the abortion has taken place.

          Russ Feingold for President!

          by Basil on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:22:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Who is going to prove that he is abusive? (none)
        It is hard enough, say in a case of self defense, when a woman shoots an abusive spouse to save her own life, to prove that she did it out of self defense.  More times than not, this turns into a case of murder, and the woman or man who kills the spouse in self defense goes to prison for life because of it.  

        Go to a woman not notifying a spouse of an abortion because he is abusive.  Yeah right, try "proving" that.  That is just another hoop that she has to jump through to control her own body and make decisions about her own life.  In the end it is another way of the abusive spouse and a judge controling and limiting her ability to get an abortion.

        •  A woman's reproductive rights... (none)
          ...are neccessarily curtailed by marriage. That's the way it works. If she got impregnated by some guy she met at a bar, she can get an abortion the day after for all I care.

          But with marriage, it's a different matter. She's entering into an agreement where the fetus she has is not just hers, but her husband's, too.

          And the husband should at minimum have the right to know if his child is going to be aborted.

          As for the practical difficulties of proving the exceptions like the hubby is abusive, I'm for making those pretty easy to prove.

          But as a matter of principle, when a woman gets married, she is giving up some of her reproductive freedom.

          Russ Feingold for President!

          by Basil on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:31:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Frankly no. (none)
            A woman does not become less of a human being or an individaul when she becomes married.  Is there an instance where we should expect the same from a man.  Oops sorry.  I guess not.  How dare I ask that question.
    •  Concurrence (none) you think this same judge would rule that a married man must notify his wife that he is being treated for another sexually transmitted phenomenon such as the Clap, HIV-Aids, or other bodily condition that may have an impact on the marriage partner?  I doubt it.

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      by TheRef on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:54:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Channeling The General (none)
    The Frenchman Turley is wrong. With Benito Scalito on the SC, our Leader can finally win the War on:

    • the poor
    • the not-so-poor
    • the soon-to-be-poor
    • women
    • gays
    • transexuals
    • blacks
    • hispanics
    • arabs
    • anyone not white
    • nurses
    • teachers
    • unions
    • purveyors of fine erotic literatures
    • Norman Mailer
    • Hollywood
    • Bollywood
    • teletubbies (esp. that purple one)
    • atheists
    • pantheists
    • polytheists
    • democrats
    • liberals
    • centrists
    • moderates
    • RINOs
    • the ACLU
    • NAMBLA

    The fight is never over! All Praise The Leader!
  •  Can we count on all these Democrats in the Senate (4.00)
    or are we just deluding ourselves again?  Let's start today, and start pressuring them to stand up in unison against this person with a fillibuster. Not on a blog, but in letters and calls.  Let's each make a contract with each other on here to start a writing campaign and a calling campaign to each of the Senators, especially the 7 of the 14 wamsy pamsy ones in the middle who think they are such go along to get along heroes, and people like Lieberman, and Fiengold who have lame ideas that the President should have their own picks.

    I am tired of getting our hopes up each time to be dashed by a hope that our party is united.  Clinton recently said that they should fight or get another job, let's make it clear to them that that is exactly what we think.

  •  Courts vs voters - A battle for great minds (none)
    Are freedom/social issues of abortion, prostitution, alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc. to be decided by courts or voters in a democracy?

    Should the court be the ultimate super legislature with permanent tenure?

    This battle needs to be fought.  The separation/balance of the three branches needs to be resolved by the great minds of today. Where are the likes of the founding fathers when we need them?

  •  Interesting comment on Alito at 'Confirm Them' (none)
    The comment was posted on October 2nd.

    Here's the link

    Rarely have I seen more gushing praise combined with fewer supporting facts than in the many comments supporting Judge Alito for the Supreme Court...

    Before overdosing on Alito fumes, pro-lifers and federalists should examine Judge Alito's joinder in Judge Cowan's 1995 opinion in Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center for Women v. Knoll (61 F.3d 170). In a 2 to 1 ruling with Judge Alio casting the tie-breaking vote, the 3rd Cir. panel enjoined the enforcement of a provision in Pa's Abortion Control Act that had required victims of rape and incest to report the crime to appropriate authorities as a precondition for obtaining an abortion at taxpayer expense under Medicaid. The pertinent federal Hyde Amendment prohibited the use of Medicaid funds for abortions with the exceptions of life, rape and incest but was silent on the question of reporting requirements. The Clinton bureaucracy issued an interpretational letter opining that any state requirement that rape/incest victims report the crime in order to invoke it as a basis for obtaining a publicly funded abortion conflicted with Medicaid and was thereby pre-empted by federal law. Judges Alito and Cowan ruled this letter was entitled to full judicial deference and that it superseded a statutory enactment of the Pa. General Assembly. The extensive and scholarly dissenting opinion of Judge Nygaard, which eviscerates the majority opinion, tartly observed:


    Today, the majority holds that by simply writing a letter, a sub-cabinet level federal bureaucrat can pre-empt statutory enactment of an elected state legislature. It bases its holding on the principle of deference set forth in Chevron... and later cases. Because I believe that what the Secretary would have us give her is not deference due but rather deference run amok, I reach a different result than the majority, and must dissent.

    In addition to the questions this case raises about Judge Alito's willingness to overturn Roe, it also presents some troublesome concerns as to whether he is overly worshipful of the decisions of unelected federal bureaucrats and is insensitive of the important role of state legislative bodies in our federal system. The supreme irony would be to wind up with a justice who is as liberal as O'Connor on abortion and more liberal than O'Connor on states' rights.

    Reality is just... a point of view - Philip K. Dick; Beautiful thing, the destruction of words. (from Orwell's 1984)

    by LionelEHutz on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 07:37:42 AM PST

    •  i dont understand this (none)

      can you explain this to me?

      "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

      by AmericanHope on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:17:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  social conservatives have two problems with this (none)
        First, it is hostile to federalism by basically allowing a federal bureaucrat to preempt a state law by issuing an opinion about interpretation of a federal law.

        Second, it allows a woman to get an abortion paid for by Medicaid when she claims that the fetus is a result of rape or incest even if she hasn't reported the crime to authorities. The Pennsylvania state law that Alito voted to prevent the enforcement of would require that the crime be reported prior to receiving an abortion at taxpayer expense.

  •  Schumer (none)
    to give press conference on Cspan at 11am.
  •  The thug in the White House likes to fight... (none)
    Okay, let's fight him.

    Let's support whoever joins the fight, whoever they are.

    Let's show the thug who's the boss in this constitutional republic.

    The Kool-Aid Kid: George W. Bush

  •  I say... (none)
    Give 'em what they want. Let them pack the SCOTUS with every neanderthal right wing conservatie ideologue they can find. Let them oveturn Roe. Let them ban homosexuality (not gay marriage, just being gay), let them pass ever more intrusive laws to aid them in the "war on terror". Let them ban judicial filibusters.

    Let them do all that. Then just wait.

    It won't be too long before the reaction causes a backlash against conservatism that will last for 25 years or more.

    When people's rights are taken away, it won't be too long before the meek masses who just don't care enough to be poitically active, rise up and vote these jerks out of office. Yes, the court will be packed with conservative justices, but do you think they will stay that way very long without their support group in congress and the Presidency? I doubt it.

    I am sick and tired of fighting for people's basic rights when they don't seem to care about those rights.

    I say bring back the bad old days and let's see what happens. It might be messy, but when confronted with reduced civil rights, I think the american public will vote differently. I just don't think they will turn against conservatism until they see the ugly side of it first hand.

    •  You are making an assumption .. (none)
      that your right to vote has not already been compromised, which it has.

      2000, 2002 and 2004 elections have already proven the right to vote in this country has been compromised.

    •  However, . . . (none)
      It will be a helluva lot harder to regain those rights, once taken away, no matter how big a backlash there is down the road.  IMO, it's best to fight the threats to our rights proactively rather than reactively.
      •  You're right (none)
        You're right. I know that you're right. Everyone at dKos knows your right. It's the average american voter that doesn't know you're right. They need to be hit in the face before they figure it out. We lost two presidential elections hoping that the american people would figure it out and coem around to our way of thinking. They haven't. Something more drastic is necessary.
        •  Like putting up a candidate (none)
          we Republicans would be proud to vote for.  Howard Dean, John Edwards come to mind.  Instead you give us Clinton's butt boy and a statue who seems even less like the rest of us than Bush.  You guys need a Carl Rove who can fight fire with fire.  Politics hasn't been fair for a few thousand years.  Daley must be in a constant spin in his grave these days.  Come on Dems!!
  •  The public supports spousal notification laws (4.00)
    And by pretty dramatic margins -- between 70-72% support, depending on the poll.  And perhaps surprisingly, there's little difference between men and women's reponses on this issue -- both genders are about equal in their support of such laws.

    Now, I personally disagree with the majority on this one, as I'm sure many of you do.  But I'm guessing the only people who would be persuaded by the "he fought for spousal notification" argument wouldn't have supported him, anyway.  And if we exaggerate his position and claim he required "permission", not notification, well then frankly we'd just be liars and lose our credibility with the moderates we need to win over on this one.

    In other words, lets find issues in which Alito is out-of-step with the MAJORITY of the country, not issues the country supports him on by nearly a 4-to-1 margin.

  •  Alito doesn't believe in our America... (none)
    ....he believes our America is wrong, which is why he wants to take it apart and turn it into a wing nut's dream. Damn Anti-American Activist Judges.

    Of course, did America expect less from the Treason Administration? They've stabbed America in the back in everything else they have done, so stabbing America in the back by packing the supreme court with anti-privacy wing nuts makes complete sense. Fucking traitors.

  •  This is what scares me... (none)
    ALITO WOULD ALLOW DISABILITY-BASED DISCRIMINATION: In Nathanson v. Medical College of Pennsylvania, the majority said the standard for proving disability-based discrimination articulated in Alito's dissent was so restrictive that "few if any...cases would survive summary judgment." [Nathanson v. Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1991]

    It's already hard enough for me to get hired. I guess conservatives would prefer for me to live at home with my family and for them to take care of me... or something.

    "The billboards shade the flags they wave. . ." -Bright Eyes

    by indiemcemopants on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:15:50 AM PST

    •  Heh... (none)
      no one else bothered by this? That's nice.

      "The billboards shade the flags they wave. . ." -Bright Eyes

      by indiemcemopants on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 10:02:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good point (none)
      Attack him on that and any anti-privacy stuff you can dig up.  Remember you need to give two Republican committee members ammo to not let this get out of committee.  Anti-privacy and any pro-life positions he's taken should be pressed home over and over until confusion reigns.  Come on dems!! If you go at him on this husband notification thing, it's like feeding the Rebuplicans a softball in the world series.  You don't want to remind anyone that it was just notification and not required if the spouse feared abuse or wasn't sure the baby was her husband's.  Find where he has used logic to support Dem positions and confuse the opposition into fearing him.  You have a few months.  Get busy!!
  •  wtf, over ? (none)
    from CNN .. !

    Alito, a Yale law graduate, also wrote the opinion in 1999 in a case that said a Christmas display on city property did not violate separation of church and state doctrines because it included a large plastic Santa Claus as well as religious symbols.

    What the hell is that about?

    Does mean the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are going to be used to justify wing nut positions?

    •  Actually... (none)
      this is an example of the hairsplitting jurisprudence that characterizes the so-called "creche cases" on SCOTUS (e.g., Allegheny County v. ACLU).  Basically, the rule is that a creche alone is unconstitutional, but a creche displayed with other religions' religious symbols and/or secular materials is OK.  Say what you will about the logic or lack thereof the SCOTUS decisions underlying it, but it's certainly following the precedent.
    •  Is it really that smart (none)
      to bring up the fact that he defended the right of localites to display multiple different celebrations of the holiday season?  Does that put him out on the "wingnut" fringe you Dems keep writing about?  Or does it put him about where most Americans would like the country to be?  Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory - we admire your passion, but fight the right fight!
  •  Well, it's time to see if Dems have a backbone. (none)
    If we can't fight on this one and we can't have a unified policy on Iraq, then we're not much of a party.
    •  Not Dems, RINOs (none)
      Let's face it, the Democrats are not the key to defeating Bush nominees like Alito. It has to be the residents of Rhode Island, Maine, and Pennsylvania who pressure their Republican Senators to vote against extremist activist judges for the SCOTUS.

      44 Dems + Jeffords +
      Chafee (R-RI)
      Snowe (R-ME)
      Collins (R-ME)
      Specter (R-PA)

      Who else can we turn?
      Dewine (weak incumbent up for re-election)

      We still need one more to overrule Cheney's tie-breaker.  We can't win this with a filibuster because they'll go nuclear and we will lose.

      •  We'll have to use the filibuster. I don't think (none)
        Specter and others will allow them to break the filibuster rule.  Even some conservative senators would vote to keep the filibuster if push came to shove.  That is better strategy.  I agree with your assessment on an up or down vote.  I think we would fall 1 or 2 votes short even if Reid holds on to everyone on his side of the aisle.
  •  Being president has its benefits (2.00)
    Why nominate someone the other side wants?

    The president won two hard fought elections. The Democrats knew what was at stake and couldn't put up a better candidate. To the victor go the spoils.

    •  "To the victor go the spoils" (none)
      More like as Attila the Hun said "Not only must I win but everyone else must lose."

      Politics is as permanent as the human spirit and as changeable as public opinion so in this current atmosphere we have to pick our moments to fight for our principles and oppose with all our fury that inevitable overreach of the right. This is that moment.

      The constitution provides for this expression of the minority's voice. That is why to the victor go the spoils that can be held. All else is up for grabs.

      As far as I'm concerned this candidate's biases in favor of corporate over individual, in addition to his myopic views of minority rights, and issues of privacy demonstrate a extreme point of view that would further skew the interpretation of law.

      So I say "Fuck it, I'm all in." I'll call the talk radio stations, write letters to the editor, senators,and congressmen, and demonstrate in the streets if necessary. The time is right.

      Pop-gun president lying with impunity, soundbyte policies and photo opportunities

      by Dave the Wave on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:45:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Total nutcase (none)
    everything goes on this, filibuster, ads the lot.

    the meek shall inherit the earth

    by Howaboutthetruth on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:36:20 AM PST

  •  Didn't he blow the OJ trial? (none)
    Lets use the big lie like the republicans!

    Fox News - We Distort, You Deride

    by rick on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:36:33 AM PST

  •  Cruel question (none)
    I have seen three pictures of this he wearing a toupe?  Here's one test for the SCOTUS:  no bad lids!

    Pray for my Beloved Country

    by lubarsh on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:38:08 AM PST

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