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Bush Picks Judge Samuel Alito for Supreme Court

 
 
Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 08:24 am
Once again, Bush has demonstrated that his presidency represents only his base, which is less than 20 percent of americans, instead of all of them. ---BBB
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 19,246 • Replies: 427
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 08:37 am
anone he picks will be to rubber stamp him, so this guy sucks too as far as I'm concerned.
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 08:44 am
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twinpeaksnikki2
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 09:09 am
Scalito's Way? No Way!
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 09:09 am
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joefromchicago
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 09:36 am
Anyone else who heard the president's introduction of Alito this morning notice how much he emphasized his nominee's experience? Alito is clearly the "anti-Miers" -- he's more qualified to serve on the supreme court than most of the current membership.

I'm glad to see that Bush actually picked someone who has a clearly identifiable judicial philosophy -- although it took him three tries to do it. Maybe this choice will end the string of "stealth nominees" (including John Roberts) that have made it to the court over the past twenty years. There are only three things about Alito's background that I have some problems with:

(1) Once again, the nominee is someone who served time in the federal executive branch. Although many lawyers spend time there, it is somewhat disconcerting from a separation-of-powers perspective to see so many justices at the apex of the third branch who served an apprenticeship in the second.

(2) Alito is yet another member of the court from the east coast. It used to be that there was some geographical diversity on the court. Now, however, most justices are either from the east and northeast (Souter, Ginsburg, Scalia) or else sat on a federal court on the east coast (Roberts, Breyer, Thomas). After the installation of Alito (to replace Arizona native O'Connor) there will be only two non-easterners on the bench: Stevens and Kennedy.

(3) With the appointment of Alito the court will have a Roman Catholic majority (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, Alito). That's rather odd, to put it mildly. I certainly don't adhere to the tired notion that Catholics can't be trusted because they serve a foreign master, but I do think that the court should represent a broader cross-section of the American population. Perhaps this is a welcome change from all the Episcopalians and Presbyterians who have populated the bench in the past. But the US isn't 5/9ths Catholic, so should we have a supreme court that is?
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CoastalRat
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 09:44 am
Interesting points Joe. But I have a question. Why does it matter what one's religion is when it comes to filling out the SC? And why would one even be legally allowed to base his confirmation or non-confirmation on anything having to do with his faith? That seems to me to violate all kinds of discrimination laws if any senator should even question him on his religious views.

Aren't we supposed to ignore a person's color, religious faith, sex, etc. when it comes to appointing or hiring them to a job? So I am just curious as to why his being catholic would be a concern to you.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 09:48 am
CoastalRat wrote:
Interesting points Joe. But I have a question. Why does it matter what one's religion is when it comes to filling out the SC? And why would one even be legally allowed to base his confirmation or non-confirmation on anything having to do with his faith? That seems to me to violate all kinds of discrimination laws if any senator should even question him on his religious views.

Aren't we supposed to ignore a person's color, religious faith, sex, etc. when it comes to appointing or hiring them to a job? So I am just curious as to why his being catholic would be a concern to you.


because catholics like to have inquisitions and f**k altar boys. I thought everyone knew that. Laughing
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CoastalRat
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 09:53 am
Well, if they discover that he has participated in either of the above activities, I for one will fully support the rejection of his confirmation. Laughing
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twinpeaksnikki2
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 09:56 am
CoastalRat wrote:
Interesting points Joe. But I have a question. Why does it matter what one's religion is when it comes to filling out the SC? And why would one even be legally allowed to base his confirmation or non-confirmation on anything having to do with his faith? That seems to me to violate all kinds of discrimination laws if any senator should even question him on his religious views.

Aren't we supposed to ignore a person's color, religious faith, sex, etc. when it comes to appointing or hiring them to a job? So I am just curious as to why his being catholic would be a concern to you.


SCOTUS nominees are not subject to discrimination laws. There is however a clause in the Constitution that prohibits religious tests. (Somebody tell Bush vis avis Miers! :0) However, I interpreted Joe's comments that we should have greater ethnic/cultural/geographical diversity on the High Court. And I might add we need gender and racial diversity as well.

Rat, a SCOTUS nominee is not the same as a job applicant. Odd that that even needs to be pointed out.
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 09:57 am
BBB
Some people's legal opinions are based on their religious convictions. Catholics are not alone in that trait. That is not an appropriate basis for supreme court decisions.

BBB
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CoastalRat
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 10:08 am
BBB, of course religious convictions should not be the basis for legal opinions. I think that is obvious. But again, why is the simple fact that a person is a catholic and we already have x number of catholics on the SC a reason to question his ability to be a SC justice? In and of itself it is no reason. (I'm not Catholic, btw, so I'm not grinding an ax of any kind here)

As far as the appointment not being subject to discrimination laws, I do understand that is the case. My point in mentioning it was simply a way of highlighting why it should matter what how many Catholics serve on the court. For that matter, why does it matter how many women, easterners, westerners, hispanics, blacks, whites or whatever, as long as those appointed to serve are qualified to serve? That is the only thing I was asking of Joe.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 10:09 am
CoastalRat wrote:
Well, if they discover that he has participated in either of the above activities, I for one will fully support the rejection of his confirmation. Laughing


so you're not a total conservative then.......good news.
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CoastalRat
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 10:24 am
You are way too kind BVT. And deep down, I'm sure you are not really a full-blown liberal either. :wink:
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slkshock7
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 10:24 am
BVT wrote:
ALITO WOULD OVERTURN ROE V. WADE: In his dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Alito concurred with the majority in supporting the restrictive abortion-related measures passed by the Pennsylvania legislature in the late 1980's. Alito went further, however, saying the majority was wrong to strike down a requirement that women notify their spouses before having an abortion. The Supreme Court later rejected Alito's view, voting to reaffirm Roe v. Wade. [Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 1991]


A dissenting opinion to Casey shouldn't be stretched to infer that Alito would overturn Roe v. Wade. Quite properly at the time, Alito made a judgement call based on previous Supreme Court rulings that including spousal notification would not add "undue burden" to a woman desiring an abortion. In my opionion, this was a proper role and position for a judge to take i.e., interpreting the law based on the Constitution and earlier Supreme Court rulings.

In the Casy decision, the SC basically employed stricter standards than it had previously defined. thus Alito should not be faulted for his dissent. He did exactly what judges are supposed to do, evaluate a case based on a past precedent and acknowledgement of the proper limited role of the courts.
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joefromchicago
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 11:33 am
CoastalRat wrote:
Interesting points Joe. But I have a question. Why does it matter what one's religion is when it comes to filling out the SC? And why would one even be legally allowed to base his confirmation or non-confirmation on anything having to do with his faith? That seems to me to violate all kinds of discrimination laws if any senator should even question him on his religious views.

Aren't we supposed to ignore a person's color, religious faith, sex, etc. when it comes to appointing or hiring them to a job? So I am just curious as to why his being catholic would be a concern to you.

Twin Peaks pretty much answered the points about religious discrimination. I'll just say that the court is best served when it has a diversity of viewpoints on the bench. It wasn't a good thing when most of the judges were Episcopalians and it won't be a good thing when most of them are Catholics.

Indeed, I am much more concerned about the lack of professional diversity on the court (something, ironically, that was one of the few selling points on behalf of Harriet Miers). In the "good old days," it was not uncommon for the court to have members who spent their pre-court careers in the legislative branch (e.g. Hugo Black, George Sutherland). Given that the supreme court spends a lot of time examining legislative processes, it would be good to have somebody with experience in drafting laws on the bench. Similarly, it's always good to have someone on the bench who actually has experience as a trial judge, considering how the rulings of the court affect the day-to-day activities of judges across the nation. Now, however, no one on the supreme court (including Alito but excluding O'Connor) will have experience in anything but the executive or judicial branches, and only one will have been a trial court judge (Souter). With the addition of Alito, we will have one of the most homogeneous supreme courts since the early decades of the twentieth century: it will be largely white, male, eastern, catholic, and professionally insulated. I don't think that's a good thing.
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CoastalRat
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 11:45 am
Thanks Joe. That clarified things for me. Sorry if I seemed a bit dense at your reasons for the points you made.
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Cycloptichorn
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 11:47 am
Given that we are talking about lifetime appointments to the most powerful decision-making body in our society, I think Senators should be able to use whatever goddamn criteria they like to oppose whatever nominee comes up.

It isn't as if we get a second shot at this; we can't afford to screw it up. There should be three rejections for every acceptance.

Cycloptichorn
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Cycloptichorn
 
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Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 11:55 am
Oh yeah,

http://media.pfaw.org/stc/AlitoPreliminary.pdf

24 pages of info for informed conversations...

Cycloptichorn
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Steppenwolf
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 02:36 pm
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Given that we are talking about lifetime appointments to the most powerful decision-making body in our society, I think Senators should be able to use whatever goddamn criteria they like to oppose whatever nominee comes up.

It isn't as if we get a second shot at this; we can't afford to screw it up. There should be three rejections for every acceptance.

Cycloptichorn



Three rejections for every acceptance? Yikes, the Senate might also want to reserve some time for legislating, no? And "whatever goddamn criteria" is a wee bit broad when considering race-,gender-, and religion-based rejections. Nor do I think that the S.Ct. needs any sort of religious or ethnic balance. A diversity of opinions is nice, but we needn't religious balancing to achieve such a goal.

I'll reserve my final judgment for after the hearings, but I'm fairly happy with the Alito pick. He seems reasonable, and some initial opposition (anti-discrimination, anti-immigrant, etc.) seems overblown when you read the actual opinions. For instance, I think the following post contained some serious oversimplifications:

blueveinedthrobber wrote:




For starters, Alito hasn't always upheld abortion restrictions (see BBB's earlier post). None or few of the above generalizations are fair considering the actual legal issues involved in the cases cited. Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, for instance, was not a case about "immigrant rights," per se, but a question of whether a certain tax offense constituted an "aggravated felony" as defined in by the Immigration and Naturalization Act. The FLMA case, Chittister v. Dept. of Community & Economic Development involved an 11th amendment question (state immunity). Alito's holding was limited to municipal employers, and it wasn't an outlier among courts of appeals. See Laro v. New Hampshire, 259 F.3d 1, 11 (1st Cir. 2001); Townsel v. Missouri, 233 F.3d 1094, 1096 (8th Cir. 2000); Kazmier v. Widmann, 225 F.3d 519, 526, 529 (5th Cir. 2000); Sims v. University. of Cincinnati, 219 F.3d 559, 566 (6th Cir. 2000); Hale v. Mann, 219 F.3d 61, 69 (2d Cir. 2000); Garrett v. University of Alabama Birmingham Board of Trustees, 193 F.3d 1214, 1220 (11th Cir. 1999).

My point is that it doesn't make any sense to characterize a judge as "pro- or anti-" anything unless you look at the legal issues in question.
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